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French Country Christmas Ale (Biere De Garde) | Southampton Publick House

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very good
68 Reviews
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French Country Christmas Ale (Biere De Garde)French Country Christmas Ale (Biere De Garde)

Brewed by:
Southampton Publick House
New York, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-17-2003

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Reviews: 68 | Ratings: 82
Photo of MJR
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 750ml bottle

Dirty penny in color, with good clarity and a creamy tan head that holds well. Fair amount of sticky lace. Aroma is a soft and malty blend of caramel, apples, damp wood, yeasty spiciness, hay, a hint of pear, and faint barnyard. Well carbonated, with a light and airy body.

Caramel malt and white grape skins arrive first, followed by a wonderful balance of ever-growing peppery spiciness and apple/pear-like fruitiness. The tail end has some metal, fresh hay, damp wood, and barnyard, rounding out the palate with an underlying hint of sour funkiness which gets stronger towards the bottom of the bottle. Late hit of hop flavor and bitterness. Dry finish. The apple and barnyard notes last and last… The body gets a touch thicker and creamier as it sits, from both the CO2 leaving the solution and the yeast slowly finding its way into my glass.

Overall, a well-crafted and delicious example of a rare style that rarely finds its students sticking to the guidelines.

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Photo of marburg
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Who are these guys? If they distributed in Michigan, I think I might drink 90% Southampton. This is amazing. Again.

Tarnished, dirty penny color. Tiny bits of coagulated sediment. Fairly large but not at all compact head. Nose is filled with almost wheaty aromas -- lemon and caramel slathered lemon, almost like bananas foster. Except its beer. Bits of herbal farmhouse randomness lend it aromatic authenticity.

Very light. Like drinking a cloud. If this were a cake, it'd be the fluffiest Angel's Food you'd ever had. Incredibly smooth and easy to drink. Loads of varied fruits. Sweet melon fruit salad with lemon spritz as it warms. Caramelcorn is present regardless of temperature. The last 5-10 sips really present a funky barnyard sourness that lurks under the surface.

Too damn good. This is *absolutely* what the Trois Monts "Grand Reserve" should be.

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Photo of erica
4.97/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this from a 750 ml bottle, poured in a glass for me when i came home from work. Quite a nice thing to come home to, don't you think? I was very impressed with this beer from SPH. Very.

The colour was a dark orangey-red, a bit cloudy, with a nice off-white creamy head that lasted a long time. It smelled fruity and spicy and outdoorsy, almost like cinnamon apricots maybe, it was good. It tasted even better! Similar flavours to the aroma, but more mixed in, tasted citrusy a bit... It kind of tasted like I was sitting on a back porch with a big field with various trees and fruit bushes and little streams all around me. It just had an outdoor feel to it somehow. The mouthfeel was excellent, very smooth and soft, and drinkability also was great, except for the fact that I won't be able to drink more of it, at least not anytime soon i'm sure.

All in all a tasty brew that I'm very happy to have tried.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle: No vintage date: 2002? This pours out a dark, somewhat cloudy, glowing orange colour. The head is fluffy, white, and everlasting, leaving sheets of Belgian lace down the sides of my glass. The aromas are grassy, herbal, farm-like, and hoppy with some medicinal hints thrown in for good measure. There is also a very background citrus-like fruitiness in the aroma as well. The overall aroma is subtle, but it is also excellent! The taste is less subtle than the aroma hints it to be. There is an excellent hit of caramel flavors (caramel malt?) followed by a fruity, citrusy middle, and finally a bit of an earthy, grassy, herbal hoppiness in the finish. The finish is dry, and does not linger long, but that is quite OK by me. The mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, and damn indulgent, this stuff feels like silk in your mouth. The drinkability is also amazingly good. This is 6.6%abv? Holy shit! This is definately a good thirst quencher on a hot summer day in France, or a mild Winter dusk in PA.

an excellent version....highly recommended.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden amber, with a thick white head. The head dissipates into a mist about halfway through the glass, but provides quite a bit of aroma. Very powerful.
Aroma is very strong, and quite believable. Slightly hoppy, with a sourness to the malt. Sweet belgian aroma, with plenty of esters, namely pineapple and apple. Strange hop aroma.
Flavor is much less sour than expected, with a pervasive belgian candi sweetness, coupled with hints of pineapple, apricot, and raisin. The beer starts out mildly sour, tapering down to a saccharine sweetness, and finishing fairly dry. Impressive in the way it changes flavors so seamlessly. Light alcoholic warmth in the throat, and almost no aftertaste. Mouthfeel is terrific, with small, tightly knit bubbles. Very authentic, better than the imported versions I've tried thus far. The hops are wierd. They taste almost like hallertau, but not quite. Herbal, but strange. Must be a breed I'm not familiar with. Very good beer. A pleasure to drink.

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Photo of jcalabre
2.21/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I must say thanks to herbjones for sharing this with me. This pours a cloudy orange with a big white head. The flavors, the aroma, are like wet grass, barnyards, etc. For me, these characteristics aren't too appealing. I just didn't like this beer. Oh well.

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Photo of dwarbi
3.22/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Cloudy, murky beer. Light brown in color. The aroma is weak. There's almost nothing there. If you whiff real hard, you can catch some hints of fruit, but it's a chore. Tastes primarily of cherry. Smooth. Good mouthfeel. As the beer drains, it creates a sour taste in the mouth. Kind of like drinking milk.

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Photo of inebrius
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A front porch baguette and cheese eatin' brew. Pours a clouded streaming amber under whipped butter. Monumental nose of honeysuckle in full bloom, beach walks at dusk and fruit-flavored marshmallows. A draught is honey-roasted peach on barn board with a side of soil covered garden greens and fallow field stones. I mean earthy, like when you were a kid and played in the lake and dug in the dirt and ate roasted corn and tasted the day on your lips. Playful across the buds. A fine brew. Thanks Loren!

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French Country Christmas Ale (Biere De Garde) from Southampton Publick House
4.03 out of 5 based on 82 ratings.
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