I poured a 16oz can into a weizen glass. It was canned on 5/1/14 and cost only $1 ($0.06 per ounce).
Appearance: Hazy, translucent shade of light orange/maize. Visible
carbonation. Pours to a large, white, frothy head which mostly
dissipates and leaves little lacing on the glass.
Smell: A generic macro beer aroma with hints of orange and spice. Not something I’d usually identify with a witbier smell.
Taste: Shock Top Belgian White is probably the best beer made by
Anheuser-Busch, and that’s really say something. Though, as true to the
style goes – it has quite a ways to go to be a good example. I can see
what it’s meant to do – be light enough tasting so as not to scare away
the macro lager drinker, but unique enough to find interesting. In that
aspect it works. Of course, holding it to the same standards as craft
beer it is only alright at best (but again, that’s impressive
considering the brewer).
There’s a general wheat flavor up front coupled with a light orange
sherbet taste. A touch of coriander gives it a little zing or zip or
zestiness, though this is in no way a spicy palette per se. I notice a
slight tang or astringency on the finish, and just like the nose,
there’s a nondescript “macro” quality to the palette as a whole here.
Personally, I find it tolerable and I can appreciate it for what it is.
Though I can understand snobs who hate it as well as newbies who love
it. To me it’s just okay.
Drinkability: If you’re going to drink Shock Top Belgian White, the best
way to enjoy it is as a summer seasonal (even though it’s available
year-round). It has a refreshing quality to be sure, and it leaves a
clean aftertaste, which is more than can be said for most macro beers.
The mouthfeel is light with consistent carbonation and a smooth finish.
It doesn’t seem to take full advantage of its 5.2% ABV body, as it
drinks like something even lighter. I’m sure the average macro drinker
would have no problem sessioning it in the summer, though.