Short's The Woodmaster | Short's Brewing Company

very good
349 Ratings
Short's The WoodmasterShort's The Woodmaster

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

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Double Brown Ale fermented with Northern Michigan maple syrup and toasted pecans

Added by BelgianAleSlut on 06-29-2007

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Ratings: 349 |  Reviews: 134
Photo of Finchum
1/5  rDev -73.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
1.38/5  rDev -63.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Thanks to GrandCruDrew for sending me this one!

Pours a murky dark brown with a 2 inch beige head that fades to a small cap. Nice rings of lace on the drink down. Smell is of hearty bread, roasted nuts, and maple. There is also a funky gym socks smell that ruins everything. I think this bottle may be infected. Taste confirms the infection. This is a sour beer on first sip, but I can taste the malty bread flavor, roasted nuts, and slight maple syrup. The infection issue is awful when combined with these flavors. Carbonation level is average. Overall, I bet this is a really good beer when it's normal but this was definitely infected.

 640 characters

Photo of TheDudeRules
1.58/5  rDev -58.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Reviewed from notes taken on 4-3-11.

Pours a light brown with an off white head. Nothing too fancy here. I'm picking up some sour on the nose. In fact it's controlling the scent.

Pretty light mouthfeel. A slight carbonation. The taste? Well that is downright horrific. Best way to describe it is toasted crushed up aspirin. A drain pour for sure.

Not sure what went wrong here. Bottle was maybe old? The beer flat out sucks? I'd like to say I would try it again, but if it never crosses my lips I'm fine with that outcome too. For sure an avoid at all costs.

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Photo of jodan
2/5  rDev -47.1%

Photo of funkel81
2/5  rDev -47.1%

Photo of womencantsail
2.05/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to Iain for sending me this one.

A: The pour is brown in color with a tall off-white/khaki colored head.

S: Sour. What. The. Hell. Some nail polish remover, vinegar, and toasted bread. Just an awful combination. A bit of cherry cough syrup on the finish, too.

T: The flavor is a bit better as it lacks much of the nail polish remover and cough syrup. But, it's still vinegary and sour. A bit of toasted malts and bread and a little nuttiness.

M: Medium in body with a medium to high carbonation.

O: Dear Shorts, learn how to bottle a fucking brown ale without it going sour

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Photo of CuriousMonk
2.36/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to hurfer for the extra. Poured from 12oz bottle (no date) into snifter glass. Pours a dark cola brown with hints of amber around the edges and a small off-white head that doesn't linger long and leaves only a swirl along the top with no lacing. The maple syrup is abundantly evident in the aroma, which is very sweet overall, with caramel and toffee coming through as well. There are hints of both the nuts and some booze which stings the nose slightly. I think I would describe the taste as a slightly more abrasive version of the nose. It's got the maple syrup which sticks to the palate along with the alcohol which makes its presence felt in the finish especially. The overall character is slightly toasty with the pecans showing up in the background. The mouthfeel is, no surprisingly, syrupy, and get almost cloying with the big maple syrup presence. The body is pretty heavy because of that and the carbonation is pretty light. This is not one of my favorites in the imperial series and the sweetness is enough to limit the drinkability. As I respect the originality of this style, it just isn't my style.

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Photo of kscaldef
2.38/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Murky brown topped by a 1-finger dark tan head

S: Roasty with some chocolate, dark fruit, and banana notes. Sort of bizarrely reminiscent of a peanut butter and banana sandwich.

T: Hits with more of that banana on the front of the tongue, then big roasty flavors that fade to a mild sourness like overripe fruit.

M: moderate carbonation & body, fairly long linger

O: Seems a bit odd and disjointed in the end. Interesting, but not what I would call pleasant. I have to wonder what's intentional here and what's not.

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Photo of otto251068
2.43/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Chimay chalice. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown with hints of a dark red color. Very cloudy with some bubbles sticking to the glass. A fingers worth of dense khaki colored head takes its time, finally rises, then fades to some nice swirling cloudy wisps.

Smell: The first and most potent aroma is the malts, very nice. Some caramel and definite sweetness there too. After the pour the alcohol really comes out, and the sweetness reminds me of some dark fruit, mostly raisins. A touch of red apple.

Taste: The dark fruits hit me initially, with just a touch of sweetness to it, also a bit of the maple syrup and toasted malts. Whew, the alcohol is definitely there (dominates the beer really), and has some bourbon qualities. Lots of sweetness at the very end, but this beer is dominated by the alcohol which pushes all the other subtle flavors aside.

Mouthfeel: Large body and light carbonation. Nice carbonation level for this beer. The beer drinks very smooth, and the light but prickly carbonation is nice. Towards the end of the beer the carbonation is all but gone.

Overall: I just can't get by the overwhelming bourbon and alcohol flavors. They are really overwhelming and overpower all the other flavors. Every bit of the 9.4 ABV is present.

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Photo of Sliqjonz
2.45/5  rDev -35.2%
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 dmorley21
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of Lunch
2.53/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle poured into a 16oz. Old Rasputin nonic pint glass.

As soon as I open this motherfucker I was greeted with what I thought was a hint of infection. Smelled sweet and sour as it poured a chestnut brown into the glass with a sizable head. Goddamnit, Short's get your act together. Infection is not as prominent in the taste which is dominated by a sweet maple. Overly carbonated and fizzy.

Beware of any of Short's beers in a bottle.

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Photo of RuckusDu
2.66/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Maybe a third of a finger of large bubble off yellow head. Falls to nothing. Body is slightly cloudy caramel color.

S - I think it is a typical Short's scent, but not one that is very pleasant to me and I don't know if that is true. Sour milk with some wood and biscuit.

T - That sour milk is still there, but not as strong. Good malt flavor that goes with that biscuit-ness.

M - Good carbonation with moderate body.

O - Not that great as the sourness dominates. The malty backbone helps, but not enough to make it great.

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Photo of Urbancaver
2.68/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pretty maroonish brown. A bit of head and highly carbonated... it really looks pretty darn good. Smells malty and sweet. There is a hint of something bitter on the nose that is a bit off but overall smells like a decent brown ale. Taste, however, is a different store... something is seriously off here. I can't tell if its intensional or not. sharp bitterness on the tongue. Some serious maltiness that would be good if not for the off flavours. The beer is thick and creamy almost and tastes pretty good but its seriously got osmething funky going on that isn't very good. I think shorts missed on this one

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Photo of rjcoy06
2.75/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of DonFrap
2.75/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of yourefragile
2.75/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of sennin
2.78/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled on January 2, 2012.
Poured into a pint glass on August 30, 2012

A: It's nothing special really. It is essentially what you would expect from a Brown Ale. But there is very little lacing and head retention, but I suppose that is a common trend with most of Short's brews. Even still, it is not a particularly "sticky" beer either, so the lacing doesn't really stay on the glass...a bit disappointing.

S: Not very good. I almost didn't drink this beer because of the smell alone! Sour milk is prominent scent up front with some dark chocolate, syrup, coffee, and burnt sugar like scent wavering around it. I know the beer has aged a bit, but honestly- it has hardly aged at all! Very odd smelling beer. But it isn't horribly off-putting I guess (I mean, I did still drink it).

T: This is a completely different story since the taste is actually quite alright. First taste is oddly of cherries to me with something of a coke like taste coming in a bit after. There is a subtle "nuttiness" in the background which I am sure is from the pecans. It later evolves into something of a coffee like taste. Syrup shows up much later in the tasting session but isn't prominent enough considering that it is a major ingredient in the beer. Regardless, it's a truly odd tasting beer, almost resembling a brown ale/cider fusion. Strange, but not necessarily bad.

M: Wet and silky on first taste, but quickly dries out, creating a kind of powdery feel on tongue. Bitterness is present and caresses the sides and back of the tongue. The dryness the brew leaves is a bit unpleasant though.

Overall, this beer was below average to me by Short's standards. I don't see myself buying it again anytime soon. But it may be worth trying for the odd experience it embodies alone.

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Photo of HeightsEats
2.98/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is dark brown, pretty much exactly what one would hope for a maple beer. Aroma is burnt caramel and maple, promising a flavorful, satisfying beer. Unfortunately, that promise ends up broken after a drink or two. The alcohol (9.5%) is not well-hidden at all, and a booze flavor predominates with just a little roasted malt and pecans in the aftertaste. I couldn't get through a bottle of this on its own, but having a meal to counterbalance the alcohol made it a little better.

Considering the high bar set by most Short's beers, this was a disappointment. A few months (or more) of ageing, though, might smooth out the flavors and improve it.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of phingdong
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of Honus1
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of BHansen214
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of Pelletben
3/5  rDev -20.6%

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Short's The Woodmaster from Short's Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 349 ratings.
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