Wick For Brains - Nebraska Brewing Company

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Wick For BrainsWick For Brains

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96 Ratings
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Ratings: 96
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 10.14%
Wants: 1
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Nebraska Brewing Company visit their website
Nebraska, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Hojaminbag on 11-10-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 96 | Reviews: 19
Reviews by xuptygm:
Photo of xuptygm
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange hue. Very nice head which recedes a bit but stays with the beer until the last sip. Not as sweet as other pumpkin ales.
Smells amazing. Crisp smooth finish. The best pumpkin ale I have tried. Lace sticks to the glass and won’t go away. Perfect carbonation. The pumpkin comes through very nicely. The malt compliments the pumpkin very well. Hops are present but only to balance the beer. Creamy. A great session beer
Overall a great beer, especially considering that it is a pumpkin ale which I usually do not like. Had a pint at the brewery and liked it so much I bought a growler.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Auraan
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Poured a cloudy orange body with a thin white lace on the surface. It looks like a typical pumpkin ale, nothing special. Scents of cinnamon, pumpkin, medium-light nutmeg and allspice, medium gingers clove. Overall impression of aroma is of a spice and pumpkin forward pumpkin ale, but one that is not too sweet and is very appealing. None of the pie crust butteriness that ruins other examples of style. Very pleasant. Flavor begins with notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, light ginger, allspice and a light sourness. Middle is medium-dry with a light sourness, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin and clove. Finish is dry with notes of pumpkin, ginger, white pepper, clove, nutmeg and allspice and a light sourness. Aftertaste is pumpkin, clove, nutmeg and allspice. Overall impression of flavor is of a wonderful pumpkin ale. It captures the flavors of pumpkin and spices, with a light sourness throughout that aids the flavor. A truly wonderful pumpkin ale flavor that avoids the traps of the style. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium-high carbonation and drying, sour feel. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a light, refreshing ale. Very nice. Overall this is the single best pumpkin ale I have ever had. It avoids every problem I have with the style in aroma and flavor and is aided by a level mouthfeel. Simply wonderful.

Photo of Gmann
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From my notes on 11/4, on draft at Rattle 'n Hum

Pours a clear golden orange color with a nice tight white head.

The aroma is of light pumpkin, with some nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. A nice bright aroma.

The taste is of pumpkin, nutmeg, and allspice. Seems to have a sour oak flavor but from what I read, this beer is not barrel aged. There seems to be an odd spice or sweet element I can't quite put my finger on. At first I thought this was a bourbon barrel aged pumpkin but its not. Not sure what this flavor is coming from.

The feel was light to moderate with fizzy carbonation. It drinks crisp.

I thought it was a good pumpkin, though it has some odd flavors to it.

Photo of tone77
3.12/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A big thanks to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a orange/golden color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of pumpkin, very light nutmeg. Taste is really kind of bland. Some pumpkin, spices are present but really subdued, not bad, but boring. Feels light in the mouth and overall I was not impressed with this beer.

Photo of Forb
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on-tap at the Brewery...

Appearance: Pours a slightly darkened orange hue with plenty of bubbly carbonation leading to a minutely fluffy head.

Smell/Taste: The malt sweetness which comes to a beautiful pumpkin aura is present here. Very inviting. Taste is initially ginger, spices, and finishes with a very pumpkin infused sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and plenty of carbonation.

Overall: I'm happy because they chose to not allow this one to become overly sweet. They kept it where the careful beer drinker will be able to indulge rather than appealing to a mass market of casuals who just want a richly crafted brew.

Photo of ocelot2500
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear golden orange color with a tight, white head that leaves little to no lacing.

Smells of a bit of spice and toasted malt.

Tastes of the sweet, toasted malt with only a touch of spice. Malts lead off with toffee, caramel, and some toasted bread. Fairly sweet. This gives way to some cinnamon mostly maybe some clove and allspice as well. Finishes fairly clean with some lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with an almost undercarbonated feel.

Overall, this is just alright, nothing particularly good, but nothing bad as well.

Photo of plaid75
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On draft at Rattle n Hum, NYC.

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger foamy white cap. There was decent retention and lacing b

The smell featured a full wave of cinnamon (think Dentyne).

The taste consisted of a rindy pumpkin flesh with that same bizarre sweet and cinnamony Dentyne element.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side if the style.

Overall a ho him experience. Weak in the spice category.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap 11/15/2010 at Pitcher's Pub in Cumberland, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains light caramelized malts, pumpkin, some spices and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with fruity flavors of pumpkin and mild spices. The hops presence is very mild which is normal for this type of beer. The malt character is thin for the style but there's a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, there are definitely better pumpkin beers out there that I would pick first.

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into an IPA glass.

Look: A nice copper body with a white head that disappears and leaves a ring and some light laving.

Aroma: Cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar.

Taste: All spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. Very subtle hints of squash.

Mouthfeel: Watery, light mouthfeel.

Overall: This is a typical pumpkin ale. Slammable, I could drink this all day, but it is a spice rack and not much else.

Photo of woodychandler
3.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

One of the last in-person trades that I made with tone77 before his departure from our area included this CAN. I miss having him come by to drop off all sorts of different beers for me as I would load him down with CANs in return. The CANQuest (TM) abides.

From the CAN: "World Class in Every Glass"; "Our classic and painstakingly created fall pumpkin ale. Real pumpkin lends a sweetness and a true pumpkin flavor not found in many pumpkin ales. Wonderful pumpkin pie spices intertwined in our amber ale create a rich pumpkin seasonal. Elegantly crafted."; "CANs: Infinitely Recyclable".

First of all, this used one of those stupid 360 degree openings, so there really was not a Crack! and I could not upturn it for a Glug! It is a s**tty CANcept that is really a step backwards in CAN engineering. When you are left with a sharp, throwaway piece, you may as well go back to pop tops. Once deCANted, the head quickly dissipated before I could do anything. Color was an orangish Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity (what else?). Nose had a pronounced cinnamon spiciness. Mouthfeel was somewhat thin. Taste was spicy, prevalently cinnamon, backed up with perhaps nutmeg or allspice. The finish was gaspingly dry with the spices really doing their part. It was like liquid alum! Man, I was ready for a glass of water upon finishing this beer. Not bad, but needs work on presentation.

Photo of kojevergas
2.9/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz aluminum can with appealing label art and a curiously large pull-tab acquired at Whichcraft in Austin, TX, and served cold into a pilsner glass.

Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the brewery's reputation and the fact that I'm just in the mood for a pumpkin ale. 6.10% ABV. 2014 vintage. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. Reviewed as a pumpkin ale because it's identified clearly as such on the label.

Opening the can is interesting; this pull tab removes the entire top with ease - props for great packaging!

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide. Off-white colour. Average creaminess and thickness. Light uneven lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is above average - about 3 minutes. Average consistency and complexion.

BODY: Translucent transparent copper gold of average vibrance. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears adequately carbonated. Not a unique or special appearance for a pumpkin ale, but generally appealing.

AROMA: Brown sugar, faint pumpkin gourd, light cinnamon, caramelized sugars and malts, and brief hints of allspice and nutmeg. It's pretty light in strength. A timid aroma which is pleasant but wanting. Doesn't really evoke pumpkin gourd or pumpin pie spices as much as it needs to.

No yeast character, overt alcohol, hop notes, or off-notes are detectable. I can't say it has me dying for the first sip, but I'm optimistic. Pretty average for a pumpkin ale overall.

TASTE: Caramelized malts comprise the simple basic core. There's a bit of pumpkin gourd and some noticeable cinnamon, but little else. Even the nutmeg and allspice disappeared. Simplicity is king here. Very no-frills. Dareisay insipid.

I do like it, but there's just nothing going on. What few flavours are present come through shallow. The brief duration of flavour and mild flavour intensity doesn't help. I want fresh ripe pumpkin gourd, subtle yet intricate spices, and an autumnal/harvest malt build, but none of that is present here. It's just a bland boring build with loose cohesion and a hint of pumpkin. I do like that what little pumpkin there is tastes genuine - not artificial - but that just isn't enough.

It does have a near ideal level of sweetness for a pumpkin ale.

TEXTURE: Well-carbonated. Smooth, wet, light to medium in body, and a bit thin. Sticky. This texture complements the taste well, but isn't ideal for a pumpkin ale. More presence and heft on the palate is needed. Like the taste, the texture lacks oomph.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

OVERALL: Among the most insipid pumpkin ales I've ever come across. It's a pumpkin ale for those who don't care much for pumpkin, and offers little to the discerning drinker. I'll finish the glass with ease - this is very drinkable - but I see no need to ever buy it again. Why brew this? A swing and a miss from Nebraska. I guess their marketing team just figured they ought to put out a pumpkin ale. This is easily the most uninspired beer in the style I've ever had.


Photo of CopperMtnPlowboy
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Drank from a 12 ounce can traded for at CANvention in Dallas. Poured into a pint glass. The pumpkin cinnamon flavor is there, but (fortunately) not overwhelming. Pours flat - very little lacing which entirely disappeared after one minute.. A mild brew with little carbonation and good flavor, a nice one but not great. Easy to drink.

Photo of Hojaminbag
2.66/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Wick for brains has a light brown body and an off-white head. The head has solid retention, and leaves a single line of lacing across my glass that is about a finger thick.

The aroma is pretty heavy on the spices. Cinnamon and nutmeg jump out at me.

The spices are pretty powerful in the flavor too, with nutmeg dominating. Nutmeg is a very powerful tasting spice, and it has overpowered many beers and recipes in the past, and I fear the same can be said for Wick for Brains. Other things I notice are more cinnamon and maybe some clove and allspice. Underneath that spice is a sweet malt backbone, and the finish actually has a pretty good citrus bite to it from hops. If the nutmeg were toned down a bit, I feel that that beer has potential.

The mouthfeel is pretty basic, nothing amiss here.

Wick for Brains is an awesome name for a pumpkin beer. The beer itself, however, was a chore to finish due to the overpowering spices. I'll give NBC another chance, as this was the first beer of theirs that I sampled.

Photo of allengarvin
3.89/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 3.75 Clear amber with a small white head.
S: 4.0 - Pleasant caramel malt with moderately strong cinnamon scent.
T: 3.75 - Medium malt with a lot of cinnamon. No pumpkin detectable. Other spices have a light touch.
M: 4.0 - Nice creamy mouthfeel
O: 4.0 - Not the best PA, but I find it pretty tasty. Of course, I like cinnamon a lot.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

perhaps not the most compelling pumpkin beer of the season, but a well made and palatable brew with potential for broad appeal. its nice and mellow on the spice front, allowing the base beer, which is pushing an amber ale, to come through. the problem is, its also light in the pumpkin flavor, and seems real subtle compared to other ones on the market. its just so plain in the seasonal aspect. i like its drinkability, lightness, and upbeat bubbles, but im looking for more flavor that makes this what it is. i thought the other beers from these guys were so dynamic, but this one is a little overly basic for me. i like a more sturdy fall beer, but there is nothing wrong with this for the drinker of lighter stuff

Photo of BeerWithMike
4.25/5  rDev +23.2%

Sampling right now on 9/14/14. Comes in a 12 ounce can like all of their brews Can chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a handled glass stein. Alcohol content is 6.1% (ABV) as on the side of the can.

Pours a pretty orange-amber in color with a thin white head. Some spotty lacing is seen when sipped. The aroma is of pumpkin, spice and grains. The taste is even better with the perfect amount of pumpkin and spice. Very smooth and really easy to drink. Lighter to medium bodied and perfect carbonation. One of the best pumpkin brews so far this year, though it needed a bit more of the great flavor to make this a '10'. Overall, a great brew.

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pint @ Doherty's East Ave in Pawtucket. A pumpkin beer in the beginning of June? Why not?

A- Pale but glowing orangey yellow, looks like a kick-ass pumpkin beer. Little white head settles to outer ring of bubbles.

S- Mild- buttery crust and pumpkin spices. Nutmeg and toffee.

T- Again, mild. Spice is very tame, I get a nutty, sunflower seed taste on top of the pumpkin spice. Finish is crisp. Very light and delicate flavors, a change of pace from most pumpkin beers that drink like a Yankee Candle. This is a refreshing pale ale with a smidge of pumpkin in it.

M- Crisp, refreshing. This must be low in ABV, it cut right through the early summer heat and was super refreshing. High points for uniqueness and drinkability.

O- No idea what to expect from my first Nebraska Brewing Co. beer- I am impressed. Very drinkable and refreshing, just goes to show that pumpkin beer is tasty even if the leaves aren't falling for another few months.

Photo of falloutsnow
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the brewery on 9/9.
Thought this was a top pumpkin ale last year, when enjoyed at the brewery in Papillion, NE. How does this year's shape up?

Arrives in a standard pint glass with a 1cm head, fairly clean white in color, that fades to a thin top of white foam on the glass. Leaves some lacy spots, but not much, on the glass after a sip. Body is a dark orange-copper color, transparent, visibly carbonated.

Fairly mild scent, but with noticeable pumpkin and sweetness in the aroma. A bit of nutmeg lurking in the background. Mostly average.

Taste is primarily of sweetness and pumpkin, which imparts a fairly malt-forward beer that's fairly bland. In the back are the spices: nutmeg and a bit of cinnamon. A bit of cloying sweetness in the aftertaste. Taste following scent, this is just above average.

Medium bodied with carbonation levels that help this along on the palate. Finish could stand to be drier; I remarked to a friend how refreshing this would be if it had a dry, biscuit-like finish.

A bit disappointed by this year's Wick for Brains, relative to last year's. While I still think this is an acceptable pumpkin beer, this isn't as enjoyable as the previous year's was. It's still much better than other options available (Shipyard, Buffalo Bill's).

Photo of taigor
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into regular pint glass.

A - Poured a clear copper color with medium head that slowly dissipated leaving light lacing around the glass.

S - Malts, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices.

T - Starts off slightly sweet with malts, caramel, pumpkin followed by light cinnamon, nutmeg and earthy taste but not too strong.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O - Not a bad pumpkin ale but it feels too watered down and has no kick whatsoever.

Wick For Brains from Nebraska Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.