Southampton Publick House: what a surprise !!!

IMG_7116Since my last big tasting that was showcasing Tired Hands Brewing, I am now looking to discover breweries that I don’t know. Last one on my palmares is Southampton Publick House. They are brewing since 1996, and are one of the 10th most awarded brewery in the USA, they won the best brewpub of the USA in 2003 and I never had the chance to try one of their products ! I had only heard about their famous berliner weisse and their russian imperial stout, but they seemed so limited that I never tried to acquire them in the past. Just in time for the Christmas holidays, I received a nice box from them, containing 8 of their products. And what I have found blew me away !

I was very happy to finally try the mythical russian imperial stout, but after watching their reviews on Beer Advocate, I was very curious to taste all of the other beers received. They are all very well rated, so my expectations were quite high. I did start my tasting slowly with the double white. A very rich belgian white with just enough spices to support the alcohol and very well balanced so it was very easy to drink. The pumpkin ale was next and it surprised me as well. We were easily able to get the pumpkin taste without being overexposed to the spices that we normally get in this type of beer. The belgian yeast used in this one also helped a lot to make this beer easy to drink. We finished the first round with the imperial porter. Another well rated beer from them. The leathery nose intrigued me a lot. It was pairing very well with the roasted finale. The body was not too thick, just thin enough to be considered as a porter, for me.

The russian imperial stout was next. As barrel aged stouts are more and more common in the craft beer scene, we don’t have the chance to drink a lot of regular RIS. The chocolate nose from this beer was awesome. The body was rich and thick and the spicy finale was almost like a barrel aged stout. We were again looking for the alcohol by volume as this one and the residual sugar was not too present. Really a great beer ! After that, we needed a lighter beer to clean our palates. Cuvée de Fleurs was appropriate for that. The nose of this belgian saison reminded me of summer days. The name of the beer was on purpose. Everything in this one was well done and I would have drank the bottle all by myself, without problem ! We then poured the French Country Christmas Ale. A Biere De Garde with spices. First I was a bit disappointed because the few Biere De Garde I had in the past were stronger and this one was not. At first it was a bit too thin for me. So I decided to start to read on the style of this beer and I discover that normally Biere De Garde tends to be lighter. In fact it is a lagered farmhouse. After reading this I understood that the French Country Christmas Ale was very well done. But I must admit that it was my least favorite. Grand Cru was next. Very strong nose of pale malts with a rich and simple body. Another one that’s easy to drink considering its 9,50% ABV.

At last, we opened the Abbot 12. A belgian quadruple. It is not a type that I normally enjoy. I had the Westvleteren XII in the past and I am still wondering why people are looking that much for that beer ?!! But Abbot 12 is way ahead in this category. The dates, raisins and plums nose was not subtle at all. It seemed as if they candied the fruits to brew this beer. The body was like liquid caramel with never ending spices. A very unique brew, that’s for sure. A must try for every craft beer lover.

Again, the experience of drinking a few beers from the same brewery helped me a lot to learn more about them. Southampton Public House is a very solid brewery. All of their products were more than well done. They are very good at brewing belgian types of beers. I would be curious to try a few of their hoppy beers in the future. As they are just a few hours away from my place, I am now obligated to travel to their brewpub to meet them in person and to live the experience of a night at this icon of the craft beer scene!



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