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Short's Black Cherry Porter - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Short's Black Cherry PorterShort's Black Cherry Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

132 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 132
Hads: 302
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 19.95%
Wants: 75
Gots: 36 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-19-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 132 | Hads: 302
Photo of maximum12
1.12/5  rDev -71%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks to a well-meaning BA for sending me a bottle of this brew, always happy - & a bit nervous - to crack open a new Short's brew.

Pour is black. Smell is...rather foul. A medicinal sourness flows out of the goblet.

If this isn't infected, it's just bad. I'm a fan of cherries, & these cherries have soured, badly. I'm surprised the reviews are so good. I'm making a face every time I take a sip, & I'm afraid it's going to stick like that. Sour, cherry, more sour, bitter, cough syrup.

Terrible. I keep reading that Short's has solved the issues with their beers, but I keep stumbling across brews that don't taste like beer. Talented brewers, clean up your act!

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Photo of Avagadro
1.46/5  rDev -62.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: Pours deep mahogany with a lackluster head and little else in the way of appearance.

S: I can already tell this is going to fall prey to Short's fatal flaw; the biting metallic twang that affects so many of their beers. Caramel, rubber, and blood are all noticeable in the nose.

T: And there it is. How is this brewery so respected when all of their beers have the same metallic taste? This is terrible.

M: Thin and lifeless. No texture, no carbonation, no body.

O: Dear Short's.... fix your shit.

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Photo of tectactoe
2.13/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 1.5

I believe I had an infected bottle. I will keep this review/score here until I am able to snag another helping of this brew upon which I will re-rate if it turns out it really was infected. I'm hoping so - because this beer sounds great in theory, but the bottle I had was pretty vile.

Pours dark as hell with a deep tan, ruby red hued head with wonderful staying power. Easy to conjure back by swirling the glass a little bit, too. The initial aroma doesn't really remind me of cherries - I'm picking up more of a woody-nutty smell, some bitter coffee, and strange caramel notes. I say "strange" because I'm still not sure if it's caramel I'm tasting - some kind of malty flavor I can't exactly describe.

The taste is even more strange than the smell. The biggest thing I'm getting up front is a weird smoked meat flavor. Yes, smoked meat. The first second of the sip hints at a smoked porter, with the meaty flavor and the burnt wood chips in the back. Then, right in front of your palate, the beer turns into an almost sickeningly sweet concoction of blackberry, black cherry juice, and prunes. For just a SPLIT second, I pick up a slight hint that reminds me of A1 steak sauce. The wood chip taste is heavy in the end as well, with some earthy notes. The final notes are kind of musty, and a weird combination of sweet and bitter than isn't very desirable. Medium body, silky smooth, and a nice amount of carbonation.

I always commend Short's for their prowess and willingness to try different things. Unfortunately this porter missed the mark just a bit. I didn't really get much black cherry at all, and the combination of sweetness and smokiness was kind of upsetting. It was tough to choke down the whole bottle, I probably won't be having this one again.

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Photo of IdrinkGas
2.7/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Snifter glass.
A: Pitch black and syrupy. Coats the glass when you swirl it.

S: Sour cherry scent mixed with some roasted and bitter chocolate.

T:Its says they use real cherries but I get a medicinal artificial cherry flavor. Tastes like chemicals.

M:Small amount of carbonation and thick mouth feel.

D: 6oz was plenty for me. Drinkable but not enjoyable.
This one reminded me of a 2009 Abyss. I was happy to split this 12oz bottle with someone else. Seems like I have felt that way about every Short's brew I've had.

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Photo of jegross2
2.86/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewing the Short's Black Cherry Porter from Short's Brewing Company.
Score: 70

Bottled on 10/31/11 bottle, served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 01/26/12.

Appearance: One finger of creamy dark tan colored head that settles into splotchy head in the center of the beer and a ring around the glass. Solid lacing followed by an oily film on the side of the glass. Black colored body with thin brown highlights at the top of the glass. 4/5

Smell: Roasted chocolate, creamy chocolate, black cherry and a little coffee. There is a light smokiness and a very very faint aromas of subtle blackberry. Aroma turns to sour fruit as it warms. 3/5

Taste: Taste is a lot "cherrier" and "blackberrier" than the aroma would have you believe -- both upfront and on the midpalate. Whereas the cherry aromas were complementary in the nose, they take the lead on the palate. A little tart and sweet, almost grape soda like, at first, but the cherry/berry flavors disappate towards the finish. Finish is straight charred chocolate and a hint of coffee. The front is very sweet and a little tart, but the finish is dry and a little bitter. 2.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, medium-plus carbonation. Finish is quite dry and a little bitter. 3/5

Overall: The aroma of this beer was initially inviting, but the flavor is too unbalanced and the beer turns oddly sour as it reaches room temperature. The berry/cherry/charred chocolate flavors meld well in the aroma, but they seem awkwardly juxtaposed and unbalanced on the palate.

Recommendation: An interested beer, perhaps worth having once, but this is not worth seeking out or buying a six pack of.

Pairings: The chocolate and cherry/berry flavors would make an interesting complement to a chocolate cake.

Cost: $10.99 for a six pack.

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Photo of Holland
3.01/5  rDev -22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Otis once again for giving me this as an extra!

A: black to caramel in color, very rich looking with a small head that lingers, completely covering the top of the glass.

S: chocolate, coffee, and some cherry. It's roasty, but not overly so. Smells wonderful, with a hint of sweetness and tartness. A bit of medicine-like smell comes through sometimes, along with something metallic.

T: from chocolate and roasted flavors to some slight fruit flavor, a bit of malt, with an aftertaste that is far too smokey for my liking.

M: medium body, medium carbonation, but something was off about the feel. Maybe the mix of tastes tricked my mouth into thinking the feel is abnormal.

O: drinkability is low with the aftertaste, but it makes me want to continue drinking quickly. It seemed to get worse with each sip. After leaving it for a bit, I have a pleasant porter aftertaste. Started off so interesting and delicious.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle. Thanks to mothman for sharing. Pours a very dark brown/black color with a dark mocha colored tan head that settles to collar around my tulip glass. Interesting smell that I can't quite pinpoint or decide if I like or not. A mix of tobacco, leather, some booze, and some dark cherry or plum. Some sweet tart notes upfront followed by a roasty coffee and leather taste. Lighter body than I thought it would be with some carbonation. Lingering roasted bitterness is not that pleasant. I'm actually quite surprised their isn't more of a cherry flavor in this.

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Photo of SkeeterBoganski
3.08/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brewed with "black cherry puree"; color-wise, this beer is dark, almost oil-like; there are some very slight red tinges in the head, which is a bit frothy and sits at about a quarter inch; the lacing is substantial and stays on the glass well after a sip subsides; the nose is very dark roasted, almost bitter; there is a very light sweetness in the aroma; that said, there really isn't any cherry flavor here; it's pretty bitter on the tongue, almost coffee roasted; again, some very light sweetness in flavor but the cherry is non-distinguished; interesting taste for sure and heavy like a porter!

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Photo of afdempse
3.08/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle. I wish Short's would start putting dates on their bottles...

Appearance is black, slight reddish/dark purplish hue that shines through the edge of the glass. Dark tan and creamy head with purple hues. Moderate lacing.

Nose of roasted barley, kirschwasser, chocolate malt

Very sour up front, with roasted grains and black cherry juice. An unpleasant, astringent tannic bitterness rises up through the finish and doesn't let go. Misplaced hoppiness perhaps, or cherry skins leaching their tannins?

Mouthfeel seems rather thin for a porter, but seems like this bottle might be slightly overattenuated.

I can't help but wonder what this one tastes like on draft. I'm sure it's great fresh, but there's no way to tell how old this bottle is. Short's fruit beers need to be filtered with a freshness date on the bottle, or only sold on draft. I've had more soured, funky (not in a good way) Short's fruit beers than I care to admit.

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Photo of tetonka4kzoo
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The porter pours a thick dark crimson color. It has an unusual tan color head with a red tinge.

This has a malt and cherries aroma. I also notice a sweet molasses smell.

Short's porter has an initial chocolate and sour cherry taste. The cherry flavor lingers on your palette. I also taste the roasted malt.

It didn't feel as thick as it looked. I have had Black Cherry Porter in bottle. This is not as creamy as other stouts.

An interesting porter, sort of disappointing drinkability for a Short's brew. More than a 22 oz. glass or a 12 oz. bottle would be tough. The Michigan cherries definitely make it worth trying.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a healthy purple brown head that is soon just around the edges.

Smell of not surprisingly, black cherries, followed by dark roasted malts, some sweetness and some ash mixed with dark fruit.

Taste is just like the aroma. Healthy dosing of black cherries, lots of black patent malt, a lot of dark roast coffee, some chocolate but mostly ashy coal flavors. This is not my cup of tea. I typically rate pretty harshly on overly ashy dark roast beers and i dont feel like making an exception on this one. The entire afterbite is just dominated by ashiness. : (

Mouthfeel is Medium, very smooth if only it were not so jam packed with ashy tinder flavors that soon dominate the entire palate. Light carbonation typical for the style.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Pours a nearly flat .5 finger coarse, dark mocha head with a reddish tint and little retention. Beer is an opaque black. More like an imperial porter than its little brother. Lacing is pretty. Stringy and with a nice spotty pattern underneath. Decent cling too.

S: Nose is liquorice, coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malt bitterness. No cherry aroma is really detectable but regardless, spot on considering the style. Nothing outrageous but solid.

T: Opens liquorice, dark chocolate, and roasted malt bitterness. Cherry sweet and tartness lingers quietly in the background but its detectable towards the middle. Coffee beans and more liquorice at the finish adds more of a touch of tartness. Ends accented coffee. Cherry juice mixed with bitter chocolate and cocoa powder in the finish.

M: Medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Oily in the mouth with a slight abrasiveness at the edges from the bubbles. Finish is accented and messy and aftertaste lingers.

D: A solid beer from Shorts but a general failure in terms of what I believe they're trying to do. Cherry is barely present and is completely overpowered by the dominant porter flavors. A solid beer but nothing out of the ordinary.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got this as an extra in a trade shared with my wife.

This beer is black with fluffy tan head. The head is thick and creamy and laces well.

The nose is sweet definitely a porter almost like a porter that got a little infected not in a bad way. Has a almost vanilla nose in the end.

The taste is a thick creamy porter to start sweet . The cherry tart flavor comes in and lingers. The flavor is isn't artificial . The carbonation is big but never harsh well rounded a good beer to try but I couldn't have it every day no could I finish it.

My wife liked it better then I

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.26/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this up on a much needed beer run/apple-picking excursion to the great state of Michigan. Had a blast!

Pours a dense, deep, brooding black. Red and brown hues appear in the legs and around the edges. The dark tan head is the color of wet sand... It starts about 2 fingers and settles pretty quickly to a ring of bubbles forming a lazy collar around the glass. Some spotty lace clings behind.

Smells like a porter. Where's the cherry? Oh... There they are. Letting this warm a bit leads to the cherry notes emerging... But they are no match for the roasted coffee, toffee, caramel malts, black malts, and cocoa notes. The sweet black cherries come in towards the back and remind me of non-brand-name "black cherry cola" from my youth. Sweet... Black cherry... I was hoping this would be MORE black cherry and LESS porter... But I guess it just isn't to be.

The body is full and roasty. A little slick and oily at the finish, but overall, not offensive.

Not offensive sums up this beer. It isn't amazing. It certainly isn't one I'll buy again, but to be fair, I don't like porters. I was hoping this would be more of a fruit beer, and it wasn't.

I try to rate to style-- so even though I dont love porters, I rated this fairly... Perhaps the presence of black cherry purée upped my expectations which were then let down... resulting in a lower score... But, the review is the review. Perhaps I'll eventually try Shorts regular porter, which will allow me to appreciate the black cherry notes more. As it is, this beer is unmemorable.

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Photo of ahq514
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass.

Pours black with a finger sized mocha head. Head fades to a film on top of the beer. Appears to have some moderate carbonation. Not really any lacing.

Aroma seems fairly subdued, but the dominant aroma is black cherries. There is some lightly roasted malt hiding behind there, but other than that I can't pick much up.

Starts out with a little bit of dry roast and bitterness and then transitions into juicy cherries, with an light off metallic taste. The beer finishes a little malty, but the pieces don't come together that well.

Moderate carbonation and slightly over medium body. Drinkable, but not overly so.

I seem to keep buying Shorts' beers, but I have yet to be impressed with a seasonal. This is no exception. While I appreciate them trying to bring cherry flavors into a porter, the flavors just don't come together well enough to warrant a higher rating than about average.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.36/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received in trade from Exiled and jbck109, thanks for the opportunity guys!
My first Short's review.
Pours a solid black color with a stingy foamy tan head that kind of hangs there for a while. Smells of dark chocolate mixed with cherries, blueberries, currants. I was expecting more from the aroma, I feel a little let down. Berries come more to the forefront as this warms, as well as some hints of wet cardboard. Taste is chocolates wrapped in berries. Slightly tart, slightly roasty. Midway I get glimpses of alcohol, leading to a finish of bitter roast with a little bit of ash. Medium high level of carbonation affects the mouthfeel a bit. Less bubbles would have been better. Creamy tart and bubbly mouthfeel, medium thick body. I so wanted to love this beer, it has cherries which I love and its a porter which I also love. I could drink this, but its really not one of my favorites. I have had more mind blowing stuff from shorts in the past.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: dark brown to a light black bodied beer with a reddish hue to it. 3 finger of dark brown head that slowely drops down to a moderate cap. Spotty lace on the glass.

Smell: I get lots of cherry notes and some roasty notes as well. This beer smells like it might be infected. Hope its not very infected...

Taste: Yup. Its infected. On the bright side...the taste is not that bad even with its infection. Its starts of smokey and roasty like a porter. Just a little chocolate and coffee are noticed. Then the cherries come to the party. The aftertaste is what off in the taste of this beer. Its got a little bit of that sour aftertaste that lets you know that this beer is off. A soured cherry porter is an interesting beer.

Mouthfeel: Its a fairely thin porter, which I think is also due to infection issues of this beer. Low end of a medium bodied beer. Carbonation is moderate. Its easy drinking.

Overall: another case of shorts beer being infected. I would like to try this one when its not infected. There is lots of potential here!

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Photo of circlenine
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Nice dark dark brown color, thick medium brownish in color head with little to no lacing... it slides down the sides of the glass.

S: There is a faint black cherry smell to this beer, very similar to that of a soda but minus the sweetness.

T: This is a very interesting facet of the beer. There is no overpowering black cherry taste to it, but there is a definite sweetness to that boldly contrasts the bitterness of the porter - the very same porter bitterness that is prominent. But again, in a blind taste I would never identify it as black cherry. Rich maltiness is also present.

M: Feels like a soda on the lips, although not overly carbonated. Definitely not a light bodied beer, and not heavy either.

D: Not too sure. This goes down smoothly, but the blend of bitterness and sweetness while touching the taste buds is a little odd.

Comment: Glad I got to try it, but as my first Short's beer, I cannot say I am overly impressed. Boy, I'm hoping the PB&J lives up to the hype.

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Photo of TheStove
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a "mini" imperial pint glass (~14oz). Pours a nice inky black with a good lingering mocha colored finger of foam.

Initially smells are of a light cherry sweetness thinly veiling a creamy malt profile. Drinks similar to the smell with a delightful delicious sweet malt rich malt flavor underpinned by the tate of cherries. Almost tastes like cherry juice was added to the bottle. Some slight chocolate and bitter malt flavors linger on the tongue between sips. The cherry becomes a bit more apparent as the brew goes down, at times the first flavor on your tongue and at others noticeable mixing with the malt flavors at the finish of the sip.

Overall, not an average beer but I think it stands out less than some of Shorts' other offerings. I think if I'm drinking a cherry beer from Michigan, it's likely going to be Bell's Cherry Stout.

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Photo of mothman
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into bells snifter

Pours a mahogony tan head. Fades down a bit. Leaves some lace rings. Very unique color head. Color is black.

Aroma: Roasted malts and sweet black cherries. They are borderlining tart. Has some dark chocolate as well. With a swirl of the glass I am able to smell some marshmallow flavors.

Taste: The black cherries are rather dry. It is big and roasted. Chocolate notes with some cream and vanilla. It has something in the background that I can't determine what it is. Has some coffee roast as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry with a long lasting coffee bitterness.

Overall, it is an alright porter, but just not was I was expecting. It had a bit to much roasted malt and too much bittering coffee in the finish. Somewhat drinkable.

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Photo of craytonic
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a deep dark purple

Aroma: Sweet chocolate covered cherries and roasted malts

Taste: Similar, loads of chocolate covered cherries, malt, licorice, roasted malt, salt and smoke. Too sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium body and mouthfeel

Drinkaiblity: Well, it isn't infected. Otherwise not crazy about this one. I actually wish it was infected secretly. You need 6oz of this max, not a six-pack. Didn't finish the bottle, sad statement for 12oz of beer.

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Photo of cetherid
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

poured into a tulip


pours a deep dark color. maybe some slight brown/ruby colors but this is pitch black. Head is about a fingers worth and brownish/red.


smells of roasted malts, chocolate and a little cherry. There is some other funky smell in there that I can't put my mind to..perhaps wood??? Not sure if I got a bad bottle?? Smells are kinda weak. I was hoping for something stronger.


toasted/burnt malts with some tart cherries. I was hoping for a sweetness like Bell's cherry stout. More like cherry skins. Personally not a fan of this.


medium bodied. decent carbonation. tartness in it leaves the mouth feeling dry.


doubt i'd try this again unless it was on tap. Being in Indiana and this being a Short's brew, very difficult to find. Alcohol is kinda high which would lower this, even if I like it a lot.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into Half Acre tulip.

A- pours near black with a 1 finger brown head. Large bubbles of lacing ring atop the beer.

S- dark chocolate, smoke/peat, and some dark fruits.

T- dark chocolate, peated malts, some light smoke and dark cherries come in near the end.

M- medium body and low carbonation. Slightly acidic from the cherry purée.

O- the peat and smoke was off-putting at first but the cherry flavors come out more as the beer warms. Still nothing spectacular.

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Photo of Nuggethops
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black, almost the color of an imperial stout. Aggressive pour yields a 1/2 inch mocha colored head that dissipates quickly to a think cap leaving spotty lacing on the glass. The aroma is dominated by a roasted cocoa and smokiness with a faint aroma of cherries

The taste follows the aroma with big roasty malt flavor coming through with a nice tart cherry aftertaste. The mouthfeel is a bit thin and nicely carbonated. Drinkability is fairly high depending on the circumstances, wouldn't want to have one on a hot day but it's perfect for a cool rainy day, definitely an interesting and unique offer from Short's

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Photo of Reaper16
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours an inky black color. Almost no head forms. I have to give the beer a very vigorous swirl just to generate the faintest inkling of foam. No foam means that there was nothing in the way of lace. I know that this beer is a whopping 9% ABV, which will majorly affect the amount of head this beer produces. I also know of the convincing argument that American Porters shouldn't be anywhere close to 9% ABV. All in all, I can't even score this as an average-looking porter.

Well, you can definitely smell the black cherry in here. If this were presented to me at a blind tasting I'd probably ask if this beer was infected. It is slightly tart, the black cherry character, and pervasive throughout. Sure, there's roast. Sure, there's milk chocolate. But the tang from the fruit is always there. Does it smell good, though? Meh, not really.

This doesn't actually taste all that dissimilar from infected Deschutes' The Abyss 2009. Less acetic sourness, but the flavor profile is very similar. An abundance of milk chocolate malt and a smidge of roasted malt meets a tangy, tart fruit flavor. This porter is not complex or nuanced, which makes me wonder why it needs to be 9% ABV. Does it taste good? Almost. This is a very decent beer.

The mouthfeel is hard to grade. It is pretty thick; much closer to a stout than a porter in terns of body size and mouthfeel. But the thickness also works well with the flavors that this beer brings to the table. I have to score the drinkability highly: it does not taste at all like it is 9% ABV. That alcohol is very well hidden.

This didn't blow my mind. I appreciated the ways in which it tasted like black cherry flavored IBC brand pop, but that's about it. There are plenty of other porters that I'd reach for before this one.

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Short's Black Cherry Porter from Short's Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 132 ratings.