Southampton Imperial Baltic Porter | Southampton Publick House

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Southampton Imperial Baltic PorterSouthampton Imperial Baltic Porter

Brewed by:
Southampton Publick House
New York, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 02-13-2003

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Reviews: 331 | Ratings: 377
Photo of blckwiteboy
1.39/5  rDev -64.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1

This is not an imperial beer at all. An imperial ale starts at 9%. The brewery fools people buy naming and saying the beer is stronger than it is. They have other beers named similarly and they don't match style. I drank the beer and was the first craft beer I ever poured down the drain. It was weak in flavor and lacked everything a porter needs. I was more disappointed that the beer deceived me than the taste. But over all its a bad beer.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.18/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - very dark, impenetrable, save for ruby highlights scattered around the edges, a coffee colored rocky head, medium thickness head that laces lazily

S - a sharp alcohol aroma at first, with a slight coffee-ish hint

T - too much alcohol for me, and there is the same coffee flavor behind the alchol, not balanced enough for me

M - like i said too biting of an alcohol taste to have a great mouthfeel which also...

D - ... lowers the drinkability, i couldnt chug this when i wanted to get to the next beer, not impressed

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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, 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.

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Photo of MrSeth
2.53/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a flat black color with a small coffee brown head that fizzes out quickly. A lacey cloud and ring of suds remain on the surface.

In the nose, ripe grapes, roasted coffee, cotton candy.

The taste is also very candyish. Sugar! rolls over the tongue along with a watery mouthfeel. Something of a rubbing alcohol aftertaste haunts the palate.. This is a crash and burn attempt at making a porter. I can't get into the rest of the profile because the watery mouth and bizarre alcoholic aftertaste throw me off completely.


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Photo of gregmoscetti
2.65/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Really Southampton? I go to a bar in NYC that boasts a lot of good stuff... I take a chance on you because the Leviathan Series baltic porter was tapped out... and this is what I get?


Thin and syrupy. No backbone. no body. little taste. When I think imperial porter I think gonezo (which they had, but since i can drink it in California, I ignored). This was a big disappointment.

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Photo of Jwaks
2.69/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Serving : 22oz bottle

A sparkle and fade brown-tinted head leaves a faint, unimpressive ring of foam atop a watery thin, murky brown beer. This brew doesn't look very lively save the few bits of loose sediment that are still swirling around in a murky brown porter sea.

Inviting aromas of nougat, light brown sugar, sour purple grapes, roasted malts and hints of hop flowers make this beer smell much better than it looks.

Austere sour and bitter flavors, a bit like old coffee and dry grass, distract from this beer's pleasant and persistent roasted chocolate malt and dark brown sugar character. The lingering finish boasts rich dark malts, plenty of alcohol and a bit of molasses and smoke. Lack of flavor delineation and odd sour and bitter flavors cause the taste score to take a significant hit.

Even though the finish persists for a good while this beer doesn't coat the palate like others in this style, it offers up a whimpy viscosity at best. Drinkability goes up just a notch due to the lackluster viscosity and flavor concentration.

I expected better from you Southampton!

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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 AltBock
2.86/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bomber bottle that has a simple tan colored label with a gold crown and the name of the beer in front of a picture of the Taj Mahal. To the left and right of the label is the barcode, US government warning, address of the brewery, and the refund values. There is a tiny neck label that has a cartoon picture of the brewery surrounded by a breif description of the history surrounding the Baltic Porter style and a few flavor notes that you'll find in here. No date anywhere on the label or bottle.

Appearance: When I poured this Baltic Porter into a Sly Fox Imperial pint glass, I thought this beer was a soild midnight black color, but instead it turned out to be a deep dark mahagony brown with some dark ruby red highlights. The head of foam was about 1/2 inch in height and was a light tan color. It had had pretty good retention that left behind a samll tan film and a streak or two of tan lace.

Smell: I thought the aroma to this beer was grassy. The best part was that it wasn't too grassy, but it shouldn't have been in there in the first place. When I got passed the grass, i got some roasted coffee beans, subtle dark chocolate, and a dark fruit there at the end. I thought the aroma needed to be darker and there shouldn't be any grass in there.

Taste: It was dark and slightly dry like a good Baltic Porter should be, but this one was too sweet and watery. There was that and the fact that it didn't nearly have enough dark flavors in here. What dark flaovrs I could find in here weren't strong enough or all that good. They had potential, but they were tamed down for some reason. The taste was lightly roasted with chocolate malts, coffee beans, milk chocolate, sweet dark fruits, caramel, and a pinch of roasted bitter hops. If this beer would have lowered the sweetness, got rid of the water in the taste, and unleased the dark roasted flavors, you would have a top notch Baltic Porter.

Mouthfeel: It was far too light for a Baltic Porter and there was a faint watery aftertaste of roasted malts, milk chocolate, and a hint of bitter roasted hops. Because the aftertaste was a bit on the watery side, it didn't last long in your mouth.

Drinkability: To me this was clearly not or even close to being the one of the better Baltic Porters out there. Hopefully mine was just a bad bottle and not all of these are like this. This is not the quality I look for when it comes to Southampton. They are better than this!

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.88/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am a fan of the Baltic Porter style so I was a bit excited when I saw this in the beer store. Sadly, my joy would be quelled today.

Pours from a 22oz bottle with the typical, simple Southampton labelling. Emerges pitch black into a pint glass and is topped with a toffee colored head. Head is small in size and doesnt last very long. No lacing either.

Aroma was tame, to say the least. A bit of sweetness and some alcohol, a touch of roastiness.

Taste was fruity and somewhat sweet. Not much roasty character. Rather thin on the body as well. Fairly sticky on the tongue.

I was very disappointed in this one. Not much Baltic charactaristics and overall, very underwhelming. I will not purchase again.

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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.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery pint glass.

A: Gentle pour yields a 1 finger cream colored, moderately fine head that dissipates rather quickly into just a think wisp at the top. Brew itself is near opaque black. Lacing is near non-existent with a touch here and there.

S: roasted coffee sourness, a bit of hoppiness, and maybe a hint of dark chocolate.

T: Malt backbone is apparent at the beginning. Roasted coffee creeps in and adds a touch of sourness. Finish is malty with a bit of chocolate but the sour coffee never quite goes away, lasting into the finish.

M: Medium bodied and very coarse. Mouth is wet and just a touch oily with the carbonation adding a degree of aggressiveness. Finish is very messy but ends quick.

D: Not a terribly drinkable beer but rather average. Also not terribly complex. I'm not too impressed here. The body does add a bit to the score but its not something that can really make up for the lack of flavor in the taste and lack of appearance in what is claimed to be an "imperial" porter.

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Photo of packetknife
3.05/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Near black pour with a lace at the edges, dark brown, but no head otherwise. The complete lack of head, not even fading head, dissapoints. Toasty malt on the nose, a bit of coffee-like tones but very subtle. A bit too subtle. Very light on taste too; generally porter-ish with nothing imperial about it that I can identify. Very smooth, good density. Drinkable but not remarkable.

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.06/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Roasted chestnut in color and an opaque beer with a reddish glow as light passes through it. A latte colored head rises above the beer and leaves light webbing on the glass.

Smell is moderate. There is a distinct chocolate presence with a malty coffee scent in the background. Honestly this smells like one of my first homebrews. Not great but its beer like.

Taste confirms my nose's speculation, very homebrew-ish. There is a processed flavor that to me tastes like its made from syrups rather then all grains. Not a bad flavor but sub par for an imperial porter (as said by the label.) The melting pot of flavors has some coffee, caramels, malts and chocolates. Nothing sticks out at me and it all just kind of goes blah together.

This is a consumable beer but it is a weak offering despite the smooth mouthfeel. I am unimpressed by the lack of character and personality. I feel like the flavors are muted and should be more robust. There is also a chalky finish that doesn't work for me. This one looks better then it is but still worth a try. I have to admit that it gets better as it warms and after half a glass of 7.5% I become less strict on the review. Its growing on me.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.13/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into standard pint.

A - Nearly black with a thick tan head. There is good retention and a nice lacing. The appearance is probably the most impressive feature of this beer.

S - Big toasty malt, with some oak, licorice, dark fruits. I get a strange grainy smell, almost musty, as well.

T - Follows the nose with some chocolate and alcohol thrown in there. No real bitterness or acidic nature. None of the flavors are fully developed and it lacks complexity in my opinion.

M - Very thin with light to medium carbonation. Goes down easy.

O - I find this baltic porter to be underwhelming and a tad watery. It is very easy drinking, and not at all harsh, but leaves me wanting more. It isn't terrible but I probably won't get it again on purpose.

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.13/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

You know what, I didn't know what to expect from an imperial porter (is it a stout, or a smother, richer porter) and I reallly dug what I got out of this beer. Honestly, I did.

Pours a nice pitch balck. Very tan head, that phrothy some, laces a little and is a nice touch all the way down.

Very roasted nose. tooffe/cofeee combo, but roasted is the prevealatn flavor.

Mouthfeel was pretty chewy. taste reminded me of oatmeaL STOUT wiht a coffeee/toffee going on for it. Not a bad brew, best enjoy on a late fall night...

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Photo of lehows
3.17/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a pretty solid black color with no head and zero lacing to speak of. Hopefully it was a bad pour. Aromas of chocolate, and a sour sweet quality I could'nt put my finger on. Sharp and oily in the mouth, there were flavors of burnt chocolate and charcoal, some mild coffee notes, and a sweet fruitiness that followed by the alcohol presence. Not really on par with most of the other Southampton brews in my opinion.

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Photo of 86sportster883
3.21/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Other than the unexpected kick that this beer certainly has, I found this to be a mediocre example of the Baltic porter style. Something about my 22oz bomber left me thinking I was drinking a stale beer. No best buy date to give me a clue.

Poured deep dark brown with a rocky tan head.
Moderately sweet aroma.
Tasted off balanced, leaning squarely on the sweet side.
Medium light bodied, but with smooth mouthfeel.
Finishes chalky, followed by an off tasting bitterness.

There's a lot going on in this beer, even if it's muted (like the high abv). The problem is that none of it seems to achieve a pleasant harmony.

Serve it well chilled and your friends will love it.

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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.

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Photo of Stoneman78
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Blind Tiger in NYC!
A- Mostly black hue, thin off-white head dissipates, minimal lacing
S- Bitter hops and alcohol, some roast and coffee malts, somewhat subdued
T- Initial taste follows the aroma, mild hops mixed with roast and coffee malts, finishes slightly dried, underwhelming
M- Medium-bodied, watery smooth texture, mild carbonation
D- Middling porter with poor hop presence and mouthfeel, lacking in any sort of bold flavors, would not get again

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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 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 AndoBrew
3.32/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

*did not mind would not buy*

app: brown water, not good looking brown water, but what brown water does look good?

smell: heavy brown chewy malts.. more sweet that roasty, dark chewy fruits
kinda nice.

taste: hmmm nice but not WOW, it has soy sweet dark fruit malt flavors everywhere.. thats about it, some bitter blackness of coffee and maybe a titch of hops in the end, its good not great and not complex.

mf: thin not bold and big enough but not bad.

drinkable?: yes, but not way. it has a bit to much molasses type feel and flavor to be a real drinkable lad.

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Photo of kkosmoski
3.34/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber that had been aged about 6 months in the cellar, poured into a red wine glass. Pour yielded an oily, black liquid with minimal head. Low head retention and no lacing. Aroma was very sweet with hints of licorice, coffee, and prunes. Taste was very much dominated by the malt, resulting in a very sweet beer with not much support from the hops. I would say that the hops were just enough to not balance. Mouthfeel was very oily and thick with just enough carbonation. The mouthfeel was the highlight of this beer. I split this bomber with another beer advocate, but I probably would not have had any problem finishing the whole thing myself. A decent beer.

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Photo of Ryanm1
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Not much in the way of anything for this beer. Indestinct generic taste as if it had the same malty consistency of a Guinness. Although it says it's an imperial the abv of seven plus is disguised well. Not much of a finish but a slight bitterness.

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Photo of atozymurgy
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured nearly black with some reddish highlights. A nice head initially but this faded in seconds to a small ring of foam. The nose is sweet and malty, with barely a hint of hops (Cascade?) and perhaps just a bit of alcohol. Since the abv is only 7.5 I wonder if this might be an estery of phenolic yeast byproduct rather than alc?

The taste is rich and roasty with toffee and coffee predominating. Not as sweet and malty as I expected from the smell. I would like a bit more hop bitterness to play against the roast, which is where most of the bitterness seems to be coming from. The finish is fast, with some roasted bitterness, but overall rather thin. Carbonation is good, perhaps a little high for the style, but palate cleansing. The body is rather thin - I would prefer more chewiness and mouth-filling character in this style. I pick up just a hint of alcohol warmth...

A fairly pleasant porter, but not quite as good as some out there. I paired it with a patty melt from one of my favorite restaurants and the roastiness was more than expected and overwhelmed rather than complemented the grilled bread and onion. This would probably be nicer with some strong blue cheese, like a Stilton or maybe gorgonzola. Or Limburger!

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Southampton Imperial Baltic Porter from Southampton Publick House
3.94 out of 5 based on 377 ratings.
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