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Short's The Magician - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Short's The MagicianShort's The Magician

Educational use only; do not reuse.

168 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 168
Hads: 388
Avg: 3.4
pDev: 24.12%
Wants: 9
Gots: 39 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 168 | Hads: 388
Photo of laninjafork
4.88/5  rDev +43.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Short's brewpub
Magician is a London Red Ale. Strong toffee and caramel nose, pours beautifully with a nice strong head that diminishes slowly to a light foam. Taste is chocolate biscuit up front that takes a slow ride through toffee, malty bread, and caramel and finishes raisin. Wonderfully complex, a malt lover's beer, but tasty and complex enough to win over some hop heads as well.

Like most Short's brews, the mouthfeel was spot-on, the kind of thing that I strive to recreate in my homebrewing efforts. Gold standard for malt heavy ales, and lives up to its name as well, truly magical. I cant wait to see this on tap at my local, Bellaire is a bit of a drive from down here! I imagine that tasting it at the source can not be beat though!

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.32/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a 4 ounce taster to be enjoyed frugally.

Appearance: Poured heavily at a steep angle. Beautiful color, an auburn tone somewhere between light and dark. Looks very tasty. Subtly carbonated, with a thick head (due to the excessive speed with which I poured the beer...I like the creamy heads, and this one looks promising). Some occasional lacing throughout the taster.

Smell: Absolutely amazing. Good hop selection, with an added bonus; a sweet note permeating the scent. It smells rich, but not overly sweet. It smells crisp without being too "bitey." Definitely a subtle undertone of fruitiness, but it's not overwhelming. Very inviting.

Taste: Just about as good as it can get, in my opinion. With a 6% ABV, there's nothing to detract from the cornucopia of flavors present here; strong toffee and caramel aromas, and a gentle chocolate aftertaste when savored. It's surprisingly thick; I had expected it to be full-flavored, but it definitely exceeded my expectations.

Mouthfeel: Slightly heavy, very pleasant. When savored, it coats the palate without being overwhelming. When imbibed quickly, it is crisp and refreshing, though I would not suggest drinking it too quickly, whereas the flavors would be lost.

Drinkability: Pretty good. The taste doesn't get old by the end of the bottle, which is a plus in my book. Its flavor remains right to the last drop, and while it is a darker ale, it doesn't have the overwhelming heaviness of a darker ale. Almost perfect.

I am very impressed with the Short's Brewery's take on Dark Red London-Style Ale. They're a good local brewery I have taken a liking to, and I'm pleased to say that they have not failed in this endeavor. I would absolutely recommend this beer to a friend, it would be great for a barbecue (I can see it going well with steak) or other get-together.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.3/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yet another Short's Brew courtesy of gnemesis, you the man.

a - Opened the bottle and poured into a duvel tasting tulip. Color was a nice reddish amber with a thin bubbly cream colored head that didn't hang out for a story, but could be resurfaced with a swirl or two. Great even carbonation. Upon close look, the beer has a very similar color to the label.

s - Sweet cranberry jumps out at first. Very candy like. Apple, lemon, sourness.

t - Much like the nose, but a lot more brown sugar and a honey. Very candy like and different.

m - Kind of watery while still being rich in flavor. The flavor leaves a bit of a sour pucker, but just a touch. A nice carbonated after vibe as well.

o - Categorized on this site as Irish Red Ale, the bottle says Dark Red London Style Ale, I call it candy beer. Perhaps this is what Homer Simpson meant when he asked Apu for skittle-brau? This beer is candy in a bottle. I dig it. I could drink this again and again and wished I had a few more of these. I am surprised that every review isn't glowing on this one. Kind of like a sour and quite tasty. A standout from Short's for sure.

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Photo of frazbri
4.23/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Magician poured deep red to mahogany in color topped by two fingers of creamy, off-white head. Aroma was sweet and malty with notes of raisins and sasafras. Flavor had notes of toffee and cola. Body was medium in fullness with moderate carbonation. Finish was clean and dry.

The current version of the Magician has an ABV of about 5%. It's a sessionable amber ale. Remember, hops are wonderful, but sometimes a good malty ale is just as great.

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Photo of techfed87
4.19/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice, thick head. Color is a solid, clear amber.

Smell is surprisingly sweet, coming off almost as a sucrose grape.

First sip has a number of qualities with sour grapes. Malt is added as a nice foundation for the beer overall. Sweetness is there, but significantly less than what was present in the nose before. It almost has a buttery taste to it that I didn't expect to get out of a Red Ale. It's new and very interesting.

I've never had a bad beer from Short's and this definitely keeps with the trend. Pick one up sometime!

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Photo of nickadams2
4.15/5  rDev +22.1%
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.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.15/5  rDev +22.1%
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!

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Photo of dfillius
4.15/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

A: Aggressive pour yields 2/3 finger yellowish-tan head with good retention. Hazy dark reddish-brown. Pretty.

S: Herbal and citrus hops, with some possibly sour notes. Smells very good. A character almost like a red wine, maybe a cabernet?

T: Pleasant bready and sweet malt with little hop. One of the best reds I've had. Very similar in taste to a nut brown, but with less roast and more caramel. Slight sour taste is a plus.

M: Mellow, smooth, creamy

D: Very good. I'd order a second and will probably buy six of these at some point.

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Photo of tigg924
4.14/5  rDev +21.8%
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.

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Photo of alexgash
4.13/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Darkish, slightly murky garnet. Thick, creamy finger of light khaki head. Nose full of malty goodness. Caramel mixes with cookie dough, honey-dipped biscuits, and earthy tobacco. There's also a slight bit of vegetal hop aroma.

Taste starts with some doughy, caramel sweetness. Slight mineral water bitterness and some flint around the edges. Earthy hop flavor and hints of tobacco. Lightly toasted malt and hints of bittersweet cocoa in the finish. Medium-bodied with a dry finish. Nice and tasty.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.05/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm assuming The Magician is a smaller version of Short's Wizard?

Clear, ruby tinted copper color. Thin head is quick to vanish - what a cruel trick!

Aroma picks up the slack for such a poor looking beer. Chocolate rum cake and almond chocolate biscotti come to mind. Taste is beautifully malty fruit with caramel glazed chocolate biscotti.

I'm very impressed. I don't often buy malt driven beers that aren't either a stout or a porter. By far the best Irish Red I've had.

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Photo of gmfessen
4.04/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a deep amber color with an almost non-existant head. The nose is malt forward with a mixture of dark fruits, caramel, biscuit and nut. Flavor is all malt too, with the caramel and fruity notes coming to the forefront. Mouthfeel is quite viscous with a very thin carbonation and slightly drying finish. Overall a very drinkable beer, would be easy to tip back a few of these.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4.02/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours reddish brown with a yellow-cream colored had that dissipates to just a ring. No lace.

Toasted malt and tart fruit, raisins in the nose. Some brown bread as well. I like the nose on this alot; quite different.

Toasted malt, to the point of bitter, is the dominant flavor here. You may smell some fruit but it is gone. Over-browned toast, dark bread, and true earthy flavors. Some wood. This one starts bitter and stays there. It works.

Medium bodied, but decent carbonation. Some prickliness on the tongue.

A pub sipper. You can't blast thru this, and this is not a thirst quencher. Not a match really for food either. Very good and unique.

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Photo of WakeandBake
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark reddish brown color body with a small short lasting tan head , medium carbonation , leaving lots of jagged lacing behind . Aroma is very malty , lots of caramel , toffee , nuts , dried fruit and a hint of smoke . FLavor is sweet with lots of character , caramel , toffee , rasins ,apple skins, wood , butter and a hint of chocolete , hops are not really noticeable but there for a touch of balance to keep this from being a total malt bomb. Full body , creamy mouthfeel , short sweet finish . A good brew and quite sessionable .

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Photo of king75
3.97/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

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Photo of Bung
3.97/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

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3.93/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.92/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fairly rich toasted/biscuit malt aroma with hints of cocoa. No hop aroma or fruity esters. Short off-white head never really amounts to much. Slightly hazy light brown beer has an amber glow. Thick, smooth chocolate malt flavor up front with light biscuit notes. The flavor sort of disappears towards the finish. Not really fruity, and no hop flavor or bitterness. Mostly cocoa. Moderately light carbonation and medium body make it easy to drink. A solid beer that is quite easy to drink. Thanks to Erik for bringing this one back from Bellaire.

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Photo of EROlsizzle
3.92/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-dark, thick reddish-brown with very little head at all

S-Definitely some fruitiness in the smell, similar to raisins. It may be the look of it, but it reminds me of a fruity red wine

T-Definitely heavy malt, but with a good toastiness throughout that keeps it from becoming too heavy or too sweet

M-Very thick and very smooth. Didn't pick up much hint of carbonation at all

D-This was one of the best reds I've had. I thought the flavors blended together well and made me want another sip each time. Most reds take a little lip-smacking between sips, but this one was pleasant

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 9/26/2014. Pours moderately hazy deep red/copper color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, light nuttiness, raisin, plum, fig, apple, light chocolate, herbal, grass, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast ester, and light earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, raisin, plum, fig, apple, light chocolate, herbal, grass, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Slight earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, light nuttiness, raisin, plum, fig, apple, light chocolate, herbal, grass, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast ester, and light earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and fairly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Irish red ale. All around good robustness, balance, and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast ester, and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of mothman
3.88/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

Pours 1/2 finger of khaki head. Fades to a thick ring. Color is a dark ruby color with a brown hue to it.

Aroma: Mainly of malts and grassy hops. Caramel malts with some dark fruit flavors. Raisins in particular.

Taste: Has a sour flavor to it. Cherries and raisins. Very malty. Caramel and bready flavors. Uniquely odd.

Mouthfeel: A bit tart and smooth. Medium bodied with a medium carbonation. Ends a bit dry but I like it.

Overall, decently drinkable. The sour notes surprised me a bit, but they fit well with this beer for some reason and I didn't mind it.

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Photo of drxandy
3.88/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ crunchy's in east lansing, mi on 5/25/08, served in a 25oz mug. Deep reddish brown, nice small white head, medium carbonation

smells of sweet malts, bitterness, hints of cherry and chocolate

tastes crisp, appley, roasty malts, almost like a porter of sorts mixed with cider, nice balance, hops play nicely in background

mouthfeel is creamy, slightly bitter, good texture and easy to drink.

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Photo of gfreed
3.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Here's a nice surprise-- something that is usually not sold outside of Michigan yet I managed to snag a bottle in corseted Belmont, MA, courtesy of the surplus from the Extreme Beer Fest. Deep red in color, roughly fizzy and toasted just enough to emit fumes of coffee and a little root beer (?); also green apples. Very dry finish as well. A decent beer that offers some of the flavors of a good stout without the weight of same.

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Photo of noborboxers
3.85/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, with little to no head, not by fault of the beer, but that of the bartender. A very nice dark deep amber color. First sip is filled full of carmel flavors, and hints of toffee.
Also, nice malt notes. Mouth feel seems to coat well, giving a slightly creamy taste. A nice medium to maybe medium light body. I could honestly see myself being able to sit down and have 2 or 3 of these on a cool fall day.

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Photo of HosP
3.85/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found hidden in the back of the fridge. Wife must have shoved towards the back and then forgotten about.

A- Poured dark amber with light coming in around the edges. Thin light tan head sits atop.

S- Roasted malt notes throughout. Some toffee and dark fruits in the middle. Not getting any hop aromas from it though.

T- Malts through and through for this drink. Caramel and toffee flavors at the beginning. Some plum flavors hidden in the middle. Nothing really overpowers anything else. Slight bitterness from some hops at the end.

M- Medium body with a little carbonation. Some bitterness and dry finish to the beer.

D- My first crack at this style beer. Not to bad of a drink, pretty smooth for the most part. Nothing really blew me away but could drink a couple of these.

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Short's The Magician from Short's Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 168 ratings.