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Southampton Berliner Weisse

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RATINGS: 113   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.95/5   EST. CALORIES: 60   ABV: 2%
No commercial description

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
FlacoAlto (4127) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 29, 2010
Bottle # 88 / 150; 2009 Bottle Date; Sampled March 2010
A softish pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces almost four-fingers of pale, almost white colored head that falls back fairly quickly after a couple minutes. The beer is a yellow, straw-gold color and quite pale; it shows a hazy, bright yellow color when held up to the light. The aroma smells of raw bread dough, lightly tart lactic acid, hay-like wheat, with touches of lemon. There is some mustiness to the nose, and maybe a hint of medicinal character, but behind the lactic and wheat aromatics this is fairly clean.

The beer is well carbonated as it has an effervescent prickle to it as it rolls across the tongue. The beer has a light, though dominant lactic acidity to it that never gets overwhelming. This reminds me a bit of lemons, and the lactic acid produces a touch of slickness in the texture of this light bodied, quaffable beer. This is incredibly refreshing as both the acidity, the carbonation, and the light body make for the perfect beer to consume mass quantities of on a hot Summerís day. The wheat flavors produce a light hay like note and, in combination with the lactic character, a flavor of raw bread dough.

My second pour is a bit more hazy from bottle sediment, and because I got to drinking it faster, it has a much more aggressive carbonation. It is really interesting that lactic acid is able to contribute an almost creaminess to the texture that keeps a beer like this from being watery, but still doesnít inhibit the high-quaffability that the style needs. I definitely canít ask any more of this beer from a textural stand-point.

It is a crime to this style that this is produced in such limited quantities, this is a beer perfect, and appropriately so, for mass quantity consumption. This is a nice representation of the style, and it perfectly captures the clean, bright acidity and the bready wheat character that the style dictates; having said that, I might just prefer a Berliner Weiss with a bit more funkiness and complexity (though the aroma seems to be have a touch more depth than the flavor does). That still doesnít keep me wishing that I had a ton of this in the cellar, and this is certainly a benchmark for the style. My 22oz bottle of this disappeared way to quickly and it has me running to the cellar to crack open a bottle of Hottenroth. Actually, in comparison to Hottenroth, it really becomes apparent how good this beer really is. The lactic character is just so much more complex and toothsome.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAR 22, 2010
2009 vintage, bomber #62 of 150. Pours a hazy light golden hue with prominent streams of effervescing micro-bubbles. A thin and quickly fading off-white head leaves behind virtually no lace. The nose is beautifully structured, showing well restrained lactic and citric acidity, hinting at soft lemon and grapefruit notes over top a bed of ultra-fresh, clean, premium wheat grain. Whispers of Sauvignon Blanc grapes are a welcomed surprise, while soft hints of peppery, slightly wild floral musk add a unique twist. Flavors fall right in line, displaying an ultra-crisp but not overzealous lemony acidity, with delicious lacto-wheaty creaminess and hints of lightly sour, musky white grape. Itís packed with flavor, yet remains supremely delicate. The palate, which is as crisp and refreshing as they come, somehow manages to maintain substance that surpasses the heft of the average Berliner Weiss by a decent margin. Tingly micro-bubbles suggest fine, champagne-like carbonation. This is an excellent beer that goes by far too fast. Iíd bathe in it if I could.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
Glouglouburp (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 9, 2010
UPDATED: JAN 23, 2011
In short: A nice wheaty/tart Berliner Weisse with a nice rustic character. Very good but doesnít live up the hype
How: Bottle. 2009 vintage. Post-EBF tasting. Brought by some generous soul, thanks A LOTÖ someone
The look: Partly cloudy light-yellow body topped by a medium white head
In long: Nose is old attic, wheat, lemony tartness. Taste is more of the same, crisp dry crackers, lemony tartness, nice rustic touch with musty and dusty notes. Tartness level is average for the style. Light sourness. Overall not very intense and easy to drink. All in all this was a by-the-book Berliner Weisse that was maybe a little more rustic than average. I liked it a lot but I donít think it deserves its legendary status. Very good but you have to jump through hoops on fire to get a bottle of this thing and imho it is not as good as the widely available $5 bottle of Weihenstephan 1809 Berliner. We opened the Southampton at the same time as my friend Paul (dickinsonbeer) homebrewed Berliner Weisse and pretty much everybody agreed that dickinsonbeer homebrew was running circles around the Southampton. Granted my friend dickinsonbeer has talent, a lot of talent. Good for him. Iím not jealous. At least ďIĒ donít have to put up with friend like myself.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
tgncc (3080) - Bellmore, New York, USA - MAR 6, 2010
Vintage 2009, bottle 105 of 150. The aroma is sour, tart lemon, wheat, musty basement, very nice. The appearance is lemon yellow, mostly clear, slightly fizzy, white head. The flavor is tart lemon, wheat, sour and sweet at the same time. The finish is tart lemon. The mouthfeel is fizzy, brisk. The beer has a light to medium body. You could slam this on a hot summer day. Good representation of the style, but Iíve had other Berliner Weiss beers I liked as much, like the 1809.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
TheMantle (37) - New York, USA - MAR 5, 2010
Bottle 99 out of 150. Pours a BMCish straw color with a quickly fading frothy white head. Aroma is a bit weak, but very similair too a champagne. It also smells a bit of tart apple cider. The mouthfeel is unbelievable. Incredibly light and effervesent. Tinkles and dances on the tongue. Has a beautiful not too strong tartness. It tastes of champagne and hard cider. Overall, a great beer from the guys at Southampton and the best berliner weisse Iíve ever had the treat of tasting.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
j12601 (9286) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - FEB 28, 2010
Bottle at Ryanís hotel room after EBFís Night of the Barrels. Pours a hazy yellow with a thin white head. Musky and full of mustard and a touch of coriander and crackers. More mustard seed up front in the flavor profile, slight corn, and crisply tart. Finishes with a light sweetness. Perhaps itís because I had this after a day of 30 or so other beer samples, many of which were big, fat, and often bourbon infused, but this didnít wow me like I had hoped. Itís a fantastic Berliner Weiss, and Iím definitely glad to be sitting on another pair of bottles of it, but maybe my hopes of having one of the best beers of my life were a bit high. Instead I had ďjustĒ a fantastic Berliner Weiss which left me wishing that Southampton would make this a permanent addition to their lineup instead of a once a decade dozen case release which got us lining up far too early on an icy Saturday morning. Still a really tasty beer though.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
JAXSON (535) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 18, 2010
2010 batch. From a 22oz bottle, pours clear lemon yellow, very light bordering on green, with a fizzy white head that sticks around more than other beers of this style. Nose is nice -- grass, green apple, some rustic barnyard tones. Really light and tingly in the mouth. Not as sour as I expected, but vibrant and prickly. Incredibly dry and almost mineral-like at this young age. Just a very subtle flavor expression, but quite enjoyable. Mild to the point almost of seltzer water, extremely clean and lively. Subtle funkiness like socks kind of creeps out, in a good way. I like this, but itís a bit of a contradiction in that people will savor their bottles and drink this too slowly, think about it too much.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Maltajo (329) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 14, 2010
Sample taste of 2009. Bottle # 112. Thanks to Greg at Captain Lawrence! light cloudy pour with a thin head. THis might be the first sour tasting beer that I have enjoyed. Lemon wheat grassy with a hint of summer. A nice beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Beerapprentice (207) - Hopatcong, New Jersey, USA - FEB 7, 2010
750 ml bottle. Pours a cloudy yellowish green colour with a white dissipating head. The colour is reminiscent of dirty pond water. I imagined koi swimming around in my glass (no, I wasnít drunk because this beer is only 2%).. Has a vinous aroma of tart grapes, lemon and Granny Smith apples. Flavour of tart white grapes, lemon, and wheat. Crisp and light with a dry finish. I have to agree with my buddy Slipstream on the champagne quality.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Slipstream (2384) - USA - FEB 6, 2010
UPDATED: AUG 27, 2011 Picked up a bottle of this at the release party. I am surprised they release this light summer brew in January, but I have no complaints about the quality. I am not too familiar with the style, but I would like to have more. I like the simple, classy labels from Southampton. The pour is a fizzy light green, with a rapidly dropping head. Unusual grassy aroma. The flavor is pleasantly sour and cidery, with a bit of wheat. A pronounced lemon flavor stands out in the finish, and there is a champagne-like quality to it. With its low alcohol content, one could easily have a few of these on a hot day. I hope they make some more of this! Interesting to see that this Yankee take on a Berlin brew is number one for the style.

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