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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 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 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 Ineedabeerhere
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
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 +27.8%
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 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 crusian
2.53/5  rDev -28.9%
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 +7.3%
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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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
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 +0.6%
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 +7.6%
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 Bubba83
3.67/5  rDev +3.1%
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 +13.8%
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.

 851 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
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.


 731 characters

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 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 hoppymcgee
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
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 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.

 905 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.56/5  rDev 0%
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.

 795 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.62/5  rDev +1.7%
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 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 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!

 1,730 characters

Photo of slowbie
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

 963 characters

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
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 webmanspidey
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

This is a golden color foamy with loads of head. Smell is intensely smoky; it smells as if it was coming right from a campfire. There are some sweet hints of apple and caramel mixed in as well. Smokey at first, but finishes tart and slightly sour. There are mild apple juice flavors in there as well. This is pretty creamy, light, and refreshing. Excellent drinkability. Pretty interesting.

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