Short's The Magician - Short's Brewing Company

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Short's The MagicianShort's The Magician

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381 Ratings
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Ratings: 381
Reviews: 170
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 15.61%
Wants: 8
Gots: 38 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: CortexBomb on 03-21-2008

"A rich lustrous dark red London Ale. Rich malt complexities lending notes of toasted caramel, raisins, toffee, and slight roast chocolate. Very light hop additions let the true malt characters promenade throughout the tasting enjoyment this beer offers."
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 381 | Reviews: 170
Reviews by SimcoeJoe:
More User Reviews:
Photo of CMUbrew
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A very dark red-brown color. A head forms and then disappears almost as quickly.

S: Nose is predominately raisin and fig dark fruitiness. A tiny bit of chocolate is buried in there also.

T: There's a lot going on here. Tea flavors appear on the front end, moving into bready and biscuity sweet malts. Dark fruit is in the background and the trace chocolate notes appear again. Sweet overall.

M: Light body, quite under-carbonated. Slightly dry finish.

O: A quality beer that would be much better with some bubbles. Underrated beer overall in my opinion.

Photo of nickadams2
4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A_Dark red with a thick khaki tan head. Moderate lacing.

S_Heavy malt. Nutty and tart fruits also coming through.

T_Nutty fruity flavor up front. Tart fruits has a slightly sour but pleasant taste. Nice combination.

M_Nice mouthfeel with nice carbonation.Not too heavy. Good for sessions.

D_Low abv and great flavor.Could easily polish off a few in one session.

Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer, w/o freshness info. Pours red tinged amber, minor lite tan head, stays around a bit, film, thin collar and ehh lacing.

Slight sour note in the nose, along with some fruit (cherry) and malts.

Slightly sour note picked up, cherries, raisins, woody....Interesting brew, moderate complexity. Toffee malts come through loud and clear. Moderate, drying hop bite late. Not bad, but unlikely I'd go for this one too often...

Photo of tigg924
4.14/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, reddish brown in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: toasted malt, dark cherry, and chocolate

Taste: toasted malt, dark cherry, chocolate, and some hops at the end.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, sweet with slight bitterness, medium-high carbonation

Overall: I love the complexity of this brew with the dark fruit and malt combo. Glad I got a six. Not sure how true to the style this one is as I get no tea flavors, but it tastes amazing.

Photo of standardcherry
3.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle thanks to genuinedisciple!

A: Amber/brown color with a small tan head that instantly receded.
S: Reminds me of my first homebrew. Fruity and floral. Some bready scent in there. Toffee.
T: Lots of dark fruits and maltiness. A floral hops finish.
M: Thin bodied, crisp and refreshing.
O: A good, easy drinking brew. I'd have more if I had the chance.

Photo of madeofsteel
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just picked a growler up earlier today, straight from the source!

A - Pours a dark reddish brown, with a finger's worth of head, sadly very little lacing or retention.

S - Very malty, with an almost sour bite to it. Toasty, with some hints of caramel.

T - Surprisingly balanced, there are just enough hops in here to keep it from being too sweet. That being said, it is very malty, sort of roasty with notes of raisin and caramel.

M - Sort of creamy, not a whole lot of carbonation. Odd sour twang near the finish.

O - Definitely not my favorite from Short's, but it's not too bad. None of the flavors are really overstated, which is a very good thing.

Photo of lnashsig
2.91/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Many thanks to Kzoobrew for the chance to taste this beer. So far, pretty impressed with Shorts, this is another offering I have never had before. Poured from bottle into Brooklyn Tulip. This is an ugly looking beer. Looks like Storm drain water/something I would find in a rest stop toilet. Little to no head. Visible small bubbles streaming from the bottle of the glass. I assume this is going to be pretty carbonated. Smell- strawberries, a hint of plastic. Some off-flavors here on the nose. Taste- watered down plastic mixed with strawberries. Something is wrong here. I'm not sure I would call this a drain pour, because other than the plastic flavors, its a pretty easy drinking beer. There just aren't many redeemable qualities to this one. Overall, not a fan. Other offerings from Shorts have been very strong, this is an exception.

Photo of biboergosum
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A short mug at Old Chicago, home of '110 different beers' - that marketing shtick aside, they do have a decent 10-or-so-strong selection of local 'specialty drafts'. The bartender indicated that this was actually around 9% ABV.

This beer appears a clear, dark reddish amber, with one finger of creamy beige head, which renders a thin slowly dissolving wall of painted lace around the glass as it gently settles. It smells of sweet toffee nougat, some leafy bitter hops, and a bit of warming alcohol. The taste is weirdly thin caramel, tangy dark bread, earthy, leafy hops, and a very slight booze twinge. The carbonation is on the low side, the body medium weight and quite smooth. It finishes off-dry, a tipsy malt sweetness holding up the door frame, buoyed by a bit of lingering hop bitterness.

A good strong ale, the heat hidden well enough, and with a healthy balance of sturdy malt, and peppy, yet restrained hops.

Photo of Stigs
3.07/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from the brewery, served in a standard pint glass

A - pours with a thin and short lived layer of fuzzy, light tan colored foam. the beer is mostly, very dark ruby/red in color. a bit dull and life-less, like a flat pop.

S - strong whiff of caramel malt, lightly toasted nuts, and bread.

T - light caramel, amber malt. hints of some dark fruits, grapes, and a faint nutty finish. some slightly odd, yet not completely unappealing tobacco, and ginger as well.

M - very thin, almost watery body. carbonation is light, aiding in the thin feel. slightly dry with lingering malty sweetness.

D - uninspired if anything. lacks both any sort of hops for balance, as well as a solid malt base to build upon. half of a glass of this is enough.

Photo of king75
3.97/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark red lager that almost mimics the appearance of a brown ale.

Smell is of hazelnut and cream.

Has the taste of a red ale, but the smoothness of a brown ale. Has a very light, but yet creamy taste. Goes down really smooth.

Good, but nothing overly special.

Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Champagne's seasonals. Reddish tinge. The head dissapears quickly. Neutral smell. Creamy mouthfeel, however, the sourness I associate with this brewery was everpresent in the finish, and added and subtracted to the experience. I would rather it was not there. A malt experience nevertheless.

Photo of augustgarage
3.44/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ShogoKawada for spreading the Short's! Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Samuel Smith nonic.

Nice buff head recedes to a thin slick and no collar. Little to no lacing. Medium carmine body, dark enough clarity is difficult to assess.

Moderate crackery malt character with kettle caramelization and hints of toast. Maybe a whisper of peat moss.

Malty palate entry, with a brief wave of astringent tartness. Moderately bitter, though without notable hop flavors. Faint raw nut, burnt sugar, roobois, and plenty (perhaps an excess) of roast grain. Finishes dry with hints of stale bread and overripe fruit. Some diacetyl throughout I think, though this is acceptable.

Brisk, prickly mouthfeel, with more carbonation than the appearance would suggest.

Hard to rate overall as I'm not that familiar with the style. On it's own terms, it is flavorful, though I'm not sure all the flavors are desirable.

3.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into tulip.

A: Pours a amber body that holds a steady level of carbonation. The head forms and holds a thin lining. The lace leaves a frothy patchwork.

S: A slight zing of pepper or another spice on the front. The aroma is very evident and nicely found.

T/M: Body is light and holds many flavors of amber and light hop addititons. Subtle yeast flavors, a good go on the noble hops. mouthfeel is quick and clean and the lingering taste is full of present sweet flavors.

O: Overall this is a good beer, a light borderline session ale. flavors are not palate shocking and more is better in this case. I found a far cry of a qisper of a sour note on the finish as the glass warmed. As a wild ale this would not only be a good base, but an interesting combination.

Photo of Kegatron
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber, topped with a ½ finger of foamy off-white head. Retention looks more like that of the thin and fizzy wisps variety, leaving back a gentle cascade of light lacing which slowly recedes down the sides. The aroma smells of toasted bread, caramel, and a little bit of cocoa powder. I'm getting some overripe fruit character here as well, along with some herbal dankness.

The taste is rich with buttery toasted bread and some sweeter light toffee notes. There is a good bit of dark fruit here, which mixes with the earthy textures of the hop bitterness that is present to impart a gritty feeling tartness that lingers hard into the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a sharp creaminess that keeps this smooth. This is actually pretty easy feeling overall, which really helps the deep twang of the flavor profile.

I could swear at first that the sharp souring/tart tang of this was an infection but as this warmed; it became more readily apparent that this was actually part of the flavor profile. It was definitely interesting but I don't see myself wanting to get into another bottle of this anytime soon.

Photo of Vonerichs
2.78/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Clear deep red with a thin head.

Scent is fruit and raisin. I also picked up an odd whiff of what resembled chili powder.

Not a big fan of the taste. There are some wierd things going on in there. I pick up some raisin, a light spiciness of hops, and again that chili powder referenced in the scent.

The body is heavily carbonated and thin. This takes a major hit in mouthfeel because of an off-putting chemical like astringency in my mouth, almost like a houshold cleaning product.

Overall, I found this beer unenjoyable and just not working together at all. I don't think this is a bad bottle in any way, there were just too many combinations that didn't work well.

Photo of thagr81us
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to enelson for this extra in a past trade! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured a murky red-brown with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. There was no apparent lacing present throughout. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, and citrus hops. The flavor was of sweet malt, fruity hops, and a slightly sour note. It had a light feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good Irish Red. The slightly sour note was very different than what I am used to, but I rather enjoyed it as I am a big Wild Ale fan too. With that said, this one is worth trying given the opportunity. Seeking out... Not so much.

Photo of morimech
3.42/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep reddish, amber color with a small head that quickly settled to a thin cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. Malty aroma with hints of caramel and butterscotch (probably a touch of diacytl) with some herbal and floral hops. What I thought was diacytl in the aroma is much more noticeable in the flavor. A little too buttery. Otherwise has a nice caramel malt base with some mineral and earthy characteristics. Just a slight sour in the finish. The flavor is just a little rough around the edges. The body is light and nicely carbonated. Nothing really stood out. An interesting Irish Red that misses in a few areas.

Photo of alleykatking
4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a amberish crimson color. Half finger light tan head shows weak retention. Light streaky lacing that falls back into the beer as I drink.

S- Caramel malts come out in full force with a light toffee malt kind of balancing it out. Darker fruits toward the middle (think raisin and plum) with some grassy hops toward the ending. Overall simple and nothing too complex...but it works and works well.

T- Lots of malts right off the get go. Bready caramel malts with some ligth toffee notes. Darker fruits in the middle with raisin and some light cherry to it. Grassy hops in the ending with a light bitterness to it. The alcohol is more so in the ending than anything else. Once again nothing special but well made flavor wise.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Malts and more malts left on the palate with malts, light bitter hops, and light alcohol in the aftertaste. Flavors overall were blended into a balanced beer. Clean and crisp tasting overall. Medium drying on the palate from the alcohol.

D- This beer was a pleasant surprise. I noticed that people have been giving it average scores but this is more than a average Irish Red. Short's is known for all their crazy beers but this one shouldn't slip by. I personally could drink a sixer of this and am glad I live only 5 miles or so away from Michigan so I can pick up more!

Photo of CortexBomb
3.47/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Magician is listed as Short's Amber, though I think it more closely fits the Oktoberfest style based on its colour and flavour profile.

The pour is hazy amber, mild lacing. The nose is light caramel, some roasted malts.

The flavour is what I would term a standard for the Oktoberfest style: biscuit with strong caramel effects. Bread. Malts. The vaguest hints of raisin. Nothing aggressive, just a crisp, Fall style beer.

The mouth feel is a touch above average for the style, ditto on the drinkability.

For an Amber, I would rate Magician a decent pick. I like Oktoberfest beers, and this reminds me strongly of that style. If it was available year-around at a bar near me, I would probably drink it semi-regularly, because it bridges the gap between tasty and quaffable pretty well. It's nothing remarkable, but I like what it has to offer.

Photo of SpdKilz
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

New Beer Friday! A big thanks to erikkoppin for this great extra. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours a murky hazelnut orange into my SA Perfect Pint. About two fingers of tan colored head are achieved with a moderate pour. The head dissipates relatively fast leaving decent lacing.

Smell - A combination of sweet malty aromas mix with a tangy/sour lemony funk.

Taste - Similar to the smell, an odd mixture of sweet and sour tastes intermix. It honestly has a nutty flavor up front with some caramel notes which is followed by some somewhat sour lemon/orange twang. There is a sort of mustiness to this beer also, like an attic (I guess earthy notes also then?). To be honest, despite seemingly off putting with my description, it really isn't half bad.

Mouthfeel - Medium to light bodied, decent carbonation.

Drinkability - Not bad at all. I'm glad the sweeter/nutty flavors are up front because I prefer a more tangy/sour flavor at the backend of my sips. This beer is surprisingly better the more I drink it. However, as with most of the offerings I've had from Shorts, this is sort of a "one and done" type of deal. I'm glad I was able to try it but it's not something I would go in search of.

Photo of Bung
3.97/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Fairly dark red pour, a minimal amount of off white bubbles.

Malt and musty aroma. Leather and a hint of some hops.

Taste is not at all what I was expecting. Started with red fruit, almost cherry tart, that quickly transitioned into peat and cocoa. Lingers with that roast, nut and cocoa through the finish.

Carbonation was sharp at first, but fades to a smoother almost creaminess.

Not quite sure what to make of this one. Quite interesting. Wouldn't mind having a few more to compare.

Photo of akorsak
2.8/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A 12 oz bottle from Plum Market in A-Squared.

A: The red ale pours with an appropriately ruddy color, a darker hue that looks like an older penny, say an amber look. The ale had a small head on pour that quickly disappeared in my glass. A thin film covers the entire beer.

S: The red ale has plenty of caramel to go around, a sweet aroma with plenty of strength. Very syrupy with toffee running alongside the caramel.

T: While the nose is solid, the taste doesn't quite deliver. Roasted malts, with caramel in tow, are there. Unfortunately a metallic staleness keeps up step for step. The off flavors are mild but to control the ale. Another questionable bottle from Short's.

M & D: The off flavors ruins it the ale. Too bad too, because the nose has a really nice aroma.

Photo of SickGnar
3.13/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark ruddy amber that is just shy of clear. Fairly small light tan head, but it keeps a ring and laces spottily. Really pretty bubble at edge of glass with every tilt.

S: Darkly toasty malts with some richness, but a focus on special B type dark fruits. Some doughy sweetness and caramel notes and a slight roasty edge. Not really picking up any hops. Nor any of the stuff going on in the palate.

T: Damn, must have gotten an old/infected sixer. Taste a bit like it is moving toward a flanders flavor. Seems to have soured a bit, but in a smooth and rounded way with minimal tartness. Despite the nose it does not have much sweetness. Just an initial dark fruit / dried cherry hit. And then way in the finish there is some lingering molasses/brown sugar. Some toasted grain & funky caramel make it through the sour twang along with some faint herbal & earthy hops and a husky grain feel.

M: Just barely under average body with a medium carbonation level. Less chewy than I would like, and more drying - in a vaguely astringent way.

D: Not terrible, and different for sure. Probably takes away from what it once was. I see a few other folks also found the sour note, but I have to think it was not intentional. As I worked my way through the sixer it didn't really get more soured, but did became more astringent and dryer. Drinkable yes, but not what I think of when I think of some sort of British isles red style.

Photo of BierFan
3.42/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Thin khaki head. Dark red body is not too far from black.

Smell: Sweet and toasty. Some dark fruits and rye.

Taste: Fairly tart, which is something I didn't experience when I drank one straight from the bottle. Don't know why it seems so tart in a glass, perhaps the bottle is a little off?

Photo of Beejay
3.47/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice brown. A little murky, it ranges from a pale brown to a ruby red in my glass. A nice tan head that sadly dissipates rather quickly.

S: Nice pronounced caramel, with some bread aroma in there. There is almost a flour like quality in there somewhere.

T: Definitely a nice burnt caramel flavor. Bready, with a touch of earthy hops. There is something else in there that I can't put my finger on. Almost a hint salty...?

M: Thin to medium with active carbonation.

D: Good, but not outstanding. I would like to try it on tap, but I probably wouldn't buy it in bulk.

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Short's The Magician from Short's Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 381 ratings.