This brewery has a reputation, at least in my tiny sad existence, for tiny bottle runs, and massive whales. I have been trying to land their ridiculous Berliner Weiss since before it was cool to drink 2% beer, with no success. Here’s my consolation, lucky bottle #229 of all 650 of them. I like my stouts like I like my steaks, MEDIUM. If you thought I was gonna go with “rare” or “well done” that’s low hanging fruit my friends.
Southampton Imperial Russian Stout, 10.5% abv
A: This is about as deep and murky as it gets, T5 levels of blackness on par with Abyss and Hunaphu’s. As you can see above, the carbonation is outrageous in the classic sense of the word: causing outrage. There’s no reason for that much foam unless its the late 90’s and you have some glowsticks. The lacing is like a Baroque armoir, ornate and frilly. After about 5 minutes this excitable asshole settled down and stopped weaving tales about his Fedex journey.
S: This is fairly muted on the palate but got better as it warmed up, like those shy recent divorcees that always order the salad. There’s some chalky chocolate, cocoa, sticky vanilla, and a subtle macaroon. Then, wearing a cape and goggles comes COFFEECOCK to dominate everything at the end. Javatastic COFFEECOCK all over the place.
T: Well if you weren’t on board with Coffeecock from the last section, you can stop now because it just goes deeper in the same vein. That was not a euphemism you sicko. There’s a bitter drying at the outset that fades into a delicious baker’s chocolate like brownie batter, and as expected, coffee, well you saw that coming. I think this is slight underrated and perhaps its the small bottle count that makes people say fuck it, like when I decided I could live without the entire Step by Step DVD box set, I can imagine what happens in Season 3. Cody gets a horse or some shit.
M: This beer has a huge sticky coating that lingers well after the first drink. The coating just sticks and does operation grill maker over in short order. The coffee and deep chocolate makes you feel like you were just mashing on some serious bowl licking for hours on end. Don’t act like the foul spatula of indulgence has not soiled your lips.
D: This isn’t exceptionally drinkable unless you have insatiable salivary glands and a post-menopausal rapacity for chocolate. That hits a fairly small niche, maybe the coveted pre-pubescent market is what they were seeking but I am pretty sure 9 year olds dont have Fedex accounts. Or…do…they….
Narrative: Baron Southampton was the regal son of Lord August FitzRoy, but the cut of his jib was not unremarkable. He knew that this title was entirely created by his hateful old father as a fading sign of regal power in the days of an expanding merchant class. Just across the channel the barbarous franco-massacre had run the cobblestone streets red with the blood of an oppressive regime, leaving the largely mercantile class staring with despondence at the titled land owners. Baron didn’t give a shit. He spent the majority of his days walking the regal gardens, burying items of value in a spiteful manner to hide them, throwing rocks at the champion hunting dogs, and berating the help for streaking the sterling silver. This dark tiny master hated the opulence that he was subjected to and lashed out accordingly. He wished to be one of the masses and apprentice in a trade, press the rough hands of the working classes and see the Carolinas. Sadly, the common man would never look upon a Southampton, and he knew it. The Southamptons were few but poised, out of reach of the commoners but held just close enough to remind them of their failings. His cousin from Austria Count Berliner Vyass was the most acerbic asshole from his lineage. He did not even allow the proletariate to look upon him at all. They were rare and untouchable, that’s basically the, that’s the jist here, it’s what the underlying narrative is trying to convey, in case you missed it, just tossing you a bone.