Short's The Wizard | Short's Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 101 | Ratings: 187
Photo of maximum12
2.56/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to FlandersNed for this, one of two surviving bottles from an epic springtime trade. Pop. And then there was one.

Pour is dark brown with a reddish stain, close to zero carbonation. Nose is overdose of sweet malting, with twinges of the raisins, caramel, brown sugar. Marvelous. Not a raisin fan as food (what a waste of grapes!) but it sets off & complements the malt here.

The Wizard doesn't get that ratio right in the mouth. The raisins aren't just an addition, I believe the entire beer might have been made with a mash of raisins - no malt or hops or water necessary. Yikes. All the gorgeous subtlety in the nose is obliterated in a tornadic blast of raisin. Can't even detect the malt base. The minimal carbonation vanishes quickly, leaving a big, heavy raisin puree. Not very appealing.

The smell on this brew is unique & lovely, but the taste corkscrews close to vile territory. Sadly, this beer actively repulses me.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.57/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Appearance: Clear dark copper with a bunch of orange thrown in for good measure. No head, cap, collar, nothing. Minimal carbonation on the pour. A bit darker than is typical, but not unexpected given the listed boil time.

Smell: A solid punch of alcohol soaked raisins. Miscellaneous dark fruit with some fig and plum and red grape, and even more raisins. Crazy caramelized malts. A bunch of caramel, toffee, and even some molasses. Crazy sugar. Caramel malt with a slight roasted malt. Sherry and raw sugar. Minimal hop influence, maybe some herbal notes and citrus.

Taste: Sweet and then sweet. Raisins soaked with booze. Straight alcohol heat through the entire sip. So much raisin and ripe plum. Some grape skin and almost honey. Caramel and rich toffee. Slight bitterness coupled with a hint of citrus and herbal hop flavors. Slight alcohol spiciness. Molasses and even more raisins. Straight sherry as it warms. Some slight roasted elements as well. Decently complex.

Mouthfeel: Smooth medium pushing full body with negligible carbonation. Slightly dry.

Overall: Probably in Hufflepuff.

Now with two scoops of raisins and sprinkled with sugar. Hard to finish a bottle.

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Photo of alcstradamus
2.95/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a deep amber color with a finger of head that dies down to a collar.

Aroma is rich and malty with notes of flowery hops and raisin sweetness. Smells "thick"...if that even makes any sense??..??

The flavor is not what I was expecting at all. The raisin sweetness comes through but has a charred ashy quality on top of it that is kind of off-putting. Doesn't seem to be an off really seems purposefully done but it just doesn't mesh well with my palate.

The body is medium/full and carbonation is low and appropriate.

Overall this beer had the makings of being something special, but in the end the flavor profile was a huge letdown.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a dark brown with ruby red highlights leaving an ok tannish head which faded very fast

S: A muddied dark fruit nose and caramel mainly.

T: Caramel and fruit driven, with some sugar and booze behond it.

M: Sticky, sweet, nice body to it

D: An average bwine. Drinkable yes, go back to it? Nope

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Photo of mdfb79
3.11/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From 03/09/12 notes. Thanks to Thorep429 for opening this one.

a - Pours a dark reddish brown color with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of raisins, dark fruits, figs, sugar, and fruity malts. Lots of sugar and fruit; a bit too sweet for me.

t - Tasted of dark fruits, raisins, sugar, molasses, alcohol, fruit malts. Same as the nose with a little bit of alcohol as well.

m - Medium body and moderaye carbonation. Little bit of alcohol to it.

o - Overall an okay beer, though a bit too sweet for me. Also a little too much alcohol in the taste, probably wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a mahogany brown with white dusty head that is mostly just around the edges of a snifter after a few minutes.

Smell of strong Caramel, raisin and figs. Healthy dosing of citrusy hops.

Taste of sweet brown sugar, oakey raisin and fig components and a slightly astringent bite / aftertaste. It is relatively cardboard in flavor but could be from raisins in the primary fermentation, not sure. Strong hop presence that is both floral and citrusy that when mixed with caramel crystal and raisins creates a pretty potent flavored barleywine. The taste is not quite clean though, I like it enough , but its not quite done cleanly enough to enjoy more. Drinkability suffers from the aftertaste. High carbonation , medium body, very dry.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Mikasa tulip.

Pours a garnet-purple with a thin off-white head. Some spotty lacing and a thin collar. The nose has raisin and a moderate amount of caramel. Heavy raisin actually. Some molasses throughout. Flavor is raisin and sweet malt, nothing complex. Persistent finish that is too dry and has some light booze. A bit of sherry later on. Decent.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shorts Brewing The Wizard
A - Pours a dark amber color with a little bit of foam that ended up leaving some decent lacing
S - dark malts, raisins and other dark fruit, sweet malt, caramel & brown sugar. Very sweet smelling, a bit too sweet for my taste.
T - hmm, well this is interesting. Raisins, lots and lots of raisins. Way too many raisins. Oh yeah, there is a bit of dank hops in there, and then well raisins. A bit too much for me. It has a sort of plum like finish. not very appealing.
M - Alot lighter bodied than I was expecting. Light carbonation and the alcohol is well hidden.
D - for me, I'm having a hard time finishing a 12 oz. bottle. I'm not saying its bad, its just not for me.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.19/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic. Thanks to steebo777 for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a deep and dark brown with ruby red highlights. Produced a good frothy tan head. Plenty of lacing.

(S)- A dark fruit profile with lots of raisin and caramel.

(T)- Similar profile as the smell was. Primarily a fruit driven beer and a raisin base. The background is primarily grain, barley and bread notes.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. A tad thin for a barleywine, but the flavor is there. I never would have thought this was 11%ABV.

(D)- A decent barleywine. Was expecting something richer, but this does have some depth; just a straightforward one.

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Photo of brew3crew
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

No bottle date but this one has a little bit of age on it. Purchased in February.

A-Dark drown, almost black with a tan head that quickly disapates.

S-getting a very boozy scent on the nose. can't quite make out anything else.

T-Booze, faded hops and a little bit of dark fruit

M-medium body. kind of sweet.

O-Decent, worth a try but not the buy. Poured out after a few sips...

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Photo of vande
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a - interestingly enough, pours looking like the bottle -- bottle brown with the slightest hint of a sandy colored lace...otherwise a nice mohagony looking brown..

s - smells like a stronger version of Kronic...hoppy, malty, coppery...

t - somewhat sweeter, with a bit of bite at the peel, kinda dirty taste..funky aftertaste...

m - sorta thinner then expected

o - i'm not sure if this one is sittin' how it was supposed to be...i've generally enjoy the beers shorts offers, but unfortunately have ran into a few bad bottles too...this maybe one of 'em

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. I bought this bottle in summer of 2011, although there is no date anymore on the bottle.

Appearance: The Wizard is a murky burgundy brown color with a small tan cap that fades immediately to a small collar and leaves no lace.

Smell: Lots of raisins dominate the nose. Brown sugar, caramel, molasses, and some other dark fruits provide support.

Taste: The flavor starts sweet, with a very distinct brown sugar flavor. Caramel malt adds some further sweetness. The dark fruits are noticeable but kind of flat tasting; raisins are the most noticeable but plums are also there. There is a mild tartness at the back end. Some earthy notes are present on the back end.

Mouthfeel: This has a body on the fuller side of medium, but it drinks fairly light for the style. There is a residual stickiness that grows with each sip. The carbonation is more on the fizzy side than creamy, which brings the score down a tick.

Overall: It is not a good sign that at this point I am happy just to have a Short's bottle that has not refermented. By its own merit, this is is an average barleywine. At this point, I love Short's creative beers on tap, but I will most likely avoid bottles.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kate the Great snifter. No bottle date.

Appearance - Deep dark body. Not black, but a very dark burgundy. Small off-white head.

Smell - Brown sugar. I guess that's raisins I smell, but it's more of a generic dark fruit. Hops, but barely aromatic.

Taste - Sweet raisin flavor throughout. The malt isn't as dominant as a 6 hour 66 minute boil might suggest. Intensely bitter hop finish. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel - Alcoholic bite. Medium body, which seems light for the ABV. Crazy bitter. Slow to drink.

Overall - Definitely a sipper. Tastes ok, but really tough to drink.

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Photo of Brez07
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received from kzoobrew in the Disc Golf BIF. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours a dark brown, opaque. The beer is somewhat translucent along the edges, with a purple tinge. Pour yields a 1/2 finger cream colored head. A swirl garners about that much, but it fades to a thin layer

S: Reminds me of a typical barleywine, but some of the ingredients aren't quite there. Some citrus (orange and lemon mostly) from the hops, so I'm assuming this is relatively fresh. Also some caramel malt. Getting some dark fruit as well, which I assume is from the raisin. Faint whiff of alcohol at the end

T: Initially hits the tongue with a tart fruit flavor. Blends with hop bitterness which cancels out any sweetness. There is some malt in the finish, but not much. Towards the end of the glass, this basically tastes like watered down red wine

M: Medium bodied. Light carbonation. Aftertaste is combination of bitter hops and slightly spoiled fruit. Finishes dry, almost like wine

D: Not quite what I was expecting. As mentioned, it had most aspects of a barleywine, just not quite up to par. The flavors didn't really blend well but did manage to hide the alcohol. Probably wouldn't seek out again

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Photo of chugalug06
3.32/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Small, straw colored, foamy head. Brew pours purple with lots of browns.

Lots of brown sugar and raisin sweetness.

Big, bold bitterness. Lots of dry raisin and fig flavors. Not much sweetness. Medium-high carbonation. Slightly distracting thickness. Lacks a strong hop profile.

A good brew, but I won't seek it again. Recommended, but I wouldn't go crazy for it... Thanks Adam!

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Photo of jbuddle
3.34/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra in a trade -thanks! Poured out an opaque deep reddish brown with a small amount of head that slowly disappeared.

The aroma is amazing - dark sweet caramel and butter, dark fruit, sweet malt and raisins.

Wish the flavor followed the nose a bit better but I get a lot more bitterness than expected with some dark fruit, toffee and raisins. The bitterness really cuts in about halfway through and disrupts the good things going on; its more of a medicinal, aspirin type of bitterness than a hop bitterness so it's mildly unpleasant. finishes bitter and not very clean.

Good mouthfeel, slick and buttery with good carbonation. Overall a nice barleywine but something about that medicinal bitterness really messed things up for me.

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Photo of JAXSON
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2011 bottle. Pours a clear dark ruby with a small head settling to a ring. Nose is a blast of resinous pine, sticky, with some sweeter darker fruits beneath. Interesting. Clearly tends toward an IPA, American end of the spectrum. Mouth is at first quite dry, almost stale. A fair amount of cardboard in the nose and the mouth. Short flavor profile. Not really what I expected, a kind of weird hybrid between a fresh IPA and a stale American barleywine, not really digging it. High carbonation. Drinkable at least, and I'll finish it, which is more than I can say for the Chop House sour disaster I just drainpoured.

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Photo of billab914
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It had a darker brown, raisin like color to it. It started with a thin white lacing barely covering the top of the beer, which lasted pretty well into drinking it.

The aroma shows a lot of the, dark fruit, fig and raisin like qualities to it. I also get a good dose of sweeter, brown sugar, malty flavors as well as some piny citrus as well. Some boozy alcohol seems to bring it together some.

The taste is very strong with the raisin and dark fruit flavors. The piny, grapefruit, citrus flavor comes through and adds a resiny bitterness to it. In the finish I get a lot of sweet, sugary, fruit flavors to it.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being average for the style. Overall it was an interesting beer, but not an amazing one. I liked the dark fruit, raisin flavors up front, but it felt very sweet and sugary in the finish That hurt the drinkability for me some. I liked the aroma a lot though. It was a cool beer to try, but nothing I'd buy regularly.

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Photo of Pahn
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Thanks to BA mob2332 for including this as an extra in a sort-of trade.

Appearance: Free pour yields a 1/3 inch light tan head that dissipates slowly and leaves some lacing. Pours a very dark maroon and leaves spots of lacing.

Smell: Caramel malt, raisins, brown sugar. Mildly boozy, but no indication of 11% ABV. Pastry sweetness. Very inviting.

Taste: Raisins and lots of hop bitterness up front. Brown sugar and raisin skin finish. Second sip brings a kind of pruny tartness that's unpleasant. In subsequent sips, it's sort of grape and raisin and a bit of cola up front, with pastry malt sweetness wayyyy in the background that gets obliterated by alcohol heat and a powerful medicinal astringency. Astringent aftertaste.

Started out 3.5~4.0 for taste, quickly went down to 2.5~3.0 for that huge off flavor. With time and warmth, it gets a bit sweeter, but never lives up to the aroma nor overcomes unpleasantness of the astringent finish. This isn't a "3.0-for-average," it's a "3.0 for lots good with one glaring bit of bad."

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Bit watery. Low to moderate carbonation.

Overall: I'm ambivalent about this beer. Great aroma, and I like the grape/raisin flavors mixing with the sweet malt. However, it's hard to get past that awful medicinal bitterness.

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Photo of waltersrj
3.36/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour: Caramel brown with a reddish golden hue and a slight off tan beady head around the glass' rim.

Nose: Heavy alcohol, caramel malt, citrus hops, orange zest, golden raisins, bread and light toffee.

Taste: Initial hot alcohol, slight chocolate, slight caramel malt, bread, citrus hops, orange zest, raisins, toffee and more alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Light for the style and very drying on the tongue. A hot burning alcohol heat that never leaves.

Overall: Different for the style. The light mouthfeel increases drinkability if you don't mind the heat of the alcohol. The flavors aren't very complex and everything seems light. I liked this and would love to cellar one to see how it changes and whether or not the heat would mellow. Good stuff.

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Photo of jale
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: medium dark color with a light head

smell: sweet roasted malt

taste: initially sweet follewed by piney hops

mouthfeel: slightly thin. I prefer a little more alcohol burn from a barleywine.

drinkability: Glad to try it,but one is enough for me.

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Photo of tewaris
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sent as an extra by lurchingbeast. Thanks Frank!
12 oz poured into a New Belgium globe.

Dark amber, fairly clear but not brilliantly so with a medium head and good retention. Typical strong ale aroma --- dried raisins and apricots, malts, and hint of dank hops.

The taste is darkly sweet but nearly not as much as I'd like. A roasty bitter finish with a kiss of booze at the end. Too much roasty for its own good! Also, it claims to be brewed with raisins but raisin character is fairly typical and nothing extraordinary. In fact, this ale is pretty ordinary :/

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Photo of jrallen34
3.44/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, provided by Nate, drank from a Matilda tulip...Pours a watery semi translucent dark brown with lots of amber mixed throughout. A light tan head, not much of a looker...The aroma is really good, however, not reminiscent of a barleywine at all. Very sweet, lots of brown sugar, plums and raisins. Reminds me of a sweeter quad...The taste is off and a big let down, none of the sweetness of the nose comes through, chalky, flat, cardboard, a very rough slightly bitter. Toffee on the finish with mint, is weird and interesting. Wish more of those notes came through from the beginning.

The taste is really weird, not enjoyable. Can't recommend this.

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Photo of SupaCelt
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours blood stain red with a scanty amount of spitty tan head that dusts the surface. Lace clings above the ruby. A nice visual appeal.

The nose is heavy on crusty, caramelized sugars and slightly spoiled dark fruit with dirty brown oak leaves and rooty stench. The barleywine trademark dark fruit undertones are present. A significant hop aroma emanates from beneath these old textures creating a rarity among the style. Smells oddly vanilla oaky although this may be a figment. Oak chips.

The taste is surprisingly mellow. Somewhat dry on the end of earthy sweetness. Again vanilla chips come into range creating a nearly milky tone. A fair amount of astringency. None of the over ripe darkness seems to shine through. Hops show up and dominate in the finish. A bizarre barleywine. Just barely squeeks in past a strong ale categorization. There are no elements that would demand another sample or propel this brew to the top of a group of its barleywine peers.

The mouthfeel is medium. Suitable.

The drinkability is fine. No offensive qualities are appreciated and no striking elements come through.

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Photo of Naugros
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lovely brown color, like a raisin, but not the darker, icky ones that look like they've been steeped on. The head is light tan and rises higher than most barleywines, but doesn't last too long before it's just a ring and a slight haze.

So I'm thinking that so many strong, dark beers taste and smell like raisin anyway, why would anyone ADD them to a barleywine? Let's see if it paid off.

The smell is really malty and smells like bread pudding made with dark rum and, tada!, raisins. A little clove-like phenol to spice it up a bit.

A ton of mole asses in the flavor...sorry, that should read molasses...right up front. Cloves hit the roof of the mouth in the middle. It's really bitter in back, like burnt wood. As the molasses continues to assault the tip of the tongue, the burnt flavors trickle down the back of the throat. None of this really comes together as a cohesive whole, but it still remains tasty, if not a little over the top.

Not as viscous as some barleywines, but definitely full-bodied.

I'm really new to Short's Brew but I can tell they really like to deliver a ton of flavor. In so doing, they made a bit of a mess out of this one but I've definitely had worse barleywines. This one could use some time to settle down and let the flavors this case it would be common law...but I'd be afraid to do so as the bottle reads "Keep Refrigerated". That's usually a sign that the beer is unfermented and would not take well to cellaring. However, 11% ABV is 11% ABV and it would be hard for critters to get much of a foothold.

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Short's The Wizard from Short's Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 187 ratings.
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