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Short's Autumn Ale | Short's Brewing Company

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Short's Autumn AleShort's Autumn Ale

Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.75%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by proc on 11-01-2004

User Reviews
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Reviews: 99 | Ratings: 320
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.

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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.

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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..

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Photo of justinp444
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip it has a inch and a half thick off white head and a orange brown body. Smell of light earthy hops, some grass, a little bit of citrus, grapefruit, sweet bread-y malt, and maybe something like tree bark. Taste is a light, bread-y malt, sweet, slightly bitter with a bit of piney bite to it, good amount of citrus, metallic, dry, bit of earth, and something tea like in the back. It has a moderate mouth feel with a light to moderate body and a good amount of carbonation.

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Photo of mchegash
3.52/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 4/5
A deep red-orange-amber. A small amount of slightly beige head. Fairly clear. Can see very tiny particles in the beer.

Smell - 3.25/5
Sweet malts, a bit of citrus, hops. The aroma wasn't particularly strong, so it was hard to discern the flavors.

Taste - 3.5/5
Sweet malts, resinous hops, caramelized sugar. Perhaps a bit of spices. The flavor is fairly bitter, as one would expect in an ESB. Not a terrible flavor, but I'm not terribly impressed either. It's drinkable, but I probably wouldn't buy this again.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Medium-full bodied. Carbonation is medium. The feel is slightly syrupy, but not too much. Overall a good feel

Overall - 3.5/5
This is a decent brew but nothing special

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.79/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into pils glass, gives off a couple inches of white, foamy head. Tawny brown in color, with active carbonation and some residual floaties rising and swirling. Aroma is sweet bready malts, with some hints of dark, spicy figs. Tastes the same, too, with a bitter bite upfront. Nice ale to visit with every year, although this year I had it much earlier than before. ESBs seems much more fitting when the temps are more regularly in the 60's and70's.

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Photo of SaltofOH
3/5  rDev -16%

This was the store's first shipment, so I felt safe, but what's up with no dates on the bottles?

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark, slightly reddish amber with 2" rocky light tan head. Fades to khaki ring with spotting and decent lacing.

Aroma: Sweet malt, fruity esters. Nice. "Beery" from the second I popped the top.

Taste: Semi-dry arrival, fruitiness really expresses across mid palate; not much in the way of caramel; leads to a very strong earthy bitterness. Lingering earthy/medicinal hop finish; seems over-hopped for the style.

Mouthfeel: Rich & Malty, medium to full bodied. More effervescent than I associate with the style, but not overcarbonated by any measure.

Overall: This is a really rich, malty ale with a very strong hop bitterness and lingering orange bitter pith/medicinal finish. Much drier than I associate with the season, and a little heavier than I typically associate with ESBs, but nice. I love the style and like the ber, but don't know that I would buy this again. I think it is over-hopped.

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Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 8/29/2013. Pours moderately hazy deep orange copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of caramel, toast, biscuit, toffee, pear, apple, grape, orange zest, floral, grass, herbal, light pine, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt, yeast, and hop notes; with good strength. Taste of caramel, toast, biscuit, pear, apple, toffee, orange zest, floral, grass, herbal, pine, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, biscuit, toffee, pear, apple, orange zest, floral, grass, herbal, pine, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt, hop, and yeast flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and slight cloying bitterness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good ESB style. Good balance and robustness of hop, malt, and yeast flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.57/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a cloudy burnt orange with a very this white head.

S - Malt upfront with an earthy hoppiness on the end.

T - Earthy piney hops with some sweet maltiness. Nice balance.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Soft easy drinker.

O - A decent beer. Nothing exciting going on here. Would be a nice session beer.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.52/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 9/12/13. Poured into a ... ahem ... a shaker pint. A glass is better than NO glass, right?

Appearance: Super hazy brown/orange color, almost like the color of the bottle the beer is in. Finger of a light tan head. Not much lacing. This beer certainly says Autumn to me.

Smell: For some reason, I thought this almost gave the aroma of a new car. I drank it, I let it warm up a bit, I tried to study it... I came to the conclusion that this smells like Autumn. That's probably due in large part because I know what the beer is and see the label, but it gives me that impression. It smells like fallen leaves on dirt.

Taste/feel: A lot like the smell. Just a really easy drinking beer without much depth in flavor. You get the dirty sort of malt flavor. A slight hop spiciness. And that's basically it. Quite earthy flavors in here. There is very little bitterness on the finish, my guess would be about 30 IBUs. The feel is about what I had expected. A medium body with a pretty light carbonation.

Autumn Ale's a fairly enjoyable, albeit forgettable, beer from Short's. I love the label on it, the beer looks great when it's poured, and it has a decent flavor, but there's just not enough depth to really keep my interest. Regardless of that, I could see myself enjoying a few of these while watching the leaves fall. Sometimes I don't enjoy a taste of a particular beer as much as I enjoy the bits of nostalgia I get from it... this is one of those beers. Just makes me think about jumping into a pile of fallen leaves. I think the smell and taste of this beer actually sort of captures that, as weird as that sounds.

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Photo of Brenden
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer is a thick, ruddy brown-orange, heavy in the deepest part of it with just a little give. The head it forms is about half a finger tall, just off-white, and a little too soft to keep up. Some does remain, and it manages strong spotting.
The smell is mostly earthy and metallic with a little tea leaf. There's just a ghost of toffee in there.
The flavor is toasty with steely overtones, and more expressive than the nose. The middle to finish is very tea-like, with chalky and leafy dryness along with woody notes in the finish. Otherwise, just a hint of caramel adds a light touch of sweetness. Somehow Short's made this beer seem hoppy with only 30 IBUs, but without taking flavor away.
It really leans dry all the way, downright woolly on the palate at times leading into the leafy/woody finish. It is nicely crisp, and there's something keeping the dryness from going overboard. It's clean enough to be pretty smooth underneath.

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.74/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a dark brown / burnt orange color with half an inch of off white head.

S - spices, malt, caramel, grass, earthy.

T - Malty up front with caramel sweetness followed by some spice and then finally finishes bitter. Medium body - easy to drink.

O - Solid offering - I would have this again.

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Photo of Dope
3.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark amber with a good sized, dense and fizzy tan head. Great head retention and lots of fluffy lacing on the glass.

S: Malty, full of stale bread. A little caramel. Some herbal hops floating around.

T: Lots of medicinal, herbal hops up front mixing with a little caramel. Grainy, stale dark bread in the middle with a bit of nuttiness. A flourish of bitterness and more herbal hops in the finish with another brief hint of that caramel and nuts. Lingering drying resinous hops between sips.

M: Medium bodied, drying on the back end.

O: On the hoppy/bitter side for an ESB, definitely "americanized". Pretty plain and simple - largely unspectacular. Drying bitterness actually detracts here from the drinkability of a normal ESB it seems. Pretty decent regardless.

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Photo of mactrail
3.29/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brownish amber in the glass. Plenty of coarse foam. Really pleasant nose of roasted grain and fragrant hops. Quite light bodied with a sudsy mouthfeel.

Pronounced nutty flavor is the best feature at the first sips. It is soon submerged in the bitterness. Thin and sharp, followed by a long bitter aftertaste. It almost tastes like some old cinnamon spice is in the mix, making for a dirty taste in the back of the throat. Still, if you like a more bitter ESB, this one may be appealing.

From the 12 oz bottle bought at Grapevine Liquor in Denver.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Hazy copper color with a decent white head. Head retention is fair, but there is a nice amount of lace on the glass.

Biscuit-like malt up front. Some floral hop notes, a bit earthy as well. Suggestion of stone fruits.

Flavor is very similar to the nose. Biscuit malt, with minimal sweetness. Hop flavor is floral, with a hint of citrus. Bitterness balances things well.

Medium body, with soft carbonation. Easy to drink. Not bad.

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Photo of CMUbrew
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint

A: Darker golden in color. White head vanishes quickly. Not much carbonation visible.

S: Light piney hops and a soft maltiness behind that.

T: The light piney hops are there. A pale and slightly caramel maltiness balances pretty well.

M: Mouthfeel is pretty nice. Medium body, soft, with good carbonation.

O: A decent beer. Not really the most exciting style, but I wouldn't mind having several of these to session.

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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

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Photo of jkrich
3.62/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an undated 12 oz. bottle: hazy, orange and brown, much like an autumn leaf. An off-white, foamy head quickly dissipated leaving the most lacing I have seen in quite a while.

Upon opening the bottle, the sweet, syrupy and complex aroma wafted upward. After the pour, the aroma was still inviting.

The flavor has a solid malty, caramel flavor with a nice hop complement to keep it refreshing and quite quaffable. A very faint hint of herbal tea can be detected in the aftertaste.

The ale was rather thin-bodied with a lingering bitter mouthfeel and robust carbonation.

The ESB style may have some of the most diverse interpretations. Some are malt driven while others push the envelope with hoppy bitterness. This one straddles the middle. While not hugely complex in flavor, the flavor profile keeps it interesting; an ideal quaffer for the beginning of Autumn.

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Photo of theecaleb
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lightly chilled 120z bottle, poured into a pint glass.

A: Cloudy, Amber in color. Great lacing, dirty white head.

S: Nothing fancy, does not really have any fall/spice/pumpkin smells that stand out.

T: Thicker than expected, decent taste of hops, strong spice taste but I can not determine what spice I'm tasting.

M: Good carbonation, thick and fairly rich, bitterness of hops stand out.

O: Not bad, better than the average autumn brew. It is definitely more of an ESB than a autumn ale. To me, most of shorts beers taste the same, hoppy. I would recommend this beer to a friend.

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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.

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Photo of Mora2000
2.67/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Pawola22 for sending this beer my way.

The beer pours a hazy yellow-orange color with a gigantic white head. Looks like this may be another Short's beer with infection issues. The aroma confirms what I expected, there is something off with this bottle. I get some toffee and caramel notes in the aroma, but I also get a funky note I can't really identify. The flavor is similar, with some iced tea, toffee and lighter bitterness, as well as some light funk. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$1.99 for a 12oz bottle from Sicilano's

A: clear, chestnut color, good lacing, thin veil in end
S: full nose, fruity (mango)
T: medium bodied, hard to rate because it's an 'autumn ale' but the style is an ESB, dominates with fruity hop finish and a bit of hop bitterness, some roasted malt body
M: medium bodies, strong fruit/bitter hops
O: unusual style, need a bit more malt , odd style for an autumn ale

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Short's Brewing Co.
Autumn Ale
Deschutes snifter

A: Pours a nice clean amber color. Half a finger of off white big bubbled head, fades quick. Cloudier with hazy notes. Not a terrible looking beer.

S: Smells of sweet malts and low hops. There is some fruitiness in there. But mostly malt: caramel and toffee are noted.

T: A little bit of bitterness on the tip of the tongue, but then it's a spicy malt beer. Like others have mentioned, I have had better ESBs but this isn't horrible. Sweet & bitter finish.

M: Light leading to medium.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.52/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Color is a clear amber color with a 1/4 inch of slightly opaque colored head. Lacing is good but minimal.

Smell is not bad for an ESB more sweet with caramel malts, little to no herbal tea quality, and a nice hop presence.

Taste is definitely one of the better ESB's more so an amber ale than an ESB. I get caramel and toffee sweetness next to a bitter hop presence that gives it a chewy mouthfeel. Light to medium at best but ABV is spot on.

Overall if I was a local I would consider getting it again but to go through the trouble of shipping from MI it wouldn't be worth a repeat visit.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from undated bottle to pint glass. The beer pours a light amber with a 1 finger bubbly head. Some retention and lacing but not much to report. The aroma is very malt forward with hints of toasted barley, toffee, and sweetness. A mild hop character as well, earthy. The flavor also starts with a heavy dose of toasted malt, toffee sweetness. Mildly bitter with a medium blend of earthy hops. The beer finishes light, smooth, and a lingering raisin-esque sweetness. Easy drinking. Lighter end of medium bodied. Overall, more malts than I anticipated from an ESB, though the beer is easy to drink and solid.

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Short's Autumn Ale from Short's Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.