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 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 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 emmasdad
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to schmittymack for bringing this one over to the house last Saturday night. I had been wanting to try this one for a while, and I was pleased. Bottle poured a clear gold with a lasting ivory head. Aromas of apple, smoke and light carmel. Palate was medium bodied and smooth. Flavors of apple, smoke and light carmel with a smooth lingering smokey finish.

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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 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 flexabull
3.98/5  rDev +11.5%
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 tetonka4kzoo
3.77/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Has a thin lacey head. It has a nice orange-amber color, looks like a typical wheat ale.

The aroma is a light apple cider vinegar. It has a pleasant scent.

You notice the taste of smoked malt immediately. The apple taste is light which isn't a bad thing; ciders are too sweet. The smoked flavor is nice and not overwhelming. It's also present in the after taste but still enjoyable.

This brew has a typical medium-bodied feel like most wheat ales.

Not too shabby drinkability. I usually only like a couple of smokey or wheat beers for a sitting. I always like trying the varieties from Shorts.

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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 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 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 mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +28%
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 Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev +19%
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 Lukafer
4.52/5  rDev +26.6%
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 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.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.55/5  rDev +27.5%
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 coldmeat23
3.97/5  rDev +11.2%
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 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 mgbickel
3.82/5  rDev +7%
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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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.

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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 brownbeer
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
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 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 jpmclaug
4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
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 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 AgentZero
3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
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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Short's Smoked Apple Ale from Short's Brewing Company
3.57 out of 5 based on 64 ratings.
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