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Short's Noble Chaos Oktoberfest | Short's Brewing Company

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Short's Noble Chaos OktoberfestShort's Noble Chaos Oktoberfest

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

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our new fall seasonal which is a Northern Michigan version of a German style Marzen or Oktoberfest, done the Short's Brew way. This beer is well balanced with Noble hop additions which provide a subtle bouquet and pleasant flavor which melds well with the malt profile consisting of 2 row, chocolate, special roast, caramel and Munich malts.  It's a brand new addition to the Short's Brew family of beer.
40 I.B.U.'s

Added by jimbotrost on 09-14-2005

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Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 249
Photo of Verecund
2.58/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

September 25, 2011. As usual, this has a great label.

Pours an almost-opaque, lightly red hued brown with splatchy bubbles sitting still on the top of the surface.

Very nutty and aromatic. Toasted bread and an accompanying sweetness I've experienced in a few Short's beers (Woodmaster comes to mind) that reminds me of tropical fruit Starburst. Weird, but I'll take it.

Anonymous maltiness with a little bit of toasted quality. Lightly nutty. The weird character is due to the hops - sure enough, it's spicy, particularly on the finish, but also a bit earthy and herbal as it blends into the malty backbone. Lingering bitterness.

Just over medium in body, with surprisingly low carbonation. Heavy on the tongue.

I prefer a more traditional Märzen, I think. My uneducated guess is that brewing this in March with a heavy-handed dose of Noble hops leads to the odd, old bitterness one experiences on the finish here. Not my favorite.

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Photo of billab914
2.64/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. It poured a very murky, dark caramel color. The head filled the top inch of the glass at first but settled relatively fast. Some nice lacing was left as I drank it.

The aroma has a lot of fruit and citrus to it. Orange, lemon and apple seem come out of a unique sort of tart crispness I get form a lot of Shorts brews. It's not bad or infected, just kind of odd. Some herbal, citrusy hops are the next biggest flavor to it with some sweet malty notes following.

The taste shows some of the same fruity flavors to it right off the bat. Apple and pear seem to come through more, while just some hints of the orange and lemon come through. It has a resiny, herbal hop presence to it as well. Again kind of a pattern of this flavor in several of the Shorts beers I've had. As you get to the finish it gets much sweeter with a lot of malt to it. Strange beer for the style.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate and slightly sharp carbonation. Drinkability isn't that great, the flavors are just very strange for the style. The sweetness mixed with the tart fruit flavors just didn't work for me.

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Photo of Biffster
2.76/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer is served in a pint glass. It is a deep copper amber color with golden highlights. It has a low and quickly dissipating off white head, but with some lacing on the glass.

The aroma is rich and malty, with an intense caramelly toffee aroma. There is some low to moderate diacetyl which is a bit off putting. The aroma opens to a chocolatey note, along with dark fruit like cherries and plums. It is fairly clean, without a lot of esters, but some diacetyl, as I mentioned.

It has a moderate to strong caramelly sweetness at the sip, that gives way to a bready toasty note - dark bread crusts and graham cracker. The hop flavor is moderate - maybe six out of ten. There is a touch of sulfur that emerges at the swallow. The hop bitterness is moderate and strong enough to partially cut the rich malty caramelly sweetness. The finish is to malt, but the noble hop flavor and bitterness linger.

The mouthfeel is probably classified as medium full. The carbonation is fluffy and almost creamy - not spritzy, and the body is moderate to full.

This is a basically well made, tasty and substantial beer. Short's doesn't make sloppy beers, although as a lager this has a few rough edges. I like it and will finish it. The problem is, its not an Oktoberfest. Not even close. Too fruity, too much diacetyl, way too much caramel, inappropriately dark and chocolatey, way too toasty (almost roasty) no continental malt notes to speak of, and too hoppy for the style.

I hate to finish on such a harsh note. Except the diacetyl, is a good dark lager and unmistakably American. If they got the diacetyl under control, dried it out a touch, and the called it an "American Oktoberfest" it would be a huge winner.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
2.93/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a New Holland pint glass.

Pours a deep amber with about a finger of light tan head. The head disappears quickly leaving a whisp of foam.

Aromas of malt and earthy/piney hops.

First sip is of tannins, resiny hop bitterness which seems out of character, and some malt and caramel in the background. A very hop forward oktoberfest. Actually, it tastes nothing like an oktoberfest. The malt backbone is there, but it is overwhelmed by the bitterness.

Mouthfeel is prickly carbonation and a little thin.

Drinkability is okay. Not what I want in an oktoberfest, but good none the less.

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Photo of CortexBomb
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is darkish amber with a modest head on top. Lacing is decent, even very good for the style. Lightly hoppy aroma with hints of caramel malts, not a lot going on though.

Flavour is crisp and malty with caramel being evident...not a lot of depth beyond that though, and a fairly noticeable alcohol edge is present as well. If Short's was trying to do an Oktoberfest with a bit of an alcohol flavoured kick to it they succeeded, I don't find it particularly amazing though.

The mouth on this is also decent but not remarkable. The drinkability score reflects the overall feelings I have toward this beer: it works, but it doesn't do anything particularly well. An unlikely rebuy.

The bottom line: Shorts is to be commended for trying something a bit different with this Amber, but it doesn't hit my sweet spot. Way too much alcohol presence for the actual ABV, and not enough depth.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown into my pilsner glass. Good lacing as it makes its way down. Nose has a toffee, caramel, roasted malt, touches of sweetness, and some Noble hops, but it's all a bit soft and doesn't fit that well. Strange that I normally really enjoy Short's beers, but some of the more "everyday" ones aren't up my alley. The taste is similar to the nose in that the flavors just don't work all that well and the beer isn't very integrated. Mouthfeel is moderate with okay carbonation. Drinkability is lower as there's nothing I truly like about this beer, unfortunately.

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Photo of youngleo
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured to a nice two fingered offwhite head with some semi big bubbles. Beer itself was a light brown in color. Head hung around a while and left some decent lacing. Smelled slightly sweet and also of malt. I thought it was actually light tasting. The flavors tasted like they were watered down. Just notes of malt and light caramel flavors. Had a slight bitter aftertaste. Felt good in the mouth. Carbonation was about right. I expected more flavor. I might try again next year to see if anything has changed.

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Photo of waltonc
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours hazy amber with white head. Honestly, this doesn't smell or taste much like an Oktoberfest to me. Must be the noble hops. I understand, after reading how this beer is brewed, that this was the intent. But the reason I like oktoberfests so much is the nice malt bill and low hop factor. So this isn't my kind of beer.

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Photo of syrupjoe
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Pours a dark amber with a bit of brown. 1 finger off-white head and good consistent lacing.

Nose is grainy (Munich malt really comes out), bready, caramelly, and biscuity. Slight amount of honey.

Taste is malt-forward, roasty, bitter, slightly sour, caramelly, slightly watery. Very reminiscent of a brown or mild ale. Small amount of hop bitterness.

Low carbonation, a small amount of hop resin feel, and moderate dryness.

Overall an okay beer, but doesn't really seem that full-bodied or well-rounded.

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Photo of heebes
3.19/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep orange brown with a finger of yellow tan head. Nose is grass, yeast, bourbon and past it's prime malts. Taste is more malt based, seems like a chaotic blend of the different bases used. Bit of hop bite, caramel and some chocolate. Burnt and roasted notes. Mouthfeel us medium heavy, dry and slightly bitter.
Overall, it's got a Shorts spin allright. Different though not exactly done to style very well. I like the cocoa and coffee notes from the malts but it lacks consistency / multiple return. One and done.

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Photo of nukem5
3.21/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a great caramel color with a great foamy head that has some beautiful lacing on glass.

S: Aroma is a very floral hop and a touch of sweet malts.

T: Taste is a very hopped up IPA not an Oktoberfest? It does have some of the common sweet malts muddled in there.

M: M: Mouthfeel is slightly thin and watery good carbonation level .

O: Overall a good beer just not in my opinion an Oktoberfest style, more of an I.P.A. or D.I.P.A.

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Photo of dfillius
3.27/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

A: Aggressive pour yields 1 finger tan rocky head with good retention. Cloudy brown liquid is not the best looking due to murkiness - clearer please. Great head.

S: Sweet and sour. Smells like New Glarus Imperial Saison or Old English Porter.

T: Citrus, a tad metallic. Some caramel malt. Chaotic definitely. Not cohesive. Off-flavory. Another (rare) miss from Short's

M: Crisp, astringent, pleasant and unpleasant

D: Would not order another or buy a sixpack. Drank more sips solely to see if it would improve. Unfortunately, it didn't.

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Photo of mactrail
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beautiful coppery amber. Slight roasted barley nose. Starts out with a nice chocolate flavor and some malt sweetness, but gets drier and drier as you sip. Quite sharp in flavor. Light bodied. Some interesting roasted malt flavors but quite bitter. I can taste the Marzen base, but it seems overwhelmed by the excess of hops, noble or otherwise. So call it an Amber Ale, but that doesn't make it any more enjoyable. Appearance is nice with good lacing in the tulip glass.

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Photo of nkersten
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Erik for including this one. Pours a burnt orange with a nice white cap that fades to a collar with good lacing. One of the better looking marzens I have had. Smell is malty lager balanced nicely with floral and spicy hops. Has some of the typical Shorts smells - not quite off, yet unique and not entirely beneficial to the beer. Taste is similar to many shorts beers as well... A great smelling beer followed by a rather boring flavor profile. Light malt, some caramel and chocolate malts, slightly roasty, barely noticeable hop balance. Hardly any malt sweetness makes this one kind of bland. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and medium carbonation. Overall, this beer has everything going for it but the taste - a bit too watery and bland.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep dark red if not a brown color. A decent white colored head that forms a foam layer over the top of the brew.

S- Not a whole lot going on here. Some hops are present and also some caramel malts.

T- Read the description and it was a Marzen style. It had a good malt back bone with a touch of an alcohol burn also. Finishes a bit on the bitter side.

M- Medium in body and feels crisp.

D- Not to bad, fairly easy to drink seems like a combination of an IPA and a Marzen. Would drink again.

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Photo of craytonic
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Cloudy amber pour with a bit of lacing

Smell: Roasted nuts and malts/grain

Taste: Roast/toasted nuts and grains, bit of subdued hops. SOme caramel and toffee as well.

Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy

Drinkability: Odd beer, I didnn't finish it.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

appearance: deep orange with some ruby highlights. small tannish head that leaves just a little lacing behind. Not the best clarity.

Smell: roasty malts, almost smokey in character. earthy hops

Taste: opens off with a bit of a earthy hop bitterness. gives way to a malty backbone that comes off toasted to smoked

Mouthfeel: not as clean as i had hoped. some bitterness lingers

Overall: hoppy for an oktoberfest and lacking a bit of cleanness and clarity that i was looking for. Not the biggest fan of the toasted/smoked flavor

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Photo of stakem
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Kegatron for the hookup on this one. 12oz bottle poured into a standard pint. The brew appears dark copper in color with a khaki head that fades to a fine film.

Nose is toasty and bready/biscuit-like with the expected malty presence. Minor buttery touch and a trace of herbal hop feel across the back.

Taste is a bit more herbal hop forward than the nose leads you to believe. Slight pine-like bitterness leads the way than buttery toffee finish with a burnt toast character thrown in as well.

This is medium body with modest carbonation. A unique octoberfest offering that happens to be my first of the year.

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Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a two fingered head that leaves some shards of lacing behind

Smell: Toasty, with a grassy hop character

Taste: The toast, up front, is quickly joined by the grassy hops and a surprisingly roasty herbacious character that lingers after the swallow and into the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Definitely an unusual take on the style and one I don't much care for, sad to say

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Photo of barczar
3.49/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a frothy cream head that slowly dissipates, leaving sheets of lacing.

Aroma is deeply toasted malt, nutty and toffee-like, with an underlying fruity yeast ester character. There's almost an overly toasted smell.

Flavor follows suit, with fruity esters underlying an overly toasted, nutty malt backbone that becomes a bit charred in the finish. There's a bit of mineral character.

Body is moderate to full, with moderate carbonation and modest astringency.

The overly toasted, charred and mineral characters are offputting. They dominate the flavor. Reading the recipe now, roast malt does not belong in an oktoberfest!

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

Noble Chaos looks the part of an Oktoberfest, a clear amber color. A wispy off-white head peaks at a little higher than half a finger. Retention isn't bad, and some spotty lacing throws down a bit of legging.
While Noble hops are here, it seems more of an Americanization of the style in its character. That is, while it's got a little bit of a peppery nip to it, and is pretty floral, but in with the caramel from the malts and the breadiness that's not quite in the range of the typical Marzen, there's a bit of extra sweetness and a note of citrus, and there's a certain earthiness that has more soil than must. It also tends toward more of a roasty nature than most.Interestingly, while the trend with the Americanization of classic foreign style involves making it bigger, that's not the case here.
The body is medium but has a certain thinness underneath, though it is crisp and flows pretty smoothly. It doesn't have much dryness, but there is a sort of "tinny" note to the feel.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into SA perfect pint. Thanks jbck109!

A: Pours a nutty brown with golden highlights beneath a large, dense, dark tan head that slowly faded into a wispy film leaving chunks of rocky lacing down the glass.
S: Lager yeast, cracked grains, and touch of molasses, and German and caramel malts fill my nose.
T: Follows the nose with clean and crisp flavors of lightly sweet malts and earthy Noble hops. The finish bready and lightly bitter.
M: Medium body, clean and crisp mouthfeel with even carbonation.
O: Clean and easy to drink. One of the more normal tasting Short’s beers. Average for the style.

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Photo of enfield249
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear, dark brown, with a slight copper highlight. No head to speak of.

S - Not much, a little brown sugar or molasses. Very slight.

T - Roasty, slightly sweet, with a herbal hop flavor.

M - Medium to full, closer to full. Nice amount of CO2 on the tongue.

D - Very nice fall beer, I could drink this every day from September 30th to Nov. 1

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Photo of Khazadum
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to Sarro for this extra. I was shocked and amazed to see this included. Chilled and poured into my favorite pint glass!

A- Tough job creating a large volume of head, but what does develop is creamy for a few moments, and explosive after that. Tons of large bubbles dominate the plane of view. Turbid copper body attempts to hide the massive amounts of carbonation in this brew. Thick collar of whipped cream thickness begins to stick to the side giving some solid lacing.

S- Short's definitely has their own take on an Oktoberfest. This is at once floral and fruity in terms of the hop profile. I smell grapefruits and plums instantly. Following that there is a slight bready musk to it. The hops are the main player here, though.

T- Unfortunately the sweet nose does not translate as effectively as I want into the flavors. Opens instantly bitter, resinous, and piny. Its unnerving that there is no sweetness or citrus to balance it. Instead a minor amount of malt body creeps forward. Some fruity apples mingle with a biscuit leaving me with a teasing brew.

If we had a heavy caramel or apple body we may have a fantastic offering. Alas, it becomes run of the mill.

M- Medium bodied. It strives to be full, but it doesn't have to be. Crisp with an excess of carbonation. It leaves me wanting in terms of lingering flavors. Very clean on the finish, not much to it.

D- Its easy to drink, a tad bit different, and enjoyable to smell. Its a decent offering, but nothing genre breaking. I'd probably pass on the opportunity to drink this again.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A solid pour into into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three finger thick, pale amber tinged, light tan colored head. The beer is a deep amber color that shows a lightly hazed, dark copper / amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells amply of caramelized malt, toasted grain and even some ample, for the color, roast character towards the finish. A touch of lightly spicy and herbal hop notes lie underneath the more dominant malt character and at times gets completely lost within it.

Lightly sweet tasting with a soft herbal hop character up front, but this quickly disappears underneath a soft, but distinctive roasted malt in the finish that tastes a bit like burnt toast, but with out the burnt bitterness. This is very lightly roasty, but it does have quite a bit more roast character than one would guess by the color of this beer. The middle has a caramelized malt character that evokes thoughts of berries, this also is ultimately out muscled by the roast character in the finish, but unlike the hops it never quite disappears. The texture of this beer is nicely appropriate for a beer for the Autumn, it is a touch chewy and has some a character that leaves it lightly clinging viscously to the palate.

What a weird beer; it is interesting and tasty, but the roast character keeps throwing me off for some reason, it doesn't really seem to mesh with the rest of the beer. Still, I am definitely enjoying this beer, it just might have a bit too much roast character.

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Short's Noble Chaos Oktoberfest from Short's Brewing Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 249 ratings.
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