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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

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Reviews: 168
Hads: 389
Avg: 3.4
pDev: 24.12%
Wants: 9
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 168 | Hads: 389
Photo of jmarsh123
2.73/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark amber/copper with a 1 finger off-white head leaving some lacing.

Very malty aroma. A slight hop spiciness is present.

Starts off with a heavy malt sweetness rounding out into a tangy slightly spicy aftertaste. Beginning to think this is a common theme to Short's yeast strain and not one I'm a fan of.

Good medium mouthfeel and medium-low carbonation levels.

The tangy aftertaste kind of ruins this for me. Not bad before then, but nothing good going on either.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
Served in a pint glass

A - It pours copper in color with an inch of tan head perched atop.

S - I get some pretty big caramel malt on the nose. I also get some toast.

T - I get plenty of malt. Seems to be a nice balance between the malt and hops. Not overly sweet.

M - It's watery with some chalkiness.

O - It's not a bad tasting beer. The mouth feel is the biggest turnoff for me.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
2.67/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle from RocPorterFanatic in the Chillin and Grillin BIF. Into a SA Perfect Pint.

A: Slightly turbid red/brown in color. An aggressive pour yields a half inch of head that disappears as fast as it arrives. No lacing to speak of. A few small bubbles meander lazily to the top of the glass.

S: Toasted bread, a bit of roasted malts, some pretty nice caramel flavors. Raisins and a fair amount of toffee as well. Nice malty smelling beer.

T: Huh, didn't get that in the smell definitely infected. Caramel malts, raisins, and a slight bit of acetic acid. Not full on Flanders Red sour, but the first thing I taste is reminiscent of one. Lots of cereal like grains and almost no hop profile. If the tartness wasn't there, this would be a lot better. Unfortunately I don't think this was planned to be infected like this.

M: Medium body, lighter carbonation, tart on the finish.

O: I didn't pick hardly any of the infection in the nose, but it's definitely there in the taste. This wouldn't be a bad beer if it weren't for the infection.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.01/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Thorpe for this.

A: The beer pours red in color with a finger of off-white head.

S: Some sweet malt and toffee aromas with a strange roast aroma. There is some toasted malt aroma and a touch of caramel. A slight metallic note and some fruitiness.

T: Sweet toffee and bread with caramel and toast. As on the aroma, there was a little bit of metal, maybe even some roasted malt. A strange fruitiness, maybe a little bit of tartness.

M: Light to medium in body with medium carbonation.

O: Not a very good red ale. The strange fruitiness and metal note didn't do much for me.

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Photo of SFLpunk
2.8/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz brown glass pry-top thanks to...uh...shit, I forgot, sorry!

Pours calmly and deep dark reddish brown with thin head. Nose is like red ale on steroids, a little chocolate covered cherries and a hint of something unpleasant. Palate is rich with toasted malt, that choc-covered cherry thing again and a flavor that reminds me of a salad dressing.

I don't like red ales...and this confirms it further.

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Photo of BBP
3.01/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Next to no head and next to no retention for the little head it did have.

S- Earthy hop foundation with caramel sweetness. Somewhat fruity as well.

T- More strange when you first try it. It has a bit more intensity initially, but as it warmed out it smoothed out a bit and became more enjoyable.

It has a slightly tart and slightly sweet introduction. The flavors are largely raisin and plumlike, without the dark fruit taste. It's more of a light fruit taste. The finish is a bit earthier and some biscuit malt almost resets your palate.

M- Medium body with low carbonation. Ever so slightly dry in the finish.

O- Probably one of Short's less impressive offerings. I'm glad I opted for the single as this just tasted a little weird to me. I just found it a little too much to have the fruitiness without much else.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.83/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

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Photo of jtingue
3.72/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint.

Appearance. Dark copper red in color. Pours with a finger of loosely formed head which quickly dissipates to nothing. Losts off visible yeast sediment floating around in the beer.

Smell. Very fruity on the nose with a lot of fresh cherries. Behind this there is a pretty substantial presence of yeast. Its hard to describe, but definitely there.

Taste. Starts out with tart cherries and only a slight bitterness. This lingers for quite a while until the beer starts to dry out quite a bit with increasing flavors of bitterness and a slightly spicy and estery yeast character. The tart fruit returns for inducing a sweeter finish.

Mouthfeel. Moderate body with a pleasant amount of carbonation.

A very solid beer, but quite one dimensional.

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Photo of EkimGram
3.32/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: 12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Colour is a hazy reddish-brown. Thin, bubbly head dissipates very quickly to barely anything. Leaves a thin rim around the glass.

Smell: A lot of malts followed by some floral, almost spicy hops. Nice strong aromas.

Taste: I was not expecting such a powerful sour flavour for an Irish Red. Rich malts with a pepper spice. Finishes with a somewhat spicy roasted flavour with a bit of yeast.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, decent amount of carbonation. Finishes somewhat sticky but dry.

Overall: I was not expecting so much sour - at first I thought the beer was bad. Besides that, this brew is just an Irish Red with a sour, peppery zing to it. Nothing special.

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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 mltobin
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a pack of this while passing through Mass.

Appearance is red-brown with about one finger of head. Its` smell has cherries, toffee and bread...& tart. Upon sipping, I think that this is different than other Irish Reds that I have consumed in the past. The malts are there that I would expect, but spices such as pepper are more pronounced and also a sour aspect that really sets it apart. I was not expecting that in this style. MF is light-med, good carbonation. For me, this was pretty good, partly because it is so different from most other Irish reds.

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Photo of bigaltemple
2.47/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Looks like a flat Pepsi until held to the light which allows you to see some ruby red hues. Head is nonexistent.

S - Caramel malt. Faint scent of raisins.

T - Very sweet turns to burnt toffee. Weird, off-flavored aftertaste lingers for way too long.

M - Very thin. Almost no carbonation.

O - Well, I can say I've had it. Tried to be objective, but have a hard time finding any redeeming quality of this one.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.39/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shorts - The Magician

Appearance: Pours a reddish hue wity a chill haze, soapy off white head, patchy lace.

Smell: Toffee and bready notes abound, boasting a very malty bouqet. Somewhat roasty and chocolatey.

Taste: Malty with faint toffee and dusty cocoa. Twang of hops lending sour citrus and tea notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, carbonation is moderate, wierd sour twang lasts after the sip.

Overall: An interesting beer with a few strange flavors pitting against each other and a deliciously simple malt backbone in the distance. Unique albiet confused.

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Photo of Roke87
3.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle, chilled and poured into pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a dark brown colour with reddish hues when held up to the light, average pour yields about a fingers worth of light tan head that very quickly dissipates to a very thin ring around the glass leaving almost no lacing throughout till finish.

Smell- Not a whole lot going on in terms of the smells, lots of bready malt aromas coming through right off the bat, and a very mild earthy hops as well.

Taste- Pretty much exactly like the aromas, there is really not a whole lot going on here, lots of bready malt flavours and a very mild earthy hop flavour as well, I’m also getting a weird metallic taste to it, not sure maybe this one sat on the shelves too long?

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with little to no carbonation.

Overall- I’m starting to find that a lot of Short’s beers are very hit or miss, some of them are absolutely amazing and on the other hand some of them are absolute avoids, and this is of the latter. There is nothing going on here really, weird flavours and only bready malt and very slight earthy hops come through at all. Personally I am not a fan and as far as the reviews go it seems like everyone is pretty much on the same boat. Avoid this one as there are so many more better Short’s offerings out there for you to discover.

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Photo of minterro
3.17/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A & S: burnt red colored beer. With a half a fingernail of frothy yellow head that fades steady into a ring around the outside, no lacing. The sent is sweet (like sugar sweet) malts, molasses, and

T & M: It starts pretty sweet (a little too sweet for my liking). I can taste the tea-like hops (like a black tea) throughout the taste. There is defiantly a toasted malty and raisins in the background of this beer, but for me its not loud enough. Mildy bitter finish. Watery body, low carbonation. Not rich or creamy

O: both of the Irish Reds I’ve rated I’ve enjoyed more especially the GLBC Conway’s Irish Ale. I was a little disappointed by this beer but it was horrible. But if you’re a huge Irish Red fan go for it, if no there are better alternatives available for this style.

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Photo of maximum12
2.48/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Well, this bottle jumped out of the fridge into my hand after a long, hard day serving as a diving platform at the beach for my two girls. I'm tired & hot. Time for a beer & sustenance to cure...well, nothing.

Pours a heart-dark red; little to no evident carbonation. Smells of any persuasion are also scarce. A sloppy, beer-spilling swirl brings only faint sweet malts to the surface. Underwhelming to this point.

The Magician could make up for this by killer taste but alas, it's not to be. The rare beer where nuttiness is the first shot from the barrel, but it mixes quickly with a strange, tart off-taste (now that I glance through the reviews, guess this isn't so uncommon). Sweet caramel, malts almost manage to subdue the bitter sourness, but not quite. It lingers & really messes up what otherwise might have been quite a tasty brew. Pretty simple, but I crave simple & good! Wouldn't want more than one of these, & twelve ounces might be too much.

Disappointing. Short's brews often contain flashes of incoherent brilliance that leaves one reeling, but this is another effort marred by...something. Faint sour notes really bring this one down. Coulda been a contender.

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Photo of horshack7
3.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: From a twelve ounce bottle comes a very dark amber red with about and inch worth of head as a crown.

Aroma: At the first whiff lots of roasted malt up front with touches roasted hops in the back. There are slight fruit notes seeded cherries. Brown bread notes are in the end.

Taste: Crisp mouthfeel roasted malts and hops. Sour cherries in the middle with citrusness from the hop side. The little notes of sourness is a good touch to this beer.

Notes: This one is a very unique Irish Red ale which is a good thing. The sour notes set it apart from other Irish Red ales. Cheers.

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Photo of gaugebozo
3.32/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Residual light suds , cloudy dark red.

S - not too much here. Some yeastiness.

T - Great yeast character with some maltiness and balanced bitterness. Light grain. Good london bitter.

M - Light carbonation and medium body fitting the style.

O - good representation of a london bitter with some good yeast character.

Edit - On drinking another bottle a month later, I noticed a little bit of a sour taste. I think they may have some sloppy sanitation procedures because previous bottles didn't taste like this and this style shouldn't.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer appears amber in color with a thin head that leaves a bit of lacing on the snifter. The aroma brings malt, slight sweetness, and a hint of caramels. The flavor is pretty simple - malt with a bit of caramel. It's decent enough, but rather bland. Medium bodied with adequate carbonation. An OK beer, albeit unexciting.

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Photo of DovaliHops
2.46/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a murky dark red color with small white head. Scent is malty and grainy with a hint of caramel. Taste is initially toffee and caramel, but immediately followed by a skunky/tart off-flavor. The maltiness is put off by this. Now I LOVE me some tart/sour beers, but this one is just not that pleasant. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and a little light. Drinkability is fair. Overall, this is not a good beer at all. Would not seek this out again.

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Photo of HeavyMetalBrew
3.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy reddish color. No head, with a lacing that quickly becomes minimal.

S: Caramel. Apples. Some hops, though they are harder to detect.

T: Huge apple/cherry/prune flavor followed by caramel with some toasted malts. Tartness lingers on the tongue. Some grapefruit notes/spiciness.

M: Dry. Carbonation. It's a little thin as some people have mentioned, but nothing too bad.

O: It's a little dry/tart for my personal preferences, but it's still a decent red ale. I probably won't go out searching for this beer, but if I'm at a store with a limited variety or at a friend's place, I wouldn't mind picking it up again.

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Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev +8.8%
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...

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Photo of ppoitras
2.53/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle purchased as a single at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" dark tan head over the cloudy red brew. Hue is exactly the red I would expect for the style. Head fades at a relatively rapid pace, with fleeting lace. Aroma is slightly sour fruits with an underlying sweetness.

Taste begins sweet, sour cherries in the middle, with a lightly chalky close. More sour than would hope/expect. Mouthfeel is average, and drinkability is okay. Not sure what is up with the sour, but since it was only in-state for a limited amount of time, I have to assume that this is what it should be.

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Photo of EricCioe
3.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a deep reddish brown with some highlights at the bottom of the oversized wine glass. There is a small head that rises up on the pour but dies down quickly to a ring and leaves no lace. On the nose, there are nice toasted malts and nuts, with some sweetish caramel in there a bit. In the mouth, those same flavors come out but a bit more muted. The toasted malts provide the real meat of the flavor, but behind everything else there is a strange sour note lurking, almost Berliner weiss style. It's very strange to me and detracts from an otherwise enjoyable taste. The body is light and easily drinkable, and the finish is medium with the toasted nuts staying on the tongue along with the sour note.

Overall, this is a decent beer, drinkable and interesting but not my favorite from Short's by a longshot.

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Photo of civilizedpsycho
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a beautiful amber color that was semi-transparent. I could somewhat see the head settling inside. It had a small head with little lacing.

Smell: Contained a very strong malt aroma that had a slight fruit quality to it. Little to no hops noticeable.

Taste: Very malty and smooth. Had a little bit of fruit flavor in the background with hints of caremel making it's presence known.

Mouthfeel: A little thin, but nothing watery.

Drinkability: It's quite good. While I prefer a bit more of a hop presence, this is very smooth and thirst quenching. Perfect for a hot day...or anytime really.

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