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Anniversary Ale - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anniversary AleAnniversary Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

455 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 455
Reviews: 185
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 61
Gots: 50 | FT: 5
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 455 | Reviews: 185 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of monitorpop
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of UnknownMale282
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of GoldenChild
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of ithinkimasofa
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of jlb502
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of nanobrew
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Adamostella
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of alpinebryant
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pour is a dark orange caramel with a large white head and strong lacing.

S: Aroma of sweet orange peel and citrus. Perhaps the best wheatwine that I have smelled. Sweet caramel that is light with a refreshing hop presence and a touch of pepper.

T: Surprisingly bitter coming from the aroma with a refreshing hop presence. Healthy peppercorn flavors with a refreshing overall taste. A good dosing of sweetness mixing in with strong caramelization. At the end of the flavor profile the blood orange really comes into play. It would be hard for this to be done better, it really comes together extremely well round.

M: Light in body and a light carbonation, to style.

O: Extremely well rounded and great tasting. Definitely one that I would pick a bunch of and perhaps age if it ages well.

Photo of MarkIntihar
4.41/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my New Belgium Belgian glass.

A - Pours a beautiful orange amber, with half a finger's worth of slightly off white head. The color of this beer is absolutely incredible. It looks like the inside of a blood orange with just a hint of tan added to it. Simply marvelous.

S - Blood orange, honey, dry hops, blended together to make an incredibly unique aroma unlike any beer I've ever smelled. Reminds me more of a mead than a beer, but is definitely on par with what the label describes. Not picking up much green peppercorn, however.

T - Follows closely from the nose, with the blood orange being the dominant force here. Don't get as much honey in the mouth, but definitely pick up the dry hop finish, and in the mouth the green peppercorn is much more evident, which works well with the dry hop character to leave the mouth feeling cleansed after each sip. Once again, a truly unique blend and an altogether pleasant experience.

M - For a higher abv beer, this one is smooth. Does leave the mouth feeling a bit dry, but not to the point where it's upsetting. As mentioned in the taste, does a fantastic job of cleansing the palate.

O - Overall I am very impressed with this beer. I only spent a few months in Michigan, but Short's is definitely one of the breweries that I will truly miss.

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a dark burnt orange-red in color, thick and opaque. One finger of off-white head shows good retention and manages to leave a good amount of lacing, mostly leggy with some light patching, in good quantity on the glass.
The aroma is very much to par with expectations. Lots of orange and strongly so, with the particular sweet/sour blend that distinguishes blood oranges from the usual. The peppery note is easily detectable as well. A bit of wheat forms the backing for the rest of it.
The taste follows suit. The spice from the peppercorn is distinct, with an almost earthy vegetable element along with white pepper notes, all in a good way, behind sweet orange with just a bit of sourness and a touch of rind bitterness pulling through. The wheat is in here, but a stronger backbone would pull it all together to be even better, perhaps exceptional. It's certainly good, though.
There's no doubt this is crisp, and a medium body shows some depth to it, with a good smoothness that a little more of would serve to put this one a step above. It goes slightly slick in the mouthfeel toward the finish.

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Photo of claytong
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance - a true blood orange in color. impressive. eggshell head that is fluffy and sticky and sticks around till i finish my sample.

smell - orange peel and juice, some tartness... not sure where thats coming from, spices (hard to name), perhaps white peppercorn and others. some citrus

taste - follows the nose. very original, crazy but in a good way.

mouthfeel - drinkable, medium to thick bodied, curious how this would age. good carbonation for the body.

Photo of scottfrie
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Portsmouth snifter. 2010. Thanks for this one jbck109!

A: Pours a very dark…blood orange…with a finger of off-white head that faded into a thick scum. A soft sheet of lacing was left after every sip.
S: Dominant scents of sweet oranges, tangerines, and I guess blood oranges although it’s been forever since I’ve had one and do not remember what they smell like. To me, the smell reminds me of those canned mandarin oranges you can buy that are bright orange and really squigy. With all the citrus this almost smells like a really hoppy ipa. I wouldn’t quite call it peppercorns, but there is definitely something spicy in there as well.
T: Follows the nose with big juicy notes of sweet blood orange and citrus hops. The finish is full of yeast and faint notes of bubblegum, and the aftertaste is green tasting, lightly spicy, and a bit bitter.
M: Thick bodied, low but bubbly carbonation, and a slick mouthfeel. I do not pick up any of the double-digit alcohol content at all. This goes down far too easily.
O: Exceeded my expectations to the point where I am ISO another bottle. I thoroughly enjoyed the ipa-like qualities this had to offer. Send me another bottle Jay!

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.52/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

Photo of slentz
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ImperialKing for this awesome extra in our recent trade. Served in my Goose Island chalice at 50 degrees.

A: Generous pour down the center of the glass produces a two finger long lasting head that slowly dissipates to a thin ring. No lacing, but nice legs. Great color in the glass...a nice peachy orange color. 4.0

S: This is very aromatic. Smells quite delicious....definitely picking up the oranges along with other fruits...smells very sweet even floral like. Great smelling beer. 4.0

T: Taste is sweet, tart, and lightly carbonated. Oranges, Peaches, nectarines..some apricot. Alcohol is very well hidden....very smooth. I am really enjoying this one. 4.5

M: Mouthfeel is light nicely carbonated this beer drinks really well 4.0

O: Overall I really like this beer a good break from the IPA's, DIPA's and Stouts I have been enjoying lately. This one is definitely a sipper and really hitting the spot. 4.0

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of AleWatcher
2.19/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Beautiful deep plum color, purpley and dark with a small off-white head that vanished quickly, leaving whispers of thin micro-bubbles and a tiny ring around the collar. Thin legs. Virtually no lace remains longer than 3 seconds.

Smells sugary... Really really sweet. The sugarysweet notes rind me of a barleywine with some decent age on it-- at least 5 or 6 years. The spicy and boozy notes are pretty huge too. Fresh ground peppercorns, earthy spicy hops, and grains of paradise/coriander/orange zest to boot.
The flavor is just like the nose, but the dry boozy finish is a bit too much.
The body is slick and oily with a lot of residual sugar-- the sugar coats my teeth. A very strange note comes up on the finish, kinda earthy and vegetal with a pronounced bitterness blending into citrus fruit. It is rather unpleasant for my money.
Overall, this is not a top choice for wheatwines, but I do understand the desire to make an anniversary beer different and exciting-- I just think this is not a very enjoyable beer, wheatwine or not.

Photo of weizenbob
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. 12 ounce bottle poured into a large wine goblet. An aggressive pour yields half a finger of peach-tinted head. Retention is moderate, though better than expected for such a high-gravity brew. A ring of lacing holds to the top of the glass and glides down as the beer disappears. The beer is mahogany colored with precious little translucence. I'm assuming the color is a result of the blood oranges, and it is a pretty sight.

Oranges manifest themselves way up front on the nose. It's a sweet, citrusy, alcoholic blending that works really well. Spicy hops snap nicely and only serve to compliment the fruity aroma herein. It is unlike any beer, wheatwine or otherwise, that I've put my nostrils to; but it's such a natural combination that I'm amazed nobody has thought to brew this before now.

The flavor follows suit. Sweet tangerine-like flavor is first to impact the tongue. This is accompanied by a nice dose of piney hops (hop varieties were wonderfully matched to this brew). The citrus and hops lay a wonderfully spicy groundwork that is formidably matched by the heft of the malt profile. It is malty to the point of being syrupy. As the beer slides to the back of the mouth, a nice literal kick of peppercorn is noted. It's enough that you know there's some pepper in there, but not so much that it detracts from the rest of what is going on. The primary flavors are intense to the point that you don't notice the alcohol unless you're really looking for it. For being so overblown, it has great balance.

It's tough not to have a nice mouthfeel with a beer this big, and Anniversary Ale does not disappoint. It's thick; it has a lot of alcohol which makes it velvety. The carbonation level is absolutely perfect. The citrusy nature of the brew actually makes it refreshing, easily the most refreshing and easy drinking brew in its weight class. It's supposed to be a sipper, but I'm failing to pause for very long between sips.

For the most part, Short's unorthodox concoctions are hit or miss affairs. This one is a big hit. In fact, it may be my new favorite in their seasonal lineup. It looks interesting, smells, tastes and feels great. And it's refreshing to boot. It's the most drinkable 10% beer I've ever sampled. Hats off to you, Short's.


The Two-Schlitz Scale: (reference my profile for an explanation)
I give two Schlitz about Short's Anniversary Ale. Here's to another great year of brewing.

Photo of thagr81us
2.85/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks goes out to beeruser for sharing this one. 2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured a deep red-orange with a minimal white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, orange, sugar, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, orange, sugar, and syrup. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall I was not really a big fan of this one. I'm starting to wonder if wheat wines are just not for me or something... The idea is nice, but usually the execution is off for my palate. The sweetness from the sugar on this one really killed it for me unfortunately. Worth trying for a fan of the style, but if you have never had one before I suggest starting elsewhere.

Photo of Tripphop
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep orange color in the glass, very sexy color. Head is absent, managed to force a few bubbles with a heavy pour, but they run and hide. The carbonation is present in the mouth, however. Aromas of sweet candied oranges, smells sticky. Flavor has god intensity, orange is nicely squeezed in the midpalate with a wheaty finish. A good bit of heat fro mthe booze, matches up nicely with the mellow, rich body to this beer. Very solid brew, my favorite of the Short's I've tried.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Photo of Thickfreakness
3.21/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Deep dark Blood Orange color, A touch of a head that fades immediately and leaves very little lacing. No real carbonation to speak of.

S- Fresh orange juice, really nice blend of sweet malts and bright hop punch. Lots of sour cherries, tabacco smoke, and I detect a hint of somekind of barnyard sourness. The yeastiness still smells really alive in this one. Really unique! I've never smelled anything quite like this.

T- WOW!!! Sour oranges, sour cherries, cigar smoke, hints of piney hops and sweet caramel malts. The peppercorns really come thru giving just a wierd hint of heat on the tongue. This is absolutely unusual.

M- Just a little hint of heat from the peppercorns, sour and bitter with a sweetness that follows before the heat sits on the tongue. It leaves a touch of horse poop in the mouth that i'm not real fond of. I'm not much of a fan of beer with sourness to it, but this is ok and worth a try.

O- This was really cool and unusual to try. Certainly not something I'd wanna drink everyday, but I'm really glad I got to try this. Thank you northernbrews!

Anniversary Ale from Short's Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 455 ratings.