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Black Licorice Lager - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Licorice LagerBlack Licorice Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

182 Ratings

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Ratings: 182
Reviews: 129
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 64
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Euro Dark Lager |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: hoppymeal on 06-06-2007

"A high gravity American dark lager aged on anise seed, Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans and fresh chocolate mint leaves."
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 182 | Reviews: 129
Photo of Florida9
2.33/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Appears black in the glass, but holding it up to the light shows it to a have a deep, dark ruby color to it. Forms a weak light tan head that quickly reduces to a thick ring around the edge. Leaves some light lacing.

S: Aroma is mostly anise with some mint or peppermint in the background. The slight nose of alcohol mixed with the anise makes this smell almost like Sambuca.

T: Oh god, why did I put this in my mouth? Holy fucking tongue terror. A fake chocolate mint taste assaults my tongue. It fades ever so slowly to an even more foul minty mouthwash flavor highlighted by lightly roasted malts and toasted anise seeds. The flavor sticks on the tongue with a artificially minty saccharine sweetness. Why? why? why? I think I'm going to cry.

M: On the lighter side of medium in body. Cloying, sticky, and unrelenting in the mouth. As minty fresh as that cheap ass mouthwash you get for free in hotels rooms.

O: Wow, this has to be one of the worst beers I've had the misfortune of trying as of recent. Unbearably heavy on the anise, with virtually no redeeming quality that I can think of. It's as if someone took a subpar dark beer and thought they might spice it up a bit by adding mouthwash to it. It simply doesn't work on so many levels.

Photo of jz989
4/5  rDev +3.4%

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3/5  rDev -22.5%

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4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Jips
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Another6Pack
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of bob727
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Rempo
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of Gtg642
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of monitorpop
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of amphion1065
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle - thanks for this extra Shumista. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a an almost pure black, quite similar to licorice. No head to speak of, and unfortunately no lacing.

The smell is incredibly similar to Fernet, though without the sharp hint of alcohol. There is a ton of mint at work here, with a significant amount of chocolate, too. The combined effect of these two flavors is a smell somewhat close to licorice, but that specific flavor is not terribly present.

Very, very smooth flavor. Again, the mint is quite strong here, and I really enjoy the flavor. Unlike the aroma, the licorice taste is quite strong. It reminds me a little bit of anise, with an added element of chocolate.

Feel is a little flat, and on the thin side. I couldn't imagine drinking a lot of this stuff, but 6-8 oz. would make a nice digestif.

A beguiling brew, and I'd expect nothing less from Short's. I'm a big fan of both licorice and the combination of chocolate and mint and I found this very interesting, though likely not a beer I'll seek out again.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of jlb502
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Hokenfloken
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of nanobrew
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of JRod1969
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of jmarsh123
2.82/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours an opaque black with a very small tan head that fades immediately.

Nose definitely lives up to the name. Black licorice and a bit of anise.

Similar to the nose, but a little weaker flavor profile. Black licorice and anise are heavily present throughout with that slightly tangy finish similar to most Short's beers.

A bit watery on the mouthfeel with a good bit of carbonation.

Another interesting idea comes up short. Too watery and the yeast strain doesn't play nice with the initial licorice flavor.

Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks brewdan for this extra, I've been wanting to try some Short's.
Poured from a bottle to a tulip, this beer comes out pitch black with no visible light penetrating, builds a finger tan bubbly head that fades quickly and is easily revived.
The nose is almost identical to some cookies my wife just baked last week. Smells like crushed up mint oreos, chocolate chip and anise, very appealing nose.
Woah the taste is nothing what I expected or was hoping for from the nose. The taste is almost somewhat offensive, liquid anise, some mint chocolate flavors. It improves a little as it warms but not much.
It has a light to medium body with hight carbonation and a lingering after taste that I wish would go away.
This beer was a roller coaster, it looks amazing. Possibly only smells amazing to me because it reminds me of those cookies but it goes downhill from there.
Thanks a ton Dan for the opportunity to try this, hope to try more Short's too.

Photo of womencantsail
2.64/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Thorpe for this one.

A: The beer pours a very dark brown color with a finger of off-white head.

S: Heavy licorice/anise aroma with a lot of lactic notes to it. There are some herbal hop notes and a little bit of roasted malt. It's also a little bit metallic, sort of like many other Short's beers.

T: Sweet malt, a light smokiness, and tons and tons of licorice and anise. As with the aroma, there is a little bit of a lactic tartness. Sort of watery, too, and a little bit of metal.

M: Light to medium in body with a medium carbonation.

O: Just a really weird, funky, flavor and aroma to this. Not very good.

Photo of Jayli
2.26/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Acquired from decadance via our most recent trade so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!!!
Poured in to a pint glass.

A: This beer pours a deep opaque brown with a 1/2 inch of khaki colored head. Head recedes quickly with minor lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is black licorice. Ouch. I knew by the name it had licorice, but I'm hoping that there isn't THIS much licorice. Big notes of anise as well.

T: Taste is nothing but anise and licorice. Wow. I was hoping that the nose was deceiving. Not so much. Licorice and anise is huge, a decent amount of mint notes also come through. LIghter sweet malts hit the finish.

M: Lighter bodied, medium carbonation, crisp and clean.

O: Goes down ok, not very tasty, well hidden kick, interesting represntation of style. I wanted to like this beer, but it just didn't do it for me. It was a licorice beer, it was licorice with beer...and it was a bit much.

Photo of zeledonia
2.98/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottled April 2011. Tasted 31 August 2011, reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark brown, opaque, coffee-colored at the edges. Big thick two-finger head, a light tan color, nice retention. Tons of sticky lacing, so abundant it actually looks like lace.

Smell is interesting - dark malts, but also black licorice. About half black licorice, a quarter dark malts, and a quarter warm and slightly sweet (vanilla). It's a crazy cacophony that almost works, but doesn't quite come together for me. The licorice is a little too dominant.

Sadly, I don't like licorice. And this doesn't taste like beer with licorice highlights, it tastes like licorice beer. There's a little bit of dark roasted malts before the licorice kicks in, but the middle two-thirds of the taste is strong licorice and slightly bitter. I don't like it. Fortunately, it gets less licorice-heavy as it warms up, but still not enough that I really want to drink it.

Mouthfeel is quite thin and light. Carbonation is medium-low - with the heaviness of the flavors, it could use some more.

This beer doesn't work for me. My big caveat, though, is that I don't like licorice, and I don't like the way it combines with beer. Adding sharpness and bitterness on top of something that's already bitter and sharp doesn't help. Adding black licorice to a rich, sweet stout might work, but here it just accentuates the qualities I don't like: the acrid and thin bitter flavors.

Photo of Kegatron
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep cola-brown in the glass (with some ruby along the edges) and is topped with a finger of foamy mocha colored head. This retains with a tight ½ finger of creamy froth, which leaves back a robust and sticky cascade of lace. The aroma smells just as advertised, with notes of licorice, vanilla, and a dark and ripe fruity tanginess. There’s a touch of fresh mint flavor across the back of the nose as well, while just a touch of floral accents round out the edges. This is nice.

The taste changes things up a bit, with more malty notes of cocoa and caramel being at the forefront of the profile but I’m always picking up some vanilla and a ripe (and slightly tart) fruitiness to this as well. An earthy bitterness is present and adds a bit of assertiveness to this. Anise comes out across the back, lingering in an overall tart and tangy feeling finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a smooth crispness to this that glides along easily in the mouth. Maybe just a smidge of light warmth to this but nearly enough to tell me that this is 8%.

My experience with this beer pretty much mirrored the one that I had with it on draft last year. The nose really delivering the promised flavors (and it seemed even a bit more here in the bottle) but the flavor, while still good, just didn’t bring it as hard. This is still a really tasty and unique offering from Short’s though and I’d definitely recommend checking it out if given the chance.

Photo of Tripphop
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very pretty beer, deep mahogany with crimson glow in the light. Minimal head, but carbonation is present in the sip. Nose is stront of anise, black licorice and sweet malt dominate the nose. Flavor overall is very confusing. Avery complex beer, but almost too many flavors. Mint comes through near the finish, but the licorice and chocolate flavors linger throughout. Sweet vanilla front with lingering licorice and a touch of bitterness.
Very unique brew, glad I got to try it. Not really a fan of licorice though..

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Black Licorice Lager from Short's Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 182 ratings.