Pluff Mud Porter | Holy City Brewing

44 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Pluff Mud PorterPluff Mud Porter

Brewed by:
Holy City Brewing
South Carolina, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Pluff mud [plŭff-mŭd], noun, A mixture of dirt and water indigenous to the marshes of the South Carolina Lowcountry, with a distinct odor that’s endearing to locals, but off-putting to tourists and redcoats.

Our second flagship beer was an effort to bring the American Porter style to the Charleston market proper, while also making a beer that stays appealing as the mercury rises. We think we’ve succeeded in Pluff Mud Porter. It presents (and smells) like a classic porter, with subtle chocolate notes and a silky finish, but the medium body and tame ABV keep it refreshing at all times. Enjoy this throughout the year, in or out of the marsh.

21 IBU

Added by MacQ32 on 07-27-2011

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 362
Photo of JayQue
3.34/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Very mediocre Porter. 12 oz can poured into a pint glass. Pours a good dense brown color with the only light coming through at the bottom of the glass. It takes a hard pour to get any kind of head at all, and then it is a thin fizzy one that fades fast. No lacing on the glass. Mild malty aroma with a little chocolate and coffee. Taste is more of the same but there is also an odd chemical/metallic aftertaste that tends to take from any positives that you might get from the beer. Mouthfeel is smooth but a little thin. Not one I would seek out again!!!

 564 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. can. Deep brown. Medium khaki head. Smells of toasty bread and some coffee. Tastes of coffee, a little bit of hops, sharp bitterness. Toasty malts. A little nutty in the finish. Medium body. Not bad.

 206 characters

Photo of cacack
4.67/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An excellent Porter! Def need to seek this out. Stumbled upon it while on vacation looking for something dark and flavorful compared to the pale ale so common in the South. The brewery's description on the can is spot on.

Pours a dark brown with dark garnet highlights when held up to the light. Head was a decent finger of creamy tan that reduced fairly quick but lasted most of the beer. Aroma was light chocolate with a touch of nuttiness. Flavor starts with chocolate shifting to a toasted nuttiness before finishing with sweet malt and light hop. Body is thin but still in line for the style.

Overall this has become my fav Porter that is perfect for hot weather. The flavors all blend quite well with nothing overpowering each other. My only disappointment is the lack of availability in Ohio. Will be attempting a homebrew clone for sure!

 847 characters

Photo of Dmbtwister
4.9/5  rDev +35%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A friendly beer that pours with a silky head, dark chocolate in color. Terrific initial porter perfect taste with a slightly sweet back end. Not overly heavy. I enjoyed it served extra cold. Highly recommend this beer.

 218 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.49/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

I had scored some CANs recently that I knew would get locals' attention, so I solicited for new (to me) CANs in return in furtherance of The CANQuest (tm). This was one of those beers! Once again, boys & girls, it pays to advertise.

From the CAN: "Pluff mud [plŭff-mŭd], noun, A mixture of dirt and water indigenous to the marshes of the South Carolina Lowcountry, with a distinct odor that’s endearing to locals, but off-putting to tourists and redcoats."; "Our second flagship beer was an effort to bring the American Porter style to the Charleston market proper, while also making a beer that stays appealing as the mercury rises. We think we’ve succeeded in Pluff Mud Porter. It presents (and smells) like a classic porter, with subtle chocolate notes and a silky finish, but the medium body and tame ABV keep it refreshing at all times. Enjoy this throughout the year, in or out of the marsh."

The Crack! presented me with a surprise! I got a little spray across the fingers, followed by some foaming through the vent. I could not tell if it was a squirter or if it was just happy to see me, like a small puppy greeting its master. Upon settling, I saw that it was brimful, but that could be accounted for by a mishap incurred about a week ago when it leapt off of its shelf and got a minor dent. I decided that it had seen enough abuse during its lifetime and went with a very gentle Glug to get things started. A swirl raised a finger of foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head that quickly fell back to wisps. I may have frightened it with its fall. Color was Dark Brwon to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity and garnet highlights. Nose smelled of dark chocolate, vanilla, light smoke and some sort of nuttiness - almonds (?), walnuts (?) as well as dried dark cherries and prunes or raisins or both. This was one of the more memorable porters for me in recent, well, memory. Mouthfeel was medium, but silky, like a dollop had been ladled onto my tongue. Unfortunately, the taste did not rise to my level of expectations created by the nose. It had an odd sourness, like tart cherries, but it did not bond well with the cocoa/chocolate flavors & the smokiness that cut through it. Finish was dry, with a taste of dried dark fruits & dark chocolate, but the sourness lingered like a jarring off-note.

 2,333 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Black color. One and a half fingers of frothy beige head. Retention is below average and a short ring of lacing is left.

3.5 S: There's some roastiness, but it's a lot more toasty and nutty. Chocolate and tangy caramel. It's okay but it could use some more maltiness.

3.25 T: The taste is distinctly tangy. Tangy caramel to be specific. Again a mix of roast, toast, and nuttiness. It's on the drier side and could benefit from more maltiness. Aside from that, it has a good flavor profile if the tanginess were put in check.

3.25 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lacking in creaminess, but still refreshing.

3.25 D: It's decent, but has some problems.

 719 characters

Photo of troyvar
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz can into a standard beer glass. Black with a tan head, head and lacing don't last very long. Smell is chocolate and coffe, just as expected. Taste, earthy...different, but well worth a try if you can find it. Medium body, less than I'm used to in a porter, but very drinkable.

 296 characters

Photo of cab4514
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

When I moved down to the South from Massachusetts, my one complaint about the beer scene down here was that there was nothing down here but ales and saisons. Then I discovered the Pluff Mud Porter. Its very unique. Most wouldn't consider a porter a summer beer, but It is a very drinkable porter - not too heavy. I get it on tap when I'm out, but it in can, or buy fill my growlers with it. It's become my local go-to.

Has a chocolate malt smell, a nice roasty taste, with a medium body,

 489 characters

Photo of KYGunner
3.57/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This has a unique take on a porter as it is very earthy, natural and woodsy. Dry Graham cracker, chocolate malts, char, light whipped cream with no sweetness, charred oak, ash, and peat. Wished it was more full and assertive.

 227 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.46/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 2 fingers of tan head. Slightly above average head retention

S: Faint roastyness & cocoa, a little dark fruit

T: Roasty, faint lactic notes, some cocoa up front. Some woody hops, slight sourness & a little carob & dryness as this warms; more dryness. Finishes dry, a little roasty & astringent

MF: Medium body, firm carbonation

Nothing special here, maybe even a bit sour, no discernible dating so that's a mystery to me

 468 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.94/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holy City Brewing "Pluff Mud Porter"
on tap at Craftsmen Tap House, 21 DEC 2014
$3 for an 8 oz. serving

Straightforward American Porter. Solid offering.

 153 characters

Photo of zdk9
3.16/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Honeymoon Beer Review #2
A- Pours into the wine glass totally and impossibly black without a hint of light. I suppose the very tip of the bottom of the glass there's some brown leaking through. Not much head at all.

S- Milk choclate. Carob. Roasted malt syrup.

T- A little smoke. Coffee. Slight tobacco. Burnt malt.

M- Decent. Not really anything to describe here.

O- A decent porter. nothing earth shattering.

 414 characters

Photo of Dykemyster17
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

WOW, great beer! Heavy enough for winter and light enough for summer, truly made for folks living in a warm climate! Better than most porters out there and our number 1 selling draft at Zest Grill!

 199 characters

Photo of Gote
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ordered this on tap at Sesame Burgers & Brew in Charleston. The waiter brought me a glass of 10W-30 with a dirty head. I had to take 3 wiffs because it smelled just like a good porter should. It had the chocolate and coffee flavor that could make it a light stout. Absolutely wonderful full flavor beer. On a side note; Best. Onion rings. Ever.

 344 characters

Photo of ordybill
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 OZ can into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a malt and chocolate aroma.
Appearance- This beer pours a dark brown with a small tan head.
Taste- Has a nice malt flavor that is more on the mild side for porters. very enjoyable.
Palate- A medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. It has a slightly oily texture that goes well with the flavor
Overall- A very solid porter. If you are new to porters this is a good one to try.

 437 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
3.66/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark, dark brown with a good-sized, though short-lived, tan head. Doesn't leave any lace to speak of. And it looks just like the pluff mud of Charleston Harbor.
Smell is toasted malts, some chocolate, a slight acidity/vinegar note, nuts. Different but good. Balance is solid if not a standout.
Taste is mostly a blend of toasted malt and the vinegar note. It sounds weird but isn't. Nuts, a whiff of dark stone fruits, slightly fermented, some caramel and molasses notes though very faint. Balance is not as good here.
A lighter bodied example of the style though not too far to that end. Effervescence is a bit fizzy up front but moderates quickly. Only a hint of warming in this dry, fairly clean finishing brew. It is eminently drinkable. Though not a scion of porters, I could drink several in a session easily.

 821 characters

Photo of tillmac62
3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours almost jet black. Normal head volume, fair retention and poor lacing.

Very light nose of roast and dark chocolate.

Heavy light body that falls slightly short of smooth. Normal carbonation with just a bit of effervescence in the finish.

The flavor profile lacks intensity, is complex and very well balanced. It begins with light notes of roast and chocolate over an unusual citrus element that is rather tasty. A subtle caramel sweetness emerges in the middle that flows into an equally subtle roast bitterness. The finish is slightly citric with notes of chocolate. A laid back porter that is a light version of the style and is a suitable candidate for style introduction.

 688 characters

Photo of everythingiszen
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a thick, impenetrable black. Very lightly carbonated, not unlike a dopplebock. Lighter body for the style, but the lighter carbonation makes it feel a bit heavier than it is. Smells of smoky malt and a bit of chocolate, with a noticeable amount of alchy smell. Sweet malts that immediately greet the palate develop more towards smoke before mellowing out into the chocolate. Subtle alchy bite considering how much it is in the nose and how little the actual ABV is (5.5.%). 21 IBUs makes sense for how little bitterness/hop character there is(n’t). Pretty good, but wouldn’t be a go-to for me probably just because of the style.

 638 characters

Photo of JohnnyI
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pluff Mud Porter is a local favorite and pretty much ubiquitous at any respectable bottle shop, craft bar... hell... even gas station around Charleston. As porters go, this one is unique in it's appeal throughout the warmer months, but retains it's place during the winter months.... a season that is traditionally filled with more robust offerings. I have had this beer countless times and have only stopped to give it a proper review now, as this is the first time that I have had it poured from a can. Picked up a 6-pack at a nearby Sunoco (they carry a surprisingly good beer selection, some on tap). I'm really rooting for this because the local pints, fresh growler pours, and even the bottled bombers have cemented this beer as a personal favorite. Just to be safe *wink *wink* I have sampled 3 cans. You know... for scientific reasons. Honestly, I'm glad that I did, because this review would have suffered mightily if I wrote about the first one. The pour was quite aggressive (sloshing in to a New Belgium tulip glass), yet the head was minimal, short-lived, and there was virtually no retention. No signs of lacing. It was immediately clear that this beer had lost some of it's luster. In fact, past growlers and bottles were so lively that I often had to pour them in stages. What a contrast. The aroma was toned down as well. Soft milk chocolate, faint roasted grain, raisins and flat cola. Pleasant, but lacking that distinct pluff mud scent, and absent the classic porter profile. The color was a deep, dark brown, with only the faintest glimmer of light around the edges. It certainly obscures the light, but reminds me of the tannin-soaked waters of Cypress Gardens. Clean, yet dark and mysterious. The flavor provided a cereal sweetness, with a flash of tangy bitterness & ashy grain. Popcorn kernels with burnt edges came to mind. The body was lackluster, lifeless and weak. This was not the beer that I fell in love with. Absent were many of the complexities that I've come to expect from this beer. Where was the bakers chocolate finish and hints of powdered cocoa? Where was that signature scent that conjures the marshes of the Lowcountry? Where was the vibrant mouthfeel and spirited suds? Fortunately, the other cans have redeemed it. Naturally, I would still prefer a fresh pour to the canned alternative, but it must be said that something has been lost in translation with each aluminum ambassador. You would think that my senses would be heightened on the first pour, but that just goes to illustrate the difference between each experience. At it's best, this is a year-round staple that could adorn any fridge. From the seasoned craft connoisseur, to the burgeoning beer advocate. At it's worst (canned) it ranges from marginal to magnificent. I am just happy that I can continue to get this beer on tap!

 2,835 characters

Photo of drpimento
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Not bad not bad. Poured with a short-lived head, a little lace and an opaque black brown color. Aroma is malt Cocoa roast. Flavor is like aroma, dry at first, a bit sweeter in the finish, traditional Porter. excellent body. Super drinkable

 239 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.44/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a cola like brown color with a tight beige head with some big bubbles. The head settles into a small ring and left no lacing.

The aroma is of chocolate and wet bark. A very nice earthy aroma. There seems to be a subtle spice that I can't quite get my hands on. A bit twangy.

The aroma is of pumpernickel, slightly toasted. There is an odd lemony twang. Not sure what it is, maybe the low country water or actual pluff mud. Some wood to give the beer an earthy flavor. Not much chocolate in the flavor. Light bitterness in the finish. Its a solid porter but has some odd flavors.

Moderate to full body with active carbonation. Sweet on the palate but not overly so. Lightly bitter in the finish. Drinks fine.

The beer has a very solid porter base but has a weird twang to it that I can't quite get behind. Enjoyable enough.

 846 characters

Photo of DanielMB
4/5  rDev +10.2%

This is a solid offering. The flavor is heavy on caramel, coffee, and chocolate. It's quite toasty and earthy, appropriately conjuring up images of mud. However, the mouth feel is a bit thin; it's a little light-bodied for a porter. It's still a solid offering.

 261 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.76/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint glass filled from 15 minute old growler fill.

Pours clear, dark red-brown; near opaque with a decent sized but weak beige head.

Lots of sweet caramel malts in the nose but the flavor is dominated by darker roasted malts. Excellent and balanced aftertaste with some coffee and a hint of dark chocolate.

Feel: medium body and carbonation.

 345 characters

Photo of Tone
4.09/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, roasted malt, hint of hop, oatmeal, and hint of yeast. Fits the style of an American Porter. Mouth feel is smooth and creamy, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, roasted malt, hint of hop, oatmeal, hint of yeast, and a hint of alcohol. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, feel, and blend.

 422 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Served from tap into a shaker. Poured A massively dark brown with a half finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and earth. The flavor was of sweet malt, cream, earth, milk chocolate, and earth hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation (almost velvety). Overall this was a pretty decent brew. While this one was quite tasty and pretty well balanced, it wasn't other worldly sadly. However, if you are a true porter fan and have never tried this one at least once, shame on you!

 647 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Pluff Mud Porter from Holy City Brewing
3.63 out of 5 based on 362 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.