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RATINGS: 252   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.62   SEASONAL: Spring   IBU: 22   EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%
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Bourbon Barrel Soaked Sustenance Beer is our spring Schwarzbier (black lager) aged in bourbon barrels for 10 months. It features rich roasted malt qualities with bold flavors of vanilla, charred oak, and even a slight nuttiness. The light, crisp finish makes this bourbon soaked beer light in flavor, which is wonderful because it highlights the complexities of the bourbon aging process. The light body also makes it an ideal beer for a springtime refreshment.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
nbutler11 (1267) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - DEC 7, 2008
UPDATED: DEC 29, 2009 Pours black from the bomber with a creamy tan head. Brimming with vanilla, bourbon, roasted coffee, and red grapes. The best beer I’ve had from Shorts thus far. Awesome. Re-rated from a recent bottling and noticed a lot of bread pudding, figs, and lactose in the taste. You get all of the bourbon flavor in this beer without the alcohol burn. Great stuff.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - DEC 7, 2008
20080510 From bottle at Pauls 1st Hoboken gathering. Interesting idea, I think this is the only barrel aged schwarzbier I have tried. It works but maybe only because it is a pretty strong beer to begin with. Nice notes of dried fruits, cocoa, and where you might expect that usual schwarzbier ashy astringency this beer instead just becomes thin and lazy. Very molassesy.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 6, 2008
Bomber. Pours a dark cola brown color with a small, foamy, cream colored head. A sudsy, sheeting wash of froth rejoins the body almost entirely. The aroma is completely out of left field....I can not believe how much it reminds me of a Jolly Pumpkin beer. A dark cocoa malt base shows formidable notes of soured, funky oak, vanilla, moderate spices, and dry brett. Sour mash Kentucky bourbon shows subtly on the nose. The flavor profile is even more sour and bretty than the aroma indicates. The funky, old, vanilla laden oak gives just the right amount of bourbon heat, while lactose serves as a bridge to the bittersweet, dark cocoa maltiness. Substantial in both body and carbonation, the brett imparts its signature dry, parching mouthfeel, sourness intensifying on the finish. This is a great beer. If I had to sum it up into a single phrase, it would be - Bourbon Barrel Aged Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura. It really is almost a dead ringer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
GodOfThunder (1248) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 5, 2008
Special thanks to Beerlando for bringing this great brew. Brown with a tan head. Funky vanilla, red grape and oak flavors with a slight mustiness and bitterness. The bourbon barrel aging really adds to this. A little Jolly Pumpkin-esque. Awesome beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
TheEpeeist (3400) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 20, 2008
22 oz bottle. Clear, but deep purple brown with a splotchy beige and tan head. Odd nose of grapes and coffee with hints of bourbon. Medium body with a sour tang. Taste is equally as strange with plum, mocha and red wine. Bourbon and coffee to finish. Always a radical brew from Shorts.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
after4ever (6263) - Brier, Washington, USA - NOV 2, 2008
12-oz. Thanks, BVC! Crystal clear rubied dark amber. Thin, loose tan head. Bourbon, vanilla, oak, and caramel on the nose. Creamy, medium body. Figs, vanilla, caramel, bourbon and oak on the mid-palate. Nice mild finish. This one jumped up and grabbed attention; nice stuff for sure.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
WeeHeavySD (3359) - San Diego (Hillcrest), Oregon, USA - OCT 5, 2008
Bomber from masonjer. Thanks. Shared with my girlfriend Cyn and friends over dinner. Pours black with a tan head. Nose is sweet, smoky, malty with a touch of bourbon. Taste is sweet and malty with a big malty back bone, well balanced and tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
joe1510 (501) - Illinois, USA - OCT 1, 2008
22oz Bomber Recieved this in an ongoing trade with hoppymeal, thanks again Derek! Sustenance pours black with deep chestnut highlights when backlit. A creamy two fingers worth of mocha head rose on the pour and as it slowly fell left thick sheet lacing down the glass. Each drink leaves great, thick drink lines behind. The head eventually settles to a half finger cap atop the black body. The first thing that hits my nose is the effects of the barrel "soaking" as the bottle implies. Damp oak, bourbon, and vanilla come forward in that order of intensity and although the barrel aging is most prominent it’s soft and allows the schwarz to come through nicely. Each swirl of the glass brings along a solid roastiness and espresso. A mouthwatering beer the second I bury my nose in the glass. Flavor keeps in stride with the aroma. Roastiness and coffee grounds upfront lay the foundation for the barrel aging. The maltiness is present throughout the drink allowing the bourbon to be a complimenting, as opposed to dominating, characteristic. The damp oak falls back compared to the aroma. The bourbon is brought to the front, followed closely by vanilla, and last but certainly not least is the damp oakiness. The bourbon finishes things off with a nice heat and hit of booziness. This is a super high quality schwarz from Short’s. One of the reasons I love schwarz biers is the body. This follows stride with some of the best but adds a bit of creaminess from the barrel aging. Medium body that leaves a slickness on the tongue. For a barrel aged beer this is highly drinkable. The lighter body and a manageable abv keep this flowing without a problem. As a matter of fact I’m drinking this glass way too fast. I can’t slow down. I thought this would be a good beer, just as all Short’s beers are, but I didn’t expect to be drinking something so good. This is a phenomenal beer. So many barrel aged beers are over the top in whatever liquid the barrel previously held but Short’s hit it on the head here. Another great beer from a brewery that’s becoming one of my favorites with every passing beer I drink. 6/7/08

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
incutrav (577) - Woodbury, Minnesota, USA - OCT 1, 2008
Shared bomber bottle w thirstyneck. Nice roasty aroma, some bourbon in there too. Mild sweetness, i didnt find the bourbon aspect to overpowering, as in others. Raisen/plum in there, followed by a little vanilla kiss. Nice brew!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - SEP 12, 2008
22oz from GrandCruDrew - thanks! Nice reddish black body with a modest tan head, fairly minimal lacing. Initial notes in the aroma are brown sugar, slight yeast, and dark fruits. Not nearly as many roasted flavors as I’d expected, which was a mild disappointment, and the result was that the yeast flavors (which lasted throughout) clashed just a bit with the very well done barrel-aging, with wood, slight vanilla, and bourbon flavors emerging. Pleasant finish but not quite up to snuff.

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