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 SickGnar
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nearly black and quite opaque. A large tan head with pretty good retention that leaves curtains of lacing.

S: Not loudly pungent, but complex enough. The back of the label mentions "Baltic," and the nose does seem to have the restrained character that a period of cold aging can give. That said it does have a fair bit going on. Dark roasted malts with dark cacao and hints of coffee, a touch of lactose sweetness and a faint burntness.

T: Opens with dark semi-sweet cocoa & coffee standing out in deeply, darkly roast malts. There is a quick rise of a burnt note that briefly contributes a sharp almost stoutesque character. This fades and the cocoa and coffee are mellowed by a mix of darkly caramelized sugars - lots of lactose sweetness, but also toffee, hints of dark fruit, and a faint touch or licorice. There is also a hint of biscuit and toastiness in the background. Bitterness is firm yet restrained, and seems to come as much from dark roast malts as much as hops.

M: Smooth with a medium body, tight medium carbonation that contributes to the lush creaminess. Barely notice abv as a slight warming in the throat. Semi-sweet finish with a long fade to slightly drying.

D: Very well balanced, reasonably complex & robust, and yet smooth, creamy and easy drinking. A bit dangerous because of how exceedingly well it hides its abv.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Southampton- Imp. Porter

A- Nice brackish brown with a thick chunky head. Good lacing and nice bubbly carbonation.
S- Dusty cocoa powder sprinkled onto a brown sugar/ molasses malt and a light touch of alcohol.
T- Sweet brown sugar/ molasses malt body with a decent amount of semisweet cocoa powder chocolate malt. Malty body gives way to an earthy hop presence and a slight touch of boozy alc.
M- Sweet thick malt dominates with a dry chocolate feel and a sweet sugary boozy finish.

Overall- Nice bold flavors, alc. is slightly overpowering.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into an Ommegang tulip.

A - Poured a watery black with a cream colored head that built after the pour. Lively carbonation and the head hung out for a bit and had sticky lacing.

S - Malty, vanilla, caramel, milk-like.

T - Subtle flavor...a touch watery for my tastes, but an easy drinker. Taste follows the nose. Nice balance of flavors. Very creamy tasting.

M - Little watery, but lots of carbonation. Silky on the way down with a bit of a bready pretzel-like aftertaste.

D - VERY drinkable porter. Being a bit on the watery side this one goes down easily.

EDIT (just had one from a bottle) - the bottle didn't seem as watery as from the growler, but overall, same impression. Nice brew, great flavor.

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Photo of BeerNemesis
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Southampton Imperial Porter. 5oz taste @ Table in NYC

Poured a deep dark brown with a tan, one finger head.

The smell was a mix of malts and cereal grains and some dark fruit.

Straightforward malt, with some dark chocolate, and dark fruits in the background. Ended bitter.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability:
Thin with moderate carbonation. I expected more from an imperial porter. All in all though it wasn't bad.

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Photo of Overlord
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for the extra!

Pours a muted ruddy brown. A surprisingly small off-white foam head. Smells like roasted malts. That's about it.

Taste is mostly roasted malts, with a hint of chocolate and vanilla, and a kind of weird cereal roastiness to it. Like someone toasted up some cornflakes, or something. Weird.

A bit thin. Leaves a bitter aftertaste.

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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 ArrogantB
3.46/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle thanks to steelersxl, appreciate it! Dark black as a porter tends to be with the standard appearance. Smells a little roasty, just ok, nothing special but not bad at all, what I woudl expect from a porter but didn't wow me. The flavor was decent, roasty as I like to describe porters, easy to drink, decent flavors and the alcohol was well hidden until I finished the glass. The smell and the taste were average but for some reason I drank this very quickly. On to the next one.

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Photo of Richardberg
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured into a pint glass. Deep mahogany color with ruddy, brick-red fringes. A tiny head, disappears quickly. Expected more carbonation in a medium-gravity porter.

S - toasty malts, just a bit of chocolate and ethanol

T - quite creamy with a little lactose bite. Might have called it a lightweight milk stout if tasting blind. Some more toffee notes come out to complement the bitter chocolate, but still not very strong on either count. Finishes slightly bitter/hoppy.

M - nice carbonic zip to it despite the appearance of being flat. Combined with the "sharp" character of the lactose, it keeps things interesting. Medium body, not what I'd call imperial, but ok. Nicely oily (though not quite into the "sticky" range).

D - not too strong in any direction. 7% ABV isn't completely hidden, but it's not out to get you either. I could session this, which is an accomplishment in itself. Just not sure there's enough here to draw me back in the first place.

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Photo of plaid75
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep black hue with a one finger off white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured full cereal grains, lactose and roasted malts.

The taste was malt forward with some cereal sweetness and a secondary dry roasted malt.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a good malty porter.

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Photo of glid02
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from a six-pack purchased at Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours one shade from black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of lightly roasted malt, semi-sweet chocolate, and slightly tart dark fruit with a hint of perfume.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors up front segue quickly into indistinct dark fruit flavors with a hint of sugar-coated molasses. The ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is alright. It's a bit thin with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I finished my glass however I'm not sure about another.

Overall this just isn't a very clean beer and I would prefer to have more crisp roasted flavors. Don't avoid but don't seek out.

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Photo of madbrewer9
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark brown, small head.
Just a touch of roasted malt in nose but very faint.
Slight maltiness, some roast flavors.
Pretty middle of the road.
Med low mouthfeel.
It's a decent drinking beer, but lacks the body, flavor and sweetness of an "imperial" or "baltic" porter.

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Photo of bbeane
3.59/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into a snifter... Pretty much no head. Beer is black in color, ruby when held up to a light

S- Nice toasted malt aroma with notes of coffee

T- Toasted malt, caramel, and coffee

M- Medium to full bodied with little carbonation

D- Its definitely not a world class porter, but I thought it was worthy of drinking. I got it for free, so Im not sure what the pricing is or whether Id buy it myself, but I wouldnt turn down another free one


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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.

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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 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.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the Whole Foods on Houston St. in New York a few weeks back. I like their beers and hadn't ever tried an Imperial Porter before. I'm not sure why this is called that, although I understand that like other Imperial beers, it was shipped from Great Britain to points east for royalty. This wasn't very strong at all from a taste or an alcohol perspective and I was actually a bit surprised at how tame this beer was!

The pour, look, and mouthfeel were all pretty standard - dark, not a lot of head, no lacing, and the aroma was average. Just like the label said, chocolate is here with the toffee and caramel notes just faint enough to detect after a while. This almost had the feel of root beer without the carbonation or the stickiness of the high fructose corn syrup. I'm not sure if my tastes have gotten so refined over the years that I expected more or that I saw imperial and thought this would be strong, but either way, this was a bit underwhelming. That doesn't mean it wasn't crafted well but even the aftertaste never really kicked in. The maltiness just leveled off and I actually had to slow myself down from drinking all of this relatively quickly.

This almost has the feel of a session beer even though it's above 5% ABV. The cold weather here lately had let me to drink enough Stouts, Porters, and dark holiday beers to warm me up but this just seemed to come up a bit short. If you're looking for an average winter beer at a decent price, this is certainly it.

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Photo of matty
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black colored beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is very weak chocolate.Taste is cocoa,toffee and caramel malts.Overall this was a decent beer but it dosn't really do anything to separate it from other porters.I would recommend to try at least once and I probably would buy again.

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Photo of Jayli
3.14/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

consumed 12/28

A: This beer pours a thin looking chocolate brown with some mahogany highlights. 1/2 inch of khaki sudsy creamy head and leaves some wispy lacing.

S: Nose is of cream, light chocolate and kind of wet dog...

T: Taste starts with a touch of copperness but is quickly overruled by cream, moving in to a bitter bakers chocolate, some caramel, and burnt malts. There is a slight hop bite in the finish as well.

M: Lighter side of medium body, thin feeling on the tongue and oily in the finish.

D: Ok beer, goes down relatively easily, nothing stands out, and the nose is disappointing. There are better of the style out there.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a satisfying dark brown black. An immediate coarsely bubbled head made its appearance, gave a bow and immediately retired. Gone. Maybe my glass was contaminated and killed the head. But sitting there in my glass the beer looked like a forlorn abandoned day-old beer.

No nose-- zip nothing.. do I have a cold? Maybe a hair of alcohol note but hard for me to tell.

Flavor was a robust strong ale with an up front hops flavor but I had hoped for more-- toasted malt at least, maybe a hair of coffee or hickory or... the one-dimensional flavor while it made for a generally enjoyable beer but not remarkable nor memorable.

Finish was fast descent into obscurity.

Mouthfeel was a lively chorus of effervessence.

Drinkability seemed to be generally better than many heavy alcohol laden beers-- I could drink several without becoming soused.

 847 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in a standard pint. No freshness dating indicated on the bottle. Poured the color of cola with a quarter inch, khaki-colored cap. Head eventually settles into a fairly consistent skim with thin clumps of lacing revealed during the tasting. Not a big nose, but definitely a roasty character, as well as some lactose, caramel and a hint of cocoa. Taste consistent with nose with perhaps a bit of dark fruit somewhere in the mix. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a slightly aggressive background carbonation - not prickly, but a little bit too much for the style. Quite drinkable with a well-hidden abv. If the mouthfeel was a little more on point, this would be markedly more quaffable - would love to try this on nitro if such an offering exists.

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