Part of our Michigan Beer Week.
Yet another of the beers I bought on my recent snowboarding trip, I decided to stick with the Northern Michigan theme and picked up a Short’s beer, The Wizard. They describe it as a barley wine brewed with raisins.
The beer has a great barleywine color and head, though it may be just a little bit darker than most barleywines. That could be due to the adjunct being dark in color, or more malt. Either way, no complaints here.
The aroma had plenty of malt, and just barely a hint of raisins – which, to be fair, don’t exactly have a strong aroma themselves. The flavor was a nice deep maltiness, but again, I hardly even got a hint of the raisin flavor. If you’re going to make a beer somehow “special” or distinct by including an adjunct, that should be present. I’m not asking for it to be overwhelming, just existent.
Lack of raisin flavor notwithstanding, this was an all-around mediocre beer. The malt flavors were present, but not as strong as you’d expect from a barleywine. It almost tasted a bit watered down, or more like a brown ale. Adding to that, when I was drinking it, I didn’t think it tasted particularly strong, but I quickly realized that probably wasn’t the case, as I got a buzz going before I was done with it. The flavor was weaker than the actual alcohol (11.0%) and malt content, which I don’t regard as a positive asset.
Overall, I would drink this beer again, but certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase it.