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Short's The Wizard | Short's Brewing Company

very good
101 Reviews
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Short's The WizardShort's The Wizard

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by webmanspidey on 12-28-2010

User Reviews
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Reviews: 101 | Ratings: 186
Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

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Photo of BigB415
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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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 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 jmunsters
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

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Photo of davey101
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of Chaney
3.97/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of brew3crew
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
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...

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Photo of ssimpson89
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of rye726
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

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Photo of shivtim
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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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 mikereaser
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

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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 CuriousMonk
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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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 tewaris
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
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 :/

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Photo of Lunch
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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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 robwestcott
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured cold from the bottle a deep, dark, mahogany brown to a portsmouth brewery balloon glass with a thin, short lasting, wispy tan head leaving fair amounts of spotty lace after each sip.

aroma of molasses and ripe dark fruits with hints of oak and bourbon (?).

subtle earthy hops with a bitter tang shortly after the pour. raisins and dark fruit are certainly present, but the tang is somewhat overwhelming. this one needs to sit a bit to warm methinks... ok, coming back about 20min later, the beer has indeed settled down a bit. bitter tang faded to smooth heat. much more enjoyable. molasses, creamy brown sugar, raisins and more ripe fruits.

low carbonation, creamy smooth, bitter fading to sweet.

drinkable - prolly just one. overall - nice twist on a barleywine.

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

Pours a dark crimson color. Has a shiny, dark amber look. Upon first whiff, you get a huge raisiny, grapey, caramel, chocolate aromas. Taking a sip, I was first disappointed. For a barleywine, it was showing a lot of alcohol and not much body. However, after it rested and warmed up a bit, it really started rounding out. A nice, dry profile. The beer exuded dark, sugary plump raisins. As with a lot of Short's beers, when they say they brewed it raisins, they're not lying...huge raisin flavors. Followed by dark sugar, a bit of bready malt flavors, some caramel. A tinge of sweetness and a bit of grape-esque sourness. I'll bet this will age like a fine brandy. For the time being, it's good, but not even close to hitting it's stride. But a supreme effort; there's truly nothing else like it that i've ever had.

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

Pours a very deep amber/ruby red with a good 3 fingers of creamy tan head. Head has excellent retention.

Raisins are predominant in the aroma, along with other dried dark fruits like figs. Decent grapefruit hop presence as well, and a lot of caramel malt. Alcohol also present in the aroma.

More bitterness in the taste than I was expecting, and some alcohol is clearly present. Beyond that, raisins dominate initially. Overall, I'm not sure how I feel about the taste. Definitely some notes that I enjoy, but taken together, seems a little disjointed. Not bad, but not outstanding. After the raisins, some bread and caramel come through.

Medium mouthfeel, with low carbonation. Some slight numbing alcohol.

Overall I enjoyed this, but wasn't blown away. Some time may do it some good, especially since it isn't as hop forward as some other barleywines.

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