Short's Publican Porter (Imperial London Porter) | Short's Brewing Company

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Short's Publican Porter (Imperial London Porter)Short's Publican Porter (Imperial London Porter)

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

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.15%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Robust Porter.

Added by BeerBeing on 10-13-2007

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Reviews: 85 | Ratings: 301
Photo of Naugros
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to adamdd for this one!

I was expecting a brown porter, being that it's "London style", but it's very dark. Hold it up to the light and you'll see the edges in brown and a really dark, ruddy glow barely eking through the liquid. Very slight head with not much retention.

Malty, malty, malty with a blast of dark fruit sweetness made vinous by the alcohol. Hints of cocoa as well. Nearly smells like a barleywine, stopping just short of being solvent in perception. Very appropriate to the style, if not pushing a bit over the top. But I like it.

Holy hell I did NOT expect that flavor! I was prepared for roasts, but got smoke, making this beer meaty. The sweetness in the nose is nearly gone, rendering this drier than I expected and I'm happy to be surprised in this regard. Dark fruit and chocolate are there still, but the alcohol makes quite a splash and dominates the aftertaste. As the beer warms it gets even more chocolately in flavor and I feel I need to watch my back in case the Cocoa Puffs Cuckoo decides to waylay me. The aftertaste also changes in character and the sweetness returns amid a lesser alcohol presence.

This has more body than most porters...not quite viscous, but maybe as close as you'll get with a porter. But I'm sure there are some extreme porters out there I have yet to try.

One of the more interesting beers I've had in quite a while to be that pushes the boundaries of the style in a surprising and interest-grabbing way. It will definitely help me sleep tonight.

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Photo of mynie
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The 12 ounce bottle makes no mention of the strength (or rareness) of this brew. Accordingly, I poured it into a regular ol' pint glass.

Pours thick and dark. Smells the same, but not like any stronger porters that I'm used to (absolutely none of the buriness of a baltic, or bitter darkness of an imperial). It smells instead like a lively, lightly fruity, lightly fruity session-strength porter. Which is nice.

Tastes like it smells: rather nice, with absolutely nothing betraying any hint of largeness. It's sweet all the way through, starting with lightly sour porter barely, moving into a bittersweet middle of licorice and chocolate, and ending on a lingering smokiness.

Quite nice, and dangerously sessionable.

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Photo of cradke
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Thick and dark. Pours very viscous with a thin head. Very fine lacing.

Smell: Dark chocolates. Vanilla notes. A good sweetness. The nose is good and comes out more as it warms a little bit but still a little soft.

Taste: Wow. Really comes out swinging. Strong chocolate notes. Figs and dark nuts. A really nice amount of vanilla. The flavor is quite intense which is kind of unexpected but very awesome. I can tell the alcohol is there but it is subtle and really greats a nice backbone.

Mouthfeel: Wow again. There is a fantastic carbonation and viscosity combo here.

Overall: Wow. This is in a grey region between stout and imperial porter but the moral of the story is that this beer is amazing. Much stronger in flavor than I thought. There is a fantastic amount of chocolate playing with vanilla in here which comes out of no where for porters. The sweetness is spot on! I really can't think of much to be improved on the taste front. Without a doubt, one of the best porters I have ever had. This is just what beer is all about.

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Photo of Duff27
3.84/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Thin dark mocha, quickly dissipating head on a dark brown body. Minimal lacing.

S- Rich coffee/chocolate scent. Delightful.

T- Chocolate. Salt? Very little hop presence. Sure can taste the 9+ ABV on this one. Leaves the mouth watering for the next sip.

M- Fairly smooth, medium mouthfeel. Adequate carbonation.

D/O- A very filling beer to say the least. Would recommend if you are a big porter fan. Thanks for this want CaptCeleveland! Appreciate it!

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's an unusually warm day today on St. Patrick's day 2012. Never too warm for a dark beer.

Poured into a FFF pint glass.

Pours a very deep, dark, almost black brown with a touch of red edging. Brownish tan head sits at about a fingers worth. Walls of lace.

The nose is robust and roasted. Some biscuit malt and cocoa are noticed for sure, toasted oat lingers as well.

The taste is just as roasty. Full flavored, bakers chocolate, deep roast, a touch of espresso.

The mouthfeel is medium leaning on thick with a carbonation level that could be toned down a bit.

Overall, decent, big-bodied porter with a tasty flavor profile

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Beer Exchange in Kalamazoo, MI.

A - Poured dark brown with a small amount of white head.

S - Big chocolate aroma up front with a big roasted malt profile and a slight bitterness present.

T - Roasted malts with a big chocolate prescence. A good bitterness, especially in the finish. There is also a nice sweetness present throughout that balances this one out very well.

M - Medium body. Light carbonation.

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Photo of minterro
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Single from Spartan Spirits. Priced at 2.59 plus tax and deposit. Poured into a very small Batesina Academia mug.

A&S: very rich sweet milk chocolate smell, slight roasty characteristics. The roastyness comes out better when it warms more. Dark to medium tan head, good amount of lacing. Very dark black beer, it also looks pretty thick.

T&M: I thought at first it surprisingly different from the scent, but then as it warms the more of the smell is incorporated. More so bitter and roasty/toasty then the smell. Maybe a litter too bitter. One major beef with this beer is it’s not as smooth as it should. Its actually pretty coarse. The carbonation is pretty much what you would want from a porter.

O: At first I wasn’t the biggest fan, but as it warmed it grew on me. Pretty darn good, not the best porter I’ve ever had, but its is still quite good.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nothing bad about it's look. Solid black with no escape-able light and a 1/2 inch of deep tan head with excellent lacing.

S - Smells moderately roasty with slight licorice, cocoa powder, and coffee. Even get a bit of hard to distinguish dark fruit.

T - Mild roasts and slight chalky cocoa powder meets mild alcohol flavors and raisins.

M - Medium bodied and very balanced for the ABV.

Overall I didn't expect much after this disappointing "woodmaster" but this is a solid imperial Baltic porter as good as Flying Dog's Gonzo. Worth the high grade.

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Photo of gordavidson
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Pours an absolutely pitch black liquid with a thick and creamy mocha head that settles to a nice covering. Looks like serious business.

S- A very nice combination of semi-sweet cocoa, dark fruit, sweet coffee, and alcohol. Very nice.

T- Cocoa, dark fruit, sweet coffee, and alcohol. Everything blends very nicely together into a delicious mixture.

M- Velvety smooth body with a bit of carbonation noticeable on the finish. There is some lingering roastiness and lasting numbness from the alcohol.

O- A very enjoyable and well made beer from Short's. Drinks nicely, but it is a touch of a sipper considering the strong flavors and higher alcohol content.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter. Pours black with a brown head. The aroma is medium to heavily roasted with dark creamy chocolate up front. Undertones of dark fruits/prunes, brown sugar, cold coffee, dark syrup and vanilla. The flavour is medium sweet and light bitter with notes of dark creamy chocolate, roasted malt and coffee/espresso on the finish. Some brown sugar/molasses. The mouthfeel is soft and light sticky with a light carbonation. Maybe a touch of astringents. Bit sourish and acidic. Medium to full bodied. Overall a decent porter.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to chpueblo22 for this one. I'm always excited to try new Short's brews.

Appearance - Dark brown, not quite black, as it pours. No head. Maybe a glimmer of some mocha bubbles.

Smell - A bit of roast, but it's remarkably nutty. Like sweet peanuts and malt. An interesting smell, for sure, and one I'm rather enjoying. Grainy and earthy at the same time.

Taste - Mimics the smell. A touch sweet and then a solid nutty and grainy malt backbone. The finish is of the darker persuasion. More roasty in the finish, but still quite earthy. Hardly bitter at all.

Mouthfeel - Lacking in carbonation. Nearly flat, in fact. As much as I enjoy drinking it, it could use a livelier body.

Overall - One of the best Short's beers I've had. Quite enjoyable. It gets better as I drink it, too.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.94/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

monsterous thanks to Marti403 for the 12oz of this one. enjoyed in a bluepoint snifter.

a - poured a pretty thick black with a generous tan milky brown head from a hard pour. definitely has a thicker, more stout look than a porter. the head hung for a while and lacing was chunky.

s - lots of earthy grass mixed in with roasted malts. a bit too earthy. i was more of the roasted and chocolate and less dirt. extremely grainy. missing the char.

t - not as earthy as the nose suggests, but definitely a porter on the earthy side of the spectrum. there is a lot more chocolate and roast than the nose suggests, but the burnt char that i look for in the style is a bit too bold and feels on thicker and richer side for a porter. quite good though.

m - the mouth stood out at first. really great. has the char i look for in a porter, but great fullness and thickness. i find short's beers tend to have a similar body, and this body REALLY works for a porter. just gives it some balls and a backbone.

o - if there was ever a brewery that was hit or miss, it is short's...probably more-so than any other. publican porter, however, is a HIT. really solid porter. more balls than you'd expect for the style and the bakers chocolate is rich enough that it makes the style really accessible for folks more on the stout side of the universe. i quite enjoyed this one and would be more than happy to drink this regularly...oh wait, short's distro is non-existent. oh well...if you get this and are into extras, hit me up. i'd love some more. thanks for the taste, really great brew.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.19/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle, poured into a nonic pint.

A- Initial pour gave the impression of thin and under carbonated. A light head disappears all too soon. The body is actually dense and black through the center with dark brown edges.

S- Oh, that's nice! Sweet and robust. Lots of vanilla and underlying chocolate. With warmth, roast/smoke comes through, giving a hint of what should have been expected from the flavor.

T- Very roasty, on the edge of smoked. No, make that very smokey. Dark chocolate is apparent, though it's lost amongst the charred, grainy flavor. Notes of licorice that start to wear on the palate.

M- Very rich and viscous. Light carbonation, bit of a warming alcohol. Nice sipper feel.

O- I love the way Short's pushes the boundaries. I'll continue to buy their "out of the box" brews because they make so many "hits.". Unfortunately, thre's the occasional chance of a "miss" in there. I'm sure others, as suggested by the overall score, will love this beer. While the aroma hints at so much potential, the smoke and licorice side just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of kbutler1
2.46/5  rDev -41%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Bottle. Popped and poured into a small delerium snifter. Surprisingly this pours with very little carbonation or head. Only a slight dark mocha tan head forms after swirling but quickly retreats to a collar around the glass. Metallic right off the bat but I also get some roast coffee, dark chocolate, and booze in the nose. The aroma I am not that keen on. Medium mouthfeel, velvety...nice. Bittersweet chocolate, roast, leather, and alcohol. The bitterness from the roast cuts a little at the end and lingers on. Overall, I’m not all that impressed by this. I'm a little confused by all the high ratings for this. The picture depicts one of their one off beers and the bottle I have is a regular 12oz, I wonder if they scaled up production and some quality got lost in translation?

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Photo of auroracrisis
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into a snifter.

Pitch black with a small mocha head that dissipates into a ring of foam.

Licorice up front with notes of medium roast coffee and some baker's chocolate on the nose. Pralines and brownie batter as it warms up, light darker fruits as well. A bit of creaminess to it too. Surprisingly complex.

Chocolate sweetness on the tongue at first, then quickly moves into nice roast. Behind that we have more sweetness in the form of marshmallow and pralines.

Thin medium and oily in the body. A little bit of stickyness too

Good sweetness, solid roast, and complex to boot. This has a lot going for it. Seek it out.

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Photo of Bcant
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a fine porter. From the bottle into a short mug. Two fingers of caramel colored head, near black body. Warm and rosty, hints of ripe fruit. This porter is strong but the alcohol is not prominent in mouth feel or taste. Perfect for a winter evening. Lovely with a rich stew.

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Photo of crossovert
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one apparently was not brewed only once. 12 oz bottle. This is a thick, viscous, dark beast of a beer. The smell is sugary with cocoa overtones. The flavor is full on kick ass English-style porter. Yes, it is imperial but it isn’t too boozy. An unexpectedly kickass offereing.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of Short's Publican Porter last week for $2.09 at The Lager Mill. I was surprised to see this beer at the store the other day, I have never seen or tried this beer before so I thought I better buy a bottle and give it a try, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date but I know it's fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- I am not a big fan of the label on this beer, but that doesn't mean it's bad looking, I'm just not digging it. It poured a nice dark black color that didn't let any light come through and it had a nice three fingers worth of light mocha colored head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left some nice lacing. This was a good beer that looked really similar to a Stout and it had the best head that I have ever gotten from a Shorts beer.

S- The aroma of this beer is pretty straightforward, it is all about the roasted malts. It starts off with loads of dark roasted malts that have a medium amount of sweetness and impart some chocolate and some slight caramel and coffee aromas. I didn't pick up any hops in the aroma. This is a really robust smelling porter that blurs the line between stout and porter.

T- The taste follows the nose nicely. It starts off with lots of dark roasted malts that taste like they have a pretty heavy roast to them and they impart some nice coffee and bitter chocolate flavors along with a slight bit of caramel and vanilla. In the middle and towards the ends comes the sweetness which is on the high side of medium and it has slight dark fruit flavor to it. The finish is a little sweet with a low amount of medium bitterness and it had a roasted grain aftertaste. There was a slight presence of alcohol but it didn't stick out that much for a beer that comes in at 9.15%, it lets you know this is much bigger then your average porter. The flavors came together nicely to make for a big robust porter.

M- Pretty smooth, slightly dry, a little sweet, on the thick side of being medium bodied and it had a nice medium amount of carbonation that worked well with this beer. The mouthfeel fit this beer nicely and was much more Stout like the Porter Like.

Overall I thought that this was a pretty good beer, it's suppose to be a beefed up version of an English Porter but to me even though it is based off of an English Porter it has much more Baltic Porter and Imperial Stout quality's to it, so this is for sure not a traditional take on the style, but hey this beer is made by Short's and I always expect them to go outside the lines so this doesn't surprise me, but I still think this beer should be classified as a Baltic Porter. This beer had good drinkability, it went down smooth and faster then expected, I would drink another one if I had it. What I liked the most about this beer was pretty much everything, every aspect was pretty good and worked well together, I also thought that this beer looked damn good. What I liked least about this beer was the sweetness in the taste of this beer, it was just a little too sweet, but I got used to it and it didn't hurt the beer that much. I would buy this beer again if they release it next year, this makes for a good beer to drink on a cold winter night. This beer is worth giving a try if dark beers are your thing, it takes some aspects of a English Porter, Baltic Porter, and a Imperial Stout and mixes them all together for a dark beer trifecta. I was surprised with this beer, which is the case with most beers from Short's, it was much richer, bigger and more robust then I thought it would be, I have never seen Short's make an RIS, but this beer is pretty close to that style, I liked it, they don't make that many big beers but when they do they do it right. There was nothing odd or crazy about this beer and there doesn't need to be, it is one solid beer and one of my favorite big Porters, good job Short's this another good beer from the crew up north.
Edit1/19/13 this years is a little less sweet with a good aroma, I like this one a little more, Short's nailed this one.

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Photo of BBP
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance is decent. Pours nice and thick with slight head, but the retention was good. Hints of lacing.

The aroma was a bit under-pronounced, but it smells very well rounded and balanced. It hints at some chocolate and roast.

The flavor is incredible. I'm used to thinking of porters as lighter stouts with flavors that just don't mesh as well, but this is incredibly full, well balanced and smooth. The flavor hit's a nice balance between the sweet dark malt and the bitterness from the roasted malt. Chocolate is quite evident in this, but it's a nice rich chocolate. A hint of caramel rounds it out, but manages to stay very subtle.

The body is as good as it gets. It's nice and full with a medium weight to it. The finish is slightly dry and sticky.

Overall, this is a really great porter. I wish I would have grabbed a lot more of this. I could easily get a case of this without any regrets. The drinkability is perhaps what makes this what it is. It goes down so great, and has a flavor that makes you want more. The alcohol is nearly invisible. I'm surprised I just found out about this gem from Shorts recently. Look forward to trying the rest.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for this one, Derek.

Pours nearly black in color with a small tan head. Quite a bit of roasted malt and licorice. Some molasses and dark chocolate aromas are also present. It’s somewhat oxidized and there’s a little dark fruit character, to it. A really nice roasted malt flavor to this. A hint of graham cracker and vanilla sweetness. There’s a bit of molasses and licorice, too. Medium body with a low to medium carbonation.

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Photo of 33nickadams
3.87/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black, opaque and a slight tan head after a vigorous pour. Smells of coffee, chocolate, molasses and dark fruits. I taste big roasted malts and chocolate. Very robust. This is very much not unlike a Russian Imperial Stout. Finishes dry. Mouthfeel is heavy and lightly carbonated. Overall, I'm glad I tried it. But this is too much like an RIS to set it apart.

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Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Was looking for this for so long in the old big bottle format, had basically given up until Christmas, when low and behold, there is was visiting home, though in this small bottle.

The standard near black pour, layer of cream head.

Aroma, roast malt, caramels, dark chocolate.

Taste, Roast malt, nearly burnt toffee, cocoa. Pleasant, but actually quite dry with the roast, light coffee and cocoa.

Solid medium body. Coating, nearly creamy. Drinks quite well. To be honest it doesn't feel nearly 9.15 big, I seriously wonder if this batch is less.

Straight forward, solid, but for some reason I was expecting even more. Well worth trying.

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Photo of jacob4999
3.97/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz fresh 2011 bottle

Appearance: Pours a rich dark black which allows no light to pass through. Small one finger head which dissipates fairly quickly and leaves a very light lacing.

Smell: Dark coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts. Very pleasant!

Taste: Definite roasted malts followed by the coffee and a light bitter chocolate follow through. The alcohol is noticeable but it's a slight burn. Bitter chocolate aftertaste sticks around for a while.

Mouthfeel: Creamy up front with that dry bitter finish. Decent amount of carbonation for the style.

Overall: Not a bad offering from Shorts. Not quite up to Founders Porter level but this is a decent porter which I could see myself drinking again, kinda too bad it's a special release. Will definitely grab another six if it comes around again and I see it but probably wouldn't go to an extreme to get it.

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Photo of warnerry
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz 2011 release

A - Pours pitch black with one finger of brown head. Head doesn't last long and leaves only small amounts of lacing.

S - Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and a bit of vanilla and molasses. Very nice.

T - Follows the smell nicely. Roasted malts that are somewhat bitter, both bittersweet and a touch of milk chocolate, faint coffee and vanilla. A very faint sweet element. A bit of noticeable alcohol, but doesn't detract from the taste.

M - Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation and an earthy dry finish.

O - Between this and Black Cherry Porter, I really wish Short's would do a year-round porter, as they are both very good. Hope this becomes at least an annual release, if not more often.

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Photo of alexgash
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Used motor oil dark brown. Murky. Half inch of dense, creamy, dark sandy brown head. Some lacing. Inviting nose of roasted barley, coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, and molasses. I could smell this for a while.

The taste does not disappoint. Bitterish coffee notes up front. Roasted malts follow, but soon turn sweet and chocolatey. Caramel and dark fruit play together, before iced mocha java takes us to the finish. Notes of nougat, vanilla, molasses, smoke, and peat flash here and there and settle in for a long roasty-sweet finish. Medium-full body with a slightly sticky feel. A delicious, sinfully good beer! A great way to start off this New Year's Eve!

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Short's Publican Porter (Imperial London Porter) from Short's Brewing Company
4.17 out of 5 based on 301 ratings.
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