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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 Slatetank


3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This was purchased at Wegman's , enjoyed chilled from a tulip out of the bomber.

The color is piano black with opaque clarity and two fingers of pale tan cream with ultra fine bead, lace sticks as a film. The smell is very roasted with some chocolate malt aroma and slight sweet fruity ester combined with a mild caramel accent. The feel is very good with some mild roasted textures and moderately carbonated with gentle sweetness and low bitterness and subtle alcohol with a light char--like dry finish.

The taste is somewhat coffee flavored with some sweet caramel on the tip of the tongue which segues into a more chocolate-like creamy flavor with some char from the dark malt in the peripheral taste. The flavor of plum is mild but seems to increase in the porter as it warms with a gentle acidic aspect that blends well with the mild bitterness from the highly kilned malt with a slight hint of alcohol but it is well hidden in this semi-big brew. The flavor of the plums seems to go well with the malt bill since it doesn't stand out and yet is complimentary with a taste you might find in some imperial porters anyway. Overall I enjoyed this and it went down way easier than I expect which is why the overall score gets a boost. I would certainly enjoy this again since it is a good value based on taste

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2013 23:34:35 | More by Slatetank
Photo of JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 21:49:04 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of rand


3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 22 oz bomber to pint glass

A: Deep, dark brown with a reddish hue, the brew appears clean and light-bodied relative to the ABV. The small, wispy head corroborates the appearance.

S: Toasty malts anchor the subtle nose, dry with notes of earthy grain. A touch of ripe fruit-sweetness lingers at the edge of the bouquet.

T: Toasty, crackery notes at the front of the palate. Mid-sip the flavors bend toward earthy, almost floral grains with a touch of vanilla sweetness. Alcohol is nicely masked, leaving a creamy, almost buttery note toward the finish, as the beer closes dry and fairly quickly.

M: Thin and light bodied, but the creamy flavors deceive the senses into thinking the brew is chewier than it is.

A drinkable porter, tasty, but not at all what I was expecting. There are no plum notes to speak of, just a touch of fruity sweetness in the nose but the flavors were dry and toasty. Definitely loses points given the expectations...you can find porters this good in a six-pack.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 07:23:38 | More by rand
Photo of DrDemento456


3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Finally got an affordable bottle of this for $10.50 at Giant Eagle.
A - A nice deep shade of brown not pitch black with a 1/2 inch of mocha head. I was a bit disappointed since it poured lighter than most imperial porters.
S - Redemption! Smells of strong candied plums, other dark fruits and a nice chocolate malt assault. Very little roast it kind of smells like a quad...
T - Ah there is the porter like yeasts, dry and tannic with a good bit of roast mid palate. There is some decent chocolate malt character that keeps it from being too dry or roasty but very little actual sourness or sweetness from the plums.
M - Medium to thick in body, somewhat chewy. Very easy to drink.

Overall it's not a bad beer but really not worthy of losing most of the other Blackwater beers. Hopefully next year they will ramp up the plums to impact a more sour taste.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 00:27:25 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of deltatauhobbit


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

Pours a dark brown color, good sized light tan head, fades at a somewhat quick rate, not much lacing on the glass.

Smell is surprisingly metallic for some reason, hints of chocolate, fair amount of dark fruit, oh say plums if you can believe it.

Taste starts out fairly straight forward with a roasted malt backbone, complexity slowly creeps in with a chocolate bitterness in the aftertaste, dark fruit is not overwhelming but present, fairly mute flavorwise from what I was expecting, not bad just not explosive, carbonation is high and appropriate, thickness is decent, not sweet or cloying.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 00:44:10 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of superspak


4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 5/1/2013. Pours nearly pitch black color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big milk chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, toast, plum, brown bread, nuttiness, light coffee, floral, light pine, and toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with all around great balance of plum and malt notes with some light hops; and good strength. Taste of big milk chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, toast, biscuit, plum, nuttiness, light coffee, floral, light pine, and toasted earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, toast, biscuit, plum, light coffee, light pine, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt flavors with plums; with an awesome fruit/malt balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a silky and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent fruited imperial porter. All around great balance of malt and fruit notes with light hops; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering as expected of the Blackwater series.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2013 04:47:29 | More by superspak
Photo of Ryan011235


3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at King's Table

Dark brown with ruby highlights. Long lasting thin head and good lace, too.

The aromatics include roasted coffee, chocolate, and plum acidity. The feel is great: smooth, rolling carbonation draped over a silky body. The taste has subtle roast that blends well with the plum.

It's a mild mix overall - not bad for what it is.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2013 22:41:13 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of draheim


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

22oz (bottled 5/2/2013) into a tulip. Pours a deep brown w/ a 1-finger khaki head, minimal lacing.

Aroma is equal parts roasty and fruity. Pronounced sweet plum aroma.

Taste follows nose. Mild roast, sweet plums, hint of chocolate.

Mouthfeel is balanced and medium bodied.

Overall, better than average but nothing exceptional here.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2013 06:31:34 | More by draheim
Photo of GPHarris


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

a - poured a one finger thick creamy, coffee-colored head into a goblet. the body was a dark brown with red edges.
s- roast and chocolate the overwhelming aromas.
t - roasty, burnt, with some plum sweetness.
m - creamy and medium mouthfeel.
o - solid porter but i had high expectations so i was a little underwhelmed.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2013 15:29:43 | More by GPHarris
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not a bad beer, but not outstanding either. Fairly light for an imperial porter, and at 8% I'd expect a bit more heft. It's also surprisingly dry, and even a bit dusty, and gets a little thin in the finish. There is also just a bare hint of plums here, so it depends what you're looking for in that regard. I would have liked a bit more plum. Here you get a hint of the juice and the sour skins way at the end. There are some fairly nice roasty flavors, and a touch of spice and chocolate. The nose does have some more plum, and between that and the tantalizing hint you get from the late finish, you get a hint of what this beer could have been- particularly if the porter flavors were more Baltic in style.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2013 00:44:24 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of Roguer


4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | 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.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2013 20:27:16 | More by Roguer
Photo of KYGunner


3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2013 01:25:27 | More by KYGunner
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2013 01:08:28 | More by tdm168
Photo of harrymel


2.79/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Bottled 02MAY13

Pours a dark brown with a fine tan sheet over the top. Smells of plum, quick chocolate cocoa powder, some soil, some black olive. Flavor is fruity with a dimatap character. Some dust, some cocoa, some bitterness and a mint in the background. Not really impressive. Medium bodied with a silky feel and a nice off dry finish - feel of this beer is really good. Overall, nothing special.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2013 04:16:18 | More by harrymel
Photo of bnes09


4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep licorice black color and entirely opaque. Thinnish head for the style, off-white in color. Dissipates to a thin ring around the glass and provides a few lace spots.

Lot of bread grains in the aroma. Wheaty and toasty. Hints of espresso and sweet dark fruit.

Palate follows the nose with a bit more complexity. Begins with a sturdy malt foundation of wheat, cornmeal and oats. Hops impart a slightly bitter herbal, earthy character to the brew in excellent balance with the smooth, roasty malt. Sweet plum and raisin. HInts of coffee and brown toast detectable from middle to end. Great balance overall.

Medium bodied with lots of grainy texture. Very well carbonated. Smooth throughout then turns dry in the finish with lingering roasty grain qualities.

Overall a superb porter with lots of complexity. Likely the best of the blackwater series I have yet to try.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2013 03:26:29 | More by bnes09
Photo of 57md


3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with ruby tones on the edges. The finger of beige head dissipates rather quickly. The nose has mild roasted notes, but no essence of plums or dark fruit is detectable. Roasted malt is certainly upfront in the flavor profile, but the taste is not as bold as one would expect from a self-described "imperial." There is mild roasted bitterness on the finish.

This is a respectable offering. However, it fell quite short of my expectations. The bomber bottles from Southern Tier usually are over-the-top. This one is certainly not. Also, there was really no hint of plum or dark fruits present; that was disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2013 20:00:22 | More by 57md
Photo of tigg924


3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2013 13:49:45 | More by tigg924
Photo of Pencible


3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque black cherry with a little light tan head.
S: It smelled like roasted coffee and bitter dark chocolate, with some pumpernickel bread and blackberry.
T: It tasted like dry mocha and earthy copper, with some pumpernickel bread and prune. It had a clean earthy and sweet aftertaste.
M: It was thick with moderate carbonation. Nice big body.
D: This was a nice strong porter, but the plum didn't show through as much as I hoped. The scent and taste were good but basic. The body was huge, actually too big for the style. The finish was really smooth with well hidden alcohol, so it was easy to drink. Probably not worth aging. Not a bad brew, but not impressive either.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 00:26:19 | More by Pencible
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap 7/31/13 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large foamy beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, coffee, dark fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts with a hearty roasted malt character followed by some flavors of coffee and dark chocolate. There’s some dark fruit (obviously plums) and smokiness in the background. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sweet.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid porter to drink for a while.

Serving type: on-tap

08-03-2013 00:20:17 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of bluejacket74


4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle, DOB 05/01/13. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown with an inch tan head that stays around for a while. There's a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like plums, roasted malt, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate. I think the taste pretty much follows the aroma, but with the addition of a bit of smoke. There's a good balance between the sweet and bitter flavors, wtih the bitterness being a bit stronger at first and the sweetness getting stronger as the beer warms. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and has moderate carbonation. I like this beer a lot, definitely worth trying. I'll have to pick up some more soon.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2013 21:23:09 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

-Imperial porter brewed with Italian plums.

A: Rich cola exit sits a black olive coloring in the glass with a 3 finger golden-beige head that was firm and foamy, and impossible to budge. A rush of golden micro-effervesce rushes up along the vessel walls. Heavy stickage of meaty foam lace coverage with a lasting covering.

S: Aroma of sweet plums, sweet dark roasted malt that was gentle with a slight hint of dry chocolate.

T: Roasted malt and smoky plum skins. Touch of charred bitterness, very smooth, with some charcoal, and earthy silky wet ash. Lingering campfire minerality soothes the tongue with a gentle mingling and a smoky charred coating. The plums are really nice here, combining nicely with the mild roasty coffee and dark malting.

M: Medium body, slick with a bit of light syrupiness, easy carbonation. Plum skins and earthy bitterness leaves a gentle lingering reminder.

O: Overall very smooth, well rounded and polished flavor. Gentle soothing alcohol presence, warm plums and charred malting with just the right amount of smoky character. The plums are first rate and bring a good deal of presence here, the brewing technique was clean with a sweetly-bitter appeal. Very good overall.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2013 23:15:51 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of AdamBear


4.58/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A-dark brown with a thin tan head

S-decent scent of dark, chalky cocoa and plum skin. the plum is noticeable but weak.

T-comes in with an awesome chalky cocoa flavor with maybe a hint of smoke and plum rind. it's a really good and full flavored porter. the after-taste is strong and matching.

M-good thick carbonation with a semi-dry finish

O-I really enjoy this porter. it's super easy drinking and tasty. I've fortunately seen this on tap many times and I order it almost every time, plus I've bought several bottles. a lot of people might be turned off due to the word plum, but if it didn't say it, i bet most people wouldn't pick up any fruitiness.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2013 02:29:28 | More by AdamBear
Photo of dtivp

West Virginia

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

Pours a dark brown with ruby hues, a one finger foamy dark tan head that fades slowly into a thin cap, moderate lacing.

Aroma of dark roasted grain, dark chocolate and hints of plum.

Taste follows the nose with dark roasted grainy malt, dark chocolate, followed by a slightly sweet caramel and hints of plum. As the beer warms the alcohol comes out.

Mouth Feel is medium body, moderate carbonation, creamy smooth.

Overall a good beer, smooth enough that it masks the 8% abv until it warms, so it could sneak up on you,

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2013 00:04:32 | More by dtivp
Photo of OWSLEY069


3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours deep amber to black in color with a tan head. In the aroma, notes of chocolate and caramel like malt and just a note of sweet plum. In the taste, the sweet notes of plum skins, with a big chocolate/ caramel malt. A small bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a presence of dry plum skin and chocolate malt in the aftertaste. The sweet note of plum really adds a new presence to a chocolaty porter.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 17:06:37 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of LiquidAmber


4.09/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with a fine, one finger light brown head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of sweet toasted malt, dark stone fruit, leather (a term I don't use often, but there it is) and a faint sourness. Very interesting flavor, toasted and lightly charred malt, coffee, nuts, plum and other dark dried fruit with a chocolatey hop bitterness with a hint of smoke in the finish. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. Quite a grab bag of flavors, but somehow it all comes together. There's a lot going on here, some of which does not seem balanced, but I really liked this a lot. Southern Tier pulls off these odd, semi sweet to sweet beers that could get overwhelming, but manage to satisfy. I'll be coming back to this one.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 03:37:23 | More by LiquidAmber
Plum Noir from Southern Tier Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 491 ratings.