Southampton Imperial Russian Stout | Southampton Publick House

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Southampton Imperial Russian StoutSouthampton Imperial Russian Stout

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-08-2002

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Reviews: 161 | Ratings: 358
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle sharred with many BA's at this years Darkness Eve tasting. Thanks Kevin for sharring this bottle.

Bottle# 5/500

A- No apparent head in the initial pour no lacing, dark black color, very opaque.
S- I get dark fruits upfront (plums, raisins, figs), dark roasted malts, slight chocolate presence, coffee.
T- Really smooth drinking, dark fruits, raisins, plums, dark malts, coffee, roasted notes, well balanced, really nice RIS.
M- Medium mouth feel, well carbonated, smooth drinking, dry finish.
O- Overall its easy drinking and enjoyable, not a beer I would hunt down, but glad to try it once, thanks kbutler1 for sharing this.

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Photo of badbeer
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Bottling:

Black with a tan head leaving excellent retention and lacing. Aroma is mostly of dark chocolate, licorice, and roastiness, also some alcohol is noticeable. Taste is of sweet caramel, toffee, roasty coffee flavors, and some licorice. Medium carbonation and body. A real good beer, and one I'd expect to age quite well.

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Photo of jmalex
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at Capone's on 6-12-08. This review is from notes taken.

APPEARANCE: Served in a 10 oz. snifter, the beer came pitch black with essentially no head to speak of save a small, wispy collar. Despite this, some slight, splotchy lacing formed down the sides of the glass.

SMELL: Equal parts roasty and fruity with a little alcohol bite and maybe a touch of smoke. There's definitely more than just a balancing hop presence, but it gets overpowered by the big, malty aromas.

TASTE: The taste goes back and forth between the heavy roast coffee and the ripe dark fruits. The alcohol hits you right off the bat and is pretty much the one major detractor in an otherwise delicious beer. The hops are even more prevalent in the taste and come on mostly toward the finish, before giving way to a lingering roastiness that seems to keep hanging on.

MOUTHFEEL: Thick and chewy, yet not syrupy. Carbonation is low and appropriate. In other words, spot on.

DRINKABILITY: Certainly delicious but it's a big beer with some of an alcohol bite. For style though, not too bad.

I'm glad I got a chance to try this given it's limited availability. Time will tell if the hype machine grabs hold or if it gets lost in a shuffle of so many good Imperial Stouts. I suggest trying it if you can.

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Photo of SkunkWorks
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Popped in celebration of finding an apartment with my girlfriend, a 750ml bottle from the 2011 vintage cellared since the release poured into a Southampton IRS release day snifter. Bottle number 39. I've had this on tap but this is the bottled version.

Look: A little gun smoke once the cork is popped and the pour reveals a solid, black body and an aggressive pour yields a thick, creamy mocha colored head that retains until the last sip and leaves sheets of sticky lace behind as I drink. Exceptional looking beer.

Smell: just how I remembered it from the release day, except a lot stronger. Once its out of the bottle, sitting on the table in front of me, I'm already picking up some aromas from this one! Roasted malt, chocolate fudge, coffee and alcohol stand out to me. No one aroma seems to dominate and all of it smells amazing.

Taste: I remember now why this is my favorite IRS of all time. Big, dark chocolate, subtle coffee, roasted grain, hints of vanilla and dark fruit and a slight alcohol taste. Wonderfully complex without being too aggressive.

Feel: this is the area where this beer has improved most when comparing the bottle to the tap version. Full bodied and perhaps the creamiest beer I've ever had. The texture is almost like melted whipped cream. The beer is dry and carbonation is spot on for the style. Its one you have to force yourself not to gulp down.

Overall: exceptional. I've never given straight 5's before but I can't see how this beer could improve in any aspect. For the next release, I doubt I'll be trading any of my bottles of this because its really a big step above the other release day stouts I've had to this point. I can't wait for the next special occasion we have so I can pop another bottle... Cheers!

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

servered out of a growler, thanks to walleye and his friend from nyc.

Imperial Stout is my favorite style so i judge them hard.

this was a little flat but it was the tail end of a growler that had been opened twice before my serving. so it had little to no carbonation and no head.

the aroma is coffee, vanillia, malt, alochol. what a buetiful thing.
the flavor is rich with dark roasted barley, coffee, vanillia, little hops, and a slight zing of spice maybe ginger.

the mouthfeel is very full the beer has enough residual sweetness to make it a heavy beer.

imo this beer is very well ballanced malt, aroma, sweetness, bitterness. i was told they are going to bottle it and i can not wait.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to eyebrews for bringing this 2009 bottle to a recent tasting.

A luscious, dark pour yields a beautiful head.

Huge amounts of cocoa, malts, coffee and dark fruit in the nose. This is a wonderful smelling stout! Very complex.

All that and then some in the taste... but there's something unique here too... some marshmallow fluff likeness perhaps? Medium-bodied and finishes rather dry for an RIS.

This was the standout of the night for me. I'm glad to have another bottle for a future tasting to enjoy!

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Photo of bulletrain76
4.26/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at the RBSG grand tasting. Dark brown head over a black body. Hoppy, piney and dark chocolate aroma. The flavor is an excellent balance of rich chocolatey malt and juicy hops. Full bodied and smooth. There were tons of good stouts opened at the tasting, but this rose to the top of the heap. Lovely stuff

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Photo of LuckySevens82
3.91/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber courtesy of Beerhandy.

Poors jet black into my Rapscallion goblet. A deep brown head tops this one off and sticks around for quite some time. Thus, retention is quite good, lacing is nice as well.
Smell is roasted coffee, chocolate, caramel, and I think I detect a bit (very very very slight) of oxidation, but I don't know how that's possible. Defintitely rich smelling, and remeniscent of chocolate cake. Not a hint of alcohol in the nose at all.
Taste is big chocolate with just a hint of roasted malts and coffee. Caramel forms the backbone of this as well as the chocolate. Not very aggressively hopped at all, but it all seems to balance out. A slight bit of alcohol as this warms the throat going down. Definitely chocolate cake-like. I am still detecting a very very very slight bit of oxidation, but who cares, this still tastes pretty damn good.
Mouthfeel is almost perfect with this one not being too oily or heavy (which looking at it, you wouldn't expect). The mild hops and rich flavors balance out nearly perfectly.
I could drink this one for a while, it's a bit rich to drink all night long, but not bad at all. Another quality beer from Southampton.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.01/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one courtesy BrooHa. Thanks my friend, and cheers! 2009 Vintage from a 750ml bottle, numbered 112 of 400. Here we go.

Appearance is just perfect for this stout nerd, completely black, extremely thick and pillowy mocha colored head with great retention and lacing.

Smell is of chocolate, smoke, earthy hops. Good.

Taste is also good, not great..smoke, roasted malts, even a slight hop presence, nothing in the Yeti realm, but more than most. Again good, could use some age.

Mouth is medium bodied and medium in carbonation.

This is a good beer and I am happy to have the opportunity to try this one.

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Photo of TheDudeRules
4.01/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Generously hooked up from Afksports. Thanks Brendan.

Pours a nasty black into the Surly imperial pint glass. Big thick two tone mocha to khaki sponge of a head. Pretty sure I can do a handstand on that sum bitch. Retention is status level amazing. Nose is coffee, chocolate, toffee, and a small hint of dark fruit. Taste is an explosion of espresso. Tongue numbing espresso. Bakers chocolate follows. This beer has a hop bite that fades to a fairly dry finish. Alcohol is present when the sip is over. I'd consider it a belly warmer.

Good not great. I'd like to try next years and compare the notes.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a bottle form 2007 and I drank it shortly after its release. Pours black with a big brown head. Thick lace. Smoke, tobacco, licorice, and a lot of hops in the nose. Chocolaty with truck loads of hop flavor. Warm and bitter. Full body. High carbonation. Dry finish. Should have let this bear age.

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Photo of mikecharley
4.64/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by HenrikO as an extra (!) in our most recent trade. Bottle 112 out of 450, from the 2013 release.

Appearance is a very very dark brown. Nice, but not the inky black I like to see in the stout world. The head is the color of lightly creamed coffee, very nice.

Aroma is nice dark fruits, some char and roast, coffee, slight booze.

Taste exceeds the aroma. Just a very well executed traditional imperial stout. Nice low levels of roast. Very nice dark fruits and slight booze. Hops are very background, if noticeable at all.

Mouthfeel is on point. Filling, coating. Very well done stout.

Overall: This is the stout that KtG wanted to be. Well done. I just stumbled into this bottle, thanks to a great trading partner. Wish it wasn't so limited, as I would love some more for the cellar, and fridge. Delicious.

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Photo of youradhere
2.92/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

South Sound Tasting Notes

Pours black with an extremely thin tan head, amber edges shine in the glass. Smells of faint chocolate and stale coffee, some brett funk and fruitiness showing through the two dimensional base nose of this brew. Taste is bland dark chocolate, stale coffee and wood char; a slight sour funk adds some depth and character to an otherwise unimpressive RIS. Mouthfeel is extremely thin- it felt like a porter rather than an RIS. High carbonation created too much carbonic acid, effectively weakening any flavor character. Overall- not horrible, not great, but surely not worth the trade price.

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Date: 01/28/2012
Type: On Tap @ Release
Glass: Commemorative SH Release Snifter
Vintage: 2012

Have been going to this release every year since 2008, have sampled numerous times, but never took the time to enter in a review.

Pours a viscous looking midnight black in color w/ a 11/2 finger medium brown head that left heavy, sticky lacing on the glass for days. Aromas of charred malts, burnt brown sugar, dark chocolate, molasses, smokiness, and that unique vanilla marshmallow note. The taste starts off w/ sweet molasses, vanilla marshmallow, and charred malts up front, leading into peated smokiness, and finishing w/ a good amount of herbal hop bitterness. Full bodied and creamy w/ adequate carbonation. Definately a sipper, but that's what it was designed for.

Overall, fantastic as usual! Phil Markowski and SH strike again, but do they ever miss!?

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Photo of egajdzis
4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured opaque black as night with a small, tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of port, cherries, raspberries, smoke, chocolate, and roasted malt. Taste of chocolate and roast, more vinous qualities, certainly a little bit of tar, with a superb mouthfeel. Finishes with light, dry, alcohol. Phenomenal!

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Photo of fear025
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma:Sour dark malty aroma with an underlying sweetness.

Appearance:Black and opaque, nice head with large bubbles. Head quickly dissipates.

Taste:Great fruity taste in the foretaste along with dark roasty malts. The fruits are kind of like a green apple. In the midtaste, the roasty notes take control.

Mouthfeel:There's some harshness, with good (perhaps too much?) carbonation.

Overall:This is a great complex roasty fruity imperial stout.

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Photo of ixodus
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap into the South Hampton release snifter.

A: Pours a thick black in color with a beautiful coffee colored head with good head retention and lacing.

S: Bittersweet chocolate, cacao nibs, plums, dark roasted malts, faint earthy hops. The aroma has a bit of smokiness to it as well.

T: Burnt malt, dark chocolate, vanilla, raisins, plums, figs, molasses, smoke, bitter dark coffee, slight hop bitterness. Impressively smooth.

M: Full bodied smooth, viscous, soft carbonation with a pretty dry finish.

O: Overall a fantastic RIS. For such a big beer it's so smooth, alcohol is barely present. Glad I picked up 4 bottles of this beast.

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Photo of joefuzz
4.83/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 vintage Bottle 301 of 650 split with a friend poured into snifters.

Pours jet black, used motor oil black with a dark brown head.

Smells of roasted malt, coffee and ripe plums

Taste is amazing, huge malty taste up front with a pleasent coffee aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is pure velvet its so smooth carbontion is perfect.

Overall mind blowing RIS can't wait until this comes out again next year.

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Photo of bultrey
4.87/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Essentially black, with ruby tinge. Viscous liquid with coffee-and-cream-colored head. The carbonation and head lingers through to the end of the beer. Smell is quite vinous, reminiscent of tawny port, chocolate ganache, and concentrated dark fruit, like blueberry syrup. A bit of alcohol is present in the nose, as well. A fantastically complex flavor -- coffee with amaretto cream, bittersweet walnut, cocoa powder, anise and a little soy sauce -- just phenomenal. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, yet light and airy for such a dense beer. Drinkability only suffers slightly because this beer is just a tad hot still. Oh to try this beer again in, say, four or five years. I could never wait that long. Stunning.

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Photo of lou91
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 in May 2006. Picture perfect on the pour – dark black with a dark brown head. The nose was also picture perfect with roasted malt, dark chocolate, espresso and an alcohol smell giving you fair warning. Once I poured it I couldn’t wait to try it so I had a teaspoon and it was BIG and tasty. The taste matched perfectly and is both a sipper – rich thick complex and also so tasty that big sips are oh so easy. This goes back on my want list and yes Jetsbeer I want another one.

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Photo of Verecund
3.44/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage, bottle #459/650. Thanks to Carl (wchollif) for bringing this.

Very attractive IRS: ink black with a nice two-finger mocha head. Thick, frothy lacing.

Not a lot going on here at first, but it opens up after ten minutes or so. It's drier than I expected, featuring (almost caustic) smoke and tobacco. Dark chocolate, coffee, and molasses thankfully join the fray.

Bitter chocolate, some dry, leathery notes, and a smoky finish. Some dark fruit character, though it's harsh in nature, combating the roasted malt and smoky underbelly. A little anise peeks through right before the dry punch of a finish.

Medium-bodied and creamy, with higher than normal carbonation for the style.

This one grew on me the further into my glass I got. I think splitting this, say, three ways would have improved my regard for it, but, as it stands, SH IRS was a slight let down from my expectations.

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Photo of DrewZ926
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black body with about three fingers of cocoa head. Surprisingly highly carbonated, appears fairly thick.

Wonderful aromas of bitter espresso beans, inviting milk chocolate, plenty of caramel and chocolate covered raisins. Also a hint of piney hoppiness.

Fantastic balance here. Starts with sweet vanilla, baker's chocolate, molasses. Evolves into wonderfully roasted coffee, a tinge of hop resin, and bitter cocoa.

Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than expected and a bit too carbonated for the style. Highly drinkable however, does not wear on the palate or belly.

Overall this beer lived up to the hype in my mind. Found it to be an excellent representation of the style and an extremely well crafted ale. The balance was superb and should improve with time as some of the sweetness mellows. Not boozy at all might I add. I would seek this out again (next year's release) and recommend anyone in the area to do the same. Found the IRS highly comparable with Marshall Zhukhov in many dimensions.

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Photo of afausser
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the release party this weekend.

Appearance: Pours a very still dark chocolate that is just about opaque, with a finger of persistant dark toffee and coffee toned head. A fine sheet of chocolate lacing makes it almost appear to be on nitro. When the head disappears, it turns into fluffy, foamy bottles of varying size and an espresso foam on the top. Very nice looking, but a little placid which is a bit disconcerting. This only gets worse as it warms.

Smell: Heavy bitter coffee blended with a strong dark chocolate note. Seems like about an 80 percent cocoa powder and dark liquor notes, particularly of raspberry and strawberry. Slight cream, anise, licorice and vanilla make it quite smooth, and there's a slight hint of rum soaked raisins as well.

Taste: Heavy bitter coffee and slightly sweet (though predominantly bittersweet) cocoa. There's a definite licorice taste and there are not as many of the liquor notes that were in the smell, but there are raisins and prunes and slight alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and bubbly, fine, mouthfeel sparkles in your mouth and brings the coffee and still dominant cocoa notes to the forefront.

Drinkability: I don't know the abv as I drink this one, but judging by style and appearance its probably decently high. Yet it goes down easily with lunch--very good. Now that I'm typing up the review and see that it's a 10.2%....I have to increase this. Amazing.

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Photo of MissSmisje
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013. Pours black with a mocha head that dissipates into a collar. Roasted malts, black strap molasses, and licorice on the nose. Tasty is predominately the same, with some bakers chocolate and malty sweetness balanced by some background bitterness. Smell and taste are reminiscent of Evil Twins's Even More Jesus. Oily mouthfeel but finishes a bit cleaner. Not my go to, but very good.

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Photo of raverjames
3.4/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I finally got a chance to try this hyped up beer from a brewery that I enjoy.
This brew poured thick and black with a nice brown creamy head. It smelled pretty good with a load of roast. The taste was not quite as good. For some reason, after you get past the nice chocolate initial flavor, a bit of wet dog flavor follows. It also has a slightly metallic flavor which is disappointing. I don't want to just point out flaws. It has the proper mouth feel for an IRS and the carbonation was low just like it should be. Overall, I didn't really enjoy this beer. I did feel privileged to get the chance to try this brew. Thanks for sharing Scott!

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Southampton Imperial Russian Stout from Southampton Publick House
4.21 out of 5 based on 358 ratings.
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