Short's The Gambler | Short's Brewing Company

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

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Thorpe429 on 05-31-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 43
Photo of metter98
3.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: The beer is clear golden yellow in color. It poured with a thin film of bubbles covering the surface that faded away and left a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of butterscotch in the nose along with some notes of smoke from the lapsang souchong tea.
T: The taste is dominated by balanced flavors of smoke from the lapsang souchong tea and bourbon from the barrel aging, yet the bourbon really stands out in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit syrupy (considering its strength) on the palate and has a light amount of carbonation.
O: The unique aromas and taste definitely make this an interesting beer to drink; however this is a beer that definitely needs to be sipped very slowly and is an acquired taste.

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Photo of Thorpe429
1.81/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours an orange-ish color with a white head and a few spots of lacing. The nose brings forward some bright hops with some pine and citrus, but these are quickly overtaken by a strong presence of tobacco and spices. Really overpowering. This carries through to the flavor, which is just full of tobacco. Really not much else. Some light spice. Like what chewing on a cigarette would be, I’d imagine. Overpowering bitter astringency in finish. Really quite bad and simply far, far, far too much tobacco character throughout.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
2.09/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is orange to amber in color. The nose is all kinds of interesting. Spices, tobacco, hops, barrels, oddness. The flavor is different than any other beer I have yet had. Extremely ashy, like ground up cigarettes. Other flavors include cream soda, spices, alcohol, smoke. The feel is creamy, but not smooth, as there is so much happening, but nothing is in sync. Overall, I would say that this beer was a fun and interesting idea, but ultimately not drinkable.

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Photo of drabmuh
1.71/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I'm going to ask a very simple question. Was I suppose to want to throw up after taking a sip of this beer? Is it your objective, Short's, to make the world's worst beer? "Tobacco themed IPA made w/ lapsong souchong and rubious tea leaves, then aged in Bourbon barrels" What the hell? Seriously horrible.

Beer is amberish and hazy with a lazy head that leaves some lacing on the glass.

The aroma is like butterscotch, artificial butter and cigarette butts.

Oh my god this beer is disgusting, it tastes like cigarette ash, tobacco, and butterscotch, it is also way way way too dry and harshly bitter on the end. I hate this beer.

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Photo of jale
3.2/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at crunchy's in East Lansing.

A: Pours a hazy light golden brown with two fingers of off white head.

S: Very light bourbon, sweet fruity aroma and a hint of hops.

T: Sweet for just a second moving into bourbon and mild alcohol heat. Tobacco and some bitter tea. Finish is a piney hop bitterness. Many different flavors going on here.

M: Lighter side of medium with good carbonation.

O: I don't think IPAs should be bourbon barrel aged but I like this one better than many others I have tried.

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Photo of MrDanno96
3.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've sampled this beer several times over the past few years and want to put in my two cents about it. If we rated for nailing a concept on the head, this beer would be a 5, easy. It truly is exactly what it says it is.

The gambler pours a light tan in color, almost leather like in appearance. The nose is all smoke and leather. Perhaps a little earthy too. The true experience starts with flavor, which is dominate by flavors of leather and tobacco. Smokey and earthy flavors too, with just the slightest hint of bourbon. A smoke filled 19th century poker room in a glass. Imagery of a log cabin with a wood burning fire also comes to mind.

All this said, I don't think you would ever want to drink more than a few ounces of this beer. One can only take so much liquid smoke and leather. It would probably be delicious paired with the right cigar and some cured meats, though.

Since you can't drink a concept, I can't give this brew very high marks since it is difficult to drink. But it is truly fascinating the complex flavor profile Shorts has somehow managed to fit into the glass. As such, I don't think it is deserving of some of the low marks others have given it.

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Photo of pitasoup
2.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

4oz from churchkey at shorts presavor event.

WTF. herbed and spiced?

a- glden yellow, thin white head. Nothing bad here.

s- spicey, spruce, juniper, licorice. Pinesol and I don't know what to say

t- the spice race fell over into the beer? Plus bad gin. Juniper anise licorice pine overload. Offensive fusel. I don't even want to say anything good. But I guess it is interesting that they managed to shove so many wrong flavors in one place.

o- try once, share a 2oz pour w many people. Don't buy a full glass ever

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Photo of TheBigLebrewski
4.24/5  rDev +47.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In the interest of admitting bias, this is a collective review in the presence of some border-line alcoholic smokers who gamble any time they get the chance. Along the same lines, it is necessary to state that this is a challenging beer to review in the respect that it can't be immediately compared to any other; there is not a standardized style that this beer could be justifiably labeled as. Unless, as many of our kind do, you tend to drink beer with a tumbler of one-cubed corn belt whiskey beside it and a half burnt cigarette dangling from your trembling lips.

This beer appears as any serious IPA; mellow golden-hued-orange-tan with light but apparent cloudiness.

The allure of this beer, as expected, comes from the tobacco flavor-inspired ingredients. And the smell is the first criteria by which this beer's exciting place in the world is realized. Chai, foreign travel, MICHIGAN BREWED, and crimes committed in poorly lit and very smoky rooms come to mind.

Taste. Have you seen those billboards on the highway that say something about 'kissing a smoker is like liking an ashtray'. Kissing a smoker is for sissies. Drinking the gambler is like bedding a smoker. And tell me you don't enjoy it. Also, tell me you don't taste bacon.
(A seriously crazy flavor profile. Tea is very forward, with alcohol in the swallow, albeit less tinged with bourbon or, for that matter, wood, than many beers aged in bourbon barrels.)

Mouthfeel, per the style and ingredients, is pretty aggressive. We were split in this regard. I felt it was too heavy in the mouth and that the less refined aspects of the flavor were those that hung around.

Overall, a fantastic and excitingly unique beer. If you're wandering around trying to taste new beers, consider yourself lucky if you get a chance to try it while short's has it.

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Photo of mochaguy
4.07/5  rDev +41.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Hopcat for Short’s Birthday Party 12/13/12

Tried it Twice, as a sample and as a full-pour.

Appearance: Cloudy amber with a short white head.

Smell: Quite muted citrus.

Taste: Like a buttery Chardonnay mixed with an IPA. Prominent notes of coconut, vanilla, butter, light citrus with a long moderately mild earthy finish.

Mouth Feel: Mild+ carbonation, smooth, with a medium-full body.

Overall: I really enjoyed this. The bourbon barrel notes made it a fun experience. I didn’t notice any tobacco or tea flavors, just a really nice bourbon barrel aged IPA. Very pleasant.

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Short's The Gambler from Short's Brewing Company
2.87 out of 5 based on 43 ratings.
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