Woodmaster | Short's Brewing Company

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365 Ratings

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

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 365 |  Reviews: 136
Reviews by zoso1967:
Photo of zoso1967
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Woodmaster pours a fairly cloudy, deep woody (go figure) brown color with a light tan cap of foam. The foam has nice staying power and leaves equally nice lace.

The aroma is sweet and malty with plenty of brown sugar, some maple and a bit of toffee. It also has that sort of earthy spice to it that seems so common in Short's larger beers. I also can detect just a bit of alcoholic heat and perhaps even some vanilla.

The flavor is also quite malty with a pretty big punch of dark and rich fruity sweetness. The malt character of this beer also has a good dose of molasses and plenty of maple goodness. Probably my favorite aspect of this beer is that all this sweetness melts away to reveal a nice nutty and slightly toasty character that you would find in a more traditional brown. It is a very smooth transition that makes the beer very balanced and makes me want to take another sip.

The mouthfeel is also quit pleasant. Nice and smooth with a medium body. The finish is slightly sticky, but at the same time has enough dryness to keep it from getting out of control. Toasted nutty notes linger on my palate after swallowing.

This might not be as drinkable as a standard brown ale, but it is much more drinkable than many other beers of its size and malt character. When I smelled this and got all that malt in my nose, I figured it would be a sipper, but the nuttiness on the end helps it go down faster. This is a very well made beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Swettenham_Shire
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
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 BenHoppy
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
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 DanGeo
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tectactoe
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a mostly opaque, murky brown color, slightly reminiscent of a quad with less red tones in it; some light shines through the edges, but not much. Beige colored head settles down quick and leaves just a little bit of lacing on the way down. Aroma is full of some damp chocolate notes, toasted malts, faint nuts, and rubbing alcohol. The alcoholic aroma is actually quite strong - I don't smell much maple syrup as advertised. The taste, however, delivers with a bit of that maple goodness I was looking for; very nutty, woodsy, and maple flavored. Some toasted malts to back it up; light earthiness and not much of a hop profile to speak of. However, that rubbing alcohol flavor was abundant and almost a little too distracting, which was unfortunate. It was almost a little like nail polish remover - just kind of strong and in the way, but not enough to ruin the beer for me. Medium body, medium-high carbonation.

Pretty tasty beer - unfortunately, I think the alcoholic body masks some of the flavors a bit, and if that were toned down a little, this beer would be pretty damn good.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes written on 2/23/11.

The Woodmaster (great name and artwork combination) pours moderately dark brown with an attractive hint of mahogany. The head is beige and about one finger tall after a down-the-middle pour into a large snifter. The lacing looks very much how a shaken up snow globe appears.

I can definitely smell the maple and pecan influences over top of a big, brown ale aroma, which is slightly nutty and very heavy on brown sugar. Other scents of caramel and toffee slip into the bouquet. Just judging by the smell, I would love to have this beverage at a campfire on a cold autumn night.

The Woodmaster has a really unique and oh-so-yummy taste. The maple syrup flavor is the highlight for me and it blends nicely with the brown sugar and caramel notes that I would expect an Imperial Brown to have. The finish is nicely nutty and toasty on my tongue as the pecans take over. Perhaps some hops and a little bit of alcoholic heat add to the finish.

The mouthfeel is a fine medium body and has perfect carbonation for the beer. The finish isn't necessarily drying, but it has a toasty snap at the end of each sip.

Well, The Woodmaster certainly isn't sessionable, but it is a beer that I enjoy greatly. The two Imperial Browns that I have had from Shorts (this and Good Humans), have both been standouts and I am impressed with how different the two taste, while still remaining pretty similar. This is one of those beers that I am surprised by how good it is every time that I drink it.

 1,524 characters

Photo of SanFranJake
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from BA Mag Oct 2007.

Extreme beer will never die, it will just become more difficult to be original. Original is what The Woodmaster is, a Double Brown Ale fermented with earthwork maple syrup and toasted pecans. Number 7 of 13 in their Imperial Beer Series.

The carbonation struggles through the semi-viscous brew to form a tight tiny-bubbled tan lace. Mildly hazed dark-mahogany color has a dull glow when put up to the light. This maple-caramel fusion jumps at the nose with suggestions of date sugar, ripe strawberries, rum and cocoa powder in the back. Very smooth at first sip but then the creaminess takes over with a lush full body. Mellow toasted-malt blankets the palate and cradles the rounded fruity ester and mild earthy, nutty character of the maple and pecans. Alcohol is very warming but does not get hot, hops are laid back and simply balance in their faded state. A tad mineral or salty in the semi-sweet finish.

How is a beer of 9.5% ABV so damn drinkable? It's scary in a way as this is a sipper, so make sure you have a friend or two to share the bottle with ... or not. The maple syrup does add a good amount of depth, as well as the pecans even though they stay a little vague. Vite Estreme Della Birra!

 1,244 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. #313 of 936.

Deep brown and opaque with a half inch of light tan head on top. Big brown malts with a nice sweetness from the highly evident maple syrup. Earthy with caramel accents as well along with a nutty undertone. Rich and inviting.

First sip brings smooth brown malts with sweet caramel accents. Toasted pecans come through quite nicely as well as fresh maple syrup flavors. Roasty brew with a smooth finish. Nutty, malty and overall just damn yummy.

Medium body and creamy with good carbonation. This was wonderful brew and a gem in a great series of beers from Short's. The last of the Imperial Series for me and it just leaves me wanting more, so give me more Joe!!

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Photo of nickadams2
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A_Dark brown with a reddish hue. Thick tan head that dissipates into a thin ring. Spotty lacing.

S_Pecans,caramelized brown sugar and maple syrup.

T_Maple syrup,rich pecans,caramel,brown sugar with a touch of heat from the alcohol. Warms with each sip.

M_Full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Slick mouthfeel.

D_Definite sipper. Pretty rich in taste.

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Photo of TimoP
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of tigg924
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
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 Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to RBlaszak for sending me this bottle.

The beer pours a dark reddish-brown color with a tan head. The aroma is very nice. I get some maple and caramel as well as some strong brown sugar notes.

The flavor is also very nice but is more complex than the aroma. I initially get a lot of brown sugar, caramel and maple notes. There is also some oak and pecan notes in the flavor. The alcohol is noticeable and the beer is very easy to drink. There is also the slightest bit of tartness in the flavor but I am not sure where it is coming from.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice brown ale.

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Photo of sculls65
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of jburchett
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of madeofsteel
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a nonic, it has a very pretty mahogany color. Some spotty lacing, and only a soapy ringlet around the outside.

S - Caramel, brown sugar, pecans, and warming/crisp alcohol. Inviting, it screams wintery desert beer.

T - Over the top. Lots of brown sugar and maple. Pecan fights for attention over these, but sort of loses out. Very rich.

M - Messy in the cheeks (ha) and has a warming finish. Nice mellow carb.

O - I love all of the flavors presented, I just don't have much of a sweet tooth. This is just too rich for me, like the beer equivalent of pecan pie or somesuch. Certainly worth a turn of the head, though.

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Photo of SPRichard
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of BigRipCity
4.66/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of goast8127
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of johnyb
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of mdaschaf
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of king75
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of dmorley21
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of danp14
5/5  rDev +29.2%

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Woodmaster from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 365 ratings