For some reason, I thought that Southampton was a brewery out on Long Island, NY – but they’re actually out of Wilkes-Barre, PA. Who woulda’ thunk it?
Anyway, today’s little beer review is of the Southampton ‘Publick House’ Double White beer, and I have to say I was a little surprised by this beer when I tried it. (Read on to see if that’s good or not!)
If you’ve followed The Brew Club for any time at all, you’ll know that the one of the most frequently reviewed beer styles is the Belgian White beer. Does that mean I like the style? Generally, yes! I find that the Belgian White is a beer style that most decent sized breweries make a version of, and I’m always curious to try different interpretations of the style made famous by its unfilteredness (huh?), orange and coriander flavors.
At first, I was a little concerned about the Southamption Double White. Why? Well, my bottle, as you can see, created just the slightest head, and it what there was died out rather quickly. Also, there was no lacing to speak of, so I’m worried that this beer is going to be completely flat.
The aroma has the familiar citrus hints to it, but right away I’m picking up a much stronger alcohol thing than one might expect. Hmmm. OK, so a little research and I learn from the Southampton website that the Double White is almost (almost) like an ‘Imperial’ Belgian White. How’s that?
Well, supposedly they took a Belgian White beer and amped it up a bit in just about every area. Generally, I would say bravo to such an endeavor, but to me, the alcohol is really a bit too much in the nose and I’m just not crazy about it. In addition, the beer smells just a bit sour I think. Weird. How’s this amped up brew taste?
Again, the first thing I notice is a more pronounced alcohol flavor, followed by a sourish sort of flavor that reminds me more of grapefruit than orange. I would also suggest that the spices, while present, are not up to the level that makes it balanced to the ‘doubleness’ that seemed to have been injected into the alcohol and tart flavors I’m getting here.
Strangely, this Double White is not a psycho ABV really – weighing in at 6.6% ABV, its stronger than the typical Belgian White, but not so much that the alcohol flavors should dominate the whole damn thing.
Overall, I’ll give Southampton credit for making Belgian White that certainly stands out from the pack. Its a bit bigger on the alcohol and in the tartness department (almost sour) and so that’s cool. But, I think its a little overdone in some respects while others, like the spices are sorely lacking. It just doesn’t gel for me and I’m not digging it at all really.
As I’ve mentioned, we’ve tried a few Belgian Whites around here and if I had to claim an industrial-strength Belgian White champion, it would still be the Winter White from Long Trial. That beer comes in at a cool 7.2% ABV and oozes balance.