Plum Noir | Southern Tier Brewing Company

very good
120 Reviews
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Plum NoirPlum Noir

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by CaptDavyJones on 05-08-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 120 | Ratings: 597
Photo of rdilauro
2.74/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I just didn't know what to expect from this one. The thought of Pinot Noir and Plum brewed in a Porter sounded so interesting.

From there I left my words.

Poured pretty dark, nothing specific. I could not detect any fruit from this porter. I was hoping for some more. No hoppiness or citrus nose from this. The taste was rather non-carbonated, sort of round with not alot going on.

Finish was ok, but there was some after taste that I could not detect. I will give this one another try in the Fall, but for now, it just didnt do it for me.

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Photo of harrymel
2.81/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Bottled 02MAY13

Pours a dark brown with a fine tan sheet over the top. Smells of plum, quick chocolate cocoa powder, some soil, some black olive. Flavor is fruity with a dimatap character. Some dust, some cocoa, some bitterness and a mint in the background. Not really impressive. Medium bodied with a silky feel and a nice off dry finish - feel of this beer is really good. Overall, nothing special.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.92/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

22oz. bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared by schen9303.

Pours pitch black and thin with a 1.5 finger light mocha colored head with moderate retention. Lacing is sparse and stringy with good cling,. Oily legs. Solid.

Nose is plum, anise, liquorice, roasted malt, smoke and sweet ash. A touch awkward. Aromatic.

Opens smoky and ashy plum and liquorice. More plum, roast and smoke in the middle with a grainy, smoky malt finish. Ashy and abrasive on the aftertaste. This is not very good.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation. Prickly in the mouth and goes down bubbly and foamy. Finishes messy with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. Okay.

Not a winner. The concept sounds delicious but the execution is just not there with this beer.

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Photo of teromous
3.06/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark black opaque body with just a hint of red-brown around the edges. Light tan fluffy head with good retention and some pock-mark lacing.

S: I pick up notes of chocolate, coffee, and sawdust. I smell no plum or fruit scents at all.

T: I get a lot of chocolate flavor, with a light roasted backbone. There's a bit of a wood flavor, like oak. I get zero plum flavor, which is a bit of a disappointment. Some charcoal flavor in the aftertaste.

M: The mouthfeel is very full and robust. Despite the fullness, it leaves a pretty dry sensation in the mouth after drinking, which I don't traditionally feel in porters.

O: Overall I was not that pleased with this beer. I would have liked to taste some plum flavors in the beer. I normally get more plum flavor out of Belgian beers that don't even have plums. The beer as porter (without the pretense of plums) is pretty good, but it seemed a bit too smokey and the beer felt far too dry.

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Photo of rand
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 22 oz bomber to pint glass

A: Deep, dark brown with a reddish hue, the brew appears clean and light-bodied relative to the ABV. The small, wispy head corroborates the appearance.

S: Toasty malts anchor the subtle nose, dry with notes of earthy grain. A touch of ripe fruit-sweetness lingers at the edge of the bouquet.

T: Toasty, crackery notes at the front of the palate. Mid-sip the flavors bend toward earthy, almost floral grains with a touch of vanilla sweetness. Alcohol is nicely masked, leaving a creamy, almost buttery note toward the finish, as the beer closes dry and fairly quickly.

M: Thin and light bodied, but the creamy flavors deceive the senses into thinking the brew is chewier than it is.

A drinkable porter, tasty, but not at all what I was expecting. There are no plum notes to speak of, just a touch of fruity sweetness in the nose but the flavors were dry and toasty. Definitely loses points given the can find porters this good in a six-pack.

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Photo of atr2605
3.32/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A-pours a coca cola color with a tan head with excellent retention
S-mainly plum, hint of chocolate
T-lots of sweet plum, not getting much else. A bit of roasted chocolate here and there
M-medium bodied
O-Not a bad beer but not as complex as I was expecting/hoping

 264 characters

Photo of homebrew311
3.32/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Grabbed this on sale. Pours cola brown and appears darker as it collects in the glass. Minimal brown head present. The nose features mellow chocolate and roast with a slight hint of plum towards the end. The chocolate is rich and dark, the plum is understated but does bring a nice dark fruit note to the nose. The taste isn't nearly as good as the nose would lead you to believe. There is some chocolate to start but the plum competes with these flavors. It takes a turn to plum juice notes that adds a bit of unpleasant acidity to the flavor. The finish is just a mess and leaves a bad aftertaste. The body is silky with low carbonation. Overall, this beer feels a bit like the base for Choklat, but the plum does no favors for this beer. Too bad.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.36/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

It was a popular film genre in the fruit world of the 1930s. (Yeah, that wasn't forced or anything...) Anyway, this stuff pours a dark midnight sienna topped by two fingers of sandstone foam. The nose comprises cocoa powder (verging on dark chocolate), light coffee, light roasted malts, and a vague sense of dark fruits (though not necessarily plum, interestingly enough). The taste brings in more of the same, with some mild roast and coffee notes overshadowing the erstwhile cocoa leader and the fruit even vaguer, tending toward the skins. It's a strange combination in the end, though, one that just comes across as a touch unsettling. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a nice enough beer, I suppose; it's not bad, but it's not something I wanna drink again, really.

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Photo of farrago
3.36/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The pour yields only a thin coating across the surface, barely half a finger and soon to dissipate, wispiest lacing imaginable. The liquid is opaque but remains mostly in the dark brown area rather than black, allowing for a yellow tint at the rims, the bubbles are tiny and appear to be widely dispersed. In the nose the plum comes through clearly but stays lowkey and out of the spotlight, as a result it’s the basic cocoa, chocolate, coffee and cola bean leading the way, scone and croissant flakes, beyond this is a light leafy and metallic touch which gives it some spine, overall not a heavy presence with nice liveliness. In the mouth it’s medium-bodied, the carbonation is light but what’s there is crisp, not much fluffy about it. The plum stays at about the same level here, recognizable yet not dominant. The cola, chocolate and vanilla upfront, not sweet enough for more caramel like notes. A touch bready but not doughy nor yeasty. Noticeably drier through the finish. The earthy, metallic aspect is pleasurable and also adds punctuation at the end. Overall, too simple to hold your interest past a few sips while still nothing stopping you from throwing it back uncritically.

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Photo of Stranger5582
3.42/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This pours dark with a nice head. The head fades quickly. It is nigh black in appearance.

The nose is interesting, with hints of a sweet plum.

Unfortunately, on the tongue, the taste is so-so with none of the hinted plum notes.

In the mouth it has all the hallmarks of a decent porter. Coming into the mouth as liquid and then swishing will thicken it instantly, but doesn't release any greater flavors.

Overall as a porter it, is passable but, does not really stand out. Incidentally, it is not as bitter as other porters which may be a result of the plum sugars. I was really expecting a plum-flavored porter, which would have been a nice change of pace, but this is not it.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle poured into a large snifter.

A: Black on the pour wit a slight chestnut hue. The creamy beige head is short-lived and settles after a moment, though it can be revived with a strong swirling of the glass. Lacing is spotty and small.

S: Juicy plum, cherry, and red berries. Hint of leather and woody char. Charcoal and bittersweet dark chocolate in the background.

T: Roasted malt is all over the palate at the start. Char, woody, charcoal, smoke. Black cocoa powder, dark chocolate, burnt coffee beans. Plum and a berry-like ester profile are bound tightly and kept under wraps by all the heavily roasted malt flavors. Spike of alcohol is well hidden. Long finish of bitter roasted malts: burnt coffee, bitter dark chocolate, and lots of acrid char.

M: Medium thick in body. Creamy and chewy. Low amount of prickling carbonation supports well.

O: Southern Tier needs to reign this one in a little bit. A heavy-handed dose of roasted malts take over the beer and drown out all else. While the nose was very fruit and ester driven, the taste was overrun with acrid and bitter roasted malts. A little more balance would go a long way.

 1,150 characters

Photo of riversider76
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with nice amber hues in the light. Aroma is of dark fruits, and chocolate. Body is a bit on the thin side with mild carbonation. Taste is of roasted malts, chocolate, and dark fruit. Nicely bittered in the finish,
with hints of coffee. Good stuff, as usual from this brewery.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours nigh on black with a decent, if short-lived, dark tan head. Minor, scattered lacing left behind.
Smell is weak, almost exclusively cardboard. No malt coming through, no plums, no chocolate. A bit of a letdown I must say. (Thank you, Ed Grimley)
Taste is better with notes of malt, chocolate, plums, some wood and young whiskey, a hint of smoke. Balance could be better but 5 minutes out of the bottle this is nice. I expect improvement as it warms. (It does)
Medium bodied, lighter effervescence. Drying with a cleaner than expected finish. Slightly warming.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish purple color with a slight off white head which gives way to edging and nice lines of lace. The aroma is a little weak there are coffee and a slight dark fruit smell. The taste follows suit. Milk chocolate starts off before a big coffee flavor cokes through at the very end you get a plum dark fruit flavor. The mouth feel is moderately carbonated. Overall it was decent the aroma wasn't as strong as I hoped and the taste was decent.

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Photo of Chaney
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Port City glass.

A: How many ways can one say a porter pours black as night? Yep, and the head was a slight mocha formation.

S: Not much actually, which surprised me. I got a slight bit of charcoal and that's about it.

T: Well, it's definitely a porter. I'll say that for it. Quite a bit of char, which was like a cocoa dusting over a dark fruit base. Despite the plum schtick, there was nothing really special about it.

M: This is where the brew really fails to my mind. This was pretty thin and quite water. That was surprising considering the awesomeness of Choklat and Oat.

O: Well, for $6.99, this was well worth trying. It wasn't bad, but Southern Tier can do better. Bring back Mocha and Jahva before brewing this one again.

 748 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: black in color, one inch head, high carbonation, opaque

Smell: roasted malt, cream, holiday spice, and slight dark fruit

Taste: coffee, dark chocolate, cream at the end, and slight plum/dark fruit after taste

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, medium-heavy body, sweet with bitter middle, slightly sweeter end

Overall:A nice and solid porter with a nice coffee taste. Do not buy this if you are looking for plum. It is only there on the margins. This is not a bad beer, but it does not live up to its name. There are better in the style.

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Photo of mactrail
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Very dark red-tinted walnut color with a nice brownish head in the Ciney snifter. Quite spritzy with some silkiness in the mouthfeel. The aroma is plum wine, alcohol, and a whiff of licorice. Slightly sweet and richly malty. The fruit flavor has that tangy fresh prune flavor, though it's a little peculiar mixed with the charred grain taste that gradually takes over the aftertaste.

This is an interesting strong brew with a fruit flavor that seems at odds with the very dark malt. Kind of a coffee grounds and charcoal rasp at the finish. I think I'd be looking for the Plum Saison next time. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle.

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Photo of Krakistophales
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very dark brown with a fluffy cherry colored head

S: Hint of plum, some caramel, touches of licorice, and some dark fruit, like cherries and figs

T: Pretty generic porter flavors up front, with hints of dark fruit sweetness and a bit of bitterness in the finish. Rather uninspiring flavor, and the nose tells a better story of flavor.

O: A decent offering, but not on par with the rest of the southern tier imperial series.

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Photo of kevbrow
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a bottle from Friar Tuck's in Springfield, IL.

A - Very dark brown pour with a substantial tan head.

S - Dark fruits are prominent. Roastiness. The fruit aromas develop even more as the beer warms.

T - Toasty coffee, chocolate notes. Hints of fruit sweetness. Definitely has traditional porter taste with some good coffee bitterness on the back of the tongue. Can taste a bit of the alcohol but for 8.0% abv it's not bad at all.

M- Creamy texture with just the right amount of carbonation.

O- A good find, definitely worth another buy. Only improvement might be some more balance between the fruit and roasted malt flavors, as the fruit character gets overpowered.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.51/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a two finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Black color, no highlights. Good carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Roasted malt nose and flavor is light malty sweetness with some bitter chocolate. Not finding any plum. $9.49 for a 22oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Marlboro, MA

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Photo of TrappistJohnMD
3.52/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark ruby to black with minimal head.

Smell is rich chocolate, coffee and hints of ripe fruit.

Taste is toasted malts, chocolate and coffee. Lot of smokiness. Not as much fruit as in the nose.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Average carbonation.

Overall this was fair.

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Photo of draheim
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz (bottled 5/2/2013) into a tulip. Pours a deep brown w/ a 1-finger khaki head, minimal lacing.

Aroma is equal parts roasty and fruity. Pronounced sweet plum aroma.

Taste follows nose. Mild roast, sweet plums, hint of chocolate.

Mouthfeel is balanced and medium bodied.

Overall, better than average but nothing exceptional here.

 335 characters

Photo of far333
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown, nearly black and opaque with a thick beige head that settles slowly. Low aroma of faint raisin and Cabernet, perhaps a touch of Cabernet. Interesting flavor of rich dark malt, darkly toasted, not roasted, with rich dark fruit flavors. Not sweet, but rich and well complemented to the malt. Firm bitterness against the malt, but no hop flavors. Rich and full mouthfeel, good beer.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at King's Table

Dark brown with ruby highlights. Long lasting thin head and good lace, too.

The aromatics include roasted coffee, chocolate, and plum acidity. The feel is great: smooth, rolling carbonation draped over a silky body. The taste has subtle roast that blends well with the plum.

It's a mild mix overall - not bad for what it is.

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Photo of russpowell
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent brown/walnut with a pinky of fast falling caramel colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Plums & smokeyness

T: Follows the nose, a touch of charcoal up front, some carob notes as well. Plums & smokeyness as this warms along with faint cocoa notes, much dryness. Finishes with plummy sweetness & smokeyness

MF: Medium bodied, slight carbonation, nice warming sensation

Might pick up a bottle to age, but not really working for me in the here & now

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Plum Noir from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 597 ratings.
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