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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

365 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 365
Reviews: 328
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.42%
Wants: 36
Gots: 6 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 365 | Reviews: 328 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of argock
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass mug. No freshness date. Purchased as part of a 6-pack at Ancona's (Ridgefield, CT) for $10.49.

A: Not quite black but very attractive dark brown with ruby highlights crowned with a light beige 1-2 finger head with good retention but a disappointing few bubbles of lacing.

S: A well-integrated mix of caramel, roast, chocolate, licorice, cherries, and coffee finished with a light touch of smokiness and earthy hops.

T: The flavor is solid with robust dark maltiness with just the right amount of musty character to go with the caramel and dark fruit raisin and black cherry notes. The coffee and chocolate come through more with warming. Hops are not the focus but provide pretty substantial bitterness with some earthy features.

M: Prickly carbonation is a bit odd for the style but does help to keep this from being overly heavy.

O: Southampton's stabs at these core beers are generally well-crafted and occasionally outstanding (see Double White), and this one falls in the well-craft and very good camp. Will be a good call for those that like a sweet note to their porter.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep brown with a tan foam head. Not much retention, no lace.

Good dark roasted malt. Some coffee, bitter chocolate, maybe some molasses, but I'm reaching a bit here. No aroma of alcohol.

This drinks alot like a standard porter, but just a bit richer. Decent coffee and some chocolate notes. Leads in with a little richness, some sweetness, but it is pushed out by the bitterness of the malt. Not over hopped, and actually hard to detect any. No real alcohol on the tongue either. Long coffee bitterness in the finish. Good.

Medium to fuller bodied. Some prickly carbonation.

Overall, not quite the Baltic I'd want, but not a substandard beer. Worth trying.

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

Aromas of dark chocolate, dark caramels, fruity yeast and a hint of roastiness combine, I was expecting a little more as all the above are a bit mellowed.
The tastes begin with burnt dark caramels and a lighter sweet fruitiness. Surprisingly the coffee/bitterness is retrained which is usually a major characteristic of this style. It finishes dry with dark chocolate flavors and a touch more roastiness as it warms.
The mouthfeel is smooth and lush. It's medium-full bodied. It has a delicate yet restrained carbonation that leaves a clean finish/flavor on the palate. Overall a good example of the style, restrained definitely compared to other verions, but that is acceptable considering the lower ABV level in the category. Recommended for the quality/pricepoint alone.

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: pours a very dark brown, almost black. Two-inch off-white head settles after a short time. Lacing is sparse and patchy.

S: Caramel, toffee, molasses, and powdery chocolate. Grape and cherry esters. Mild alcohol. Hops seem floral and spicy in an earthy/herbal way.

T: Roasted grains, toffee, molasses. Faint hint of coco powder. Grape esters and a subtle hint of tart cherry. Hops are floral and grassy. Finishes with mild alcohol, syrupy molasses, and the faintest kiss of smoke.

M: Medium bodied, slightly syrupy. Prickly carbonation.

D: Very drinkable, especially for the style.

Notes: Has a very Old-World feel to it. Nice to see a brewery willing to offer something like this, rather than the typical too-big-for-its-britches RIS. A good solid beer that drinks very well.

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

A: This poured a nearly opaque blackish mahogany, with some light tan head.
S: It smelled like milk chocolate and dry earthy coffee, with roasted barley and sweet molasses.
T: It tasted like dry chocolate and roasted coffee, with some sweet caramel and brown sugar. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was fairly thick with moderate carbonation. Pretty good, but a bit too fizzy.
D: This was very nice and tasty, with good balance and nice body. It hid the alcohol well also, so it was easy to drink. This was one of the sweeter imperial porters I've tried, which was favorable given my sweet tooth. Given the flavor profile, this beer might be best fresh, but who knows what might happen in the cellar. Recommended either way.

Photo of rye726
3.36/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sending me this as an extra. Always love trying new beers. Pours a dark color, tan head. Not much going on here. Some roasty malts and hops. Light body a bit over carbonated. Average at best. Southampton makes such a variety of quality of brews.

Photo of dragonWhale
2.97/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had to try this twice when I was in BK last week since it was on tap at a couple different places. Pours dark brown with amber highlights and a tiny little head. roast and coffee and a little sweetness. Thin body, thin mouthfeel, nothing lingers, nothing exciting really. It's too sweet for how thin it is, and it's overall just not very enjoyable. Had to try it again on a different tap line just in case. Not really too happy with this beer.

Photo of airheadmtrcycle
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beautiful pour in a New Belgium snifter. Dark brown to black with a creamy head that fades to a crema-like coating.

Smells of smoke, dark malts and maybe some chocolate. I noticed the mouthfeel right away. It's medium to full and layers the palate in a good way. The taste is decent. Different too. It's smokey and bittersweet. The bitterness doesn't seem to come from hops and it's not a burnt flavor either. It's really not very sweet, and that sets it apart from other porters that I've had. This is a unique and pleasant porter.

I wouldn't want to drink two in a row, but you could if that was your fancy. I rate the drinkability as average.

Southampton Imperial Porter is worth a try for anyone who likes porters that are less sweet than average with a smokey quality.

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

Pours a very dark brown, but not quite black. Thin tan head. Smells strongly of freshly ground espresso beans. Taste is some vinous wine qualities up front, with a pumpernickel bread middle, and a woody, earthy hop finish. Finishes quite clean for a higher alcohol beer. Mouthfeel is a little bit thin, good carbonation. Good drinkability. A nice Baltic Porter that I would get again.

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

Dark brown that appears black in the glass. One finger of head that quickly settled to a thin cap. Light, spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Nice rich malty aroma. Hints of chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, licorice, and the slightest hint of smoke.

The malt also gives the beer a rich taste. Not overly sweet which I liked. Flavor is mostly chocolate with a hint of cherries and licorice. There is a subtle smokiness in the finish. Alcohol is barely detectable.

I would of liked a little bigger body but it is very nicely carbonated giving the beer a soft texture.

A good example of a Baltic Porter. Not to the elite level of the style but has some good qualities.

Photo of mjsheehan08
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle after work. Has a really smooth, almost velvety feel on the front end, a snap of carbonation in the middle and ends with a bit of burn from the booze. I got a strong taste of fruit, maybe white grape in the front end, and dark chocolate and coffee in the end. Overall, a solid beer.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is black to dark brown with garnet highlights when held to the light. The head after the pour is tan, small, and quick.

The aroma has plums stewed in a roasty brown ale. Then you get some light coffee and a little dark chocolate with vanillin zucker.

Syrupy palate upfront, along with some roasted, dark fruits. The middle has the bubbly pop of carbonation, then some dark cheap coffee and dark chocoalte mix. The finish is velvety on the tongue with a chocolate finish and alcohol linger.

Photo of mothman
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Duck Rabbit snifter.

Pours a half finger of beige head. Color is a dark brown, near black.

Aroma: Rich and roasted. A lot of malts. Some smokiness. Some plums, molasses, and licorice. Some other dark fruits. Not to bad.

Taste: Very rich and malty. Caramel and toffee malts with licorice and plums with some other dried fruits. Roasted here with notes of smoke and bacon.

Mouthfeel: Roasted and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a bit dry with smoked malts.

Overall, not a bad baltic porter. It was really smokey, but it worked with this beer. Decent drinkability.

Photo of kbutler1
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a very dark opaque brown/black color with a slight tan head. Malty, roasty aroma with maybe a touch of licorice. Medium mouthfeel. Sweet dark roast type flavor without the bitterness of some dark beers. Fairly sweet as well with notes of chocolate and caramel. Slight smoke notes. Ends pretty dryly and cleanly. Nice lace left on the glass. Really nice toffee/caramel flavors. No real alcohol flavors. Overall a pretty enjoyable beer.

Photo of Brent
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Photo of MikeBrandman
3.26/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

Photo of MrDanno96
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of Rayek
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of elgiacomo
2.48/5  rDev -37.1%
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.

Photo of biglite351
3.69/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Photo of becktone
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Photo of Bung
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Photo of albern
3.85/5  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.

Photo of animal69
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
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

Southampton Imperial Baltic Porter from Southampton Publick House
88 out of 100 based on 365 ratings.