UPDATED: SEP 29, 2012
We beer snobs don’t like to admit it when we like a beer that has
anything to do with one of the huge breweries, but in the case of Jack’s
Pumpkin Spice Ale (formerly known as Michelob Pumpkin Spice); I think
we can make an exception. POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
forever be impressed by a beer that just looks good, so of course
Jack’s brought a smile to my face with its beautiful copper-colored,
crystal-clear body that has a significant shade of orange (not
surprisingly). It doesn’t produce much of a head upon pouring – only a
very thin, off-white, soapy coating that dissipates very quickly. There
is constant carbonation action present.
The scent is familiar to
other pumpkin-style beers I have recently tried. Others have been
pungent in their aroma, but Jack’s is fairly mild with a sweet smell of
nutmeg and cinnamon.
I didn’t know what to
expect from Jack’s since this is made by one of the mass market
breweries. Would it be just a generic beer with pumpkin flavoring, or
would it have a truly crafted taste? Upon taking my first drink I was
pleasantly surprised to taste a rich, well-balanced ale with genuine
This is what a good pumpkin beer should taste like as the
inclusion of authentic seasonings of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and of
course pumpkin are evident. The beer has a sweet, spicy taste without
being overpowering or coming off as gimmicky.
The only problem
is the beer tastes a bit watery straight out of the fridge, so I
recommend allowing it to warm a bit to let the spices to do their thing.
craft beers fall into an interesting category when it comes to their
finish. No, they are not the smoothest and easiest beers to drink, but
they are far from the harshest. Jack’s is bristling with spice so it’s
no wonder it finishes with a bit of a tingle. It’s virtually
unnoticeable for connoisseurs like me, but to lightweights it might come
off a little strong.
What can I say about
medium-body beers that I haven’t already said countless times before? A
beer that falls into the middle of the weight chart is usually a good
thing, unless you’re such a lightweight drinker that all you can handle
are straw-colored lagers. I wasn’t able to find out the number of
calories in Jack’s, but it’s pretty potent at 5.5% ABV. This would make a
great beer to drink with a meal or as an after-dinner treat, but I
don’t see it as a party beer.
seasonal craft beer, Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale tastes exactly like what
you’d expect from a microbrew. The fact it’s made by one of the big boys
makes it even more impressive since this isn’t their specialty. The
price is reasonable ($7.29 per six-pack in upstate New York) and it’s
probably more readily available than microbrews considering its
distributor. In fact, this might be the only pumpkin beer many people
will have access to, and if that’s the case, I say it’s a good choice.