I spent a lot of time this past weekend in my hometown. Hazleton (Pennsylvania) is a ramshackle shell of its former self. I always tell people what a wonderful place it was to grow up. As I drove around town this weekend, I fondly recalled epic bike rides from my house to the local grocery store. My sister and I would turn what could be a five block walk into an eight mile bike ride--often giving my poor mother a heart attack as she sat wondering why on earth it was taking us so long. There were playgrounds galore, decent schools and no need to lock your doors. Now it's a blighted mess with borderline racist laws, a NIMBY attitude, and escalating crime. It makes me so sad to go back and visit.
Yet somehow through all the mess that is Hazleton lately, there's good beer to be had there. I stopped by the local Pantry Quik, which is a downmarket version of Wawa, to explore its beer selection. While there was plenty of Budweiser and various malt beverages, there was an incredible display of craft beer including Southern Tier's Plum Noir, which is tonight's beer.
Plum Noir is an imperial porter brewed with Italian plums. It poured a deep, dark brown with just a bit of light dancing around the edges. It had a thin tan head. It smells of plums and licorice. It tastes of roasted malts, wood, and fruit. When I exhaled, there were strong coffee notes. It had a thin mouthfeel, but big flavor that lingered. As it warmed a bit, I found a little bitter chocolate.
Style: Imperial porter
Previously reviewed from Southern Tier (evidently we only review Southern Tier when we have A LOT to say)
A philosophical debate on when a Christmas beer is a Christmas beer with a review of 2XMas
A review of Creme Brulee Stout and my crazed musings on the evil temptress that is the avocado
And plain old rantings with a review of Unearthly Imperial IPA