Short's Mystery Stout | Short's Brewing Company

very good
374 Ratings
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Short's Mystery StoutShort's Mystery Stout

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
*12 oz. bottles released in 2009 are 10.8% abv. The original 750 ml bottles from first batch were 12.5% abv.

This beer demands respect and respect it will have. Imperial Oatmeal Stout with cocoa and molasses. It is very strong and possesses rare flavor combinations which can overload even the most experienced beer connoisseur.  Capture every bit of its warmth and wisdom, as it will demand all of your attention.
12.5% ABV

Added by mcallister on 05-24-2006

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Ratings: 374 |  Reviews: 206
Photo of cates1tg
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of Another6Pack
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of FedExPope
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of mgbickel
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of messrock
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of weeare138
4.59/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to zrrbrrt for sharing this outstanding gem (#160/500)...
Appears a dark brown bordering black with a 3 finger tan head that slowly fades into a small film and collar. Spotty lacing is left all around the glass.
Smell is of maple, cocoa, caramel, oats, vanilla, plenty of sugar, and dark grapes.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas toned down slightly with roastiness standing out. There is also a light oakiness found in the flavors as well.
Mouthfeel is roasty, full bodied, with caramel and brown sugar running along the palate.
Drinkability is nice, and ripe. I bet it'll get even better with age.

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Photo of maximum12
4.59/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hand-carried by the cheerful malty all the way from Michigan to our rain-soaked rendezvous in a Madison parking lot. Thank you sir, & for the pour of BA Plead the 5th on Saturday, too!

Pours flat, still black, like my favorite lake at midnight, with only vague swirls of lighter beings on top. Stick your nose in this - holy crap. A total mind-bend. I can't even process this properly so I wander upstairs for a few moments. Nope, still doesn't compute. For something this dark, the smell is chock-full of sweets. I love my local, hand-tapped maple syrup, & this is a fine imitation. My mouth begins to water in anticipation. Frickin' fantastic; both unexpected & completely delicious.

Short's Mystery Stout is brimming with warring flavors of cocoa & fresh-boiled syrup, both noted on the label & both clearly evident (which isn't always so). Roasted malts pump the brakes on the sweetness & add a welcome counterargument, plus a side plate of acrid bitterness. The alcohol is nowhere to be seen, but this is silk-boxer smooth in the mouth. Drinkable? Hardly, except that it's so bloody good that I'm going to be downing this like a wit after an hour of mowing the lawn.

Wow. Nothing like a pleasant surprise. An excellent beer, a unique beer, & one that I'm very sad that I only have one single of. Happy to have met you, Mystery Stout, & I hope you stay longer next time.

 1,379 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This pours a jet black with a healthy cap of cocoa colored foam.

There’s a hint of licorice backing the dominate aroma of cocoa nibs and dusting of cinnamon spice. The flavor has a sharp roastiness on it, with a strong chocolate-coffee presence. Great body, and pleasing finish. Enjoyed sipping.

Holy smokes, I didn’t realize it was so strong! Why doesn’t Shorts publish their ABVs on the bottles?

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Photo of SirHarrie
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of mentor
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from the brewery by my mother (who lives near the brewery) and hand-carried out here to Colorado (back when you could carry bottles of liquid on airpalnes). Stored in my cool dark basement until consumption about 6-8 months later. Thanks mom!

Pours a solid finger of light-chocolate head over a pitch black liquid. Smells quite hoppy, roasty, and sweet. Hops are clearly american; pine with some citrus sweet and quite dry grassy of co-humulone. Cluster or Columbus hops, perhaps? Malt sweet is below the hops and has a dark tang. Alcohol sting is present, but arrives late and high in the sinuses. Clean and and clearing, like a winterfresh mentholiptus. Also a metalic character that I can only describe as smelling like a new bicycle chain. I know that may sound bad, but it's not unpleasant. It's a smell I know but can't place. It's some 'lighter' spice carried on alcohol.

Tastes wicked strong in flavor with noticable alcohol sting that is fairly clean of fusels. Sweet chocolate with drying dark malts at equal play. Both aspects very strong. Licorice is clear and dark fruity esters of plum and fig are mild...well, mild in relation to the other flavors...they would be strong in any other beer. Woody golding hop characteristics accompanied by just a touch of orange.

Oh man, the aftertaste is *killer*! Two aspects of chocolate...the first is a really delicious rich sweet Godiva chocolate-filling. The second is a really dry cocoa with a splash of coffee. Paired with a rounded hop floral and some grassy co-ho. Malt sweet just peaking through the surface. Mouthfeel is thick aand creamy. This is good, because it serves to hold the sweet around to fight the woody and roast dryness as well as the late alcohol that rises into the sinuses. Alcohol carries with it a bit of vanilla with oak edgings.

Carbonation is modest, despite the large head (I was worried it would be overcarbonated). Boy, this beer needs about 3-5 years more in the cellar. I'd guess it could easily stand a decade. I'm glad I tried this, but am kicking myself because I have just one bottle left. Also, one glass and my head is a bit light. 12.5% ABV...I wonder if it might be more. I hate to say this, but the bottom portion of my glass is a bit tough to handle. My tastebuds are absolutely fried. The only beer I've had that compares in flavor intensity is World Wide Stout by Dog Fishhead. Different flavor combinations, but both very intense.

Sorry for writing a novel on this review, but dang, there was so much to describe (and likely much that my description missed).

 2,591 characters

Photo of bob_d_j
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of HellsBELLS24
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unbelievable Imperial.

It has a beautiful motor oil color with a very dark brown head. Has the sewwt smell of molasses along with hints of chocolate. Takes a while to drink but is one of the better imperials. I had split a 750 with a friend and it was impressive. Great job Mr. Short. The high ABV helps because after one serving you are feeliong quite well!!

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Photo of TurboBrew
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of Marti403
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of BHansen214
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of BBP
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- It seems that none of the beers that I have from Short's are going to have full heads, or even little heads for that matter, so it's good for their sake that appearance counts for less of the new ratings. Maybe they just can't present themselves nicely in a snifter like most other beers.

I barely got any head at all, even from a rough pour after swishing the bottle around a bit. It soon receeded to less than a film, although there were little bits of brown coming up from the deep black body. There was also a slight amount of lacing.

S- There's a gigantic amount of oatmeal and molasses to the nose. Large amounts of cocoa as well. It's truly enticing. It's like they took the aromas from several of my favorite stouts and mixed them.

T- Sweet from the oatmeal is balanced by the cocoa's bitterness, with a ton of molasses as the foundation. It's matching the description on the bottle pretty perfectly. While I know this stout ends up on the bitter side, it still feels pretty balanced. The cocoa adds up though, and adds a lot of sharpness. It takes up the greater part of the aftertaste as well.

M- It feels pretty heavy, but isn't the fullest stout by any means. It has a nice creamy feel which I'm coming to expect from most of Short's Brewing beers. They really tend to do well at making a beer that feels nice.

D- For a 10.8% beer, it's pretty damn drinkable. There's only a little bit of heat as it goes down. No heat can really be tasted; only felt.

It's a very nice interpretation of the style, albeit simple. Cocoa, oatmeal, and molasses, and then some more cocoa sums it up.
I'm really enjoying it, but can't say much for it's complexity. But for what it's worth, they did what they were trying to quite well.

It's a beer that I find myself appreciating more a when I don't analyze it. A great value as well.

 1,841 characters

Photo of Dope
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pretty much pitch black with a big, dense mocha colored head. Head retains very well, takes forever to settle. Lacing tattoos the glass everywhere.

S: Strong bitter roast (almost to the point of being coffee-like) complimented by lots of bitter chocolate. There is a nice sweet molasses smell and the oatmeal is just a subtle hint. Delicious.

T: Whoa. A lot of flavors at once. Up front it is bitter roast and oatmeal, then the chocolate and sweet molasses kicks in to subdue it. Very roasty, chocolately and sweet. The oatmeal gives it a creamy smoothness. This is really big and really tasty! As it warms, the bitter roast/coffee flavors linger nicely in the aftertaste.

M: Pretty thick with lots of creamy goodness. Smooth as silk.

O: This one really surprised me. Somewhat lackluster reviews but the beer blew me away. The bottle is about a year old, maybe a little age is required? The review below this one mentions brownies and kahlua - it's not far off. This is a decadent dessert beer. I was close to giving some 5s, that's how good it was.

 1,058 characters

Photo of Brittmb29
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of MbpBugeye
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was in my box from FrankenBrew in the RIS BIF. Thanks a lot!

Poured into a snifter.

A- Not much head, not much color. Just black. Very deep and inviting.

S- Huge on the coffee. The oatmeal is very apparent. The nose is sweet, creamy, chocolatey and coffee-y. It has that characteristic "breakfast" stout nose.

T- Lots more coffee, creamy chocolate, milkiness and roast.

M- Smooth, low carbonation, full and milky.

A great beer from Short's

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Photo of Boverhof3
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of ElGrecoVerde
4.49/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with a somewhat thin light tan head.

Strong notes of roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Hints of hops as well.

As expected, loaded with roasted flavors. Coffee, burnt toast, very dark, dry chocolate. Undertones of molasses. Solid amounts of hops with bitter grapefruit flavors. Alcohols are smoothly blended in and well masked. Warms well.

Full and creamy. Perfectly matched the style.

A very underrated brew in my opinion. I wasn't expecting much and was very impressed.

 512 characters

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from one of the 12oz bottles.

Pours black with a chocolate mousse head that sticks around for quite some time. This beer looks like a dessert.

Smells as advertised of oatmeal, molasses, and chocolate. I also pick op some maple, peanut, and espresso notes. I love the complexity and how everything fits in well together.

Sweet with chocolate and toasted oats in the front. Syrup and more chocolate give way to espresso and some mousse. There is a hint of lingering peanuts.

The feel is rich and velvety. Great body.

Overall, this was a real treat. This is an awesome desert beer and it seems that I like it mroe than most other reviewers.

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Photo of LadyOfMuchBeer
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle served in pint glass.

A-less than 1/4 inch head, fades fast to barely any lacing. not much visible carbonation. Pours a shade away from black, no light to be seen, sticky, but not too think.

S-sweet molasses, oatmeal, chocolate and coffee, slight booze on the nose.

T-bitter chocolate hits hard on the front, malty in the middle, oatmeal is nicely present. mild hops finish with a sweet molasses touch.

F-not as sticky as I expected. a clean, slightly bitter feel.

Overall I like this...a lot.

 512 characters

Photo of hopdog
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared courtesy of Zrrbrrt. Bottle #168 / 700 and bottled on 4-20-06.

Poured a dark black color with an averaged sized light brown head. Very nice looking.

Wow, what an aroma! I could smell this one all night and every night. Cocoa, dark & milk chocolates, molasses, dark fruits, oak, wood, vanilla, and oatmeal. I too would have put lots of money that this was Barrel Aged.

Tastes of cocoa, dark chocolate, wood, molasses, roasted malts, and dark fruits.

I would have never guessed this was 12.5%. I really got to find a way to get some more of this one!

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Short's Mystery Stout from Short's Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 374 ratings.
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