Plum Rye Bock | Short's Brewing Company

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Plum Rye BockPlum Rye Bock

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

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by nickadams2 on 11-13-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 76
Photo of Mitchster
2.11/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

$2.29 for a 12oz bottle at Merchants. No ABV or ingredients on the bottle or website.

Pours out to a clear deep amber, forming a modest light yellow head with average retention and solid lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma opens with floral hops, like Hallertaur or Tett, lager yeast characteristics, a peculiar fruity sourness (obviously plum, but I wouldn't know it by nose), and that's about it. Mouthfeel is acridly tart with a medium body. The taste opens with a very sour cherry flavor, followed by a light bitterness, and lingering plum sourness in the finish. Plum and hop aftertaste. Sounds better than it actually is.

The acidity in this beer peels the paint off the walls and gives me instant heartburn. Way too sour, coming from a guy who loves Duchess. The funky metallic bitterness doesn't sit well with it either. I would not buy this again. Near drain pour.

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Photo of nrbw23
2.22/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- A pretty odd looking beer for sure, but in a pretty cool way. Pours a murky dark reddish purple color with a nice sized cream colored head. Head turns into a cap and leaves a bit of layered lacing.

S- I'm picking up red grapes, a bit of citrus and grain or rye. A bit of tartness too.

T- Plums, green apple, grapes and overall pretty tart/sour.

M- Medium in body with a good amount of carbonation.

O- I'm not really digging this at all and struggling with this bottle.

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Photo of EROlsizzle
2.72/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

One bottle in the same mix-a-six as my PB&J. Purplish color and aroma that doesn't give much besides the heavy fruit. The taste is the same, with very little rye that I could detect. It's mostly fruit and very sweet. This is another brew that won't necessarily pull me back for more anytime soon.

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Photo of cosmicevan
2.83/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Many thanks to gnemesis for the insane box of short's brews!!!

a - poured the 12oz bottle into captain lawrence tasting tulip. color was a ruby amber mix. it settled into the glass an almost purple brown. head was nice finger of frothiness with real chunky lacing. brew was semi-transparent and when held to the light, i could see steady and even carbonation.

s - spicey berry. fruit punch...tangy sweetness...a touch of red wine or spiked grape juice.

t - plums, dark fruits...kind of tastes like a poorly done belgian strong dark ale. kind of thin and tart.

m - very wine like. reminds me of spiked grape juice. kind of tart so leaves a bit of a pucker on my face.

d - just seems too much line drinking red wine in a box to me.

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Photo of oline73
2.86/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear reddish amber with a finger of off white head and good retention.

Smell: Sweet malt with dark fruit and some tartness. Another slightly sour bottle from shorts.

Taste: A lot like the smell. I'm enjoying the plum flavor, but it's a little too sour for me. Some bready malt. I wouldn't have this one again.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a good amount of smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I guess I should stay away from bottled short's beer. I still enjoy this brewery, because they try so many things that are damn interesting. Wouldn't have this one again, don't really taste the rye.

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Photo of otto251068
2.86/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Chimay chalice. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark red, a little rust color. Beer looks great when held up to the light. A fingers worth of fluffy yellowish head appears and takes it's time before it fades. After a few minutes only a few splotches remain.

Smell: There is a faint sweet citrus aroma, a little tartness. Also some ripe red grapes. There is a little rye in there, but overall, not much.

Taste: Has a pleasant plum flavor, mostly under ripe plum skins, a little green apple, maybe a touch of lemon zest. The red grapes come through again, and the flavor adds some wine qualities to it. There is a tartness that hits me at the end, maybe a little sour.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with high carbonation. The body is fairly thin and doesn't linger too much after the swallow, however, that sourness remains. The carbonation level is a little too high for me, although it does "perk" up the beer nicely.

Overall: A little tart/sour, but it is a nice change of pace if the night has been filled with heavy stouts. One is enough for me tonight, but I will be back.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.13/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on 12-30-10

Pours a clear deep red color, very fizzy with a filmy white head and few thin rings of lacing.

Smell is fruity, light, slightly bitter and a little adjuncty. Sharp, plum aromas add as much sourness as sweetness.

Taste is extremely tart, the plum flavor is right at the front, giving way to very sour finish. Different, but not particularly good.

Mouthfeel is very thin, and does nothing to smooth out the tart, mostly harsh flavors.

Drinkability isn't great, the flavors and thin mouthfeel are not an inviting combo.

Overall, an interesting beer, just not very good.

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Photo of TCgoalie
3.22/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby red color with a hint of brown. Some head appears upon pouring but recedes to no head after some time.

A fruity cherry and plum dominates the smell. A bit of spice comes in at the end a result of the rye.

The flavor is very fruity with a small essence of rye spice. Cherries and plum seem to dominate the flavor overbalancing the taste.

Nothing is sticking out in the mouthfeel department. Medium to mild in the mouth with some carbonation.

I feel like this is one for the fruit loving beer drinkers. I've had it, that is enough.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.22/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The final thank you to sweemzander as the weekend of beers has come to a close. I'm sure we didn't even put a small dent it that ridiculous cellar. Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A: Orange brown, tiny amount of beige head. tiny little lace flecks stick to the glass.

S: Caramel malt, plums, cherries, rye and some interesting spices I can't figure out.

T: Much more tart than I had anticipated. Nothing bad just odd. Caramel malt and rye help keep this from becoming too weird. Again some spices that I simply can't name.

M: Medium body with low carbonation.

D: Another nice try from Short's to do something outside the box. I just don't think I get it. I enjoy rye and plums. Just maybe not in my beer together.

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Photo of ahking
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Decent fruit beer. The plum adds a nice tartness reminiscent of cherries and cranberry but if you imagine biting into a ripe plum you certainly get the sweet/tart flavors of the fruit and skin. Spicy
and earthy rye grain and caramel malts work well with the tartness. Color is very nice: a rich mahogany red surely aided by the dark skin of the plums. Overall, not a beer I'd make a regular, but certainly worth a try

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Photo of Beejay
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pour a light brown. In the glass it is a medium brown with a lovely red tint. the head is a ring of white bubbles.

S: Bready with some nice sweet fruit notes.

T: Definitely a sharp tartness to this guy. The plum notes are interesting, but I think they might be a little bit lost. It almost has a wine/ pomegranate thing going on.

M: Fairly light, dry, and high carbonation. It kinda make sense in this one.

D: Good but not great. I appreciate the interesting style, and as I continue to drink it is grows more on me. But I don't see getting this often.. mostly because they don't sell it here.

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Photo of Khazadum
3.27/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Little bit of a problem generating a head on this beer. Dissipates pretty quickly. Very fizzy head that is more white than cream. Big bubbles, not small and emulsive. Collar is again, a collection of giant bubbles. Thin thin biofilm skin on top of a copper body. It has purple hues to the edge, but I wish it was a different coloration... was hoping for deep purples.

S- Well we definitely have some sweet dark fruits that resemble plums. Tart odor reminiscent of the fruit. Some crisp background. Not much odor for the rye or what I find typical of bocks.

T- Opens up with that fruit juice flavor that reminds me of plums. Nice spicyness from the rye took a while to realize just exactly what it is. The fruit nature, cherry reminiscent, is very powerful. However, there is a sour factor that I don't associate to plums. This is... infected? It opens up like you'd expect, but this sour characteristic reminds me of lacto. I may be wrong, and maybe I just don't remember plums as much as I used to. It is surprisingly tasty though. If you hunt for it there is a malt background but nothing I would call a rye bock.

M- Smooth, bitter, sour, and cloying at times. This is an unusual mouth feel for me. Very little carbonation was apparent in the vision, so I suppose I shouldn't have expected it much on the mouth. Its very reminiscent of a juice, not a beer without this carbonation.

D- It is... okay. I'd never search it out. Wasn't a plum fan to begin with, and this didn't change my mind. Decent, but not the best.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.37/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a hazy reddish amber color that produced a decent gray-ish tan head that stuck around for awhile. Minimal lace.

(S)- Lots of rich and ripe plum with hints at a spicy caraway seed in the background.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. Definitely has a richer dark plum and black cherry flavor. Has a smooth yet spicy caraway seed.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Smooth fruit and a minimal spiciness from the rye.

(D)- Yet another unique brew from Shorts. A simple yet enjoyable one that I am happy to say is not infected.

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Photo of readbaron
3.4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy burnt orange/red witha bit of white foam

Smells good - definitely fruity and plum like with a maltyness underneath.

Taste is disappointing. I really like sours, but this one doesn't do it for me. It seems unbalanced. The way the sour plum flavor interacts with the lager malts gives it an astringent, funky flavor.

Mouthfeel is nice, medium bodied, nicely carbonated.

The flavor definitely impacts it's drinkability.

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.41/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This has been sitting in my refirgerator for a while. Thanks to kevin (kzoobrew) for this beer. Cheers buddy!

Appearance – Pours into my SA Perfect Pint with a dark amber, slight orange color. About a finger of off white head is achieved with a moderate pour, which dissipates at a medium pace leaving slight lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – Slight plum fruit notes, figs, and grapes. Slight spices but overall quite reserved.

Taste – Quite interesting flavor. Plum tartness can quickly be detected, slight malty backbone…and rye. Yet another interesting beer from Short’s.

Mouthfeel – Decent carbonation, lighter, and crisp.

Overall – An interesting beer, one I wouldn’t get again but as with most Short’s beers, glad I was able to try it.

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Photo of cetherid
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip


Beer is a hazy opaque brownish purple color. A huge amount of off-white head in this pour. About 2-3 fingers worth before fizzing down to about 1.


Aroma not as strong as I liked. I have to really dig deep but I get some slight fruit and spice. maybe a hint yeast and sweet malt but somewhat underwhelming.


Fruity flavor (almost like grape or plum skins) that is both sweet and tart with a hint of sourness. I think the sweetness/tartness hide some of the rye notes in this beer but rye and the presence of hops is slightly noticeable.


A decent mouthfeel..kind of what you'd expect from a fruit beer. Great carbonation on this beer though. Leaves a pretty noticeable dryness at the end, almost like a wine.


I wouldn't seek this out again but a decent beer for a lager. I'm more of a fan of fruity ales than fruity lagers myself but I would try this on tap if I ever see it. Being a Shorts beer (as said in many of my other reviews) it's quite difficult to come by in my area.

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Photo of Bung
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. Amber pour, ample frothy white head. Sticks to the glass pretty well.

Quite a bit of puckering fruit smell. Faint spice and "V8 Splash" type smell also.

Taste starts with tart fruit, then goes into some malt and spicy rye. Finishes with just a bit of darker fruit and peat, tobacco/smoke. The taste evens out quite a bit as it warms.

Lighter bodied but coats the mouth fairly well. The rye almost gives it a bit of creaminess. Alcohol is very well hidden. Not sure I would drink more than one though, the tartness is not all that pleasant. Same tartness that shows up in many of their experiment brews, just not my thing.

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Photo of Frosty80
3.49/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color: pours light brown with a slight reddish hue. sits a clear, deep amber

Smell: very clean, soft and sweet character. gotta really get your nose wet to detect the rye and plum

Taste: initial rush of tart plum sweetness and nutty rye. no hop flavor. finish is balanced with just a hint of fruity sweetness

Mouthfeel: low-medium body with low-medium carbonation

Notes: yep, this is a Shorts brew. i dont know what the hell it is. its like they use these ingredients sparingly and then they go for full attenuation so there really isnt any FULL flavor. its just ok.

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Photo of dc55110
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours the color of cup of cola that has had the ice melt in it. Hard as i tried I couldn't get a head, what head there was dissipates with in ten seconds.
*Edit* After attempting a 12" pour I was able to get a two finger head on the beer, which promptly fizzled out in less than a minute. There is a good deal of lacing in my tulip this time.

The smell is very fruity. Touches of apple, grape, plum (I guess).

Taste is very similar to a NA sparkling grape/apple cider. It is very sweet. The carbonation save this, sparkles nicely on the tongue. Slightly dry finish.

I couldn't have more than one of these unless it was a hot day and I was eating something very salty.

This is closer to champagne than Infinium, without all the bubles.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes, sampled spring 2011
Pours a clear golden brown color with a good sized white ehad that persists for a while. The nose is sweet with caramel and burnt sugars offset with a tartness that I suspect comes from the rye as well as a tart dark fruit that should be from the plums. The flavor is rich and sweet like you'd expect from a bock, but there is a tart edge that makes this just a bit different. Spicy malts and tart dark fruits compete heavily with the clean malty richness of a bock. Medium body with a hint too much carbonation and a sweet tart kind of mouthfeel going on. Kudos to Short's for always pushing the boundaries, but this one doesn't work for me. I kept wanting this to be a clean bock, but that fruity tartness always jumped in.

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Photo of punkrkr27
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown pour with a small, short-lived, loose, off-white head. Some soft dark fruit in the aroma with notes of raisin bread, brown sugar and zesty noble hops. The flavor has lots of tart plum and dark fruit with some notes of brown sugar, molasses, and lots of spicy noble hops on the finish. Sticky, medium body with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.52/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks to VinnieVanGogh for stopping by with a mixed 6pk of Short's!

A- Pours a bronzed amber color. Half finger off white head shows low retention. Specks of lace are left on the sides of the glass.

S- Caramel malts in the front of the beer really shine with almost no other aroma. Midway through there is some grapes and a muted plum aroma. Some light rye on the backend of the aroma makes up the final part of the nose.

T- Caramel malts are still in the front end like the aroma. Grapes come in next with some other red fruit flavor that I can't put my finger on. The middle of the beer is where the rye kind of shines and fades in the backend but is there till the end. The ending part of the beer is mostly bigger plum notes with caramel malts and light alcohol.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation is lower for the style I thought. Caramel malts, light darker fruit, and rye are left on the palate. Aftertaste is light alcohol, plum, rye, and caramel malts. Flavors were blended well for the style but a little muted. No off flavors were present while drinking. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

D- This was a interesting beer. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it at first to be honest. The flavors were a little muted but the lack of alcohol flavor meant I could drink this a little more quickly.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle split and poured into a Stone IRS tulip. No date or info.

Thanks to sweemzander for sharing this other Short's!

A - Beautiful clear bronzed amber color with a low but very persistent head. Sticky lace clings to the glass above the sexy color.

S - Mild fruity notes of plum but also cherry and spicy fig. Deep Vienna and caramel malts add a low sweetness with toasted bread qualities. A little low overall and weird too.

T - Tart and unique plum flavor falls behind a sharp rye and toasted caramel malt. Crisp lager flavor and feel.

M - Crisp and clean with a smooth, slightly high carbonation finish that's just a little bit dry.

D - Good drinkability and a clean flavor and finish. Mild plum compliments the rye and malt nicely.

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Photo of Lauthaha
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Limited head even on a hard pour, leaves a wispy ring around the edge of the glass. Beer is a burnt sienna/mahogany color. I'd surmise it had some kind of purple fruit in it, just from the appearance.

Smell: Very sweet, fruity vibe. Gentle caramel-like malt nose underneath the fruit, something watery in the nose. Raisin bread comes to mind --- raisin bread on tap.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Really sour, not exactly my cup of tea. Biting sourness is underscored with a faint sweetness. All plum flavor, almost no rye detectable. However, it goes down like a juice, carbonation is well-balanced with mellowness.

Drinkability: One is good for me.

VERY tasty beer...sadly, much of that taste is lost in the sourness of fermented plums. I think easing off them a bit might make this offering more palatable.

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Photo of portia99
3.57/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle...another interesting Shorts offering from jpmclaug in our latest trade. Thanks again. Poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours a marginally purple tinted amber color with a thin head and leaving behind only a light off white collar and no lacing on the glass.

S - No doubt there are plums in here, anybody who needs a primer on plum aromas doesn't need to look any further than right here. In addition, there are some mildly tart and acidic fruit aromas, alcohol, red wine.

T - Tart up front with some underlying bitter hops and distinctive rye that are surprisingly strong in the flavor profile. Earthy, dirty flavors, plum flavors come thru nicely but lighter in intensity than the aroma would indicate. I think the bitter undertones are a bit much and throw off the balance here. I actually think this tastes a bit like a bad homemade red wine

M - Just on the thin side of medium bodied. Carbonation is strong and works pretty well here. Not sure what a rye bock "should" taste like, so a bit hard to judge, but seems like this one is trying to be "wild", but is only a bit "untamed". Infection?...maybe, but I have nothing to go by on this one. It isn't unpleasant (or even necessarily not what the brewer intended), just an observation on this one.

D - Not bad, but I'm not sure I'd go for this again...but maybe I would. I'm a bit torn on this one. I am actually enjoying what I'm tasting, but I'm not sure why...its not especially funky, sour or isn't clean, hoppy, distinctively fruity or particularly well balanced, but somehow it seems to be going down fairly well. Might love it or hate it next time, but it is definitely another out of the ordinary beer from Shorts.

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Plum Rye Bock from Short's Brewing Company
3.56 out of 5 based on 76 ratings.
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