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:
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Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 49
Photo of bartle
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
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 grub
3.97/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled may 1/2010.

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

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

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

mouthfeel is good. medium body. medium carbonation level.

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

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Photo of Viggo
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
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 WakeandBake
2.16/5  rDev -39.3%
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 cpetrone84
3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
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 BeerFMAndy
2.73/5  rDev -23.3%
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 semibaked
2.8/5  rDev -21.3%
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 danielharper
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
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 alexgash
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

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

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Photo of mrmanning
3.32/5  rDev -6.7%
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 joe1510
3.89/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Infused with 7 bushels of applewood smoked apples per batch.

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

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

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

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