Short's Mystery Stout | Short's Brewing Company

very good
206 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 206 | Ratings: 374
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.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from 2011.

Pours opaque black with a half inch head of brown. A partial skim coat and a few short strands of lacing for the duration.

Dark fudge, mild chocolate, creamed oats, and coffee-drizzeled nougat start the nose. Hints of caramel and Oreo shells follow through.

Full bodied with a lush, velvety mouthfeel.

Sweet, chewy malt with brownie batter lead off the palate. Kahlua, biscuity oats, and molasses follow through.

Finishes with lingering fudge and chocolate syrup.

Tasty stout, just not as impressive as the bigger version I tried years ago.

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Photo of ahq514
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into NG globe glass. This beer was purchased almost a year ago.

Pours a nice dark color with a fluffy, one finger mocha colored head. It diminishes fairly rapidly to a film atop the beer. Appears to have low carbonation. Light lacing.

Aroma is typical of what I would have expected. Roasty, with a hint of chocolate. Some brown sugar and oats as well. When swirled, there is a sweet molasses flavor that seems to be activated.

Not as pleasant as I thought it would be from the aroma. Light oats, roast, and light chocolate flavors come through mostly. There is a light bitterness, but nothing overly noticeable. There is a certain brown sugary sweetness to it as well.

Good mouthfeel. Body on the heavier side, light carbonation. Slightly creamy, but not as much as I expected.

A good beer overall, but nothing that blows your socks off. Plenty of other imperial stouts I'd grab first, but this is a solid one. Would enjoy again.

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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.

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Photo of BeRanger
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours jet black with a half finger of brown foam, I assume their be more from a bottle however this was out of a Growler.

S - Roasted malts, chocolate and you can smell a little of the alcohol.

T - Rich in Chocolate and Oats, a little bit of a kick to it.

M - Medium body, light carbonation. Pretty strong flavors with a little bit of heat, but it still finishes relatively smooth.

O - Another good Brew from Shorts - I wasn't quite expecting what I got but it was still a nice treat. I look forward to trying this in a bottle or on draught as I think I definitely lost a little of the flavor being from a growler.

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Photo of EkimGram
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 12oz bottle poured into standard pint glass. Colour is a dark, silky brown with a thin, chocolate head.

Smell: Very strong roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, and alcohol.

Taste: Surprisingly tame. Again, lots of roasted malts with a toffee/coffee backing. Finishes with a bitter and sweet bite.

Mouthfeel: I was expecting a full body but I was surprised to find this wasn't at all. A little sticky and just a hint of carbonation.

Overall: Not the most complex Imperial Stout I've had but it is certainly not the worst. Taste could be deeper and more complex but regardless, it was enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another cool bottle flown over the pond by Kkottonmouthkngz. Thanks again for hanging out man, and cheers for the brews!

From a bottle into a snifter
Oatmeal stout with cocoa and molasses
Vintage: 2009 ABV: 10.8%

APPEARANCE: Dark brown pour yields a 1+ finger, medium looking, fluffy, tan head with good retention. Black body with medium carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a good wisp and clings to the sides of the glass. A ring and touches of wisp remain leaving some very nice lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Roasted malts with light cocoa and molasses notes on the nose. Oats are there, as well as some dark chocolate. Nice nose and medium in strength.

TASTE: Roasted malts, burnt malts, and some definite cocoa and chocolate flavors, moving into a bitter and sweet molasses finish. Aftertaste is big and persistent with lots of bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and sweet molasses. Lots of stout flavor, and plenty roasted, burnt, with a good dose of bitterness. Pretty nice really.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Slightly light on the palate, creamy enough, goes down smooth and finishes slightly sticky on the palate. No heat.

OVERALL: This is a solid, solid imperial stout, and all the advertised elements were there for the taking. Very roasted, burnt and charred base with lots of interesting chocolate and molasses battling it out in the forefront. Plenty of flavor and complexity; only a fuller palate is required to really push the score beyond the point of no return. Thanks again for the bottles Kkottonmouthkngz. This was a real surprise.

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Photo of Stockfan42
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black body that despite my best efforts lets no lighting through. A foamy dark tan head that thins down to a lace.

Smells of dark chocolate and coffee beans with a light boozy smell in the backround.

Tastes almost like a big nutfilled brownie. Some coffee and oatmeal as well. Nicely malted and a nice bitter bite at the end.

Mouthfeel is not to heavy, pretty creamy and leaves a nice bitter after taste.

Overall this is a pretty damn good beer. I'm glad mass finally landed some shorts brews and this is one of my favorite oatmeal stouts to date.

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Photo of mdvatab
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle (received in a trade w/ a Michigan BA) into a snifter.

Aroma: Sweet, malty, fruity goodness. I catch powdery cocoa sweetness, as well as fruity blueberry. Great start!

Appearance: Pitch black body. Light tan 2 finger head slowly settles to 1 finger. Decent lacing.

Flavor: Sweet blueberry, cocoa, and strong bitterness lingers at the end. The hoppy (and partially alcoholic) bitterness unfortunately does not blend very well with the malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Medium low, creamy carbonation. Slight warming sensation from alcohol.

Overall: Not a bad imperial stout. (I've definitely had worse!) A bit too much bitterness at the end, and I'm led to believe that this one might mellow a bit over time. It might just be a subjective dislike, as I've heard great things about Short's. Looking forward to trying my second bottle!

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #53 (June 2011):

Head rises high, fluffy and attentive. How much darker can an Imperial Stout be? Chocolaty, boozy and roasty controlled chaos ... the nose is happy. Creamy thick body is nearly silky. Alcohol is polite enough to open the door for all of the other flavors first, and slowly comes in last with its warmth. Smoky roasted flavor meets a bold burnt-sugar sweetness, cocoa and a black currant fruitiness. Roasted flavors keep the sweetness from spilling over. Hops? Meek but there. Sweet burnt finish. Sipping material here. If you’re looking for something strong, dark and chocolaty, give this one a go.

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Photo of horshack7
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured into a snifter this beer is down right black and dark all rolled into one black abyss of beery goodness. On top is a very thin head that thins out very quick.

Aroma: Roasted hops are in the front. Malts are roasted the same way as the malts very dark. Oats with minor coffee notes. A little bit of booze in the nose. Faint wood grain way in the back.

Taste: A sharp bite of malts like a bolt of lightning hitting my palate. Lots of carbonation for such a stout. Semi-sweet chocolate with bready notes. Hops are very dry and floral lots of bite from those as well.

Notes: This one is a tasty sipper great for any cool or even a cold night. Cheers.

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Photo of vande
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: a deep, dark, thick looking treat that still, 20 minutes after being poured as a little brown layer of foam floatin on the top....

S: Chocolate nibs, coco-coffee, sweetness... Smells delightful!

T: powdery chocolate up front, like a nice soft brownie.. with a bit of coffee present.

M: Medium bodied, somewhat creamy brew that makes it nice to sip on during a cool evening...

0: glad I grabbed a couple!

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Photo of scottfrie
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into Portsmouth snifter. Thanks to jbck109 for the bottle.

A: Pours black with a good sized dark coffee colored head that faded into a fuzzy film leaving a great network of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Dominant but light notes of cocoa and chocolate. I get a few notes of coffee as well but no molasses.
T: Hearty flavors of cocoa and fudge brownies. I get a touch of sweeter molasses-like flavors but this beer doesn’t scream syrup. The finish is full of dark roasted malts, and the aftertaste is fudge-like and lingering.
M: Thickish body with a heavy, creamy, mouthfeel, and bubbly, frothy carbonation. The double digit alcohol content is hidden very well.
O: One of the better Short’s beers I’ve had – probably because it’s fairly normal tasting. This is a very solid stout. It may not be as complex or heavy as some of the great in the style, but I would not pass up an opportunity to drink this again.

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Photo of liamt07
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Steve, 12ozer into some snifters. Thanks dude.

Poured a deep dark brown, a shade or two off black. Some brown-sugar coloured head, with moderate retention and decent lace. Nose has some roasted malts, milk chocolate, with some caramel and molasses notes going on. Milder hint of vanilla and other general sweet notes. Taste has more milk chocolate, roastiness with some caramel and molasses sweetness. Good thick body brought upon by the oats. Lingering roastiness on the palate, and the sweeter notes prevail along side (vanilla-like). No sense of the alcohol, and I was shocked when I found out this was >10%. Quite drinkable and easily revisitable, a nice offering all around.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Many thanks to cbeer88(and Gushue3 too!) for this!

Pours black as night with a nice dark tan head, laces wonderfully.

Lot's of sweet chocolate, roasted malt, molasses, caramel, and some coffee.

Taste is huge chocolate, dark chocolate! Molasses is there, and light coffee. Roasted malts and slight burnt.

Full bodied, but not entirely chewy.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Onyx black body with a copious amount of head for a stout, cinnamon in color.

Wow, this thing is loaded with chocolate. Not the artificial chocolate like Moka or other chocolate stouts of the like, but a genuine rich cocoa and molasses scents.

This shines in the flavor along with hints of vanilla. It's extremely sweet and a perfect dessert beer, as in having this for dessert, not with dessert. It almost becomes too much by the end of the beer.

Mouthfeel is sweet, rich, and creamy. Spot on.

Aside from Humalupalicious, this is easiliy the best beer I've had from Shorts. Plus, it's a monster with the abv and was a nice night capper. I'd recommend this one.

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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 biboergosum
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, labeled "Mystery Oatmeal Stout". Thanks to Roke87 for the hookup.

This beer pours a solid black, with slight cola edges, and one fat finger of tight foamy, creamy tan head, which exhibits stellar retention, eventually giving up some approaching storm cloud lace around the glass as it settles. It smells of lightly roasted malt, powdered beverage chocolate, bitter coffee, and a separate earthy sweetness. The taste is sweet toffee malt, strong bittersweet chocolate, mild day-old coffee, some earthy, floral honey, and mild sticky molasses. Not a whiff of booze, nor even a warming - wow. The carbonation is quite sedate, almost drowsy, the body medium-full in weight, deadly smooth, and somewhat creamy. It finishes still sweet and chocolaty, a subtle dryness that's more bitter leafy hop than alcohol keeping things in check.

One smooth-talkin', Barry White analogue of a big stout. The molasses and chocolate sure provide more bang for the buck than the oatmeal apparently does, but so what - it all goes down insanely easy for the purported strength, and in a nice dessert-like, coma-inducing manner.

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Photo of drewba
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Rich opaque black with glimpses of brown as it moves around. A nice fizzy, mocha, single finger head sits for a moment, but fades fast. The head that's left on the edge of the glass looks nice with very little lacing.

S - Very deep roasted malt, chocolate milk, super sweet honey. I'm not getting much molasses or cocoa, as the label says. Either way, this smells nice, though the smell isn't strong.

T - The smell is fairly far off from the taste; I'm happy. Dark chocolate, coffee and roast sticks out the most, complimented by touches of molasses and lactose sugar.
Bitter cocoa and coffee with just a hint of molasses continues long into the aftertaste.

M - I'm loving the viscosity Mystery Stout offers, but the prickly carbonation is throwing me off a little. Finishes somewhat dry.

O - For being near 11%abv, this isn't much of a sipper; the alcohol is hidden really well and the huge flavors have me coming back for more.

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Photo of MarkIntihar
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into my Bell's snifter.

A - Pours very dark brown with a finger plus of deep tan head. Needs a fairly vigorous pour to get the desired effect but it gets there. Very good retention at the top of the glass as well.

S - Smell is not as potent as the first time I had this. Still picking up some coffee, dark chocolate, creaminess. Perhaps the faintest hint of molasses as well.

T - Oh WOW. The taste of this beer absolutely blows the nose out of the water, which has caused me to dock the smell a half point. Biter dark chocolate followed by slightly burnt coffee and molasses, just a hint of a creamy finish, but not enough to spoil the heavy taste. This beer is right up there with Terrapin WnB as the best oatmeal stout I've had (both imperial, obviously). The cocoa in the beer is perfectly done, not so much to overwhelm the other tastes, but enough to be the most present flavor and give it an excellent chocolatey profile.

M - Goes down very smooth, probably due to the creaminess discussed earlier. Hides the 10.8% extremely well, with little to no burn on the way down.

O - Overall a great effort by Short's. As mentioned earlier, this is right up there with the Wake 'n' Bake as far as Impy Oatmeal Stouts are concerned. Just an excellent beer!

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Photo of Franz4
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A-pitch black, thick foamy head of a darker tan color.

S- Lots of coffee, toffee, and chocolate melt together nicely.

T- Taste seems a bit more muted than the nose, everything is still present, slightly bitter, just not quite up to what I was expecting.

M- medium to heavy bodied, but lighter than I expected for the style, ABV.

O- A little short of expectations, but not a bad brew.

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Photo of SFLpunk
2.8/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz pry-top bottle, 2010, thanks to Andrew84.

Pours a thin black with some very very thin off-white suds. Nose is muted oat flakes and stale coffee. Palate is thin, dry and bitter. Flavors of stale coffee, cigarette butts and bitter baker's chocolate. Not super pumped about this brew. Can't find much more to write.

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Photo of Treebs
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into Founder's snifter.

A: Pours an oily deep brown that blocks out the light. Wonderful deep caramel 1 finger head sits in its frothy state for quite sometime as the carbonation bubbles push it to stay afloat. Nice sheets of lace follow me down the glass.

S: Bitter coffee with some burnt bakers chocolate. Slight molasses with boozy undertone to it.

T: On the first splash on the tongue I get a prickly semi-sweet bready malt. This makes way to some bitter coffee grounds, some bitter cocoa and a slight hoppy finish. Surprisingly the booze is very well hidden.

M: Medium bodied with a high carbonation. A little too much for me. There is a nice sweet vanilla coffee film left on the palate.

O: I nice oatmeal stout, but a little too carbonated for me. I would like a little more chewiness to this guy.

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Photo of J0E
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just drank the last of a 6pk I've had since late winter.

A: Opaque black with a slight reddish brown on the edges of the glass every now and then while drinking. Half a finger of head with some nice lacing.

S: Not as strong as you'd expect with the description on the bottle - A little bit of chocolate and a bit boozy

T: Much better than the nose. The molasses which i didn't get from the nose comes through when actually sipping. The chocolate comes through with the malty bitterness on the finish.

M: Not as thick as other examples of the style. I like my Imperial stouts to be a bit more syrupy here. Still good and smooth, though.

O: I like it. The molasses flavor really stands out ahead of anything else, even though i didn't get it from the smell initially. One of the better beers I've had from Shorts.

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Photo of BlondeBeerLover8
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into Sierra Nevada bulb glass. Pitch black with a reddish head which leaves very quickly. Some lacing.

S - Smells boozy. Can smell stout characteristics but the alcohol is right there in the foreground.

T - Don't taste the alcohol even that's all you smell. It's got a smoky quality to it. The molasses comes through very well as does the sweet oatmeal flavor and the smoky-type flavor compliments it very well.

M - It feels very good. It's got the perfect thickness to it. Not a thin stout.

O - Overall its a good beer. I was a little wary at first because of the boozy smell but that immediately goes away once you taste it. I think the molasses, oatmeal with a little smoke go a long way in making this an enjoyable stout.

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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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