Anniversary Ale | Short's Brewing Company

very good
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Anniversary AleAnniversary Ale

Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Wheatwine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
2009 Tap only
2010 Tap and bottle
2013 Tap and bottle

Same recipe every year, according to the brewer, though ABV varies slightly.

"Anniversary Ale~ A high gravity wheat wine made with blood oranges that render an alluring dark purple hue to the color. Flavor abounds from the spice of green peppercorns and tang from blood orange zest. Aggressive dry hop additions amplify the citrus overtones and spiciness found throughout. ‘Anni’ Ale typifies the full magnitude of Short’s Brewing Company by embodying all the complexities and fulfillment necessary to pay tribute to another year of brewing. 10% ABV 63 IBU's"

Added by hoppymeal on 05-08-2009

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Reviews: 205 | Ratings: 520
Photo of alleykatking
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle. Many thanks go out to gratefulbeerhead aka Eric for this beer!

A- Pours a hazy orange/red color. Half finger white head that dies down rather quickly. Light streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Nice citrus blood orange aroma. Light sweet malts I think in the middle with a good blending of peppercorn. The grapefruit aroma comes into the ending that rounds out the beer aroma. It will drawl you in for sure.

T- The bloodorange really stands out in the front of the beer. A light peppercorn blends well and rounds out the front part of the beer overall. A light sweet malt runs through the entire beer and well stands out for a second in the middle. A grapefruit like flavor in the ending brings a nice crisp bitterness.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the beer and style. Blood oranges flavor left on the palate with some hop bitterness in the aftertaste. The blending of all the flavors is nice and crisp with certain flavors coming out as well. Medium alcohol drying on the palate.

D- Short's just likes to make beers that make you think a lot. The flavors are very present during the whole beer and are in your face. Short's does well with making beers you want to drink over and over again. The ABV is high on this which limits it but only if you want to play it safe.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours an orangish color with an off white head. Smell is immediately magnetic to my nose--the peppercorns and blood orange really make a wonderful pairing. The taste is another step up from there, with the peppercorns not too pronounced and the blood oranges presenting a cacophony of flavors all by themselves. Mouthfeel is exception...thought this was about 5% abv based on taste. Drinkability isn't that high, although I thought about boosting the score about more as this is so good compared to other wheatwines that it's drinkability is by definition good or a bit higher.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was intrigued to happen upon a sample of this one, as I am a big fan of properly done wheatwines. Poured a nice medium orange color, with a bit of off-white foam on top. Great aromas here, blood orange, lemon zest and sweet malt. On the palate, this one was fairly alcoholic, but in a very good way, but the fresh citrus really cut what could have been a cloying sweetness, and raised this one to the level of greatness. One of the better beers I've had this year.

Had a couple bottles of this one, and it did not approach the greatness of the tap version, so I will adjust my score accordingly. The cloudy pour and sour orange flavor detract a bit from what was great about this one on tap.

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Photo of nkersten
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into new belgium tulip. Pours a blood orange red with a small white head that fades to a ring. Smell is very citrusy, with lots of sweetness and orange zest. Taste is slightly sour and acidic, with lots of bitter orange zest and antiseptic in the finish. Aftertaste is not pleasant, but other then that, this is a tasty beer. Mouthfeel is heavy with a light carbonation. Drinkability isnt great, but I havent had much different for the style.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a hazy to cloudy blood red color that produced a small but present white bubbly head that dissipated rather quickly.

(S)- A huge blast of tart orange citrus that turns quickly into a light dry-like spice that must be the peppercorns. A tart grapefruit-like aroma in the middle.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. A large orange citrus that turns into a grapefruit tartness. A light spice accompanied with a subtle but smooth sweetness.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. A great big tartness from the blood oranges that can rival some sours in its potency. I am not very familiar with blood oranges, but at least in this they give off a strong familiar taste and smell akin to grapefruit. It has a nice underlying subtle sweetness that is lovely. Solid ABV integration, but I think the huge tartness masks this easily.

(D)- It does not exactly remind me of a wheatwine other than the underlying sweetness of it, bu it sure is tasty besides. I would put this as a fruit beer instead in my humble opinion, but I am torn since it really appeals to me due to my love of sours and such. A fun and dynamic beer though that I am enjoying very much; I am just not sold on the style it is in.

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Photo of decadance
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lucky enough to stumble upon this.

A - Would look like a reddish amber if not for the lack of any head.

S - This is a smell of sweet citrus on top of wheat. Very pleasant.

T - Wow. It is tart citrus and grapefruit with a background of sweet citrus and wheat.

M - It is a little thick. It is a bit cloying on the palate.

D - You sip it. You drink one. You are over. The taste is so complex you don't want anything before it to muss up the taste buds, nor do you want (or need anything after).

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Photo of fear025
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Romulux for sharing this with me during our IP trade!

Aroma:Sweet orange, sweet malt, sweet hops in the nose.

Appearance:Dark honey color, very little head, low retention, low lacing.

Taste:Lots of orange, some grapefruit rind in the foretaste. Very sweet. In the midtaste, the hops come through a little more. The hops are all citrus. The slight orange tang continues through the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel:Light to medium body, a little bit abrasive on the back of my throat as I drink.

Drinkability:This is an incredible and complex wheatwine with amazing orange flavors.

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Photo of BBP
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Blood orange. No head and little carbonation. Syrupy texture.

S- Very sweet was the first way I could describe the smell. I picked out wheat, slight hops, immense fruitiness, and orange. It was a bit too complex to fully pick apart. Too many aromas were battling.

T- Orange and grapefruit worked on top of the wheat base. Had it's share of fruity sweetness, and was also a slight bit bitter. Very fruity. The wheat taste was very overpowered by the fruit.

M- Thick and syrupy. The alcohols heat on the tongue almost makes it feel carbonated.

D- Hit's the spot and goes down easy. A good summertime drink, though it wasn't really sessionable with the 11.7%ABV. Goes down very easy though. Almost a standalone drink. You don't need much else after it. Would maybe try a bit warmer next time. Perhaps after leaving out of the fridge for a half hour or so.

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Photo of gordavidson
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A clear, deep red liquid with some orange highlights. The bone white head is creamy and has some decent retention.

S- Oranges, pine, fruit punch, flowers, alcohol, and a bit of pepper. Complex and very appealing.

T- Caramel, grapefruit, oranges, peppercorns, and a bit of nuttiness. Unique and delicious without getting too crazy.

M- Very smooth body with a touch of lasting bitterness and alcohol warmth. The sweetness keeps things in check.

D- Overall, the alcohol is hidden extraordinarily well and the sweetness isn't too rich. Drinks far too easily for the ABV.

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Photo of enfield249
3.57/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a very dark grapefruit reddish color. Lots of chunks and no head.

S - Orange!! Not citrus, not citrus hops, but orange. Maybe some citrus hops, but mostly orange.

T - Now, there is nothing wrong here. That said, it's like drinking grapefruit juice and beer. Nothing bad, just not a great taste.

M - Cloying, thick, pithy.

D - This another great beer from Shorts. You can dell it's a great execution, but I think the intent falls short. Worth a try if you can find it, and definitely an experience. Just not a amazing beer.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky and opaque body. This beer looks like extra pulpy grapefruit juice. Very limited head, some rouge bubbles do manage to cling to the glass in something resembling lacing.

Aroma is juicy, very very juicy. Hints of wheat, frainy aroma is buried beneath the blanket of blood orange. Spicy peppercorn compliments the blood orange very well, much to my surprise. Floral, grassy dry hop characteristic is the only real noticeable hop contribution.

The flavor is outrageous, Graininess of the wheat competes with the tart and bitter blood orange for dominance. Slight sweet flavors peak through momentarily. Grassy, spicy hopss meld into the green peppercorn flavor towards the rear of the palate. The combination of flavors are flat out ridiculous.

Medium body with very little carbonation. Drinks more like a juice than a beer. I would normally have huge issues with this but I do not mind in the least with this specific beer.

A sipper but very enjoyable. Not something I would drink more than a couple, a couple would certainly be enough. It is unfortunate this is not a season, I would like to have this available on occasion. This beer just makes me shake my head, I do not know what to say besides its damn good.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle at HopCat enjoyed on 8/26. Review from notes.

a - pours a deep ruddy orange color, pretty cloudy, one-finger ivory head with light retention and lacing

s - juicy orange, floral hops, wheat and peppercorn on the nose, along with a boozy heat

t - dominant flavors are really juicy, sweet and lightly bitter orange and spicy wheat, peppercorn notes on the finish along with a substantial booziness and lingering sweet orange component, I think the use of blood oranges was great in that they provide a lightly bitter balance to the traditional sweetness of a wheatwine

m - medium-bodied with moderate to lower carbonation, good deal of alcohol warming, fairly sweet finish

d - delicious stuff, but a sipper for sure, the booze is definitely noticeable in this one and I wouldn't want to take down more than one in any given sitting, however, it's one of the most drinkable wheatwines I've ever tried

Really good stuff that I was glad to see on HopCat's bottle list. Well worth tracking a bottle down if you can.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.34/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Huge thanks to Greg (gcare02) for this hand off.
Pours a orange-red color, very clear and with a generous finger of light tan head. Fades quickly w/ minimal lacing.
Extremely inviting aromas of oranges, grapefruit, and a hint of peppery spice.
Taste is much less exciting than the aroma. Heat up front distracts the overall experience, but once past the alcohol shock, the blood orange flavor is there. The peppercorns take over midway through the flavor and continues on into the finish.
The dry hopped addition is mostly lost at this point, but the zest finds its way into the aftertaste and keeps me coming back for another taste to see what else is there.
Wheat malt keeps the mouthfeel quite thin....was hoping for a bit more depth w/ the abv.
Not quite the winner I was expecting, but super glad to get to try it.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean, deep reddish color, with a small light tan head. In the aroma, orange zest, somewhat peppery and spicy wheat notes. In the taste, orange juice, quite spicy and a hint of alcohol. A smooth and medium to big bodied mouthfeel, with a dry orange zest aftertaste. Big orange presence, almost difficult to finish due to ABV and citrus.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap @ The Great Taste of the Midwest (Madison, WI) on 8/14/10. Several samples served in a tasting mug.

Pours a clear cranberry color with a thin covering of off-white head. This fizzles down fairly quickly, leaving just some light spotty lace behind. The aroma is mostly all wheat and oranges in the nose, with a sweet tanginess and juicy fruit character that is working really well for me. Some light sugars, spice, and floral hops all round this out nicely.

The taste is sweet and tangy in the mouth with the aforementioned blend of wheat and oranges but then a tart spicy blast settles into the middle portion of the profile, before settling into a strong finish of pithy earthy bitterness. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a good feeling smooth crispness to it which keeps this moving well. As for the alcohol, I did get some warmth out of this while imbibing but it absolutely blew my mind when I found out that this was almost 12%. I would have never had guessed that, as this remained such a smooth sipper throughout.

A Blood Orange Wheat Wine sounded a little crazy when I first heard about this but the flavors all just worked very nicely for me here. I love that this didn't skip on the orange flavor and the addition of peppercorns really upped the zestiness of this to a new level. The finish was a little overly bitter IMHO but otherwise, this was pretty great stuff.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried at the summer brewers guild fest 2010 and loved it. We were lucky enough to find one last bottle in a shop somewhere in downtown Ann Arbor.

A dry hopped Wheatwine brewed with blood oranges, blood orange zest and green peppercorns. A very interesting and delicious idea.

A- Very little head forms on this one, but the suds that are there are pretty white. The beer is a bright and glowing reddish amber.

S- The smell is lovely. Its very unique. I was expecting all orange but it isnt that way at all. Its actually got a lot of spice and pepperiness. Smells of green bell pepper, peppercorn, orange and spicy wheat. Oranges still remaining the most dominant, however.

T- The bell pepper, peppercorn and spice take over here. Its much stronger than I expected. The oranges are there, but unlike any orange Ive had (Ive never had a blood orange). Pepper is strong here as is spicy wheat and and earthy quality.

M- I felt that this was much too thin and not carbonated enough. This is really the only glaring default I found with this beer.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Nellie and thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the oranges and wheat. The flavor is blood oranges, wheat and alcohol. There is a little bit of tartness in the flavor, but not as much as you would get in a sour ale. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very good beer.

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Photo of BierFan
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle and served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy orange/brown body. Small khaki colored head. Lacing and head retention are poor, but that happens with high abv's.

Smell: Blood orange and a plant aroma that I haven't experienced before in a beer. Must be the green peppercorns.

Taste: Big juicy blood orange flavor. The green peppercorn are slightly offputting for me but it is still rather tasty.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holy hell what do we have here. I have been dying to crack this one open and once I did I had no idea what I was in store for. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 08/13/2010.

The pour was a very clear dark amber color with lots of orange highlights to it. Small head of white tops it off nicely with a light bit of lacing that eventually falls by the wayside.

Aroma is well oranges. They dominate everything about this beer and I absolutely loved it. Rich and sweet oranges are all over the place, it was like drinking juice in the morning, so sweet and fresh. I could see how some would see this as over done, but I really did think it was fantastically put together. A touch of light pepper in the finish, but mostly just the sweetest, juicest orange you have ever come across. Really quite well done I have to say.

Overall this is gonna be a love it or hate it beer, an I loved it, really worked very well for me on nearly every level.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.57/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to northernbrews for this one.

3.5 A: Clear deep amber color. Half a finger of frothy cream colored head that recedes quickly and leaves one small patch of lacing.

4.0 S: No lack of citrus in this one. Lots of orange going on here along with the orange & cream lifesavers. Also some strawberry, neutral wheat, sugary candy canes, and a mild spiciness. Interesting, it really does smell like those creamsaver things.

3.5 T: Again, the orange creamsavers. This is okay, but I think it's too orange heavy. I'd like a stronger toffee maltiness. Some grapefruit in there as well. While I'm on the topic, this has a reasonable bitterness and a stronger hop presence that I was expecting. Slightly tart and sweet in a candy way as opposed to a malty way. Alcohol is very well hidden.

3.0 M: Lighter medium body. The body is simply too damn light for a barleywine. I don't like ultra thick and sweet Bwines, but I don't like the other end of the spectrum either. Carbonation is a bit low as well. Otherwise very smooth with the smallest warming sensation on finish.

3.5 D: I like Short's for their innovative brews. While they had a good idea here, it fell short due to the lack of maltiness (which is something I rarely suggest when considering barleywines). Still, it was worth the experience.

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Photo of cochell
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is @&$/(ing fantastic. It's a dry wheat ale (wheat wine) 11% abv with a sweet blood orange flavor up front and blood orange bitterness in the middle from zest. It finishes with a dry peppery spike to the tongue from green peppercorns. The hops are centennial and just on the nose. Quality brew  

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Photo of airohead2001
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks glazeman for this strange brew!

A - Clear, dark pink/red, with a thin film head that quickly fades to a few bubbles that line the rim of my snifter. Interesting looking beer. After having many fruit beers from New Glarus, Short's, etc., this is really the only beer I've ever had that I can definitively say is red.

S - Mild, but complex. A blend of hops and soft cherries up front, with some citrus fruits in the middle, followed by a slight burn of EtOH.

T - What a strange beer. Wow. Probably the most bizarre drink I have ever tasted. Where to begin? Ok, here goes... Merlot, sweet cherries, oranges, hops and some type of earthy seasoning up front. The middle brings out some sours that resemble lemons, and the finish, odd as it may sound, are dry, bitter piney, hops. The aftertaste is nuttiness with a citrus sourness that lingers in the back of your throat. What a treat! Incredible.

M - Carbonation is nice, but the thinness of this beer leaves a bit to be desired. For being SO full of flavor and such high ABV, I would have liked just a tad bit more substance to chew on.

D - In the taste, this one is pretty drinkable. I could probably have at least two. But WOW, the EtOH does hit you. It's really easy to feel every bit of that 11.70%... So overall, the drinkability is limited by it's booziness, but the taste of this beer really keeps me begging for more.

This, fellow BAs, is a diamond in the rough. If you see this beer, buy it, chill it, let it sit for 20 minutes or so after pouring, and enjoy - you'll never try another beer like this again.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes on 7/20/10.

A: The color of this beer has a ruby and garnet hue, like a "sailor's warning" sunrise over North Lake Leelanau. This is truly a beautiful beer. An off white 1/2 finger head fades to leave an attractive haziness on top. Dotty lacing meanders slowly down the sides of the glass.

S: BAM! BLOOD ORANGES! Really, that is the dominant aroma. Deeper inhales reveal the green peppercorn spice complement. I smell some wheatwine characteristics, but they are pretty much overpowered by the citrus and spice. This is a unique and pleasant smell.

T: Much more complex than the smell. The blood orange taste is evident throughout the sip and speaks primarily to the broad top of my tongue. The green peppercorn spice is also omnipresent and bites at the sides and tip of my tongue. The backside of each sip is where this beer really gets wild and crazy. At roughly the same time, the alcoholic heat, full, creamy malts, and bitter hops play like a trumpet fanfare on my palate. It is amazing to me how lasting an impression the bittering hops leave on my tongue, because for most of the sip, this is a sweet and spicy beer.

M: With the sweet citrus, spicy peppercorn, hefty malts, bitter finish, and the high alcohol content, there is a lot substance to this MF. It is perhaps medium bodied, but the component parts really titillate my palate.

D: This is a really large and interesting beer which I have had a couple of times now. But, with its aggressive spiciness, high a.b.v., and dry finish, I don't think this would be a 'drink often' beer for me.

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Photo of TCgoalie
3.35/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Notes from 6/29/10

The color is a burgundy, brownish, orangish, reddish...something like that. Quite unique. No head to speak of nor lacing. The color is the redeeming quality here.

Lots of orange zest in the scent with some spice. There is a slight brown sugary malt scent as well with alcohol esters burning my nostrils.

There is a lot of unique flavors here, props for that. The flavor is a bit sour up front which clashes with a pineapple hop. Spice comes through as well and finishes with a twinge of soapy-ness. The aftertaste is a bit funky, bitter sourness and dirt.

Medium bodied with a clean slightly dry finish and fuzzy carbonation.

One is plenty, the aftertaste doesn't keep my interest for more. I like that this is original but the flavor doesn't quite do it for me.

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Photo of malty
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Force poured into my stemmed Ayinger tulip-style chalice to showcase a almost clear ruby/copper color with a dense & creamy 1" settled light beige head. Very fine visible uprising carbonation at a moderate rate. Broad & wide rings of lace with tiny pin pricks through them all the way down.

I could smell the blood oranges quite well immediately after I poured the glass and set it on the table a few feet from my head. The bountiful blood orange scent permeated the airspace around me and it was beautiful. I raise the glass under my nose and I'm greeted with a lush, deep tropical fruit barrage. Macerated plums, raisins, blood oranges (of course) pineapple, apricots - all bathed in a boozy brandy. A handful of hop zippiness peeks through this rain forest of drunk fruit at the end.

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! This baby goes from uber sweet nose to an initial sour (almost mouth-puckering tart) greeting with a green peppercorn zap right out of the gate. As my palate tries to recalibrate itself, I can't help but be soothed my this sweet and full flavored mixed & mangled whacky treat. Now, back to reality...The wheat malt is apparent and the loads of blood oranges are top billing. The green peppercorns make for an interesting substitution for the traditional clove spiciness found in most wheat wines. The hops really amp up the peppercorn spiciness to where it's almost impossible to discern where the dry & zesty flavors are coming from.

Mouthfeel is just a little lighter than full bodied, but is very slick & sturdy. The long, warm flavorful finish ends with just a little alcohol burn.

Drinkibility is limited due to the 'sip slow' factor inherent in this fine and unusual ale.

Overall Short's has fried my circuits once again, (in a good way). Very sweet and somewhat sour with lots of warm spices worming themselves through this hearty, jovial beast. As it warms, the clove finally spouts out. The green peppercorns can be a little heavy handed, but don't really rock the boat...or I should say 'battleship'. This is one big & burly ale with a big smile on it's shiny face. At least my face is grinning with a slight shine to it, now that my glass is empty.

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Anniversary Ale from Short's Brewing Company
3.96 out of 5 based on 520 ratings.
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