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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

186 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 186
Reviews: 80
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 52
Gots: 27 | 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: 186 | Reviews: 80 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

3.95/5  rDev -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".

Serving type: bottle

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

Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.7%

04-30-2013 02:09:47 | More by beergorrilla
Photo of szmnnl99
szmnnl99

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

04-18-2013 01:26:47 | More by szmnnl99
Photo of JohnnieNepal
JohnnieNepal

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

04-17-2013 20:51:49 | More by JohnnieNepal
Photo of ssimpson89
ssimpson89

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

03-02-2013 16:50:39 | More by ssimpson89
Photo of dlello2
dlello2

Illinois

3/5  rDev -25.6%

01-27-2013 02:39:06 | More by dlello2
Photo of schmityl
schmityl


4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

01-14-2013 00:17:08 | More by schmityl
Photo of chippo33
chippo33

Vermont

3/5  rDev -25.6%

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

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

01-10-2013 05:04:24 | More by djmichaelk
Photo of Devi0us
Devi0us

California

3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

10-28-2012 18:53:57 | More by Devi0us
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

10-16-2012 05:10:20 | More by TonyTalon
Photo of ROGUE16
ROGUE16

Delaware

3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

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

Illinois

4/5  rDev -0.7%

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

Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

09-28-2012 15:51:20 | More by seeswo
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 eclipse54
eclipse54

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2012 02:17:13 | More by eclipse54
Photo of shand
shand

Florida

4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2012 03:29:22 | More by shand
Photo of MSEGUIN
MSEGUIN

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

08-03-2012 02:59:17 | More by MSEGUIN
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

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

Washington

3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
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).

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2012 03:19:59 | More by sukwonee
Photo of hopsolutely
hopsolutely

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, almost opaque black with red highlights at the edge of the glass. Very little head, and low carbonation yielding a silky but otherwise unremarkable mouthfeel.

Stellar aroma of roasted dark malts and aged barrel tannin smokiness. The flavour is equally well delivered, a sweet caramelized & toasted malt portfolio with a well balanced vanilla & oak background and a decent hop bitterness at the end. The finish is pleasantly dry with a slight & surprising black licorice note and lingers for an impressive length of time.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2012 22:19:51 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of adamdd
adamdd

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

06-25-2012 13:38:31 | More by adamdd
Photo of Zaphog
Zaphog

Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.7%

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

Maryland

4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

06-18-2012 00:42:08 | More by duceswild
Short's Bourbon Barrel Sustenance Black Beer from Short's Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 186 ratings.