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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: 502
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 20.71%
Wants: 61
Gots: 70 | 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: 502
Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the brewpub, a wheatwhine with a lot of oranges and peppercorn. Dark brown and lacey. Full mouthfeel. Malty and licorice. Refreshing and how this would be amazing with a meal. Was fairly average in aroma, not as complex as expected. Had aged in bottle form, and was very rich, thanks Steve! same rating.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sending me this one!

Pours a hazy dark orange with a 1 inch orange-white head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Small streaks and dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, blood oranges, citrus zest, and some pepper notes. Taste is of blood oranges, blood orange juice, citrus zest, and a spicy kick from the peppercorns. The aftertaste is a bit acidic and definitely citrus zest bitterness lingers on the palate. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good and interesting beer with the blood orange and peppercorn combination.

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Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy burnt orange color with a rocky head that doesn't hang around very long though it does leave some dotting behind

Smell: Blood orange pith dominates, though there is a bready aspect underneath

Taste: Orange juice that starts out sweet and then grows ever tarter by mid-palate, when the wheat bread and alcohol make their appearance; after the swallow, the sweet and tart orange flavors interplay and, in the finish, the green peppercorns add a noticeable bit of heat

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low to moderate carbonation; leaves some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: I did a 180° with this beer; at first I found it unbalanced and a bit too herbal but as it warmed, I enjoyed the subtle flavorings and, in particular, the peppercorn heat on the finish

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours an orangish color with an off white head. Smell is immediately magnetic to my nose--the peppercorns and blood orange really make a wonderful pairing. The taste is another step up from there, with the peppercorns not too pronounced and the blood oranges presenting a cacophony of flavors all by themselves. Mouthfeel is exception...thought this was about 5% abv based on taste. Drinkability isn't that high, although I thought about boosting the score about more as this is so good compared to other wheatwines that it's drinkability is by definition good or a bit higher.

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Photo of largadeer
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a glowing red color, forming a thin but lasting head.

Awesome nose of grapefruit and blood orange amplified by citrusy hops. Slight marijuana and herbal notes. Peppercorns lend some spiciness. The fruit and hops work really nicely together.

Delicious grapefruit and orange flavors on the palate. Spicy, peppery, herbal. Some earthy notes mid palate. Finishes quite bitter and herbal. Dry and light bodied. Delicious.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holy hell what do we have here. I have been dying to crack this one open and once I did I had no idea what I was in store for. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 08/13/2010.

The pour was a very clear dark amber color with lots of orange highlights to it. Small head of white tops it off nicely with a light bit of lacing that eventually falls by the wayside.

Aroma is well oranges. They dominate everything about this beer and I absolutely loved it. Rich and sweet oranges are all over the place, it was like drinking juice in the morning, so sweet and fresh. I could see how some would see this as over done, but I really did think it was fantastically put together. A touch of light pepper in the finish, but mostly just the sweetest, juicest orange you have ever come across. Really quite well done I have to say.

Overall this is gonna be a love it or hate it beer, an I loved it, really worked very well for me on nearly every level.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Derek for sending one of these my way recently. Opened up at a tasting yesterday.

A: The pour is a dark red (perhaps ruby red) color with a nice off-white head.

S: Tons and tons of sweet and mildly sour blood oranges in the nose. A really soft but noticeable peppery aroma as well. Quite interesting but strangely inviting.

T: The oranges are just as strong as in the nose. In addition to the oranges, there is a bit of a grapefruit note and the pepper is much more subdued. A nice sweet caramel note in the background as well.

M: Quite full bodied and a really nice amount of carbonation, which you don't always get out of a growler.

D: Another cool beer from Shorts. I liked the addition of the fruit in this one and found it to be a bit sweet and at nearly 12% ABV, this is one that you need to drink with caution.

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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 Kegatron
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap @ The Great Taste of the Midwest (Madison, WI) on 8/14/10. Several samples served in a tasting mug.

Pours a clear cranberry color with a thin covering of off-white head. This fizzles down fairly quickly, leaving just some light spotty lace behind. The aroma is mostly all wheat and oranges in the nose, with a sweet tanginess and juicy fruit character that is working really well for me. Some light sugars, spice, and floral hops all round this out nicely.

The taste is sweet and tangy in the mouth with the aforementioned blend of wheat and oranges but then a tart spicy blast settles into the middle portion of the profile, before settling into a strong finish of pithy earthy bitterness. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a good feeling smooth crispness to it which keeps this moving well. As for the alcohol, I did get some warmth out of this while imbibing but it absolutely blew my mind when I found out that this was almost 12%. I would have never had guessed that, as this remained such a smooth sipper throughout.

A Blood Orange Wheat Wine sounded a little crazy when I first heard about this but the flavors all just worked very nicely for me here. I love that this didn't skip on the orange flavor and the addition of peppercorns really upped the zestiness of this to a new level. The finish was a little overly bitter IMHO but otherwise, this was pretty great stuff.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Thanks to the Central PA group from the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

Finally gonna crack into this tasty-sounding wheatwine. It pours a clear amber-copper topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises blood orange zest, tart orange, nutmeg, maple syrup, and light black pepper. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some mandarin orange syrup, light green peppers, banana, light vanilla bean, ruby red grapefruit, and some very light leek. Somehow, this thing tastes both all over the place and citrus-centric at the same time. Nice. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a kinda syrupy feel. Overall, a very nice wheatwine, one that shows what strategic use of blood oranges can do.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.52/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 release acquired via trade from tburkhart courtesy of the Under 100 #4 BIF so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass. As a pour it and re-read the label I think I probably should have saved this beer for a Halloween Night review for nostalgic effect but it’s still mid-October so close enough.

A: The beer is a murky orange-brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin on the glass.

S: The aroma contains citrus, a good amount of hops, caramelized malts and a touch of spice.

T: The taste starts out with a really odd sweet and tangy flavor. The label reads “Blood Orange Wheat Wine” and the word “blood” is used generously in the description of the beer’s ingredients and shockingly enough a “blood” flavor has been created in this beer and it completely dominates. I can only describe it as acidic and citric. The malt character is hearty and not too heavy. The hops presence is mild and bring a little bit of balance. The after-taste is kind of tangy which is a first after having written over 2500 beer reviews.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Certainly very flavorful but the question is how that flavor appeals to the individual, goes down slowly because of the strange flavor and the high ABV, not too filling, very strong kick, odd representation of style, this is without a doubt the strangest beer I have ever tasted over 6+ years and 2500+ reviews. This is definitely a novelty beer but it has a taste that can grow on you if you have an affinity for that kind “Bloody Mary” flavor.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to northerbrews for the extra!

Decanted into a Gigantic Brewing goblet (it was convenient). Poured a pleasant honey-amber color, pristine clarity, no head, but a wispy layer of bubbles that dissipated to an extremely thin ringlet; no lacing. Lots of orange in the aroma, pith, pulp, rind, you name it, spicy peppercorns that came out more as the beer warmed up, herbal hops, and a bit of booziness. Taste was distinctively dominated by orange, much like the aroma, tangy, toasted wheat, secondary notes of banana peel, and a ubiquitous peppercorn presence. Higher alcohol was detectable, but not imposing. Flavors melded very well. Medium body, low carbonation, unusually good drinkability. Very nice!

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Photo of russpowell
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to MarcatGSB for this

Pours an effervescent caramel with a modicum of cream colored head. Decent head retention & lacing

S: Orange & tangerine rinds

T: Follows the nose, along with some ruby red grapefruit & faint bready notes up front. Some faint apricot notes hide beneath all the citrus & a kiss of pear as well, along with more bready notes. finishes with a citrus flourish, a touch grapefruit/earthy bitterness & a bit of mead/honey dryness

MF: Medium bodied, slight/smooth carbonation

I really enjoyed this. There now way a beer this big should go down so easy in warm weather. Could drink this all spring/summer if feasible

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Whew. Blood oranges. You get subtle hints of it on the nose, but there is nothing subtle about the blood oranges on the flavor profile. The bitter tones that taste like they are from the orange's skin are too prevalent. Beyond that, there is little that you get a ride from. As a wheatwine, this falls short. As a beer, it's alright.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled 4/20/2012. Pours hazy reddish orange color with a small 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lacing cap that lingers. Slight spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of huge orange, orange zest, orange rind, grapefruit, peppercorn, caramel, coriander, bread, floral, grass, earth, and herbal. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity; with a huge citrus presence as expected. Taste of big orange, orange zest, caramel, grapefruit, orange rind, coriander, peppercorn, floral, grass, earth, and herbal. Light citrus rind tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of orange, citrus rind, grapefruit, peppercorn, coriander, caramel, toast, floral, earth, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic citrus and peppery flavor balance with nice complexity; zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent wheatwine! Great flavor complexity and balance; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of mdfb79
2.88/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a reddish amber color with one inch of white head and almost no carbonation evident.

s - Smells strongly or oranges, as well as lemon, citrus hops, fruity malts, and sugar.

t - Tastes of some weird sweer oranges. Also some grapefruit, lemon, citrus hops, and sugar. Not great.

m - Light body and low carbonation.

d - Kind of a weird beer. The smell was ok, but the taste wasn't very enjoyable. Wouldn't seek out again.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tom (thetomG) for sharing this one at an impromptu Monday night tasting. Served in a Darkness snifter.

A - Quick-dissolving white foam settles to a thin ring. The body is a lightly hazed dark orange color.

S - Vanilla, oranges, peppercorns, some herbal hop notes, and well-hidden alcohol with only a little bite to it. Very unusual, but quite enjoyable.

T - Taste has a pulpy orange-forward flavor, with notes of vanilla pale malts and other citrus fruits from the hops. Alcohol is better hidden, and peppercorns are largely in the periphery.

M - Low carbonation, medium-full body that is sufficiently hefty, minimal alcohol warmth.

D - One of the better wheatwines I've had, and one of the strongest Short's offerings I've had in recent memory. The flavor combination worked for me, and the 10% ABV was pretty unobtrusive. I'd have this one again for sure.

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Photo of mothman
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Bruery snifter.

Pours 1 finger of light beige head. Fades to a ring. Leaves some very nice lace. Color is a dark copper with a ruby hue to it.

Aroma: Big citrus. Orange, grapefruit, lemon. Light wheat. Floral hops. Smelling more like a dipa, but I like it.

Taste: Big grapefruit citrus taste with some orange peel and lemon zest. Has some wheat and a big floral hop profile. This is boarderline IIPA. Very well done. Not too much malt showing here. Has some spice flavor to it.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, smooth, and a bit creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with a bite of grapefruit, a slight amount of stickiness.

Overall, this wheatwine drinks like an IIPA. Very fresh hops and citrus profile. It is very good and drinks easily. I will have more of this one.

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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 mdaschaf
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Thanks to Marc for sending this one my way.

A: Poured an impressive copper/orange/red color with a one finger off-white head. Moderate retention and lacing.

S: A heavy dose of blood oranges, very inviting, especially for a wheatwine. Some orange zest and a bit of spice as well.

T: More orange and orange zest, a bit of wheat, and spices. There is a slight sweetness from some caramel/toffee malt.

M: Medium to full bodied, but not really thick - just a bit heavy and filling. Nice level of carbonation, slightly dry finish.

O: One of the best wheatwines I have had so far. The blood oranges gave it a nice flavor and made it much more drinkable probably. Does not seem like a 10% beer whatsoever.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.18/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is ruby hued and transparent, with 1/4" head and decent lacing. The aroma is primarily of hops, with a present alcohol sweetness. The flavor starts out well, with hops in the driver seat, masking the alcohol for the most part. Unfortunately, the finish brings an oddness and harshness that negatively impacts my enjoyment to a great degree. The sweetness mounts rapidly, and I could see this beer becoming cloying quickly. A couple of ounces was more than enough for me.

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Photo of billab914
3.08/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a murky orange/brown color with a thin white sheet barely covering the top of the beer.

The aroma really shows a lot of the orange flavors to it. It has a bright, citrusy, orange juice like flavor to it along with a more bitter orange peel like quality. A sugary like sweetness is present as well. It's interesting, but the orange is a little overpowering. It would have been nice to get more of the wheat out of it.

The taste really blasts you with the orange again. It has more of the bitter but citrusy orange peel flavor to it. The brighter orange juice flavor is there as well but it's more reserved compared to the nose. It turns more bitter in the finish with more of the rind like flavor lingering. Unfortunately like the aroma I don't get much of anything past the oranges.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with moderate carbonation. Drinkability isn't that great for me, the oranges were just too overpowering to get much of anything else out of it. It felt more like an OJ and vodka at times. I really love the wheatwine style, but this beer didn't do it for me at all. On the positive side they did really infuse a fresh orange taste into it.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Nellie and thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the oranges and wheat. The flavor is blood oranges, wheat and alcohol. There is a little bit of tartness in the flavor, but not as much as you would get in a sour ale. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very good beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nobody has reviewed this out of the cask? Ha ha I shall be the first, into a snifter from the cask at Churchkey DC.

Great color on this beer. Deep cherry red and ruby, with a soapy classic sudsy off white and tan head, very cask bubbly in appearance, but also some real good staying power. There's a few little rising bubbles but not many, the color of this beer is fantastic.

Closed nose a little not too bad, bud a small vinous character seems to come of mild vinegar, and bitter zest sort of apricot more than anything.

Taste has classic chewy out of the cask and butter coating feel, with a great chewy orange rind and juicy grapefruit bitter. Citrus bitter pounds out of this with a controlled soft palate. There doesn't seem to be much of a pepper angle on this though.

Overall real impressive, it's like eating grapefruit rinds and all its bitter softness in a liquid form, with a chewy backbone. Neat.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.57/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Shorts Anniversary Ale : Blood Orange Wheat Wine

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a brandy snifter. A stunning rosy amber in color with an off white crackling bubbly head that retains quite well, leaving some lacework.

Smell: Vibrant orange zest quite fragrant, sweet wheat wine aroma typical of the style, yet laced with orange.

Taste: An intense and interesting blend of flavors. Not as sweet as the nose will indicate, a strong wheat malt presence, with an intensely bitter blood orange/bitter grapefruit peel like flavor. In the midst of this fruity flavor is a bitter grapefruit like hop, perfect for this brew inparticular. The citrus aspect, and the bitter hops, do a great job in balancing the sweetness of the standard wheat wine. Mild orangey citrus lingers on the palate. Long into the aftertaste is the peppercorn finish, a bit spicy and long lasting. As the beer warms, the peppery aftertaste becomes desirable. A treat to the senses. 10% abv is hidden. Well done!

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, alittle syrupy/chewey malt. Carbonation moderate to low. To be expected with a brew of this magnitude.

Overall: A fantastic achievement in the art and practice of brewing. Wheat wine can be great or not so, and this one was the best of the style I've had to date. Captures the flavor of the blood orange, and the essence of a wheat wine in perfect harmony.

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