Short's The Magician | Short's Brewing Company

Short's The MagicianShort's The Magician
398 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 398 |  Reviews: 169
Photo of cbutova
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours out red into a pint glass with a bit of a sediment haze. An off-white head builds to about a finger in size, creamy texture but lackluster retention. A coat of lace toward the bottom half of the glass from a small ring.

S- Nice notes of caramel, toffee and nutty malt come right away. Certainly a dark fruit and raisin vibe here as well. Good strength. Tart cherry takeover with time.

T- Crisp, balanced flavor. I get nutty malt, deep caramel, dark fruit (cherry, gain with each sip, approach medicinal), raisin, bread and toffee all working well in unison.

MF- Creamy light body with high carbonation. Slight bitter finish.

DB- The first few sips to me were very promising. The more I consumed, the more the tart cherry flavor built with an almost medicinal feel. What I thought was gonna be very good turned out decent in the end.

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Photo of cetherid
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into a tulip


Beer is a dark ruby color. A dark brownish color with red hues showing from the light. A small amount of off-white head the dissipated fairly quick.


First initial whiff I think it's a malty lager. I'm getting some carmel, toasted malts, perhaps a hint of fruit..llke cherry. Almost like I cracked open something from Sam Adams or Ayinger.


Possible infection, but kinda enjoyable. Slightly tart cherry taste which I doubt should be in there, but somewhat pleasant. Sweet malts are present, not much hop characteristics I'm getting however. If it wasn't for the slight fruity notes in this beer, I'd say it was a lager.


A little thin, but pretty good carbonation. A slightly drying finish. Pretty decent.


I guess the category is "overall" and not "drinkability" anymore. As with most Short's brews, I'd definitely try them on tap first before confirming 100% if I really like it or not....however as for bottles, I don't I grab another bottle of this. Availability is kinda low as they're only found in MI.

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Photo of Drazzamatazz
3.02/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a shimmery mahogany with a very slight head even for an aggressive pour.

S: For some reason I'm instantly reminded of Boston Lager. Toasted grain with some raw red malts. A bit of caramel sweetness balanced by the slightest presence of hops.

T: Sam Adams Light? The same malt aromas are here, only much more subdued. More toffee tasting than caramel, but the hops are way in the back. Malt is clearly the highlight here...but they don't really shine that brightly.

M: Thin to medium body with a medium of carbonation. Its strangely creamy, but leaves almost instantly which is why I say its somewhere between thin and medium.

O: Nothing offensive here, certainly easy drinking. On the other hand its really rather bland and boring. Normally this wouldn't be all that terrible, but you come to expect a certain profile from Short's and this doesn't live up to your hopes.

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Photo of jlindros
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another one thanks to grub that temporarily ended up in MA, but awesome for it anyways, and perfect for St Pattys Day.

An aggressive pour yields a smaller 1/4 finger head that barely covers, over copper lighter maroon reddish color.

Nose brings light toasty malts, reddish malts, a light sweet caramel malt, and slightest mild hop aroma. Typical red ale.

Taste is a typical red ale as well, smooth toasty malts, a semi sweet crystal malt, light caramel flavors, plenty of reddish medium malt flavors, this one brings a bit more bitter hops though, fairly bitter but not too much, a nice light crisp ale, some light spicy and touch of earthy hops. Finishes drier but a little sticky, lingering hop flavors, semi bitter, a bit earthy and spicy hops, some lingering toasty and slight biscuit malts, red malts all around.

Mouth is medium bodied with lower carbonation, it def could have been more carbonated.

Overall not bad, nothing special, just a typical reddish ale, with a decent hop base and decent malts, very drinkable, but with a slight sticky finish.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes:

appearance: redish brown with very small white head

smell: slight spice, malts, dark fruits,

taste: sour cherries, tangy aftertaste

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: this was interesting for sure. not the normal irish red. might need to find another bottle to compare.


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Photo of portia99
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle - taking advantage of the short window of opportunity with Shorts in MA recently. Poured into a Portsmouth tulip.

A - Pours a dark brown color, partially hazed, and also exhibiting some red in there too. Low head that fizzes away quickly to leave behind a marginal collar of fine off white bubbles and no lacing.

S - Roasty, sweet malt with earthy hops. A touch of caramel and some nuttiness as well. Just a touch of buttery diacetyl too.

T - Sweet malt, a bit of caramel and loads of earthy, dirt-like graininess and hop flavors. Mildly bitter but not a serious contributor to flavors. Smooth with some buttery diacetyl appearing in the flavors too (not a positive for me).

M - Smooth and creamy with a hint of tingle from the low/medium carbonation. Body is slightly on the high side of medium and is a bit oily on the tongue.

O - Overall, nothing special for me. It's fine, ok, not bad - just not that impressive. If at a bar and this is available I probably would not get unless it is facing off against the macro crowd and not much else. Its not at all offensive, just not that interesting either.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4.02/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours reddish brown with a yellow-cream colored had that dissipates to just a ring. No lace.

Toasted malt and tart fruit, raisins in the nose. Some brown bread as well. I like the nose on this alot; quite different.

Toasted malt, to the point of bitter, is the dominant flavor here. You may smell some fruit but it is gone. Over-browned toast, dark bread, and true earthy flavors. Some wood. This one starts bitter and stays there. It works.

Medium bodied, but decent carbonation. Some prickliness on the tongue.

A pub sipper. You can't blast thru this, and this is not a thirst quencher. Not a match really for food either. Very good and unique.

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Photo of EROlsizzle
3.92/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-dark, thick reddish-brown with very little head at all

S-Definitely some fruitiness in the smell, similar to raisins. It may be the look of it, but it reminds me of a fruity red wine

T-Definitely heavy malt, but with a good toastiness throughout that keeps it from becoming too heavy or too sweet

M-Very thick and very smooth. Didn't pick up much hint of carbonation at all

D-This was one of the best reds I've had. I thought the flavors blended together well and made me want another sip each time. Most reds take a little lip-smacking between sips, but this one was pleasant

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Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Champagne's seasonals. Reddish tinge. The head dissapears quickly. Neutral smell. Creamy mouthfeel, however, the sourness I associate with this brewery was everpresent in the finish, and added and subtracted to the experience. I would rather it was not there. A malt experience nevertheless.

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Photo of celticfutblclub
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark reddish brown with a thin head that lingers on the perimeter.

S - fruity smell cherries not overpowering nor overtly impressive

T - great malty taste with some fruity taste (raisins) in there. nice irish red which although is not my particular favorite style this holds up pretty well.

M - decent carbonation nothing special nothing particularly bad

D - i think for an irish red i could find myself drinking this more then other types of this style. as i am not a big drinker of this style i think thats the best way to rate this.

overall not a bad beer glad i had a one off chance to try some beers from this brewery and not at all disappointed with my purchases.

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Photo of johnnnniee
2.78/5  rDev -19.9%
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 billab914
2.44/5  rDev -29.7%
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 BrewCrew2010
1.76/5  rDev -49.3%
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 Lukafer
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes

Pours a dark amber with a slight off white head.  Smells are caramel malts, sweetness and a slight nuttiness.  Tastes sweet malt, slightly sour but as in lacto, and a nutty finish.  Decent finish, good mouthfeel and drinkability is pretty high.

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Photo of B0bD0bbselbock
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into tumbler pint glass.

A- Pours a mildly opaque, brownish sepia tone, with a small head that receded to noting. Very mild lacing on this one.

S- Malty aromas, a bit caramely, a bit sweet. Aroma kinda reminds of their Uber Goober peanut stout

T- Sweet, toasted malts, hints of caramel,almost kind of tangy, with an interesting finish and toasted aftertaste.

M- Mild carbonation, near medium body, a bit dry.

D- Drinks pretty well. I would likely have another if had an extra.

To my mind, i find The Magician to be a nice drink overall, however, i feel that a few elements, such as the flavor and mouthfeel, could be improved upon. I would not say this beer seems to be most impressive Short's beer, yet I wont say its the poorest, either. I would buy this one again, as it would make a nice session beer to enjoy with friends, and its reasonably priced at my local beer merchants.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
2.09/5  rDev -39.8%
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 Kkottonmouthkngz
2.45/5  rDev -29.4%
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 Cresant
1.03/5  rDev -70.3%
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 DannyDan
3.27/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. A dark amber red hue with a thin white body that has little retention, not much lacing and good carbonation.
S. The smell is some floral hops, some fruits (apples and pears come to mind), along with some caramel.
T. Get some apple, pears, caramel, a touch of cinnamon, some floral hops up front, followed by a slight coffee, toffee, and hint of chocolate taste and a tea like finish to the taste.
M/D. This is a nice smooth crisp clean medium body feel that is easy to drink. This is not a bad drink to have once in awhile, but this tea like ale just isn't my cup of tea.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.46/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Kostritzer Mug
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

A mildly hazy, dark amber colored liquid with a slight tint of redness to it. A head of almost one-finger forms, then recedes quickly, leaving a light tan colored surface covering film. Lacing is minimal.

A nose that is rich with maltiness. Lots of caramel and toffee here. Big hints of nuttiness. A good showing of dark fruits. Figs, dates and cherries, as well as hints of apples and pears. Decent notes of nutmeg and a light trace of cinnamon.

Lots of sweet malts. Hints of caramel and brown sugar. Some mild hints of earthy hops. A weird kind of tangy note, underneath. Not bad, just interesting.
The nose on this one had such potential, but the flavor does not deliver, sadly.

Medium-bodied with a light level of carbonation. Very smooth.

Drinkable, but there are many other beers that I'd rather have than this one. Damn. I really wanted to like this one.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a clear dark amber with two fingers of beige head.

Aroma of sweet caramel malts, tropical fruit and raisins.

Tastes of sour dark cherries, rich caramel malts, tropical fruit and herbal notes. Finishes clean.

Light-to-medium bodied and dry with a light carbonation.

A very drinkable and enjoyable Irish Red from Short's.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.31/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

3.0 A: Murky deep amber brown color. Just a half finger of frothy off-white head that falls quickly and leaves no lacing. Not much of a looker.

4.5 S: Toasty malts give a nuttiness. Sweet caramel and toffee with a slight roastiness. Loads of dark fruitiness with plum, fig, raisin, and purple grapes. Complex with the flavors all working together.

3.0 T: While flavors that worked so well together in the nose, do no such thing in the taste. The strongest flavor is vinous grape that starts and finishes tart and covers up a lot of the other flavors. Caramel, toffee, and nuttiness are barely perceptible. The plum, grape, and to an extent raisin all up the ante.

2.5 M: Medium body. The carbonation is bity without being spritzy. In fact, it feels undercarbonated even though the carbonation is reeking havoc in my mouth. Thus, not very smooth.

3.0 D: This isn't something I'd like to have another of, but my review is a bit harsh as most of the scores were on the border of the next highest level. In any case, I don't know where this sour grape component is coming from, because there is no mention of it in the description.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I got this beer as part of a four pack that my buddy ben got me for my birthday. Never had this one before so lets see how it goes. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A= This beer pours a very dark hazy amber color with a half a fingers worth of off white head that quickly faded to a really thin ring.

S- I pick up a lot of medium roasted malts with that typical malty sweetness and some dark fruits.

T- This beer is all about the malts. There a lot of nice caramel flavors in this brew that blend nicely with the dark fruits, mainly plums. There is a small amount of hops on the finish that i couldn't pick up in the aroma.

M- This beer came off thinner and lighter then it should and carbonation was lacking.

D- Drinkability is mediocre, I think one would be enough for me.

Overall this was mediocre beer, Nothing about it really stuck out from the rest of the Irish reds, and usually shorts brews stick out. It was nice to try but I don't think I will be buying this anytime soon, but it is better then killiians.

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Photo of HosP
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found hidden in the back of the fridge. Wife must have shoved towards the back and then forgotten about.

A- Poured dark amber with light coming in around the edges. Thin light tan head sits atop.

S- Roasted malt notes throughout. Some toffee and dark fruits in the middle. Not getting any hop aromas from it though.

T- Malts through and through for this drink. Caramel and toffee flavors at the beginning. Some plum flavors hidden in the middle. Nothing really overpowers anything else. Slight bitterness from some hops at the end.

M- Medium body with a little carbonation. Some bitterness and dry finish to the beer.

D- My first crack at this style beer. Not to bad of a drink, pretty smooth for the most part. Nothing really blew me away but could drink a couple of these.

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Photo of DrJay
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear, deep red colour with a thin cap of off-white foam that settled into a lasting collar. Sticky, spotty lacing. Malty aroma, a bit earthy, caramel, toffee, raisins. Mild to moderate bitterness, more malt sweetness, caramel, brown sugar, slight apple fruitiness. Medium bodied, lowish carbonation, decent texture. Decent beer overall.

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Short's The Magician from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.47 out of 5 with 398 ratings
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