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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.
very good

101 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 101
Hads: 186
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 12.96%
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 Thorpe429
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Mikasa tulip.

Pours a garnet-purple with a thin off-white head. Some spotty lacing and a thin collar. The nose has raisin and a moderate amount of caramel. Heavy raisin actually. Some molasses throughout. Flavor is raisin and sweet malt, nothing complex. Persistent finish that is too dry and has some light booze. A bit of sherry later on. Decent.

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Photo of emerge077
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
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!

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very hazy dark, burnt ruby amber. Very intresting hue as the reddish tint was very noticeable even though the haze made it almost opaque. A one inch head formed on the top upon pour, that faded almost immediatly. What was left was a thin film of decent quality lace that circle around the glass. Smell was very sweet, caramel sugars hitting almost immediatly. The deeper smell after some warming indicated a nice bready, earthy malt back with a hint of alcohol, which at 9%abv and being a barleywine should be expected. The taste for me was just too light. I expect barleywines to make me sit down and to be a definite sipper, but this just did not have the fullness I would have expected. The finish on it was very dry, and did last a good bit though. The taste itself was very hoppy, with piney flavors the most noticeable, a slight malt back was trying to form with flavors of grain and bread, but was just too thin to really be noticed. There was a huge amount of carbonation, again for a barleywine, on this one. Lots of fizz and contributed to the feeling of lightness

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Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Believe it was Jeff who sent me this one (I should really start keeping better track). In any case: thanks!

A: The pour is a dark brown color with red highlights and a thin layer of tan head.

S: Strong aromas of brown sugar, molasses, and raisins. A nice dark fruit character with minimal hop notes. A touch of chocolate to go along with some toffee and a hint of booze.

T: The flavor is fairly heavy on the fruits. Lots of raisins and plums with a hint of chocolate. Big brown sugar, molasses, and toffee flavors giving a nice sugar note. Again, minimal hop presence.

M: Medium in body with a medium carbonation.

O: Not as good as the bourbon version, but still really nice. A solid barleywine.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Sunset Grill & Tap (Allston, MA) on 3/11/11. Served in a tulip glass. This was listed as 13% ABV on the tap list here.

Pours a clear deep copper, topped with a ½ finger cap of stiff off-white head. This has a very robust looking retention going on with it, leaving back a rich cascade that settles into some thick spotty swathes of lacing. The aroma smells freshly floral, piney, and citric, which is layered on top of a powerful mix of chocolate, toffee, and burnt roast. The malts are big in the nose but those fresh American hops are even bigger here and pretty much control things. The high alcohol that is present gives this some robust heft in the nostrils.

Malts take over a bit more in the taste here, with notes of cocoa, brown sugar, and toffee and roast character that combine to give off a bit of a sweet molasses flavor. Hops add a good bit of citric fruit (bitter grapefruit is in abundance) and sticky pine resins to the profile. That big 13% ABV gives this warm notes of sweet alcohol and spice, which linger in the finish with leftover burnt malts and pithy bitter fruit. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a big creamy feel that fills the mouth but then dies down some as you near the swallow. Overall, this is pretty lively in the mouth and succeeds in showcasing off all of those fresh hop flavors. As mentioned before, the hefty alcohol presence keeps itself confined to adding some extra complexity to the profiles and keeps any stinging heat out of the equation for the most part.

Well I'm glad that I got to experience this beast of a Barleywine on draft, where all of that fresh American hop character could shine but luckily not outshine those thick delicious malts and sweet spicy alcohol notes that were present as well. At 13% ABV, this is a sipper, but I was pleased to find that it was a smooth and complex one. I was really looking forward to this one during this Short's takeover and it did not disappoint.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.11/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a pretty good beer. Interesting. Beer is dark brown with an average head that leaves good lacing behind.

Beer is forward with the malt but not in a syrupy sort of way but in a more balanced here I am sort of what with some caramel and mild roast at teh back. The hop character is light overall and the doughiness of the yeast comes through in the midpalate. The beer hides the alcohol well incorporating it into the beer. Overall I really liked it.

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Photo of stakem
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is dark brown, with a thick head that leaves plenty of lacing behind.

The aroma is malt forward, with caramels soaked in alcohol, and dark fruits.

The flavor is nice, with the 11% abv hidden very well. Malt driven with raisin and caramel flavors, this is a solid example of an American barleywine. The beer is sweet, making a snifter sized portion just right for me.

The feel is full bodied and pretty smooth for a double digit abv brew.

Good stuff. I would have this again.

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Photo of billab914
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It had a darker brown, raisin like color to it. It started with a thin white lacing barely covering the top of the beer, which lasted pretty well into drinking it.

The aroma shows a lot of the, dark fruit, fig and raisin like qualities to it. I also get a good dose of sweeter, brown sugar, malty flavors as well as some piny citrus as well. Some boozy alcohol seems to bring it together some.

The taste is very strong with the raisin and dark fruit flavors. The piny, grapefruit, citrus flavor comes through and adds a resiny bitterness to it. In the finish I get a lot of sweet, sugary, fruit flavors to it.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being average for the style. Overall it was an interesting beer, but not an amazing one. I liked the dark fruit, raisin flavors up front, but it felt very sweet and sugary in the finish That hurt the drinkability for me some. I liked the aroma a lot though. It was a cool beer to try, but nothing I'd buy regularly.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a dark brown with ruby red highlights leaving an ok tannish head which faded very fast

S: A muddied dark fruit nose and caramel mainly.

T: Caramel and fruit driven, with some sugar and booze behond it.

M: Sticky, sweet, nice body to it

D: An average bwine. Drinkable yes, go back to it? Nope

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of jale (thanks Jim!). This pours a dark reddish-brown, slightly hazy, with a thin poof of off-white foam.

The aroma has a lot going on, fairly complex with dark fruit (prune, raisin) and lots of maltiness, more sweet than roasted malt character. Some pine needle hops, not too aggressive but strong nonetheless. Overall it smells like an American barleywine rather than English.

Very sweet tasting and strong, ethanol is slightly apparent behind the rich malts and sugars. The raisin/prune character is also fairly straightforward in taste.

Kind of burny feeling, not too much but definitely slows down consumption. I guess it was a pretty good barleywine, a style that I have trouble warming up to.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.44/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, provided by Nate, drank from a Matilda tulip...Pours a watery semi translucent dark brown with lots of amber mixed throughout. A light tan head, not much of a looker...The aroma is really good, however, not reminiscent of a barleywine at all. Very sweet, lots of brown sugar, plums and raisins. Reminds me of a sweeter quad...The taste is off and a big let down, none of the sweetness of the nose comes through, chalky, flat, cardboard, a very rough slightly bitter. Toffee on the finish with mint, is weird and interesting. Wish more of those notes came through from the beginning.

The taste is really weird, not enjoyable. Can't recommend this.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at sunset tap and grille in boston during the post-EBF brunch

Poured a deep caramel brown with some reddish hues. Nice froth of beige head sits on top, retaining with a layer of film and some webbed lacing on the glass.

A decent spike of thick bready malts, followed by light hoppiness, brown sugar, caramel, and some faint edges of raisin, date, and booze.

Rich malt flavors up front with brown sugar and some syrupy caramel. A bit sweet with some dark fruit such as raisins and figs. Decent hop presence, especially towards the finish. Alcohol warmth and fruit sweetness at the end.

Fuller bodied, a bit sticky and syrupy, coats the palate. Drinks pretty nicely, decent flavor, although a bit sweet like many of their beers are. I'd still drink this one again though.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.19/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic. Thanks to steebo777 for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a deep and dark brown with ruby red highlights. Produced a good frothy tan head. Plenty of lacing.

(S)- A dark fruit profile with lots of raisin and caramel.

(T)- Similar profile as the smell was. Primarily a fruit driven beer and a raisin base. The background is primarily grain, barley and bread notes.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. A tad thin for a barleywine, but the flavor is there. I never would have thought this was 11%ABV.

(D)- A decent barleywine. Was expecting something richer, but this does have some depth; just a straightforward one.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a dark transparent red with a thiner tan colored head.

S-an assertive dark malt quality dominates the aroma, hints of roasted coffee lie underneath, sticky malt sweetness in the back, pruney and plum like.

T-huge roasted malt flavors dominate the taste, very sticky and chewy malts with some light notes of roasted coffee. pretty well integrated flavors and a nice malty sweetness in the back adding notes of raisins and plums.

M-syrupy full body and very soft and creamy on the palate with lightly prickly carbonation in the finish.

D-this is a pretty nice barleywine with a nice balance of flavors and complexity. tasty stuff.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Massive thanks goes out to beeruser for sharing this one with funkydelic and I at an impromptu tasting! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller sampler wine glass. Poured a hazy red-orange with a minimal off-white with slight tan hue head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, raisins, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, raisins, dark fruit, and slight sweet alcohol on the followthrough. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I really like how the raisins were integrated into this brew. They were present but they were not in your face and really helped to hide the alcohol in this one quite well. Never would have guessed this one was 11% at all. The flavor was quite complex and enjoyable to me. Really glad I got the opportunity to try this one!

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber to brown-ish color with a light tan head. In the aroma, dark fruits, raisin, and a small alcohol note. In the taste, alcohol stands out, dark fruits, especially figs and raisin. A smooth and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry dark fruitiness in the aftertaste. Not syrupy, and nice alcohol presence, not being that big.

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Photo of maximum12
2.56/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to FlandersNed for this, one of two surviving bottles from an epic springtime trade. Pop. And then there was one.

Pour is dark brown with a reddish stain, close to zero carbonation. Nose is overdose of sweet malting, with twinges of the raisins, caramel, brown sugar. Marvelous. Not a raisin fan as food (what a waste of grapes!) but it sets off & complements the malt here.

The Wizard doesn't get that ratio right in the mouth. The raisins aren't just an addition, I believe the entire beer might have been made with a mash of raisins - no malt or hops or water necessary. Yikes. All the gorgeous subtlety in the nose is obliterated in a tornadic blast of raisin. Can't even detect the malt base. The minimal carbonation vanishes quickly, leaving a big, heavy raisin puree. Not very appealing.

The smell on this brew is unique & lovely, but the taste corkscrews close to vile territory. Sadly, this beer actively repulses me.

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

12 oz. Dark mahoghany pour, just a whispy layer of white head that turns into just a ring.

Malty caramel, light red fruits, heavy raisin. Some light booze.

Slightly tart with some red fruits. Strong chocolate and cocoa in the finish, kind of different. Also some herbal bitter hops.

Warming, but alcohol is not overly present. Medium bodied, enough carbonation to keep it from being too sticky. Might like this one to feel a bit "bigger".

Another unique brew from Shorts, not bad either.

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