1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Southampton Imperial Russian Stout - Southampton Publick House

Not Rated.
Southampton Imperial Russian StoutSouthampton Imperial Russian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

320 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 320
Reviews: 158
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 10.69%
Wants: 405
Gots: 95 | FT: 11
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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Southampton Imperial Russian Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 320 | Reviews: 158 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ffejherb
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to slander for sharing this rare bottle with our group at Brass Rail Deli on 12/14/09. 2009 release - bottle #339 of 450.

A - Deep, virtually black body with a small burnt tan head that retained as a creamy cap, leaving sparse lacing around the glass.

S - Initial aroma blends leather and licorice notes with a hint of coffee and chocolate. Malt character is slightly toasted and rice-like. A warm waft of alcohol also emerges as the liquid reaches room temperature.

T - After each sip, the flavor changes. At any given time, notes of licorice, leather, coffee, chocolate, earthy hops and dark fruit dance across the palate. However, the woody character of this RIS is steadfast and unwaivering. The complexity of this beer is simply amazing.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation and a slick, oily texture. Quite a chewy mouthfeel overall. Hop bitterness really clings to the palate. finishes with a bit of alcohol warmth.

D - This RIS is deep, complex and refined. Many thanks to slander for sharing such a rarity with us!

Photo of John_M
3.78/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled during the gala tasting over at Dyan's the other night. This was bottle number 83 from the 2009 release.

The beer pours blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. Nose is very unusual in this one, with aromas of dark chocolate, licorise, malt balls, sawdust and manure fertilizer. While certainly not repulsive, needless to say this isn't something I smell every day in a beer. The beer is much better on the palate, with dark chocolate and milk chocolate, licorise, roasty malt and a hint of vanilla. The beer is definitely on the sweet side, probably excessively so (at least to my palate). There's some decent bitterness on the finish, but it's really not enough to counter the sweetness in this beer. The beer is pretty smooth and long, and there's no denying that this beer is an absolute presence on the palate. The beer is otherwise very full bodied and rich, and drinkability is OK for the abv. and style. However, the excessive sweetness and noticeable alcohol make it difficult to drink a whole lot of this.

An interesting beer, but not sure I'd want to drink this on a regular basis.

Photo of rudylaw
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to eyebrews for bringing this 2009 bottle to a recent tasting.

A luscious, dark pour yields a beautiful head.

Huge amounts of cocoa, malts, coffee and dark fruit in the nose. This is a wonderful smelling stout! Very complex.

All that and then some in the taste... but there's something unique here too... some marshmallow fluff likeness perhaps? Medium-bodied and finishes rather dry for an RIS.

This was the standout of the night for me. I'm glad to have another bottle for a future tasting to enjoy!

Photo of DefenCorps
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for knocking off this long time want, Devin! This is the 2009 release

Jet black with a dense, dark brown head with great retention and lacing. The nose is loaded with roasty aromas with plenty of dark fruit character. Some bitterness is apparent, there is some pine character as well. Mild oxidation is noticeable (and surprising) with plum and a little cardboard. Mildly creamy, I get some malted milk balls as well. The palate opens big, thick and fruity with a blend of milky, creamy sweetness, hops, oxidation and a mild bitterness. The combination of pine and malt sweetness results a a flavor that's mildly vegetal, with some cooked fruit character. Roasty on the finish, this feels a little flabby. Solid stuff. Big in body with soft, smooth carbonation, the finish is roasty. The intensity of this beer makes it hard for me to drink more than the 4oz I poured myself.

Photo of waltonc
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bgramer for the great trade.

Pours dark as an event horizon. Smells of deep roasted malts and bitter chocolate. Tastes of charred malts, molasses, and bitter chocolate. Grows more chocolaty as it warms, and eventually a tad too much chocolate for my taste. Fairly dry but again, gets a little sweeter as it warms. One of the better RIS I've had. A throwback to the days before the obsession with barrel aged stouts - this is just a great all around brew. Thick bodied with medium carbonation and creamy mouthfeel. Very well done.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
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.


Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 vintage. Thanks Overlord. Consumed on 10/10/2009 with Masterski and Overlord. The beer looks like a Russian Imperial Stout. It's black and viscous. It looks like motor oil flowing out of the 22oz bottle. The head is two fingers and light brown with excellent retention and scattered lacing.

The aroma is of dark chocolate with a strong roasted malt presence. Black coffee is evident (as it tends to be), as are dark fruits. Alcohol is well hidden.

The flavor is dry and roasted with notes of black strap molasses. Coffee adds complexity and moderate astringency. Dark fruits are subtle, and there is a low level of sweetness .The finish is very dry with lingering roast and coffee. Booze makes itself known with some warming in the finish. I don't even get a trace of oxidation.

The beer is medium full bodied with a viscous, sticky, and silky mouthfeel. Carbonation is at an upper low level.

The beer's lack of any detectable trace of oxidation speaks to the importance of proper storage. This has aged remarkably and is one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts I've had recently.

Photo of MasterSki
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 vintage thanks to Overlord. Served in a goblet.

A - Dark mocha foam, that dissipates to a solid cap and leaves some spotty lacing. Pitch black body, with a hint of lighter brown at the bottom of the glass.

S - Tons of cocoa, dark fruits, figs, raisins, roasted malts, some coffee. Very intense, potent nose, well hidden ABV.

T - Taste is very similar with tons of dark fruit, marshmallow, but with more anise twang, and a roasty dry finish.

M - Medium body, soft smooth texture, lots of residual stickiness, some dryness as well.

D - This was a surprise - a better straight-up stout than Kate the Great. Awesome brew, and I'm super glad I got to try this one.

Photo of nickd717
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottle via trade thanks to badbeer. I met the brewer from Southampton, Phil Markowski, at GABF recently, and I've been impressed with everything I've tried from them so far. This was no exception. Copied from notes again after earlier rating was deleted.

A - Pours jet black and fairly thick with a small tan head and good lacing.

S - Aroma is roast, coffee, licorice, and some dark fruit. Smells very good.

T - Flavor is roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and a little anise. Very good and well-balanced, if not too intense. A little on the less sweet side for an imperial stout.

M - Silky smooth on the palate with medium full body and a little alcohol warmth.

D - Pretty drinkable for an imperial stout.

Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

'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.

Photo of bulletrain76
4.26/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at the RBSG grand tasting. Dark brown head over a black body. Hoppy, piney and dark chocolate aroma. The flavor is an excellent balance of rich chocolatey malt and juicy hops. Full bodied and smooth. There were tons of good stouts opened at the tasting, but this rose to the top of the heap. Lovely stuff

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.11/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep black with a nice mocha colored head the hangs in for the long haul.

S: Chocolate. Reminds me of Choklat in the sense it has a bit of a Nesquik flavor to it.

T: A slight roastiness accentuated by a nice chocolate flavor. Not too much more unfortunately.

M: Full bodied with a nice stout chewiness at the end.

D: Very good. Not the most mind blowing stout but definitely worth the drink.

Photo of illidurit
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

RBSG09 bottle courtesy of ??? at the grand tasting. Pours as close to black as possible. Dark brown highlights and a dark tan head. Aromas of fudge, semisweet chocolate, and roasted coffee. Fruity chocolate flavor, cherries and dark fruit, big roasted finish. Solid roasted bitterness, great RIS.

Photo of tpd975
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #247 of batch 2

A: Pours a nice dark brown with a small tan head. Very little retention and just a touch of lace manages to cling.

S: Tons of roasted malt up front, with light coffee notes. Chocolate and mild dark fruit round things out.

T: Nice blast of roasted malt up front. Coffee and chocolate dominate the middle. Dark fruit manages to push its way in as well near the finish.

M: Medium in body, smooth, with good carbonation.

D: It is simple for such a highly touted beer. It is still very tasty though, and dangerously drinkable for the style.

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft into tulip, reviewed after trying at two different bars (Barcade and Blind Tiger).

Pours black, no head at all. Utterly opaque, some soapy suds but that's it.

Nose is light, roasty, some espresso, licorice and earthy dark fruits, some alcohol heat.

Taste leans heavily towards an almost earthy vinous dark fruit character, with strong licorice and black-strap molasses notes as well. Some roastiness, but surprisingly lacking in coffee or strong chocolate presence, with an earthy bitterness on the back end.

Mouthfeel is slick, low carbonation, bit viscous but not as thick as I'd like.

Photo of sonicdescent
4.01/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one courtesy BrooHa. Thanks my friend, and cheers! 2009 Vintage from a 750ml bottle, numbered 112 of 400. Here we go.

Appearance is just perfect for this stout nerd, completely black, extremely thick and pillowy mocha colored head with great retention and lacing.

Smell is of chocolate, smoke, earthy hops. Good.

Taste is also good, not great..smoke, roasted malts, even a slight hop presence, nothing in the Yeti realm, but more than most. Again good, could use some age.

Mouth is medium bodied and medium in carbonation.

This is a good beer and I am happy to have the opportunity to try this one.

Photo of rye726
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Photo of craytonic
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage.

Appearance: Reminiscent of Dr. Pepper. Pours black with a hint or rust, nice head.

Smell: Toffee, dark grilled fruits (dates, raisins, prunes, figs), caramel, roast, vanilla, heavy malts.

Taste: Rather sweet, like fudge with brown sugar. Some burnt acidity, dark bitter chocolate, coffee, toffee, along with the aromas listed above.

Mouthfeel: A little lighter than I expected. Beer made with milk? Seems that way.

Drinkability: Decent, wish I had let it age a few years for the flavors to meld - they all seem to distinct. Felt this was unimpressive and doesn't live up to the hype.

Photo of gford217
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #800. 2009 bottle, 750mL numbered 230, poured into a tulip.

Pours pitch black with a massive mocha head, at least three inches worth, that hangs on for ages and forms a nice cap that leaves good lacing after each sip.

The aroma is textbook RIS with massive dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, licorice and a bit of citrus hops just to round things out. Some dark fruits come out when it warms, especially raisins and figs.

There's a massive chocolate malt explosion on the palate with the first taste. Just tons of dark malts with a roasted character that lingers through the finish with the alcohol burning ever so slightly between sips. There is a vanilla sweetness that builds as it warms and balances the massive roasted malt backbone.

The mouthfeel is on the fuller side of things with pretty strong carbonation.

This is one of the better stouts I've had in recent memory and a fantastic example of an RIS. Despite being a textbook example, it seems to bring bigger versions of the flavors to the table at every turn. Big thanks to the generous trader who got me this bottle.

Photo of raverjames
3.4/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

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!

Photo of rallison
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage from a trade last year (need to look up who I got this one from!).

Rich dark brown/black with a creamy tan head that sticks around for a bit.

Roast, chocolate, wood and dark fruits in the nose.

Taste is definitely quite roasty - not as roasty and ashy as Abyss, but definitely roasty with touches of ash. Dry, dark chocolate, tobacco, blackberries, bitter hops all come together in this brew. Finishes a bit too ashy dry for my taste. But, I am being picky, as the ashy character of some imperial stouts is starting to become a pet peeve of mine. This is actually quite good - just, personally, I could use a bit less ash. World class, regardless.

Rich, decadent mouthfeel with a dry finish.

Despite my nitpickings, this is a very nice imperial stout and worth seeking out. If you don't mind the ashy characteristics of Abyss and enjoy imperial stouts, I do believe you will love this one. Recommended.

Photo of Floydster
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
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

Photo of seaoflament
4.23/5  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.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.17/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of tjthresh
3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Southampton Imperial Russian Stout from Southampton Publick House
93 out of 100 based on 320 ratings.