Southampton Imperial Russian Stout - Southampton Publick House
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Ratings: 280 | Reviews: 155 | Display Reviews Only:
2.33/5 rDev -45%
Was very grateful to get this bottle as part of a larger trade with Craytonic. This is pretty well respected around BA, so I was pretty excited when we opened it. Cheers!
From a 750 into a snifter
Bottle 403 of 500
APPEARANCE: A pitch black pour makes a thinner looking, super fizzy and noisy, one finger, brown head that quickly vanishes almost completely, leaving only a slight ring behind. Black, opaque body with next to zero carbonation. A slight, very faint ring remains but leaves no lacing. Despite the very thick looking pour, it looked a little flat and the head was very disappointing. Not up to par here.
SMELL: Medium strength nose of roasted malts, molasses for sure, some figs and touches of oak. Some cream coffee and charcoaled malts as well, with a good base of booze under the entire thing. Almost smells barrel aged it's so boozy, which is a little alarming.
TASTE: Like the nose, with some nice flavors, but a very strong booze presence. Too strong really. Some roasted malts and lots of sweet molasses. Some sweet caramel malt joins the party through the middle, and some bitter chocolate, charcoal, and burnt espresso on the finish. Some oak and lots of booze after the swallow as well. Lots of booze. Again, this tastes barrel aged, but not in a good way; overly boozy and hot. A roasted, charred, bitter-sweet and boozy aftertaste is bold and long lasting. Very boozy and hot still. Lots of flavor, but too boozy to be enjoyable really.
PALATE: Thinner body, light, with higher levels of carbonation. Goes down rough with an alcohol burn at the swallow and finishes slightly mouth-coating with lots of heat. Too rough, thin, light, and not creamy enough either. Way too much heat too.
OVERALL: An overly boozy, burnt, thin, mess of an RIS. Granted, there was lots of flavor and plenty to consider, but not everything worth considering was enjoyable. Decently complex and overly boozy means the scores balanced out some. Perhaps another couple years will mellow it out a bit, but that still won't improve the look or thicken up the feel at all. Overrated and far more valuable than the beer in the container. Was grateful to finally get to try this highly acclaimed bad boy, but don't think I'd even buy it if it was readily available at the corner store for $5. Regardless, thanks again for the awesome trade Craytonic!
10-27-2010 15:21:10 | More by Jeffo
2.68/5 rDev -36.8%
Had this at a tasting... Finally getting around to typing up my notes from my iphone.
So stoutfest popped this thing open and called me over to give me the first pour... Thanks man.
Pours a HUGE frothy foam of a giant root-beer-float-like head. It isn't moving, it isn't going anywhere. I need to make up the guest bed for this thing because if I don't make a plan here, I'm gonna have a house-guest... The retention, lacing, and legs are all gorgeous. A dark dark black with some tan hints in the lacing and legs. The head is dark tan. Looks amazing...
The nose has some oak, some earthiness, chocolate, coffee, toffee, caramel, black licorice... not bad at all.
Wow. The beer drinks like espresso... with a GIANT alcohol presence on the finish. I mean like huge boozy character on this. HUGE. This is the booziest beer I've ever had-- and I've had Brandy barrel Alpha Klaus... The taste does not do the nose or looks justice.
Hiding beneath the napalm-attack of the alcohol is some toffee, some bitter cocoa, some anise, and a dry, oaky, boozy bitterness at the finish. This is like rocket fuel. It is HOT. Not even trying to mask or hide it at all.
The mouthfeel is nice-- it is thick, luscious, creamy, and velvety smooth...
Overall-- this is hurt big-time by the alcohol. I like big boozy beers, but this is just too much.
At this point khazaduhm heard me talking about the lack of balance in this beer and came over... He took a sip of my glass and exclaimed, "What the fuck man! Did you add a shot to this thing?! This is NOT the same beer I just drank..."
We took our pours from the same bottle... I am certain I had a clean glass. I don't know what happened-- but this beer was amazing in every way--- except the taste. Which, to be honest, hurts a fucking lot.
08-19-2011 05:11:45 | More by AleWatcher
2.73/5 rDev -35.6%
Thanks to Gregg for breaking out yet another big gun to the show. Cheers, pal!
Appearance -- Pours a deep dark brown with a tuft of dark brown head. Looks interesting.
Smell -- Licorice, anise, coffee, cocoa powder. Seems a bit dry.
Taste -- Very burnt. black malt, roast char, notes fresh ground coffee, underlying chocolate sweetness. Burnt/acrid notes definitely take up the most space in the flavor profile.
Mouthfeel -- Full-bodied with waaay too much carbonation.
Overall -- What is the appeal in this beer?!?! Horrendously over-carbonated, and not much to the flavor beyond burnt, charred malt.
04-11-2011 02:35:53 | More by yeahnatenelson
2.9/5 rDev -31.6%
South Sound Tasting Notes
Pours black with an extremely thin tan head, amber edges shine in the glass. Smells of faint chocolate and stale coffee, some brett funk and fruitiness showing through the two dimensional base nose of this brew. Taste is bland dark chocolate, stale coffee and wood char; a slight sour funk adds some depth and character to an otherwise unimpressive RIS. Mouthfeel is extremely thin- it felt like a porter rather than an RIS. High carbonation created too much carbonic acid, effectively weakening any flavor character. Overall- not horrible, not great, but surely not worth the trade price.
10-09-2011 18:46:28 | More by youradhere
3.03/5 rDev -28.5%
Southampton Mega Tasting! 2011 vintage, bottle #164/650, into Darkness snifter.
A - Pours black, mocha-colored fluffy head, spotty lacing, thin cap remains on top.
S - Huge amount of char, oak, roast. No chocolate, alcohol, burnt sugars, dark fruits? Meh, no good...
T - Too much char, slight chocolate, oak, and roast. Really though, the off-putting char is all that I'm tasting from this one. Where's the sweetness, even a small amount? No where to be found.
M - Full, over-carbonated, creamy finish.
D - Too much char & carbonation...that pretty much says it all for me. There's no sweetness, no chocolate, not even much alcohol burn. Meh, I'll pass. Perhaps some previous vintages are better? This one is average, at best.
04-10-2011 15:14:57 | More by Sean9689
3.1/5 rDev -26.9%
22 oz brown bomber with a vintage date of 2005 on the cap.
A- Used motor oil black color, nearly poured like it as well. Slow moving brown head holds its ground for a while.
S- Wet acrid burnt malt, underlying burnt sugar sweetness and some ripe dark berries make up the aroma.
T&M- Big sweetness, a higher sweetness of unfermentables. A bit too sweet as the burnt grain rides higher with a sharpness rather than complexity. Small complexity of estery dark berries and burnt coffee drive at the palate with a further sharpness. Smooth with a viscous creamy heavy body.
D- Couldn't finish the bottle ... I even let it warm up and tried again later to no avail. Not horrible but just misses the mark, I did not mind sipping about 6oz of it ... paired well with some dark Belgian Chocolate.
06-08-2006 02:53:43 | More by Jason
3.13/5 rDev -26.2%
A: Poured jet black with good carbonation leaving a nice brown cap
S: Funk, faded hops, cocoa and caramel
T: Typical profile. Roasted malt, light coffee faded bitter chocolate and hops which once lended some floral notes. Has a nice dose of funk and caramelized sugar
M: Thinner than expected, still a big bidy but watery, faded hops and malts which are not holding up and some light booze which has also faded
O: Average RIS
10-10-2011 16:21:42 | More by barleywinefiend
3.3/5 rDev -22.2%
I finally got a chance to try this hyped up beer from a brewery that I enjoy.
This brew poured thick and black with a nice brown creamy head. It smelled pretty good with a load of roast. The taste was not quite as good. For some reason, after you get past the nice chocolate initial flavor, a bit of wet dog flavor follows. It also has a slightly metallic flavor which is disappointing. I don't want to just point out flaws. It has the proper mouth feel for an IRS and the carbonation was low just like it should be. Overall, I didn't really enjoy this beer. I did feel privileged to get the chance to try this brew. Thanks for sharing Scott!
04-12-2009 17:53:10 | More by raverjames
3.3/5 rDev -22.2%
I tasted this in a blind tasting last Sunday and it came out # 10, out of 19 different Imperials. I noticed my score was fairly low considering the norm, so that, on top of the fact that I didnt take notes at the blind tasting, Pdee and I cracked a bomber tonight and shared it. Perfect appearence for an Imperial, inky black, with a huge, creamy and fat head, which appears muddy brown in color. The aroma is fairly subtle, with coffee bean and mocha hints, a slight note of chocolate and sharp, resinous aroma hops. Flavors begin with sharp anise notes, which lead into light grape and vanilla flavors, followed by a slightly chocolatey and coffee malt finish. Yet it remains flooded with aroma and flavor hops, particularly on the finish, which delivers a bitter and citrusy finish, and completely manhandles the assumingly great malt finish. At first the mouthfeel was a bit fizzy but it tamed and settled and eventually ended up being quite nice. I usually love Southampton, but definately not this one.
8 Month old bottle: The agressive, crude hoppiness of the initial batch has tamed substancially, both in the aroma and the flavor, yielding a balanced hop character right now, whereas the original batch was way over the top. Opaque black color, with a full, light brown head. After the aroma hops subside, a rich malitiness overwhems the senses, with a coffee ground, fudge character, with hints of charred fruits. Still hints of hops in the aroma, albeit light. Flavor has improved in a shocking manner, revealing the magic that the agressive hop rate concealed. An array of gummy, charred fruits and chocolate blanket, while the finish leads into a lightly alcoholic and lightly bitter hop finish. This really had molded into a classy drink. I look forward to seeing further improvement, but, unfortunately, my original fresh bottle rating still stands. 8/4/9/4/17
03-14-2006 03:33:23 | More by Crosling
3.33/5 rDev -21.5%
Pours black with an exploding cocoa head. Seems over-carbonated, but the head actually looks really good, so I split the difference. The smell is pretty mild - charred, smoky malts, maybe some molasses. Nothing altogether that exciting, but not deficient. The taste is a charred, almost tobacco malt. Very rich, but dry and a bit bitter. Not boozy at all, but really dry, molasses, little sweetness. I don't think there is anything fundamentally wrong with the taste other than the malts seeming almost over-charred, but I don't really like it. The mouthfeel was creamy in a nice way, but way over-carbonated. Again, I split the difference. Overall, I really didn't like this beer very much, but I think that may be more personal taste than anything wrong with the beer. As such, I'll downgrade it overall to balance my opinion.
04-03-2011 22:43:12 | More by seeswo
3.35/5 rDev -21%
Bottle. 2010 vintage. #5/500. Pours a dark brwon color with a tan head. Roasty, leather, and dark fruit. Medium/heavy mouthfeel. Rich and complex aroma. The taste is dominated by an over roast note that I find a little detracting. Roas, dark chocolate, and leather in the flavor as well. Overall, decent but the over roast bittereness to me is offputting and as I said detracts from my overall enjoyment of the beer.
10-23-2011 17:19:59 | More by kbutler1
3.45/5 rDev -18.6%
2011 vintage, bottle #459/650. Thanks to Carl (wchollif) for bringing this.
Very attractive IRS: ink black with a nice two-finger mocha head. Thick, frothy lacing.
Not a lot going on here at first, but it opens up after ten minutes or so. It's drier than I expected, featuring (almost caustic) smoke and tobacco. Dark chocolate, coffee, and molasses thankfully join the fray.
Bitter chocolate, some dry, leathery notes, and a smoky finish. Some dark fruit character, though it's harsh in nature, combating the roasted malt and smoky underbelly. A little anise peeks through right before the dry punch of a finish.
Medium-bodied and creamy, with higher than normal carbonation for the style.
This one grew on me the further into my glass I got. I think splitting this, say, three ways would have improved my regard for it, but, as it stands, SH IRS was a slight let down from my expectations.
03-09-2011 03:50:15 | More by Verecund
3.5/5 rDev -17.5%
Southampton Publick House
A: Dark, almost black, with dark brown hues. Two finger head that disappeared quickly. Nice lacing.
S: Coffee smell with some hints of chocolate and toffee.
T: Strong, coffee taste. Burnt and dry. Even a little bitter.
M: Thick and bubbly.
D: Definitely worth trying again. Not really a session beer, at least not for me.
01-30-2007 02:00:26 | More by hopbar
3.75/5 rDev -11.6%
'08 bottle shared by nickd717. Thanks, Nick.
Black in the glass with a dark tan head. Charred, chocolatey aroma. Undertones of coffee with a light fruitiness. There's a lot of charred bitterness on the palate, bordering on astringent, backed by spicy licorice flavors, espresso and a touch of chocolatey sweetness and dark fruit. Medium-full body, quite rich and flavorful but not necessarily my favorite take on the style. Less burnt bitterness and a touch more sweetness would be more to my liking. Solid stuff all the same.
10-05-2009 22:33:09 | More by largadeer
Southampton Imperial Russian Stout from Southampton Publick House
94 out of 100 based on 280 ratings.