The Beer Savant

November 17, 2012

Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat

Filed under: American,Belgian,Pumpkin,Wheat — hikingsandiego @ 9:24 pm
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Shock Top Pumpkin WheatDate: November 17, 2011
Cost: $7.99/six-pack at Ralphs
Brewer:  Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, Missouri
Alcohol content: 5.2%
Served: Cold in chilled glasses

I was pleasantly surprised when I tried “regular” Shock Top in May 2011. I’m generally disappointed by the watery, flavorless concoctions produced by corporate brewers, but Shock Top—with a twist of orange—was a pleasant exception to the rule. So when I saw a display of Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat, I didn’t hesitate to place a six-pack in my shopping cart.

Shock Top Pumpkin pours a nice pumpkin orange with a slight cream-colored head. Take a sniff and enjoy the scent of spices, caramel, and hops. Again, I was nicely surprised by this beer. The Pumpkin Wheat delivers a full-body pumpkin/spice flavor that blends nicely with its hops and wheat base. No add-ons like a twist of orange needed…I noticed a slight pumpkin flavor that admittedly did get overpowered by the taste of orange. I detected no bitterness and no bad aftertaste from my first sip to my last. I’m picky about my pumpkin and Oktoberfest beers, so with that in mind, I’m declaring Shock Top Pumpkin a winner! I’ll definitely buy it again.

November 5, 2012

Ace Hard Pumpkin Cider

Filed under: American,Hard Cider — hikingsandiego @ 7:44 pm
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Ace Hard Pumpkin CiderDate:  November 2, 2012
Cost: $10.49/6-pack at Windmill Farms
Brewer:  California Cider Company, Sonoma County, California
Alcohol content: 5.0%
Served: Cold in chilled glasses

Okay, I know it’s not a beer, but sometimes it’s nice to broaden our horizons and try new things.

I was traveling through Windmill Farms on my way to the cash register when I spied a display of Ace Hard Pumpkin Cider (AHPC). As a devotee of everything pumpkin, I of course grabbed the nearest six-pack…a move that will go down as one of the better decisions I’ve made.

AHPC pours a rich golden orange. Since it’s not a beer, there is no head or lacing. It emits a fragrant aroma of pumpkin and spices and perhaps a hint of apple or pear. First sip…I’ve died and gone to heaven! It tastes like a true cider with the added bonus of allspice, cinnamon, and pumpkin…a medley of pleasurable flavors. Some reviewers claim they can’t detect the pumpkin; this was not a problem for me. I enjoyed this 12 oz. of bliss from my first sip to my last. I think AHPC will become my newest fall tradition.

November 3, 2012

Pyramid Oktoberfest

Filed under: American,Lager,Oktoberfest — hikingsandiego @ 2:12 pm
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Pyramid OktoberfestDate:  October 2012
Cost: $7.99/6-pack at Windmill Farms
Brewer:  Pyramid Brewing Company, Seattle, Berkeley, and Portland
Alcohol content: 6.7%
Served: Cold in chilled glasses
Every year, I’m noticing new entrants on the Oktoberfest/autumn/pumpkin beer scene, which makes my heart sing but also requires me to make some choices where before that wasn’t required. Pyramid Oktoberfest was one I hadn’t tried before, so into the shopping cart it went.

Pyramid pours a nice caramel color with decent lacing. There’s plenty of carbonation. I could smell some spices blended with a nice hop aroma. Unfortunately, what I mostly tasted on first sip was bitterness. About halfway through the bottle, I began to taste more of the biscuity, malty flavors and spice, which were nice. I would have enjoyed a bit more body to it, less bitterness, and more caramel flavoring, though I found the spice balance just right. Overall, a decent Oktoberfest, but not the pick of the ever-growing litter.

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