Short's The Magician | Short's Brewing Company

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Short's The MagicianShort's The Magician

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

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
"A rich lustrous dark red London Ale. Rich malt complexities lending notes of toasted caramel, raisins, toffee, and slight roast chocolate. Very light hop additions let the true malt characters promenade throughout the tasting enjoyment this beer offers."

Added by CortexBomb on 03-21-2008

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Reviews: 168 | Ratings: 395
Photo of Cresant
1.03/5  rDev -69.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Purchased this and several other Short's beer while in Michigan in mid-October. I drove several hours out of my way to make a trip to Kalamazoo to pick up some Short's beers. I was very excited to try some of these well reviewed beers. I served this 12 oz. in a Sam Adams glass. No date. A hearty pour created no head. The body was hazy amber.

Smell was next to invisible. Nothing.

The taste was stale grape juice. I'm guessing this is what an infected beer tastes like. This is the third, and different Short's beer that I purchased and tried that tastes pretty much the same - terrible.

The mouthfeel was medium in body. I poured this one out. What a colossal disappointment.

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Photo of errantnight
1.57/5  rDev -53.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Well, Short's, I keep hearing good things, but your bottled offerings continue to be pretty terrible.

Poured into my Bruery tulip, this is a deep, deep amber, towards brown. No lacing, and just the faintest hint of retention in a ring around the outermost edge.

First warning is the nose, just overwhelming with green apple, only the faintest hint of the promised roast and toasted caramel malt underneath.

On the palate this is tangy, thin, insubstantial, and harsh. I suppose there's an impression of what might be a reasonably good beer buried in there, but it's lost.

I appreciate the thought in including this one, mothman, but this one was a failure.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
1.76/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours a dark, murky red body with a small, fast receding, off-white head.

S: Although the nose is very malt forward, tart cherries dominate the nose with toffee malt notes.

T: Tart cherries with a dry malty finish.

M: Light body, flat carbonation, thin texture.

D: I can safely say, from reading what it should taste like, that I got an infected bottle. From what I've received in a trade, 1 out of 2 Short's are infected or gone bad. Very disappointed.

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Photo of Avagadro
1.94/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours ruby red with a touch of cream colored head and a slight haze. I would have liked to see a less-hazy product, as well as a bit more of a head.

S: There is something off here immediately. Sweet caramel melds with diacetyl and a citrusy twang.

T: The same three contestants are present in the taste, battling over the terrirory. The result is a war-torn pallete that is less-than pleased.

M: Full bodied and slightly carbonated.

D: If it weren't for all of the other reviews posting similar experiences, I would swear that this is a bad batch. Way too much diacetyl, and there is also the weird twang. I don't know what it is, but it has no place being there. Their goal was to let the malts take the stage, but they failed.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
2.09/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured a dark murky brownish red with a two finger head that quickly disappeared. The aroma was sweet and malty with a trace of hops. This ale was way too cloying. A rich malt sweetness that never allowed the hops take hold. From the beginning to end this ale remained out of balance. Irish ales should provide enough bitterness to balance the heavy malt bill. A strange, cloying after taste was evident in the finish. This a an ale to avoid.

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Photo of JLeege
2.32/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance- Pours a deep amber with virtually no head.

Smell- Mostly dough/bready malts. Some dried fruit. A faint citrus hop presence.

Taste- Another very sweet beer from Shorts. Dark fruits up front, bready in the middle, weird on the finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, low carbonation.

Overall- In a word, Weird. Not a drain pour, but I would not drink this again. I wouldn't even qualify this as average for the style.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.38/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle without a visible bottling date poured in to Founders tulip.

A - Medium translucent amber/brown colour with one finger of tan coloured head that quickly receded to a few bubbles.

S - Floral aroma up front with caramel, toffee and earthy notes. Not a very inviting nose.

T - Big floral hop flavour up front with a moderate bitterness. The malts add a lot of sweetness and big toffee, dark caramel and brown sugar flavours.

M - Light body with moderate carbonation.

O - This was a drain pour for me. There was nothing about this - from the floral hop profile to the overly sweet malt bill - that was inviting to me.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
2.41/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

From notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Out of the bottle, my pour has a full amber color with a moderate off-white head.

The aroma is nearly non-existent. What smell does come out of the glass is toasted bread, caramel,

Some sweet caramel or toffee go along with a touch of toasted bread. Unfortunately, this is a very faint flavor and there is a processed, metallic flavor that is almost as noticeable.

The Magician has a very light body and medium carbonation.

This beer really does nothing for me except encourage me to dump it out.

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Photo of Reagan1984
2.43/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

2 fingers of foamy/fizzy beige head that shows decent retention. Like the name says a reddish, copper/amber colored beer.

Very Malty, a touch of black pepper, quite fruity.

Malty, slightly metallic and muddled sweetness. Not very good.

Body is too light for the flavor and style.

Not a fan of this beer. I continue to be baffled why some folks go crazy over Shorts. Frankly, I just don’t get it.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.44/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A-pours a dark reddish copper color, notes of ruby, tight off white head with thick lace.

S-the nose is a little off, notes of caramel and diacetyl. earthy malt with a peppery back.

T-the taste if funky, diacetyl has hit, lots of lactic acid, notes of caramel, earth, and a touch of dark fruit sweetness. light pepper and herbal hops in the back.

M-smooth, syrupy, thick but light body, low carbonation, almost like cough syrupy.

D-this is actually making me nautious. too syrupy and thick without enough carb to balance, tastes like caugh syrupy and diacetyl with lactic acid underneath. drain pour.

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Photo of billab914
2.44/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Starr Hill shaped glass. It poured a deep mahogany color, with a bit of a cherry red hue coming through when the light hits it. It had a thin, tan head barely covering the top of the beer after the pour

The aroma has a pretty big butterscotch and caramel sweetness to it. I also get a good dose of tart fruits coming through with some apple and grape, but more cherries then anything else. Definitely a very strange aroma, and not what I expected at all.

The taste also shows the tart fruits to it throughout the beer. I get more of a apple and strawberry flavor up front, while the tartness of the cherries come out in the finish and linger for a bit. I get a bit of the caramel and malty sweetness, but not nearly as much as was in the aroma. The flavors wouldn't be half bad if it was a fruit beer.

The mouthfeel was on the thinner side and carbonation was below average. Drinkability wasn't that good, it had some very strange flavors for the style. It felt very fruity and tart, which just didn't seem to fit at all. It didn't taste sour or infected at all, but something didn't seem quite right given the description of the beer.

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Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
2.45/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: its a murky red brown, cant see jack through it. off white one finger head, sticky thick lacing on the sides of the glass.
S: fairly nice nutty brown scents, dark fruits, fig and raisin. it borders with some of the nicer browns, and its not too sweet so i rather enjoy the smell. it leads you to believe theres a nice beer underneath.
T: blah. watered down flavors, im really not getting much out of this one. to me its a brown that never quite made it (i know its an irish red). lackluster malt presence and boring figgy blah.... blah blah blah...
M: i just feel like i added a glass of water to an already boring beer, i dont get anything out of this.
D: ill finish it, but i might take a nap in between.

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Photo of DovaliHops
2.46/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a murky dark red color with small white head. Scent is malty and grainy with a hint of caramel. Taste is initially toffee and caramel, but immediately followed by a skunky/tart off-flavor. The maltiness is put off by this. Now I LOVE me some tart/sour beers, but this one is just not that pleasant. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and a little light. Drinkability is fair. Overall, this is not a good beer at all. Would not seek this out again.

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Photo of bigaltemple
2.47/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Looks like a flat Pepsi until held to the light which allows you to see some ruby red hues. Head is nonexistent.

S - Caramel malt. Faint scent of raisins.

T - Very sweet turns to burnt toffee. Weird, off-flavored aftertaste lingers for way too long.

M - Very thin. Almost no carbonation.

O - Well, I can say I've had it. Tried to be objective, but have a hard time finding any redeeming quality of this one.

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Photo of maximum12
2.48/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Well, this bottle jumped out of the fridge into my hand after a long, hard day serving as a diving platform at the beach for my two girls. I'm tired & hot. Time for a beer & sustenance to cure...well, nothing.

Pours a heart-dark red; little to no evident carbonation. Smells of any persuasion are also scarce. A sloppy, beer-spilling swirl brings only faint sweet malts to the surface. Underwhelming to this point.

The Magician could make up for this by killer taste but alas, it's not to be. The rare beer where nuttiness is the first shot from the barrel, but it mixes quickly with a strange, tart off-taste (now that I glance through the reviews, guess this isn't so uncommon). Sweet caramel, malts almost manage to subdue the bitter sourness, but not quite. It lingers & really messes up what otherwise might have been quite a tasty brew. Pretty simple, but I crave simple & good! Wouldn't want more than one of these, & twelve ounces might be too much.

Disappointing. Short's brews often contain flashes of incoherent brilliance that leaves one reeling, but this is another effort marred by...something. Faint sour notes really bring this one down. Coulda been a contender.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.51/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance -- Pours a deep ruddy amber with two fingers of beige head that dissipate into nothing.

Smell -- The most prominent smell is of red wine vinegar. Beneath this tart and tangy haze is toffee, dark chocolate, char, and smoke.

Taste -- Much like the nose, the most prominent note is red wine vinegar. Beyond that there is a lot of dry, roasty malt character such as burnt toast, baker's chocolate, and dark fruits. Earthy/herbal hops in the finish. Also, some buttery diacetyl is present, but not nearly as pronounced as the tartness.

Mouthfeel -- Medium to full in body with moderate prickly carbonation. A bit heavy to be honest.

Drinkability -- As soon as I got a whiff of this, I swore it was infected. Upon reading a few reviews I found out that this is just the character of the beer: dry and roasty + tart/lacto + diacetyl. I typically like dry and roasty red ales, but this was a bit of a mess. On the heels of Bellaire Brown, this was a big letdown.

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Photo of ppoitras
2.53/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle purchased as a single at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" dark tan head over the cloudy red brew. Hue is exactly the red I would expect for the style. Head fades at a relatively rapid pace, with fleeting lace. Aroma is slightly sour fruits with an underlying sweetness.

Taste begins sweet, sour cherries in the middle, with a lightly chalky close. More sour than would hope/expect. Mouthfeel is average, and drinkability is okay. Not sure what is up with the sour, but since it was only in-state for a limited amount of time, I have to assume that this is what it should be.

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Photo of semibaked
2.55/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a Pint Glass

A - Pours a dark brown with reddish highlights and produces a small amount of head and no much lacing.

S - Really strong smell of malts, caramel, butter and dirt. Weird combo I know, there is certainly no hops around these parts.

T - I get the sweetness which is good but then that dirt/soil flavor kicks in (I know you say how does he know what dirt tastes like but hey that's the impression I get from this), just unpleasant.

M - Light to Medium bodied, some oily notes and medium carbonation.

D - REALLY DISSAPOINTED with this, I love Short's beers overall but this is by far my least favorite, I am bummed I have 4 more bottles of it. Oh well.

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Photo of papat444
2.61/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to grub for this one.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, bottled 03-11-10.

Appearance: A strong, one finger head with a light brown/ruby red body.

Smell: Malty, fruit, a little sweet but it's all very faint.

Taste: Ummm, more tartness. Actually, it's a bit more balanced and there is more flavor depth here with the overriding fruit being cherries. It's not offensive but it's not really what i wanted, especially after the first Short's i had.

Mouthfeel: Next to no carbonation though the body is fuller than the first Short's.

Drinkability: Half a glass was enough for me.

Overall: The flavor profile is way too accentuated towards tart fruits which is not what i look for in a red ale. Better than the Bellaire but not my cup of tea.

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Photo of association330
2.63/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle, no freshness date

A - Pours ruby, with a fleeting light tan head that fades to a thick ring of bubbles with a fair bit of lacing.

S - Distinct herbal/earthy/tea-like aroma, with a hint of malt, grapefruit rind, and perhaps even a spicy rye trait.

T - Tough to peg down. Initial sweet maltiness quickly gives way to an herbal character. Swallow of spicy/earth hops and way too much sour citrus note. Lingering herbal aftertaste. Weird and not characteristic of the style.

M - Body and carbonation are on the light side of moderate.

D - If the bottle was fizzy, I could say with certainty that this had been infected, but it wasn't and the contents weren't quite at the vinegary, puckering level of "infected sour". Still, I have to believe this bottle was at least partially infected. Perhaps this is what the brewers intended, in which case it's one screwed up Irish Red Ale.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
2.67/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle from RocPorterFanatic in the Chillin and Grillin BIF. Into a SA Perfect Pint.

A: Slightly turbid red/brown in color. An aggressive pour yields a half inch of head that disappears as fast as it arrives. No lacing to speak of. A few small bubbles meander lazily to the top of the glass.

S: Toasted bread, a bit of roasted malts, some pretty nice caramel flavors. Raisins and a fair amount of toffee as well. Nice malty smelling beer.

T: Huh, didn't get that in the smell definitely infected. Caramel malts, raisins, and a slight bit of acetic acid. Not full on Flanders Red sour, but the first thing I taste is reminiscent of one. Lots of cereal like grains and almost no hop profile. If the tartness wasn't there, this would be a lot better. Unfortunately I don't think this was planned to be infected like this.

M: Medium body, lighter carbonation, tart on the finish.

O: I didn't pick hardly any of the infection in the nose, but it's definitely there in the taste. This wouldn't be a bad beer if it weren't for the infection.

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Photo of jmarsh123
2.73/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark amber/copper with a 1 finger off-white head leaving some lacing.

Very malty aroma. A slight hop spiciness is present.

Starts off with a heavy malt sweetness rounding out into a tangy slightly spicy aftertaste. Beginning to think this is a common theme to Short's yeast strain and not one I'm a fan of.

Good medium mouthfeel and medium-low carbonation levels.

The tangy aftertaste kind of ruins this for me. Not bad before then, but nothing good going on either.

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Photo of Vonerichs
2.78/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Clear deep red with a thin head.

Scent is fruit and raisin. I also picked up an odd whiff of what resembled chili powder.

Not a big fan of the taste. There are some wierd things going on in there. I pick up some raisin, a light spiciness of hops, and again that chili powder referenced in the scent.

The body is heavily carbonated and thin. This takes a major hit in mouthfeel because of an off-putting chemical like astringency in my mouth, almost like a houshold cleaning product.

Overall, I found this beer unenjoyable and just not working together at all. I don't think this is a bad bottle in any way, there were just too many combinations that didn't work well.

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Photo of johnnnniee
2.78/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with cloudy glowing reddish highlights when put to light. Smallish off white head dissipates quickly. Smells of caramel, chocolate, sulfur, tart cherries, misc dark fruits. A rather odd smattering of aromas waft from my glass. Thankfully the raw sewage aroma that I thought I smelled after I first poured subsided. Taste is tart and fruity with a creamy finish. Mostly tart cherry maybe some plums mixed with some caramel or toffee malt flavors. Thinnish body, light level of carbonation. I don't know what I have here. It's listed as an Irish Red Ale, but tastes like a fruit beer. I would say its infected, but there is very little carbonation. It tastes ok if a little tart so how the hell do I rate this? Irish red this is not!

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Photo of akorsak
2.8/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A 12 oz bottle from Plum Market in A-Squared.

A: The red ale pours with an appropriately ruddy color, a darker hue that looks like an older penny, say an amber look. The ale had a small head on pour that quickly disappeared in my glass. A thin film covers the entire beer.

S: The red ale has plenty of caramel to go around, a sweet aroma with plenty of strength. Very syrupy with toffee running alongside the caramel.

T: While the nose is solid, the taste doesn't quite deliver. Roasted malts, with caramel in tow, are there. Unfortunately a metallic staleness keeps up step for step. The off flavors are mild but to control the ale. Another questionable bottle from Short's.

M & D: The off flavors ruins it the ale. Too bad too, because the nose has a really nice aroma.

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Short's The Magician from Short's Brewing Company
3.4 out of 5 based on 395 ratings.
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