Beer Type: Wheat Ale ABV: 5.2% Tried on draught.
Their Description: “Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat is a unique, hand crafted brewed hybrid of Belgian wheat beer and sweet cider, with natural Honeycrisp flavor added to produce an innovative brew that is crisp, refreshing and flavorful. This unfiltered brew is perfect on a sunny day.”
The Reality: This is definitely an unfiltered beer with the scent of an apple Airheads candy wafting from the glass. When I take a sip the first thing I notice is a really aggressive level of carbonation that actually stings the tongue a little. Then the flavor hits you, like a wave of artificial honey & apples that attacks your tooth enamel. It is both sweet and fruity/sour at the same time. Any sign of traditional wheat beer flavors has been smothered under a heavy blanket of “natural honeycrisp flavor”. I was actually wondering if there was a guy in the back melting green apple Jolly Ranchers in a microwave and then pouring a cheap honey wheat beer over them. It is “unique”, as they describe, and it is “flavorful” in the sense that it is full of flavor. I did not find it “crisp” or “refreshing”, as it blew out my palate a bit, and left me with an aftertaste that only the aggressive carbonation could help to strip away. The claim that it is “prefect on a sunny day” is tough to prove/disprove, since I’m not sure what the correlation is, but does this mean that they make beers that are perfect on a rainy day, or perhaps during a hailstorm? What about partly cloudy days?
Final Verdict: It is my belief that this is a beer no one was asking for. Who has ever said, “You know what we should do? We should mix a Belgian wheat beer with sweet apple cider and sweet honey flavoring!”. Also, they say they add “natural honeycrisp flavor”. What the heck is that? It sounds like the furthest thing from “natural”. It would be like Mountain Dew saying that they’re new “Sangrita Blast” flavor (yes, that is a real thing), is made with “natural citruspunch flavor”. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, as Shock Top has brought us such flavors as Spiced Banana Wheat, Shockolate (Chocolate Wheat) and Twisted Pretzel Wheat. Actually I think wheat (the plant) would have decent grounds for a defamation lawsuit against Shock Top, or maybe it should wait for them to release something like “Cinnamon Raisin Wheat” or “Cream Cheese Brownie Wheat” so that the case would be a slam dunk.
*Correction 4/6/16: As you can probably see in the comments of this post I have been informed by a reader that a “honeycrisp” is a variety of apple, which explains the phrase “natural honeycrisp flavor”. they suggested I re-write the Final Verdict. I’m not going to do that because I re-read it and find it humorous, but I am adding this correction. Also, now that I know that a “honeycrisp” is a type of apple it makes the flavor of this beer even more confusing, as it was the farthest thing from any “natural” fruit flavor I’ve ever experienced. Maybe Mother Nature was on acid the day she created the Honeycrisp apple,…or maybe this beer just isn’t good.