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Short's Publican Porter (Imperial London Porter) - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Short's Publican Porter (Imperial London Porter)Short's Publican Porter (Imperial London Porter)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

84 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 84
Hads: 291
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 16.27%
Wants: 81
Gots: 26 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
English Porter |  9.15% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 10-13-2007

A Robust Porter.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 84 | Hads: 291
Photo of kbutler1
2.46/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Bottle. Popped and poured into a small delerium snifter. Surprisingly this pours with very little carbonation or head. Only a slight dark mocha tan head forms after swirling but quickly retreats to a collar around the glass. Metallic right off the bat but I also get some roast coffee, dark chocolate, and booze in the nose. The aroma I am not that keen on. Medium mouthfeel, velvety...nice. Bittersweet chocolate, roast, leather, and alcohol. The bitterness from the roast cuts a little at the end and lingers on. Overall, I’m not all that impressed by this. I'm a little confused by all the high ratings for this. The picture depicts one of their one off beers and the bottle I have is a regular 12oz, I wonder if they scaled up production and some quality got lost in translation?

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Photo of GRPunk
3.19/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle, poured into a nonic pint.

A- Initial pour gave the impression of thin and under carbonated. A light head disappears all too soon. The body is actually dense and black through the center with dark brown edges.

S- Oh, that's nice! Sweet and robust. Lots of vanilla and underlying chocolate. With warmth, roast/smoke comes through, giving a hint of what should have been expected from the flavor.

T- Very roasty, on the edge of smoked. No, make that very smokey. Dark chocolate is apparent, though it's lost amongst the charred, grainy flavor. Notes of licorice that start to wear on the palate.

M- Very rich and viscous. Light carbonation, bit of a warming alcohol. Nice sipper feel.

O- I love the way Short's pushes the boundaries. I'll continue to buy their "out of the box" brews because they make so many "hits.". Unfortunately, thre's the occasional chance of a "miss" in there. I'm sure others, as suggested by the overall score, will love this beer. While the aroma hints at so much potential, the smoke and licorice side just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.39/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz, bottled 12/18/12, poured into a nonic.

a - pours a viscous dark brown, nearly black. gave me a finger or so of dense, creamy, light brown head that took some time calming down. what i'm left with is a thin film and a few thick rings of lacing in the glass.

s - roasted malt, tart dark cherry, cola, hint of marshmallow, and that weird earthiness that all short's beers have.

t - heavy on the roasted malt character with some burnt malt in the background. notes of chocolate and spice. has the short's signature earthy bitterness and finishes a little on the boozy side.

m - full bodied and quite sticky. medium carbonation with a medium co2 profile.

o - interesting beer and enjoyable, but not what i look for in an english porter (or any other porter for that matter). too much focus on the roasted flavors not enough else going on for depth. also, the higher abv makes this a one and done for the night beer.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter. Pours black with a brown head. The aroma is medium to heavily roasted with dark creamy chocolate up front. Undertones of dark fruits/prunes, brown sugar, cold coffee, dark syrup and vanilla. The flavour is medium sweet and light bitter with notes of dark creamy chocolate, roasted malt and coffee/espresso on the finish. Some brown sugar/molasses. The mouthfeel is soft and light sticky with a light carbonation. Maybe a touch of astringents. Bit sourish and acidic. Medium to full bodied. Overall a decent porter.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for this one, Derek.

Pours nearly black in color with a small tan head. Quite a bit of roasted malt and licorice. Some molasses and dark chocolate aromas are also present. It’s somewhat oxidized and there’s a little dark fruit character, to it. A really nice roasted malt flavor to this. A hint of graham cracker and vanilla sweetness. There’s a bit of molasses and licorice, too. Medium body with a low to medium carbonation.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

dark brown, nice opagueness, but still some light through on the sides and bottom. Nice short lived off white head with decent lace and audible carbonation. Smell was a decent english average porter. Caramel sugar and roasted malts were really the most notable aromas. The taste was smooth, crisp, a tad watery with the caramel being mellowed somewhat by a nice albeit small hoppy back.

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Photo of Floydster
3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle acquired in a trade with OHLRangers, thanks to Ed for giving me the opportunity to try this beer, shared with Carlos, Chris, Gabe, and Dennis a few days ago, poured into a small sampler glass, bottle #191/672

A-Color is black, we were outside during the day and I could not see through it a bit, 1/2 inch frothy tan head that left a ring on the top of my glass, decent retention and lacing
S-Roasted barley, some dark chocolate, more coffee aromas once it warmed, black licorice, burned caramel, hint of smokiness, and straw
T-Taste begins with dark chocolate, then roasted barley and malt in the middle, finish is dry and made up of strong coffee and chewy malt, malt is almosted toasted at times but I still get a roasted feel towards the end, later on dark fruits emerge with berries leading the way, not tart by any means but instead slightly sweet, flavor is mostly dry overall and I would say the most recognizable taste is dark cocoa
M-Very dry mouthfeel, also some roasted and chewy sensations in there, medium to full bodied, slightly low carbonation was fitting for what it was, taste lingered
D-Could drink half the bottle probably, I had eight to ten ounces and that was plenty, can be heavy on the stomach, alcohol is hidden very well though as I did not taste booze once, smooth

This was one of the most hyped beers coming out of the Short's imperial series but that might have been because it had the least amount of bottles produced, I really was not all that impressed with it though, not worth the twenty dollars in my opinion, would not drink again mainly because of the price, worth trying if possible

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Photo of beergoot
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Another bottle was given to me by @alexanf: thanks! I owe you!!

Deep brown, nearly black body with a thin, light tan head; small amounts of lacing. Coffee grounds and light cocoa smell. Chocolate notes upfront with a bold bitterness and astringency dancing around with a mild malt sweetness; coffee grounds. Medium-heavy bodied; semi-dry feel to the beer.

Overall, this porter is interesting and intriguing. You can't miss the sweet malt backbone, yet it's the bitterness and husk astringency that probably will strike most drinkers. There's a subtle alcohol warmth throughout that gives an added dimension to things.

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Photo of Duff27
3.84/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Thin dark mocha, quickly dissipating head on a dark brown body. Minimal lacing.

S- Rich coffee/chocolate scent. Delightful.

T- Chocolate. Salt? Very little hop presence. Sure can taste the 9+ ABV on this one. Leaves the mouth watering for the next sip.

M- Fairly smooth, medium mouthfeel. Adequate carbonation.

D/O- A very filling beer to say the least. Would recommend if you are a big porter fan. Thanks for this want CaptCeleveland! Appreciate it!

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Photo of Etan
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75


A: Pours thick and black with a dark tan head.

S: Deep roast and dark chocolate and cherry-like sweetness. Mocha, graham cracker, dark bread.

T: Dry, bitter roast, mild vinous quality, dusty cocoa, more slightly-astringent roast, alcohol warmth.

M: Thick-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Interesting. A bit too roasty and bitter to enjoy a lot of but pleasant in small quantities.

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Photo of 33nickadams
3.87/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black, opaque and a slight tan head after a vigorous pour. Smells of coffee, chocolate, molasses and dark fruits. I taste big roasted malts and chocolate. Very robust. This is very much not unlike a Russian Imperial Stout. Finishes dry. Mouthfeel is heavy and lightly carbonated. Overall, I'm glad I tried it. But this is too much like an RIS to set it apart.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.87/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark, dark, dark. Small mocha head leaves fast to ring. Some sticky lacing remains.

S - Mocha, brine and hard caramel underneath.

T - Chocolate milk, kind of thin, hint of booze at end.

M - Light bodied and had more potential, IMO.

D - Nice beer.

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Photo of illidurit
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

RBSG09 bottle at the grand tasting. Dark brown color with mahogany highlights and a tan head. Some coffee aroma, chocolate malt balls. Typical well-balanced chocolate and coffee with surprising notes of sherry and light vinegar. Clean dry finish, interesting beer.

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Photo of brdc
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks hoppymeal for this one.
Large capped bottle, poured into a snifter. #159 of 672.

Pitch black, with a cocoa colored creamy but thin head that lasts reasonably well and produces nice lacing.
Nice aroma, with abundant roasted malts. Coffee, chocolate, and loads of molasses, honey, and even a hint of a bourbon like aroma, probably the result of the very high ABV - as far as I know, this one is not aged in bourbon barrels.
Medium bodied, a bit thinner than I expected, it has depth of flavor; think an oversized, "hotter" porter; the same warming feeling, almost bourbon like accompanies the more traditional roasted malt flavor. Again, molasses, coffee, bittersweet chocolate and some caramel make nice appearances.
Initially easy to drink for the ABV, it is quite heavy compared to the usual porter and over time it gets a bit too much. I did not finish mine.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Received as a very generous extra in a trade. Thanks Derek!

Gave this one a standard pour into my glass and was immediately blown away by it's beauty. This is the best looking porter I have ever seen, and its overall look is rivaled only by the biggest of the best imperial stouts. Seriously, the cascading 2 finger head was darker than chocolate milk and left awesome lacing on top of a black body. Spectacular.

Smell is big toasted malts, floral hops, cocoa powder, and some marshmallow. Nice and inviting.

Toasted malts dominate the taste up front, while a little bit of sour/stale flavor drives the aftertaste. As I was first sipping this I was reading the English Porter style guidelines and I felt like it was describing this beer perfectly. If this were a BJCP exam I would probably rate the taste a 4.5 or 5, but if I were judging this against every other beer in the world I think I could only squeek out a 3.5 or 4. I'll settle on 4 as a compromise. This is nice but I wish the chocolate came through a bit more to help cover up the stale hop profile.

Nice body, on the full side of medium with soft carbonation

Drinkability was average for me. I really enjoyed this beer for what it tried to be (and accomplished quite well, I might add), but overall the flavor profile doesn't really mesh with my palate and I found myself wishing the rest of the bottle wasn't staring at me waiting to be consumed. Fans of Fuller's London Porter should seek this out at all costs though, as this seems to be like that beer on steroids.

Recommended for others, but not something I will want to track down again.

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Photo of BeRanger
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Bottle poured into a Tulip.

A: Poured dark black with a nice rich mocha colored rim, about one finger which lingered for awhile.

S: Chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, dark fruits and possibly caramel?

T: Roasted malts and chocolate hit first with a touch of the molasses, dark fruits and something else I can't quite put a finger on come through on the back-end, leaves a smooth finish with no real taste of alcohol. The ABV is listed as 8.5% this year.

N: Full bodied, the right amount of carbonation.

O: It was a very good porter from Short's, perhaps I'd give it higher marks if I hadn't be used to drinking so many wonder barrel aged porters lately. I do which this or sustenance would be available year-end.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

monsterous thanks to Marti403 for the 12oz of this one. enjoyed in a bluepoint snifter.

a - poured a pretty thick black with a generous tan milky brown head from a hard pour. definitely has a thicker, more stout look than a porter. the head hung for a while and lacing was chunky.

s - lots of earthy grass mixed in with roasted malts. a bit too earthy. i was more of the roasted and chocolate and less dirt. extremely grainy. missing the char.

t - not as earthy as the nose suggests, but definitely a porter on the earthy side of the spectrum. there is a lot more chocolate and roast than the nose suggests, but the burnt char that i look for in the style is a bit too bold and feels on thicker and richer side for a porter. quite good though.

m - the mouth stood out at first. really great. has the char i look for in a porter, but great fullness and thickness. i find short's beers tend to have a similar body, and this body REALLY works for a porter. just gives it some balls and a backbone.

o - if there was ever a brewery that was hit or miss, it is short's...probably more-so than any other. publican porter, however, is a HIT. really solid porter. more balls than you'd expect for the style and the bakers chocolate is rich enough that it makes the style really accessible for folks more on the stout side of the universe. i quite enjoyed this one and would be more than happy to drink this regularly...oh wait, short's distro is non-existent. oh well...if you get this and are into extras, hit me up. i'd love some more. thanks for the taste, really great brew.

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Photo of jacob4999
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz fresh 2011 bottle

Appearance: Pours a rich dark black which allows no light to pass through. Small one finger head which dissipates fairly quickly and leaves a very light lacing.

Smell: Dark coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts. Very pleasant!

Taste: Definite roasted malts followed by the coffee and a light bitter chocolate follow through. The alcohol is noticeable but it's a slight burn. Bitter chocolate aftertaste sticks around for a while.

Mouthfeel: Creamy up front with that dry bitter finish. Decent amount of carbonation for the style.

Overall: Not a bad offering from Shorts. Not quite up to Founders Porter level but this is a decent porter which I could see myself drinking again, kinda too bad it's a special release. Will definitely grab another six if it comes around again and I see it but probably wouldn't go to an extreme to get it.

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Photo of brutusmuktuk
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle a jet black color with a light off-white head. Has a chocolate and malty aroma. Taste is sweet dark chocolate with a touch of bitterness in the finish. I also get some malts and coffee. Has a medium to full body feel and goes down smooth. A very tasty porter.

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Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Was looking for this for so long in the old big bottle format, had basically given up until Christmas, when low and behold, there is was visiting home, though in this small bottle.

The standard near black pour, layer of cream head.

Aroma, roast malt, caramels, dark chocolate.

Taste, Roast malt, nearly burnt toffee, cocoa. Pleasant, but actually quite dry with the roast, light coffee and cocoa.

Solid medium body. Coating, nearly creamy. Drinks quite well. To be honest it doesn't feel nearly 9.15 big, I seriously wonder if this batch is less.

Straight forward, solid, but for some reason I was expecting even more. Well worth trying.

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Photo of DannyDan
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark brown hue that has a thin tan head with decent retention and lacing. The smell is of chocolate,roasted coffee and dark fruits. The taste starts out with chocolate, some dark fruit and coffee and follows with some molasses and licorice. The alcohol is covered quite well and is a rather smooth easy drinking beer for the style and overall a very well made tasty beer that I would gladly buy again.

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Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you Derek for bringing. Very good roast aroma. A dark thick chocolate pour. A whote head with lots of bubbles. Thick and lacey down thye glass. A porter's imitation of an imperial stout. Roasted malt. Above average mouthfeel. Some sips, at the end of the bottle, contained some sourness. Recommended.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to chpueblo22 for this one. I'm always excited to try new Short's brews.

Appearance - Dark brown, not quite black, as it pours. No head. Maybe a glimmer of some mocha bubbles.

Smell - A bit of roast, but it's remarkably nutty. Like sweet peanuts and malt. An interesting smell, for sure, and one I'm rather enjoying. Grainy and earthy at the same time.

Taste - Mimics the smell. A touch sweet and then a solid nutty and grainy malt backbone. The finish is of the darker persuasion. More roasty in the finish, but still quite earthy. Hardly bitter at all.

Mouthfeel - Lacking in carbonation. Nearly flat, in fact. As much as I enjoy drinking it, it could use a livelier body.

Overall - One of the best Short's beers I've had. Quite enjoyable. It gets better as I drink it, too.

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Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Generously hooked up by Frognutunl, thanks Wes!

Poured a dark brown in the light, and black in the glass. A crimson glint shone in it's meniscus. The creamy tan foam was tightly beaded, slowly drizzling down the sides like watching through soapy windows at the car wash.

Some vinous aged qualities in the nose, also tootsie roll, licorice, and sticky molasses. Roasty flavors of burnt toast, wood, and tobacco, underscored by a mild yet pleasant cranberry tartness. Full bodied and chocolatey, leaning into stout territory. Creamy feel with a dry finish. Easy drinking, and a good one to share. Although it's starting to show it's age a little, it was still a pleasure to drink. Thanks again Wes!

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Photo of lochef81
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

My love-hate relationship with Shorts Brewing is being won over today by my second excellent offering from their brewery. This porter pours a deep almost black mahogany with a nice tan head and substantial tan lacing. The aroma is overwhelmed by rich chocolate, sweet malt, and a touch of hops. The mouth is smooth and creamy. Fairly heavy for a porter but strictly in the best of ways. The flavor adds a significant amount of coffee and roast to the notes found in the nose. Their is surprisingly little alcohol bite given the abv. It is very drinkable and enjoyable. Shorts is still the quintessential hit or miss brewery for me but this is definitely a hit.

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Short's Publican Porter (Imperial London Porter) from Short's Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.