Southampton Imperial Russian Stout - Southampton Publick House
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Ratings: 286 | Reviews: 155 | Display Reviews Only:
5/5 rDev +17.9%
Popped in celebration of finding an apartment with my girlfriend, a 750ml bottle from the 2011 vintage cellared since the release poured into a Southampton IRS release day snifter. Bottle number 39. I've had this on tap but this is the bottled version.
Look: A little gun smoke once the cork is popped and the pour reveals a solid, black body and an aggressive pour yields a thick, creamy mocha colored head that retains until the last sip and leaves sheets of sticky lace behind as I drink. Exceptional looking beer.
Smell: just how I remembered it from the release day, except a lot stronger. Once its out of the bottle, sitting on the table in front of me, I'm already picking up some aromas from this one! Roasted malt, chocolate fudge, coffee and alcohol stand out to me. No one aroma seems to dominate and all of it smells amazing.
Taste: I remember now why this is my favorite IRS of all time. Big, dark chocolate, subtle coffee, roasted grain, hints of vanilla and dark fruit and a slight alcohol taste. Wonderfully complex without being too aggressive.
Feel: this is the area where this beer has improved most when comparing the bottle to the tap version. Full bodied and perhaps the creamiest beer I've ever had. The texture is almost like melted whipped cream. The beer is dry and carbonation is spot on for the style. Its one you have to force yourself not to gulp down.
Overall: exceptional. I've never given straight 5's before but I can't see how this beer could improve in any aspect. For the next release, I doubt I'll be trading any of my bottles of this because its really a big step above the other release day stouts I've had to this point. I can't wait for the next special occasion we have so I can pop another bottle... Cheers!
05-11-2011 12:20:17 | More by SkunkWorks
4.97/5 rDev +17.2%
Big thanks to Cory for hooking me up with this brew! 2010 release #59/500.
A- Body is a big, thick, and vicious opaque motor oil black hue. A 1/2 foamy dark tan head emerges after the initial pour- this fades to 1/4 finger and has great retention from there. Some lacing is left behind in the glass.
S-Wonderful, complex, and perfect for an RIS. A perfect balance of dark chocolate, anise, a hint of licorice, a hint of sweetness, dark fruit (particularly plum), a hint of alcohol, and a slightly roasted malt background. There is so much going on in the nose and there has to be the perfect balance in order to be able to pick this all up.
T-Taste follows suit and has the same wonderful balance and complexity of the nose. There is a lot going on up front but I am able to pick up anise, dark chocolate, licorice, and plum. The overall impression of the initial flavor is slightly sweet, slightly fruity, yet there is a dry and bitter component that keeps the perfect balance. As these initial flavors intensify for the finish a moderate roasted malt flavor and slight accompanying bitterness come through to give this brew a slight roasted component that compliments the other flavors well. The flavors fade slowly as a mild to moderate alcohol heat arises and fades with them.
M-Carbonation is medium to high. Body is thick an viscous with a wonderful, exceptionally smooth and creamy mouthfeel and no alcohol consistency comes through.
D- I was expecting this brew to be very good-but it goes above and beyond the call of duty. It's exceptional and my favorite stout so far (I don't foresee it being topped anytime soon). It has all the components of a typical RIS but the balance and complexity of this brew are exceptional. The flavors here are really big but its so smooth. The alcohol is not hidden but it adds to the complexity of it all. Its too bad this was consumed on a beautiful day in April because it would be perfect on a snowy day.
04-22-2010 14:57:28 | More by PittBeerGirl
4.9/5 rDev +15.6%
On-Cask @ David Copperfields Cask Fest. I travelled 2 hours on a bus to drink some of this brew, and I have to say that it was worth the trip. Dark, dark nearly opaque black with a head of strong Italian espresso coloured foam. Looking down at this beer is like staring into a black hole. The aromas are very enticing. Dark belgian chocolate, deeply roasted strong coffee, hints of currant and licorice, burnt sugar/caramel aromas, and maybe just a whiff of a Vanilla/alcohol like scent. Whilst these aromas are excellent, they are all a bit subdued, and not "in your face" enough for me to warrant a 5 rating for smell. The taste is exceptional. Roasted malts, Espresso beans/grinds, DARK Belgian chocolate, and leafy green hops struggling to be noticed somewhere in the background of this intense flavor combination. This really is an excellent Imperial stout, but what makes it so good is its finesse. Sure, it has a lot of extreme aromas and flavors, but it never really gets over-the-top. It goes right up to the line, but does not cross it. Superb. The mouthfeel is awesome. On cask this is almost like melted down chocolate/coffee cake. This is so smooth and warming going down the throat. In fact my dry/sore throat was gone, after I took my first swig of this brew. Impressive. Drinkability is also insane for such a high-octane brew. I had three pints of this, and I could have had more if I didn't have to catch a bus back to Bethlehem from Port Authority. Oh well... I have heard people comment on this as Southamptons finest brew. Well, it just may be that. I've also heard that it takes a while to integrate, and it gets better with age. Well, i'm not sure about that. I've never had this on tap yet, but on cask it was kickin' ass young. God only knows what aged bottles are like. A superb creation from one of my favorite breweries.
03-03-2005 16:34:28 | More by francisweizen
4.88/5 rDev +15.1%
Essentially black, with ruby tinge. Viscous liquid with coffee-and-cream-colored head. The carbonation and head lingers through to the end of the beer. Smell is quite vinous, reminiscent of tawny port, chocolate ganache, and concentrated dark fruit, like blueberry syrup. A bit of alcohol is present in the nose, as well. A fantastically complex flavor -- coffee with amaretto cream, bittersweet walnut, cocoa powder, anise and a little soy sauce -- just phenomenal. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, yet light and airy for such a dense beer. Drinkability only suffers slightly because this beer is just a tad hot still. Oh to try this beer again in, say, four or five years. I could never wait that long. Stunning.
02-15-2006 03:17:31 | More by bultrey
4.88/5 rDev +15.1%
11/25/05- Received via trade with Jetsbeer.
Presentation- 22oz bottle, year 2005. Poured into my Duvel tulip.
Appearance- Darker brown, close to black pour with some cherry like highlights. Larger inch plus dirty colored head and patchy lacing.
Smell- Lots of dark chocolate and espresso scents. You can get a whiff of some of the alcohol qualities as well. Maybe some super dark fruits also. Great smeller.
Taste- Like those dark chocolate chunks you get from Gihradelli infused with some dark coffee bean flavor. Rasins and plums hit your taste buds as well. One of the most flavorful stouts I have had.
Mouthfeel- Very low carbonation, especially after it warms to room temp. Creamy and a pretty darn heavy mouthfeel. Thick and viscous.
Drinkability- Right up there with Stone IRS in my book. You can pick up the alcohol a tad more, but I still felt like I wanted another after having to share the bottle. One of my top brews I have ever tasted. Thanks so much to Jetsbeer for another great brew!
11-28-2005 02:49:50 | More by GClarkage
British Columbia (Canada)
4.88/5 rDev +15.1%
22oz courtesy of Malto
Pitch black with a smallish but lingering dark tan head. The nose is old prunes and rich chocolate. The taste is like being stroked by cashmere albeit big coffee backed cashmere that is soaked in hops and chocolate. Much like the Heresy or Stone Impy this beer is so good time seems to slow down with every sip. Dry finish just adds to the sublime drinkability.
11-14-2005 16:46:23 | More by canucklehead
4.88/5 rDev +15.1%
2005 vintage. Beer pours a dark as dark black color with a finger of deep tan head that falls to a near complete cover over top of the brew. Solid looking beer. Lively and enticing. Nose is very chocolatey with lighter roastedness hanging out behind it with a puff of alcohol when I take a deep breath. There is a touch of coffee in there as well. I am excited to taste it. Flavor is even more complex than the nose. It hits hard with chocolate, almost burnt roasted malt and a touch of dark figgy fruit. It moves to a moderate hop bitter and coffee, turning around to a mocha finish. A superbly tasty brew. I had a sip of this one once in the past and I remember it being thin. That must have been an oversight on my part. This is as thick as any stout should be with a light-moderate carbonation that keeps it from being too thick. I don't think I would want this beer to be much more drinkable. At over 10%, this one does little to let me know its that big. Even a big sip doesn't hit me hard. I am going to have to find another bottle of this beer. Just awesome.
01-04-2006 02:29:19 | More by kmpitz2
4.85/5 rDev +14.4%
2011 vintage Bottle 301 of 650 split with a friend poured into snifters.
Pours jet black, used motor oil black with a dark brown head.
Smells of roasted malt, coffee and ripe plums
Taste is amazing, huge malty taste up front with a pleasent coffee aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is pure velvet its so smooth carbontion is perfect.
Overall mind blowing RIS can't wait until this comes out again next year.
10-21-2011 05:48:21 | More by joefuzz
4.8/5 rDev +13.2%
Deep, dark chocolate color completely covering any possibility of light passing through. Light, fluffy head of tan foam. Roasty smell of coffee, chocolates and anise. Smooth, creamy and decently carbonated, this brew starts off with a flourish and keeps going. Remarkably easy to drink, the aocohol well hidden. Really, really great.
03-02-2005 17:52:30 | More by ChowHound
4.8/5 rDev +13.2%
Had this on tap at the release.
this beer pours an absolute pitch black with a nice thick brown head. no light makes it through this beer
the smell is wonderful roasted malt smell with hints of chocolate
the taste is roasty malt, a little hint of chocolate, nice balance between the roasted bitterness and the malt sweetness. the abv is not even noticeable
the mouthfeel is very full feeling and the drinkablitiy is very high, its a smooth easy drinking ber
01-31-2011 03:52:40 | More by rowingbrewer
4.8/5 rDev +13.2%
Poured opaque black as night with a small, tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of port, cherries, raspberries, smoke, chocolate, and roasted malt. Taste of chocolate and roast, more vinous qualities, certainly a little bit of tar, with a superb mouthfeel. Finishes with light, dry, alcohol. Phenomenal!
02-15-2005 12:57:25 | More by egajdzis
4.78/5 rDev +12.7%
2010 bottle poured in my Darkness glass. Bottle 99 of 500. A birthday present from my girlfriend, what better night to open up then to hopefully celebrate OSU's Sugar Bowl win...Midnight black pour, looks good. No head at all though, looks like a barrel aged beer with only the slightest dark tan head. No lacing. Disappointing look...The aroma is full of fresh cocoa, brownies and dark fruits. At first its sweet, but then its real backbone is lightly bitter with cocoa being the major player...The taste is awesome with extreme balance. Sweet and bitter at the same time, main player again is the cocoa. However, the sweet chocolate brownie note is huge, its almost like drinking a liquified brownie. This is what a RIS should be, best one I've had in a long time that WAS NOT barrel aged...The feel is a little lacking, on the lighter side for a stout, but a nice tannic and warming sensation...Incredibly drinkable, because it taste great and you can't detect the alcohol on the nose or taste at all.
This is a must try. For a pure stout (not barrel aged) this is probably the best I've had besides stormaktsporter. Get this!!!!
01-05-2011 02:41:00 | More by jrallen34
4.75/5 rDev +12%
2005 in May 2006. Picture perfect on the pour dark black with a dark brown head. The nose was also picture perfect with roasted malt, dark chocolate, espresso and an alcohol smell giving you fair warning. Once I poured it I couldnt wait to try it so I had a teaspoon and it was BIG and tasty. The taste matched perfectly and is both a sipper rich thick complex and also so tasty that big sips are oh so easy. This goes back on my want list and yes Jetsbeer I want another one.
05-25-2006 03:24:26 | More by lou91
Southampton Imperial Russian Stout from Southampton Publick House
94 out of 100 based on 286 ratings.