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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.

291 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 291
Reviews: 155
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 10.4%
Wants: 388
Gots: 94 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Southampton Imperial Russian Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 291 | Reviews: 155 | Display Reviews Only:
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 billab914
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

billab914, Mar 27, 2014
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 JohnGalt1
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
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.


JohnGalt1, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

HopHead84, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of ShanePB
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

ShanePB, Jun 23, 2013
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 11.6.13
2012 vintage Bottle 148 of 650

A - Pours a motor oil black with a huge dark brown active head that fades slowly.

S - Malt, a touch of chocolate, overall pretty mild.

T - Creamy milk chocolate and vanilla. So good!

D - Tons of carbonation with a heavy body. Silky smooth.

O - Nose is subtle, but the taste is sublime. Great beer!

HuskyinPDX, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

iL0VEbeer, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of tobelerone
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lovely pour, black body with a huge tan head of great retention. Excellent lacing; looks like a stout milkshake. Aroma of bitter chocolate, roast malt, mild earthy hops, subtle anise. Typical but nice.

The flavor matches the aroma. Typical imperial stout but very well made and drinkable, rich and flavorsome, particularly for a non -barrel aged example. Bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt dominate; again there are hints of anise and verbally, earthy hops. Booze is pretty much hidden and any amount of modest sweetness the beet has dries up almost completely on the finish. A little bit of bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.

Medium full bodied, medium carbonation, smooth overall feel. This one isn't a monster, it's balanced and exceptionally easy to drink for the style. Not earth shattering, but elegant and enjoyable.

tobelerone, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage, one of the better bottles in the WW2 BIF from tprokop7 (thanks Todd) Opened during a tasting/party at DrGonzo's place in northeastern OH.

This pours a black color with a few fingers of dark tan foam. It looks and smells really solid, I love the dark foam. I get tons of roasted malts in the nose, along with some cocoa. I'm so used to bourbon aged stouts any more that I actually searched for bourbon. But this doesn't need it, a very nise smelling RIS.

The taste matches my memory of Bolshoi, although not as much chocololate in the Southampton. Lots of roast character in the aftertaste, this was really good from start to finish.

I know this bottle is a real pain to get, but I highly recommend it. Definitely a nice RIS, one of the better ones I've had in recent memory.

TurdFurgison, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev -5.4%

THECPJ, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of drummermattie02
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

drummermattie02, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Rhettroactive, Mar 27, 2014
Photo of xnicknj
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the release party

Pours a viscous black color with a bubbled toffee brown head which slowly dissolves into some wisps of film and sprinklings of lacing on the glass.

Strong scents of heavily roasted malt, subdued by softer chocolate and sweetness with touches of coffee and molasses.

A mix of roasty malt and caramel with some sweeter flavors. Dark chocolate and molasses balanced with hoppy bitterness. Lighter coffee flairs alongside alcohol warmth. All of the flavors are well balanced and in relative harmony, allowing each one to shine equally. Finishes with a spike of booziness and toasty malt.

Heavier body, mild carbonation, chewy yet smooth and soft on the palate. Pleasant drinking, excellent balance, and one of the better non-bal aged beers I've had in a while. The alcohol is just right, and there's enough hop bitterness to counter the sweetness and roasty malt. Great beer.

xnicknj, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of jrallen34
4.78/5  rDev +13%
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!!!!

jrallen34, Jan 05, 2011
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
Photo of thagr81us
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shared during a small Charlotte BA tasting with marine1975, caSSino, CarolinaKevin, and GehenHerzog. Massive thanks goes out to CarolinaKevin for sharing this tick with the group! Bottle 610 of 650! Served from bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Poured pitch black with a three finger brown head that subsided to one finger massively slow. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, sweet malt, dark fruit, sweet alcohol, and dark chocolate. The flavor was of roasted malt, smoke, dark fruit, dark chocolate, and alcohol on the followthrough. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation that was almost felt creamy on the palate. Overall this brew was quite excellent. The flavor was both very smooth and nicely complex. Also it had a nice toasty aspect going on too. The aroma was very inviting and pleasant was well. Really glad I got a chance to try this one and I suggest you seek it out as well.

thagr81us, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I like this beer. I've had it multiple times. I like this beer multiple times.

Reviewing 2010 vintage.

A - Black color with a fairly large foamy-brown head that had moderate retention and a fair bit of lacing on the glass.

S - Lots of chocolate and roasted malts, which is pretty much a pre-requisite for me in a good RIS. Some bittering coffee, toffee, touch of molasses.

T - Roast, cocoa, coffee, little char, slightly sweet, very roasted. Duh, winning.

M - Smooth, moderate carbonation, full bodied.

O - Really like this beer and have gone out of my way to acquire multiple bottles of it. Good stuff, will try to get my hands on more.

AgentZero, Jul 21, 2011
Photo of DefenCorps
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

DefenCorps, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev -5.4%

bsuedekum, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of gford217
4.3/5  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.

gford217, May 04, 2009
Photo of Lare453
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Lare453, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of illidurit
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

illidurit, Jul 13, 2009
Photo of francisweizen
4.9/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

francisweizen, Mar 03, 2005
Photo of Jwale73
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Thirstybird for braving the cold and sharing this one at our last tasting. Bottle 401/500. Pours black with a thin, quarter inch, khaki-colored head that quickly dispersed into a swirl. Nose reveals dark malts, roast, brown sugar and molasses. Taste is roasty and chocolatey with some brewer's licorice and some light bittering hops at the finish. Sweet, but not cloying so. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a pleasant, even carbonation and a slight viscosity. An excellent example of the style. No bells and whistles, but a fair amount of complexity and drinks extremely easy. Hard to believe it has a 10.2% abv. A really top notch RIS.

Jwale73, Aug 24, 2010
Southampton Imperial Russian Stout from Southampton Publick House
94 out of 100 based on 291 ratings.