Southampton Altbier | Southampton Publick House

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Southampton AltbierSouthampton Altbier
481 Ratings
Southampton AltbierSouthampton Altbier

Brewed by:
Southampton Publick House
New York, United States

Style: 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 481 |  Reviews: 423
Photo of rousee
4.64/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm glad I know this is an altbier. It looks like it could be a amber or brown ale based on the color. It leaves a small head and very little lace.

Smell is cinammon with a touch of barley and malt. A small hint of acidity is apparent also.

Taste is absolutely delicious. It fits in with the alt style but it is a bit smoother and more subdued than most of the altbiers I have tried. Somewhat of a fruity finish to it. The beauty of this is that these flavors are all just noticeable enough but never too overpowering. In my opinion, that is one of the main criteria of what makes a good beer. Very well done.

The mouthfeel is a little sticky and it is pretty drinkable for this style but nothing that stands out either positively or negatively.
One of the best alts I have tried.

 790 characters

Photo of marburg
4.6/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Who knew? Western Germany is actually a small town on Long Island frequented by the wealthy and home to amazing beer. Or so it would seem. Once again, Southampton displays an absolute mastery of beermaking, of stylistic perfection crossed with orginality.

Spiced fruit bread, grassy hops, and caramel malts are a treat to the nose; the malty aroma here defines the ability of ostensibly simple beer to posess lavish, decadent properties. A bit metallic when cold, the aroma livens up at warmer temperatures.

A well-constructed mouthfeel gives the impression that this is a simple lager beer, but some more thick malts, a bit of honey, and a dash of bitter greens with throbbing spicy qualities ultimately reveals a well-balanced flavor attack, one worthy of the reference to Dusseldorf on the label. The aroma is pleasing. The flavor is balanced. The bitterness is lingering and dull.

Any American brewer aiming for a great altbier better start with trying to match this one. Superb.

 992 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4.55/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On Cask at David Copperfields, NYC. A dark nearly brown colour with small head of tan foam that dies quickly. The appearance of this brew on cask is quite different than it is on tap, but the taste is nearly the same. The aromas are very spicy, with some bitter orange peel, nuts, and complex bitter hops in the mix as well. The taste is spicy, fruity, and nutty, with an excellent hop flavor and a lovely malt presence as well. The mouthfeel is actually a bit light on cask, but the drinkability remains perfect. This is such an amazing beer to have as your staple, but I think I prefer it from the tap (i've yet to sample the bottles, but I was told at SPH that they don't live up to the *real* thing)

 703 characters

Photo of GrandpaGeorg
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The search for the best Altbier-style craft brew reaches a new height. This new beer from Southampton may simply be a "Secret Ale" repackage job, but the color, mouthfeel, and flavor are extremely close to the popular German breweries--at least so far as bottles go. I have missed Frankenheim Alt since it was no longer imported and I had not seen this before on the local shelves (Wells in Towson) but I love the other Southampton brews I've tried (including the "Secret Ale") and so didn't hesitate to pull a 6-pack from the shelf. In fact I bought two. The packaging described a "Dusseldorf-style" Alt and I think they've hit the nail on the head. In fact the label says the brewmaster went to Dusseldorf to study the Altbier style. What a pleasant surprise. Fantastic, deep mahogany color, light body with moderate carbonation and the unmistakable scent of malt in the nose. The taste was reminiscent of Frankenheim, though maybe a bit richer and a touch sweeter and nuttier--and much fresher. A bit darker and less fruity than some other craft-brewed Alts and I may actually be ready to suggest that iit's better than the legendary Long Trail Alt; but until I can do a side-by-side (and until I can actually buy Long Trail anywhere in Maryland), this will be a welcome addition to the fridge. Incidentally, this is one beer that sneaks up on you as a session offering because there is no taste of alcohol--none. It's just rich, malty goodness from beginning to end. Good stuff. I am a happy beer lover today. I'll buy this stuff by the case. And thanks to BA Magazine for the timely Altbier article.

 1,604 characters

Photo of altgeeky1
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper-brown with a beige head. head settles down quick but as wide lacing it lasted through 3/4 of the glass.

Smells like munich malt, some toasted malt, and hops aroma. Malt dominates, but much more hops than can be said of most German brews. This is only my third altbier (first being one being the great Long Trail Double Bag, second is one I just homebrewed). This is a very overlooked style!

Taste is all about the malt... caramel, then some toasty malt. There's faint hops up front and stronger hops in the finish. Plenty of body but finishes surprisingly dry.

Very drinkable. Not a lawnmower beer, but would be great for any other occasion. Would make for a great campfire beer!

I'm going back to the store and getting the other 2 sixpacks.

 758 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Impressive deep brown

S-Toasted malt aroma..also some dark fruitiness...

T- Has a rich malty flavor....bready...flavor reminds me a little of fruit bread at times...some brown sugary notes too...has some mineral water notes...just a small impression of earthy hoppiness..very flavorful...sweet and lacks a big hop impression but not in the least bit cloying

M-Clean...more smooth than crisp...Some decent heft to this..good solid medium body to this.

D-One of my favorite alts...had a sixer of this at the hotel in Sioux Falls and liked it so much I got some more to bring back...very flavorful, malt forward alt..

 620 characters

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.

 1,187 characters

Photo of Brad007
4.47/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brownish-amber color with a very thin head that fades quick.

Aroma is smooth with hints of brown sugar, smokiness and dark malt. Crisp and a bit sweet. Seems like an altbier to me.

Taste is smooth and sweet with flavors of brown sugar, caramel, smokiness and a very mild hop bitterness. This beer is all about the malt. Crisp and refreshing. Seems like a decent fall beer to me.

Mouthfeel is brown sugar and caramel that stand out the most. Smooth.

Very drinkable altbier. Reminds me of Long Trail's version, but with more flavor to it. This style is definitely under-appreciated and again, if you're looking for an introduction to it, I'd recommend sampling this example.

 686 characters

Photo of disastermouse
4.47/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This is my first 'Alt', so I don't know what to compare it to.

A- It's a beautiful brown beer - it looks thin - thinner than a cola and/or a lot of browns. A lacey head develops with an aggressive poor that diminishes quickly.

S- It smells great, all malt in the nose - there's no hop smell to speak of. It has a bit of a fall 'oak-leaf' smell buried way under and mixed with cold wheat bread.

T- Taste is unexpected. It's a smidge over-carbonated, so the taste is mainly noted on the back end as it goes down the throat. It's very dry without being very bitter - which makes me think that might be the source of a lot of the lackluster reviews. If it had any adjunct flavor and less roast malt flavor, it could be mistaken for a Macro-brew.

MF- Thin. Very thin and a touch over-carbonated.

D- You could throw these back all day, but you'd probably get a little bored after awhile. If you drink it very cold, you'll miss any complexity it may possess, which is very little.

I don't know why, but I really like this beer in spite of it's 'one-note' quality. I like its 'crispness'. This would be an excellent beer to introduce to a Macro-loving beer neophyte. It doesn't challenge the palate at all - it removes the adjunct-y metallic taste of a Macro, adds a touch of malty goodness, yet remains dry and very easy to drink. It is, however, practically hop-less - also much like a Macro.

When you remove the hops AND sweetness from a brown, this is what you get. It's a thin flavor palate, but for me it hits a spot that a lot of browns smother with sweetness or blow up with hops.

 1,587 characters

Photo of klewis
4.45/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a deep copper with a bubbly head that fills the pint glass.

S: Fresh bread aroma with a mild fruity smell.

T: Malty but sublimely-balanced. More bready qualities with a toffee-like finish. Surprisingly full-flavored for the style and ABV.

M: Light-bodied and smooth with moderate carbonation. Crisp and clean.

D: For such a delicate style, this one has nothing to hide, no flaws. Highly sessionable and a pleasure to quaff.

 437 characters

Photo of goindownsouth
4.45/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at JP O'Malley's in Allentown, PA on 03.26.05.

A very respectable, rich amber brown brew awaited me after the pour. The head was about a fingerand one-half, and that's suits me fine for this style. The aromas were distinct of malty goodness, some nuts and German hops - which were a very nice twist, IMHO. The hop balance with the malt is crucial with this style, and Southampton really nailed it with this offering. Just damn fine... The relatives in Dusseldorf would be proud...


 502 characters

Photo of necoadam
4.43/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured out a nice copper color with a light thin head that went to lacing afterwards.

Smell consisted of good malt aromas along with some spiciness, a slight aroma of fruits and nuts. Grassy hops also make their presence known.

Taste was quite good. Malts, nuts and slight fruit flavors start from beginning to end. A hint of caramel and spice finish the brew.

One of the best beers in the drinkability department. This went down way, way too fast. And I'm saddened that I only picked up one bottle of this stuff at Half Time. Shame on me.

Excellent beer.

 569 characters

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.43/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is flat out an exceptional altbier. True to style and wonderfully complex.

Dark copper in color. It has darkness in it. Maybe from chocolate malt, I don't know, but from something.

Burnt something I can't identify hits my nose. Later it is of diacetyl.

There is a roastiness in the flavor. A good bit of those buttery notes from the diacetyl as well. Hops poke through as well. With just a hint of fruitiness unless my mind is playing tricks.

The buttery notes are dangerously strong, but this recipe keeps everything in balance. Amazing. It is almost like a high-wire act. This could have gone horribly wrong, but instead it is brilliant.

 649 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.43/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Reddish-brown, crystal clear body, topped by just-off-white mountainous foam. Very good lacing.

Very toasty nose, plenty of bread.

Taste is malty, but clean, not at all syrupy or really sweet. Plenty of hops lurking about in the background, working for balance without ever really emerging out of the shadows. You know they are there, they dance at the edge of your tongue, but let the malt take the lead.

Nice medium to light mouthfeel. Great drinkability.

I had several "open minded" beer drinkers (as opposed to either macro or craft devotees) try this to good results. Alt as crossover? Hadn't really thought of it before.

Southampton's outstanding reputation lead me to buy a case of this "blind", something I am very leery of doing, but I was extremely pleased with the purchase (and the approximately $23 price for the case didn't hurt).

Let yourself in on the secret.

 893 characters

Photo of Loki
4.42/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What's the secret? My guess is that the good folks at SPH had two travelers visit their fine pub. One Brittish and one Belgian. The two had a short, but torid and passionate affair and the offspring was this fabulous creation.

Appearance: Clear brown color with a spongy off-white head and decent lacing.

Smell: Belgian and English malts?, spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, minerals, maybe Belgian yeast. Vastly complex, yet the flavors seem to compliment each other and definitely play nicely together.

Taste: Rich malt, Belgian yeast, an assortment of spices including nutmeg and cinnamon. Some toffee or maybe caramel and some definite, underlying sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Slightly sweet, then cloying, then dry. Nice

Drinkability: Great, this was the bartenders self-proclaimed favorite and I can see why. Very, very easy to drink, yet still complex.

 865 characters

Photo of jr1
4.4/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I actually thought this was a great, true to style alt, with a nice, clean, grainy maltiness and dry finish, as it should be. The characteristics of what I suspect to be a German ale yeast strain come through nicely, as compared to other domestics which call themselves alts but seem more like American ambers to me - generally too fruity or sweet for the style.

 362 characters

Photo of SirSketch
4.4/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Crisp auburn color with a lot of carbonation. Head is thick and creamy.

S - Light caramel, butterscotch, light maple syrup, and corn husk comprise the aroma of this beer, and it is simply wonderful! It has such a wide range of smells without one being too overpowering.

T - Pleasantly sweet with some fruitiness as well, but well balanced bitterness. Some tastes similar to that of the aroma. Very flavorful, but also refreshing.

M/D - Medium to light body with a high, frothy carbonation. Very enjoyable and easy to drink on a clear, hot day!

 550 characters

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.

 400 characters

Photo of sevopie
4.37/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark bronze in color with a fine but full off-white head.

I smell a great mix of malts and hops here, with a slight bias towards the (sweet) malt side.

Caramel malts pop out immediately with a hint of smokiness and even a bit of chocolate malt. A hop presence is definitely noticable, but properly subdued on the finish. The finish is also very clean and dry.

Medium-light with a good amount of carbonation coating the tongue.

I like this, I like it a lot. Its very easily drinkable, its very tasty, and its very smooth. Altbiers in general are easily described as such, but this is a great example.

 603 characters

Photo of blakesell
4.37/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into my favorite Belgian style goblet.

Appearance- Beer pours a clean dark amber with hints of brown and carbonation of tiny bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. Head is very slim and hardly there only leaving a thin lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell- Rich spicy noble malts and hops giving a slightly caramelized nose and just enough in the hops to make themselves present but not overpowering. The malts are rich and full, this is one enjoyable beer to smell and likely the best smelling Alt I have come across.

Taste- Fruity and light with ample body coming through with the malts. It doesn't taste to be a heavy beer and goes down very smoothly with a hazelnut finish. Malt complexity is ample and impressive, hops are noble and strong but not enough to go outside a German style, lovely smooth finish that isn't overly dry. This could be the best Alt I've ever had.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, smooth, not astringent, medium in carbonation, medium light in body, not warming, this could be the new wintertime go to beer.

Drinkability- This beats Uerige, which is really saying something. The number one style example that I always used as a benchmark to judge Alts by has now been beaten by an American brewer. Excellent job on this one Southampton, and I would love to find more of their beers here in Ohio.

 1,353 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.35/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, deep orange/amber colour with a thin, light tan head. Slight spotty lacing and the foam settled quickly to a collar. Malty with a hint of apples and brown sugar. Faint grassy hops were evident off the pour, but disappeared quite fast. Superb balance of flavours - soft bitterness, light fruit and mellow sweetness come together nicely. Again, there's a hint of brown sugar and a brief grassy hop flavour in the middle. The finish is dry with a lingering herbal bitterness that's slightly more aggressive due to the malt falling away a little earlier. Medium bodied with a creamy texture and soft carbonation. I really like this. The balance is great, it's mellow without seeming weak in any department, and it's delicious. I'll definitely buy this again.

 761 characters

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.

 405 characters

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

Purchased as a six pack from Avalon Liquors in SNJ. Couldn't find any born on or freshness dating. However, there were loads of information about the beer both on the labeling and on the six pack itself.
Pours a chestnut brown with a fluffy head of white foam. Okay retention and excellent lacing. Loads of bubbles around the glass feeding the brews head. The aroma reminds me of the classic German style, full of various spiciness (cloves being the main driver here) a little bit of German hops, and bready/doughy malt
All the aromas come back with the flavor, one that comes through in waves. You initially pick up the spice, overriden then by hops, then lovely finished by the doughy goodness. It came off as being highly drinkable and refreshing on a hot evening this weekend. A medium mouthfeel that finishes clean.
Overall, this was a great brew. I picked it up only because I saw "Southhampton Publick House," and I heard so much about the brewery prior. Appears that they've so far lived up to that hype.

 1,015 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.32/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What a great beer. One of the most sessionable. I feel like this is the US answer to Fuller's ESB.

A - It has the reddish amber hue of a wee heavy with quite a big head, though poor retention.

S - Smells great. Like biscuits and honey, with a clean German hop to round it out.

T - It tastes like Honey-Nut Cheerios the beer, or like Ayinger's Jahrhundert. Delicious, but not sweet; just a well balanced, savory and refreshing brew.

M - The mouthfeel is good too. Medium-bodied, creamy and smooth.

D - It is exceptionally drinkable.

 536 characters

Photo of BrewitYerself
4.32/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a very clear coppery light brown. Thick, dense head, good lacing.

Mild aroma of bready sweet medium malts: crystal, munich, etc. Some honey-like malt aromas.

Moderate floral/herbal bitterness upfront, suppported by smooth caramel/honey malt sweetness. Very clean finish, slight lingering caramel/honey sweetness, with a touch of what I take to be noble hops. Some molasses/brown sugar. Very nice.

Light carbonation, full mouthfeel, quite chewy.

This is a robust, yet refreshing and drinkable beer. Very nice malt profile, sweet but not overly so, hopped with perfect finesse. I don't know much about altbiers, but I enjoyed the hell out of this one. From what I know, it seems adequately fitting to the style.

 719 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Southampton Altbier from Southampton Publick House
Beer rating: 3.56 out of 5 with 481 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.