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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

190 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 190
Reviews: 80
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 52
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: 190 | Reviews: 80 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheBeerDad
5/5  rDev +23.8%

TheBeerDad, May 17, 2013
Photo of TheConnMan
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

TheConnMan, May 14, 2013
Photo of KevSal
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

KevSal, May 12, 2013
Photo of Nachos4two
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Nachos4two, May 05, 2013
Photo of tectactoe
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
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".

tectactoe, May 01, 2013
Photo of beergorrilla
4/5  rDev -1%

beergorrilla, Apr 30, 2013
Photo of szmnnl99
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

szmnnl99, Apr 18, 2013
Photo of JohnnieNepal
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

JohnnieNepal, Apr 17, 2013
Photo of ssimpson89
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

ssimpson89, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of dlello2
3/5  rDev -25.7%

dlello2, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of schmityl
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

schmityl, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of chippo33
3/5  rDev -25.7%

chippo33, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of djmichaelk
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

djmichaelk, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of Devi0us
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Devi0us, Oct 28, 2012
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No freshness info apparent.
Poured in to tulip.

A - Poured black with one finger of tan coloured head that reduced to a thin layer.

S - Huge bourbon and oak aromas up front followed by some sweet vanilla notes. The barrel characteristics dominate the nose with only light roast aroma coming through from the base beer.

T - Bourbon and oak up front with roast, chocolate and pitted fruit notes present as well. A touch of barrel funk going on here but not enough to be distracting. More of the base beer comes through than the nose indicated.

M - Light to medium body with a slight chew. Moderate carbonation. A touch thin.

TheSevenDuffs, Oct 19, 2012
Photo of TonyTalon
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

TonyTalon, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of ROGUE16
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

ROGUE16, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of sgoro
4/5  rDev -1%

sgoro, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of seeswo
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

seeswo, Sep 28, 2012
Photo of hopswap1
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

hopswap1, Sep 21, 2012
Photo of eclipse54
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

eclipse54, Aug 22, 2012
Photo of shand
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

This one gave me some headaches just wondering what to pour a bourbon-barrel aged lager into! It pours out pretty black, with a small head that quickly shrinks to the edge of the glass. The aroma? Goddamn, that's bourbon-y. The taste is also great and interesting. It is very strong on the bourbon at first, but goes interestingly tart pretty quick. The finish cancels out the tartness for some roasted malts and some more of the bourbon flavors (and a touch of wood). The body is extremely light, especially for a beer with such a bourbon taste. It works with that tartness in the middle though. The drinkability is good. What an interesting brew from Shorts, I was a little skeptical, but it works out better than I expected.

shand, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of MSEGUIN
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

MSEGUIN, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of AgentZero
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

AgentZero, Jul 20, 2012
Photo of sukwonee
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
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).

sukwonee, Jul 16, 2012
Short's Bourbon Barrel Sustenance Black Beer from Short's Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 190 ratings.