Friday, July 3, 2009

Southampton Publick House Altbier

Altbier Düsseldorf-Style Ale from Southampton Publick House (NY) - 5% abv.
I was extremely excited to find an altbier when I took a side trip to ABC Wine & Spirits recently...they're impossible to find! Plus, I had just read a blurb somewhere about Southampton Publick House, so I was anxious to try one of their brews for the first time.
Not to mention this is a style I'm hoping to brew next, since it traditionally features Spalt hops (from the village my family comes from).
What's an altbier, anyway? It's a German brown ale, translating literally to "old beer"... referring to the long period of conditioning, which mellows out ale's fruitier flavors. Marketing folks don't really want to put something out as an "old beer", so a few examples exist as a "Copper Ale" or "Amber Ale" in the States.
This particular example pours a deep copper/amber/brown, with crystal clarity.
It smells like ... a honey graham cracker, maybe a little grapey? It's super-sweet.
The taste is pretty much in line with the smell - sweet, sweet, sweet caramel malt with bready light hops way in the background. The aftertaste is delicious.
Cari took one sip and declared, "Oh, that's good. That's really good."
It may be a little on the sweet side for the style, but it still remains fairly crisp and refreshing.
I think Cari and I will be fighting over the last one in the six pack.

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