Short's Sustenance Black Bier | Short's Brewing Company

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85
very good
172 Ratings
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Short's Sustenance Black BierShort's Sustenance Black Bier
BEER INFO

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

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TurdFurgison on 06-07-2009

BEER STATS
Ratings:
172
Reviews:
84
Avg:
3.77
pDev:
9.28%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
15
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 172 |  Reviews: 84
Photo of zoso1967
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sustenance pours a shiny blackish color that lets almost no light shine through. The light that does make it through illuminates a deep dark brownish amber. It has a nice tan head that would go well on any stout. It melts slowly away and leaves nice lace.

The aroma is predominantly that of rich bitter cocoa and roasted malts. It has some gentle malty character that is quite clean.

The flavor is even roastier than the aroma with plenty of burnt coffee flavor as well as bitter cocoa. The malt sweetness is fairly clean and non-descript with just a touch of sourness in the end.

The mouthfeel is medium with an enjoyable smooth character to it. The finish is a bit rough around the edges for my taste with plenty of charred coffee type flavors as well as some seriously dark cocoa character.

This is one serious schwarzbier in that it smells and tastes a lot more like a stout than anything else. Sustenance is a good name because it is much more filling than most of this style. That is unfortunately my main problem with this beer. It is a bit too robust for a schwarz, but not quite robust enough to be a stout or porter. I think if I wanted something sessionable I would pass this up and if I wanted something roasty I would go with a big stout. It is still a quality beer though and is yet another fine offering from Short's.

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Photo of abraxel
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle says this is "For when you're hungry and thirsty," which fits me right now. I'm hoping it sates both those feelings nicely.

It is indeed black (I expected no less), but some blood-red light shines around the edges when I hold the glass up to light. Looks moderately viscous. Topped with a fizzy, off-white head that looked like it would dissipate quickly but actually hung on for a while.

The smell reminds me a bit of cola, but not nearly as sweet. Maybe hints of dark fruit as well. It's a relatively weak aroma (maybe typical for the style, I don't know), but a good one.

I can taste just a little bit of hops, which I think is what made me think "cola" on the smell. There's a base of roasty malt, but it doesn't add any bitterness until the aftertaste, when it lingers a short while.

The mouthfeel is smooth and a little bit chewy, with a fair amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a good beer, though not a great beer. I'm glad I got a sixer and I'll enjoy the rest of it.

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Photo of techfed87
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a well-rounded head. Color is about that what you'd expect from a schwartzbier, very very dark. Smell is a bit more sour than I would expect otherwise. Kind of a Corona-flavor wafting off of it.

First taste is a bit hoppy, and yet not as bitter as I thought it was going to be. Mouthfeel is what you would expect from a Short's beer: very potent and very rewarding.

One of the stronger examples of what a schwartzbier can be, this one is really worth your while.

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Photo of warnerry
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from last summer.

Pours pitch black with one finger of quickly dissipating head.

Smell is mostly roasted malt but a pretty subdued smell overall.

Taste is a nice lingering roasted malt. Flavor is actually a bit thin, but a nice bit of hops to stimulate the palate.

Light mouthfeel with a moderate level of carbonation.

Pretty drinkable with no overpowering flavors. Alcohol is very well hidden.

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Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap.

Pours one shade from black with dark purplish highlights and a half-finger light tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of mild dark malts with good amounts of bready aromas. Also present are hints of smoked and roasted notes.

Tastes more intense than it smells. Smooth dark malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by slight smoky notes. Midway through the sip the malt flavors thicken with the addition of bready flavors. Very slight amounts of char come into play before fading out into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I thought this was a solid beer for the style but was nothing to write home about. Still, worth a shot if you see it around.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 6/29/2010. On tap at Shorts. Pours black with a small light tan head. Aroma of lots of roasted malt and grains, creamy bitter chocolate, and a hint of lactose. Flavor of toffee, lots of bitter chocolate, roasted malts. A light mouthfeel with a creamy texture. Very nice and quite a tasty schwarzbier.

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Photo of jampics2
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter. Graciously shared by Arp and enjoyed with Paul at his place.

This beer looks nice in the glass but lacks the head retention of the best Schwarzbiers in the world. The color is dark brown to black with a hint of red and even gold around the edges. There is a tan head that left the building in the time it took to write this sentence. A soapy film remains and lace is less than stellar. Great color, bad head.

Sustenance smells of sweet caramel malt at first, then some heavier notes come in. There's some black strap molasses, roasted chocolate hints from the malt and a touch of smoke or maybe toasted or burned malt. This is pleasant and well-integrated, but there is a touch of black malt acidity that scares me that this may be stale or slightly tart. But at least the typical Shorts infection is absent from the smell.

The beer tastes better than expected. The biggest win over the smell is the way everything is balanced and pleasant. Some acidity that I noted in the nose is present, but happily not sour. Some bitterness and touch of light smoke hit mid-way through the palate. I get some notes of coffee, which are contrasted by sweet caramel and a touch of licorice. There is also a touch of bitter citrus rind, I'm assuming from the hops. A good beer with depth and a myriad of flavors, but nothing that valuts this over the bar into the top tier of schwarzbiers.

The beer is medium bodied with some thin gaps but it has a relatively pleasant and substantial feel. The carbonation is a bit high for my tastes. Overall, Short's Sustenance Black Bier
is very pleasnat and comes together well. I'm very much looking forward to trying the barrel-aged version.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

so i decided last night to break out 10+, thats right 10+ new shorts beers for a nice sampling with the family. turns out my and my brother in law were the only ones willing to go down this road, so long afternoon for sure. serve cold and consumed on 10/02/2010.

pours out a nice dark color with a small head of tan that seems to sit on top for the duration of the session. nicely done and really a very interesting look and quite big for the style

aroma is simply chock full of campfire and smoke notes. rich with hints of bitter chocolate, rich and seemlingly neverending doses of smoked malts and a rich and complex air. as the first sips go down i notice how it is not as full as i thought given the look and aroma but it still seems to work quite nicely for me given the overall presentation. rich smokey malts, lots of brown sugar hiding in the back and a lovely sense of dark chocolate all wrap around a very well carbonated and luscious finish that really sealed the deal for me.

one of my favorite styles and this one certainly did not dissapoint in any way. would do this again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of akorsak
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to a74gent for this twelve oz bottle.

A: The schwarzbier is a dark stout in my glass, pitch black throughout except for at the absolute edges of the beer. A chocolatey brown manages to come through there. A head, just barely off-white, leaves a few legs behind.

S: The blackbier has a roasted, stout-like aroma with the excess body and strength of a stout. Chocolate and coffee, along with burnt toast, is strong but not overwhelming.

T: The roasted flavors start things off right, burnt and tangy with plenty of chocolate malts. Mid-sip a lactic respite, a mild sourness that contrasts with the roast, is a veer off course. That flavor doesn't last for long though, returning to the dark side for a rousing finish. Semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa powder appear in the finish.

M: The mouthfeel is full, as close to a stout as you can get without crossing that 'too heavy' line.

D: Much better. Not as chewy as they'd lead you to believe but a warming schwarzbier nonetheless.

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Photo of chicano4craft
2.98/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to LostCook for the generous extra.

Pours very black with a finger of tan head. Can't see through the black when held to the light. Head fades to a thin tan line.

Sweet roast dominates the nose. Some chocolate. Reminds me more of a milk stout than a schwarzbier.

First drink reveals the smokey, roast malt. Carbonation hits the tongue pretty hard.
Lacking the smoothness I was expecting. Quite a bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is lacking for me due to the "shock" every drink has on my tastebuds. Drinkability is average. I had no problem finishing the beer. I was just left wanting more.

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Photo of Lukafer
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes:

Again, thanks Josh!

Appearance is black, really black with a thin tan head. Smell is roasted malts, dark fruits, anise, and some pine thats kind of burie. Taste is roasted malts, coffee and maybe some molasses. Mouthfeel is okay, astringent, and drinkabilty is pretty low, one is enough, still glad I had a chance to try this one.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely jet black in color with a slight tan head-more stout like then a schwazbier but that's ok! Average aroma-somewhat spicy with a slight coppery/metallic note. Wonderful flavor-nice mix of roasted grains and a caramel like toffee flavor. Slight trace of licorice as well. Just enough hop bite to balance the whole thing out. Lingering sweetness. Velvety smooth mouthfeel. While it lacks the overall clean crispness of a lager and is far more stout like to me, this is one damn fine beer and very, very drinkable. Almost gone in 3 large "sips".

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Elijah for this bottle.

Pours a dark brown, nearly black.

Dutch process cocoa powder on the nose.

Nutty toffee, caramel, cocoa, and coffee with a tinge of grassy, floral hop bitterness on the finish.

Drinks like a thinner, lighter stout. Exactly what you want in a schwarzbier. Darker richer flavors delivered in a more sessionable method.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft. Dark brown/black pour with a tan head. Good lace left on the glass. Teh aroma is very clean and crisp with slight coffee. Smooth tasting with coffee and dark raosted malt notes. Slight bitterness in the backend. Medium mouthfeel. Tasty but not something I would search out for myself.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Nellie for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with red highlights and a white head. The aroma is roasted malt, coffee, burnt malt, dark fruit and smoke. The flavor is heavy on the smoke and roasted malt along with some caramel malt and dark fruit notes in the background. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my Foothills pint glass

A - Black body with a nice sized tan head.

S - Smokey malt notes with a hint of a salty taste. Not especially aromatic.

T - Nice malty beer with a a nice smokey taste. This beer doesn't overdo the smoke flavor however and I really like that. Not much to say about the hops here.

M - medium body with that is a little too bubbly for my taste.

D - pretty easy drinking. I don't tend to like smokey beers but this one has just a enough of it to make this enjoyable. Only real negative for me is the mouthfeel but that might be because I'm used to the body a stout offers. I would drink this beer again.

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Photo of glazeman
3.44/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: not quite opaque black with a nice one finger tan head.

S: Smells quite good, and is very similar to KBS on the nose. Lots of roasted malt, and some coffee.

T: Not as rich in flavor as I would have liked. To be honest, this tastes like a good stout blended 50/50 with a bud light. There's some roasted coffee bean flavor, and chocolate in there, but it's a little deeper down behind the BMC flavor.

M: Not as thick as I was expected from a beer whose label reads, "for when you're hungry and thirsty". Nice feel though, and nice aftertaste.

D: It goes down easy enough, but is not very exciting or noteworthy. Not one that I'd really be excited to find again, but not that bad either.

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a - pours a deep dark brown, just a few shades short of black, one-finger tan head with decent retention and lacing, good amount of haze

s - deep roasted malt aroma, light earthy hops, dark chocolate notes, no alcohol heat

t - smooth roasted malt flavors mixed with dark chocolate and light cherry, very light floral hop notes, no alcohol detectable

m - medium-bodied, moderate to lower carbonation, fairly dry finish, no alcohol warming

d - pretty drinkable in that it's easy on the palate and the alcohol is well hidden, but the flavors just aren't that interesting or complex

Decent beer, but pretty unmemorable overall. Worth a try if you see it on the shelf or you're looking for a schwarzbier, but not one of the brewery's best offering, in my opinion.

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Photo of WakeandBake
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A black color pour with a small off white head, medium carbonation , spotty and jagged lacing . Aroma is caramel and roasty grain , coffee ,black licorice, and spicy hops . Flavor is very roasty , lightly sweet , lightly bitter with some roasty malt,caramel, black licorice, and earthy spicy hops . medium body , smooth creamy mouthfeel , very sessionable and very good , Nice work Shorts .

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Photo of TCgoalie
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 6/4/10

Black, jet black with a lingering cloud of frothy head. Carbonation looks minimal, not much going on.

Coffee, molasses, anise appear in the smell. I don't know what kind of beer this is going in, but it reminds me of a stout. Dark cherries are also present, let's taste.

The dominant flavor seems to be the coffee. It doesn't taste as much like a stout though it could be a thin one. There is a good amount of hop bitterness holding up the malt and coffee. The molasses is subtle which is pleasant. The taste seems to be missing any fruit I detected in the scent.

Medium bodied with a slight drying from the hops.

This is a solid drink but the aftertaste sits heavy on my tongue minimizing the want for more. I could have another, but one is fine.

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Photo of MIMicrobrews
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark with a little bit of color shining through as you hold it up to the light. After the pour, there's a nice tall, fluffy head on top. Great looking brew!

The aroma is a nice, roasted malt meets molasses type of scent. It's not that pungent, but it definitely has a dark, robust feel to already.

The taste has nice complex, dark flavors, from roasted malts and coffee to peanuts. Its body is relatively light considering it's dark stature and bold flavors.

The aftertaste has a nice peanut/coffee bitterness flavor that lingers for a good while, leaving a slight palate altering taste.

Overall, they don't mince word when they say this beer is like a meal. It's rich, bold, dark et al. It's not necessarily a hot summer day brew, yet its light body allows for easy drinking. It's full of dark flavors that would be great for a BBQ. Think of it similar to a nice, black stout, but with a sweeter profile. And since the ABV wasn't readily available, I'm guessing it has a fairly low %, since I'm getting much more flavor than I am buzz. Very tasty brew.

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Photo of GregoryVII
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I drank my sustenance from a pint glass. (It's just fun to say). It poured a light head and the color was a light black/dark as can be brown. The aroma for me was strong on roasted malts, chocolate malt in particular, with a bit of sweetness. I was also picking up the slightest hints of some fruity, estery goodness.

The first sip gave me roasted malts again, but cleanly so, balanced by hop bitters, and suggestions of burnt caramel that fade to sweet. The hops have a nice, well played presence here, balanced with the sweet and the bitter of the malts themselves. Nothing is heavy handed. There is a medium body, with decent carbonation, but just a tad runny. The drinkability of this beer is great.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into an English dimpled "pot" pint glass
Dark, black in color with amber highlights-nice head of off-white foam
Aroma-Subtle chocolate and coffee notes
Taste-Coffee, black patent malts,dark chocolate-Dry, black-coffee finish.
Overall, rather medium to light bodied, with a dry finish. Pretty tasty and very drinkable.

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Photo of drxandy
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz to standard pint
pours a nice black (dark dark brown) with a tinge of red in light, cream colored head fades quick

smells of roasty malt, chocolate, light hops

taste is thinner than expected, roasty and smokey all the way, chocolate, coffee, lots of flavor, citrusy hops in the back bitter nicely

mouthfeel is thin but creamy, very sessionable for me, i could drink a ton of them

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Photo of alleykatking
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks to gratefulbeerhead a.k.a. Eric for this beer. Your kindness is over the top. Review from phone notes.

A- Pours a deeep dark brown color. Light red hues when held up to the light. Half finger tan head that dies down fast. No real lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Roasted malts with a light licorice aroma in the front end. Chocolate notes in the middle. Darker fruits come and go toward the ending of the aroma. Finishes off with a earthy hoppy tone.

T- Roasted malts right off the bat with this beer. Some light licorice notes in the ending front of the beer. Coffee in the middle with some light chocolate notes. This washes way to a light molasses. Earthy hops in the tailend of the beer.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Oily slickness left all over the palate. Smoked malts left on the palate with some light hoppy smokey alcohol left into the aftertaste. Flavors blended well and individual flavors could be picked out as well.

D- This is yet another beer from Short's that is very drinkable. The flavors blended well overall. This would be a couple pints and then move onto something else personally. A great beer nevertheless.

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Short's Sustenance Black Bier from Short's Brewing Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 172 ratings.
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