1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Southampton Imperial Russian Stout - Southampton Publick House

Not Rated.
Southampton Imperial Russian StoutSouthampton Imperial Russian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

279 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 279
Reviews: 155
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 389
Gots: 95 | FT: 8
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Southampton Imperial Russian Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 279 | Reviews: 155 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From 01/21/11 notes. Shared by nimbleprop at a small tasting; thanks Mac! Huge want. Bottle 57 of 500, 2010 vintage.

a - Pours a jet black color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation evident. Not a lot of lacing or retention.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, dark fruit, and light toasted malts. Pretty nice.

t - Tastes of chocolate, dark fruits, coffee, cocoa, roasted malts, and vanilla. I thought the taste was very balanced; I loved it.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy body. Perfect mouthfeel for a RIS in my opinion.

d - I thought this was a great RIS. The smell was enjoyable but the taste and mouthfeel were outstanding. I was also surprised how easy it was to drink considering it was over 10% ABV; didn't feel that strong at all. Glad this one lived up to my expectations, would love to have again.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2011 18:55:00 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Gueuzedude


4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 bottle date, Sampled May 2006
Pours with a rich, chocolate brown colored head that is initially three-and-a-half finger thick. The beer is just plain black, about as dark as one can get. As I pour this beer I notice that this beer has a heft to it; it pours viscously into my glass. The aroma is defined up front by notes of concentrated burnt fruit; notes of raisins, prunes and figs intermingle with burnt, caramelized roast notes; as if the fruit had been caramelized and roasted under a blazing hot broiler. Wow the aroma is just so intense, yet so well balanced; lots of roast character resides in the aromatics, but it is tempered by the concentrated fruit notes. After a bit of intense schnozzing this beer picks up some toasted, dry, malty notes that never quite overtake the sweet fruit and malt notes. In fact there is a bit of alcohol towards the end, which just tends to accentuate the sweetness. The aroma on this beer is almost perfect, it is hard for me to ask more of the nose on an Imperial Stout.

The beer is thick and viscous on the palate; up front it almost has a lightness to it, but as the beer passes through the mouth it tends to stick to the palate and linger into a long finish. The finish is dominated by chalky roasted notes characterized by a burnt acidity and ample roasted grain character. Gripping note or dark roasted espresso dominate this beer. A touch of acidity stays through out this beer (most likely dark malt derived) and helps to accentuate the burnt, caramelized fruity notes that are found in the nose. The concentrated fruit notes are not nearly as evident as they were in the nose though. One gets the sense that this beer needs to age a few years in order to let the roast notes mellow out and to allow the fruit notes to come more to the fore.

There is something here that reminds me of tamarind; a sort of combination between the acidity and the fruit character. This is a really nice beer, nice enough that I am definitely wishing I had about a case of this beer to age and slowly sample from over the next 15 to 20 years. To my palate this beer has some of the best aging potential of any Imperial stout; ample roast character to fend off oxidation, and a complex malt and fruit character that should change and come to the fore over time. What this all means is that this beer, while over the top and intensely flavored, strike a balance that should carry this beer through many years of aging.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2006 04:15:55 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -5.7%

12-01-2011 00:25:26 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of mendvicdog


3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

09-20-2013 02:47:07 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle label: 2013 version, bottle #149 out of 450.

Appearance: pours a black chocolate color with a mil chocolate colored 2" head that slowly falls to a thick surface foam.

Smell: roasted malt, chocolate, and some alcohol come through to the nose.

Taste: big roasted malt, dark bread, and dark chocolate flavors here. Prunes, a bit of molasses, and a hearty bitterness rounds out this big beer. Alcohol provides a bit of warming after you swallow.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth at the start, velvety at the finish with some warmth and a touch of dryness. Long lasting aftertaste here.

Overall: Super RIS. Very slow sipping, but this is a meal in a glass. Expensive at $16 a bottle, but worth the splurge.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2013 19:59:20 | More by Gavage
Photo of beernads


4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

07-02-2013 07:46:49 | More by beernads
Photo of GClarkage


4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2005 02:49:50 | More by GClarkage
Photo of imperialking


4/5  rDev -5.7%

12-08-2011 15:29:26 | More by imperialking
Photo of corby112


4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2008 18:21:40 | More by corby112
Photo of weeare138


4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2008 01:43:25 | More by weeare138
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

01-18-2013 01:44:44 | More by yourefragile
Photo of barleywinefiend


3.13/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 16:21:42 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of akorsak


4/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2008 02:51:43 | More by akorsak
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the venerable Blind Tiger ale house in my home town, NYC. What can be added about this fine brew? Its black, strong,rich, flavorful,.malty,roasty, complex, chewy. Just an all around fine product. If you see it available in your local drinking establishment, do yourself a favor and order one. You cannot go wrong with this one, especially if you are a stout lover. I wouldnt start with this one however, it makes a much better last brew then a first. Sante..

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2005 03:32:28 | More by Billolick
Photo of orangesol


4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the 2012 release.

A - Pours pitch black with a decent one finger tall tan head leaving spotty streaks of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of dark roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, vanilla and some fresh cream. Good balance of sweetness to roast.

T - Starts off with plenty of dark roast slowly giving way to a good amount of sweetness - mostly from the vanilla, chocolate and cream - and some day old coffee grounds. Finish is best described as sweet roast, lingering on the pallet for some time after consumption.

M - Big body and lots of roasty flavor with a good amount of carbonation, growing a little thin as it sits in the glass.

O - Not my first time having this one. I think this particular one is still kinda raw, some of the aged versions I have had have been much better. Still one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 01:14:32 | More by orangesol
Photo of stakem


4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a 2011 bottle I picked up at the release. Bottle #617/650 with a listed abv of 10.5%. What a bastard of a cork, I worked it out most of the way and the last quarter of an inch broke off in the neck. A corkscrew was the salvation setting this brew free with a nice pop. Poured into the matching Southampton RIS release party fishbowl goblet at just under 50 degrees. This brew appears deep black in color with no light penetrating except for the thinnest line around the edge. The coloration that shines through the edge is a deep reddish brown. Atop the brew sits a quick dissolving brown cap that holds in a lace across the top and spots of lacing stick to the glass. A swirl revives a finger of dark brown head that coats the glass with patches of lace that glide back down to the solution.

The smell of this brew is deep and roasty. Woodsy tannins initially come to mind coupled with dark roasted coffee and grain charred to the level of being burnt that imparts a light amount of smoke as well. When I had this brew on tap at the release I remember being taken back by the sheer amount of hops present. Even now, 6 months later the hops are still running amuck in the nose imparting a mixture of fruit aspects that blend well with some fruity alcohol esters. As the brew warms up, more smells reveal notes of dark grain that are reminiscent of chocolate and a hint of molasses. Also, the warmer this brew gets, the more the alcohol starts to get fusel and tingle the nose.

The taste of this brew is quite roasted imparting a very strong bitterness that I really enjoy in this style when it comes from the level of char to the grain instead of oily and resinous from hops. The dark roast of the grains imparts a flavor of bitter chocolate, coffee, molasses, licorice, leather and lightly woodsy elements that are very earthy. The alcohol is bold enough that it comes through the dark grain flavoring and produces some fruity elements that are accented by the hops that are still lively in this brew. There is a very mild fruited flavor of raisins present which brings out more flavor of dark smoked molasses. While initially this brew seemed excessively roasted, drying and bitter the longer I enjoy this the more some residual sweetness seems to come out. The aftertaste is all char with a light citrus element. I dig this brew a lot.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. Thick and viscous enough to coat the inside of your mouth but carbonated enough that it isn't distracting. Having a full glass of this is absolutely vital to my level of enjoyment. Upon first sip I was a bit let down, the flavors seemed to be disjointed and a bit of a mess. But the warmer the brew gets and the more sips I take, I really start to enjoy this. This is a full on assault of roasted goodness, a must try for those who enjoy the RIS style and a benchmark at that. You bet your ass I will be there again next year to secure more of this treat.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2011 01:20:54 | More by stakem
Photo of InspectorBob

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

05-20-2013 20:16:45 | More by InspectorBob
Photo of Wasatch


4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2008 18:49:48 | More by Wasatch
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage

Pours a light brown head. Color is fairly black.

Aroma: Rich Belgian chocolate. Roasted malts, dark fruits, and cherries.

Taste: Rich and sweet. Dark chocolate, roasted malts, caramel, dried fruits. It reminds me a bit of Expedition stout with a few years on it. Pretty solid flavors.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, and syrupy. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends roasted and sweet with some coffee in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel reminds me a lot like 08 darkness.

Overall, it reminds me of aged expo meets 08 darkness. Very sweet and syrupy. It is great, but slow drinking. Pretty thick.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2010 01:58:38 | More by mothman
Photo of BARFLYB


4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2009 03:32:29 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 vintage, shared by Brad at the tasting on Saturday.

This beer appears a jet black with a gargantuan, beautiful, tan head. The aroma gives away the age of the beer to some extent, as there is a very slight mustiness in the nose. Scents of chocolates and roasted malt. There is a slight musty, been in the cellar a while taste (in the best way), along with robust roasted malt flavors. Alcohol is still slightly detectable in the finish, even after five years. This is a great beer that I'd really enjoy having again.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2010 03:38:21 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of John_M


3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 22:11:40 | More by John_M
Photo of drewone


3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

05-08-2012 03:48:51 | More by drewone
Photo of plaid75

New York

4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-14-2009 22:22:51 | More by plaid75
Photo of mdaschaf


4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

08-15-2013 02:00:38 | More by mdaschaf
Southampton Imperial Russian Stout from Southampton Publick House
94 out of 100 based on 279 ratings.