Southampton Altbier | Southampton Publick House

480 Ratings
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 480 |  Reviews: 423
Photo of Chadbrew
2.78/5  rDev -21.5%
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.

 552 characters

Photo of Todd
2.52/5  rDev -28.8%
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?

 859 characters

Photo of wedge
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

 431 characters

Photo of EPseja
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

 919 characters

Photo of jaluria
3.05/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

 456 characters

Photo of nomad
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

 612 characters

Photo of hopsaplenty
4.13/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

 475 characters

Photo of BillyB
4/5  rDev +13%
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.

 308 characters

Photo of Suds
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

 501 characters

Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

 498 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +13%
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.

 577 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.68/5  rDev +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.

 1,285 characters

Photo of waughbrew
3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

 984 characters

Photo of daliandragon
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

 603 characters

Photo of carln26
3.97/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

 329 characters

Photo of bruachan
3.68/5  rDev +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

 332 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.68/5  rDev +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.

 474 characters

Photo of fisherman34
3.82/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

 486 characters

Photo of santoslhalper
4.23/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

 802 characters

Photo of GClarkage
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

 546 characters

Photo of Dithyramb
4.33/5  rDev +22.3%
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 FLAbeergutinMASS
2.46/5  rDev -30.5%
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.

 401 characters

Photo of warriorsoul
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

 556 characters

Photo of jakester
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

 822 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.97/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

 901 characters

Southampton Altbier from Southampton Publick House
3.54 out of 5 based on 480 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston 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.