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 dogfishandi
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. DOB 5/01/13 (1 month old)

Pours out almost opaque black, a dark brown rubiness is just visible when held up to the light. A nice creamy, thick 2 fingers of light tan, light mocha colored head. Good retention and good lacing.

Aroma seems to be lacking a bit. Fruity esters dominate somewhat, dark fruits, a lot of this probably coming from the plums as well. Some creamy mocha aromas come in as it warms.

Plums are pretty dominate providing for a lot of fruity flavors, both dark fruitmlike and fruity ester. Mixing with a light mocha, light roast. Finishes with spot on hop bitterness for a porter. A nice overall balance of flavors with an authentic plum flavor.

The body seems to be a little thin for me to call this an imperial porter, but it does have a nice creamy almost milky feel to it.

A pretty good beer, but a bit more body and roast flavors would have made it an excellent beer. Atleast worth a try.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.02/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, blackish color with dark brown highlights around the edges. Thin, whispy, filmy, off white surface coating of head. Aromas of roasted coffee, hints of bittersweet chocolate, plum sweetness, and earthy tones. The nose is rich, but subtle enough to avoid overpowering. Flavors are roasted and rich, with a coffee and chocolate blend forming the backbone to support rich, old world fruit sweetness and hints of oak. Very smooth and robust in mouth. The aftertaste is roasted and sweet, with a touch of smoke and chocolate. Smooth, clean finish. This is an easy drinker.

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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 BurgeoningBrewhead
4.51/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter. Deep warm brown to black with a thick tan head that fades semi-quickly. Smells of coffee and roasted malt, but a bit smoother than you'd expect, and with a hint of the plum sweet smell at the end. Tastes almost more like a stout; the bitter roasted tastes are barely present. In their place is a full creamy mouthfeel, sweet caramel and chocolate with the bitter flavors barely coming in at the end before being snuffed out by slight dark fruit sweetness. I was almost hoping for more presence from the plum (although I wouldn't want this to be a fruit beer by any measure). Still, a great and unique beer from ST.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out as a nice deep black color with a mocha colored head on top. The retention on this one was pretty good but there wasn't too much lacing at all. The smell of the beer is roasted, some subtle sweetness in there that might have come from the Plums but could just be the malts also. There is an earthy aroma to this beer also and not much in way of hops. The taste is mostly roasted and chocolate with a subtle earthy sweetness in the finish. The mouthfeel was smooth, good carbonation and easy drinking. Overall it's a decent porter, nothing too special here though. It's good but not great.

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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

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Photo of lunarbrew
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A little on the lighter side for a porter. Appears to have a pretty thin body with a good head that dies quickly.

Smells roasty, sweet, and of red fruit. Very similar in character to a quad, sans the rich creamy appearance. I find some notes of toffee, brown sugar, and faint barrel (which is clearly my imagination). I like the smell here.

Flavor is not impressive. A little bitter on the front end, and cohesively, the beer is a confusing mixture of a porter, a quad, and a stout. I don't really think it works well. The flavor is much more bitter and acidic than the nose. I almost get a coffee aftertaste here. Although the beer is sweet, I am happy ST toned down the sweetness in this Blackwater. Thank god for that.

Mouthfeel is medium and quite effervescent. It would be nice if the beer was heavier.

This beer is good, but nothing more. I really don't get too much distinctive plum flavor, unfortunately (besides the general flavor of "red fruit"). I think they could have owned this beer a bit more.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a deep brown/black pour with a finger of head which quickly dissipated. smells of sweet chocolate, a hint of sweet plum, brown sugar.. very mellow scents. the roasted bitterness from the toasted grains and light amount of hops balances out the subtle chocolate/sweet plum tastes. a really nice porter, and a big surprise - to be honest i had pretty low expectations after smelling and not picking up much in the nose. lighter medium body with moderate amount of carbonation.

this is a pretty nice heavy, yet sweet porter. light and easy to drink buy heavy on the alcohol (though not noticeable). very sweet, makes for a good dessert beer.

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Photo of gabedivision
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz to a tulip glass

a- pours a darkreddish brown borderline black, thin white head

s- toffee, toasted grain, sweet welchs grape jucie and plum on the finish

t- sweet plums, toasted grain, some chocolate,

m- medium bodied, dry,

o- interesting brew, lots of fruit juice mixed up in a porter, some sips i taste the porter some i get the plum, sometimes i get them both. Not bad at all.

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Photo of Jonada
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber. Bottled on 5/1/13. Served in a snifter

Appearance: Pours a brown, slightly darker than cola color with 1 finger of a khaki colored head. Body is dark, but not opaque.

Smell: Roasted malt, cocoa powder, dark fruit, earthy, with a hint of vinous character.

Taste: Follows the nose closely. Roasted malt, coffee, burnt toast, light tartness. Plum is subdued, but does add some additional subtle complexity.

Mouthfeel: Fuller end of medium bodied with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Low lingering roasty bitterness in the finish.

Overall: Pretty tasty imperial porter. Doesn't rank up there with some of the best of the style, but It's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of metter98
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cask at Bronx Ale House, Bronx, NY

A: The beer is clear but very dark amber in color. It poured with a finger and a half high white head that died down, leaving a din collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Faint aromas of roasted malts are present in the nose—plums become noticeable as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but is a little more flavorful—the plum flavors are a little stronger and linger through the finish.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is an interesting take on a porter, particularly after it warms up when the plums start showing up in the smell and taste.

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Photo of barczar
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear medium brown with a light tan frothy head that lingers.

Mocha, espresso, roast malt, and a hint of dark fruit form the aroma. Burnt sugar sweetness adds complexity.

More roast in flavor, fairly bitter at the finish. Nutty, with cola notes and a subtle vinous character. Grape undertones emerge late.

Body is smooth and moderate, with moderate carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

Not nearly as much plum as anticipated, and more roast than chocolate, for a porter. The grape character is intriguing. A little too bitter roasty.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black and pours with a minimal amount of foam and quickly leaves a light ring behind around the glass, lots of very fine bubbles produced when the glass is swirled.

S - Chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, a little bit of char, coffee, light caramel, and an extremely light dark fruit aroma.

T - Up front is assertively roasty with roasted chocolate, light char, and coffee. Midway through the roasted malt subsides (a little) followed with some plum and dark fruit acidity before finishing with a satisfying lingering chocolate roasty bitterness. As the roasty bitterness lingers there's a light acidity/tartness from the plums that gradually and eventually blends in.

M - Medium body with light carbonation.

O - The plum flavor is very subdued and "just enough" to show up on the radar.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Blackwater Series took left turn into Italy with a plumb-infusion that layers upon a roasty healthy heaping of American Porter! The unexpected combination dips its toes into a slim wine-like world.

But like Porters, the beer separates with a clear tawny ruby body and a tanned creme to float atop. Stong creamy retention lasts the session confidently and denotes each drink with well defined rings of lace. It's a fine and masculine looking Porter.

Scented with burnt toast, roasted nuts, soft molasses, cocoa and fresh ground coffee- the beer's Porter roots are well established. But the decoration of dark fruit peaks through the malt and offers up a tinge of tart berry-like aroma. Slightly wine-like the fruit can easily be mistaken for red grapes or a host of berries.

Its full flavor wraps around the tongue with early sweetness of blackstrap molasses- then layers upon with coffee, walnuts, toast, and cocoa without ever stepping over to overly roasted taste. Again, the subtleties of fruit emerge with a pleasant tart taste of plumb. Subtle enough in fact that the fruit contributions remain somewhat obscure and are generally of the dark, pitted varieties. Its dry malt taste carries a coffee-like bitterness to close its taste toasty and acidic.

Full bodied, the beer's premiere creaminess holds firm deep into the session, and forbidding any premature turn to dryness or lightness. But finishing malty-dry and lightly astringent, the beer lingers with burnt sugars, toast, and fruit.

Plumb Noir is an effortless taste that makes Porter making look early. Where the understated taste shyly reserves its praise, the fruit is yet too timid to make any meaningful impact. Any fruitiness tasted could easily been assumed to be yeast esters instead of additions.

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Photo of Bills453
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark brown, chocolately looking color. Looks like a root beer almost. One finger mocha colored head, stays around for a bit and then leads to some nice lacing.

Smell - malts. Roastiness. Not too much plum in the scent. Smells like a fine porter.

Taste - very roasty, toasty and delicious. I'm getting hints of bready yeast as well. Just a small hint of plum in the aftertaste. Very nice porter flavor.

Mouthfeel - full and smooth.

Overall - a nice porter. I have had better, but I am glad I tried this rare offering from southern tier, will suggest my friends try it.

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Photo of LI_PO12
4.14/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle into Tulip (Bottle date 05/01/2013)

Appearance-Very dark opaque with some amber hues, Small white head faded fairly fast, good lacing.

Aroma-Very Interesting, some chocolate gelato, some coffee, cocoa, roasted malt, a little char, there are dark fruits in there, can't say its a booming plum aroma. As it warms the plum comes out more still not the dominating aroma or anything.

Flavor-Roasted malt, coffee, cocoa, some char, it got a slight sweetness, some plums come up towards the end. Dry finish that really crashes all the flavors at you as the sip ends. leaves a coffee like bitterness lingering.

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, good carbination, slight alcohol warming, dry finish.

Overall- I enjoyed this beer, a solid porter for sure, The plums add a nice touch but don't get in the way of the malts. Interesting take on the style. Would recommend.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle split and poured into a snifter. DOB 05/01/13.

A: Pours a very dark clear amber with a one finer off white head. Plenty of lacing from the head. Too dark to see any real visible carbonation.

S: Little bit of fruit sweetness, hints of roasted malt. Also a chocolate comes through as it warms up. Fruitiness and yeastiness.

T: Cherry and plum come through with a blend of roasted malt. There are some hops in there but mostly malt. Lingering roastiness after swallowing.

M: Medium body with ample carbonation. Fairly crisp, not really sticky. Booze is well hidden. Pretty easy going.

Overall is doesnt live up to the Blackwater Series The plum is a bit lackluster. The porter characteristics are nice but could be better done for an imperial series.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Moderate roasted character up front. Dark grainy aromatics with bread crust-like character dominate. Large chocolate character as the beer warms. Earthy hop presence noted to provide some balance. Moderate fruity esters open up as the beer continues to warm. However, it takes a little persuasion to get the fruity character to assert itself.

Appearance: Jet black pour with a low off-white head. Head retention is fair.

Flavor: More roasted and chocolate character up front. Slight carbonate/chalky character that reminds me of cocoa powder. Earthy hop flavor provides some balance. Low fruity background that comes out after a few sips. Balance is nearly even with a slight nod to the earthy hop character. Finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly silky. No alcohol heat.

Overall impression: Plums? Not so much. I think it's too understated. A good porter but kind of misleading.

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Photo of RyFikes
3.99/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Looks like a porter. Jet black, not quite opaque. Thin almond colored head, quickly dissipates to a ring around the glass.

Smell- Dark Chocolate, coffee, raisins. Plums are not coming through for me, but I have a bad sense of smell.

Taste- Lots of dark chocolate. Taste like chocolate covers raisins. slight coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Dark fruit sweetness. Moderate carbonation. Alcohol comes through in the back of the mouth.

Overall- Not as much dark fruit characters as the name leads you to believe. Still a very good porter but I was expecting more. The plums/fruits just didn't come through for me.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Plum Noir is a new imperial porter brewed with Italian plums added to the Southern Tier Blackwater Series.
Poured almost pitch black in color into an over-sized snifter, no visibility whatsoever once it was in the glass. The head was more like a thin film that dissipated very quickly. The date of bottling is printed in yellow at the bottom of the bottle (5/1/13 from what I could read, pretty fresh bottle).
Aroma is typical of a porter, heavy on the chocolate/cocoa and coffee. The beer was poured at ~45 F. As it warmed, there were hints of plum coming through. Very pleasant on the nose.
The aroma translates very well into the taste. There is a hint of cocoa and coffee upfront, which gives way to mild sweetness in the middle. Towards the finish, bitterness and hints of sour notes make their presence felt with the sweetness. The finish is dry and almost a little acidic.
Mouthfeel is very pleasant, the plums do make their presence felt and change the complexion of the beer from a typical porter.
Not a bad addition to the Blackwater Series. I am definitely interested to see how this one ages.
Worth a try and comes recommended.

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