Southampton Black Saison | Southampton Publick House

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Southampton Black SaisonSouthampton Black Saison

Brewed by:
Southampton Publick House
New York, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by KeefD on 03-11-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 32
Photo of xenjoiii
4.37/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 Vintage

A: Pours black with a two finger khaki head

S: Slight tartness, earthy funk and dark fruit

T: Opens up with a mild tartness (lemon) that fades into a bittersweet chocolate finish. Bone dry.

M: Light/medium mouthfeel - nicely carbed

O: Contrary to majority of the reviews this beer has received, I was really impressed with this bottle. In my opinion, this is a stand out saison - unique for the style, extremely flavorful, and perfectly balanced.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.1/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pour is a dark black with tight light brown head. The nose is strange, a bit of a sour cherry note, maybe infected? Lightly smoky and some dark malts, oily hop in back. The taste is sweet, some dark malt, syrupy, citrusy and light cherry. Almost no Saison characteristic. Light oily body and moderate carbonation.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It lives up to its name with a black pour and a tall khaki head. Mostly roast on the nose with a little bit of yeast. A hint of fruit with a fair amount of pepper. Lightly tart, perhaps a bit of lemon aroma. The flavor is fairly heavy on the mineral/iron along with lots of roasted malt. Not very much going outside of that. Maybe a hint of tartness.

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Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a SMBDC Stout tasting thanks to Amy and Michael, but don't remember who brought this one.

Lighter fizzy head, yeast chunks, dark molasses brown color.

Nose has a dry funky like farmhouse, malty wheat, spices, dry saison, and some yeast.

Taste is light malts, a slight tart sour that I'm not sure if it is infection or just crazy farmhouse saison, wheats, dry malts, rustic farmhouse dry bready with a light barnyard funk, saison spices and yeast, hint of sweet malts and darker molasses malt flavors, tart dark fruits and malts, hint of bitterness, dry funk and bready malt finish.

Mouth is med bodied, dry with good carb.

Overall not bad, not sure if the sourness is supposed to be there but seems more like infection, otherwise a decent saison with darker malts. Drinkable.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.59/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark, black as night with a ridiculous amount of foam despite a rather gentle pour. Solid 4 to 5 fingers of light brown foam sits on top of just a smidgen of beer. Head slowly fades and leaves chunks of foam on the glass.

S - Sour cherries, dark bread and just a hint of raisin. This smells alot more like a soured porter or stout than a saison. While I like the aroma quite a bit, I feel it missed the mark if it wanrs to be a saison.

T - Tart, under-ripe fruit up front. Hints of lemon, sour cherry and maybe even a little banana. Dark breads and just a hint of roatsed grain mid-palate and into the finish. Again, I like the tase but I am not seeing saison here.

M - Medium bodied and very crisp and lively on the tongue. Definitely hits the mark for a saison's mouthfeel.

O - I like this beer. It is an interesting combo of sour fruits and dark, roasted malts. I just have a hard time calling this a saison. Roasted malts aside, I still dont get a whole lot of the Belgian farmhouse saison out of this one. I would certainly like another bottle though. I graded to style the best I could and then gave it a bump on the overall just because I like it.

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Photo of cosmicevan
2.95/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

picked this up at last year's IRS release. 2011 vintage.

a - bottle was wrapped and capped...opened both and filled my stillwater wine glass. the brew poured a watery brown that settled in the glass as black. there was a huge frothy yeasty head that was mocha white in color. it slowly bubbled away, but really hung out and was frothy was huge chunky lacing.

s - zesty!!! spicy lemon with a hint of orange peel. bubblegum. clove. some sage. quite nice. a bit sour and funky.

t - whoa! what the hell was that? super funk. is this infected? is this a sour beer? it is mouth puckeringly sour. checking some other reviews, seems this was intentional. it is like a really sour warhead type of candy. lemon and citrus. took me a while to get used to the flavor and then it had a lot of white wine qualities that are nice, but overall i expect and look for a bit less tartness in a saison.

m - pretty icky. leaves a sour expression on my face. fizzy and tangy. white wine like and a bit dry.

o - overall, didn't really know what to expect with a black saison...but southampton is a brewery that i respect, so i took a chance. would've been a lot happier with a small sip than a full bottle. if you are a fan of super tart sours, you may actually dig this a lot. as a saison...not really what i look a sour, perhaps. i did not drain pour any of it and by the end of the beer found myself enjoying it...kind of like drinking one of those weird short's beers.

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Photo of stakem
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a Southampton fishbowl goblet acquired at the release where I got the bottle. This brew appears black in color with more than 2 fingers of dark tan to brownish head. The cap quickly and audibly recedes but retains about a finger's strength from continuously rising bubbles of carbonation. Some webby patterns of lace cling to the glass.

The smell of this brew is yeasty with some typical saison character that comes across lemony and fruited. There are some faint peppery scents as well. Initially this brew opened up with a hint of smoke and coffee as you might expect based on the look of the brew but that dissolved mostly into the typical saison experience. There are some notes across the back smelling lightly of plastic with a touch of something reminiscent of household cleaners but chocolate-like at the same time.

The taste of this brew is very lemony with almost a tartness or sourness included that gets a bit like pulp and oily/clingy. Through the body are roasted flavors tasting a bit burnt to smoked with chocolate and an aftertaste of coffee. Also included is a bit of a fruited aspect that is quite vinous. A mineral flavoring is evident bringing forth earthy flavors and more depth of bitter coffee. Once the brew warms, some of that household cleaner aspect carries over into the flavor.

What a perplexing mixture of flavors included in this brew. It is medium to light bodied favoring a bit to the heavier side than lighter. It is highly carbonated, maybe even a bit excessive for the style. As crazy as this brew is, I enjoy it. It has the look of being roasty and stout-like but carrys the flavor profile expected for a saison. I enjoy the concept of using the second runnings of the Imperial Russian Stout to make a smaller brew. I enjoy even more the crazy idea to make it into a pitch black saison. Well done. I had this on tap at the release and pretty much hated it, sitting here tonight I am digging the creativity and complete opposite nature of how this brew looks verse tastes. This is something that is certainly worth a try.

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Photo of brentk56
3.37/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Uh oh, we have a near gusher; while the bottle doesn't foam over, the initial pour is all foam; eventually, the coffee colored liquid appears and makes for a rather attractive combination with the tan head; plenty of lacing is left behind

Smell: Tart cherry penetrates the black bread and dark fruit elements

Taste: Black bread, up front, followed by a sour fruit character that blends cherry and dark fruit elements; after the swallow, the flavors blend together nicely

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but over-carbonated; after letting the carbonation settle out, the mouthfeel was improved but not great

Overall: At first, I thought this was going to be a drain pour but halfway through the bottle I warmed up to it; intriguing, but flawed, would be my overall assessment

Thanks, afksports, for the opportunity

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.06/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into tulip. Props to Knife for this.

A - Pours a lighter black with some ruddy brown edging. Good tan head formation that left some slick lacing that quickly slid its way down.

S - Lots going on in the nose here, almost too much. I get a charcoal whiff mainly, followed by a heavy grain and finished with some citric (lemon, oranges). I do pick up a funky, almost tart, yeasty smell.

T - Interesting and surprising. The thing that jumped out was that it was quite tart/sour. That sourness is backed up by the lemon and pepper spice. Then, the smoke comes out and hits the back palate with a dry, burnt flavour of overdone coffee and bitter baking chocolate. Oh ya, the funkiness from the yeast is there too.

M - A bit thin, drying, crisp, effervescent.

O - As the others have noted, this is the second runnings of the RIS with saison yeast. I don't believe this is a good combo, just didn't do it for me, interesting attempt though.

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Photo of Gavage
4.13/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a black color with a big 3" tan colored head.

Smell: loads of roasted and mildly smokey tones throughout with some spice and a hint of funk.

Taste: grainy malt with a burnt toast tone that is actually more pleasant than it sounds. Pepper, clove, some hints of banana and chocolate, and a soft amount of farmhouse funk. Bitterness is light to moderate here.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout with a hint of dryness late.

Overall: this is a unique saison that keeps your interest with each sip. As it warms it gets a bit more complex. Slow sipping lower ABV beer that is all about flavor.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.86/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Dark brown beer with some red and a touch of gold on the edges. Large, khaki colored head that receded to a cap with some spots on the sides.

S - Smells very smokey and baltic like with notes of raisins and a hint of brine and olives. It's weird for a saison, and the brine is unpleasant.

T - This beer is weird. A lot of roast with some strange tartness. There is a large amount of smoke on top of a red wine taste. As Sean said, it's like an infected baltic porter (although pretty sure I said this and he stole it, but if not than I'm stealing it from him now).

M - Medium bodied, super dry, has a bit too much carbonation bite.

O - This beer is weird and I don't like it. Will not drink again.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.36/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jason for sharing this one. Served in a Heady Topper glass.

A - Nice looking beer, with a big tan foam that settles to a solid cap, leaving a few spots of lace. The body is a dark brown color with reddish glints at the fringes - not really "black", but about what I expect from the dark saison genre.

S - Smoky! Also a good deal of powdered cocoa and peppery yeast. I didn't get much "saison" out of this, but when I read that it was second runnings of the IRS with farmhouse yeast it started to make more sense. Feels more like a black bier or baltic porter in some ways.

T - Slight tart note, black pepper, dry cocoa, powder, hint of stone fruits. Very roasty and somewhat astringent.

M - Zesty carbonation, body is medium-light and slightly watery (again, makes more sense knowing it is second runnings). Lightly dry finish with some mild residual stickiness.

D - Pretty easy to drink, but not much of a "saison" in the traditional sense. I suppose it's better to make this than to throw out the leftovers from the IRS, but it's not something I'd have much desire to drink again.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.01/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Southampton Mega Tasting!

A - Pours black, mocha head, thin ring around the glass. No lacing, some spots on top here and there.

S - Lots of smoke, very Baltic Porter-esk, sweetness, bretty notes, banana.

T - Very smokey, red wine tart, slight chocolate. Kinda like an infected Baltic Porter, really. Meh.

M - Medium, over carbonated, dry finish.

D - Not impressed at all. Sorta weird...tart, sweet, funky, chocolate. I don't dig that combo. Can't recommend.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.82/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, picked up from this year's RIS release. This was one pulled right from the fridge and poured into my Duvel tulip.

Southampton's Black Saison pours just like a stout. Total black body and a solid 3+ fingers of frothy mocha foam topping it off. Head retention is good, but lacing is a bit too spotty. The nose is heavy on roasted coffee and some earthy notes. The flavor takes those and adds in both some welcome herbaly/lightly peppery notes and some anise, which, while I can deal with on a small scale, comes through with way too heavy of a hand here. It goes so far as to almost leave the beer coming off a little bit tart. Mouthfeel is spot on, the body finishes just as light and spry as you might expect a lower ABV saison to, and the carbonation is active and effervescent, while stopping clearly short of being fizzy. Purportedly second runnings from the RIS brewday, then fermented with a farmhouse yeast strain, Southampton's Black Saison shows its stout beginnings a bit too much at times, but at the end of the day is a unique, flavorful entry into the world of farmhouse ales.

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Photo of corby112
2.67/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks a lot to sideshowe for the hook up. 22oz. 2011 vintage.

Pours a deep dark purple/plum color that appears almost black in the glass with a frothy two finger beige head that quickly fades into a thin lasting ring. Minimal spots of lace left behind.

Earthy, soily aroma with lots of zesty, peppery spice, dark malt and bready yeast. Slightly medicinal and herbal with hints of dark fruit. Very unique combination of dark malt, spice and Belgian yeast in the nose.

Medium bodied with lots of tight carbonation up front that suggests slight oxidization. Very herbal/floral and medicinal with lots of zesty, pepper spice that lingers overs the sweet dark fruit notes and dark malt into a long astringent finish. Sweet with hints of plum, grape, raisin and robitussin. Way too heavy on the earthy and spicy notes for my preference with an unpleasant metallic,medicinal, astringent presence that coats the tongue. This becomes less abrasive as it warms and the palate adjusts but I'm not a big fan of this beer.

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Photo of KeefD
4.2/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very interesting beer, courtesy of Knifestyles, sent as an extra. Thanks Chris!

From the bottle:

Saison is one of the most hard-to-define beer styles, a prime example of the "Brewer's Art". Brewmasters often take "anything goes" approach to this enigmatic style.

Good description! This is unlike any other saison I've had before. I was told it was the second runnings of the IRS and fermented with saison yeast.

Pours a solid brown color, pitch black in the glass. A huge head sprang to life but quickly faded leaving no lacing, but this could because I just rinsed the glass out. Aroma is dead-on saison yeast, backed up by some floral/lemony fruitiness, a bit of damp basement-like funk and just a touch of roast. Taste is very interesting! There's a slightly tart, lemony flavor to begin, almost as if there were Brett in there, but not sure about that. Very fruity with only small hint of roast that contributes just enough complexity to make this different than any other saison I've had before. There's only a touch of sweetness in the middle, and finishes dry and lightly sour. Again, a very interesting beer, very unique. Carbonation is on the high side, but receded with some swirling. You can tell this has a lower ABV because there's no heat, very easy to drink, and light sourness is actually somewhat refreshing. All in all, a very good beer and glad I got the chance to try this one!

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Southampton Black Saison from Southampton Publick House
3.43 out of 5 based on 32 ratings.
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