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Beer Information
Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
88 92 86 3 12 6
Black Licorice Lager by Short's Brewing Company
Euro Dark Lager
8.00 % ABV

Review by joe1510 on 11/29/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
86 2 10 18 4 9 2009

Brewed: 12/19/06
Bottled: 12/13/07

Bottle #507 of 744

A huge thank you goes out to Dukedevil0 for picking me up this bottle on a recent trip to Michigan, cheers Dave! Black Licorice Lager is one handsome beer. My big ol' goblet fills with a liquid the darkest of browns and a creamy, microbubbled beige head rises nearly overflowing the glass. The head slowly recedes to a thick cap while leaving impressive, sticky lacing down the glass. Garnet waves highlight the body but only when directly backlit.

Damn, this is one unique smelling beer. The nose leads off with an intense amount of high cocoa content dark chocolate before it perfectly segues into woody anise. The black licorice aroma is rich and powerful and there's a crazy interesting note of mint throughout. A touch of vanilla whispers in the back but each deep pull I take goes directly back to the intense dark chocolate and licorice. A quick swirl of the glass brings the mintyness to the surface before slowly receding back to the licorice. This beer gets my salivary glands working overtime.

Holy shit this is a wild beer! Somehow the licorice doesn't come off as strong as I was expecting but the other flavors are rich and intense. That deep, dark chocolate is back and it's so vivid I can almost feel the grittiness. Mint comes in and adds a cooling refreshness before my tongue is coated with vanilla of the finest kind. The anise actually comes along on the rear with a nice woody flavor and a hint of bourbon peeks through the backend. The aftertaste is lingering and all about dark chocolate and mint. I'm thoroughly impressed with the flavor of this brew.

The body is medium with a lively enough carbonation to keep things moving. The vanilla adds enough, of what appears to be stickiness, to bring along the feel of heft. The mint and gritty chocolate lingers for a long time after each sip seamlessly coating the tongue and cheeks.

I didn't think this would be the case with the odd ingredients added but this beer is a breeze to drink. I actually haven't set the glass down yet and don't plan to until it's empty. The mint adds a refreshing quality I didn't expect to find in such a beer.

Black Licorice Lager is one hell of a creation! I don't know how Joe Short pulled all these flavors together but it was done nearly flawlessly. If any of you have a chance to pick a bottle of this up do not hesitate, I can't recommend it enough. Shorts can do no wrong in my book. Thanks again for the bottle, Dave!

Reviewed: 11/28/09

Price: $16.00 Served In: Mug

Review by Dr. Rockzo on 11/29/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
86 2 10 18 4 9 0
Big ups yo’self Joseph for the hookup here. Didn’t expect much going in but boy was I wrong. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a FOBAB 6oz. taster (twice).

A: Pours out a dark black licorice, hazy burnt-brown color with a modest 1 finger foamy quick-dissipating mocha colored head that leaves a thin cap but not a whole lot of lacing. The body gives off a nice glow around the edges when held to a light which is nice; overall, pretty good looking.

S: The smell is pretty nuts, and not at all what I was expecting. There is indeed some black licorice type aromas at first but they open up into waves of vanilla, chocolate, and mint which are friggin’ divine. Even with the age there’s not much of any oxidized sherry notes (which is good for my tastes) and for a lager there’s even a fair amount of roasted and dark malt notes. Very impressive thus far.

T: The taste, if you can believe it, even eclipses the greatness of the smell. The chocolate mint aspect is even more amplified, but in a subtle and graceful way that doesn’t come across as a fake Southern Tier-esque ripoff, and the licorice is implemented perfectly, like a mini-Abyss (which is a beer I love). There’s some backing waves of roasted grain, almost some sort of oatmeal creaminess, vanilla bean, and even a touch of dark berries/fruits drizzled in dark chocolate. Malted milk balls come to mind at times as well. Jesus Christ is this complex as hell and ever so tasty, being almost 3 years old makes this even more astounding.

M: The mouthfeel is medium/medium-thin with a crisp, higher level of moderate backing carbonation. The consistency is velvety and smooth like a melting mint-chocolate on your tongue, but ends with a bubbly bite of carbonation and some bitter roasted notes. Very smooth and pretty creamy for a lager with almost a bit of a minty cooling sensation left lingering on the tongue. No trace of 8% alcohol heat to be found anywhere either, pretty crazy stuff.

D: This was a beer that can reaffirm one’s love of a brewery, which is exactly what it did for me. I already lust for Short’s beers but this was a step above most of their already great offerings. So unique, so innovative, so tasty, so drinkable (for being high gravity and pretty crazily flavored). It’s almost 3 years old and it’s still drinking like a champ, I could see it being good to go for another year or two easy.

Joe Short is the mufuckin’ man, he brews some crazy off-the-wall shit but almost all of it is a hit. This BLL is no exception, and actually might be towards the top of what I’ve had from their imperial series so far. Super highly recommended.

EDIT: Yet again, Joey joe joe copies my shit...sigh....

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by seaoflament on 07/31/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
92 3 12 18 4 9 2008
Big thanks to hoppymeal for trading me a bottle of this one. I have developed a taste for anise through absinthe and had always wanted to try this one. I’ve already tried a couple of the Short’s Imperial beers but this is the first one I’ve sat down and rated. Bottle #201 out of 744 (hey Joe Short didn’t sign the back of this card!).

Pours the color of a strong porter, dark and with some ruby edges when held to the light. A thick and frothy head, soapy and creamy looking, rises from the bottom to the tip of my glass. About half of the glass filled up with foam. Great retention, there’s a good quarter inch of foam that just doesn’t disappear.

Wow, probably the best nose of all the Short’s beers I have tried. There’s a soft mint chocolate aroma that just makes my mouth water. Quite a bit of chocolate on this one with some lightly roasted malts, caramel, vanilla, wood, and a subtle anise aroma in the background. As much as I like anise I’m glad that it was not overdone, at least not in the aroma. There’s also some mineral water and/or club soda, something I have detected in other beers from their Imperial Series.

Taste is very similar to the aroma, did not believe it could live up to it. Lot’s of chocolate, a little bit of mint, vanilla, oak, cocoa, roasted malts, woodsy licorice, and anise in the finish and aftertaste. A tiny bit of alcohol can be detected in the end. Boy, this is one tasty beer!

Rich and creamy mouthfeel, at the right temperature so drink this one between cellar and room temp. Semi-dry finish with lots of roasted malts and chocolate in the finish. I have not liked the mouthfeel from most of the Short’s beers, I find them gaseous and thin, but this one is just great.

From the other Short’s beers I have tried I’m not sure if I could have finished a whole 750ml bottle by myself (maybe their Imperial Black Cherry Porter) but I will have no problem finishing and savoring this bottle.

Served In: Pint Glass

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