Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 84 | Hads: 291
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.

 306 characters

Photo of metter98
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short tan head that died down, leaving delicate lacing covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of dark chocolate are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but the chocolate malts are much stronger and there also notes of coffee beans and hints of Oreo cookie wafers and roasted malts. Only slight bits of bitterness are noticeable.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is extremely flavorful, rivaling that of a Russian Imperial Stout, except there is no bitterness and is obviously lighter in body.

 693 characters

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!

 699 characters

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.

 386 characters

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.

 440 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a black body with a full, foamy, tan-colored head.

Smell: Black malt, licorice laden aroma with notes of bittersweet chocolate morsels, caramel, and a touch of smoke.

Taste: Black malts hit the tongue at once. They're very roasty, very satisfying. Frothed melted milk chocolate. Plenty of sweetness throughout. A trickle of caramel syrup. Slight smokiness. A moderate amount of earthen bitterness sets in. Full of flavor from start to finish and beyond.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Mild carbonation. Soft mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A porter par excellence and another fine, unique offering in a long line of fine, unique offerings from Short's.

 665 characters

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled 12/15/2011. Pours pitch black color with a nice 1-2 finger dense dark tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some nice thick soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, raisin, coffee, char, molasses, earth, and light herbal. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of huge dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, char, earth, caramel, molasses, and herbal. Fair amount of spicy and roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, char, caramel, and earth on the finish for a good bit. Great balance and complexity of highly robust flavors; good malt/bitterness balance as well. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present on the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent imperial porter! Very robust and complex with great flavor balance; and very smooth to sip on. Highly enjoyable.

 1,069 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jay23 for bringing a bottle of this brew to our New Beer Sunday. Served in my Surly pint glass.

A - One finger of dark mocha foam that takes a while to dissipate to a solid cap. Dark black, with only the faintest hint of brown at the bottom of the class. Not sure if English porters should look much different from Baltics, but this is pretty good looking.

S - Huge dark fruit and vinous smell to it - you can tell this one is a few years old. Lots of chocolate and molasses - reminds me a little of Perkuno's Hammer. The vinous quality has taken over a little bit and it's a little unbalanced.

T - The taste has much more roastiness than the smell, with some baker's chocolate, brown sugar, and a hint of shortbread cookie! Smell is much more balanced and delicious.

M - There's a certain gritty cookie feel that reinforces the shortbread note, but it's otherwise pretty smooth with low carbonation and lots of velvet creaminess. There's lots of residual stickiness as well.

D - It's a little too sweet to be highly drinkable, but still quite nice. Nice carbonation and well hidden alcohol. Another solid brew from Short's!

 1,139 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yet another Short's Imperial bottle from Deuane's basement shared with StormKing47 and myself.

A - Pours opaque black with a nice one and a half finger tall mocha colored head leaving light lace down the glass.

S - Smells of dark roasted chocolate malt, dry oak, molasses, licorice, and some light berry twang at the very end of each sniff. Quite complex really.

T - Starts off with a big dose of sweet chocolate malt quickly giving way to a mix of even sweeter molasses, dark fruits, watered down espresso, licorice, and dry oak tannins. The finish is a mix of light sweetness and a slight berry twang, lingering on the pallet for a short period of time. This one is complex yet quite balanced. Very nice English porter.

M - Medium-Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Smooth, creamy, feel with a small twang at the very end. Very nice feel.

O - Every time I drink a Short's beer in a small bottle they leave me a bit let down but then we drink one of these imperial bottles and they quickly win me back. I hope to try some of the other imperials some day...

 1,076 characters

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.

 828 characters

Photo of corby112
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Jeff(ipa247) for breaking this out at our tasting.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a 1.5 finger dark chocolate mocha head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a thick lasting ring that leaves sporadic spots of lacing behind.

Slightly roasty silky sweet chocolate malt aroma with hints of honey, bourbon, licorice and sweet dark fruit notes. The aroma is prett intense with a lot of strong bourbon and alcohol heat.

Silky chocolate chewy, viscous malty mouthfeel with a lot of strong alcohol and oak character. Slightly vinous with subtle hints of dark fruit. Subtle hop notes this provide slight balance and a lingering dry hot alcohol finish.

 690 characters

Photo of weeare138
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Thanks to hopdog for sharing this. Bottle #144/672.
A - First of all, I notice the bottle which has a "gay" label of a guy sporting a mullett while washing a glass. I don't get it. Appears a near black with deep crimson edges when held to the light. The small, off-white head slowly fades into a mild cap and collar. Scattered spots are left around the glass.
Smell is of plums, black gapes, bitter cocoa, mild anise, and black cherries.
Taste is of light smoke, brown sugar, freshly baked brownies, and ripe fruit.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, sweet, syrupy, with a semi-dry finish.
This would go great with BBQ.
I'm glad Steve scored this. I would've passed it up based on the label alone, note knowing that the bottle was a really nice beer. It's like meeting a woman in a dark room and after you hit it off with her, the lights come on and she's a winner when you were expecting the worst.

 902 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Beer Exchange in Kalamazoo, MI.

A - Poured dark brown with a small amount of white head.

S - Big chocolate aroma up front with a big roasted malt profile and a slight bitterness present.

T - Roasted malts with a big chocolate prescence. A good bitterness, especially in the finish. There is also a nice sweetness present throughout that balances this one out very well.

M - Medium body. Light carbonation.

 422 characters

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!

 457 characters

Photo of Derek
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very generous LIF from OHLRangers.

A: Black with a dark tan head, some retention, good lacing.

S: Licorice, tar, burnt caramel & slight roasted sourness.

T: Assertive tar-like bitterness, molasses, warming alcohol, pine, burnt roastedness. It's like an Imperial stout, without the roasted barley, boardering on a baltic porter. Great stuff.

M: Thick, somewhat syrupy body doesn't seem to have much residual sweetness. Really great.

D: It's bold, but I like it.

 467 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nothing bad about it's look. Solid black with no escape-able light and a 1/2 inch of deep tan head with excellent lacing.

S - Smells moderately roasty with slight licorice, cocoa powder, and coffee. Even get a bit of hard to distinguish dark fruit.

T - Mild roasts and slight chalky cocoa powder meets mild alcohol flavors and raisins.

M - Medium bodied and very balanced for the ABV.

Overall I didn't expect much after this disappointing "woodmaster" but this is a solid imperial Baltic porter as good as Flying Dog's Gonzo. Worth the high grade.

 556 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a semi-thick black color with deep brown edges. A straight pour down the center causes almost no noise as a deep-tan colored head slowly starts forming seconds after I'm finished pouring. It goes quick and leaves no lacing behind.

The aroma is heavy and robust, even a little more so than I was expected. Some lightly sweet, roasted malts, lots of licorice, hints of anise, a good amount of chocolate. Plenty of deep and dark fruit notes floating around; plums, dates, prunes, raisins, almost with a wine-like essence to it. Warmth brings out some more chocolate, along with a sweet molasses. The alcohol itself shows a presence but doesn't sting the nostrils too much.

The taste, however, is a slightly different story. Up front, you get a hefty boozy flavor - mild fusel alcohol notes and a stingy warming effect that takes over your palate. Lots of flavors combine shortly thereafter; dark chocolate, fudge cake, lots of roasted malts, bitter and burnt coffee beans... The taste is definitely more roasty-bitter and less creamy-sweet than the aroma had lead on - not a bad thing, though. Nice hop profile squirts out about midway through; leafy, ashy hops with a heavy bitterness that hits the back of the palate - only coupling with the heavy roast to amplify the bitterness even more. The alcohol heat grows and is the heaviest at the end; aftertaste is a deeply pitted roast flavor with a huge backing of booze. Silky smooth mouth feel, low carbonation.

Wasn't expecting much out of this, but it turned out to be pretty good. I like things that are super-roasted, and that's exactly what this is. A little heavy on the alcohol character, though. This one is definitely a slower sipper than I pictured it would be.

 1,728 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Curran, thanks man.

Pours a very dark black, with a small half inch head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells like chocolate, roasted malt, and a little bit of espresso beans.

This one does not taste at all like its over 9% ABV, I honestly thought it was 5 or 6%. It is very full bodied, and full of flavors- lots of great chocolate flavors, almost like it is brewed with chocolate, when as far as I know it is not. There is also a nice creamy vanilla flavor, with a small amount of espresso bitterness, and moderate sweetness. Really, really nice.

This one has a medium sized body, as befits the unexpected ABV. There is a low amount of carbonation, with a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

This is probably the best English porter I've ever had, but it's probably not very traditional. It tastes awesome, and that's what it counts.

 855 characters

Photo of AgentZero
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jason for busting out this WW5 beer with us.

A - Black colored beer with a mocha colored head that left a little bit of a color and minimal stick on the sides.

S - Roasted malts, chocolate, some dark fruit. Actually kind of hard to describe what is going on with this one, a lot of uniqueness that I don't exactly have a name for, but it's good.

T - Some black licorice, dark fruits, slight roast, chocolate, molasses. Really a nice combo that melds well. A little espresso and just a hint of alcohol.

M - Fairly full bodied, lower carbonation, just about right.

O - Really good beer, Shorts tries a lot of interesting stuff, and much of it goes the wrong way, but this was something that worked really well. Wish I could get this regularly.

 756 characters

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.

 649 characters

Photo of mynie
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The 12 ounce bottle makes no mention of the strength (or rareness) of this brew. Accordingly, I poured it into a regular ol' pint glass.

Pours thick and dark. Smells the same, but not like any stronger porters that I'm used to (absolutely none of the buriness of a baltic, or bitter darkness of an imperial). It smells instead like a lively, lightly fruity, lightly fruity session-strength porter. Which is nice.

Tastes like it smells: rather nice, with absolutely nothing betraying any hint of largeness. It's sweet all the way through, starting with lightly sour porter barely, moving into a bittersweet middle of licorice and chocolate, and ending on a lingering smokiness.

Quite nice, and dangerously sessionable.

 722 characters

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.

 1,574 characters

Photo of gford217
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours completely black in the glass with a big creamy tan head that clings to the side of the glass and leaves great lacing. The head hangs on as a cap for the duration. Beautiful looking beer for the style.

The aroma just jumped out of the bottle. It's flush with dark chocolate malts with some molasses in the nix as well. There's also tons of other sweet aromas in there - vanilla, licorice, caramel. Not to mention the hints of coffee. This is one of the best smelling porters I've had.

The taste doesn't quite live up to the aroma (tough ask for me). It's got the dark chocolate malts forming a backbone underneath the caramel, vanilla and coffee. Definitely some licorice in there as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation and dry cocoa-like finish.

This is another original and very tasty brew from Shorts. It's got a fantastic nose with tons of complexity and a solid flavor profile as well.

 958 characters

Photo of warnerry
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz 2011 release

A - Pours pitch black with one finger of brown head. Head doesn't last long and leaves only small amounts of lacing.

S - Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and a bit of vanilla and molasses. Very nice.

T - Follows the smell nicely. Roasted malts that are somewhat bitter, both bittersweet and a touch of milk chocolate, faint coffee and vanilla. A very faint sweet element. A bit of noticeable alcohol, but doesn't detract from the taste.

M - Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation and an earthy dry finish.

O - Between this and Black Cherry Porter, I really wish Short's would do a year-round porter, as they are both very good. Hope this becomes at least an annual release, if not more often.

 716 characters

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.

 264 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Short's Publican Porter (Imperial London Porter) from Short's Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.