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 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 Chadbrew
2.78/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Must be my night for un-impressive beers.
The beer is very clear and the carbonation, lacing, and color seem to be normal. The aroma and taste mirror each other in that they both come across as one dimensional and off balanced. There is a malt presence but there is very little hops to accentuate this. There is a boatload of diacetyl and an astringent finish. It is impossible to tell the freshness but based on the fact that there is little oxidation I would guess that it's probably somewhat recent, the flaws seem to be characteristic of the 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 wedge
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark translucent bronze color with a creamy head. The smell has an overall metallic tone to it at first, yet underneath is a great nutty, doughy aroma. Flavor is nicely complex...spicy hops at first melded with sweet malts and a solid nutty presence. Mouthfeel is solid with moderate carbonation...smooth. Finishes dry and lightly bitter.

I like the nuttiness of this alt. I'll probably pick up a couple when I seem 'em.

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Photo of EPseja
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served form a 12oz. bottle into a 0.5l stange at just below cellar temperature.

A - Clear, medium copper orange in color, with a very proud three to four finger cream white head. The lacing to come is immediately apparent as the marshmallowy head starts to slowly diminish, leaving behind a thick residue that sticks to the glass.

S - Mild spicy hoppiness. Slightly nutty graininess. Light malts. Wet cardboard. Some alcohol.

T - Begins with a very subdued and punchy maltiness that is not sweet. The middle brings in notes of mild nuttiness as well as a metallic brightness. Ends with a very crisp Pilsener hop profile. Refreshing.

M - Decent development from the quick and watery intake to the rolling, lightly foamy middle, and through the clean finish.

D - This beer is developed well enough not to be boring, and mildly enough to be very drinkable and satisfying. An easy beer to drink multiples of.

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Photo of jaluria
3.05/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured an orange-amber color with an off-white head that quickly dissipates and leaves behind no lacing. Aromas of honey, alcohol, malt, and soft spices seem to come out. The taste is that of a watered-down honey wine with flavors of roasted sugar. The aftertaste is sweet with a medium finish. A bit sticky with a bready texture; light and sweet. Not an excellent beer by any measure, but not bad either. An average beer for a difficult style to approach.

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

Deep glow of auburn like darjeeling tea, its sudsy head neither stays nor is well supported. Aroma is nutty in full with earthy hop twigs and herbal accent. Some fruity and caramel quality to it when concentrated by cold.

Flavor is tight and bitter, almost piney and salty when concentrated by the cold, with strong toasty and nutty backing. A smidge of caramel underneath, but the smooth lagered out medium body is mostly a Munich-type core creating a crisp, wound up of crackling nutty, toasty, herbal, and bitter root dryness.

Thirst-quenching in the least and a nice six pack choice if you're so lucky.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
4.13/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The short white head of fine bubbles reduces to a smattering of dust and a brief collar. Caramel and copper colored with a few carbonation streams. The smell is sweet with some graham notes and modest hops. The taste is of crisp hops up front with a malt highlighted middle that finishes clean and with gentle hops. Light bodied and light mouthfeel, it is almost as if it is not there, but yet still leaves a strong impression. Well balanced and drinkable, this is well done.

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

Nice recreation of the Dusseldorf Sticke Alt style.

Pours a deep, rich burnt amber/orange. Modest foamy head.

Aromas are of rich sweet malt, nutty, caramel, chocolate.

Taste is similar malt with a nice surprising balance with a very slight citrus hop tang.

Very good session beer. Very drinkable.

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

Here’s a nice looking beer: a rich, burnt-amber (honey-copper?) color with a creamy off-white head. The aroma has a distinctive toasted-malt quality…bread-crust and caramel, a little nut and just a bit of herbal hops. Despite a sweetish-aroma, the beer is semi-dry, with a slight astringency. There’s a little bitterness, and the nutty, toasted character is present through the finish. Medium body. This is a smooth, fine-tasting brew. Not exactly complex or transcendent, but it’s very enjoyable.

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

poured a deep copper color with tannish puffy head that fell to a thin coating, leaving nice lacing on the glass. Smell is truly delightful with nice toasty malt, dark fruitiness (prunes, dates, figs) wiht maybe a note of red wine. Taste is also great with a nice creamy maltiness and dark fruitiness, cobing with a bit of dry hops. Finish is more dry than malty and leads to the disre for another taste. An excellent beer. My first beer from Southampton, and I deifintely will be looking for more.

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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 Gueuzedude
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with an amber tinged light tan colored head that is frothy and almost a finger thick. The beer is a brilliantly clear deep amber color, and seems to be lightly carbonated. The aroma is quite malty with notes of toasted bread, a hint of toffee, a dry almost roasted note in the finish, a sweet fruitiness that reminds me a bit of cherries and a note that reminds me of fresh bread from the oven.

The beer is quite light on the palate up front, but begins to pick up a bit of fullness before it passes through & down my throat. In a similar vein it is pretty dry up front but picks up a sweet malty note that accentuates a light fruitiness. The beer finishes with an herbal hoppiness which lingers on as a light bitter hop bite. This beer is not nearly as hoppy as I was expecting from a Sticke Alt, but it does have a nice level of hop character, which nicely balances the malt character.

The more I sample this beer, the more I become to like it. I was a bit disappointed at first, because it was not nearly as vibrant as the better Alts I have had in Düsseldorf, but this beer is really nicely balanced between the malt and hop notes. The hops have just enough flavor contributions to keep you guessing, and the bitterness balances the malt notes with out overtaking it.

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Photo of waughbrew
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. brown bottle purchased in a 6-pack from the awesome Julio's in Westboro, MA. Not bottle conditioned and no date :(

Very clear auburn with a small beige head that settles after a minute to a thin cap and lacing. Toffe, rum, and hops that are a little cheesy. Thin, crisp, and clean with that toffee coming through but not annoying at all because this is not a sweet or thick beer. Hops provide a little skunky, minty bitterness that fades in as the toffee flavor fades out.

I don't know if this beer is a little old or not, since they were not courteous enough to give me a freshness dating. It comes off as kind of typical of microbreweries' flagship "Amber Ales," but a bit better than most. The malt profile provides a great flavor, and the beer is very crisp and sessionable. I am not against buying this again, but I would be much more likely to if I could be assured of its freshness. As it stands, I am not quite sure if I am tasting the beer at its full potential.

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

I had this at the brewery last week with my girlfriend at lunch and wrote notes on a napkin and she made fun of me, which is fair I suppose. This is Southampton's flagship beer, or at least the only one I see in six packs.
I recieved a pint glass full of very dark copper colored beer and minimal head and lacing. The smell was obviously fresh and had a sharp hoppy tone to it.
The taste is also blanketed in German style hops and has a great finishing bitterness and some fruity textures as well. A tasy and smooth Alt. I can definitely see this during the bowl season and winter playoff football.

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Photo of carln26
3.97/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This was freshly tapped at the Gingerman. It was deep copper to amber color, clear, with a thin tan head. Toffee malt aroma with
just a hint of citrus hop. Not much carbonation. Flavor has the toffee, mild bitterness along with some dark berry in the finish. Slick mouth feel good drinkability. Seems like a nice take on an alt.

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Photo of bruachan
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottled at the source (and purchased)

big rocky head descends over copper-amber body, leaving sticky lace. well-carbonated: an army of bubbles climbs to the frothy heavens

floral hop aroma (tettnang, pretty sure) with a grainy caramel sweetness

soft, smooth minerally finish with little bitterness. spritzy, sharp sweetness

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz'er contract brewed via Mendocino. Pours a dark clear amber with scattered tiny bubbles rising to an even spread light khaki head.

Bready dough and maple syrup scents.

First swigs:Sugar sweet maple and refined grain. Slightly toasted malt.

Crisp feel with a medium bodied prescence. Glad to finally try thisone, but not sure that I'd seek it out anytime soon by the case.

Last swigs: A sweet sugar meets wheat cracker.

Beer is good. Happy alt-beering.

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Photo of fisherman34
3.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first alt. Brown in colour with some orange hints. Somewhat low carbonation. Caramel and roasted malty aromas, with just a hint of leafy hops. There are quite a few interesting flavors going on there. More caramel notes, with some chocolate malt as well (maybe?), a sour note, and some good bracing hop bitterness. I didn’t really know what to expect from this, as I had never sampled an alt before, but I quite liked it. It was surprisingly refreshing and filling at the same time.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.23/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearence: Pours a clear copper with nice streams of carbonation. A pillowy off-white head sits on top, and dies down to a thin collar.

Smell: The smell is a pleasent mix of clean malts and crisp hops. Caramel is quite noticable. A tiny bit weak though.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Smooth caramel malts greet the toungue, with a kind of grassyness following. It finishes with a nice, crisp hop bitterness that lingers for a while. Very smooth and well rounded. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Drinkability and Overall: While it's no Uerige classic (which brought me to tears), this is a very tasty altbier. This is a style I'm just getting into, but I really appreciate it. The drinkability on this one is high, considering the wonderful taste and low ABV. Quite nice, and definitly worth a try.

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

08/25/05- Received via trade with Connecticutpoet.

Presentation- 12oz undated bottle poured into my Bayern Trout Slayer pint glass.

Appearance- Copper colored pour with a smaller 1/4 inch head. Decent lacing here.

Smell- Smells of fairly hefty sweet malt. Maybe a touch of hops as well.

Taste- Sweet, but not overly sweetend malt flavor. Nice caramel backing. Light hop finish.

Mouthfeel- Mid range carbonation.

Drinkability- Prefectly decent, maybe a bit better than average, altbier. Very drinkable. Almost sessionable for me.

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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.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
2.46/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was really disappointed in this beer. I have read so much about what a wonderful brewery this was, I’ll be hard pressed to try another one of their beers. They call it Secret Ale mainly because they probably don’t want anyone to know that they brew this crap. Stall pour and uncharismatic color, blah. Taste reminds me of middle of the road breweries (insert yours here). Did not like this at all.

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