Monday, May 26, 2008

Tommyknocker Jack Whacker Wheat Ale review

Tommyknowcker Jack Whacker Wheat AleAs introduced in yesterday's blog entry, I'm reviewing six different brews found in the Tommyknocker Brewery Trail Mix 6-pack. Today I'm covering the 1st of the 6 brews - the Tommyknocker Jack Whacker Wheat Ale. The name Jack Whacker comes from the nickname of the person who brings up the rear of an all mule pack train and whips the rear end of the ass to keep him moving. Funny name but how good is the brew?

Appearance: As you can see from the picture, this beer pours a cloudy light golden color. The small white head didn't last long and quickly disappeared. This is an unfiltered wheat beer by design. This beer had a decent amount of carbonation in it as there were plenty of bubbles dancing around inside the glass. Tommyknocker wants you to get the full flavor from this wheat beer. They put in a mix of 70% 2-row barley with 30% wheat into this ale. And for good measure they threw in a small amount of lemon grass for both flavor and aroma. Not sure what kind of hops are in here but the hops aren't the main story here - the lemon grass and wheat are.

Aroma: This beer has a classic wheat aroma. The lemon grass and the hops give this beer a nice lemon citrus added bouquet. I felt that this beer is best served well chilled and would be good for a warm summer day. Regrettably, this Memorial Day Monday was cloudy, cool and drizzling. Not the best of conditions but I was up for a wheat beer regardless. I was tilting back this beer as I stood under an umbrella while flipping burgers on my gas grill. It takes skill to hold a beer, an umbrella and a spatula at the same time.

Taste: The first taste of this beer was light and refreshing. It's not watery, but rather a good mix of malt, wheat and hops. It's slightly sweet as you'd expect in a wheat beer but it also had a nice bitter finish to it. It took a good 3 sips before I could really taste the bitterness. I could detect a bit of the yeast in the taste but it did not deter from the flavor. There is a touch of lemon on the palate from the lemon grass and a somewhat bread-like quality. The carbonation was just enough to notice but not overly done. This beer has a nice traditional wheat beer taste and is a good representation of the style.

This beer comes in at a 5.4% ABV and may be just a bit too high of an alcohol rating to be a session beer. Yet I'd have no problem quaffing down a few of these beers. I was in the mood for a wheat ale. At least now I can say I've grown to enjoy them.

In my experience, the majority of the wheat beers I've read reviews on tend to get average ratings. Perhaps it is due to the fact that they are much lighter in color and typically lower in alcohol than other beers. It's a shame really that wheat beers don't get top reviews. Why else do so many craft beer drinkers pick wheat beers to enjoy during the summer? This beer was a good example of the style but doesn't jump out at you with over the top flavor, hoppiness or aroma. Still, it's good by it's own merit. The beer rating sites were middle of the road on this one.

Overall: For a 1st choice in the 6-pack, I'd say this one gets a thumbs up from me. It hit me just right. Not too much of anything but just enough to get the job done. I'll give it a fair 3.2 out of 5 rating from me and may re-adjust this rating later after sampling the other 5 beers in the sampler pack.

Next up: Tommyknocker Pick Axe Pale Ale.

Related articles:
- Tommyknocker Butt Head Doppelbock review.
- Tommyknocker Alpine Glacier Lager review.
- Tommyknocker Ornery Amber Lager review.
- Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Ale review.
- After 15 years Tommyknocker offers up a Legend.

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