Southampton Imperial Porter - Southampton Publick House

Not Rated.
Southampton Imperial PorterSouthampton Imperial Porter

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BA SCORE
80
good

140 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 140
Hads: 305
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 8.83%
Wants: 8
Gots: 16 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Southampton Publick House visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-18-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 140 | Hads: 305
Photo of ms11781
3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a very dark brown with a 2 finger light brown head. Head dissipates after a bit and leaves a half finger off white cap.

Nose is initially of dark fruit, cherries maybe. Also some dark malt detected, along with some sweetness.

Taste is more on the malt side than the fruit side, although there is still a hint of the dark fruit. Malt has more of a roasted flavor than the nose. Black licorice towards the end as it finishes with a decent amount of bitterness.

Low carbonation with a a medium/full body gives way to a creamy mouthfeel. Decent bitterness at the finish but it doesn't linger.

Drinkability is ok. Usually with a beer that leans toward a heavier body I'd like it to be a bit more complex with richer flavors. A beer I wouldn't mind having again but I'd reach for a different brew right now if I was to have another. (875 characters)

Photo of vkv822
2.8/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

12oz : Teku glass

Near black, with deep red mahogany highlights when held to light. Fairly short lived, foamy light tan head.

Lightly roasty, cocoa notes.

Some basic roasted malt, faint cocoa. Not much going on here.

Thin body with foamy, fizzy carbonation.

A decent porter, but also fairly forgettable. I was expecting a bit more of a bolder flavor profile and perhaps a bit heavier body. (394 characters)

Photo of vande
3.32/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A ~ looks very similar to a cola....brownish-black in color with a faint hint of head along the rim of the glass

S ~ hints of coffee...light roasted malts.. touch of chocolate...but all aromatics is on the lighter side...

T ~ somewhat like the smell on this beer... coffee, roasted coco, malty...but thinner that I'd have guessed...

M ~ thinner, but carbonated...reminds me of something like a java monster in regards to carbonated, coffee flavored beverage..

O ~ decent porter (481 characters)

Photo of yesyouam
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Southampton Imperial Porter is a black ale that's brown on the edges of the glass when held to the light. It has a smooth, dense, light brown head that leaves excellent lacing. It has a dark, resinous aroma that smells a little charred with a light sweetness... like molasses. It has a medium body that's lively with a mineral quality. A quick, dry finish leaves a mouth a little scratchy. Light sweetness and dark roasted flavors are balanced well with an ample, herbal bitterness. The aftertaste is sweet and smokey with a slight hint of licorice. "Imperial porter" is a good way to describe this. It's somewhere between a robust porter, an export stout and a Baltic porter. It's reasonably complex, unique and enjoyable. (723 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the Whole Foods on Houston St. in New York a few weeks back. I like their beers and hadn't ever tried an Imperial Porter before. I'm not sure why this is called that, although I understand that like other Imperial beers, it was shipped from Great Britain to points east for royalty. This wasn't very strong at all from a taste or an alcohol perspective and I was actually a bit surprised at how tame this beer was!

The pour, look, and mouthfeel were all pretty standard - dark, not a lot of head, no lacing, and the aroma was average. Just like the label said, chocolate is here with the toffee and caramel notes just faint enough to detect after a while. This almost had the feel of root beer without the carbonation or the stickiness of the high fructose corn syrup. I'm not sure if my tastes have gotten so refined over the years that I expected more or that I saw imperial and thought this would be strong, but either way, this was a bit underwhelming. That doesn't mean it wasn't crafted well but even the aftertaste never really kicked in. The maltiness just leveled off and I actually had to slow myself down from drinking all of this relatively quickly.

This almost has the feel of a session beer even though it's above 5% ABV. The cold weather here lately had let me to drink enough Stouts, Porters, and dark holiday beers to warm me up but this just seemed to come up a bit short. If you're looking for an average winter beer at a decent price, this is certainly it. (1,497 characters)

Photo of rtepiak
3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a porter with a decent head and a good carbonation that comes forth into something a bit too lean for the abv. look is just about black with a lighter than mocha head of about 3 fingers. nose of chocolate and carob. palate is that but a bit toasty. complete momentary malt quality that is compromised by the carbonation. its not boozy but it is a bit noticeable. (362 characters)

Photo of RickS95
4.13/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice dark syrup in the glass (opaque), living under a thick off-white head. Retention is strong.

Smells of roasty malts and some toffee. Chocolate might be hiding in the background, but just makes a cameo appearance.

Your palate will pick up the chocolate and toffee, but neither is overpowering.

Has a nice creaminess to it. Medium bodied, wouldn't hurt it to be a little fuller. Not exactly sweet to start, kind of stoutish, but slight bitterness in the finish.

Has pretty good alcohol (7.2%), but it very drinkable due to the creaminess and nice flavors. Looking forward to another of these. (602 characters)

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.18/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I picked this beer up at Knightly Spirits a couple days ago and it is time now for me to leave my hotel. It is 9:30AM local time, and this beer is my breakfast today. Woo hoo! Go Beer!

Appearance: Pours black to look at, but is a semi-clear dark brown when held to the light. There was a small head of tan bubbles when first poured, but the head faded back into the beer so quickly that I didn't really get to see the size of the bubbles. What is left are quite small bubbles, so I imagine that was what we had to begin with.

Aroma: I got some evident roast along with some fresh chocolaty notes. Other than this, there are some toasty malts in here and a very reserved floral hop bouquet.

Taste: The beer has a very clean malt profile and the overall balance is decidedly toward the malt the whole time. I get some hops in here, but they are having to coexist with the roast malts for control of the finish. The overall roast presentation is really mild for a Porter, and especially an Imperial Porter. The beer has a medium mouthfeel, and the carbonation is a tad low, so this is almost a saving grace for this beer or it would come across as weak for the style. As it is, I can feel some warming from the alcohol after I have drank about half the beer, but it is not apparent in the flavor.

Opinion: This is an OK beer. I like that it is so drinkable as it currently is, but this fact is what hurts it when compared to the style. This beer comes across to me as more of a Brown Ale than a Porter. For a Brown Ale, it isn't bad, but as a Porter it is rather lame. Take that for what you will. I will certainly drink this beer...there is nothing wrong with the way it was brewed, but just the recipe falls short of what I expect for this style. (1,750 characters)

Photo of stephens101
3.16/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A huge, thick dark tan head tops off a dark brown (bordering on black) brew. Some crimson hues line the bottom of the Sam Adams specialty glass. The head begins to recede fairly quickly, broken apart by some large bubbles, and finally leaving a craggy lace behind. Smells of caramel malts and burnt sugar with some maple syrup in the background. Some malts are noticed on the palate at first, with some cherry sweetness, some vinegar and a few hops in the back. Fairly nondescript with a pure medium-body and airy mouth-feel. Maybe the word "imperial" is used loosely here. (573 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 3 Oct. 2010. Acquired in trade a while ago, apologies for forgetting from whom. Served in the (512) One tulip.

Medium sized brown head. Moderately carbonated. Opaque, very dark brown, almost black in color. Aromas of molasses, acrid coffee, ethanol, a touch metallic. Tastes of roasty dark burnt malts. Some molasses and coffee. Just a faint touch of prunes or plums. Molasses in the finish and aftertaste. Medium to light body, light mouthfeel, moderate ethanol.

Just a bit above average for the style IMO. (530 characters)

Photo of Jimmys
3.67/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: black/brown. mocha hued frothy head with decent retention. opaque.

S: roasted cocoa. assertive, but definitely on the softer side. candied apple and a touch of vanilla.

T: gentle roast matches the nose. not too assertive. finish is slightly sweet, but mostly dry. actually it is predominately dry.

M: pretty soft carbonation on a medium body. fizz tastes good.

D: overall still a very drinkable robust porter. i understand the imperial name tag due to the alcohol, but the flavor is still a bit muted. was hoping this would be closer to a baltic. (556 characters)

Photo of TheSarge
3.06/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Produces a vast amount of milk chocolate looking head, and retains perfectly. The body is opaque and black in color, but shows off reddish hues when held up to sunlight.

The aroma is light, and sweet cola characteristics are about the only things detectable to me.

In the taste there are sweet notes of chocolate and cola. A faint taste of coffee is detectable too.

In the mouth feel, it is a little thin to be called an imperial IMHO. Overall this is decent enough though for a go to beer. (493 characters)

Photo of thain709
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm going with this one because my bottle matches the name and ABV listed...although it describes it as a baltic porter.

A - Poured with a thin, black body and some ruby highlighting...the head was nice...a creamy light brown cap that showed some decent lacing

S - A good roasted malt nose...the malts are not over roasted and you can pick up caramel and chocolate

T - The taste didn't live up to the nose but it was decent...the roasted malts weren't as big in flavor as they were in the nose...they were there buy the roast becamse lighter...a subtle caramel sweet paired with a brief dark fruit presence...the finish is full of bitter chocolate and roasted coffee beans

M - Medium bodied...a bit thin for a porter with a decent finish

D - Overall this wasn't a bad beer but it's not imperial...the ABV is too low and the flavor isn't full enough to labeled as imperial...but as far as a regular porter goes this was very decent (935 characters)

Photo of mikereaser
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a pitch black with 2 inches of tan foam that quickly faded.
aroma was faint, a bit of chocolate and brown sugar
the taste is similar, a bit of chocolate, sweetness and a bit of bitterness. smooth with a bit of a soda type carbonated mouthfeel. Its fairly easy to drink but not one that i'd necessarily look for again. (323 characters)

Photo of bruachan
3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

had this some years ago in bombers. now in sixers!

springy head that sags to a hazy film with collar. slight garnet highlights shine through at the edges

grainy malt aroma. i feel like there might be some lager malts in there...most likely munich or continental roasted malts (though i wouldn't think the quantity of such malts would be such that i could identify them as european). woody, green hop aroma. ultimately, too little roast in my nose

smooth roast (and very smooth for 7.2%), though it outweighs sweetness. that said, the roast isn't all that deep: i certainly get zero kiln astringency. assertive bitterness and some woody hops. carbonation makes the brew seem lighter than perhaps it ought. later on i get a distinct honey flavor (746 characters)

Photo of sprucetip
3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured deep dark brown, but was translucent with red highlights when backlit, with clarity revealed as well. Very little head, even less retention, and no lacing. Some mild activity.

Smells grainy with a little vanilla an malty sweetness. Maybe just a hint of booze. Made me think "brown ale" more than porter.

And again with the taste I'm thinking brown ale. It is lightly grainy, barely roasty, with some sweet malty base. Not much else. Definitely not "imperial."

Some tingly fiz and mild warming, thin side of medium body, and a clean finish.

I'm sorry to say this, but I expected much more, and am glad I only got one. The only thing that was more porter than brown ale was the color. There was certainly nothing about this that implied "imperial," and it was quite thin all around. I'd have rated it a bit higher if it had been called a brown ale, as I'd have gotten something closer to what was advertised. (917 characters)

Photo of steve8robin
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a BIF. Thanks Cuzco. 12oz bottle served into my Portsmouth tulip...

A: Super pitch black with a thick off white head that slowly fades. Very good.

S: Nice creamy coffee roast scent blended with some nice oakiness and some sweet licorice. Vanilla, cocao, and caramel in the middle with hints of apple on the backend. Very good.

T: Kind of a creamy, watery, bready coffee bean. Hints of caramel roastiness in the middle with some chocolate buried on the backend. Kind of a one dimensional blend with these flavors. This could've been amazing, but the way the flavors blended kind of ruined it. Decent.

M: Medium body with a perfect carbonation. Very good.

D: This goes down easy despite the ABV. Good.

All in all, this is a solid brew that came close to excellence, but missed out because of the taste. If the blend of tastes was better, this brew would've been phenomenal. Good brew to try at least once if you get the chance. Not worth hunting. (962 characters)

Photo of scootny
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A thick, light brown tightly carbonated head atop a clear and super dark brown fluid. Retention is not a problem and a healthy amount of lace on the glass while the brew remains covered. Smell is a bit light but what is there is very good. Faint chocolate and coffee rest on a bed of sweet caramel malt. Vanilla. Dark roasted grains and bread with fruity yeast esters. Taste is much like the nose with an even bigger malt presence. Kinda like a mocha malted milk. Mild hops create a surprisingly clean finish with a nice touch of dryness. A bit of a metallic/mineral edge. I noted this in the Beer De Mars so maybe it is a water or other house staple signature. Feel is full and somewhat creamy as the gentle carbonation nonetheless swells the beer in your mouth nicely. Surprisingly drinkable. This is a neat and tidy imperial. There is no trace of alcohol and a the feel while full is still light and quaffable. This is a great winter staple. It will not knock you out with bold brash flavors and scents. It will not tickle your Extreme Beer ribs. It will however prove to be a satisfying friend when you just want a good porter or a little stronger. (1,152 characters)

Photo of biggred1
3.08/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Darkest rosewood with a thin khaki head that shrinks to a thin, filmy skim with nice fine lacing. Coffee grounds, vanilla and faint maple syrup make up the aroma. Dry, roasty porter flavors with a strong cocoa and java flavor profile in the finish. Medium bodied with crisp carbonation. The drinkability score could be higher if you think of this as more of a pairing beer. (373 characters)

Photo of GPHarris
3.97/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a half-finger thick, eggshell-colored head into a snifter that left a thin ring throughout. the body was dark brown, bordering on black.
s - semi-sweet chocolate, roasted malts, coffee.
t - roasted coffee, chocolate, a hint of dark fruits.
m - medium and creamy.
o - really solid porter that had a lot going on. (322 characters)

Photo of riversider76
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the darkest of brown with a thin tan head. Not much retention, and very little lace. Nose is of rich dark chocolate, and smokey malts. Body is medium with some carbonation. Taste is chocolate and coffee,with a rich creamy finish. Liked it a lot! (251 characters)

Photo of CHADMC3
3.12/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark chestnut brown body with deep ruby hues beneath the foamy, tan head that is packed with dense bubbles of carbonation and patiently leaves a sticky, yet thin lacing behind.

There are some roasted malt aromas atop the beer but it appears to be a bit on the sweet side for a porter, offering milk chocolate and hints of light coffee grounds.

The flavor is slightly roasted, certainly not smoked, with hints of sweetness in there, maybe chocolate malt.

Medium in body, although light for a porter with medium carbonation and lacking the nice smoky finish I would like to see.

A nice beer, but lacking the robust qualities I would expect to see from an Imperial Porter. (681 characters)

Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.06/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Brown in color with amber highlights on the side. Tan colored head probably about 2 inches that goes away after 5-10 minutes, decent lacing.

Smell is ok, not like any porter I've had before. I mostly smell dark dehydrated fruits, and a little musty with a slight hop finish. I read a couple of other reviews, but I'm just not picking up chocolate malts that a few others picked up.

Taste is a little better. Malts are much more easily detected here. Some chocolate notes finally arrive here. Still picking up the dark dehydrated fruit notes. Hops are present, very earthy.

The mouthfeel is pretty good, close to full bodied, not too smooth, but not too gritty either. Bitter and a little earthy. It will suffice for the style. Drinkability is overall pretty good.

I was a little disappointed with this one overall. Not too bad for your run of the mill porter, but this beer is not worth of having the term "Imperial" on it in my humble opinion. Not really big on any flavors. (1,039 characters)

Photo of MadScientist
3.91/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A very dark brown with good clarity and garnet highlights. The long lasting, creamy medium tan head is a half a finger tall.

S: Roasty caramel and toffee notes with a dark malt aroma somewhere in between molasses and licorice. There is low smokey aroma that seems to fade out as it sits, maybe smoked malt or phenols. No hops, no perceived alcohol.

T: Bittersweet chocolate, caramel with smooth malt sweetness. The ester profile is clean like htis was done with a lager yeast. There is a moderately-low hop bitterness and a light citrusy hops flavor. The balance is slightly bitter with an off-dry finish and roasted coffee bean with a bit of smokey flavor in the after taste.

M: A moderately-light bodied beer with moderate carbonation and a light creaminess.

O: A malt rich and complex beer. (802 characters)

Photo of Samp01
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with short lived head. Aroma of lightly roasted malt some espresso and fruitiness. Taste is roasted malts, some espresso with some light hops a bit of cacao. Palate is nice full body with good carbonation. Finish is roasted caramel malt, some coffee and light sweet fruitiness with some light hops bitterness to add some balance. Overall a good IP (366 characters)

Southampton Imperial Porter from Southampton Publick House
80 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.