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: 396
Photo of dfillius
4.15/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

A: Aggressive pour yields 2/3 finger yellowish-tan head with good retention. Hazy dark reddish-brown. Pretty.

S: Herbal and citrus hops, with some possibly sour notes. Smells very good. A character almost like a red wine, maybe a cabernet?

T: Pleasant bready and sweet malt with little hop. One of the best reds I've had. Very similar in taste to a nut brown, but with less roast and more caramel. Slight sour taste is a plus.

M: Mellow, smooth, creamy

D: Very good. I'd order a second and will probably buy six of these at some point.

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Photo of nickadams2
4.15/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A_Dark red with a thick khaki tan head. Moderate lacing.

S_Heavy malt. Nutty and tart fruits also coming through.

T_Nutty fruity flavor up front. Tart fruits has a slightly sour but pleasant taste. Nice combination.

M_Nice mouthfeel with nice carbonation.Not too heavy. Good for sessions.

D_Low abv and great flavor.Could easily polish off a few in one session.

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

New Beer Friday! A big thanks to erikkoppin for this great extra. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours a murky hazelnut orange into my SA Perfect Pint. About two fingers of tan colored head are achieved with a moderate pour. The head dissipates relatively fast leaving decent lacing.

Smell - A combination of sweet malty aromas mix with a tangy/sour lemony funk.

Taste - Similar to the smell, an odd mixture of sweet and sour tastes intermix. It honestly has a nutty flavor up front with some caramel notes which is followed by some somewhat sour lemon/orange twang. There is a sort of mustiness to this beer also, like an attic (I guess earthy notes also then?). To be honest, despite seemingly off putting with my description, it really isn't half bad.

Mouthfeel - Medium to light bodied, decent carbonation.

Drinkability - Not bad at all. I'm glad the sweeter/nutty flavors are up front because I prefer a more tangy/sour flavor at the backend of my sips. This beer is surprisingly better the more I drink it. However, as with most of the offerings I've had from Shorts, this is sort of a "one and done" type of deal. I'm glad I was able to try it but it's not something I would go in search of.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.31/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A- this one pours out a nice looking dark red body with a finger of khaki colored head made of very small bubbles. small spots of lacing left behind.

S- very malty. lots of caramel and toffee. some fruit in there also. it smells sweet. very little on the hop end.

T- the taste seems weird and unbalanced. its very malty without coming off as too sweet. more earthy than anything. lots of toffee and caramel malts, with a little bit of fruit in here too. the earthiness must come from the hops?

M- medium to full bodied with a low level of carbonation which makes this almost syrupy.

D- something very unusual for the style. not really my thing. i had high hopes and expectations for this one (and anything shorts does) but it didnt quite cut it.

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Photo of alexgash
4.13/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Darkish, slightly murky garnet. Thick, creamy finger of light khaki head. Nose full of malty goodness. Caramel mixes with cookie dough, honey-dipped biscuits, and earthy tobacco. There's also a slight bit of vegetal hop aroma.

Taste starts with some doughy, caramel sweetness. Slight mineral water bitterness and some flint around the edges. Earthy hop flavor and hints of tobacco. Lightly toasted malt and hints of bittersweet cocoa in the finish. Medium-bodied with a dry finish. Nice and tasty.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 4-10-10

Pours a cloudy red/amber color, with almost no head a thin filmy ring of lacing.

Smell is very sweet and tart, with strong wine-like fruity aromas. A little odd, but not bad.

Taste is very malty and earthy, followed by subtle, slightly fruity flavors. The finish is sharply bitter, with a earthy hop aftertaste. A little bland, but still tasty.

Mouthfeel is right for the style, a great thickness with just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is very good, great balance of hop flavor and feel.

Overall, a great hoppy session beer.

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Photo of webmanspidey
3.24/5  rDev -4.7%

Bottle poured into pint glass. This is a dark ruby-red amber color.

Smell is strangely sweet and sour-ish.. a mix of lemon, orange, and Chinese food, and raisins. Taste is sour and loaded with lemon peel, There are also some of the caramel/butter flavors typical of the style.

Alcohol presence is low, but the flavor isn't really pleasant. This is one of the few Shorts' beers I haven't really enjoyed.

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Photo of tubacharlie
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light hop scent. Poured aggressively it yields a four-finger head of an off-white color with a slightly ruddy complexion. Good retention, with some lacing stuck to the sides of the glass.

The slightly hazy, coppery red colored brew has a good hop presence up front, yielding to a middle-palate bitterness with a lightly malted backdrop. Lingering woodiness in the aftertaste with a bit of wild carrot astringency.

Not being familiar with the "Dark Red London Style", it seems decent enough to wash down some fish & chips, but not what I would order with a gourmet dinner.

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Photo of danielharper
3.71/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark reddish/amber with a very thick creamy brownish head. Clear body, but dark. Very interesting and inviting.

Smells very much like a traditional amber, but with a grainy fruitiness that adds complexity. Slight tartness and hints of sourness, not a lactic sourness or even a bretty sourness but just a traditional microbrewed Amber sour aroma.

Flavor is sweet, very grainy and bready, with a dry aftertaste and finish. Sourness is only present in the nose.

Mouthfeel moderately thick, creamy, with low carbonation and only a hint of hoppiness.

Overall quite drinkable, a decent beer, easy to consume, and worth the cost of the ten-dollar sixer. Overall I just don't have a lot to say.

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Photo of malty
3.33/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1oz bte stamped '030810' - so this is about as fresh as it gets.

Pours into my nonic pint glass a brilliantly clear dark mohagony clorwith a loose & bilowing 2 1/2 " light tan had. Moderate amount of visible uprisng carbonation. Good lacing.

Mmmm...sweet roasty grains wih a hint of carob and dark fruit. There's also a faint sourness that goes well with the sweetness. A wierd (but also good) vegetal aroma is present, kind of reminds me of carrot juice. This baby is all about malt.

Weird wet cardboard and dusty flavor right of the bat. Sweet, sour and roasty malts taste pretty similar to what I perceived in the smell dept. A little bit of a chalky finish in there as well.

Mouthfeel is a bit lighter than medium with a lower than normal carbonation level.

Drinkability is good. Unintrusive and quite solid.

Overall a good amber ale, but not great. Glad I tried it but probably won't go back for more. My first so-so brew from Shorts.

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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 Blob77
3.84/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: average appearance, nice dark red color. looks like it should

S: The smell was appetizing, not to strong but present. compared to other reds the smell was more pronounced.

T: Taste was above average for me. Usualy I would not buy a red but i try anything shorts makes, and i was very pleased with this beer. It had a much more full or heavy taste compared to other reds that i have tried.

M: Mouthfeel, not mush to say. it felt like liquid

D: Drinkability of this beer was good. I could sit down and drink these all night.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.42/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- A deep, bloody red with some orange highlights in there. The head is quick to fall and leaves just a few splotches. Rather dead looking.

S- Butter, earth, caramel, a bit floral, and some chocolate. Very English smelling.

T- Sweet caramel and earth. Some chocolate notes are there on the tail end. Buttery and very English.

M- Very smooth but pretty flat. A bit of a lasting bitterness at the end, but it doesn't really seem to be hop associated.

D- A sweet, buttery beer. Not really a stand out, but it wasn't bad.

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Photo of techfed87
4.19/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice, thick head. Color is a solid, clear amber.

Smell is surprisingly sweet, coming off almost as a sucrose grape.

First sip has a number of qualities with sour grapes. Malt is added as a nice foundation for the beer overall. Sweetness is there, but significantly less than what was present in the nose before. It almost has a buttery taste to it that I didn't expect to get out of a Red Ale. It's new and very interesting.

I've never had a bad beer from Short's and this definitely keeps with the trend. Pick one up sometime!

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Photo of laninjafork
4.88/5  rDev +43.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Short's brewpub
Magician is a London Red Ale. Strong toffee and caramel nose, pours beautifully with a nice strong head that diminishes slowly to a light foam. Taste is chocolate biscuit up front that takes a slow ride through toffee, malty bread, and caramel and finishes raisin. Wonderfully complex, a malt lover's beer, but tasty and complex enough to win over some hop heads as well.

Like most Short's brews, the mouthfeel was spot-on, the kind of thing that I strive to recreate in my homebrewing efforts. Gold standard for malt heavy ales, and lives up to its name as well, truly magical. I cant wait to see this on tap at my local, Bellaire is a bit of a drive from down here! I imagine that tasting it at the source can not be beat though!

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Photo of frazbri
4.23/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Magician poured deep red to mahogany in color topped by two fingers of creamy, off-white head. Aroma was sweet and malty with notes of raisins and sasafras. Flavor had notes of toffee and cola. Body was medium in fullness with moderate carbonation. Finish was clean and dry.

The current version of the Magician has an ABV of about 5%. It's a sessionable amber ale. Remember, hops are wonderful, but sometimes a good malty ale is just as great.

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Photo of drxandy
3.88/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ crunchy's in east lansing, mi on 5/25/08, served in a 25oz mug. Deep reddish brown, nice small white head, medium carbonation

smells of sweet malts, bitterness, hints of cherry and chocolate

tastes crisp, appley, roasty malts, almost like a porter of sorts mixed with cider, nice balance, hops play nicely in background

mouthfeel is creamy, slightly bitter, good texture and easy to drink.

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Photo of CortexBomb
3.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Magician is listed as Short's Amber, though I think it more closely fits the Oktoberfest style based on its colour and flavour profile.

The pour is hazy amber, mild lacing. The nose is light caramel, some roasted malts.

The flavour is what I would term a standard for the Oktoberfest style: biscuit with strong caramel effects. Bread. Malts. The vaguest hints of raisin. Nothing aggressive, just a crisp, Fall style beer.

The mouth feel is a touch above average for the style, ditto on the drinkability.

For an Amber, I would rate Magician a decent pick. I like Oktoberfest beers, and this reminds me strongly of that style. If it was available year-around at a bar near me, I would probably drink it semi-regularly, because it bridges the gap between tasty and quaffable pretty well. It's nothing remarkable, but I like what it has to offer.

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Short's The Magician from Short's Brewing Company
3.4 out of 5 based on 396 ratings.
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