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Short's Autumn Ale | Short's Brewing Company

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Short's Autumn AleShort's Autumn Ale

Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.75%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
A malty amber ale over toned with slight caramel flavors and notable pleasant hoppiness throughout. An international award winning recipe.
30 I.B.U.'s
13 deg. Plato 
5.75 % A.B.V

Added by proc on 11-01-2004

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Reviews: 103 | Ratings: 335
Photo of lurpy1
2.8/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As with some other Short's brews pours a murky amber. Smell is a combination of hop, and farmhouse aroma, but there's a troubling funk coming through. A dangerous frat-boy beer smell. Hmmm.... Autumn Ale lacks the balance I was expecting, veers sharply towards the hop and dry end of the spectrum. Not a problem, but there's a distinct watery undertone that detracts from the overall experience. Intensely carbonated as well.

I have not had many ESB's, so take this with a grain of salt. But I was not horribly motivated to finish this bottle.

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Photo of clint1019
4.65/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Has a medium amber colored head with a thin toffee colored head.

S - Has a nice light toffee aroma to it with a big grapefruit aroma. Other aroma's detected are a light spice aroma and a fresh green (almost grassy) hop aroma.

T - Starts out with a nice caramelly malt flavor with a nice grapefruit flavor. Finishes with a light hop bitterness.

M - Light bodied and lightly carbonated.

O - Wow! I honestly can't believe all the reviews below mine. This is an amazing beer! It has an amazing flavor and aroma and is such a well balanced beer. Definitely one of my top ten beers of all time.

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Photo of wifehatesthebike
2.88/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sounds like some BA's reviewed some infected ESB below, too bad.

A: Golden amber and fairly clear, typical for what I expected of the style. Not much head as per normal for Shorts.

S: Caramel and malty. Faint whiff of hops, not much else on the nose.

T: Smooth, slick and somewhat watery initially. Transitions to a long lingering, yet mild hoppy bite. Goes down easy with little alcohol presence. I would have guessed this could be under 5%.

M: Watery and slick.

O: Pretty decent representation for the style, has quite the English tone to it. Could use a touch more carbonation to make it a bit more lively.

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Photo of minterro
3.24/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

A & S: Fruity (apple), hoppy, earthy scents that are not very pungent. Glass was half beer and half head. Head yellow and bubbly, poured more then half a finger (without pouring the full beer into the glass) and settled slowly, leaving pretty good lacing. Coppered colored beer. The head is too overpowering and I poured it completely down the side.

T & M: This beer is not very balanced (as it claims to be) and that the key to ESB’s right… balance. Overpowering floral bitter hops and tangy-ness (causing the beer to be on the sour side). SUPER carbonated (like literally the most carbonated beer I have every drank), I don’t think that was the intention of this beer, maybe it was this batch or this particular bottle has gone bad, I don’t know, but this is weird. The carbonation is to a point where it is stinging the tongue. Light to medium body.

O: weird situation going on with the carbonation and the taste is pretty straightforward, however this beer isn’t complete garbage. The name autumn ale is 100% suitable, I could maybe see myself enjoying one of these (minus the carbonation situation) on a warm beginning of fall afternoon. However I’m not going to seek out this beer again, if giving to me, yes I wouldn’t pass on it.

Note: when pour and let sit for a while the carbonation situation went away, and the beer was actually a bit flat… I don’t know if that’s a sign about anything, but that is what happened. I almost want to give this beer another shot in case it was just a bad batch but I’m not sure if it would even be worth it.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.27/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to Jeff for this one.

A: The pour on this is a dark amber color with a short lived off-white head.

S: Smells pretty bad. Metallic and slightly tart with some strange fruity notes. A bit of citrus and caramel malts with some light toffee/bread. Lots of straw on the back end and a slight funkiness.

T: The flavor has a bit of a Sweet Tart sort of flavor to it. Lemon and lime sourness, obviously not as intended. Some malt notes but very little hop character other than maybe a bit of grass or straw.

M: Light to medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Another screw up from Short's.

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Photo of DannyDan
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A golden amber with a thin white head that has good retention, decent lacing and moderate carbonation. It had a caramel and sweet malt nose with hints of hops. The taste started out with caramel that stays throughout the entire drink. I got a biscuit taste at the beginning and hints of citrus hops at the end. The mouthfeel is light bodied and smooth, very easy to drink. Overall, I would say I have had better ESB's than this, but this is not bad and next time I go to Short's, I might get one at the most.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured cold from the bottle a murky autumn red to a sun king shaped pint glass with a seriously foamy two finger long lasting head.

aroma of muted citrus, candy corn and caramel.

tangy, citrus-y, hard candy.

subtle bitter to the tongue and roof of the mouth, light bodied, big carbonation.

drinkable - maybe one or two

overall - interesting, but i'll probably not go down this road again.

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Photo of EgadBananas
2.86/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Nice autumn color' yellow/orange, off white head of maybe a finger. Lace is ok,

Aroma is lightly malty, nutty, with an underlying citrus tone, though subtle. Yup, citrus sweet.

Taste has a bit of citrus, some bitterness, but also, some levels of tartness.

The feel is slick, smooth, lower carbonation. Nothing out the ordinary here.

Overall, not bad. Though the tart notes set it apart for me.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.84/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a hazy amberish brown color. The amber hues show up more when held to the light. Half finger light tan head shows poor retention. Specks of lace are left on the glass.

S- Sweet toffee malts with light caramel malts coming through in the aroma with hints of toasted nuts. Middle of the aroma has the caramel malts come up more with the nuts also coming through never quite dominating the caramel. Hops in the ending is light pine and citrus with the pine coming out more.

T- Caramel malts start this one off with hints of toffee coming out later in the ending of the front. Middle of the beer has a more toffee sweetness to it with roasted nuts coming out shining in the middle. Caramel malts come up more in the ending with a nice piney hop bite.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Toffee and caramel malts left on the palate with hints of nuts. Aftertaste is light alcohol, piney hop, caramel malts, and hints of roasted nuts. Flavors were well balanced for the style. No off flavors were present in the beer itself. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This is a very great ESB in my opinion. I loved how this beer just blew away most of my expectations. Shorts is known for brewing weirder beers and this one just shows you they can make a nice sessionable style as well.

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Photo of craytonic
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pour is a light copper-amber, medium sized mother-of-pearl head with miniscule lacing

SMell: Caramel, light hops, malt. Tea leaves?

Taste: Again I get some tea leaves, light hops, caramel/candy malts.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thin, over-agressive carbonation

Overall: I never get these shorts beer, each offering seems to be one and done; odd but not in a good way. Like going to a freak show or something. Good to see the bearded lady but you don't ever want to see her again I guess.

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Photo of portia99
3.05/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours a bit muddy and hazy with a neutral amber color. A low head barely forms, even with a fairly aggressive pour. Left behind isonly a loose and uneven collar with sparse dots of lacing on the glass.

S - Rich malt - bready and biscuity with a hint of sweetness. A bit astringent and surprisingly I even get a mild touch of vinegar. Hops are light in aroma and mostly earthy with some spicy aspects as well.

T - Well, this is a bit weird and somewhat unexpected. I would describe this as being loosely based on lemon flavored instant iced tea or maybe they blended some Key Lime Pie beer in here. Tart, astringent, tea flavors, lemons, medicinal bitterness. Not sure what to make of this.

M - Body is thin and almost watery in texture. Carbonation is low and doesn't provide much as far as life to the beer. Medicinal bitterness takes over at the finish and lingers far too long.

O - I'm usually a Shorts fan and have enjoyed most everything I've tried by them (with a couple of exceptions). I have to say this one really doesn't work for me. Glad to try it, but this is definitely a one and done for me.

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Photo of brew3crew
2.83/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-nice amber brown with a white wispy head
s-nice maltiness to it.
T-tastes like a lot of stale hops. This want even supposed to have that much hops in it! Not bad after you get past this
M-medium body and smooth. Dry aftertaste...
O-stale. Bottle dating helps!

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Photo of EROlsizzle
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

For the most part, this was an average to pretty good ESB. There were a couple of things that stood out to me, though, mainly the fruity hop aroma, and the small, strange hint of sourness both in the aroma and in the taste. Whatever it was about that taste, it kept me coming back and what could have been another harvest ale turned into a memorable brew I can't wait to enjoy again this fall.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy amber color with just a slight film of head. Head turns into few bubbles around the edge of the glass and don't leave behind much lacing.

S- Smell is a pleasant sweet malt, citrus hops (oranges and apples) and a bit of funk.

T- Taste is a bit tart, fruity and a bit bitter. Fairly light in the hop department and bready malts here too. Nothing really turning me on.

M- Medium in body and carbonation seems right on.

D- Not too bad to drink just not my favorite one.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. Not sure who sent me this. All you MI BA's kick ass, though.

A- Ruddy brown and a 1cm head that's slightly off white.

S- Sweet and spicy hops. Nice malt presence.

T- Nice fruity malts and earthy bitterness. Hops are in the background. A little bit of orange zest. A lot drier and not as sweet as the nose had me thinking- I'm thankful for that. Supremely balanced. I don't have many ESBs under my belt but this one is very tasty.

M- Moderate carbonation, nice finish. No qualms here.

D- Moderately high. Wow, this beer is tasty! I was not sure how I would like this one and am pleasantly surprised. Worth taking for a spin.

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Photo of TheBear11D
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

Pours a cloudy dark orange color; almost looks like apple cider. Had a short lived foamy light head.

Has a pine citrus aroma; a little leafy and the aromas slightly ran together.

The pine stands out quite a bit with a hint of malt in the background. Rather sour and bitter.

Medium body with sharp carbonation.

Not bad, but this is not a standout.

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Photo of Thorpe429
1.54/5  rDev -57%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Bottle purchased in Michigan a few weeks back. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pours a moderate copper color with a good white head and a nice amount of spotty lacing as the beer falls down into a nice cap and collar. Then, the nose. Well, it's another infected Short's beer. As much as I'd like to just grab another and ignore this, I've simply had way too many beers from Short's that are infected to excuse. This isn't just a bottle here and there. There is some caramel sweetness in the background, but mostly some lactic and acetic character. The taste really doesn't help--it's just plain terrible with sourness as the only thing that is really present. The mouthfeel is acetic and gross. Low carbonation as well. Just bad. I really can't understand how this is still going on; it's quite a problem.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a single of this at the store the other day. ESB's are a style I don't drink often so i thought I would switch it up a little and give this brew a try. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a pint glass.

A- This beer poured a dark hazy amber color with two fingers worth of off white head that faded to a nice ring that left some lacing..

S- The aroma is a 50/50 split between sweet caramel malts and floral hops.

T- The taste is pretty much an amplified version of the aroma, the sweet caramel malts stick out the most. The sweet malts are kept in check by some nice floral hops that add a little eathyness to this beer. Surprisingly this beer does not have a bitter finish, it could be because this beer isn't fresh. but i don't know.

M- Smooth, medium light bodied, and good carbonation.

D- This beer goes down very smooth, if I had two more I would drink them. Just like the name implies this would make for a good brew on those cool autumn nights.

Overall I thought this was a good beer. I normally don't drink too many ESB's but this brew might make me give this style a second look. I would like to try this fresh to see if it is bitterer. A good brew from a great brewery.

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Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
2.85/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

pours a rather cloudy amber with little to no head as an after effect. sparse bubbles litter the top of the brew, and only emerge with a little swirl of the glass... even then there isnt much.
smells like carmel apples, sour grapes... some other mixed scents also but hard to distinguish. perhaps a light hop presence on the nose, but only sweet hops. something smells a little funny.
it is possible (or rather likely) this beer may be past its prime. i dont know anything avout shorts bottle dating so i wont know for sure. the hops again are very mild, although they do trail all the way through, until just about the end. i just feel this beer is a little watery. no one aspect of it really punches its way through to impress. the malt hop balance is ok i guess, but towards the finish it all just drops off. the watery aspect just kills the mouthfeel and drinkability for me... maybe ill try to get a definite fresh one next year.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 6/29/2010. On tap at Shorts. Pours a deep, clear ruby red color with a white head. Aroma of jam and lots of fruits. Flavor is equally fruity and robust with sweet malt (very malt dominant). It was described at the brewery as a strong bitter, but left me hoping for some more hoppy notes.

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Photo of billab914
2.61/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish glass. It poured a deep orange/red color with a pretty decent head filling the top inch of the glass. The head faded and left a bit of lacing as it did.

The aroma shows some sweet caramel and malty flavors to it but it's mixed with a tart, crisp, very slightly sour, grape or apple fruitiness. I get a modest piny and earthy hoppiness throughout it as well.

The taste shows more of the tart, crisp, apple and grape like flavors to it. The caramel and malty sweetness comes through, especially in the finish. The hops are more reserved, but add a little of an earthy spice.

The mouthfeel is a little below medium bodied with carbonation bing below average as well. Drinkability isn't that great, the tart and fruity flavors just didn't work for me and didn't seem to fit the style referenced on the bottle at all either. Not one of the better beers I've had from Shorts.

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Photo of enfield249
3.86/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours rusty brown, with very little head, that which is present is off white in color.

S - Slight hints of sweetness, and a little hoppy.

T - A decent amount of malty sweetness for the style, a little bit of hop flavor, but overall very clean. Tiny amount of brown sugar.

M - Light Medium to Medium, a little hop residue on the ol' tongue.

D - Very drinkable, kinda high alcohol for a session beer, but very tasty.

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Photo of jmich24
3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured to a Duvel Tulip

A: Light burgundy red. One finger head gone in a hurry.
S: Sweet, sour, fruity. Very similar to Soft Parade. Weird...
T: Again, sweet and tart almost sour. Nice touch of bitterness, that tries to balance it all out.
M: Somewhat thin. Carbination seems low.
D: A little to sweet and sour for me.

Would not buy again.

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Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Champagne Cellars. ours medium golden, a tinge of mahogoney, with thick soapy off-white head, and later thick rings of lace. Hoppy armas. Initially rich caramel and good English bitterness, orange taste. Some sourness in the finish - uh oh. Drinkability, but a sipper because of the moderate sourness.

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Photo of treyrab
4.19/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my brother and sister for taking a trip Michigan to pick me up some Michigan brews. Picked up a few bombers and singles. Decided to open this one tonight to celebrate a Penguins victory.

Opens with a slight hiss as the mist pours out.

A: Pours a hazy amber brown. Exactly how I would envision an ESB to look. Hazy, crimson highlights, nutty color. Very minimal head even with a rather vigorous pour.

S: The smell is actually incredible. "That's a lot of nuts!" Smells like sweet nuts, most notably pecans. Toasted pecans. Sweet toffee and caramel as well. Caramelized pecans, if you will. Very nice. Minor pine hops in there as well, but the sweet nuts and caramel dominate. Very nice.

T: The caramel and nutty flavors in the scent do not follow through to the taste. The taste is the normal ESB clean pine hop flavors you would expect. Very clean. Nicely bitter without being an IPA. Not bland, but it doesn't pack much of a punch, which is quite good.

M: Almost cask-like low. Which is awesome to get a cask-like feel from a bottle.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. The scent was stellar, and the flavor was solid too. Recommended.

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Short's Autumn Ale from Short's Brewing Company
3.58 out of 5 based on 335 ratings.
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