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Short's Mystery Stout - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Short's Mystery StoutShort's Mystery Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

368 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 368
Reviews: 206
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 116
Gots: 44 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
*12 oz. bottles released in 2009 are 10.8% abv. The original 750 ml bottles from first batch were 12.5% abv.

This beer demands respect and respect it will have. Imperial Oatmeal Stout with cocoa and molasses. It is very strong and possesses rare flavor combinations which can overload even the most experienced beer connoisseur.  Capture every bit of its warmth and wisdom, as it will demand all of your attention.
12.5% ABV

(Beer added by: mcallister on 05-24-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 368 | Reviews: 206 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by krustster:
Photo of krustster
4.16/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It can't be hard to make a good-looking imperial (oatmeal!) stout. This one is no different than most; a mouthwatering dark dark brown, with also a very dark-colored head that was a bit fluffier than I expected which left some "lacing" but didn't coat the glass as much as some I've had. Dark red around the edges when held up to the light. I've grown to really like the Short's artwork as well.

I'm not sure how to detect oatmeal in a stout, but this one smells like an oatmeal stout anyway. The molasses is detectable, as well as some coffee and the usual roasted malts and so forth. So far, so good. Smells very rich, a bit of alcohol heat in the nose too.

The taste is quite a bit better than I was expecting. For some reason I expected this to be weak because it's a Short's brew (I know they have a lot of high gravity and fantastic stuff, I don't know why I always think this but I do) but this is loaded with flavor. Lots of coffee, in fact I looked at the bottle again to see if they included it with the molasses and oatmeal in the description. Bitterness is low but still noticeable yet balanced with substantial sweetness. For an imperial stout it's pretty smooth. I almost said "mild" but these are still big flavors of roastedness, molasses, coffee, and something else that I can't put my finger on but still fits just right. Surprisingly, the alcohol heat from the nose is almost totally hidden in the actual taste. To be frank, this tastes VERY similar to Founders Breakfast Stout to me, minus the hints of chocolate and that undefinable "something extra" that FBS has, for me at least. And the coffee isn't as exotic or whatever but that's okay.

The mouth feel is just about right. I think it might actually benefit from a tiny bit more carbonation but I'm probably crazy. Other than that it's fairly heavy, not as syrupy as some but still very appropriate; maybe a little too sticky on the finish but that is probably the molasses talking.

It could be the fact that imperial stouts are so hard to find where I live is making me like each one that much more, but overall I think this is a very delicious beer that stands up quite well to the competition. I don't know what the price is since I got a few of them in a mix-a-six for $9 deal and there were no packs available, but if it's on par with the rest of Short's offerings at around $10 for a six, then this one is a steal.

krustster, Dec 06, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.25/5  rDev +9%

tectactoe, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of TCHopCraver
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours black with a tinge of brown into a standard pint glass. Not much of a head to speak of, but what is there is a brownish-white color. Lacing is a mixture of small dots and thin curves. I can see some tiny, tan yeast bits hanging out on the bottom.

S: Has a very pleasant mixture of molasses, dark chocolate, brown sugar, and roasty coffee notes. Really digging into it, the molasses overpowers just a bit. It is a solid, mostly sweet aroma.

T: Starts with a pleasant sweetness with all of the descriptors that were pleasant in the aroma, and closes with a rather bitter, dark coffee and burnt toast taste. As with the smell, I do think the molasses overpowers the other flavors, and the bitterness of the finish detracts from the flavor a little bit. As time goes by, the bitterness makes itself more and more known to my palate.

M: Nice, but not quite as chewy as I would like. The bitterness of the finish takes away a little bit of the fullness of the feel. It is a challenging beer to the mouth, but a mostly rewarding one.

D: I do like the flavor of this beer, but the bitterness of the finish makes it less drinkable than others of its style that I have imbibed. If it had a slightly friendlier finish, I would definitely rate this higher.

TCHopCraver, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of Someguy1989
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Got a six pack during this one week when Shorts Brews are available in Boston. Poured into a Standard Pint glass.

A: Dark brown color, almost black. Has a yellowish brown head that dissipates quickly.

S: Very sweet in flavor, a lot of chocolate in the nose.

T: Sweet chocolate flavor followed by molasses and bitter hops. The flavor profile is good, it reminds me a lot of Indian Brown ale (a personal favorite), but its a little more sweet and as such the bitterness doesn't blend as well with the roasted characteristics.

M/D: Mouthfeel was average- very thin for this kind of beer. A slight bit of coating on the mouth but nothing near what I was expecting for an Oatmeal Stout. Drinkability was really good. I did a double take when I discovered how strong this beer is and then I realized just how funny I feel. Be careful with this one, its quite deceptive.

A very interesting beer, I'm really glad us Bay Staters got the chance to try it.

Someguy1989, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #53 (June 2011):

Head rises high, fluffy and attentive. How much darker can an Imperial Stout be? Chocolaty, boozy and roasty controlled chaos ... the nose is happy. Creamy thick body is nearly silky. Alcohol is polite enough to open the door for all of the other flavors first, and slowly comes in last with its warmth. Smoky roasted flavor meets a bold burnt-sugar sweetness, cocoa and a black currant fruitiness. Roasted flavors keep the sweetness from spilling over. Hops? Meek but there. Sweet burnt finish. Sipping material here. If you’re looking for something strong, dark and chocolaty, give this one a go.

BeerAdvocate, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of bdkucharski
3/5  rDev -23.1%

bdkucharski, May 02, 2012
Photo of danthehopslamman
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

danthehopslamman, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of schnjac
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown: almost black, with a minimal tan head. Moderate lacing is left on the glass. Strong roasty malts give rise to a smokey and mildly creamy coffee flavor. Moderately bitter aftertaste. Dry bitterness and very little carbonation in the mouthfeel. Nice creamy holiday stout

schnjac, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of warnerry
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottles 2/9/11; consumed 4/11/12

A - Pours black with almost two fingers of brown head. Head is nice and pillowy and persists for awhile before fading to a collar. Some spotty lacing is left behind.

S - Cocoa, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate and faint oats in the aroma. There is also some noticeable alcohol on the back end.

T - Bittersweet chocolate, roasted malts with a bit of char and cocoa. A bit of smoke, some dark fruits, and a touch of bitterness on the finish.

M - Velvety smooth mouthfeel with a dry, bitter finish.

O - Tasty imperial stout. Definitely leans more toward the roasted/charred/bitter end, with very little sweetness.

warnerry, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to TasteTester for sending this beer to me.

Pours dark brown to black with a beige head. The aroma is dark chocolate and roasted malts. The flavor is chocolate, roasted and burnt malts, coffee and some nice bitterness - although I am not sure if it is from hops or from the bitter chocolate. Very creamy mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of TKEbeerman
3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Strait out of the bottle this looks like the start of a great stout. Dark and with a leather tan head, this brew looks better than many.

S: The aroma is a little lacking of some notes I'd like to hit. Molasses takes over. If you ever had a Russel Stover's dark box of chocolates (the one with the molasses chocolate), this brew smells like that.

T: The flavor is way too much molasses up front and on the back of the pallet. The molasses needs to tone down from 11 to about 8. Subtle hints of chocolate and alcohol accompany the molasses.

MF: Mouthfeel needs to cream up a little bit. I would love to see some more roasted or caramel malt to stiffen this body up, and to tone down the molasses.

Overall, if molasses is your thing, this is your beer. I did enjoy this stout, but probably wouldn't commit to a 4 or 6 pack.

TKEbeerman, May 10, 2011
Photo of TCJosh
4/5  rDev +2.6%

TCJosh, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of rudylaw
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Another Short's want knocked out by eyebrews! 12oz bottle; snifter.

Pours blackest night with a very thin head.

Smell is boozy hot with oats, brown sugar, molasses and chocolate.

Taste is a sweeter, more intense, version of the smell. I get a hot chocolate/cocoa powder residue flavor. Toss in a bit of raisin and this is a pretty complex stout. I quite like this in spite of the high ABV. I think I will sit on my other bottles for a long while as this can only get better and more exceptional!

rudylaw, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of FrognutUnl
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Deep cola brown in color with a scant tan head. When I had it at the brew pub it was a bit more carbonated than this growler I have now, but it is almost a month old in the growler. The aroma hasn't changed a bit, big cocoa and roasted oats with hints of coffee, absolutely wonderful. The taste is the same as the nose. Not a whole lot of complexity, but still a damn tasty brew. Mouthfeel is a little thin due to the lack of carbonation, but again the growler has been in my fridge for quite awhile. Carbonation issue aside, this rates very high on the drinkability scale.

FrognutUnl, Jan 02, 2009
Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev +2.6%

SPRichard, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of goast8127
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a traditional pint glass

The beer poured a dark brown color with a dark tan foam. The one
finger head trailed off nicely down the glass as I drank. The aroma
featured prominent indicators of oat and malt, and pronounced roasty
character. Those same attributes were present on the palate. The
maltiness was the most notable element and the beer finished with a
slight woody bitterness. It was served at a slightly colder than
optimal temperature. As a result, the taste and texture improved as it
warmed. It was surprisingly thick and full across the tongue. The
warming of the alcohol lingered a little, but not to unpleasant
degrees. I could probably enjoy several of these in a sitting.

Overall, the beer was very enjoyable. It's a good example of a solid
oatmeal stout and another quality effort by Short's.

goast8127, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of pwoods
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle shared by FtownThrowDown.

A: Basically pitch black. Short head with little retention but spotty lacing.

S: Not loads of roasty but plenty of dark fruits and dark dark caramel. Some licorice.

T/M: Much more roast in the flavor. Some more of the licorice. Some odd flavors in there but not off putting, pretty tasty. Not a ton of hops. Body is medium full with mild carbonation.

D: I wouldn't have guessed nearly 11%. Pretty drinkable.

pwoods, Feb 08, 2010
Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -23.1%

acurtis, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of cynical1027
3/5  rDev -23.1%

cynical1027, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of biboergosum
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, labeled "Mystery Oatmeal Stout". Thanks to Roke87 for the hookup.

This beer pours a solid black, with slight cola edges, and one fat finger of tight foamy, creamy tan head, which exhibits stellar retention, eventually giving up some approaching storm cloud lace around the glass as it settles. It smells of lightly roasted malt, powdered beverage chocolate, bitter coffee, and a separate earthy sweetness. The taste is sweet toffee malt, strong bittersweet chocolate, mild day-old coffee, some earthy, floral honey, and mild sticky molasses. Not a whiff of booze, nor even a warming - wow. The carbonation is quite sedate, almost drowsy, the body medium-full in weight, deadly smooth, and somewhat creamy. It finishes still sweet and chocolaty, a subtle dryness that's more bitter leafy hop than alcohol keeping things in check.

One smooth-talkin', Barry White analogue of a big stout. The molasses and chocolate sure provide more bang for the buck than the oatmeal apparently does, but so what - it all goes down insanely easy for the purported strength, and in a nice dessert-like, coma-inducing manner.

biboergosum, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of king75
4/5  rDev +2.6%

king75, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of dmorley21
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

dmorley21, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of Sammy
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great stout. Pours very dark brown, some white head. Decent attractive aroma, some of the cocoa, mollasses. Very tasty bittersweet chocolate. Light coffee. Above average mouthfeel. Very tasty and drinkable, smooth.Surprisingly high a.b.v. as not felt at all.

Sammy, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of augustgarage
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to ShogoKwada for spreading the Short's! 2010 vintage? Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bruery tulip.

Deep seal brown body, with a shade of chocolate in there as well. A lasting finger of fawn colored foam. Creamy waves of lacing, broken apart by a wave of tears.

Aromatics are subdued, but pure - roasted barley, chocolate malt, some toasted grain, and a touch of black-strap molasses and stewed figs. Alcohol suggests a liqueur of sorts - not estery or solventy though.

Cocoa nibs, brown sugar, and toasted oats on the palate. The complex bittersweet flavors from molasses and chocolate grow richer and dryer into the finish, which suggests very dark chocolate and a hint of black licorice. The oats tie everything together and lighten the profile overall. Hops are low to non-existent, though there may be a vague grassy flavor in there somewhere.

Potent without any barrel aging to ramp up the ABV further. Velvety, creamy, slightly oily, medium-full bodied, mouthfeel.

An excellent breakfast stout, with an unusual melding of chocolate and molasses. A nice alternative to Cup a Joe.

augustgarage, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of Beezee
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Beezee, Feb 18, 2012
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Short's Mystery Stout from Short's Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 368 ratings.