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Anniversary Ale - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anniversary AleAnniversary Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

199 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 199
Hads: 500
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 20.45%
Wants: 62
Gots: 69 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Wheatwine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: hoppymeal on 05-08-2009

2009 Tap only
2010 Tap and bottle
2013 Tap and bottle

Same recipe every year, according to the brewer, though ABV varies slightly.

"Anniversary Ale~ A high gravity wheat wine made with blood oranges that render an alluring dark purple hue to the color. Flavor abounds from the spice of green peppercorns and tang from blood orange zest. Aggressive dry hop additions amplify the citrus overtones and spiciness found throughout. ‘Anni’ Ale typifies the full magnitude of Short’s Brewing Company by embodying all the complexities and fulfillment necessary to pay tribute to another year of brewing. 10% ABV 63 IBU's"
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 199 | Hads: 500
Photo of CMUbrew
3.71/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Slightly darker shade of orange. Head forms breifly before fading to absolutely nothing. Carbonation soon disappears completely.

S: Immediately upon opening the bottle I could smell the blood oranges. No mistaking that. Subtle spice notes are there also.

T: Definitely get the blood orange flavor here. Then you get a little bit of citrus zest before the peppercorns make their appearance. Pretty good spice presence that fades to some herbal flavors is what you get from them. The wheaty malt flavors are also noticeable. Where is the alcohol? Nowhere to be found until a decent amount of warming has taken place.

M: For 10% ABV this feels incredibly light, probably due to a large percentage of the malt being from wheat. Also feels a touch watery and flat in the mouth due to low carbonation.

O: I think I would like this beer a lot more without the peppercorns. While they do add interesting layers of flavor, I think they are also partly clashing with the blood oranges. This is an interesting beer and it was worth the purchase, but probably not one I'd have again.

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Photo of khumbard
3.71/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to phishisphunk for this cool extra. Bottle poured into Duvel tulip.

Pours a very cool deep orange/red with a white fluffy head. Pretty awesome looking beer, you can definitely tell they took full advantage of the blood oranges.

Aroma is interesting. Definitely sweet, tangy oranges. Lots of fruitiness from the heavy wheat malt. Not really any hops to speak of, but still pretty nice

Taste is definitely sweet, but it has a bitter and tangy orange rind flavor. Not bad, but it takes a bit to get used to. Finishes sweet, with a little bit of booze.

Mouthfeel is alright. A little bit too sticky sweet for me, but the carbonation is right on.

Overall this is a very interesting brew, which I'm glad to have had. A little bit too sweet for me, but I appreciate the effort from Short's. Not too many beers out there made with oranges that work very well, but this one is on the right track.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.71/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hotpipes29 for this bottle! Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Peg's snifter glass.

A: Dark tan and very murky with a thin white head and a medium amount of visible carbonation.

S: Bright orange citrus, boozy, and rich underlying malts.

T: Tart pulpy blood oranges, some ethanol sweetness and heat, bready and grainy malts with some wheat husk on the back end. Tart, mildly peppery and some malt sugars in the hang.

M: Medium body, carbonation sensation on the low side. The alcohol presence is noticeable but not obnoxious.

O: I thought this was fairly enjoyable, although the predominance of the blood orange flavor eliminates any illusion of complexity. But, it's a natural pleasant flavor to find in the beer. Glad to have tried this one.

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Photo of jt31914
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Glad I got to taste this, but at the end of the day I found it to be just a little bit weird for my taste. It is dark amber with no head or lacing. Smells like oranges and mango and tastes like wheat and oranges. Very citrusy and odd; not very drinkable to me due to the syrupy mouthfeel and the odd citrus. Pretty good, but also weird, which makes sense for Short's.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pour a very odd reddish orange color. The brew is very hazy and filled with chunks of yeast. Brew has almost no head just a few bubbles and it did however leave some nice laicng.

S- Very odd here. I'm not really picking up any hops or malts that I can really recognize. I'm getting a bit of a pepper spice and quite a bit of oranges. Guess this label is kidding around.

T- This is another very odd brew from Shorts. I was really excited to try this one, then I was a bit let down, but this one has grown on me as I drink my glass. Quite a bit here going on oranges everywhere, some dark cherries, and something that is very Earth like that I can't put my finger on . Has a bit of a funk in the middle that reminds me of some sour taste, lemons and pine at the very end. Very different.

M- Fuller side of medium in body and medium in carbonation.

D- Not the easiest to drink by any means. This one grew on me a lot.

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Photo of Florida9
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Reddish amber in color. Forms a patchy surface coating. No lacing.

S: Lots of pithy orange. Orange zest. Then a bit of an odd scent, earthy and organic, that fades to a light hint of alcohol.

T: Orange and orange zest. Pithy citrus bitterness. Some light pepper action on the finish.

M: Medium heavy with lower carbonation level, though I imagine that is to be expected.

O: A decent beer. A bit odd at times, but the flavor combination seems to work quite well, much more so than in Short's other beers. Slight bitter and slightly sweet.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into HF sherry glass. Thanks Josh (thebigredone) for sending this.

A- Pours a translucent golden orange with fairly little head that recedes to a flat top pretty quickly, fairly minimal carbonation, appears almost flat, lacing recedes back into the glass.

S- Blood oranges, citrus lemons, fairly zesty smelling, malty wheat backbone, some light spices hiding in the background. About average aroma strength.

T- Blood oranges, zesty lemons, fairly citrusy with a decent amount of bitterness, peppercorn comes out fairly strong on the finish with a decent wheat presence. Citrus with a faint hint of peppercorn remain as a lingering aftertaste. Not bad taste wise, just a little bit too zesty for my liking.

M- Medium bodied, fairly flat, pretty drinkable, 10% abv fairly hidden. Not bad but could use some more carbonation instead of being almost completely flat.

O- This was an interesting brew that I was glad to try, but probably wouldn't seek out to try again. It was packed with flavor but the zestiness and peppercorn were a little bit too much in my opinion, plus it was fairly flat. Overall this is definitely something worth trying for it's uniqueness, but I wouldn't necessarily seek it out unless you love blood oranges.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden in color with a very slight haze. Not much head. Aroma is fruity, reminds me of canned mandarin oranges. The more I try and pull another fruit smell out of its aroma, the more it just reminds me of canned mandarin oranges again.

The taste is sweet while being slightly tart at the same time. I still notice those same canned mandarin oranges again. I'm not sure where the tartness is coming from, but it comes and goes. After awhile, the mandarin orange flavor becomes more of an orange peel or orange zest flavor.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, however the 10% alcohol is very well hidden inside of this beer somehwere. Could be more carbonated, possibly more crisp... but other than that I do like it, and would recommend it if you're into unique versions of this style or orange-y beers in general.


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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.69/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Beautiful bright orange color, almost no head. Citrusy aroma. Clean super sweet citrus burst of flavor that is powerful, even as it warmed up. This sweetness is followed by an almost opposite tart bitterness. This contrast did not work well for me. Easy drinking for the abv with little to no alcohol burn.

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Photo of Wadsey
3.67/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Short's Anniversary Ale

Year-old bottle served at cellar temperature in DFH signature glass. 

A: Hazy amber with little effervescence. Insubstantial head subsides to thin skim. No lacing. 

S: Orange juice is prominent. Then citrus peels and maybe spice. 

T: Thin orange juice, then subdued spiciness of peppercorns, finally fresh red ruby grapefruit, which lingers on palate. The beer has a "soft" bitterness, which reminds me of citrus peels. Finishes very dry. 

M: Medium-heavy body and moderate carbonation. Soft on palate. Somewhat astringent. Not warming. 

O: I think the year in the cellar has helped this beer out, bringing its various elements into balance. An above-average wheatwine. 

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 12 oz bottle.

A - Pours a slightly clear deep ruby red-orange with a very thin head. It basically disappears as soon as you pour. A quick swirl leads to a thin film of off white head.

S - Deep blood orange aromas. Some ruby red grapefruit and some nice slight fruit juice sweetness. There is some slight raspberry and some nice carmel notes on the back end.

T & M - Starts off with a nice orange sweetness and slight tartness. It is quite an interesting flavor. Tart like orange juice with a slight grain backbone. It is very acidic but not too tart. There is a slight coriander note to it as well. Mouthfeel is nice and clean with a medium body and some slight warm carbonation. There is a nice spice character to this beer quite peppery. There is also a nice hopy character to the beer that adds a bit more citrus notes to it.

O - The beer is interesting to say the least. It has some good flavors and is pretty well crafted.

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Photo of pmarlowe
3.62/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tulip glass.

Pours a clear copper maroon, slight head and some lacing. Aroma is juicy orange, sugary cherry, floral, grassy, macadamia nut, with a spicy and peppery undertone. There's a lot of really interesting stuff going on here, all nicely integrating and nothing dominating. I like the contrast between spicy and sweet. The taste does not quite live up to the great aroma in terms of breadth and balance of flavor, with the pepper coming through more--perhaps for the worse. Also present in the taste is a bitter red grapefruit. This is pretty dry. Carbonation and body are both medium. No heat to speak of. Overall, this has a really interesting nose, but the flavor comes up lacking, and I didn't find myself wanting another one after finishing.

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Photo of nkersten
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into new belgium tulip. Pours a blood orange red with a small white head that fades to a ring. Smell is very citrusy, with lots of sweetness and orange zest. Taste is slightly sour and acidic, with lots of bitter orange zest and antiseptic in the finish. Aftertaste is not pleasant, but other then that, this is a tasty beer. Mouthfeel is heavy with a light carbonation. Drinkability isnt great, but I havent had much different for the style.

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Photo of biga7346
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a firm ruby red almost pinkish, soapy reddish one-finger of foam, some lacing dissipates quickly.

N - Big citrus notes, pink grapefruit, candi sugar, gummi bears, a very slight and fleeting hop character, all very bright and tangy-like aromas. Some white pepper and clove, fresh herbs like potpourri, and a very subtle suggestion of blue cheese and wet hay.

T/M - Up front again is the pink grapefruit (lots of it), grapefruit juice balanced with sweetness, reminds me of a pina colada or even a big desert wine, some mild raspberry flavors, orange zest and again with the slight suggestion of herbalness. This seems like a chaotic type of beer with lots of flavors tugging at each other, but honestly it comes together nicely. The overwhelming citrus/sugary notes is off-putting at first. The finish leaves little to be desired, alittle puckering dryness in the aftertase which was unexpected and welcome, and warming alcohol burn.

D - Not someting to drink a lot of in one sitting especially with the 11.7 abv totally masked. Would make a nice digestif w/ pastry or even fresh fruit.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks for sharing this, Devin!

Beautiful crimson in color with blood orange highlights (ha!), there's a thin, bubbly off-white head with poor retention. The nose is rather sweet. Caramel, candied oranges, this is zesty and zippy. Mildly spiced, this is a little boozy too. Thankfully, the spice character is low. Honey, sugar and a little vanilla are present. This isn't your typical wheatwine.

... and now, for something completely different. The palate. Grapefruit juice and rind is just overwhelming here. This is very, very intense, this almost tastes like they tossed the blood oranges in whole rather than actually separate the zest, the rind and the flesh. The sweetness of the nose does not translate to the palate, it is in fact quite low, as is the spice. Boozy on the finish with a little sweetness with vanilla and candied oranges. A light spice character is present on the finish. Full in body with a smooth palate and low carbonation, this has great flavors but is just a little too intense to be drinkable. And, as it warms up, I get a slightly stale flavor I find in a few wheatwines. Solid stuff.

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Photo of MasterfulIdiot
3.59/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

10th anniversary edition (2014) poured into an Ikea snifter. The pour kicks up a relatively modest cream-colored head that fades quickly and leaves no lace to speak of. The liquid itself is a nice transparent gold with amber hues.

Wow - aroma is a citrus knockout! It's not the bright orange or lemon that I normally think of when I think citrus, it's a lot darker and more floral than that, making me think of plums and raspberries. I guess this is what blood orange smells like, but I'm not at all well-versed in semi-obscure citrus fruits. I also get hints of a caramel sweetness.

Flavor follows the aroma pretty closely, with some surprising bitterness from an herbal hop presence thrown in on the finish. The fruit flavor here is really wonderful. However, with the caramel sweetness, fruit sweetness, and then finishing bitterness, it ends up feeling almost too sweet and too bitter at the same time. Still, the flavors are pretty nice, just not necessarily in conjunction with each other. I was a little underwhelmed with how the flavor compares to the aroma. Still, the flavor from the blood oranges is really wonderful, so I have to give it some points for that!

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with somewhat heavy carbonation, which is nicely pleasant.

Overall, there was some really nice fruit flavor, but it didn't really come together on the palate for me.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to thetomG for sharing this with Alex and I.

A - Reddish-amber colored beer that yellowed a little on the edges. Off-white head that left a little bit of lace on the sides.

S - Well, smell those oranges. Honestly, this smells like a whitewine with oranges in it. I don't care much for wheatwines, but I find the added citrus an improvement.

T - A lot of orange citrus and orange zest. It is a wheatwine, but I actually find the orange notes to cut through the usual sickly wheatwine sweetness. Slight bit of pine.

M - Moderate carbonation, medium bodied.

O - Not a bad beer, and a lot better than I was expecting. Alcohol is fairly well hidden, and I got this down pretty easily.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours a thick orange/ red with just a wisp of a head that recedes to nothing.

S. Sweet honey with citrus and some spice. Citrus comes through as both juice and peel with some hop citrus notes as well. A lot of sweetness in the nose that is only partially balanced by the spice notes.

T. Much more balance on the palate. Starts off with honey sweetness that moves into a nice bitterness on the tail that seems to be both a pithy bitterness - like biting into an orange peel - as well as citrus hop notes. The spice doesn't really come across in the flavor. The blood orange character really comes through in the flavor - a nice citrus character with some amber and caramel malt with a bit of tartness.

M. Thick body with a moderate level of carbonation that keeps the brew from overwhelming the palate.

D. I'm on the verge of liking this. Probably the hoppiest BW or WW that I've had and enjoyed - the citrus hop character really helps to accentuate the citrus in the beer. It just - idk- it doesn't quite hit me like I want it to, but a good beer overall.

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Photo of sidetracked
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange/ruby red with a thin off-white, slightly orange-tinted head. Head dissipates quickly and lingers around the edge. No lacing.

Aroma is hard to place--very spice like. Some ginger? botanicals? piney Christmas tree? Little orange sweetness and pepper. Light alcohol heat.

Taste upfront is slighty sweet oranges with some peppery ginger and caramel malt sweetness. Taste follows through to the finish. Some bitter citrusy hops at the finish. Some white-grape/wine-like flavors throughout. Very floral.

Medium to full bodied and syrupy with a moderate bubbly carbonation. Clean, slightly dry finish. Very slight alcohol heat.

Really interesting and unique. Very distinct orange and ginger flavor. A definite sipper, but stays interesting. One glass is enough.


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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.57/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to northernbrews for this one.

3.5 A: Clear deep amber color. Half a finger of frothy cream colored head that recedes quickly and leaves one small patch of lacing.

4.0 S: No lack of citrus in this one. Lots of orange going on here along with the orange & cream lifesavers. Also some strawberry, neutral wheat, sugary candy canes, and a mild spiciness. Interesting, it really does smell like those creamsaver things.

3.5 T: Again, the orange creamsavers. This is okay, but I think it's too orange heavy. I'd like a stronger toffee maltiness. Some grapefruit in there as well. While I'm on the topic, this has a reasonable bitterness and a stronger hop presence that I was expecting. Slightly tart and sweet in a candy way as opposed to a malty way. Alcohol is very well hidden.

3.0 M: Lighter medium body. The body is simply too damn light for a barleywine. I don't like ultra thick and sweet Bwines, but I don't like the other end of the spectrum either. Carbonation is a bit low as well. Otherwise very smooth with the smallest warming sensation on finish.

3.5 D: I like Short's for their innovative brews. While they had a good idea here, it fell short due to the lack of maltiness (which is something I rarely suggest when considering barleywines). Still, it was worth the experience.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.57/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really enjoyed this beer but the more I drank and the warmer it got the worse it got. Bummer.

Beer is red and clear with a thin white head of small bubbles, lots of lacing and a nice level of carbonation. Looks good!

Aroma is quite hoppy and very sweet with a hint of alcohol but the alcohol is well masked by the hops.

Beer is sweet and quite hoppy, thin up front with a moderately dry finish. The overall beer is quite good too. As the beer warms unfortunately it takes on this medicinal sweetness and harsh finish with a really bad aftertaste of grainy acidity and a little sulfur. I don't know what the deal with this beer is but overall I did not enjoy it. In the beginning I really liked it but it was all downhill from there.

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Photo of enfield249
3.57/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a very dark grapefruit reddish color. Lots of chunks and no head.

S - Orange!! Not citrus, not citrus hops, but orange. Maybe some citrus hops, but mostly orange.

T - Now, there is nothing wrong here. That said, it's like drinking grapefruit juice and beer. Nothing bad, just not a great taste.

M - Cloying, thick, pithy.

D - This another great beer from Shorts. You can dell it's a great execution, but I think the intent falls short. Worth a try if you can find it, and definitely an experience. Just not a amazing beer.

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Photo of jlindros
3.54/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to rudzud for leaving this for me.

Pours a light fizzy bubbly head that fades fairly quickly, just a touch of lacing, semi clear slight hazy honey orange color.

Nose is interesting, there is def some big wheat wine, heavy wheat creamy like, with nice citrus orange, little rind, some blood orange, hint pepper and spices like a coriander thing, big orange cream, but also a little tart funk like a little lacto or weird Brett thing but not really sure it is, and it really fades and turns into an orange creamsicle as it goes.

Taste brings weird candy like, some booze and hot phenols, little alcohol heat, into mild peppery flavors, peppercorn, coriander like spices, etc, with a slimy esters I think, slimy and tangy perhaps some lacto infection but not so pleasant thing. Plenty of orange, little rind, blood orange flavor even, orange cream thing, with nice peppercorns. Plenty of creamy heavy wheat, wheatwine flavors, candy biscuity toffee and dried fruit. Finish is a bit boozy, slimy sticky feeling sweet and hot booze, esters, alcohol phenols, little peppercorn, more orange peel and orange cream, and wheat.

Mouth is fuller sticky almost syrupy, some warming booze, little creamy, nice carb.

overall eh, it has some nice characters, nice orange flavors and creamy wheat wine, but the booze is a bit weird with the phenols, almost tart lacto like notes but it doesn't seem like an infection or sour really, it's strange, hard to really tell what it is, nice peppercorns and orange in general. Interesting but hard to drink much of it.

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Photo of FlandersNed
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Tap. Lightly-hazy copper color., low off-white foam. Orangey/hoppy nose. Big green peppercorn & orange rind flavor. A bit boozy. Full body & medium to full carbonation.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I tasted two bottlings of this at a recent tasting, the most recent one is the one this review reflects. Thanks to the Central PA crew for sending this in the Gang Bang BIF.

A: pours a deep clear red, nice color, the blood orange certainly provides deep hues I am not accustomed to in beer.

S: the nose starts incredibly citrusy with straight grapefruit rind, a peppercorn character comes through in the middle, getting a lot of zest

T: tastes starts out slightly acidic and becomes very fruity with hints of molasses. Blood orange is present but comes off very grapefruit like.

MF: low carbonation, medium body

O: This brew is interesting and like all Short's beers its incredibly unique. The resulting product is drinkable and worth a try.

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Anniversary Ale from Short's Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 199 ratings.