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

85 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 85 | Ratings: 301
Photo of BeRanger
3.91/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Bottle poured into a Tulip.

A: Poured dark black with a nice rich mocha colored rim, about one finger which lingered for awhile.

S: Chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, dark fruits and possibly caramel?

T: Roasted malts and chocolate hit first with a touch of the molasses, dark fruits and something else I can't quite put a finger on come through on the back-end, leaves a smooth finish with no real taste of alcohol. The ABV is listed as 8.5% this year.

N: Full bodied, the right amount of carbonation.

O: It was a very good porter from Short's, perhaps I'd give it higher marks if I hadn't be used to drinking so many wonder barrel aged porters lately. I do which this or sustenance would be available year-end.

 723 characters

Photo of DannyDan
4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark brown hue that has a thin tan head with decent retention and lacing. The smell is of chocolate,roasted coffee and dark fruits. The taste starts out with chocolate, some dark fruit and coffee and follows with some molasses and licorice. The alcohol is covered quite well and is a rather smooth easy drinking beer for the style and overall a very well made tasty beer that I would gladly buy again.

 413 characters

Photo of webmanspidey
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a new 12 oz. bottle, not from the Imperial Series. Short's website lists it at 8.5%.

This is black or dark brown with a slight creamy head. The smells are bitter dark chocolate and slight roasted malts.

The taste has a strong dark chocolate flavor, lots of roasted malt, maybe some graham crackers, and a very slight bitter finish. The alcohol is masked well, keeping this very drinkable.

 398 characters

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

This appears a solid, dark black color with a cocoa-hued layer of foam sitting atop it. It has a great roasty aroma that carries over to the taste. I pick up a lot of sharp roastiness, some dark coffee and definitely a bit of dark chocolate. This is a good one.

 261 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.7/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

dark brown, nice opagueness, but still some light through on the sides and bottom. Nice short lived off white head with decent lace and audible carbonation. Smell was a decent english average porter. Caramel sugar and roasted malts were really the most notable aromas. The taste was smooth, crisp, a tad watery with the caramel being mellowed somewhat by a nice albeit small hoppy back.

 386 characters

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

Served on tap in a tulip at Redcoat Tavern.

Appearance: My glass arrives with an ebony, nearly black viscous beer with a wispy off-white film on top. Totally dark with no light getting through anywhere. The light head might be more due to the pour than the beer itself. We may never know.

Smell: The aroma is full of robust roasted malts. Dark, bitter chocolate really stands out, with some espresso, tobacco, and light vanilla sweetness.

Taste: The flavor starts with a full, slightly sweet and fairly bitter roast malt flavor, and the complexity gradually unfolds. Dark bitter chocolate is the most dominant flavor, with coffee and deep, fully roasted grainy malt coming in next. A bit of earthy bitterness at the end, but it is very subdued. The result is a balanced beer at the end.

Mouthfeel: For a porter, this is very full bodied. The carbonation is light, like it is reduced and smoothed out by the full body. Rich and creamy best describes the feel overall.

Overall: Every time I come to Michigan is another chance to try a new Shorts beer, if I can find them on tap. I really enjoyed this full flavorful porter and would definitely drink it again.

 1,162 characters

Photo of zoso1967
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Publican Porter pours a deep dark brown and is one of the darkest porters I have ever seen. It has a nice cap of deep tan foam that looks thick and luscious as it melts into the nearly black liquid. Head retention is average but lacing is excellent.

The aroma is sweet and roasty. I am not sure if it is possible, but this beer SMELLS substantial. Caramel, molasses, bitter cocoa and pumpernickel bread meld with just a hint of vanilla.
The flavor is a bit drier than I had expected, but every bit as hearty. If I had to describe this beer to someone style wise I would say it is like a cross between a dry Irish stout and a porter. There is a good amount of molasses infused bready sweetness up front, but it quickly fades to a nicely dry and very roasty and bitter finish that has some great charred character. I suspect that they used a decent helping of black patent malt in this fella.

The mouthfeel is on the upper edge of medium and has a very nice smoothness to it. I have had this on tap at the pub and it was a bit more carbonated than this growler is currently, but even then it had a subdued carbonation that just added to the smooth and rich nature of the beer. The finish is long with plenty of roasty character lingering long after my greedy sips.

If you made it this far in the review I am sure you can tell that I really love this beer. It is one of my new Short’s favorites and I am pretty damn excited that they are going to bottle it. It is not perhaps the easiest drinking porter due to its size, but it should be a great fall/winter brew that will keep you full and warm as you throw a couple back with good friends.

 1,644 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yet another Short's Imperial bottle from Deuane's basement shared with StormKing47 and myself.

A - Pours opaque black with a nice one and a half finger tall mocha colored head leaving light lace down the glass.

S - Smells of dark roasted chocolate malt, dry oak, molasses, licorice, and some light berry twang at the very end of each sniff. Quite complex really.

T - Starts off with a big dose of sweet chocolate malt quickly giving way to a mix of even sweeter molasses, dark fruits, watered down espresso, licorice, and dry oak tannins. The finish is a mix of light sweetness and a slight berry twang, lingering on the pallet for a short period of time. This one is complex yet quite balanced. Very nice English porter.

M - Medium-Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Smooth, creamy, feel with a small twang at the very end. Very nice feel.

O - Every time I drink a Short's beer in a small bottle they leave me a bit let down but then we drink one of these imperial bottles and they quickly win me back. I hope to try some of the other imperials some day...

 1,076 characters

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

Thanks to Jason for busting out this WW5 beer with us.

A - Black colored beer with a mocha colored head that left a little bit of a color and minimal stick on the sides.

S - Roasted malts, chocolate, some dark fruit. Actually kind of hard to describe what is going on with this one, a lot of uniqueness that I don't exactly have a name for, but it's good.

T - Some black licorice, dark fruits, slight roast, chocolate, molasses. Really a nice combo that melds well. A little espresso and just a hint of alcohol.

M - Fairly full bodied, lower carbonation, just about right.

O - Really good beer, Shorts tries a lot of interesting stuff, and much of it goes the wrong way, but this was something that worked really well. Wish I could get this regularly.

 756 characters

Photo of Sean9689
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes to Jason for this one. Poured into Bruery tulip.

A - Pours black, thin ring, slight filmy whisps on top, spotty lacing.

S - Dark fruity sweetness, chocolate, roast, oak.

T - Chocolate, roast, dark fruit, malts, oak. The booze is smooth and very well-hidden for over 9%. I think the time in the bottle has smoothed this one out and improved it vastly.

M - Medium body, good carbonation, smooth and creamy.

O - Excellent porter. The alcohol is barely detectable and the smooth dark fruity chocolate notes are delicious. Def drink now, as it's just "on". Recommend.

 580 characters

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

Chilled bottle into a glass. Shared by ipa247 at his recent sour tasting (wow, I've written that a lot today). Thanks, Jeff!

A: Pours opaque black with a finger of dark mocha head. Retention is short, with a thin collar and a few bubbles on top being the final result.

S: Anise, dark plum / fruit, espresso, chocolate, roasted malt. Plenty of molasses.

T: Licorice / anise, working VERY well with the dark fruit (plums) to add more dimension to the otherwise straight-ahead cocoa and molasses straight-ahead sweetness. An espresso-driven finish.

M: Full-bodied, creamy (low carbonation). Very malty, but not syrupy, finish. Definitely warm, but in a robust redden-your-face way, not genuinely hot. It would be a great cold-weather sipper, if we had cold weather in the Bay Area.

D: A great porter! Outstanding flavor. I really enjoyed this one as a "palate cleanser" between sours.

 890 characters

Photo of corby112
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Jeff(ipa247) for breaking this out at our tasting.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a 1.5 finger dark chocolate mocha head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a thick lasting ring that leaves sporadic spots of lacing behind.

Slightly roasty silky sweet chocolate malt aroma with hints of honey, bourbon, licorice and sweet dark fruit notes. The aroma is prett intense with a lot of strong bourbon and alcohol heat.

Silky chocolate chewy, viscous malty mouthfeel with a lot of strong alcohol and oak character. Slightly vinous with subtle hints of dark fruit. Subtle hop notes this provide slight balance and a lingering dry hot alcohol finish.

 690 characters

Photo of pwoods
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml capped brown bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pitch black, medium viscosity. medium headwith decent retention and good lacing.

S: Deep roasted malts with some potent alcohol. Rich molasses.

T/M: Good alcohol mix with the roast. Pleasantly sweet malts. A touch of lactose mixed with the spent coffee grounds. Some aged hops. Body is full but not thick or cloying.

D: Damn tasty brew that is pretty drinkable.

 417 characters

Photo of rye726
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours near black with a creamy mocha head. Nice lacing and retention.

Nose has roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, dark fruits and caramel.

Taste has big malts, ripe pitted fruits, cocoa, espresso and molasses.

Medium to full body is well carbonated. Great beer from Short's.

 278 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
3.91/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Received as a very generous extra in a trade. Thanks Derek!

Gave this one a standard pour into my glass and was immediately blown away by it's beauty. This is the best looking porter I have ever seen, and its overall look is rivaled only by the biggest of the best imperial stouts. Seriously, the cascading 2 finger head was darker than chocolate milk and left awesome lacing on top of a black body. Spectacular.

Smell is big toasted malts, floral hops, cocoa powder, and some marshmallow. Nice and inviting.

Toasted malts dominate the taste up front, while a little bit of sour/stale flavor drives the aftertaste. As I was first sipping this I was reading the English Porter style guidelines and I felt like it was describing this beer perfectly. If this were a BJCP exam I would probably rate the taste a 4.5 or 5, but if I were judging this against every other beer in the world I think I could only squeek out a 3.5 or 4. I'll settle on 4 as a compromise. This is nice but I wish the chocolate came through a bit more to help cover up the stale hop profile.

Nice body, on the full side of medium with soft carbonation

Drinkability was average for me. I really enjoyed this beer for what it tried to be (and accomplished quite well, I might add), but overall the flavor profile doesn't really mesh with my palate and I found myself wishing the rest of the bottle wasn't staring at me waiting to be consumed. Fans of Fuller's London Porter should seek this out at all costs though, as this seems to be like that beer on steroids.

Recommended for others, but not something I will want to track down again.

 1,612 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Generously hooked up by Frognutunl, thanks Wes!

Poured a dark brown in the light, and black in the glass. A crimson glint shone in it's meniscus. The creamy tan foam was tightly beaded, slowly drizzling down the sides like watching through soapy windows at the car wash.

Some vinous aged qualities in the nose, also tootsie roll, licorice, and sticky molasses. Roasty flavors of burnt toast, wood, and tobacco, underscored by a mild yet pleasant cranberry tartness. Full bodied and chocolatey, leaning into stout territory. Creamy feel with a dry finish. Easy drinking, and a good one to share. Although it's starting to show it's age a little, it was still a pleasure to drink. Thanks again Wes!

 699 characters

Photo of srandycarter
3.87/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark, dark, dark. Small mocha head leaves fast to ring. Some sticky lacing remains.

S - Mocha, brine and hard caramel underneath.

T - Chocolate milk, kind of thin, hint of booze at end.

M - Light bodied and had more potential, IMO.

D - Nice beer.

 254 characters

Photo of illidurit
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

RBSG09 bottle at the grand tasting. Dark brown color with mahogany highlights and a tan head. Some coffee aroma, chocolate malt balls. Typical well-balanced chocolate and coffee with surprising notes of sherry and light vinegar. Clean dry finish, interesting beer.

 264 characters

Photo of CoolJosh
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Autumnaldave for throwing this one in as an extra.

Poured from a 750mL into a pint glass. Pours a Vicious dark black with a small ring of khaki brown head. Looks how it should.

This smells good with a ton burnt chocolate malts and some sweet chocolate scents. There's a creaminess that resides in this scent, along with some roasted characteristics, and some slight coffee as well. There's a soy sauce scent to this as well, something I typically pick in big roasted stouts and porters. Some burnt toffee kicks back an underlying.

The taste is really well done, and it's apparent that time has done this beer well. Bitter as expected, and relatively sweet and salty. The sweetness is predominantly chocolate roasted malts, with a subtle cola taste. The caramel malts stick out as well on the finish, an aged hop presence really does this beer justice. Everything in this beer works. The beer's mouthfeel is very smooth, and works well with the roast characteristics that come out in the taste. really nicely done.

 1,032 characters

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle acquired on a recent roadtrip to Michigan.
Pours a very dark brown, nearly black in color. A nice mocha colored head forms on the pour. A nice sheen of head stays the entirety.
Smell is heavily roasted malts, some molasses. Everything about this beer is screaming stout.
Flavor is more roasted malts and some molasses. This is very full and creamy on the mouthfeel. Just a hint of hops noticeable. Reminds me of a Expedition that is a year or two old. Very good beer. Very solid.

 487 characters

Photo of urwatuh8
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to nflmvp for the trade. 750 mL bottle. According to the tag, number 273/672, brewed on 6/1/06, and bottled 2/5/07. Poured into my Delerium Tremens chalice. Black with a quarter inch brown head. Smell is licorice, chocolate, roasty. Nose is a bit boozy.

Taste is huge dark fruits. Surprised at the level of fruitiness. Licorice. Chocolate. Toffee. Some roastiness. A tad too sweet. Desserty. Good carbonation. Creamy. For a bear at 9% ABV, I expected this to be thicker. But the medium body works great here. Wouldn't want it thinker. Warming.

Very drinkable. I shared some with my dad. But I could have finished the bottle myself. The only potential impediment is the sweetness.

 688 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jay23 for bringing a bottle of this brew to our New Beer Sunday. Served in my Surly pint glass.

A - One finger of dark mocha foam that takes a while to dissipate to a solid cap. Dark black, with only the faintest hint of brown at the bottom of the class. Not sure if English porters should look much different from Baltics, but this is pretty good looking.

S - Huge dark fruit and vinous smell to it - you can tell this one is a few years old. Lots of chocolate and molasses - reminds me a little of Perkuno's Hammer. The vinous quality has taken over a little bit and it's a little unbalanced.

T - The taste has much more roastiness than the smell, with some baker's chocolate, brown sugar, and a hint of shortbread cookie! Smell is much more balanced and delicious.

M - There's a certain gritty cookie feel that reinforces the shortbread note, but it's otherwise pretty smooth with low carbonation and lots of velvet creaminess. There's lots of residual stickiness as well.

D - It's a little too sweet to be highly drinkable, but still quite nice. Nice carbonation and well hidden alcohol. Another solid brew from Short's!

 1,139 characters

Photo of gford217
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours completely black in the glass with a big creamy tan head that clings to the side of the glass and leaves great lacing. The head hangs on as a cap for the duration. Beautiful looking beer for the style.

The aroma just jumped out of the bottle. It's flush with dark chocolate malts with some molasses in the nix as well. There's also tons of other sweet aromas in there - vanilla, licorice, caramel. Not to mention the hints of coffee. This is one of the best smelling porters I've had.

The taste doesn't quite live up to the aroma (tough ask for me). It's got the dark chocolate malts forming a backbone underneath the caramel, vanilla and coffee. Definitely some licorice in there as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation and dry cocoa-like finish.

This is another original and very tasty brew from Shorts. It's got a fantastic nose with tons of complexity and a solid flavor profile as well.

 958 characters

Photo of mentor
4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Bottle provided by Crosling, thanks for the opportunity. Pours gorgeous black with a one finger dark brown head. Smells dry chocolate, blackberry, nuts, and alcohol. Molasses, light caramel, and just a hint of dark fruit (mostly plum, but also some cherry). Some clean alcohol. After taking a break, for a fresh smell, I get a bit of fruity pebbles.

Tastes carob chocolate. Caramel, cookie dough (with chocolate chips), brown sugar, and a little bit of roast. Cherry fruity rides clean alcohol. Tries to be sticky sweet, but the alcohol clears the palatte. Great mouthfeel and wonderfully drinkable. Has a creaminess that keeps the beer from being too drying. Sweet in the mouth, drying finish from an acidic bite, but not overly done.

 757 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. #155 of 672.

Pours into my glass a thick deep dark black that is impervious to light. An inch of creamy tan foam on top that leaves lacing all over the glass as it falls. Aromas start with dark malts along with a big blast of cocoa. Caramel accents meld with licorice notes. Somewhat sweet with bold molasses undertones.

First sip brings dark roasted malt upfront that carries some residual sweetness with it as well. Big cocoa flavors along with licorice and molasses flavors. A touch of coffee melds into the flavor. Flows down with some bitterness and a mellow hop tone. Baker's chocolate and a bit of alcohol on the finish. A big, robust porter.

Mouthfeel is smooth and had a good viscosity. Carbonation is on the more mellow side which works nice. Goes down almost too easily. Overall, a good imperial porter and it is holding up extremely well after two years in the bottle now. Very glad I had the chance to try this and I hope Short's brews it again.

 976 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.