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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.

322 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 322
Reviews: 165
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 16.03%
Wants: 7
Gots: 16 | 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)
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Ratings: 322 | Reviews: 165 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brewandbbq

New Hampshire

3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

Pours clear amber with a ruby tinge. A solid one inch of beige froth sank slowly to a thin coating on the surface and some smeary lacing.

Aromatics lead off with fruit-laden malt, hints of chocolate, butterscotch, and husky grains. A trace of cherries under the ripe malt character. Toasty and fruity akin to an English ale.

Medium bodied with a creamy yet crisp edge.

Ripe fruit, biscuity malt, and cocoa shavings start the palate. A hint of butter, cherry, coffee, and bread ends follow through.

Finishes fairly dry with lingering malt-dusted red fruits and toasty husks.

This ones tasting pretty fresh with some proofing dough coming through on the nose, although the the butter on the palate is a turnoff for me. Otherwise a sessionable brew as long as those cherries stay in check and don't ramp up into an infection.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2010 23:08:04 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of dudemuskie


3.15/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a 6 pack from Binny's Lakeview during their one time only Short's Brewing sale last week!

Appearance- Pours a deep red/burnt orange color with a loose, quickly fading beige head. Some lingering patchy froth.

Aroma- Big toasty nose with a touch of floral/herbal hops and fruity ester. Hints of sweet caramel, toasted malt, powdered cocoa, and an earthy nuttiness.

Flavor- Toasted malt forward with soft herbal hops and moderate bitterness balancing out middle. Slightly sweet, but balanced by hop bitterness and big toast notes. Finishes a little thin and slightly drying. Toasty malt and a kiss of cocoa lingers on palate with a drying, almost acrid husky/grainy flavor.

Mouthfeel- Moderate CO2, medium bodied, slightly dry, well balanced.

Overall- Not too sure what to think of this brew- Its the first Shorts brew that I have had that I am not head-over-heels about. The color and aroma are very intriguing, and the super toastiness/malt complexity makes for a fun brew, but it might be a bit too much toast for my taste, resulting in a lower drinkability score. No sweat though, I am still smitten for Short's!

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2010 03:32:43 | More by dudemuskie
Photo of dougofthefuture


3.88/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Short's beer - bought in Chicago while in town shortly after a truck apparently came through with a few offerings from this Michigan brewery.

A - Dark red sounds right - very minimal head that quickly went away.

S - No. Not a lot of aroma here. Little bit of pilsner-like malt. Probably par for the style.

T&M - Pale malt backbone, bit of spicy hop and zippy yeast. Nice hard water mouthfeel here as well. Well crafted without any particular "wow" moments.

D - Pretty good. Would go well with a hearty dinner.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2010 01:16:06 | More by dougofthefuture
Photo of Tone


3.8/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/5 inch head of a white color. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of yeast, pale malt, slight hop, maple syrup, and slight citrus. Fits the style of an Irish Red Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pale hop, pale malt, sweet malt, hop, slight roasted malt, and slight yeast. Overall, a good body, aroma, and blend.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2010 00:15:25 | More by Tone
Photo of dfillius


4.13/5  rDev +20.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2010 20:03:12 | More by dfillius
Photo of nickadams2

New York

4.15/5  rDev +21%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2010 03:36:45 | More by nickadams2
Photo of SpdKilz


3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2010 22:53:32 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of jwinship83


3.28/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A- this one pours out a nice looking dark red body with a finger of khaki colored head made of very small bubbles. small spots of lacing left behind.

S- very malty. lots of caramel and toffee. some fruit in there also. it smells sweet. very little on the hop end.

T- the taste seems weird and unbalanced. its very malty without coming off as too sweet. more earthy than anything. lots of toffee and caramel malts, with a little bit of fruit in here too. the earthiness must come from the hops?

M- medium to full bodied with a low level of carbonation which makes this almost syrupy.

D- something very unusual for the style. not really my thing. i had high hopes and expectations for this one (and anything shorts does) but it didnt quite cut it.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2010 18:05:37 | More by jwinship83
Photo of alexgash


4.13/5  rDev +20.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2010 01:16:37 | More by alexgash
Photo of BMoney575


3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 4-10-10

Pours a cloudy red/amber color, with almost no head a thin filmy ring of lacing.

Smell is very sweet and tart, with strong wine-like fruity aromas. A little odd, but not bad.

Taste is very malty and earthy, followed by subtle, slightly fruity flavors. The finish is sharply bitter, with a earthy hop aftertaste. A little bland, but still tasty.

Mouthfeel is right for the style, a great thickness with just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is very good, great balance of hop flavor and feel.

Overall, a great hoppy session beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2010 20:55:11 | More by BMoney575
Photo of webmanspidey


3.05/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into pint glass. This is a dark ruby-red amber color.

Smell is strangely sweet and sour-ish.. a mix of lemon, orange, and Chinese food, and raisins. Taste is sour and loaded with lemon peel, There are also some of the caramel/butter flavors typical of the style.

Alcohol presence is low, but the flavor isn't really pleasant. This is one of the few Shorts' beers I haven't really enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2010 03:30:41 | More by webmanspidey
Photo of tubacharlie


3.63/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light hop scent. Poured aggressively it yields a four-finger head of an off-white color with a slightly ruddy complexion. Good retention, with some lacing stuck to the sides of the glass.

The slightly hazy, coppery red colored brew has a good hop presence up front, yielding to a middle-palate bitterness with a lightly malted backdrop. Lingering woodiness in the aftertaste with a bit of wild carrot astringency.

Not being familiar with the "Dark Red London Style", it seems decent enough to wash down some fish & chips, but not what I would order with a gourmet dinner.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2010 01:29:36 | More by tubacharlie
Photo of danielharper


3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark reddish/amber with a very thick creamy brownish head. Clear body, but dark. Very interesting and inviting.

Smells very much like a traditional amber, but with a grainy fruitiness that adds complexity. Slight tartness and hints of sourness, not a lactic sourness or even a bretty sourness but just a traditional microbrewed Amber sour aroma.

Flavor is sweet, very grainy and bready, with a dry aftertaste and finish. Sourness is only present in the nose.

Mouthfeel moderately thick, creamy, with low carbonation and only a hint of hoppiness.

Overall quite drinkable, a decent beer, easy to consume, and worth the cost of the ten-dollar sixer. Overall I just don't have a lot to say.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2010 00:37:22 | More by danielharper
Photo of malty


3.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1oz bte stamped '030810' - so this is about as fresh as it gets.

Pours into my nonic pint glass a brilliantly clear dark mohagony clorwith a loose & bilowing 2 1/2 " light tan had. Moderate amount of visible uprisng carbonation. Good lacing.

Mmmm...sweet roasty grains wih a hint of carob and dark fruit. There's also a faint sourness that goes well with the sweetness. A wierd (but also good) vegetal aroma is present, kind of reminds me of carrot juice. This baby is all about malt.

Weird wet cardboard and dusty flavor right of the bat. Sweet, sour and roasty malts taste pretty similar to what I perceived in the smell dept. A little bit of a chalky finish in there as well.

Mouthfeel is a bit lighter than medium with a lower than normal carbonation level.

Drinkability is good. Unintrusive and quite solid.

Overall a good amber ale, but not great. Glad I tried it but probably won't go back for more. My first so-so brew from Shorts.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2010 21:03:46 | More by malty
Photo of semibaked


2.48/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a Pint Glass

A - Pours a dark brown with reddish highlights and produces a small amount of head and no much lacing.

S - Really strong smell of malts, caramel, butter and dirt. Weird combo I know, there is certainly no hops around these parts.

T - I get the sweetness which is good but then that dirt/soil flavor kicks in (I know you say how does he know what dirt tastes like but hey that's the impression I get from this), just unpleasant.

M - Light to Medium bodied, some oily notes and medium carbonation.

D - REALLY DISSAPOINTED with this, I love Short's beers overall but this is by far my least favorite, I am bummed I have 4 more bottles of it. Oh well.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2010 20:54:41 | More by semibaked
Photo of Blob77


3.85/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: average appearance, nice dark red color. looks like it should

S: The smell was appetizing, not to strong but present. compared to other reds the smell was more pronounced.

T: Taste was above average for me. Usualy I would not buy a red but i try anything shorts makes, and i was very pleased with this beer. It had a much more full or heavy taste compared to other reds that i have tried.

M: Mouthfeel, not mush to say. it felt like liquid

D: Drinkability of this beer was good. I could sit down and drink these all night.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2010 01:52:23 | More by Blob77
Photo of david131


3.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- A deep, bloody red with some orange highlights in there. The head is quick to fall and leaves just a few splotches. Rather dead looking.

S- Butter, earth, caramel, a bit floral, and some chocolate. Very English smelling.

T- Sweet caramel and earth. Some chocolate notes are there on the tail end. Buttery and very English.

M- Very smooth but pretty flat. A bit of a lasting bitterness at the end, but it doesn't really seem to be hop associated.

D- A sweet, buttery beer. Not really a stand out, but it wasn't bad.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2010 03:10:33 | More by david131
Photo of techfed87


4.18/5  rDev +21.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2010 22:20:55 | More by techfed87
Photo of laninjafork


4.9/5  rDev +42.9%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2009 01:45:14 | More by laninjafork
Photo of frazbri


4.28/5  rDev +24.8%
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.

Serving type: growler

05-29-2008 02:12:22 | More by frazbri
Photo of drxandy


3.9/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-29-2008 00:22:14 | More by drxandy
Photo of CortexBomb


3.48/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2008 02:16:54 | More by CortexBomb
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Short's The Magician from Short's Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 322 ratings.