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

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

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very good

124 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 124
Hads: 263
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 78
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

One of our biggest beers offered, the Black Cherry Porter is a full flavored strong porter brewed with sweet black cherries. The formula consists of several different malts, lending deep opaque color with purple lace from the fresh fruit it's fermented with. Nearly 4 lbs. of fresh sweet black cherries go into each gallon of brew. A flavor of deep lustrous malt complexity and fullness, yet smooth with soft hints of toasted chocolate and pleasurable black cherry flavors. This beer has become one of our most sought after seasonal selections. People have lined up to drink nothing but Black Cherry Porter when brought to beer festivals and other off premise events. Now we bring it to you, enjoy.

35 I.B.U.'s
O.G. 19 deg. Plato
9 % A.B.V.

(Formerly called Rocky Top Black Cherry Porter, named after Rocky Top orchard.)
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 124 | Hads: 263
Photo of bishopdc0
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
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 (573 characters)

Photo of TheStove
3.38/5  rDev -12%
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. (871 characters)

Photo of ahq514
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
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. (934 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a ruby black—you can see the dark intense red when held to light. It has an aroma of dark cherries and a light smoke. Smoke and roast comes through when tasted. A lighter roast that finishes dry and roasty along with a touch of smoked malts makes this beer engaging, complex and enjoyable. (302 characters)

Photo of zachary80
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a pint. Bought a week ago from a store with good turnover, but there is no date.

Pours black, looks thick for a porter. No real head, just a few tan bubbles. Nice lacing almost makes up for the lack of head.

Smell is strongly of the roasted malts with some of the fruitness of the cherries. Tart.

Great balance of the fruitiness and the porter. Actually seems more stoutish, but works very well.

Mouthfeel is smooth and enjoyable.

Overall this reminds me of a superior version of Bell's Cherry Stout. Very tasty and balanced (541 characters)

Photo of BeRanger
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a plum, dark color with about one finger of head.

S: A good combination of cherry smell mixed with the typical porter aroma - meshes nicely.

T: A fantastic mix of the grainy/toasty porter with a sweet cherry overtone. The cherry however isn't over-powering.

M: Medium mody with good carbonation.

O: Compared with a few other "Cherry Porters" this past weekend - this one was the clear winner. The amount of cherry was just right to make this a wonderful beer. (472 characters)

Photo of Avagadro
1.46/5  rDev -62%
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. (504 characters)

Photo of lnashsig
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to kzoobrew for the chance to taste this one. Poured from bottle into DFH snifter. Pours a deep dark, syrupy looking color. Dark tan head, tight bubbles, decent lacing on the glass. leaves a solid tan top after receding. Looks amazing- an appearance of a serious porter here. Smell- definitely getting the dark cherries, and a whiff of cocoa- noting that the cherry smells "real" vs some sort of cherry syrup. Taste- nice silky smooth chocolate and cherry flavors on the end. A little bit of roasted bitterness up front as well. Wow. This is one hell of an amazing beer. For 7%, I get no booze at all, this is just a really balanced beer. I'm super impressed with the use of the cherry flavors here. I'm contrasting this against the stone cherry chocolate stout...this is a superior beer- perfect use of the flavors. (828 characters)

Photo of madeofsteel
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark, almost black purple. Kind of a plum color. Thin brown fizzy head that dissipates quickly leaving a small ringlet and little to moderate lacing.

S - Smells more like an oatmeal stout or something, nutty malts, and sour-sweet hints of cherry.

T - I usually expect wacky, overbearing flavors from Short's because it's kind of their thing. But this is a surprisingly balanced porter, with only some hints of cherry on the tip of the toungue and in the finish. Nice and sweet without throwing the balance off.

M - Dry, kind of buttery finish, and moderate carbonation.

O - It could have had a bit more going on with the cherry flavor and I wouldn't have minded, but it was still a pretty good offering from Short's, and it didn't disappoint. (763 characters)

Photo of MichiganHopHead
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I usually expect something over-the-top from Shorts, but this is really well balanced. Made with black cherry puree from local (north western MI) cherries so not your typical porter. Still, not too sweet, not too tart. A deep richness from the cherries with a dry bitter finish. (278 characters)

Photo of DannyDan
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Pours out a dark brown hue with a thin tan head that quickly disappears leaving some good lacing and little retention.
S. The aroma of this porter from what I get is roasted chocolate and roasted coffee. I can't smell the cherries, but I know they are there.
T. The taste starts out with some black cherry juice along with some coffee followed by some roasted chocolate with more black cherry. The aftertaste is a mix of chocolate and cherry.
M. Sticky and smooth.
O. A nice easy drinking porter full of flavor that is a must try for anyone that likes chocolate and cherries. (578 characters)

Photo of GRPunk
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a Siciliano's mug.

A- Dark body nears black. A normal pour created a 1-finger, dense brown head with reddish tint. The head sustains at a nice film. Great sticky spots were left on the glass.

S- A little roasty initially. Chocolate and coffee mix. Cherry is very light. I almost didn't pick it up at first. Smoky aroma comes in with a little warmth.

T- Very roasty, even smoky. Some dark roast coffee. Light cherry qualities. Further drinking, I get more cherry. Smoke gets in the way of other flavors at times, though that flavor almost comes and goes. Cherries provide somewhere between a sweet and tart finish. It is a little long in the finish.

M- Full bodied with medium-light carbonation.

O- It's almost too robust. Smoke flavor is overwhelming at first. It's more of a sipper and potentially a "one and done" in any one sitting. I'm glad I tried it, and would drink again, though I probably wouldn't seek it out. It's a pretty good cold weather/nightcap.

I did it as a side-by-side with North Peak's Cherry Porter. For some reason, the lower ABV and drinkability of North Peak came across better tonight. (1,136 characters)

Photo of jt354
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an entirely unworthy glass from a 12-oz bottle, just purchased.

A: Nice medium brown colored head, creamy with decent retention. Some lacing, not so much as Huma or Pandemonium, which was to be expected.

S: Strong notes of coffee and chocolate with a distinct yet subtle cherry accent. My blue-collar palate is not refined enough to discern anything more. I was surprised at how restrained the cherry aroma seemed, more of an undertone than a distinct element.

T: Basically, it tastes like a good porter with a touch of cherry. I couldn't be happier considering how much I dislike "fruity" beer and wine. It's not outstanding next to Founders or Great Lakes, but it is certainly a solid porter.

M: Not too thick, not too thin. Pretty much perfect for the style in my opinion.

Overall, another excellent "experiment" by the fine folks at Shorts. I'm glad I picked this up! (892 characters)

Photo of warnerry
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 1/31/11

A - Pours black with three fingers of deep brown head. Head has great retention.

S - Aroma is chocolate, slightly tart cherries and earthy roasted malts. Smells delicious.

T - Wow! Great blend of chocolate and coffee with cherry flavor filling in the periphery instead of playing a dominant role. Cherry element is slightly tart and not sweet. The tartness is more noticeable on the finish, but is still pretty subtle and desirable.

M - Perfect medium mouthfeel coats the palate nicely.

O - Definitely my favorite Short's offering and one of the better beers I've ever had.

Note: the review is for a pretty fresh bottle. I ending up buying a case of this altogether, and when I got to the last few bottles in March, infection was definitely setting in. Hopefully that will get resolved by the next release, as this is a fantastic beer. (861 characters)

Photo of afdempse
3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
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. (946 characters)

Photo of wschmit
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Perfect Pint. No apparent date, but there's some sediment in the bottom.

A: One of the more interesting pours I've seen: an inky, black body, somewhat viscous, pours out with an odd, cherry/brown head--exactly like black cherry soda pop foam. Intriguing. Otherwise, the body is quite dark, even at the edges, when held up to light. The head has some staying power, too--the fine bubbles take their time in popping.

S: A pretty bewitching nose, too: spicy, with a dark, almost savory but slight tartness, and some mild roasty notes.

T: The black cherry comes on right up front and sticks around, dominating at first, then fading out as the coffee and burnt toast come through. The cherry's pretty strong, but not too sweet, and in my opinion makes for a good mix with this otherwise solid porter.

M: It's a bit too thick, and a touch alcoholic, and there's definitely some sediment in here. Good mouthfeel, beyond the sediment: full and creamy.

O: A bit too premature, as I think its ideal season is later on in the fall, but this is a pretty solid beer. If you're into fruit beers, you'll like this. If you're not, I can see this as being a bit too fruit-forward. It appeals to me as a good porter with a well-chosen fruit addition, and not expensive. Pretty good stuff. (1,300 characters)

Photo of sendsilk
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Recoeved a 12 oz bottle in a recent trade. I have had several Short's beers lately thanks to Scoot1969. They have been VERY hit or miss.

A- This is BY FAR the best looking beer that I have had from Short's. Beautiful dark brown (almost black) pour. Gorgeous, large dark mocha colored head with excellent lacing on the glass.

S- Incredible as well. Mocha, coffee and serious porter (what the hell does that mean? I don't know but I know what a good porter smells like and this fits the bill) notes.

T- Very odd flavor. Not bad, just odd. A great base porter (maybe the Uber Goober base beer?), rich and nice and with a somewhat tart dark cherry flavor. Like the PB&J, I kind of dig it! Definitely something to try once and well worth it.

M- Good to average.

O- You know you should try this. Something called Black Cherry Porter? Tart cherry flavors with a solid porter base? C'mon, at least once! (900 characters)

Photo of Genghis22
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a thick, viscous deep dark black. Vigorous pour yieled 1.5 fingers of dark brown/ ruby head, which did not stick around too long. Lots of good lacing.

S - Roasted malt, burnt grain, coffee and yes black cherries. Lots of dark roasted aromas.

T - A very intense mix of stout and cherry. Roasted malt flavors and intertwined with ripe cherry flavor. There is a slight bite to it, but I wouldn't say it is sour. This is quite weird, but in a good way. Just wish the cherry was not so pronounced. The porter takes a backseat to the cherry.

M - Thick, chewy, full body. Moderate carbonation, works well with the beer.

O - Kind of reminds me of the New Glarus Unplugged porter. It's got some twang, but not full on sour. The cherry flavor dominates though and the porter flavors are an afterthought. I like the concept of this beer, but would probably not ask for it again. (881 characters)

Photo of Roke87
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, poured into a Duvel tulip at cellar temperature.

Appearance- Pours ultra-dark black like used motor oil, an average pour yields a pinkie finger of dark brown head that almost has a reddish tinge to it that quickly resides to a thin ring around the glass leaving minimal to no lacing throughout till finish.

Smell- Roasted malt aromas really dominate the smell category; you can definitely smell the cherries that almost remind me of smelling a bag of ketchup chips. Not much else is really going on in the nose although the cherries in the smell give off a nice sweet aroma to them, a mild hint of cocoa in there as well.

Taste- Not too sure about this one on the palate, I get an intense flavour of sour cherries right off the bat married with a nice and well balanced roasted malt smokiness to it. Mild hints of coffee and dark chocolate in there as well. The tastes are actually well balanced I just get hit right off the bat with a strong sour, bitter cherry flavour. Finishes with that nice roasted malt smokiness flavour to it, with the cherries coming through as well but not overpowering at the end as the start.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, It looks like a heavy RIS but the mouth feel is on the lighter side of the porters, I think the appearance is changing some people’s opinions on what the body actually is.

Overall- To be honest I expected a little more from one of Short’s “biggest beers offered”, The look was absolutely sexy and inviting for sure, the aromas are also promising coming through almost sweet with that nice hint of sweet cherries buried in the roasted malt smells. The taste on the other hand kind of changes things, the sweet cherry aromas quickly turn into sour bitter cherries that almost dominate the palate throughout till finish, but it does redeem itself in the end coming through with a nice roasted malt flavour and a hint of cocoa and coffee. (1,909 characters)

Photo of Nuggethops
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
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 (626 characters)

Photo of dimenhetfield
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Super dark pour, like imperial stout dark. Big fluffy brown here that screams "sexy". Aroma is pretty much dominated by the malts but the black cherries have a good presence as well. Flavor is a little on the sweet side with the cherries taking center stage on this one. Sweet with a nice bitter finish. (316 characters)

Photo of maximum12
1.12/5  rDev -70.8%
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! (671 characters)

Photo of Phoptos
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Won in a "beer bracket" contest for March Madness. Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A: Aggressive pour, got a 1.5 finger khaki head on it that lingers a bit and eventually gives way to a nice lace. Body is almost black. Dense.

S: Oak, dark fruits and hint of vanilla. Maybe even some raisin in there as well. A little cocoa in there too.

T: Sweet cherry and vanilla are really bold on the tongue with trails of milk chocolate leading to a slight mocha tinge.

M: Creamy with decent carbonation that doesn't linger that long. Bit of a coating on the back of the tongue the more you sit with each sip.

O: Not bad. A decent porter that has a little too much fruit forward (to be fair I'm not a big fan of black cherry anyway) and drinks very smooth for as dense as it looks. As it moves on it's complexity really shines but it takes a little time to get there. Sipping does wonders. Brings out the tartness more. (914 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to GrandCruDrew for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque reddish black with a 2 inch crimson brown head that fades to a small cap. Streaks of lace coat the glass on the drink down. Smells of tart super dark cherries, roasted malts, cocoa beans, and slight coffee beans. Taste is of sour black cherry, roasted coffee beans, and cocoa powder. Slight coffee ground/cocoa bitterness on the palate after each sip. Mouthfeel is very good with just the right amount of carbonation that still leaves a creaminess with each sip. Overall, this is a good porter that meshes well with the black cherry puree it's brewed with. I am actually pretty happy that I have another one of these to enjoy another time. (704 characters)

Photo of sisuspeed
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to glazeman for the bottle!

Poured into a Rock Art tulip. Forms a beautiful, dark-tan head that rests on an essentially black body. Almost two fingers worth of creamy, foamy head off the first pour. Great lacing. Looks exceptional for a porter.

Lots of roasty cocoa and dark malts on the nose. A faint hint of cherry, but this smells mostly like a straight up porter. Light smoke. Good, but not really getting any cherry. Kind of one-dimensional.

The flavor is a mixture of dark chocolate, roasty/smokey malts, light caramel and faint cherry. Hmmm, the base beer is quite nice, but there is barely any cherry. I mean it's there on the finish, but I was expecting it to come out a bit more.

Mouthfeel is smooth, almost creamy with good carbonation. Faint bitter astringency on the finish, otherwise it's perfect for the style.

Overall, I really like the base beer, but I wish the cherries came through more. The ABV is essentially unnoticeable, so this goes down pretty easy. I'd love to see Short's throw this beer on some vanilla beans or bourbon soaked chips. Lots of potential here, and definitely worth trying if you're in the mood for a solid porter. (1,167 characters)

Short's Black Cherry Porter from Short's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.