Short's Smoked Apple Ale | Short's Brewing Company

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Short's Smoked Apple AleShort's Smoked Apple Ale
64 Ratings
Short's Smoked Apple AleShort's Smoked Apple Ale

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

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.25%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Pushing the envelope of fermented innovation
Light amber ale infused with seven bushels of apple wood smoked apples.  An initial light toasted maltiness finishing strong of apples and smoke.
17 I.B.U.’s
14.5 deg. Plato
6.25 % A.B.V.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-03-2006

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 49
Photo of mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

so i decided last night to break out 10+, thats right 10+ new shorts beers for a nice sampling with the family. turns out my and my brother in law were the only ones willing to go down this road, so long afternoon for sure. serve cold and consumed on 10/02/2010.

this was easily one of my favorites of the night, and also the one that was the hardest for me to get ahold of. having only the one bottle of it i was the hog here for sure. pours out a nice light amber color with a foamy head that almost breached the glass. lots of very active carbonation.

aroma is equal parts tart green apples and rich campfire smoke that really catches you off guard. letting it warm though brought tears to my eyes. simply amazing character here as the flavor bouncings back between tart apples, sweet notes of brown suagr and rich smoked malts. i do not know how they got this one to work so damn well, but it was blowing me away. clean and crisp with a smooth finish that ends with lots of roasted notes that tingle the palate.

overall an outstanding experiment that was just the top of the night for me. would do this one again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.55/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden body with a ridiculous amount of head. Even with a careful pour a solid three finger head is produced while roughly 2/3's of the beer remains in the bottled. The head slowly works its way back leaving moderate lacing clinging to the side.

The aroma is like no other which fits as this beer is much different than any I have encountered. The combination of apple and smoke dominate the aroma. Really not much else going on, but with smoke and fresh apple do we need more?

With what should be expected by now the flavor is one of a kind. The combination of a golden ale, cider and rauch bier are seemingly merged together in this unique beer. The apple flavor comes across fresh soon followed by a bit of smokiness. I have have smoked beer before but none have intrigued me as much as this. The freshness of the fruit in combination with the smoke really impresses me. This beer is very two dimensional, but what a lovely two dimensions they are.

Light bodied beer with adequate carbonation. Finish is surprisingly dry with maybe only a slight bit of smoke being left behind.

I am surprised I like this one so much. I would be happy to drink a few of this in a sitting. Fantastic beer.

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Photo of Lukafer
4.52/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes, thanks again Alleykatking!

Pours a golden yellow with three fingers of head, lotsa carb and clingy lacing. Smell is apple, apples and a a hint of smoke, but mostly apples. Taste is smoked apples, very smoky, way more smoky than the snell would lead on to, and a nice hickory bacon finish. Very unique. In the mouth it feels like a cider, very dry. Drinkabiilty is okay, I'm not a huge smoked beer guy, so 2 of these would be enough for me. Good, original beer!

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Photo of younger35
4.32/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Generously received this brew in a recent trade with Northerbrews. This bottle was his last of a couple that he received from Joe Shorts fiancée, Leah. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

Appearance- Pours a light yellowish orange that is just SLIGHTLY darker than real apple juice. A very small fizzy head forms and leaves as quickly leaving no cap, collar or lacing.
Smell- Holy pungent! As a long time chewer this beer smells EXACTLY like Copenhagen straight. I mean EXACTLY. It's kind of unsettling. Light apples permeate out of the glass but the smoke is the real star here. Charred apple wood is apparent as is a sharp tobacco and leather earthiness. Not at all what I was expecting but interesting none-the-less.
Taste- Smoke. Apple wood tastes quite a bit like alder wood IMO and this has a very smoky alder like start. Lightly tart with some green apple like quench and even some white grapes. Almost wine like except there is some smoke character instead of wood. After a few sips and I acclimate the smoke really doesn't dominate like it does at the start. It's more of an earthy bitter char that adds that leather/tobacco like funk. A slight bitterness creeps in toward the finish in the form of that white grape or diluted grapefruit juice. Finishes with a lingering smokiness and a bit of green apple.
Mouthfeel- Very light body that I normally don't like in my beers. Although it seems to fit this brew perfectly. Almost no carbonation either that really lends to the wine like perception of this brew.
Drinkability- After my initial whiff of this brew I was a little turned off. Who wants to drink Copenhagen? After the 2nd or 3rd sip though the beer really comes through and that snuff like smell makes sense. Perhaps the smokiest beer I've ever tried and I really enjoyed every second. Big, huge, gigantic thanks to Jeff for the opportunity!

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Photo of alleykatking
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Many thanks go out to Eric (gratefulbeerhead) for this bottle! Eric, you always are amazing with these beers. Review from phone notes.

A- Pours semi-hazy golden orange color. Two finger white head with some good retention to it. Light chunky lacing left on the sides of the glass.

S- Nice baked apple aroma. Some light smoked hints throughout the beer getting bigger when the beer warms. Apple cider notes also come through more as the beer warms.

T- Sweet apple upfront takes on very real flavor. Smokey flavor in the middle through the ending. Almost a bacon-y flavor in the tail end of the beer. Like a hickory smoked bacon that is wrapped around a sweet apple.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is great for the style. Flavors are crisp and individual flavors do come out. Sweet apples get left on the palate with a bacon tasting smokiness in the aftertaste.

D- This beer is very drinkable. The ABV is low enough to have a couple bottles or a sixer of. This is a interesting beer because it tastes dead on to what it is suppose to. Short's makes yet another crazy beer that tastes great.

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Photo of rye726
4.27/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Steve!

Pours a hazy tan with a thin beige head. Nose has tart apples, candy malts and smoked wood. Taste has lots of smoked green apples, again a nice tartness in the finish. Crisp body is well carbonated. Another very unique yet tasty brew from Shorts.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Very foamy initial pour on this but it quickly settles down into a clear gold, with about 2 fingers of thick and frothy bright-white head. Retention is fairly rich here, holding steady at nearly a finger and throwing some robust swathes of heavy lacing up on the sides. The aroma smells of apple juice and sugary malts, along with some floral tones. The smoked character is fairly pronounced and emerges quite quickly as this warms. Each sniff of this alternates evenly between the notes of apple and smoke.

There is a lot more tartness here in the taste from apples up front, mixing with those bready sugars from the malt to impart a sharp tanginess on the rear on the palate. I love the light bitterness that is present, which adds some earthy accents that perfectly balance out the fruity tartness and sweetness here. The smoke is mostly felt in the backend, lingering with just the faintest feel on the breath and in the back of the throat. The mouthfeel is lighter bodied, with a mellow sharpness that still flows rather nicely, despite just the tiniest bit of alcohol warmth being present.

You know, this one was pretty straightforward but it worked for me. The simplicity of the smoked apples, malt, and hops, kept things uncomplicated and were all in balance with each other, while the flavors were complimented by an easy feeling and smooth body despite the higher ABV. Short's impressed me with this one. It was quite tasty and drinkable.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of alexgash
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Mostly clear deep golden-copper body. Small, gauzy, eggshell white head. Some lacing. Inviting nose of damp campfire, sweet ham, cooked apples, and flashes of bright fruit notes. Nice. Lightly toasted malt notes up front. Apple-y malt comes through early. Juicy and mildly sweet with a grainy edge. Flinty, smoky, campfire flavor lays a nice, even layer throughout the palate. Not overly smoky, not overly apple-y, but a good mix of the two components. Moderate body with subtle carbonation. Very drinkable.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.09/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Infused with 7 bushels of applewood smoked apples per batch.

6.25% ABV, 30 IBU's, OG=13 plato

Pours out to a slightly hazy copper, forming a modest off-beige head with poor retention and sparse lacing. Carbonation is mild. The nose is gorgeous with a pronounced woody smokiness and delicate fragrant notes of apples in the background. The mouthfeel is interesting...semi-sharp and with a very woody dryness, leaving a chalkiness and smoke feeling akin to having a campfire in your mouth. The taste is akin to the flavor...nicely smoky, but in a very woody way, different than most smoked beers using smoked malts instead of apples. The apple taste is overpowered by the smoke, but that doesn't really matter. It could be better if there were a slight sweetness to bring out the apple flavor, but as it stands, it's still delicious.

Kudos to Joe for pushing the envelope. I don't know of many Michigan brewers who would push the style envelope and serve something as risky as this on tap, but that's what I love about Short's. I brought home a growler with me.

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Photo of malty
4.08/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. long neck bottle that was bottled on '030410'.

I disturbed the yeast sediment on the bottle before pouring into my stemmed wide mouth chalice. A slighty copper-tinged gold color that is more glowing than murky. A big off-white fluffy head sits tight at 1". Visible good amount uprising carbonation. Sticky, thin walls of lace all the way down.

Smells just like its name. Sour, acidic and bright fruity notes all surrounded by soft and delightful campfire smoke.

Tastes a lot like a Berlinerweisse at first - very sharp, tart, sour and tangy, but without the yeasty esters. But just as soon as my mind has processed this information, the calm yet assertive smoked ham flavor drifts in as if it were a smoke signal saying, 'drink more'. Okay, I will. There is an iodine (band aid) flavor that resonates with me, (like that from a nice peaty single malt scotch) along with granny Smith apple skins. All of this is actually very balanced for being such a trippy ale.

Mouthfeel is between light & medium with that playful, kinetic fine carbonation (again, like that of a fine Berlinerweisse). A sour, tart & clean smokey finish that lasts a while.

Drinkability is great. I'd sneak a couple of these into a session. By the freaky nature of this beer though, a couple pints would hold your taste buds hostage for quite a while.

Overall a very unique and fantastically refreshing ale. I love the sour/tart qualities of this beer. I adore the 'just the right' amount of smokiness too. Each of these dominant flavor elements play off each other rather gracefully. Very Yin & Yang-like. If this were labeled a 'Smoked Berlinerweisse', I'd totally agree it tastes very true to that. How do you like those apples? Me? I love 'em!

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Photo of jpmclaug
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my pint glass

A - humongo white head on a hazy orange beer with yellow edges

S - Ummm... is this a lambic? Not sure what I was expecting from this but what I am getting is definitely not it. That does not mean it is bad however. I am picking up sour apples with a little funk to it.

T - I am once again confused. Definitely a sour apple taste with some funky yeast flavors at the end. A bit of smoke but I don't know if I would have picked up on it if I didn't know the name of this beer. Kind of picking up some ham/bacon flavors. This is a unique brew.

M - light to medium with a ton of bubbles. Not that great but it works pretty good for the beer.

D - Easily drinkable unique flavored beer. I've enjoyed this one and would pick it up again. I think it would be great if you are in the mood for something like this.

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Photo of zoso1967
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of klipper
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of thebouch01
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Gyle41386
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Thanks to mjd83goblue for the bottle!

Pours a golden-amber with a monster white head that absolutely will not go away. Nice stickage.

Very, uh, weird aroma. But it smells exactly like what I'd expect a Smoked Apple Ale to smell. Big smoky character (which gives a hint of bacon), and tart apples. Also some caramel sweetness. It's spot on, just weird. Especially the bacon/ham/other delicious smoked meats part.

This beer is surprisingly flavorful. Well, the flavor itself isn't surprising, but it's strength is. It's a highly-amplified version of the nose. Bigger tartness, bigger sweetness, bigger smoked meat.

Borderline medium bodied. Medium carbonation. It was a chore to drink at first, but it was smooth sailing once I hit the halfway mark. Alcohol is never noticeable. Definitely one of the more unique beers I've tried. It's weird, but they nailed it.

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Photo of Jips
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of flexabull
3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of mikesgroove, thanks again!

Pours a hazy gold color with a nice large white head.

Aromas are of cider and lemon zest . Smells good, but where is the smoke?

First sip, ok there is the smoke. Crisp apple cider, lemon zest, creamy toasted caramel malts and nice hints of smoke on the finish.

Mouthfeel is nice, good carbonation, smoothness, and nice body.

Drinkability is quite good. When I poured this, I was kind of stunned that this wasn't a darker beer, but when I sipped, I noticed that this is complex and flavorful. I would like a little more smoke, but this is still a tasty beverage.

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Photo of grub
3.97/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled may 1/2010.

pours lightly hazy golden amber with a big fluffy off-white head. the head drops slowly and leaves plenty of lace as it falls.

aroma is neat. big apple character - granny smith, golden and red delicious. a nice blend. nice smokey character that blends surprisingly well with the apple character. light caramel and butterscotch. hint of alcohol. whole wheat bread and cracker. touch of biscuit.

taste is interesting. the light smoke blends nicely with the lightly sweet caramel and toffee apples. nice apple blend. caraway rye and whole wheat bread. bit of biscuit and cracker. light alcohol. slightly salty mineral character. low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. nicely balanced, hiding its alcohol well. the mix with the smoke is interesting and well balanced against the other elements.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.97/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass
TEMP: Freezer chilled for approx 20 minutes

This one is crystal clear and dark(er), golden, yellow in color. It produces a big, fluffy, head of foam with an easy pour, that's over three-fingers thick. This takes its time receding and leaves slight bits of lacing.

Interesting nose on this one. There is a good amount of smoke here. There is a slight floral aspect to it and some light fruit sweetness. If I didn't know what this was, I'd probably guess smoked peaches were involved. Peaches and apples are both orchard fruits, so I guess that it's not too far off-base. The smokiness really shines here, although it's not overpowering to the olfactory senses, at all.

Man, is that different and interesting. It tastes, very much, just as advertised. A nice balance is achieved between good smokiness and some barely sweetened apple cider. There is a light touch of yeastiness, below the surface. A light touch of spiciness on the finish.
Personally, I'd love to see this one done again, with a touch more sweetness. I think that would help it truly shine.

This is a medium-bodied brew with an almost medium level of carbonation. It works very well for this beer and I don't think that I'd change it. It's nice and crisp on your tongue. Slightly bubbley going down.

This is not one that I would drink all of the time, flavorwise. It's more of an 'every now and then' kind of beer. But, when it's time for it, I think that it would be nicely drinkable!

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Photo of AgentZero
3.93/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark amber color, almost brown in the middle, basically transparent. White head that ha good retention and dissipated to a thick ring on the edges. Some chunk lacing on the edges.

S - Baked apples and a surprising amount of smoke. Really, the apple stands out more than anything, a little bit of malt, but it's mostly light citrus.

T - Apple cider taste with a big smoke taste on the end. Really that's it. Pretty straight forward, tastes solid.

M - Lighter side of medium with good carbonation.

D - Highly drinkable, nothing offensive, a little sweet.

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Photo of danielharper
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours yellow-orange into my Dead Guy pint glass, little to no head. Very hazy, slight orange tint when held up to light. Smells strongly of apples, very sweet and fruity, with, yes, a nice dose of smokiness as well. A bit like the sweet smell of a charcoal grill in the middle of summer.

It's perhaps a cop-out to say that a beer called Short's Smoked Apple would smell and taste very much like smoke and apple, but what else would you expect it to smell and taste like? It's sweet, somewhat astringent, some hints of yeast, but the predominant flavors are right there on the label. You can't blame this one for not having truth in advertising. The sweetness is mostly present on the front and on the tip of the tongue, while the smokiness dominates on the finish and in the aftertaste.

How many fruit beers are even drinkable? How many smoked beers have anything other than the taste of ashes? In terms of sheer technical difficulty, it's hard for me not to give pretty high marks. Is it for everyone? No. Is it for me? Right here, right now, it is.

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Photo of joe1510
3.89/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber

This is yet another great beer in a long line of great beers sent by the man himself, thanks Derek! Shorts Smoked Apple Ale is an amber ale brewed with applewood smoked apples. This beer leaves the glass sporting a tarnished copper body with enough haze to keep me from seeing through the glass. A dirty white head grew to two fingers in height and after a couple minutes of sitting managed to fizzle down to a thin skimming and slippery lace. When backlit, carbonation bubbles explode to the surface in big groups to the fizzling head. After a little time spent in the glass the head disappears. A swirl revives it a bit but it's mostly lost.

When the head dies down this beer is all smoke but a couple swirls bring out a balancing semi sweet apple quality that's altogether enjoyable. The more swirling I do the more apple juice I get from this brew. The smoke comes across thick and with a quality reminiscent of, oddly enough, chewing tobacco. This of course after the smokehouse aromas. For some odd reason the smoke doesn't turn me off at all, the chewing tobacco is mild but there for sure. The smoke also brings along a mild mintyness. This is an interesting brew to say the least.

The flavor actually takes on quite a different profile than the nose. The smoke is lightly noticeable throughout but the apple comes through first and foremost. Thin apple hits first and by mid-palate becomes lush and full with mildly sweet crisp red apple. The whole tobacco thing disappears in the flavor, thankfully, and is replaced by a mild mint toward the backend. Smoke comes along at it's boldest after the swallow with a lingering smokehouse effect on the tongue and throat with the mint joining in the aftertaste. Very unique!

The mouthfeel is good with a medium-light body and mellow carbonation. My only small complaint is the mouthfeel seems a little thin at times which a touch more carbonation would help repair. The smoke lingers on the back of the tongue until the next sip but never becomes overbearing.

The drinkability is up there for a smoked beer. Usually one smoked beer for the evening is enough for me but this one walks the line and stays on the correct side. The sweetness balances out the smokiness enough to keep this bad boy flowing.

If I said it once I've said it a hundred times and now I'll say it again; this is one unique and enjoyable beer. Short's never fails to impress me with all the crazy brewing coming out of that place and this is no exception. This idea worked out very well and made for a beer to be sipped and pondered.

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Photo of brownbeer
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright amber color with a nice ring of pillowy white head and great lacing.

Smoke and clove dominated aroma. Sort of a smoky hefe.

The taste goes from smoke, to very tart green apples, and back to a lingering smoky wood and wild yeastiness finish. There is some toffee sweetness in there as well.

Very interesting beer. I wasn't expecting the tartness that it pistol whipped me with, but it was a welcome bonus.

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Photo of mgbickel
3.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. A single finger of bone white foam formed on top of the clear, goldenrod body. The head has pretty decent retention time, but poor legs.

Smoke (think - recently extinguished cedar block), charred wood, cider and grass make up the nose.

Man...this is unusual! The first taste on the palate is a sour, bitter (apple) flavor that gives way as soon as the smokiness kicks in. The roasted malts and campfire smoke fade toward the end where the vinous flavor finishes out the drink.

Light bodied, pretty slick and well carbonated...almost champagne like.

Once again, this is a very unusual beer...pretty drinkable...just for the experience alone! Another boundary pusher by Shorts!

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Short's Smoked Apple Ale from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.56 out of 5 with 64 ratings