Short's Bourbon Barrel Aged Wizard | Short's Brewing Company

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117 Ratings

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mothman on 07-30-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 117 |  Reviews: 27
Reviews by adamdarcy:
Photo of adamdarcy
4/5  rDev -6.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of SerialTicker
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on-tap at HopCat Detroit's grand opening.

Yeah, so... not sure what to say here other than that this is a fantastic beer. It tastes like you'd imagine after reading its description: like a quality American barleywine with raisins added. I used to not care too much for American style barleywines, but beers like this one are why they've grown on me. If this were an English one, it'd be insanely sweet and would put any diabetic in a coma. With the bits of hop flavors in there with the bourbon and sweet raisins... holy hell was this tasty. No idea when or if I'll ever see this one again, but it may well be my new favorite barleywine. This is a "hot" beer no matter how small of a sip you take, so be ready. Damn is it good.

 737 characters

Photo of DanGeo
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of tectactoe
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes taken while at the brewpub on 11-27-10. I believe the a.b.v. listed on the board is 11%.

Served in a 14 oz. goblet, Bourbon Wizard pours quite black with no head and a clear, liquor-looking film on top. A hint of ruby-red influences the blackness of the brew. There is no lacing. Instead, a clear coat of liquor-like film resides on the glass, as well. Overall, the look of the beer is just a little dull.

Bourbon, piney hops, roasted malts, vanilla, oak, molasses, and bittersweet chocolate all meld together to produce an enticing scent. The heaviest hitters are definitely the bourbon and oak, though.

The bourbon slips into my throat immediately and also nips at the sides of my palate. Meanwhile, caramel malts and a brown sugar flavor, with a slight influence of piney hops absolutely explode onto the flat of my tongue. This beer has a huge and fully dispersing flavor that I love.

The bourbon and hops lend a crisp and biting feel, while the malts lend a full and creamy texture to the mouthfeel. I'm not sure how well-balanced this feel is, but it is exciting.

Well, this is the most bourbon-heavy beer that I've had to date. I'm not sure if Shorts added more bourbon than simply the leaching from the barrel, but, wow! The bourbon flavor incorporates quite well with the brew itself and I will certainly keep ordering this as long as the brewpub has it on-tap. Love it.

 1,407 characters

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of MSUEmilie
3.32/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this beer in a flight at Shorts Brewery in Bellair Mi. The beer was a very dark brown, almost black with a thin head and nice lacing. It had a strong caramely bourbon aroma and the flavor reflected that with every sip. The flavor was extremely rich, with heavy notes of bourbon and a caramel/vanilla aftertaste that lingered on the tongue. The smell and initial flavor were excellent but the after taste had a little too much alcohol flavor for my preference.

I normally enjoy bourbon beers but this one was a shade strong for me. In the same flight I tried had Bourbon Magician and the flavor was spot on perfect with about half the % ABV.

 648 characters

Photo of navband
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Stigs
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz pour at the brewery last weekend, served in a red wine type glass. reviewed from notes.

A - poured and served with barely anything on top save for a few loose, khaki colored bubbles. the beer is muddy, brown and dark amber in color.

S - sweetness abounds with oak, vanilla, and a wonderful bourbon odor. toffee, molasses, dark chocolate, and a hint of tobacco round out

T - following the nose with an excellent balance of sweet barleywine characteristics: tobacco, molasses, caramel toasted malts, dark chocolate and a hint of coffee...and excellent bourbon barrel aging.

M - medium bodied with subtle carbonation, nice and lets the flavors do the talking. a bit sticky sweet in the finish, but alcohol comes in and polishes that off right away.

D - very nice beer here, second only from Shorts to the Bourbon Cherry Porter. i know a few BA's back home who would love this, shame it wont make it off premises. yum.

 926 characters

Photo of danp14
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of mikey711
4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

yet another excellent handbottle.

A: Deep brown near black, with a small mocha colored that leaves a touch of lace.

S: lots of oak and vanilla notes followed by some sherry notes, plums and a bit of sweet caramel in the background

T: The first flavor i got was sherry, followed by oak and vanilla. as the flavors lingered a bit i got some fresh bread flavors. some licorice notes present too

M: There is a bit of heat present on this one and a bit more creaminess would be nice, perhaps a bit more age would mellow it a bit

D: Another winner from shorts and one i am very happy to have tried this one and hope that it gets bottled so i can try it again in the future

 671 characters

Photo of beergorrilla
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Stu_Grimson
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

a- dark brown almost black look with a bit of head, not much but leaves a nice lacing along the side of the glass, looks thisck.

s- lots of alcohol which is to be expected from a bourbon barrel beer, but also some dark fruits and malts mixed in

t- a nice bourbon taste starts it off with a little sting from the alcohol followed with some nice barley wine tastes from dark fruits to caramel from the malts giving an almost sweet taste

m- a nice full bodied beer with a good amount of alcohol taste but nothing over powering

o- a nice bourbon aged barleywine that was complex and has great taste

 598 characters

Photo of md655321
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of fishmich
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of CaptainFleeker
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of Bung
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of alfie
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.82/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

cannot thank my kind friend enough for this one, this was one of the few beers i case forevr, while you are after your daves, etc, i look for this stuff. served into several pint glasses

nice hazelnut brown color and a smooth and even head of light tan that really seemed to show quite nicely how well it would be.

aroma was to die for with rich vanilla tones, tons of barrel and just a huge oaky and caramel presence. this was a monster for sue. it seemed each sip became more complex then the one before and soon i was totally sucked into its workd and just beaten down. nice light feel , a bit different then what i would have thought but overall i think it was quite nice.

 678 characters

Photo of tommy5
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of Badger6
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark copper, small bubbly head.

S: Bourbon and oak. Toffee, fudge, and vanilla, very sweet and very aromatic.

T: Sweet, sweet, sweet. Bourbon, interwoven by brown sugar, toffee, and caramel. Vanilla and oak come through as well. Slightly earthy. Finishes boozy.

M: Full body, almost no carbonation. to heavy, but very robust on the palate.

O: This is a boozy, boozy beer. The barrel character is distinct. Very smooth, nicely drinkable.

 449 characters

Photo of GrizXTKEX519
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of WeisGuy
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of oline73
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at the brewpub and it was my favorite beer of the night. Served in a sample glass.

Appearance: The only problem with this beer. Very reddish brown with mild off white head and hardly any retention at all.

Smell: Strong bourbon with caramel, dark fruit, and mild vanilla notes.

Taste: The bourbon is hot up front, but not unpleasant at all. Sweet, but not overly so. Oak, vanilla, and maple syrup all show up in the taste. The finish is sweet and mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a mildly dry finish.

Overall: A bit hot, but there was great depth in the flavor. I would have this again given the chance.

 658 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had a couple Snifters of Shorts Bourbon Barrel Aged Wizard on draft at The Michigan Tap Room. I've been wanting to try this beer ever since I had the Wizard a few years ago and it was one of the main reasons I went to this Short's tap takeover, so lets see how it goes.

A- It Poured a nice very dark brown color that had a slight red tint to it and it took on more of ruby/crimson hue when held to the light along with a half a fingers worth of off white head that eventually faded away and it left some spotty lacing behind. This was a pretty good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness that had a slight brown sugar like aroma to it followed by a nice caramel, toffee with some cocoa like chocolate aromas with the cocoa sticking out the most and there's also some dark fruit like aromas in the background. Up next come the barrel which really shows up in the aroma and it imparts some nice bourbon, a little boozy, vanilla and oaky aromas. This beer had a very nice aroma, the Barleywine base worked well with the Bourbon Barrel and the barrel really showed up.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a high amount of sweetness that bordered on being highly sweet and it still retained that brown sugar like aspect followed by the barrel being the first to show up and it imparts all those nice Oaky, Bourbon, and vanilla like aspects that I got in the aroma along with the dark fruit showing up a little more with raisin being the most identifiable, but not by much. On the finish comes some nice toffee and caramel flavors and there's a pretty noticeable amount of alcohol that's a little boozy and warming and it lingers into the aftertaste with a nice oaky, vanilla, and toffee like aftertaste. This is a very good tasting beer, the flavor is just what I would expect from a good Bourbon Barrel aged Barleywine, but it's on the sweet and boozy side.

M- Fairly smooth for how strong it is, a little boozy, rich, sticky, full bodied, with a lower amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty good and it worked well with this beer but it was a little on the sticky side.

Overall I thought this was a very good beer and a very nice example of the style, it had all the aspects I look for in the style with the barrel showing up just a little more than it had too but it all comes together nicely and it worked good with the Barleywine Base. This beer had nice drinkability, it was fairly smooth, rich, sticky, fairly filling, but the taste really did a great job of delivering me what I wanted and keeping me entertained, so I had to order another snifter, I think two snifters was just the right amount and it makes for a great winter time beer. What I like the most about this beer is just about everything, it was a great all around Barrel aged Barleywine. What I liked the least about this beer was the mouthfeel, it wasn't bad, but It was a little on the sticky side for me. I would order this beer again in a heartbeat and if they bottle this again I will try very hard to get a couple bottles. I would recommend this to anyone who likes barrel aged barleywines. All in all I was very happy with this beer and it was just as good as I hoped it would be, I didn't plan on taking notes on this beer, but after I had one snifter I just had to get another one so I thought I should take some good notes on it because it could be a long time before I see this beer again. I have to say that I prefer this over the regular Wizard, but The Wizard is still a pretty nice Barleywine and it made for a great base for this beer. Awesome job guys, Short's really is the jack of all trades and they steady blow my mind and keep my guessing with their tasty and creative beers, keep up the kick ass work guys..

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Short's Bourbon Barrel Aged Wizard from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 117 ratings