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

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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

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Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 64
Photo of WakeandBake
2.16/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A hazy amber color pour , medium sized off white head , some spotty lacing left , light carbonation . Aroma of burnt wood , ashes , apple and dusty grain. Flavor is like a mouth full of wood ash washed down by a funky cider ,very smokey and ashy , little if any malt or hop notes, slightly salty . Dry chalky mouthfeel , long woody smokey finish . I like Shorts and I suppose someone had to like this somewhers but , um a total drain pour , way too far out there for me eh .

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Photo of crusian
2.53/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

bottle, thanks to stevefinny or Naptown25rs as an extra... and I am sorry I forgot which one, both boxes showed up at the same time, and it has been sitting for a while...


pours a golden hazy hef color. nice, but with tons of head, have to break it up into several pours. lacing, not so much, just runs down the glass, doesn't stick around too long.

smells interesting, definitely apples and smoke in the on the nose... a bit sour as well.

taste, well now, this is where it gets interesting. i am not sure I have ever had a beer that cycles through so many flavors in one passing. on the front, apples, then turns to smoke as it passes the tongue with sour on the back end... lingers back to smoke, and then it hits me... is that ham? Hey babe, taste this please... you taste ham? NO... apples, smoky... um... yes. ham. weird. So, yeah. ham finish.
mouthfeel is nice, good carbonation, but seriously, can't get over that ham finish. I don't want this again. :) Or... I want this with Thanksgiving Dinner... actually... would probably go really well with that.

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Photo of EROlsizzle
2.59/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Brought a 6 pack back home with me after a visit to my parents' up in MI. I don't know if I got a bad 6 or what, but the beer is over-carbonated to the point that I can only pour about 2 oz. in any kind of glassware at any time before the head explodes almost to the point of overflowing. It lingers too, so it takes me 10 minutes to even pour one. The aroma and flavor are very, very smokey, which I like. It tastes a little odd with the apples, however. I'm sorry to give such a low rating to another interesting beer from a fine brewery. I'm anxious to get my hands on some more of this to see if this was an isolated problem.

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Photo of r3o
2.61/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

this one did not go well, it has a hazy orange color, very opaque, no head on mine. On the nose I got a sense of wet vegetables, not really pleasent, uninviting. The taste got better, felt like cider at first, I got the apple flavor but missed the smoke, it did not quite feel like a beer. It has a sweet malt aftertaste. its light-medium body works, high carbonation. I had a sense of void in my mouth after each sip, I could not make up why. Definitely an interesting trip but would pass next time.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.73/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass. No info. 030410.

A - Smoked Apple pours out a lightly cloudy golden yellow with a fluffy white head. The two-finger pile sank with moderate speed to a thin layer and left a healthy coat of lace behind.

S - It smells like a tripel almost. Faint wisps of smoke linger in the background and almost no strong apple aroma rises out. I'm getting a fair amount of golden malts and a light pinch of herbs with a dash of spice. The aroma has the crispness of apples but again, no real apple nose.

T - Almost nothing is going on in the flavor. A small, passive malt flavor with a crispness and again, no apples. A liquid-smoke-like flavor that tastes manufactured is only hinted at on the finish. Very low flavor profile with nothing going on.

M - Thin in body and flavor with a crisp carbonation bite and dry, very lightly smoked finish. Almost a bit on the watery side.

D - The Smoked Apple could work so well as a beer provided there is flavor there which I don't get right now. It's just thin and plain which isn't to say it's uninspired. This has, as an idea, the potential to be a real winner. It just falls short since there's nothing there.

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Photo of mwa423
2.76/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden with ample heavy white foamy head, if anything far too much head.

S - Very smokey, with a bitter sweetness and a sour apple aroma. There is also some sourness that goes along with this beer. Overall..strange

T - This beer tastes oddly like apples held over a campfire. Along with the smoke, wood and old apple flavors there is a sourness that is unlike a typical artificial sour apple flavor and closer to an apple that should have been thrown away weeks ago.

M/D - Mouthfeel is rough and strange and just odd. As for drinkability, this isn't a beer for everybody and really a concept that should be tried in limited batches.

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Photo of semibaked
2.8/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Tulip Glass.

A - Nice apple cider color with active carbonation and just a slight white foam.

S - Decent amount of smokiness with some apple juice undertones, nothing much else though.

T - Overwhelming smoky flavors, kinda like licking smoked wood, the apple is very subtle but a little sweetness comes through.

M - Pretty thin bodied but has really good carbonation.

D - I just can't get past the big smokey flavor, I think if they make this again they need to try to tone down the smoke flavor, it could be good but right now I don't like this very much.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.08/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-pours a hazy golden yellow color with a thin bubbly white head that fizzles away quickly and leaves no lace

S-smokey right up front that gives way to a strong aroma of tobacco. Some charrred apple wood comes in at the back. Different.

T-the taste pretty much follows the nose. Tons of smoked wood and tobacco with a light charred apple wood flavor.

M-medium body and creamy up front. High carbonation and prickly in the back.

D-this is very different and quite smokey and tons of tobacco. The flavors are big and blended together well just not flavors I particularly enjoy.

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Photo of hippityhops85
3.11/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into pint glass.

Pours a relatively clear burnt orange with a thin white head that quickly dissipates. Aggressive carbonation is evident.

The nose smells almost like a berliner weisse. Tart apple notes. Reminiscent of DFH Festina Peche except with apples.

The taste is woah. The carbonation takes over the mouth which then follows to a... well tart smoked apple flavor. Initially the tartness is noticed followed by a green apple flavor. As the beer enters the back of the throat the smoked qualities come out but not in an overwhelming way.

The mouth feel detracts from the flavor of the beer in my opinion. The carbonation is so aggressive it creates a prickly feeling on the tongue that is almost uncomfortable. I think some of the apple notes are lost in the carbonation.

All in all, not a bad beer. Very interesting. Verging on a cider.

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Photo of hughesm4
3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

a- Very carbonated golden brown in color. It starts as a light gold in the bottle of the glass and gradients to a darker brown towards the top of the glass.
s- More of a smokey taste than an apple taste, however there is a slight apple smell towards the end of the drink.
t- There is a little smoke flavor up front, but the majority of the taste is a sweet apple taste that fills the mouth. There is a little bit of a sour taste towards the end of the drink.
m/d- It smells more smokey than it tastes and has a finishing taste of a sweet apple sider. It is a very interesting drink, not one that I would recommend as a must drink, but worth a try.

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Photo of mrmanning
3.32/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tap at MI brewer's guild fest winter-06- Deep copper body is capped with some white foam. Whoa, this is smoky. Smoked bacon and sausage fill the nostrils, and is pretty strong. Some spices also present in the aroma, but this stuff is straight out the smoker. Flavours are dominated by smoke and charred meat. SOme spicy apple flavours in the finish. A tad thin in the later parts. SOme malt is present as well. Interesting.

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Photo of Viggo
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, picked up at Champagnes.

Pours a hazy amber, some golden highlights, very huge and thick white head forms and slowly settles to a thick ring around the glass, huge sheets of lace stick, great retention, looks pretty good.

Smell is wacky, smells exactly like smoked apple juice, hickory and wood smoke, lots of apple and pear, caramel, grapes, light fruity sourness, a bit of toast and biscuit, more apples, more smoke, woody, pretty interesting stuff.

Taste is weird too, very smokey, scotch, wood, sour apple juice, pears, a bit of sweetness, insanely smokey, white wine, slightly acidic, does taste like smoked apple, pretty weird.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. A cool concept and they pull off the flavour profile, but its just a little weird.

 795 characters

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to Brady for this wants list extra!

Pours a kind of goldenish color with a nice two finger big bubble foam. Decent retention, but not a ton of lacing.

Though the primary component of the aroma is smoke, it's not overly pungent, and it's not terribly one-dimensional either. For a person who isn't crazy about smoked beers, this is actually tolerable. There is some nice chutney-like flavor at times, as well as the apple flavor... though its kind of like a apple skin flavor more than the flesh of the fruit. In the taste, there is this same complex smokiness initially, lifted by a surprising carbonation and a touch of tartness. Before heading back into a long complex finish.

All of these experimental shorts beers are nice to try, but I can't say that I would pick them up with any regularity if they were available locally to me. I have to knock it a bit for that.

 882 characters

Photo of bartle
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle from Champagnes in MI.

Pours a light golden amber, clear, big frothy white head that retains very nicely. Looks like carbonated apple juice.

The smell is of smoke, charcoal, wood fire, bruised macintosh apples, a touch of butter and even leathery notes weaving in between the smoke and ripe apple. There are slight hints of the biscuit malts and yeast character, nothing extreme though.

The taste is quite like a smack in the face. It's pretty damn sweet and astringent on first sip. Macintosh apple sweetness, and the smoke follows. It's got an interesting character of very crisp biscuit malt, loaded with apple sweetness that goes straight to the cheeks, with a balanced middle of camp fire smoke, charcoal, honey and finishes pretty dry considering how sweet it is on the front on the tongue.

The carbonation seems a little high, it is a touch astringent. The beginning of every sip is sweet and puckering, though the finish is much more satisfying.

Interesting concept. Worth trying at least once.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Hazed golden orange color. First pour was about 4 fingers of frothy white head. Pretty good retention and moderate lacing.

3.5 S: Dank sourish smokiness with tons and tons of burnt wood. Only a touch of apple in there. The smoke is powerful, like a rauchbier, and covers up a lot of the other flavors.

3.5 T: Interesting like any good Short's brew. The smoke is a bit less powerful than in the nose. Sourish apple comes through a lot more. Apple and smoke are by far the dominant flavors, but there is a solid neutral malt depth underneath with some toffee and toastiness.

3.0 M: I really wish I could drink one goddamn beer from Short's that wasn't sickeningly overcarbonated. This is damn hard to drink stright from the pour because the beer blows up in your mouth. Lighter medium body I think. I can't really tell due to the carbonation. Not smooth at all due to the carbonation.

3.5 D: I probably would have given this a 4.0 for taste if I had been able to taste it. The carbonation level is just way too damn high. It makes the whole experience an ordeal. Still, like many Short's brews, this is both interesting and tasty. I'd want to drink this stuff all the time

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks Chris for sharing this!

A- Body is a quite foggy golden yellow hue. Pours with a 1 finger soapy white head that eventually fades to 1/2 finger and has good retention from there. Some lacing sticks down the glass.

S-Very interesting. Upfront is tobacco, cigar smoke, apple, ans spices, smells like a fresh apple pie at a cigar bar.

T- Lots of apple upfront with a hint of spice. There are light smokey overtones and a light tartness. A good dose of smoke comes through for the finish but the rest of the profile is consistent with the initial flavor.

M- Medium, soft tingly carbonation and light to medium weight body.

D- This is an interesting novelty beer that is decent overall. I've never had smoked apples before-and the flavors don't necessarily mix well but are not unpleasant. This was still a very interesting experience and this brew is worth a try.

 870 characters

Photo of slowbie
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my first review, so bear with me:

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a color similar to apple juice but a bit darker. Head is foamy and white, and reminds me of hard cider.

Smell: Smell is apples with a hint of smokiness.

Taste: Taste is a lot of apples up front leading into a smoky finish. The smoke was not overpowering for me, but the apples were. I did not taste much malt or hops. I would describe the taste as smoked cider.

Mouthfeel: More body than a cider, but still light bodied with a carbonation level that compliments the beer very well.

Drinkability: Good drinkability. However, I honestly only see myself drinking this instead of cider, which I rarely/never drink anyways. If you're a big fan of cider and smoked things, this could be the perfect beer for you. With the right food pairing this might be an excellent beer, but unless I think of that food pairing, there are too many other beers I'd rather have.

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Photo of koopa
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dull and cloudy orange with a 3 finger white crown that shows moderate retention and some lace. Crown is noticeably rocky as well.

Smell: Faint but nice mixture of sweet red and sour green apples coupled with a moderately strong smelling light charred smoke note. I dig it.

Taste: Big sharpness from the apple (cider like) up front that really isn't very enjoyable in my opinion. Fortunately it reduces as the beer warms. The light char and smoke presence is much stronger than the nose led on. I definitely enjoyed it more as it warmed a bit, as "cold char" was a challenging experience.

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium bodied and slightly over carbonated.

Drinkability: Eh...

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Photo of sweemzander
3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a clear orange color that produced a good white head with decent retention.

(S)- A big smokiness and peat combined with honey, lemon, and an apple juice thing; funky.

(T)- A bright, crisp apple juiciness with a smoke & peat kick in the background. A dry middle with a bit of bitterness and hay.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Crisp, and fruity with that peaty smokiness. Very lightly hopped bitterness.

(D)- Leave it up to Short's to make another bizarre yet tasty beer like this one. Very different and funky, but is good too. Tasting apples and smoke at the same time just messes with your brain. An interesting yet good beer for the summertime at a BBQ to weird out your friends with. Well done Short's.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a slightly hazy golden orange color with a bubbly white head. Head is fairly large, recedes pretty quick and doesn't leave behind too much lacing.

S- The only thing I'm really picking up is apples and just a touch of smoke.

T- After reading some of these reviews I missed the huge smoke flavour. What I got was apple upfront with a hint of spice, and then just a bit of smoke. This really reminded me of apple cider.

M- Lighter side of medium and very high carbonation.

D- I usually gag on most of the fruitier beers, but this one wasn't bad. Not my favorite by any means but ok.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I picked up many bottles of this in Grand Rapids last week, as it sounds unique. Now drinking through the first one, and it's definitely one of a kind, a pomme rauchbier from northern MI.

The beer is a slightly murky orangy-gold shade, with a thick and solid looking foam, lots of lace too. The aroma of smoked malts and apples, almost peaty, it's odd but I like it. No hops to speak of. The taste grows on you, a little tart and a lot of smoke, a long and sweet smoke in the aftertaste. Medium body, easy drinking except maybe for the strong smoke flavors which cause a little pause. I liked it.

 597 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of an amazing trade with Kbeals... Big applause goes out to my buddy Kevin.. Shared this with ditmier and inflatablechair..

Pours hazy deep golden.. chunky off white head.. no real lacing.

Nose is apple cider with some lite background smoke..

Flavor has a bit of a sour punch that I wasn't really expecting.. a little medicinal phenol shows too.. apple is obviously the big player.. so is some lite toasty elements.. the smoke comes on more toward the finish.. lite/medium body with a healthy carbonation.. interesting and pretty good.. but I'm glad I was able to split the bottle with a couple of friends who appreciated it too.

Thanks again Kevin... I hope you like your box as much as I loved mine.


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Photo of jrallen34
3.62/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass...The beer is a clear straw lots of nice white head...The aroma is light sadly. A little smoke presents but its mostly fresh cut apples, granny smith. Its not overpowering, interesting, actually wish it had more smoke and apple...The taste is similar to the aroma, super light, a little smoke and apple, again wish it was stronger because this has some potential...Easy to drink, interesting take.

 445 characters

Photo of Bubba83
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ah Short's, the Willy Wonka of beer companies.

Thanks Kegatron for tossing me a bottle of this.

Poured into a tulip at 50 degrees. I like the look, but it has been marked down for a ridiculous amount of head. Actually seemed somewhat infected like, rocky on top. Despite this, the body is a nice hazy golden orange that's beautiful, and the head is an ominous bright white that looks quite excited, constantly bubbling. Retention is a little too good, and it sticks around the glass well.

Aroma is mostly smoked malts, reminds me of a campfire, but it follows with a smidge of apple and some decent yeasty fruity character with some zingy black pepper. I like the aroma, it's nice.

Tastes much more like apple than it smells. Infact that's the first flavor I get when I taste it. Decent amount of tartness in the mid-range with some pineapple and green apple tartness. Smokeyness comes through at the end, but unfortunately while it's wrapping up I get a kind of inky flavor that seems so common in every beer I've had from Short's. I'm not sure what it is, but it's an off flavor that kind of bugs me.

A nice medium-thin mouthfeel, with a good bit of carbonation.

The drinkability on a smoked beer is always a little difficult for me, but I have to say the balance of sweet fruity apple works well here. The only thing hampering the whole experience a bit is the inky off flavor I get on the swallow. Overall, pretty good!

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Photo of hoppymcgee
3.71/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jrallen34 for this! Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The best feature of this beer. Golden yellow color; nice white foam head; effervescent, a symphony of bubbles fizz from bottom to top the whole way through drinking this beer.

S: Smokiness, almost cheesy, and a little apple in the background. Nose is more pronounced as this warms up.

T: Smoke at the forefront, followed by tart apple. Wish this were a bit more complex.

M: Highly carbonated, spritzy, and dry.

D: The carbonation is a bit much, but at least no booze comes through in this one.

Overall, one of my favorites in the Fruit beer category. Nobody can keep up with the odd beers Short's produces in my opinion.

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Short's Smoked Apple Ale from Short's Brewing Company
3.57 out of 5 based on 64 ratings.
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