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:
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Ratings: 117 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of MasterSki
3.73/5  rDev -13.1%
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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Photo of ChrisPro
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
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 GoldenChild
5/5  rDev +16.6%
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 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.

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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.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
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 BigMcLargeHuge
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
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 grub
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
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 Urbancaver
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
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 pmoore311
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
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 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.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
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 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.

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Photo of kbeals
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
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 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

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Photo of womencantsail
4.67/5  rDev +8.9%
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 mothman
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
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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Short's Bourbon Barrel Aged Wizard from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 117 ratings