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 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...


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

A beautifully crystal clear, tawny brass. A full, blooming ivory head on the pour, settling into an even coating. Speckled lace
Very clean aroma. Full malt smell, evenly matched by floral german hops. Slight spicy hop tang. A hint of dry apple and wooden tones. Soft metallic hints, squeaky clean.
Flavor opens with a full, german maltiness. Toasty and woody from the start. Hints of caramel sweetness. Surgically clean, nearly sterile. The barest hint of dry, woodsy apple, like smelling the apples still in the wooden bushel. Hops take up the rear, finishing the beer with a moderate bitterness. Floral, herbal and slightly woodsy. A bit of a spicy tang. A lingering background of penny-like metal is present behind the malty aftertaste. A bit thin in body, for a sticke I thought, but still within reason for the style. Crackling, snappy carbonation.
This is contract brewed? Southampton makes some excellent beer, and this is no slouch. Great session beer, I could make a night out of a sixer of this. I'd love to try it from a gravity poured keg. Excellent.

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

Pours a nearly off-white head that settles on top of clear deep amber liquid with coppery highlights. Nice fruity and malty nose with light maltiness with excellent hop bitterness, very dry. Light bodied mouthfeel makes this ale go down quick. Finishes dry and hop accented, well done take on the style.
Thanks to HappyHourHero for the bottle.

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Photo of WesWes
3.77/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thin white lace head that fades to spotty lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice roasted malt scent that boasts of pale, crystal, and roasted malts. It also has a decent hop balance and a slightly fruity yeast aroma. The taste is decent. It has a very dry, yet malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes slightly bitter. It leaves a dry and somewhat musty aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer although I've had many better than this. This beer was hyped up pretty good. Overall, not a bad sessions beer.

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Photo of pentathlete
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first SPH brew, thanks to meathookjones for adding a bottle of this in our trade. A nice surprise.

This beer pours a burnt orange, coppery color, with tall firm head that leave some lacing (not much) on the glass. Little rivulets of carbonation, but not a very "bubbly" brew. Smell was bitter nut, hint of metal and malt underneath. Smells like a light old ale. Taste is light malt and then the mildly bitter hops kick in. Not as balanced as I thought it might be. Dry finish and long lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium, not a lot of carbonation and the bitter kicks in before the creaminess is fully noticed. The lingering bitterness would probably weigh on me after a couple. Easy to drink, but I wouldn't make it a session brew.

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Photo of Biggness
4.11/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the only beer I have ever tried from Southampton Publick house and I certainly look forward to trying more. The Secret ALe is very well crafted and the flavors come together in great harmony. This is the only beer you can buy outside of the Brewpub from what I have seen so if you are in your local distributer I would definately recomend this quality beer.

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

This poured a deep amber brown color. Topped with a thin head. The beer had a perfect clarity. The aroma was interesting with tinges of spruce and soft bittersweet fruits. The taste left me curious also. Light, dry and peppery with more touches of bittersweet fruits. Clean and very dry in the aftertaste. A bit more extreme and dry as some other Alts I've had, but overall this is a pretty enjoyable beer.

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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.

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

Light brown body with an amber hue. Great looking tan color fluffy head. Aroma is all malt with a sweet caramel/brown sugar smell and then some spice. Taste is not as sweet as you'd expect. Malty but not sweet. Dry. Clean finish. Great example of the style. Southampton knows what they are doing. Nice move going retail.

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

I was looking at the bottle, thinking that the whole lock and key motif is a bit dorky. A secret to be unlocked. Something just rubs me the wrong way about it. Perhaps it is seeing a proper printed shiny label instead of the good old paper labels that grace the 750's. The beer itself pours a clear brownish. Smells clean, and maltless, more like a hoppy lager, which would be near to the style. Taste is interesting. Lots of initial carbonation leading to this clean nice bitterness and bready malts that are there to back up the hops but not to balance it. There is hardly any sweetness or maltiness, but there is the general bready-biscuit taste in the background. The hops are interesting because they're obviously there throughout, but not so overwhelming that you feel suffocated. Mouthfeel suffers because I think there is too much harsh carbonation. If this was carbonated less agressively, smoother, if you will, then it would be totally awesome. It's good, but not one of the better SPH brews.

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Photo of meathookjones
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from a 12oz bottle drank on 12/22/04. Appears a fairly clear dark amber with decent sized off white head. A little lacing was present but not much. Sweet malt and a bit of doughy malt came out first. The smell is a touch spicy as well. Doughy malts started the taste off and mix in with a touch of sweetness and grain. A bit bitter with earthy hops. Pretty solid but not remarkable. Mouthfeel was about medium with a clean crisp feel to it. I could put a few of these away in a sitting. Solid example of the style. Thanks to slander for the sample.

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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 gentlebubbles
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Utterly clear, with a light, light, caramel like diet coke under a creamy head that bears a tinge of yeast barm in the color before it falls.

Faint scent, more like a sweet breeze than an aroma.

Dominated by toasty, bready malt sparked by a simple bitterness.

Light-bodied. Rather easy to forget about as you drink, and yet there's a freshness to it that keeps you coming back for more.

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

12oz bottle obtained via trade with Shippos. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured in an imperial pint glass, forms a 1/2" light beige head, with minimal to average lacing. A slightly hazy dark amber hued brew, with deep a doughy malty aroma. Taste is upfront with a sweet malt hit, then turns slightly sour, and then smooths out with a subtle hops character. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both good, glad to have enjoyed another Southampton.

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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.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.35/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A cloudy dark amber brownish colored ale. With a small beige head. There is a sweet malty aroma with a nice hint of hop in the background.The flavor starts with agood sharp hop bitterness. Followed by light maltiness and ends with a nice dry hop finish.

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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)

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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 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 bultrey
3.51/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, well, well... it turns out Southampton doesn't make only unearthly beers.

This is the first beer that Southampton has sold in six-pack bottles. I had this earlier in the year in a growler from SH, and I remember thinking it was pretty good, but not necessarily my cup of tea. I think it was better on draft, but in the bottle, it is still pretty decent, but again -- not my thing. I'm not sure if I don't like the style -- maybe I'm just not a fan of those German/European hops, and this brew has plenty of 'em. There is a weak malt characteristic right up front that actually has a hint of smokiness, which then yields to the aggressive hoppiness -- probably Saaz or Hallertau or something of that ilk. I do recall the draft version having more malt character, and thus, better balance. The finish is a bit of that good skunk, along with some profound linegering bitterness. I thought the mouthfeel was a little thin, but it's probably par for this style. Overall, my least favorite Southampton beer so far, but this could make a decent session brew if you like that highly-hopped Eastern European flavor.

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Photo of TheJudge
2.96/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This poured a nice, clear amber, with a decent slightly off-white heat. Good lacing. Unfortunately, the appearance was the best thing about it. A standard amber ale smell, nothing special or notable. Had a sour, bitter note that hits the back of the mouth, and stays there. It is malt, not hops, and not really pleasant. Kind of like rye, but I am not sure that is it. The bitterness overshadows the rest of the mouthfeel, and I would not have another.

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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 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.

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Photo of PopeJonPaul
3.01/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper color with a fizzy white head that left decent lacing, but no smell that I could detect. Bitter and metallic lemony hop flavor with a lot of spiciness; creamy mouthfeel that left a somewhat dry and slightly sour aftertaste (I didn't think that was possible.) Its mildness makes it pretty drinkable, probably a good brew for most breweries but dissappointingly average for Southampton. Got this at a reputable place so I don't think it was a bad keg or tap, but it got so many other good reviews I'll have to try it again I guess.

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Photo of frank4sail
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Peach amber hue to the color with a nice thick sticky white dense head. Very intense sweet malt nose. Nice smooth mouth. Taste that dry black malt first then a little rye peaks out as well. Quite malty and rich. Dryish finish to the tongue. Slight noble hop finish. Solid drinkable.not a huge standout but it is something you can sit at the bar with... My first SHPH and quite good... glad I can now drink the rest of the Growler. Cheers to Andrew for getting me a long awaited sample from a respected brewer.

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