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Abnormal Genius - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Abnormal GeniusAbnormal Genius

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

30 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 30
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.83%
Wants: 22
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: hoppymeal on 07-16-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 | Reviews: 24
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of StoutHunter
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of tectactoe
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Ashley's in Westland for the Shorts vs. Greenbush Throwdown. I was excited to see this one on the tap list, as I thought it may have been archived for good. It pours a color that sits somewhere between amber and copper, difficult to discern; hazy and muddled with a fuzzy cap that shows a strange shade of gray. Kind of a strange looking beer - nothing too exotic about it, just a little ugly.

My first whiff is filled with a ton of sweet, sweet honey. Honey crusted, biscuity malts with a nice, soft level of sweetness. After letting it warms up a little, the wacky aromas really come to life. Herbal hops; leafy and dry, with a slight vegetal character - slightly akin to flower stems or beanstalks. The sunflower seeds are killing me - they give off quite a distinct and dry-salty aroma. I probably wouldn't have guess sunflower seeds on my own, but once you mention it - you can definitely smell them.

The taste follows a similar pattern, opening up with just a light touch of honey before catapulting you into this strange myriad of flavors. Sweet toffee malts, herbal and mildly ashy hops, and sunflower seeds. Just like the aroma, the longer you sip on this beer, the stronger the sunflower seeds get. It's actually kind of mind-boggling how the taste of sunflower seeds actually comes through so much. Abnormal is right.

Unfortunately, this beer eventually reaches a point where sunflower seeds is almost ALL you get. The closer you get to room temp, the closer this beer gets to being a liquefied version of David's roasted sunflower seeds. I love sunflower seeds as much as the next guy, but it gets to be a little much. At first, it had a nice balance with the hops, toffee and bready malt, and sweet honey. But now, the dry and salty sunflower seed shells are too cumbersome to be fully enjoyable. Medium bodied, medium carbonation; soft and slightly wet mouth feel.

Another strange-ass brew from Shorts. They said it was made with honey and sunflower seeds, and you can easily pull both of those things out. The problem is, one of them eventually overpowers the other, not to mention everything else. I'm still impressed with how much this beer actually tastes and smells like sunflower seeds, but I'm also not so sure that they belong in a beer. Glad to have tried this nonetheless.

Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of beergorrilla
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of LambClowder
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of TheStove
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a chalice. Found this one in Brussels, Belgium of all places and had to bring it back to the US. Talk about ridiculous...

Pours a deep amber with light head that leaves a lingering lace. The brew smells earthy with the honey notes evident and maybe some faint citrus from the hops. Drinks sweet and robust almost like a Belgian dubbel with honey flavor weaving it's way through the sip. Finishes with the earthy flavor and some hop bitterness. Excellent mouthfeel and snap that stays on the tongue.

Not a bad beer but nothing original given Shorts' typical oeuvre. It's a nice earthy ale that hangs with its Belgian predecessors however I don't think it's anything too outlandish however it is delicious and I would definitely drink it again.

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Brabander
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

We had a beertasting at Beerpirates place on sunday the 15th of may 2011. Jeffo, Claark13, Bierschenker, beerpirates and i drank a whole bunch of beers. Thanks for your hospitality Wim!

Poured in my Westvleteren tasting glass this beer is darkorange with a light head. There is some honey with a light stouttaste, very special! This one is not barrel aged but the honey gives the beers this taste. The carbonation is very strong in the mouth but also very pleasant.

Thanks Jeff(o) for bringing this beer.

Photo of Jeffo
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this one many moons ago in Amsterdam. Opened at Wim's place during a fun beer afternoon. Cheers to everyone who was there!

From a 750ml into a snifter
Brewed: 2 April 2007
Bottle 521 of 798

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, medium-thinner looking, off-white head with good retention, fading to a ring and thin wisp. Hazy gamboge orange in color with higher levels of carbonation evident. A good wisp and ring remain until the end and leave dots of lacing down the glass. Pretty good looking ale.

SMELL: Decent strength and the elements are there. Pale and caramel malts with toffee in there as well. The honey is definitely noticeable. Quite nice.

TASTE: Follows the nose nicely. Pale malts and lots of caramel and toffee in there. Piles of pure, raw honey, just as the label suggested, and there is actually some sunflower seed shells in there at the finish as well. Pretty unique. Quite flavorful and the alcohol is nowhere to be found. Bold but shorter lived aftertaste is sweet, with lots of caramel and pure honey, with even a touch of vanilla in there. Pretty solid stuff.

PALATE: Medium-light body with medium carbonation. A little lighter than I would have liked. Goes down fine with a bit of heat after the swallow and finishes slightly dry on the palate. Average at best here.

OVERALL: I’d been sitting on this beer for a while waiting for a good time to open it, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Like Midnight Sun TREAT, all the advertised ingredients were detectable in the taste. Unlike TREAT, however, I can honestly say I enjoyed what was going on. Lots of honey and malty sweetness in this one, but it certainly never got old. Glad everyone was able to share this one together during a great beer day at Wim's place. Cheers!

Photo of beerpirates
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thx Jeff ( jeffo ) for bringing this bad boy to the tasting !

75 cl bottel poured into my tastingglass @ a tasting with some awesome BA's -:)

Copper pour with a big, rocky, white head that fades to a thin layer.
Sweet aroma with notes of wildflower honey, ripe fruits, banana, clove, toasted sunflower seeds, bread, and grassy hops. The flavor is loaded with herbal wildflower honey.
The alcohol is pretty noticeable and really wraps the tongue. Notes of cinnamon raisin bread, clove and banana esters, candi sugar, ripe fruits, and toasted sunflower seeds balance out the sweetness.
The body is sticky, medium-full with lots of cleansing carbonation
Very nice !!!

Photo of Spica66
3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased at Short's Brewery last Friday. I had never heard of it, and I am surprised to see that it shows as being "Retired" when the brewery is still selling it.

A: Medium-dark yellow color with good head formation and retention. Not much carbonation visible in the body, though.

S: Smells very malty-sweet with a slight nuttiness.

T: Very malty sweet, bordering on too sweet. The sunflower seeds are the nutty smell/taste. Can't really make out any hops. Maybe this is an old bottle, I am not sure.

M: Med-heavy mouthfeel with a slight stickiness on your lips afterwards. Not much carbonation.

D: Too sweet with not enough hops for my taste.

Photo of webmanspidey
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

25.6 ounce bottle poured into a large snifter. This is a cloudy golden/amber color with a half inch of fizzy head that quickly dissipates. Smell is an intensely rich mix of sweet honey and alcohol.

Taste is very sweet with more hints of honey and a finish that is fairly boozy. The sunflower seeds come out in the flavor as well along with some wood-like flavors. Drinkability isn't terrible, but the fairly-high alcohol is noticeable.

Photo of ffejherb
3.29/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing this 750ml on 3/19/10.

A - Poured a clear orange/honey-colored liquid with moderate carbonation and a very limited head that reduced to a thin ring of retention and no lacing at all.

S - The honey sweetness is apparent right off the bat and really overpowered the aroma initially, although some vanilla notes managed to seep out. A waft of alcohol soon reared its head, as well as a slight hint of summer melons and salty sunflower seeds.

T - Again, the honey is so apparent, its like getting your head stuck in a beehive. Extremely sweet and nectar-like, but with a subtle seedy and salty character that ultimately takes a back seat to the honey attributes. Finishes with more sugary sweetness and virtually no hop bitterness at all.

M - Medium bodied and softly carbonated with an extremely syrupy texture. Pretty thick, honey-esque consistency overall. Finishes ubersweet on the palate with no noticeable bitterness.

D - Very, very sweet... as a matter of fact, way too sweet and syrupy, and that's coming from someone whose favorite candy is Marshmallow Peeps! And let me tell you, I can eat them one box at a time. I did enjoy the subtle sunflower seed character, which was out of the ordinary, but ultimately a few ounces of this was all I could bear.

Photo of kbeals
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- A vigorous pour reveals a bright golden colored brew with about a finger of fizzy white head. The head dissipates rather quickly leaving no lacing behind.

S- Nutty and very sweet. Honey is definitely the main aroma coming from this. A bit boozy smelling as well.

T- Very similar to the aroma, but the nuttiness is more pronounced in the beginning. As it warms the honey seems to take over making it very sweet. The booziness in the smell doesn't really show up in the taste.

M- Very prickly mouthfeel due to high amounts of carbonation. Medium-bodied.

D- Overall sweetness of it makes it hard to drink a lot of this. It's also very filling. Luckily I split the bottle with a friend.

Photo of tpd975
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to jdubfl for bringing all the Short's beers in for a tasting.

A: Pours a bright golden hue with a small creamy foamy head.

S: As soon as the nose hits the glass, pow sweet honey. The aroma of sunflowers can be picked up as well in a sort of nutty way.

T: Honey sweetness for sure. Earthy honey, not really a honey sweetness more like real honey. The sunflower seeds are in the flavor as well. Light spices hide beneath.

M: Medium in body, great carbonation to carry the flavor.

D: Good, I really liked this beer. Unique and tasty. Could not really put the flavors in this one into words. Seek it out!

Photo of gford217
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another rarity courtesy of hoppymeal, bottle #394, poured into a tulip.

Pours a hazy caramel orange with a big creamy off-white head that settles in as a cap for the duration and leaves spotty lacing.

Lots of sweetness in the aroma with the honey definitely showing through, along with some sweet caramel malts and a faint herbal spiciness. The nuts are present in the nose but certainly took a backseat to the sweetness.

The taste is slightly more balanced with the nuts coming out up front before giving way to the big sweet malt base and, as in the aroma, the dominant honey sweetness which lingers in the finish and builds up between sips.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty thick with the honey sweetness. Almost cloying, but not quite.

This is what I like about Shorts. It's a very original take on the style with some ingredients that I would never have thought to put together. As a lover of honey in beer, I thought this one would hit the spot...and it did. A great beer that has aged exceptionally well.

Photo of Windigstadt
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a slightly opaque honey color with an effervescent while head.

S: Intense smell of sweet sugars . . . honey, cane sugar, and Karo syrup, with just a touch of citric tartness.

T: Bready and malty sweetness immediately hits the palate. There are hints of brown sugar and molasses, with a slight roasty/nutty flavor (from the sunflowers, I assume) that keeps it from being overly sweet. A neutral yeast profile. The finish is slightly dry, with a bit of an alcohol burn and some neutral hop bitterness, both of which keep this beer from being syrupy sweet.

M: Thin (as I would expect from a beer brewed with honey) but not overly so. High carbonation, which helps cut the sweetness of the beer.

D: For a 9.6% beer, this is incredibly drinkable.

Overall: A very interesting beer. I was expecting something along the lines of a Belgian strong ale, but it deviated from that style in three important respects: 1.) it's much sweeter/maltier; 2.) it lacks the characteristic Belgian esters you get from a Belgian strong ale; 3.) it has an added nutty complexity from the addition of sunflowers. Between the nuttiness and the sufficient hop bitterness, the beer still balances the way a Belgian strong ale does. A very unique beer, and a successful experiment if I do say so myself.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I lucked out thanks to Hoppymeal. Letting me get my hands on a number of these limited bottling, needless to say I was thrilled. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 05/04/2009. A 2007 vintage, this was bottle number 266.
The pour was not what I expected at all. Huge towering head of white jumps up right away and sits on top of a bright golden liquid that was almost shining. Light haze to it was enough to keep it from being completely translucent, but still very well done. Only a slight falter in the head after ten minutes still left tons of lacing up and down the glass. The aroma was still hot after over two years! Lots of honey in here, herbal with hints of sunflowers and well a very meadow, grassy touch to it with a light hint of grain and lots and lots of alcohol. Smooth, heavy flavor here, the honey leading the way and overpowering all in its path. This was as close to a mead or braggot as you can get without crossing styles. The feel would have been heavy, almost syrup like without the more the adequate carbonation that lie at the heart of it. Letting it warm just brought out more of the grain like, flowery taste in the palate and really pulled you in. Still a very heavy one here that is not to be taken lightly.
Overall wow, this was very impressive for me to say the least. Heavy as heck and a real treat. They seemed to have blended together multiple styles here and really just came out of the box swinging. This has me ready to try the next one for sure!

Photo of tmoneyba
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at local BA tasting.

Poured a hazy copper color with an average frothy off-white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate to heavy herbs, nuts and earthy aroma. Medium body with a sticky texture and soft carbonation. Medium to heavy sweet flavor with a medium sweet finish of moderate to long duration.

This is a standout beer for style and my expectations where met.

Photo of Floydster
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle acquired in a trade with hoppymeal, thanks for sending this my way Derek, split with my dad tonight, poured into my Rubicon snifter, bottle #254 of 798, 9 of 13 in the series, color is a medium orange with amber tint, thick 1 3/4 inch soapy white head that stays around for close to ten minutes, good amount of lace at the top of the glass, aroma consits of grains, honey, oranges, lemons, peaches, booze, strong yeast, and mild spice, flavor starts off with a big honey flavor, cereal-like malt in the middle, finish is slightly dry but sweet as well, tried to taste the sunflower seeds but came up short, gets hotter as it warms, the honey is what really makes this beer stand out as being unique, not cloying or anything, instead it adds a rounded sweet welcome and even finish after a while, sweet and slightly chewy mouthfeel, also can be a bit dry at times, full bodied, very soft carbonation, probably could have used some more, taste lingered for a long time, could have drank this entire bottle but glad I did not because it gets heavy after the first glass, alcohol is not hidden the greatest, stuff is filling and thick, the honey component is probably the culprit for that, has nice picture of Joe Short on the trading card, pretty sure he named this beer after himself or at least should have, this beer is nearly two years old and still tastes as good as the first time I sampled it, would drink again, should continue to age desirably, recommended

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

# 10 of 798.

Pours into my glass a deep reddish orange hue with a creamy, thick 1 inch head of white foam. Plenty of active carbonation. Enticing. Aromas start out with an intoxicating mix of earthy, rich, somewhat floral honey and the distinct note of nutty sunflower seeds. Sweet malts lurk in the background with a touch of caramel.

First sip brings an upfront nutty sunflower seed flavor that has peanut accents as well. Earthy, slightly floral honey flows through with a somewhat slick viscous quality to it. Some bready hints and a caramel sweetness on the way down. Finishes with a linger melding of honey and nutty flavors and a touch of residual sweetness and alcohol. Tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat slick with good steady carbonation. Big with a good sweetness, but not overly so. I really enjoy drinking this one and the unique flavors keep me coming back sip after sip. Wish I had more than one bottle. One of my fave in the Imperial Series. I need to make a trip up to Short's one of these days!

Photo of younger35
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this brew in a trade with hoppymeal. I really love how Short's is brewing some of these crazy unique brews. This will be my fifth of the Imperial series. Drank from my clear Surly coffee mug (meant for Coffee Bender, not real coffee).

High Gravity Golden Ale fermented with Sunflower Seeds and Earthwork Honey.
Date Brewed: 4/2/07
Batch No: 296
Date Bottled: 5/14/07
Non Traditional Ingredients: Earthwork Honey, Sunflower Seeds
Imperial Beer 9 of 13
Bottle Number 225 of 798

Appearance- Pours a golden yellow with reddish hues and a small one finger fizzy head that recedes very quickly. No cap remains and a very thin collar that leaves some tiny little patches of lacing.
Smell- Fairly tart smelling with a fairly big dose of honey, lemon peel and peach. The sunflower seeds don't have as much oomph as I was expecting but a light woodiness is perceivable. Mostly just crisp and malty with a light honey sweetness and light alcoholic vapors.
Taste- Definitely tell there's honey in this thing. Not quite mead-ish but the honey is very prevalent and the alcohol is pretty evident. It (alcohol) kind of dominates the flavor actually. A very light woody peanut kick is noticeable every-once-in-a-while but it's not very strong. I wonder if the sunflower seeds played more of a role when this thing was fresh? Very light sweetness toward the finish with a big healthy malty, almost doughy, kick and alcoholic finish.
Mouthfeel- Very full bodied with a big thick creamy feel and ultra light carbonation.
Drinkability- Very unique beer that isn't too bad. The alcohol needs to be toned down a bit and I'm guessing it's so noticeable because of the honey. I really wish I would have saved this to share with someone because one bottle is more than enough for one person. This is exactly why I love Short's though. Very creative, unique stuff that I wish other brewers had the balls to try. Huge thanks again to Derek!

Photo of HerrFaust
4.77/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was my second Short's beer, a gift from my brother-in-law. I aged this beer for many months, and it was worth it. Poured a hazy orange with a minimal head. The peanut taste was great with an aged "peasant cheese" from Wisconsin. The honey taste that was forward in the younger (?) bottles reviewed earlier seems to have dried out--secondary fermentation doing its thing? Still, plenty of body.

Together with their MI brethren, Jolly Pumpkin, these guys are doing the most interesting stuff in beer these days.

Photo of hopdog
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle.

Poured a medium and hzay golden color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of honey, sun flower seeds (or is that just because I read the label 1st!), and caramel. Tastes of honey sweetness, caramel, sun flower seed, and a little fruity. I give Shorts props for making this (but Honey is just not my cup of tea - but I did like the sun flower seeds!).

Notes from 12/17/07

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Abnormal Genius from Short's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.