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 OddNotion
3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split bottle poured into my Captain Lawrence stemmed glass.

Appearance: Pitch black, no light penetrates even when held up to the light. One and a half finger tan head that recedes to about a quarter finger.

Smell: Strong boozy smell with some roasty flavors behind it but really this smells like a booze bomb, a little nervous for the first sip.

Taste: Not as boozy as the nose (thank god). A lot of roastiness, I get a strong vegetable type flavor, kind of odd. Alcohol is present and warming but not overwhelming. Later on in the sip the roastiness gains a sweet flavor, not bad but nothing impressive.

Mouthfeel: Fine for the style, heavier bodied but could be thicker, nice carbonation but maybe slightly high.

Overall: Not bad but there are much better examples of the style. I was hoping for more of a chocolate presence.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with a 1 finger mocha head

smell: chocolate, roast, malts, molasses,

taste: booze, roast, chocolate, molasses,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, full body

overall: wasn't expecting it to be so strong. had nice flavors in the smell but fade quickly in the taste. glad I got to try it.


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Photo of Pellinore1
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kdub87 for sending this bottle.

Pours deep, opaque brown, producing a finger of tan head. This settles to a thin cap of lacing.

Some roasty malt in the aroma, along with chocolate and a nice oatmeal character.

This beer opens with malt and chocolate, and finishes with oatmeal and some coffee bitterness. The flavors are not as strong or sweet as many imperial stouts, but the balance is nice.

Smooth and creamy, this is a pleasure to drink.

An enjoyable, well balanced, and pretty straightforward imperial stout. I'm glad to have gotten a chance to try it.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice two Finger head. Pours quite nicely. Head is almost a rose color. Nice a pillowy too, soapy bottom. Brew is dark brown with lots of black.

S - Lots of Oats and Chocolate and not too much else. Fairly smokey. Lots of nice roasted malts. Mild twang, perhaps heat, in the nose.

T - Lots of Rich chocolate. Heavy malted oats. Nice complexity with great bittering hops. Mild heat.

M - Rich and sassy! Super strong, without the heat burn. No bitterness. Medium bodied with slightly too much carbonation.

O - Quite a nice brew. Another Gem from Short's. Very glad I got to try this one, you should be happy if you're also able.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Le Cheval Blanc pint glass. Pours a deep jet black with reddish brown highlights around the edges. Has a short oatmeal cookie head that drops quickly. This beer has lacing and legs.

Aromas of deep roasted malts, some cocoa, and tons of alcohol. Smells a little boozy.

Flavors of molasses, cocoa, some dark roasted maltiness, no hops to speak of. Finish is long and inviting, with the emphasis on anise way into the fade. Some alcohol bite as well.

Mouthfeel is hot from the alcohol, big, chewy, and creamy. Good level of carbonation.

Overall, a very nice big oatmeal stout. A little light on the hops for an American double stout, but I think they would make a mess of this beer. Lots of boozy alcohol. A little too hot. But, still, overall a beer to seek out.

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Photo of sidetracked
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hopcat.

Black in color with a nice medium brown head. Head dissipates to linger around the edges. Some initial lacing.

Smell is bitter roasted malts and a little roasted coffee. Some brown sugar sweetness.

Upfront taste is roasted malts and coffee mixing with a brown sugar sweetness. Initial taste follows through to the finish but a bit more roasty bitterness comes through. Some sugary sweetness at the finish too.

Between medium and full bodied, creamy. Slightly dry finish. Light carbonation.

Overall a pretty good bitter and roasty stout. Kind of on the lighter side in terms of body, but still enjoyable.


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Photo of AgentZero
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a reddish black that rubies on the edges. Just the slightest bit of tan head bubbled up for a bit before dissolving into some randomness on the top.

S - Cocoa, a lot of molasses, some char, oats and a little bit of licorice. Smells decent enough.

T - A lot of flavor, mostly char and licorice with heavy handed molasses. It's a combination that is a little too heavy for me. It doesn't taste bad, but it's not subtle and just gets kind of hard to drink. A bit of cocoa and dark fruit finish this one up.

M - Full bodied, alcohol is well hidden. Lower, but present carbonation.

O - Not bad, not great. It's a pretty hearty beer, and one that I don't care to necessarily have again. It was really, really hard to get through the bottle. It actually reminds me of a poor man's Double Black in some ways, but obviously not as potent or good.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Massive thanks goes out to beeruser for sharing this one with funkydelic and I at an impromptu tasting! 12 oz bottle! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller sampler wine glass. Poured a deep dark brown with a minimal slightly tan off-white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, smoke, and dark fruit. The flavor was of roasted malt, smoke, maple syrup, and dark fruit. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The aroma did not do much to prepare me for the flavor, but I was pleasantly surprised when I did sample this one. The maple definitely makes itself known on the followthrough and was followed up by a nice fruity aspect as another surprise. The smoke in this one was also a nice touch. Definitely glad I got the chance to try this one as it is definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of TheDudeRules
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice little extra poured into my Darkness snifter.

Very black with no hope of any light. Mocha head and about a finger deep. Heavy duty lacing is like coral reef around my glass. Rich roast and chocolate up front. I can actually feel it settle into the front part of my skull. Sip.... I think a hop nunchuck just hit me in my tongue. This sum bitch has some bite. Roast and char are leaping for the finish line in this beer. Chocolate and espresso aren't far behind. Not a chewy beer but more of the creamy ilk.

To this day in my opinion Short's has fallen way short of the touted hype around here. The bar I have set for them has come down considerably. This brew is pretty damn good. I would put it on pace with Storm King from Victory.

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

Thanks to stearns16 for hooking this one up in a trade.

A - Poured black color with a brown head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of roasted malt and chocolate with some sweetness from the molasses

T - Like the nose starts of roasty with a cooking chocolate taste the finish has a decent bit of alcohol in it

M - This beer has a fuller body with medium carbonation to it

O - This is a slow sipping beer with its bold flavor glad I had the chance to give it a try if your a fan of the style its worth checking out sometime

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Photo of TKEbeerman
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Strait out of the bottle this looks like the start of a great stout. Dark and with a leather tan head, this brew looks better than many.

S: The aroma is a little lacking of some notes I'd like to hit. Molasses takes over. If you ever had a Russel Stover's dark box of chocolates (the one with the molasses chocolate), this brew smells like that.

T: The flavor is way too much molasses up front and on the back of the pallet. The molasses needs to tone down from 11 to about 8. Subtle hints of chocolate and alcohol accompany the molasses.

MF: Mouthfeel needs to cream up a little bit. I would love to see some more roasted or caramel malt to stiffen this body up, and to tone down the molasses.

Overall, if molasses is your thing, this is your beer. I did enjoy this stout, but probably wouldn't commit to a 4 or 6 pack.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into snifter

Pours a blacked out color with some browned edges. A nice fluff of tan head bubbles up and retains with a collar of film, plenty of patchy lacing on the glass.

Very roasty in the nose, dark malts and a large flair of cocoa powder. Some molasses and caramel sweetness, hint of smoke with a dash of hop bitterness. Very little alcohol.

Thick wave of roasted dark malts and oats up front wrap around the tongue with some hop bitterness. Large tones of cocoa powder, almost like hot chocolate mix before you pour the milk or water in. Dark chocolate and lighter hints of anise and a suggestion of smoke. Molasses sweetness, finishes with more hop bitterness and faint alcohol.

Fuller bodied, medium carbonation, chewy and a bit dry on the palate. A nice sipper, the alcohol was masked well, and I really enjoyed the cocoa flavor as well.

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Photo of Roke87
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temperature

Appearance- Pours a dark black colour with no light penetrating this one except maybe some light edging, with a nice one finger of fluffy brownish white head that quickly resides to a nice think ring leaving lots of lacing throughout till finish.

Smell- Lots of roasted malt, a hint of chocolate and a bit of sweet smell from the molasses and cocoa, I also get a nutty smell similar to roasted peanuts.

Taste- You can really taste the oatmeal right away and roasted malts are also very heavy on the forefront, some chocolaty cocoa flavours come through and finishes with another kick of the roasted malts and molasses.

Mouthfeel- Medium-Full bodied stout with a perfect amount of carbonation that keeps a constant sexy brown ring around the glass till finish. Very easy to drink for the ABV with lots of roasted malt flavours and oatmeal throughout.

Overall- A great stout and a very solid offering from Short’s one of their better brews for sure, very flavourful for the higher ABV although I would like to see a little more of a chocolate taste in this one, the roasted malts and oatmeal really take over from start to finish. But none the less definitely a great stout that I would definitely pick up again.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to GrandCruDrew for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque black with dark khaki highlights on the edges of the glass and a very small 1/2 inch dark khaki head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Small rivulets of lace stick on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malts, toasted oats, cocoa powder, and molasses. However, the smells are somewhat underwhelming. Taste is much better than the smell with roasted malts/oats, dark cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and molasses. Good mouthfeel with low carbonation but a smooth and creamy feel. Overall, this is a good stout that I am very happy I got to try after reading about it. One of the best of the Short's beers I have had.

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Photo of bmo56
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Short's Mystery is part of my personal Three Beer Oatmeal Stout Tag Team Extravaganza( With the likes of Samuel Smith Oatmeal and Mayflower Winter Oatmeal). The color is that of dark, dark brown almost like chocolate syrup with a minimal head that sandy in color. Coco is a prominent flavor with coffee and a small amount of maltiness at the finish. Mouthfeel is creamy with small amount of carbonation.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into pint glass, from notes.

A - pours a light black with brown edging. Decent 1 finger mocha brown head. No lacing and head didn't retain long

S - Chocolate, coffee, grains, some roasted barley and vanilla

T - Lots of bittersweet chocolate integrated with a grainy oatmeal mix. I did not pick up on hardly any molasses but more along the lines of a caramel sweetness, however, fairly faint. Slight hoppiness that tastes a touch old. Good coffee and vanilla accents on the back end.

M - Semi thin, a touch unorganized and a bit hot

O - A decent enough brew. It could be a touch more creamy and a bit better organized/balanced. Not too bad though.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown pours sits opaque black in an Arrogant Bastard glass that my girlfriend got for falling asleep in a Las Vegas bathroom. Good layer of retention and snowy lace.

Aroma is brown sugar and molasses. Some char & cocoa nibs. I think I smell roasted peanuts?

Tastes rich and oaty! Dark chocolate and a pleasant, smooth roast character that emerges as it warms. Big, smooth oat derived body.

A good, no frills IS overshadowed by many bigger, bolder, badder versions of his style. Drinks like a 6%'er.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010 poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Light black body with a light tan colored head. Lacing is thick and sticky on the side of the glass.

Smell: Cocoa, oatmeal, molasses, and faint coffee.

Taste: Molasses gives sweetness to the beer and a slight bitterness is imparted from the cocoa. You can taste a slighty earthy flavor. No booze flavor here for such a big beer. When this beer is cold it does have a metallic taste that goes away once it warm up to the right temperature.

Mouthfeel: Full body that has a lively carbonation that is just right for this beer. This beer is super smooth and has a nice creamy feel to it. This really bring the beer together nicely and enhances all of the complex flavors going on here!

Overall: Another very enjoyable Shorts beer! If you see it buy it! I wish more breweries would brew some bigger Oatmeal Stouts like this one! I love how the bottle says: "A fantastic voyage to the undefined greatness of imperial liquid meals". It made me laugh because thats what i had tonite for dinner!

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

12oz. bottle poured into ma trusty Brooklyn Snifter.

Dark brown nearing black with just a hint of a tan head that left some thick lacing. Smells slightly sweet with notes of molasses, chocolate and marshmallow. Interesting and one of the better beers from Short's that I've had the pleasure or displeasure of smelling. Taste is rich with layers of chocolate, molasses, marshmallow, hint of coffee and roast. Decent stout that is fuller-bodied with some prickly carbonation. Surprised that this is 10.8% abv. Decent beer that I would have again.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle served in my Old Stock snifter. Pours one shade shy of black with no head, just a khaki-colored cluster of bubbles around the edges and a soapy skim across the cap. Nose expresses cocoa, dark malts and ethanol. Taste consistent with nose with the addition of some lactose creaminess,roast and artificial sweetener. There's also a slightly metallic character that lingers between quaffs. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a lively carbonation and some residual alcohol heat. Texture also has a subtle creaminess. This beer falls a little short for me (no pun intended) flavors are a bit muddled and the metallic quality is somewhat off-putting. My third brew from Short's and I haven't been impressed so far.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I bought a six pack of Short's Mystery Stout for $10.99 at The Lager Mill. It has been a while since I have tried a Stout from Short's so I thought I would take a chance and give this beer a shot. As the norm with Short's no bottling date. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a mini snifter.

A- I usually like most labels from short's but this one just doesn't do it for me. It poured a deep dark black color with a slight amount of ruby highlighted edges when held up to the light. It had three and a half fingers worth of creamy mocha colored head that died down to a good looking thick layer that left lots of nice lacing.

S- The aroma starts of with loads of dark roasted malts that impart lots of nice roasty aromas along with some caramel, chocolate, oatmeal. vanilla and coffee. The molasses is pretty evident in the aroma and gives it some nice sweetness, the cocoa nibs also impart a unique chocolate aroma that smells very dark and rich. All the different aromas come together to make a very good smelling roasty and chocolaty beer.

T- The taste mirrors the aroma nicely. The sweetness from the oatmeal and molasses is kept in check by the bitterness from the cocoa nibs. Everything listed on the bottle is represented nicely. It has a pretty bitter finish for an oatmeal stout, but with all the sweetness in this brew it needed that to balance the brew out. There is a little bit of warming alcohol on the finish but not as much as you would expect from a brew that clocks in at almost 11%.

M- Medium full bodied, a little lighter then I expected but that really didn't hurt this brew. It had a creamy mouthfeel and the perfect amount of carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a really good Stout. In my experience I have found that most Oatmeal Stouts are on the lighter side and are focused more on being low abv% and flavorful, this one was much bigger then any other Oatmeal Stout I have had and I thought that was a nice take on it and I would like to see more brewery's make an Imperial Oatmeal Stout. The flavors were spot on and all the things listed on the bottle were represented and integrated well in this brew. One particular thing I noticed about this brew is that it is better served at cellar temp, fresh out of the fridge it is way too cold and gives this beer a very irony and metallic flavor to it that completely goes away when it warms up, my brother said it tastes like beer blood when it was cold and I find that to be pretty accurate. If there was more of this left on the shelf I would buy it, but sadly its all gone. If you like Imperial Stouts or just Stouts in general, give this beer a try, you won't regret it. Short's really did a great job at making a unique Imperial Stout, in an age were most seem to taste the same, this one doesn't.

Edit 2013, just hard the new batch of mystery Stout, it's pretty good, but it's not as great as I first thought, so I changed the scores accordingly, still a good beer. it's just not 4.5 good, this and Black diamond were the best of the new variety pack.

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

Many thanks to ShogoKwada for spreading the Short's! 2010 vintage? Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bruery tulip.

Deep seal brown body, with a shade of chocolate in there as well. A lasting finger of fawn colored foam. Creamy waves of lacing, broken apart by a wave of tears.

Aromatics are subdued, but pure - roasted barley, chocolate malt, some toasted grain, and a touch of black-strap molasses and stewed figs. Alcohol suggests a liqueur of sorts - not estery or solventy though.

Cocoa nibs, brown sugar, and toasted oats on the palate. The complex bittersweet flavors from molasses and chocolate grow richer and dryer into the finish, which suggests very dark chocolate and a hint of black licorice. The oats tie everything together and lighten the profile overall. Hops are low to non-existent, though there may be a vague grassy flavor in there somewhere.

Potent without any barrel aging to ramp up the ABV further. Velvety, creamy, slightly oily, medium-full bodied, mouthfeel.

An excellent breakfast stout, with an unusual melding of chocolate and molasses. A nice alternative to Cup a Joe.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Sam Adams sensory glass. Another awesome bottle from Jeff - and another tapadh leat from me to him. If you had told me after the first box sent that they'd only get better and better, I'd have said it was impossible, and I'd have been wrong.

Pours black, with a bit of ruby brown poking through at only the very edges. Half-finger tan head on top leaves a bit of nice, solid lacing as it settles in to a thin, soapy layer.

Nose is earthy, sweet, molasses is out in front with a bit of nutty mocha underneath. Light alcohol adds a light complexity. Faint, smooth roastiness holds things together.

Taste is beautiful - deeply roasty and a bit woody, with deep cocoa notes and the molasses adding a rich, earthy sweet complexity. Deceptively smooth, alcohol is almost imperceptible. Finish is long, earthy sweet, roasty mocha. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is medium-full in body, surprisingly light given the abv, smooth, mellow carbonation. No heat at all, not a bit of stickiness. Well done all round.

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Photo of tewaris
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10% ABV
~55 IBU's
Oatmeal Imperial Stout with cocoa and molasses. Received as an extra from drDogBeer. Thanks! Poured from a 12 oz. bottle with no freshness date into a big snifter.

Pours very dark with a dark tan head. Very good retention and lacing. Top of the shelf as far as looks go. Chocolate and caramelized sugar in smell, this one sure has everything it talks about! Hard to say whether they come from actual additions or not, but there are strong notes of coffee too. Starts reeking of molasses with warmth.

Tastes like it smells: bitter chocolate and milk with a hint of sweetness. There's some coffee like acidity that could be derived from roast, because there's no shortage of roast in this one -- The charred aftertaste lingers after the medium finish and feels very similar to roasted beans.

Mouthfeel is silky and the carbonation medium. Lower carbonation wouldn't have hurt but the way it is, the finish stays relatively clean and prickly. This is a good stout no doubt. It's my second Short's beer and I have to say that adjunct =/= cheap. Good job!

Scores: Appearance 4.5/5, Aroma 4/5, Taste 4/5, Mouthfeel 4.5/5, Overall 4.5/5

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle received in trade from Scoot1969 Thanks!

Pours a dark brown with a roasty dark tan head. Lacing left pretty strongly in areas.

Aroma of a bit of lacto, some coffee, dark roasted malts and some cocoa.

Taste is similar to aroma, slight milk stout flavor with heavy roasting, a bunch of coffee, and some chocolate. Vanilla flavors on the end, a molasses presence is there, not prominent over the darker black malt flavors, but as this warms up more caramel and toffee flavors become apparent.

Medium body that is fluffy with a light carbonation. Very drinkable and overall very good.

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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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