Plum Noir - Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Plum NoirPlum Noir

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586 Ratings
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Ratings: 586
Reviews: 118
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.26%
Wants: 20
Gots: 34 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: CaptDavyJones on 05-08-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 586 | Reviews: 118
Reviews by riversider76:
Photo of riversider76
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with nice amber hues in the light. Aroma is of dark fruits, and chocolate. Body is a bit on the thin side with mild carbonation. Taste is of roasted malts, chocolate, and dark fruit. Nicely bittered in the finish,
with hints of coffee. Good stuff, as usual from this brewery.

More User Reviews:
Photo of MadScientist
4.24/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: An exceedingly dark beer with good clarity. The head is quick to settle to a thin cap of fine tan bubbles.

S: A fresh fruit aroma with overripe plums a touch of oranges and a light resinous hops type aroma in the background. There is are some chocolate notes hanging out with a slight caramel malt sweetness.

T: A medium chocolate flavor blends with an overripe plum flavor and is countered by a medium hops bitterness. There is also a slightly lower citrus hops flavor mingling with the more prominent flavors. A moderate malt sweetness. The balance is abut even with a medium finish and an aftertaste of plums, chocolate and citrusy hops.

M: A medium-full bodied beer with a medium carbonation a light warmth on the palate.

O: A fruit, chocolate beer with a fair amount of sweetness but balanced by some bitterness. This is the sort of beer that reminds me that there a wonderful fruit beers to be had; there is a balance between the plum flavor and the imperial porter and a damn fine one at that.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This beer poured a dark red/brown color, but looked black in the snifter. There was a thin tan head.

Pleasant aroma of toasted grain and sweet fruit.

Taste of plum, caramel, and coffee. A smidge of chocolate.

This beer was medium-bodied, and very sweet. I thought I was drinking a combination of port and beer, and wasn't too impressed with it.

Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: black in color, one inch head, high carbonation, opaque

Smell: roasted malt, cream, holiday spice, and slight dark fruit

Taste: coffee, dark chocolate, cream at the end, and slight plum/dark fruit after taste

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, medium-heavy body, sweet with bitter middle, slightly sweeter end

Overall:A nice and solid porter with a nice coffee taste. Do not buy this if you are looking for plum. It is only there on the margins. This is not a bad beer, but it does not live up to its name. There are better in the style.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle picked up from the brewery during a recent visit to their tasting room.

Poured into my newly purchased Southern Tier tulip glass. Dark brown-black, with chestnut around the edges in the light. A half inch of off white head recedes into a thick ring. Decent looking porter.

Nose is quite nice, certainly porter-like. Roasted grain, coffee, chocolate, and a mild dark fruitiness that may or may not be the plum.

Tasty enough porter, nice roasted notes, good dryness to it, but where are the plums? I know that the bottle says that they would be subtle, but porters already have a subtle fruitiness to them, so because of this, it just tastes like a slightly-above average porter.

Good mouthfeel, thin, creamy.

Rating is mostly reflected in the fact that the brew didn't really deliver what it promised - didn't get much in the way of plum whatsoever. Still a decent porter, but there are others out there that are just as good.

Photo of seymourcox
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had this beer the other night, sitting on a rooftop restaurant (in such a setting, I'm more inclined to see everything in a more favorable light). I saw it on the menu and asked the waiter if it were good, or ridiculous garbage (c'mon, beer made with plums?). He brought me a sample and I was in. You can taste the plums in it, but more in the way wine might have plum notes (in other words, largely imaginary). The color reminds me of a patiently licked grape Tootsie-Pop nearing the center. I'll be getting this again and will, most assuredly, be trying their other beers.

Photo of jondeelee
4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Plum Noir opens to a sweet, malty nose that smells immediately of yeasty rising whole wheat dough, with lesser notes of biscuit and Grape Nuts cereal, sweetened with molasses, wildflower honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Darker undertones of chocolate malt, coffee, and light ash add interesting textures, and an assortment of fruit esters, including berry, cherry, fig, white grape, and plum, do the same for the sweeter side. The addition of Italian plums noted on the label is not overly obvious; the beer certainly doesn’t smell like plum juice. It does seem, however, to add further complexity to the fruit esters, adding more fruit sweetness to what is otherwise a yeasty, malty, dark porter. As a whole, the aromas are very nice and enticing, and while there is a fairly strong fruity sweetness in here, there’s enough dark backing to prevent it from becoming overpowering.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a bold, black flavor that brings light coffee and ash, and heavier notes of toast crust, deeply baked brown breads, whole wheat dough, and biscuit. Sugars help offset this dark bready side, bringing in brown sugar, as well as touches of molasses, vanilla. A layer of fig, plum, berry, and cherry fruit esters adds further complexity, as does a touch of grapefruit from the hops. Toward the end of the mouthful, and existing especially in the aftertaste, the beer takes on a heavily ashy overtone, as of slightly burnt brown bread crusts, which combines with a surprisingly still strong fruit ester base, lingering on the tongue for a long time. Mouthfeel is a smooth medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high, fizzing up on the tongue.

Overall, this is nice beer, being well balanced and very flavorful. The Italian plums don’t make as much of a presence as would be expected, mainly blending well with the other fruit esters, which works very nicely for the overall profile. Worth trying.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. DOB 5/01/13 (1 month old)

Pours out almost opaque black, a dark brown rubiness is just visible when held up to the light. A nice creamy, thick 2 fingers of light tan, light mocha colored head. Good retention and good lacing.

Aroma seems to be lacking a bit. Fruity esters dominate somewhat, dark fruits, a lot of this probably coming from the plums as well. Some creamy mocha aromas come in as it warms.

Plums are pretty dominate providing for a lot of fruity flavors, both dark fruitmlike and fruity ester. Mixing with a light mocha, light roast. Finishes with spot on hop bitterness for a porter. A nice overall balance of flavors with an authentic plum flavor.

The body seems to be a little thin for me to call this an imperial porter, but it does have a nice creamy almost milky feel to it.

A pretty good beer, but a bit more body and roast flavors would have made it an excellent beer. Atleast worth a try.

Photo of MattyG85
4.26/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Bottling date of 05/01/13.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brownish black with a hint of ruby. Solid tree fingers of light tan head which slowly fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A roasty and fairly sweet aroma of chocolate malts with fruity hints from the plum. Roasted malts with big hints of chocolate and coffee along with hints of toast, cream, caramel, toffee, smoke, and nuts. Big presence of dark fruits with hints of plums, prune, fig, and raisin. Slight hint of anise spice. Fairly earthy with some hops in the background. A pretty big and rich aroma. Smells pretty good.

Taste: Follows the aroma, a rich and dark taste of sweet chocolate malts and dark fruit. Dark roasted malts with a big taste of chocolate, coffee beans, and toasted bread along with notes of caramel, vanilla, toffee, cream, nuts, and some smoked malt. Big taste of dark fruits with notes of plums, prune, raisin, berries, and fig. Also some notes of molasses and anise licorice spice. Some bitter earthy hops are also in the background. A very good roasty and rich taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy, slick, and roasty. Finishes somewhat dry. Alcohol heat is masked well.

Overall: A very good take on a porter. Amped up dark roast flavors with a good dose of dark fruits.

Photo of far333
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown, nearly black and opaque with a thick beige head that settles slowly. Low aroma of faint raisin and Cabernet, perhaps a touch of Cabernet. Interesting flavor of rich dark malt, darkly toasted, not roasted, with rich dark fruit flavors. Not sweet, but rich and well complemented to the malt. Firm bitterness against the malt, but no hop flavors. Rich and full mouthfeel, good beer.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.51/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter. Deep warm brown to black with a thick tan head that fades semi-quickly. Smells of coffee and roasted malt, but a bit smoother than you'd expect, and with a hint of the plum sweet smell at the end. Tastes almost more like a stout; the bitter roasted tastes are barely present. In their place is a full creamy mouthfeel, sweet caramel and chocolate with the bitter flavors barely coming in at the end before being snuffed out by slight dark fruit sweetness. I was almost hoping for more presence from the plum (although I wouldn't want this to be a fruit beer by any measure). Still, a great and unique beer from ST.

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The look is big, fairly thick and heavy, pretty much stout territory. There's enough uncertainty regarding where to draw the line between porter and stout before "imperial porter" came into play. Regardless, it's within its proper realm as far as body and color, somewhat viscous but not excessively. A nice, dense light brown head lies between one and two fingers tall and takes its time receding. It leaves behind some rich deposits of patchy lacing.
There's a roastiness to the underlying foundational malt that holds everything together, sans much of the char of a more heavily roasted stout. The seemingly obligatory notes of ground coffee and bittersweet cocoa are there too. There's a lightly sugary sweetness, but otherwise the plum imparts more tartness than anything. The first time I tried this I thought the plum wasn't as pronounced as it ought to be, but lately it's been much stronger than that initial impression. It allows the plum to be a major factor without adding too much. The roast ends up being more like a heavy toastiness, and some smokiness lies beneath.
It's somewhat viscous in the body as the appearance would make it seem, but not heavier than it ought to be. It's fairly rich with a light carbonation adding just a little crisp nip and going nicely smooth from beginning to finish.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle split and poured into a snifter. DOB 05/01/13.

A: Pours a very dark clear amber with a one finer off white head. Plenty of lacing from the head. Too dark to see any real visible carbonation.

S: Little bit of fruit sweetness, hints of roasted malt. Also a chocolate comes through as it warms up. Fruitiness and yeastiness.

T: Cherry and plum come through with a blend of roasted malt. There are some hops in there but mostly malt. Lingering roastiness after swallowing.

M: Medium body with ample carbonation. Fairly crisp, not really sticky. Booze is well hidden. Pretty easy going.

Overall is doesnt live up to the Blackwater Series The plum is a bit lackluster. The porter characteristics are nice but could be better done for an imperial series.

Photo of rdilauro
2.74/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I just didn't know what to expect from this one. The thought of Pinot Noir and Plum brewed in a Porter sounded so interesting.

From there I left my words.

Poured pretty dark, nothing specific. I could not detect any fruit from this porter. I was hoping for some more. No hoppiness or citrus nose from this. The taste was rather non-carbonated, sort of round with not alot going on.

Finish was ok, but there was some after taste that I could not detect. I will give this one another try in the Fall, but for now, it just didnt do it for me.

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - black with a tall, brown head that has great retention and leaves nice lacing on the glass

S - the plums coming through nicely, some sugary fruit notes, a hint of chocolate, a hint of cream

T - big chocolate malt presence, plums, sugary burnt caramel notes, hints of charcoal, very faint bitter finish

M - medium to full bodied, well carbonated

This is a pretty decent beer. I give them credit for getting the plums to come through as much as they did in the face of the big chocolaty malt. I like the burnt caramel notes that come through towards the end of the sip. I like this quite a bit.

Photo of Roguer
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Extremely dark black with hints of red, completely opaque. One finger of dark creamy head. Decent lacing.

S - Sweet with cherry notes, like a Belgian. Strong hints of coffee or chocolate.

T - Lighter than expected, with a bit of sweetness on the tongue, and strong bitter chocolate/burnt coffee on the mid-tongue. Only a slight hint of cherry and sourness. Reasonable but not perfect balance, with each flavor fighting for dominance on every sip.

M - Medium-full. It seems surprisingly light on first, but it easily fills the mouth, taking on a full, chewy body. Nice residue, good oils, and no unpleasant aftertaste; the coffee, in particular, lingers in a pleasant fashion.

O - This is a very pleasant mix of a coffee stout and some Belgian-style sweetness. I find it much more drinkable than the heavy stouts that are in vogue right now, while maintaining the same character and flavor profile. Definitely give it a try if you're into porters or stouts.

Photo of spacecake9
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%

I was really excited when I saw this. A porter with plums made my mouth water. It pours a dark brown with little head. The aroma is wonderful - dark fruit or wine that prepares you for a mouthful of flavor. But the taste is, unfortunately, very ordinary. Very minimal dark fruit flavor. That does not make this a bad beer - I'll happily finish the bomber. I would say this beer is almost there. It's a great idea, they just need to kick the taste up to meet the aroma.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.92/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

22oz. bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared by schen9303.

Pours pitch black and thin with a 1.5 finger light mocha colored head with moderate retention. Lacing is sparse and stringy with good cling,. Oily legs. Solid.

Nose is plum, anise, liquorice, roasted malt, smoke and sweet ash. A touch awkward. Aromatic.

Opens smoky and ashy plum and liquorice. More plum, roast and smoke in the middle with a grainy, smoky malt finish. Ashy and abrasive on the aftertaste. This is not very good.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation. Prickly in the mouth and goes down bubbly and foamy. Finishes messy with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. Okay.

Not a winner. The concept sounds delicious but the execution is just not there with this beer.

Photo of russpowell
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent brown/walnut with a pinky of fast falling caramel colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Plums & smokeyness

T: Follows the nose, a touch of charcoal up front, some carob notes as well. Plums & smokeyness as this warms along with faint cocoa notes, much dryness. Finishes with plummy sweetness & smokeyness

MF: Medium bodied, slight carbonation, nice warming sensation

Might pick up a bottle to age, but not really working for me in the here & now

Photo of Vonerichs
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown body with a reddish hue about the edges.

Chocolate and light roast aromas. Pleasant, but light. Plums add a slight sweetness and is perceptible.

It's an easy drinking porter. The plums add both earthy and sweet characteristics with a hint of leather. Southern Tier often goes overboard with the flavored beers (and I mean that in a good way) and this was much more user friendly than I expected.

Medium bodied, smooth, average carbonation.

Overall, a very good beer. Nothing terribly complex yet a nice twist on the style.

Photo of Gmann
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a near black color with a frothy toasted khaki colored head that settles into a solid ring.

The aroma is of a toasted pumpernickel with a steely caramel sweetness. Some light woody notes and hints of char. Not picking much plum in the aroma.

The taste is of a smooth roasted malt, a bit nutty. Light toasted notes. A brown sugar and caramel sweetness. Some woody flavors. Again not really picking up any plums. It's a nice porter though.

Moderate feel with active carbonation. Nice balance between sweet and an earthy malt bitterness.

A pretty tasty porter but not overly complex. The plums don't seem to come out unless there are crazy smooth and mixes well with the malt.

Photo of RyFikes
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Looks like a porter. Jet black, not quite opaque. Thin almond colored head, quickly dissipates to a ring around the glass.

Smell- Dark Chocolate, coffee, raisins. Plums are not coming through for me, but I have a bad sense of smell.

Taste- Lots of dark chocolate. Taste like chocolate covers raisins. slight coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Dark fruit sweetness. Moderate carbonation. Alcohol comes through in the back of the mouth.

Overall- Not as much dark fruit characters as the name leads you to believe. Still a very good porter but I was expecting more. The plums/fruits just didn't come through for me.

Photo of jubie921
4.75/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I love southern tier and this is amazing

Photo of Treyliff
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A- pours nearly pitch black with a small light-tan creamy head, reduces to a small layer, leaving some lace behind

S- lots of sugary dark fruit notes up front, plum, raisin and fig, some brown sugar with a bit of booze at the end

T- like every other beer from the blackwater series, it's very sweet but not overbearing. Sugary fig and plum flavors with just a hint of roasted notes, the finish is somewhat dry with a chocolate linger and a touch of coffee on the linger

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and a velvety finish, just a touch of warmth at the end

O- sweet, dark and fruity. A different take on the style that's worth a try, but doesn't match up with some of the other blackwater series beers

Photo of KYGunner
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance was quite black, dark plum maybe? Onyx or opal it glowed with a nifty radiance. The head was thin though and slightly off white.

The head was chocolatey, chalky and coffee driven. Dry malts or Graham cracker mixed with powdered chocolate.

The taste was hot with peppery spice. Dry malt, chocolatey malts, grain, coffee, and earthy tones ride through a strangely non-plum like experience. The taste is quite good but heavy for a bombers worth so a 12 ounce draft is perfect for what is a a very interesting beer.

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Plum Noir from Southern Tier Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 586 ratings.