Short's The Wizard | Short's Brewing Company

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Short's The WizardShort's The Wizard
Very Good
187 Ratings
Short's The WizardShort's The Wizard

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 webmanspidey on 12-28-2010

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 187 |  Reviews: 101
Photo of Hokenfloken
5/5  rDev +31.6%

Photo of doughanson78
5/5  rDev +31.6%

Photo of Blob77
4.78/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Served in a glass, Nice dark color with moderate head.

Smell: Sweet, Very sweet with a tingly alcoholness

Taste: Sweet with a slight fruitiness, but nice roasty flavor aswell. Not to heavy on the alcohol taste (for a barley wine).

Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated

Drinkability: The alcohol is not overpowering. This is the most drinkable barley wine i have tried.

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Photo of inilegna
4.77/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured this one into a small snifter. What an amazing beer!

A - Pours with almost no head. A rich, reddish brown -- amber -- and quite opaque.

S - Sweet, sun dried raisins and medium roasted malt. Strong fresh rolled oats. Syrupy and molasses-y.

T - Strong alcohol right at the tip, then sweet, malty raisin and molasses. Strong roasty malt, full bodied brown sugar. A bit of hops at the mid, citrus, like orange, in the nose and a caramely finish.

M - Smooth, syrupy, and slightly crisp. Not very carbonated. Tingly froth when swished around.

D - Very high -- but be careful @ 11%! Very good beer!

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Photo of danp14
4.75/5  rDev +25%

Photo of alexanf
4.75/5  rDev +25%

Photo of Gorgoroth
4.65/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased "hot" off the shelf from Martha's Vineyard at $2.49, shared with BA mermatinger and our wives in the Allerton Hotel, Chicago on our New Years weekend trip. Thanks to them for contributions on the tasting! From notes taken on 01/01/11.

Presentation: Typical Short's label layout on a brown 12oz bottle. Though this label, as with all Short's labels, lacks pertinent information such as ABV, bottling date, etc., I'm willing to give it a pass this time because this is some of the coolest damn artwork I've seen on a beer. Of course, I'm probably a bit biased due to my love of fantasy and occult-related stuff, stoner and doom metal, horror film, etc. But I love this artwork!! "Brewed for 6 hours and 66 minutes" -- that's gold! (And the 6-pack carton also says "brewed on Devil's Night").

Appearance: Shared pours into small (10oz?) snifters from the hotel bar. It is a crystal clear but very dark blood red or raisin color with low carbonation, small amounts of golden or cream-colored foam, and no lacing.

Smell: Upfront we have sour cherries, a hint of light roast coffee, fresh hops, baker's chocolate, and more dried dark fruit.

Taste: Bitter, bitter, bitter, front, middle, and back (but not in a bad way). Raisin and dark fruit flavors are apparent with an overtone of dry nutty bitterness, like raw walnuts. There is also a fairly prominent resinous flavor of fresh hops and grapefruit-like citrus.

Mouthfeel: The beer is nearly flat with a complex mouthfeel: bitter, dry, and oily. It is chalky and dry on the palate and tongue after swallowing, like after drinking French pressed dark roast coffee. I can only assume (due to lack of further information) that the ABV is somewhere between 8.5-9.5% (barrel-aged Wizard on-tap is nearly 11% I believe), and here the flavors and mouthfeel mask the alcohol very well; almost none is detected.

Drinkability & Final Thoughts: This beer is complex and strong. It has bold, intense flavors and mouthfeel and certainly a fairly high ABV which hits you after a few sips. It is very delicious and very drinkable, though quite potent on all fronts. The strong, resinous hops in the smell and flavor work great now but also indicate that, since this is a high-ABV barleywine, this is going to age very well! In my opinion, this is going to be another high-quality, low-price barleywine that ages for years to come in the realm of Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot and Brooklyn's Monster. I love everything about this beer (appearance, smell, flavor, label artwork, etc., etc.) and have had several bottles since the first one for this review. I'll continue to drink it as long as stock is available and will most certainly buy at least a sixer to age. Highly recommended!

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Photo of slowbie
4.55/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown -- nearly black. When held up to the light some brilliant ruby hues come through. Right now it's sitting pretty much directly below the overhead light and it almost looks as if there's a red LED shining from underneath the glass.

Aroma is of chocolate covered cherries, a hint of alcohol and dark fruits, and some floral hops.

Taste is surprisingly different than the aroma. Big hoppy taste up front that fades nicely to some plum/fig/raisin flavors. An almost roasted note comes through in the middle.

Thick mouthfeel but not too syrupy sweet. Carbonation is enough to make it's point but not enough to interfere.

It's tough not to drink this one too fast. Delicious.

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Photo of MSEGUIN
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of bernardo06
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of B0bD0bbselbock
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint glass.

A- Beautiful reddish amber color, almost like a sepia tone, with a sort of devilish look to it (reminds of the color of the moon during the recent lunar eclipse). Initially had about a one finger height head that reduced by about 80%, with very light lacing.

S- Nice sweet aroma, with lovely notes of the raisins coming through. I seem to detect the slightest hint of alcohol, which i found complimentary.

T- A delicious, complex bouquet of flavors- the raisins come through fairly well, adding a unique dimension to the overall palate, kinda like the smell of a box of raisins. I detect a sweet malt flavor, sort of a fruity, with a slight hint of citrus notes, somewhat like orange juice-like in the finish and aftertaste.

M- A nice sharpness, with a smooth texture.

D- Very, very drinkable, to my mind. It goes down quite well, with a nice little warming effect from the alcohol

Yet another great beer from Short's, IMO. I would highly recommend this beer to all barley wine fans, as this seems to offer its own unique elements that make it stand out, sort of like the horny dog barley wine from Flying Dog. Its got great flavors, drinks well, and seems to have a fairly high ABV, making for a nice drink around the fireplace on on cold winter nights, or for when praising the dark lord :)

 1,346 characters

Photo of Marti403
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of Cotton_27
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Demons worry when The Wizard is near." - Black Sabbath

@ Lord Hobo for the Shorts tap takeover

Triple mashed, boiled for 6 hours and 66 minutes (wouldn't that be 7 hours and 6 minutes? Hell, why not 426 minutes? Why spoil the novelty I guess) and fermented in raisins.

Black with eggplant highlights (I think, it's dark in there). Arrived on a nifty Shorts Soft Parade coaster which is now protecting my Gatorade bottle from leaving moisture rings on my computer desk. Thin head is quick to dissipate. Foamwise it's a lackluster beer but so were many of the beers sent out tonight. Not sure if it's, Short's ,the bartenders, or the setup.

Not a subtle nose: blackberry brandy, black cherry and cocoa nibs erupt from the glass. Tastes like brown sugar coated raisins, blackberry and chocolate. One of the most raisin-y beers I can remember (Smuttynose Gravitation being of comparable raisin saturation). Bold, sugary, and awesome.

A very different barleywine due to the extreme dark fruit but also one of the best, off the top of my head.

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Photo of jmunsters
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 oz bottle tucked away and pointed out by Rishi at International Beverage in Grand Rapids, MI.

A: Deep brown with a redish hue to it. Very nice head and lacing from the pour.

S: Molasses, brown sugar, raisins, caramel, booze. My girlfriend described it perfectly as, "It smells like the holidays." The smell coming from this is amazing.

T: Oddly bitter. I didn't find it thin, and actually found it a bit boozey and syrupy. It takes like a very roasty barley wine to me. The raisins are abundant along with a very warm, roasted malt character.

A - A nice dark brown/red body with a small khaki head. Some lacing and retention. I knocked it down a peg due to the large yeast chunks. It otherwise looks like a solid barley wine.

S - Tons of raisins. Brown sugar, caramel, light alcohol, and sweet malts. The dominant aroma here is the raisins though. Very nice. Really quite boozy up front that fades away to a nice, warm, comfortable taste.

O: I love it. A hot August night is not the time for this, but if you happen to find yourself in need of a beer in front of a nice warm fireplace late November, I would strongly suggest this.

 1,147 characters

Photo of gnemesis
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage bottle (12oz) poured into snifter on 3/1/11.
Pours a dark brown hue with a thin off-white topper. Recedes quickly and leaves no lace. The first thing I pick up is raisins and fig. My nose moves into some caramel, a drop of vanilla, and some brown sugar. The raisins, figs, caramel, and brown sugar play well after a few sips. Add to that a bit of earth and slight booze. The alcohol is not overwhelming and should be expected at 11%ABV. It provides nice warmth on a cold night. This tasty treat is full bodied and remains so as it warms. The low carbonation seems to be the norm for a barley wine of this gravity. The Wizard is pretty good and remains another unique brew from Short's. Some age will only improve this ale but from experience Short's doesn't recommend it. I will purchase again.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to gnemesis for filling my mailbox with shorts beers this evening. This was my third taste from the box.

a-Poured a deep brown stream into a duvel tasting glass which settled as a dark plum color with a thin head with decent lacing.

s-Tangy & earthy. Kind of like a vedgie beer or a sour.

t-Raisins jump in the taste. Very earthy almost grass-like. Mostly malt. A bit tangy like the nose suggests, bit taste is a different universe from the smell. Both are good, just different fron each other.

m/d-Has a real winter beer feel to it, almost like a BSDA. Leaves a touch of a tingle in my mouth. Not that thick and filling, and far from syrupy, which I like. Very good and on the deep and dark side of the barleywines.

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Photo of zoso1967
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Graciously shared by TCHopCraver.

The Wizard pours a very dark ruby color and is ever so slightly cloudy. This is one of those beers that looks very nice when held up to a light, showing an attractive garnet hue. A fairly aggressive pour leads to a small parchment head that fades quickly. The lacing is about what I would expect on a malty high ABV brew.

The aroma is malty, but with a definite hit of piney citrus. There is a super intense dark fruity sweetness that smells sort of like jam that has been cooked down for too long. Some dark cherry notes and a bit of a spicy, earthy character are also present. This beer definitely has that Short's high gravity aroma to it.

The flavor is very enjoyable with a nice round sweetness. It is malty, fruity, earthy and ever so slightly peppery. There are notes of raisin, black sweet cherry, caramelized sugars and also a nice citrus zest kick. There is also a bit of brown sugary sweetness present.

The mouthfeel is medium with a nice finish that is sweet, but not cloying. There is a sort of zing on the end that really lightens up the finish. Zesty sweet notes like rum soaked grapefruit linger on the palate after swallowing.

When I first heard about this beer I immediately thought it was a cool idea, but pretty gimmicky. It turns out that like some of DFH's best brews, the gimmick helps make a very interesting and enjoyable brew. This is definitely one of my favorite barley wines and I really hope I can get my hands on the bourbon barrel aged version someday.

 1,523 characters

Photo of kohoutek
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bottle describes the beer as a barleywine, brewed with raisins. A six hour & 66 minute boil was employed. Bring on the Maillard reaction!

Pours a hazy deep garnet/brown with little light penetration. Head is almost tan/orange in color. Head quickly dissipates into 1/2 to 3/4 surface coverage.

Aromas and flavors of toffee, dried dates, raisins, smoky, malty, iron, freshly baked bread, vanilla, caramel, dried autumn oak leaves and the slightest hint of dried orange peel.

The sweetness of this beer is present, but it is very nicely offset by a bright, clean and present hop bitterness.

A very unique and drinkable barleywine that seems to be more of an American/English hybrid. Clearly American yeast and IBUs, but it has English toffee and a lack of potent finishing hops.

At first I thought this beer was a bit two dimensional, but after my fourth bottle (not in one sitting!) its subtlety is growing on me. A very fresh, local offering.

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Photo of DersOne
4.29/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A-Pours a muddy brown with a shallow toffee-colored head, small bubbles with very thin lacing that dissipates quickly.

S-Sugar sweetness, licorice and sweet raisin, dark fruits with a hint of maltiness.

T-Malt and booze up front with a bit of bitterness, carbonation tingle (almost champagne-like) and raisins, finishing sweet with some dry bitter dark chocolate notes.

M-Smooth, contrasting with effervescence, minimal dryness, very pleasant.

O-4.25/5, it was interesting to see an over-sweet variation of a barleywine.

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Photo of zachraymer
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of DrDemento456
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of my favorite beers from Shorts Now

A - Cloudy dirty brown and about a 1/4 inch of mocha colored head atop with mild carbonation bubbles throughout. Lacing is good.

S - As expected mostly raisin in the smell with plums and figs but some sweet malts and chocolate also. Little to no hops

T - The hops are mild but do assert their way into the finish along with a brown sugar sweetness, natural raisin flavors and some bitter chocolates.

M - Insane how well this drinks for the ABV. Medium to heavy but my guess would be 9 or 10 at most.

Overall the only thing better would have been if I got a six pack and am now envious of Michigan folk being able to buy this right off the shelf. Smooth body, natural flavors, and little to no noticeable ABV. What a world class barleywine.

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Photo of atone315
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of GoldenChild
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of Brandonparrent
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Short's The Wizard from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 187 ratings