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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

190 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 190
Reviews: 80
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.64%
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: 190 | Reviews: 80 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JISurfer
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

JISurfer, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of Andrew526
4/5  rDev -1%

Andrew526, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of FrankHammer
4/5  rDev -1%

FrankHammer, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of ubenumber2
4/5  rDev -1%

ubenumber2, Oct 16, 2013
Photo of rjcoy06
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

rjcoy06, Sep 17, 2013
Photo of tommy5
4/5  rDev -1%

tommy5, Sep 13, 2013
Photo of BjornRK
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

BjornRK, Sep 09, 2013
Photo of adrienne
4/5  rDev -1%

adrienne, Sep 09, 2013
Photo of alfie
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

alfie, Sep 06, 2013
Photo of midlifec
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

midlifec, Sep 05, 2013
Photo of Pat316
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Pat316, Sep 05, 2013
Photo of DLucky
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

DLucky, Sep 04, 2013
Photo of jivex5k
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

jivex5k, Sep 04, 2013
Photo of Stevedore
3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from the most recent 2013 release (no bottle date), generously given to me by fellow BA Benish. Poured into an unlabeled snifter today, 9/1/2013.

Pours a dark black, opaque body with a 1cm brown head that dissipates into a fairly thick brown collar. Not much lacing to speak of. Very dark looking brew.

Smells like sweet bourbon. Not much smoke or roastiness at all here. A bit of earthiness in the background.. must be the hops. But pretty much a sweet nose here. Not much oak or vanilla- just that sweet bourbon, a bit of chocolate and just a wee bit of roast malts.

Tastes like sweet bourbon mixed in with some caramel and toffee. Tasty brew that kind of reminds me of Jack and Coke, to be honest. Not much vanilla or oak here which I would have expected from a bourbon barrel beer, even if they call it "soaked" on the label. Interesting, pleasant, not super complex but tasty.

Mouthfeel on this is medium bodied, good carbonation. Its a bit slick and resinous, covers my tongue in sweet bourbon flavour. It's surprisingly low ABV which I don't get, with all that sweet bourbon! I guess this is part of the charm here. At the same time its a bit of a sipper just because of that flavour... you sip bourbon, right?

Interesting beer. Not meant to be compared to say, Bourbon County Stout or anything like that, but on its own this is an interesting, flavourful beer. I enjoyed it, and I recommend it to anyone who likes a lighter beer with some bourbon flavour in it. It holds up well surprisingly despite the relatively thin body and malt presence.

Stevedore, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of MinorThreat
4/5  rDev -1%

MinorThreat, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of Sparty55
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Sparty55, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of ltltony
4/5  rDev -1%

ltltony, Aug 19, 2013
Photo of joe1510
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz Bomber

Recieved this in an ongoing trade with hoppymeal, thanks again Derek! Sustenance pours black with deep chestnut highlights when backlit. A creamy two fingers worth of mocha head rose on the pour and as it slowly fell left thick sheet lacing down the glass. Each drink leaves great, thick drink lines behind. The head eventually settles to a half finger cap atop the black body.

The first thing that hits my nose is the effects of the barrel "soaking" as the bottle implies. Damp oak, bourbon, and vanilla come forward in that order of intensity and although the barrel aging is most prominent it's soft and allows the schwarz to come through nicely. Each swirl of the glass brings along a solid roastiness and espresso. A mouthwatering beer the second I bury my nose in the glass.

Flavor keeps in stride with the aroma. Roastiness and coffee grounds upfront lay the foundation for the barrel aging. The maltiness is present throughout the drink allowing the bourbon to be a complimenting, as opposed to dominating, characteristic. The damp oak falls back compared to the aroma. The bourbon is brought to the front, followed closely by vanilla, and last but certainly not least is the damp oakiness. The bourbon finishes things off with a nice heat and hit of booziness. This is a super high quality schwarz from Short's.

One of the reasons I love schwarz biers is the body. This follows stride with some of the best but adds a bit of creaminess from the barrel aging. Medium body that leaves a slickness on the tongue.

For a barrel aged beer this is highly drinkable. The lighter body and a manageable abv keep this flowing without a problem. As a matter of fact I'm drinking this glass way too fast. I can't slow down.

I thought this would be a good beer, just as all Short's beers are, but I didn't expect to be drinking something so good. This is a phenomenal beer. So many barrel aged beers are over the top in whatever liquid the barrel previously held but Short's hit it on the head here. Another great beer from a brewery that's becoming one of my favorites with every passing beer I drink.

Reviewed: 6/7/08

joe1510, Aug 19, 2013
Photo of MarkGleason
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

MarkGleason, Aug 11, 2013
Photo of DrIPA
4/5  rDev -1%

DrIPA, Aug 07, 2013
Photo of maximum12
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been wanting to try this forever & when tectactoe tosses a bottle my way I inexplicably...leave it in the fridge for six weeks, or something. The mysterious ways of the mind. 12 oz. bottle sipped with a good brat, & afterwards.

Poured, the beer lives up to it Deutsch billing; black, though red around the edges & as the volume in the glass falls. Carbonation is fair to middlin'. Nose is heavy on the bourbon, with soft backups of roast & malts. Bourbon rules the roost here.

Bourbon Barrel Sustenance would be welcome in my water skin if I was wandering the depths of Mirkwood. Or Chicago. The brew is driven by the barrel, to the point that this could be a barrel-aged Dicktbier & it might not be much different. Fair dip of chocolate in the middle bracketed by oak, coconut (maybe?), vanilla. Bourbon takes control on the end, though it's been lined with chocolate. Plenty OK. Creamy; akin to a milk stout, almost. I'm sipping this like it comes with an expiration minute.

I'm not going to knife anyone for another bottle, but I'm seriously enjoying it. If the world were fair, it would get bonus points for being a relatively low ABV barrel-aged beer. Very good.

maximum12, Aug 03, 2013
Photo of oldp0rt
3/5  rDev -25.7%

oldp0rt, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of gratefulbeerhead
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

gratefulbeerhead, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of DMarlinJ
4/5  rDev -1%

DMarlinJ, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of Benish
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Benish, Jul 27, 2013
Short's Bourbon Barrel Sustenance Black Beer from Short's Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 190 ratings.