Southampton Altbier | Southampton Publick House

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Southampton AltbierSouthampton Altbier
481 Ratings
Southampton AltbierSouthampton Altbier

Brewed by:
Southampton Publick House
New York, United States

Style: German Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by JoeyBeerBelly on 06-22-2008

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 481 |  Reviews: 423
Reviews by Atlas1:
Photo of Atlas1
2.76/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've tried a few of the Southampton beers and have always come away with more of a shoulder-shrug type of impression, but I'm always on the lookout for new and different beers, so I gave this alt-style beer a try. Poured a nice rich golden brown color with a light head which dissipated quickly. Some hints of red when you hold it up to the light. Aroma was a malty scent, with what to me seemed like faint notes of chocolate. Maybe nutmeg? Interesting, but not really all that impressive. Very faint aroma altogether. It tasted fine, but again not all that impressive. Malted overtones seemed to take hold, which didn't allow for much else to come through. In the end, I would probably pass on this beer down the road. It just didn't do much for me.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had the Secret Ale about a year ago and was not overly impereesed with it,this I liked better.Poured a clear russet brown with a tight 1/2 finger white head that had good lasting power,aromas are spicy with some vanilla and pepper,a firm taostiness and some iron shows thru as well.Flavors again are spicy with that vanilla coming thru as well as some firm dry toasy notes,finishing with some sharp herb.Its very quaffable and pretty tasty,I would buy again no doubt.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.97/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Southampton Secret Ale pours from the bottle a deep reddish caramel color with a small tightly bubbly off white head atop. Aromas of sweet, vibrant caramel malts touched with a hint of brown sugar, fruits and nuts. A slighty spicy herbal hoppiness fills in the background of this finely nuanced ale.

First sip brings a well layered maltiness comprised of sweet caramel, toasted grains, hints of fruit and mixed nuts. Flows down the back of the throat with a mellow herbal spicy hop...nice and clean. A tasty altbier that goes down smooth and does a good job of mixing sweet and bitter.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with tight carbonation that creates a creamy sensation as the brew flows down the throat. I could see myself taking care of a sixer or more of this no problem. Definetly a good session brew and I can see why it's so popular. Thanks to goodbyeohio for the chance to try this one.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.11/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I saw this beer at Tully's and bought it because I had just had a great altbier from the Portsmouth Brewery. This one was a pale imitation. Amber color with a medium white head. Faint caramel aroma, and faint caramel taste. More of a hops presence, and the bitterness was on the intrusive side. Just an OK beer.

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Photo of Todd
2.52/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz brown bottle. No freshness date. Pours a tawny colored brew with ruby hues. Thick creamy head of mixed bubble leaves sticking tracks as it settles to a creamy lace, and finally reduces to nearly no lace or stick.

Ultra-clean aroma, some nuttiness, earthy and very faint herbal.

Thin mouthfeel, light bodied. Grainy tannins upfront, very crisp with a sharp carbonation bite. A lot of grape-like flavors from the malts, that finish a bready and dry. Slight sourness melds with some acidic citric bitter notes, but nothing overwhelming, or exciting either. Zero sweetness and depth of malt character, very one-dimensional at times. Dry and earthy, with grain husks and nutty fresh walnut bite in the finish. Not overly pleasant.

Not impressed with this offering. Lacks balance and overall flavor. Weak across the board. So what's the secret anyway?

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Photo of sponberg
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, baby!! Brewed at Saratoga under contract. Pours a deep amber with a white head that settles down to a fine beaded lace. Aroma of German sweet/toasty "dough's rising" malt with a nice spicy, slightly clovey hoppiness.

Really spot-on interpretation of an Alt - the round, slightly toasted grain, apple-fruity/decoction-honey maltiness is balanced by an intial spicy (cloves again?) hoppiness, followed by a brilliant, tongue-bracing bitterness that's completely in balance with the malt. Tingly mouthfeel carries the hop spiciness and bitterness to every corner of the mouth. Finishes a little dry, a little bitter, a little spicy, and a lot like I want another bottle.

I'm curious to see what those who have had this brew at the brewpub think about the bottled version. I find it to be a cut above anything I've tried out of Saratoga/Mendocino. Cloves may not be the perfect descriptor for the hop flavor, but it has that same degree of spiciness. I can see this one becoming a regular in my beer rotation.

The six pack holder has the BA logo on the bottom and refers to SHPH being the #1 rated brewpub on Maybe the first on-retail-product reference to the site?

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Photo of shapudding
3.86/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a nice honey amber, almost the color of the bottle. Tons of frothy heady piled up in a nice pillow, beautifully creamy thick and cream colored. Head retention is nice, it settled down to about a quarter inch layer. Nice malty aroma, slight bit of toastiness to it and a bit of yeast in the background. Surprising dryness to it, leaves flavor on your tongue but yet it is astringent. Toasted maltiness nice spices- cinnamon and nutmeg flavors. Just a bit of malty sweetness to it, but nothing cloying. Just very nice and mellow flavors, but in no way lacking or bland, just balanced nicely.
The good dryness in the flavors lead to nice drinkability for this one.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer has a caramel malt aroma a thick head and a dark amber color. It starts sweet and finishes dry. Its flavor is mostly of a buttery caramel and some slightly roasted malts. This is a very drinkable almost to drinkable for a smaller brewery. this beer has its place but it's not for me.

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Photo of merlin48
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pours a mostly clear, medium brown color with a small khaki head. Good retention and some nice patchy lacing.

Aroma is pleasant, with spicy and floral hops and toffee maltiness.

Mouthfeel is smooth and well carbonated but is a bit thin.

Taste is dominated by a hop bitterness that is spicy and floral. Some earthiness, as well. Toffee and caramel in the malt department, but understated. Finishes clean and smooth.

I've never had a subpar beer from Southampton, and this one is another pleasant brew to enjoy. Nothing earth shattering, to be sure, but a very good altbier.

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Photo of Billolick
3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first ever S'Hampton in a 12 ouncer. Too bad, no freshness dating to be found. Pours dark honey amber, white head composed of tiny bubles, leaves minimal to moderate lacing. Doughy malty nose. Fairly full bodied, flavorfull alt, spicy, clovey, notes of crisp rye, bracingly bitter and a hint of sourness to boot. Complex German style ale. Anybody have some brown bread, sausages and spicy mustard? More tasty brew from SH.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Rust color w/ a full finger and a half of off-white head....disappears too quickly, but has some impressive lace.
Nice roasted malt aroma w/ just a hint of spice.
Taste is decent...surprisingly a tad sour in the aftertaste.
As in the scent, the flavor has a nice amount of malt w/ some hops but could be more balanced IMO. No alcohol detected w/ very little spice thrown in.
Mouthfeel is quite thin and the carbation is higher than where I'd like it to be.
I could enjoy this one pint, but would gladly move on to something else...just average for me.

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Photo of tigg924
2.65/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, clear, tan in color, high carbonation

Smell: toasted malt and light hops

Taste: caramel with bitter hops at the end

Mouthfeel: sweet start with a bitter finish, light bodied, high carbonation

Drinkability: I am not overly impressed with this. The flavor and balance seems a bit weak. I will be passing on this in the future.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.06/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium dark brown with a small head that quickly vanished. Smell is very malty. Taste is similar, with a little fruit (maybe bananas, but I can't quite place the taste) and no noticeable hops. The taste is good, but the aftertaste is a little unpleasant. Not bad, but I am not sure if I would try again.

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Photo of jakester
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful clear dark amber with brown tints. Looks pretty highly carbonated. A one finger head of beige colored foam forms on top. This eventually drops to a coating and a ring. Uneven splotches of lacing.

Aroma is clean and fruity, with hints of caramel and spicy hops.

Tastes like crispy dark caramel candy , with a surprising dose of hop bittering. A good bit of spicy hops are there for your enjoyment as well. The fruitiness and sweetness are subdued, but they are present nonetheless. Aftertaste is rich caramel malts and spicy hops.

Mouthfeel is semi-sweet, with a pretty strong carbonation bite. Hop bitterness grabs at your throat on the way down. Finish is tingly dry/sweet.

Wow. This used to be a "secret"! A very good alt. No wonder it's a medal winner. Very poundable. Highly recommended.

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Photo of yankeeheel
3.31/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a highly clear copper with a nice thick off-white head. Bits of some miniscule floaties in there but still very clear. Smells estery with a hint of caramel. Tatses very nutty and almost a little astringent. Scant bits of sweetness blurb up from the bottom but they are quickly quelled by the slightly mettalic burn that haunts this beer for me. Moderate mouthfeel. I'm a bit dissapointed by the taste and drinkability.

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

Appearance: caramel amber brown color off white cream head forms thick layers of lacing. Aroma: Toasted caramel malts some evident german herbal hop character along with a roasted nut presence. Taste: Malt has a toasted nut edge with caramel drizzled on to the mix with hints of chocolate and German noble hops working nicely in cohesion to form a leafy flavor that blends well. Mouthfeel: Med to lighter body sturdy carbonation smooth texture silky in fact. Drinkability: Tasty and refreshing alt definitely a nod to the other sticke altbiers out there and does it quite well.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.47/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- This beer pours a deep brown crystal clear body that is just a bit dense. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles that support an off-white head with just a hint of yellow to it. The head last as a thin bubble film for the rest of the beer.

S- The dry aroma of toasted brown malt has a great freshness and just a touch of sweetness to it and a faint dry caramel hint. As the beer warms there is a more roasted hint popping up in the background. There is a soft noble hop hint that enhances the malt.

T- This beer has a smooth slightly sweet malt flavor with some toasted notes and more faint roasted notes to back it up. There is a light sulfur quality to the hop that increases as the beer warms but it never overpowers the hops which are very fresh tasting but still light. There is a soft bitterness that lingers just a bit.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a dry texture from the soft carbonation. There is no alcohol heat noticed.

D- This beer has a great malt bill that taste fresh yet smooth and subtle with some complexity still coming through. The hops are just a bit bigger that the malt but not overpowering. This is a very smooth delicious beer.

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Photo of JMS1512
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of watermelonman
4.37/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured to a very nice and deep amber color with hints of brown and a small head. Lacing is minimal.

The smell is the first hint that this beer has fantastic flavor. It brings spice and caramel on top of lightly roasted malts. The taste follows through with more of the same up front, and a nice amount of bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is very pleasing, and the drinkability is good.

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Photo of Melchizedek
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice bronze with a big bubbly pearly head that dissipates pretty quickly.

Aroma is very nicely rounded, with honey malt and floral hop. In the mouth, malts are mellow and sweet, with caramel and light grain coming through, but floral, mineral, and slightly sulfured bitter hop takes over pretty quick. It all rounds out into a nice relaxed full flavor. Pretty light in the mouth, carbonation unobtrusive, a bit drying in the finish, and incredibly easy to drink and enjoy.

I like it, especially because it somehow tastes very German; I'm sure it's all in the hops and yeasts and whatnot, but because I don't know what's what, I'll give Southampton a lot of credit for making a legitimately Old World-tasting brew.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.33/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark tea color with an off white head of tiny bubbles that melts slowly to a top covering ring.

Aroma is toasted amber malt with a hint of caramel and slight hop finish.

Taste is toasty amber malt as well. Light sweetness that is followed with a nicely drying citrus hops.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly creamy and smooth and aftertaste is a drying citrus hop.

Very good Alt Bier...Very good.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2.24/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Southhampton Secret Ale

Appearance- hazelnut brown with a small but decent lacing head.
Smell- light hazel/ walnut with a hint of woody hops.
Taste- light woodchip flavor with a touch of walnuts/ hazelnuts and weak stale malt.
Mouthfeel- slighty sweet at first but ending flat and boring.

Overall- No thank you! What little flavor is so eschew. Strong nut flavor dominates over everything else. Although there is very lttle flavor to begin with. Not a horrible tasting beer but not worth drinking again!

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Photo of tastybeer
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is burgundy brown with an orangy-red tone in the light. Nice glowing clarity and small but soapy mauve colored head. Spotty lace sticks right above the frothy retention rim around the glass. Aroma is light, smooth and mainly malty. There is enough deep earthy hops with a touch of light floral hops to hold balance. Overall I would pick out the caramel and toasty malts as the obvious feature in this alt beer. Taste is pleasant and enjoyable. Not heavy but smoothly malty and evenly hoppy. I like the taste most of all and it is supported nicely by a smooth, slick mouthfeel. There is a slight grape dryness at the finish. Carbonation is moderate. Not too heavy to detract but just enough to add excitement. Very drinkable indeed.

Worth a try certainly and worth a follow up if you're looking for an easy drinking brown that has good unimposing flavor.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nut brown, rusty amber color. Nice foamy off-white head, medium body.

Smells of malts, kinda nutty with oats.

Tastes of a nice nut-malt flavor slightly sweet with a very clean and clear finish. a bit soft but not exactly "flat".

easy drinkin'!

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Southampton Altbier from Southampton Publick House
Beer rating: 3.56 out of 5 with 481 ratings