Imperial Black Cherry Porter | Short's Brewing Company

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Imperial Black Cherry PorterImperial Black Cherry Porter
45 Ratings
Imperial Black Cherry PorterImperial Black Cherry Porter

Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.75%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerBeing on 10-13-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 |  Reviews: 37
Reviews by BigAl723:
Photo of BigAl723
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Uptown Grille in Walled Lake, MI.

A: It pours a dark brown, even black with a hint of ruby. Very aggressive looking with a nice one inch head. It stuck around too.

S: A cold winter breeze, hints of cocoa and coffee, dark fruit, molasses, and obviously some cherry. A real nice fragrant porter. Very inviting.

T: Heavy chocolate, rye bread, fruit hints, and dark fruits at that. I really liked how at first you taste a lot of the sweetness and fruit and then it kind of settles down with some nice roasted malts. Topped off right at the end with a little more cherry of course. This is a solid brew. I'm impressed.

M: The carbonation seemed to be perfect because the overall mouthfeel was very smooth and medium to medium heavy.

D: Very drinkable for being a heavier porter. Very good, I could have been fooled if someone told me the ABV was lower.

Overall, another solid offering from "that brewery up north". At least that's what I call it because of it's close proximity to our cabins up north. Lots of flavor, real complex, good tasting, and easy to drink. Now that's my kind of brew.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. #247 of 792.

Pours into my glass a deep, somewhat viscous black with dark brown edges and a small tan head sitting atop the brew. Mellow carbonation. Aromas begin with big chocolate cocoa along with roasted grains underneath. The fruitiness moves in with a nice cherry aroma. Mellow coffee lurks underneath. Nice balance with the cherry.

First sip brings a smooth, lightly roasted chocolate malt that rolls into a great black cherry flavor. Fruity notes with some pith and a hint of vanilla. Moves down with a touch of coffee and a touch of sweetness. Finishes off with lingering cherry notes that meld really nicely with the maltiness of the brew. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a mellow carbonation. Slightly chewy, this is a tasty porter that ends up being quite easy drinking. Another really tasty fruit enhanced brew by Short's. Very happy to have had the chance to sample this one. Only wish it was easier to get more!

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle from the brewery. Pours black cherry with off-white soapy head, and it is lacey. Above average mouthfeel. Aroma has roast and sugar. This is a very drinkable porter, with cherry, and cherry in secondary, and natural taste to it. Surpringly mild, not a baltic but a plain american porter with some cherries well-integarted.

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Photo of nickd717
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle via trade thanks to Tyson on BA.

Pours darkest brown with a light tan head that lasts and leaves great lacing and some foam on top.

Aroma is roast and black cherry, maybe a little chocolate. Not too sweet.

Flavor is really well-balanced and excellent. Black cherry, roasted malt, and dark chocolate.

Medium-full and very smooth on the mouthfeel with some roasty bitterness.

High drinkability. Overall a really excellent beer, as most of this series has been.

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Photo of sailbretthd
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle 399 of 792 (love that he puts these informative labels on) picked up at brewpub on summer trip.

A: Thick black porter with nice caramel head that has decent retention

S: Excellent roasty nose with more than a hint of cherry wafting through

T: A smooth roastiness with a pronounced sweetness of cherries

M: Thick but not chewy, mild carbonation with a bit of dryness

D: Very high, could enjoy a few glasses if given the chance. Got better as it warmed, would serve around 50 F.

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Photo of acostuhhh
4.7/5  rDev +16.9%

3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A vigorous pour only gets about an inch and a half of crackling rich carmel brown head. No lace is left as it fades over a couple of minutes leaving just a skim. Body is truely stout jet black. Nose shows some burnt malt, coco, tart cherry notes and peppery smokiness. The big bold darkness of this beer really over whelms the cherry effect up front. Burnt malt and bitter chocolate battle mid-palate. The cherry notes do come through on the back of the tongue as you continue to drink. But more so in a raw, pungent almost moldy way. The burnt darkness plays very heavy and almost to much on the mouthfeel, drinkability is slightly hurt by this. Lacks just a little to balance the dry, dark, bitter feel. I really wanted to love this beer, but it didnt quite do it for me. Loved the presentation though.

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Photo of weeare138
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopdog for sharing this one. Bottle # 219/792...
Appears a pitch black with near black edges. A dark tan head slowly fades out into a small cap. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of coffee, cocoa, vanilla, and dark fruit.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with espresso, and cocoa, and very mild cherries running along the palate.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, lightly carbonated, with tartness, and bitter hops in the finish.

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Photo of Smartestmonkey
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 1 pint 9.6 fl. oz bottle - 12-23-07

This beer pours black with brown and red highlights with little to no head. The smell is of roasted grains, burnt coffee, and sweet dark fruit. The taste is rich and complex, with dark chocolate, burnt coffee, toasted toffee, caramel, and with a definite finish of tart black cherries. There is a definite sourness to this beer. The fruit does not overpower this beer however, but instead adds another level that makes this beer very appealing. I drink the entire bottle by myself and with the smoothness and lack of any sign of the alcohol content I could have drink another.

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Photo of levifunk
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Madison, WI BA Tasting #2

This is an '06 bottle.

appearance - black, looks to be quite thick.
smell - malts, smokey like a BBQ. not picking up the cherry.
taste - tastes like charcoal. malts and a bitterness.
mouth - much more fluffy than I expected. its thick, but has a strong carbonation.
overall - I would say 4 years is past this beers prime, but have never had it fresh. Another BA'er, who has had it fresh, agreed with me though. Some people said they could still taste the cherry, but to me it was not there.

I'm going to give this 4's across the board so as not to mess with its rating, but know that at 4 years, I would rate this much lower.

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Photo of klikger
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2 to 3 oz. from a 2006 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass

A - Very dark red in color; small brown head with light lacing.

S - Maraschino cherries and not much else

T - Roasted malts and cherry juice dominate the taste, with very little, if any, hops still detectable. Finishes a bit sweet for me.

M - Lighter than I'd expect, with no carbonation to speak of. That said, it still feels good.

D - A few sips were enough for me.

This was an interesting taster, and I'm glad that I tried it. Although the age on the bottle may have made it slightly past it's prime (?), I can't help but think I'd feel mostly the same if trying a new batch. I'll have another sip next time I see some, but I won't be seeking this out.

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Photo of hopdog
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle acquired in trade with hoppymeal (thanks!). Bottle #219 / 792.

Poured a dark black color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of black cherries, roast, chocolate, smoke and grape skins. Tastes of black cherries (more than the aromas), chocolate, roast, and vanilla. Chocolate covered cherries. Yet another winner from Shorts!

Notes from 4/3/08

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Photo of waltonc
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to dukedevil0 for an epic trade. Many great brews involved in that exchange, and this was one of them. Pours an impenetrable brown, with nearly an inch of tan head that recedes to nice swirls in my New Belgium glass. Smells predominantly of chocolate and cherries. Flavor follows - again, chocolate and cherries balance each other out quite evenly. Neither is overbearing. There's a hint of tartness from the cherries, but it's subtle. The flavor is a little sweet, but far from excessive. Body is on the thicker side of medium. Overall, I think this is a fantastic brew. A refreshing change of pace from all of the barrel aged stuff I've been drinking lately. A great effort that succeeds based on creativity and skill, rather than merely dumping beer into a barrel and charging a premium for it.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Chris for sharing this one at Saturday's tasting.

A: The pour is dark, dark brown, some might call it black. Very little carbonation and no head.

S: A strong note of fleshy black cherries along with a nice bit of dark chocolate and a mild roasted character. Pretty solid combination here.

T: The cherries are fairly sweet which is balanced nicely by the roasted malts of the base porter. A good underlying chocolate flavor which provides a bit of sweetness and very little bitterness.

M: The carbonation is very low, nearly non-existent but it doesn't seem to distract from the enjoyment at all. Medium in body and still a bit light on the tongue even with the lack of bubbles.

D: I was surprised how much cherry flavor was still present in the beer, but pleasantly so. The alcohol is well hidden and a really nice drinking experience.

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Photo of kbeals
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours out jet black with two fingers of fizzy brown head. Good head retention and lacing.

S- Chocolate, vanilla and sweet caramel malts. Cherries come in very subtly with just a touch of tartness. Overall, pretty complex.

T- This is where the cherries stand out a bit. The tartness of them sticks out just enough so you definitely know that they are there. Hitns of chocolate make it taste like chocolate covered cherries. Absolutely delicious.

M- Heavy body, smooth with little carbonation.

D- The sweetness of it gets to me a little bit, but the tartness of the cherries helps to balance it out a bit. Lower ABV helps make this a pretty good drinker. Another great brew form Short's!

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Photo of Derek
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with a tan head, thin ring of retention, leaves some leg.

S: Black licorice, black strap molasses, bakers chocolate, hints of coffee and a cherry-like fruitiness.

T: There is some underlying baltic-like flavours here, but they're fairly subtle (black licorice, black strap molasses, soya sauce). There's also some bakers chocolate, rye bread and a pleasant fruitiness (though I wouldn't peg it as cherry if I hadn't known). Good bitterness.

M: Full body is very smooth with a slight roasted acidity. Extremely impressive for its strength.

D: This big boy is a pleasant sipper.

Thanks Sammy!

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Photo of Deuane
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep, black/brown with a thin dark tan head that left spotty lace.

S-Nice combination of aromas to include dark, bitter chocolate, sour cherry, astringent oak and a light whiff of espresso.

T-Tart, sour cherries up front with a nice backing of chocolate malt, lesser amounts of roasted caramel malt and touch of espresso. Mild shot of earthy hops thrown in for good measure.

M-Medium bodied, fairly rich with a drying finish. Long lasting bitterness from the chocolate and espresso combo.

D-Much better than expected. Quite tart with a pleasant counter balance from the bitter qualities. Totally delicious and immensely drinkable.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Deuane for this at The Graduation Tasting

A: Black with a thick, dark head that dissipates a bit too quickly.

S: Wow. Chocolate and cherries. Heavy, roasted malt sweetness which is vanilla like, and surprisingly rich. The tartness lends a complexity that's intriguing

T: Opens up with plenty of chocolate, and great roasted malt flavors with an excellent cherry flavor to complement and contrast the sweetness. Finishes dry with dark chocolate. Raisins and port mid palate.

M: Light but decent heft, plenty of carbonation, nice finish

D: Very enjoyable, glad I got to try this

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Photo of gordavidson
4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #525 of 792
Date Brewed- 7.19.06
Date Bottled- 2.19.07

A- Absolutely pitch black with a thick brown head that settles to a moderate covering with pretty good retention. This looks like one of the blackest imperial stouts.

S- Smell is very deep. The notes of chocolate, coffee, and northern Michigan black cherries blend beautifully into a very smooth experience. Excellent.

T- Slightly sweet, slightly tart. The roasty background goes well with the cherry flavor. This doesn't have that typical aged quality, but this seems as though the flavors have mellowed and blended over time.

M- Velvety smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation to keep things from getting sticky or cloying. Very clean aftertaste, which causes me to keep going back for more.

D- Very enjoyable. What a treat. Very easy to drink and absolutely unbelievable. I had trouble finding any flaws in this, but just missed the mark of being perfect.

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Photo of frazbri
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Short's Imperial Black Cherry Porter
Bottle# 327 of 792

Short's IBCP poured black in color with a hint of ruby along the edges. It was topped by a short, brown head that didn't last long. Aroma had note of cola, cherry, coffee, and chestnuts. Flavors of dark chocolate, cherries, and espresso presented themselves in the glass. Body was full and rich with enough carbonation to give a little creaminess.

This may be an imperial porter, but it is very well balanced. The dark malts and cherry flavors are melded together very well. It's another solid beer from Short's.

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Photo of OChaos
4.16/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked this up at the brewery June 08... Finally shared with Dad and Big Port today..

Great appearance, dark as a stout, pours nice with a light tan head.

Great black cherry and chocolate malt aroma. Black cherry smell is nice on the nose with the chocolate following close behind.

Taste is much like the smell, nice cherry front with chocolate in the middle and a sweet cherry finish, this beer is much better then the carob stout I tried before.

Mouthfeel is a 5 for 5, nice think beer with appropriate carbonation for the style.

Overall, I was really happy with this one, as it warms the flavor is really coming out of this one. As I mentioned before, the carob stout really let me down and this beer makes up and more, would recommend to anyone.

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Photo of monitorpop
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of urwatuh8
3.37/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to nflmvp for the trade. Bottle number 568 of 792.

Pours a purplish black. thin head. A huge fruit tartiness. A bit of licorice and roastiness. Hints of bitter chocolate, leather, vanilla. Kind of like sucking on cherry pits. I'm not getting as much sweetness as many reviews, maybe that's the age. Odd fruity tang. Dry, acidic, pungent. Especially in the back. medium to thick mouthfeel. Slightly juicy. Just the right amount of carbonation. Alcohol is invisible.

This is interesting. But the flavors just don't fit that well together for me. I can respect it. I drank all of the bottle save a little I shared with my dad. But I wouldn't bother to seek it out again.

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Photo of gford217
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle #558, courtesy of rlcnmeyer, poured into a snifter.

This one pours dark, dark brown out of the bottle and settles in completely black in the glass. The head is big and tan and hangs onto the glass on the way down leaving spotty lacing. I'd swear the head has hints of pink in it, but I could be crazy.

The nose is outstanding. It has the standard roasted dark malt backbone with some coffee, cocoa and licorice. The sweetness of the cherries is there but very subtle and doesn't disrupt the big porter character as much as it accentuates it.

The taste brings out a little more of the cherries. It has an initial tart cherry sweetness that immediately gives way to the roasted malts and coffee. The finish is interesting and has a bit of dry roasted character but with a definite tart cherry presence.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation and an interesting mix of roasted character with sweetness and a slight dryness mixed together.

Another interesting and excellent take on a style by Shorts. The cherries add just the right amount and tartness and sweetness without becoming the centerpiece of the solid porter underneath. Excellent.

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Imperial Black Cherry Porter from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 45 ratings