Black Licorice Lager | Short's Brewing Company

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Black Licorice LagerBlack Licorice Lager
Very Good
185 Ratings
Black Licorice LagerBlack Licorice Lager

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

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
"A high gravity American dark lager aged on anise seed, Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans and fresh chocolate mint leaves."

Added by hoppymeal on 06-06-2007

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 185 |  Reviews: 129
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. No bottle date and I don't even know where this came from. Maybe Marc? Just found it in the fridge and figured it needed to be consumed sooner rather than later.

Appearance - Nearly black body with just the faintest of red coming through when I hold it up. Nice khaki head that clings to the glass and maintains a thick collar with nice surface foam.

Smell - Musty mint leaf aroma. Chocolate malt and just a touch of licorice in the nose.

Taste - A lot more licorice here. Hits immediately with a dose of chocolate. Mint lends a bit of acidity to the flavor throughout. The blend is odd at certain points. I find myself focusing on different aspects with each sip. I don't discern the vanilla, though.

Mouthfeel - Pretty thin. Easy drinking, except for some of the wild flavors. Well carbonated.

Overall - Not sure how I feel about it. Sometimes I like the flavors, sometimes they seem off. As I click Review, I like it. That could change by the end of the glass.

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Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of BentLegBrewer
4.69/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had at tasting. vintage was 06 or 07 one of about 850. first appearance was great, it pour thicker than 10w50 moter oil dark as a cave 50 ft under the earth with a finger width tan to cream white head. aroma is certainly overloads of black licorice, hints of cookie dough and vanilla. taste see above with a short alcohol burn for the back of your throat very cream and full the whole way through. My advice is split it if ya have it it does have a level of sweetness and licorice to it that would make it hard to finish more than half a bomber. Overall a homerun especially in tasting eviroment

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Photo of Andygirl
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of ssimpson89
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of DaveHack
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have to admit I put two strikes against this one since it was a licorice beer. However, interestingly enough, there seems to be a nice minty tone to this from the licorice. And thankfully the licorice doesn't overpower things at all. What you get is a nice, evenly robust lager with a nice little flavor ride. Odd as it seems for me to say, this may end up being one of my favorite Shorts brews.

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Photo of Osky88
1.5/5  rDev -61.2%

Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of JohnQVD
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of klipper
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of antoines15
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark muddy brown, almost black. Beige head looks very creamy. Good retention, slim rings of lacing. Looks appetizing.

S: Everything promised on the label is here. Fragrant black licorice is most prominent, but creamy vanilla, mint leaves, and layers of milk and baker's chocolate are all apparent too. Brown bread, toasted malt, grass, and that clean lager smell underneath. The nose doesn't beat you over the head with all this; everything is well-balanced and sometimes subtle, but in a good way.

T: Wave of creamy bourbon vanilla bean at the outset. Mint is more prominent than it was on the nose, as is the layered chocolate. The mint and chocolate really play well together. Dries a bit toward the end, and the black licorice really begins to come out at that point. Brown bread and grass too, though they are more subtle than the nose suggested. Finish is a pleasing wash of warm bourbon vanilla bean and baker's chocolate.

M: Medium bodied. Very creamy and silky-smooth. Moderate carbonation.

O: I'm pleasantly surprised. I've been very critical of Shorts to date. Of the beers that I've had from them to this point, I've felt they've been forced, gimmicky, or too busy and discordant. This beer has done a lot to restore my faith in them. It is delicious and perfectly balanced. Great idea, even better execution.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Stephen for this beer...

A: Pours a completely opaque black, with about a half finger of tan head. The foam settles quickly and leaves a nice rocky ring around the edges.

S: Wow. The nose is exactly how I imagined it. It smells of mint and black licorice. There is also an bit of mollasses underneath the dominating scents.

T: It starts out sweet and minty, and transitions into big hits of black licorice. But uhh ohh, I'm getting some of that familiar Short's funk. Another refermented beer? The back end is stinging tart, and off flavors.

M: Medium bodied beer. It starts out smooth with the flavors developing nicely, but the twang in the finish is puckering and drying.

O: It's a decent beer, but the funky end is really off putting. I have had so many bad experiences with Short's beers that I will never trade for any of their stuff again. I guess I'm just gonna have to make it out to their brew pub someday.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark ruby/black with a huge head of tan foam
Aroma-heady mix of chocolate and fresh mint leaves.
Taste-Liquid peppermint patty, chocolate, mint leaves, roasted coffee, vanilla bean. Exceptional flavor and character. Every sip has a different flavor nuance. An excellent, flavorfull brew. Seek it out if you can. Highly recommended.

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Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, no bottling date. Pours hazy very dark brown color with a nice 2 finger fairly dense tan head with great retention that reduces to a thick cap. Some spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big chocolate, mint leaves, licorice, vanilla, molasses, roasted malt, biscuit, dark fruit, and a bit of bourbon. Nice and very interesting aromas as I would have expected. Taste of big chocolate, roasted malt, light coffee, licorice, bourbon, vanilla, biscuit, mint leaves, dark fruit, and some herbal spiciness. Some light licorice tartness on the finish; with some lingering notes of chocolate, roasted malt, mint, and licorice on the finish for a bit. Finish is fairly dry. Very nice overall balance of flavors, with no cloying at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel. Very smooth to drink at 8%. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming on the finish. Overall this is a surprisingly nice and interesting black lager; that is very drinkable and balanced.

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Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of GoatmanBrewsMD
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of ngeunit1
4.62/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark black color with some brown around the edges and a thin covering of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some light lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted sweet chocolate malts with some anise, bourbon, vanilla, and mint. Really nice and complex nose.

T - Starts out with a mix of sweet roasted chocolate malts with some mint and anise in the background. Through the middle, some vanilla and bourbon come through alongside some more mint and a touch of burnt malt. The finish is a mix of sweet roasted chocolate, anise, vanilla, and a hint of bourbon booze.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a warming dry finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really big an bold flavors, but they come together really nicely and taste balanced. I really like the vanilla been and anise combination.

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Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bourbon, corn and then I was getting mostly the mint here, the concoction tasted off, yes lactose. Lager secondary, black coloured body. Some chalky taste, a little roasted malt. Whole thing does not carry together. Rather ordinary though drinkable.Stephen’s bottle from a previous batch.Tried again with Steve's bottle, and much better. Soft bodied, licorice and mint, better drinkable..

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this one surprised me in a good way. Thanks again Scoot69!

A: Pours a dark black licorice color with a two finger tan head.

S: Aroma of lactic and tart sourness along with a good bit of malt and anise but less than you would expect with a name of Black Licorice lager.

T: Lactic sourness off the bat, with a healthy malt bill. I had assumed wrongly that this would be a light lager, but was surprised to find the depth that it had and even more to find out it was an 8% lager. The mid body is mostly sweet roasted malt flavors and finishes with a bit of charred malt flavors. Very light noble hopping that brings the malt bill out more and a bit of caramelized sugars behind the chocolate minty flavors. Sadly I did not pick up a whole lot of vanilla but this was probably from age.

M: Medium body to thick for a lager although I have not had any of the other beers in this category. Tough call

O: Definitely very drinkable and delicious. A nice surprise

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Spider889
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 vintage bottle shared by rogue at a beer tasting. Really cool beer to bring, even if it's not typical to cellar a lager for so long!

A - Black in color, nice tall coffee colored head.

S - Licorice and chocolate with loads of vanilla. Age has not quieted the vanilla beans, though I wasn't smelling any of the bourbon aspect of the Madagascar beans.

T - Light bitterness, toasty, some char, and also chocolate sweetness. The licorice/anise is much heavier on the nose, it's barely notable in the flavor. No mint is left remaining (which is very likely a good thing imo).

M/O - Bitter up front, a bit hot - maybe this is partially due to the vanilla bean, but overall drinks smoothly. I'll bet this beer is really something when fresh, and while odd, this was not bad at all, even at a ripe old age of 3.

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Black Licorice Lager from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 185 ratings