Short's Controversi-ALE - Short's Brewing Company

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Short's Controversi-ALEShort's Controversi-ALE

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very good

521 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 521
Reviews: 201
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 23
Gots: 61 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: oberon on 09-09-2007

Loaded with hops like an IPA, yet drinks like a Pale Ale, we simply decided to call it a Strong Pale Ale. The fragrant, earthy citrus laced nose is instantly detectable. Large amounts of toasted grains and high alpha Simcoe hops form a perfect union that creates the cool sensation of toasted sourdough covered with zesty grapefruit hop marmalade.

67 IBU

Formerly known as Hangin' Frank.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 521 | Reviews: 201
Reviews by fredmugs:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.29/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One of three Short's brews on tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor,came to the table in a standard pint glass a somewhat murky hazed auburn color with a very thin head that was gone quickly.Big resiny,piny hop profile bordering on IPA territory a hint of biscuit sweetness underneath.Now Iam a hophead and its hard for me not to talk glowingly of pale ales with a large dose of hops but this was a bit to one dimentional and dare I say bitter it was like drinking a grapefruit rind with not much else supporting it,very bitter with a bit of sourness.I dont get to try many Shorts offering only when I get back to MI and I was excited to try this new offering but I was really let down by this one.

Photo of tectactoe
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the bottle, from the tap, I've had this beer plenty of times. Pours a lighter amber color with a reasonable clarity aside from a slight chill haze that subsides after a few minutes from the pour. Very nice off-white head that shows some nice staying power and leaves decent lacing along the top of the glass.

The aroma is thick with pungent pine and an aggressive assertion of hop oils. A nice collection of citrus aromas battle their way into the mix; grapefruit pith, tangerine pulp - bitter and assertive more so than sweet or savory. Lots of resinous aromas dance around a hefty blanket of sweet, pale malts. and maybe even a touch of caramel malt. Despite seeming abundantly hop-forward after the first whiff, the beer opens up to a much more balanced attempt at a hoppy-yet-drinkable IPA as it warms up.

Each sip contains a mouth full of raw hop flavors; pine needles, pine cones, resinous and lightly pungent hop oils, grapefruit peel, orange zest. Some mildly dank and peppery notes reveal themselves later on, but nothing too over-the-top or extreme. The malt is even a touch heavier on the palate than it was on the nose - lots of bread, butter, and a small amount of caramel; it adds a sweetening element that balances the hop aggression surprisingly well. Aftertaste is full of grapefruit pith, sweet bread, and resinous pine. Medium mouth feel, not quite sticky but heavier than slick. Medium carbonation.

A pretty good IPA from Short's, although I'm not sure I like this one more than their trademark IPA, Huma Lupa Licious. I will say, however, this beer delivers a huge resin profile without seeming too abrasive or unbalanced - very nice malt presence. Though it can be said for most beers of this style, this is one that definitely must be enjoyed fresh.

Photo of TCHopCraver
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes on 8/30/10.

A: A hard pour into a deep snifter resulted in a one finger, off-white head that burned off quickly. A very autumn-esque orange-amber-gold color looks gorgeous and enticing. The lacing looks like sparkly fireworks that dance in the night sky. It is rather sticky, also.

S: A very sweet citrus aroma of tangerines and blood oranges is the dominant smell. A nice earthy hop bitterness complements the sweet citrus aroma, and I also smell a dry biscuit aroma from the yeast. In addition, there is a solid caramel malt backbone to support the citrus earthy hops. HF is quite fresh to the nose.

T: After really liking the appearance and smell, I am just a little disappointed by the taste. All of the aroma that I picked up in the smell are gracing my palate, but they are not quite as pronounced as I hoped they might be. The earthy hop quality overbalances the sweet citrus hop presence that I so enjoyed in the smell. If those roles were reversed, I would rate this a little higher. Also, the beer is just a little watery, which detracts from the flavor a bit.

M: There is an excellent gentle nibbling on my tongue and the sides of my mouth from the bittering hops, but the overall feel is light and a little thin on my palate.

D: This is a tasty and easy drinking IPA. I could enjoy several of these in a sitting and will look forward to having more in the future.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #53 (June 2011):

This ale is not shy about showing off its roughness with a hazy, tawny glow, while hops help keep the head together. Rustic hoppy nose of pineapple, grapefruit rind and pipe tobacco. Smooth with a solid medium stature. Wild herbal flavor; jasmine, heavy citric rind and dirty pine sap are the hops smacking the taste buds around. Kiss of malt within, lightly fruity with a hint of alcohol. Hop bitterness is there in the raw, but not too biting. Finishes strong and long, with juicy hops. This beer is like American hardcore punk—raw, in your face and kickass, but you’re sad when it’s gone.

Photo of warnerry
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange brown with one finger of quickly dissipating head. Huge pine and citrus hops dominate the aroma, though some nice floral notes are also present. Taste is similar to smell, with pine hops dominating. Unfortunately, there is a slight undesirable astringency that takes away from the enjoyment a bit. Has a medium, somewhat oily mouthfeel and leaves a lingering hop bitterness. Overall, a good IPA, but not something I would seek out often.

Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This 12 ouncer glass container has no freshness info on the bottle or label. Purchased at Spirit Haus in Amherst Ma.

Pours almond amber, seemingly with a slight greenish olive hue. Moderate off light tan head. Respectable strands of fine lacing.

Tropical fruit tinged nose, lime, tea, light mint.

More light mint, fruits woven into this one. Also a moderate crunch of grapefruit infused hops. Easy drinking and pleasant enough. Decent, moderatly hopped sessioner

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ericandersnavy for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is full of very resinous hops, as well as some toffee and dank notes. The flavor is similar. There is a strong mix of orange, pine and resin in the flavor, as well as some toffee malt which keeps the bitterness from being overpowering. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of hiphopipa
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Portsmouth Brewing branded tulip.
Love the label concept-named for a ghost that haunts Hemmingway's old stomping grounds.
Pour hazy burnt amber with a head that dissipates into a thin lacing on top and along the sides. Muted earthy citrus hops smell. Resiny and piney hops with a dominating yet clean toasted malt back bone. Tastes like a solid pale ale at first, malty but I can see why it's classified as an IPA. It's got a nice sharp grapefruit bite and yeast finish.
Thanks to Another6Pack for a change to give this one a try.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a teku)
A- This beer pours a touch of hazy to a deep aged copper body with a think wispy head and a slow carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- There is a perfumed green juicy hops full in the nose with some soft caramel malt notes in the finish.

T- The juicy green hops are dry in character with some unripe lime flavors and a citrus pith in the slightly dry finish. There is a resin hop pungency that lingers but no bitterness with it.

M- There is a nice light mouthfeel with a crisp fizz that boost the hops flavor

O- This has a nice full hop flavor with lots of good depth to the hops and they are well supported by the malt bill. Very drinkable but a touch to dry in the finish to make it sessionable.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.64/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mikesgroove for sending this one!

A: Pours a rather hazy orange with about three fingers of off-white head. Head retention is great, with the head keeping a chunky/frothy look, and leaves thick lacing down the sides.

S: Floral and sweet from the hops, a little bit of grapefruit citrus, a somewhat heavy grain/malt aroma, and a slightly medicinal smell as well.

T: Nice citrus flavors, some grapefruit and a little orange peel. Nice toasted malt and some caramel as well.

M: Medium bodied with a sticky, cloying finish. Good carbonation, has some bubble release from the bottom while I am drinking.

O: Overall, its ok, the look is amazing, the smell was a little off, but the taste was solid. A pretty good IPA.

Photo of nkersten
3.27/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a tuplip. Thanks Erik!

Color is a very hazy orange with minimal white head. The little head there is sticks nicely to the side of the glass. Smell is hop forward, very citrusy with some fresh dough. Taste is strange. Not at all like the smell - not a lot of bitterness or hop flavor and very little malt. Some biscuit/dough, but not much going on. Mouthfeel is very thin and watery with a prickly carbonation. If this beer had some hop flavor it would be much more drinkable. I don't mind the thin mouthfeel as long as there is some flavor there. I am glad I got to try this but definitley prefer Huma Lupa.

Photo of Sammy
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the brewpub. Reddish brown toasty. Fragrant hop aroma. Average mouthfeel. Decent bitterness, some citrus. Nice pale. something to enjoy in a session, and demonstrating great craftsmanship, not everything has to be off-centered or unusual.

Photo of augustgarage
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to ShogoKawada for spreading the Short's! Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Princeton orange body with a gradient of lighter shades from orange peel to amber. A soft ghostly white apron of foam forms a lasting half finger seal. Rich soapy lacing, thick and sticky with faint legs.

Bright herbaceous hop aromatics with a blast of grapefruit and tangerine as well. Faint clean malt base as well.

Bright lemon-like palate entry with a woodsy/earthy element as well. The hops come forward mid-palate, suggesting mint and eucalyptus in addition to grapefruit zest and seeds. Finish is dry and faintly herbal. Perhaps a touch of aspirin.

Medium-bodied, well carbonated, and brisk mouthfeel.

Unique take on the style, though the promise of the nose wasn't really fulfilled on the tongue. Worth a try if you can get it.

Photo of 33nickadams
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden amber color with no head. Very little carbonation. Almost completely opaque. Hoppy smell with notes of citrus and earthiness. Taste is the same as the nose. Nice and light mouthfeel. This is a good beer, but would probably choose other IPAs over this. I would like it with more carbonation.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.06/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Golden colored, a bit hazy. Off-white head hangs around for a bit. Lacing is good. The beer looks alive, at least.

Smell - Not a strong aroma, but hoppy. Very piney and maybe a bit grassy at the end.

Taste - Hops at the front, somewhat citrusy. The malt really takes over though. Very earthy. Almost tastes like a rye PA.

Mouthfeel - Thin. No idea what the ABV is, but it's still thin for an IPA. Light carbonation doesn't add to the body at all.

Overall - It's nothing fantastic. Tastes ok and drinks easily enough, though.

Photo of Kegatron
3.44/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Thanks go to splax23 for a couple of these in trade.

Pours a lightly hazy copper, with roughly 3 rich fingers of slightly off-white colored head. The retention on this is awesome looking, with a hugely rich and creamy frothiness to it that just DRENCHES the sides of the glass with thick sticky lacing. Great look here! The aroma is pronounced medicinal band-aid smell to it that unfortunately really dominates this. I mean you still can pick up the rest of the IPA character here, with floral accents, some sweeter fruit, and honeyed grains underneath but those off-notes really take the nose out of the game here.

Fortunately, whatever was plaguing the aroma doesn't seem so bad here. Unfortunately, the flavors themselves just seem kind of soft and not up to the task at times as well. This is bitter to a point with grapefruit character but is lessened by some easy feeling herbal textures and a sugary blend of tropical notes and toasted bready sweetness. The finish lingers on the tongue with some green earth and spice. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, wit a mellow creaminess that melds well with some oily slickness. This almost feels a little too light and easy in the mouth. Bonus points though for absolutely no alcohol being felt in the body.

The off-notes in the aroma were definitely a bummer but even without that, I just didn't buy this as an American IPA. With its low-key hop profile and easy feeling body, this came off to me anyway, as more along the lines of a mostly quaffable APA instead. Either way, I was a bit disappointed in this offering.

Photo of jables7
2.46/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- This beer has a burnt orange, almost amber color to it. It's a nice looking beer with about 2 fingers of off-white head. At first glance I'm pretty excited to try this beer.

S- The excitement previously expressed in the appearance category is shot down in a blaze of glory. The smell is almost nonexistent for an ipa. I don't need to be hit over the head with hop aroma but a little would be nice.

T- As is so often the case, the taste follows along the same lines as the smell. I get some light citrus notes but most of the glory of the hop is missing. This comes as a surprise to me considering Short's homa lupa licious. Unfortunately this brew tastes something like an average ipa that's been strained through a used gym sock. It is far too bitter.

M- Despite the shortcomings in the taste the mouthfeel holds up really well. It has a thickness that rivals many double ipa's. It's one of the few redeeming qualities of this particular beer.

O- Unfortunately, my experience with this beer has been an unpleasant one. I consider myself a big fan of ipa's and this one just doesn't cut it. There's no excuse for the hop vanishing act. That being said, I think it's rediculous that Short's is re-branding this beer because of some protests over it's name and label design. The people offended by it are most likely not beer fans and should probably grow up.

Photo of KC8LTL
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler from brewery poured into Brandy Snifter.

Appearance: Orange with small off white head. It takes an agressive pour to get the head to show and it doesn't last all that long. Some lacing on glass.

Smell - Citrus Hops - I think it is Simcoe. Are you sure this isn't an IPA? They say they call it a Pale Ale because it doesn't have the IPA backbone. It certainly has an in your face hoppyness though.

Taste - Well, it features the Citrus hops and isn't really that complex. I generally like what it does have, so when I go to Short's it is not uncommon for me to get some of this beer. If you want a fruity hop fix, this is the place. Admittedly, that is about it, though.

Mouthfeel - Hoppy dryness/puckering.

Drinkablity - I like the hops, but that is about all there is to this one.

Photo of jpalarchio
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Beale St. Smokehouse BBQ in Fenton.

Served a light amber / orange color with a decent head with good lacing. Smell was very pine-like and I could tell that hops were in abundance. Taste was hoppy, hoppy, hoppy. Seemed much like a double IPA as much as anything.

Hard to judge the drinkability, have been unable to find the abv on this on. I just had a pint and really didn't feel like there was much alcohol behind this one.

Overall, not a bad beer; definitely something for the hop heads.

Photo of Scott420
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

holy moly that's good! strong melon/citrus aroma very nice.

Photo of Flopjack
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into tulip

Appearance - A nice full orange color with lighter tones of yellow . 1/2 finger white head.

Smell - Lots of character from hops , grapefruit, orange, pineapple, mandarin, piny floral aroma.

Taste - Piny floral character, citrusy and sweet. Starts out with a nice grapefruit and mandarin flavor that is just a touch roasty and bitter. There is a piny resinous presence here that I think contributes nicely and gives an earthy floral flavor as well. Lemon and orange zest.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, medium carbonation, refreshing, smooth.

Overall - Good beer. This beer has lots of character all across the board. Haven't been disappointed with any Shorts beers thus far and this is no exception.

Photo of GRG1313
2.64/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Developed for City Park Grill. Clear amber with a firm and bold and thick pure white head.

Nose is lightly assertive cooked pineapple/nothing special.

Mouthfeel is medium full with light "fizzy" carbonation and good hop heavy balance.

Flavors are a dull bitter burnt toast hop. Not very bright. Light malt, pine flavor undertones.

Finish is the big ticket on this one. Big assertive bitter pine finish that is long lasting and the most lasting impression of this decent but nothing special brew.

Photo of alleykatking
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a coppery orange color that shows light haze to it. One finger light tan head shows light retention. Long streaks of lace left on the sides of the glass.

S- Tropical fruits galore. Tons of citrus, pineapple, and mango. Caramel malts show off more of a sweetness as well that goes along with the hops. Ending shows a little bit of alcohol which tingles the nose and light piney hops.

T- Sweet tropical fruits right off the bat in the hop bite. Caramel malts come out and stay with this beer being a good undertone overall. The piney hops come out a little bit more in the ending with the alcohol showing up in the very end for a nice crisp bite.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Tropical hops and light caramel malts left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly light alcohol, piney hops, and caramel malts. No real off flavors in this beer. Balanced overall with a perfect combo of sweetness and bitterness. Medium alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This was a very drinkable IPA and I drank a sixer very fast! The ABV is low enough that it doesn't do too much to destroy the palate and drinking many in a row is good. Another great beer from Short's!

Photo of trappistlover
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(12oz bottle courtesy of rayl101. Thanks Kevin!). Pours cloudy yellow-orange color with 1 finger off-white head. Active carbonation. Aroma has resin, mango, orange and other tropical fruit. Papaya. Taste is sweet and malty with some pleasant bitterness. Thin to medium bodied with an oily texture. Bitter finish. Malt forward as it warms. Nice, easy drinking beer.

Photo of CortexBomb
4.6/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Orange pull with a generous head on top. Smell is grapefruit, hoppy, delightful. The flavour on this is a combination of malted caramel notes with straight-up grapefruit. The grapefruit is unique, it's a bit more tangy/tart and less abrasive than one would normally find in a beer, it's still very hoppy, but it's smoother on the tongue for some reason.

Mouth is crisp, easy to drink. Drinkability is exceptional. I'm not a big pale fan in general because I usually would either rather have an IPA or something more malty, but this stuff is solid gold and is easily my favourite beer in the style. I wish Short's would start bottling this stuff in lieu of the more pedestrian Pandemonium offering.

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Short's Controversi-ALE from Short's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 521 ratings.