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Short's Bourbon Barrel Sustenance Black Beer - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Short's Bourbon Barrel Sustenance Black BeerShort's Bourbon Barrel Sustenance Black Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

80 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 80
Hads: 199
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 10.83%
Wants: 56
Gots: 25 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Baileyuk on 04-28-2008

Sustenance Black Beer aged it in bourbon barrels for 11 months.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 80 | Hads: 199
Photo of mikesgroove
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark black in color with no light shining thorough at ALL. Had the look of a monster stout with a big head of tan that capped it nicely, settling down after a few moments into a nice pillow that left tons of lacing down the sides of the glass. Aroma is hoppy at first but then comes through with a deep, roasted, and smoked note that really gives it a good bit of depth. Nice touches here of caramel, hints of cocoa, and loads of piney hops. Really nicely done and quite different then what I was expecting. Warming really brought this out and each sip was a nice progression from biting hops, mellow smoked malts, and a rich, semi sweet and dry finish.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Have held this bottle inexplicably longer than I'd intended; it came as a very nice gesture from a Michigan BA I met several months back when he and a buddy visited Portland (thanks, marc2572). It's 22 oz. with a label design just like the photo, except the background is a rendering from above of three people finishing dinner and drinks at a large, round table. Poured to a pilsner glass.

'Handcrafted by people Who Care in Northern Michigan'

'Bourbon Barrel Soaked Sustenance Black Beer: For When You're Hungry and Thirsty'

A: Even in a tall pilsner glass the first impression is darkness, a thick charcoal. Held to light, warmer chestnut and ruby glow inside a light fog. Unsure of the age of this one in the bottle (but it's been at least 6 months since it was received), but the carbonation has held up very nicely, plenty of streaming bubbles to a 1-finger sandy cream. Very pretty lace holds in patchy cobwebs, draping rings.

S: The 'bourbon barrel' aroma is so tantalizing, maybe mellowed from what I suspect was some early heat (after 11 months in a barrel, I'd be fired up); now it's a drifting spiced perfume interwoven with fudgy chocolate and a vanilla-woodiness. Smells like a 'drunken' cake, perhaps a bit more like sweet rum than bourbon at this point. A time or two, I thought I smelled a twitch of oxidization, which then disappeared just as quickly.

T: Fortunately, flavor and aroma align almost precisely. Rich chocolate, coffee roast and that oakey/vanilla barrel spice, then an added layer: fruit. Earthy blackberries and unsweetened raisins(?). As above, the bourbon isn't too pronounced, the ending a lasting mild bitterness that has a bit of ashy char to it. A wicked distortion of a 'schwarzbier' (if that truly is what style was aimed for); the end result feels almost porter- or stout-like. And I'm ok with that.

M: What a nice coating mouthfeel: subdued carbonation (but by no means 'dead', creamy texture, stealthily building wood/spice/cocoa coating, and a barely-existent alcohol warmth. Velvety goodness.

D: I wondered to myself what this beer was like back in late spring/early summer and realized I really didn't care because what it is now is plenty enjoyable. Mellow and soothing, a fine way to celebrate an awesome 105-102 Blazers win over Phoenix - the best game I've seen live in several seasons. Not the 'prototypical' schwarzbier, but so what? Would love to try this one again someday...worth seeking!

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into snifter, then into another snifter to keep from gushing. Thanks to Jon (aqsprint) for the chance to try this very interesting beer!

Let this one warm up a bit before trying it. You'll be glad you did.

Pours black, dense light khaki head that settles into a dense but thin cap.

Nose has quite a bit of lemony brett, some green apple, vanilla from the bourbon comes through underneath. I don't know what it is about it, but I couldn't quit smelling it. The fruity brett notes are so nice in this one.

Taste is very unique. I have no idea as to whether the sourness is intentional or not; whether it is or it isn't, the result is a beer that doesn't taste quite like any I've tried before.

Initial taste is mix of big time bourbon and oak, a funky sour note that combines some lemony brett notes with a big lacto sour note, and an underlying dry, chocolatey, lightly roasty body that seems just a bit smokey. Finish is sour, acidic, lingering, notes of oak, some roasty bitterness in there as well though not much escapes the wildness. My guess is this guy was infected accidentally, though I don't know that for sure. Regardless, I don't want to stop drinking it, even if just to try and pick everything in it apart. Really interesting beer.

Mouthfeel is crisp, lighter body, bit acidic, pretty nice.

Drinkability is a tossup. Some really drinkable elements, but it's so unique I'm not sure how to grade it. I'm really glad I tried this. Such a unique beer, and by the time it really warmed up, I think it really came into its own.

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Photo of JizackFH
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This review is taken from notes from when I went to the Shorts brewpub in July 2010.

A - This beer pours a very dark brown color, that has a reddish tint when held to the light. It has a a nice dense tan head on it. The head left behind thin lacing on the glass.

S - I'm getting a big bourbon barrel aroma at first. There are also some notes of chocolate, toffee, vanilla, dark roasted malts, a woody sourness, cinnamon, and caramel.

T - This is dark and roasty up front, with a big bourbon barrel presence. All of the notes from the nose seem to be present, but the dark fruit notes come out more in the taste. Roasted coffee taste really comes in that the finish.

M - It has a medium body and good carbonation. It is also rich and creamy. The finish is dry.

D - This beer has very good drinkability. It has a great bourbon presence, but there is also a nice tartness to it. Overall I think this is a really good beer, and I'm glad I got to try it (especially now that I see it is retired.) I would like to try this one again, but I doubt that will happen. Great beer though, cheers.

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Photo of qua17
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle - brewed in 2011

Appearance – This beer is dark as motor oil. It poured out with a 2 inch head that dissipated and left a haze of lacing.

Smells – - Aged in Bourbon barrels, you catch a light bourbon smell that is sweet in character. It's almost candy-like, kinda like a dark brown sugar.

Taste – Aged in Bourbon barrels, there is a heavy sweetness that mellows out after the swallow. While this is a dark beer it's more like an ale than a porter or stout. The beer isn't as heavy and it lacks the dryness that sometimes come with those beers.

Mouthfeel – A lot of body but not creamy or think. Decent amount of carbonation.

Overall – Not my type of beer. I read the notes about the style and I didn't get any of the hops that are supposed to be present. I was also not a big fan of the sweetness so while I'm glad I tried it, I would be ordering it again. It's almost like a port - but lighter.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of johnd513
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a small frothy tan head. The smell is a huge sour bourbon and vinegar aroma more pungent than any barrel aged beer I have come across. The taste begins with oak flavors followed by cocoa, alcohol and sour flavors. The mouthfeel is crisp and goes down easy with significant carbonation that tingles the tongue. Drinkability is good. I would not have more than on of these in a sitting but this is truly one of the most unique beers I have had to date.

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to RoyMunson again...

Pours a thin dark brown to blade with a bright, white and bid bubbled head.Why is it that bourbon barreled beers all have similar foaming characteristics?

Nice warm and sweetness on the nose with caramel, toffee and light coffee flavors.

This is a very easy drinking beer. Great bourbon profile on it at the present time. Very smooth, woody and at times sweet.


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Photo of illidurit
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

RBSG09 bottle at the grand tasting. Pours dark amber brown with a beige head. Epic aroma, lots of bourbon obviously but also dark fruits, bananas, and chocolate. Flavor is roasty and chocolatey with some tart bourbon, vanilla, and a woody dry finish.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got in a trade from hotpipes29.

Pours a nice dark brown color, nearly black, it would fool me if not for the ruby highlights around the edges. A small head (1cm or maybe less) forms on top, with loose bubbles, that fade quickly, no lacing. But I can see plenty of bubbles rising up in the beer. The smell hits you with an incredible sweetness, backed up with a very nice bourbon smell. Like chocolate, a little coffee, and a big whiff of bourbon. Otherwise, very clean. The taste comes back with that nice sweetness, a very clean straightforward roasty character, almost no yeast character to speak of, no hoppy presence, just a nice mellow flavor of bourbon. I mean, don't get me wrong, you know the bourbon is there, but it really fits well into this beer. Very nice. The body is right around medium, maybe a little thin, with a nice burst of carbonation. The bourbon does a nice job coating your mouth, but overall, the sweetness keeps it in check. Really, I don't know if there's anything off for the bourbon, but there isn't really anything that stands out. For a bourbon-barrel aged schwarzbier, this seems right on, and I don't know if anyone else makes one, but this is a really nice beer.

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Photo of Scrumtralecent
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011, poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours black with a very bubbly light tan head. Head remarkably sticks around for quite a bit.

S - Appropriately named, this beer smells quite full. Barrel and a hint of bourbon hit first, along with a maltiness and almost breadiness that makes this beer smell quite intriguing. Some vanilla notes and slight cherry come through more as it warms. Wide range of aromas from dark to sweet.

T - An intriguing barrel aging. The bourbon is not as forward in this as most bourbon barrel agings go. If anything, the malt hits first and the bourbon comes later as an afterthought, leaving some alcohol burn and punch. A nice roast to the taste to add to the flavors. If this were considered a stout, I'd say it was thin. But for a schwarzbier, this has quite a bit of flavor.

M - Very smooth with some heaviness from the barrel at the end. Carbonation was good. Enjoyable.

O - A nice beer and something different which is always good. Not many barrel aged schwarzbiers out there that I know of. Great fall beer as it was dark, roasty, yet very drinkable. And the smell, while not overpowering, was quite eclectic. Would have again.

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Photo of robwestcott
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to erikkoppin for another bottle of short's brew.

poured cold from the bottle pitch black to a founders brewing goblet with just a hint of a quickly fading mocha head, leaving a thin rim of bubbles around the surface

aroma of dark chocolate and bourbon in the back, and maybe a wee bit of smoke.

very nice. wow. bourbon way up front, but no heat, not overwhelming and actually, as it warms, its balanced quite nicely with the chocolate malts.

medium bodied, bigger carbonation than the pour gave away, smooth, sweet and a bit of heat as it heads down.

overall, a very enjoyable brew and at 6.5abv, i'd have a couple more if i had them.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into snifter - big thanks to erikkoppin

Pours a deep black color with a thinner lightly tanned head. Lightly retained, leaving curtains of lacing on the glass.

Potent nose with bourbon, but other softer notes including vanilla, oak, and coconut. Some roasted malts with caramel and butterscotch sweetness and faint booze.

A touch sweet up front with vanilla and syrupy butterscotch. Smack of bourbon with some oaky tannins. Thicker malt body, fairly roasted and warm throughout, dashes of coconut as well. Finishes sweet and a bit boozy.

Medium body, decent carbonation, sticky and smooth on the tongue, but a little on the thin side for me. Definitely an interesting bal aged beer, refreshingly different and tasty.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: black, maybe dark mahogany. A small tannish head that fades quickly and leaves nothing behind. Completely opaque.

Smell: mostly bourbon. Maybe some chocolate.

Taste: lots of bourbon. Low alcohol. Some chocolate. Very smooth.

Mouthfeel: very light. A little bit of lager aspect to it.

Overall: a nice light bourbon barrel beer. Pretty light and nicely simple. Some lager aspects to it in taste and feel. I'd say it's a strong bourbon tasting beer with very little others tastes and very low other character.

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Photo of Floydster
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle acquired in a trade with OHLRangers, thanks to Ed for the opportunity, consumed 1/2/09, reviewed from notes, poured into an Aventinus glass, color is pretty close to black, some light through the top, big two inch light tan head that was rather soapy, left some nice lacing, had some good retention, aroma is made up of dark fruits, oak, smokiness, vanilla, roasted malts, lager yeast, burned caramel, and , eleven months in the barrel gave this a nice bourbon character, taste was what I expected, schwarzbier up front and bourbon in the finish, roasty at first, lots of oak and vanilla in the middle, spicy bourbon notes and lots of evidence of wood in the aftertaste, sweet, roasted, slightly hot, and smoky mouthfeel, medium bodied but on the thicker side of that spectrum, carbonation was pretty low, taste lasts a few minutes after each sip, could have gotten close to finishing the bottle but decided to give the rest to my friend Dane, a bit heavy at times but light enough in feel and ABV to enjoy a good amount, smooth to boot, great beer that is quite unique, bourbon and a black lager did not sound like it would work but it sure did, wish I had more, could age well even though it is low in alcohol, boozy presence might helps things out, hope to have again in a few years to find out, recommended

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Photo of hopswap1
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from Nachos4two, Thanks!

Pours dark brown almost black with finger of head that shrinks rather quickly. Smell is a big punch of sweet bourbon with a little bit of chocolate. Wow is that bourbony. Taste follows the nose with a big bourbon presence with a slightly boozy taste. The beer is rather thin but surprising amounts of carbonation. Overall, a beer unlike any I've had. Not an incredible beer but definitely one of a kind and worth a try. Wouldn't mind drinking this frequently.

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Photo of flexabull
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Tayner, thanks again!

I have been curious about Short's beers for a while, they sure are talked about a lot here... so here goes.

Pours a dark brown color, with a big thick light tan colored head.

Aromas are nutty, sour, dry, dusty, and oaky. This definitely has a surprising vinegar and sour like character on the nose that I definitely was not expecting, not bad, but a bit of a shock to me.

Taste is crisp, dry and oaky up front. Beer then settles into some cocoa, light booze, and sweet toast flavors. Finish has a light sour taste, with some roasted nuts, a light burnt and smoke flavor and some mineral like hop bitterness. Very interesting tasting beer, with a lot of different flavors.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Beer has a general sharp crispness, but it feels a little thin on the finish.

Drinkability is quite good. I ranked it high mostly due to it's uniqueness. This is really interesting and enjoyable to taste. But with that said, I wouldn't want more than one in a sitting. Give it a try if you get a chance, it's pretty tasty and very possibly like nothing you have ever tasted.

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lovely schwartzbier. Pours black, white head, with mollasses and pleasant bourbon aroma. Above average mouthfeel, a little grain substance, caramel,chocolate malt,vanilla, coffee, some roast. Very drinkable, and brett in there gives it an edge.I will explore more of this brewer's brews. Good fun.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz 2011 bottle courtesy of Erik (erikkoppin). Thanks so much for this generous extra. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours into my Bell’s tulip with an almost opaque dark chocolate color. When held up to bright light just the faintest red hues of light shine through. About a finger of quickly dissipating tan head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells – Smells chewy if that is possible. Lots of sweet bourbon barrel notes up front which fade to some dark fruits, brown sugar, oak, and a slight presence of vanilla. As the beer warms a butterscotch/toffee aroma becomes more noticeable.

Taste – Wow, lots of butterscotch and vanilla here right at the start! The bourbon actually becomes more prevalent as the beer warms and with each sip I take (intermixing with the first two flavors). There is bittersweet cocoa/chocolate, earthiness, and again more sweetness that goes from butterscotch to toffee to brown sugar. A “candied” beer if you will.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, not as creamy as I was expecting though enough, carbonation on par for what I would expect.

Overall – An interesting barrel aged beer from Short’s. As I always say, I am glad I was able to try it. Would I seek it out again? Probably not, but I am rather enjoying the flavors (though they are a bit one dimensional, smacking you in the face with each one, but then again isn’t that what Short’s is known for?). Not as cloying as I would expect, but would never have more than one at a time.

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Photo of vurt
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Brewdan for including this one in a recent trade. This beer wasn't on my radar, but it should've been, and I'm very glad to have had the chance to try it. Enjoyed in a Becker glass.

This very dark brown beer looks opaque until you hold it up to a strong light, at which point it is revealed as a perfectly clear brownish-red brew. Beautiful ruby highlights. The head is dense, finely beaded tan foam with good retention. It leaves ghostly thin lacing behind.

The first thing I get is a big bourbon aroma teaming up with a significant woody sourness. The bourbon is prominent, but really well integrated. Dry, dark roasted malt comes through next with a hint of oxidation. Brief glimpses of malty sweetness and fresh coffee are followed by the clean mineral character you get in a well-made lager.

It pays to let this one warm up quite a bit. The first impression is a good dark lager with a touch of sweetness, notes of molasses and smoke, and riding on top is the woody sourness from the nose. A sweet nuttiness like toasted hazelnuts follows in the middle, with a mild fruitiness like bananas and golden raisins. The beer dries out in the end, and the bourbon which has been present all along comes to the front. The long finish is all wood and bourbon with hints of coffee and caramel cream. After the swallow, a lightly toasted coconut note from the barrel comes through on the breath. Very nice.

Medium-bodied and silky. The carbonation feels a bit coarse at first, but diminishes nicely as the beer warms.

This is a beer which rewards patient, slow drinking. Let it warm up and breathe. The base beer feels a bit overshadowed by oaky tartness, but the bourbon is amazingly well integrated. The hint of oxidation in the nose doesn't really show up in the taste. The beer displays alternating moments of sweetness and roastiness with tons of barrel character. It adds up to a beer I'd be happy to drink again, any time.

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Photo of david131
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A slightly hazy dark leathery brown liquid with a thin mocha head. Thinner than I was expecting.

S- Vanilla, raisins, and German chocolate cake. A little on the faint side for a bourbon barrel aged beer, but considering the style it's fitting.

T- Vanilla, oak, chocolate, and raisins. Tasty.

M- Smooth carbonation with a slight oaky dryness on the end. The body is on the lighter side.

D- A pretty unique beer. I appreciate what the bourbon barrel aging has done to a somewhat simple beer. Drinks nicely, although I question the ABV a bit. Well done Short's.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thank you to FlandersNed for sending this beer my way in our last trade. Split with Adam.

The beer is dark brown, nearing black. The beige head stands in at a finger's width, and leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

The aroma is quite sweet. Booze, vanilla, malt, light roast, chocolate.

The flavor is definitely bourbon forward. Grandiose vanilla presence. The sweetness is formidable, and I can see that my six ounces will be sufficient. The bourbon, while overpowering to some degree, is bold and tasty. Chocolate and roast play a secondary role, and blend nicely with the the bourbon character. Mildly roasty, perhaps the other aspects of the beer overshadow the roast somewhat.

Medium bodied with appropriate carbonation. Sweet and boozy.

An interesting beer. Not my favorite bourbon barrel aged brew by any stretch, but worth a try. I enjoyed this.

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Photo of sukwonee
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark Brown to black body with 1 finger head, good amount of lacing

S: Bourbon, chocolate, Breadiness, some cheese? I smell something like a chocolate cheesecake.

T: I cannot say I have ever had anything like this before. Starts off with bourbon, chocolate, slight booziness, sweet malt, then some sourness kicking in. Sour apple maybe? Finishes off with more booziness. Sweetness is also there.

M: It's thin but syrupy. Carbonation is pretty sharp for a bourbon aged beer. Finishes dry.

O: I would say, this beer is very solid. I am not sure though what the hell I just drank though haha (not familar with the style and such style beer aged in bourbon barrel).

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Photo of tectactoe
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jeff for picking me up a sixer of this at the brewery. Not sure exactly what is meant by Bourbon Barrel "Soaked", rather than "Aged", but I'll never turn down a Shorts brew. This one pours a dark brown color, kind of thin and a bit lighter looking compared to what I had imagined in my mind. Almost no head at first, but it gracefully forms seconds after I finish pouring - tan in color, big-bubbled, and lightly creamy. No lace on the glass, but the beer leaves some wet legging when swirled.

One thing's for sure - the aroma on BB Sustenance is much more robust than its appearance might have you believe. It comes out swinging with a huge barrel presence - bourbon is perhaps the strongest peripheral, following closely by a large amount of smooth and sweet vanilla. Some mild oaky, woody, and nutty aromas lay beneath those, creating a beer that smells not too far off of sticking your head inside of an old bourbon barrel. Upon warming, more roasted malts and sweet chocolate notes jump out, too - this beer smells great.

One sip and you're immediately assulted by a great deal of booze; the bourbon hits hard, almost coming off as more of a raw, whiskey flavor. Once the initial shock of the bourbon subsides, other flavors that come out include a soft-spoken mix of cola, oak, roast, and some vanilla - sadly in much lower capacity than was found in the aroma. Lots of chocolate and cocoa powder comes crashing in about halfway through and hangs around for the aftertaste. Especially when this puppy warms up, the semi-sweet cocoa becomes a big proponent in the finish.

The mouth feel on BB Sustenance is slick and wet, but it has a slight creaminess to it that keeps it feeling smooth and refreshing on the palate. Carbonation is pretty low, but it really isn't much of a bother. I guess when I hear "Bourbon Barrel" in front of a beer, I'm expecting some thick, viscous, chewy-ass liquid, but that's simply not the case. Schwarzbiers typically are not thick, and so it shouldn't be too much of a concern that BB Sustenance isn't, either, save for the barrel-induced creaminess.

It's hard to believe this beer is only 6.5% ABV - the bourbon character is very strong and very forward. It starts strong and finishs strong, leaving a warmth that engulfs your throat and even the upper-half of your chest after each swallow. Not so much robust as it is unabashedly powerful; while I still enjoyed the beer, some time in the cellar might provide a smoother flavor profile with a slightly toned down alcohol assault. Fresh, this one's a slow sipper. Shorts wasn't too far off with their slogan for this one - "for when you're hungry and thirsty".

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Photo of prototypic
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bourbon Barrel Sustenance pours a dark, chocolate fudge color. It’s not opaque. Backlighting reveals some burgundy highlights throughout. A tan head covers the top. It rises above a surface covering, but not by much. The surface bubbles hold steady for a while. Lacing was definitely light and spotty. Not bad at all.

The nose is good. It kicks off with a nice bourbon scent. It’s not overly strong. I like that. It complements the dark malt notes of cocoa and chocolate well. Light roasted malt scents are present, but they’re very subtle. Secondary notes include vanilla and oak. Alcohol is definitely in the mix. What’d you expect with something barrel-aged? Doesn’t smell overly strong though. Smells good.

The flavor is likewise good. It’s a touch better than the nose, but not enough to trigger a score bump. It kicks off with a mix of chocolate, cocoa, and light roasted malts. Bittersweet dark chocolate leads the charge. Bourbon follows quickly and complements the malt base extremely well. Its presence is moderately strong. I love that. Secondary flavors include oak, vanilla, coconut, and roasted coffee. Good stuff. Alcohol is there, but isn’t too strong. Seems a little stronger than 6.5% to me, but perhaps not double digit territory. Just sayin’. Finishes malty with a touch of bourbon. Very good stuff.

Bourbon Barrel Sustenance has a medium body that’s nice and smooth. Carbonation is dialed back nicely. I like the feel quite a bit. Perhaps a tad bit more body would improve it, but that’s just a guess. Pretty well done as it is.

Short’s Brewing Company continues to impress. Bourbon Barrel Sustenance is very solid all-around. Bourbon Barrel-aging a Schwarzbier – who would’ve thought? It works extremely well though. The moderate bourbon presence was a great call. It complements rather than overpowers. Very good stuff. Easy recommendation.

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Photo of eclipse54
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle from fvernon; thank you!

A dark brown (to the point of black) with subtle mahogany hues near the very edges. A tiny bit of cream-colored head forms, and leaves a good amount of lacing behind. Aroma is of bourbon, toffee, toasted marshmallow, caramel, a bit of milk chocolate, and some vanilla. Tastes pretty similar, but with an emphasis on the bourbon and a tiny bit of raw ethanol tacked on the end. Caramel, toffee, toasted sugars, and vanilla all come through quite well. Mouthfeel is thinner than anticipated, and this one finishes relatively clean. Warming alcohol on the end. Overall, this one took to the bourbon very well. I'd be happy to have another anytime.

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Short's Bourbon Barrel Sustenance Black Beer from Short's Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.