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Short's Autumn Ale - Short's Brewing Company

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Short's Autumn AleShort's Autumn Ale

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97 Reviews
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Reviews: 97
Hads: 303
Avg: 3.57
pDev: 24.37%
Wants: 7
Gots: 33 | 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
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Reviews: 97 | Hads: 303
Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Champagne Cellars. ours medium golden, a tinge of mahogoney, with thick soapy off-white head, and later thick rings of lace. Hoppy armas. Initially rich caramel and good English bitterness, orange taste. Some sourness in the finish - uh oh. Drinkability, but a sipper because of the moderate sourness.

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

an amber colored ESB with a lovely 1 and a half inch head. smells like an english pale ale, with dusty malts and caramel notes. tastes fresher and more crisp than the nose, with a moderate hop bouquet in the finish. not your usual fall beer, but i like this one for the season. a bit filling with a heavier body keeps it from being a great session, but all in all its a pretty good beer, my first from short's

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Photo of Thorpe429
1.54/5  rDev -56.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Bottle purchased in Michigan a few weeks back. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pours a moderate copper color with a good white head and a nice amount of spotty lacing as the beer falls down into a nice cap and collar. Then, the nose. Well, it's another infected Short's beer. As much as I'd like to just grab another and ignore this, I've simply had way too many beers from Short's that are infected to excuse. This isn't just a bottle here and there. There is some caramel sweetness in the background, but mostly some lactic and acetic character. The taste really doesn't help--it's just plain terrible with sourness as the only thing that is really present. The mouthfeel is acetic and gross. Low carbonation as well. Just bad. I really can't understand how this is still going on; it's quite a problem.

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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.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.27/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to Jeff for this one.

A: The pour on this is a dark amber color with a short lived off-white head.

S: Smells pretty bad. Metallic and slightly tart with some strange fruity notes. A bit of citrus and caramel malts with some light toffee/bread. Lots of straw on the back end and a slight funkiness.

T: The flavor has a bit of a Sweet Tart sort of flavor to it. Lemon and lime sourness, obviously not as intended. Some malt notes but very little hop character other than maybe a bit of grass or straw.

M: Light to medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Another screw up from Short's.

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Photo of jlindros
3.05/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to beerhan for this guy.

Pours a very small fizzy barely head covering, with a super hazy bright orange red colored beer.

Nose has some floral but earthy hops, almost U.K style bitter like hops but not quite hedgerow, some light malt aromas with a weird syrupy almost soured malt aroma, and some spices that kinda make me go bleh.

Taste starts with weird malt flavors again, light syrupy and almost bad malt flavors, extract maybe, then weird spices, weird spices with a slight heat and maybe hot pepper, then some light earthy herbal hop flavors with bit of bitterness. Finishes dry with a slight pepper heat and light spices, syrupy malt flavors.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb, touch of hot pepper heat.

Overall not great, weird spices and some hot pepper heat, hops are there but not great, malts are just not great either which may be the spices overpowering and making them taste weird but meh!

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

Poured into tulip.

Pours an amber color. Head is a khaki beige. Leaves a bit of splattered lace.

Aroma: Smells like an Arnold Palmer. Lemonade and sweet tea. Doesn't smell like much else, but I like it.

Taste: More lemonade and sweet tea. A decent amount of spice and grassy hops. Some caramel malts. Interesting.

Mouthfeel: Spiced, dry, and a hint of bitterness. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall, a very unique esb. I like it, but it doesn't taste much like an esb. Another odd take on a style by shorts. Decent drinkability.

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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 billab914
2.61/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish glass. It poured a deep orange/red color with a pretty decent head filling the top inch of the glass. The head faded and left a bit of lacing as it did.

The aroma shows some sweet caramel and malty flavors to it but it's mixed with a tart, crisp, very slightly sour, grape or apple fruitiness. I get a modest piny and earthy hoppiness throughout it as well.

The taste shows more of the tart, crisp, apple and grape like flavors to it. The caramel and malty sweetness comes through, especially in the finish. The hops are more reserved, but add a little of an earthy spice.

The mouthfeel is a little below medium bodied with carbonation bing below average as well. Drinkability isn't that great, the tart and fruity flavors just didn't work for me and didn't seem to fit the style referenced on the bottle at all either. Not one of the better beers I've had from Shorts.

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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.

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Photo of akorsak
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle from Flick's in Lambertville, MI.

A: The ESB is a muddied copper color, fuller with a distinct orange hue. That darker orange leads directly to opacity, along with a bright glow near the base of my glass. A finger of white head is trying muster up some lace.

S: A strong nose, plenty of juicy hops. The citrusy aroma is reminiscent of Huma Lupa Licious. Not much in the way off toffee or caramel.

T: Peppery, the hops don't stand out as much in the first sip. Caramel malts are present, as it a mild off flavor. Difficult to describe, the flavor isn't overwhelming just below the surface. The toasted malts don't add much, pushing the hops out of the way. A faint sweetness settles over the ale, not a good sweetness although there is some toffee there. The finish is rather dry, the yeast strain (seems like ringwood without the finish sweetness) adding a unique flavor to the mix.

M: The finish disregards the worse aspects of the ale, leaving a wall of citrusy hops to linger. That saves the ale in my opinion, rendering it drinkable. Burps bring the hoppiness back to the forefront.

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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.

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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.

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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 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 maximum12
3.15/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to splax23 for this extra in a recent breaking of the trading ban. Having this to celebrate the end of the 2011 Twins season. Blech.

Pour is an unfiltered/almost opaque orange. Noses up to a nice cracked grain breadiness, adulterated with earthy hops. Whiff of citrus.

Short's Autumn Ale leans forward into Fat Tire territory too much for me: the whole wheat bread crusts are strong in this one. Ahnold strong. Caramel, Arizona Iced Tea, unfocused slice of apple orchard slither through the body; what? Earthy citrus hops round out the experience & provide order on the downslope. One & done.

Love Short's & the style, but this one elicits the shrug of a Phillip K. Dick novel, as in, what the hell was that? Messy beer that lacks cohesion & more importantly, great taste. A bogey above mediocre.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.46/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in a mixed of Short's for $11, overpriced. Tan-orange color with a white head, looks good. Smells like a malty ESB but nothing jumps out as special, average. Taste is malty and reminds me of an English ESB so that's good. This was a decent beer but for $11 I expect a lot more.

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Photo of EgadBananas
2.86/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Nice autumn color' yellow/orange, off white head of maybe a finger. Lace is ok,

Aroma is lightly malty, nutty, with an underlying citrus tone, though subtle. Yup, citrus sweet.

Taste has a bit of citrus, some bitterness, but also, some levels of tartness.

The feel is slick, smooth, lower carbonation. Nothing out the ordinary here.

Overall, not bad. Though the tart notes set it apart for me.

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Photo of alexgash
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Slightly cloudy orange bronze body. Small, wispy, light beige head. Nose of mandarin oranges, pine, cedar, and strawberry jam. Odd, but kind of interesting.

Toasted malts lead to pulpy fruit and light toffee malt. Citrus hop overtones, along with a little pine, and some herbal bitterness. Citrus fruit finish with a nice balance between fruitiness and bitterness. Moderate body, with a slick, low-carbonated feel. Caskish, out of a bottle. Nice hop burps from this one too!

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

Reviewed on 6/29/2010. On tap at Shorts. Pours a deep, clear ruby red color with a white head. Aroma of jam and lots of fruits. Flavor is equally fruity and robust with sweet malt (very malt dominant). It was described at the brewery as a strong bitter, but left me hoping for some more hoppy notes.

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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.

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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 Monkeyknife
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a deep amber color with a finger of off-white head. Little lacing.

Aroma of caramel malts and toffee and just a hint of citrus hops.

Taste was much like the aroma. Caramel malts, toffee and light hint of brown sugar and citrus hops.

Medium bodied and smooth with a moderate carbonation.

An easy-drinking amber from Short's.

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Short's Autumn Ale from Short's Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.