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

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Aorta Ale (Double Red Ale)Aorta Ale (Double Red Ale)

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BA SCORE
87
very good

153 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 153
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.85%
Wants: 13
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:
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 added by: BeerBeing on 10-13-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 153 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of djrn2
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle acquired in the Fight Club BIF from Hoppymeal, dated . Bottle # out of . Consumed on 07/08/2008.

A big, huge, enormous, thanks goes out to Hoppymeal for hooking me up with this one as well as the next few Short's brews I will be lucky enough to be sampling. I grabbed this one last night as the first one of the batch I was going to try as I did not want something too heavy with diner. Served right at 50 degrees and poured into a snifter, this was a lovely looking beer from the get go. Rich reddish amber color with a nice half inch head of frothy off white lace. Nice retention left this one having a good layer on the top and some very nice side glass lacing. Good carbonation could be seen streaking up towards the top of it.

The aroma was nice and rich. Some light hop bite still left in it, but you could tell the majority of it had mellowed quite a bit. Nice notes of caramel and sugary malts, classic red ale breadiness as well. This carried over well into the flavor. A somewhat bitter note struck me first, which was followed up with a semi sweet caramel tone. Solid biscuit like flavor is dolling around in the middle. Hops begin to show their color around the finish, giving it a nice pine and citrus like feel, but backing off before becoming dominant in any way. This was definitely driven by the malt for sure. Very nice and creamy smooth Mouthfeel, very chewy with a great consistency. Never really a dull moment here as the carbonation was really quite nice and left a very good impression with me. An easy drinker as the alcohol was nowhere near out of hand, and I thoroughly enjoyed sipping on this for a couple hours last night.

Overall I thought this was a very nice introduction to the world of Shorts for me. A classic for sure and left me itching to try the rest of the lineup. I would have to recommend this one for anyone, and it is clear that the couple years have treated this very well.

Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of beernads
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of superspak
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of kscaldef
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of tectactoe
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of gford217
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of tpd975
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

Photo of tommy5
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of alexgash
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Slightly hazy dark amber with coppery edges. Two fingers of thick, luscious, bright light khaki head. Great lacing. Lots of fruity malt on the nose. Sappy, piny hop notes as well.

Toasted malts up front, before quickly becoming sweeter. Candied fruits and caramel in a delicious battle for mid-palate supremacy. Moderate herbal hop bitterness comes in to provide a little balance, before turning minty and piny in the finish. Lots of lingering caramel and fruit malt in the finish. Medium body with a slightly creamy feel. Very much what I look for in a good red/amber ale. Delicious!

Photo of warnerry
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. release

A -Pours a beautiful clear deep amber with two fingers of tan head. Head has nice retention and leaves very nice lacing.

S - Nice caramel malt, with a bit of sweetness. Big citrus hops aroma with a bit of bread malt. Very nice.

T - Taste is a nice balance malty and bitter. Mostly caramel malts with a bit of bread. Like the smell, the hops presence is mostly citrus. Maybe a touch too much bitterness, but very enjoyable.

M - Medium mouthfeel starts with a bit of sticky sweetness and finishes dry and bitter.

O -This is up there with Tocobaga and Red Rocket as my favorite hoppy amber ales. Wish I bought more than a couple singles. A very nice beer with a great story behind it (check out Short's website if you don't have the original 750 ml release)

Photo of hopdog
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of prototypic
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #251 of 780.

Many thanks to ThomasHardy for this one. A rarity I never thought I'd see. Thanks, Brady.

Aorta Ale pours moderate brown color with an excellent scarlet hue. It's a little hazy, but backlighting really gives a nice reddish color. It's topped with a tan head that reaches nearly two fingers deep. It's very slow to recede and leaves a somewhat sticky lacing on the glass. Very nice looking beer.

The nose is very malty and a little sweet smelling. Caramel malts are abundant. There are some hop remnants remaining. They smell a little piney and citric. There's a little grapefruit and orange but not much. I'd love to try a bottle of this stuff fresh. It smells like the hops have degraded over time. No surprise there. I'm a little surprised they're noted at all since the accompanying label indicates this was bottled in February, 2007.
Alcohol is blended well and goes unnoticed. All in all, this is a good smelling beer. I suspect it'd be excellent fresh. Today, very good.

The flavor profile is very consistent with the nose. Caramel malts are sweet and substantial. They give it a really solid base. As I suspected, the hop flavor has largely disappeared. There's maybe a little pine flavor and some residual bitterness. I'm not picking up much in the citrus department here. I'm still shocked there's any at all. I'll take it. Alcohol is masked well and isn't noticeable. It's somewhat modest at 7.6%, so that's not too surprising. It finishes sweet and a little bitter. At the end of the day, this is good stuff. For a bottle that's 2 and a ½ years old, it's held up very well. Aside from hop degradation, you really can't tell. There's no oxidization at all.

Aorta Ale has a medium body that's overall smooth. Carbonation is dialed down nicely. It's not quite creamy, but it's nice and smooth. Drinkability is actually very high. This is tasty stuff despite its age. At 7.6%, it's not too big. I expected something more substantial for a 'Double Red.' It goes down easy and is rather approachable. I'm splitting the 750, but would've gladly tackled it alone.

Short's did a really nice job with Aorta Ale. I'd love to try a bottle of this stuff fresh. I suspect the hops are a little more vibrant and add a really nice dimension to the flavor. As old as this bottle is, it still has a surprisingly bitter flavor, but lacks the punch of fresh hops. Nonetheless, it's held on to its youth amazingly well. Really good stuff. Thanks, Brady.

Photo of scottfrie
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of Deuane
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Photo of Floydster
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
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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Aorta Ale (Double Red Ale) from Short's Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 153 ratings.