Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat

I’ve never seen a "pumpkin wheat" beer before and I most certainly never expected to see a beer of this style to be made by the world’s largest brewery conglomerate. Anheuser-Busch knows what appeals to the average beer drinker, and a few sips into Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat I could tell this wasn’t brewed on a whim. It’s in the same ballpark as any other mid-grade pumpkin brew, just milder and easier drinking.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (751) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 7, 2012
I poured a 12oz twist-off bottle into a wheat beer glass.

Appearance: Dark orange/light brown hue that’s nearly opaque from all the sediment. Initially forms a large, white, foamy head which mostly dissipates but does leave some lacing on the glass.

Smell: The usual pumpkin pie beer aromas or maybe closer to a pumpkin scented candle.

Taste: The label for Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat describes it as a "Belgian style wheat ale brewed with pumpkin and spices." That’s certainly an interesting concept for a beer - a pumpkin/witbier hybrid. However, I don’t think I’m the target audience for this brew since I know what a witbier should taste like and I really don’t get any witbier or other traditional weizenbier character out of this one.

Quite mild up front with just a hint of nutmeg. Through the middle it becomes sweeter imparting some vanilla flavor. The finish ends with a quick burst of cinnamon and clove before washing away almost completely clean. These are the flavors I look for in a pumpkin beer and they do work here. That being said, it seems obvious to me that they’re purposely being restricted to make the beer more drinker-friendly. Still, there’s nothing off-putting about this palate, but it still has a ways to go to really impress me.

Drinkability: Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat has a cold, wet, slightly thin mouthfeel. It’s not highly carbonated but isn’t tepid either. The mild palate and clean finish make it a tad refreshing for a moment or two. It would probably pair well with pumpkin pie. The 5.2% ABV weight seems perfect as the brewers managed to get significant energy from a relatively light body.
 Grade: 6/10

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