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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 103 | Ratings: 335
Photo of Beejay
3.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A hazy amber with red notes. Not a lot of head but what is there was a just a little tan, and quickly dissipated to a few large bubbles.

S: Grassy hops come out right away. As well as a decent caramel malt scent that balances the hops quite well. Smells very nice indeed.

T: Carmel and malt right up front. Good clean bitterness follows with a nice long grassy hop aftertaste. This seems like an american twist on an English Style. The hops seem to be more West Coast centric, and the yeast profile doesn't have the bready flavor I associate with a lot of English Ales. However, it is still tasty.

M: Medium in body, the carbonation might be a tad low, but perhaps this is a nod to the less carbonated English Styles. Still it gives it a slightly watery feel to it.

D: Good overall. I would definitely get it again. This is a brew to have a few pints of while you warm up in a pub with some friends. Good overall, but not outstanding.

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Lee - thanks!

Pours a dark copper color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of grainy caramel malts with good amounts of leafy and herbal hop aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Moderately dry caramel malt flavors with good amounts of lighter pale malts. Joining in shortly thereafter are leafy and earthy hop flavors that dry out the flavor profile even further. The hops carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall I thought this was a nice and moderately-hopped beer for the style. Worth a shot.

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Photo of klikger
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a Duvel tulip - thanks for the extra, Donerik!

A - Dark, cloudy amber, decent white head, and good lacing

S - Bread, musk, grass, and a little caramel

T - Grass, earthy hops, lemon --> orange rind, lots of grainy bread, and honey --> spicy, bitter finish with a touch of dirt

M - Medium-bodied, with a bit of chewiness; acidic, good carbonation

D - Flavor complexity, bitterness, and low ABV make this one pretty drinkable.

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Photo of flexabull
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another Shorts beer courtesy of mikesgroove, thanks again!

Pour a bubbly amber color with a smaller white head.

Aromas are kind of dusty, bready, spicy, and nutty.

Taste is pretty mellow, but not in a bad way, this beer is all about subtleness. Mellow spices,light bread, brewed tea, and slightly sweet caramel. Finish is crisp, kind of dry, with mellow earthy hops.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, soft, but a little on the thin side.

Drinkability is pretty good. Easy to drink, with a definite British feel, with a few tweaks this could be a really good one.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.74/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$2.00 for a 12oz single @ Jacks. Pours out to a hazy dark amber, forming a small head with barely any retention and no lacing. Mildly carbonated. The aroma opens with a pleasant floral hop nose, with a lot of fresh green leafy hop character, and when swirled a little bit of mango and pungency. The mouthfeel is lightly tart with a smooth medium body. The taste opens with the aforementioned hops and follows suit with some soft fruity yeast esters, and a well-balanced malt body with notes of toast and a medium strong bitterness. This kinda reminds me of a slightly more bitter, less carbonated Anchor Steam. It has a very similar yeast profile. No perceptable off-flavors.

This is a really nice ESB, but is a bit too bitter for me to throw back 3 or 4 of these, but for those who like their bitters, well...bitter, this is a must try.

Re-review 10/12-Last year there were some apparent infection issues with this brew, so I wanted to try it again. This year, it pours out to a hazy burnt orange, forming a small off-yellow head with poor retention, minimal lacing, and mild carbonation, ~2.0 carbs. The nose is really nice..fresh floral hops with a distinct orange marmalade note with a touch of biscuit. The mouthfeel is smooth, soft, and is rather full bodied considering the ABV and presumed OG. The mild carbonation adds to the smooth, rather chewy mouthfeel. The bitterness is firm for an ESB but still well-balanced, and there is lingering flavors of biscuit, orange marmalade, and a distinct chalkiness (probably a result of trying to mimic the brewing water of London ESBs). No suggestions of infection, thankfully.
I like it better this year. A nice solid brew. I would buy it again, now that they have sorted out some of their bottling issues.

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

Poured into tulip.

Pours an amber color. Head is a khaki beige. Leaves a bit of splattered lace.

Aroma: Smells like an Arnold Palmer. Lemonade and sweet tea. Doesn't smell like much else, but I like it.

Taste: More lemonade and sweet tea. A decent amount of spice and grassy hops. Some caramel malts. Interesting.

Mouthfeel: Spiced, dry, and a hint of bitterness. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall, a very unique esb. I like it, but it doesn't taste much like an esb. Another odd take on a style by shorts. Decent drinkability.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.46/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a slightly hazed deeper amber orange color with a nice light tan head. The aroma is an odd mixture of grass, biscuit, hops, with some citrus. Medium mouthfeel. Slightly sweet start transitions to an almost lemon/tea, spice flavor that then move to a lingering bitterness. It really does reming me of a tea heavy Arnold Palmer. Good head retention with good lace. This is a very different ESB than I have ever head, not really in a bad way but just way different.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

during the great pumpkin carving of 2010, this was one of many new beers sampled. served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 10/29/2010.

the pour was a wonderful shade of amber with a good level of carbonation that was easily visible through the glass. nice head of white that comes up to around two inches and settles own with a moderate amount of lacing.

aroma of nicely rounded hops, light citrus mixed with a caramel sweetness that is simply sublime. near perfection here with every whiff. taking the first sip only reinforces this as each sip is better then the next. really just clean, crisp notes of citrus hops, caramel, bready malts, and a touch of apple like tartness cross the palate and leave a clean, sparkling finish that begs you to drink more.

overall one of the finest tasting and easist drinking seasonals i have had in a very long time. really very, very well done.

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Photo of JordanEllwanger
4.07/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber tone with a fast off white head. very transparent with no sediment on the bottom of the bottle. Smells sweet and fruity like kids yogurt. The sweet taste is there with the malts. reminds me of maple trees. A very earthy grassy taste with a good mixture of hop. Feels very good and not harsh at all aside from the hop bite. A great beer to drink. Could session with this.

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Photo of BierFan
4.15/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Thin off-white head settles to a ring of foam around the glass in a short amount of time. Hazy dark amber body looks a bit like apple cider.

Smell: Definitely some fruitiness. Decently hopped.

Taste: Tart fruity flavor. Good bitterness. Really smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of a74gent
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I won't claim to be an expert in this style, but I think this is a tasty beer.

The appearance is a dark amber haziness with a little foam on top. The smell is malty and hoppy, but a real nice nose.

The taste is a little bitter with a nice maltiness that balances it without mingling together. They are two distinct and nice flavors.

The mouthfeel is a touch thin, but not overly so at all. I'd like to see it linger a bit longer on the palate.

The drinkability is very good though...just goes down like water. There is no desire to savor the flavor because it goes down so well.

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Photo of kzoobrew
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber body, ever so slightly hazed. The body reminds me of a glass of iced tea. Minimal head set atop dissipates shortly after the pour. Despite the lack of head a decent amount of sticky lacing is noted.

Floral hops bready malt and a unexpected fruity aroma. Hops are earthy and floral reaching barely into the pine aromas. Medium roasted biscuit malt with a bit of caramel mesh well with the hop profile.

Warm flavor rolls smoothly across the tongue. Nutty flavors and a fresh baked dark grain bread. The hop flavor soon follows with a grassy bitterness which counters the warm malt flavors rather well. Slight caramelly sweetness emerges midpalate and lingers just a bit. A slight green apple flavor is noted, somewhat subtle.

Medium bodied with appropriate carbonation. Finish is on the drier side with a slight lingering caramel sweetness.

This is a beer that does not rate super high but is quite enjoyable to me. Just a solid beer to session, perfect for fall.

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Photo of emmasdad
2.42/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Received as part of a recent trade. Surprised to see this, a comparatively normal beer from Shorts. That said, overall I'm not all that impressed with this one. Pours a hazy orange/amber color, with minimal tan colored head. Very pleasant nose, with floral hops, orange zest and cotton candy. However, this one falls apart on the palate. After a very enjoyable first sip or two, this one becomes somewhat sour, very bitter and a little soapy. First really unimpressive beer I've had from Short's.

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Photo of BMoney575
2.55/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Sampled on 10-16-10

Pours a hazy amber/brown color with just a slight film of head. A few white bubbles stay in place around the edge.

Smell is a pleasant sweet malt, followed by a kick of citrus hops. A little sour, with the standard Short's weirdness.

Taste is awful. Super bready and earthy, with a hit bitter hops right in the middle. I can't quite place the flavor, but it's a little medicinal and very off-putting. I don't think its gone bad, it's just not a good beer.

Mouthfeel is thin, fizzy, and unremarkable.

Drinkability is poor, the flavors are not good.

Overall, just this side of a drain pour.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.22/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to erikkoppin for this great beer. Cheers Erik and congratulations again.
What an absolutely fitting beer for tonight. I smell someone barbequing with wood, there is already a nice breeze going, it is a bit humid, about to dip below the 70's and not even five thirty yet. Enough sentiment and my missing the Midwest. On to the review!

Appearance - Pours a dark ginger into my SA Perfect Pint with about a finger of quickly dissipating head that leaves slight lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Oranges, pine, green apples, caramel, heavy sweet malts, and what seems like tea. This has a fascinating aroma (can't that be said for almost all of Short's beers?).

Taste - The initial taste is different from what you are expecting. There is a most definite bitterness up front that is heavy in piney hops, and again, I feel like unsweetened tea. There is a wave of citrus that takes over the bitterness (though the bitterness is not off putting nor overpowering). Fruits such as grapefruit, orange, and slight green apple bombard my taste buds. The taste finishes with the toasted malts, biscuit, spices, and toffee. Delicious.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, noteworthy crisp, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability - Unbelievable. I only have one of these and am doing my best to enjoy it, and I sure am. Very drinkable, the flavors are just damn so perfect together. I want to move to Michigan near Short's when I retire (oh the irony how I am still in Grad School and am yet to even start "work" yet here I talk about retiring) so I can enjoy their beers all the time, and on tap. Thanks again to Erik for hooking me up with tons of Short's brews I can't wait to dive into.

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Photo of BuckyFresh
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large wine glass. Color ranges from a burnt orange at the bottom of the glass to a dark ruby at the top; perfect color spectrum for fall! One-finger head recedes fairly quickly and decent lacing is left behind. Clarity is pretty good in this beer and moderate carbonation can be seen.

Smell: Surprisingly hoppy. Very earthy with some pine notes and an almost grainy quality. I'm also getting a decent toasted malt backbone with a nice bitter counterpart. Some fruity, apple aromas are also present.

Taste: Very creamy texture, but not much bite or flavor from the hops. Don't get me wrong, the bitterness is there, but the beer is lacking in punch and acidity to the point of almost tasting a touch flat. I find myself wanting a little more malt presence to balance out the piney astringency.

Mouthfeel: More full-bodied than I expected, very creamy, with quite a bit of bitterness. Not much malt punch or citrusy hop flavor.

Drinkability: Fairly easy to drink, and the alcohol is not detectable. It just feels a little one-dimensional to me; I'm not sure it catches my attention enough to indulge in much more than one.

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Photo of sculls65
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a murky amber with a tannish head . smells like the caramel apple section in the apple orchard on a fall day...caramel...and fruit...maybe even donuts . Taste is subdued compared to smell, but is a nice blend of roasted caramel malt..fruit and grain. Id say lightly carbonated and thicker than average mouthfeel. No problem drinking a few of these on a gray october night.

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Photo of alexgash
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Slightly cloudy orange bronze body. Small, wispy, light beige head. Nose of mandarin oranges, pine, cedar, and strawberry jam. Odd, but kind of interesting.

Toasted malts lead to pulpy fruit and light toffee malt. Citrus hop overtones, along with a little pine, and some herbal bitterness. Citrus fruit finish with a nice balance between fruitiness and bitterness. Moderate body, with a slick, low-carbonated feel. Caskish, out of a bottle. Nice hop burps from this one too!

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Photo of GRPunk
4.42/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into my Young's nonic pint.

A- A moderate pour left a 1-1/2 finger khaki/tan head that drops to about 1/2 finger before falling to a full film. The body is a slightly hazy copper with light carbonation. Great sticky rings are left on the glass. Recent Short's brews have been lacking a bit in head retention for me. This one seemed to be a bit better in that regard.

S- As I poured, I was met with an initial hop rush that was earthy and herbal. There's a solid malt backbone that's somewhere between sweet and bready/grainy. Very nicely balanced. Something I'd expect from the style. Profile seems the same whether cold right from the pour or warmed after a long, enjoyable drink.

T- Great. Malts and hops come together in a wonderful balance. Malts are sweet at first and combine with earthy hops that are a bit grassy and herbal. The finish reminds me of a Whole-Wheat Ritz cracker. It seems like that typical Short's recipe that tweaks tradition and throws you for a bit of a loop. Malts morph into more of a grainy flavor with some warmth.

M- It's pleasantly, mildly grainy. Carbonation borders between medium and light. There's a slight tingle (hops perhaps). It's quite full without being offensively thick or biting. Well within the style for me.

D- ESB means balance and drinkability to me. This hit it head on. It's tweaked without losing ESB qualities. I would seek this beer out. If it weren't a fall seasonal, I could see this being a regular in my year-round rotation.

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Photo of glazeman
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

A: Light amber in color with a ¼ finger white head. The head actually has great retention, but not much lacing, considering its small size.

S: This beer smells like lying in a pile of freshly raked leaves. There's a little pit of orange peel, a little bit of squash, and some nice hops at the end.

T: This was like a mix between an IPA and light ale. It truly did encase the essence of fall. The spices came through strong, and I got a lot of pumpkin, squash, acorns, earthiness.

M: Appropriate for the style, but nothing out of the ordinary. Medium-body, and medium level of carbonation.

D: Pretty good here. This one is light, interesting and goes down easy. Not ground breaking by any means, or all that extreme, but a pretty good beer from Short's.

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Photo of airohead2001
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks glazeman!

A - Orange, light red with no head. Average appearance.

S - Piney hops, soap, oranges, and fresh, juicy tangerines. This is a good one - very interesting.

T - Another good one from Short's. Oranges, tangerines, and more citrus hops. Very crispy and refreshing.

M - Average. Thin, but just fine for a 5.75% ESB.

D - Low ABV and very refreshing - I could drink several of these for sure.

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Photo of david131
3.04/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- A slightly hazy orange/ brown liquid with some ruby highlights. There is very little visible carbonation in the liquid and the off white head is thin and splotchy. The color is great.

S- A bit of apple and a decent amount of steamed vegetables.

T- Some sweet malt and vegetables. Not really bitter. Sweet and weird.

M- Smooth... but almost flat.

D- Overall, this not a particularly enjoyable take on the style, although it drinks decently well. Not one of Short's better offerings.

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Photo of malty
4.22/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Force poured into my favorite (antique?)stemmed tulip-style Whitbread Extra Stout chalice. It's a deep somewhat bloody amber color with great clarity. The settled head rests at 3/4" and is a creamy, craggy slightly toasted marshmallow color. Almost no visible uprising carbonation. Dainty but uninterupted thin rings of lace all the way down.

The nose is extravagantly fruity and malty al at once. It smells (at least to me) exactly like freshly dipped sour granny smith caramel apples. Then there's a lush tropical fruit element with a buttermilk backdrop. Reminds me of sitting in an up north diner's toasted sourdough bread with apricot marmalade.

The liquid hits my mouth with a direct and bitter blast straight outta the gate. Just when you think this ale is most likely going to be sweet & syrupy, The Short's brewers tweak your head big time. The toasted malts are very upfront while the hops really captivate the upfront flavors. The hops are very earthy and not at all citrus-like or piney. Funny, because the fruity scents that were so apparent in the nose are really diminished in the flavor - which IMHO is a good thing due to it's style category.

Mouthfeel is very English in nature. Not a lot of carbonation, but it is there in a moderate amount. Between light and medium bodied with a definite dry, bitter and not-so-much chalky finish.

Drinkability is killer. The clean flavors beckon you to quaff more and more. The bitterness really keeps you thirsty.

Overall an utterly fantastic rendition of a hard to nail style. Short's really got it right with this ESB. I adore the paradox of the sweet, fruity, malty nose and the bitter & dry textures/flavors. A masterfully crafted English Special Bitter that would make our fellow BA 'Ding' proud for sure. Too bad I'm only an in-person trader. Good stuff here!

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Photo of nickadams2
4.3/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A_Burnt orange/copper color with a thin tan head. Good retention and lots of lacing.

S_Toasted malt,bread,orange zest,peppercorns.

T_Dry,toasted malt,biscuit,orange zest,grapefruit, peppercorns and grassy hops.Lots of flavors but overall really well balanced.

M_Medium bodied,crisp very drinkable and refreshing.

D_Very delicious drinkable beer.

Not sure how this rates to style. Not too familiar with ESBs. This is great though.

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Photo of webmanspidey
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. This is a dark burnt orange/ light brown color.. well carbonated with a slight head. Smell is very hoppy with a lot of orange and grapefruit. Taste is a crisp mix of of citrus and caramel malts. There's a lot of lemon in the flavor. Well carbonated, light bodied, and excellent drinkability.

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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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