Short's Bourbon Barrel Sustenance Black Beer | Short's Brewing Company

BA SCORE
88
very good
205 Ratings
THE BROS
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Short's Bourbon Barrel Sustenance Black BeerShort's Bourbon Barrel Sustenance Black Beer
BEER INFO

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

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Sustenance Black Beer aged it in bourbon barrels for 11 months.

Added by Baileyuk on 04-28-2008

BEER STATS
Ratings:
205
Reviews:
82
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
10.58%
 
 
Wants:
59
Gots:
28
For Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 205 |  Reviews: 82
Photo of noyellowfizzbeer
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of nataku00
3.13/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a dark opaque brown with barely a half a finger of light brown khaki color foamy head. Head dissipates immediately to a film and some tiny bubbles along the collar with no lacing or alcohol feet. Some fine carbonation visible at the edge of the glass.

There's some sweet milk and dark chocolate, slightly tangy dark fruit, stale coffee or cardboard like aromas, molasses, and a bit of old oak. I'm not quite sure if this is supposed to smell like this and I don't get much bourbon heat.

Taste follows the nose exactly, though maybe a little more stale bread, coffee, coming through and a touch of herbal hop bittering in the front of the tongue. I get a bit of bourbon flavor in the back end near the finish, with sweeter red fruit and caramel. Finishes pretty dry, with more stale cardboard and chocolate lingering lightly.

Light body with a nice soft carbonation, enough to contribute to a drinkable beer. Flavors are a bit weird for me though.

 997 characters

Photo of Marti403
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of benpopper
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of s1ckboy
3/5  rDev -24.4%

Photo of BeRanger
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark black in color with no light shining thorough at ALL. Had the look of a monster stout with a big head of tan that capped it nicely, settling down after a few moments into a nice pillow that left tons of lacing down the sides of the glass. Aroma is hoppy at first but then comes through with a deep, roasted, and smoked note that really gives it a good bit of depth. Nice touches here of caramel, hints of cocoa, and loads of piney hops. Really nicely done and quite different then what I was expecting. Warming really brought this out and each sip was a nice progression from biting hops, mellow smoked malts, and a rich, semi sweet and dry finish.

 653 characters

Photo of mdvatab
3.27/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this one as extra in a trade this past Fall. Split w/ barfwin.
Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter.

Aroma: Dark chocolate syrup, raisin, malted milk, and bourbon.

Appearance: 1/2 finger lt. tan head disappears quickly. The stream of beer resembles a cola as it's poured from the bottle. Once in the glass, it's, similarly, brown around the edges, and black in the middle.

Flavor: A noticeable bourbon flavor up front, an interesting cherry tartness, and then smokey dark chocolate. Not bad, but I wasn't necessarily wowed either.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation, and an unexpected, almost mouth-watering tartness.

Overall: Definitely a unique brew, which I'd like to try again on-tap at some point. I'm admittedly not a huge fan of a tart component in richer, maltier, roastier beers, though. Also, would have liked a bit more foam from a schwarzbier, but the bourbon component might have adversely affected this? Try for yourself!

 962 characters

Photo of jz989
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Scrumtralecent
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011, poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours black with a very bubbly light tan head. Head remarkably sticks around for quite a bit.

S - Appropriately named, this beer smells quite full. Barrel and a hint of bourbon hit first, along with a maltiness and almost breadiness that makes this beer smell quite intriguing. Some vanilla notes and slight cherry come through more as it warms. Wide range of aromas from dark to sweet.

T - An intriguing barrel aging. The bourbon is not as forward in this as most bourbon barrel agings go. If anything, the malt hits first and the bourbon comes later as an afterthought, leaving some alcohol burn and punch. A nice roast to the taste to add to the flavors. If this were considered a stout, I'd say it was thin. But for a schwarzbier, this has quite a bit of flavor.

M - Very smooth with some heaviness from the barrel at the end. Carbonation was good. Enjoyable.

O - A nice beer and something different which is always good. Not many barrel aged schwarzbiers out there that I know of. Great fall beer as it was dark, roasty, yet very drinkable. And the smell, while not overpowering, was quite eclectic. Would have again.

 1,174 characters

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of prototypic
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bourbon Barrel Sustenance pours a dark, chocolate fudge color. It’s not opaque. Backlighting reveals some burgundy highlights throughout. A tan head covers the top. It rises above a surface covering, but not by much. The surface bubbles hold steady for a while. Lacing was definitely light and spotty. Not bad at all.

The nose is good. It kicks off with a nice bourbon scent. It’s not overly strong. I like that. It complements the dark malt notes of cocoa and chocolate well. Light roasted malt scents are present, but they’re very subtle. Secondary notes include vanilla and oak. Alcohol is definitely in the mix. What’d you expect with something barrel-aged? Doesn’t smell overly strong though. Smells good.

The flavor is likewise good. It’s a touch better than the nose, but not enough to trigger a score bump. It kicks off with a mix of chocolate, cocoa, and light roasted malts. Bittersweet dark chocolate leads the charge. Bourbon follows quickly and complements the malt base extremely well. Its presence is moderately strong. I love that. Secondary flavors include oak, vanilla, coconut, and roasted coffee. Good stuff. Alcohol is there, but isn’t too strong. Seems a little stronger than 6.5% to me, but perhaps not double digit territory. Just sayin’. Finishes malty with a touch of bourbon. Very good stuff.

Bourbon Barrel Sustenance has a medium body that’s nice and smooth. Carbonation is dialed back nicely. I like the feel quite a bit. Perhaps a tad bit more body would improve it, but that’s just a guess. Pretty well done as it is.

Short’s Brewing Company continues to impress. Bourbon Barrel Sustenance is very solid all-around. Bourbon Barrel-aging a Schwarzbier – who would’ve thought? It works extremely well though. The moderate bourbon presence was a great call. It complements rather than overpowers. Very good stuff. Easy recommendation.

 1,894 characters

Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of hoppymcgee
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of DrDoitchbig
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of GoldenChild
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of monitorpop
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of camil1mj
3.37/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle served chilled. Poured into my Founders snifter.

A: Medium brown. Slight white and bubbly thin head.

S: Bourbon, caramel and malt. Some weak bourbon and oak note on the backend.

T: Messy sweetness up front that gives way to an astringent finish.

M: Thin and lighter body. Mild carbonation.

O: An improvement over the standard Sustenance. Glad I got to try it, but would not buy it again.

 406 characters

Photo of brew3crew
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In line at founders for CBS

A-black body with a tan head that quickly disapates

S-delicious! Sweet bourbony smell that mixes in well with the rest if the beer

T-disappointment from the smell. Weird after taste that can't be fingered

M-medium body and smooth

O-decent beer that smells great

 295 characters

Photo of robwestcott
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to erikkoppin for another bottle of short's brew.

poured cold from the bottle pitch black to a founders brewing goblet with just a hint of a quickly fading mocha head, leaving a thin rim of bubbles around the surface

aroma of dark chocolate and bourbon in the back, and maybe a wee bit of smoke.

very nice. wow. bourbon way up front, but no heat, not overwhelming and actually, as it warms, its balanced quite nicely with the chocolate malts.

medium bodied, bigger carbonation than the pour gave away, smooth, sweet and a bit of heat as it heads down.

overall, a very enjoyable brew and at 6.5abv, i'd have a couple more if i had them.

 651 characters

Photo of stakem
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle care of Dunt, this has been on my wants list for quite a long time. Thanks for the generosity man!

Poured into a pub glass, this brew appears a dark brown to black color. A finger of tan head sits atop the brew and quickly fades to a thin layering across the top with spots of lace sticking to the glass. When held to the light, some brown and reddish clarity is seen through the edges. A light swirl brings back nearly a finger of tan head.

The smell of this brew is very heavy on the barrel aged presence. It is absolutely pungent with nearly perfume-like vanilla quality. More smells reveal a tangy alcohol inclusion, a bit of licorice and some roasted grain elements minorly like coffee. Throughout the entire duration, the vanilla is so pungent, it is almost artificial smelling and a little off-putting. When swirled, a bit of a sulfur note comes out of the brew.

The taste is robust with whiskey infused alcoholic tangy character. A bit of roasted grain bitterness and an equally bold display of vanilla flavoring. There is some oaked flavoring present throughout which balanced the bitterness and seeming sweet vanilla inclusion. As the brew warms up, the alcohol inclusion gets increasingly more tangy which is interesting. The aftertaste is the only feature minorly reminiscent of a schwarzbier with some roasted quality mixed with a touch of citrus.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a moderate to light level of carbonation. The alcohol hits with a strenght that seems more than the listed 6.5%. Overall this opened up very impressive but sort of fell apart as it warmed up. The barrel aged presence while enjoyable is very overpowering. If that is the sort of thing you look for in barrel aged beers you might really dig this brew (which normally is the case for me.) For some reason this one just didnt drive it all the way home like I was hoping. Regardless it is worth a try if you get the chance. Thanks again Dunt.

 1,957 characters

Photo of afdempse
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to FlanderNed for the trade, and Huhzubendah for sharing!

Pours thick & black, with a creamy tan head.

Lots of vanilla in the nose, along with oak & slight alcohol.

Flavor begins with vanilla up front, followed by sweet bourbon, malt, toasted oak and vanilla extract. Warming alcohol in the throat and sandalwood in the breath. There is a slight bitterness and sour notes throughout that distract attention away from the beer's better characteristics.

Mouthfeel is not quite as full as I'd expect from a beer like this, and I'd prefer a smoother finish, but then again, who's ever tried to barrel-age a Schwarzbier before? Kudos to Short's for pushing the envelope.

 681 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thank you to FlandersNed for sending this beer my way in our last trade. Split with Adam.

The beer is dark brown, nearing black. The beige head stands in at a finger's width, and leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

The aroma is quite sweet. Booze, vanilla, malt, light roast, chocolate.

The flavor is definitely bourbon forward. Grandiose vanilla presence. The sweetness is formidable, and I can see that my six ounces will be sufficient. The bourbon, while overpowering to some degree, is bold and tasty. Chocolate and roast play a secondary role, and blend nicely with the the bourbon character. Mildly roasty, perhaps the other aspects of the beer overshadow the roast somewhat.

Medium bodied with appropriate carbonation. Sweet and boozy.

An interesting beer. Not my favorite bourbon barrel aged brew by any stretch, but worth a try. I enjoyed this.

 868 characters

Photo of OakedCanuck
3.07/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into cervoise. From notes

A - Pours a dark brown with tight edging (little light on the edging). Very small 1/2" tan head dissipated quickly and the lacing was slick and oily

S - Bourbon is very strong. Also get caramel, toffee, cherries and raisins.

T - Lots of bourbon with a rum or port undercarriage. Lots of bittersweet chocolate with a slight smokiness to it. VERY sweet caramel, toffee and brown sugar. Very little hoppiness if any at all. Struggling to get through this.

M - Crazy sticky from the sweetness, medium to light heavy body.

O - This was a tough one for me to finish. As much as I like bourbon barreled beers, this one seemed like it was a bit too much. Hard to finish but if you want bourbon, here it is.

 742 characters

Short's Bourbon Barrel Sustenance Black Beer from Short's Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 205 ratings.
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