Short's The Woodmaster | Short's Brewing Company

BA SCORE
85
very good
349 Ratings
Short's The WoodmasterShort's The Woodmaster
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
349
Reviews:
134
Avg:
3.78
pDev:
14.55%
 
 
Wants:
53
Gots:
58
For Trade:
5
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 349 |  Reviews: 134
Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Calculat0r
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of jbierling
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Rereviewed Sept 17, 2014 - Super hoppy balance from cellared beer twin of previous review. Still 4.5.

103 characters

Photo of hollerined
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of avaldivia
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of EJLinneman
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Whenever I hear that Shorts is coming out with a new beer, I always try to get my hands on it. The beers are always at the very least, interesting. This beer is no different. Short’s describes The Woodmaster as a “High gravity brown ale fermented with Michigan maple syrup & toasted pecans”.

The beer pours a very dark brown color. It’s almost to the point where I could mistake it for a porter. It’s well carbonated and a crème colored pillow of head forms and lasts for a few minutes. The head disappears and leaves a healthy amount of lacing along the sides of the glass.

Although this is brewed with maple syrup, the smell of it is very faint. There’s sweetness to the smell, but it comes off more as a milky sweetness. You can almost tell the type of mouthfeel this is going to have before you even drink it. As it warms that same sweetness comes out more, but very subtlety little by little. When it finally hits the optimal point, it’s smelly creamy with a little bit of syrup and pecans in the background.

At first taste it’s mildly sweet and you can taste the syrup a little bit. The syrup doesn’t make a huge impression, but it’s there. It then takes a dive into bitterness territory with still containing that slight sweetness. The bitterness splits off into an alcohol burn which melds itself with the bitterness– But again, nothing over powering. I’d say the most intense flavor that I’m getting is the herbal bitter finish which lasts for a substantial amount of time. It’s a rollercoaster and I don’t really know what to think of it. I’m intrigued, but mostly because I’m slightly confused with what just happened.

The mouthfeel is very light considering the alcohol content (9.5%). I could probably drink a few of these without a problem. Although I feel that it would probably get a little more difficult after 3.

Overall, it’s a good beer, but I’ve had much better from Shorts. My anticipation going into it was that I it would be much sweeter. However, the herbal woody taste – although not bad – really surprised me. I probably wouldn’t seek this beer out, but was glad I tried it.

 2,152 characters

Photo of madeofsteel
4.12/5  rDev +9%
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.

 635 characters

Photo of bezakjon
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of montyeric
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of natemort13
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown with a slightly caramel colored head that dissipates quickly.

Definitely get the pecans on the nose. Some maple, brown sugar. Caramel, very sweet and pleasant.

Lots of pecan in the taste, slight warming booze. Nutty finish. Hint of coffee. Maple in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium full, a little slick.

Delicious, doesn't over do it on the maple. It's understated but present throughout. Nice winter beer.

 433 characters

Photo of Diomede
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of DrDemento456
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear dark brown with a nice 1/2 inch of tan colored head with excellent lacing.

S - Well it smells very sweet with pecans, toasted malts, syrup, and a touch of brown malts. Maybe some chocolate but I got to reach for it.

T - Alcohol is pretty strong in the taste which is kind of a let down. Quickly it moves to pecans and then finishes sweet with what I hope is the syrup. Wished it was as balanced as the soft parade...

M - Medium to heavy. It's weird because I can taste the alcohol but I get little to no burn.

Overall I was kind of excited to try this, then reviews of bozzyness let me down a bit, finally the confirm that it taste boozy really sucks. So far my least favorite shorts beer. I guess to do an imperial brown ale with this high ABV then avoid boozy flavors is impossible.

 798 characters

Photo of SuperNova777
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of jburchett
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Mitchster
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$2.19 for a 12oz single @ BevCo. Fermented with maple syrup and toasted pecans. No ABV per the bottle or website.

Pours out to a clear dark mahogany, forming a modest yellow head with good retention and nice creamy sheets of lacing. Appears to be filtered, no sediment in the bottle. Mild to moderate carbonation. The aroma is of a strong brown ale with notes of carob, milk chocolate, earthy roasted malts, and definitely a nuttiness although I couldn't tell you it was pecans. The mouthfeel is rich with a dense body. The taste opens with carob and dark fruit...raisins, dates and figs, brown sugar and then is followed by a brief wave of higher alcohols, giving it some yeasty rotting pear and pepper flavors. Moderately sweet. Mild Herbal woody bitterness. Finish of leather.

Hrmmm, an interesting beer. This would be a great beer if it were not for the boozy fusel alcohols with limit it's drinkability, and if it were a touch less sweet and lower alcohol.

 964 characters

Photo of adamdd
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of goast8127
5/5  rDev +32.3%

Photo of stakem
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to StormKing47 for hooking me up with a 12oz bottle of this. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears a dark brown color with more of a mahogany clarity about it as it is held to the light. It displays a finger of tan head that quickly recedes to a thin film across the top and leaves fingers of lace sticking to the glass.

The aroma has a bit of tangy alcohol that I have noticed is fairly similar to other shorts brews. It mixes with some nutty grain sweetness. A bit of toffee and vanilla mix with a solid amount of brown sugar. As it warms up, it gets a little toasty smelling and some herbal hops emerge with a note of sulfur across the back.

The taste is herbal and nutty with a grain flavor that is toasty. Some brown sugar flavoring is present along with more nutty grain aspects that never quite get to be sweet. The alcohol is prevalent with a warmth and mild fusel character. The finish is primarily a mixture of herbal hops and a bitterness that includes enough alcohol to almost make this medicinal with a hint of raw woodiness.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. It is quite bold and shows hints of the character and ingredients displayed on the bottle. However, the description sounds better than this brew tastes. I think if the alcohol was toned down there could be more focus on the flavoring without it getting caught up in all the alcohol character.

 1,411 characters

Photo of TimoP
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of funkel81
2/5  rDev -47.1%

Photo of qwertyiop
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Finchum
1/5  rDev -73.5%

Photo of StoutHunter
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Short's The Woodmaster last week for $2.19 at The Lager Mill. I was bummed that I missed out on this beer last year, so when I saw it on the shelf this year I knew I had to pick up a couple bottles, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I know it's fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label on this beer looks good and it has a northern Michigan winter feel to it, I like it. It poured a nice deep brown color that took on a ruby red color when held to the light and it had three fingers worth of fluffy tan head that died down to a thick layer that stayed till the end and it left some nice sheets of lacing. This is a damn good looking American Brown Ale.

S- The aroma seems prefect for a cold winter night, it starts off with some sweet roasted malts that impart some nice roasted, chocolate, and vanilla aromas. Next comes the maple syrup and the pecans, both stick out enough to notice them and the pecans add some nice nutty complexity to the aroma. I didn't pick up any hops, but I did pick a slight alcohol aroma. This beer has a great rich, robust and nutty aroma that I really enjoyed and the aroma suits the cold winter months nicely.

T- The taste follows the nose nicely but it doesn't seem as robust as it did in the aroma. It starts off with loads of sweet medium roasted malts that impart some nice roasty flavors that makes a nice base for this beer. Next comes the maple syrup and the pecans which are there but the maple syrup doesn't stick out as much as it did in the aroma and the pecans impart a very nice nutty flavor. On the finish comes a slight coffee taste along with a little bit of booze and a low amount of medium bitterness, the aftertaste was full of roasted malts and nuts. This beer tasted good, but it wasn't as robust and complex as the aroma was.

M- Smooth, slightly cream, slightly cloying, it was medium bodied but still felt a little thin and it had the perfect amount of carbonation. If the body was a little thicker the mouthfeel would be spot on.

Overall I thought that this was an above average beer and a pretty good American Brown Ale that was quite unique for it's style and it fit the winter months nicely. This beer had pretty good drinkability, I could go for another one, but after that I think the sweetness and alcohol percentage would start to get to me, but it went down pretty smooth with not too much alcohol showing up for 9.5% beer. What I liked most about this beer was the appearance and the aroma, they were both just about as good as it gets, I could smell this beer all day, that's how good the aroma was. What I liked least about this beer was how the body felt a little thin and watery and how the taste wasn't as robust and complex as the aroma. I will for sure buy this again if it is released next year, I am glad I went back and got a six pack. This beer is worth giving a try if your are a fan of nutty brown ales, this one stands out instead of blending into the crowd. I enjoyed this beer, I like the complexity that the maple syrup and pecans added, it was just enough to make for a good flavor and great aroma without feeling overdone. Short's really did a good job on this beer it seems like they have a special gift for knowing exactly what added ingredients work best with what styles to make for a truly unique and memorable beer, and to me that's what Short's does best, they make memorable beers and this one is no exception, great job guys.

 3,506 characters

Photo of Supergenious
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of mrebeka
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe