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Plum Noir - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Plum NoirPlum Noir

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

491 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 491
Reviews: 110
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.68%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: CaptDavyJones on 05-08-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 491 | Reviews: 110 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mrfrancis


3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nearly opaque black with subtle garnet highlights and a clinging tan head.

S: Mild aromas of coffee, vanilla bean, sweet cream, dark chocolate, roasted grain, caramel, raisins, ripe plums, and earthy, lemony hops are present on the nose.

T: Notes of caramel, coffee, roasted grain, vanilla bean, sweet cream, dark chocolate, plums, figs, raisins, Medjool dates, black currants, lemon, herbs, and leather fill the mouth. The finish is smooth and mellow with plenty of dark fruit, caramel, and lemony, herbal hop notes.

M: Medium-to-full in body, silky, and smooth. Carbonation is active and prickly on entry, but soon mellows and fades. Alcohol is so restrained as to be virtually undetectable. A little fuller in body than many American porters, but still easy to drink.

O: An impressive porter. The addition of plums works really well with the citrusy, herbal hop and chocolaty roasted grain notes. Recommended for fans of darker, more robust ales.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2014 18:37:25 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of TreyIsWilson


3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a dark reddish brown with a thin tan head.

S - Light roasted malts and dark chocolate.

T - Toasted malts, coffee, and chocolate upfront. The plum really comes through in the finish producing a good balance of sweet and tart.

M - Medium carbonation with medium carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

O - This is definetly an interesting beer. Glad I gave it a try, but probably would pass on next time.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 02:38:22 | More by TreyIsWilson
Photo of BradC


3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color with little head or lacing

Smells of dark fruit, plums.

A hint of roasted grains and then fruits, cherry, plums

Low carbonation and medium body no hint of the 8% abv

Overall a nice fruit beer, the wife loves it and I can sip on it

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 01:20:32 | More by BradC
Photo of far333


3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 00:04:18 | More by far333
Photo of Captain_Komamura


3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - a very dark brown color, with a tan head and good retention.

Smell - a sweet chocolate malt smell with the plums coming in as well.

Taste - Like the smell, it is a sweet chocolate/coffee malt taste, with the plums adding a fruity and tart element to it.

Mouthfeel - It is a bit light for a porter, carbonation is perfect.

Overall - It is a good combination of sweet and tart flavors, very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2014 03:24:03 | More by Captain_Komamura
Photo of Vonerichs


3.74/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 23:19:08 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of chefhatt


3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle. The body is black but with purple hugh to it, it has a very small beige color head. The aroma is toasty and with some chocolatev notes and as it warms thev fruit comes through. The taste has a robust roasty malt flavor up front then a slight chocolate and the plum comes in on the end. Mouthfeel is good and overall is a darn good beer. Just have to let it warm up.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2013 01:00:45 | More by chefhatt
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

not sure if this is a winter release only or not, but it is some of southern tiers more interesting work, and it fits on winter solstice day pretty well. chocolate brown color to this, with the lightest of pink glows from the fruit. the head is thick and rich and somewhere between wallpaper beige and dockers tan. it smells only moderately fruity, with roasted barley and bakers chocolate being far more assertive. you could call this a stout instead of a porter and fool me as far as the nose goes, but the flavor is a bit lighter, with abundant ale yeast and chocolate hints. the fruit acts more as a sweetener and an acid than as a flavor agent, but it transforms a fairly ordinary strong porter into a work of art. i like the way this all comes together, with some chocolate sweet and fruity tartness, its a strange but cohesive dynamic. mouth coating brew, just upper medium in terms of body, but it feels light when its cold. bigger as it warms, but still a decisive holiday feel. clever beer, id like to see more done with plums.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 09:19:30 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of TrappistJohnMD


3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark ruby to black with minimal head.

Smell is rich chocolate, coffee and hints of ripe fruit.

Taste is toasted malts, chocolate and coffee. Lot of smokiness. Not as much fruit as in the nose.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Average carbonation.

Overall this was fair.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 16:59:24 | More by TrappistJohnMD
Photo of mactrail


3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Very dark red-tinted walnut color with a nice brownish head in the Ciney snifter. Quite spritzy with some silkiness in the mouthfeel. The aroma is plum wine, alcohol, and a whiff of licorice. Slightly sweet and richly malty. The fruit flavor has that tangy fresh prune flavor, though it's a little peculiar mixed with the charred grain taste that gradually takes over the aftertaste.

This is an interesting strong brew with a fruit flavor that seems at odds with the very dark malt. Kind of a coffee grounds and charcoal rasp at the finish. I think I'd be looking for the Plum Saison next time. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 03:17:33 | More by mactrail
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Totowa last week, having never given this a go before. It looked different than anything out there and after having this, I could certainly say that this was the case. There was a lot of complexity here and the plum flavor didn't overwhelm the taste or mouthfeel of this. Because there was oat and chocolate notes in this, it made this Porter more like a Stout as the roasted characteristic of a Porter were just a bit more recessed. Since the alcohol was nicely hidden, this was relatively easy to quaff as well!

Of course, the pour was dark to this but not quite black, with a creamy head and a somewhat fair amount of lacing. A bit of a smoky smell to this along with plum skin and at first, I thought that this would be sticky like a Scotch Ale. The oat gave this a wonderful body and some taste and combined with the bitter chocolate, really let this beer shine while enhancing the plums as well. Not strong, not boozy, and not too aggressive, this served nicely as a "dessert beer" without any strong, lingering notes in the aftertaste. While not a silky like some Stouts, this was not as "rough" as a Porter nor as chewy.

Even though I split this with a friend, I finished most of the bomber off and by the end of the bottle, I could feel just a bit of the alcohol. This never felt like a wine nor any Imperial style of beer and had I had some tart squares or cheesecake, it would have gone wonderfully with this. I always enjoy a beer that is a meal unto itself and is unlike anything else on the shelf and this certainly fit the bill. While not for everyone, most aficionados will get a kick out of this as it combines the best aspects of a Stout, Porter, and fruit beer. Warmly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2013 07:35:51 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Southern Tier Plum Noir, Imperial Porter with Italian Plums.

Dark brown color, utterly opaque, big, creamy tan head, leaving lace, and looking lovely. Looking good.

Aroma: dark, rich, roasty, coffee and toffee, with dark fruit rising up from below. Slightly sweet, slightly tart. Definitely plummy, but it's more delicate, and in no way a fruit-forward thing. Don't think that's either possible, or wise, if you're going to do this right. Great complexity here, I like it lots.

Taste: Brisk, bright, and fruity, though floating over a dark, malty morass. An intriguing mix, to say the least. Rich and thick, some bitterness, small sweetness, great balance. This is not a typical imperial porter, just enough of this, plenty more of that.

Is it silky smooth? Almost. Is it fruit-tastic? Pretty much. It's all these things, and more. bright and fruity…some bitterness, massive malt, and extra deliciousness.

…a little wine-y...a little plummy...plenty richness. Good stuff, Southern Tier, keep it up!

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2013 04:30:37 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of dheacck11


4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Super dark black with just a hint of garnet in the light. No real head, but some fancy lacing.
Smells really sweet and boozy. Dark cherries, figs, plum, chocolate and sweet bourbon. Nice. Taste is interesting. Definitely a lot of sweet up front, similar to the nose, but getting a lot more chocolate here, especially towards the finish. Little bitter roast on the finish.
Quite thick and full feel. But still feels more porter-y than stout-y, though very very close.

Nice bottle. Good unique flavors. Not super complex, but perhaps as it warms a bit. Glad to have tried it.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 00:14:39 | More by dheacck11
Photo of adamette


3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Live review. Poured from the 22 oz. bomber that my brother Pete brought directly back from the brewery a few weeks ago. Thanks Pete! "DOB 05/02/13" stamped near the base of the bottle. Poured into a clean, clear pint glass.

A Very dark brown body lets the minimum of light through in front of direct light since it glows a VERY dark mahogany in that situation only. Otherwise it appears to not let any light through, a pleasing dark body. Head is medium brown and pleasingly silky and thick but dissipated down to a single layer within a minute. 3.5

S Well, a porter with dark fruits. Nothing steps out and grabs my attention in the smell. If anything it may be a bit “distant” for my sensibilities. 3.0

T Happy to report that the taste offers more than the smell. On top of a nice solid porter base are the Italian Plums but they are not dominating, they provide more of a nice accompaniment to the porter. Dark roast malt makes a comeback of sorts in the taste late as it lingered on my tongue. Certainly an interesting taste. I find the taste a bit gimmicky though. When I am in the mood for a porter I really don’t think that I need any competing or complimentary tastes. Anyway, my proclivities aside, this is a good tasting porter. 4.0

M Feel is thin like the smell suggested (the “distant” smell noted above) in the beginning but some nice porter bitterness lingers late in the taste. 3.5

D/O Drinkability is only fair. This is a “big beer” with the 8.0% ABV and it is a sipper. Overall this is a solid porter. 3.5

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 03:51:17 | More by adamette
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

2.86/5  rDev -22.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 03:15:43 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of jwc215


3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours between very dark brown and black with a nice lingering tan head that leaves spotted lacing.

The smell is of plumbs, roasted coffee and charcoal.

The taste is of a slightly burnt porter with a sweet fruitiness - plum - or raisin. Slight vinegar comes through while keeping a sweet, roasted character. The hint of hops comes in a subtle earthy tone. The taste is not quite as complex as the nose, in my opinion. The alcohol does show it's strength, though it doesn't block out the taste. I taste an almost rich porter mixed with a red wine like fruitiness. Caramel comes out as it progresses. The finish lingers in a sweet, boozy way.

It is medium-bodied - slightly slick, but smooth.

This is an "interesting" brew. To be honest, I had a bit of a hard time with the scores here - mixed feelings about this one. It does have a dark, fruity character. No problem finishing it - and I think it's a well-made porter with a fruity aspect - it's unique - It just doesn't get to the point of "Gimme more!"

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 01:37:27 | More by jwc215
Photo of jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Beer is black with a large tan head. Nice lacing.

Nose is a mix of chocolate (which is quite strong) and plum.

The plum is quite forward in the flavour, and is a bit much. Juicy. Some slightly bitter chocolate and roasted malt. Hard to get past the plum, not very well integrated into everything else.

Medium bodied, moderate to strong carbonation level. Feels a bit thin.

Overall, fine, but not great. Doubt I will make it through the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2013 00:48:26 | More by jrenihan
Photo of Stranger5582

New York

3.36/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This pours dark with a nice head. The head fades quickly. It is nigh black in appearance.

The nose is interesting, with hints of a sweet plum.

Unfortunately, on the tongue, the taste is so-so with none of the hinted plum notes.

In the mouth it has all the hallmarks of a decent porter. Coming into the mouth as liquid and then swishing will thicken it instantly, but doesn't release any greater flavors.

Overall as a porter it, is passable but, does not really stand out. Incidentally, it is not as bitter as other porters which may be a result of the plum sugars. I was really expecting a plum-flavored porter, which would have been a nice change of pace, but this is not it.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2013 01:35:12 | More by Stranger5582
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Port City glass.

A: How many ways can one say a porter pours black as night? Yep, and the head was a slight mocha formation.

S: Not much actually, which surprised me. I got a slight bit of charcoal and that's about it.

T: Well, it's definitely a porter. I'll say that for it. Quite a bit of char, which was like a cocoa dusting over a dark fruit base. Despite the plum schtick, there was nothing really special about it.

M: This is where the brew really fails to my mind. This was pretty thin and quite water. That was surprising considering the awesomeness of Choklat and Oat.

O: Well, for $6.99, this was well worth trying. It wasn't bad, but Southern Tier can do better. Bring back Mocha and Jahva before brewing this one again.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2013 03:08:02 | More by Chaney
Photo of Treyliff

West Virginia

3.75/5  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

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 19:58:59 | More by Treyliff
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a two finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Black color, no highlights. Good carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Roasted malt nose and flavor is light malty sweetness with some bitter chocolate. Not finding any plum. $9.49 for a 22oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Marlboro, MA

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2013 22:47:05 | More by jdhilt
Photo of seymourcox

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2013 15:15:09 | More by seymourcox
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

3.34/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The pour yields only a thin coating across the surface, barely half a finger and soon to dissipate, wispiest lacing imaginable. The liquid is opaque but remains mostly in the dark brown area rather than black, allowing for a yellow tint at the rims, the bubbles are tiny and appear to be widely dispersed. In the nose the plum comes through clearly but stays lowkey and out of the spotlight, as a result it’s the basic cocoa, chocolate, coffee and cola bean leading the way, scone and croissant flakes, beyond this is a light leafy and metallic touch which gives it some spine, overall not a heavy presence with nice liveliness. In the mouth it’s medium-bodied, the carbonation is light but what’s there is crisp, not much fluffy about it. The plum stays at about the same level here, recognizable yet not dominant. The cola, chocolate and vanilla upfront, not sweet enough for more caramel like notes. A touch bready but not doughy nor yeasty. Noticeably drier through the finish. The earthy, metallic aspect is pleasurable and also adds punctuation at the end. Overall, too simple to hold your interest past a few sips while still nothing stopping you from throwing it back uncritically.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2013 01:49:24 | More by farrago
Photo of scottbrew4u


3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: This beer poured into snifter a clear but black color and a frothy half inch tan head. The glass is left with nice lacing as I drink.
S: roasted and slightly burnt malt flavors mix with dark cherries and plums in the nose. Orang honey and caramel mix in there too. Hops are very subdued. Some alcohol vapors become present.
T: Rich malt backbone with hints of chocolate, caramel, and char. Layers of dark fruity esters abound notably plums and dark cherries. Sweet flavor but hops keep it not overdone.
M: Medium body with crisp carbonation and some alcohol warmth.
O: In my opinion a very drinkable imperial porter with great flavors especially as this beer warms up. Not too boozy and enough sweetness to make it go well as a dessert beer. It is pairing nicely with sushi right now for me. I would get this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2013 23:10:34 | More by scottbrew4u
Photo of Tone


3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. One inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of roasted malt, strong plum, alcohol, slight sweet malt, and a hint of hops. Fits the style of an American Porter. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, sweet malt, strong plum, slight hops, hint of chocolate, and slight alcohol. Overall, good strong plum flavor that doesn't over-shadow other ingredients.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2013 02:19:23 | More by Tone
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Plum Noir from Southern Tier Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 491 ratings.