Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat is a rich amber colored ale full of cinnamon and nutmeg spice and the scent of pumpkin. The color and smell are just what I like to see in a festive beer for this season but the head needs a little more for my tastes. It’s fairly well carbonated, but not enough to make you feel full after a few of them. This is more of a sweet type of beer but had some toasty malty flavors and wasn’t bitter at all. I think this beer also has a high level of drinkability—not something I necessarily am looking for with my seasonal brews but if you’re having a few too many with your friends and you want to be festive you could do worse. I’ll probably pick this up again, if not I will certainly do so again next year.
The other beer I was alternating with was Leinenkugel Oktoberfest and in my opinion it’s the slightly better beer. It’s a clear copper color with a slightly whitish head and a taste of caramel and pumpkin. It has some bready flavor notes and a semi-sweet aftertaste. Much like the Shock Top noted above it has a high level of drinkability. The carbonation borders on fizzy and is a little on the high side.
If you have a store that lets you mix and match your six packs I think this is a good pairing of beers that will go down smoothly.
Next up: Brooklyn Octoberfest!