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

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Short's Black Cherry PorterShort's Black Cherry Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

124 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
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 BeerFMAndy
3.89/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
No date or info available on the bottle.

Thanks again, and again, and again, to Beerwolf for his generosity. I'd be drinking all the terrible crap in the mix-tick-pack selections around here if it weren't for him.

A - The tall pour had a brilliant ruby brown clarity that became perfectly black in the glass. The tall three-finger head of dense tan foam settled to a rocky surface after slow cascading. Great retention and fantastic fingers of lace cling to the glass.

S - Heavily roasted black patent malt immediately reminds of a stout bit it certainly has enough dryness to it for a porter. The black cherries add a faint level of tart cherry aroma to the dry cocoa.

T - Smooth black coffee and complex roasted malt character envelopes the flavor with chocolate and molasses notes. Black cherries add some pizazz to this porter but not much tartness, sweetness, or otherwise fruit profile. They're just hinted at.

M - Smooth as black velvet, this porter has a deliciously round, full, thick body and a faintly roasted bitter, dry finish. Great feel!

O - Fairly high ABV but not showing it, this porter is border-line stout-like. Thick, rich, and full-bodied, it's a nice brew but definitely not one to have a lot of. (1,281 characters)

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

12oz bottle poured into a large snifter glass - big thanks to arvjunk for knocking this off my want list

Pours a full blacked out color with a frothy browned head. Retains nicely with plenty of filmy retention and thick curtains of patchy lacing all over the glass.

A big whiff of roasted malts in the nose with some underlying cherry tones. It's not tart but the cherry is pretty prevalent, followed by some lighter smoke and some sweetness.

Rich roasted malt tones up front with some slightly smoky edges. Decent hop profile with some bitterness and citrus tones. Dark cherry swirls into the flavor with chocolately sweetness and a light tart edge. Finishes with some more juicy hops, a bit dry, and another splash of cherry.

Medium body, higher carbonation, dry and slightly rough on the tongue. I've wanted to try this for a long time and certainly wasn't disappointed by the nice integration of cherry and chocolate flavors. (936 characters)

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

Chilled 12oz bottle into a glass. Thanks to semibaked for the trade.

A: Pours a purple-black body with a short-lived puce head, rising to about 1 finger in height. It leaves a very small collar on the beer, with no lace.

S: Black cherries, cocoa powder, and a small presence of roast. There's a mild tartness to it even in the nose.

T: Mildly tart black cherries. Their dark sweetness and tannic skins blends well with dark cocoa powder and roasted malt. The tartness teases the palate without ever giving the impression of sourness. This really integrates the cherry well. There's some bitterness in the aftertaste that I don't care for (I think it's the cherry skins), but it's not a deal-breaker.

M: Medium-bodied, with carbonation on the low end. The flavors complement each other quite well. There seems to be some hop bitterness -- or, again, perhaps it's just the cherry skins at work -- that counteracts the dark, sweet flavors.

D: Really good stuff. I didn't expect a whole lot, as I'm not a fan of black cherries, but I came away quite impressed. (1,066 characters)

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

Bottle shared by afdempse. Thanks Adam!

This beer appears a very deep shade of brown, bordering on blackness. The beige head is approximately a finger thick and leaves a healthy amount of lacing on the glass.

The aroma consists primarily of roasted malt with dark fruit.

The flavor brings more of the same, with cherries really emerging in the finish. A tasty offering from Short's.

The feel is medium bodied, with alcohol content disguised pretty well.

A nice sipper. I'd drink this again. (497 characters)

Photo of theghost3
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark brown, almost black. There's a half finger, pecan-colored brown head that quickly dissipates. Moderate layered lacing.

The smell is fresh cherries with cocoa and some alcohol. The flavor is burnt toasty malts, sour cherries and alcohol. Slighly medicinal. Mouthfeel is slightly carbonated, thicker body than I would expect from a porter. Closer to an RIS. Dry finish.

This is fairly drinkable, but I was expecting sweeter and juicier cherry flavors. I would recommend drinking it with something sweet to offset the sour fruit flavors. (556 characters)

Photo of IdrinkGas
2.7/5  rDev -29.7%
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. (558 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks for the hookup Andrew (betsona)!

A- Pours as close to black as you can brown color..wasn't expecting that. Half finger brown head shows poor retention (a Short's quality). Some spotty lacing on the sides of the glass (once again a Short's quality).

S- There is a big roasted malt and bitter chocolate upfront to the aroma. Upon letting this warm up a little more there is a underlying toffee character toward the middle. Light black cherries do make a small appearance in the tail end of the aroma. The alcohol seems to have more quality than the black cherry does in the end.

T- Typical porter upfront with the roasted malts and light bitter chocolate. The middle of the beer though reminds me a little of Uber Goober. There really is no cherry flavor at all on this until the backend which in turn it dominates all of the other flavors going on. While being a little sweet it is not overly so making it a nice crisp finish. Alcohol has a light sweet tone to it that balanced out the roasted front of the beer.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation was the typical low Short's style. Roasted malts and chocolate were left on the palate. Aftertaste was black cherry, sweet alcohol, and roasted malts. Medium alcohol drying on the palate. Flavors were a little seperated but the beer overall was balanced. No off flavors at all with this beer.

D- More than one? Yes please! This beer turned out to be a sleeping hit for me. I was looking forward to try it but didn't think I would like it this much. A medium range on the ABV means it will leave you feeling nice but not trashy. Flavors were well balanced for the overall beer. Good job Short's! (1,677 characters)

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

Pours black with a fairly thick mocha head. Nose is toasted malts, some baker's chocolate, light vanilla, and a slightly fruity, berry quality. Nice rich mouth, roasted malts, lightly bitter chocolate, some vanilla and that just lightly fruity character. Very easy to drink this. Texture is awesome. I was worried the cherries would impart more of a tart character, but this manages to stay quite dry and stout like while having a subtle berry type edge. I enjoyed this quite a bit. (482 characters)

Photo of dfillius
4.63/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed in a pint glass
A: Gentle pour yields 1/2 finger of brown head with good retention. Nice, nearly opaque dark brown, close to black colored liquid. Beautiful
S: Chocolate, toffee, slight alcohol, coffee. Complex and pleasant.
T: Roasty! Great, strong bitter chocolate flavor. A bit too much alcohol in the taste. Interesting tartness at the back edge of my tongue. Not fruity, which is a plus. Very tasty, a solid porter. If the booziness was less, I'd have rated it a 5.0
M: Great bitterness, full feeling, slight warmth
D: Great. I'd love another and I'm glad I bought 6. I'll look for it next year too! (612 characters)

Photo of SkunkWorks
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mattolesh for the trade and the chance to try this beer! First beer ever from Shorts, so I'm excited to try it.

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Look: dark brown, pretty much black, with a thin coffee colored head. Decent retention but not much in the way of lacing.

Smell: lots of roasted malt and chocolate. I can't detect any of the cherries in the smell. Smells like a very big porter if not a stout with the dominance of the roastiness. Smells good.

Taste: roasted malt, chocolate and coffee really stand out in the foreground and then once the beer is down I get a smack of serious cherry taste in the finish. I'm surprised that this actually works for me, since I don't really like cherries. The flavors work very well together.

Feel: medium bodied, moderately carbonated, alcohol hidden well, and good mouthfeel for the style.

Drink: drinking my glass was easy and I could see drinking a few if I had to, but I don't know if I would because there's so much roastiness in there that it would probably fatigue your palate pretty quickly.

Overall, this is a pretty solid beer. Its an interesting take on a porter and I'm surprised that the cherry worked so well with the heavy roasted flavor. I'm also glad that they didn't make the cherries the front and center taste but I like how they show up distinctly at the finish for me. I would give it a try and I'm looking forward to trying Short's other brews. Cheers! (1,444 characters)

Photo of Stigs
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased from the brewery a couple months ago. served in a small tulip glass.

A - pours with about a third inch of creamy, khaki colored foam. settles to a thin film and ring, leaving a thin layer of consistent lacing around the glass. the beer is dark, even for a porter...letting in just a tad bit of dark ruby around the sides of the glass.

S - slightly roasted malts, toasted nuts, just a touch of licorice and milk cherries are present but take some effort to pull out.

T - begins as it should as a solid porter, roasted but not charred malts alongside of chocolate, and toasted nuts. sweetness creeps in during the second half, as a delicate layer of fresh cherry juice comes alive and adds a subtle bit of tartness to the end.

M - medium bodied with solid yet controlled, tight fizzy carbonation. creamy where it should be, and coats the mouth through the swallow. fruity tartness somewhat wipes things clean at the end.

D - what we have here is a solid American porter, taken to the next level by the addition of a well amount of cherries to compliment and not overwhelm. one of my favorite Short's beers. (1,150 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this bottle up in Michigan over the holidays. Served in a snifter. Not infected--woohoo!

Pours dark brown with a bit of a crimson hue. Single-finger off-white head with a bit of lacing. The nose brings a bit of roast as well as some chocolate and lightly-tart and sweet cherries. Taste brings a bit more cherry character plus some roast. Nothing terribly complicated, though I like the cherries. Mouthfeel is medium with lowish carbonation. Okay beer, but nothing too special. (484 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well Shorts, is this infected too? I don't think this bottle was. Beer is black / dark ruby brown with a thin head of tan bubbles that leaves a little lacing on the snifter. Low carbonation.

Aroma is a little tart which worried me at first about infection but ultimately I think its just the cherries. Mild roastiness too.

I guess ultimately this beer is just not my thing but I feel like there's nothing wrong with it and that plenty of people would enjoy a porter flavored with cherries, just not me. It's a little thin, mild carbonation on the palate, mild tartness at the back, some roasty bitterness on the finish, some fruit flavor on the front half. I don't know what to say about except that I'd be slow to have it again. (731 characters)

Photo of brew3crew
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a wine glass

A-pitch black darkness with almost a plum colored head. Very interesting
S-mixture of chocloate and cherries! Not bad for a brew
T-nice balance. Cherries and roastiness upfront. Nice finish as well...
M-medium bodied and goes down smooth
D-not a beer to drink fast, but to sit and enjoy. (313 characters)

Photo of circlenine
3.38/5  rDev -12%
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. (1,042 characters)

Photo of nkersten
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (564 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (972 characters)

Photo of soze47
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
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. (796 characters)

Photo of craytonic
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
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. (461 characters)

Photo of errantnight
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
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. (664 characters)

Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
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. (936 characters)

Photo of steve8robin
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (847 characters)

Photo of tetonka4kzoo
3.1/5  rDev -19.3%
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. (623 characters)

Photo of Sammy
4.19/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (305 characters)

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
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. (1,493 characters)

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