Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat

Reviewed by on November 10, 2014 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Anheuser-Busch Inbev

  • Origin: St. Louis, MO

  • Rated On: November 9, 2014

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 5.2%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Pumpkin Ale

  • Rating: OKAY

The Review

As many (but not most, unfortunately) beer enthusiasts are aware, the ‘Shock Top’ line of self-styled craft beers are actually made by the producers of Budweiser, under the guise of the Shock Top Brewing Co.  In the interest of pseudo-inclusion (did I just make up a word?), and the waning autumn season, let’s have a look at their entry in the pumpkin ale races.

This 12oz bottle pours a slightly cloudy, medium copper amber colour, with two chubby fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and somewhat soapy off-white head, which isn’t long for this world, and leaves a few wayward streaks of coral reef atoll lace around the glass in this anxious reviewer’s hand.

It smells of vegetal pumpkin flesh, tame semi-sweet caramel, a twinge of grainy wheat, and surprisingly spicy ginger bread notes. The taste is moderately sweet caramelized wheat malt, sort of tart, underripe pumpkin mash, some less peppy ginger, pepper, and cinnamon spice, earthy, slightly acrid yeast, and a bit of awkwardly astringent, weedy hop dryness.  The carbonation is pretty average, just an underdeveloped fizziness throughout, the body a wan middleweight, and generally unaccosted in its smoothness. It finishes with some teetering lingering pumpkin, blandly sweet wheatiness, and fading seasonal spices.

An all right pumpkin beer, I suppose, nothing offensive, just a little too, well, Shock Top-tasting for my liking, but I would proffer that this would be an adequate gateway beer for the style (not everyone loves those imperial pumpkin pie in a glass deals straight away).  Worthy of a try, if you come across it – and if you’re looking for pumpkin ales, you will come across it.

Brady White

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