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 dogfishandi
3.69/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750ml cork and caged bottle at fridge temp poured into a Belgian chalice. Best before date 10/16/14 (had this aging about 1 1/2 to 2 years)

Minimal pop of the cork. Pours out a cloudy deep orange color, about 1 fingers worth of head that fades to some patchy foam. No real lace. Just a touch of alcohol legs.

Initially smells a bit oxidated, a touch of wet cardboard which I kind of expected. It does go away as it opens up, bringing forth some nice candied sugar, some sweet bready malts and some orange peel.

Some bready malts, a bit of candied sugar, orange peel does come through quite a bit, but just slight hints of spice. Vinious notes. A bit of orange/ apple juice concentrate flavor. Some warming alcohol. Finishes rather smooth.

Medium to almost heavy bodied when considering the style, carbonation about right but could have used just a bit more.

Pretty standard Belgian strong. Age has faired this a bit better than expected, but I probably should have drank it sooner still.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.89/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Deep golden amber. Small white collar. Consistently wispy surface.

Smell - A ton of coriander. Big spicy Belgian pale ale. Sweet and a little yeasty. Distinct Belgian sugar aroma.

Taste - Heavy spice again. Coriander and cinnamon. Strong maltiness, mostly pale malt. Light vanilla and a spicy, boozy finish.

Mouthfeel - Heavy. Looking for something a bit spritzier to combine with the spices.

Overall - It's good, but too heavy. I enjoy the spice combination, as strong as it is.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BB Sept 30, 2014.

No pop when the bottle opens, which was a bit of a surprise. Beer is cloudy golden, a bit of orange. Almost no head, just a bit of white.

Smell contains orange, Belgian yeast, coriander.

Taste is very good. Quite dry, some yeast and nice fruit flavours. Orange and pear. The spices come into the fore at the end, coriander in particular. I don't know exactly what star anise tastes like. but there is a strong spice flavour so it is probably there. The spices are strong but well-integrated. They do not dominate as I often find spices added to beer can do. Quite a dry finish.

Full bodied, low to moderate carbonation, a bit of booze. Quite smooth.

Overall, excellent. A really good BSPA.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden orange with a large frothy white head that quickly disappates into a small head that clings to the side of the glass. Great aroma filled with lemon, coriander, and pepper. Lots of spice in the flavor but not overpowering. A touch of heat from the alcohol is noticable, but is more warming than uninviting. Surprisingly drinkable for such a strong beer. By far the best beer I've had from Southampton to date. Would definitely buy this again.

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Photo of Dope
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Same batch as below, 9501 9/30/14 (best by), now a 4 year old bottle.

A: Pours a clear amber with an enormous frothy tan head. Some sediment floating around in there. Top-notch head retention that never seems to fade. Little specks of lacing left behind.

S: Sweet citrus aroma with some mild spices behind it. Strong caramel and some sweet grains too. A little bit of cloves?

T: Sweet and heavily spiced. Caramel and citrus up front, turning into a coriander, black pepper and clove flavor in the middle/finish. Even get some anise on the back end, making for a bitter, spiced brew.

M: Medium bodied, still heavy carbonation but clearly reduced in the last 4 years.

O: Interesting. Starts out sweet and juicy and turns spiced and then better. Big contrast in flavors.

(this review from 8-23-12)
Bottle states 9501 9/30/14 (I assume "best by" date)

A: Pours a hazy, light golden-orange. Huge effervescent white head. Fades slowly, leaving an island of foam and decent streaks of lacing behind. (4.5)

S: Lots of wet grass with oranges and coriander. Bready. (4)

T: Loaded with grainy, yeasty bread. Orange and coriander are present throughout. A bit of cloves, anise and then some grass. Almost get some honey. A spicy, sort of sharp and estery finish. (4)

M: Medium bodied, smooth. (4)

O: An interesting and heavily spiced BSPA. Not as crisp and refreshing as a lot of BSPAs tend to be, this one is bigger, smoother and spicier. Nice balance of flavors and quite complex. I prefer mine on the lighter, crisper side but this is still quite good. Drinkability is oddly high despite the ABV. It's oddly smooth. (4.5)

Original total: 4.13

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

A: beautiful deep golden beer with a fluffy head that left lots of lace - sediment easily visible throughout the beer, which may be a bad thing for some, but it may be the style - didn't bother me none

S: sweet spices and caramel orange

T: the bottle says it and you can detect it: coriander, orange peel, star anise; plus candi sugar, some smoky cardamom (?) and hidden pine notes

M: soft, fuzzy, and delightful (I had it at just a notch under room temp)

O: super - better than the Beast (Avery brewing), IMO, these being my only two "grand cru" BSPAs - reminds me of a tripel but with more spices and less fruity flavors - has the same soft character and grace.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to DrAwkward82 for sharing this one at jmgrub’s tasting.

Best by 9/30/14.

Pours a slightly murky honey orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, spices, Belgian yeast, and some slight citrus aromas. Taste is pretty much the same with the spices lingering on the finish. There is a mild spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a nice set of aromas and an even better taste.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.36/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to m100 for trading this. Poured into a Dogfish Head signature snifter. Back label says 9/30/14 indicating the best enjoyed by date.

A - Pours a bronze color with a full inch of off-white head that retains very well before becoming a 1/4 inch head and has fluffy strings of lacing above it.

S - Smells soapy and a bit fruity but with a strange whiff of skunk in the tail end. Hopefully that doesn't show up in the taste.

T- Immediate twang of alcohol subsides to some bitter citrus flavor with notes of grapefruit, soap and a bit of wild bacteria tang. Belgian yeast seems to be present but not in a way that showcases its usual sweetness. Instead it becomes lost in the mire of booze and off flavors. Skunking isn't found in the taste as I was hoping it wouldn't but it's not like things are enjoyable here in the first place. Acidic aftertaste.

M- Sharp and bity in a bad way. A bit fluffy from the high carbonation with a light-ish body.

O- A pretty substantial letdown since I'm a huge Southampton fan. This is only the second beer of theirs I consider just OK.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Waterfront Alehouse in New York, NY

A: Pours a clear amber color with a two finger tall white head. This beer had great head retention and very significant amounts of lacing.

S: Hints of clove, anise, orange peel, and candi sugar. There is a lot of fruit and alcohol present with some pale malts and spices.

T: Lots of spices, malts, candi sugar, and orange peel. Hints of cloves, pale malts, and some alcohol presence.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Enjoyable but not a real easy drinker - there is just too much alcohol presence to be an easy drinker. I think this is a more sipping over an hour or so kind of beer. Very nice beer.

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Photo of mindspin315
3.03/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gentle pour produced a rather big white head. The body is quite odd. Orange colored body that would be very clear, but the sediment is floating and takes over the body. Carbonation, head retention, and lacing are all top notch. A bit to much sediment makes it look dirtier than should be.

Coriander, clove, orange peel, bubblegum, candied sugar, and lemon aromas. Plenty of fruits, bubblegum, alcohol esters, and spices come on really strong.

Getting a huge amount of fruitiness from the yeast. Alcohol is quite noticeable, soapy and creamy mouthfeel, buttery, and carbonation is kind of prickly. Vanilla, lemon sorbet, and coriander are great flavors I'm getting here. Bubblegum and anise flavor really dominate the palate and feel like they should blend in more than stand out like they do. To much going on without settling into something special.

Not a bad beer but the bubblegum and anise flavor seem out of place and definitely to noticeable in the mix. Tone those down a bit and if the alcohol were hidden more this would be a top of the line beer to me.


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Photo of DIM
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a slightly murky, dull golden color. It was served to me with a small, airy looking white head.

s: A very appealing balance of sweet candi sugar and pale malt, and spicy aromas of ginger and nutmeg. Some pear aromas emerged as this warmed.

s: I loved the first sip, but towards the middle of the glass this spice was coming on too strong. The yeasty phenols, pale malt, and candi sugar all work beautifully together. The finish adds grassy hops and spice flavor that reminded most of nutmeg.

m: Big and creamy overall.

o: I fell in love with the first sip, but turns out it was just infatuation.

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Photo of socon67
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pour is copper colored with a bubbly white foam. Decent lacing, and slightly cloudy.

S - Smells spicy (nutmeg, ginger root, cinnamon) and with a yeasty lingering smell.

T - Tastes of candied fruit with a slight spicy bite on the back end.

M - Feels a bit heavy, but easily enjoyable. Raspy on the tongue.

O - One of the better offerings from Southampton. Glad to see one of the locals do a good take on a belgian style.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

10oz into a tulip on tap.

Southampton Grand Cru glides into the glass golden with a small tint of faded bronze within. a nice sheet of bright white up top, leaving a cap and small splotches. OK retention. Smell is fruity with a bready Belgian yeast with trace amounts of candi. No grassy scents, some hints of alcohol. Pretty bold in scent off the tap with a bit candi like scent than alot of American versions. Taste is up front with Belgian essence and a fruit. Apple, pear, small earthy hop bite in between with some candi sugar in the end that does not cloy. First sips give off some alcohol that warms the gullet. The 9.5% is not all the way hidden. Feel is a strong medium with a nice crisp carb. After half the glass this becomes all to easy to drink. A nice stab at the style and much better than alot of American versions out there. I just wish bottles were not so damn pricey, this would be a nice one to slide into 4 packs or so. Until then, I'll grab it on tap.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$2.50/8oz sample... J Ryan's I love you.

Rich golden honey in color with a super sticky white head and lacing. This looks really golden in the light, screams grand cru, but could use a little more carbonation... This problem possibly solved by bottle conditioning (vs on tap)?

Served way too cold, but there is still a strong sweetness mixed with fruity yestiness that cuts through like a knife. The alcohol is also quite pungent.

There is really fruity Belgian yeast and just enough sweetness and alcohol. Quite tasty, especially as it warms up. There is a bold grape-like crispness that follows each sip. I'm reminded of a sensation I get when drinking Nelson, single-hopped beers.

The beer is in fact quite fruity and juicy with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Definitely a delicious mouthfeel for a grand cru and more carbonation than expected!

Amazing price on this beer and it's well worth the money! Thanks again J ryan's for providing outstanding beer at reasonable prices.

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Photo of HopDr
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap on 3 occasions now, poured in a smallish chalice.

A- Nice golden/honey color, very little head but some good lacing. Almost opaque.

S- Beautiful! I am not a big fan of spiced beers, but I think they really nailed this one. Coriander and citrus (I think from additives, not hops), along with belgian yeast-type fruitiness all blended perfectly. All of the flavors are sublet with no one dominating, it is one of those beers that you get something new every time you take a sip.

T- I think they did a nice job here too of keeping it simple, letting the malt take a backseat and provide the backbone to let the yeast and other flavors do the talking. Spiciness comes though in the end.

M- On the thinner side with less carbonation than I usually expect from Belgian-style beers, but it works for me in this one.

O- This is the only beer I have had from Southampton, but it makes me want to try their others. It really is a nice beer, the first night I tried it I had a couple glasses with a meal and thought it was fantastic, so good that I wanted to go back just to try it again on its own to see if it was really as good as I remembered. It is nicely complex, subtle and balanced. This is definitely my favorite American Belgian-style beer I have tried so far.

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Photo of stakem
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle from '09. Split with some friends, the brew allears a clear golden orange with some spots of yeast in solution. A creamy yellow head has decent retention across the top throughout the entire duration.

The smell is string of sweet caramel malt or toffee. Orange zest and pulp are also included. Collectieky it comes together like an orange marmalade. Once warm, it almost smells like sweet tea.

The taste mimics the aroma with strong indications of orange marmalade with a bit of toffe to caramel malt sweetness. Herbal bitterness and some citrus breakup the sweetness a bit. Initially is sickenly sweet but gets herbal and balanced with more sips.

This is medium bodied with a smooth feel and modest to lower levtl of carbobation that gives fhe impression of a thicker feeling brew. Yet somehow it is fizzy in the feel when swirled around. The alcohol is well masked behind the bold sweetness. Overall not a bad offering but much, much more sweet than I was expecting.

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Photo of metter98
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear yellowish orange in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that gradually died down, leaving some lacing on the surface and a coating of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: There are strong bouquet of citrusy aromas in the nose (orange stands out in particular) along with smells of candi sugars and spices.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has complex flavors of candi sugars with some malty sweetness and notes of orange peel and spices.
M: It feels medium-bodied and rather smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. A bit of bitterness and warming from the alcohol is noticeable in the finish.
O: The beer seems to be more malty compared to other beers in the style but hides its alcohol well and isn’t cloying.

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Photo of afksports
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Southampton's Grand Cru was on my original "Top 100" list to try. I tried it before I could learn about the way to appreciate beers of its style.

Fortunately, after football at Prospect Park today, I tried it on tap at Double Windsor in Brooklyn.

This beer is red, with a solid head retention and decent lacing on the Chimay goblet. It smells of spice- coriander and citrus zest. A little lemon, but a lot of malt and Belgian yeast. It's a true mix, but not one that I necessarily want to write home about.

It wound up being a highly spiced sipper. Spiced not in the hot pepper way, just in the way that one spice can take over a dish. Everything else was right about it: mouthfeel was creamy, it had a clean finish, it looked great. But there was just something about the taste where even within its balance, it just seemed too spicy.

For that reason alone, it's not a completely high rated beer to me, but I'll be blown away if it stops being highly rated, because it is damn well crafted. And perfect for after football. Cheers to Double Windsor for pouring it on tap!

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

I picked up a 750mL bottle of this at Anocona`s wines and spirits. The appearance is a nice honey color with nearly two fingers of bright white head to it; served in a wide wine glass. The nose of this "grand cru" has coriander, citrus and some funk. Its` taste comes through with orange, anise, candied goodness, mmm. The body is fairly lean for the abv, but with a sharp carbonation. It is a remarkably good beer and its one that I waited longer than I should have to pick up.

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Photo of glid02
3.78/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Dan – thanks!

Pours an almost opaque golden-copper color with a white head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of syrupy pilsner malts with large amounts of breadiness. Joining in shortly thereafter are sugar-coated pear and apricots and moderate amounts of leafy hop aromas.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Heavy light malts up front are joined quickly by large amounts of syrupy pear and apricot flavors. Midway through slight hints of spiciness come into play before moderate amounts of leafy hops come into play, carrying through to a mildly bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with decent carbonation.

Overall the bottle was 1.5-2 years old and age wasn’t very kind to it. The sweetness was too much and the flavors seem too muddled. I’d like to try this fresh for comparison, but the aged version was something I’d not seek again.

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Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to thebouch01 and dfclav for this one.

Light fizzy almost 1 finger head fades semi slowly with a touch of lacing over hazy super yeast chunked golden toasty maple orange color.

Nose is loaded with fruit, Belgian yeast, apple, pear, light candi sugar and touch of sweet syrups, light booze, lots if complex lighter malts, white raisin, light nutty contain like spices

Taste starts with a creamy but complex light Belgian like malts, plenty of sweet additions, light candi sugar, sweet mapleish syrup, fairly sweet overall, perhaps too sweet could use some more aging, tons of fruit with apple, pear, white raisin, light nutty spices, little booze warmth and touch of tingle. Finishes semi sweet, a long Belgian yeast and malt finish, more candi sugar and raisin, slightly sticky, touch of bitterness on the finish.

Mouth is med to slightly heavier bodied with decent carb and some warming booze.

Overall very good, a decent version of an Americanized Belgian grand cru, similar to their abt12 but lighter and more fruit, complex and good, hides the booze decently well, great flavors.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.66/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Copper colored beer, a little bit hazy. Nice white head that left some lacing behind.

S - A bit too sweet, reminds me too much of artificial sweetener. A little bit of fruit and a dose of spice. Spice is a little overdone, kind of off-putting.

T - This is just a touch yucky. Overly spiced, particularly with the coriander. It's sweet, kind of like corn syrup and caramel, but the spice sticks around so long it gives me the need to wash my mouth out with something.

M - Very dry, lighter side of medium bodied, with moderate carbonation.

O - Spice is often used to cover things up, they should have tried to cover up the spice with this one. Not a fan.

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Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.79/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a CC 750mL bottle with a best by 10/16/14 into a Duvel tulip on 5/19/11.

Pours a honey yellow with a big huge fluffy off white carbonated head that dissipates slowly and leaves little lacing on the glass. Good head retention but lacks on the lacing. Final pour yielded a some sediment that that added some pretty haziness.

Smells intoxicating... Wow. Lots of fruit and honey up front then spices and and a slight citrus are noticeable. This beer only gets better as the aromas become more volatile, it really comes out to play with the nostrils.

Taste is just as impressive. Carmel and malts with fruit, vanilla, and candy! A sight booze taste is present but the wonderful malt taste really covers it up well even after it warms slightly.

Mouthfeel is light to medium in weight. No burn at all at 9.8ABV is very impressive. This goes down smooth even after it warms up, little change to the mouth feel. Lots of very enjoyable after taste, vanilla and candies. Again great brew.

Drinkability is high on this brew. It takes a hit on the appearance, and it can get a little sweet after a couple of glasses. Other then that this a great beer and I am ISO-ing this ASAP. I want more! Great brew.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 750 ml caged/corked bottle, popped and split with my wife at dinner to a pair of 'La Chouffe' tulips. Back label shows '092' and the date '10/16/14'. Wish I could recall who sent this... thank you, kind mystery trader; cellared for 12-18 months.

'Brewed with spices (dried orange peel, ground coriander seed, star anise)'

A: A warm honey/butterscotch, crowned with two-fingers of brilliant white cream. It's a fairly sturdy dollop that recedes slowly, crawling down the glass' neck and leaving modest lace in breaking sheets. Mild fogginess is cut by steady carbonation, a faint dusting of yeasty bits (bottle-conditioned).

S: A wafting fruit scent, somewhat springy, like pear or apple blossoms. Spices and sweet grains accent/conceal a veiled booziness ~ coriander shines the most.

T: The instant liquid touches taste buds, sweet fruits and perky spices erupt! Orange comes across with 'creamsicle' hints; spices are zesty, dusty pepper and shaved ginger. Other interesting fruit and floral notes, too: applesauce, maraschino cherry, sugary blueberry, honeysuckle. A complex mouthful that never gets old.

M: Just about perfect with the carbonation - lively and effervescent without being overly crisp - then with the calmer mellowing warmth that follows. Medium body, nothing too heavy or sticky. 9.5% abv catches up after a while, but in the gentlest of ways.

O: 'Grand Cru' typically denotes the 'best' a brewery has to offer; while this may not be my outright favorite of the Southamptons I've enjoyed, it's definitely among them. A superb accompaniment with dinner (soba noodles and braised vegetables, hanger steak on the side) and for sipping, after much warming, a bit later. My second time trying this terrific beer - looking forward to the third and beyond...

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Photo of rand
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From bomber to Duvel tulip glass

Acquired in a trade with Manoftyr. Thanks dude, let's trade another round!

Pours a beautiful apricot color, opaque, with a sudsy, 1 1/2-inch head. It's frothy and cavernous leaving a thick layer of lacing as it slowly recedes. Big spicy aromas jump out of the glass, carried by alcohol volatiles which warm the nose. The bouquet is founded in a yeasty scent of freshly baked pastries, which is accented by notes toffee and myriad of spices including nutmeg, orange zest and coriander.

Notes of toffee and sweetbread hit the palate first and make for a really chewy complexion. This is very full-bodied and creamy. Wow, you could eat this with a spoon. All of the spices noted in the nose bounce around the palate along with some new flavors - licorice (anise was added), touch of peppercorn and paprika. The beer is sweet, but hops come into play midway, and have a raw, leafy quality suggesting tea. alcohol warms at the finish and acts like another spice. Finishes balanced and sweet.

This beer quaffs way too easily. Just had some Pliny the Younger last night, so this is two nights in a row of high ABV brews that go down easy and delicious. Southampton nailed this, outstanding.

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