Short's Sustenance Black Bier - Short's Brewing Company

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Short's Sustenance Black BierShort's Sustenance Black Bier

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BA SCORE
85
very good

133 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 133
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 7
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TurdFurgison on 06-07-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 133 | Reviews: 79 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StoutHunter
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of Short's Sustenance Black Bier the other day for $1.79 at The Lager Mill. It's been a while since I have had a Schwarzbier so when I saw that Short's made one I knew I had to see what they can do with this style. No visible bottling date, 2011 vintage. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a Pilsener glass.

A- The label is a little weird, it looks like a couple sitting down for dinner, the label might be implying that this beer is meant to go with dinner. It poured a pretty dark black color that let just a little bit of light through with some ruby highlights. It had a big, four fingers worth of fluffy, rocky and bubbly tan head that died down to a thick layer that stayed the rest of the time and left some lacing.

S- The first thing I pick up is lots of roasted dark malts that smell like they were heavily roasted and they have a medium amount of sweetness to them that give it a brown sugar like aroma. I also picked up some black coffee, chocolate, and a slight amount of toffee. It has a pretty nice roasty aroma and I didn't pick up any hop aromas.

T- The taste mirrors the aroma nicely. It starts off much like the aroma with loads of heavily roasted dark malts that aren't as sweet as they were in the aroma. The heavily roast of the malts made for a nice subtle smokey flavor that was unexpected but I felt like it worked well with this beer and it helped set it apart from all the other Schwarzbiers. The black coffee and chocolate flavors from the aroma were present but the chocolate seemed to stick out much more. The finish was very smooth and there was no presence of hops or alcohol at all.

M- Smooth, medium light bodied and nicely carbonated, it may have had a little bit more carbonation then I would have liked, but with Short's I will gladly take a little extra carbonation then a mild amount.

Overall I though this was a pretty damn good Schwarzbier, I haven't had a ton of this style but I would have to say that this was my favorite Schwarzbier I have had to date. I find most Schwarzbiers to have a good amount of hops in them and this one wasn't hoppy at all, it was focused on the roasted and smokey malts and I liked that. It had a very rich and roasty flavor that was somewhat similar to a porter but every thing else was pretty true to it's style especially the mouthfeel. I could see how this beer would make a great choice to drink with dinner, the flavor is roasted and robust while the body is light enough to not be too filling to go with dinner, I will have to try and pair this beer up with a nice dinner next time I have it. I would for sure buy this beer again, it would represent it's style nicely in my fridge, I hope there is some more left at the store so I don't have to wait till next year to enjoy this fine brew. If you like roasty and robust beers then this beer is for you, it has great drinkability while retaining all those great flavors. Short's comes through with another great beer, I like the fact they can take an often overlooked style and add their own personal touch to it to make it a truly unique and great tasting beer, lets see what you guys can do with a Hefeweizen, yes that is a challenge.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a snifter.

Pours a very dark brown with a single-finger tan head that sticks around for a bit before fading and leaving a bit of light lacing. The nose has a bit of light roast and a bit of dark fruit as well. Mild anise character. The flavor has a moderate amount of roast along with some sweet malt. Dark fruit and cherry come through a bit, along with some slight black licorice. There is a bit of a cardboard character in the finish as it warms, however. Medium body and lightly sweet throughout. Pretty decent.

Photo of drabmuh
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably the star of the night for me, beer is black but clear at the corners with a haloed head of off white bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass with some carbonation present.

The aroma is sweet and dark but not roasty.

The beer is medium to light in body with a wet finish. No bitterness to speak of in the back, just a nice simple beer with a nice malt profile. I'd have it again.

Photo of chugalug06
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - WOW, what a nicely pouring brew... Head is a nice Khaki color with great foamy density. Head retreats to leave decent lacing. Brew is Black as night with no hues of any kind.

S - Smokey! Roasty! Deep! Very chocolate. Slight coffee scent lingers too. There's some molasses buried deep inside.

T - Quite a smokey brew. Not absurdly smokey, just slightly over done. Quite rich tasting with very dark chocolate tones. Slightly bitter, but not distracting.

M - Smooth and silky. Near perfect carbonation. Quite a nice feel, As close to perfect as I've had in some time.

O - There's something missing in this brew... I can't quite put my finger on what's missing, but there's definitely something! I would add more caramel and less chocolate to help reduce bitterness. Over all? Quite a grad brew! Very glad i got to try it! Thank you Another6pack!

For When You're Hungry and Thirsty....

Cheers!

Photo of Trilogy31
2.93/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a drak cola black with a brown khaki fingers worth of head. Nose has a slight metallic scent with coffe rum barrel and really only an earthy funky note i can find. Light notes of smoky roasted malts when tasting along with some turkish cofee and maybe some dark red fruits. Easy to drink and refreshing but really quite average.

Photo of FRivard
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a brewery pint glass

opaque in color a one finger mocha colored head with minimal lacing

smells of sweet malt and toffee maybe brown sugar on the nose

taste of black licorice and milk chocolate up front with the biting bitter coffee and some notable hops in the end

mouthfeel is rather light very drinkable could definitely drink more than one in a sitting

overall a good drinkable dark beer that is not too filling but still has flavor and is relatively complex for a lower abv beer

Photo of robwestcott
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured cold from the bottle a crisp cola black to a sun king shaped pint glass with a super thin, short lasting, tan head leaving a thin rim of lace near the rim after each sip.

roasty black coffee aroma with a bit of burnt chocolate meringue pie crust in the way back.

nice. smoky, milk chocolate, and black coffee.

light bodied, big carbonation, coffee bitter to the tongue, fading to semi sweet chocolate.

drinkable - yep.

overall - nice chocolatey, true to style.

Photo of THECPJ
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown almost black with a 2 finger off white head

smell: sweet, spices, caramel, malts,

taste: spice, caramel, black patent malts

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: a very interesting beer has a taste that I can't pinpoint. but will definitely have again.

Cheers,
The CPJ

Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A huge thanks to Erik (erikkoppin) for this great extra. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours a dark chocolate color into my glass with over two fingers of dark tan head that dissipates slowly leaving great looking lacing.

Smell – A great aroma of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, coffee, and just a hint of hops. A clean crisp smell.

Taste – Actually spot on with the nose, however, I do believe there is even a more predominant roasted flavor throughout. Reminds me of being at a campfire, and honestly I feel this would be great to have while around a campfire on a crisp autumn night. More cocoa than chocolate (dry and a hint more bitter), just a hint of coffee on the back end, and finishes with a crisp dry hop flavor.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, perfect carbonation, finishes slightly dry and roasty.

Overall – Pretty damn impressed with this. While more along the lines of a stout, this is extremely quaffable and the flavors meld perfectly. I would certainly pick this up in the future if I saw it.

Photo of SupaCelt
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

black pour. little tan head. some lacing. nose is roasted and milky and chocolate cocoa with sticky bun glaze. the flavor is delicious and makes for an easy to quaff drank. chocolate and some chalky tones with a modest hop bitterness and light roasted quality are the main notables. mouthfeel is around medium. overall this is a nice little dance across my face. it does go well with food and i feel as though i lived the label being totally stuffed on alton brown's artichoke dip recipe and this here schwarzbier from short's. this is a semi sessionable dark bier toward the heavy end of the spectrum that remains true to style as it circles the stout and porter realm but never goes inside. thanks.

Photo of gnemesis
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass on 04/09/2011.
Pours dark- definitely a black bier. The head is off-white, dissipates quickly, and leaves little lace. The nose is full of caramel, dark fruit, a few dabs of maltiness scattered about. The taste offers up some coffee, vanilla, slight roast, and chocolate. Medium body and medium carbonation. Overall I like this offering from Shorts. Very drinkable.

Photo of zoso1967
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sustenance pours a shiny blackish color that lets almost no light shine through. The light that does make it through illuminates a deep dark brownish amber. It has a nice tan head that would go well on any stout. It melts slowly away and leaves nice lace.

The aroma is predominantly that of rich bitter cocoa and roasted malts. It has some gentle malty character that is quite clean.

The flavor is even roastier than the aroma with plenty of burnt coffee flavor as well as bitter cocoa. The malt sweetness is fairly clean and non-descript with just a touch of sourness in the end.

The mouthfeel is medium with an enjoyable smooth character to it. The finish is a bit rough around the edges for my taste with plenty of charred coffee type flavors as well as some seriously dark cocoa character.

This is one serious schwarzbier in that it smells and tastes a lot more like a stout than anything else. Sustenance is a good name because it is much more filling than most of this style. That is unfortunately my main problem with this beer. It is a bit too robust for a schwarz, but not quite robust enough to be a stout or porter. I think if I wanted something sessionable I would pass this up and if I wanted something roasty I would go with a big stout. It is still a quality beer though and is yet another fine offering from Short's.

Photo of abraxel
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle says this is "For when you're hungry and thirsty," which fits me right now. I'm hoping it sates both those feelings nicely.

It is indeed black (I expected no less), but some blood-red light shines around the edges when I hold the glass up to light. Looks moderately viscous. Topped with a fizzy, off-white head that looked like it would dissipate quickly but actually hung on for a while.

The smell reminds me a bit of cola, but not nearly as sweet. Maybe hints of dark fruit as well. It's a relatively weak aroma (maybe typical for the style, I don't know), but a good one.

I can taste just a little bit of hops, which I think is what made me think "cola" on the smell. There's a base of roasty malt, but it doesn't add any bitterness until the aftertaste, when it lingers a short while.

The mouthfeel is smooth and a little bit chewy, with a fair amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a good beer, though not a great beer. I'm glad I got a sixer and I'll enjoy the rest of it.

Photo of techfed87
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a well-rounded head. Color is about that what you'd expect from a schwartzbier, very very dark. Smell is a bit more sour than I would expect otherwise. Kind of a Corona-flavor wafting off of it.

First taste is a bit hoppy, and yet not as bitter as I thought it was going to be. Mouthfeel is what you would expect from a Short's beer: very potent and very rewarding.

One of the stronger examples of what a schwartzbier can be, this one is really worth your while.

Photo of warnerry
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from last summer.

Pours pitch black with one finger of quickly dissipating head.

Smell is mostly roasted malt but a pretty subdued smell overall.

Taste is a nice lingering roasted malt. Flavor is actually a bit thin, but a nice bit of hops to stimulate the palate.

Light mouthfeel with a moderate level of carbonation.

Pretty drinkable with no overpowering flavors. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Photo of glid02
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap.

Pours one shade from black with dark purplish highlights and a half-finger light tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of mild dark malts with good amounts of bready aromas. Also present are hints of smoked and roasted notes.

Tastes more intense than it smells. Smooth dark malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by slight smoky notes. Midway through the sip the malt flavors thicken with the addition of bready flavors. Very slight amounts of char come into play before fading out into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I thought this was a solid beer for the style but was nothing to write home about. Still, worth a shot if you see it around.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 6/29/2010. On tap at Shorts. Pours black with a small light tan head. Aroma of lots of roasted malt and grains, creamy bitter chocolate, and a hint of lactose. Flavor of toffee, lots of bitter chocolate, roasted malts. A light mouthfeel with a creamy texture. Very nice and quite a tasty schwarzbier.

Photo of jampics2
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter. Graciously shared by Arp and enjoyed with Paul at his place.

This beer looks nice in the glass but lacks the head retention of the best Schwarzbiers in the world. The color is dark brown to black with a hint of red and even gold around the edges. There is a tan head that left the building in the time it took to write this sentence. A soapy film remains and lace is less than stellar. Great color, bad head.

Sustenance smells of sweet caramel malt at first, then some heavier notes come in. There's some black strap molasses, roasted chocolate hints from the malt and a touch of smoke or maybe toasted or burned malt. This is pleasant and well-integrated, but there is a touch of black malt acidity that scares me that this may be stale or slightly tart. But at least the typical Shorts infection is absent from the smell.

The beer tastes better than expected. The biggest win over the smell is the way everything is balanced and pleasant. Some acidity that I noted in the nose is present, but happily not sour. Some bitterness and touch of light smoke hit mid-way through the palate. I get some notes of coffee, which are contrasted by sweet caramel and a touch of licorice. There is also a touch of bitter citrus rind, I'm assuming from the hops. A good beer with depth and a myriad of flavors, but nothing that valuts this over the bar into the top tier of schwarzbiers.

The beer is medium bodied with some thin gaps but it has a relatively pleasant and substantial feel. The carbonation is a bit high for my tastes. Overall, Short's Sustenance Black Bier
is very pleasnat and comes together well. I'm very much looking forward to trying the barrel-aged version.

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

so i decided last night to break out 10+, thats right 10+ new shorts beers for a nice sampling with the family. turns out my and my brother in law were the only ones willing to go down this road, so long afternoon for sure. serve cold and consumed on 10/02/2010.

pours out a nice dark color with a small head of tan that seems to sit on top for the duration of the session. nicely done and really a very interesting look and quite big for the style

aroma is simply chock full of campfire and smoke notes. rich with hints of bitter chocolate, rich and seemlingly neverending doses of smoked malts and a rich and complex air. as the first sips go down i notice how it is not as full as i thought given the look and aroma but it still seems to work quite nicely for me given the overall presentation. rich smokey malts, lots of brown sugar hiding in the back and a lovely sense of dark chocolate all wrap around a very well carbonated and luscious finish that really sealed the deal for me.

one of my favorite styles and this one certainly did not dissapoint in any way. would do this again in a heartbeat.

Photo of akorsak
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to a74gent for this twelve oz bottle.

A: The schwarzbier is a dark stout in my glass, pitch black throughout except for at the absolute edges of the beer. A chocolatey brown manages to come through there. A head, just barely off-white, leaves a few legs behind.

S: The blackbier has a roasted, stout-like aroma with the excess body and strength of a stout. Chocolate and coffee, along with burnt toast, is strong but not overwhelming.

T: The roasted flavors start things off right, burnt and tangy with plenty of chocolate malts. Mid-sip a lactic respite, a mild sourness that contrasts with the roast, is a veer off course. That flavor doesn't last for long though, returning to the dark side for a rousing finish. Semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa powder appear in the finish.

M: The mouthfeel is full, as close to a stout as you can get without crossing that 'too heavy' line.

D: Much better. Not as chewy as they'd lead you to believe but a warming schwarzbier nonetheless.

Photo of chicano4craft
2.98/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to LostCook for the generous extra.

Pours very black with a finger of tan head. Can't see through the black when held to the light. Head fades to a thin tan line.

Sweet roast dominates the nose. Some chocolate. Reminds me more of a milk stout than a schwarzbier.

First drink reveals the smokey, roast malt. Carbonation hits the tongue pretty hard.
Lacking the smoothness I was expecting. Quite a bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is lacking for me due to the "shock" every drink has on my tastebuds. Drinkability is average. I had no problem finishing the beer. I was just left wanting more.

Photo of Lukafer
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes:

Again, thanks Josh!

Appearance is black, really black with a thin tan head. Smell is roasted malts, dark fruits, anise, and some pine thats kind of burie. Taste is roasted malts, coffee and maybe some molasses. Mouthfeel is okay, astringent, and drinkabilty is pretty low, one is enough, still glad I had a chance to try this one.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely jet black in color with a slight tan head-more stout like then a schwazbier but that's ok! Average aroma-somewhat spicy with a slight coppery/metallic note. Wonderful flavor-nice mix of roasted grains and a caramel like toffee flavor. Slight trace of licorice as well. Just enough hop bite to balance the whole thing out. Lingering sweetness. Velvety smooth mouthfeel. While it lacks the overall clean crispness of a lager and is far more stout like to me, this is one damn fine beer and very, very drinkable. Almost gone in 3 large "sips".

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Elijah for this bottle.

Pours a dark brown, nearly black.

Dutch process cocoa powder on the nose.

Nutty toffee, caramel, cocoa, and coffee with a tinge of grassy, floral hop bitterness on the finish.

Drinks like a thinner, lighter stout. Exactly what you want in a schwarzbier. Darker richer flavors delivered in a more sessionable method.

Photo of kbutler1
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft. Dark brown/black pour with a tan head. Good lace left on the glass. Teh aroma is very clean and crisp with slight coffee. Smooth tasting with coffee and dark raosted malt notes. Slight bitterness in the backend. Medium mouthfeel. Tasty but not something I would search out for myself.

Short's Sustenance Black Bier from Short's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 133 ratings.