Southampton Imperial Baltic Porter | Southampton Publick House

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Southampton Imperial Baltic PorterSouthampton Imperial Baltic Porter
Very Good
377 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 377 |  Reviews: 331
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Muddy very dark brown with lace. Smooth.Good but have had better, more drinkable for style.More coffee and roasted malt than I would like. Alcohol drying mouthfeel.Anise in nose, initial sip and some bitterness. Hop numbing of tongue. Medium-full mouth. Thanks JoeyC. Had more 1.5 years later and not as enjoyable.

 314 characters

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of t0rin0
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I guess I should start with a thanks to halfP1NT for this, my favorite Jersey girl and the one who sends me all this cool Southampton stuff.

Its nice to see a porter done to style, although I'd rather call this an English Porter or maybe an American Porter before I call it a Baltic Porter. Also, I like that its a lager (I think).

Pours dark red/black. Little head, tan, no retention. Very little light gets through.

Smell is sweet and lager-like. I think thats what porters were designed as, right? That is to be light and drinkable.

Taste is light, roasty, sweet, and a bit toffee-like. Again, light and enjoyable. Alcohol is quite well hidden and the bitterness is well balanced, slightly higher than I'd expect for a "Baltic" porter.

Body is smooth, medium/thin, and a touch oily. Low carbonation, English lager-like.

Very nice beer all around.

Oh yeah, can we drop the "Imperial" buzzword? Its getting old.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Of course there are no disappointments here. The beer if phenominal from start to finish. Opens with a seriously viscous, malty look, dark brown, and well headed. Later shows nice lacing and periodical legging. Strong coffee and cocoa aromas, with a back-up of barley malt, plumb esters, and a mild lactose sweetness. Flavors come through in a similar fashion, focusing on coffee and rich cocoa. The feel is terrific; heavy, malty, and clean. Finishes with a charcoal / powdery dryness with a lingering hint of roasted grains. Porters just don't get much better. Thanks Bill44spc

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Photo of emerge077
3.64/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Labeled "XXII Reserve" on the neck label.

Pours a dark ruby tone in the light, otherwise nearly opaque. Creamy tan foam bubbles to the rim of the glass.

Smell is average, there's really not much to pick out other than faint roasted malt.

Tastes like mild roasted malt and lingering chocolate. Metallic note interferes with full enjoyment. Earthy toasted malt in the finish. Not alot of unique or rich character to this one.

Smooth and very drinkable, easy to finish a 22oz, but not my favorite Porter by far.

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Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep dark brown/black color with a tan head; retention wasn't that great but there was some lacing

Smell: Dried dark fruit scents dominate along with some toffee and chocolate

Taste: Starts with a plum and dark fruit flavor that develops with chocolate and toffee notes by mid-palate; after the swallow the chocolate comes to the fore with a tobacco finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate level of carbonation

Drinkability: A flavorful Baltic Porter that is balanced between the fruit and the chocolate

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black porter with a small foamy dark head with average retention. Aroma of chocolate is well mix with some roasted malt. Taste is a mixture between sweet malt with slight roasted bitter touch and some smooth chocolate undertones. Creamy texture is really interesting but body is lacking. This is a really good beer that would have been great had there been a more fuller body.

 399 characters

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

12 ounce bottle into snifter; no bottle dating, but was released recently. Pours nearly opaque dark brown color with a 2 finger fairly dense and rocky khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, molasses, caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, plum, dark bread, light coffee, light licorice, herbal, and roast/toasty earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity of dark/roasted malt and fruity yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of big chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, raisin, plum, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Good amount of earthy roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roast, molasses, toast, dark bread, raisin, plum, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of dark/roasted malt and moderate yeast ester flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy, smooth, and fairly chalky/bready mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Baltic porter. All around good balance, robustness, and complexity of dark/roasted malt and moderate yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,509 characters

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.

 610 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This review is from a 22 oz bottle contract brewed in Sarasota Springs, NY. No freshness date.

It pours an opaque mahogany body with clear, glowing chestnut-orange highlights at the base of the glass. The head is a short but creamy layer of slightly-yellowed tan that holds well and leaves remarkable lace about the glass.
In the nose, dark chocolate; dark caramel; yeasty fruitiness; and a hint of roastiness combine to welcome you.
The mouthfeel is smooth and lush. It's medium-full bodied, and has a delicate, restrained carbonation that lends a gentle caress to the palate before sliding effortlessly away.
In the flavor, dark-caramelized sugars dominate upfront, followed by some fruitiness and then chocolate. The bitterness is somewhat restrained considering it's size (as is to style); and it finishes dry but chocolately with a dull touch of roastiness - kind of like a chocolate-covered coffee bean.

The alcohol barely makes and appearance, and that's only in the finish towards the end of the serving. Very nicely done.

 1,041 characters

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

12 oz bottle allowed to warm for about 15 minutes, then served in a snifter.

A: pours a deep, dark, clear mahogany but is opaque and nearly black in the snifter. The frothy light brown head is mostly short-lived but leaves some lacing.

Aroma: mild-to-moderate strength. Dark malt and fruits, especially prune and raisin, notes of dark sweet chocolate, hints of alcohol, a bit of burnt raisins, and a smidge of roasted black express beans. 4.1

Taste: The beer is sweet with plenty of dark fruit, including notes of prunes, raisins, dates and a hint of cherry. Some dark chocolate and light coffee flavors come to the fore in the finish and aftertaste. Dark roasted grain and well-done toast linger into the finish as well. A bit boozy, but in a nice, brandy-like way. 4.2

M: full bodied, if not quite chewy; creamy smooth; well-chosen low carbonation.

O: This excellent Baltic Porter is rich and malty with ample notes of roasted grains, and dark fruits. This beer is nicely crafted, with enough complexity and depth to maintain interest even if used as a session beer.

 1,074 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light fizzy head fades fairly quickly, dark almost pitch black but a bit too thin to be actually black.

Nose has syrupy malts, light chocolate syrup, mocha, malt.

Taste has nice dark malts, chocolate, malted milk ball, cocoa, bakers choc, creamy, hint of bitterness. Finish is still fairly sweet, cocoa and light bitterness lingering.

Mouth is med bodied, lighter carb.

Overall nice, bit lacking on the carb and nose, bit otherwise nice malts and light bitterness, drinkable and tasty.

 489 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer pours a black with a brown hue, a thin off-white head that fades quickly and not much lace.

S: Coffee & Chocolate aroma with malt and a little bit of fruit overtones mixed in.

T: Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, caramel and berry & raisin flavors all burst out as it hits your mouth, and then you get a faint bit of hops. As you continue to drink it you taste a pleasant combination of sweet bitter & sour all at once, very complex.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium-to-heavy body with light carbonation and it goes down very easy.

D: This is a very drinkable beer. It’s smooth and just so damn tasty. It’s not very filling either, so I could enjoy throwing down 2 or 3 bombers without a problem. I certainly enjoyed the complexity of the taste.

 810 characters

Photo of oberon
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep deep brown not quite black with a nice rddish tint when help up to a bright light with a fluffy one finger mocha colored head.Bitter chocolate arames hit you up front with an underlying fruitiness that has a real lactic/sour edge to it along with some dry earthiness,well rounded flavors bitter chocolate really makes its presence felt with sweet caramal and molasses with a somewhat earthy finish.This beer is begging to be served at room temp where all its flavors and complexties and come out.Awesome to say the least,Southampton rocks!

 553 characters

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

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

Photo of smcolw
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very nice head that leaves a ringed lace with each sip, although toward the end of the beer all of this is long gone. Dark, dark brown where very little light shines through.

Surprisingly mild aroma; subtle dark malts blended with a noticeable alcohol warmth.

The flavor is a huge improvement with a strong dark malt profile--mostly mocha. The alcohol takes more of a back seat here, but is still present. Thinner than I expected with a high level of carbonation.

This is a great looking and tasting beer. Beyond that it is quite ordinary to me, IMHO.

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Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this one from unholy2, I think, cheers!

Pours an effervescent chestnut/ebony with 1 finger of tan head. Above average head retention & average lacing

S: Fruity, raisins & not much more

T: Slight dark fruit & dark chocolate, & leafy hops up front. Roasty malts, slight coffee profile & more dark fruits, dryness, plus a touch of molasses & vanilla, plus booze as this warms. Finishes with chocolate notes, vanilla, oaky notes, & caramel

MF: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation; oiliness & bit of dryness

Drinks fairly easy, a restrained version of the style that picks drinkability & subtle flavor over brute force

 629 characters

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.

 873 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Barely opaque mahogany that might have been barely translucent mahogany if it was midday rather than late afternoon. Abundant reddish gold highlights can be seen at the margins. The golden beige cap is firm and tight and is beginning to form a thick collar of lace as it deflates. Unfortunately, very little lace ends up on the glass in the end.

I'll wait until the head has fallen further, but it smells as if the nose is short on assertiveness. Even with very little foam in the way, I find it lacking. I smell mildly roasted malt and not much else. Since I love Baltic porter noses, this one's shyness is disappointing.

Thankfully, there's more flavor, even if the beer isn't exploding with it. SIBC could use more malt, although I have to keep reminding myself that Baltic porters aren't necessarily big malt bombs. Roasted maltiness takes a backseat on the palate in favor of a combination of flavors that includes black coffee, black licorice, dark caramel/toffee and unsweet dates, from most prominent to least.

For all that, the beer isn't as big, as rich, as deep and as endlessly fascinating as I'd hoped. Perhaps it's a matter of misplaced expectations (this is Southampton after all), but I can't help feeling a little let down. It's still wonderful beer. Warming brings out some hidden charms in terms of flavor strength and interaction, so I'd recommended starting it out in the vicinity of 60 degrees. Licorice/anise, especially, intensifies over time.

The mouthfeel is light-medium and is lagery smooth, even if it doesn't manage silky, chewy or lush. Along with the flavor profile, the mouthfeel improves noticeably as I get deeper into the bottle. I've finally gotten it through my thick skull that this isn't 'big beer' and have come to appreciate the mouthfeel in that light. The ABV is noted only by a slight tongue numbing.

Southampton Imperial Baltic Porter didn't live up to my expectations (born of my love for this brewery's Double White Ale) but it's still good beer by whatever measure one wishes to employ. It's one of the easiest drinking Baltic porters that I've run across and I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another bottle. Thanks to IrishRedRock for the trade.

 2,198 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a dark caramel brown hue forms with a tan lucious head with streaks of lacing. Aroma contains deep plum and other alcohol laced fruits dark roasted malts with big layers of cocoa and coffee notes also carries along some herbal hop notes that solidify the aroma. Taste is full with more layers of chocolate cake mix and coffee beans which the roasty bitterness is then splashed with layers of plump fruit and phenolic alcohol notes plump raisins come through hop flavor is mild with a touch of herbalness all in all this one is welcomed by the imbiber. Mouthfeel med-full bodied low chugging carbonation goes down nicely very smooth and creamy on the palate. Drinkability high quality nice overall character for the Baltic Porter style easy drinking compared to some more aggressive approaches on the style yet a 22 ounce portion is definitely ample.

 857 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at The Blind Tiger NYC, Poured Inky black with a dark tan, good retentive head. Left moderate lace. Obvious alcohol, roasted malts, coffee, and burnt fruit notes define this fine creation. Hard to go to wrong when you order one of S'hampton's brews. This one is rich and flavorful. Full of flavor. a sensory delight.

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Southampton Imperial Baltic Porter from Southampton Publick House
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 377 ratings
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