Monday, July 9, 2012

Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy

I've never reviewed a Leinenkugel's beer on this show before and I haven't reviewed a "shandy" (a lemonade/beer cocktail) since 2009! The Imasofats actually gave me this can when I was visiting them this weekend. Was it any good...?

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (690) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 8, 2012
I poured a 12oz can into a wheat beer glass.

Appearance: Bright, banana-skin yellow color; opaque cloudiness; forms a large, bright white foamy head, but it evaporates rather quickly and doesn’t leave much lacing on the glass.

Smell: Prominent lemonade flavoring. Seems very fake immediately. Similar to a cleaning product or an alcopop. Some subtle skunky macro quality to it as well.

Taste: It’s debatable whether Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy is really a beer or more of an alcopop. I’ve tried my share of lemonade-flavored alcopops and this brew is right in line with most of them as far as taste goes. It claims to be a "weiss beer brewed with honey with natural lemonade flavor" [sic]but there really isn’t much in the way of wheat beer taste. There isn’t much honey, either. In fact, the first half of the palate is quite bland with just a generic, very mild, American pale wheat ale taste. The second half sports a strong, but obviously artificial, lemonade taste. Slight sweet, it’s mildly refreshing but a bit challenging too as there’s a tart, almost acidic edge to it. The aftertaste is mostly clean, at least at first, but eventually begins to build up and become a little cloying.

Honestly, there’s nothing ghastly about this beer, but there isn’t much to truly enjoy unless you really like artificial lemonade flavored beverages and alcopops. I don’t think true craft beer enthusiasts are the target audience for this anyway.

Drinkability: With a thin, tepid, almost watery mouthfeel and a petite 4.2% ABV body, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy is no challenge to drink whatsoever (well, that fake lemonade flavor at the end does become quite cloying). Macro drinkers would have no trouble sessioning this, but craft beer drinkers might want to opt for a genuine witbier or hefeweizen or make their own shandy.

Grade: 4/10

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