Short's Pandemonium Pale Ale - Short's Brewing Company

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Short's Pandemonium Pale AleShort's Pandemonium Pale Ale

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529 Ratings
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Ratings: 529
Reviews: 227
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 14
Gots: 55 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-19-2004

This blessed, coppered colored ale lends it’s hue to hearty pale ale malts and hand selected specialty grains. Glacier hops balance the wort resulting in  hoppy, and earthy flavors which compliment the core beer base.
49 I.B.U.’s
12.8 deg.  Plato
5.4% A.B.V.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 529 | Reviews: 227
Reviews by Bitter_Echo:
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.64/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Park Bar in Detroit. Nice opaque golden-amber color with a decent sized head for this style of beer. The nose hit you good, very floral and earthy with lots of hops, hop oils, citrus fruits (mango, orange, pineapple), and maybe a little malt. Pandemonium hits straight forward with a nice dose of hops (starts out much like an IPA), but as the hop sting fades, the floral and fruit flavors start to come out, along with a malt flavored finish. The ending is sweet and mildly fruity as the hop bite from the beginning may still be lingering in the background. The grains are somewhat noticeable, but pale in comparison to the amount of hops. The body is nothing special, medium-thin with a decent amount of carbonation.

Overall, a very nice Pale Ale with quite a hop bite that mellows into a more complex assortment of floral flavors. Very drinkable, would definitely have again.

Photo of weatherdog
3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic pint glass. Thanks to Tony for providing me with this.

it pours a crystal clear dark orange verging on copper. A nice muslin head tops the beer and leaves a medium amount of lacing on the sides. The beer looks a little lifeless in the glass although a ring of bubbles do stick around the edges.

The nose is a bit sweet balancing some crystal malts with some fruity hops. these aren't the traditional fruity 'citrus' hops though. I'm getting more of a red grape juice smell out of them. Interesting and kind of pleasant.

The taste starts off with a nice hop bite but then kind of goes downhill from there. The specialty grains seem to muddle with the not citrus fruit hop flavor and turn into a bit of a mess. On top of that i think I'm getting some out of place fruity fusels from the yeast. I'm really not digging it much at all. The finish is too sweet, not dry and crisp as i like my APA's.

The mouthfeel also loses it for me. It's pretty slick and just doesn't sit right with me. This is a completely average APA in an ever increasing sea of great quaffable examples.

Photo of nickadams2
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A_Hazy orangish copper with a thick fluffy white head.Little lacing.

S_Grassy hops and sweet malt.Little bit of a floral fruity smell.

T_Very crisp hops balanced by semi sweet pale malt. Grassy/earthy taste.

M_Thin and dry. Very refreshing.

D_Great session pale ale. Very good in hot weather.

Photo of Beaver13
3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Pours a clear golden copper with a smallish off white head that quickly goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet bready toasted caramel malt with some fruity light resiny hops.

The flavor is sweet toasted biscuit malts and some rye(?) with a good sized grassy bitterness. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with soft carbonation.

Overall, an OK pale ale. It has really good bitterness, I just don't really care for the toasted malts and grassy bitterness.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy amber with a head quickly dissipates to the glasses edge and leaves a nice lace
Very nice citrus hops with a pale malt backing
The taste is a lot more potent then expect smooth upfront full of pale malts it quickly turns to a hop taste still sweet but a grainy grassy hop it finish with a slight bitter but is still sweet

Photo of sarahspat
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big tan, fluffy head, with a few cinnamon colored spots of sediment. Dark red with lots of sediment floating around. Leaves just a little bit of lacing.

Smells like cotton candy, white grapefruit, and tropical fruit: pineapple and passion fruit. Very nice, sweet aroma.

The flavor is very strongly influenced by roasted, almost burnt, barley notes at first. However, the cotton candy and fruit flavors also have an assertive presence, which strengthens as it warms. Also, kind of strange for a pale ale: subtle notes of clove and banana. The finish is nice and bitter. I love the hops flavors that are going on here, but the others, not so much. I'm really not a fan of the burnt flavor at all. And I normally cannot stand clove and banana, but since they are so subdued here, they didn't bother me too much. I also had this on tap a few months ago and all I remember tasting then was candy: bubble gum and cotton candy and fruit, with a bitter finish. I liked it better the first time around. But from the bottle, the hops had a strong enough presence to keep this beer enjoyable, in spite of the other flavors, which I don't care for as much.

Mouthfeel is medium, with moderate carbonation. For me, the drinkability would be higher without some of the distracting flavors from the malt and yeast, and with more emphasis on the hops. But you have to admit, this is a unique pale ale.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a Nonic)
A- This beer pours a crystal clear toffee color with strands of microbubbles supporting a beige head that is a touch sticky.

S- The toasted biscuit malt notes are dry with a green cinnamon hop finish and some field corn hints in the finish.

T- The toasted biscuit malt blends with a citrus hop notes and some green herbal pungent hops linger after each sip. The finish is slightly dry.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a good fizz that compliments the pungency of the hops.

O- The toasted biscuit malt is nice but it is really big and doesn't have much support from other malt so it gets to be to much after half a glass.

Photo of pwoods
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Frank(paco923984723948723) for this extra!

12oz. brown bottle poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a rusty orange with good clarity. 1 1/2 fingers of white head forms and holds for a bit before dieing to a skim. Decent lacing throughout.

S: Soft dose of citrusy hops. This is followed up by a earthy, grassy, musty hops build exactly like the description states. Lightly sweet malts do their job and balance things nicely.

T/M: Pleasant bitterness level. The hops lean more toward the citrusy side in the taste with just a hint of pine and followed with some grassy-ness. Malts swoop in to balance with a touch of sweetness but are still gentle enough to let the hops leave a touch of lingering bitterness. Body is medium.

D: Pretty drinkable and tasty to boot. A solid APA.

Photo of Brenden
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The color's about an even copper, clear with the slightest chill haze that clears up. It ends up being translucent due to the darker color. A light tan head gets as high as one finger and takes time to drop to a full thick foam that keeps stable. Plentious patching sticks creamily and thickly to the glass. It leaves some bubbling in a way I've never seen before.
The hop bouquet is a little unfamiliar. It's citrusy with a bit of sweeter fruits, balanced by toasty buttered biscuit, caramel and a bit of nut. The strength fades in and out.
Citrus with both sweetness and tart zest come out up front on the tongue, with floral and almost minty additions. The hops are strongest, but it is well balanced by the malts. The nuttiness comes out into the finish, while it starts off on an earthier note.
The body is medium and there's a good smoothness under a big crisp bite.

Photo of dashirey
3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another growler that made it home in great shape! And another success for Short's (surprise right?)

A - Hazy copper with reddish tones shining through. Fluffy off white colored two-finger head that leaves a tone of lacing.

S - Some citrus and earthen tones followed by sweet malt and grains.

T - Overall a very nicely balanced taste. Hops come through in the end but do not over power like the Stellar Ale (which I loved). Probably more true to style than the Stellar.

M - Medium-bodied. Pretty smooth drinking with a slight drying sensation in the end. It could have used a bit more carbonation in my opinion.

D - Great example of the style. Split a growler in a evening and could have had more.

Another great job by Short's to no one's surprise I'm sure.

Photo of GilGarp
4.42/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served cold into a pint glass.

Pandemonium is a hazy copper orange color with thick white head after a vigorus pour. It has fairly good retention and leaves nice lacing as it settles.

Aroma is hoppy but not overly so. It has a sweet candied orange peel smell which I really enjoy.

Flavor is also really well done. A little bit of caramel sweetness and a good dose of hoppy bitterness. Really well balanced with a lean towards the citrusy hops. As it warms, I start to notice more grassy and earth character in this beer.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and well carbonated. Balanced and drinkable.

For an American pale ale, this is one of the best.

Photo of Stigs
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from the brewery, served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

A - pours with nary a bit of loose, white foam which retreats to a ring around the glass. the beer is clear, on the darker side of gold in color.

S - lightly sweet, bready malt kissed with caramel. piney and earthy hops struggle to get noticed.

T - begins with a bit of somewhat aggressive, earthy hops which meld into a caramel, bready sweetness. finishes with notes of pine and grass.

M - medium bodied, with moderate to light carbonation which tends to make the beer a little more syrupy than it really is. finishes slightly oily, with lingering piney bitterness and bready malt.

D - not bad, though slightly awkward in a way i cant get my finger on. balanced for the most part, if not leaning slightly towards the sweet side. sessionable enough, though there are more interesting APA's out there.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark coppery color with a thin snow white head, little circular flecks of lace left on the glass as the glass empties.

Delicate flowery/herbal aroma, with an even lighter cinnamon spice presence in the background.

Taste is a little more on the bitter green/leafy side than the aroma suggests, with little malt presence to add the depth I was hoping for. Bit of a metallic character too, with hints of apple and an almost astringent herbal facet. The label reads "behold the bitter hysteria," and I guess we get the "bitter" that is promised, although not sure about "hysteria."

The feel is tingly and well-carbonated, nothing special, nothing to complain about either.

A decent beer, though not outstanding. This is my third of a six pack over the last several days, and it seems to be missing a healthier malt presence.

Photo of Magpie14
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: a still crusted golden brown body with a whip of fizz on top. Overall the head is rather lackluster and lacing is making a meager stand, not bad

S: toasted malts. Dirty bitter hops and caramel

T: flavors follow the nose and the hops lend a dry earthy bitterness, a smattering of herbaceous notes, and a wedge of an orange. This all melds nicely with the caramel flavors. Malts hold down the profile pretty well
Things are pretty laid back and mild overall, tasty

M: medium carbonation and soft dry finish, body hits the mark for the style. Lingers a bit bitter and malty

D: a tasty shorts brew...tasty

Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the brewpub, a very good pale. Was not getting the best aroma from the glass, that is the glass. Glacier hop, a light white head on ruby body, leaving lace. Served at appropriate temperature, not too cold. A decent though drying bitterness. BVitterness like an IPA.

3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into pint glass.
A: Pours a hazy burnt orange body, with a white head that retreats into a small foamy layer. Lacing is minimal.
S: A bit of a fruity dry darkness. A malt presence is shown from the aroma.
T/M: The taste has an upfront caramel notes, that is a malt forward APA. The hops add a nice dry finish. Overall this is a really nicely balanced APA, with malts and hops.
D: Nice drinkablility with a balanced taste, this is a sessionable APA.

Photo of prototypic
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pandemonium Pale Ale is copper in color. There’s a moderate amount of haze. More than I anticipated. Backlighting gives it a bit of an orange look. An off-white head covers it, but only rises to about a finger in height. It’s very quick to recede, leaving a very light coat of lace behind.

The nose is pretty good and interesting. The malt base is an interesting mix of caramel and toasted malts. The toasted variety smells like the stronger of the two. Hops are there, but aren’t your typical American Pale fare. They smell earthy and spicy with just a hint of citrus orange. Alcohol is very light in the mix. Smells different, but pretty good.

The flavor keeps the pace. The malt base is definitely a mix of toasted and caramel malts. Interesting choice. It’s a little sweet. There are interesting herbal and praline-like flavors that are prominent throughout. Very unique. Hops are noted and are a little stronger than expected. They taste a little spicy, herbal, with a touch of citrus orange. I have no clue what the hop bill is, but I’ve never tasted anything like it in an APA. It definitely has a bitter kick. I’d say it’s more hoppy than malty. Alcohol is blended well. Finishes with a spicy hop kick and just a touch of toasted malt and praline flavors.

Pandemonium Pale Ale has a light medium body. It definitely feels a tad thin. Carbonation is active, but doesn’t feel buzzy. For the style, it feels pretty average. Not bad though.

Pandemonium Pale Ale is definitely one of those releases from Short’s that veers left of center in terms of its consistency with the style. How so? Well, the strong presence of toasted malts and praline flavors are the biggest clues. The spicy and herbal hop flavors are further evidence. It’s definitely novel, but isn’t bad. It’s not my favorite formula for an APA, but it isn’t bad. Definitely one worth checking out.

Photo of nickd717
3.89/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All right, so people see Short's and they expect something that tastes like a key lime pie or a PB&J sandwich or a Bloody Mary or whatnot. But what's wrong with brewing a simple, subtle, style-fitting, good beer once in awhile? Nothing if you ask me. This beer hits the nail on the head in my opinion.

Deep clear orangish-copper-amber pour with a lasting one-finger white head and great lacing. Appearance is near perfect for this style.

The aroma has good malt character of caramel and biscuit, along with orangey, earthy hops.

Solid flavor for a pale ale, without only mild malt sweetness. Caramel, toffee, biscuits, and orange. Bitterness is restrained.

Extremely smooth on the palate with medium body for the style and soft carbonation.

Very drinkable. To me, this is what American Pale Ales are all about really. 90 IBU beers are great, don't get me wrong, but beers like this can be pretty damn enjoyable too.

Photo of Kegatron
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy amber, with 3 big fingers of light tan head. This fizzles down into a thin layer of frothy retention that fires up nicely, leaving some thick patchy lace back. The aroma is gently floral and spicy in the nose, with some malty notes of buttered bread and a splash of citrus. Pleasant enough but not overly assertive by any means.

The taste is moderately spicy with hop bitterness and a surprisingly hefty feeling malt backbone of caramel and bread mixing with some prominent citrus, to impart a slick tang that last well into the finish, along with some light bitterness and spice. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a smooth creaminess to the carbonation and overall easy slickness to the feel and drinkibility. Nice.

Nothing wrong here. Quite the tasty and (especially) easy drinking Pale Ale from Short's. This is another one that I wish I had bought more of, as the liquid drained way too quickly from my glass.

Photo of beveritt
4.42/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Label looks like a chalk drawing of a pensive devil in the fires of hell. I hope to hell the description on Beer Advocate was not written by the brewers; it sounds like an attempt by some 2 bit drunk poet to sound cool. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours with just shy of 1 finger of nearly white, dense head. This settles slowly to a thin yet complete layer of foam, leaving behind nice lacing coverage. The beer itself is the bright orange color of a hefeweizen and cloudy.

Smell: Strong wet hop aroma against a slightly smoky caramel malt backdrop.

Taste: Great hop bitterness throughout, with an amazing fresh taste to he hops that captures not only the spiciness, but the more base, green vegetal notes. It tastes like what a bag of whole leaf hops smells like, something I don't think I have ever experienced before in a beer. Malt backbone is slightly sweet with a hint of biscuity flavors.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is very good.

Drinkability: Picked one of these up on a recent trip to MI, so won't be getting any more any time soon. Love the way the whole leaf hop has been captured.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.37/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Copper colored, more on the orange side. Weak head, no retention.

Some citrus hops in the smell, and a little bit of peach. I reminds me of a diet peach Snapple- not a good comparison if you're a pale ale.

A little bit of grapefruit and peach, followed by some bready malt. It leave a tin aftertaste that is unpleasant.

Well carbonated (despite the lack of it in appearance) and thin. Slightly drying on the palate.

I was very unimpressed with this beer and definitely will not seek this out again.

Photo of heebes
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.
Date stamp is there but remains unintelligable.

Pours a semi hazy orange amber with a decent off white foamhead that fades quickly. Nose is immidiately sharp citrus / grapefruit surprisingly. Only the faintest hint of malt auroma. Taste is like a muted version of the smell, although the hops stand up very well allowing a bitter aftertaste. Very well rounded body where the malt balances nicely against the amount of hops. There must be something special in Michigan water that Ontario brewers can't duplicate, because this Pale is hoppier and more like an IPA than any IPA availble from On. craft brewers. Overall this beer hits all the right notes; sessionable, flavourful, hoppy and enjoyable all round. Kudos to Shorts. (If only they could get better ink for stamping their bottles!)

Photo of morimech
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a thin head that slowly settled to a thin cap. Quite a bit of lacing is left on the glass. Not getting a lot of positive things from the aroma. Is that diacetly? I believe it is. I also get some malt and a touch of citrus. What I thought was diacetyl in the aroma is confirmed in the taste. Have not heard of these issues in Short's beer before. A lot of butter and caramel flavor. The hops give some citrus and herbal qualities. The bitterness is there even if the hop flavor is not as impressive. The body is the best thing about this beer. A little bigger than most others and nicely carbonated. A really smooth texture. There are enough bright spots in this beer to make it drinkable. After having a few Short's beers on-tap, I am a bit disappointed in my first bottle.

Photo of marcobrau
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with ample carbonation. Head falls to a thin layer of bubbles and leaves some lace. Smells a bit odd -- a bit like burnt toast -- but it doesn't bother me. Tastes toasty and woody (suggesting fire and brimstone I suppose) and is fairly dry with a toasted malt finish that fades to a woody dryness with a decent smack of bitter hops. Quite drinkable if the toasted flavors don't bug you. Like the label.

Photo of alleykatking
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle.

A- Poured into my Bell's pint glass. Pours a nice golden copper color with a good 1/2 off white head. Lacing sticks and stays to the sides of the glass.

S- The intial smell of sweet malts presided over everything. Once I took another smell I picked up on a bitter hop smell along with the sweet malts. Nothing to special going on with this beer. Just true to the style in the smells.

T- First taste was a super sweet malt complex with an almost nice bitter hop presence directly colliding with this beer. Upon further sips I find this beer to have a nice bitter taste that lingers and becomes the forefront than the malts in this beer. Good stuff!

M- Good clean mouthfeel to this. I like the light to medium body on this and the carbination levels are almost perfect for this beer. The bubbles help to make this beer enjoyable in all aspects of mouthfeel.

D- I am slowly going back to my pales here more and more. I could buy a 6'er of this any day and sit back and enjoy it. Looking forward to my next trip into Michigan to make that happen. Thank god I live only 5 minutes away!

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Short's Pandemonium Pale Ale from Short's Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 529 ratings.