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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

183 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 183
Reviews: 80
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 51
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: 183 | Reviews: 80 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of atone315
atone315

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

06-01-2012 02:12:52 | More by atone315
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz 2011 bottle courtesy of Erik (erikkoppin). Thanks so much for this generous extra. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours into my Bell’s tulip with an almost opaque dark chocolate color. When held up to bright light just the faintest red hues of light shine through. About a finger of quickly dissipating tan head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells – Smells chewy if that is possible. Lots of sweet bourbon barrel notes up front which fade to some dark fruits, brown sugar, oak, and a slight presence of vanilla. As the beer warms a butterscotch/toffee aroma becomes more noticeable.

Taste – Wow, lots of butterscotch and vanilla here right at the start! The bourbon actually becomes more prevalent as the beer warms and with each sip I take (intermixing with the first two flavors). There is bittersweet cocoa/chocolate, earthiness, and again more sweetness that goes from butterscotch to toffee to brown sugar. A “candied” beer if you will.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, not as creamy as I was expecting though enough, carbonation on par for what I would expect.

Overall – An interesting barrel aged beer from Short’s. As I always say, I am glad I was able to try it. Would I seek it out again? Probably not, but I am rather enjoying the flavors (though they are a bit one dimensional, smacking you in the face with each one, but then again isn’t that what Short’s is known for?). Not as cloying as I would expect, but would never have more than one at a time.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2011 01:14:07 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber with awesome label art. The cap comes off with quite a pop as the brew flows out of the bottle...a quick catch into my glass leaves me a dark brown body with a two finger light tan head on top. Initial aromas of lightly roasted dark malts and hints of caramel. There's a wild yeast character here that brings some sour bretty funk to the table as well with fruity accents. Woody oak tones and a mellow bourbon character that just barely shines through.

First sip brings a nice roasty dark malt upfront with hints of caramel and fruitiness. There's a hint of chocolate that moves into a woody oak flavor. Sour tinge is still there with the wild yeast accent. Only a touch of bourbon flavor hints through on the way down. My bottle at least comes off as a funky, oaky schwarzbier and even if this was not the intention I enjoyed it.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with swift moving carbonation and plenty of it. This goes down rather easily, but the bubbles are a little much. Overall, the wild yeast twist to this beer made it taste a lot different that I was expecting...this reminds me of a Jolly Pumpkin brew expect aged in bourbon. I did end up enjoying the bomber and thanks to hoppymeal for the opportunity.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2008 02:47:18 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of beergorrilla
beergorrilla

Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.7%

04-30-2013 02:09:47 | More by beergorrilla
Photo of david131
david131

California

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.

Serving type: growler

07-19-2010 01:50:36 | More by david131
Photo of mrebeka
mrebeka

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

06-16-2013 19:09:50 | More by mrebeka
Photo of Photekut
Photekut

Tennessee

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

05-19-2013 01:15:34 | More by Photekut
Photo of WeisGuy
WeisGuy

New York

3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Slow's Bar BQ in Detroit

a - pours a deep brown shade with a minimal tan head, retention around the edge and very light lacing, fairly hazy

s - roast malt, bittersweet chocolate and lighter notes of oak and bourbon, the bourbon character is much more muted than I would expect

t - like the nose, deeply roasted malt and dark chocolate are the dominant flavors, some biscuity and bready flavors on the midpalate with lighter notes of oak and bourbon appearing on the finish along with more dark chocolate, the barrel character is not very pronounced, but it certainly improves the base beer in that it has added some depth to the flavors

m - medium-bodied with light carbonation, finish is well-balanced, light alcohol warming

d - pretty drinkable for a bourbon barrel aged beer, albeit a lager, definitely more interesting and complex than the base beer, but still nothing that I would need to order a second glass of

Moderately more impressed with this than the regular Sustenance and well worth a try. Btw, if you're ever in SE Michigan and aren't a vegetarian, you owe it to yourself to get to Slow's Bar BQ, where the beer list is very good and the food is amazing.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2010 22:02:27 | More by WeisGuy
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 kbutler1
kbutler1

Minnesota

3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft. Stopped in the brewery and had a little sampler of several beers. Very similiar to the regular version with the exception of the bourbon flavors and notes. Very distinct bourbon notes in the nose. Fairly strong bourbon flavors in the taste along with vanilla and chocolate. Very smooth. Tan head with good lace. Medium/heavy mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2010 14:54:16 | More by kbutler1
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 joe1510
joe1510

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2013 23:03:22 | More by joe1510
Photo of dfhhead25
dfhhead25

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

11-30-2013 00:12:37 | More by dfhhead25
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore

Wisconsin

3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2013 02:37:57 | More by Stevedore
Photo of Urbancaver
Urbancaver

Ohio

3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thank you jale for this treat!

Appearance- Dark brown with minimal head. Reddish hues on the edges

Smell- Smoked malt with a hint of bourbon on the nose

Taste- Rich thick smoked maltiness with a touch of bourbon

Mouthfeel- Very smooth with low carbonation

Drinkability- Very drinkable

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 16:57:23 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of JISurfer
JISurfer

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

11-16-2013 05:51:14 | More by JISurfer
Photo of thebigredone
thebigredone

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

06-22-2013 23:21:46 | More by thebigredone
Photo of klipper
klipper

Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.7%

05-13-2012 21:31:04 | More by klipper
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 szmnnl99
szmnnl99

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

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

Colorado

3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

06-10-2013 04:41:05 | More by JMBSH
Photo of FtownThrowDown
FtownThrowDown

Ohio

4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle I bought from Short's, picked up for me by the ever generous Northernbrews. You da man Jeff!
Pours black in color with just a bit of froth for a head. Smell is bourbon, cocoa and some vanilla to round it out. This smells absolutely incredible. Taste is more of the bourbon, some cocoa and a bit of roasted malts. This is very good for a schwarzbier. Very smooth and I can't even put into words how drinkable this is. It's often overstated, but I could drink this everyday, allday. Wonderful beer from Short's. Thanks again Jeff, you da man!

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2009 02:16:50 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of monitorpop
monitorpop

Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.7%

11-14-2011 18:24:32 | More by monitorpop
Photo of robwestcott
robwestcott

Indiana

4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to erikkoppin for another bottle of short's brew.

poured cold from the bottle pitch black to a founders brewing goblet with just a hint of a quickly fading mocha head, leaving a thin rim of bubbles around the surface

aroma of dark chocolate and bourbon in the back, and maybe a wee bit of smoke.

very nice. wow. bourbon way up front, but no heat, not overwhelming and actually, as it warms, its balanced quite nicely with the chocolate malts.

medium bodied, bigger carbonation than the pour gave away, smooth, sweet and a bit of heat as it heads down.

overall, a very enjoyable brew and at 6.5abv, i'd have a couple more if i had them.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 21:59:59 | More by robwestcott
Short's Bourbon Barrel Sustenance Black Beer from Short's Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 183 ratings.