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

27 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 113
Photo of GoldenChild
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was so so happy when i looked at the beer menu at shorts pub and saw Bourbon Wizard on there! :)

Poured into a nice big tulip glass.

Nice dark amber color with a thick creamy off-white head. That sank down and hung out till the very end of the glass.

Smells like bourbon barrel aged Heavan! Lots of bourbon.

Taste Oak, Bourbon, Caramel, Figs, Toffee. and Raisons.

Overall a super BABW. Had two glasses then went up and bought a growler of it to take home.
Cant wait to head back over there this weekend to get some more.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Bobby and Derek for fills of this beer, sent back from RBSG 2010 (Michigan).

A: The pour is very dark brown with some hints of red and a thin layer of khaki/tan colored foam.

S: There is a ton of -bal on this one. Lots of great vanilla, oak, and bourbon. A nice chocolately note along with some brown sugar and licorice.

T: Things stay the same for the most part on the palate. The bourbon is again the dominant feature and perhaps even more so than in the nose. Sweet dark fruits, chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, and licorice round things out.

M: The body is medium with a low, smooth carbonation, which I'm guessing is partially by design and partially from the growler.

D: It's nice to have a more "straight forward" beer from Shorts, and this one was very well done. Not overly sweet or boozy, just very nice.

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Photo of claytong
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance - odd for a barleywine, a ruby red with a hint of mahogany. minor head which is off white. good lacing.

smell - wow, bourbon and chocolate, brown sugar and caramel and vanilla coming in a bit.

taste - even more impressive. vanilla and cream chocolate dominate. bourbon barely in there and not aggressive.

mouthfeel - no cloying, or at least very minimal and not offensive. light carbonation, thick bodied.

overall - this is almost exactly what i want from a barleywine. abacus has nothing on this. except appearance

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark ruby color with an average frothy off-white head that lasted with good lacing. Moderate to heavy prune, dark fruit and bourbon aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Moderate to heavy bourbon bittersweet flavor with a moderate to heavy bourbon bittersweet finish of medium to long duration. Holy shit this beer rocks.

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Photo of Badger6
4.43/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of Stu_Grimson
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
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

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Photo of grub
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

lantern corps beer summit 2010 - day 1, oct 8/2010. Jw347 contributed this one. thanks john!

500ml swingtop bottle.

pours red-brown with a faint ring of head. few spots of lace.

aroma is good. bourbon and vanilla. light coffee. dark and milk chocolate. biscuit and whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. light alcohol.

taste is great. starts off much like the aroma but then a huge caramel and toffee component kicks in. bourbon and vanilla. light coffee. dark and milk chocolate. biscuit and whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. light alcohol. medium-low bitterness level. earthy and slightly woody. bit of dark fruit.

mouthfeel is excellent. medium-large body that kicks ass. just under medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. great balance and excellent barrel integration. good stuff!

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Photo of Stigs
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of mothman
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter.

Pours 1/4 finger of beige head. Color is a dark copper brown with a ruby hue to it.

Aroma: Very rich and malty. Plum, licorice, raisins, cherries, oak, vanilla, spices, and bourbon.

Taste: Big bourbon flavors, oak, vanilla, toffee, dark fruits. Rich and malty again.

Mouthfeel: Warm and smooth. Full bodied with a low to medium amount of carbonation. Ends very malty and a bit dry.

Overall, this is a good -bal aged barlywine. Had some really great bwine flavors and the bourbon added a nice touch to it. A bit young imo, however.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap at Short's beer dinner at Karl's Cabin. Owners had been holding onto it for four years. Nice mahogany color, no head, some carbonation bubbles apparent. Aroma is toffee, bourbon, dark bread. Nose is found in the flavors as well as plum, raisin, some cocoa notes. Sweet, bready, and fikled with dark fruit. This one is smooth and warm, with no bourbon harshness found. The 11% ABV is ridiculously well hidden. A single 10 oz pour leaves a pleasant warm feeling in the gullet.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured a dark brown color, translucent, with a bit of beige foam on top. Great aromas here, bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel and black raisins. On the palate, this is a fairly full bodied barleywine, with flavors of cocoa powder, wood, vanilla, dark fruits and sticky caramel. Finishes with some light bourbon and lingering alcohol heat. Amazingly drinkable for a bourbon barrel aged strong ale. One of my favorites so far from this brewery.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at the big "SeaBass has got to go" tasting courtesy of HOPSHUNTER over on ratebeer. 12oz bottle pours amber and ruby with tiny white head. The aroma is molasses, a touch of vanilla, spicy oak, cherries, a little bit of prune and more molasses deep into the draw. The taste is rich for sure with prunes and aged ripe cherries and quickly moves into rich yummy molasses, smooth mild spicy oak and modest sweet smooth bourbon getting just a touch boozy into the finish. It almost has a yummy chocolate covered molasses for moments here and there. Into the finish prune, cherry and dates help take this to a tasty closure. This is way richer and smooth and yummier than the non barrel aged version I had just a few minutes ago. The barrel compliments perfectly here and doesn't get in the way of this beer rich barleywine beeriness. Well done.

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Photo of mikey711
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
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

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Photo of HopHead84
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A: Pours black and viscous with a small bubbly head.

S: Toffee blends with brown sugar, fudge, and vanilla. Bourbon is really powerful and I get a little oak. Really nice aroma.

T: Bourbon, brown sugar, toffee, and caramel. It's very sweet but damn delicious. There's a lot of vanilla and a little oak. There's a low level of bitterness with accompanying earth. The finish is boozy and decadent.

M: Lower full body with low carbonation.

Overall: This was boozy but had excellent barrel character. Delicious.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
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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Photo of TCHopCraver
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of pmoore311
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Shorts on 12/22/10

Appearance - a deep brown, nearly black, no head, great lacing on the glass.

Smell - hello bourbon, I was told this spent 2 years in the barrel, and it certainly smells that way. Wonderful notes of bourbon, vanilla, and dark ripe fruits.

Taste - fantastic brew, the bourbon is very present upfront along with dark sweet rasins, dates and figs and great caramely malts. Very sweet.

Mouthfeel - smooth and velvety with little or almost no carbonation.

Drinkability - the sweetness of the beer would prevent me from having more than one in a sitting but, this is an extremly smooth beer for being 12% abv.

Overall this beer is a winner for me, a great bal aged barley wine that is definately worth seeking out if you are in the area.

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Photo of kbeals
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Tried on tap at the brewpub. A small crown of brown head sits atop an inky black brew. What little head is there sticks around and leaves small amounts of lacing, just enough to be appreciated.

S- Heavenly scents of sweet, caramel malts, oak, vanilla with just a slight touch of booziness. Has a bit of a smoky finish as well, that might have been psychological, but I swear it was there.

T- Sweet malt, oak and vanilla, very sweet. Alcohol comes through as well, creates a heat in the chest. Not bad however for 11%. It could use a touch of aging I think, it's still a bit young.

M- Very creamy and smooth, heavy, little carbonation. Good for the style.

D- If it weren't for the sweetness I could sit and drink a couple of these, but as it is, it's a little young still. A very good beer done by Short's, very straightforward as well.

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Photo of oline73
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at hopcat

appearance- brown with mahogony hues. a bit of yellow head that doesn't look too impressive

smell- bourbon bourbon and more bourbon. some light fruit smells coming through but not much else

taste- strong malt profile underlying bourbon flavours. Maybe some dark fruits. The bourbon is getting in the way on this one I fear

Mouthfeel- not thick enough to support the nose. Smooth but too light for me

Drinkability- very drinkable for an 11% beer.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler thanks to eyebrews! Poured into tulip.

A - Pours a reddish/brown color, thin collar, spotty lace.

S - Bourbon, caramel sweetness, malty burnt sugars, smooth alcohol. Very sweet and the booze is smooth...

T - Pretty much like the nose. Smooth bourbon, caramel, some dark fruit, vanilla, booze oak. Very sweet, nice level of booze, enjoyable.

M - Medium to full body, good carbonation, creamy oak finish.

O - Not mind-blowing, but still good. I had another pour after the first one, so that says a lot when you're talking about an 11% beer. Would have again for sure, but not gonna go crazy to get it.

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Photo of ChrisPro
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - dark copper with light head; actually decent retention and lacing

S - bourbon and salted caramel; the earthiness reminds me of some delicious pink Himalayan salt

T - sweet caramel and some mild toasted bread; bourbon vanilla on the finish. Nice bitterness inthe finish.

M - good carb ad pretty full bodied.

O - decently drinkable, with a solid amount of bourbon but not overpowering; one of the better short's brews I've had.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Sean for sharing this. I also got to try it thanks to klipper a while back.

A - Quick-dissolving tan foam settles to a thin ring, some wisps, and a few tiny spots of lace. Dark reddish-brown body with some transparency to it.

S - Aroma is quite strange - the oak character is more evocative of sawdust than of barrels. There's a fusel note that reminds me of gasoline too. Otherwise it's a ton of bourbon, maple syrup, vanilla, wood, caramel, and toffee - all the stuff that you'd expect from a barrel-aged barleywine.

T - Caramel, light chocolate, smooth treacle, bourbon, and a bit of smokey peat character. Thankfully the off notes have vanished and left behind a solid take on the style.

M - Surprisingly zesty carbonation, with some tannic, dry oak. Medium body that is slightly undersized for the alcohol. Otherwise pretty enjoyable.

D - The aroma seemed off - perhaps the growler didn't travel well, as I don't remember those flavors from the last time I tried this beer. Alcohol is reasonably well-hidden, but there's not much here that blows my mind. Worth trying, but not something I'd seek out again.

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Short's Bourbon Barrel Aged Wizard from Short's Brewing Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 113 ratings.
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