Bourbon Barrel Aphasia | Short's Brewing Company

very good
10 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jale on 12-12-2011

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Reviews: 10 | Ratings: 77
Photo of GuyFawkes
3.52/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Drank 5/31/14 on draft @ 8th Street.

Brown/purple murkiness.

Minimal white head; almost no lace.

Caramel, fig @ oak nose.

Thick mouthfeel.

Bourbon, oak & caramel sweetness. So fucking boozy! Over-the-top, the beer is dominated. Misfire.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.51/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a tulip. Beautiful pour, mahogany brown in color with a thick, creamy finger of head with decent retention. Aroma was bourbon, caramel, vanilla. Was ready for a burn, but this was one bourbon ale that was smooth as silk. Taste was like the nose, plus some dark fruits and sugars. Aphasia is one of my favorite old ales and really benefits from the aging.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: nice brown color. mostly clear with a bit of haze. a finger or so of a tan head that slowly fades.

Smell: sweet caramel malts, some bourbon. kind of a weak smell though. (maybe my nose is just off today as i couldn't smell much of any of my beers)

Taste: sweet malts, woody character, vanilla-bourbon. alcohol. flavors are nicely mixed and work well together.

Mouthfeel: nice and slightly sticky. alcohol tends to overwhelm towards the end of the drink

Overall: a good version of a bourbon old ale. very tasty, very well done. definitely worth a shot to bourbon and old ale fans

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on-tap at HopCat Detroit's grand opening.

First sip I was thinking, "Hm. Good. Different... tastes like bourbon and barrel. But why was this $9 for a snifter?", but after it warmed, it really opened up and tasted a lot better. I haven't had a huge number of Old Ales, but this is one of the best beers I've had from Short's. Once the beer warms up a little bit it seems to get a little warmer, a dark fruit flavor comes through, and there's a great aftertaste on it. Awesome stuff.

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Photo of StoutFox
3.84/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed on tap at hopCat Grand Rapids
Appearance: dark redish,little head
Aroma: little aroma, malty, bourbon
Taste: begins very malty, then bourbon flavor takes over not an extremely complex ale, but very drinkable.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This gem was enjoyed at Vinsetta Garage in Berkley, Michigan. It arrived in a generic thinned, stemless snifter, showing a deep maroon chestnut coloring. It held a half finger tall head of creamy straw colored bubbles that maintained a brief retention. No lacing was noted, and only a mild chill haze marred clarity. There was no sediment present and carbonation appeared to be light to medium. The aroma gave notes of brown and cloying caramel maltiness, sweet ethanol, clean and airy bourbon fumes, raisin, big juicy red cherry freshness, mashed blueberry fruitiness, brown sugar, vanilla bean, and corn. With warmth came notes of chlorine, musk, maraschino cherries, and honey syrups. Our first impression was that the bourbon was beauteous throughout the flavoring, with impeccable quality to it, and just the right amount of burn. The taste opened with malted milk chocolate and instantaneous buttery and diacetyls glory of the bourbon, sweet cherry and strawberry fruitiness, light cranberry acidity, and softly roasted caramel and Munich maltiness. The middle picked up a bit with more of a burn to the booze, but didn’t really hold the bourbon back from being any more smooth than when it started. Along with this came notes of musky oak, lemon wedges, syrupy cloy of soaked nectary fruitiness, brown breadiness, dried figs, milk chocolate sweetness, and more of that drying malted milk ball crunch. The end washed through with soy sauce, tahini, musty brown maltiness, soft grassy hops, continued cleanliness of high quality bourbon, vanilla woodiness, black pepper, butterscotch caramels, metallic yeast, lime zest, musk, and general oaky warmth. The aftertaste breathed of toasted coconut, cereal and brown malts, chalk, straw, buttery diacetyls, bourbon, soft woody sweetness, corn husk, caramel corn, and granular brown sugar. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium. Sips carried nice slurp and smack, with only slightly lesser cream, froth, or pop. The mouth was left slickly and stickily coated, with wet satiation giving way to tannic-toasted dryness. The abv was appropriate and gently warming, and this guy goes back way too easily.

Overall, our favorite thing about this beer was its taste. Simply put, the bourbon held here is amazing. You get all of the robustness and savory swill of it that you could ever want, with only minimal burn or offensive fumigation. This beer was unique in that each component of its taste held to a certain quality. Nothing seemed cheap and no expense seems to have been spared. This is certainly not the case for many of the other Short’s beers we’ve sampled. The comparatively lighter abv here (for something barrel aged, anyway) helps you keep on this one all day should you so desire, while the lighter heeled body doesn’t weigh you down, even on a hot day like today. Even more impressive is that this was true at first sip, when the beer was nicely chilled, and equally so by the last sip, when it had sufficiently warmed. We are so happy to have gotten to try this beer, and couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to Short’s barrel program. This is the best Short’s beer we’ve had to date, by far.

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Photo of bluetravlr
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Jake the Big Mistake!

After looking at other reviews this beer has clearly gone sour. I thought it strange but really enjoyed the beer this way. Interesting . . .

A: Dark tan to light brown coloration with a small off-white rocky head with little retention. Fairly cloudy. Ruby red highlights . Very slight lacing.

S: Bourbon, cherry and vanilla dominate. A nice woody aroma compliments. Slight peppery phenols poke through, but no overwhelming solvent alcohol. Low dark fruity esters. No diacetyl and no real hop or malt aroma.

T: Cherry dominates with a good amount of wood and vanilla. Slight caramel malt and low-moderate hop bitterness. Bourbon makes itself known but does not dominate. Alcohol is there, but fairly smooth; not hot. No hop flavor. Moderately sour. Moderate dark fruity esters of plum and dried cherry. No diacetyl, but a slight astringency due to the sour and dry, woody flavor lingering in the finish. Some tannins give this a red wine-like quality.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Slightly warming. Finishes dry with a tannic, red-wine like quality. Somewhat astringent.

O: Got a bottle from the world beer cup and thought this was going to be a bourbon barrel stout . . . clearly not. Excellent beer nonetheless. The bourbon is very subdued and overwhelmed by the sour cherry. One of the best sour beers I've had in awhile. Very complex . . . seems like something Avery would brew up. It's a pretty ugly looking beer, but otherwise it is simply amazing. If I can ever find anymore of this I will be a very happy man. Until this bottle's empty I there already!

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Photo of fear025
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Aroma:Caramel, bourbon, sweet malt. It smells rich and inviting.

Appearance:The beer is a dark caramel-brown color but not opaque. Low head and visible carbonation.

Taste:Caramel, malt, dark fruits, and bourbon flavors stand out nicely in this beer. There is a very nice sweetness.

Mouthfeel:The hot alcohol flavor stands out in this beer. The body is thick and syrupy. Low carbonation.

Overall:I really enjoyed this bourbon barrel old ale, it's got everything I look for, and then some.

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Photo of lurpy1
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Crunchy's Short's Takeover. This was one of many beers I tried that night, and I must admit I was RUI (Reviewing Under the Influence)

The pour is somewhat amber, cross up between dark and light, with zero head.

Smell comes with bourbon, fruity, bordering on lambic.

Oh, hell to the yeah on the taste. Potent wallop of bourbon, fruit, malt. A delicious sipper. Letter perfect on taste. Love.

Mouthfeel was right on thickness, but could have used a little more carbonation, bit on the flat side, almost like a casked beer.

The night of course was studded with Short's freakshow beers (I seem to remember one beer being infused with taco meat and another aged in correction fluid barrels. I may be exaggerating here, but just a tad). BB Aphasia is the big winner. I'm sure it will tough to find in Lansing going forward, and that is a shame. Great drink.

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Photo of jale
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Crunchy's
A: Pours mahaghony with little head.

S: Bourbon and that old ale aroma

T: Bourbon upfront folowed by figs, raisins and some burnt sugar. Slightly acedic. Nice mild hop bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium body that could use more carbonation.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. Very drinkable.

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Bourbon Barrel Aphasia from Short's Brewing Company
4.23 out of 5 based on 77 ratings.
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