1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 153 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HarmonMW
1.5/5  rDev -61.4%

Photo of jmich24
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of MacStinson
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of travMI13
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage. 12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep ruby red/orange color with 2 inches of frothy, creamy, tan head. Tons of lacing.

S: Huge grapefruit and sweet caramel malt presence. This smells fantastic.

T: Very strong, grapefruit sweetness up front, transitioning to a strong bitterness on the back. Not really feeling much malt presence here, honestly. This is incredibly hop-forward for an amber/red ale. I really like it, but it is not what I expected.

M: Slightly oily up front with a very dry finish. This is more like an IPA to me.

O: I'm really enjoying this beer, even though I don't think that it really fits in the style. This tastes more like an IPA to me than anything. Luckily for me, I love IPA's. Definitely a worthwhile offering from Short's. I would drink this again.

Photo of ryantho00
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into goblet. This has a nice deep red maroon depth with a gold 2 finger that laces the glass thoroughly while you drink. I smell some grains and hops on the nose; there's and underlying whiff of dark dry fruits. This has a nice crisp beginning, maybe some rye, alpha hops, grain....sweet malts, raisins, plum, a nice dry finish with bitterness from the hops. I have to say im very pleased how well this brew is balanced, and wonderful on the pallet from start to finish. I can almost feel the compassion and friendship that went into this beer for Founders' dear friend.

This is a wonderfully created brew, the alcohol is well masked and integrated into the beer. Well done, wonderful red, one of the best (if not the best) I've had.

Cheers!

Photo of samyoung
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cost Plus Wine Shop in Eastern Market is the best place to get beer in Detroit. Picked up a single of Aorta there; no date on the bottle.

Pours very deep ruby; no sediment or murk,completely clear. Has a caramel malt smell with bread and hops mixed in. Has a great roasted malt and piney taste with a wonderful bitter hop finish. The mouthfeel in thick and clingy and transitions into an smooth bittersweet finish.

I have not had many imperial amber ales so its had to compare Aorta to anything. All in all this is an excellent beer. High ABV, smooth malt character with just the right amount of hop kick.

Photo of 33nickadams
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great deep amber color that is transparent with a small amount of head. The color reminds me of a light red wine. I can see where the name of it comes from. Smell has a great floral scent but also accented with a bready maltiness. Taste is very well balanced between the malt and floral hops. Clean and dry aftertaste with some pleasant bitterness lingering. Medium body and lightly carbonated. Overall, I was really impressed with this one. This is a great beer!

Edit- 2/15/13- Even better than I remember. Huge Centennial hits and great backbone. Make more!

Photo of webmanspidey
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. It is an amber color with around half an inch of head. The smell has a nice floral hop presence and sweet breadiness. The taste is an extremely well balanced blend between sweet malts and hops. Very delicious and one of the better amber ales I've tried.

Photo of madeofsteel
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a lovely mahogany color with an off-white head of about half an inch. Very nice lacing.

S - Piney hops as well as very citrusy fruit.

T - Bready malt, sweet with a sour twang. Big hops, earthy and citrus. Grapefruit.

M - Fine carbonation, with an IPA type finish.

O - This beer is delicious. Very very tasteh. Well balanced, but hoppy enough to respect as someone who craves bitter.

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -10%

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 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 irishkyle21
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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 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 SPLITGRIN
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A beautiful three finger frothy light tan head easily comes to the top of my glass. Solid staying power and nice lace is left behind. Body is a deep mahogany brown with a bit of a red burnish to it. Nose is of roasty camp fire like malts and a mineral, woodsy hop profile. Some dark fruit maybe cherries are there also. On first sip I think to my self, wow there is a lot going on here. I could say dark fruit but that would be to narrow. Cherry skins, rhubarb, dandelion and grape seed come to mind at first. There is a mineral profile here that is almost metallic also. Actually very metallic, dare I say iron. Mouthfeel is attractive, be it all over the place. Never gets old though. This beer was a real adventure and a joy to drink from beginning to end.

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 csmiley
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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 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

Photo of younger35
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this brew in a trade with northernbrews some time ago. I've saved this one for second from last because it seems like the most normal of all the beers. It better be good! Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale flute.

Double Red Ale
Date Brewed: 7/5/06
Batch No: 206
Date Bottled: 2/6/07
Non Traditional Ingredients: NA
Imperial Beer 2 of 13
Bottle Number 230 of 780

Appearance- Pours a beautiful blood red with an amazing one finger beige head that's creamy and tight. The head remains the entire beer leaving loads of spotty sticky lacing.
Smell- Nicely fruity and bitterly hoppy you can tell these hops have some time on them. Had the trading card not told me these were Cascades, I never would have guessed. Plenty malty as well as quite a bit of caramel corn and red licorice really permeates the glass.
Taste- Starts with a bit of sticky piney hops that aren't anywhere as fruity as they smell. Earthy and somewhat raw the hops aren't so much bitter as they are a backdrop for the malt. Combined they are very candy like, again with the red licorice comparison. That's just exactly what it tastes like to me. The finish may add a splash of bitterness but definitely not much.
Mouthfeel- Very full body with a nice creamy feel and very little carbonation which is surprising considering the amazing head this thing maintains.
Drinkability- Surprisingly delicious as this brew has held up very well over the past two years. I'm sure this was a drippy gooey hoppy deliciousness fresh (think Nugget Nectar) but somehow manages to still be good. Glad I got to try this for sure. Thanks Jeff!

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

Bottle sample shared by alexsdad06.

Pours a dark clear brown color with an average frothy brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate to heavy roasted malt and hoppy aroma. Medium body with a slick texture and soft carbonation. Medium to heavy malty sweet flavor with a medium to heavy bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

This is a standout beer.

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.

Aorta Ale (Double Red Ale) from Short's Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 153 ratings.