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Short's The Wizard - Short's Brewing Company

Short's The WizardShort's The Wizard

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

175 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 175
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%

Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: webmanspidey on 12-28-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 175 | Reviews: 101 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of donkeyrunner


4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2012 13:00:29 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of Tod28


4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
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!


Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 02:41:49 | More by Tod28
Photo of BeRanger


3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 01:52:13 | More by BeRanger
Photo of JizackFH

New York

4/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 04:02:22 | More by JizackFH
Photo of vande


3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 06:11:13 | More by vande
Photo of KickInTheChalice


3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. I bought this bottle in summer of 2011, although there is no date anymore on the bottle.

Appearance: The Wizard is a murky burgundy brown color with a small tan cap that fades immediately to a small collar and leaves no lace.

Smell: Lots of raisins dominate the nose. Brown sugar, caramel, molasses, and some other dark fruits provide support.

Taste: The flavor starts sweet, with a very distinct brown sugar flavor. Caramel malt adds some further sweetness. The dark fruits are noticeable but kind of flat tasting; raisins are the most noticeable but plums are also there. There is a mild tartness at the back end. Some earthy notes are present on the back end.

Mouthfeel: This has a body on the fuller side of medium, but it drinks fairly light for the style. There is a residual stickiness that grows with each sip. The carbonation is more on the fizzy side than creamy, which brings the score down a tick.

Overall: It is not a good sign that at this point I am happy just to have a Short's bottle that has not refermented. By its own merit, this is is an average barleywine. At this point, I love Short's creative beers on tap, but I will most likely avoid bottles.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 10:22:00 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of BigB415


4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark red with no head. Light retention.

S: Heavy raisin smell.

T: Hops, more raisin, and alcohol. The raisin is the most dominant throughout.

MF: The raisin notes still lingers with some faint hops.

O: I really like barleywines but was hesitant about this one being that it was brewed with raisins but I'm really liking it. It is extremely well balanced with nothing overpowering.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 03:17:11 | More by BigB415
Photo of maximum12


2.45/5  rDev -35%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 02:26:57 | More by maximum12
Photo of Thorpe429


3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2011 10:42:20 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of jmunsters


4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 oz bottle tucked away and pointed out by Rishi at International Beverage in Grand Rapids, MI.

A: Deep brown with a redish hue to it. Very nice head and lacing from the pour.

S: Molasses, brown sugar, raisins, caramel, booze. My girlfriend described it perfectly as, "It smells like the holidays." The smell coming from this is amazing.

T: Oddly bitter. I didn't find it thin, and actually found it a bit boozey and syrupy. It takes like a very roasty barley wine to me. The raisins are abundant along with a very warm, roasted malt character.

A - A nice dark brown/red body with a small khaki head. Some lacing and retention. I knocked it down a peg due to the large yeast chunks. It otherwise looks like a solid barley wine.

S - Tons of raisins. Brown sugar, caramel, light alcohol, and sweet malts. The dominant aroma here is the raisins though. Very nice. Really quite boozy up front that fades away to a nice, warm, comfortable taste.

O: I love it. A hot August night is not the time for this, but if you happen to find yourself in need of a beer in front of a nice warm fireplace late November, I would strongly suggest this.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 02:18:45 | More by jmunsters
Photo of davey101


3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Received as an extra from a trade I did back in the winter. The bottom of the bottle had a small yeast ring and some chunks. The pour was clear for the most part but there is some solid grey chunks that made their way into the glass.

A - A nice dark brown/red body with a small khaki head. Some lacing and retention. I knocked it down a peg due to the large yeast chunks. It otherwise looks like a solid barley wine.

S - Tons of raisins. Brown sugar, caramel, light alcohol, and sweet malts. The dominant aroma here is the raisins though. Very nice.

T - Does not live up to the nose. Its actually rather thin and watery. Carbonation is nice though. Kind of a weirdly bitter raisin flavor and not much else. A slightly sweet malty backbone and very little hops. Alcohol does come out when it starts to warm up. Pretty one dimensional and simple.

O - I'm a huge fan of raisins flavors in beers. I fiend for those huge dogfish head beers because of their raisin rich malty backbone. This was actually a bit of a let down. I'm not sure if age would help this out, or if drinking it fresher would have either. It has a very nice aroma, but the flavor is just so lackluster and boring.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2011 02:13:51 | More by davey101
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Lewis1rg for sending this in a Great Lake State monster box. I totally dug the box Ryan!

A: Dark, murky brown, with a slight reddish hue. The light brown head stuck to the glass like a rat bastard from hell.

S: Melted Astro Pop with added dark fruit.... raisons maybe? That's what the brewery said, so hell, I'll but it! Intense sugar scent.

T: Sort of a mild pepper quality infused. It's about as smooth as an English Barleywine, and I'm surprised that it's not categorized as that. I mean, it has the disciplined hop profile of an English, and well as the malt backbone.

M: Raison lingering for sure, but with Short's mildly sour and bone=suckingly dry taste profile. The lacing was moderate to high.

O: I liked this one. Even though this is categorized as an American BW, I'm going to call bullshit on that an say it's an English. I'm a fan of that style and well as this brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2011 01:24:17 | More by Chaney
Photo of FosterJM


3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

695th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
12 oz

Thanks to Kzoobrew for this one

App-  A nice darker brown with a one finger head and slides with no cling to leave a ring of bubbles

Smell-  That is a shit ton of raisins!  Big malts and fruits with a tinge of malts.  Quite nice

Taste-  A much more deep Barleywine vs the hoppy ones of late.  A blend of deep dried fruits and some pleasant malts.  The balance lies 60/40 raisin and malt

Mouth-  Medium bodied with a matched thick medium carbonation.  Leaves a nice dried fruit flavor on the finish.

Drink-  Spoke too soon.  Favorite shorts brew as of now.  Nice little barleywine out of the third coast.  Tasty beer with nice residual flavors.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 05:05:09 | More by FosterJM
Photo of brew3crew


3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

No bottle date but this one has a little bit of age on it. Purchased in February.

A-Dark drown, almost black with a tan head that quickly disapates.

S-getting a very boozy scent on the nose. can't quite make out anything else.

T-Booze, faded hops and a little bit of dark fruit

M-medium body. kind of sweet.

O-Decent, worth a try but not the buy. Poured out after a few sips...

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2011 01:44:37 | More by brew3crew
Photo of ssimpson89


4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby hued brown with virtually no head with the exception of a small ring around the perimeter. Smells of plum and fruit cake

Tastes of dark candied fruit, burnt cocoa with a warming alcoholic finish. Good, solid sipper.

Sliky, smooth mouthfeel that slides over the tongue with very little carbonation.

I'm enjoying it even though it's a hot July night. I put a few bottles away that I'll revisit over the next few winters. I suspect it will mellow some with age and be even better.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 03:18:34 | More by ssimpson89
Photo of rye726


3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Up for review is the Wizard from Short's Brewing Company. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Dark brown with a tan head. Nothing too great here. Run of the mill malt and hop build. Lacks depth and complexity. Nice medium body does drink well though for such a big brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2011 00:07:59 | More by rye726
Photo of shivtim


3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this while in Michigan.
Poured into a pint. Nice dark brown with ruby hints. Small head quickly reduces to a thin ring. Looks a bit flat.
Nose is sweet brown sugar, dark malts, and an earthy plum.
Taste is a very solid barleywine. Malts, sweet tangy raisins, lingering bits of sticky hops, and a tiny alcohol burn. Comes together quite well.
Mouthfeel is slightly on the flat side.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 00:22:09 | More by shivtim
Photo of womencantsail


4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2011 04:59:01 | More by womencantsail
Photo of mikereaser


3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shorts Brewing The Wizard
A - Pours a dark amber color with a little bit of foam that ended up leaving some decent lacing
S - dark malts, raisins and other dark fruit, sweet malt, caramel & brown sugar. Very sweet smelling, a bit too sweet for my taste.
T - hmm, well this is interesting. Raisins, lots and lots of raisins. Way too many raisins. Oh yeah, there is a bit of dank hops in there, and then well raisins. A bit too much for me. It has a sort of plum like finish. not very appealing.
M - Alot lighter bodied than I was expecting. Light carbonation and the alcohol is well hidden.
D - for me, I'm having a hard time finishing a 12 oz. bottle. I'm not saying its bad, its just not for me.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2011 03:20:36 | More by mikereaser
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-17-2011 00:50:02 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of CuriousMonk


3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at ChurchKey poured into sampler glass. Pours dark brown with nice thin off white head. Malty, tannic caramel, fig newtons, banana, hints of tobacco and leather with warming alcohol backing. Raisins and tobacco, leathery peat, quite a bit tannins, leathery bitter finish. A hard to describe tartness that is mid to late palate that is almost wine like, but makes way quickly. Some abv warmth on the way down. Decent mouthfeel and carbonation throughout.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2011 20:41:38 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of drabmuh


3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-03-2011 19:15:46 | More by drabmuh
Photo of tewaris


3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sent as an extra by lurchingbeast. Thanks Frank!
12 oz poured into a New Belgium globe.

Dark amber, fairly clear but not brilliantly so with a medium head and good retention. Typical strong ale aroma --- dried raisins and apricots, malts, and hint of dank hops.

The taste is darkly sweet but nearly not as much as I'd like. A roasty bitter finish with a kiss of booze at the end. Too much roasty for its own good! Also, it claims to be brewed with raisins but raisin character is fairly typical and nothing extraordinary. In fact, this ale is pretty ordinary :/

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2011 06:35:16 | More by tewaris
Photo of Lunch


4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in a Darkness snifter. Pours a darker chestnut brown with some garnet hues. Capped with a moderate amount of tan head. A little murky, but not bad. Smells very nice with some definite raisin notes. Lots of malt with no real hops at all. The taste is all malt and raisins with hints of darker fruits and brown sugar. Fuller bodied with appropriate carbonation. A little creamy as well. Really a nice Barleywine from Short's and I would have it again.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 00:05:01 | More by Lunch
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2011 12:49:34 | More by thagr81us
Short's The Wizard from Short's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 175 ratings.