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Short's The Wizard - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Short's The WizardShort's The Wizard

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

101 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 101
Hads: 186
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 8.18%
Wants: 32
Gots: 23 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: webmanspidey on 12-28-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 101 | Hads: 186
Photo of MDDMD
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-red brown color with a smallish off-white head and some lacing

S-brown sugar, raisins, little malt, toffee

T-caramel malt, raisins, brown sugar, toffee, hint of spice, moderate bitterness

F-medium body with light to moderate carbonation, crisp, but a little cloying

O-too much sweetness and raisin for me (310 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.57/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Appearance: Clear dark copper with a bunch of orange thrown in for good measure. No head, cap, collar, nothing. Minimal carbonation on the pour. A bit darker than is typical, but not unexpected given the listed boil time.

Smell: A solid punch of alcohol soaked raisins. Miscellaneous dark fruit with some fig and plum and red grape, and even more raisins. Crazy caramelized malts. A bunch of caramel, toffee, and even some molasses. Crazy sugar. Caramel malt with a slight roasted malt. Sherry and raw sugar. Minimal hop influence, maybe some herbal notes and citrus.

Taste: Sweet and then sweet. Raisins soaked with booze. Straight alcohol heat through the entire sip. So much raisin and ripe plum. Some grape skin and almost honey. Caramel and rich toffee. Slight bitterness coupled with a hint of citrus and herbal hop flavors. Slight alcohol spiciness. Molasses and even more raisins. Straight sherry as it warms. Some slight roasted elements as well. Decently complex.

Mouthfeel: Smooth medium pushing full body with negligible carbonation. Slightly dry.

Overall: Probably in Hufflepuff.

Now with two scoops of raisins and sprinkled with sugar. Hard to finish a bottle. (1,183 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 11/18/2011. Pours very hazy dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big toffee, caramel, molasses, chocolate, raisin, prune, biscuit, toast, floral, light pine, and floral earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and fruity notes; with good strength. Taste of lightly tart raisin, prune, caramel, toffee, molasses, toast, biscuit, light chocolate, light roast, floral, pine, and floral earthiness. Light earthy floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruits, caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, biscuit, light chocolate, floral, light pine, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and balance of malt and fruit flavors; with a fair amount of hop presence and no cloying sweetness after the finish. The raisins are a touch astringent but not bad at all. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice barleywine style. Very nice balance and complexity of flavors; and very smooth to sip on slowly. A very enjoyable offering. (1,338 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle into a snifter. The brew appears an amber mahogany color with ruby clarity when held to the light. A yellowish head composed of big bubbles sits atop about a finger strong leaving spotty lace.

The aroma is liked candied raisins. Sweet toffee, molasses and hints of fruity alcohol. This brew is all about the burnt sugary character ans alcohol. Despite letting it warm up, there isnt much other character emitting from the glass.

The taste is toffee and molasses with raisins and chocolate. A bit of earthen aspect with the alcohol being quite aparent. It boasts almost a tangy whiskey inclusion into the aftertaste. The flavors meld well together but overall it seems a little one-dimensional. Sugar + alcohol and nothing else sadly.

This is a medium bodied brew with a low amount of carbonation. It is boozy and a decent sipper. I am glad I got to try this but I remain unimpressed with most everything ive had from Shorts. Some of my friends seem really nutty over this brewery, maybe one day ill understand why. (1,029 characters)

Photo of Rutager
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you, Namarsha82!

Appearance. pours an opaque orangey-brown with a skim of off-white head.

Smell. Sweet caramel, some dank and piney hops, brown sugar and raisins.

Taste. Caramel malts, molasses, raisins and some piney hops. Quite dry, which I wasn't expecting. High alcohol is dangerously well hidden.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium carbonation.

Overall. A fine barleywine. The raisins add a really nice flavour and the lack of big sweetness makes it quite drinkable. (487 characters)

Photo of Pahn
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Thanks to BA mob2332 for including this as an extra in a sort-of trade.

Appearance: Free pour yields a 1/3 inch light tan head that dissipates slowly and leaves some lacing. Pours a very dark maroon and leaves spots of lacing.

Smell: Caramel malt, raisins, brown sugar. Mildly boozy, but no indication of 11% ABV. Pastry sweetness. Very inviting.

Taste: Raisins and lots of hop bitterness up front. Brown sugar and raisin skin finish. Second sip brings a kind of pruny tartness that's unpleasant. In subsequent sips, it's sort of grape and raisin and a bit of cola up front, with pastry malt sweetness wayyyy in the background that gets obliterated by alcohol heat and a powerful medicinal astringency. Astringent aftertaste.

Started out 3.5~4.0 for taste, quickly went down to 2.5~3.0 for that huge off flavor. With time and warmth, it gets a bit sweeter, but never lives up to the aroma nor overcomes unpleasantness of the astringent finish. This isn't a "3.0-for-average," it's a "3.0 for lots good with one glaring bit of bad."

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Bit watery. Low to moderate carbonation.

Overall: I'm ambivalent about this beer. Great aroma, and I like the grape/raisin flavors mixing with the sweet malt. However, it's hard to get past that awful medicinal bitterness. (1,317 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Eh. This is an okay barleywine. Too boozy and the raisins seem to chip in oddly with that too, somehow. It certainly is smooth, but it seems to lack any distinct interesting character. At least that which would make it interesting and unique. Nice to drink, but could have been more inspiring. (293 characters)

Photo of GeezLynn
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with a deep red hue and a sparse white head.

S: Brown sugar,butterscotch, roasted barley and a bit of alcohol. Smells like a sweeter, low-hopped barleywine.

T: Basically a dry, moderately hopped American style barleywine, with a very pronounced raisin flavor. While not particularly sweet, hopping in this beer is also somewhat restrained, which gives the raisins greater prominence. There’s also a slight roastiness that distinguishes it from typical. Alcohol shows up on the finished, but is pretty well disguised in this bottle (for 11%).

M: Medium-bodied with light carbonation. A bit dull.

This one pretty much falls in line with most Short's beers. Unique. For me half of their beers fall in the “that was interesting, but I won’t have it again”, and half fall into “that was pretty good. I’d have another”. This one is in the latter. Pretty nice beer, though I'm guessing it might be a bit gnarly fresh. (943 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kate the Great snifter. No bottle date.

Appearance - Deep dark body. Not black, but a very dark burgundy. Small off-white head.

Smell - Brown sugar. I guess that's raisins I smell, but it's more of a generic dark fruit. Hops, but barely aromatic.

Taste - Sweet raisin flavor throughout. The malt isn't as dominant as a 6 hour 66 minute boil might suggest. Intensely bitter hop finish. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel - Alcoholic bite. Medium body, which seems light for the ABV. Crazy bitter. Slow to drink.

Overall - Definitely a sipper. Tastes ok, but really tough to drink. (599 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
3.32/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Small, straw colored, foamy head. Brew pours purple with lots of browns.

Lots of brown sugar and raisin sweetness.

Big, bold bitterness. Lots of dry raisin and fig flavors. Not much sweetness. Medium-high carbonation. Slightly distracting thickness. Lacks a strong hop profile.

A good brew, but I won't seek it again. Recommended, but I wouldn't go crazy for it... Thanks Adam! (382 characters)

Photo of madeofsteel
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, picked it up for New Year's and am eager to see how it's aged (slightly).

A - Pours a thick mahogany, almost purplish-brown, very minimal carbonation, spotty lacing.

S - Raisins, maybe dates? And fruity booze. Lots of spicy booze.

T - Syrupy sweet raisins, slight sour pucker, and the alcohol packs a little bit of heat. A little bit of bitterness that isn't entirely pleasant.

M - Certainly warming, thick and syrupy. Quite dry.

O - An overall pleasant brew, but it will whoop you if you're not careful. I can probably drink two reasonably in a sitting. (582 characters)

Photo of DersOne
4.29/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A-Pours a muddy brown with a shallow toffee-colored head, small bubbles with very thin lacing that dissipates quickly.

S-Sugar sweetness, licorice and sweet raisin, dark fruits with a hint of maltiness.

T-Malt and booze up front with a bit of bitterness, carbonation tingle (almost champagne-like) and raisins, finishing sweet with some dry bitter dark chocolate notes.

M-Smooth, contrasting with effervescence, minimal dryness, very pleasant.

O-4.25/5, it was interesting to see an over-sweet variation of a barleywine. (572 characters)

Photo of Naugros
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lovely brown color, like a raisin, but not the darker, icky ones that look like they've been steeped on. The head is light tan and rises higher than most barleywines, but doesn't last too long before it's just a ring and a slight haze.

So I'm thinking that so many strong, dark beers taste and smell like raisin anyway, why would anyone ADD them to a barleywine? Let's see if it paid off.

The smell is really malty and smells like bread pudding made with dark rum and, tada!, raisins. A little clove-like phenol to spice it up a bit.

A ton of mole asses in the flavor...sorry, that should read molasses...right up front. Cloves hit the roof of the mouth in the middle. It's really bitter in back, like burnt wood. As the molasses continues to assault the tip of the tongue, the burnt flavors trickle down the back of the throat. None of this really comes together as a cohesive whole, but it still remains tasty, if not a little over the top.

Not as viscous as some barleywines, but definitely full-bodied.

I'm really new to Short's Brew but I can tell they really like to deliver a ton of flavor. In so doing, they made a bit of a mess out of this one but I've definitely had worse barleywines. This one could use some time to settle down and let the flavors marry...in this case it would be common law...but I'd be afraid to do so as the bottle reads "Keep Refrigerated". That's usually a sign that the beer is unfermented and would not take well to cellaring. However, 11% ABV is 11% ABV and it would be hard for critters to get much of a foothold. (1,566 characters)

Photo of jbuddle
3.34/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra in a trade -thanks! Poured out an opaque deep reddish brown with a small amount of head that slowly disappeared.

The aroma is amazing - dark sweet caramel and butter, dark fruit, sweet malt and raisins.

Wish the flavor followed the nose a bit better but I get a lot more bitterness than expected with some dark fruit, toffee and raisins. The bitterness really cuts in about halfway through and disrupts the good things going on; its more of a medicinal, aspirin type of bitterness than a hop bitterness so it's mildly unpleasant. finishes bitter and not very clean.

Good mouthfeel, slick and buttery with good carbonation. Overall a nice barleywine but something about that medicinal bitterness really messed things up for me. (752 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a big bastard... served in a tulip glass, it pours a deep ruddy chestnut color, with crimson glints in the light. A thin layer of yellowish ecru foam sits on the surface and slowly dissipates into clusters of bubbles around the edges.

Piney herbals, dates, specialty malts, and vinous alcohol in the aroma.

Rich and resiny taste, massively dry and bitter with a middle full of different flavors. Peanut butter, pine needles, aspirin, dried fruit. Burly body, creamy texture, low to medium carbonation levels. Bitterness is somewhat abrasive, more so than the alcohol which is surprisingly hidden. As i warms, the maltiness comes out a bit more, enhancing some raisin bread flavors. Intensely hoppy though, sort of a different riff on the Bigfoot school of barleywines.

Thanks to Amanda & Justin for sharing this one! (829 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.11/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From 03/09/12 notes. Thanks to Thorep429 for opening this one.

a - Pours a dark reddish brown color with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of raisins, dark fruits, figs, sugar, and fruity malts. Lots of sugar and fruit; a bit too sweet for me.

t - Tasted of dark fruits, raisins, sugar, molasses, alcohol, fruit malts. Same as the nose with a little bit of alcohol as well.

m - Medium body and moderaye carbonation. Little bit of alcohol to it.

o - Overall an okay beer, though a bit too sweet for me. Also a little too much alcohol in the taste, probably wouldn't seek it out again. (626 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to Duvel tulip. Bottle date is partially rubbed out - appears to be 10(?)/19/11.

A - Medium murky brown with a big ruby glow during the pour. One finger of light brown head formed from the pour.

S - The nose is very smooth and muted for the style. Brown sugar, dark caramel, raisins. Fairly prominent.

T - A big sweetness up front - toffee, dark caramel and brown sugar are the prominent flavours. The raisins show up in the middle, providing a nice compliment to the malt base. The finish is bitter with warming alcohol. The bitterness cuts through the sweetness nicely and becomes more and more evident as I continue to drink.

M - Medium to full body. Sludgy. Light carbonation.

O - A good and very interesting barleywine. The raisins add a nice unique flavour but something didn't quite come together to put this over the top. (846 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of my favorite beers from Shorts Now

A - Cloudy dirty brown and about a 1/4 inch of mocha colored head atop with mild carbonation bubbles throughout. Lacing is good.

S - As expected mostly raisin in the smell with plums and figs but some sweet malts and chocolate also. Little to no hops

T - The hops are mild but do assert their way into the finish along with a brown sugar sweetness, natural raisin flavors and some bitter chocolates.

M - Insane how well this drinks for the ABV. Medium to heavy but my guess would be 9 or 10 at most.

Overall the only thing better would have been if I got a six pack and am now envious of Michigan folk being able to buy this right off the shelf. Smooth body, natural flavors, and little to no noticeable ABV. What a world class barleywine. (786 characters)

Photo of biglobo8971
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

premise number 1: this is from 2010
premise number 2: this is the first beer reviewed of my 38th birthday.
so if you hate this one, wait until you see the fourth.
poured from bottle into tulip
A - very dark, no head, a couple of bubbles, no lacing.
S - a lot of fruit (plum, prune, and blackberries) some sugar back tone
T - a lil bit of malty sweetness, lots of fruit sweetness, a lil bit of hop presence, but I believe the age took the hop presence out.
M - easy to drink, easy mouthfeel
O - easy beer to drink, especially with the age and me not being a fan of the style. I can tell this is a well crafted beer. (614 characters)

Photo of cavedave
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to seeswo for yet another stupidly fine beer.

Very cloudy and nice brown, red hints, not much head, spome spotty islands and a ring, but stupid legs on glass after a gentle swirl

Smell is full of prune and raisin, some candi, gentle alcohol which adds rather than detracts, hints of toffee and floral hop. Like perfume.

Taste starts caramel and toffee picking up some darker roast notes, nothing charry by any means, just a touch of darker sugars and toast, into lots of fruit that comes into the sip with herbal bitter, and the bitter stays with a lingering sweet and dark ripe fruit that taste a bit vinous as it warms. Nice.

Mouthfeel is light despite its look of light syrup, very low carb. alcohol very well hidden, lasting flavors, they stay pretty clean, could be a touch cleaner, nice finish, could be a bit better to play with the big boys in this style.

Overall a delicious beer that pushes the boundaries of flavor blasts, from a brewer who specializes in it. (982 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Demons worry when The Wizard is near." - Black Sabbath

@ Lord Hobo for the Shorts tap takeover

Triple mashed, boiled for 6 hours and 66 minutes (wouldn't that be 7 hours and 6 minutes? Hell, why not 426 minutes? Why spoil the novelty I guess) and fermented in raisins.

Black with eggplant highlights (I think, it's dark in there). Arrived on a nifty Shorts Soft Parade coaster which is now protecting my Gatorade bottle from leaving moisture rings on my computer desk. Thin head is quick to dissipate. Foamwise it's a lackluster beer but so were many of the beers sent out tonight. Not sure if it's, Short's ,the bartenders, or the setup.

Not a subtle nose: blackberry brandy, black cherry and cocoa nibs erupt from the glass. Tastes like brown sugar coated raisins, blackberry and chocolate. One of the most raisin-y beers I can remember (Smuttynose Gravitation being of comparable raisin saturation). Bold, sugary, and awesome.

A very different barleywine due to the extreme dark fruit but also one of the best, off the top of my head. (1,044 characters)

Photo of Tod28
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A little different then the majority of the barley wines I've had.

Has a raisin/fig taste to it. With a slight citrus hint. Tasted better on palate after letting air hit your tongue. Had a much more complex taste.

Deep copper color, light brown. Had a nice amount of head(served extremely cold). Though it didn't last all to long. Has a nice rich look to it.

Would drink and will drink again. Recommend drinking two!

Cheers (428 characters)

Photo of BeRanger
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a murky brown, has sort of a red/amberish hue. About a half finger of off-white head. No real lacing.

S - Very sweet, lots of dark fruit - you can certainly smell the raisins. You can certainly smell the alcohol.

T - Slight hop taste, almost has a pepper flavor profile. The raisins and dark fruits are there, just not very bold. It has a dry finish, no real alcohol flavor however.

M - Medium body with a little carbonation. Finished very dry.

O - This wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be. I'm fairly new to barleywines and I was worried this wasn't going to meet expectations. The flavors were pretty good and the alcohol was hidden well. (699 characters)

Photo of JizackFH
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a dark mahogany brown color. It has a nice 2-finger light tan head resting on top. The head has pretty good retention, and leaves a good amount of lace behind on the glass.

S - The nose has a good amount of roasted malt to it. There are some nice aromas of dark fruit such as raisins, fig, plum, and cherry. There are also some scents of brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and booze.

T - The taste starts off with a good bit of roasted maltiness. The dark fruit aromas that were in the nose all come into the taste as well. There are some other good flavors of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, and a medium hop presence. There is a noticeable booze presence. The finish leaves some lingering roasted malt, caramel, hops, and booziness behind on the palate.

M - This has a body that is on the heavier side of medium, and the carbonation is good. It goes down easy and has a nice smooth feel to it. There is a good amount of sweetness, but the roasted malt balanced it nicely. There is some hop bitterness that comes through, as well as some boozy warmth.

O - This has good drinkability. It is a sipper for sure, but the flavor is very nice. I could have a few of these in a night, even though I'm sure I'd be pretty tipsy. Overall, I think this is a good beer and a good representation of the style. I really liked the dark fruit flavors in this one. I definitely recommend trying it out. It is a nice interesting beer, and I don't think it will disappoint. (1,474 characters)

Photo of vande
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a - interestingly enough, pours looking like the bottle -- bottle brown with the slightest hint of a sandy colored lace...otherwise a nice mohagony looking brown..

s - smells like a stronger version of Kronic...hoppy, malty, coppery...

t - somewhat sweeter, with a bit of bite at the end...orange peel, kinda dirty taste..funky aftertaste...

m - sorta thinner then expected

o - i'm not sure if this one is sittin' how it was supposed to be...i've generally enjoy the beers shorts offers, but unfortunately have ran into a few bad bottles too...this maybe one of 'em (569 characters)

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Short's The Wizard from Short's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.