Short’s Black Licorice Lager

Short’s Brewing Company, Bellaire, Michigan
Black Licorice Lager
High Gravity Dark Lager
8% ABV

Once the high-gravity antiseptic aromas dissipate, subtle notes of anise and vanilla remain. As fans of black licorice, we were surprised that this beer was neither sweet nor salty, as those two flavor profiles most commonly and pleasantly accompany anise.  Instead, it is rather sour with an acrid finish.  Perplexing! The anise is omnipresent but unassertive. This makes Short’s Black Licorice Lager quite different from Bell’s Batch 9,000, which is a 12.5% ABV haze of syrupy sweet alchoholic licorice that completely decimates the palate. Short’s Black Licorice Lager proffers a more conservative sour licorice that alienates but does not destroy the palate.

It took a few sips to get a reading on this brew, which is a testament to its complexity (or lack of unity, depending on your perspective).  Ultimately the chocolate and vanilla notes are crowded out by the sour licorice flavor, whose insidious presence grows stronger as the beer warms.  Sadly, I found the beer tragically unbalanced and resigned it to the kitchen sink.

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~ by Perry S. on June 29, 2010.

One Response to “Short’s Black Licorice Lager”

  1. Does anybody else drink these things?
    [hey, freebie for Shorts’s r&d division –> tobacco stout — although Old Hickory may have beaten you to it –> better make it imperial]

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