Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat

I've had three other Shock Top beers, and two of the three got 2.25 out of 5, so they were slightly below average. The original Belgian White, however, I was more a fan of (at 3.25 out of 5). I am hoping this is on the better side of 2.5 (my middle of the road for beers).

The head is big and thick, and it dissipates to a good 1/8th inch layer floating on top. The color is slightly hazy, and it is gold with a hint of orange. The aroma is, true to form, a bit of pumpkin and a whole bunch of spice. I imagine I can smell hops or malt in there, but I am almost assuredly fooling myself. That spice is like an overblown pumpkin pie - it's just so heavy in the spices that I can't actually smell anything else in there.

First sip is like a slice of pumpkin pie with more spices and a hint of orange. Orange and pumpkin - I wouldn't have thought that they would go together, but that first sip wasn't bad at all. I imagine this would be great as a table beer with some relatively innocuous food like fried chicken or dry rub BBQ. I took a second sip, and I can taste a little hops in there, but not all that much. Maybe, just maybe, if I take a big mouthful...

Well, I can now taste where the hops were hiding. The tip-in is a bit of pumpkin and orange that flows into a smooth kind of void where the carbonation tickles the back of the throat. Eventually, the finish brings the heavy spice with a bit of grain and some underlying echo of the tip-in pumpkin and orange.

It's actually a pretty enjoyable beverage. I'm not normally one to add random stuff to a beer to try to make it better, but this is definitely a keeper. It's hard to believe that this one-off from Shock Top is their best beer yet, but here we are.



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