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Southampton Imperial Russian Stout - Southampton Publick House

Not Rated.
Southampton Imperial Russian StoutSouthampton Imperial Russian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

161 Reviews
THE BROS
72
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 161
Hads: 340
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 7.09%
Wants: 406
Gots: 96 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Southampton Publick House visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-08-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 161 | Hads: 340
Photo of SkunkWorks
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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! (1,758 characters)

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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. (1,955 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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. (1,848 characters)

Photo of bultrey
4.87/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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. (711 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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! (1,018 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.
Mucho Bueno! (401 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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. (1,066 characters)

Photo of joefuzz
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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. (400 characters)

Photo of ChowHound
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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. (333 characters)

Photo of rowingbrewer
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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 (462 characters)

Photo of egajdzis
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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! (317 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So, I hunted and looked and finally was able to get my hands on one of these. I had heard mixed things about this one, but really wanted to judge for myself what this one was all about. I decided last night to unwrap the black foil and pop the cap on this beauty. Bottled on 2/16/08, this was going to be nice. The pour was huge, and absolutely perfect. Pitch black with absolutely no light shining through; it was like looking into a dark windowless room. A huge tan head formed on top that almost came out of the over sized wine glass it was in. Insanely good looking, I was foaming at the mouth when I looked at this one. A slight settling left behind a nice two finger head that lasted through the night, along with copious amounts of dripping chocolate colored lace all over the glass. Really just, perfect looking for the style, really hard not to be impressed with this one.

The aroma was just as huge as the appearance. Deep rich notes of sweet lactose sugar, with loads of cocoa mixed in. A very nice mingling of bitter dark coffee as well as a touch of vanilla. Really quite nice. There was a touch of some alcohol in there, but it mostly blended out by the time this one warmed up to the right temperature. Really a very solid score going for this one. The flavor was very nice, with a lighter feel then I would have expected. It was nicely carbonated, with even the last few drops a couple hours later still having a good deal of life left in them. Smooth across the palate, though a little thinner then expected, but this only added to its Drinkability. The flavor of cocoa dominated this one, with the rich bitter taste. Very nice coffee tones throughout, were really well blended. As it warmed, there was a touch of some earthy, woody type of hint that started to come through with hints of vanilla and sweet sugary notes coming in and out. The finish was perfect, with a nice little bit of a grassy hoppiness to it, but then shut down with a deep bitter chocolate taste and a gorgeous hint of vanilla lingering on forever. The alcohol was very well hidden in here, with it clocking in at over 10% I was amazed at how smooth it was. You really could barely taste anything in this one, and I had all I could do from drinking it too fast, and not giving it the time needed to really pick up some steam and show off what it could do. Really just a fantastic beer that they have made here.

Overall, I would have to say that this one more then lived up to the hype for me. It was just completely wonderful with a huge flavorful profile, a lightness that was rather unexpected, a beautiful finish and really just outstanding on all sides. I was more then impressed with this, and actually thought it over performed to my expectations. I would love to get more of this one as it was just that good, really just an enormously good beer and something I would have to recommend to anyone. Definitely up there with the best of the style. (2,943 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
4.74/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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!!!! (1,133 characters)

Photo of lou91
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 couldn’t 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. (484 characters)

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks goes out to Los for this gem.

2008 Vintage

Almost three fingers of thick rocky foamy carmel brown head leaves a crown of lace as it slowly fades. Body is jet used oil blackness. Nose is lovely with tons of over ripe cherries, roasted malts, leather, dark fruits and even hints of oak. Dark fruits are nicely spicey as you take first sip. The balance and richness almost seems as if it were oak aged. Vanilla and carmalized malts come in layers of balanced sweetness. Zesty on the back of the palate shows you can use hops to balance a beer rather than over hop it like some other well rated big stouts. A bit of bourbon and chocolate on the mouthfeel turns a bit boozy. Warms the belly well. A joy to drink now, but would age well. (747 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2005 vintage.

Pours out a pitch black opaque body with a good sized brown head of tightly packed small bubbles. A good amount of webby lacing was left sticking to the glass as this was consumed. Aroma starts with a huge roasted malt kick before the burnt dark ripe fruit scents come through. Light alcohol and chocolate are present as well. More sweet dark fruits are found in the flavor with a backing of burnt malts. Some bitter dark chocolate is present as well as coffee notes. Bitter coffee finish. Very big on the flavor and the taste with lots of things going on. Pretty damn warming and plenty thick enough to support the big flavor. Also slick going down. Another example of a big ridiculously drinkable beer. I could have drank several bottles of this stuff. (771 characters)

Photo of clvand0
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark color with a medium head that falls slowly and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is all chocolate. Lots of malt business, but it's mostly chocolate. Smells great. The flavor is as expected - very malty, lots of flavor. Lots of chocolate and hints of coffee and alcohol along with a small hint of dark fruit. Very tasty. The body is thick and the drinkability is excellent for having the high alcohol. Great brew here. (448 characters)

Photo of rye726
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark, oilish color with a silky espresso colored head. Nice lacing on the glass. Nose has big roasty malts, dark fruit, red wine, molasses, coffee, chocolate brownies, bitter hops, spicy alcohols and anise. Taste is equally complex. Bitter hops and molasses over bready malts, fudge, coffee, plums, cherries, anise, vanilla and subtle alcohol. Thick, creamy body has a delicate carbonation. Great stuff from Southampton. (420 characters)

Photo of mikeyv35
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Date: 01/28/2012
Type: On Tap @ Release
Glass: Commemorative SH Release Snifter
Vintage: 2012

Have been going to this release every year since 2008, have sampled numerous times, but never took the time to enter in a review.

Pours a viscous looking midnight black in color w/ a 11/2 finger medium brown head that left heavy, sticky lacing on the glass for days. Aromas of charred malts, burnt brown sugar, dark chocolate, molasses, smokiness, and that unique vanilla marshmallow note. The taste starts off w/ sweet molasses, vanilla marshmallow, and charred malts up front, leading into peated smokiness, and finishing w/ a good amount of herbal hop bitterness. Full bodied and creamy w/ adequate carbonation. Definately a sipper, but that's what it was designed for.

Overall, fantastic as usual! Phil Markowski and SH strike again, but do they ever miss!? (858 characters)

Photo of Overlord
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a gorgeous dark brown black with a cascading dark brown head. Surprisingly long lasting foam. Nicely carbonated.

Smells enticing, with sweet chocolate/cocoa, coffee, and roasted malt. THe flavor adds more complexity, with lingering vanilla, an awesome hoppy/burnt bitter aftertaste that isn't too overpowering, and some truly stunning roasted malt, chocolate, and espresso backgrounds.

Mouthfeel is nice and thick. I wouldn't say the alcohol is well hidden, but it's very drinkable none the less.

Now one of my faves. Thanks for the trade! (548 characters)

Photo of DIM
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This had a black body and came with a thin, short lived tan head.

Lots going on in the nose, tons of rich chocolate plus roasty coffee and a hint of berry. Nothing subtle here, just massively enticing big stout.

Tastes every but as good as it smells, one of the best stouts I've had. Wave after wave of chocolaty coffee with hints of berry and cherry before a lightly charred finish. This had gentle carbonation and a body with medium heft. Just outstanding overall, so glad this was on the board tonight. (507 characters)

Photo of mikecharley
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by HenrikO as an extra (!) in our most recent trade. Bottle 112 out of 450, from the 2013 release.

Appearance is a very very dark brown. Nice, but not the inky black I like to see in the stout world. The head is the color of lightly creamed coffee, very nice.

Aroma is nice dark fruits, some char and roast, coffee, slight booze.

Taste exceeds the aroma. Just a very well executed traditional imperial stout. Nice low levels of roast. Very nice dark fruits and slight booze. Hops are very background, if noticeable at all.

Mouthfeel is on point. Filling, coating. Very well done stout.

Overall: This is the stout that KtG wanted to be. Well done. I just stumbled into this bottle, thanks to a great trading partner. Wish it wasn't so limited, as I would love some more for the cellar, and fridge. Delicious. (832 characters)

Photo of amherstdrew
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this is a truly great RIS... incredible nose... sensational thick dark taste.... there's not too much to say about this one other than the fact that it puts many other russian imperials to shame... very thick, strong coffee flavor, but at the same time, complex under currents. it's a beautiful beer, and i hope you all get to enjoy it. (336 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serving type: on-tap at Brigids in Philadelphia, PA during a Southampton event at the 2007 Philly Beer Week.

Pours pitch blaack with a coffe colored head. Aroma is dominated by roasty malts. Also, oatmeal some coffee, chocolate and caramel. A lot of oatmeal up front followed by rich creamy chocolate maltiness, roasted coffe flavor, chocolate and toast. Dry finish. (367 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I wanted to get a few reviews in while the beer was fresh on my brain and the notes still made sense.

Big Ole 2009 vintage 750 provided at the Friday the 13th tasting by Jake65... Seriously huge thanks to Jake.. this is one of my biggest white whales... bottle 375 of 450.

Poured into my Delerium goblet... Dark tan head.. good/great lacing and retention.

Nose is a beautiful mix of all traditional RIS aromas.. very dark roastiness.... no astringency really.. some good hoppiness that mixes well with some sweetness from the malts.

Flavor has more dark chocolate and less sweetness... tastes very fresh and is very rich.

The body is not as thick as many of the huge RIS out there.. and I'm happy about that.. This is damn near the perfect example of a RIS that doesn't need all the bells and whistles many brewing companies use.. no barrel aging.. not huge viscosity.. no fruit.. just an awesome RIS.

Thanks Jake... I wish I would have taken better notes... this would be one of my never ending keg dream beers.

4/4.5/4.5/5/5 (1,034 characters)

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Southampton Imperial Russian Stout from Southampton Publick House
94 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.