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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

260 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 260
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 13.99%
Wants: 77
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 260 | Reviews: 124 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of nkersten
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thick pitch black with a small off white tannish head that settles to a thin cap. Rather dark for a porter. Smell is more stout like then porter- lots of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, olive brine, some cherries. Taste is similar and a bit off. Starts with roasted malts, very bitter slightly burnt malt flavor, smokey chocolate, slightly metallic, some dark cherries in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and medium light carbonation. Not a bad beer, but falls out of line with American Porters. More like a cherry American Stout then anything else.

Photo of scottfrie
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into snifter. Huge thanks to I believe jbck109 for sending this one to me.

A: Pours an extremely dark brown with a fluffy yet dense cinnamon colored head that receded into a thick film that left a few streaks of soapy lacing down the glass.
S: I've had infected beers that smell just like this! But seriously, this smells good. The cherries are easily noticeable amongst roasted and smoky notes of malt.
T: Rich and subtle flavors of roasted malt, charcoal and dark chocolate blend well with just a hint of sweet cherry juice. The cherries definitely aren't as strong as I would have thought though. Aftertaste leaves a smoky flavor in the mouth.
M: Very soft carbonation gives this beer a creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Body is fairly full and there isn't a trace of alcohol to be found.
D: A really solid porter. If you told me this had cherries in it though I'm not sure I would notice it at first. Very drinkable and smooth, and an all around solid brew.

Photo of soze47
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taken from notes, consumed late 12/10 or early 01/11.

Appearance: Very dark. Jet black body with ruby dark brown head. Nice lacing and kind of a marvel to look at and swirl under the light.

Aroma: Fruity nose, almost juicy. However, malt tempers it quite a bit. Odd combe, but good intriguing scent.

Taste: Hmm. Kind of muddled in that all flavors simultaneously hit. It isn't bad, but the development is kind of one note. The fruity cherry hits the tip and sides of the tongue while roasted coffeeish bitterness hits and lays down in the middle.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Porter-like medium/heavy body, which is deceiving since it looks like a stout. Plenty drinkable.

Overall: This is a beer worth trying and making up your mind on yourself. I think I'd pick it up again, but not too often.

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.

Photo of errantnight
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A beautiful, luscious deep brown to black with a thick finger and a half cap ofn off white foam. Moderate retention, solid lacing, and great, oil-y legs.

Aroma is big roast and dark chocolate cake, just a touch of jam and dark fruit. On the palate this is lustrous, silky, full and smooth. Alas, the flavor , while carrying some subtle complexities, is too subtle with the cherry and the roast gets carried away with an acrid and ashy back half. The foreground is decidedly more pleasant, chocolate cake springs again to mind with some complex, dark sugar notes and maybe a hint of currant.

A fine brew, but New Glarus's similar take blows this out of the water.

Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: wow. this thing looks like a big stout rather than a porter. deep black with a huge dark mocha three finger head. the last bit of the pour looked like chocolate syrup. after it calms down a little bit, it leaves splotches of lAcing all over the sides of the glass.
S: just a bit of dark cherry on the nose, light mocha, cocoa, sweet chocolate malts.
T: mmmm.. the cherry comes through beautifully upon tasting, much moreso than on the nose. this is more reminiscent of a porter now, albeit a heavy one. cocoa nibs, little bittersweet chocolate. the cherry and chocolate flavors blend together deliciously.
M: smoooth and creamy. this beer really nails it on mouthfeel. you couldnt ask for a much more luscious blanket of goodness gliding across your tongue.
D: would drink them all night if i had more than one. its gonna be gone before i know it, which speaks volumes to its deliciousness, but sad for me cus when its gone its gone.

Photo of steve8robin
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this as an extra in a trade. Looks intriguing. 12oz bottle...

A: Super, super dark black with a small less than 1/2 inch dark mocha colored head that fades at a decent pace. Looks a lot like a stout. Very good.

S: I get some roasty bitter chocolate upfront with some vanilla and cocoa in the middle and hints of cherries on the backend. Ok.

T: Bitter, cigarette-like, roastiness upfront with some hints of cherry in the middle and some cocoa on the backend. Good.

M: A very nice carbonation with a dry finish. Very good.

D: This goes down very easy. Very good.

All in all, this is a great brew. I know the porter / stout category flirt with each other often, but this, to me, seems like it should be in the stout category. Very thick and super dark. It's good, but not as much cherry as I would've liked. More like a good standard stout.

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.

Photo of Sammy
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This works! Pours very dark brown near black, with a dusting of a white head. The fresh cherry aroma emmenates from the glass and is enticing. Above average mouthfeel contains a marriage of roasted malt, rich malt including chocolate malt, and black cherry flavour that is right there. Great drinkability.

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into The Bruery tulip - another fantastic find from Jeff (Alewatcher), El Jefe of the beer trading world.

Pours deep black, impenetrable, with a pinkish-tan head on top pf about a quarter inch - intriguing. Fades fairly quickly to a thin ring with only a wee bit of sparse lacing, but the pinkish hue really adds some color and excitement. I'm stoked.

Nose is, first and foremost, big on cherry. Not sour cherry, but straight, rich, cherry pie, deep and sweet with the black cherry quality coming through. Underneath that is an intense roastiness, almost woody - the black coffee to complement the cherry pie. The nose is a bit reserved; it's too good not to want to bring it out more.

Taste follows the nose. Big, bold black cherry comes through, rich, sweet and with only a bare hint of tartness, followed closely by an intense roastiness that's woody, even ashy, and really only works because of the sweet cherry counterbalance. But man, does it work - instead of trying to subtly mesh the two flavors, this one just pits them at either end of the ring from the beginning, which is a fantastic move. Finish is long, drying. Two really bold aspects that, together, make for a really good beer.

Mouthfeel is good - smooth and with a mild, pleasant carbonation to complement the medium body. Acidity from the roastiness and cherries cuts it a bit, keeping it out of full-bodied territory, a bit sticky from the cherries gets you licking your lips after every sip. Well drinkable.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.34/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Well the pour is pretty inky black with tinges of redness along the edges. Didn't produce much head but the very fine lacing is nice.

Smells exceptional, one of the best smelling porters I've had in a while. Definitely a cherry smell, but pleasant roasted malts and chocolate do shine through as well.

Taste wise this one is a big hit for me. It's so perfectly fruity with an exquisite cherry taste, great roasty maltiness, and tinges of coffee and chocolate.

Body is very nice, excellent for a porter. Medium bodied and creamy, this smooth beer satisfies your thirst as well as your taste buds.

One might expect this to be a fruit beer from all the great cherry flavors, but it's clearly a porter, the porter style being done a great service here by the addition of so many delicious black cherries.

It's scarily easy to drink. Would make a great beer for various occasions, including food, after-dinner, as a dessert beer or even just to sip in front of a warm fire on a cold winter night.

This is my idea of how a great porter should balance flavors, aromas, and body. I got a mixed sixer with my win on the football BIF and they keep getting better and better each one of Short's beers that I try. Bravo Shorts!

Photo of Bung
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Quite dark, pretty much black pour with a half finger of tan head.

The aroma is pretty thick with cherry. Also a nice dose of malt and earthiness, peat, grass.

The tart cherry is right there up front. The malty porter dominates after that. Heavy roasted malt, dark chocolate and some ashiness. The cherry accentes throughout. Finishes with continued roast and cocoa.

This is much fuller than I would have expected. The porter behind the cherries is big, but the alcohol is not. Not quite a creamy mouthfeel. A nice dessert, different than the norm.

Photo of david131
4.56/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- A completely pitch black liquid with just the slightest hint of blood red coming through at the edges. The dark brown/red head is thin but creamy. Looks mean.

S- Black cherries, smoke, dark chocolate, and coffee. Pretty aromatic and appealing.

T- Black cherries, smoke, and roastiness. Slightly sweet and tart. Really complex and heavy duty.

M- Creamy smooth body with lots of lasting flavors. Dreamy.

D- Really delicious and rich, but it doesn't get out of hand. Very well made; hopefully it doesn't become infected over time.

Photo of Retsinis
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fellow BA got his in a trade (thanks Skuter) Fruit beers ( Strawberry, cherry, Raspberry) are not a style I generally seek out, since the ones I have had tend to be too tart/sweet for my palate, however, I am always up to broaden my horizons, and maybe find a new treat.

Split this, so got 6 oz. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Bruery Tulip glass. It pours a dark brunette color with red highlights. Very little head on top, but the carbonation was just right.

Aroma's are, as expected of black cherries. Some burnt brown sugars, molasses, chocolate. The cherries are the most dominate. No real alcohol detected.

Flavors in the taste are well balanced. Not overly tart, or sweet. Brown sugar, chocolate, with hints of cherries throughout. The ABV is well masked. The dark cherries linger on the palate, and the dark chocolate comes through on the finish as well.

The body is much like a porter, medium viscosity, creamy.

Overall, one of the better cherry beers I've had. 6 oz was perfect for me, but a whole 12 oz would not be a problem either. I think the way made this, with both the type of cherries, and the amount per gallon, along with the solid porter backbone, added to my enjoyment of it. Recommended.

Photo of Gosox8787
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into a Portsmouth Brewery tulip. Served at room temperature. Thanks to glazeman for the extra.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color with a two finger reddish dark brown head. The head recedes pretty quickly into nothing.

Aroma: Big smoke and dark chocolate notes upfront. A very assertive porter aroma. There are hints of sweet cherries in there too but they are far more subdued than I expected and are mostly sweet, not tart.

Taste: Light, almost tart cherry sweetness upfront, but just for a second before the traditional porter notes overpower. Smoke (burnt malt?) and a touch of chocolate. The bitter malt overwhelms all of the cherry in my opinion. I could definitely use more cherry in this.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Typical for a porter.

Drinkability: I think, especially at this ABV, one bottle is enough for me. The porter notes here can be a little overwhelming.

Overall, an interesting beer but I think it falls short on the cherry part of its title. Not bad, but not anything I would go out of my way to pick up again.

Photo of techfed87
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lively head. Color is dark opaque black.

Smell is of dark roasted malt and something much notably more tart.

First sip is interesting. Much of the cherry tartness is used to blend in with the bitterness of the porter. This in mind, the beer doesn't come off as too outwardly sweet or tart, which can be the case of some beers of the same genre. Also, the mouthfeel is very fulfilling.

One of the better choices from Short's. A very enjoyable choice for those that are looking for something slightly out there.

Photo of jobcrackerbah
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black with a nice frothy head. Lacing recedes slowly.

S: Rich Dark chocolate covered cherries with a dash of sweet malt and lactose. There is alcohol in the scent but it does mix nicely with the rest of the aroma.

T: Cherries take a back seat in the flavor and the expresso infused roasy porter flavors come out. Alcohol is more dominant in the flavor than the aroma. The beer is quite dry and roasty, ending with a nice dark cherry bite.

D/M: Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. This is the best short's beer to date and would consume again.

Photo of nickadams2
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Pors almost black with dark red hue. Thick dark reddish brown head with great retention. Lacing coats the glass.

S_Rich dark chocolate malt and black cherry. Not picking up much booze.

T_Perfect blend of dark chocolate and black cherry. The cherry is bittersweet and not over done. Hints of vanilla and espresso.

M_Full bodied though a little thinner than one might expect. Slick on the palate.

D_For the ABV this is very drinkable. Very well done.

Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Sam Adams pint glass. It poured black and thick with a very nice dense mocha head filling the top inch of the glass. The head retreated to the edges of the glass where it left some decent lacing.

The aroma shows a nice roasted quality to it with a little coffee, but remains very smooth. The black cherries come through a little and mix with a chocolaty flavor very nicely. Chocolate covered cherries really come to mind in the aroma.

The taste shows more of the cherry flavor throughout the beer. It's a very nice fresh black cherry taste that I'm really enjoying. Like the nose suggested, chocolate really does play a big role as well and adds to the chocolate covered cherry similarities. The roasty flavors are a little less pronounced at first but they show back up in the finish to lend some bitter, burnt flavors. I get just a bit of alcohol to it in the finish as well, almost like a hint of a cherry soaked in vodka. I really enjoyed the flavors in this one a lot.

The mouthfeel feels heavy and a bit syrupy, while carbonation is low. It seems to fit the flavor profile pretty nicely actually. Drinkability is very good, I really enjoyed the beer and the flavors. The cherries were very well done and the chocolate complimented them very well. I love cherries and this beer was right up my alley. Probably my favorite shorts beer so far.

Photo of zoso1967
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer on 12/11/10 at the wedding reception for my long time friends and fellow beer lovers Zach and Ashley. My wife thought I was ridiculous for reviewing a beer at the reception, but I knew they would be down with it.

Served up a very dark brown with a tan head that may have the slightest hint of pink in it. It is sort of dark in here, so I may just be imagining the pink tinge in the head.

The aroma is quite interesting. I get less roastyness than many other porters, with more of a bitter dark chocolate character that mingles well with the fruity cherry notes. Any beer made with black cherries always triggers memories of having to help out at the sorting table on my parents' farm. Long story short, fermented black sweet cherries smell a lot like the sorting table smelled by the end of the season.

The flavor has even more chocolate in it and I am picking up a bit more tartness that I am assuming must be from the cherry additions. There are also some roasty coffee notes, but much like the nose I find that this is more of a cocoa-centric brew.

The mouthfeel is medium, but a bit fuller than your average porter. It seems to have an interesting dichotomy between smooth and stinging that I am not a huge fan of. It finishes well though with some tartness and a bit of roasted malt.

I thought this was quite drinkable, though maybe not the best beer to have with food. I was blown away when I logged on to BA to post this review and realized it was 9% ABV. I could not tell at all. This is another quality beer from Short's.

Photo of portia99
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received in trade with jpmclaug. Thanks Jason! Poured into a Dogfish Head Signature glass.

A - Pours an opaque, extremely dark brown liquid with a 1/2 finger of dense brown foam. I might be imagining this, but I think there is a bit of a reddish/pinkish tint in the foam. Head lingers briefly before falling to the surface and leaving behind a thick collar and sparse lacing.

S - Smells dark and roasty malts with a good strong dark chocolate component. The cherry also comes thru nicely giving a solid fruitiness...smells almost candy-like. Alcohol is also noticeable and probably keeps this one from being too candyish.

T - More bitter than I expected up front with a bit of a burnt, espresso bean like bitterness that stands out. Very roasty overall, but there is enough chocolate to find its way thru the roast. The sneaks in subtley and complements the bitter roast pretty well. Gives me the impression of an iced cherry mocha - works well for me - if Starbucks doesn't offer this combo of flavors, they should think about adding it. Alcohol is hidden pretty well, only marginally noticeable.

M - Medium bodied with a fairly strong foamy and fizzy carbonation. Feels a bit creamy on the tongue. Bitterness is high and lingers well past the swallow. Reminds me of the bitterness from chewing on espresso beans.

D - Not sure you can really how too far astray with a cherry porter. The fruit just really works well with the chocolate and dark roasted flavors. I think the burnt aspect of this beer is a bit overdone and the beer would be better balanced if it was toned down just a bit. However, I am finding this to be very enjoyable and would love to be able to settle back with another right now.

Photo of Khazadum
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Sarro for this extra in our not so long ago trade. Big fan of Short's for a while now, can't wait to pop this one any longer.

A- Poured into a brandy snifter with normal technique. Generates a pitch black body resting below a chocolate brown froth. Very fluffy collar and cream soup thickness skin. Lacing is average with half of the time being mountain ranges and the other being speckled sneezes. Even though you can't peer into the depths of this beverage, there are carbonation streams running the edge of the glass giving confidence to sip worry-free.

S- When they said a porter, they were not kidding. This beer is instantly roasted grains and burnt notes. Campfire smoke with that tart, sweet cherry note. Delicious!

T- Instantly smoky. Very strong burnt and roasted flavors with a finish of chocolate. The issue is that the edging of sweet cherries does not exist here as it did in the nose. It is a solid porter offering with the sweetness being the silver lining. It perks up in the middle with a tart and sour sweetness but fades out without being a supporting actor.

M- Smooth and creamy. Mild body prevents it from being velvety. The carbonation is not overwhelming, and hidden in this beer for a good reason. I feel if it had some sweetness to pair with this pseudo-thick body we' have a home run.

D- It isn't bad, but it isn't a black cherry porter. It is drinkable, tasty, and a good offering for the style. Just mislead me on the name, I feel. It is impossible to be a 9% on terms of flavor, no ethanolic properties. Very easy to drink and I'd love another to be honest.

Photo of jmich24
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle

A: Very dark brown. One finger light brown a red tint. Nice lacing.
S: Roasted malt, dark chocolate and sweetness from the cherries.
T: Tastes match the smell. The sweetness is balanced well by a nice hop bitterness.
M: Nice creamy mouthfeel.
D: The 9.0% ABV is very well hidden.

The malt and cherry sweetness is balanced nicely by the bitterness. Great Porter.

Photo of flexabull
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of mikesgroove, thanks again!

Porter?! Could have fooled me when I poured this, pours thick and sludge like, super dark black, with a pretty nice dark tan head.

Aromas are of chocolate, dark roasted malts, and subtle dark cherries.

Taste is VERY dark roasted malt forward. Toast, espresso, bitter bakers chocolate all dominate up front. Finish is bitter, with hints of dark cherries.

Mouthfeel is good. Starts out really full, but fades a little on the finish.

Drinkability is good. This is a nice strong porter, if you are a fan of big roasty robust porters, then this one is right up your alley.

Short's Black Cherry Porter from Short's Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 260 ratings.