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.
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.