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 drabmuh
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer is amber with a small thin head that leaves sparse lacing on the glass under mild to moderate carbonation.

The aroma is sweet and not much else.

The beer is sweet and not much else. I guess it doesn't taste bad it is just a bland plain Irish red ale. Nothing to see here, move on.

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Photo of jkrich
3.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. undated bottle poured a cloudy, reddish brown with some orange highlights when held to the light. The light also exposes some particulates. The beige head fades quickly.

The aroma was solidly malty with some faint hop spice and perhaps a little lemon.

The taste is rather straight forward with a sharp, syrupy malt flavor dominating - this is an Irish Red ale afterall. The ale does have a little hop bite in the mix but is largely simplistic in flavor. A little fig-like flavor comes through then quickly fades.

Somewhat thin-bodied with low carbonation, the ale leaves a very pleasant sweetness on the palate.

Described on the bottle as a "Dark Red London Style Ale", this is a classic Irish ale with a little more complexity than most. It is a few notches below Great Lakes Brewing's version.

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Photo of Chico1985
2.8/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

One of the Short's beers that made it to MA only to linger on the shelves...

Pours a hazy amber with orange highlights, large beige head quickly fizzes down to a ring, visible sediment.

Weird scent of limes and apples, tart almost. Nutty and caramel malt as well.

Taste is of similar weirdness, hugely sweet and a bit tart right up front, finish is smoother with bready and toffee malts leaving a pleasant aftertaste. The tartness either fades some with time or I got used to it. Still far from great.

Has signs of infection, but somehow I think it's meant to taste this way. Not terrible, but tastes incredibly off, not enjoyable.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.31/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very nice one finger soapy/foamy straw colored head. Brew is deep red with brown and orange hues. Very little lacing.

S - Limey, almost sour scent. Deep pine scent with caramel and cholcolate notes.

T - Very deep and roasty. Nice and smooth malt texture. Very little out of bounds flavor.

M - Nice and smooth. Perfect carbonation. Smooth flavor airy finish.

O - A good little brew. Quality Red with great characteristics. Good brew in a good trade! Thank you Another6pack!

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Photo of smcolw
3.26/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Starts with a small head that dies quickly to only rim lace. There's some initial slippery lace, but in the end there is none. The broth light brown with a strong red hue. Cloudy.

Smells toasty and very dry. There's a nice hop kick at the end aroma. Seems balanced.

Slightly sweeter than the smell would suggest. There's an element of fresh blackberries. Decent hop presence but it is subtle. The aftertaste is sour but short-lived. Decent body.

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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 augustgarage
3.44/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ShogoKawada for spreading the Short's! Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Samuel Smith nonic.

Nice buff head recedes to a thin slick and no collar. Little to no lacing. Medium carmine body, dark enough clarity is difficult to assess.

Moderate crackery malt character with kettle caramelization and hints of toast. Maybe a whisper of peat moss.

Malty palate entry, with a brief wave of astringent tartness. Moderately bitter, though without notable hop flavors. Faint raw nut, burnt sugar, roobois, and plenty (perhaps an excess) of roast grain. Finishes dry with hints of stale bread and overripe fruit. Some diacetyl throughout I think, though this is acceptable.

Brisk, prickly mouthfeel, with more carbonation than the appearance would suggest.

Hard to rate overall as I'm not that familiar with the style. On it's own terms, it is flavorful, though I'm not sure all the flavors are desirable.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.85/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

Pours a cranberry auburn color with some brown hues, thin head dissolves completely with little lacing or retention.

Huge burst of caramel malts with honey, peach and fruit sweetness, very light hops in the nose.

Bite of citrus hops with a splash of fruits. Cranberry and peach with some citrusy pith. Massive malt backbone with caramel and swirls of honey. Finishes a bit sweet and bitter.

Medium body and carbonation, super smooth and easy drinking. It looks like some other people have had issues with this being infected, but my bottle was spot on. I enjoyed the fruit integration with the malty backbone - would definitely drink again.

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Photo of Chaney
3.63/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sent courtesy of lewis1rg. Thanks Ryan!

A: Poured a murky, red, ruby color, with a slight off white (reddish?) head that became nothing in 0.2 seconds!

S: Candy-like, sugar heavy, but with a mild lemon-lime (ala. Sprite) quality on the nose in general.

T: I haven't tasted a standard red ale in a while without it being "Imperial," so this was a breathe of fresh air. There was nothing bitter or hoppy about this.... but what was left was a cherry Jolly Rancher without the sourness.

M: A bit on the thin side and with EXTREMELY low carbonation. However, the more I sampled this, the less sweet and cloying in got.

O: I wouldn't seek this out, but I'm glad I tried it.

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3.12/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed on 3/17/11 in a Pint glass. Pours reddish amber. Foggy with a dense foam, unfortunately brief. No lacing at all. Very perfumed aromas in nose, memories of oranges & coriander. Sweet citric flavor. Tartar aftertaste. Light body but difficult to drink, fat in mouth. At first sight it promised much more than it has been.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.3/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yet another Short's Brew courtesy of gnemesis, you the man.

a - Opened the bottle and poured into a duvel tasting tulip. Color was a nice reddish amber with a thin bubbly cream colored head that didn't hang out for a story, but could be resurfaced with a swirl or two. Great even carbonation. Upon close look, the beer has a very similar color to the label.

s - Sweet cranberry jumps out at first. Very candy like. Apple, lemon, sourness.

t - Much like the nose, but a lot more brown sugar and a honey. Very candy like and different.

m - Kind of watery while still being rich in flavor. The flavor leaves a bit of a sour pucker, but just a touch. A nice carbonated after vibe as well.

o - Categorized on this site as Irish Red Ale, the bottle says Dark Red London Style Ale, I call it candy beer. Perhaps this is what Homer Simpson meant when he asked Apu for skittle-brau? This beer is candy in a bottle. I dig it. I could drink this again and again and wished I had a few more of these. I am surprised that every review isn't glowing on this one. Kind of like a sour and quite tasty. A standout from Short's for sure.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sort of murky reddish brown in appearance with a decent inch of off-white foam on top.

Aroma is a little sweet and sour, a little acidic and a little malty. Some biscuity, bread dough aromas as well.

First sip makes me think sweet and sour malt. I can't help feel underwhelmed by the flavor BUT I actually sort of enjoy it. ITs a weird flavor combination of malty sweet and slightly acidic and sour as well.

Not sure if that is meant to be that way or not. Whatever the case may be I'm not totally disappointed...just mildly.

Overall its a beer that won't make you rush out to buy more but it won't make you totally disappointed that you bought it in the first place. Take that as it may be...

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

Picked up a bottle of this while at Julio's for EBF weekend.

Appearance: An easy pour, the beer is a murky, reddish brown color with a good inch worth of slightly dirty looking head. Retention isn't great, but it's not bad either. Lacing is good, soapy and runny.

Smell: Very malty, with an almost cherry-like fruitiness to it. Definitely on the sweeter side.

Taste: Sweet and malty. The fruitiness I picked up in the nose is there, however it's not as strong as I thought it would be.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, smooth texture, a bit undercarbonated but not enough to really take away from the beer.

Overall (Drinkability): It's not generally a style I'm a fan of, but I will admit for what it is, it's good. That being said, I don't think I would want any more simply because this isn't a style of beer I generally drink. Give me an IPA...

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Photo of CuriousMonk
2.9/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to funkyaudio for the extra! Poured from 12oz bottle (no date stamp) into a snifter glass. Pours deep red with a staying, frothy, off-white head. Aroma has red berries, primarily red currants, some dry tartness, caramel and a sulphuric hint. Flavor is flat, thin, fruity tart, lots of berries, tastes like it's mildly infected. So-so carbonation, thin and dry. Fine finish, though, with some milky chocolate and mild bitterness. It is unfortunately a below par brew.

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Photo of tigg924
4.14/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, reddish brown in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: toasted malt, dark cherry, and chocolate

Taste: toasted malt, dark cherry, chocolate, and some hops at the end.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, sweet with slight bitterness, medium-high carbonation

Overall: I love the complexity of this brew with the dark fruit and malt combo. Glad I got a six. Not sure how true to the style this one is as I get no tea flavors, but it tastes amazing.

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Photo of stearns16
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours into a pint glass. Reddish brown - almost like an ice tea - with a bit of a dark sediment

S- A nutty malt with a splash of raspberry.

T- Fruity - malty with a cherry finish

M - Light body, lots of carbs,

D - I enjoyed the first of the beer, but made me pucker midway through.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bottle into a Ithaca pint glass thanks to Charliedvrs. My 1st from Short's Brewing.

Billed as a dark london red, the hue does not lie with a ruddy red splashed in with some brown coating. Stealth pour yeilded nothing, barely a cap, no stick.

Smell is real large for the style and malt forward. Probably one of the better Irish Reds in recent memory based on scent, meaning it does not smell old or watered down, sorry to my Irish brethern. Caramel malt, dark bread, semi toffee, chocolate.

A rich tasting IRA, heavy on the malts with tasty bread mixed in with the aforementioned flavors, also getting some ripe apple with warming. This is very balanced. Hops are nowhere in the picture, not bitter, a smooth ride.

A smooth ride once again, no interference whatsoever, I could gulp the whole thing down pronto. Carb on this is very light and kinda non existant under the cloak of malt. A big medium body and tons of apple aftertaste.

A great Irish red, one I would drink more than one of. I may seek out a sixer of this for next st. Patty day. Nothing extravagent, pretty basic, but the bodty sparks my interest, Im not use to irish style beers to have this much depth, and that's what im looking for.

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Photo of Mitchster
3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on tap at peninsula grill in Tc. Slightly hazy chestnut, forming a small light yellow head with minimal retention or lacing. Moderate carbonation. Aroma of caramelized sugar, faint earthy hops, homebrew twang. Taste is a recap of the aroma. Black walnut in the finish. Mild bitterness. A little diacetyl.

Ho hum. Tastes like an average homebrew. Probably wouldn't get it again.

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Photo of gfreed
3.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Here's a nice surprise-- something that is usually not sold outside of Michigan yet I managed to snag a bottle in corseted Belmont, MA, courtesy of the surplus from the Extreme Beer Fest. Deep red in color, roughly fizzy and toasted just enough to emit fumes of coffee and a little root beer (?); also green apples. Very dry finish as well. A decent beer that offers some of the flavors of a good stout without the weight of same.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.13/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to schmittymack for bringing this one over to the house last Saturday night. Bottle poured a clear dark reddish amber with a lingering ring of amber foam. Aromas of carmel, light fruittiness and light earthiness. Palate was light bodied and crisp. Flavors ofcarmel, light fruittiness and light earthiness with a crisp lingering fruity finish.

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Photo of cbutova
3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
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 +2.9%
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 -11.2%
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 +2.4%
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 -4.4%
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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Short's The Magician from Short's Brewing Company
3.4 out of 5 based on 395 ratings.
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