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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:
Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler courtesy of Northernbrews. Thanks a ton Jeff!

Pours a very dark brown in color. Whatever little head there is on the pour is quickly gone. Just a ring of off white carbonation around the perimeter of the beer.
Smell is huge chocolate malts, some bitter cocoa and just a hint of alcohol.
Taste is more of the chocolate malts, but there's an awful lot of alcohol in this bad boy as well. This is a real shit kicker, nothing to be messed with. Glad I had help with this growler because there's no way in hell one man is drinking this and living to tell about it. With all the alcohol and strength in this beer, it's still relatively smooth in the mouthfeel. Short's can just flat out make beer! Would be nice on those really cold winter nights.

FtownThrowDown, May 27, 2009
Photo of brentk56
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle# 270 of 500; Bottled 4/20/06

Appearance: Closer to dark brown than black, with a mocha head that foams and fizzles to a film; leaves a curtain of lace

Smell: Dark chocolate with lots of molasses and a hint of coffee

Taste: After a burst of dark chocolate, the molasses takes over, dominating the flavor to mid-palate, along with a hoppy bitterness; after the swallow, the molasses continues in strength, with the coffee making an appearance at the very end

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy, with moderate carbonation; some warmth from the ABV, even after three years of age

Drinkability: Another interesting beer from Short's but the molasses is a bit too dominant for my tastebuds

Thanks, hoppymeal, for another treat

brentk56, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of Bung
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sounds and feels like this version is slightly different than what is listed.
Black pour with a tan head that receded quickly. Not a ton of lacing, but it is there. Some roast aromas, more cocoa and chocolates. Tastes reciprocates, but there is some espresso type tones in there as well. Not creamy, but not watery either with just enough carbonation. The coffee roast is how it finishes and it lingers a while. Not really much alcohol presence. It is just a little bit thin, with the offset being there is no problem putting some quantity of this down. Will look forward to trying to get some more from Shorts.

Bung, Apr 20, 2009
Photo of younger35
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received a growler of this deliciousness from northernbrews. As far as I'm concerned Joe Short is the most inventive brewer out there and although sometimes it's hit or miss, its still really fun to try! Drank from my Surly nonic pint glass with a buddy.

Appearance- Pours a super dark brownish black with a small half finger dark tan head that bubbles away quickly. A nice collar is left with a tiny thinned out cap and some smidgens of lacing.
Smell- A bit of dark black chocolate to start with a very wispy sort of cocoa smell. Brown sugar and a light sort of toasted grain that is fairly raw and earthy. Black coffee and cream with hints of dark fruits and smoke.
Taste- Starts slightly sweet with a dark molasses earthiness and loads of roasted malts. Espresso and caramel that slowly fade to a dry chalky chocolate that reminds me of cocoa nibs. Loads of smoke and dried plums finish covering every square inch of alcohol.
Mouthfeel- A bit on the thin side but nothing I can't get past. Fairly gritty and rough with very little carbonation.
Drinkability- I really enjoyed this but not as much as I did Cup O' Joe or even S'mores. The flavors aren't quite as big as some of the other's Short's I've tried but saying that it was definitely worth trying and I'd drink again. Thanks Jeff!

younger35, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of Deuane
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep, dark brown/black with a thin tan head that reduced to a thin ring and left spotty lace.

S-Dark cocoa and dark roasted oats with hints of coffee and a bit of earthiness.

T-rich and bold with strong dark chocolate and roasted malt notes. Lighter espresso notes come in late. Nice, sahrp earthy bitterness.

M-Medium body and maybe even a bit thin. With a ton of lasting flavour that hardly matteres though!

D-Mmmm, mmmm...lots of roast and chocolate going on with this one. Bump up the body a little more and this could become a world beater!

Deuane, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of Floydster
3.18/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

750 ml bottle, #161/500, thanks to Carlos to bringing this to the tasting, had been waiting for him to crack this open for some time now, 2006 vintage, reviewed from notes, poured into my Rader snifter

A-Pretty much black, 3/4 inch tan creamy head, some retention, minimal lacing
S-Chocolate, caramel, toffee, coffee, roasty malts, charred accents, molasses, earthiness, and booze
T-Starts off dry and ends the same way, sweet in the middle with various malts, finish is too bitter for its style, dark chocolate, coffee, and hops plays a big role in that, some oxidization too, taste gets way to sweet later on but still dry
M-Dry, sweet, and roasted mouthfeel, full bodied, low level of carbonation, taste lingers a long time
D-Could drink much of this at all, flavor is too powerful, alcohol is not hidden, sweetness and dryness thgat jump out at you, few ounces is enough

Not the best beer from Short's by any means but does keep up with their unorthodox and interesting selection of brews, think it is hilarious that they do not even remember the recipe to this one, that makes it that much cooler if it is true because it would never be able to be replicated in the future, would drink again, recommended

Floydster, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of rallison
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle #161/500. Sea O'Floydster epic tasting, post PP Belgian Fest. Thanks Carlos for bringing this bottle.

Molasses, carob and vinous qualities are strongly present. Some odd astringency is noticed as well. Some oxidation. Finish is meh. Too dry, without the rich, encompassing body that I was hoping for.

I really wish I had tried this fresh. The bottle we opened was a let down. Not horrid, but not great. Maybe the age, maybe the specific bottle, maybe just the beer itself.

Still, I'm really happy I got to try this - I'd been looking for this for a long time as a huge fan of Short's, so this was definitely one of my white whales. Thanks again Carlos!

rallison, Mar 31, 2009
Photo of emerge077
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big ups to MasterSki for pulling out this wildcard...review from notes.

Black body with a near ruby glint at the meniscus of the glass. Dry coffee and tobacco nose, sort of faint, reminded me of an Irish Dry Stout. Tobacco leaf, dry ashy bittersweet chocolate, traces of espresso. Thin bodied, with a firm bitterness. Fairly simple with nice roasty chocolate flavors. Nowhere near 12.5%, and therein lies the mystery. Paired nicely with Chris' donated chocolate...

emerge077, Mar 31, 2009
Photo of seaoflament
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A big thanks to the generous hoppymeal for trading me this beer that I really wanted to try, you rock Derek. I took this one to the SeaofFloydster Tasting that took place on March 28th. Bottled in 2006, #161/500.

The color was like any other imperial stout, dark with a thin head.

Pretty good aroma, lots of roasted malts and chocolate malts upfront. Almost oaky with hints of almonds. Bits of chocolate covered raisins and figs. Some dusty cocoa powder.

The flavor was a bit odd. There were parts of it that I liked and parts that seemed out of place or just overdone. Dry roasted barley, dry bitter chocolate, cocoa, and with a really long and dry finish that was a bit too astringent. Some blackberry jam. A little sweeter later on but the finish is not that good, there was an astringent grain taste that combined with the dryness and roasted barley that didn't make it so pleasant. The first part of the beer was good with the chocolate, roasted malts, and dark fruits but the finish dragged this one down.

Somewhat fizzy yet low carbonation, medium dry. Couldn't drink too much of this one, especially when there were other beers to be had.

seaoflament, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of MasterSki
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Busted this out for a Sunday afternoon tasting with a bunch of the Chicago BAs. Served in a mini-pint glass. Big thanks to rclnmeyer for hauling this down from Bellaire.

A - One finger of light than foam that dissipates quickly with minimal lacing. Dark, dark, dark brown with a hint of lighter brown at the fringes - one step away from black.

S - Quite the surprise - smells kind of like an Irish dry stout! Baker's chocolate, a touch of smokiness, burnt malt, and some dark fruits way in the background. Not one hint of booze.

T- Roasted malts, a hint of coffee, dark fruits, a touch of molasses, and a mild bitter aftertaste. Not the most complex stout, but still quite nice.

M - Surprisingly thin, more porter-like in texture than imperial stout (see below). Nice carbonation with a lot of tingle on the upper lip and top palate. Solid residual stickiness.

D - If this was really 12.5% it'd be the greatest beer of all-time. Even still, it's incredibly drinkable - the guys and I polished off the growler in no time, even though we had major problems with the Sheol earlier that was only 1% stronger. Nice moderate carbonation, mild aftertaste, and incredibly well-hidden alcohol (no matter what the ABV really is).

The guys and I did a double-take when we saw the listed ABV of 12.5% - apparently this is a new version that is closer to 7.2% and features a significant receipt tweak. I'm not even sure this can be considered the same beer as the bottled version, which I unfortunately never got a chance to try.

MasterSki, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed while watching a bootleg copy of Role Models.

Pours still and black, some bubbles rise to the top and form a small mocha ring. Leaves plenty of lacing while the beer itself seems to coat my snifter.

Smells of Chocolate, Plums, Coffee, Roasted Barley, Molasses and Brown Sugar.

Strong coffee notes, Chocolate, Raisins, and Awesomeness.

Thick and creamy with medium low carbonation. Dangerously drinkable for the ABV.

TheBlackMallard, Jan 17, 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 hopdog
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared courtesy of Zrrbrrt. Bottle #168 / 700 and bottled on 4-20-06.

Poured a dark black color with an averaged sized light brown head. Very nice looking.

Wow, what an aroma! I could smell this one all night and every night. Cocoa, dark & milk chocolates, molasses, dark fruits, oak, wood, vanilla, and oatmeal. I too would have put lots of money that this was Barrel Aged.

Tastes of cocoa, dark chocolate, wood, molasses, roasted malts, and dark fruits.

I would have never guessed this was 12.5%. I really got to find a way to get some more of this one!

hopdog, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of weeare138
4.58/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to zrrbrrt for sharing this outstanding gem (#160/500)...
Appears a dark brown bordering black with a 3 finger tan head that slowly fades into a small film and collar. Spotty lacing is left all around the glass.
Smell is of maple, cocoa, caramel, oats, vanilla, plenty of sugar, and dark grapes.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas toned down slightly with roastiness standing out. There is also a light oakiness found in the flavors as well.
Mouthfeel is roasty, full bodied, with caramel and brown sugar running along the palate.
Drinkability is nice, and ripe. I bet it'll get even better with age.

weeare138, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of mentor
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from the brewery by my mother (who lives near the brewery) and hand-carried out here to Colorado (back when you could carry bottles of liquid on airpalnes). Stored in my cool dark basement until consumption about 6-8 months later. Thanks mom!

Pours a solid finger of light-chocolate head over a pitch black liquid. Smells quite hoppy, roasty, and sweet. Hops are clearly american; pine with some citrus sweet and quite dry grassy of co-humulone. Cluster or Columbus hops, perhaps? Malt sweet is below the hops and has a dark tang. Alcohol sting is present, but arrives late and high in the sinuses. Clean and and clearing, like a winterfresh mentholiptus. Also a metalic character that I can only describe as smelling like a new bicycle chain. I know that may sound bad, but it's not unpleasant. It's a smell I know but can't place. It's some 'lighter' spice carried on alcohol.

Tastes wicked strong in flavor with noticable alcohol sting that is fairly clean of fusels. Sweet chocolate with drying dark malts at equal play. Both aspects very strong. Licorice is clear and dark fruity esters of plum and fig are mild...well, mild in relation to the other flavors...they would be strong in any other beer. Woody golding hop characteristics accompanied by just a touch of orange.

Oh man, the aftertaste is *killer*! Two aspects of chocolate...the first is a really delicious rich sweet Godiva chocolate-filling. The second is a really dry cocoa with a splash of coffee. Paired with a rounded hop floral and some grassy co-ho. Malt sweet just peaking through the surface. Mouthfeel is thick aand creamy. This is good, because it serves to hold the sweet around to fight the woody and roast dryness as well as the late alcohol that rises into the sinuses. Alcohol carries with it a bit of vanilla with oak edgings.

Carbonation is modest, despite the large head (I was worried it would be overcarbonated). Boy, this beer needs about 3-5 years more in the cellar. I'd guess it could easily stand a decade. I'm glad I tried this, but am kicking myself because I have just one bottle left. Also, one glass and my head is a bit light. 12.5% ABV...I wonder if it might be more. I hate to say this, but the bottom portion of my glass is a bit tough to handle. My tastebuds are absolutely fried. The only beer I've had that compares in flavor intensity is World Wide Stout by Dog Fishhead. Different flavor combinations, but both very intense.

Sorry for writing a novel on this review, but dang, there was so much to describe (and likely much that my description missed).

mentor, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of lackenhauser
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle number 124 of 500. Bottled on 4/20/06. The date never registered with me till I noticed another review. ; ) Gorgeous beer when poured into my new DFH snifter. Pitch black in color with a great, cocoa tinged head on top. Aroma of raw cocoa and molasses. Quite viney with an alcohol trace. Big, upfront bitterness in the flavor-huge blast of flavors. Bittersweet bakers chocolate, roasted-almost burnt malt, and a coffeeish/anise hint. Very slight trace of the high alcohol level. The body is suprisingly thin considering the abv. I dont mean that in a negative way just noting it-finish is quite dry. Great effort and very drinkable. I tried to recap the 750ml bottle for another day but I cant get the capper to work. Oh well I guess I have to finish it!

Note: Great packaging job. The hand numbered and signed neck tag is a very classy touch. A bit pricey but what the hell. I bet this would age damn well. Should have bought 2 I guess. Think all 500 bottles will be accounted for here?

lackenhauser, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of HellsBELLS24
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unbelievable Imperial.

It has a beautiful motor oil color with a very dark brown head. Has the sewwt smell of molasses along with hints of chocolate. Takes a while to drink but is one of the better imperials. I had split a 750 with a friend and it was impressive. Great job Mr. Short. The high ABV helps because after one serving you are feeliong quite well!!

HellsBELLS24, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of SupaCelt
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yes, I did buy one of these. No. 120 of 500. Bottled on 4-20-06? Hmm. Why can't I remember that day? Anyway, the pour revealed a rather thin looking liquid that cascaded into my jumbo pint and promoted a gigantic tan head. Steadfast, my friends. I was nearly overwhelmed by foam whilst trying to obtain my first sip. Sturdy. The liquid of course was mega brown colour that makes one say black at first.

The nose smells largely fruited and booze riddled.. The first thing that came to mind was red koolaid and chocolate or better yet cocoa. There is a cakey odour as well. Coffee cake in a sense. I would even say that the molasses the label speaks of is detectable in the nose. It gives its sticky, raw, sweetness to the character. I smell some herbal hop tingles over all of the malty richness. Almost minty in nature. It is surprisingly quite fresh still as I had failed to realize how old this thing was getting in the reefer.

The flavour profile is quite nicely done. A wave of creamy whipped cocoa comes across in the initial moments and blends into a dry finish with a lingering sweetness. This battle fades out into a dark fruit skin type of schema. The smell of this thing is so pungent as I dive in for a sip. Raw and malty and vegetal. This baby is no lightweight. Heavy tones.

Although this thing appeared to be thin off the pour, the body feels pretty thick and hearty whilst in my mouth. It is creamy and fluffy feeling. Nice.

Drinkability suffers due to the utter brute force of this. It is good, but there is so much going on in there that it ends up walking the line. This is tough to whack down all by my lonesome in August, but fret not I will get by. I will survive.

SupaCelt, Aug 14, 2006
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Short's Mystery Stout from Short's Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 368 ratings.