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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 Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -1%

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.

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

California

3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

07-19-2014 07:09:29 | More by zestar
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +3.5%

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.

12-04-2011 02:57:47 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.53/5  rDev -12.6%

Sampled November 2009
A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three finger thick, lightly browned, tanned colored head. The beer is quite black in color that shows a brilliantly clear, rich ruby hue when held up to the light. The aroma is definitely spiced with an ample signature of Bourbon, though it is not overwhelming; notes of toasted coconut, vanillin, spicy oak, and a touch of heat from the Bourbon. I can't really notice much of the base beer underneath the Bourbon though; perhaps a touch of toasted malt.

The beer tastes fairly dry with a touch of tartness from the oak and Bourbon. Notes of vanillin, some coconut and a bit of spicy Bourbon in the finish are noticeable, but don't play nearly as big a role as they did in the aroma. There is a touch of toasted malt noticeable in the finish as well as hint of roasted malt that tastes a bit like black coffee. A touch of Bourbon heat is brought out by the oak more so than actual alcohol. This feels quite light bodied on the palate, but that isn't unexpected as this isn't the world strongest Bourbon aged beer; the carbonation adds a prickly texture that tends to make this beer seem a bit thin at first, but releasing the extra carbonation produces a creamy texture despite the light body.

This is a fairly one-dimensional beer with the Bourbon being quite dominant. If you can appreciate that sort of thing then you will likely enjoy this beer as it is done pretty well here. This does have a nice vanillin and coconut character to it, though it is a bit hot and spicy from the Bourbon'ed alcohol at times. I could definitely wish for more dark malt character to come through, but this more than a serviceable brew for this "chilly" Arizona weekend.

03-07-2010 16:24:46 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of beernads
beernads

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

02-15-2014 23:37:00 | More by beernads
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

4/5  rDev -1%

01-20-2012 23:58:09 | More by imperialking
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -10.1%

From notes:

Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even the slightest hint of lighter color when held to a light source. Quite viscous looking with a half finger mocha colored head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Intensely boozy aroma with a huge barrel presence. Lots of sweet boozy bourbon along with some earthy oak and faint vanilla. Underneath there is a slight smokey malt presence with hints of chocolate, toffee and roasted coffee bean but the nose of this beer is all about the bourbon.

Medium bodied and slightly viscous with a very prominent bourbon flavor. Again, as in the aroma, the barrel character dominates the flavor with a burst of hot, boozy bourbon that lingers throughout, slightly overpowering the other flavors. Slight earthy oak and faint vanilla/toasted coconut but the bourbon and hot alcohol overtake these notes pretty quickly. Underneath there is a roasted chocolate malt presence with hints of roasted coffee bean, toffee and oatmeal. Slightly smokey which provides some balance to the sweet bourbon but overall this beer is just a bit too much of a bourbon bomb for my liking.

03-07-2011 08:42:28 | More by corby112
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.33/5  rDev +7.2%

Interesting beer. The lighter body of a schwarzbier gives an entirely different mouthfeel and drinking experience than most other, heavier bourbon barrel beers. Like it or dislike it, it's certainly a different approach. I happen to like it- at least for a change of pace, but I don't think it reaches the heights of the best bourbon barrel beers. Pours black with some ruby highlights and a short head. Smells of some very light graininess, lightly of bourbon, and with some dark chocolate. Tastes light and clean with noticeable bourbon, but on the lighter side. Quite dry in style. The beer is also slightly astringent and soft with a clean roasted grain flavor throughout. Soft and light in the mouth with a cocoa finish, very easy to drink. A nice surprise.

01-25-2009 23:14:23 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev -9.7%

12oz bottle care of Dunt, this has been on my wants list for quite a long time. Thanks for the generosity man!

Poured into a pub glass, this brew appears a dark brown to black color. A finger of tan head sits atop the brew and quickly fades to a thin layering across the top with spots of lace sticking to the glass. When held to the light, some brown and reddish clarity is seen through the edges. A light swirl brings back nearly a finger of tan head.

The smell of this brew is very heavy on the barrel aged presence. It is absolutely pungent with nearly perfume-like vanilla quality. More smells reveal a tangy alcohol inclusion, a bit of licorice and some roasted grain elements minorly like coffee. Throughout the entire duration, the vanilla is so pungent, it is almost artificial smelling and a little off-putting. When swirled, a bit of a sulfur note comes out of the brew.

The taste is robust with whiskey infused alcoholic tangy character. A bit of roasted grain bitterness and an equally bold display of vanilla flavoring. There is some oaked flavoring present throughout which balanced the bitterness and seeming sweet vanilla inclusion. As the brew warms up, the alcohol inclusion gets increasingly more tangy which is interesting. The aftertaste is the only feature minorly reminiscent of a schwarzbier with some roasted quality mixed with a touch of citrus.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a moderate to light level of carbonation. The alcohol hits with a strenght that seems more than the listed 6.5%. Overall this opened up very impressive but sort of fell apart as it warmed up. The barrel aged presence while enjoyable is very overpowering. If that is the sort of thing you look for in barrel aged beers you might really dig this brew (which normally is the case for me.) For some reason this one just didnt drive it all the way home like I was hoping. Regardless it is worth a try if you get the chance. Thanks again Dunt.

09-13-2011 01:20:08 | More by stakem
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duceswild

Maryland

4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

06-18-2012 00:42:08 | More by duceswild
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mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.63/5  rDev -10.1%

Pours into Stone Old Guardian Glass

Pours 1 finger of khaki head. Good retention and lace. Color is black.

Aroma: Bourbon and some heat. Smoked malts with caramel, chocolate, sweet cocoa, and roasted malts.

Taste: Bourbon and oak. Very warm. Caramel and toffee malts. Chocolate flavors as well. Big malt profile here.

Mouthfeel: Warm, dry, and oaky. Medium bodied with a low to medium amount of carbonation. Ends very warm.

Overall, this one is hot and not too drinkable. Interesting, but I am not too crazy for it. Still, I was happy to have tried this one.

08-10-2010 21:23:31 | More by mothman
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -1%

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.

09-01-2011 04:00:14 | More by Huhzubendah
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brandoman63

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

11-30-2011 03:03:56 | More by brandoman63
Photo of Zaphog
Zaphog

Michigan

4/5  rDev -1%

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

New Hampshire

3.9/5  rDev -3.5%

Received in trade from jtrockchalk in the Black Booty Bif, Thanks for the opportunity!

Pours a deep dark brown with the faintest of ruby highlights and a huge bubbly off white head that sticks around forever. Smells of lemony citrus, bourbon, vanilla, faint bit of bretty horsehair, and cocoa. Slightly sour on the nose, is that supposed to be there, or did some bugs hitch a ride from barrel to bottle? This would certainly explain the spirited carbonation. Taste is a bit sour with some chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla thrown in. Carbonation is quite high, body is medium but filled with bubbles, mouthfeel is creamy but slick. I enjoyed this one, but I'm not sure its a schwartzbier anymore. Very flavorful, but the carbonation ruins the mouthfeel for me. I'd love to try a fresh bottle if someone wants to send me another.

06-15-2009 22:13:29 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

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

District of Columbia

3.33/5  rDev -17.6%

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 4/7/12
*From notes

A: A dark shade of brown. A good pour yields a loose 1.25 finger head. Thin collar, no lacing.

S: A shit ton of bourbon and not a whole lot else. Which is awesome. If you like bourbon.

T: Pretty much the same as the nose. The beer is nothing more then a delivery device for the barreled spirit that was housed prior to the beer. Though I kind of dig it, the thing I want to know is why? Why would someone looking for bourbon drink a beer smothered by bourbon when they can simply drink....bourbon? I guess I should note that the back of this is a bit tangy - some mouth watering red fruit, which leaves an unwanted finish lingering on my palate.

M: It's ok, I guess. Thinner then I'd like for a bourbon barreled beer. But for a standard Schwarzbier, it's not half bad.

O: Just another weirdy from Short's. What the fuck are they smoking up there in Bellaire? Who comes up with these off-the-wall offerings? Some are pretty cool and tasty. Some, like this, are merely passable. And others (as many of you know) are absolutely terrible. I give 'em credit for not backing down from their outside-the-box way of thinking, but there comes a point where you just want a God damn beer.

Add this to the list of "middle of the road" Short's offerings. Hey, I consider it a win when my drain doesn't share a Short's with me.

04-12-2012 21:01:41 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -2.2%

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.

10-19-2012 22:18:27 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of chippo33
chippo33

Vermont

3/5  rDev -25.7%

01-10-2013 07:53:45 | More by chippo33
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

07-20-2012 03:15:14 | More by AgentZero
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

4.33/5  rDev +7.2%

Bottle courtesy of HiAIPA and armchairboogie poured into a pilsner glass.

A: Pours deep, deep mahogany with a bubbly two-finger tan head that lingers for a little while and leaves a trace of lacing.

S: Smell is complex and interesting with bourbon definitely showing up and burning the nose a little. There is also tons of dark fruit with raisins and even grapes on top a very sweet malt base with brown sugar as well.

T: Taste is just as interesting as the nose with an initial sweetness of sugar and caramel. Dark fruits show throughout on top of a roasted malt base before giving way to a tingling alcohol finish.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation and leaves a sticky sweet aftertaste tinged with booze.

D: This is one of the best schwarzbiers I've ever had and I think the bourbon barrel use is very well done. This is my first Shorts brew and I'm looking forward to more. Highly recommended!

08-26-2008 00:19:53 | More by gford217
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

4.1/5  rDev +1.5%

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.

07-14-2009 06:35:03 | More by illidurit
Photo of ROGUE16
ROGUE16

Delaware

3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

10-16-2012 00:20:30 | More by ROGUE16
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

3.95/5  rDev -2.2%

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".

05-01-2013 11:51:17 | More by tectactoe
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

3.73/5  rDev -7.7%

1336th Review on BA
Bottle to Mug
12 oz

Thanks to ErikKoppin for this one

App- A nice darker brown pour with some decent density and a bit of red around the edges. A small 1/4-1/2 in head was there and then left. No lace or cling.

Smell- A good amount of bourbon is there on the nose with a little bit of a peat/smokey malt. Wasnt a nose basher by anymeans, just a bit light and one dimensional.

Taste- I like the fact that the bourbon is more prevalant on the taste and that the smoke takes a back seat. A little bit of plum and fig came in on the back of the flavors.

Mouth- A lighter medium with a light carbonation. A bit prickly with some residual bourbon/smoke being felt.

Drink- It was okay. Wasnt a wow but wasnt bad. I not being a fan of schwarzbiers came into this with an open mind. I wouldnt mind another bottle to age though.

06-08-2012 15:18:27 | More by FosterJM
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Short's Bourbon Barrel Sustenance Black Beer from Short's Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 190 ratings.