Bourbon Wizard

Barrel Aged Barleywine

Bourbon Wizard is a barrel aged Barleywine with a monstrous malt bill and a boil time of 6 hours and 66 minutes creating a full-bodied deep, dark amber behemoth with high residual malty sweetness of caramel and toffee. These colossal flavors are then magnified by ample additions of raisins during fermentation. A year’s worth of bourbon barrel aging imparts favorable complements of vanilla and charred oak, adding to this palate impacting experience.

  • ABV: 14.7%
  • IBU: 48
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Origin Story

The Wizard was the first Barleywine ever brewed at Short's. It was first brewed by Tony Hansen almost 5 years ago, back when he and Steve Ison were working out of Bellaire, as our company's first full time brewery employees. At the time, Steve was approaching his 50th birthday, the brewery was reaching new batch milestones, and brewing operations were running well enough that creative projects could be entertained and worked into the brew schedule. This particular beer was going to symbolically mark a number of things for the brewery and also serve as a cool birthday gift to Steve-O, who happened to have a particular affinity for Barleywines. Adding to the special inspiration for this beer was that it could be brewed on Devil's Night (the night before Halloween and Steve's favorite holiday), as the 666th batch ever brewed at Short's, and still be ready in time for his birthday. In order to make a high gravity barleywine, many brewers implement a couple of different brewing practices to achieve the strong malt flavors and increased alcohol content expected of this style. Tony decided that for our company's first attempt at brewing a barleywine he would brew it using three times the normal amount of grain used to make a batch of beer on our system, and then increase the boil time from our normal 1 hour to a whopping 6 hours and 66 minutes (also playing into the Devil's night theme and the batch 666 benchmark)! By implementing these changes to the brewing process, he was able extract three times as much sugar for the wort and consolidate those sugars seven times the normal amount by boiling off about a third of the water from the solution. This increased the overall fermentable sugars for a higher alcohol content and nonfermentable sugars for a heightened intensity of malt flavors. To help make our barleywine a little more balanced and ensure that the high ABV didn't dominate the flavor profile, we added raisins to each batch to provide a little extra sweetness, as well as a large amount of hops, to help mask any overwhelming alcohol flavors. The name "Wizard" not only played into the Devil's Night theme, but also hinted to the origin of the malt bill, which was literally the same recipe as our Magician, just three times larger. Upon it's original release at the pub, the Wizard has become a yearly staple often brewed in the late fall or early winter to accompany the colder weather when bigger bodied beers are a welcome sight to many craft beer fans. Barleywines in general are frequently bourbon barrel aged by many breweries due to the natural flavor compliments that come from placing big sweet beers in charred oak barrels. Ever since the original batch, we commonly took a couple barrels worth of regular Wizard and aged it for up to a year to offer as a draft only Bourbon version to pub customers and limited accounts throughout the state. Barrel aging requires additional time, cooler space, and energy by the brew staff, with a yield that is often low and sells fast.


Cascade, Simcoe and Styrian Golding

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 480

Available In

  • 22ozbomber
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