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: 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
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Ratings: 481 |  Reviews: 423
Photo of Sammy
4.02/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

aggressive side of carbonation, as all southamptons I’ve had. Best of what I have had for this style, amber red. Medium body, moderately bitter. Spicy hop, nutty, cloves, orange peel, pepper, which all comes through in aroma and in taste. Tad fruit and herbs.

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Photo of djrn2
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.31/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice medium brown color.. big fluffy head to it. Don't see this style of beer around too often but do thoroughly enjoy the few beers I've had of it (Long Trail Ale, Otter Creek Copper Ale). Nutty sort of aroma to this one. Light to medium bodied, pretty good mouthfeel. Taste is a bit watery, reminds me of a not so good brown ale. Definitely a malty one, doughy notes. Not the best Alt I've had but sill a decent beer.. wouldn't seek it out but a nice beer on a cold New England night.

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Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer poured clear dark amber with a creamy off white head. A moderate level of carbonation is visible and a thin layer of bubbles consistently covered the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of toasted caramel malts in the nose. The smell is rather sweet.
T: The taste has lots of malty flavors and there are some notes of hop bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, earthy and relatively smooth on the palate with a bit of dryness in the finish.
D: The flavor is interesting enough where I would want to have this beer again when I'm looking for a change of pace in different styles.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice beer-- non-offensive, yet a bit forgettable. Starts off with a rust-colored hue and thin, creamy head formationa and retention. Subdued aromas of breadiness, faint fruits, light caramel, and fresh grassy hops for balance. Flavors dominate with the bready qualities, bringing on a melanoidin savory flavor with light hints of toffee and herbal hops. Well attenuated malts give the beer an airy, drinkable quality. Mild peaches and pears show up late in the drink and only after the beer warms. Lightly yeasty, bready, and lightly hopped in the finish. Good sessionable beer.

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Photo of emerge077
3.44/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes.
Maple leaf reddish hue, with a fine layer of creamy foam. Head retention is very good, and tons of carbonation is visible ascending upward. Aroma is sort of mild, with grainy tea-like notes. Flavors of toasted malt, sunflower seeds, lightly buttery with a dry bitter finish. Feel is light, almost lagery. Creamy from the carbonation. Overall worth a try, but it didn't knock my socks off. Single from Lukas in Overland Park.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of brentk56
3.41/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a clear copper color topped by a small head that leaves some lacing

Smell: Chocolate and malty, with an unusual odor I finally decided was something like a wet dog

Taste: A little bit of caramel malt with a bit of chocolate; spicy finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Smooth and spicy, but I was expecting more, particularly after sampling an exquisite Alt at the Black Forest Brew Haus earlier in the day

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Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, copper/rust color with a foamy, off-white, two-finger head. It left some soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled very malty and of roasted barley.

T - It tasted malty and of bready grains. Nice caramel flavor and a slight burnt toast taste.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A light-bodied beer.

D - This is a nice altbier. It is worth a try if you like a nice session brew.

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Photo of largadeer
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky amber, almost like a dubbel in appearance. Head retention is somewhat poor, receding to a ring almost immediately.

Smell: Fruity and sugary; dates and fruitcake with some subtle spiciness and brown sugar.

Taste & mouthfeel: Very similar to the aroma - plums, dates, brown sugar - not a lot of balance here. Medium in both body and carbonation with a clean finish.

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Photo of mothman
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my stange.

Color is a clear light copper. Pours a 1 finger head that fades to a thin layer. Leaves some lace, but then it fades away.

Aroma is chocolaty and caramel. Very malty and sweet. Slight hops linger in the background.

Taste is very malty. Caramel, toffee, and chocolate. Very sweet. Reminds me a lot of Schell's Smaltz's Alt.

Mouthfeel is creamy and rich. Medium bodied. Carbonation seems to be a little high on this one.

Overall, I really enjoy this style beer. This is a good representation of an alt. I may be able to drink another in the night.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cask conditioned at the Blind Tiger in NYC on 9/20/03. A slightly hazy, very dark amber/copper body was topped by a creamy white head that lasted quite well and left solid sheets of lace throughout most of the pint. Its nose was mainly of a lightly caramelish malt with a touch of fruit (apple, berry) and some floral/herbal hops. The body was medium and exceptionally smooth due to the CO2 breakout from the handpump pour; and it had just enough fine carbonation to add to the mouthfeel and bring out the flavor which seemed to mirror the aroma. It was very well balanced by a solid bitterness; and it finished dry and lingering with some residual caramelish malt; fruit; and leafy, lightly spicy hop.

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Photo of jlindros
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours light bubbly 1/2 finger head, very clear auburn toasty brown color. Head fades fairly quickly. Not sure how old it is but there's tons of chunks, yeast particles floating in it.

N: Nice alt nose, some darker malts like crystal and Munich, a slightly sweet malt aroma and hints of sugar and molasses, a slight spicy earthy light hop aroma too. A pretty good German dark beer nose. Lots of sweet brown sugar and even candi sugar.

T: Starts with more malts, but a little lighter than expected. Still dark malts like crystal and Munich again. Then some light sweet malts, some slight roasty flavors. Then more nice earthy spicy hop flavors kick in and bitter it quite a bit. Slightly chewy as well, both hops and thick malts. More brown sugar as well. A little watery though, otherwise it might get a 4.5.

M: Pretty good body, semi thick, good carbonation.

F: Pretty bitter on the finish, more spicy earthy hop qualities and slight syrupy linger. It dries off quite a bit though, and the bitterness builds as it goes. A pretty decent alt, could use a little more abv, but it's got a nice body and good sweetness and bitterness I think. Seems to be pretty underrated from the current score.

 1,198 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown with a golden hue, created a very thin, off-white head that faded quickly and did not leave any lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is malty with notes of caramel & tea. There’s also a very faint bit of hops and alcohol.

T: The taste starts out with the sweet, caramelized malt flavor but not as strong as the smell leads you to believe, then follows with a decently bitter hops burst, which I didn’t expect because the hops were so faint in the smell. Both aspects are balanced nicely and leave no after-taste to speak of.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, very clean finish.

D: The beer goes down very easy and is not very filling at all. The only thing that detracts from its drinkability for me is that, although the flavor is good, it’s quite as flavorful as most beers. If I’m going to go with a beer for a while, I’d prefer something a bit tastier and with a bit more kick to it.

 1,019 characters

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.

 469 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
2.78/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate brown color with a thin head that actually sticks around for a bit and leaves behind a little bit of lacing. The nose is really quite plain. There are some really, really faint hints of nuts as well as some lightly-toasted bread. The taste is slight grain and a bit of a burnt flavor. Light body that is a bit burnt. Does not drink terribly well; a pity, concerning how infrequently I'm able to try new altbiers in the States.

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Photo of smithj4
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of vfgccp
3.99/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Brown amber ice tea. A bone white head sits low with a fine bubble structure but leaves a nice lace.

S - Toast, yeast, brown nuts, molasses, touch of brown sugar.

T - Light caramel up front. Soft barely mid profile with some lightly roasted coffee. Nice toast flavor through the end of the profile.

M - Light body. Silky. Touch watery. Crisp carbonation. Semi-dry mouth feel but with some lingering sweet flavors.

D - Nice flavor, refreshing carbonation. A tad too heavy to be a session beer, but good drinkability none the less.

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Photo of smcolw
4.02/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Neutral amber color; clear. Good start to the head, but it dies out to thin layer of minute bubbles. Light occasional, spotty lace

Creamy and malty; light round bitterness in the background.

This is a smooth beer with a creamy body and a fine carbonation, like an expensive champagne. Mostly malty, but there is a nice hop kick in the swallow.

This is an easy-to-drink beer that is true to style.

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Photo of russpowell
3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My last beer to try from my midtown liqours run...Served fairly warm, the first few bottles I tried coldish & it didn't help the cause at all, left some astringent aftertastes, but so does serving it warmer, sigh..

Pours an effervescent chestnut with 2 fingers of sand colored head. Very good lacing & average head retention

S: Nice apricot fruittyness, slight cornyness

T: Apricot, faint caramel, dryness & herbal bitterness up front. Caramel & oaky dryness dominate as this warms, plus some leafy hops as well & some annoying cornyess/macro taste. Finishes corny & fruitty, with leafy hops. Was on its way to a 4.0 when the coryness kicked in...Never tasted this in any German Alt biers, period

MF: Medium bodied with slight stickyness & low, but persistent carbonation, annoying astrigency once warm

Drinks okay, but this is a shadow of the secret ale IMO, will try again if I can assure myself I am getting fresh product...

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Photo of mendvicdog
3.27/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark amber body with a fizzy white head.

Smell: Malty aroma with toffee, bready, and even nutty notes.

Taste: Bready maltiness with a toffee-like sweetness. Slight nuttiness. Juicy apple fruitiness jumps in and increases as you near the finish. Mild herbal hop flavor with no more than a slight bitterness. Semi-dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It'll do if you're looking for a pleasant, easy-drinking altbier.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly flecked orangish bronze with a slight reddish blush when backlit. The khaki colored crown is firm and moderately rocky with fat streamers of lace beginning to arc across the glass. I love the color contrast between beer and head. As far as I can determine, this is what an altbier should look like.

The nose is on the subdued side, although what reaches my nose is pleasureable. The dominant aroma is toasted malt with a sprinkling of spiciness that is almost certainly hop-related. Stylistically accurate, refined, too laid back.

Are there any more 'toasted' beers than a well-crafted alt? I've always been impressed by the amount of flavor and the balance that is present in the best versions of this style. Secret Ale's flavor profile is reminiscent of toasted whole grain bread covered with a thin layer of orange marmalade, sprinkled with bitter black tea leaves. I know, I know, that doesn't sound delicious... but it is.

Some alts favor malt, some favor hops, this one has abundant quantities of each. If pressed, I'd say that herbal (probably English) hops come out on top. That makes me like it all the more. The depth and intensity of flavor are truly remarkable. I'm going to have to quit thinking of this style as a relatively light one.

Altbiers generally have lighter bodies. This one is no exception. Maybe that's what fascinates me, the contrast between the big-time flavor and the breezy body. Filling out and firming it up would turn Secret Ale into something else entirely and would ruin it in the process. I love its light-medium, fairly well-carbonated, easily drinkable nature.

I had no idea, when I first began exploring the world of beer, what an altbier was. I've now determined that it's one of my favorite 'sleeper styles'. One that I don't usually think about, but one that rarely fails to impress. The Uerige beers are superior and Heavyweight's version is pretty good as well. Add Southampton Secret Ale to that list. It doesn't deserve to be such a well-kept secret any longer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Twelve ounce bottle that was picked up in Total Wine a while ago and had been residing in the fridge ever since. Served in a pint glass and consumed on 07/22/2008.

I grabbed this one out of the fridge last night looking for something slightly session able, but a bit different. Poured out a nice, and very clear caramel colored brown. Good carbonation could be seen streaming up from the bottom. A smallish, maybe half an inch high head of white then came up over the top and faded fast, leaving only some light lacing on the sides and not much else in the way of side glass contribution.

The aroma was loaded down with bready malts. Semi sweet with a decent amount of brown sugar like aroma. Somewhat bitter like character could be picked up as well but hard to place. Mostly bready malts here. The flavor was more f the same. Driven by the caramel malt profile, this was a decent effort at the style. Nice musky and earthy tones dominated with a good mixture of grain and sugary notes throughout. Decent coating mouth as well and a nice lasting, somewhat bitter finish.

Overall not bad at all, but nothing really blowing me away here by any means. Not really sure you could say anything negative though. A good call in a pinch, but I do not think I would get it again, not enough complexity here for me to be honest.

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