1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Southampton Imperial Baltic Porter - Southampton Publick House

Southampton Imperial Baltic PorterSouthampton Imperial Baltic Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

356 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 356
Reviews: 326
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.33%

Brewed by:
Southampton Publick House visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 02-13-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 356 | Reviews: 326 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Brent


4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer over-hypes itself, as it is not an "imperial" and not really that much of a Baltic porter. Putting delusions of grandeur aside, this hits the mark as a quite good porter in the American style, what once was called the "robust porter" category. Pours a tarry black with a caramel-tinged moderate head. Big roasted flavors with distinct coffee and semi-sweet chocolate notes. Creamy mouthfeel and firm hopping bat cleanup. Does not push into the harder roasted malt notes common to the Baltic porter, which is okay here. Nicely done.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2010 13:39:36 | More by Brent
Photo of MikeBrandman


3.23/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Wow. Black. Not much else to describe in terms of the color here. Opaque, no visible carbonation, and an offwhite, mocha head.

S - A pretty weak smell. I struggled to smell much of anything. What is there is mostly chocolate malts. Slight breadiness to the smell.

T - Taste is rather weak as well. Sweet upfront and has a nice coffee/chocolate aftertaste, but in between these two...there's nothing. From what I can tell, there's just about only aftertaste to this brew. I'm honestly having trouble saying much about this taste. Chocolate at the end is pretty pronounced, but that's it.

MF - A bit heavy. Not quite chewy, but definitely thick.

D - Not all that drinkable due to the lack of complexity and heavy body.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2010 02:20:49 | More by MikeBrandman
Photo of MrDanno96


3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours pitch black with about a finger of off-white head. Some foamy lacing coats the sides of the glass.

S: Some dark chocolate, coffee, toffee, and a little nuttiness.

T: A good dose of chocolate up front transitions into some earhtier flavors of coffee, wood, and smoke.

M: Medium bodied; very smooth and easy drinking for the abv.

D: A solid Baltic porter. Probably not something I'm going to actively seek out again, but a good representation of the style nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2010 05:48:41 | More by MrDanno96
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a near black body with two full fingers of slowly deflating, khaki-coloured foam.

Smell: An adequate scented grouping of cola nuts, decaffeinated coffee, caramel, chocolate, and dark fruits. While it is a good mix of notes, nothing in it at all is particularly bold. Ever onward!

Taste: Lightly charred barley soothed with chocolate powder, dark caramel, and a splash of chilled RC Cola and coffee. Medium sweetness throughout. Fruitiness akin to prune skins with just a very small hint of tartness. Pinch of anise. A growing taste of oven-roasted nuts as it warms. A low earthy bitterness encroaches on the dry, ever-so-slightly chalky finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Fairly smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Hmm, well, it's a little bit lighter and looser than I had anticipated. Still, it makes for a pleasant, smooth drink.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2010 16:03:34 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Rayek


3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a perfect pint glass.

A: Deep mahogany, bordering on black. A frothy cream head has OK retention and leaves bits of lace.

S: Chocolate, coffee, and toffee, plus a bit of burnt wood.

T: Starts out with a baking chocolate flavor, plus some caramelized sugar. Bitterness is quite mild and has a lemon and black tea combination, plus a hint of roastiness. The beer gets a touch acidic toward the finish, but ends well with lingering toffee and chocolate flavors.

M: The medium body is lightly dry and just about the right level of fizz.

D: This is a nice Baltic that drinks lighter than its ABV. It was a good accompaniment to the cold and rainy night I drank it on.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2010 03:01:56 | More by Rayek
Photo of elgiacomo


2.48/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Quick Update, Oct 17, 2010. Fresh 2010 batch, best by Nov 24, 2011. Pretty much the same as before...thin, charred, smoky, and weak. An OK Porter, a failure as a Baltic or Imperial Porter.

Pretty sure this is where this review belongs. Conflicting listings for this product and its American Porter sibling between the two beer sites. Images for both listings here at BA are identical. ABV of my bottle does not match this listing, but bottle description dictates Baltic Porter style.

12oz bottled Mar 17, 2009, best by Mar 12, 2010...so this is at the end of its run. Pours somewhat thin dark brown, black in the glass with a small tan head that quickly reduces to only a ring, leaves some lacing. Some bottles produced a bigger, foamier head and left a good amount of lacing.

Mild aroma featuring a little toffee and roasted malts.

Flavor is some dark fruits, a little chocolate, caramel, toffee, roasted malts, some...saltiness? Pretty meh overall. However, some bottles were better than others with bigger chocolate flavors.

Medium carbonation, medium body.

3rd one of the six pack, none have impressed me, although this may have been the weakest bottle. 4th & 5th were better...inconsistent would be a fitting word to use. Baltic Porters are my favorite style and this is a pretty weak example overall. Nothing Baltic or Imperial about it.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2010 03:57:20 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of biglite351


3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - it struck me as a dark cola. Brownish red around the edges with a white medium foam that shrunk quickly.

S - maybe because of hoe it looked to me, I thought it smelt a bit sweet like a soft drink. However, some malty porter smell finally made itself known once I got the pop idea out of my mind. I actually really liked this smell.

T - refreshing sweet flavor. It actually tastes clean if that makes any sense. It is a bit mild though. Of the flavor was a little stronger I would feel comfortable giving it a higher rating. However, even though I like the taste, it isn't strong enough. There is also a slight bite in the after taste that I could do without.

M - tingle in the back of the mouth sort of like a fizzy drink. You can even feel a little in you throat.

D - this would probably work well with a meal. I think it would be a good pallet cleansing brew. You coup also drink this while playing cards or such. However, I would not drink this as a kick-back brew or at a party or such.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2010 01:21:11 | More by biglite351
Photo of becktone


3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes 1-27-10

Eye: This beer pours black with some dark brown clotting blood red highlights, just the color it should be. Head is light brown and initially forms at about two fingers and then settles to a foamy 1/2 finger. I'd have liked to see the head stay where it initially was. Lacing is thin walls with rings marking the previous liquid level of beer.

Nose: Huge malt aroma fills the room once decanted. Roasty, chocolate, and grainy tones. Some sour tones, such as a sour mash smells, this is pleasant though not disgusting. It reminds me of the aroma of a mash thats been sitting around for a day because I was too lazy to clean it up the night before. I like the aroma here in the beer, but not when I'm covered in it cleaning it up. Its much more laid back here and melds well with the chocolate and roasty aromas and adds depth the the grainy tones.

Tongue: Alcohol is well hidden. Malt sweetness, some dark fruits are hinted at, nothing specific, just dark fruit. Some slight tartness, right upfront coupled with some slight acidity-acidity points towards black/sour cherries maybe? Roasted and Chocolate notes sit on the tongue well through the aftertaste, but are pretty weak. That graininess and the day old mash are there adding depth and complexity. I was really hoping for more from this one. Its good but really lacks any real depth or complexity in my opinion. It finishes with what seems to be out of place hop bitterness, lingering.

Feel and Drinkability: Body is much thinner than I expected it to be, kinda disappointed here. It goes down way to easy is is much too light. It needs some weight to it. The carbonation is light a fine, delicate and it works to bring out acidity, slight tartness and the implication of cherries. Followed by this is the sour mash thing, then in the finish that alcohol deal, astringency from alcohol. I like how the carbonation works here, very nice. However, I really think that the body could use some weight to it, it seems to just be to thin, I want a full bodied porter, especially if on the back of the label it's talking about deathly cold winters...I want something thick and heavy. Its easy to drink, and I find that to be a problem. It goes down to smooth, body is too light and I'd prefer to sip on it, but the body doesn't warrent that. Sure I'll enjoy the rest of it, but I'm not sure that I'd go looking for this one. Give it a go, I'm glad I did but I've had better.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2010 21:04:59 | More by becktone
Photo of Bung

North Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. A very dark brown pour with brown peaking through around the edges. Little tiny bit of white bubbles that goes away pretty much right away.
Some sweet malt and light peat, chocolate aromas. Nothing bad, but nothing all that good either.
Taste is better, but lacking in depth and complexity. Lightly malty, chocolatey and peaty. Pretty easy to drink, no alcohol presence.
Lighter side of medium bodied.
It gets better as it warms, but still really quite boring. Honestly I have not been that impressed with Southampton, but I only get their major produce.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2010 05:29:33 | More by Bung
Photo of albern


3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a decent Baltic Porter, its not excellent, far from brilliant, but it is a pretty good representation of the style. It pours a dark ruby mahogany color with no head really, no lacing. The nose is pretty slight. There is a boozy soaked oak and caramel aroma. The nose is definitely that of a Baltic Porter, although the taste is not quite as boozy as the nose would lead you to believe.

The taste is definite caramels, toffee, there is a woody or oaken character to this beer. There is plenty of sweetish dark malts, crystal malts as well, almost a slight nutty flavor emerges. There isn't the tough boozy or chewy quality that you find with other BPs. The body is much more medium bodied than is typical for the style. There is less assertiveness here, less creaminess, just a lighter and sweeter beer than many other BPs. There is no boozy quality and the 7% or so ABV is well hidden. This beer isn't particularly warming. It is a sweet porter that is plenty drinkable but not brilliant.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2010 22:18:42 | More by albern
Photo of animal69


3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a deep mahogany color w/ a thin beige cap that settles quickly leaving little lace in my goblet

S- a very mild smell, a bit of burnt toast, some vinous woody notes, a bit of dark fruit and smoke detected as well, maybe a hint of spice

T- a faintly acrid sourness with some sweet brown malts is at the front of this one, some sort of smoked fruit joins in with an earthy undertone midway, finishes puckeringly dry, not as much flavor as i thought it'd have

M- an extremely dry light-med. bodied beer w/ average co2, feels quite thin on the palate

D- a pretty good drinker for a 7.2% brew, i'd have it again

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2010 02:46:19 | More by animal69
Photo of Amalak

New York

4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this off the tap at d.b.a. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
A- It has a very deep black color, with a limited head and slight lacing.
S- It has almost a chocolate chip cookie scent to it.
T- It's extremely smooth with an intense barley malt taste to it. Like the smell, there is some chocolate in there. I think this is one of my favorite porters that I've had.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2009 16:22:17 | More by Amalak
Photo of gregmoscetti


2.58/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Really Southampton? I go to a bar in NYC that boasts a lot of good stuff... I take a chance on you because the Leviathan Series baltic porter was tapped out... and this is what I get?


Thin and syrupy. No backbone. no body. little taste. When I think imperial porter I think gonezo (which they had, but since i can drink it in California, I ignored). This was a big disappointment.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2009 04:32:36 | More by gregmoscetti
Photo of projectflam86


3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this through a trade with JoeyBeerBelly. Cheers!

A- Pours a deep brown cola color with a thick coffee colored head that leaves nice lacing.

S- Big roasted aroma with some smoke and black licorice.

T- Full roasted/burnt malt flavor with some light bitterness in the finish. Flavors of anise, cocoa powder, burnt toast, dark fruit, and coffee beans all meld together quite nicely.

M- Medium bodied with low carbonation. A touch thin and the alcohol is a bit heavy.

D- Nice brew that was quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2009 03:27:42 | More by projectflam86
Photo of bump8628


3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown almost black in color with a finger of tan head that hangs around forever.

Aroma...hmm, not much to say here. Really, not much to say because there's not much to speak of. Certainly it's not bad but I sort of expected a strong Porter such as this to have a little smell to it. I can pick out a bit of roast and maybe some smoke but its all very faint.

Taste delivers a little more than the smell with some smooth chocolate and caramel notes and bready malt. It's very pleasant but much mellower than almost any Porter I've ever had.

Well, this is my first commercial sampling of this style. I know it tends to be clean, often brewed with a lager yeast, and much less aggressive in terms of roasted malts, but this is even smoother than expected. All in all pretty good, although I think I prefer something a bit more aggressive.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2009 04:24:23 | More by bump8628
Photo of srrn

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a quickly reducing one finger head after a vigorous pour. Deep brown, but not quite black. Smell is chocolate, maybe licorice and a bit of coffee. Taste is the same. Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than others I've had but all in all true to the style, less expensive than others and a good solid brew. Southampton brews a wide variety of styles, only a few available here but great offerings none the less.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2009 14:30:59 | More by srrn
Photo of Cakanator


3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber. Dark as night color and viscous. Great roasted aromas very smooth on the palate and great coffee and mocha flavors. Compared to Baltic Thunder I would say this one has more body. Nothing age worthy in my book, but then again I don;t look to age these. Great baltic, would have again if it were around.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 05:18:03 | More by Cakanator
Photo of m1ked


4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle from New Beer Distributors.

A- Pours a pitch black with a razor thin coffee colored ring when held up to the light. A thin ring of espresso foam on top. Looks like a stout.

S- Boozy, cola, Dark red cherries, raisins, dark chocolate.

T- MMmm...slight rum soaked raisins, rich vanilla, cola, wood notes, cocoa. Really nice mix. Kind of hard for me to pull out the seperate flavors they mingle so well. Leaves a vanilla cola aftertaste.

M- Low carb, which is nice. Not too heavy....heavy for a porter, with residual sugar coating my mouth.

D- This is a really good porter. Lots of dark mixed flavors in there. I would definitely recommend, and will seek this out again.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2009 20:22:25 | More by m1ked
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

3/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery pint glass.

A: Gentle pour yields a 1 finger cream colored, moderately fine head that dissipates rather quickly into just a think wisp at the top. Brew itself is near opaque black. Lacing is near non-existent with a touch here and there.

S: roasted coffee sourness, a bit of hoppiness, and maybe a hint of dark chocolate.

T: Malt backbone is apparent at the beginning. Roasted coffee creeps in and adds a touch of sourness. Finish is malty with a bit of chocolate but the sour coffee never quite goes away, lasting into the finish.

M: Medium bodied and very coarse. Mouth is wet and just a touch oily with the carbonation adding a degree of aggressiveness. Finish is very messy but ends quick.

D: Not a terribly drinkable beer but rather average. Also not terribly complex. I'm not too impressed here. The body does add a bit to the score but its not something that can really make up for the lack of flavor in the taste and lack of appearance in what is claimed to be an "imperial" porter.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2009 20:02:26 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of Mistofminn


4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Recieved this bottle from iconoklaztor as an extra, thanks a bunch Don!

2006 Vintage. Poured into a Darkness tulip. Pours very dark, near pitch black into a tulip glass. About a finger or two of creamy light brown head is produced with decent retention. Leaves a little bit of lacing here and there.

The nose is lightly toasted malts, sweet malts, chocolate and cream, toffee and vanilla, very appealing. I'm definitely looking forward to taking a sip of this...

Wow...wasn't expecting this. Chocolate! If I didn't know better, I would have this pegged for a chocolate porter, it's so incredibly chocolatey and lightly roasted malts, vanilla and cream...so smooth and tasty...this is definitely a treat.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a low carbonation. I can't imagine a brew going down easier. The drinkability is through the roof on this one.

Overall, a very very good offering for Southampton. This has to be the best Imperial Porter I've ever had, hands down, far and away...whatever you want to call it. This is tasty stuff, and I wish I could get my hands on more of it! This bomber was way way to easy to polish off.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 08:31:55 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of SkunkWorks

New York

3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 into an imperial pint glass. There's no head formation and its lightly carbonated. Its very dark, almost black. When it is held up to the light, its a very deep brown. Aroma wise, I mostly get the aroma of the alcohol a little in terms of roasted malts and dark fruit. Now, as for the taste, there's a little chocolate up front followed by some fruitiness. There's also a little chocolate in the aftertaste. Its not incredibly complex or challenging.. Drinkability wise, this is a very drinkable porter when compared to others.

Overall, I'm not really so impressed. There are definitely better porters out there.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 06:04:49 | More by SkunkWorks
Photo of ATPete

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
bottled at Latrobe.

Pours a jet black color with a medium sized tan head. Average aroma emanating from this one, some roasty malt and some coffee creamer. Light in body, silky smooth with nice carbonation great mouthfeel even though some may say its a little thin, i remember this beer in years past (22oz bottles) being a bit bolder and bigger in body and flavor...oh well. Dark malt dominates the flavor, a mild bitterness on the finish that i wouldnt quite call a true "hop character' in this one. My only complaint is the yeast chosen, it tastes like a macro lager strain. One of the better samples i've had since the Southampton fiasco, and the first ive had out of Latrobe under the SH label.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2009 21:34:00 | More by ATPete
Photo of alpinebryant


3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a really dark brown, not quite black with a tan head lacing on the edges

Smell of raisins, plum, fig

Taste of sweet malt, amber malt, toffee, caramel. Not overdone on the black patent, but noticeably mild in terms of an imperial baltic porter. Toffee is the strongest flavor that I got out of this beer.

Light mouthfeel for a porter. Would hesitate to say watery, but definitely light in terms of expectations of a baltic porter. Bottle says Southampton is a brewer of a full range of classic ales and lagers. I would say this is probably holding to the classic style, just not as tasty as some of the other baltic porters I have had

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 01:04:53 | More by alpinebryant
Photo of CHADMC3


3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Jet-black body with a foamy tan head that hangs around for a while eventually leaves a sticky lacing behind.

Big malt aroma, but sweeter than I would have anticipated up front, more like dark fruits, and perhaps molasses but as the beer warms, it becomes a bit more toasty and the chocolate and coffee come out.

Tasty warming coffee malt backbone, underlying toasted aspects, notes of milk chocolate, subdued sweetness to a lesser degree than the nose, and a finish with just a touch of pepper or smoke.

Medium to almost thin in body, very smooth, medium carbonation, but not quite as "imperial" as I expected.

Great to drink, could be a bit bigger in body, but great flavor character, and certainly worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2009 01:52:04 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of scottg


3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

pours a light black color, dark garnet when held to the light, with a two finger tan creamy head with good retention leaving thick lacing that slides back to the beer. Sweet aromas of caramel, butterscotch, and stone fruit. Up front flavors of brown sugar and dark chocolate with a mild hop flavor to balance, alcohol warmth in the middle with a milk chocolate finish. Low carbonation, slightly thin mouthfeel. Very easy drinking porter, not too much of anything.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2009 16:25:02 | More by scottg
Southampton Imperial Baltic Porter from Southampton Publick House
89 out of 100 based on 356 ratings.