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Southampton Grand Cru | Southampton Publick House

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Southampton Grand CruSouthampton Grand Cru
403 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 403 |  Reviews: 292
Photo of jmalex
4.36/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been sitting on this since last winter and today's Week 1 of football seemed like a great reason to bring it out.

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Unibroue tulip a vaguely hazy bright orange gold with hints of red. The off-white head is huge and loose-bubbled and drops to a very solid cap. Lacing comes in a few splotchy sheets.

SMELL: The aroma is mostly yeasty and bready with only hints of fruity esters. Hints of peach and apricot and a licorice-like spiciness lurk in the background. Aromas are much more pronounced as it warms but still don't reach a high level of intensity.

TASTE: Ah, wow! The taste doesn't disappoint one bit. Peach, orange, and apricot come through immensely. The esters are strong and complex and provide a smooth sweetness. The licorice element from the nose can also be found in the flavor. The finish is clean with just a slight lingering bitterness.

MOUTHFEEL: Smooth and medium bodied with a slight syrupy feel to it. The carbonation is fine-bubbled and a bit lower than expected.

DRINKABILITY: Look out! One word I haven't said yet - alcohol. That's because it's entirely undetectable. And I know it won't be a problem drinking the whole 750mL. I should be feeling great later on tonight.

It so great to have great Belgian-style breweries in the U.S. I'll definitely be looking for this beer again despite the lofty price tag.

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Photo of Maracuja
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a dark golden body with an orange/amber hue. Decent off-white head. Smell is mild citrus, biscuit, and light raw alcohol.
Taste is too sweet upfront. Some fruit and malt complexities show up: orange, apple, honey, caramel, toffee. Maybe some cinnamon if you look hard enough, but this beer is definitely lacking some spice IMO. A strong tangy sweetness lingers afterwards, which is a little too much of a good thing. A sipper, not because of the alcohol but rather the cloying tangy sweetness. Still, a good complex flavor. Nice delicate carbonation. Almost perfect for the style. The best aspect of the beer. I dont see what all the praise is about.

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Photo of Foxman
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a crystal clear and charmingly carbonated golden amber. Two fingers of fluffy off-white head maintain just until you want it to settle. Stars of lacing pip and slide to the horizon.

The aroma is brown sugar candy sweet, with-here we go- malt, toffee, baked bread, coriander, zesty citrus, caramel, anise, berry, and apple. Oh, and alcohol, though it's really more of an afterthought.

Upon sipping eagerly but cautiously, there lands malt, candy sugar, malt, brown sugar, and malt. But wait, then there's malt and estery green apple, malt and coriander, then a mist of mellow anise. The alcohol is more assertive here, pretty much owning the middle ground. The grain sweetens again, with caramel and more brown sugar hanging tough, and in spite of some subversive crisp esters, it's sweet until the end. What a wonderful, complex series of flavor twists and turns.

Full bodied, the malt slides sticky like treacle, and dotty spice notes pep the palate with some crisp and eye-opening cues.

Malt is sweet, but big malt is cloying, so there you have it. But it works, because it has to be thick to stand up to everything else that's going on. Complex, blended, and artful, not even a ballsy ABV can keep this from drinking like a dream. It's busy, but like a bee hive, with a real sense of meaning behind all the activity. This is a saucy, savory meal in a glass. And it makes me want seconds.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clean deep orange color, with an off white head. In the nose, spicy notes with hints of alcohol. In the taste, dry and a bit spicy, but a nice clean end. It hides the alcohol quite well. Clean tasting, a small bit of a spicy aftertaste. A very nice beer, but be worth ageing one for a few years.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Orange in color, with a medium head that dissipates quickly. Very spicy aroma, peppery. Fruit, primarily orange, also present. Great flavor. Sweet, orange. Still very spicy and warming. Maybe some licorice flavor late. Very nice. I think the degree of spiciness, as well as the 9.5% ABV, limits the amount one would drink at one time, but still this was a wonderful beer.

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Photo of UnionMade
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright, shining, amber color tends toward orange, topped with a thin collar of head. Relatively clear, though nothing to shout about. The head keeps in a thin, unbroken collar through the drink, but no lacing on the snifter. Very bold, spicy aroma, filled with belgian fruitiness and yeasty, peppery notes. Strong apple and banana, along with clove, sugar and coriander. A little bit of booze in the back. This one's hot and lively. Taking a sip, I'm greeted with a veritable explosion of flavor. Nearly overpowering sweetness, sticky with caramel and belgian candi sugar. A little heavy handed with the fruit and spices, leaving nothing to the imagination. I'm tackled by candied fruit of nearly every tropical variety, drizzled over with caramel, then dusted with spices, very much like the most decadent liquid dessert you'd ever have. Yeast driven, spicy finish, though I wouldn't be surprised if some additional spices were added to the mix, namely coriander. Finishes sweet, with a lick of booze to round things out. Full bodied, with finely bubbled, moderate carbonation.
Maybe it's because I haven't had any strong belgian styles in a while, but I seriously doubt I could have more than one of these in a sitting. Palate melting.

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Photo of BillyB
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful copper color, with deep ruby red highlights and a thin wispy, off-white head.

Aromas are fruity, yeasty, funky, barnyard with some sweet malt and some candi sugar.

Tastes of sweet malt and candi sugar but I like how the sugar is subtler here. Some yeasty, funky, earthy tastes as well.

Incredibly drinkable for such a high abv.

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Photo of ski271
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Medium amber with a small, slightly off-white, foamy, quickly diminishing head.
S- Perfumey Belgian yeast, caramel, berry, clove and coriander
T- Pungent fruit (some dark) and more of that wonderful yeast. Wonderful malt base and balance.
M- Medium body, juicy texture, soft carbonation
D- There’s something special about this one. Fantastic!

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.96/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Removing the cork is such a battle that I expect a whooshing POP once it finally releases. Sadly, all I receive is a pipsqueak pip. Unknown vintage. Received in a trade with BA scthaden.

I’m instantly struck by the oddness the spice profile. After tasting it, I am find that I must place this beer in the same general range of beers like Avery 12 and Rabid Rabbit. Grand Cru is certainly more refined and balanced but it is still similar to the other two in three ways – it’s very spicy, it’s diversely spiced, and some of the spices conflict with one another rather then compliment each other.

Appearance: Carbonation streams frazzle through a clear marmalade body to feed a steady crochet of white lace. Well above average in terms of looks. Retention is flawless. Lace is sticky and clings to the glass in attractive patterns.

Aroma: Orange peel dominates and but fights a constant battle with intense coriander to maintain its supremacy. Unlike wits where these two complimentary spices work together to create a sweet and pleasing citrus aroma, here they fight. One wants to create a soda pop orange Crush nose and the other seeks to make this Mr. Clean. Adding to this is a rather disturbing amount of licorice that I find oddly placed and completely out of sorts with the citric elements. Pepper, white or black, I can’t quite tell hits me next, and though I find it appealing in the aroma, I will soon discover that it causes problems for me in the flavor. Finally, pungent and significant amounts of spring herb blossoms enter the aroma. They remind me of allergy season defeat any chance I might have of enjoying malt or yeast aromas in this beer. As far as I can tell, the entire nose profile is spice. There isn’t anything else here.

Taste: In the flavor I find a pleasing Belgian Pale backbone but it is way too overshadowed by fruit and spice. Here two orange is king but once again it is abstruse in combination with the pepper, anisette, and herbalness. I feel like someone took a small glass of nice Belgian Pale, poured in a few ounces of flower clippings, half a rotten orange, a shot of Pernod, and two tablespoons of pepper. None of these flavors work together here.

Mouthfeel: Psoriasis, itchy, intensely spicy, medium to full bodied, dry, very dry.

Drinkability: ABV is well concealed and if I enjoyed the spiciness, this would be a great drinker. Unfortunately, this beer just doesn’t match my palate. That’s not to say that it isn’t a very good beer. I’m sure for some, if not most people it is. For me, however, this is not a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Had been intrested in trying this for a while based on teh strong reviews I had seen posted. I am not really that big of a fan of the style, though it does not displease me. Acquired through a BIF before I could get these in North Carolina, it had been awaiting me to try it for a few weeks now, so I delve in. Poured a deep hazy yellowish amber with a large, white head that was very slow to fade and left behind significant lace. Lots of streaming carbonation was evident and bubble chains were rising throughout the session.

Aroma was very sour, with lots of hints of grapes and pears and a slight touch of alcohol. Smell was not overpowering, but not faint either, good balanced and sour smell, almost wine like. First impression of the taste was sour, and lively. Very good feel, due in part to great carbonation gave it a very light and modestly smooth feel. Went down very easy, albeit it did have a somewhat syrupy thickness to it. Their were very bitter flavors present from the start, huge notes of sour grapes, pears and various other fruits were plentiful. A slight noticable grainy or yeast presence was their which came through as it warmed up. Again alcohol was not trying to hide in this one which made it a definate sipper to say the least.

Overall this was a good one to try, and if you are a fan of the style I could see why you would like this. A bit too sour for my tastes, and came off a bit too wine like. I would say give it a try as it is a more than decent offering that is obvious that alot of work when into creating.

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Photo of John_M
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had heard about this excellent brewery, but this was my first opportunity to try one of their beers. Wow!!! This beer is excellent.

The beer pours a rich orange gold color, with excellent head retention and impressive lacing. On the nose this beer is very impresive indeed. Bananna, ranier cherry, butter and belgium spcies... smells delicious. On the palate this beer is very rich, with flavors of melon, cherry cough drop, butter and apple. The beer has a creamy mouthfeel, and you can tell this is a very big beer. The abv. is noticeable, but not obtrusive. The beer is quite warming and would probably be better enjoyed in Winter as opposed to a warm day in late May in Baltimore. Still, I don't believe I'll have any difficulty whatsoever polishing this off. The beer finishes very smoothly and just seems to glide across the palate. There's a touch of bitterness in the finish which keeps the beer from becoming tiring to drink. Just excellent.

A very fine beer from Southampton.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

5/17/07- Received via trade with Jetsbeer.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, both caged and corked. 2005 release as printed on top of the cage. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Burnt orange to light amber in color. 1/2 inch creamy white head upon pour. Decent lacing left.

Smell- Sugary sweetness, while a tart nose at the same time. Light fusel alcohol notes with corriander and sweet fruit notes.

Taste- Perfect example of a sweet and sour beer. Tart, apple-lemon flavor. Lots of corriander plus a light dusting of white pepper. Very mild malt base with virtually no hops.

Mouthfeel- Medium thickness with very low carbonation.

Drinkability- Sigh....I think I let this one sit too long. After reading other peoples opinions, this sounds like a beer gone past the wayside. Interesting as is, but would definitely love to try a fresh version of this.

Vintage 2006***

Appears the last bottle was a bit too old. This years was nice and lively. Pretty much along the same lines as Unibroue 11 or Edition 2004. Nice amounts of corriander and good yeasty flavor. Didn't really blow me away, but will adjust the rating accordingly. Don't age this one!

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Photo of tempest
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, this beer really impressed me and I can in fairly skeptical. I loved the balance between sweet malt and uncommonly assertive bitterness for the style. The flavor had lemon, spice, and funky cheese-like flavors, I also got vanilla, orange in there and even some grape in the initial aroma. I'm a little amazed this. It was spendy at $12 a bottle, but still one of the best Belgian beers I've ever had. Damn, find this.

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Photo of Damian
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 750 mL bottle purchased at Downtown Wine & Spirits, Somerville, MA

Poured a slightly hazed, vibrant, crimson-orange with a rocky, foamy, bubbly, two-finger head that faded to thick, frothy swirls of lace. Patches of sticky lacing clung to the sides of the glass.

The aroma was super rich, sweet and potently aromatic. Rich malts, Belgian candi sugar, orange peel and a sweet fruitiness (canned peaches and apricots) came through strong. As the beer warmed, the nose became even richer, deeper, darker and sweeter than it seemed initially. Brown sugar became noticeable along with overripe bananas.

The taste was a sweet and flavorful yet well-balanced blend of exotic flavors. Creamy malts were apparent up front along along with bitter orange peel. Intense spices (coriander and clove) and fruits (ripe peaches) dominated mid-palate. By mid-glass, a honey-like presence became noticeable in both the taste and the mouthfeel. Subtle hops appeared on the back end and lasted into the moderately drying finish, giving this beer the balanced it desired. Some residual sugars later appeared in the aftertaste. A slight alcohol warming was noted in the back of the mouth. At 9.5% ABV however, the alcohol presence was far less than expected.

Body was medium with a frothy, creamy, syrupy, moderately effervescent mouthfeel that coated the palate.

Overall, this was one of the best Belgian ales I have had to date. With its distinctive appearance, sweet aromatics and complex flavor palate, this beer exceeded in every aspect.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grand cru Ale Brewed With Spices - 750 Series

Pours a clear middle golden amber color with a full finger fluffy off whote head that resists fading. A good amount of lacing unobserved.

The smell is lightly yeasty, Belgian malt like and fruity with a hint of the alcohol.

Body is on the lighter side. Complemented by the effervescence. Creamy and smooth yet of notable complexity.

The taste is nice. Full of coriander at first then the orange peel reveals itself.

A chest full of the alcohol. Quite drinkable.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to nouseforotacon for this one.


Poured into a chalice a nice slightly cloudy dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger white head, tons of sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is of malts, slight hops, orange, coriander, belgium yeast, slight caramel. The taste is awesome of slightly sweet/bitter malts, slight citrus, coriander, yeasty, and slight caramel. Medium body, nice complex brew, leaves a nice warm feeling in the body. Very drinkable, love the Southampton brew's so far, highly recommended.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - pours a deep golden color, big white head with decent retention and lacing, pretty hazy

s - big coriander and clove aroma, lots of yeasty malt and orange peel as well, not much alcohol on the nose

t - big coriander taste up front, blended nicely with yeasty maltiness and a considerable fruitiness, mosly orange peel along with a little lemon, noticeable alcohol hints on the finish, balanced with some orange and malt which last a long time

m - moderate carbonation, medium bodied, fairly dry finish

d - this 750ml went pretty fast, alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming, moderate dryness does not wear out the palate

Great Belgian strong pale. My first SH offering gives me a great impression of the brewery.

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Photo of flexabull
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours a bright orange/gold color, it's a bit cloudy, and has a decent sturdy head on top.

Aromas are sharp and bright. Bananas, bubble gum, orange citrus, and a bit or coriander.

Flavor quality is toasty like champagne and crisp. There are also lemon zest, bitter spices, and a touch of malty creaminess. The finish is tart, bitter, and dry. A pretty nice overall Belgian Strong Pale Ale, complex and well balanced. My only "complaint", is that I think it might be a bit over spiced, and the maltiness gets a little lost.

Very nice mouthfeel, carbonation is good, and the flavors are full and well rounded.

Drinkability is good, this is a very good example of the style, on par with some of the other excellent Belgian Strong Pales made in North America like Damnation and La Fin Du Mode.

Thanks for the bottle mymrngjckt!

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Photo of WesWes
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a cloudy gold color with a towering white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a nice pale malt scent along with a spicey bouquet which contains coriander, orange peel, and anise (although I don't really smell the anise). The Belgian yeast adds a beautiful complexity to the aroma. The scent is fruity with a bit of earthiness in it as well. The taste is great as well. This is some smooth beer especially coming in at 9.5% abv. It's pale in the malt bill and fruity in the finish. THe spices round out the taste and add a nice complexity to the flavor. THe mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. It's flavorful and easy drinking.

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Photo of BlindPig
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Really big light tan/ off white head on a clear orange body. Really good head retention and thick lacing with some on side of glass as well.
S- Yeast, spices, European style hops, hint of citrus, pepper, and a aroma or two that I can't pin point.
T- Big orange and orange peel flavor, light chalk feel to it, bitterness lingers on very tip of tongue, pepper, light cloves and other spices, light malt background, light alcohol warming in back of throat, and orange peel comes through more and more. Also some other flavors I just can't pin point.
M- Medium body with medium carbonation.
D- It is good. There are a few flaws but other than that I really like it.

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Photo of BadBadger
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Southampton Grand Cru is a very pleasant ale. It pours from the bottle a cloudy golden color. While there was no hint of carbonation when the cork was pulled, a very nice large head forms and sticks around for some time. The smell is richly fruity, but not overbearing. The taste is certainly spicy, with first thoughts being of lemon and grass but then it is followed up with a nice orange peel flavoring. A very nice brew worthy of picking up, if you see it. Enjoy!

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.4/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - this anticipated ale pours a light brown/straw color, with a half finger of rocky white head, that dissipates slowly, witha few streams of swift carbonation

S - a yeasty light bready aroma, with a background spice, like nutmeg and/or coriander, a rather pleasant aroma with a slight sweetness as well

T - the taste truly matches the aroma, yeasty and bready with a spiciniess, the only difference is the spiciness is more intense in the taste than the aroma

M&D - easily palatable, but you must enjoy beers with a spice to them, chances are if your drinking this beer,then you do, a well brewed beer, im not a huge grand cru fan, but i can enjoy a good one, which this is

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to NASE for sending me this absolute winner of a beer :thumbup:

A: Now that was weird. The cork came out but there was no “pop” like the beer was completely uncarbonatated. I poured the beer into the glass and a huge head jumped forth! WTF! The head is large and monumental, a white with a beige hue to it. The body consists of a clean and simple golden copper color with micro bubbles.

S: Wow! Smells like coriander custard with lemon zest and fresh vanilla yogurt. Scrumptious.

T: Tastes just like it smells. Begins with really rich and creamy coriander mixed with yogurt…I can only assume this beer has come into contact with some brett due to the strong yogurt personality. Peppery and floral hop styles move in next cutting the sweetness with a swift a decisive slash. Peach, banana, pina colada spiked with lemon juice are the fruity component that swaggers through the mouth, showing off the extraordinary depth it provides. God this is good. As the yogurt flavor transitions out, a surprising low level bitterness brings the drinker back to earth, adding one more “ooh” moment before all flavors slowly drop out of the forefront. Alcohol is present and accounted for sliding through the nasal cavity.

M: Medium body, full and creamy.

D: I’m shocked and totally stunned at how good this beer is. Yes, its been a top 50 beer for a while but most of those beers aren’t this good. This beer wasn’t even on my radar but its so far up my alley I feel like I should have saw it coming. Man is this going well with my Cajun chicken.

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Photo of Phatz
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I guess I can no longer keep track of the beers my wife likes in my reviews. We are getting too many to count. All thanks to the wonderful kindness of my friend BeerBeing. We now share the love. This was a beer we had together with dinner and my wife turned to me and said "Do beers that size come in a case?" I think I will be buying a case shortly =)

Appearance: Pours a neutral apricot color with a creamy off-white head and loads of lacing. The head fades to a frothy cap in my snifter glass, that lasts the duration of the beer.

Smell: Honey, lemon, bready malt; a light yeast aroma, a hint of orange and a plethora of spices tickle the nose.

Taste: It is a spicy bready beer with the Belgian yeast attribute present but not too extreme. It has a lot of spices, coriander, pepper and orange rind bitter on the tongue along with the sweet honey and the tiny splash of alcohol that shows through. The citrus comes out more in the finish and aftertaste. For as big as the beer is, the alcohol is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel: It has a large feel in the mouth. Big and airy, well carbonated I guess you could say. Effervescent and yet smooth.

Drinkability: This beer is dangerously easy to drink. The alcohol is so well hidden you will be feeling it before you know. Just ask my wife ;-)

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange with a giant white foamy head. The head lasts forever and great lacing. This is a very good looking brew. The smell is very pungent with lemon,cloves,banana, and a peppery aroma. The taste is crisp hop bitterness and a blast of alcohol. The normal Belgian spices are present along with candy sugar,corriander, and a fruity flavor. The m/f is medium with the complex flavors mixing well. This is a first class beer and this one, I believe, would be even better with a year or two of cellaring.

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Southampton Grand Cru from Southampton Publick House
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 403 ratings
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