Whew. Southampton can seriously make damn good beers. Dare I say great? Fine...great beers. No exception here. This one covered all the bases very well. The aroma was herbalicious, with orange zest, bread, cloves, wet leaves and just more spice. The color is light orange/medium gold in color with a nice fluffy 3-finger thick cap. Medium carbonation tickles the tongue, but never harsh. The flavor matched the aroma profile note for note, and the alcohol was a little more boisterous on the tongue than on the nose. But wow, a really enjoyable beer. If you can get Southampton on a regular basis, consider yourself fortunate.
Bottled. Orangeish golden colour, mediumsized head. Aroma is very sweet maltyness with some fruits and spices. Also some mild earthyness. Flavour is mild yeastyness, spices, fruits and some earthy notes.
Latest Vintage; Sampled April 2008
Pours with a frothy, four-finger thick, pale tan colored head that forms a very textured, varied surface as it slowly subsides with spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. The beer is a brilliantly clear, rich honey color and shows an orange-copper color when held up to the light. Quite well carbonated, with lots of streaming bubbles coming up from the bottom of my tulip glass. The aroma is quite spicy with an amped up mix of orange peel and coriander. Sweet, chewy malt character, with dusty grain character, some fruit notes of sweet plums, Macintosh apples, plus the huge orange peel and coriander citrus character. A very appetizing aroma, but it is a bit one-dimensional with its spice domination.
Sweet, chewy, yet not too chewy. The sweetness is accentuated by the spice character, which allows this to be lighter than the perceived sweetness might suggest. The anise and orange peel really accent the perceived sweetness; the anise especially, while not outwardly noticeable, really contributes to the flavor profile without really intruding. The spices provide a touch of astringency in the finish that replaces the effect of hop bitterness. Fruit notes of cherry, juicy fruit, light ranier cherry and Anjou pear are noticeable and add to the overall juiciness of this beer. The coriander flavors here are quite big, but quite clean for a coriander variety.
The spice character in this is very fresh and piquant; while not quite overwhelming it is definitely the major player in the experience of this beer. This really could be aged for quite a bit more time; in fact this will probably peak in at least six months to a year or maybe a bit more. A fantastic beer, despite being overly spice dominated. Somehow though the spice character is quite smooth and well integrated. Just a fantastically tasty beer, despite my knocks of the spice dominants of this brew. Basically, sometimes the flavor of the beer transcends the spice dominance.
2005 Bottle Vintage, Sampled December 2005 4 8/8/8/9/7
Pours a hazy orangish amber color and is topped by a frothy light tan colored head. The beer is well carbonated as well, and I would almost expect a bit more of a head at this level of carbonation. The aroma has a woody component to it (remnants of the cork), as well as a slight acidity, notes of pear and tart apple. The aroma is quite earthy as well, with hints of musty clay, perhaps a bit of a musty note, and an underlying spiciness that I would describe as earthy as well. As my notes gets used to the aroma a sweetness begins to pick up a bit; it mostly accentuates the fruitiness a bit more, but highlights a bit of maltiness. The alcohol in the finish starts to become noticeable as well, with a bit of hotness to it as well, though only a hint.
The beer has a soft, almost creamy mouthfeel to it. I like how this beer is quite life and quaffable, though watch out as the alcohol will definitely sneak up on you, despite the other flavor notes. The beer is quite a bit sweeter than I was expecting from the aroma, but is quite inline with what I was expecting before trying this beer. The sweetness really accentuates the fruit character; notes of sweet plums are prominent, but I also get notes of raisins, pear, and Macintosh. The finish is spicy with an earthy note as well as a lightly astringent spice note, which provides some bitter balance to the upfront fruity sweetness.
I am not quite too sure what I was expecting from this beer, but it is quite a nice end to an Christmas day of overeating and stuffing myself. This beer has a certain richness to it (in both the sweetness and the earthy spiciness) that is quite nice and fulfilling. There is a hint of tartness to this beer, and if there is one complaint it is that this beer could use a bit more tartness; the level provided by some aged Fantome’s would be classic. This beer is quite enjoyable, though I was perhaps expecting a bit more complexity and depth here.
Pours out in a clear pale orangey bronze colour with a fluffy lasting white head. Rather sweet aroma of oranges, white bread, spices and cloves with touches of leaves. Full malty sweet flavour of oranges, nectarines, herbs, white bread and mild spices. Full-bodied with a gentle carbonation. Long fruity finish of over-riped oranges, , white pepper, herbs, white bread and mild mouth-drying alcohol.
--2004 Edition--(NoogFest) Aroma is crisp, tart, smooth and sweet. Appearance is a flat orange to light-brown with nice carbonation with a medium-white head on top. Mouthfeel is light, extremely complex with sour balance with a wet palate. Flavor is sharp, fruity, yeasty, sweet, floral-like and zesty. Overall, nice beer to experience here with high sessionability.
Bottle (Courtesy of Hopdog): Poured an orangey color ale with a small bubbly head with limited retention. Aroma of orange is quite intense with something sweet that didn’t mix very well with the beer. Taste is like a mix between an orange crush and an average Belgian ale and was not really what I expected from this beer. The flavour doesn’t really mix well and body was quite thin. I was expecting to be impressed by this beer based on previous rating but I am now wondering if I totally missed something or if this was a bad bottle. This was definitely one of the worst offerings that I had the chance to try form this usually fine brewery.
Poured a deep golden color with good head but poor lacing. Aroma was piced all over the place and light fruits, maybe apples. Flavor was of all the light fruits with an alcohol bit which may have not been there had i aged the bottle. Solid beer again by good brewery
Poured a golden strong color with a decent head, but not fantastic lacing - overall pretty nice appearance, though. The aroma was definitely spiced with some light fruits. The flavor was a little sharp on the alcohol unfortunately, otherwise very nice: peaches, pears, apples, light citrus, some unidentified spices. Oranges did not come out as much as the label suggests. Mouthfeel on par, smooth, although that alcohol could use a handful of months to settle. Southampton does a nice job, for sure.
Light copper with a good head. The aroma is slightly tart with a hint of bandaids. This is also a pretty herbal and earthy aroma. The slight tartness continues into the flavor along with a good bit of citrus fruit and peach turning the bandaids into something pleasant when it’s hard to imagine them being such.
"Damn, this is an awesome beer...!" Oh sorry, was I supposed to save that comment until the end of my review? Oops, my bad. That having been said, please allow me to expand on my opinion a bit!
Received this from Randy & Anne, to help me and Karen celebrate our recent wedding. For various reasons, wasn't able to pop this open until after the wedding, but I made it a point to save this as "house-warming" gift for me and Karen's new condo. And while we are still very-much living in bags n' digging through boxes (as we slowly unpack), this Sunday we finished cleaning up the old place we lived in, and we are now officially moved in. So, to celebrate, I chilled off this 750mL bottle and popped it open. :)
Had quite a bit of work to do to get the cork out, since it broke off in my hand. Once I went to work with a cork-screw, this beer was good-to-go. Poured a full glassful into my Augustijn goblet, and let the wonderment begin... ;^)
Much lighter than what I normally see from beers that are labeled "Grand Cru" (which isn't a real style per se, but merely an indication of "the brewer's very best offering"). And while I have only a rudimentary understanding of the Southampton Publick House beers, it's no mistakening that this beer is indeed a world-class effort from a world-class brewery.
Lovely two-fer combo with the aroma- and flavor-profile -- heavenly, indeed. Quite stately and reserved, but worthy of investigation, that's for sure. Slight plum-like notes in the nose, with an interesting Belgian-esqe vibe to both the aroma and the flavor (especially in the middle and the back-end). A beer that changes as it warms up, but never disappointing. Rather, this is one beer that it truly pays to slow down and savor.
Despite the ABV% and Original Gravity, this is a very nicely drinkable beer -- which makes sipping it and savoring it that much harder! ;)
I'm filled with mixed emotions with this beer, to be honest. I'm both honored and a little awestruck that I would receive this frickin' awesome beer more-or-less out-of-the-blue from a pair of truly outstanding BA's. But I'm also a little saddened, knowing that it'll be months (if not years) that I will be able to track down any more of this brewery's awesome offerings.
But putting all that aside, I can't recommend this beer any more highly. A truly world-class beer from a brewery that I feel really can't do wrong.... ;^)