Anniversary Ale | Short's Brewing Company

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Anniversary AleAnniversary Ale
Very Good
524 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 524 |  Reviews: 206
Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange red with a 1 finger head

smell: blood orange, wheat,

taste: blood orange, bitter,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: doesn't drink like a 10% beer but it was really nice. I've tried brewing with blood oranges before and I did not have these results. so big props go out to Shorts. Keep brewing the funky stuff.


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Photo of AgentZero
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to thetomG for sharing this with Alex and I.

A - Reddish-amber colored beer that yellowed a little on the edges. Off-white head that left a little bit of lace on the sides.

S - Well, smell those oranges. Honestly, this smells like a whitewine with oranges in it. I don't care much for wheatwines, but I find the added citrus an improvement.

T - A lot of orange citrus and orange zest. It is a wheatwine, but I actually find the orange notes to cut through the usual sickly wheatwine sweetness. Slight bit of pine.

M - Moderate carbonation, medium bodied.

O - Not a bad beer, and a lot better than I was expecting. Alcohol is fairly well hidden, and I got this down pretty easily.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.57/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Shorts Anniversary Ale : Blood Orange Wheat Wine

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a brandy snifter. A stunning rosy amber in color with an off white crackling bubbly head that retains quite well, leaving some lacework.

Smell: Vibrant orange zest quite fragrant, sweet wheat wine aroma typical of the style, yet laced with orange.

Taste: An intense and interesting blend of flavors. Not as sweet as the nose will indicate, a strong wheat malt presence, with an intensely bitter blood orange/bitter grapefruit peel like flavor. In the midst of this fruity flavor is a bitter grapefruit like hop, perfect for this brew inparticular. The citrus aspect, and the bitter hops, do a great job in balancing the sweetness of the standard wheat wine. Mild orangey citrus lingers on the palate. Long into the aftertaste is the peppercorn finish, a bit spicy and long lasting. As the beer warms, the peppery aftertaste becomes desirable. A treat to the senses. 10% abv is hidden. Well done!

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, alittle syrupy/chewey malt. Carbonation moderate to low. To be expected with a brew of this magnitude.

Overall: A fantastic achievement in the art and practice of brewing. Wheat wine can be great or not so, and this one was the best of the style I've had to date. Captures the flavor of the blood orange, and the essence of a wheat wine in perfect harmony.

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Photo of aasher
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a bright reddish copper in color with a light off white lacing. It hits blood orange in color on the head. It smells or orange peels with light sweet caramel malts. It's pretty appealing on the nose. It tastes of grated orange peels that've assaulted your palate with an aerial assault. It's very spicy and doesn't present any alcohol at all. It maskes the generic overly sweet malt of the style and is overly fruity. It drinks well and is pretty light in body. It features a lot of malt but doesn't drink in an overly sticky manner. The alcohol isn't present whatsoever. Overall this is one of the better wheatwines I've had. The fruit did this one some favors. I'd recommend it.

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Photo of Florida9
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Reddish amber in color. Forms a patchy surface coating. No lacing.

S: Lots of pithy orange. Orange zest. Then a bit of an odd scent, earthy and organic, that fades to a light hint of alcohol.

T: Orange and orange zest. Pithy citrus bitterness. Some light pepper action on the finish.

M: Medium heavy with lower carbonation level, though I imagine that is to be expected.

O: A decent beer. A bit odd at times, but the flavor combination seems to work quite well, much more so than in Short's other beers. Slight bitter and slightly sweet.

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Photo of Preismj
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: orange and cloudy. Looks beautiful with a rich white head and nice carbonation.

s: good aroma of orange and orange zest. Creamy and sweet smells with a beautiful bread aroma leaking off the rim of the glass.

t: nice and zesty orange flavor. Creamy indeed with an incredible wheat flavor and a wine sweetness. tasting peppery flavor as well in this and a nice malt backbone here, but the orange zest takes center stage and shines.

m: rich and creamy, coats well and leaves the palette wet. nice bitter finish on this, but not too bitter at all.

o: this is a great wheat wine and the orange zest is an incredible flavor in this. Blends well in the style and I'll be trying to get a few more of these.

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Photo of J0E
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a snifter, it is a bright orange/copper with not much of a head at all. A little bit of bright white lacing.

S: So much orange! Very sweet smelling, and a little maltiness. Not much hops in the nose, just the orange which is a little overpowering at first.

T: Sweet blood orange, then orange rind bitterness, and a slight bit of piney hops bitterness at the end. Not much of the alcohol at all. Very well hidden.

M: Pretty soft, but more carbonation than i was expecting from the pour.

O: This is a very unique beer. The blood orange flavors are right up front and not subtle at all. But it's still very tasty. I only bought 1 bottle, but I'd probably have another - curious what a year or 2 would do for it.

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Photo of khumbard
3.71/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to phishisphunk for this cool extra. Bottle poured into Duvel tulip.

Pours a very cool deep orange/red with a white fluffy head. Pretty awesome looking beer, you can definitely tell they took full advantage of the blood oranges.

Aroma is interesting. Definitely sweet, tangy oranges. Lots of fruitiness from the heavy wheat malt. Not really any hops to speak of, but still pretty nice

Taste is definitely sweet, but it has a bitter and tangy orange rind flavor. Not bad, but it takes a bit to get used to. Finishes sweet, with a little bit of booze.

Mouthfeel is alright. A little bit too sticky sweet for me, but the carbonation is right on.

Overall this is a very interesting brew, which I'm glad to have had. A little bit too sweet for me, but I appreciate the effort from Short's. Not too many beers out there made with oranges that work very well, but this one is on the right track.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I tasted two bottlings of this at a recent tasting, the most recent one is the one this review reflects. Thanks to the Central PA crew for sending this in the Gang Bang BIF.

A: pours a deep clear red, nice color, the blood orange certainly provides deep hues I am not accustomed to in beer.

S: the nose starts incredibly citrusy with straight grapefruit rind, a peppercorn character comes through in the middle, getting a lot of zest

T: tastes starts out slightly acidic and becomes very fruity with hints of molasses. Blood orange is present but comes off very grapefruit like.

MF: low carbonation, medium body

O: This brew is interesting and like all Short's beers its incredibly unique. The resulting product is drinkable and worth a try.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Thanks to the Central PA group from the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

Finally gonna crack into this tasty-sounding wheatwine. It pours a clear amber-copper topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises blood orange zest, tart orange, nutmeg, maple syrup, and light black pepper. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some mandarin orange syrup, light green peppers, banana, light vanilla bean, ruby red grapefruit, and some very light leek. Somehow, this thing tastes both all over the place and citrus-centric at the same time. Nice. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a kinda syrupy feel. Overall, a very nice wheatwine, one that shows what strategic use of blood oranges can do.

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Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Thirstybird for the opportunity to try this one. Pours a lovely deep burnt red hue with a quarter inch bright white head that dissipates into a frothy band. Nose is sweet and clearly expresses blood orange and citric acid as well as an herbal/spicy quality. It's really quite interesting and like nothing I've ever smelled before in a beer. Taste expresses a great deal of citrus rind as well as a trace of sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with a lively carbonation and quite a bit of astringency. An interesting beer. I'm happy to have tried it; however, a half pour was more than sufficient.

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Photo of badboyrsl84
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours red/orange in the glass with a little white lacing around the glass

Smell - blood orange right off the bat. Tartness and some sweetness brought on by the fruit.

Taste - bitter tartness from the blood orange. Its a good taste though. I get a little peppercorns in the aftertaste. But the bit from the citrius acidic blood orange fruit dominates. No hint of the 11% alcohol.

Overall - it's unlike any beer I've ever had. I can respect what Shorts was trying to do. It may not be the most drinkable beer but its one of the most memorable I've had from them.

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Photo of trappistlover
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(12oz bottle courtesy of rayl101! Many thanks Kevin!). Pours a slightly hazy orange-mahogany color with thin off-white head. Carbonation is quite active. Aroma had loads of sweet orange, pith, wheat, caramel, and light pepper. Taste is sweet with the orange really coming through. The peppercorns are noticeable, but only appear at times. This one is definitely more about the orange. Full bodied with a sticky texture. A nice beer!

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Photo of pmarlowe
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tulip glass.

Pours a clear copper maroon, slight head and some lacing. Aroma is juicy orange, sugary cherry, floral, grassy, macadamia nut, with a spicy and peppery undertone. There's a lot of really interesting stuff going on here, all nicely integrating and nothing dominating. I like the contrast between spicy and sweet. The taste does not quite live up to the great aroma in terms of breadth and balance of flavor, with the pepper coming through more--perhaps for the worse. Also present in the taste is a bitter red grapefruit. This is pretty dry. Carbonation and body are both medium. No heat to speak of. Overall, this has a really interesting nose, but the flavor comes up lacking, and I didn't find myself wanting another one after finishing.

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Photo of drewba
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Well, its color is...blood orange. Pours with a one finger off white head that has very little retention. Lots of big bubbles are lingering. This has some decent legs and splotchy lacing.

S - Unusual; smells faintly of a mimosa. This really does smell like blood oranges, but then this smell like cherry cough drops. Huh? I've not familiar at all with green peppercorns, but I think it's coming out in the smell as a dry earthiness.

T - Very interesting...artificial cherries, dry & semisweet orange, lemon rind, wood and plenty of that earthy pepper I'm getting in the smell. There is a tiny tart and funky pop at the end. This is quite fruity, but it's a little overshadowed by the ever present cough drop taste. This tastes like a cherry and raspberry ricola (obviously the best cough drop ever), but I feel like saying the taste is "interesting" is a little too polite. It's downright strange; not necessarily in a bad way, but it's just strange.

M - Syrupy, low carbonation. No complaints here.

O - I sipped on this for awhile and I'm still a little baffled. It isn't like anything I've had to date - oddly enough, it's almost like a flanders mixed with a saison.

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Photo of gnemesis
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle poured into snifter on 05/12/2011. This beer immediately lives up to its name. Blood orange/red body topped by a thin off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves very little lace. The nose is met with orange (strong citrus) and a touch of honey for an attempt to balance. The taste follows though- lots of blood orange, sweet malt, with a slightly bitter finish. Medium body, light/medium carbonation. Good and interesting brew. One or two is enough.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tom (thetomG) for sharing this one at an impromptu Monday night tasting. Served in a Darkness snifter.

A - Quick-dissolving white foam settles to a thin ring. The body is a lightly hazed dark orange color.

S - Vanilla, oranges, peppercorns, some herbal hop notes, and well-hidden alcohol with only a little bite to it. Very unusual, but quite enjoyable.

T - Taste has a pulpy orange-forward flavor, with notes of vanilla pale malts and other citrus fruits from the hops. Alcohol is better hidden, and peppercorns are largely in the periphery.

M - Low carbonation, medium-full body that is sufficiently hefty, minimal alcohol warmth.

D - One of the better wheatwines I've had, and one of the strongest Short's offerings I've had in recent memory. The flavor combination worked for me, and the 10% ABV was pretty unobtrusive. I'd have this one again for sure.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is ruby hued and transparent, with 1/4" head and decent lacing. The aroma is primarily of hops, with a present alcohol sweetness. The flavor starts out well, with hops in the driver seat, masking the alcohol for the most part. Unfortunately, the finish brings an oddness and harshness that negatively impacts my enjoyment to a great degree. The sweetness mounts rapidly, and I could see this beer becoming cloying quickly. A couple of ounces was more than enough for me.

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Photo of goblue3509
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby redish blood organish color with very little head and a slight amount of hops. The aroma is of big orange and some other citrus notes along with a hint of peppercorn and some breadiness. The taste has a breadiness backbone with hints of pepper but the real star is the big orange and grapefruit flavors. A nice sweet inviting taste. There is a slight hop bite at the end to bring in some balance. There is no hint of booze. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated. Overall this is a very good beer , the aroma draws you in and the taste left me wanting more. I would seek this beer out.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.57/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really enjoyed this beer but the more I drank and the warmer it got the worse it got. Bummer.

Beer is red and clear with a thin white head of small bubbles, lots of lacing and a nice level of carbonation. Looks good!

Aroma is quite hoppy and very sweet with a hint of alcohol but the alcohol is well masked by the hops.

Beer is sweet and quite hoppy, thin up front with a moderately dry finish. The overall beer is quite good too. As the beer warms unfortunately it takes on this medicinal sweetness and harsh finish with a really bad aftertaste of grainy acidity and a little sulfur. I don't know what the deal with this beer is but overall I did not enjoy it. In the beginning I really liked it but it was all downhill from there.

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Photo of DearthVader
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to jrags8 for this one!

Pours a ruby red with a great oranges glow that comes from the edges. A very aggressive pour produced nothing more than slight bubbles and absolutely no sign of lacing is left. Good thing this brews color is so appealing.

Smell is overwhelmed with orange and almost impossible to pick up the peppercorn, but it is there. I was hoping for a lot more pepper in the nose after reading the label, but was let down. Still had an intriguing aroma to it.

Taste is upfront with orange juice and a slight bitter grapefruit flavor. I can pick up a slight peppery taste that is followed by a bready flavor and a sweet malt backbone. Very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is very full with a fairly low amount of carbonation. You definitely can't detect it's 11.7% ABV.

I'm very happy with my first offering from Shorts. I've heard some mixed reviews on these extremely experimental brewers, but I look forward to trying out a few more.

Thanks again Jim!

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Photo of phishisphunk
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle was graciously given to me by Cetherid. Thanks for the opportunity to try this one.

A: This is a fantastic looking beer, very sexy! The clarity and brilliance of the ruby are second to none. Overall, this one pours a medium copper color but as more light is allowed to penetrate, the beer presents a magnificent ruby and amber hue that gives way to a mellow orange similar to the last rays of sun before dusk. My only knock is that lack of any substantial head. A vigorous pour yields a short lived head that leaves some spotty, bubbly lacing that doesn't take long to recede to the edge of the glass.

S: The nose presents a lot of fresh flavors. Everything feels bright and young. Piney hops, orange peel, green pepper corn. I can smell the bouquet from a few feet away. The pepper corn is mild, but not nearly as strong as say a tellicherry pepper. It smells more like a fresh picked green pepper. Earthy and dirty with a sharp citrus-orange aroma.

T: The first sip made me step back a bit. I was expecting a bit more of a bitter hop bite, but instead was presented more with the feeling of biting into a large pink grapefruit. Definitely very citrusy. The pepper corn leaves this one feeling dry on the finish without it feeling overly sweet. The spice is low key and doesn't present itself until the finish. As with most beers using some form of pepper, I find the ABV to feel kicked up a notch on the end feel and this one is no exception. The 11.7% is evident, but in no way harsh. Very well integrated. The most outstanding aspect is that for as many unusual ingredients that are added, the beer feels really well balanced.

M: The carbonation is low and the mouth feel is thin which works well for the main flavor players to do their role. But they do make this one feel very alive.

O: Wow, color me impressed. Even if you're not a fan of wheat wines, seek this one out. It was a great experience to drink on a multitude of levels. Appearance, aroma, taste, all pushing the boundaries and working synergistically to create an amazing drinking experience. Well done Shorts! Keep this adventurous spirit alive and screw the mainstream.

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Photo of russpowell
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to MarcatGSB for this

Pours an effervescent caramel with a modicum of cream colored head. Decent head retention & lacing

S: Orange & tangerine rinds

T: Follows the nose, along with some ruby red grapefruit & faint bready notes up front. Some faint apricot notes hide beneath all the citrus & a kiss of pear as well, along with more bready notes. finishes with a citrus flourish, a touch grapefruit/earthy bitterness & a bit of mead/honey dryness

MF: Medium bodied, slight/smooth carbonation

I really enjoyed this. There now way a beer this big should go down so easy in warm weather. Could drink this all spring/summer if feasible

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4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into tulip.

A: A deep, rich ruby red hue in the body. The white head pours about one finger formation and retention is not much more than a thin layer around the edges. Carbonation seems slow and great for style.

S: The aroma is nice and powerful, with a fruity sweetness of the blood oranges. Very nice barley and wheat aromas, at this point any hop aroma has mellowed out.

T/M: WOW, what a smooth wheat wine. Not syrupy body that I expect with the style or more crisp than a typical barleywine. The blood oranges add a juicy character that is well balanced with the malt body. A very tart, bitter fresh orange finish. The mouthfeel is very light and refreshing for the style. Lingering taste shows a good orange aspect, as well as focus on the malts.

O: This is a great wheat wine, and I would feel less concerned with using this blood oranges in a homebrew. I would not even think that this beer would be at 11.7% ABV at all, nice job.

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Photo of
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - dark orange with a frothy white head that dissipates quickly to a ring.

Smell - powerful aroma of oranges, peel, and citrus hops with some sweet wheat malt and pineapple lurking in the background. The smell is warm and deep, probably becasue of the very high alcohol content.

Taste - Intense blood orange and alcohol flavours with some sweet malt and dry hopped character. The pepper kicks in right at the very end, but the orange definitely dominates the flavour.

This is not a subtle beer. It is intense and in your face, but still enjoyable if a little rough around the edges.

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Anniversary Ale from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 524 ratings