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 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 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 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 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 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.

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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.

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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 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 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 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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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 alexgash
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
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 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.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.09/5  rDev +14.6%
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 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 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 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 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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Photo of grub
3.97/5  rDev +11.2%
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 rye726
4.27/5  rDev +19.6%
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 SpdKilz
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A huge thanks to erikhoppin for this great extra. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours into my Bell's Tulip with a hazy golden color. About a finger of quickly dissipating white head is achieved with a moderate pour, and is leaving decent lacing on the sides.

Smell - Quite prominent caramel and green apple notes. The more it warms up the more noticeable the "smoky" aroma's become.

Taste - Oh wow...holy cow the first sip is like I'm drinking the leftovers of a campfire. Smokey indeed. This flavor is entirely different from the nose profile to be honest. I could barely smell the smokiness yet bam, that is almost all I taste in this beer. The more I drink the beer the less pronounced the smoky flavor becomes (sensory adaptation?) and the apple flavor begins to emerge. Still, the smoky flavor overpowers the apple. As someone else said, if this beer was just a tad sweeter it would be a bit more balanced in my opinion. Other flavors I notice are white grapes, leather, and just a tad of tobacco. Quite an interesting beer.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied with almost no carbonation. Fits this odd beer to be honest.

Drinkability - While the more I drink this the more it grows on me, I don't think I could ever have more than one of these at one time. I'm glad I was able to try this though. Ironically enough I forced my fiancée to try this and no joke, she said this was one of her favorites I have made her try. That's irony for you!

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Photo of joe1510
3.89/5  rDev +9%
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 alleykatking
4.3/5  rDev +20.4%
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 younger35
4.32/5  rDev +21%
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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Short's Smoked Apple Ale from Short's Brewing Company
3.57 out of 5 based on 64 ratings.
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