1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

191 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 191
Reviews: 80
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.67%
Wants: 53
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 191 | Reviews: 80 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DMarlinJ
4/5  rDev -0.7%

DMarlinJ, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of sgoro
4/5  rDev -0.7%

sgoro, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of StoutHunter
4/5  rDev -0.7%

StoutHunter, Jun 29, 2014
Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Zaphog, Jun 21, 2012
Photo of MinorThreat
4/5  rDev -0.7%

MinorThreat, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of loganburgh
4/5  rDev -0.7%

loganburgh, Mar 18, 2014
Photo of vurt
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.

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.

vurt, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of Marti403
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Marti403, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of david131
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

david131, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of mtrog313
4/5  rDev -0.7%

mtrog313, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of klipper
4/5  rDev -0.7%

klipper, May 13, 2012
Photo of monitorpop
4/5  rDev -0.7%

monitorpop, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of wiltznucs
4/5  rDev -0.7%

wiltznucs, Dec 03, 2013
Photo of linnymtu
4/5  rDev -0.7%

linnymtu, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of jz989
4/5  rDev -0.7%

jz989, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of adrienne
4/5  rDev -0.7%

adrienne, Sep 09, 2013
Photo of travMI13
4/5  rDev -0.7%

travMI13, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Huhzubendah, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of Andrew526
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Andrew526, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of ubenumber2
4/5  rDev -0.7%

ubenumber2, Oct 16, 2013
Photo of FrankHammer
4/5  rDev -0.7%

FrankHammer, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of ltltony
4/5  rDev -0.7%

ltltony, Aug 19, 2013
Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
4/5  rDev -0.7%

ZombiesAteMyDog, May 30, 2013
Photo of BMart
4/5  rDev -0.7%

BMart, Jun 05, 2013
Short's Bourbon Barrel Sustenance Black Beer from Short's Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 191 ratings.