Short's Brewing Company

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English Brown Ale
Ranked #11
Ranked #11,734
3.92 | pDev: 13.78%
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Very Good
Notes: Woodmaster is a high gravity, American Brown Ale fermented with Northern Michigan maple syrup and toasted pecans. This dark brown, full bodied ale is rich with sweet malt and syrup flavors. These flavors are complemented by the presence of hop aromas and a faint nuttiness.

24 IBU
Reviews: 136 | Ratings: 366 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Tshane
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

OMG, 3.x overall... Seriously?
This is a stunning beer, the maple dark brown red color is amazing, notes of toffee and vanilla and Maple and maybe a tiny hint of cinnamon... Even though my course palate prevents me from tasting everything the so-called experts discern, it's a stunning offering from shorts, which has many many beautiful and tasty beers.

I think unbalanced most beer drinkers love Hops and I'm an exception, I only like beers with pops of 30 or less and 25 is pushing it. This one is on the sweeter side and that's why I think it gets a much lower rating than it deserves overall. Everybody has their own taste preferences and unfortunately they rate beers higher or lower based on them and I'm no exception. So for those who like beers on the sweeter side with a little fruitiness and toffee, more like a bourbon barrel-aged whiskey, this will hit the spot.

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Photo of BenHoppy
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Ruby red cherry brown coloring reminds you of a Manhattan. Smell is cherry maple with heavy mouthfeel. Taste is cloying cherry booze that reminds me of robuttissin with mild notes of maple pecans. With some age this may improve.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Released February 2015, drank February 2016

Appearance: pours a leathery to mahogany brown color. a finger or two of a tan head with strong retention and leaving behind a big frothy lacing. dark and a bit hazy making in completely opaque.

Smell: maple syrup, pecans and a light and fruity yeast. some biscuity to toasty malt.

Taste: opens up with a little bit of maple syrup. the syrup flavor develops into a really rich and sweet flavor before blending in with pecans and some sweet malts. malts play in largely with notes of biscuits, toasted grains and some additional nuttiness comes through. a little bit of earthy bitterness sneaks in. some fruity yeast esters come in before finishing with a bit more syrup.

Mouthfeel: good full feel, which would go well even without this being an "Imperial." lots of sweet flavors but really nicely balanced.

Overall: I normally wouldn't write a review for this beer a year out, but I thought that this one deserved it. I really enjoyed this beer fresh but as I crack my last bottle I am realizing it is a real treat at a year old. the flavors have blended together really nicely and balanced out perfectly.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter, 2015 vintage

A-pours a murky brown color with a small foamy white head that reduces quickly to leave only a ring around the edge

S- brown malts, raisin, maple syrup, caramel, a bit of alcohol. Not picking up any nutty aroma

T- brown malt flavor mixes with caramel and maple, providing a sweetness that continues into a mid-palate of nuts, dark fruits, stewed apple and vanilla. Slightly warming spicy finish

M- heavy body with moderate carbonation leads to a thick mouthfeel that continues into the finish

O- a brown ale with a big bite, this one certainly doesn't like in flavor, like most brown ales

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
4.84/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is what craft beer means to me.
an ale that has quickly become my favorite all-time brew.
Dark brown pour with a light fluffy, albeit thin head that stays around.
best in a snifter, it helps later with agitation.
the right mix of sweet malt and grains. follows the nose.
this is also the first maple flavored beer that actually tastes like real maple. yum.
toasted chocolate notes with a slight bitter hop finish. again, balanced right for me.
will purchase again and again to enjoy. my favorite so far. 06-2015

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

big thanks to CraftyBastard for the bottle, enjoyed from a batch 002 TB oversized snifter.

a - brew pours cloudy brown that settles in the glass as opaque dark brown with almost purple highlights. frothy cream colored head didn't hang but left streaks of lace on the glass.

s - nose is as advertised, brown ale with maple syrup. some sweet malts give hints of nuts, but not specifically pecan.

t/m/o - the first thing that jumps out is the body. fairly full bodied while having a very silky feel. juice like. flavor is very sweet raisin, prune, brown sugar with yes...pecan. super sweet, not boozy aside from the sweetness. yet another interesting beer from shorts. these are all fun to try but there are only a handful of shorts brews that i would want a 6'er of and this one fits the one and done category.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy dark brown with a half-finger tan head. The head dissapates extremely quickly leaving lots of spotty lacing.

S - Aromas of maple syrup, pecans, dark fruits, and booze.

T - The flavor starts with maple syrup and candied pecans. Dark fruits, nutmeg, & vanilla appear midpalate. There is some booziness and piney hoppiness in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Soft syrupy mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - Another solid beer from Short's. The booziness is a tad strong and this could good be great with some aging.

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Photo of Sliqjonz
2.45/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Nice deep brown color. Wow, a lot boozier than I was expecting. Falls pretty flat once you get past the booziness. The pecans & syrup are there, but very subtle. Honestly, if it didn't day they were in there, I probably wouldn't have picked them out. I'd like to pick up another & cellar for a bit & then revisit it.

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Photo of hardysf
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasty beer. Smells like syrup and pecans. A touch boozy right now. Less boozy when first poured. Will sit on a few bottles and retaste in a few months.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Another6Pack for this one! 12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark brown color. The head is two fingers high and off-white in shade. Retention is about average for its gravity. A small amount of lacing sticks to the glass. (3.25)

Smell: This needs a bit of time to open up. When it does, it unfurls powerful notes of caramel and maple syrup. I'm also getting a lot of dark fruit and cherry esters, as well as a touch of alcohol. Unfortunately, I don't pick up much pecan. The maple really takes it a step beyond the average double brown ale...but not much beyond a step. Still, a good nose. (3.5)

Taste: At first, I get a lot of maple. And I mean, a LOT of maple. This quickly transforms into mid-taste flavors of caramel, vanilla, pecan, and almonds. It finishes boozy, overly so in fact. Brown ales aren't my favorite, but this big version is well done. The adjuncts really add a much-needed twist to it. (3.5)

Mouthfeel: Well-attenuated for the style, but the feel is still on the slick and heavy side. The texture has a slight roughness to it, almost akin to oak tannins. It almost feels barrel aged - almost, mind. Carbonation offers a minor prickle, helping it go down more easily. (3.5)

Overall: First off, I'm decidedly not a fan of brown ales - I think I've said that a few dozen times already. Still, despite the flaws (mainly, it's too boozy), it offers a nice yet subtle twist on the style. Personally, I'd rather see a maple stout...but beggars can't be choosers, eh? ;) (3.5)

3.49/5: Well, I certainly wouldn't mind pouring this on my pancakes

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Photo of FaradayUncaged
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium, slightly murky brown with a small, light tan head. Soapy head with lingering lacing and a nice ring around the glass edge.

This one is a good exercise in proper temperature. Allowing to warm allows an otherwise boring aroma to really come out of its she'll. It's light, but lightly roasted malt, candied caramel, deep maple and a bit of alcohol is present and stings near the end.

The slight sweetness in the aroma disappears for the taste. More caramel here, earthy/nuttiness that must be pecan and maple undertones. All mix and play nice throughout with a dry and slight bitterness making itself known. And ever so slight presence of alcohol on the finish.

Body is medium and I'd prefer a bit more full to really highlight the maple here.

Overall another very nice offering from Short's. I wouldn't mind some aging to dissipate some of the alcohol and may add to the mouthful, but all in all a solid beer. Allow it to get halfway to room temperature before sampling.

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Photo of Chris_the_Tartar
4.41/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Color of black coffee w/ 3 finger mocha head. Smell of malts and roasted nuts. Nuts and malts in the taste as well as Carmel notes that get stronger as you go and an oak flavor that lingers pleasantly. Surprising thick beer. Pretty solid and quite unique. glad I picked up a sixer.

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: deep brown and hazy with orange-red highlights; finger of tan foam left laces trailed behind

S: pecans and syrup and booze - some herbal and earthy elements; hints of spice and cinnamon

T: candied pecan and maple syrup flavors, slightly herbal and medicinal with some booze connotations, brown malty nuts and winter spice

M: medium body, modest carbonation, mildly bitter brown nut aftertaste

O: a decent brown ale with pecan and maple characteristics amply expressed

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Photo of PaulyB83
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 02/23/15

L- Deep hazy reddish brown, small light khaki head.

S- Fruity raisins, over ripe banana, light bit of apple. bit of alcohol.

T- Similar to aroma but with the alcohol coming out more, has an aftertaste that reminds me of pecans with a bit of a chalkiness.

F- Not too heavy for a high abv beer.

O- Pretty good but kinda hoping for more maple flavor.

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Photo of breakingbland
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a medium brown with ruby highlights. The scant head dissipated quickly. The pecan and maple do indeed add to this beer but in a fairly subtle way. The flavor profile is deep and rich and includes a barrel aged quality even though it's not a ba beer. There is a strong candy-like sweetness. The high gravity is evident but there is no alcoholic burn. The characteristics usually found in a brown ale are downplayed. The body and carb levels are a little on the light side but not objectionably so. I'll definitely look for this one again.

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Photo of Vogie
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 2/23/15. Served in a tulip glass.

Pours a thick dirty cinnamon color with a soapy off white head that leaves a ring around the edges of the glass. Aromas of cherries, dark fruits, cinnamon, dark bread, maybe a hint of maple syrup, and heavy alcohol. Tastes of brown sugar, cinnamon, dark break, alcohol, hints of maple syrup and nuttiness on the backend. Almost has a lingering sweet peanut butter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is heavy, a little harsh, heavy on alcohol, and a dry finish.

A speciality double brown ale indeed. This was a good brew in complexity and experimentation. I wish the maple syrup and pecans were pulled out more. However this is a balanced brown ale that offers a bit of dry and sweet. Perfect for the colder months of the year and true to Short's style.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into pilsner glass. Deep, rich brown in color with an off-white fizzy head that settles into a small, creamy cap. No lacing. Smell is roast malt, biscuit, and sweet sugar, fresh cut wood, and juicy plum. Tastes of sweet, dark fruit (plum, cherry), a boozy bite, dark bread, yeast, biscuit, and roasted pecans on the back end. Entirely too smooth drinking for the ABV, this one is going to sneak up on me, and no aftertaste. Full, chewy mouthfeel. Delicious little meal in a bottle.

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Photo of Beerguy1969
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A slightly heavy ale, which I was expecting but a little more than expected I suppose. What compensates for the heaviness is the slight sweetness the maple syrup brings to the mix. Overall a good beer that I would recommend to friends and partake of myself again if given the opportunity.

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

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 2/23/2015. Pours hazy dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of chocolate, caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, raisin, plum, apple, maple, light nuttiness, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and adjunct notes; with solid strength. Taste of big chocolate, caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, raisin, plum, apple, maple, light nuttiness, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light earthy herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, raisin, plum, apple, maple, light nuttiness, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and adjunct flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy and lightly slick/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with a light-moderate warming that lingers after the finish; but never really feels boozy. Overall this is a very nice imperial brown ale. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and adjunct flavors; and quite smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. Definitely could use some aging time to smooth out the warming alcohol, but still a very enjoyable offering right now.

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

Received a bottle of Woodmaster during a Michigan road trip beer swap. This was actually bottled back in December of 2012. I'm sure the maple and pecan taste has faded, but it still packed a punch. Looking forward to trying this fresh!

Update: 2015 batch consumed April '15 - definitely more boozy, maple syrup present. Missing that strong pecan flavor though. Will age the remaining bottles.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 fl. oz. bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It is a ruddy brown color with amber highlights. It is topped with an inch of mocha head.

S - I smell some sweet chocolate and the maple syrup. It does have a nutty smell to it, as well.

T - This beer starts out sweet with a touch of alcohol. Then it finishes with earthy, nutty brown ale flavors. The finish has enough bitterness to cancel out the sweetness up front.

M - Medium to full.

O - This is one flavorful brown ale. It gives me a nice warming sensation on a chilly fall day. It is perfect for today's weather.

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Photo of stooge
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle dated 12/7/12; tasted on 6/5/13 in a Hair of the Dog tulip glass.

A- dark brown and cloudy, slightly opaque
S- subtle sweetness, maple and vanilla
T- slightly sweet and well-balanced with hints of maple, vanilla, pecans, and dark fruits that blend very well in harmony together.
M- just the right amount of carbonation for the style, not too much as you would expect from a brown ale.
O- quite enjoyable, excellent blend of flavors that complement each other well. This has become my favorite Short's offering, which says a lot. Not too sweet, not too carbonated, and not too complex; they really hit a home run with this one. Highly recommended!

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Photo of sleuthdog
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Thanks out to rpbuckeye for this one

Poured into my new Short's pint courtesy of rpbuckeye also

Pour: A nice rusty brown with reddish hues when held up to the light. Maybe a half finger of dirty white head that decided not to hold on. No lacing even when trying to produce some.

Smell: Sweet with a nutty like touch on the nose. I do pick up on the maple aspect of this with some brown sugar and dark fruits. There is some roasty notes within everything else.

Taste: Sweet for sure with toasted malts and the pecans in the back and aftertaste. It is somewhat a big beer in that it is very sweet and maybe too much so. There is the sweetness that I guess is from the maple syrup but it also has a burn sugar like quality. I am not getting much alcohol if at all.

Mouthfeel: I would describe this as medium maybe because of the sticky feel that seems to cover the palate but yet it is thin at the same time. Hard to describe for me. It is smooth and creamy with a let down on the thinness of this beer. Carbonation seems medium.

Overall: First offering from Short's and I guess I would say it is just ok. It is pretty easy to drink despite it's fairly high ABV but just too sweet and a bit off balance. I like the uniqueness of the nut flavor with the sweetness.

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Photo of tigg924
3.64/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap @ Lord Hobo

Appearance: dark brown in color, clear, one inch head, medium carbonation

Smell: wood, nut, and sugar

Taste: big wood in the beginning, nut appears in the middle, and maple kisses the end, alcohol is noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy body, medium carbonation, sweet start with a bitter middle and slightly sweeter end, dry

Overall: A nice woodsy brown ale where I wish the maple was a bit more pronounced. Not a bad beer, but probably a victim of Shorts overall quality. I do not think the flavors burst here as much as they do with other Shorts beers. I would get this again, but there are others in the brand I would go to first.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very dark brown with very light dense foamy head. Not much lacing.

Vanilla, maple, sugar, roasty, sweet.

Very nutty flavor, dry and mouthy. Sugars are roasty and forward. Nothing is subtle about this brew. Carbonation is a nice medium with a slight agave finish. Flavor is a bit tight and could use sometime in the cellar.

Highly recommended, a great drinker even at 9.5%. Lots of unique aromas and flavors. Thanks Abanton for spreading the Shorts wealth.

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Woodmaster from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 366 ratings