All Hallow’s Eve is approaching fast and we’re doing our damn-est to chug down some of the more sinister slanted ales as the date approaches. Stay tuned next week as we countdown. In the meantime it’s Friday, so we went the extra mile and reviewed a whole six pack of Southampton. ***Spoiler alert: Rick didn’t like it.***

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Name:  Southampton Pumpkin Ale

Place of Origin / Brewer: New York, USA / Southampton Publick House

Beer style / ABV%:  Pumpkin Ale / 5.5%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  Southampton is an Amber ale brewed with real pumpkin, spices, and vanilla extract.

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Packaging:

Orange and Black, this is a very classic, colonial styled label, touting “Long Island’s Original Craft Brewery”.  This label is really so steeped in tradition that it almost seems shocking to see they have only been brewing since 1996.  In fact, I found the old world characteristics so compelling I wouldn’t have felt it surprising in the least had it read “since 1796” on the ale. – Tim

The orange-washed image of the Southampton Publick House stands strong on the label.  Looks like a pleasant place, I think I might like to visit there one day. – Brittney

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Color:  6

This ale looks quite nice. Tons of motion, clear as crystal, and very rich dark amber tones. The head dissipates fairly quickly, but is constantly being refreshed by the activity of the ale. The color and clarity are the real highlights here though. – Mike

Strong bold amber coloring seems to be keeping with the norm in this style. The head appears frothy and highly agitated while leaving no lacing after vanishing. – Rick

M- 7 / T- 6 / B- 7 / R- 5

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Aroma:  7.5

Strong flavor on the aroma. There’s a good bit of pumpkin and vanilla that compliment each other very well. I feel like I’m in for a delicious treat. – Rick

Classic spicing is fully on show with vanilla sugar and a sharp pumpkin snap. It’s nicely multifaceted, if hardly subtle. – Mike

M- 7 / T- 7 / B- 8 / R- 7.5

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Mouth feel:  6

A model for a medium-bodied ale, this has a velvet thickness to it without leaning toward heavy.  The carbonation is a touch higher than I would like for a perfect mouth feel, but the beer is smooth and blossoming on the tongue. – Tim

Somewhat bland in this area; it’s super foamy and just a touch more dense than watery. I do get a malty smoothness that helps the drinkability, but this ale is light, too bubbly, and uninteresting. – Rick

M- 5 / T- 7.5 / B- 6 / R- 5

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Tasting notes:  6

Given the powerful aroma, this ale seems to be a good bit more reigned in than initially implied. We get a bubblegum fruity pumpkin with heaps of vanilla, on top of a dry and spicy amber ale that features quite a lot of caramel malt presence. – Mike

Very mild on the spice level, the pumpkin puree on the bouquet is also much more restrained here, allowing for nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice to present themselves.   However, even with the flavors peeking through the gourd, I find the ales nose to have been far more promising than the actual, physical body itself. I would have liked to seen a more malty ale than what Southampton is selling. – Tim

The taste arrives a little subdued after the intensity of the aroma but doesn’t completely let you down.  There is a nice mellow undertone of vanilla throughout with smatterings of that real pumpkin flavor, cinnamon and nutmeg. – Brittney

This ale virtually forgoes any traditional spicing and rests the flavor on the shoulders of the vanilla extract and pumpkin, which are also pretty weak. I’m sure there’s a hint of cinnamon in there, but the dry bitter finish masks all of the subtleties of the spicing. – Rick

M- 6.5 / T- 6 / B- 7 / R- 4

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Finish:  5

I think I can still feel the sensation from the carbonation in my mouth long after it’s gone. The finish leaves behind mostly nutmeg and vanilla with a bit of bitterness. – Brittney

Tart and spicy, I get a pretty powerful punch of clove and drying nutmeg, but not so much that it lingers unpleasantly long, rather queuing to a tight finish with crusty bread notes. – Mike

M- 6 / T- 6 / B- 5.5 / R- 3.5

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Flavor balance:  5

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance: 5.5

This ale is a little more schizophrenic than I’d like to see.  The aroma is spot on for pumpkin with subtle spices, but the body holds more spice than gourd.  If the finish could have balanced everything out this would have scored a little higher, but overall it’s a noble effort. – Tim

The aroma brings more to the table than the taste does so unfortunately it gets a little lost among the spice. – Brittney

M- 6 / T- 6.5 / B- 6 / R- 3

–         Sweet / Dry balance: 5

A bit dry with mulled cider tartness beginning to dominate by half glass. – Mike

Usually I like a drier beer, but this one has me wanting more sweetness out of it. It doesn’t help that the finish is on the sour side for our pumpkins. – Rick

M- 5.5 / T- 5 / B- 7 / R- 3

–         Multiple Drinkability?  5

It might seem like I’ve been overly critical of this ale for its somewhat disjointed overall vibe, but the truth is, this is a very approachable fall brew and you could do a lot worse than taking home a sixer and settling down to some turkey and stuffing.  It’s a decent beer and I wouldn’t pass up another bottle. – Tim

Nothing here to stop you from having more than one.  Pleasant enough to have another. – Brittney

M- 5 / T- 6 / B- 7 / R- 2

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Overall:  5.92

M- 6.17 / T- 6.42 / B- 6.67 / R- 4.58

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