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Short's The Woodmaster - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Short's The WoodmasterShort's The Woodmaster

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

267 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 267
Reviews: 120
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 15.4%
Wants: 49
Gots: 30 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BelgianAleSlut on 06-29-2007

Specialty Double Brown Ale.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 267 | Reviews: 120 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vkv822
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into snifter.
thanks to jbck109 for throwing this in as an extra!

Pours dark camel brown with a thin bubbly toffee head.

The aroma is of maple syrup upfront with light toasty nut and malt tones.

The taste is again of sweet maple syrup, with more of a toasted nut backing than in the aroma.

It has a medium to full body with subtle carbonation.

The sweetness of the maple syrup definitely make this a slow drinker, but is very tasty. Thankfully the nut and malt notes do help cut a bit of the sweetness. The high ABV is totally hidden.

Photo of TCgoalie
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark brown hue with not much head. Some lacing with a twirl of the glass redeems the appearance a bit. There appears to be a good deal of carbonation...we shall see.

It is hard for me to figure out exactly what is going on in the smell of this beer. It is a meld of brown sugar, dark malts, maple syrup, banana bread, and a lingering sweet heat that tickles my nostrils.

The most prominent flavor in this is definitely maple syrup. It is hidden amongst fuzzy maltiness up front but really comes through at the end. The brown sugar and malt flavors don't do a whole lot else other then hold up the front end. As for the carbonation, it isn't as much as I was anticipating in the appearance, but i prefer that it is rather subdued. If there is a pecan flavor, it is providing an off taste as there is a bit of funk going on.

Smooth and medium-full in the mouth, it leaves my mouth satisfied.

I must say that at nearly 10%, this is very drinkable. A solid offering at an interesting recipe.

Photo of malty
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This six pack shipped t my local bottle shop a few weeks ago, so I'm guessing it's pretty darned fresh.

Pours a midnight brown with caramel highlights into my stemmed Ayninger tulip-style glass. The tight and dense khaki head settles to a sturdy 1/2". Due to the dark hue and murky edges, no visible carbonation is detected. Evenly spaced spots of lace, which creates dotted lines of lace all the way down. Starring at this for 5 minutes or so, I do see what looks to be tiny bits of pecans/skins wobbling back-and-forth against the wall of my glass.

A good deal of depth in the toasted malts, creating a coffeeish scent muddles in freshly made waffles and maple syrup. I think Founders Breakfast Stout might be replaced with Woodmaster as far as the 'breakfasty' smell is concerned. Milk chocolate gracefully dominates the middle section of this decadent bouquet, while a bitter, nutty nougat trails closely behind. Very fresh, fudgey and full smelling.

Wowzaa! Tons of depth in the flavor as well! Not at all cloyingly sweet, as I was silently fearing based on the description and scent. Tis very dry in the beginning with a bitter, charred woody essence. You can feel the warmth of this elixir after the bitterness diminishes, but no off-putting taste of alcohol anywhere to be detected. Hearty notes of toasted malts with the pecans making their graceful presence, but more in bitterness than traditional flavor.

Mouthfeel is rich and almost full bodied with well-placed carbonation - which is fine and graceful. The finish is warming, bitter and slightly chalky.

Drinkability is great. Since it's not sweet and a tad bitter, it doesn't build up at all of the palate.

Overall a perfect cold weather companion while enjoying a real wood fire crackling in the fireplace. The snow is flying outside as I type on my macbook, and with this beer sitting on the end table, I'm doing just fine. Glad I bought more than one, or I'd be completely bummed. Bittersweet and creamy. Yummy.

Photo of SupaCelt
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drunk with the Dead's Nobody's Spoonful Jam playing followed by Mason Jennings' January and somehow Transistor from 311 and Widespread's Pilgrims: Pours a deep brown with a short lived head of perhaps one fourth of one inch. Lace formations dot and cling. Brown.

The nose is heavy on the maple syrup qualities. Smells delightful. Lovely nutty tones follow close behind the maple presence. An enticing smell catalogue.

The taste is rich and robust with a heavy sweetness and a very notable maple syrup element. The pecans are fairly muted. This beer is very delicious.

The mouthfeel is a solid medium. Satisfying. It supports the richness of the flavours well.

The drinkability is good. This is quite sweet, and as such serves as more of a one and done selection or dessert beer, or night cap. Well worth a try. A perfect winter selection to enjoy whilst bundled up in flannel in front of a nice fire. A great version of a nut brown of imperial status.

Photo of GRPunk
4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- A 1-finger tan head developed after a normal pour. It dropped pretty quickly to a full film that left some great sticky spots on the glass. The body was a slighty murky, mahogany.

S- There's lots of nutty goodness that reminds me of a quality nut liquer and sweet notes of maple syrup. Very well balanced between the two. A little boozy kick lets you know it means business There's a little milk chocolate at points. Some rum-like qualities peek out with some warmth.

T- Oh so good. Lots of complexity. Nuts and maple play major roles. There's additional sweetness from a caramel characteristics. Alcohol is pretty considerable, but in no way harsh, just warming. Warmth brings out some toasted, bready tones.

M- Warming alcohol is quite pleasant. Lighter carbonation, moderate viscosity. Medium bodied is the best I can say.

D- It's a great cold weather drinker with the warm alcohol and flavors of fall/winter (nuts and maple syrup). It took a lot of will power to let it warm a bit for a full experience. Something I'd buy again. Glad I took the suggestion from the "beer guy" at Peter's Imports.

Photo of nickadams2
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A_Dark brown with a reddish hue. Thick tan head that dissipates into a thin ring. Spotty lacing.

S_Pecans,caramelized brown sugar and maple syrup.

T_Maple syrup,rich pecans,caramel,brown sugar with a touch of heat from the alcohol. Warms with each sip.

M_Full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Slick mouthfeel.

D_Definite sipper. Pretty rich in taste.

Photo of tetonka4kzoo
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish-brown color with a tan head. It almost looks like Coca-Cola.

Wow, an aromatic nose with a maple syrup and nutty scent. It has a malty and alcohol scent.

The first sip from the snifter was a pleasant sweet taste from the pecans. I also notice caramel. Woodmaster has some nutmeg, alspice, and other spices found in other brown ales. Woodmaster has a good nutty aftertaste.

Woodmaster is medium-bodied and feels creamy. Pretty good for a brown ale, not too spicy. Good balance and decent drinkability. The ABV may be up there like a lot of Short's brew and not listed like all Short's. Cool artwork on the label.

Photo of DannyDan
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Pours a dark mahogany with a thick tan head with superb retention, and lacing. It also has decent carbonation.
S. The aroma is roasted pecans, maple syrup, coffee and chocolate. The smell just lets you know you have a high quality beer.
T. This is a very unique taste of maple syrup, pecans, chocolate, coffee mixed together followed by some sweet malts, some fruits, more maple syrup, a nutty pecan finish with hints of saltiness in a semi-sweet finish.
M. This starts out smooth, but as you drink it the creaminess takes over. The mix of smoothness and creaminess goes all over the mouth and when swallowing the beer can feel the warmness of the alcohol in you.
D. For being a full bodied beer with a 9.5% ABV it is very drinkable.
So far this is the best beer I have tried from Short's. This is highly recommended and a beer this good makes me proud that people who are local to me made this great brew.

Photo of techfed87
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice powerful head. Color is dark brown. Smell is fairly sweet, with a definite malt presence there.

First sip is quite interesting. It starts off very slowly, building in intensity from what could be described as an average brown ale to something far more nuanced. There is a bit of a nutty flavor to it, which I guess could be the pecans. Mouthfeel is very rich as well, with an aftertaste that's quite tasty in its own respect.

Having heard that this is a limited release, I strongly suggest you try this one before it runs out.

Photo of jale
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy copper-brown with a quarter of tan head.

S: Roasted malt, toasted nuts and some maple.

T: Slight maple and pecans. Quite boozy with a small amount of hop bitterness towards the end. I feel this is a bit light for a brown ale. Would like to have tasted more of that flavor.

M: Adequate carbonation. Somewhat thin for me.

D: One is enough for me. I'll keep a 6 pack for a time to see how this ages.

Photo of B0bD0bbselbock
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into tumbler pint glass

A- Amber brown, moderately opaque, appearing somewhat like grade A maple syrup (appropriately enough). Fairly strong head, about 1/4 inch thick, with nice lacing.

S- The pecans seem to come out first, following quickly by the sweet aroma of maple syrup and brown sugar. I can really detect the maple syrup notes, along with brown sugar, paired with the roasted pecans, smelling somewhat like a maple glazed doughnut.

T- The maple syrup and roasted pecans shine through very nicely in this delectable drink. Amazing! The pecans really compliment the brown sugar and maple syrup notes beautifully. Also, a nice bit of warming alcohol in the finish, complimenting the other flavors well. The flavors linger very pleasantly on the palate, reminding me somewhat of flapjacks with pecans topped with real maple syrup. Truly, a chemical wedding of complimentary flavors dancing on the taste buds.

M- Medium-bodied, somewhat creamy.

D- Very, very drinkable. The lovely pairing of familiar flavors make for an enjoyable drink that goes down quite well, either enjoyed sip by sip , or guzzled at moderate pace :)

To my mind, this beer seems outstanding in many respects, from its bold and synergistic flavors, lovely aroma and color, to its high ABV- this beer has a lot to offer. I imagine this would be a nice drink to share with those who may have yet to develop a palate for craft brews, as this showcases quite nicely flavors that most folks may already know and appreciate. And on cold winter nights, sitting around a nice fire with friends or a loved one, this would be a winner, for certain, IMO. Maybe even as compliment to pancakes, bacon, and eggs for breakfast, for those "vacation" days ;) I also find the whimsical artwork on the bottle brings yet another dimension of enjoyment to the beverage. In Short's, a brilliant beer :)

Photo of zoso1967
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Woodmaster pours a fairly cloudy, deep woody (go figure) brown color with a light tan cap of foam. The foam has nice staying power and leaves equally nice lace.

The aroma is sweet and malty with plenty of brown sugar, some maple and a bit of toffee. It also has that sort of earthy spice to it that seems so common in Short's larger beers. I also can detect just a bit of alcoholic heat and perhaps even some vanilla.

The flavor is also quite malty with a pretty big punch of dark and rich fruity sweetness. The malt character of this beer also has a good dose of molasses and plenty of maple goodness. Probably my favorite aspect of this beer is that all this sweetness melts away to reveal a nice nutty and slightly toasty character that you would find in a more traditional brown. It is a very smooth transition that makes the beer very balanced and makes me want to take another sip.

The mouthfeel is also quit pleasant. Nice and smooth with a medium body. The finish is slightly sticky, but at the same time has enough dryness to keep it from getting out of control. Toasted nutty notes linger on my palate after swallowing.

This might not be as drinkable as a standard brown ale, but it is much more drinkable than many other beers of its size and malt character. When I smelled this and got all that malt in my nose, I figured it would be a sipper, but the nuttiness on the end helps it go down faster. This is a very well made beer.

Photo of Another6Pack
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: murky brown pour, 1/4" head that lasted about a minute, nice sturdy lacing. Flakes of what I presume are the toasted pecans are suspended throughout.

S: sweet, earthy, and even a little alcohol in the nose. Pretty darn interesting and appealing.

T: blast of sweetness at the front, malt and pecans in the middle, and a kick of alcohol at the finish. I am not a sweet beer fan, but the sweetness in this one is not prolonged. Every now and then the finish was strangely reminiscient of Jagermeister.

M/D: nothing at all adverse here. Drinkability gets an extra .5 for the flavor/heat combination.

I like that I can taste everything that was put into this ale, and would be pleased if it worked its way into a regular winter bottling rotation.

Photo of JizackFH
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review is from notes taken when I went to the Shorts Brewpub on 7/7/10. I love going to their brewpub by the way.

A - This beer pours a deep mahogany color. The edges glow crimson when held to the light. It has a nice 2-finger off-white head on it, that left good lacing on the glass.

S - It has a good maple syrup smell up front. There are also notes of pecans, almonds, caramel, alcohol, and toffee. There is also a bit of toastiness present.

T - The toasted malts come out first. There is also a nice sweetness present as well. The maple taste is present, but much less than in the nose. I am also getting the caramel, toffee, and nuttiness that was in the nose.

M - This has a medium-ull body with low-medium carbonation. It is a very smooth beer, and has a creamy feel to it. It coats the mouth nicely.

D - This has good drinkability. It goes down easy and tastes great. It has a good balance to it, as a deep flavor profile. This is a great beer from a great brewery, and I'm glad I got the chance to enjoy it. I can't wait until my next trip the Shorts brewpub.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 6/29/2010. On tap at Shorts. Pours a dark amber brown with barely any head. Aroma of sweet nutty malt. Flavor of maple (but not so much maple sugar), nutty pecan, also a strange saltiness (mushrooms?). Not overly sugary or malty as I was expecting. Still, it didn't quite sit right with me. An interesting beer to try, but I'd suggest a small sample!

Photo of kzoobrew
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Bellaire brewpub 07/31/10.

Dark brown body with slight amber highlights gleeming through the edges. Head is slight and doesn't linger long. Light eggshell color, decent lacing left despite the minimal head.

Rich maple syrup is strong upfront. Aroma is rather sweet all the way around. Caramel and brown malts with a nuttiness from the pecans. Slightly boozey but not offensive.

The flavor on tap is a bit deeper than later samples from the growler. On tap the darker malt flavors are stronger melding well with the sweet maple flavor. The nuttiness blends in just behind complimenting the previous flavors well. Out of the growler the sweetness seems to be increased as the darker malty flavors fade.

Full bodied with a thick and creamy mouthfeel. Very syrupy, sweetness sticks to the tongue leaving the finish to be very long.

Another dangerously drinkable beer from Short's. A hefty beer which will really sneak up on you. A couple pints would probably be my limit, but I would enjoy the hell out of those pints. Excellent beer and a privilege to drink.

Photo of webmanspidey
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler picked up at the pub. Dark brown with tan lacing. Smell is sweet and nutty. Taste is very sweet maple syrup up front fading into roasted pecans. The mix of the two makes you think of a great pancake breakfast. For 9.5% ABV this has excellent drinkabilty. Interesting and worth trying.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

afdempse hooked me up with a growler from Short's. Thanks Adam!

A: Thin, brown hue with only a small head that leaves little lacing.

S: sweet malt, nuts, wood

T: The beer has a pleasant taste, with maple syrup really coming through. There is also a good roasted pecan flavor in there. The downside is the sweetness, which is overabundant.

M: A moderately thin body and very sweet throughout. Also, I would prefer a bit more carbonation.

D: An interesting beer and fun to try. Best in small quantities.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from BA Mag Oct 2007.

Extreme beer will never die, it will just become more difficult to be original. Original is what The Woodmaster is, a Double Brown Ale fermented with earthwork maple syrup and toasted pecans. Number 7 of 13 in their Imperial Beer Series.

The carbonation struggles through the semi-viscous brew to form a tight tiny-bubbled tan lace. Mildly hazed dark-mahogany color has a dull glow when put up to the light. This maple-caramel fusion jumps at the nose with suggestions of date sugar, ripe strawberries, rum and cocoa powder in the back. Very smooth at first sip but then the creaminess takes over with a lush full body. Mellow toasted-malt blankets the palate and cradles the rounded fruity ester and mild earthy, nutty character of the maple and pecans. Alcohol is very warming but does not get hot, hops are laid back and simply balance in their faded state. A tad mineral or salty in the semi-sweet finish.

How is a beer of 9.5% ABV so damn drinkable? It's scary in a way as this is a sipper, so make sure you have a friend or two to share the bottle with ... or not. The maple syrup does add a good amount of depth, as well as the pecans even though they stay a little vague. Vite Estreme Della Birra!

Photo of largadeer
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle shared by ipa247 back in January. Thank you, Jeff.

Semi-hazy dark amber with a small off-white head that recedes to a thin collar. Toasted pecans leap out of the glass, slightly overwhelming the toasted malt foundation. Maple syrup is noticeable on a lesser level, lending only a touch of sweetness. Toasted pecans and maple follow through on the palate, though it's not especially sweet. Flavors of toast and roasted malt are stronger mid-palate along with moderate bitterness. This is enjoyable, but I find myself wishing it were less attenuated to balance the slightly chalky and astringent character of the nuts. The finish is dry and lightly bitter with a lingering nutty aftertaste. Pretty good, a different yeast, something with more of an English ale character, would have made this more enjoyable.

Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a becher glass. Beer is brown but light brown, forms a thin broken head. Beer is clear and carbonation is low, no lacing left on the glass.

Smells sweet and woodsey, like slightly old wood. There is a liquor smell to this beer.

Beer is sweet and has a liquor like quality to it, a rather strong liquor like quality, bourbon almost. I guess the point of this beer is to taste like bourbon, congratulations, you did it, you really did. Drinkability is fine, mouthfeel is fine. I guess its an OK beer but not a repeat for me.

Photo of brewandbbq
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from the cellar.

Pours autumnal brown with a haze and a quarter inch of biege foam. Dotted lacing and a partial skim coat remained for the duration of the glass.

Aromatics lead off with maple syrup, caramel, sweet malt, and touch of toasted nuts. Proofing dough drizzeled with maple syrup and pecan dust.

On the fuller side of medium bodied with a sticky, tacky mouthfeel.

Sweet, plump malt, maple syrup, and a caramel reduction start the palate. Hints of chocolate, nuts, and a winey tartness follow through.

Finishes with lingering sweet syrup, rich malt, a warming booziness, and a mild tartness.

Quite sweet but probably the most maple I've had in a beer. The nuts are quite subdued at this point as well and a mild tartness seems to be developing.

Photo of GbVDave
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist! Extra special thanks to Mentor for this from our recent trade! Also, thanks to Mentor for mailing me the hang tag/trading card. You rock, Paul!

Bottle # 496 of 936
Date Brewed: 3.20.07
Batch No: 289
Date Bottled: 5.9.07

A: Pours a muddy milk chocolate mixed with Grade B maple syrup color. Small khaki head gives way to thick bubbly ring and ample lace.

S: Aromas of tangy fruit, maple syrup, toasted nuts, cola nut, molassas, honey, vanilla, and pipe tobacco.

T: See above with a hint of brandy and/or rum, brown sugar, roasted nuts, and dry toasty malt.

M: Full bodied and sweet with the perfect amount of dry astringency.

D: Damn! We loved this beer! So rich and earthy, hopefully this becomes easier to find in the future.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Chilled 750mL bottle, shared by ipa247 at his recent sour tasting. Thanks, Jeff.

A: Pours a port-like maroon body with moderately-retaining off-white head.

S: Maple, nuts (though I'd be hard-pressed to identify them as pecans after reading the bottle), toffee, caramel, toast.

T: About the same as the nose. It tips a little to the sweet side with toffee, caramel, toast, and maple. The nuts are.... bitter, almost like year-old walnuts (I know this because I have some in my cupboard).

M: It gets a bit cloying and syrupy after a number of sips, which is weird because it's fairly dry. I blame the carbonation, which seems a lit low. A bit boozy in the finish. A strange, uneven bitterness from the nuts, as I mentioned.

D: It wasn't awful, but I didn't care much for it. One of the weaker Short's beers I have had, though I love and commend their experimental side.

Photo of grub
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viggo opened this one up. thanks eric!

750ml bottle topped with a descriptive tag telling more about the beer. sampled jan 1/2010.

pours crystal clear deep red, almost brownish at a distance but showing a beautiful garnet and ruby blend when held to the light. the small fine tan head quickly drops to a thin ring around the glass. spotty lace.

aroma is good. warming alcohol. light maple. big caramel and toffee presence. pecan, almond, bit of peanut. multi-grain bread and biscuit. touch of apple and pear. light toasty character.

taste is neat. light alcohol. toasted multi-grain bread and biscuit. light cracker. caramel and toffee. bit of maple. pecan and almond. bit of oaky character. light vanilla. bit of apple and pear again. lightly fruity. bit of raisin and date.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body. just over medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. nice balance. neat depth. another interesting brew from a fine brewery.

Short's The Woodmaster from Short's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 267 ratings.