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Aorta Ale (Double Red Ale) - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Aorta Ale (Double Red Ale)Aorta Ale (Double Red Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

52 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 52
Hads: 154
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 14
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 10-13-2007

A double red ale that seems to indicate an intensity of flavor simply by it’s dark reddish brown appearance. Subtle aromas of candy, brown sugar, and toasted malt seem reluctantly released from the depths of this full bodied beast. Raisins, figs, and burnt caramel are among some of the sweeter flavors up front, before giving way to a roasted cocoa like bitterness that becomes magnified by high alpha hops. Considering the initial overall sweetness, it’s a heightened bitterness that dominates the finish.

127 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 52 | Hads: 154
Photo of Floydster
3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle acquired in a recent trade with hoppymeal, thanks again Derek, bottle #576 of 798, opened up with my dad last night, poured into my an imperial pint glass, color is a medium red with some dark orange tint, 3/4 creamy off white head, aroma is lots of malt, toffee, caramel, sweetness, hint of spice, floral accents, and earthiness, taste starts off very malty with a big caramel presence, sweet and slighly toasted with some chewiness too in the middle, finish has more malt with even some dark fruits and citrus, very malty aftertaste, sweet, malty, and slightly chewy mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, light carbonation, could not drink much more than a glass, pretty filling, too much malt for me, but that is evident in this style period, so it is about average among other imperial reds or ambers I have had, this beer is two and a half years old and still tastes like it did the first time I had it a year or so ago which is a good thing being that it is below eight percent ABV, would drink again, worth trying

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.51/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into Founders tulip. No bottled on date in the typical spots for Short's bottles.

A - Medium to dark amber colour with a slight ruby glow around the edges. One finger of thick cream coloured head from the pour that slowly reduced to a ring around the glass. Moderate lacing.

S - Big sweet malt profile up front filled with toffee and caramel aromas. The hop profile is hidden in the background and provides like floral aromas.

T - Huge bitterness up front that dominates the palate and lingers in the finish. The sweetness is here but is well balanced by the massive hop bitterness. Toffee, caramel and brown sugar flavours some through from the malt bill. Very opposite of the nose.

M - Medium body, sticky and dry. Light carbonation.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.51/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What an odd name for a beer. Beer poured into a snifter, shared by someone at a recent tasting. Beer is brown and pretty hazy. Forms a decent head that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is low overall.

Aroma is pretty malty and sweet.

The first thing I notice about this beer in my mouth is how horribly I misjudged how carbonated it is by looking at it. There is a lot of carbonation in the mouth...a lot. Beer leads off with a medium body that is only slightly cut by the carbonation. Its pretty sweet with kind of a carmelly flavor to it. Overall I don't get "red" or "imperial red" from this at all. Its like a really weak barleywine. I think it was just OK.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.51/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks saisonrichbiere for the hook up

The beer pours a clear, darker than expected rusty brown (more harvest orange in the light) topped by a wispy white head that fades quickly with minimal lacing. The nose is relatively caramel forward with a touch of earthy hops (not very citrusy for a beer boasting copious amounts of cascade hops). Honestly, the hops are very overpowered by the caramelized malts. The taste presents more bitter spiciness than expected with even more overpowering malts to follow. I understand this is an imperial beer, but someone missed the imperial grade hopping memo...although I must admit, the slightly spicy hops, smooth toasty caramel malts, and big %abv does provide for a nice mouthfeel. I'm glad I tried this beer, and tend to enjoy the style, but would probably pass on another opportunity to try this again in the future.

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Photo of hollerined
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into standard pint glass.

A - 3.5 - 1 finger head, little to no retention. Tan head. Brownish-red, similar to maple syrup. Clear, filtered look.

S - 3.5 - Bready, roasted smell. Hoppy character, with light vanilla and citrus notes. Not overpowering.

T - 3.5 - Biscuity, toast flavors. Hints of dark chocolate and floral hops. Slightly spicy, warm alcohol finish. Rather hoppy for the style.

M - 4 - Medium body, medium carbonation. Very drinkable.

O - 3.5 - Smooth, drinkable. Don't really see the double red style though. Tastes much more like a hoppy brown ale to me. Good beer, but nothing I would make a special trip for. Definitely have had better Short's offerings.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wintbs379 for this brew...

A: Pours a deep red, almost brown. There is very little head, leaving only a thin white ring along the edges of the glass. No lacing as it drinks.

S: Smells like sweet malt, rye spice, and slight caramel. It's big on the spice.

T: Big and sweet up front. There is a little sweetness and spice that mix in the middle, and it has a huge spice finish. It's decent, but I'm not overly impressed.

M: Medium bodied beer. It starts out sweet and finishes dry. It's ok.

O: I'm not a big fan of this brew. It's a bit heavy and kinda hard to drink. The spice is a plus for me, but it just seems like it's lacking something.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 8 oz snifter.

A- pours a dirty dark copper with a 1 finger tan head. Thick wall of lacing resides nearly immediately.

S- brown sugar, dark fruits, slight cherry, toast, pine.

T- toasted and caramel malts. Sweet dark fruits and brown sugar, very bitter almost astringent pine.

M- medium body and carbonation. Dry finish and bitterness leaves aftertaste.

O- good beer but like the other Short's beers I have had it falls short. Liked the aromas of this beer but flavors are to bitter and lacking some sweetness that is in the nose.

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Photo of tpd975
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to jdubfl for bringing all the Short's beers in for a tasting.

A: Pours a golden hue with a small white head. No retention or lace.

S: Big dose of citrus hops, sweet caramel malt, and brown sugar.

T: Tons of sweetness, nice resinous piney hops as well that sort of compounds the sweetness. There is a subtle cardboard flavor beneath from slight oxidation.

M: Rather full in body, sweet, chewey.

D: Not bad. The hops have held up well for a two year old beer. Starting to show a bit of oxidation though.

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Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber, purchased at the brewpub in August. A medium amber coloured body, with generous off-white head. A full mouthfeel. Complex malting, the aroma is malty, with a tad of hops. The taste includes orange. A long finish and pleasant aftertaste. A good take on it, was expecting hoppier.

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Photo of hopdog
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle acquired in trade with hoppymea (thanks Derek!). Bottled on 2/6/07 and # 117 of 780.

Poured a medium amberish color with a larger sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, some dark fruits, a little earthy, and citrus. Tastes of caramel, dark fruits, toffee, and some citrus. On the sweeter side. Creamy body.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. #199 of 780.

Pours into my glass a deep maroon red with a solid inch of creamy khaki head on top of the brew. Good clarity with patchy lacing and a head that lingers on. Aromas start with a big dose of caramel malt alongside some roasted notes. Citrusy, piney hops are quite well placed in there too. Toasty with a fruity undercurrent as well, but big on the caramel. Slightly oxidized as well.

First sip brings a caramel / toasted malt upfront that flows into fruity, somewhat doughy notes as well. It moves into citric, earthy hops, definitely Cascades, but time has taken its toll and the hops have faded quite a bit. A bit nutty as it flows down with more fruitiness and a good bit of bitterness. Finishes smooth and malty with a bit of oxidation on the end as well.

Mouthfeel brings a solid body with a nice creaminess as it flows down. Mellow carbonation throughout. Nice and chewy, it's a big red ale that also goes down smooth and is quite refreshing. Overall, it's not my favorite from the series that I've tried so far but it's still a solid, tasty brew. Wish I would have had it fresh because the hops have faded quite a bit. I've been loving trying these Imperial Series beers, cheers to Shorts!

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Photo of Deuane
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottles shared with fellow geeks at a tasting party on 03-20-10.

A-Copper kissed golden yellow with a small white head that reduced to a wispy veil and left zero lacing.

S-For a three year old brew this one is still retaining a fairly impressive dose of citrus hop aroma. This quickly gives way to sweet caramel malt and a light touch of brown sugar.

T-Lots of caramel and sugary sweetness up front with a nice dose of spicy bitterness in support. Not surprised at all really that the hops have faded into the background in this one.

M-Medium-heavy bodied, fairly viscous and very smooth.

D-Certainly held up fairly well for a three year old beer. I would have liked to have had this fresh but....It grew a bit tiresome in the end.

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Photo of LiquidBread219
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2012 12oz bottle

A: Pours a deep ruby red/orange color with 2 inches of frothy, creamy, white head that leaves some nice lacing

S: Huge grapefruit and sweet caramel malt presence in the nose. This smells really good.

T: Very strong, grapefruit sweetness up front, a little bit bitter in the back. The malt really takes a backseat and is weaker in the taste than in the nose.

M: Medium bodied, lots of carbonation. I thought it was perfect for this style.

O: I really enjoyed this beer and thought they did a good job with it. I would pick it up if I saw it again. It is worth a try if you see it.

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Photo of robhbest
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into tulip glass.

A: Pours a copper red with 1 finger white head. Some lacing, head fades pretty quickly.

S: Sweet, malty, not much going on here, expected a little more hops to come through.

T: Sweet and malty again, with enough bitterness from the hops at the end to balance out. Some caramel. Bitter piney hops finish.

M: Medium bodied, carbonation is good.

O: A nice beer from Shorts, nothing mind blowing by any means, need some work but wouldn't pass one up if offered to me.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark red in color with a soapy white head. Nice citric aroma. Good hoppiness and fruit character. Grapefruit is strong on the nose. A solid malt aroma as well; lots of toast and roast. The bitterness is far more pronounced than expected with pine and grapefruit peel. A nice citrus and fruit flavor to it as well. Some toasted bread and toffee give a mild sweetness.

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Photo of minterro
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at the Keweenaw Co-Op in Hancock MI.

A&S: The smell is primarily sweet bready malts, but its very strong and delicious. There is also a sweeter caramel presence. A beautiful looking transparent dark ruby hue. Head pours about a finger and a half of off white semi fizzy foam. Head is retained in a thin creamy layer, but leaves great clumps of lacing.

T&M: Much different taste then smell. Very alcoholic in the taste (would have thought it was higher then 7.6%), Very, very bitter and dry in the finish (more bitter then a lot of ESB). Lots of piney hops towards the finish. Pretty unbalanced toward the side of hops, which I found interesting for the style. On the coarser side of mouthfeel. Medium bodied and on the low side of carbonation.

Overall: The bitterness of this beer was overpowering and hard to ignore in the overall rating. Even though this beer had some really incredible subunits like smell and appearance, I would consider this beer to be just above average for ambers of a similar price. I don't really know why this beer belongs in the amber style.

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Photo of ChugginOil
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at a random liquor store we pulled in to turn around when lost, coming back from the KBS release. Did a Short's mix-a-six.

Poured into a FFF pint glass.

Pours a foggy reddish-brown color that has a fingers worth of quick-to-leave head, leaving a few spots for lacing.

The nose isnt offering much but includes notes of grassy hops, sweet malt, a bit of citrus, and some booze heat.

The taste has some piney hops that weren't picked up in the nose. There is some earthy grassy hops as well and they are cut with some hearty, sweet malt. The malt is nutty and has a hint of a caramel flavor.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and has a creamy texture after the hop bite fades. Nice levels of carbonation are leveled with the feel for sure.

Overall, decent double red that has some good, even balanced flavors but I wish it was a bit more intense on the hop profile. Still pretty solid.

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Photo of superspak
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating oddly (but is from the most recent bottling this year). Pours hazy brick red color with a nice 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some beautiful soapy lacing clinging on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, herbal, pine, orange, grapefruit, biscuit, grass, earth, spiciness, and a bit of alcohol. Some pretty nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of big caramel, biscuit, pine, grapefruit, herbal, floral, toasted grain, orange, grass, and light earthy spiciness. Fair amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, citrus, biscuit, grass, herbal, pine, and earthy spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Great balance of flavors, with plenty of caramel sweetness that is not cloying at all. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a really nice imperial red ale. Very nice balance of flavors with moderate bitterness, and extremely smooth to sip on. Really enjoyable.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been wanting to try this one for a pretty long time, finally excited to finally get the chance to do so. Typically haven't been a huge fan of "red" ales in the past, but I'll never turn down a Shorts beer I haven't had. This one pours a lighter ruby-red color with hints of copper and maybe even a touch of purple. The cap is off-white showing decent retention and leaving some generous lacing through the top half of the glass.

The aroma's pretty light overall, or at least at first. I pick up quick on a few, sweet and malty aromas. Some citrus and juicy fruits; tangerine, melons, raisins, and plums. I know, a strange combination of fruits, but the aroma isn't "dark" enough to be comprise of all "dark" fruits. There are lighter and juicier aromas abound, I'm thinking tangerine is the biggest suspect. Hops aren't as vibrant as I'd like, but I have no idea how old this beer is, so what can I say? Mild hop oils with a very small hint of pine and resin. This one is certainly dominated by the fruity aromas and the sweet malt, though.

Up front, the first sip is a little boozier than I would have guessed it to be, but it comes hand in hand with a big sweetness to provide some balance. Very juicy and fruity like the aroma would have you believe. And when I say fruity, I don't mean in a "fruit beer" kind of way, I mean it in a "red ale" kind of way. Make sense? Didn't think so. Heavy tangerines, candied raisins, plum juice - this one is definitely sweet, but the hops quickly do their job to bring harmony to the table. Pungent, oily, and some lightly resinous pine needles with a herbal and almost ashy finish.

As the beer gets warmer, I get more and more caramel from the malt - by the last few ounces of this brew, the caramel was one of the biggest flavors, and the aftertaste was dominated with heavy caramel malts, toasted bread, and sugary graham crackers with some diminished, ashy hops and a fading, fruity sweetness. Excellent finish, actually, and maybe even better than the beginning and middle portion of the sip. Body is medium with a lightly sticky and moderately slick feel to it, medium carbonation.

Leave it to Shorts to make a beer for every style that ever existed. I'm sure this isn't the first "double red", but there probably aren't too many out there. Pretty good overall, maybe a little heavy on the sweetness - I would have liked more of an offsetting, bitterness balance. However, for not being particularly fond of the style, I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

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Photo of irishkyle21
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If there was something in between a 3.75 I would give it that for most of the scoring categories. I picked this bottle up at the brewpub in July. Pours with a dark red/light brown color, the head fades rather quickly and leaves some lacing.

Smells of hops (with age on them, kind of like an aged barleywine but not really),dark fruits, caramel and a little molasses.

I was surprised to still find this beer tasting pretty bitter but also smooth, fruity and very malty. I would love to have had this fresh but I really have no complaints with this bottle.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 617 of 780, courtesy of Jim (Jale). Unexpected and definitely appreciated.

The beer pours a very dark copper color, reddish orange highlights, with a thin tan foam. Lots of bready malts in the aroma, that and sweet caramel. The hops have a faded and aged smell to them, still getting pine though. The broad strokes are that this smells a little like a barleywine but not a strong one (or more specifically an aged hoppy red ale).

It tastes much as it smells, which is to say it's malty and sweet, with a very slight bitter aftertaste. The taste grows on me a little with each sip, and most evokes something like 1.5 x Nugget Nectar + age. Excellent even at this age, the only knock being I'd prefer a sweeter aftertaste.

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Photo of csmiley
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Muchos Gracias, prototypic.

Batch 206, Bottle 251 of 780

A - Color is a combination of sienna and dark amber. The tan head tops out at over an inch and sticks around for a few minutes. It eventually ends up a scarce cap that barely coats the top of the brew. Lacing in the glass is nice and plentiful. This is a very tasty looking beverage.

S - Aroma is kind of bitter and piney up front. It's followed by a some light citrus that is hard to pin point. The hop profile does show a little age in the aroma. Not too bad though. The citrus takes on a ripe orange aroma midway. Caramel and cookie dough also show up towards the middle. Creamsicle finishes it up.

T - Citrus really comes through in the flavor right out of the gate. Orange and lemon are mostly present. A well balanced malt backbone comes through about midway. Some sugar / caramel plays a large role. Bread is present but very light against the other flavors. It's all capped off by a ripe blood orange note mixed with a touch of warm alcohol.

M - Medium bodied with a very smooth carbonation going on here. Finish is bitter at first and ends a little sweet...followed by bitter. Very creamy overall.

D - Drinkability is good. It goes down very easy given the moderate abv. The mouthfeel does seem a little off but that is a very minor issue when talking about this brew as a whole. This sample does have some age on it but it's still very respectable. Makes me think that this is one that should make it into regular production. Glad I even got the chance to try this one out.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz, no dates listed on the bottle
Deschutes tulip glass

A: Pours a deep, amber red color. Initially I had about a half finger of off white almost tannish head. Some sticky lacing bits are left on the glass as the head fades. Lots like good carb streaming up the sides of the glass.

S: Smells of piney, earthy hops. Also some biscuity malts are in there. There is some spicy notes in there, rye? Lots of sweet caramel malts I take away.

T: There is a sharp bite on the tip of the tongue. You get some of those earthy hops. Then in the mid mouth you are met with some of those biscuity malts. The back end has some fairly strong bitterness. Like another member mentioned, it's almost similar to an ESB of some sort. It's fairly dry too. Don't know ABV but don't taste it.

M: Medium bodied brew. The bitterness lingers for a while.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Thanks for this one Jay!

A: Pours a deep mahogany brown with three fingers of very long lasting light tan greasy head that took forever to fade into a very thick oily head that left a sticky network of lacing down the glass.
S: Very hoppy nose with fragrant notes of grapefruit and citrus. I get some undertones of sweeter tropical fruit nectars as well.
T: Follows the nose with dominant fresh hop flavors. Caramel malts and a little bit of biscuit and roasted grain come through as well to remind me this isn’t an ipa. The finish is full of tropical fruits and the aftertaste is lightly bitter and grassy. Very very hoppy for an amber.
M: Soft carbonation, full, bubbly frothy mouthfeel, smooth, with a full body.
O: Tastes like a malty ipa. Not as good as NN but a very hoppy and flavorful amber. Thanks again, jbck109.

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Photo of gford217
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to rlcnmeyer for this rarity, bottle #546, poured into a tulip.

There is plenty of carbonation on this one and it pours a deep copper with a huge creamy off-white head that dissipates slowly and leaves tons of lacing.

The aroma is that of a nice big red ale. It's got lots of caramel sweetness but with a toasted bread character overall. There are vestiges of hops in the nose, with a very faint citrus hop presence. It's pretty much all malts in the nose at this point.

The taste is sweet up front with lots of caramel malts and even some dark fruits and sugar. The finish really brings out the toasted bready malts and the finish is subsequently dry and ever so slightly bitter. Again, the malts are the major player here.

The mouthfeel is highly carbonation and on the heavier side of medium bodied. The slight bitterness, even after a couple years, suggests there was a solid hop profile on this one initially.

Another winner from Shorts with this one. It's definitely one of the more straight forward imperial series beers, and, while not as creative as some of the others, it's very drinkable and a solid execution of an amped-up amber.

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Aorta Ale (Double Red Ale) from Short's Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.