Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Michelob Jack's Pumpkin Spice (2008)

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (735) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 28, 2010
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


I’ll 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.

TASTE

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 flavor.

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.

FINISH

Seasonal 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.

BODY

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.

FINAL THOUGHTS

For a 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. 
Grade: 7/10