Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Short's Autumn Ale - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Short's Autumn AleShort's Autumn Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

99 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 99
Hads: 313
Avg: 3.57
pDev: 24.37%
Wants: 7
Gots: 39 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.75% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: proc on 11-01-2004

A malty amber ale over toned with slight caramel flavors and notable pleasant hoppiness throughout. An international award winning recipe.
30 I.B.U.'s
13 deg. Plato 
5.75 % A.B.V
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 99 | Hads: 313
Photo of Drk93TT
4.77/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap at shorts brew pub on vacation. & Pick up sixers of it every fall in SE MI !

Sidenote: I love shorts beer, and love ESB's.. therefore this is incredible.

A: A slightly hazy light copper color.. leaves a little head but mostly bubbles and fades away.

S: Sweet malty smell with tropical fruit.. just a hint of it.

T: Crisp and clean for a ESB. really hits like a amber ale and the fruit and wild stuff come in at the finish for me... excellent

M: Solid and on par with ESBs ive had, very good. Chewy and fruity.

O: Thank you sir may I have another? Will continue to buy sixers of this magical beverage until they run out and am forced to wait until next year

 673 characters

Photo of clint1019
4.65/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Has a medium amber colored head with a thin toffee colored head.

S - Has a nice light toffee aroma to it with a big grapefruit aroma. Other aroma's detected are a light spice aroma and a fresh green (almost grassy) hop aroma.

T - Starts out with a nice caramelly malt flavor with a nice grapefruit flavor. Finishes with a light hop bitterness.

M - Light bodied and lightly carbonated.

O - Wow! I honestly can't believe all the reviews below mine. This is an amazing beer! It has an amazing flavor and aroma and is such a well balanced beer. Definitely one of my top ten beers of all time.

 596 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

during the great pumpkin carving of 2010, this was one of many new beers sampled. served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 10/29/2010.

the pour was a wonderful shade of amber with a good level of carbonation that was easily visible through the glass. nice head of white that comes up to around two inches and settles own with a moderate amount of lacing.

aroma of nicely rounded hops, light citrus mixed with a caramel sweetness that is simply sublime. near perfection here with every whiff. taking the first sip only reinforces this as each sip is better then the next. really just clean, crisp notes of citrus hops, caramel, bready malts, and a touch of apple like tartness cross the palate and leave a clean, sparkling finish that begs you to drink more.

overall one of the finest tasting and easist drinking seasonals i have had in a very long time. really very, very well done.

 911 characters

Photo of GRPunk
4.42/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into my Young's nonic pint.

A- A moderate pour left a 1-1/2 finger khaki/tan head that drops to about 1/2 finger before falling to a full film. The body is a slightly hazy copper with light carbonation. Great sticky rings are left on the glass. Recent Short's brews have been lacking a bit in head retention for me. This one seemed to be a bit better in that regard.

S- As I poured, I was met with an initial hop rush that was earthy and herbal. There's a solid malt backbone that's somewhere between sweet and bready/grainy. Very nicely balanced. Something I'd expect from the style. Profile seems the same whether cold right from the pour or warmed after a long, enjoyable drink.

T- Great. Malts and hops come together in a wonderful balance. Malts are sweet at first and combine with earthy hops that are a bit grassy and herbal. The finish reminds me of a Whole-Wheat Ritz cracker. It seems like that typical Short's recipe that tweaks tradition and throws you for a bit of a loop. Malts morph into more of a grainy flavor with some warmth.

M- It's pleasantly, mildly grainy. Carbonation borders between medium and light. There's a slight tingle (hops perhaps). It's quite full without being offensively thick or biting. Well within the style for me.

D- ESB means balance and drinkability to me. This hit it head on. It's tweaked without losing ESB qualities. I would seek this beer out. If it weren't a fall seasonal, I could see this being a regular in my year-round rotation.

 1,501 characters

Photo of Lauthaha
4.42/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I drank this beer straight from the bottle.

Appearance: Through the amber glass after a few sips, I see a relatively strengthened head of about one cm inside the bottle. Sticky lacing on the side from which I am not drinking. Looks good to me!

Smell: Sappy citrus. Some coriander perhaps, and a lot of sour molasses. Sweet bread or fruitcake. Heavy on the malt nose.

Taste/Mouthfeel: I was a bit repulsed at first: a desired quality in an ESB, for me anyway. Bitter, sweet and sour all at once...the syrupy flavors intermingle with grapefruit-like sour citrus tones. Bready on the palate, but goes with very smoothly, leaving behind very little residue. A clean sip.

Overall: A win for Short's Brewing, again.

 713 characters

Photo of nickadams2
4.3/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A_Burnt orange/copper color with a thin tan head. Good retention and lots of lacing.

S_Toasted malt,bread,orange zest,peppercorns.

T_Dry,toasted malt,biscuit,orange zest,grapefruit, peppercorns and grassy hops.Lots of flavors but overall really well balanced.

M_Medium bodied,crisp very drinkable and refreshing.

D_Very delicious drinkable beer.

Not sure how this rates to style. Not too familiar with ESBs. This is great though.

 434 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.25/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was waiting for a semi-chilly day to try this one. And here we go...

Pours a rich but dull copper/amber. head is cream white and somewhat dense. Lacing is nice, half sticky half clean.

Aroma has a blend of hops and caramel. The hops give hints of citrus and floral, but tend to lean more toward earthy. And this gives a nice segue to the caramel. Bready and a bit sticky. Some herbal notes. Just when I think it'll become a Scottish beer, the hops provide a detour. Nice feel to it throughout. Perhaps a bit more citrusy than a regular ESB, but still quite nice.

 567 characters

Photo of SometimesIfart
4.23/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Shorts Autumn Ale.

This one was a complete random to finish out my mix a six for the night. Shorts usually does a fairly good job with their beers and this is the second ESB in a row tonight. Let's see how the American counterpart stacks up to the three foreign ones I have had.

Look - Pours a moderately clear amber with a two and a half finger slightly off white head that has the greatest retention I have ever seen in a beer. Carbonation is about moderate with this one. Ahhh yes, hopefully we're in for another pretty one with this guy. Lacing stuck around pretty well though not as well as I had expected. Still pretttyyy good looking. 4.25.

Smell - Big malt present up front almost like freshly baked bread ready to be buttered to go along with your thanksgiving meal. Hops are there and seem juicier than you would expect but the fresh baked malts really dominate. 3.75.

Taste - The taste starts off with an initial assault of fresh and very juicy hops without being sweet. Moderate levels of bitterness are surely noticeable though it does not take a hold over anything. Malts show up to the party a bit late. There is a different aspect as well. One that I cannot quite convey into words but if I have ever tasted Fall in a bottle this is the one. 4.5.

Feel - Body is full though light in a way if that makes any sense. Head retained very well which means it is like silk up on the tongue. Carbonation feels very high but not stingingly so in any way. The flavors that rest and remain upon an inhale are pleasant and the bitterness never once becomes cloying. 4.25.

Overall - Bravo Shorts. You've done what so many others try to do in capturing the true essence of fall in a 12oz bottle. This has been my favorite of the ESB bunch, and a pretty damn good beer to boot. I'd have another for sure. If I had a complaint, I'd say tone down the carbonation just a hair. Other than that, very solid brew. 4.25..

 1,921 characters

Photo of SpdKilz
4.22/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to erikkoppin for this great beer. Cheers Erik and congratulations again.
What an absolutely fitting beer for tonight. I smell someone barbequing with wood, there is already a nice breeze going, it is a bit humid, about to dip below the 70's and not even five thirty yet. Enough sentiment and my missing the Midwest. On to the review!

Appearance - Pours a dark ginger into my SA Perfect Pint with about a finger of quickly dissipating head that leaves slight lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Oranges, pine, green apples, caramel, heavy sweet malts, and what seems like tea. This has a fascinating aroma (can't that be said for almost all of Short's beers?).

Taste - The initial taste is different from what you are expecting. There is a most definite bitterness up front that is heavy in piney hops, and again, I feel like unsweetened tea. There is a wave of citrus that takes over the bitterness (though the bitterness is not off putting nor overpowering). Fruits such as grapefruit, orange, and slight green apple bombard my taste buds. The taste finishes with the toasted malts, biscuit, spices, and toffee. Delicious.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, noteworthy crisp, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability - Unbelievable. I only have one of these and am doing my best to enjoy it, and I sure am. Very drinkable, the flavors are just damn so perfect together. I want to move to Michigan near Short's when I retire (oh the irony how I am still in Grad School and am yet to even start "work" yet here I talk about retiring) so I can enjoy their beers all the time, and on tap. Thanks again to Erik for hooking me up with tons of Short's brews I can't wait to dive into.

 1,691 characters

Photo of malty
4.22/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Force poured into my favorite (antique?)stemmed tulip-style Whitbread Extra Stout chalice. It's a deep somewhat bloody amber color with great clarity. The settled head rests at 3/4" and is a creamy, craggy slightly toasted marshmallow color. Almost no visible uprising carbonation. Dainty but uninterupted thin rings of lace all the way down.

The nose is extravagantly fruity and malty al at once. It smells (at least to me) exactly like freshly dipped sour granny smith caramel apples. Then there's a lush tropical fruit element with a buttermilk backdrop. Reminds me of sitting in an up north diner's toasted sourdough bread with apricot marmalade.

The liquid hits my mouth with a direct and bitter blast straight outta the gate. Just when you think this ale is most likely going to be sweet & syrupy, The Short's brewers tweak your head big time. The toasted malts are very upfront while the hops really captivate the upfront flavors. The hops are very earthy and not at all citrus-like or piney. Funny, because the fruity scents that were so apparent in the nose are really diminished in the flavor - which IMHO is a good thing due to it's style category.

Mouthfeel is very English in nature. Not a lot of carbonation, but it is there in a moderate amount. Between light and medium bodied with a definite dry, bitter and not-so-much chalky finish.

Drinkability is killer. The clean flavors beckon you to quaff more and more. The bitterness really keeps you thirsty.

Overall an utterly fantastic rendition of a hard to nail style. Short's really got it right with this ESB. I adore the paradox of the sweet, fruity, malty nose and the bitter & dry textures/flavors. A masterfully crafted English Special Bitter that would make our fellow BA 'Ding' proud for sure. Too bad I'm only an in-person trader. Good stuff here!

 1,830 characters

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. Not sure who sent me this. All you MI BA's kick ass, though.

A- Ruddy brown and a 1cm head that's slightly off white.

S- Sweet and spicy hops. Nice malt presence.

T- Nice fruity malts and earthy bitterness. Hops are in the background. A little bit of orange zest. A lot drier and not as sweet as the nose had me thinking- I'm thankful for that. Supremely balanced. I don't have many ESBs under my belt but this one is very tasty.

M- Moderate carbonation, nice finish. No qualms here.

D- Moderately high. Wow, this beer is tasty! I was not sure how I would like this one and am pleasantly surprised. Worth taking for a spin.

 637 characters

Photo of treyrab
4.19/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my brother and sister for taking a trip Michigan to pick me up some Michigan brews. Picked up a few bombers and singles. Decided to open this one tonight to celebrate a Penguins victory.

Opens with a slight hiss as the mist pours out.

A: Pours a hazy amber brown. Exactly how I would envision an ESB to look. Hazy, crimson highlights, nutty color. Very minimal head even with a rather vigorous pour.

S: The smell is actually incredible. "That's a lot of nuts!" Smells like sweet nuts, most notably pecans. Toasted pecans. Sweet toffee and caramel as well. Caramelized pecans, if you will. Very nice. Minor pine hops in there as well, but the sweet nuts and caramel dominate. Very nice.

T: The caramel and nutty flavors in the scent do not follow through to the taste. The taste is the normal ESB clean pine hop flavors you would expect. Very clean. Nicely bitter without being an IPA. Not bland, but it doesn't pack much of a punch, which is quite good.

M: Almost cask-like low. Which is awesome to get a cask-like feel from a bottle.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. The scent was stellar, and the flavor was solid too. Recommended.

 1,154 characters

Photo of BierFan
4.15/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Thin off-white head settles to a ring of foam around the glass in a short amount of time. Hazy dark amber body looks a bit like apple cider.

Smell: Definitely some fruitiness. Decently hopped.

Taste: Tart fruity flavor. Good bitterness. Really smooth mouthfeel.

 325 characters

Photo of sculls65
4.12/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a murky amber with a tannish head . smells like the caramel apple section in the apple orchard on a fall day...caramel...and fruit...maybe even donuts . Taste is subdued compared to smell, but is a nice blend of roasted caramel malt..fruit and grain. Id say lightly carbonated and thicker than average mouthfeel. No problem drinking a few of these on a gray october night.

 379 characters

Photo of GilGarp
4.12/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served cold into a pint glass.

Short's Autumn Ale is a slightly hazy amber red color with creamy head. It settles quickly leaving just a little lace.

Aroma is really pleasant yet unusual. A citrusy and floral hop overlays a more carmel toffee malt base.

The flavor consists of layers of different things going on. Malty sweet with caramel and nuts, bitter citrus/floral hops, and finally a clove-spice yeast finish.

Mouthfeel is light in body and well carbonated. Complex but balanced.

Overall a really nice ESB but definately different to others I've had.

 574 characters

Photo of tronester
4.12/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy reddish brown with a thin light tan head. A fruity, earthy aroma. Taste is a mellow herbal start, followed by a juicy dark fruit middle, and a raw clinging hop finish. Hop resins cling to the tongue. Mouthfeel is rich, overall an excellent beer.

 263 characters

Photo of JordanEllwanger
4.07/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber tone with a fast off white head. very transparent with no sediment on the bottom of the bottle. Smells sweet and fruity like kids yogurt. The sweet taste is there with the malts. reminds me of maple trees. A very earthy grassy taste with a good mixture of hop. Feels very good and not harsh at all aside from the hop bite. A great beer to drink. Could session with this.

 389 characters

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Lee - thanks!

Pours a dark copper color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of grainy caramel malts with good amounts of leafy and herbal hop aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Moderately dry caramel malt flavors with good amounts of lighter pale malts. Joining in shortly thereafter are leafy and earthy hop flavors that dry out the flavor profile even further. The hops carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall I thought this was a nice and moderately-hopped beer for the style. Worth a shot.

 773 characters

Photo of dannycohen62
3.98/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L - Cloudy, burnt amber color, decent sized head with excellent retention
S - Fresh baked bread, toast, followed by juicy citrus, something like walnut towards the end
T - Very hop-forward for the style, but not overly aggressive. Hops give the beer a tropical and juicy flavor which actually compliments the biscuity malt very nicely. Maybe not to style but very tasty and refreshing. There is a faint buttery/toffee taste but it's hard to pick up on.
F - Fairly heavy carbonation, zippy mouthfeel. Again, maybe too much for an ESB. Seems to be obscuring some of the more delicate malty flavors.
O - Lots of interesting things going on, if I lived in Michigan I would reach for this often in the fall. The mix of nutty bread and juicy hops is intriguing.

 757 characters

Photo of Haybeerman
3.94/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber color; evenly hazy (did not clear as the beer warmed). Poured a 2 finger beige head that dissipated quickly to a broken skim. Laced the glass at the top in wide rings.

A: Caramel and toffee; slightly sweet. Rather interesting citrus and floral hop character (not prominent).

T: Lots of malt and hop character for the style (I guess that's good). A little nutty to compliment the same malt character that was in the nose. A little sticky resin in the middle; maybe even flattish. Some spice in the finish to add to the mix.

M: Light body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and complex. Good balance to malts.

O: Good ESB though the look (hazy/cloudy) was a little odd.

 676 characters

Photo of airohead2001
3.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks glazeman!

A - Orange, light red with no head. Average appearance.

S - Piney hops, soap, oranges, and fresh, juicy tangerines. This is a good one - very interesting.

T - Another good one from Short's. Oranges, tangerines, and more citrus hops. Very crispy and refreshing.

M - Average. Thin, but just fine for a 5.75% ESB.

D - Low ABV and very refreshing - I could drink several of these for sure.

 408 characters

Photo of hosehead83
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into an English "pot pint".
Deep amber in color, with a short, bone-white head of foam.
Aroma-Toasted malt, subtle fruity note.
Taste-Toasted malt, caramel, faint maple note, nice little hop bite. An easy -drinking, fine ESB.

 232 characters

Photo of Beejay
3.89/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A hazy amber with red notes. Not a lot of head but what is there was a just a little tan, and quickly dissipated to a few large bubbles.

S: Grassy hops come out right away. As well as a decent caramel malt scent that balances the hops quite well. Smells very nice indeed.

T: Carmel and malt right up front. Good clean bitterness follows with a nice long grassy hop aftertaste. This seems like an american twist on an English Style. The hops seem to be more West Coast centric, and the yeast profile doesn't have the bready flavor I associate with a lot of English Ales. However, it is still tasty.

M: Medium in body, the carbonation might be a tad low, but perhaps this is a nod to the less carbonated English Styles. Still it gives it a slightly watery feel to it.

D: Good overall. I would definitely get it again. This is a brew to have a few pints of while you warm up in a pub with some friends. Good overall, but not outstanding.

 943 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a single of this at the store the other day. ESB's are a style I don't drink often so i thought I would switch it up a little and give this brew a try. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a pint glass.

A- This beer poured a dark hazy amber color with two fingers worth of off white head that faded to a nice ring that left some lacing..

S- The aroma is a 50/50 split between sweet caramel malts and floral hops.

T- The taste is pretty much an amplified version of the aroma, the sweet caramel malts stick out the most. The sweet malts are kept in check by some nice floral hops that add a little eathyness to this beer. Surprisingly this beer does not have a bitter finish, it could be because this beer isn't fresh. but i don't know.

M- Smooth, medium light bodied, and good carbonation.

D- This beer goes down very smooth, if I had two more I would drink them. Just like the name implies this would make for a good brew on those cool autumn nights.

Overall I thought this was a good beer. I normally don't drink too many ESB's but this brew might make me give this style a second look. I would like to try this fresh to see if it is bitterer. A good brew from a great brewery.

 1,197 characters

Photo of enfield249
3.86/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours rusty brown, with very little head, that which is present is off white in color.

S - Slight hints of sweetness, and a little hoppy.

T - A decent amount of malty sweetness for the style, a little bit of hop flavor, but overall very clean. Tiny amount of brown sugar.

M - Light Medium to Medium, a little hop residue on the ol' tongue.

D - Very drinkable, kinda high alcohol for a session beer, but very tasty.

 422 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Short's Autumn Ale from Short's Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.