This pours a burnt orange color and is fairly murky. It provides a frosty, white head that dissipates slowly and leaves behind an active surface coat. The head doesn’t leave much in terms of lacing but the moderate carbonation does keep the surface erupting with fizz.
This provides a strong sense of sugar and lemongrass. The smell of lemon citrus is as strong as any note of pumpkin. Cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and perhaps a hint of clove help define the mild pumpkin smell.
There’s a strong lemon zest mixed with a fairly robust spice profile up front. Smooth notes of pumpkin are carried by cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar in the front. Lemon begins to overtake the experience towards the back. The pumpkin-specific spices are balanced, and the finish provides an extra burst of sugar that accentuates both the pumpkin and lemon. The mix of malt, sugar, spice and lemon does a really good job of capturing the essence of a “fall shandy.”
Moderate carbonation, lemon zest and a solid spice profile all play nicely on the palate. It’s super smooth and drinkable, making it a good choice towards the end of summer.
Jack-O does a pretty good job of capturing what is a pumpkin shandy. More impressive is the fact that they market this as a shandy, making it a prime choice for this time of year. What it lacks in natural pumpkin it makes up in a balanced spice profile and an enjoyable infusion of lemongrass. In terms of a sugary transitional beer, this certainly delivers. With that said, it’s not a glorious portrayal of what one might be looking for come October. While it’s good, it definitely won’t be for everyone.