Plum Noir | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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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 57md
3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown with ruby tones on the edges. The finger of beige head dissipates rather quickly. The nose has mild roasted notes, but no essence of plums or dark fruit is detectable. Roasted malt is certainly upfront in the flavor profile, but the taste is not as bold as one would expect from a self-described "imperial." There is mild roasted bitterness on the finish.

This is a respectable offering. However, it fell quite short of my expectations. The bomber bottles from Southern Tier usually are over-the-top. This one is certainly not. Also, there was really no hint of plum or dark fruits present; that was disappointing.

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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 Pencible
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque black cherry with a little light tan head.
S: It smelled like roasted coffee and bitter dark chocolate, with some pumpernickel bread and blackberry.
T: It tasted like dry mocha and earthy copper, with some pumpernickel bread and prune. It had a clean earthy and sweet aftertaste.
M: It was thick with moderate carbonation. Nice big body.
D: This was a nice strong porter, but the plum didn't show through as much as I hoped. The scent and taste were good but basic. The body was huge, actually too big for the style. The finish was really smooth with well hidden alcohol, so it was easy to drink. Probably not worth aging. Not a bad brew, but not impressive either.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap 7/31/13 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large foamy beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, coffee, dark fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts with a hearty roasted malt character followed by some flavors of coffee and dark chocolate. There’s some dark fruit (obviously plums) and smokiness in the background. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sweet.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid porter to drink for a while.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.21/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle, DOB 05/01/13. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown with an inch tan head that stays around for a while. There's a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like plums, roasted malt, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate. I think the taste pretty much follows the aroma, but with the addition of a bit of smoke. There's a good balance between the sweet and bitter flavors, wtih the bitterness being a bit stronger at first and the sweetness getting stronger as the beer warms. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and has moderate carbonation. I like this beer a lot, definitely worth trying. I'll have to pick up some more soon.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

-Imperial porter brewed with Italian plums.

A: Rich cola exit sits a black olive coloring in the glass with a 3 finger golden-beige head that was firm and foamy, and impossible to budge. A rush of golden micro-effervesce rushes up along the vessel walls. Heavy stickage of meaty foam lace coverage with a lasting covering.

S: Aroma of sweet plums, sweet dark roasted malt that was gentle with a slight hint of dry chocolate.

T: Roasted malt and smoky plum skins. Touch of charred bitterness, very smooth, with some charcoal, and earthy silky wet ash. Lingering campfire minerality soothes the tongue with a gentle mingling and a smoky charred coating. The plums are really nice here, combining nicely with the mild roasty coffee and dark malting.

M: Medium body, slick with a bit of light syrupiness, easy carbonation. Plum skins and earthy bitterness leaves a gentle lingering reminder.

O: Overall very smooth, well rounded and polished flavor. Gentle soothing alcohol presence, warm plums and charred malting with just the right amount of smoky character. The plums are first rate and bring a good deal of presence here, the brewing technique was clean with a sweetly-bitter appeal. Very good overall.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.58/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A-dark brown with a thin tan head

S-decent scent of dark, chalky cocoa and plum skin. the plum is noticeable but weak.

T-comes in with an awesome chalky cocoa flavor with maybe a hint of smoke and plum rind. it's a really good and full flavored porter. the after-taste is strong and matching.

M-good thick carbonation with a semi-dry finish

O-I really enjoy this porter. it's super easy drinking and tasty. I've fortunately seen this on tap many times and I order it almost every time, plus I've bought several bottles. a lot of people might be turned off due to the word plum, but if it didn't say it, i bet most people wouldn't pick up any fruitiness.

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Photo of dtivp
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown with ruby hues, a one finger foamy dark tan head that fades slowly into a thin cap, moderate lacing.

Aroma of dark roasted grain, dark chocolate and hints of plum.

Taste follows the nose with dark roasted grainy malt, dark chocolate, followed by a slightly sweet caramel and hints of plum. As the beer warms the alcohol comes out.

Mouth Feel is medium body, moderate carbonation, creamy smooth.

Overall a good beer, smooth enough that it masks the 8% abv until it warms, so it could sneak up on you,

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours deep amber to black in color with a tan head. In the aroma, notes of chocolate and caramel like malt and just a note of sweet plum. In the taste, the sweet notes of plum skins, with a big chocolate/ caramel malt. A small bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a presence of dry plum skin and chocolate malt in the aftertaste. The sweet note of plum really adds a new presence to a chocolaty porter.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with a fine, one finger light brown head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of sweet toasted malt, dark stone fruit, leather (a term I don't use often, but there it is) and a faint sourness. Very interesting flavor, toasted and lightly charred malt, coffee, nuts, plum and other dark dried fruit with a chocolatey hop bitterness with a hint of smoke in the finish. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. Quite a grab bag of flavors, but somehow it all comes together. There's a lot going on here, some of which does not seem balanced, but I really liked this a lot. Southern Tier pulls off these odd, semi sweet to sweet beers that could get overwhelming, but manage to satisfy. I'll be coming back to this one.

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Photo of AlanBurgess
4.44/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a goblet at the Rail House, Waverly NY. The plum in the name may scare some away from this imperial porter, but do not be afraid!. The plum is hardly noticeable in this richly brewed porter. Sinfully smooth. Dangerously easy to drink for a high abv.

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Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Black in the glass, one finger tan head, clear ruby around the edges, some lacing.

S-Mainly roasted malt, some plums and burnt notes. Dark chocolate and vanilla as well.

T-Good balance with the roasted malt and plums. Some coffee and burnt notes. Dark chocolate as well.

M-Medium bodied, creamy and nicely carbonated.

O-Still could have used some more plums, a good beer nonetheless. However Jahva and Mokah were superior.

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Photo of emyers
3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter. Bottled-on date 5/1/13.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark brown with a one-finger tan head.

Smell: Very fruit-forward, with a lot of plum up front along with raisins and fig. Toasted biscuit comes in followed by some dark chocolate. Slight alcohol aroma near the finish.

Taste: Malt body stands out much more than in the smell. Rich caramel malt, roasted malt, and dark chocolate take the forefront with the plum rounding out the taste. Some earthy hops sneak in as well. Definitely a bit hot on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with medium-to-low carbonation. I could go for a bit more body on this one.

Overall: A unique and very tasty take on the porter style. Ultimately I prefer my nice and roasty porters like Founders porter or Edmund Fitzgerald, but this is a nice change of pace.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.26/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Bottling date of 05/01/13.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brownish black with a hint of ruby. Solid tree fingers of light tan head which slowly fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A roasty and fairly sweet aroma of chocolate malts with fruity hints from the plum. Roasted malts with big hints of chocolate and coffee along with hints of toast, cream, caramel, toffee, smoke, and nuts. Big presence of dark fruits with hints of plums, prune, fig, and raisin. Slight hint of anise spice. Fairly earthy with some hops in the background. A pretty big and rich aroma. Smells pretty good.

Taste: Follows the aroma, a rich and dark taste of sweet chocolate malts and dark fruit. Dark roasted malts with a big taste of chocolate, coffee beans, and toasted bread along with notes of caramel, vanilla, toffee, cream, nuts, and some smoked malt. Big taste of dark fruits with notes of plums, prune, raisin, berries, and fig. Also some notes of molasses and anise licorice spice. Some bitter earthy hops are also in the background. A very good roasty and rich taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy, slick, and roasty. Finishes somewhat dry. Alcohol heat is masked well.

Overall: A very good take on a porter. Amped up dark roast flavors with a good dose of dark fruits.

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Photo of Etan
3.64/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz into a wine glass.

A: Pours blackish with some auburn highlights and a small tan head.

S: Smells of roasted grain, dark chocolate, some caramel and fruity sweetness, perhaps from the plums.

T: Taste brings more roasted malt, bitter cocoa, toffee, coffee grounds, light hop bitterness, sweet grain. Finishes with a brief note of sharp charred grain.

M: Medium-bodied with light carbonation.

O: A little more body and plum flavor and a little less roasted malt bitterness would make this better.

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Photo of monts
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

For being advertised as a porter, this is far beyond the wheel!! But its great!! Very good hop action yet a smooth sweetness from the plum. Very drinkable and smooth for the alcohol content!! Watch out, they can go down quick!! You will dig southern tier plum noir!!

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Photo of schoolboy
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a great brew, but don't expect a knock your socks of kick in the mouth experience. It's subtle and tasteful. And tasty.

It opens nearly but not quite opaque. The head fizzles out but continues to fizzle. The aroma is subtle but complex. It could easily be overwhelmed by other aromas at the dinner table.

The taste is subtle. Not weak, just subtle. There is a lot going in with plums and whatever, but they are just there to mellow out the malt and hops tastes. They do this well. The aftertaste is nice. Slightly roasty and fruity.

This is a classy porter.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 05/02/13

A: Pours an almost black color (it's a dark ruby/mahogany when held up to the light) with a fingers worth of tan head that lasts for a couple minutes

S: A surprising amount of dark fruits, plums, and sweetness open things up with a light roasted maltiness in the back along with a hint of alcohol

T: Definitely switches over to the roasted malts in the taste, with a nice long roastiness opening things up. Goes into some dark chocolate notes before the plums and other dark fruits come along with a bit of caramel. Finishes lightly sweet and roasty

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A nice addition to the newly renovated Blackwater Series. Not nearly as sweet as the previous and current brews in the Series, which is a good thing. The plums make a nice addition to the base porter, and give it a good complexity. Solid brew, pick some up

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Photo of jondeelee
4.06/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Plum Noir opens to a sweet, malty nose that smells immediately of yeasty rising whole wheat dough, with lesser notes of biscuit and Grape Nuts cereal, sweetened with molasses, wildflower honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Darker undertones of chocolate malt, coffee, and light ash add interesting textures, and an assortment of fruit esters, including berry, cherry, fig, white grape, and plum, do the same for the sweeter side. The addition of Italian plums noted on the label is not overly obvious; the beer certainly doesn’t smell like plum juice. It does seem, however, to add further complexity to the fruit esters, adding more fruit sweetness to what is otherwise a yeasty, malty, dark porter. As a whole, the aromas are very nice and enticing, and while there is a fairly strong fruity sweetness in here, there’s enough dark backing to prevent it from becoming overpowering.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a bold, black flavor that brings light coffee and ash, and heavier notes of toast crust, deeply baked brown breads, whole wheat dough, and biscuit. Sugars help offset this dark bready side, bringing in brown sugar, as well as touches of molasses, vanilla. A layer of fig, plum, berry, and cherry fruit esters adds further complexity, as does a touch of grapefruit from the hops. Toward the end of the mouthful, and existing especially in the aftertaste, the beer takes on a heavily ashy overtone, as of slightly burnt brown bread crusts, which combines with a surprisingly still strong fruit ester base, lingering on the tongue for a long time. Mouthfeel is a smooth medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high, fizzing up on the tongue.

Overall, this is nice beer, being well balanced and very flavorful. The Italian plums don’t make as much of a presence as would be expected, mainly blending well with the other fruit esters, which works very nicely for the overall profile. Worth trying.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.64/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Plum noir

Pours a dark brown color with good clarity. In the right light this brew has amber tints as well. A solid layer of foam is off white and silky, retention is good.
In the aroma, smoked malt, alcohol esters, light fruitiness.

In the flavor, chocolate and roasted malt. Mild coffee and smooth plum. Gets better as it warms, at first I found myself searching for the note of plum. Mild earthy hops. Nice roast from the malts and a kiss of booze.

Surprisingly light feel, a soft medium, with a creamy completion. Carbonation is also moderate. Overall, this was a straightforward stout ish ale with plum purée. Was very refreshing on a balmy summer evening. I'd reach for this again, the ladies loved it.

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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 thecheapies
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Southern Tier Plum Noir. Served in a snifter after I let the bottle warm up about twenty minutes from being in the fridge.

It does, indeed, pour a dark red-purple brown. Head gathered steam during the pour and settled at an inch in height. Beige foam rides the walls of the glass as the head recedes. Nice-looking.

A sultry dark and fruity aroma with earthy imperial porter intensity. Dark chocolate, black coffee, plum skins, earthiness and mild spiciness from the hops. Has creaminess in the nose. Roast is dark, but smooth. Perhaps, this is exactly what I was expecting.

Nice rugged roasty/toasty grains with lots of earthiness, black char, ground coffee, dark fruitiness (plum, black cherry, raisin), and sneaks of light smoke. Not entirely dried-up, still has a lightly sweet flavor that is immersed in the heavy roast. The plum addition is a nice touch, offering a dark clean fruitiness and some tannic bitterness. Backend hops are even more spicy than originally anticipated; something about that Chinook and Willamette combo--maybe, heavy on the Chinook. Not much in the way of phenols. More desserty than medicinal. No latches of saltiness, a la the Baltics. Almost stout-y in many ways. In actuality, it's really just missing malt bitterness. This is probably why the sweeter notes come through and the art of showcasing the plums is executed.

Mouthfeel is velvety smooth. Ruffles from a medium carbonation give it texture. A little tacky on the lips, however, which came as unexpected. Certainly carries its weight in this category.

A well executed imperial porter with a lovely softness that I normally don't go for. It really wraps itself around how good it could be and how good it actually is. A beer I will recommend.

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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 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 ale1
4.38/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i found this at Moe's beer store ,Center st ,jupiter, fla

served in a malt glass

nice fine carbonation, decent lacing name implies fruit-malt
reminds me of my own homebrew ale

smells of coffee and barley malt.
1st taste malt,coffee, dry light bitter finish from coffee , no yeast fruit overtones or plums ..well anyway this is a good porter nothing overwhelming and quite good

i will add this to my list of ales as a "keeper"

The brewmeister hard at work on this one, nice subtle but there flavors and probably different for each review

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