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Southampton Imperial Baltic Porter - Southampton Publick House

Not Rated.
Southampton Imperial Baltic PorterSouthampton Imperial Baltic Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

329 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 329
Hads: 374
Avg: 3.94
pDev: 11.42%
Wants: 37
Gots: 8 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Southampton Publick House visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 02-13-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 329 | Hads: 374
Photo of alpinebryant
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
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

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of scottg
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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Photo of tpd975
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice dark brownish black with a small tan head. No real retention or lace.

S: Aromas of dark toasted malt, dark fruit, black cherries and coffee.

T: Similar flavors, there roast is there but no malt sweetness. Tons of fig and raisin with a big coffee component. Dark chocolate hides in the back, but this one fails to really meld together into a tasty beer.

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

D: Not a favorite of mine. It just don't come together. A touch of sweetness may have helped to bring the flavors together.

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Photo of neobassman
3.44/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am generally a fan of porters but had not tried this one from a familiar name in craft brews. I was not disappointed! Decent head from the pour though not voluminous. Similarly, there was lots of malt in the nose though not a complex aroma. The payoff, however, was in the taste: a rich, full sample of malt, coffee, and chocolate flavors very much in line with the porter style. There was not a lot of hops but there was clearly a hopsy bitterness to the aftertaste. As they say, "It's in dere," even though the style of this brew is much more in the British mold of lots of malt, not a lot of hops. BA website says 7.5% ABV, Southampton's website says 7.8%, and some other sites say 7.0%. In any case, there is a noticable alcohol heat to the late taste, though of course nothing like a barley wine. I liked this one. I learned that Southhampton is now owned by Anheuser-Busch. I'm not a fan of megabrewers, but supposedly A-B has left Southampton free to pursue its own brewing agenda. Let's hope that continues to be the case.

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Photo of philbe311
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - No head to speak of - just a very thin layer of fizzy tan bubles that recedes to only the slightest bit milky way like lacing in the middle of the glass which than further recedes leaving only a couple of bubbles around the edge of the glass... A very deep dark rich opaque brown teetering on black... Still...

Note - A much more vigorous pour from the same 22oz bottle produced a three fingers of batter-like rocky tan head which quickly fades, but leaves some foam on the sides of the glass...

S - Mildly sweet... Caramel... Cream... Sweet onions... Roasted malt... Hints of coffee... Pleasant, but fairly subdued overall...

T - Taste follows fairly close to the nose... Starts sweet and then turns slightly bitter... Some dark fruit - hints of cherry and raisin emerge on the palette... Heavy roasted malt dominates the aftertaste...

M - Smooth... Medium bodied... Very little in the way of carbonation... Chalky finish...

D - While this beer rates "4.0 - good" in all other categories except mouthfeel, I still can't help but feel that a little something is missing and keeping it from reaching the next level... While solid, it seems to be restrained and slightly boring overall...

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Photo of washburnkid
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jdmek9 for this brew!

A tiny ring forms around a dark brew that is mahogany at the very edges. I failed to read the label before trying this one, but the nose revealed everything I would expect from a Baltic porter, roasted malt, stale coffee, and soy sauce or teriyaki included. Flavors reveal much of the same, with emphasis on smoky, roasted malts. Medium mouthfeel and lower carbonation. This is a good beer for the style.

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Photo of weedslegalcousin
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a normal Pint Glass

Dark black in color. Poured a really nice 1.5" Oatmeal head. I got very little aroma to speak of. Swirled several times and couldn't smell much of anything. Seemed creamier than most Porters. However, the flavor was very boring and lacked the robust element of other Porters. Other than coffee notes, not much else there. Mouthfeel was very smooth almost crossing over to a stout. I was expecting a lot more from this beer and was disappointed. Most likely would not bother to drink it again unless offered it. All in all, though, it wasn't a complete let down.

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Photo of CoolJosh
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pint glass.

Pours a typical imperial porter black, with brown around the edges. A 1 finger dark caramel head disappears almost instantly. There is some translucency around the edges. What lacing?

I am indifferent on the smell. I don't like it, nor do I dislike it. At first I was get some fruity scents along the lines of sweet cherry and raisin. As it warms, those scents dull. Some light vanilla, and brown sugar. The lack of roast is a major turnoff.

The flavor works. Again, there is an unfamiliar cherry taste, along side vanilla and some very lightly roasted chocolate. A little bit watery for a 7.5% beer. No explosive flavors, nothing to drool over. An easy drink nonetheless.

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Photo of treyrab
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this one in the cellar for a while and decided to be generous and share it with CoolJosh.

A: Opened with a nice hiss and some smoke drifted out of the bottle. Poured pretty thin into the pint glass and yielded a very small tan head. That lasted no time at all and dropped very quick to nada, zilch, etc. Held up to the light this is dark mahogany with some brown scents.

S: Smell is surprisingly cherry puree, dark chocolate malts, although not much bitter or black patent in there, some smokiness, and dry cocoa powder. I can tell this is going to be dry.

T: Where this cherry flavor is coming from I am not sure. Cherry puree, dry cocoa nibs/powder, chocolate, and smoke. Not too bad, a tad underwhelming, but not bad.

T/M: A bit light. I was expecting something more creamy and this is a tad higher on the carbonation side than I would like.

Overall, this is not a bad beer, and is one I am glad to have tried.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint. Thanks to BillyD for the hook-up!

A: Pours a dark and tarry brown with some faint reddening at the edges. A vigorous pour netted a dense and creamy, three-finger, khaki colored head. Retention was on the weak side and no lace was left behind from the first pour. The second pour resulted in three tiny and droopy ropes of lace.

S: This is where this beer shines. Aromas of toffee, fudge brownies, pan roasted nuts, a little molassas, dark fruit, cocoa nibs, oats, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate dipped black cherries.

T: Again, a nice and full fudge brownie flavor with nuts, caramel and milk chocolate dipped dark fruit, toffee, brown sugar/molassas, semi-sweet chocolate, and as it comes up to room temp., a faint hint of citrus-y hops.

M: Typical porter thinness right out of the fridge. Thickens considerably as it warms. Nice, slightly peppery prickle on the tongue during the finish.

D: Not very imperial and not very Baltic, but who cares. This featured some delicious flavors and aromas of chocolate, caramel, and dark fruit and was a pleasure to drink. Thanks Billy!

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle on a cold sunday night. Poured into my Lancaster Brewing pint glass.

A- SHIBP boasts a silky dark brown coming out of the bomber. Has a slick look to it. Once condensed in the glass it has a black look to it from afar but close up it is the darkest brown possible. A 1/2 inch beige head stood atop leaving a coating of lace.

S- A sweet smelling porter. Underneath I get the basic porter scents of roasted malt, chocolate, char/smoke and some hops. On top of that is a big fruity scent which I was not expecting. With warming some creamy milk type scents. No alcohol.

T- On first sips I got some dark fruit and some brown sugars. I let it warm up a bit and the porter tones came up more with a nice amount of roasted malts and chocolate. Not as much coffee as some other porters. Not much hops in fact barely any at all. Some vanilla and milk in small doses.

M- Medium bodied and silky with a clean feel. A bit thinner than expected with a imperial in the title but the mouth is fine. Creamy and not bitter at all. Not sure of the date on the bottle but the hops have faded and pose no bitterness in the feel. Not so much carbonation in this which works for me.

D- Not sure this needs to be called a Imperial porter as there are many 7.5% porters with lesser titles. The feel is a little thin but the taste is great. What Southampton needs to do is release this in 6 packs as I would buy it up. Right now at $5 a bomber is a great price and will do. This is a great night time porter to relax to.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber bottle poured into my nonic Imperial pint glass. Appears a clear rich dark brown color with about an inch of tightly packed ecru foam. The foam lasts, in one form or another, through the entire glass. Smells and tastes of roasted grains, dried fruits such as plums and dark cherries, caramel malts, touch of molasses, bitter mocha, and a bit of milk chocolate. Medium in both body and carbonation. Worth a try if you see it around in the bottle shops.

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Photo of Martin2D
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black with a dark tan head that fades quickly

S - Roasty nuances, not much going on for me

T - Slightly roasty with an almost fruity taste. Dried fruits predominant the flavor

M - Medium-heavy carbonation and medium in body

D - Not much flavor going on. There are some dried fruits, but no much of anything else going on.

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Photo of Buebie
2.74/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

My wife picked this up for me last week in NYC, I assume its fresh.

Poured from a bomber into an oversized snifter. Produceing a 1'' tan head. The beer is black with no light penetration. Scattered thin lace left on the glass.

The aroma is pretty laid back and not really much punch is here for me.
I do get some dark roasty malt aromas and hints at coffee, but not much else.

Mouthfeel is somwhat thin for a baltic porter, with more carbonation then I'd like. There isnt anything creamy about it.
The taste is roasty with hints at smoke, and plenty of roasty chocolate grain taste. Just a touch of chocolate though as its overwlmed by roasted/ alsmot overly roasted grain.
Alcahol heats up a bit through the swallow as the beer has warmed.

I have to say I'm pretty dissapointed in this one. After reading some of the reviews I was really hoping for more, or atleast that it would live up to some of the reviews. Again, very dissapointed in this beer. At best it could be a porter, but its no baltic porter.
Ok to try, but not true to the style.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a bomber into a snifter.

A: Pours an extremely dark brown color with very little head and what is there quickly dissipates.

S: Sweet malt scents. Lots of chocolate and caramel. Bottle says toffee, but I did not pick up on it. More predominant as it warms up more.

T: Very sweet and very inviting. Chocolate is the most predominant of tastes, followed up on the back end with some ever so slight espresso bitterness.

M: Leaves a clean dry taste on the palate, thought it would have been a little creamy but it wasn't.

D: A very sweet and easy porter to drink. Would probably age well if cellared properly!

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Photo of Seanibus
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not bad, but nothing to come back to. I found this too sweet, but I prefer a drier profile in porters and stouts, so perhaps I am not a good witness on this beer.

Pours black with small off white head. It smells rich and roasted. Flavor is sweet, with a character of cherry wood. It rolls across the tongue with a sweet, plummy vibe and finished with a smokey, oaky flavor. The mouthfeel is thin with a slight bitterness on the end. It is good, but I wish it were just a little less sweet.

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Photo of nick76
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The aroma is not much. It's got a little bit of roastiness, with vanilla, dust, grass, and molasses. The appearance is brown with a nice head. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is thin but OK. Overall this is better tasting than it is smelling.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber with no freshness date; brewed to 17.5 plato. It pours just about black, with an inch of brownish head that reduces to a thin cover and leaves light lacing. Chocolate and gentle hops in the nose, with suggestions of blackberry and ethanol. Very similar flavor, clean, with a mild bitterness and a tasty chocolate note, on top of a lightish, almost tingly body. Not too shabby and very easy to drink - worth a try, but not the best Baltic porter out there.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. On tap at Rattlen-n-hum in NYC.

Almost black with red highlights, modest head fades fast to ring, no lacing, clear.

Sweet malty, roasty, bit of alc heat, smooth, balanced, rich, complex.

Appropriate carbonation, pleasant texture, medium body, warming, clean finish.

Easy drinker, plenty of flavor. Try it if you are so fortunate as to run across it.

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Photo of Hautacam
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown, clear with a very small head.
Smells mostly of dried fruit; especially raisons.
The taste is sweet and malty, some dark dried fruits; again a lot of raison. Hints of anise , citrus and phenol. the finish is a little bitter and clean.
Mouth feel is medium as is the corbonation.
A very good , very drinkable Baltic Porter.

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Photo of bobsy
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark oak pour with ruby highlights and a sizable tan head, which slowly fades away and leaves some short-lived lace. The nose is quite restrained and could do with being more forceful, but I do get some roasted malt character as well as some fruitiness. The flavours include coffee, caramel, plum and ash, all in a nice balance, although I would have preferred them to be a bit bigger. Despite initial impressions, this is not a big beer, and while it does lack the assertiveness of a higher ABV brew it does have more balance and doesn't descend into booziness. In fact, the alcohol is well-hidden, but does gradually numbs the tongue in a way that I've found unique to baltic porters. The body is medium-light with medium carbonation, and this makes for an easy drinking brew.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Baltic Porter was one tap at American Flatbread's Southampton night. It was given to me with a bakers chocolate-colored head atop an opaque black liquid. The retention was mediocre, the lacing in torn curtains like you'd see in one of Johnny Depp's hotel rooms. The aroma was of chocolate malt, roasted malt and a touch of coffee. The flavors were deeply smoky with lots of roasted malt, chocolate malt, coffee and a touch of woodiness. The mouthfeel was smooth, the body medium/full and the carbonation light. A good example of the style but there was nothing particularly unique about it.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draught @ Beer Table.

Pours deep brown, with a decent tan head that sticks around a bit.

Nose is some chocolate, coffee, a bit of roasty caramel sweetness in there also.

Taste is the same -- strong notes of coffee, roasted malt, maybe a hint of dark cocoa, hints of dark fruit. A bit dry overall, with a full body.

Beer is supremely smooth and dangerously drinkable. Subtle carbonation, fairly viscous mouthfeel. A delicious and almost dangerously drinkable beer.

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Photo of halfP1NT
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review is from my notes from August '08.

This beer pours a very dark, cola-like brown with a soapy head that quickly dissipates to a thin ring. Some small, stringy lacing is left behind.

Smell is roasted malts; bitter coffee and chocolate, but not very intense. There is a little hop bitterness present too.

Taste is roasted malts, a little smoky with just a little bit of sweetness. It's balanced out nicely with some hops presence.

Mouthfeel is very creamy. There is a lot less carbonation than I expected, too. This is a very drinkable ale, it's light enough in body and alcohol to have a pint or two but does not disappoint with its robust flavor. I really like the Baltic porter style.

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Southampton Imperial Baltic Porter from Southampton Publick House
88 out of 100 based on 329 ratings.