Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bottled Michigan: Short's The Woodmaster

A few years ago, in a fit of insanity mixed with naivete, my wife and I attempted the Master Cleanse diet. I linked to it, but for the lazy, here's the rundown: you survive on nothing but a mixture of maple syrup, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and water for a number of days. You also take a daily salt enema, where you drink a salt solution designed to scrub your insides and clean you out.  We lasted 4 days, and it was absolute hell. Additionally, it permanently moved the flavor of “maple syrup” into the unpleasant category, right next to old milk and the breath of a rabid dog. All that posed a problem for me as I look at Short's new brown ale. . .brewed with maple syrup.


Before we discuss how the beer tastes, I think it's prudent, after bringing The Wizard's kitsch goth theme to light, that we spend a minute talking about what is on the label for the Woodmaster. I understand that it takes a certain special type of person to make a living by screwing holes into maple trees and letting their lifeblood sap trickle out. But does he have have to be staring at me with those dark, cavernous eyes and grinning, toothy smile while pushing the screw deep into the flesh of the maple tree? Blond Vermont guy is creepy.

Luckily, this beer is anything but creepy. It pours like any brown would, with perhaps a bit less head than I'd like (about half a finger that dissipates quickly and leaves a nice lacing on the glass). It smells sweet – thick, cloying flavors of maple ride over a light nuttiness that really doesn't develop in the nose.

This beer really comes together once it's tasted. It has a velvety smoothness, unusual for a brown ale but not unexpected as this heavyweight brings 9.5% alcohol by volume to the table. The alcohol really mutes the sweetness of the maple syrup without masking it, and lets the roasted malt play with the toasted pecans in the foreground. Hops are all but nonexistent in this aggressive brown ale, letting the balance come from the juxtaposition of sweet maple syrup and hearty nut flavor from the pecans. This won't replace Good Humans for my favorite winter beer, but that could be because of my previous traumatic experience with maple syrup.


10 comments:

Laura said...

That first meal we ate after no food for four days was the most glorious meal I have ever eaten, and for that reason, it was almost worth the torture. I will never forget that day. I will also never attempt another "cleanse". Buh.

Keith Menne said...

I agree that the guy on the label sets sort of an odd tone, but the beer is fantastic. A great adventure of smell, taste and feel. Even at 9.5% ABV, I find this a very easy delicious brew to drink. Love it!

Richard C. Lambert said...

It's not a sporty scent. I usually reserve this one for night outs or dinners. reverse osmosis system reviews

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رضا رمضان said...

شركتنا من المتميزون في اعمال الاصلاح بدون هدم او تكسير من خلال شركة ركن البيت التي تقدم الكثير والكثير في عمل اللازم وتصحيح الاخطاء التي تسببها تسريبات المياه فنحن مثلا

شركة كشف تسربات المياه بجدة تقدم خدمة لعمل الاصلاح بدون اي خراب ونقدم النصيحة للعملاء بالابتعاد عن الاعمال التي تؤدي الي هذا الخراب فتعاملك مع شركة كشف تسربات بجدة لديها الخبرة الكافية تساعدك في الحفاظ علي منزلك كما اننا نتمكن في اننا سوف نرتقي بخدمة لاننا نقوم بالعمل السليم لها كما يوجد لدينا خدمات العوازل التي تمنع التسريبات من الاسقف لكم والحوائط والخزانات من خلال شركة تسمي الاولي في مجالها لذلك نحن نقدم شركة عزل خزانات بالرياض التي تعتبر في عل الخزانات الارضية من الداخل بواسطة مواد متميزة كما نقدم لكم شركة عزل اسطح بالرياض لعمل العوازل التي تمنع جميع التسريبات في الاسقف

Ragab Kamal said...


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We also offer moving furniture needed by everyone because of the expiration of the lease time or travel service
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And safety and God's mercy and blessings
كما يوجد لدينا ايضا تنظيف المجالس والكنب والسجاد والموكيت باحدث الطرق الموجودة وافضل المواد التى تقضى البقع والاوساخ
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Ragab Kamal said...


In the name of God the Merciful We in the light of UK companies offer the best services in all cleaning Katenziv in apartments , boards and cabinets and Villas
شركة نور المملكة
شركة تنظيف بمكة
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شركة مكافحة حشرات بجازان
We also offer moving furniture needed by everyone because of the expiration of the lease time or travel service
شركة الصفرات لنقل الاثاث بالرياض
And safety and God's mercy and blessings
كما يوجد لدينا ايضا تنظيف المجالس والكنب والسجاد والموكيت باحدث الطرق الموجودة وافضل المواد التى تقضى البقع والاوساخ
شركة تنظيف مجالس وكنب بحائل
شركة تنظيف سجاد وموكيت بحائل
وكل هذا بانسب الاسعار واقل التكلفة ونحن نعمل فى خدماتكم 24ساعه


Ragab Kamal said...


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم نحن فى شركة الكمال نقوم بكشف التسربات من خلال امببة هواء مزواده بالعداد هواء كما يوجد لدينا جهاز الكترنى يكشف عن طريق التزبزبات
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