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Short's The Magician - Short's Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

362 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 362
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 15.9%
Wants: 7
Gots: 27 | 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:
"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 added by: CortexBomb on 03-21-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 362 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of errantnight
1.55/5  rDev -55.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Well, Short's, I keep hearing good things, but your bottled offerings continue to be pretty terrible.

Poured into my Bruery tulip, this is a deep, deep amber, towards brown. No lacing, and just the faintest hint of retention in a ring around the outermost edge.

First warning is the nose, just overwhelming with green apple, only the faintest hint of the promised roast and toasted caramel malt underneath.

On the palate this is tangy, thin, insubstantial, and harsh. I suppose there's an impression of what might be a reasonably good beer buried in there, but it's lost.

I appreciate the thought in including this one, mothman, but this one was a failure.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

I'm getting proud of the beers my brother is bringing home from the store nowadays. This one pours a clear crimson topped by a half-finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises buttery biscuits, rye bread, and some strong-ish flowers. The taste follows closely, but adds a nice layer of blood orange flesh, bringing a whole new dimension to the proceedings. The body is a light-ish medium, with a light carbonation and a velvety feel. Overall, a pretty tasty red, which makes me even prouder of my brother.

Photo of grub
3.08/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

purchased in michigan by either Viggo or myself earlier this year... neither of us remember which.

12oz bottle. sampled oct 3/2010.

pours hazy and chunky pale brown that is definitely a few shades past red. the small very fine cream coloured head quickly drops to a thin ring around the glass and leaves only a few spots of lace.

aroma is nice. lots of caramel and toffee. alcohol. biscuit and white bread. touch of lemon and light citrus. pretty fruity overall.

taste is ok. lemony sourness. bit of caramel. whole wheat bread and biscuit. bit of cracker. fruity. light alcohol.

mouthfeel is nice. medium-light body. just under medium carbonation level.

drinkability is ok. seems like the bottle might be off, but the carbonation seems normal and doesn't betray it having soured. might have to give this one another shot when i can find another bottle.

Photo of Viggo
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle picked up in Michigan.

Pours a hazy dark orange, some reddish highlights, a bit of bronze, medium sized light tan head settles down to a thin big bubbled ring around the glass, a few lace spots stick.

Smell is alright, clean and malty, some caramel, lightly fruity, a bit of pineapple, a bit of apple, a touch of cherry, touch of sourness, bit of brown sugar, alright.

Taste is a bit off, lightly sour, some orange peel/lemon, a bit of biscuit, caramel, some brown sugar, sour fruit, apple cider, pretty weird and not very good.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Not bad, but a little off.

Photo of akorsak
2.73/5  rDev -21.1%
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 Thorpe429
2.8/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slighlty darkened amber with a little head and little lacing. Smell is of slighlty roasted malts, bread, light fruit, some hops, and a bit of caramel. Taste is similar, but a bit bland even though i'm getting quite a few flavors. Medium body. Okay drinkability. Not a great representation of the style.

Photo of robwestcott
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

big thanks to nerdrocker101 and the traditional GIF for this one.

poured from the bottle a thick, murky and dark amber to a sun king shaped pint glass with a thin, almost not there head (is there a shorts brew with a head ?) leaving no lace.

aroma of brown sugar and black cherries, maybe currants in the wayback.

the first sip brings cherries, a bit of dark chocolate, caramel and brown sugar or maybe molasses. the same "tang" is evident with this brew as was evident with the bellaire brown - though its not quite as distracting with the magician.

medium body, high carbonation, sweet and tangy.

drinkable - yes.

Photo of Kegatron
3.23/5  rDev -6.6%
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 morimech
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
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 zoso1967
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to TCgoalie for this beer.

Pours a cherry wood tinged brown with a little light tan head that has decent staying power but leaves poor lace. The aroma is both malty and earthy. It has some nice toasted bread and toffee notes that combine with earthy herbal hops to create a classic aroma. The flavor is malt forward but with plenty brown sugar, toffee and toasted nutty character. Dry herbal hops are also present. The mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side and the finish is equally thin, though fairly well balanced. The herbal hops really linger on the tongue, and I find myself wishing the malt was hanging around as well. This is not the most compelling Short's beer I have ever had, but it is still a quality product.

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

Acquired this from gratefulbeerhead so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Reviewed from notes, consumed back in June.

A: This beer pours a reddish, amber color with a two finger of khaki/light brown head that retains nicely. Minor spider webbed lacing is left on the glass.

S: Nose is slightly buttery, sweet caramel malts and touch of grain.

T: Taste starts with a mild earthy flavoring mingled with sweet grass and grain. Caramel malts are highly present with a bit of a buttery flavoring that lingers in the finish.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, creamy mouthfeel.

D: Goes down easily, not too filling, ok representation of style, a touch too sweet for me to drink all evening, but a nice beer none-the-less.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.5/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance -- Pours a deep ruddy amber with two fingers of beige head that dissipate into nothing.

Smell -- The most prominent smell is of red wine vinegar. Beneath this tart and tangy haze is toffee, dark chocolate, char, and smoke.

Taste -- Much like the nose, the most prominent note is red wine vinegar. Beyond that there is a lot of dry, roasty malt character such as burnt toast, baker's chocolate, and dark fruits. Earthy/herbal hops in the finish. Also, some buttery diacetyl is present, but not nearly as pronounced as the tartness.

Mouthfeel -- Medium to full in body with moderate prickly carbonation. A bit heavy to be honest.

Drinkability -- As soon as I got a whiff of this, I swore it was infected. Upon reading a few reviews I found out that this is just the character of the beer: dry and roasty + tart/lacto + diacetyl. I typically like dry and roasty red ales, but this was a bit of a mess. On the heels of Bellaire Brown, this was a big letdown.

Photo of king75
3.98/5  rDev +15%
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 papat444
2.58/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to grub for this one.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, bottled 03-11-10.

Appearance: A strong, one finger head with a light brown/ruby red body.

Smell: Malty, fruit, a little sweet but it's all very faint.

Taste: Ummm, more tartness. Actually, it's a bit more balanced and there is more flavor depth here with the overriding fruit being cherries. It's not offensive but it's not really what i wanted, especially after the first Short's i had.

Mouthfeel: Next to no carbonation though the body is fuller than the first Short's.

Drinkability: Half a glass was enough for me.

Overall: The flavor profile is way too accentuated towards tart fruits which is not what i look for in a red ale. Better than the Bellaire but not my cup of tea.

Photo of WeisGuy
3.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a - deep burgundy color, small ivory head with retention around the edges and little lacing, quite hazy

s - sweet caramel, strawberry and cherry juice, no hops or alcohol evident, some cola

t - cola and caramel malt flavors up front with a sweet red fruit component on the midpalate and finish, strawberry and lighter cherry notes, very little alcohol evident, finish is on the sweet side with more cola and red fruit, but not cloying

m - medium-bodied, carbonation is a bit low, somewhat sweet finish, not much alcohol warming

d - easy on the palate, but not all that complex or interesting of flavors, the sweetness gets a bit tiring

Kind of an awkward beer -- I would probably guess it was a fruit beer of some kind in a blind tasting. Not my favorite.

Photo of mothman
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Was unsure what this one was going to be going into it, but was pleasantly surprised by the result. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 07/25/2010

The pour was a nice light brown color, hazelnut highlights are riddled throughout with a wonderful mix of colors. A smallish head of light tan then pops up from the bottom of the glass and reaches about a half an inch before settling back down again.

Aroma is of light caramel, roasted nuts, light touches of butterscotch like sugary notes. Warming brings out a very earthy and pronounced flavor to it. Really nice done but a touch light. This is my only complaint as it did not have the pop I was really looking for at the time. Smooth, even flavor really did not deviate much from beginning to end as the overall impact was nicely put together. A bit light on the feel but this helped to keep it very drinkable and the subtly sweet finish was the icing on the cake.

Overall a pretty darn solid offering here. Not the best I have had from them, but not the worst by any means.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a few bottles of this in Grand Rapids last week. Not a big fan of Irish reds, but Shorts makes good stuff in general so I threw coin.

The beer is dark rust colored, about an 18 SRM, a little chill haze, and very little foam. The beer smells spot on for the style, more malty than hoppy, toasty biscuit-like malts. Same with the taste, although something more than malts shows up in the aftertaste, a lightly sharp bitterness that must be hops-based. The beer is a little sweet up front but the aftertaste is bitter biscuit. Maybe my favorite from the style, it didn't convert me but it was still enjoyable.

Photo of samie85
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally reviewed 7/21/10; reviewed from notes.

A-Pours a slightly reddish brown color with a head that diminishes pretty fast.

S-Tart and fruity with raspberry and strawberry notes and some biscuity malt.

T-Tart and slightly sour with some malt notes and almost acidic coffee tones.

M-Dry and crisp with low carbonation and a medium body.

D-Not a bad beer but the tart fruity notes really hurt the drinkability on this one for me. Nevertheless, an interesting beer that I'm glad I got to try.

Photo of association330
2.6/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle, no freshness date

A - Pours ruby, with a fleeting light tan head that fades to a thick ring of bubbles with a fair bit of lacing.

S - Distinct herbal/earthy/tea-like aroma, with a hint of malt, grapefruit rind, and perhaps even a spicy rye trait.

T - Tough to peg down. Initial sweet maltiness quickly gives way to an herbal character. Swallow of spicy/earth hops and way too much sour citrus note. Lingering herbal aftertaste. Weird and not characteristic of the style.

M - Body and carbonation are on the light side of moderate.

D - If the bottle was fizzy, I could say with certainty that this had been infected, but it wasn't and the contents weren't quite at the vinegary, puckering level of "infected sour". Still, I have to believe this bottle was at least partially infected. Perhaps this is what the brewers intended, in which case it's one screwed up Irish Red Ale.

Photo of Bung
3.98/5  rDev +15%
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 carlborch
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour is a dense reddish-brown. A small (1/2 inch) collar of foam forms. The head is tan colored. The nose is delightful and suggests sour cherries and hops. The initial palate also suggests cherries, the middle is light roast and caramel with a finish that reminds me of dried dates with a hint of figs and some decent sour notes. The body is light-medium-light and the carbonation is low. The alcohol is not evident. Delicate Belgian lace forms. It is very smooth, bright, and dry. Somewhat moreish. I have put this thirst quencher on the repeat purchase list. Easy to quaff and not cerebral.

Photo of HappyHourHero
3.93/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

Photo of Gyle41386
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to mjd83goblue for this bottle...I always love trying beers from Short's. Probably the most unique, off the wall craft brewery I know of. So far, I've been pretty happy with all of their beers I've tried.

So I grab my bottle of The Magician from the fridge, and notice that it's a dark red London Ale, which apparently is the same as an Irish Red Ale. Oh well, Short's is one of those breweries that makes beers that don't always fit the style guidelines by the book, so I can work with it.

I wish I had access to BuckeyeNation's color wheel, because I'm horrible at describing beer colors. I'll call this one garnet (Go Gamecocks)...a murky garnet. Poured The Magician very carefully, fearful of a monstrous head like that which sat atop the Smoked Apple Ale. However, nothing on this one. Not much lacing adorns the glass, either. The Magician isn't much of a looker, but perhaps he prefers it that way.

There's not really a whole lot going on in the nose, which I'm rather thankful for after reading reviews of off smells and flavors. It smells, well, English. Subtle, refined, etc etc. So, boring, really. Good bit of sweetness, coming from dark fruits like cherries, raisins, and plums. Also some chocolate and toffee...and butter. There's also a spicy edge in the background, that could be either hops or some rye. Perhaps "boring" wasn't the right word to use earlier, but each aroma component seems a bit subdued. Doesn't necessarily work for my tastes, but it certainly fits the style.

The flavor pretty much follows that blueprint. There's a definite tartness to the flavor that seems to match the cherries I smelled. It's a pretty interesting contrast to both the sweetness from the chocolate and caramel, as well as the earthy, spicy flavors. Like it or not, you can't say that Short's doesn't brew flavorful beers.

I knew from the pour that The Magician would have a pretty low carbonation level. It's not quite still, but it's pretty close. Fine by me. The texture borders on being syrupy. Smooth and slick, it's an easy drinker, even if the flavors may be a bit of a challenge (or off-putting altogether) to some. A pretty good beer to accompany the debut of Stephen Strasburg...probably the first time that anyone watching a Washington Nationals game consumed alcohol without intending to drown sorrows or liven things up.

Photo of Avagadro
1.9/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours ruby red with a touch of cream colored head and a slight haze. I would have liked to see a less-hazy product, as well as a bit more of a head.

S: There is something off here immediately. Sweet caramel melds with diacetyl and a citrusy twang.

T: The same three contestants are present in the taste, battling over the terrirory. The result is a war-torn pallete that is less-than pleased.

M: Full bodied and slightly carbonated.

D: If it weren't for all of the other reviews posting similar experiences, I would swear that this is a bad batch. Way too much diacetyl, and there is also the weird twang. I don't know what it is, but it has no place being there. Their goal was to let the malts take the stage, but they failed.

Short's The Magician from Short's Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 362 ratings.