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Southampton Imperial Russian Stout - Southampton Publick House

Not Rated.
Southampton Imperial Russian StoutSouthampton Imperial Russian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

299 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 299
Reviews: 156
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 393
Gots: 93 | FT: 9
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-08-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Southampton Imperial Russian Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 299 | Reviews: 156 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Floydster
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle brought to the SeaO'Floydster tasting by Carlos, thanks for bringing this great stout Carlos, this version is 10.5%, 2008 vintage, consumed 3/28/09, reviewed from notes, poured into my Rader snifter

A-Pretty much black, huge 1 1/2 inch tan head, fantastic retention, ring still after fifteen minutes, really good lacing too
S-Mild coffee, chocolate, charred accents, raisins, dates, roasted malts, dates, brown sugar, vanilla, and black licorice
T-Get mostly roasted malts at the beginning, coffee and dark cocoa in the middle, more malts and burned sugar in the finish, charred flavors can be aggressive but they are balanced with sweetness from chocolate and vanilla, lots of different flavors by the end, this gets more complex as it opens up
M-Roasty, burned, slightly sweet, and dry mouthfeel, full bodied without being syrupy, dark chocolate lingers a long time in the finish
D-Alcohol is hidden very well, stuff is just thick and heavy after a few sips, certainly a sipper but a great one in that, nice and smooth

Medium carbonation which comes across a bit harsh at first. Very tasty imperial stout that I hope to try again someday

I have been wanting to try this forever and finally got the chance, definitely deserves to be in the Top 100, one of my favorite beers from this brewer, look forward to having again, this probably does wonders in the cellar, recommended

Floydster, Apr 02, 2009
Photo of seaoflament
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to markgugs for trading me this beer a while back. I took this beer to the SeaofFloydster Tasting on March 28th. I believe this was the last beer I reviewed and tried...it was a long night! This bottle was a 2008 vintage.

Like any other stout, dark with an attractive inch of head and some great retention and lacing.

The aroma was good. Some semi-sweet chocolate covered raisins, cocoa, roasted malts, dates, and light brown sugar. Very roasty but not burnt.

Roasted malts upfront with some chocolate following soon after, then some coffee, espresso, vanilla, and brown sugar in the finish. Some semi-dry cocoa flavor also in the finish. Medium carbonation which comes across a bit harsh at first. Very tasty imperial stout that I hope to try again someday.

seaoflament, Mar 31, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at Capone's for Philly Beer Week. I missed the bottle release so i'm glad this showed up to my area, again!! Review #150.

A- SH IRS came to me in a small serving absolutely black. Just black. No head on the surface just more blackness, I guess that sums it up.

S- Deep roasted chocolate malts as well as other varieties. A huge roasty aroma, a hint of smoke. Sweet and roast with just a bit of alcohol on the nose.

T- mmmm, this is good. Along with a deep roast with dark chocolate i'm getting just a touch of roasted coffee, again just a touch. Alot of sweetness fromn the malt and some licorice comes out in spurts. A top notch IRS that does not stray far from the style.

M- Deep with the liquid's contents coating the tounge. This goes down quite smooth with no real intrusion from the alcohol. Not that hot either, I wonder what year this is from. Not much lively activity on the tounge but the flavors melding nicely.

D- A easily drinkable IRS, one of the best i've had recently. The high alcohol could lead to trouble down the line. Hopefully this comes around again next year.

BARFLYB, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of tjthresh
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a bottle form 2007 and I drank it shortly after its release. Pours black with a big brown head. Thick lace. Smoke, tobacco, licorice, and a lot of hops in the nose. Chocolaty with truck loads of hop flavor. Warm and bitter. Full body. High carbonation. Dry finish. Should have let this bear age.

tjthresh, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours black with a huge, thick dark chocolate head. One of the prettiest imperial stouts I've seen. Aroma of rich chocolate malt and roasted malt. Flavor is smooth, creamy, and chocolatey. Not rich per se, but super smooth and mellow. I prefer it to a lot of a heavier RISes. A top notch imperial stout and one of my favorites.
8/5/9/5/17 (4.4/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of plaid75
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery.

Poured a deep black hue with a half finger dark caramel head.
There was decent retention and good lacing.

The smell featured a light coffee aroma with elements of molasses and smoke.

The taste consisted of a robust burnt grain, some caramel, dry coffee and a hop bitterness at the finish. Traces of ginger as well.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness for the style.

Overall a superior RIS and relatively user friendly.

plaid75, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of badbeer
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Bottling:

Black with a tan head leaving excellent retention and lacing. Aroma is mostly of dark chocolate, licorice, and roastiness, also some alcohol is noticeable. Taste is of sweet caramel, toffee, roasty coffee flavors, and some licorice. Medium carbonation and body. A real good beer, and one I'd expect to age quite well.

badbeer, Dec 28, 2008
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.

corby112, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of BeerTruth
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This super rare treat was graciously provided by the extremely generous Aprilluvsbeer. Thank you so much!!

750 ml black foiled top bottle poured into a snifter. Served at around 50 degerees. 2008 vintage.

Pours as dark as the midnight sky with a frothy one finger mocha colored head that slowly dies down to a creamy layer of foam. A solid wall of lacing remains on the sides of the glass throughout. Very powerful aroma consisting of fig, roasted malts, licorice, and oak. A good amount of dark chocolate, French Roast coffee, elderberries, and booze. So much going on in the nose, very strong and enticing. Taste begins with charred malts, burned sugars, and coffee beans. The dark fruits really become noticable midway with very ripe cherries, plums, and blackberries. Aftertaste is very warm and boozy with bitter earthy hop flavors, wheat bread, and cocoa powder. Big and chewy body with a harsh mouthfeel and an aggressive carbonation. This is definitely a sipper, but it's cold as hell and we're supposed to get a foot of snow in Syracuse tonight so I have no problem taking my time with this monster. I could see this being sublime with a year or two of aging. Thanks again April!

BeerTruth, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of hopdog
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1st bottling tasted courtesy of egajdzis. I've also had the 2nd bottling and on tap at the Southampton Brew Pub.

Poured a dark black color with an averaged sized brown head. Aromas and tastes of roasted malts, dark fruits, chocolate, licorice and I was getting some grapes in there.

Light alcohol in the end. Very easy to drink for such a big beer.

hopdog, Nov 05, 2008
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

SPLITGRIN, Oct 16, 2008
Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to shaebs99 for this brew.

2008 Bottle/Vintage

Pours a very nice thick black color, nice carbonation, nice one finger creamy tan head, with some islands and sticky lacing. The nose is big and malty, very nice touch of coffee/toffee/chocolate, vanilla, nice note of roastyness, with some caramel. The taste if very nice, malty, with some sweetness, very nice tones of the big three. Full-Medium body, the alcohol is hidden very well. Very drinkable, what can I say another awesome brew from Southampton, thanks Steve.

Wasatch, Jul 13, 2008
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!

Overlord, Jun 30, 2008
Photo of weeare138
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capone's...
Appears a near black with a 1 finger tan cap that quickly fades into a mild collar. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of cocoa, rich caramel, black grapes, fudge, tobacco, and spice.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas but a bit more tamed with the rich cocoa and caramel being left in the background.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, roasty, sweet, and balanced.
This is one tasty stout.

weeare138, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A snifter glass served at Capone's.

A: The stout is big and black, bold in ites depth with a tan head that lightly sits atop the ale.

S: The aroma is just as you'd expect, burnt with coffee, baker's chocolate and charred toast throughout. Lactic milkiness manages to break the density up a bit.

T: The taste branches out a bit, showcasing more of the imperial stout flavors with sweeter elements. Toffee and hops are far more prevalent this time around, as is coffee element. Overall, the stout is thick and chewy, a meal on its own.

M: The mouthfeel is dense and easily overwhelms the palate. Nothing within the ale stood out as earth-shaking but there's no denying that the beer is pleasant.

D: At 10%, this beer is a doozy. I limited myself to one and, in hindsight, that was a brilliant decision. I'd still curl up with a glass of this on a cold night.

akorsak, Jun 14, 2008
Photo of DrJay
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black beer topped by a dark brown cap. Fine bubbles formed a lasting skim and ring, and a few spots of lace clung to the glass. Great aroma, lots of toffee and caramel, dark chocolate and roast. As it warmed, there was a lactose sweetness and a bit of fruit, slight booze. The flavour was quite sweet with balanced bitterness. Some toffee and roast, lots of dark malt character that really dried things out. Nutty with mild hops, licorice in the finish. Heavy body with creamy carbonation, alcohol warmth. Very dry texture throughout. Seemed a bit unbalanced with dark malts in the flavour and texture, but that was a fairly minor issue for me. The aroma was great and it was a satisfying drink.

DrJay, Jun 14, 2008
Photo of jmalex
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at Capone's on 6-12-08. This review is from notes taken.

APPEARANCE: Served in a 10 oz. snifter, the beer came pitch black with essentially no head to speak of save a small, wispy collar. Despite this, some slight, splotchy lacing formed down the sides of the glass.

SMELL: Equal parts roasty and fruity with a little alcohol bite and maybe a touch of smoke. There's definitely more than just a balancing hop presence, but it gets overpowered by the big, malty aromas.

TASTE: The taste goes back and forth between the heavy roast coffee and the ripe dark fruits. The alcohol hits you right off the bat and is pretty much the one major detractor in an otherwise delicious beer. The hops are even more prevalent in the taste and come on mostly toward the finish, before giving way to a lingering roastiness that seems to keep hanging on.

MOUTHFEEL: Thick and chewy, yet not syrupy. Carbonation is low and appropriate. In other words, spot on.

DRINKABILITY: Certainly delicious but it's a big beer with some of an alcohol bite. For style though, not too bad.

I'm glad I got a chance to try this given it's limited availability. Time will tell if the hype machine grabs hold or if it gets lost in a shuffle of so many good Imperial Stouts. I suggest trying it if you can.

jmalex, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer came a deep dark black with an off-tan collar that left some nice rings of lace in the 10oz snifter at Capone's

Smells of sour prunes and a touch of cough syrup with some dry cocoa, oranges and a slight smokiness.

Tastes easy and smooth with a sweet barley and the same sour over-ripe fruits from the smell but is rather balanced. This is accompanied by a series of little pin-pricks of carbonation. Finishes with a touch of coffee.

Feels glassy and dense with a swarm of little pin-pricks that melt into my tongue.

A nice and easy RIS.

DarkerTheBetter, Jun 12, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a simple black body with a bubbly, beige head.

Smell: Roasted malt aroma with supporting notes of prune juice, licorice, fudge, and French Roast coffee.

Taste: Sweet, roasty maltiness. Light taste of dark fruitiness. Rich chocolate fudge and a robust cup of coffee. Hint of licorice and toffee. Some earthy bitterness. Finishes sweetish and decidedly creamy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: It's good, damn good, even.

ChainGangGuy, May 29, 2008
Photo of hoppymeal
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a decent sized dark tan head that slowly recedes. Aroma is a nice mixture of roasty coffee, nutty chocolate, sugary maltiness, and a bourbony alcohol. Taste leans towards the roasty side of things but is well balanced by some of the nutty chocolate flavor and a good dose of the bourbony alcohol especially towards the finish before a coffee aftertaste dwells. Mouthfeel is medium to full body, soft and creamy on the tongue, bit of a warming alcohol bite at the back of the throat in the finish. Easy drinking for the abv, nice coffee presence. Very nice beer, look forward to the bottled version to see how they compare. Thanks Tyler for the opportunity.

hoppymeal, May 04, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

mikesgroove, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

05 vintage consumed just over a year ago. Review from old notes. What a beer and what a brewery. I continue to be blown away by South Hampton. Dark brown, almost black body with a thick tan head that quickly diminishes to rest as a thin but pretty lace over the beer. Aroma is heavy on chocolate followed by well roasted malts. Some alcohol elements. Flavor is an exquisite blend of cocoa powder, burnt to the point of blackness malts, and figgy/plumy dark fruit booze. Minimal oxidization. Bitterness seems more coffee/chocolate in nature than hops. Light carbonation, thick body, but very drinkable. Outstanding.

DaPeculierDane, Mar 26, 2008
Photo of hopbar
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Southampton Publick House
Pint Glass

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.

hopbar, Jan 30, 2007
Photo of MuddyFeet
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2005. Been sitting on this bottle for about a year and a half.


I think my one-word description above hits it all. Midnight black. Only way to descibe the color of this beer. Thick, dark brown head that just recedes ever-so-slowly. Great retention. Nose is dark, coffee malts, but not much else.

Flvaor is overpowering coffee-like. One of the few time I really enjoy such a beer so over-blanced. As if it is meant to be. Also, some incredible chocolate mocha and dark toffee tones going on as well. Little bit of licorice too. Very full body, Lingers throughout. Sticks to the cheeks. Very silky and thick--like velvet drapes. The alcohol is very transparent, but nicely balance with the the malts the the slightly minty hoppniess. Really want to get another bottle of this fantastic beer. So easy and smooth to drink.

MuddyFeet, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of Bitterbill
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber(2005) a very dark brown/ with a very large head of foam that shrank slowly leaving just a fine layer.

The smell is hugely sweet..I note caramel and chocolate with a pretty big nose of alcohol. I know it's still summer but the aroma gave me visions of sitting in front of a fireplace with a few feet of snow outside....err... I digress.

The taste is really big on roasted malt, coffee, caramel, and chocolate and is sweet as all heck right up to the finish where there's a bit of hop bitterness and some alcohol warmth. After a few sips, I noticed more bitterness from the chocolate and coffee flavours so the over all sweetness of this stout calmed down a bit and I was able to enjoy it more. Good and tasty stuff but I could not drink more than 1 of these at a time for sure. ;^)

Bottom line: This is a very tasty RIS that one should try given the chance. My thanks to Nutbrown for this sample!!

Bitterbill, Sep 10, 2006
Southampton Imperial Russian Stout from Southampton Publick House
94 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.