I get the feeling that a lot of craft beer enthusiasts like to look down on Jacob Leinenkugel. While the familiar Wisconsin-based brewer is far from the girth of stainless commercial giants like MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch, it seems like people grade it lower than the Dogfish Heads and Three Floydses when they’re hamming it up on hops.
I’ve enjoyed Leinenkugel’s brews ever since I had my first Honey Weiss. I think they do wheat beers pretty well. Tonight I’m sipping a Sunset Wheat … one of my favorite summer beers. Needless to say, I’m looking out at the snow and projecting my consciousness to July, when this beer tastes like heaven.
Pours a cloudy orange/yellow color, with plenty of head (I poured 3 fingers easily), which recedes in about three minutes, and is easily re-summoned with a few swirls of the glass. Smells light, sweet, and citrusy. The taste itself is refreshing, reaffirms all the citrus from the nose, and leaves a sweet, faintly bready taste. And, I think this is strange, but the finish makes me think of Trix cereal. Some people like dropping in a slice of orange, and while I’ve had it as such and didn’t dislike it, I’d say that the beer stands best on its own. Ice cold.
Made with cluster hops (very American), wheat and pale malts, and some natural coriander. There is enough flavor and body here to be satisfying, and not too much to make it super filling. Which means it rocks and rolls when the sun is shining. I enjoy this beer in the same way I enjoy Goose Island’s 312 Urban Wheat Ale. If you’ve never had Leinie’s Sunset Wheat, you’ve got to give it a chance.