Short's The Woodmaster - Short's Brewing Company
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Ratings: 254 | Reviews: 118 | Display Reviews Only:
3.5/5 rDev -8.1%
Big thanks to jale for gifting me this bottle. Served in a Mikasa tulip.
Pours a very dark brown with a short, stubby off-white head and some spotty lacing. Galaxy swirl on top. The nose brings some light cherries and molasses along with some brown sugar and sweetened malt. Also a bit nutty. The flavor has a decent amount of maple and brown sugar plus some light nutty character. Mild toffee and caramel plus a bit of light cherry. Mouthfeel is medium and quite chewy. Nothing too great about this, though not bad either.
06-17-2011 00:29:33 | More by Thorpe429
3.38/5 rDev -11.3%
Pours dark brown in the tulip glass with an off white 1 inch head.
Smell - a strong fig smell. With further investigation I get a pecan/nutty smell and sweet malt, no hint of syrup like the bottle states.
Taste - it tastes very similar to the other shorts brew with fermented with peanuts. One again the figs stands out the most in the taste followed by the pecan nuttyness. It finishes with more fig/sweet malt.
Overall - ehhh its ok
06-08-2011 02:10:07 | More by badboyrsl84
3.85/5 rDev +1%
My last Short's, thanks to grub.
Light fluffy 1/2 finger head and light lacing, murky dark molasses brown colored beer with barley light getting through.
Nose brings lots of interesting aromas, fruit, dark dried fruits, a light sour malt aroma, some toasty brown malts, creamy malts, little brown sugar, maple, toasted pecans, little raisin, little syrupy, crystal malts, weird but interesting.
Taste starts a bit sweet, malty, fruity, again toasty brown malts, creamy malts, light reddish malts, light sour malt as well and a bit spicy, little bit of booze with a bit of warmth and tingle, then maple syrup, a bit of dark fruit and hints of raisin, molasses, toasted pecans, it comes through a little bit syrupy and creamy. Finishes a bit boozy and slightly anesthetized, pretty syrupy in the mouth, little sweet still, and a bit malty, also some lingering maple and dark fruit.
Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, lighter but decent carbonation, and some warming and tingly booze, a fairly big beer.
Overall pretty good, creamy and a bit syrupy though which seems weird but not as bad as I thought, interesting malts, good fruits, nuts, maple, syrupy, and all those flavors add a weird light sour tart flavor, a bit boozy but designed for that I think, a big beer.
06-02-2011 22:33:57 | More by jlindros
3.08/5 rDev -19.2%
A: Aggressive pour yields 1/4 finger of tan head with poor retention. Cloudy reddish brown liquid. Big dose of sediment came out at end of pour. I'd like more head.
S: Toffee, caramel, alcohol/booze, brandy.
T: Alcohol at first, closing with nuty pecan. A lot more balanced than I expected. After a while though, the intro becomes very hot - way too much. If it stayed like the first sips, I'd like more. This one could use some age maybe.
M: Not as hot as I expected at first, then way too hot later on! Nuttiness adds some complexity and roundness.
D: Too hot for me to have another, or even want to finish 12 oz. I won't buy again.
05-30-2011 19:46:57 | More by dfillius
3.25/5 rDev -14.7%
12 oz bottle into pint glass.
A rust colored body sits below a brown sugar colored head. Two fingers of thick impenetrable head looked great at first, but dissipated into a foamy cap pretty quickly. Some noodley appendages of lace cling and reach for the top of my pint.
Smells sweet. Really sweet. Plenty of malts and a sugary maple syrup bite. No hops. There is a toasted nuttiness here too but it is much more mild in the taste.
The flavor is certainly sweet-- caramel malts and hints of chocolate too, then maple syrup. The beer has the toasty nuttiness hitting towards the finish, and it makes an effort to dry the beer out a bit, but the overly-sweet brew will not allow the residual sugars to go down without a fight.
Pretty fulll body with decent carbonation... Leaves a syrupy feel coating my mouth and teeth.
Overall, this beer is like crystal meth: might be fun to try once, but certainly bot something I will be looking for in the future.
05-28-2011 22:45:53 | More by AleWatcher
4.22/5 rDev +10.8%
Thanks to GrandCruDrew for this bottle, an extra in a springtime trade off my wants list. I approach this Short's offering as I approach all of them: ready with a towel, or ready for a great treat. Which will this be?
Pour is an undeniable brown with a respectable, but not suspect, off-white cap. The smell, my lord, the smell. Like somebody dropped my mother's Christmas kitchen into a pecan pie, then topped it off with sweet malts & a coating of maple syrup. Unlike any aroma that's ever graced these nostrils; just fantastic.
Short's The Woodmaster almost lives up to this heavenly bouquet. Pecans & maple syrup blow out of the glass in a verdant wave of tastiness. Sub-tastes are raisins, figs, shoe leather, a more general nuttiness, perhaps a stray drop of malt or two. Enjoyable either way: surface or deep. The only drawback, & this is picky, is it ain't too drinkable. I've already had it popped for over half-an-hour, & perhaps 3-4 ounces are gone. One of the heaviest, most-filling brown ales I've ever run into.
But hey, whatever, this is simply an excellent beer that pushes boundaries in every direction. A showcase of Short's at it's best.
05-28-2011 01:47:22 | More by maximum12
3.45/5 rDev -9.4%
Short's beers are always worth a try. Sometimes I find a unique and amazing beer, sometime not so much. Woodmaster was one I opened with great anticipation. I'm a huge fan of Michigan flavors; cherries, blueberries & maple syrup and this beer boasts maple syrup in the description. I've had a lot of maple syrup beers that frankly should have left the maple syrup out of their name. Short's typically can nail the flavors they boast in their beer. But like many other maple syrup beers Woodmaster fell short. Its a good brown ale, but nothing exceptional. Tastes like many other craft brew brown ales that use dark brown sugar or molasses, but lacks distinct maple syrup flavor.
05-18-2011 02:53:39 | More by LuthersLager
2.53/5 rDev -33.6%
12oz. bottle poured into a 16oz. Old Rasputin nonic pint glass.
As soon as I open this motherfucker I was greeted with what I thought was a hint of infection. Smelled sweet and sour as it poured a chestnut brown into the glass with a sizable head. Goddamnit, Short's get your act together. Infection is not as prominent in the taste which is dominated by a sweet maple. Overly carbonated and fizzy.
Beware of any of Short's beers in a bottle.
05-17-2011 22:19:12 | More by Lunch
3.58/5 rDev -6%
12oz bottle poured into snifter - thanks to Donerik for this one
Pours a mostly clouded deep brown, some faint cherry hues, a layer of tanned head dissolves into a layer of film. Plenty of spotty and patchy lacing on the glass.
Plenty of nuttiness in the nose with some vanilla and maple syrup. Toasted pecans, a bit sweet with brown sugar, and some alcohol warmth.
Decent nutty malt bill right up front with roasted tones. Pecans and syrup are definitely present, some caramel and a touch of chocolate as well. Finishes with some alcohol warmth and some lingering dryness.
Fuller medium body, sticky and creamy, decent carbonation. Pretty nice flavor, I like the integration of syrup and nuts to the brown ale, although it didn't seem to completely mesh together.
05-11-2011 01:32:54 | More by xnicknj
1.35/5 rDev -64.6%
Thanks to GrandCruDrew for sending me this one!
Pours a murky dark brown with a 2 inch beige head that fades to a small cap. Nice rings of lace on the drink down. Smell is of hearty bread, roasted nuts, and maple. There is also a funky gym socks smell that ruins everything. I think this bottle may be infected. Taste confirms the infection. This is a sour beer on first sip, but I can taste the malty bread flavor, roasted nuts, and slight maple syrup. The infection issue is awful when combined with these flavors. Carbonation level is average. Overall, I bet this is a really good beer when it's normal but this was definitely infected.
05-05-2011 01:30:39 | More by UCLABrewN84
1.5/5 rDev -60.6%
Reviewed from notes taken on 4-3-11.
Pours a light brown with an off white head. Nothing too fancy here. I'm picking up some sour on the nose. In fact it's controlling the scent.
Pretty light mouthfeel. A slight carbonation. The taste? Well that is downright horrific. Best way to describe it is toasted crushed up aspirin. A drain pour for sure.
Not sure what went wrong here. Bottle was maybe old? The beer flat out sucks? I'd like to say I would try it again, but if it never crosses my lips I'm fine with that outcome too. For sure an avoid at all costs.
04-20-2011 15:46:42 | More by TheDudeRules
3.75/5 rDev -1.6%
12 oz. bottle courtesy of fellow BA, jchristie. Not a bad trade for a can of Dale's Pale Ale...
A: Pours a deep mahogany out of the bottle, with a small lingering creamy head. Nothing to write home about here.
S: A thick, syrupy waft of maple hits the nose first. A hint of alcohol winds up clearing that scent out. The way the booze comes through is almost like a winter wind while collecting maple sap: it cuts through the beauty, smacking you in the face, making you realize how much more work you have to do. A touch of pecan comes through later, warming you back up on the way through, as if you've entered the sugar house. Pardon the analogies, as I've done some sap collecting, and I know that it's part of the picture on the bottle...but still.
T: Big crash of maple dances across the tongue. It starts about mid-tongue, and then works it's way towards the back of the palate. It warms you for the hints of vanilla and pecan that come next, before the alcohol comes in, all hot and harsh. The booziness lingers into your next sip, leaving for an interesting play between the syrup and alcohol. It almost works, but just misses.
M: It's almost like syrup that hasn't gone through finishing yet: still a touch on the thin side, but playful on the tongue.
O: An interesting beer, for sure. It definitely leaves a bunch of the typical brown ale considerations behind, in favor of the experimentation with the maple flavorings. Good, but not great.
04-11-2011 15:55:35 | More by rrheisler
2.35/5 rDev -38.3%
A: Murky brown topped by a 1-finger dark tan head
S: Roasty with some chocolate, dark fruit, and banana notes. Sort of bizarrely reminiscent of a peanut butter and banana sandwich.
T: Hits with more of that banana on the front of the tongue, then big roasty flavors that fade to a mild sourness like overripe fruit.
M: moderate carbonation & body, fairly long linger
O: Seems a bit odd and disjointed in the end. Interesting, but not what I would call pleasant. I have to wonder what's intentional here and what's not.
04-10-2011 03:41:46 | More by kscaldef
3.6/5 rDev -5.5%
Got this in a recent BIF! Glad to try some more Shorts stuff. 12oz bottle...
A: A nice dark murky brown that has a small tan head that faces quickly to a lace atop the brew. Decent.
S: A hint of sweet malt sugars upfront with some nice caramel in the middle. Some apple scents on the backend. Good.
T: A watery autumn type malt upfront, kind of like malty breadiness. A slight hop bitterness hidden in the backend with a dry rye flavor. Decent.
M: Medium body with a good carbonation. A nice bready dry finish. Decent.
O: This is a decent beer.
All in all, this is a decent beer. There's much better in the style, so not amazing, but decent. Not worth hunting.
04-10-2011 03:27:01 | More by steve8robin
3.48/5 rDev -8.7%
Thanks to drewba for providing this as an extra.
A - Pours a very dark brown with a bit of light coming through. It produces an inch of tan head when poured into the tulip that fades fairly quickly, but leaves some nice lacing.
S - Has some roasted malts and nuttiness, as well as a slight sourness. After a few wafts the sourness is the most apparent smell. The sour aroma isn't in your face, but it's noticeable. Possible infection?
M - Medium to full in body with light carbonation which allows for a creamy feel.
T - Roasted pecans up front followed by maple syrup. Some roasted malts and nuttiness hit towards the middle. There is a little bit of green apple in the finish, that I don't think was intended to be there. I can't say I really taste any of the alcohol, so it's hidden pretty well.
It is a good beer, but I think I may have gotten a bad bottle. I'd like to try it again because I think it has potential.
04-06-2011 02:09:17 | More by boralyl
3.43/5 rDev -10%
Thanks to Jason for this bottle from a BIF. 12oz bottle, into my Trois Pistoles glass.
A- Brown and murky in color, with maybe a touch of redish hue. The head is perfect, and lasts forever. The lacing is also very impressive.
S- Very malt heavy. I get some nutty and sweet smells. Nice but fairly one dimensional. No maple here.
T- Quite sharp, and a little funky. I taste the pecans, and some molassas flavor. There are some hints of apple as well. Not sure if all Shorts beers taste like this, but most that I've had are fairly sour/lactic tasting.
M- Has a good deal of bite, and is a bit overwhelming on the palate at first. The aftertaste is very nice, and lingers on deliciously for a while.
O- I'm kind of torn as to how I feel about this beer. It's fairly tasty, but just not quite there. I still get some lactic/sour flavor from it, which I get from many shorts beers. Not sure if it is intentional or not.
04-05-2011 21:46:59 | More by Gfunk720
3.53/5 rDev -7.3%
big thanks to erikkoppin for this one - #4 from a great short mixed six.
poured cold and aggressively from the bottle to a founder's brewing company goblet an opaque dark mahogany brown with a 1/2 finger, short lasting tan head.
aroma of raisins, buttery brown sugar and molasses.
nutty, dark blackstrap molasses, dates. a very sharp, not at all mellow, taste.
medium bodied, medium carbonation, more bitter than sweet - actually sticky sweet.
drinkable - nah, not really.
04-02-2011 00:24:53 | More by robwestcott
4.13/5 rDev +8.4%
Poured into a snifter.
3.5 A: Murky dark brown color. One and a half fingers of tan head with average retention given the ABV and some spotty lacing.
4.5 S: Wonderful! All the best aspects of a brown are here - plenty of nuts, toasty, caramel, toffee, and brown sugar. Raisin fruitiness and tobacco. Then the maple syrup kicks in making this unique and the pecans kicks the nuttiness into overdrive. Booze is well hidden. Very well done.
4.0 T: The taste is sweeter than the nose suggests. The caramel comes out to play and brings the toffee with it. Nuttiness is there is ample amounts again with brown sugar, toastiness, raisin, fig, and tobacco. I don't know if it is partially due to the maple syrup, but there's a sourish sweetness in this. It isn't off-putting or anything bad though.
3.5 M: Medium body. A bit lighter than I would prefer for this beer. Good moderate carbonation. A bit chewy. Reasonably creamy and smooth.
4.0 D: I like me some brown ales and this is a good one. All the best qualities of a brown and some interesting additives to keep it fresh.
03-28-2011 01:20:09 | More by DavoleBomb
3.95/5 rDev +3.7%
Pours a healthy chestnut / pecan brown with light tan bubbles that primarily sit around the edges directly after the pour.
Smell of oak, toasted almond, pecan and other nuts and brown sugar. There is quite a boozy aroma that is inviting.
Taste of ripe pecan nuts. Sticky nutty aroma lingers around until you cannot hold back I had to take a taste. It was hard because after a long day at work 12+ hours I am both very hungry and thirsty. There is a definite maple syrup presence, but after brewing my own maple ale with a lot higher percentage of maple syrup in it, this didnt have a chance. Where it does very well though is in the nut and woodsy flavors. I wouldnt hesitate that this is a very beefed up Oktoberfest beer with a similar yeast profile mixed with Old Ale characteristics. Slight astringent bite at the end but hard to complain with such a large amount of brown ale character. This is tasty stuff, wish I had a few more hanging around.
Medium to light mouthfeel for a 9.5% and a medium to light carbonation which seems about right for the style. Overall a very good brown ale.
03-24-2011 00:11:19 | More by alpinebryant
3.63/5 rDev -4.7%
bottle poured into my duvel tulip, 4th bottle before i decided to review it, i was confused about this one on my first bottle, s i held off, but because i was so excited about its release i figured i should do this at some point
appearance - a light-dark brown color, similar to a caramel color, a bit cloudy, with noticeable carbonation, about a finger of light brown head, faded to a thin layer as i drank it, left decent lacing
smell - up front is strong maple syrup and nuts(without reading the bottle i dont know if i would have known it was pecans) there was a supporting cast of roasted malt and a slight alcoholic tinge, inviting nose
taste - up front is a maple sweetness and lightly roasted malts, this moves into a a nutty sweetness with the slightest bit of alcohol, the aftertaste is pecans and maple syrup, the sweetness is almost unpleasant in the aftertaste but the pecans help to balance it out
mouthfeel - thick, a bit gooey, but very pleasant, the carbonation helped to lighten it up so it didnt feel like i was drinking mrs. buttersworth
drinkability - 1 at a time is enough for me, good but i didnt have an urge to grab another immediately, definitely a dessert beer for me
overall - overall this is a good beer, not the best buy something i have drank since and will drink again
03-23-2011 00:30:50 | More by SeaUrchin
3.75/5 rDev -1.6%
reviewed from notes:
appearance: orangish red brown with a half finger head
smell: sweet, malts,
taste: maple, sweet, malts,
mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body, sticky,
overall: this was a decent brown ale. but definitely had better.
03-17-2011 16:52:31 | More by THECPJ
3.98/5 rDev +4.5%
poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a murky, caramel brown color with a thin tan head clinging to the edges of the glass.
The aroma has some distinct toasted nuttiness and syrupy flavors to it. I get some of the typical brown ale, caramel, malty flavors to it, but the pecans and syrup are very interesting.
The taste shows more of the brown ale, malty, caramel like qualities to it at first. Midway I start to get some of the maple syrup and pecan flavors. I get a lot of nutty flavors coming from the pecans. The maple syrup gives it a sweeter, syrupy flavor lingering in the finish. Both mix pretty well actually and give it some pretty cool flavors.
The mouthfeel is on the heavier side, and slightly slick. Carbonation is moderate. Drinkabilty was pretty good actually, things came together pretty well in it. I liked both the nutty, pecans and the sweeter syrup in it. Pretty cool and good beer overall.
03-12-2011 00:19:40 | More by billab914
3.98/5 rDev +4.5%
I have a love/hate relationship with Short's Brown Ale offerings; I love Bellaire Brown but was disappointed by Good Humans. I've remained optimistic about this brew. This 12 ounce bottle was purchased at Pere Marquette Expeditions in Ludington, MI. From the label: "A high gravity Brown Ale fermented with Michigan maple syrup & toasted pecans". It does sound tasty. I could not locate a bottle date but I know that this bottle is in-season. I popped the cap and poured it into a goblet.
An aggressive pour manifests almost a finger of khaki tinted head. Retention is moderate. A small amount of lacing sticks to the glass. The brew is very dark: maple syrup-like, if I may make the obvious reference point. It's a murky brew for sure, but one can still see a lot of suspended sediment in the glass. It's certainly not the prettiest flower in the garden, but luckily you can't taste ugly.
On the other hand, the smell is very nice. Initially my nose is overwhelmed by two intense aromas: sweet maple sugar, and alcohol. The alcohol is solvent-like, which isn't surprising if this was fermented with maple syrup (which is essentially concentrated sugar water). I'm sure the yeast had a heyday during fermentation. The sweet aroma is a nice roasty blend of maple, caramel and molasses. There is a hint of chocolate too. As the brew warms, the distinct smell of butter pecan emerges from the glass. As odd as this descriptor will sound, the aroma can be summed up by imagining a bottle of Steel Reserve with a bunch of brown sugar stirred into it. Strange as it may be, the end result smells pretty awesome.
Every so often a beer comes along that is so intensely flavorful that it overwhelms the palate, making it difficult to unravel exactly what is being tasted. The Woodmaster is one such beer. One thing that Short's is great at is taking their specialty ingredients and making sure the flavors are quite literal and prominent in the finished product. This beer is no exception. It has a very literal and prominent maple flavor. First and foremost though, the alcohol is very hot. It's not boozy, but it's darned close. Beneath the alcohol shock, lies the maple. As those two flavors are so prominent, this is a very sweet beer. There are some other subtleties on the tongue but I'm just getting bludgeoned with alcohol and maple, so much so that I almost don't notice the nice pecan touches in the aftertaste.
The beer is full bodied, aided by the velvety texture of a heavy 9.5% ABV. The carbonation is mild but it is enough to make the flavors dance on the tongue. The malt itself doesn't appear too thick and the beer goes down smoothly. Unfortunately that doesn't add up to a beer that is incredibly drinkable. Is it tasty? Yes: overwhelmingly so. Does it feel good in the mouth? Absolutely! But man, that alcohol is a face melter. As such, it drinks similarly to (though a pinch easier than) a high gravity malt liquor. It's pretty good as is, but I'm thinking that some time in the cellar will do the rest of these bottles good. They are definitely getting stashed away in a box with a card that reads "Do not open until Christmas".
I’m revisiting this batch nearly a year later (2/11/12) via a bottle that I stashed away in the cellar. This 12 ounce bottle was poured into a tulip glass. The pour yields about a finger and a half of fluffy khaki head. Retention is moderate. Lacing is minimal, but a few small patches cling to the glass. The brew is very dark brown and still hazy, though somewhat less so than before. Despite a careful pour there was still a lot of chunky sediment in the glass. However, a year later, the look of this beer has improved somewhat.
In the nose this is now a completely different animal. Buttery pecan is now the prominent aroma. It also smells sweet, mildly alcoholic and unfortunately, stale. However, a year in the cellar has done this beer wonders in the flavor department. The once-hot alcohol has gone nearly hidden on the tongue, revealing a syrupy masterpiece of strong ale. Rich vanilla notes blend wonderfully with a very solid pecan base, giving a very strong impression of butter-pecan ice cream. A mild bitter snap on the finish hints at resilient hop oils and cleans up the sweetness quite nicely. I cannot believe that the one-dimensional beer I drank last year is so wonderfully balanced and complex today. It is incredible, and tastes like no other beer, save for a faint resemblance to Life & Limb.
The mouthfeel is fantastic as well. It is oily and viscous but thankfully not syrupy. The carbonation is low. The body is medium to full. Alcohol warms the throat. I wasn’t going to buy any Woodmaster this year, but after sampling this fantastic year-old bottle, I am going to get a six-pack and sit on the entire thing until 2013.
03-09-2011 03:54:37 | More by weizenbob
3.38/5 rDev -11.3%
A: rich muddy fig brown with a rust tinged head. starts off at about a finger and a half but quickly dissapears into the void that is this black hole of a brew. hardly even a tuft of fluff left over when all is said and done.
S: sweet carmelized sugar, maple and pecan with a little bit of a booze kick. the malt base is fairly reminiscent of several other shorts brews ive had, its strong and definitive. i like where this is going.
T: my initial response to the flavors was that they didnt mesh with the nose, and maybe they still really dont, but it still strangely works. the more it warms up, the more depth i get from the maple sweetness, turns into an earthy aspect. this is rich with malt and breadiness, and the booze backs off just enough to let the flavors play. interesting.
M: fairly viscous, nice carbonated punch up front, and (vigourously) smooth finish.
D: i wouldnt want to drink another one right afterwords, but im convinced ill revisit some day. another interesting but solid brew from shorts.
03-02-2011 23:35:42 | More by Kkottonmouthkngz
2.6/5 rDev -31.8%
Pours a pretty maroonish brown. A bit of head and highly carbonated... it really looks pretty darn good. Smells malty and sweet. There is a hint of something bitter on the nose that is a bit off but overall smells like a decent brown ale. Taste, however, is a different store... something is seriously off here. I can't tell if its intensional or not. sharp bitterness on the tongue. Some serious maltiness that would be good if not for the off flavours. The beer is thick and creamy almost and tastes pretty good but its seriously got osmething funky going on that isn't very good. I think shorts missed on this one
03-02-2011 05:11:20 | More by Urbancaver
Short's The Woodmaster from Short's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 254 ratings.