Southampton Grand Cru | Southampton Publick House

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Southampton Grand CruSouthampton Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Southampton Publick House
New York, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-08-2003

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Reviews: 292 | Ratings: 403
Photo of yankeeheel
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2004 vintage

Pours a lightly hazed medium amber. Large thick off-white head of foam settles out in to a sheet of lace that stays with the brew. Smells very grassy, yeasty and citrusy. Great smelling and so pretty in the glass.The taste is out of this world. I've never been to belgium, but this fits the picture in my mind of what a "real" belgian beer should taste like if the monks brought it down to me personally. The lightest most delicate malt taste passes over your tounge, followed by a slightly tart citrus wave of lemon and orange. Finishes slightly dry without the slightest hint of alcohol. However, my head knows it's there. Mouthfeel is moderate and in perfect proportion with the flavors of this beer. You could drink a lot of this and get in heaps of trouble fast. This is a must drink. If you see it and pass it up it's your loss.

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Photo of lou91
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The cork did not burst out with a pop as I thought it would with a champagne cork. The cork had a great smell of pineapple juice. Bright orange color with tight small bubbles and a wonderful nose of pineapples, honey and a yeasty sweetness. This is an exceptional beer. Rich, thick, and oh so soft and creamy. The alcohol was evident but does not overpower the great tastes. The spices are so subtle but that does not matter. This has to be the best American Belgian-style beer. Got it at the American Beer Distributing Company, Inc in Brooklyn.

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Photo of aracauna
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light copper with a good head. The aroma is slightly tart with a hint of bandaids. This is also a pretty herbal and earthy aroma. The slight tartness continues into the flavor along with a good bit of citrus fruit and peach turning the bandaids into something pleasant when it’s hard to imagine them being such.

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Photo of bultrey
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

OK, it’s about time I reviewed this puppy, to give it it’s just dues…
There’s not much more I can add to what has already been said, so I’ll keep it short and sweet.

Appearance: Picked this up at a local Brooklyn beer store, brought it home, and served in a goblet-style wide-mouth glass. Beautiful peachy orange color with an incredible fluffy white head. Don’t remember much else because I was too eager for my first smell and sip.

Smell: Delicious. All the stuff listed in the reviews below. It’s been a few days since I sampled, but coriander, apricots and oranges are what stayed with me. And I’m not talking navel oranges or Tropicana -- I mean some sort of luscious, juicy Italian orange-oil-type essence.

Taste: Yes. Fantastic and incredibly complex. I can’t recall everything, but it was a mélange of all the malt characteristics, white fruit and spices that are desirable in a beverage of this type: coriander, apricot, peach, toffee, cinnamon, nutmeg, just to name a few.

Mouthfeel: Fantastic carbonation. Often when I’ve had beers of this style, the carbonation can almost be too much. In this case, it was plentiful, but, as in the style of fine champagne, produced a frothy, delicate mousse that served to deliver the flavors to all corners of my mouth, and went down the hatch as smooth as can be. Incredible.

Drinkability: Very. I had no trouble finishing off my oversized bottle. Yeah, I felt a little buzz, but a damn happy one.

Overall: My favorite beer from Southampton, bar none (which is saying a lot, as these guys keep cranking out the quality brews). This sets the standard for the style. I feel it is the equivalent to a California (or Long Island, as it were!) sparkling wine outclassing anything from the actual Champagne region of France. Hard for me to rate a beer perfect, but…

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a light amber with a rich, creamy 1/2 inch off-white head. tons of sticky lace on the chalice.
Aroma is caramel, tofee, apple, cinnamon, grain, yeat, bread and coriander.
Flavor is caramel, a myriad of darker fruits with some spicy cinnamon notes. Lots of yeast and spiced alcohol on the finish. Absolutely beautiful tasting beer.
Mouthfeel is wonderfully malty and flavorful. Spice and yeast provide just enough alternative and balance to the sweetness to make a truly remarkable beer.
Drinkability is near perfect. Absolutely delicious. It was my privilege to drink this fine nectar.
Thanks to Davo.

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Photo of longpondbeerman
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004. This is a real Belgian with lots of intricate and definitive spiciness--orange, corriander, even anise--but unlike most of the strong ales, there something understated about this superb, delicate brew. It pours a dark, slightly cloudy gold with a fine sticky lace. The aroma is sweet and piney, and the taste is exquisitely balanced. The carbonation is smoothly thin and perfectly appropriate for the mediummothfeel. This is one lovely offering, but note: very potent though you would not notice it right off the bat.

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Photo of FranklinPCombs
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearnace is a basic golden amber color, with a good head that leaves patchy lace and a very even top after receding. Smell is very interesting. The main smell is a cross between rubber and fresh cut live wood. There's also a small grapy smell, and some hop hints. Taste is quite sweet, but it mellows so quickly that beyond the first bit of sweet, it is quite good. Its a thick taste probably because its got so much alcohol, with some fruity tastes, but they seem dulled down by a meaty salty taste too, interstingly. Mouthfeel is very carbonated, but medium in body. This is quite a good beer.

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Photo of Billolick
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This stuff is a monumental acheivement in brewing. Pours a serious shade of golden amber, shimmers and quakes with strength and vitality. A strong surge of flavor, boldness and complexity greats the tongue. No doubt about the quality of this lordly creation. Went great with a crab cake. This is a powerful sipper. Seek this one out and savor.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2004 version.

Nice looking copper appearance capped with a thick, frothy dirty white head. Retention is outstanding. Lacing is moderate and droopy in form. CO2 bubbles stream to the surface at a moderate to somewhat quick pace. Nice nose of sweet orange, must, bready yeast, dry corriander and hayfields. The taste follows through with the breadiness and sweet orange. But there's also a great spiciness to the flavor. Alcohol spiciness. Black pepper spiciness. Corriander-like spiciness. Alcohol is apparant, but incorporated nicely into the overall structure of this beer. This beer has the type of bready, yeasty flavor that I love in Belgian style beers. Oh yeah, this one's nice.

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Photo of nomad
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003 vintage, aged approximately 8 months

An iridescent tarnished copper, the most immediate trait of this beer are its streams of carbonation underneath its soft foam but thick head. Throwing mis-shaped stain everywhere, the wall of lace shimmering on every tip was a great finale.

Smells unmistakeably of oranges, sweet doughy yeast, and lovely light coriander. Also has a sense of aged hops like a Gueuze. A simple presentation but full and alluring.

Tastes sweet, buttery, and mostly of candied oranges and lemons. These lead to wonderful citrus-infused alcohol notes toward the end, then is closed off by a yeasty finish. The a ppropriate mouthfeel is soft and an afterthought.

A strong ale of nice design. If again, I would age this beer less to aid its pungent array of possible complexities. Regardless, this drank like a sweet, citrus, and simple pleaser. Hard pressed to think of many better ales similar to it.

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Photo of jcalabre
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a gorgeous beer. Thanks to herbjones for sharing. I thorooughly enjoyed this beer. Opaque golden color, sweet aroma with a complex fruity flavors on the tongue. In my opinion, it was absolutely a phenomenally well made brew. It was luxurious. You could sit back and enjoy it for a long time.

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Photo of cretemixer
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say about Southampton Grand Cru that hasn't already been said? Hopefully, I have something to add.
Pours a clear, golden-honey in color with a creamy white head. Very good retention.
Sweet malty aroma with definite notes of honey. There are hints of apple cider with a mild spiciness. A very mild bit of corriander too.
Smooth & creamy in the mouth. The taste has a sweet, doughy quality, fruity and again, mildly spicy. The alcohol is hardly noticable which in itself is quite a feat. I have heard this beer called "heroin in a bottle" for its addictive drinkability, and I have to agree. I split this bottle with 2 friends and we all agreed, it just got better and better as we drank it.
Incredibly drinkable and well worth seeking out. Call in your favors and get your hands on a bottle, but do not share it, savor it all yourself!

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This wonderful beer was a lovely clear golden colour, with a fluffy, big, white head. The aromas were sweet and consited of belgian candi sugar, yeast, various types of roasted malts, some very, very, background hops, fruit, spices, and more! The taste was a wonderful melange of spicy fruit flavors, as well as a tiny bit of alcohol flavor, malty goodness, and yeasty abandonment. The mouthfeel was very fine, with tiny bubbles gripping to the surface of my tongue, taking each and every taste-bud on a magical carpet-ride to never-never land! The drinkability is excellent for a grand cru, and many other breweries could learn a thing or two from this brewery that is churning out such drinkable versions of very hard-to-perfect styles. The East Coast Alesmith perhaps? I'll have to try some more of their brews to know for sure. But for now, I am glad that I am not a "virgin" of Phil Markowskis brews anymore!

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Photo of jeffboo
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yum! I'm on a Grand Cru run and this will be tough to top. I went head to head with 4 breweries Cru's and this one jumped out of the pack.

It's a peachy golden nectar with a heavy, creamy head. The aroma of applesauce, spicy yeasts, vanilla, and an abundance of other spices. The flavor follows along with an incredible sweet fruit flavor (peaches,pears) spicy yeast and marshmellows. It's a verrry drinkable medium body with nice carbonation. The flavors are hard to put to words but this beer is not hard to put to mouth. My rec is go get this beer and let it do it's magic.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A hazy marmalade body lies beneath a huge head of pillowy off-white foam. Fine bubbles stream steadily upwards - continually adding to the head - and it holds a solid 1/2" or more throughout the entire glass. If that alone made up its appearance it would still be beautiful, but the almost solid sheets of Brussels lace are quite mesmerizing!

Delicate orange and vanilla cream candy (think creamsicle) reside in the nose with just a smattering of brilliant, fresh spice to jazz it up. It's quite alluring, and could almost be enjoyed on its own.

The mouthfeel reveals a meium/light body that's accentuated by a gently effervescent carbonation. It initally tingles the tongue, but then warms to become quite creamy!

The flavor is quite rich without being overwhelming; and it initially accentuates its cookie dough and candyish malt. Midway, however, a supple spiciness and orange flavor appear as it warms. Flashes of alcohol act to enliven its character, rather than detracting; and it finishes soft and sweet with a thin wash of drying alcohol and some residual cookie dough sweetness.

A most impressive brew! Its lush flavors are delivered within a perfect mouthfeel. Extremely well done. and absolutely worth seeking out! This beer rivals some of the top Belgain ales!

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Photo of rotsaruch
4.88/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A 750-ml corked, caged bottle.

What can I share with you that the previous reviewers have so elequently described about this brew. I had the opportunity to share this liquid gold, which Davo had gifted me, with five other individuals. This is a regular group I meet with to talk, sample and taste new beers. Well, when everyone saw the bottle and the label from SPH, the conversation abrubtly stopped while everyone waited for this treasure to be poured and shared.

Its a remarkable brew!! A slightly pale yellow appearance with a hint of orange. There is a distinctine and persistent white head. There is noticable carbination, but not overwhelming. There is a subtle spicey aroma with malty tones. The taste is beyond belief. It is so soft, smooth and delicate. I think my tongue got a "woody." To me the alcohol at 9.5% was not really noticable. There was a sweeter than expected taste with a stunningly refreshing dry finish. It almost tasted more like a tripel than a grand gru. Who cares, it was delicious!!

I have yet to be disappointed by any Phil Markowski brew. I wish we all had access to his brews!!

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 mL. champagne bottle, corked and caged.

Damn near perfect as far as beer goes. Sometimes beers of the world still impresses me(see:beerfly). Served at roughly cellar temp. Poured a chilled light orange(not opaque) with little carbonation bubbles that flowed upward towards a soft white head. This beer had great head retention and I think at all times there was a head present.

Smelled strongly of alcohol, lemon zest, slight orange peel(as the label indicated) and a healthy dose of honey sweetness that cut through and mellowed the surprisingly apparent hops.

Taste was sharp, with plenty of white wine characteristics, but this was a beer through and through. Had much more orange flavor in the taste with wonderful notes of maple syrup, peach and other fruity alcoholic esters. However, the ABV, which is 9.5%, was very well masked making this easier to drink than other high alcohol beers I know of. Towards the end of the bottle(I will assume from yeast although there was nothing stuck to the bottle) the taste took a decidedly grassy turn with a much more damp earthy feel.

The mouthfeel was wonderful with spritzy carbonation that turned into a more mellow smooth taste by the end of the glass.

Overall this was a wonderful find and well worth the nearly $10 for the bottle. My friend Geoff who does not like most of the beers I tried said he would drink this all day long. A ringing endorsment in my world. This is by far the easiest drinking high ABV beer I have come across and this solidifies my love for the Grand Cru style. I am immediatly going to go back and buy a couple more and cellar them for the Rochester winter.

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Southampton Grand Cru from Southampton Publick House
4.21 out of 5 based on 403 ratings.
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