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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

183 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 183
Reviews: 80
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 51
Gots: 26 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
Sustenance Black Beer aged it in bourbon barrels for 11 months.

(Beer added by: Baileyuk on 04-28-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 183 | Reviews: 80 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of qua17
qua17

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2011 18:24:45 | More by qua17
Photo of robwestcott
robwestcott

Indiana

4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 21:59:59 | More by robwestcott
Photo of beachbum1975
beachbum1975

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Recommended!

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2009 23:04:54 | More by beachbum1975
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2009 06:35:03 | More by illidurit
Photo of Scrumtralecent
Scrumtralecent

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2011 06:10:12 | More by Scrumtralecent
Photo of SportsandJorts
SportsandJorts

Virginia

4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2014 02:08:36 | More by SportsandJorts
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2009 04:23:18 | More by flexabull
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 03:46:45 | More by xnicknj
Photo of hopswap1
hopswap1

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2012 03:08:04 | More by hopswap1
Photo of Floydster
Floydster

California

4.03/5  rDev 0%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2009 05:29:45 | More by Floydster
Photo of mikejonze
mikejonze

Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.7%

03-05-2014 16:17:42 | More by mikejonze
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2009 01:19:49 | More by Sammy
Photo of jh1982
jh1982

Nevada

4/5  rDev -0.7%

11-21-2011 05:32:24 | More by jh1982
Photo of beergorrilla
beergorrilla

Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.7%

04-30-2013 02:09:47 | More by beergorrilla
Photo of DrIPA
DrIPA

Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.7%

08-07-2013 15:10:42 | More by DrIPA
Photo of fishmich
fishmich

Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.7%

07-04-2013 01:46:22 | More by fishmich
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2011 01:14:07 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of tommy5
tommy5

Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.7%

09-13-2013 13:30:27 | More by tommy5
Photo of DrDoitchbig
DrDoitchbig

Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.7%

11-15-2011 14:54:47 | More by DrDoitchbig
Photo of DMarlinJ
DMarlinJ

Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.7%

07-28-2013 18:50:13 | More by DMarlinJ
Photo of sgoro
sgoro

Illinois

4/5  rDev -0.7%

09-29-2012 01:32:54 | More by sgoro
Photo of StoutHunter
StoutHunter

Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.7%

06-29-2014 19:58:40 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of Zaphog
Zaphog

Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.7%

06-21-2012 12:20:39 | More by Zaphog
Photo of MinorThreat
MinorThreat

Nebraska

4/5  rDev -0.7%

08-24-2013 19:48:14 | More by MinorThreat
Photo of vurt
vurt

Oregon

4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Appearance:
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.

Smell:
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.

Taste:
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.

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

Drinkability:
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2009 06:29:23 | More by vurt
Short's Bourbon Barrel Sustenance Black Beer from Short's Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 183 ratings.