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 jamie2dope
3.37/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This bottle of Southampton Grand Cru was purchased at Liquor World, and is from 2004. After a heavy pour, still not much heading, but color is nice, coming out dark orange. Many particles of yeast sediment can be seen as well. The nose has a large presence of mandarin oranges, and other citrus components. Some yeasty character, and honey emerge as strong smells too. Big blast of honey up front from the taste, followed by a bit of that citrus, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is syrupy sweet, to the point that it almost reminds me of a mead. There is some carbonation there to help the drinkability, but the overall sweetness and thick body can make this one difficult to have a lot of. I am surprised that this beer shows the same sorts of characteristics that it did when I had it fresh. It is worth a try I suppose, though not one of my favorites within this style.

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Photo of treehugger02010
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this beer at Food & Friends in Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA. I poured it into a water glass.
Appearance: The body is a cloudy light amber color. The head is a bright white color, huge, has great retention, stellar lacing and tiny bubbles.
Smell: The aromas are sparge, yeast, and tart.
Taste: The flavors are tart, boozy, and grapes.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is smooth but with a crisp finish.
Drinkability: This beer is very good.
Don't drink and review.

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Photo of Pahn
3.3/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip. 092 10/16/14 is printed on the bottle. Presumably, that would tell me when it was bottled if I knew how long it was supposed to keep.

Appearance: Moderate pour down the side of the glass yields a one inch, rocky and fizzy white head that dissipates somewhat quickly, and (like the beer) leaves little to no lacing. Pours a light, translucent reddish orange.

Smell: Very bready. A fair amount of clove and coriander, with some banana. Generally very earthy, occasionally a little punchy and spicy. Very faint citrus note.

Taste: Wow, that's a bready beer. Lots of fresh white bread and earthiness up front and in the finish/aftertaste. Some spice and Belgian yeast come out in the rather carbonated middle. No alcohol burn at all. The taste is generally more creamy and rich than it is spicy. As in the nose, the orange peel isn't doing much besides adding a faint, ambiguous citrus highlight. The anise is similarly restrained, showing itself only as a mild note in the finish.

Tastes good, but it's occasionally sugary, and not very deep. I like the earthy, bready flavor. 'Grand Cru' is a very strange designation for a taste like this... rating very strictly to style (insofar as you can do that for a BSPA) or taking seriously the boasts on the label (bold and complex), I should probably rate this lower. I think the taste is, at the very least, quite pleasant though.

Mouthfeel: Pretty carbonated, and occasionally too sugary/chalky. Lighter side of medium bodied.

Drinkability: This is a very bready beer... it requires a particular mood to be craved in any way. Honestly, while it's enjoyable to drink, I don't see myself seeking this one out again any time soon. Edit: I dropped a point off drinkability, because I've been at this beer for almost 3 hours, and don't even really want to finish it. This beer simply doesn't taste good enough to drink a 750ml bottle by yourself, which is saying a lot; beer usually gets *easier* to drink, because you get drunk. /Edit

To be blunt, this beer is pretty unimpressive. It tastes good, but the blend of earthy, creamy breadiness and harsh spiciness isn't always that great, despite how nicely restrained the added spices are overall. The mouthfeel is pretty lackluster (especially for a BSPA), and the taste itself isn't particularly interesting. While there are a lot of good flavors and aromas here, none of it is done particularly well. I would pay $7-$8 for a 6-pack of this occasionally, but I can't see why in the world I would buy another 750ml bottle with so many better Belgian style ales available.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to SpeedWayJim for hooking me up with this one.

A: Pours a somewhat-hazy light copper color with an off-white head. Very nice carbonation along with a massive head as it was poured into my tulip.

S: Coriander, spice, sweet malt, a bit alcohol creaminess (hard to describe; reminiscent of Rochefort 10).

T: Quite a few spices, not as much as in the nose however. A bit of caramel and sweetness as well.

M: Medium bodied and quite creamy. Not too much of an alcohol presence.

D: Not as complex as some of the better BSPA's, but very nice. Glad I got to try this one.

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

750 mL bottle poured into a tulip. At least a year on it, not sure exactly since I didn't do a good job of labeling my bottles.

Ok, before I start the review, I'll just say wow. I've been sitting on a bottle for awhile and never bothered to try this for no particular reason. After my first sip I was very disappointed I don't have any more of this. Appearance is a clear deep orange/amber with minimal sediment and a light tan/off white head that settles in as a thick crown and thin film with minimal lacing. Aroma is a delicate balance of orange peel, cream, vanilla, yeast and mild spiciness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with effervescent carbonation resulting in an overall creamy, soft texture. Flavor is very sweet, complex and rich without being too cloying or unappealing. The sweet (ripe fruit, candied sugars, belgian yeast) and spice balance each other well. Drinkability is incredible, I went into this expecting another run of the mill BSPA, but ended up very impressed with this unique beer.

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Photo of illidurit
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the free table at Woodshop 5.0. Pours a hazy murky goldenrod/orange color with a small, wet white head. Aromas of caramel and earthy leafy hops, candied orange, spices, and yeast. Flavor is nutty caramel with a little stone fruit and coriander. Some alcohol warmth. Great complexity, nice firm body and fine carbonation.

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

A: Cloudy, orange hue with a fair head that fades somewhat quickly, leaving small traces of lace

S: Belgian yeast, sweet fruit, citrus, especially orange, coriander, other spices I'm not cool enough to identify on my own

T: This tastes like an Imperial Witbier. Wow. Very cool. The Belgian yeast plays a large role, followed by a butterscotch taste that I'm on the fence about. This beer is seriously complex. The myriad of flavors present are each distinguishable on their own, yet meld together beautifully, making this beer unique and a joy to drink for any beer lover.

M: Decent mouthfeel. Slight alcohol finish.

D: I'd definitely have this again. I'm not sure I'd drink this all night, but I certainly wouldn't turn it down.

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

A three year old bottle. Decently large white head of several fingers. It slowly recedes to a thin cap and ring on the perimeter. Amber in color clouded by yeast after the initial pour, with an active carbonation. Smell is caramel malt, orange , vanilla, coriander, Belgian yeast esters, banana, and alcohol. Taste is full of sweet caramel malt with a slight roasted presence. Sophisticated bittering that balances the broad malt sweetness. Banana and clove like spiciness that evokes wiess without the wheat twang, then the coriander and light anise takes it somewhere deep in Belgium. Alcohol is well integrated but gives a fusel edge. Introducing the yeast tames it considerably. Light biscuit in the finish. Finish is long, dominated by the malt sweetness with the hops kissing it closed. Feel is medium weight with a carbonation that leans toward crisp and effervescent. A silky suppleness on the tongue. Drinkability start out good and seems to improve as the alcohol presence fades as I work down the bottle.

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Photo of theghost3
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to tai4ji2x for this.

Pours a hazy, light coppery orange with a 2-finger yellow head. Moderate lacing.

The smell is yeast, sweet malts, orange peel with some butterscotch. Taste is really orangy, but different from a hoppy orange citrus in that it's sweeter. Then there's coriander, pepper, sweet caramel malts, yeast, apricot and a sort of earthy quality--all good things. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with a nice amount of carbonation.

This is a drinkable beer. I'm happy to have had the experience. The ABV is very apparent at the end, but that's a good thing.

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Photo of koopa
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Caged and corked 750ml bottle purchased at DeCiccio's in Ardsley NY.

Appearance: Pours a transparent copper orange with an attractive 3 finger off white crown that shows great retention and lace.

Smell: Some sweet malt, some belgian yeast, a hint of orange peel, and touch of belgian kandisugar.

Taste: Same as the nose but with some earthy notes, a touch of rum raisin, more pronounced candied orange than the nose, etc. Good complexity here!

Mouthfeel: Nice medium body, a touch sticky, but a healthy amount of carbonation balances that out.

Drinkability: ABV holds it back a touch....but thats it!

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Photo of vacax
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper in color and cloudy with a large beige head. High carbonation is evident and the head retention benefits, though not as much lacing as expected. The nose has a good amount of butterscotch and Belgian malts, acidic sour cherries and plenty of other fruity esters. The alcohol is evident as well. I wasn't too appetized by the scent, but as soon as this hit my tongue I quickly discovered a complex and tasty brew. The malts and fruits that seemed more separated in the nose come together very nicely with a moderate amount of sourness, creating tastes of dried cherries, rum raisins, candi sugar, and a plentiful amount of Belgian style flora and phenols. The finish is lightly cookielike with a hint of dried fruit, and ends drier than it would seem to. This is a full bodied beer with moderate to high levels of natural fine carbonation. A nice beer, though it doesn't really tickle my personal taste.

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

750 ml. bottle into a Brooklyn tulip. At least 2-3 years old, but there's no freshness date and I forgot to mark it on the bottle.

Happy New Year to everyone.

Appearance: A coppery orange color with awesome floaties, which I imagine is the yeast, and there's a lot of it, which I love. Huge bubbles on the top, leaving both good lacing and nice clumps. Pretty in the glass.

Smell: So bright and complex that it's tough to give the rating anything less. I keep trying to pick out more, and I can't. Does star anise bring a tropical flavor to the licorice aromas? That's a lot of what I'm getting here. Major sweetness. Caramel malts. Graham cracker. Cookie Dough. Plums. Big peppery spice. Black magic marker. A bit of scotch, which probably comes from the sweeter caramel malts. A wealth of aromas to be discovered here.

Taste: I was wondering when the orange peel would make itself known, and this happens in the lingering finish with the taste, as I got none in the aroma. Tons of sweetness, but there's a good amount of balance with the hops. It makes me wonder how this isn't more toward the 11% or 12% mark, because the complexity and sweetness feels like it. There's also some good husk and earthiness presence at the end. The forefront brings caramel malt sweetness, with some Balvenie-type scotch going on, and a bit of licorice, along with a wealth of bright peppery spice. I'm not sure I'm picking out the coriander here, but it's probably there, adding to the citrus quality at the end. This is the metamorphosis in a beer. Insane.

Mouthfeel: Big and creamy and rich and sweet and wild and everything else. Lots of good carbonation to balance all that's going on. Pretty wonderful.

Drinkability: A completely transcendent buzz comes from this beer. One of the weirdest and euphoric I've ever received, if not the weirdest and euphoric. I'm starting to think wormwood was involved in this or something. But Wow. What a beer. One of those "experience" beers without having to be something completely new. I wish I had a case of this to sit, because weird and wild things will certainly be going on as the beer ages. Get. A. Bottle.

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Photo of br3wmeister
3.66/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Large bubbly off white head with weak retention but good lacing. this beer pours a bright pinkish copper that looks beautiful when held to a light. The aroma of this beer is very fruity and sweet. I hate to say it but it reminds me of fruit loops and lemon drops. Unexpected amount of spice in the flavor, the nose was really deceiving. Lemon zest, oranges, peaches, hint of ginger and black pepper, a little boozy, and some nice earthy notes. This is a nice beer to sit around and sip on. Wrong beer for tonight, still very good though.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received in a trade with Solomon420. Thanks!

Pours a rich amber/orange color, a bit darker than I was anticipating. Nice finger and a half of head and some effervescent bubbles rising up the sides of the glass.

I could smell the lemony tartness as I poured. Upon further inspection, I also pick up apple skin, very light spice, and Hot Wheels toy cars (not joking).

The taste is musty malt up front. None of the tartness that I picked up on the nose. A healthy dose of spices and orange peel. Faint hints of band aid and a strong leather presence. Cheap aftershave. Muss melon. It really is a harmonious blend of a bunch of odd elements. I can't really say that I've ever had anything like this before. Took a little while to grow on me.

Mouthfeel is medium to medium/full with a healthy dose of stingy carbonation. This is one odd beer. Very impressive that all these unique characteristics blend together to create a one-of-a-kind beer that makes you want to keep taking sips to see what you'll find next. If it wasn't for the metal/plastic aspect that was present mostly in the smell I would have rated this higher.

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Photo of younger35
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received this brew from BeerTruth many moon ago in the original Fight Club BIF. I've been sitting on this beer for quite some time just waiting for the right time. Don't know why, but tonight was the night. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior pint glass (also received from very same BIF).

2007 written from gold waxed pen on the back of the bottle.

Appearance- Pours a light burnt orange with a nice sized two plus finger bright white head that is somewhat fizzy yet creamy. A super creamy head remains upon the beer the entire time along with plenty of thick lacing.
Smell- Surprisingly intense in a super fruity way with lots of dark luscious fruits (which is surprising considering the color of the brew). Plums and raisins with some booze soaked black cherries. The orange peel is also immediately noticeable as is the coriander. I don't think I would have guessed the anise without the labels help (is that the dark fruitiness I smell?). The yeast is nice but not overly crazy. Great nose.
Taste- Starts with a pithy sort of bitterness and a fair amount of orange peel right from the get go. Perhaps a bit of some of those Euro hops hiding in there as well adding some of the grassy bite. A nice malty base that really isn't sweet but there is just enough of something hiding back there that keeps the bitter in check. Some spicy yeast with a bit of white pepper and the coriander. There is a touch of some black licorice (anise perhaps?) toward the finish as well as a bit of cherry fruitiness. The alcohol is slightly noticeable but nothing too bad. Just a touch more than I expected.
Mouthfeel- Nice effervescent zip on top of a nice hearty body. The full body is nice and it remains super creamy and awesome. A slight bit of warming on the finish.
Drinkability- First and foremost, I'm not a huge fan of the style. Usually the American version of these brews are either too sweet or too highly spiced. Hell, even the Belgium versions of Belgium's sometimes are too sweet or too spicy. This brew is neither and is quite simply tasty as hell. Glad I let this be for over 2 ½ years because it's drinking freaking spectacular. Thanks Adam!

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Photo of ffejherb
3.28/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured via 750ml bottle on 10/26/09.

A - Poured a hazy amber/orange body with lots of active carbonation and a quarter inch of frothy beige head.

S - Butterscotch is very apparent and dominates the initial aroma, with a hint of spices in the background.

T - Very buttery and sweet with an apparent butterscotch character. Hint of candi sugar and mild peppery spiciness. Overall, the flavor is quite sweet.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy texture and moderate carbonation. Quite sweet on the palate.

D - Decent example, but not nearly as good as their Saison. I found this to be a bit too buttery and one-dimensional.

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Photo of jnn4v
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle I'd picked up locally a few months ago.

A: Orange / honey brown color. About 1/3 of the glass was filled with a cream-colored foamy head that took several minutes to dissipate. Some haze + yeast sediment.

S: Ginger ale, Orangina soda, and Grand Mariner liquor are the first three scents. Musty orange peel as well. My brother says he can smell nutmeg as well. Very interesting and unique so far.

T: Can definitely taste the oranginess, although it's not as dominant as in the scent. Some clover / floral sweetness as well. Hints of the yeastiness on the tail end.

M: Medium body thickness with a very silky texture from the fine carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. It was very good both cold and at cellar temperature.

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Photo of Pencible
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a nearly opaque copper color with fluffy light tan head. It smelled like sweet oranges and lemon zest, with creamy wild yeast and a variety of earthy spices including nutmeg, vanilla, and ginger. It tasted like oranges and cream, with lemon zest and bready yeast, and some nutmeg and ginger and coriander. It was somewhat thick with mild smooth carbonation, and had a mellow bitter aftertaste. Overall this was a very complex and delicate beer that blended many tastes and scents together very well. It had awesome body and hid the alcohol nicely too, so it was very easy to drink but worth taking your time with. It could probably improve with some age, also. This is a fantastic beer that's unique but classic.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into Lost Abbey Rastal Teku.

A - Pours a burnt orange/copper color with a couple of fingers worth of frothy white head. This beer has some good head retention and some sticky lacing stays along the side of the glass.

S - Tangerines, oranges, burnt malts. Lots of sugary sweetness on the nose, but really not much else.

T - Sweetness once again up front. Some mangos, oranges, burnt caramels. A nice hint of bitterness on the end and melds with some spicy notes as well. A very well-balanced beer.

M - Light bodied with fizzy carbonation that tickles the lips on each sip. Very clean and refreshing and not heavy at all. An oily finish that makes you want to take another sip.

D - Gotta be in the mood for this one but if you are, it's an excellent beer.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Honey, murky, off white small head, leaves fast to disk. Some cling lace.

S - Deep vat smell. Some malt and tinge of tart.

T - Malt mixed with cherry candy is the best I can describe it. New to this one.

M - Medium body, fair coating, good carb

D - Too unique and palate killing for long term. Fun to try, though.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's always a privilage to drink a top rated beer, especially one from Southampton. This beer holds true to its Belgian Pale roots while giving a bright hoppy taste, fruity dominance, and spicy textures.

The beer sure dresses for the occation. A firm and steady pour proves difficult to get fit into the chalice. A huge, rocky head billows from the liquid in an expansive and lively fashion. Solid but deeply golden in color, the beer pushed into orange, rusty, and amber territories. Great formation of the off-white foam and it lingers for ever. Great lacing on the glass reaffirms the quality of the appearance.

Pear dominant in the aroma but with accompanying esters of pears, apples, white grapes, mangos, oranges, pineapple and figs. Caramel scents and bready malts provide complimentary notes from the malts. Spicy from phenolic character that carry white pepper, corriander, nutmeg, and allspice notes. Hops are really not detected in the nose.

Flavors of the beer hold much more caramel and true barley taste than expected from the Belgian Pales. However, those ripe and lighter fruits shine here very well (see those in the aroma). The sweetness of the beer keeps the spiciness balanced and keeps them in check. Light earthy hops give flavors of grasses, pine, and a slight mustiness that creates complexity.

The body is a bit sweeter and heavier than I expect- making it feel more like a Tripel or a Biere de Garde/Mars. Definately not the bone-dry spicy version that I find in Duvel, but pleasant to drink nonetheless. Fruits and earthy hop bitterness linger long into the finish; almost as deep as the spicy phenols allow.

A very, very nice beer. I cannot make up my mind whether I think the sweetness is an asset or a deterant to the beer- whichever, it is modest. There's also an 'it' quality in the earthy musty components of the beer that is clean and robust which helps to differentiate this beer from the herd. All beers that are rated this highly definately need an 'it' quality beyond just meeting the style.

Thanks JNN4V!

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Photo of brendan13
3.9/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Smithflipper for sharing the bottle of this with me. Three years old (making it an '06 I guess) purchased directly from the brewer.

A - Poured into a large wine glass a fairly clear dark golden colour with a fluffy 2cm white head that slowly falls away.
S - Sweet bready malt and spicy notes from added spices and alcohol.
T - Much like the smell, bready sweetness with some spicy alcohol notes and spice hints from the added spices.
M - Light to medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation.
D - On the sweeter side & fairly high alcohol which limits the sessionability but it's something I'd recommend and I'd drink it again.

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Photo of waltonc
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Bierkraft last fall. Hazy orange with small white head and a tad of sediment toward the bottom of the bottle. Smells like orange peels, alcohol and sweet malt. Tastes...the same. Very sweet. I admit I don't detect the star anise. Might benefit from being a bit drier, but I can't really complain. Body is thick and sticky, carbonation is below average.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.56/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed on 05/23/2009. Bottle. Pours a cloudy orange with a thick white head. Aroma of sweet butterscotch, orange peel, and sweet malt. Flavor of more of the same, sweet butterscotch, orange peel, star anise, lots of malt. Meh, not a fan...very sweet.

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Photo of k3n
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle from Tangfoot.

Holycow I've been waiting to try this one...

Reddish-amber colored, with plenty of egg-shell head...tightly packed tinytiny bubbles. Not much lacing on the glass, but the color is spectacular when held up to the light.

The nose is light fruit notes and some fresh herbal-ness.

The taste is outstanding. The orange peel is definitely there, along with other fruit notes: apricot, peach, raisin...sweet maltiness underlies the whole thing. There's a lot going on here, and all of it is really freaking good.

Mouthfeel is spot on perfect. Nice zing of crispy carbonation up front, into a rich, smooth and chewy middle. Finish is lingering, with a hint of bitterness at the very tail end, leaving you wanting more. Is there alcohol in here?

Need to find a way to get this more consistently in California!

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