Southampton Imperial Porter | Southampton Publick House

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Southampton Imperial PorterSouthampton Imperial Porter

Brewed by:
Southampton Publick House
New York, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-18-2009

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Reviews: 145 | Ratings: 323
Photo of timobkg
1.8/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle label reads "Brewed in Latrobe PA", poured into a Duvel tulip.

The beer looked good, a nice dark color with a thick white head.

The aroma was very faint, slightly sour, and slightly... metallic? I couldn't smell any roasted grains, or chocolate, or anything else I expect to smell in an imperial porter.

This beer deceived me. I expected a robust ale, with chocolate, toffee, and caramel flavours. Instead it was thin, no chocolate, toffee, or caramel, and tasted like a standard lager. Not a black lager, mind you, as I love those. No, this was a cross between Yuengling Lager and Sam Adams Black. If Yuengling made a black lager, this is what it might taste like.

The alcohol was hidden to be nonexistent. You could drink this all night, if you wanted a stronger, more flavourful, black version of Yuengling Lager. I, however, wanted an imperial porter, and dislike the taste of Yuengling. I would be happy to never drink this again.

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Photo of jbart
2.12/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I'm surprised how horrible this is. Robust? Nooo. It reminds me of a dark coors light or something. There is nothing good about it at all. Very disappointing, especially given how much I paid for it. Wish I hadn't bought a six pack. Yuck. My husband thinks it is just old...perhaps. Not good.

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Photo of drabmuh
2.35/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle gifted to me by Huhzubendah, thanks Matt. I'm always interested in beer I haven't had. Unfortunately, this beer was quite terrible. One of the worst porters I've ever had.

Beer poured into a DFH signature glass, my new favorite glass. Beer is dirty brown and completely hazy with no head, no real carbonation and no lacing. It looks like dirty water at the corners of the glass. Not impressed so far.

The signature glass is a little like a snifter but not as tapered and with a bigger opening, so maybe the fact that I couldn't smell anything is a function of the glass,e xpect I can smell other beers in this same glass. Methinks its the glass. MILD AROMA. mostly roast.

As far as flavor are concerned, its mostly ash. This is a beer right, not a generic cat food made in China that uses old newspapers and ash to fill up the cans right? Aside from the ash there is a mild very very mild sweetness and some roast. Not really bitter, not really sweet, not really roasty, not really....anything. Its boring and I guess there are worse things to be than boring in life but this beer thoroughly fails to execute its function of being beer so universally, its shocking. Sorry, not your best showing SH but you probably know that.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
2.38/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A-Pours a very dark brown; nearly black. Actually, the light penetrates this beer quite easily. Very thin head. Light lace.

S-Nose is fairly silent. Far too sheepish. I'm not going to pretend to pull out any specific aromas; its dead!

T-Flavor is a hair better. Light chocolate. Yeast. Soft roast. Flat cola. Burnt.

M-Thin and the carbonation is lively and nearly aggravating.

O/D-Offensive in its blandness. Imperial Porter huh?

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Photo of thecarster1
2.44/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a- bottle poured into a snifter, one finger fades to nice lace and trailing, deep brown with highlights of burnt ruby.

s- interesting, clean smelling - a bit dry, some alcohol, some dark belgian fruity esters, not sure i want to be smelling them in a imperial porter.

t- echos nose, i'm getting a bunch of belgian yeast in here, tasted just out of place and off putting, i want more of the roast and coffee, i get a little bit of fruity flowery notes as well.

m- medium.

d- this one misses the style mark for me, i've had much better, and wouldn't seek this one out.

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Photo of phishgator
2.46/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Dark deep brown hue, but light visible around the edges. The head was two fingers, but not much lacing. The smell was of dark fruit candy and licorie. Thinner body for a baltic porter and the flavor was bothered by what was proceived to be over carbonation (but I'm not that is was). It just felt filling even though it didn't have a full body. Not one of their best offerings.

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Photo of TheBeerologist
2.56/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a goblet

I have recently begun an attempt to find my perfect porter available on the east coast. My choice on the west is Deschutes Black Butte and in the Midwest it is Founders Porter. After a recent move to the east the search is on...

Pours a thin translucent brown with a this off-white head that fades quickly.

Smells very sweet - caramel malts, maybe a bit of vanilla, almost reminiscent of a Dopplebock. Certainly not what I am looking for in a porter.

Tastes similarly sweet with a slight hint of roasted malts, again not what I expect from a porter, but it is an enjoyable drink.

This is a very light porter, a bit thin and watery but nicely carbonated.

Overall, this is not what I am looking for in a porter. A bit thin and overly sweet and just the wrong profile for me. The price was great ($8.49/6-pack) and this was a pleasant drink but in the end, I probably won't be picking this up again.

 936 characters

Photo of biglite351
2.64/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - dark with mild red at the edges. Tight medium tan head.

S - mild roasted malt scent but nearly no scent at all.

T - mild vanilla taste with some malts and one, but overall very mild.

M - a life thin with a tingle on the front sides of the tongue

D - okay if doing other things, but not a drink-and-enjoy brew.

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Photo of letsgopens
2.64/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours mostly black and a stiff pour results in a good finger or so of frothy mocha head that retains it self pretty well. One thin ring sticks a bit initially on the glass.

Lots of husky grain in the nose and faint dutch cocoa. Surprisingly the roasty character is fairly reserved for an 'imperial'. A hint of coffee but mostly dry grain.

Diluted semi-sweet chocolate flavor up front then black cherry and more booze in the finish than expected. A sweet milkiness floats in the middle and actually ties the entire flavor together a bit. A lingering bitterness accompanies the warm, dry finish.

Brightly carbonated for the style with a medium/heavy body that has a creamy quality initially but finishes dry.

Not a bad beer at all but not as good as I had hoped. Leaves a bit to be desired I suppose.

 805 characters

Photo of vkv822
2.8/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

12oz : Teku glass

Near black, with deep red mahogany highlights when held to light. Fairly short lived, foamy light tan head.

Lightly roasty, cocoa notes.

Some basic roasted malt, faint cocoa. Not much going on here.

Thin body with foamy, fizzy carbonation.

A decent porter, but also fairly forgettable. I was expecting a bit more of a bolder flavor profile and perhaps a bit heavier body.

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Photo of mgbickel
2.89/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a standard pint glass. Quickly formed a 2 finger dark tan head. Small traces of lacing as the head dissipated into a thin film. The body is very dark and solid. Light only penetrates the very edges while help up to eye level. Very impressive start!

The nose is not as powerful as the appearance would dictate. Aromas include coffee, burnt chocolate, toasted malts and a slight smoky smell in the background.

Wow...either my taste buds died or this beer is going downhill quickly! The taste is even more bland than the nose. Not much going on here...what flavors I can detect are flat and lifeless...roasted malts, black coffee, tiny bitter finish with a little alcohol pinch.

Medium, creamy mouth feel with light to moderate carbonation.

Nothing special about this beer at all. Bad example of the style. Will not buy again.

 839 characters

Photo of sprucetip
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured deep dark brown, but was translucent with red highlights when backlit, with clarity revealed as well. Very little head, even less retention, and no lacing. Some mild activity.

Smells grainy with a little vanilla an malty sweetness. Maybe just a hint of booze. Made me think "brown ale" more than porter.

And again with the taste I'm thinking brown ale. It is lightly grainy, barely roasty, with some sweet malty base. Not much else. Definitely not "imperial."

Some tingly fiz and mild warming, thin side of medium body, and a clean finish.

I'm sorry to say this, but I expected much more, and am glad I only got one. The only thing that was more porter than brown ale was the color. There was certainly nothing about this that implied "imperial," and it was quite thin all around. I'd have rated it a bit higher if it had been called a brown ale, as I'd have gotten something closer to what was advertised.

 917 characters

Photo of goblue3509
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark black color with a skim head which disappates quickly and leaves little to no lace on the glass. The aroma is off chocalate and sweet dark fruits, it is inviting but faint. The taste is much of the same, a dark chocolate taste with a hint of molasses and a slight dark fruit sweetness. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated and a bite stingy but the alcohol is well hidden. Overall it is okay, the mouthfeel seemed a little more carbonated than most porters and the taste and smell were good, but they were faint and hard to find, it was just an average beer.

 573 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.03/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A – Very dark, almost black, with a reddish-tan head that subsides quickly, no lacing.

S – Smells vaguely of alcohol and German malt. There really is very little olfactory component.

T – It tastes okay, but not especially good in any way. I would compare it to Yuengling Porter, though not as good. Eventually, towards the end of the beer, you finally get a slightly interesting roasted flavor, but it is a case of too little, too late.

M – Thin and oily, I am not the biggest fan.

D – I am not enthusiastic about it; I am in fact quite disappointed.

 584 characters

Photo of gskitt
3.05/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Poured from a bottle and exhibited very black color with a thin off-white head.
S- The alcohol in this porter came through along hints of coffee.
T- Warming alcohol is evident, almost charred, not roasted malts, dark bitter chocolate and coffee bean. I really tasted the alcohol here. Reminded of me of bourbon, just not as smooth.
M- Was not impressed. Had an oily texture.
D- One maybe two but not much more than that.

I usually like and want to like stuff from southampton but this was not my favorite.

 508 characters

Photo of TheSarge
3.06/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Produces a vast amount of milk chocolate looking head, and retains perfectly. The body is opaque and black in color, but shows off reddish hues when held up to sunlight.

The aroma is light, and sweet cola characteristics are about the only things detectable to me.

In the taste there are sweet notes of chocolate and cola. A faint taste of coffee is detectable too.

In the mouth feel, it is a little thin to be called an imperial IMHO. Overall this is decent enough though for a go to beer.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.06/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Brown in color with amber highlights on the side. Tan colored head probably about 2 inches that goes away after 5-10 minutes, decent lacing.

Smell is ok, not like any porter I've had before. I mostly smell dark dehydrated fruits, and a little musty with a slight hop finish. I read a couple of other reviews, but I'm just not picking up chocolate malts that a few others picked up.

Taste is a little better. Malts are much more easily detected here. Some chocolate notes finally arrive here. Still picking up the dark dehydrated fruit notes. Hops are present, very earthy.

The mouthfeel is pretty good, close to full bodied, not too smooth, but not too gritty either. Bitter and a little earthy. It will suffice for the style. Drinkability is overall pretty good.

I was a little disappointed with this one overall. Not too bad for your run of the mill porter, but this beer is not worth of having the term "Imperial" on it in my humble opinion. Not really big on any flavors.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.06/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, there is a bottling code, but too hard to determine what it means.

appears a really dark brown, with ruby highlights. almost black, with white head that fades to a thin covering. smell is of dry roasted malt with some acidic aroma.

taste is also dry, with some slight fruit flavor. I can't put my finger on it, but an odd flavor for a porter. body is a bit thinner than I expected. easy to drink, but the flavor is a little disappointing.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.06/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: three finger off white head which rapidly dissipates to a half finger head leaving nice lacing. Black without light getting through.

S: yeasty and spicey, with some esters. Almost saison like, interesting.

T: this one is interesting. More like a sweet caramel malt and not very boozy or smokey as I was expecting.

M: light to medium carbonation and medium body, much lighter than I was expecting.

Overall: very drinkable and light for an imperial anything much less a porter.

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Photo of biggred1
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Darkest rosewood with a thin khaki head that shrinks to a thin, filmy skim with nice fine lacing. Coffee grounds, vanilla and faint maple syrup make up the aroma. Dry, roasty porter flavors with a strong cocoa and java flavor profile in the finish. Medium bodied with crisp carbonation. The drinkability score could be higher if you think of this as more of a pairing beer.

 373 characters

Photo of 57md
3.09/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours dark brown, almost black in color with one-finger head. There is little retention and only a bit of lacing. The sweetness in the nose overwhelms anything else. There is a some malt taste, but the flavor is sweet more than anything. There is hardly any roasted flavor that is normal in a porter and the finish is pretty weak. If this is the imperial, I definitely don't want to waste my time with their plain old porter. All around, I was not terribly impressed.

 467 characters

Photo of sbauer
3.11/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A:Black, deep, dark brown.
S: Surprisingly weak aroma. Light caramel, chocolate, but mostly kerosene and alcohol.
T: Immediate sour cherry and chocolate (see chocolate rum cordials), fruit esters prominent with underlying bitter cocoa, tart finish.
M: Light and minearly.
D: A good session beer, despite being an imperial porter. Flavorful and light for the style. Expect more (taste and kick) out of an imperial.

 414 characters

Photo of ZX6Chris
3.11/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Dark black but brown around the edges. Very little tan head that dissipates quickly. 

S-Carmel, brown sugar, licorice. 

T-Carmel, brown sugar, licorice. A little alcohol on the finish. 

M-Low carbonation, very smooth. 

D-Nice aroma, smooth taste. Easy drinker. I sipped on this for about an hour. 

 308 characters

Photo of CHADMC3
3.12/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark chestnut brown body with deep ruby hues beneath the foamy, tan head that is packed with dense bubbles of carbonation and patiently leaves a sticky, yet thin lacing behind.

There are some roasted malt aromas atop the beer but it appears to be a bit on the sweet side for a porter, offering milk chocolate and hints of light coffee grounds.

The flavor is slightly roasted, certainly not smoked, with hints of sweetness in there, maybe chocolate malt.

Medium in body, although light for a porter with medium carbonation and lacking the nice smoky finish I would like to see.

A nice beer, but lacking the robust qualities I would expect to see from an Imperial Porter.

 681 characters

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
3.14/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Looks almost like a Pepsi. Deep, dark, clear amber with a black hue. Tan, foamy head that fades into a thin, lacy layer of islands. Looks pretty good.

S: Hard to detect much here. Smells toasty and roasty. Some coffee detectable, but rather mild for an "imperial" anything.

T: Decent taste. Again, I wonder what makes this an "imperial" porter. Tastes weaker than Sierra Nevada porter. I'm no expert on these, but it seems a little bland. I get some coffee malt, a little white sugar and a faint trace of black cherries. A little popcorn on the finish is hinted. Watery mouthfeel for the style. Not thick enough.

D: Maybe a good introductory porter. An easy drinker.

Value: For the real price, it's beaten by Anchor Steam porter and SN, which are easy to find and equally priced. But for what I paid, $3.99, I cannot complain.

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Southampton Imperial Porter from Southampton Publick House
3.55 out of 5 based on 323 ratings.
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