Short's Noble Chaos Oktoberfest - Short's Brewing Company

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Short's Noble Chaos OktoberfestShort's Noble Chaos Oktoberfest

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219 Ratings
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Ratings: 219
Reviews: 75
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 6
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jimbotrost on 09-14-2005

Our new fall seasonal which is a Northern Michigan version of a German style Marzen or Oktoberfest, done the Short's Brew way. This beer is well balanced with Noble hop additions which provide a subtle bouquet and pleasant flavor which melds well with the malt profile consisting of 2 row, chocolate, special roast, caramel and Munich malts.  It's a brand new addition to the Short's Brew family of beer.
40 I.B.U.'s
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 219 | Reviews: 75
Reviews by jmunsters:
Photo of jmunsters
4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a pint glass

A- Frothy 1 1/2 finger head quickly dissipates to much more dense 1/2 finger head clinging to the side of the glass. Body is a beautiful golden copper. Slight sediment.

S- Roasted caramel and chocolates. Slight sweetness. Malty over hops.

T- Roasted malts followed by a distinct crispness. The sweetness and roasted flavor make this almost a nice warm brown. The Noble hops are apparent on the finish providing a nice clean touch.

M- Medium to heavy feeling. Moderate carbonation, just about right. Very clean.

O- It's much more a cross between a well-hopped pils, and a rich nut brown than what most would consider a "traditional" Oktoberfest beer. I really enjoyed it. It tastes like the color of autumn leaves.

More User Reviews:
Photo of warnerry
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from fall 2010

Pours a cloudy amber with one finger of head and some decent lacing left behind. Smell is pretty straightforward bready and roasty malts. This is definitely the hoppiest Oktoberfest I've ever had, but underneath it maintains the slightly sweet Marzen style. :Leaves some lingering bitterness on the tongue. Overall pretty good, if not the most traditional take on the style.

Photo of jeonseh
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint

A - Deep,reddish brown. Very clean looking and slightly reflective. Small white head.

S - Smells of bready and caramel malt with a nice dose ofnoble hops. A classic Marzen nose.

T - Sweet caramel and bready malt. There are hint of dark raisins and plums in the middle. The finish has a slight Noble hops presence that gives it a slight bite to cut through the sweetness

MF - Medium body with light carbonation that goes well with the slight Noble hops presence

O - Solid Marzen from Shorts that a bit more of a dark fruit than you usually find.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Lee - thanks!

Pours a clear chestnut brown color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of smooth caramel malts with hints of breadiness. Also present are mild amounts of earthy hops that intensify as the beer warms.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Mildly dry caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid bready flavors. Midway through the sip the malt flavors sweeten a bit before they're tempered by small amounts of earthy hop flavors. The hops fade out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this was a solid beer for the style that was a bit drier than the best examples. Still, a solid and closer to traditional beer from Short's that's worth a shot.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a dimple mug)
A- This beer pours a dense clear walnut brown body with a thick creamy and lumpy head of butter cream that sticks to the glass in rings. There is a quick carbonation pushing to the surface.

S- The toasted biscuit malt aroma is rich with a faint support from darker roasted malts.

T- The cream taste leads to a rich toasted fresh malt flavor that is well lagered and a bit dry. There are hints of biscuit and toasted malt underneath. There is a nice Noble hop presents in the finish, which is clean and dry.

M- The medium-full mouthfeel has a creamy fizz texture to it and no alcohol heat.

O- This beer has a big rich lagered malt flavor with some nice soft depth and a good support but the Noble hops. I could drink a few liters of this.

Photo of Brenden
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Noble Chaos looks the part of an Oktoberfest, a clear amber color. A wispy off-white head peaks at a little higher than half a finger. Retention isn't bad, and some spotty lacing throws down a bit of legging.
While Noble hops are here, it seems more of an Americanization of the style in its character. That is, while it's got a little bit of a peppery nip to it, and is pretty floral, but in with the caramel from the malts and the breadiness that's not quite in the range of the typical Marzen, there's a bit of extra sweetness and a note of citrus, and there's a certain earthiness that has more soil than must. It also tends toward more of a roasty nature than most.Interestingly, while the trend with the Americanization of classic foreign style involves making it bigger, that's not the case here.
The body is medium but has a certain thinness underneath, though it is crisp and flows pretty smoothly. It doesn't have much dryness, but there is a sort of "tinny" note to the feel.

Photo of nkersten
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Erik for including this one. Pours a burnt orange with a nice white cap that fades to a collar with good lacing. One of the better looking marzens I have had. Smell is malty lager balanced nicely with floral and spicy hops. Has some of the typical Shorts smells - not quite off, yet unique and not entirely beneficial to the beer. Taste is similar to many shorts beers as well... A great smelling beer followed by a rather boring flavor profile. Light malt, some caramel and chocolate malts, slightly roasty, barely noticeable hop balance. Hardly any malt sweetness makes this one kind of bland. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and medium carbonation. Overall, this beer has everything going for it but the taste - a bit too watery and bland.

Photo of Sammy
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

so so marzen at hopcat

Photo of MarvinTheMarzen
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm a bit confused by this beer. It has some of the characteristics of a great Marzen but it has some unique qualities too. The beer pours a lovely amber with a low, short-lived head. If you didn't know about the Noble hops the smell could be off-putting. The taste is good - a bit of a bite but not as hoppy as the Summit Oktoberfest. Overall, quite pleasant.

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ashley’s - Ann Arbor, MI - Nov 20, 2007. Aroma is a muddling of grain sugars, earthy spice and nips of Munich. Pours a middle brown, clouded and with tinted head. Flavor is a mostly generic bread malt, with rather gummy hops, a bouquet of light estery fruits, and a earthy chocolate touches. A certain tint of more caramelized or dark Munich malt, which is interesting. Not your typical Munich flavor, this has been messed with (no way...). Finishes dry and clean, with a good tooth of the gummy hops. When i had this, I had no idea what style it was, and I regarded it as a rather generic middle malt beer. So, as a Marzen, that makes sense and it doesn’t do a terrible job, but it could have clarified the malt profile and lager output a little bit.

12oz Bottle - SEP 18, 2010. Thanks, Sean! Ah, relief. Big cheerios and whole grain nose, full of classic O-fest malts. Translucent orange pour with a tan head. Flavors are generally sweet and well-defined, but show above-average hoppiness for the style, which I’m enjoying. Fresh, clean, malty and bright. A nice change of pace from the last two beers. Having had this twice now, I’m starting to see it as a classic Michigan Oktoberfest.

Photo of heebes
3.19/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep orange brown with a finger of yellow tan head. Nose is grass, yeast, bourbon and past it's prime malts. Taste is more malt based, seems like a chaotic blend of the different bases used. Bit of hop bite, caramel and some chocolate. Burnt and roasted notes. Mouthfeel us medium heavy, dry and slightly bitter.
Overall, it's got a Shorts spin allright. Different though not exactly done to style very well. I like the cocoa and coffee notes from the malts but it lacks consistency / multiple return. One and done.

Photo of alleykatking
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks goes out to gratefulbeerhead for yet another great beer. Eric you are amazing!

A- Pours a coppery color with light orange hues. One finger light tan head that has good retention. Sticky web lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Nice amounts of toasted and toffee malts. There is a sweet brown sugar like aroma that lingers throughout the beer itself. The toasted malts are what come through the most like most Oktoberfest beers.

T- This beer is interesting for the style. There is a light toasted malt in the front of the beer. More toffee like notes come into play with some almost bready caramel notes. There is a brown sugar flavor that is in the middle to ending of the beer. The toasted malts come through again toward the end with a light earthy hop in the ending that balances this one out.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style and beer. Toasted malts lay on the palate with some light bitter hops in the aftertaste. The alcohol is hanging out in the background but doesn't really dry the palate. Flavors are clean and crisp with no off flavors.

D- This beer is very good. Just enough of a difference in the style that makes it standout. Another great beer from Short's and a easy session beer for me and most others I think.

Photo of CortexBomb
3.06/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is darkish amber with a modest head on top. Lacing is decent, even very good for the style. Lightly hoppy aroma with hints of caramel malts, not a lot going on though.

Flavour is crisp and malty with caramel being evident...not a lot of depth beyond that though, and a fairly noticeable alcohol edge is present as well. If Short's was trying to do an Oktoberfest with a bit of an alcohol flavoured kick to it they succeeded, I don't find it particularly amazing though.

The mouth on this is also decent but not remarkable. The drinkability score reflects the overall feelings I have toward this beer: it works, but it doesn't do anything particularly well. An unlikely rebuy.

The bottom line: Shorts is to be commended for trying something a bit different with this Amber, but it doesn't hit my sweet spot. Way too much alcohol presence for the actual ABV, and not enough depth.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to erikkoppin for this great Short's brew. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours into my Bell's tulip with a dark golden toffee color. About a finger of tan head is achieved with a moderate pour, that dissipates quickly leaving nice looking lacing on the side s of the glass.

Smell - Caramel, bready malts, slight piney hops, smoke/earth, apple, and slight spices.

Taste - The initial taste is a relatively smoky/toasted malt flavor which honestly took me by surprise. I was not expecting this heavy of said flavor up front in this style of beer. This fades to nice toffee, caramel, and bready notes in the middle, and the taste finishes up with a distinct and nice dry hoppy flavor mixed in with an earthiness. Very unique for this style but I am digging it a lot.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, oily, prickly carbonation, and again, finishes on a dry note.

Drinkability - If this was in six packs, this would be my new favorite Oktoberfest. I really enjoyed this beer, in a style I don't often enjoy (probably why I did like this so much, heh). Extremely quaffable and enjoyable.

Photo of maltusaurelius
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this in Grand Rapids, where I was home on vacation, on the 4th of July at HopCat. Appearance was light brown and I thought slightly hazy, although that could have been condensation on the glass. HopCat is not real bright inside so it may be amber in color in the right light.

My recollections are slightly hazy since I had this over a week ago, but I do distinctly remember chocolate and caramel notes in the taste. It's a little on the sweet side although they have added enough hops that it is not sickeningly so. I enjoyed this beer and found it to be very drinkable, but it is a strange bird - I'm not sure what I've had that is like it. Maybe some Belgian ales come closest. It struck me as being very different from any Oktoberfest beer I've ever had (I've had them from pretty much all the major Munich breweries and a few American Craft brewed ones as well).

Overall I would say that if you want a true-to-style Oktoberfest you may be dissappointed. If you approach it with an open mind and you like a slightly sweet mid-bodied beer with chocolate and caramel notes you will enjoy it.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

so i decided last night to break out 10+, thats right 10+ new shorts beers for a nice sampling with the family. turns out my and my brother in law were the only ones willing to go down this road, so long afternoon for sure. serve cold and consumed on 10/02/2010.

definitley a different take on the style from what i am used to for sure. pours out a light amber color with a nice head of white that caps the top but quickly fades off into a less then ideal lacing.

aroma is not at all what i was expecting as i am picking up a mix here of peppery spice, hints of caramel and vanilla? bready malts and a touch of an earthy, dirty aroma. definitely different. the flavor follows suit quite well with only sparing touches of bready and caramel malts. more of a spiced style with hints of toasted malts and a deep, sweet, odd sort of earthines to it. nice body though with a thin and well carbonate profile.

overall it was very drinkable but just imparted some odd flavors for me. i would do it again now that i know what i am going into in.

Photo of Skitowneric
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle poured into chilled beer mug

Poured medium caramel color with thick tan head.

Rich toffee and caramel smell

Roasted caramel amd very malty mouth feel with just a touch of balanced bitterness in the finish.

Alcohol content is perceptable but not overwhelming.

Not one of the easily drinkable Oktoberfests one might find in a beer hall in Munich, but a very malty artisinal version that is a nice beer to drink.

Photo of syrupjoe
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Pours a dark amber with a bit of brown. 1 finger off-white head and good consistent lacing.

Nose is grainy (Munich malt really comes out), bready, caramelly, and biscuity. Slight amount of honey.

Taste is malt-forward, roasty, bitter, slightly sour, caramelly, slightly watery. Very reminiscent of a brown or mild ale. Small amount of hop bitterness.

Low carbonation, a small amount of hop resin feel, and moderate dryness.

Overall an okay beer, but doesn't really seem that full-bodied or well-rounded.

Photo of WeisGuy
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 12oz bottle - glad to see Short's has brewed this again

a - pours a rather cloudy medium brown color, two-finger light tan head, light retention and lacing

s - caramel malt with a substantial floral and earthy hop aroma, no alcohol noticeable, very light citrus notes along with some root beer

t - caramel malt and floral hop bitterness mix well creating a very well-balanced beer, light cola flavor, not much alcohol in the finish but there is some citrusy bitterness mixing with the caramel

m - medium-to-light bodied, moderate carbonation, well-balanced finish, light alcohol warming

d - quite drinkable stuff, very well-balanced with more hoppiness than almost any other "Octoberfest" beer I've had, quite easy on the palate yet interesting, I could drink several of these

Nice surprise to find this at the store today, and a fine addition to the Short's lineup. A very nice beer that will be even better when the weather starts to turn.

Photo of JamnesCameron
2.93/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a New Holland pint glass.

Pours a deep amber with about a finger of light tan head. The head disappears quickly leaving a whisp of foam.

Aromas of malt and earthy/piney hops.

First sip is of tannins, resiny hop bitterness which seems out of character, and some malt and caramel in the background. A very hop forward oktoberfest. Actually, it tastes nothing like an oktoberfest. The malt backbone is there, but it is overwhelmed by the bitterness.

Mouthfeel is prickly carbonation and a little thin.

Drinkability is okay. Not what I want in an oktoberfest, but good none the less.

Photo of StoutHunter
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Short's Noble Chaos Oktoberfest a couple weeks ago for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. I have never had this beer before, I've been wanting to try it, but for the last couple years I waited too long and they were all sold out, so I made sure to grab a bottle this year, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but it's fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- I like the label on this beer, I think it looks good and it's in typical Short's style. It poured a nice amber color that took on a nice ruby hue when held to the light with a finger and a half worth of off white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left a little bit of patchy lacing. This is a decent looking beer, but I wish it had just a little more head and lacing.

S- The aroma starts of with a large amount of malts that have a medium amount of sweetness to them and impart a big grain, bread, caramel, and biscuit like aroma followed by a little bit of toffee and roasted aromas. Towards the end I get this unique candy aroma that I have picked up in other Short's beers, it kind of reminds me of marshmallows and there's also some earthy hops that show up a little bit towards the end. This beer had a good aroma, I thought it was pretty complex for an Oktoberfest style beer.

T- The flavor seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a large amount of medium sweet malts that impart bread crust, grain, biscuits, caramel malts, and some nice toasted flavors. After that I get a slight yeast flavor followed by some earthy and slightly grassy hops that make for a pretty light amount of medium bitterness and it had a very grainy, bready and toasted aftertaste. I liked the taste of this beer, it wasn't as hoppy as I was expecting but the heavy amount of malts made this true to style, but it still had the typical shorts malts that make for a unique flavor that is distinctly Short's.

M- Smooth, clean, crisp, on the lighter side of being medium bodied, with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation that was slightly prickly. The mouthfeel was good, but I wish the carbonation was toned down one notch.

Overall I thought this was a good beer, it wasn't the most true to style but by relying heavily on the malts it didn't seem that out of style and the flavor was pretty unique, not many Oktoberfest's are this toasted and if they are they aren't made in Germany. This beer had good drinkability, it went down pretty smooth and the flavors did a good job at holding my attention, I would drink another one if I had it, a few of these on a cool fall night would be pretty nice. What I liked the most about this beer was the unique malt flavor, there's no mistaking this beer with any other Marzen. What I liked least about this beer was the slightly prickly carbonation, if it was toned down a little it would be pretty good. I would buy this beer again, I went back to the store today and it was all gone so it looks like I will have to wait till next year, but there's not doubt that I will be buying a six pack instead of a single, I highly recommend this to anyone who love malt forward beers. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer, it was good and somewhat true to style while being pretty different which is pretty typical for Short's and something that I don't get tired of. It's hard to believe that this beer fermented all summer long, but the end product turned out pretty good and it was worth the wait, great job Short's, keeping making quality beers and I'll keep enjoying them.

Photo of zoso1967
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you TCgoalie for this bottle.

Pours a deep copper color and is completly clear. The head is light tan and very small, but what is there has good staying power and leaves very sticky lacing.

The aroma is mostly of toffee and toasted malts. It has some brown sugar notes as well, and a bit of a fresh baked cookie like thing going on, but mostly toasty malt.

The flavor is less robust than some of the other fest beers I have had. sweet toffee and brown sugar mingle with a nice clean maltyness and just a touch of herbal hops. There is a bit of grainy astringency as well, but it passes quickly and gives way to a very toasty and somewhat dry finish.

The mouthfeel is medium, and while it does not seem very substantial in the mouth, the finish itself is a bit chewy and dry. Toasted malt and herbal hops linger on the palate.

Quite drinkable and not as filling as the FestBier I had just a couple days ago. I thought this was a pretty good offering, and is a drinkable and enjoyable Marzen.

Photo of CMUbrew
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from Fall 2012

A: Pours clear and medium dark brown in color. Slightly off-white head disappears quickly.

S: Toasted malts, earthy hops, and bitter tea make up the nose.

T: Same profile as the nose, but with a little hint of dark fruit in there. Some alcohol is perceived.

M: About what you would expect from the style. Fairly light and crisp.

O: A good representaion for the style I think, but not overly impressive. Probably wouldn't buy again.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Looks to be a nice dark amber brown with a slightly opaque colored head and excellent lacing. Noted it the nice creamy head and no sediment even though this beer is around 5 months old.

S - Smell of bready munich malts, and slight hops. Touches of caramel, toffee, cocoa, and wheat.

T - A nice rush of sweet malts, bready and full. Then a mild but not overpowering hop presence and finishes with a bready dry wheat flavor that rolls the sweetness across the palate. Not bad.

M - Light to medium in body. Spot on for the ABV.

Overall another Shorts beer I can say was good and very close to tradition versions of the stye, just a touch hoppy and crisp. Man I bet this was one hell of a beer fresh.

Photo of NDPDuke
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Crunchy's Bar in East Lansing. Every time I see a Short's brew on tap, I am inclined to try it.

APPEARANCE: Pours a beautiful red/amber with a thin head that sticks to the side of the mug.

SMELL: Hops...that is all I could smell. I didn't know what type of beer this was before I tried it, so I thought it was another IPA in the style of Huma-Lupa-Licious.

TASTE: Hops hit you first and the bitterness is strong. It trails off quickly though and you are left with some caramel and malt. All around, an excellent transition in tastes.

MOUTHFEEL: Has the mouthfell of any IPA or Red. The alcohol seemed present even for the low alcohol per volume.

DRINKABILITY: Overall, quite an easy beer to drink and very enjoyable. Seems like a mix between a classic RED and an IPA, which I do not mind at all.

As usual, Short's doesn't let me down again.

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Short's Noble Chaos Oktoberfest from Short's Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 219 ratings.