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Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Leinenkugel's Sunset WheatLeinenkugel's Sunset Wheat

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,140 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,140
Reviews: 872
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 20.83%
Wants: 27
Gots: 163 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Witbier |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Belgian Wit in style, but brewed with a lager yeast strain and a top-note of blueberry added (info directly from the Leinenkugel Bros).

(Beer added by: jj21 on 03-16-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,140 | Reviews: 872 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle served at Ditto's in Litchfield, Conn.

A: Poured a light, pale fizzy golden yellow with a bit of sediment and clouded tinge. Had a slightly rocky head of white foam that laced nicely.

S: Smell is a little artificially sweetened limon and wheat. Like a cleaning product, possibly?

T: Taste is very tart lemon-lime with a musty wheat malt finish. I wouldn't consider this a witbier so much as I would an American Pale Wheat. I could see the citrus getting to me after a while, but it's probably dynamite in the hot summer heat.

M: Mouthfeel is crisp, thin, and a little sticky sweet because of the powerful citrus additives.

D: As with most wheats, the ABV is low, and the key to the brew's success is it's light, summery drinkability. Has to the be the right time, place and mood.

I'll give it props for having a clear time and audience in mind. My friend who doesn't drink to much beer was nicely surprised, and my girl was also, so it's more for that crowd. But, I'd through it back with a bucket of Hocus Pocus too.

Gambrinus1184, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of Zoid
1.35/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A- Cloudy golden appearance with very little head

S- Heavy citrus, near overpowering

T- I didn't know Tang (tm) made beer. The orange citrus flavor completely dominated any other flavors trying to compete.

I was very surprised by the flavor of this beer. I guess my first sign should have been the orange slice on the tap handle. The beer was far too sweet for my tastes, and failed to satisfy as a wheat beer.

Zoid, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of WhiteDog2006
1.13/5  rDev -66.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

The apperance is the only thing that impressed me (or should I say "fooled" me) about this beer.

Poured into a frosted mug, this beer looked beautiful. Dark golden-wheat...thought I was in for a treat.

Smell, taste, mouthfeel, and drinkability AWFUL!!!

All I can say for all catagories is "perfume".

Yuk! Not even sure I would wear it as a cologne.

Sorry Leiny...I normally love your beers; but someone screwed up o this one.

WhiteDog2006, Jan 25, 2008
Photo of Dodo2step
3.63/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as a variety pack from Beer Zoo in Harrisburg, PA.

A-clear and appealing

T- it had a fruity pebble taste to it. They made it work though.

D-This is one of those beers that you have once and awhile because of the taste (see above). I could never just sit and drink this as a six pack or case.

Overall i like the beer just not the fruity raste.

Dodo2step, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of buffalexander
4.33/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was on fire special at a new establishment that I have found in Charlotte, so I decided to try one. Served in a pint glass, it is a pale yellow orange color with very little head once it came to the table. On first sniff orange peel is very previlant. Personally, I loved it. Taste also follows that of the smell with a strong orange flavor. The aftertaste does linger for a little while, but I wouldn't say that is a bad thing. It's definitely a beer that I'll enjoy on a regular basis.

buffalexander, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of tsbuttry
2.83/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As a regular apologist for Leinenkugel's beers, I was thrilled when I first saw a tap at the bar on the East Coast. However, the beer was one I had not tried before in my Wisconsin days... the Sunset Wheat. While it isn't mired in the mediocrity of the lighter Leine's beers and is not the abomination that the Berry Weis is, this was a grand disappointment. I've since found my old standby Red on occasion at liquor stores in the DC area, but the Sunset Wheat has become all-pervasive and has shut out the far more worthy Creamy Dark and Big Butt Dopplebock.

Appearance: A cloudy, almost reflective yellow. However, the head is great and has excellent retention.

Smell: Fruit. The bane of my existence as a beer drinker. Obviously, I'm biased against fruit beers and don't give them the "fair shake" they probably deserve. But I've never, ever understood why people would drink fruit beer instead of a mixed drink with actual fruit juice. Fruit brings beer down, beer brings fruit down, that's just the way I see it.

Taste: The taste is not as bad as the smell at all. There's an actual beer flavor to it, if the lemony aroma still wafts through the flavor. This would make an excellent wheaty beer with a good hoppiness if it wasn't for the lemon assaulting my palate.

Mouthfeel: The fruit lingers on the tongue for quite a while, but that kind of aftertaste isn't as objectionable as a bad beer aftertaste. Good carbonation, plays on the tongue.

Drinkability: About average. I can see drinking this with my mother (who needs fruitiness to enjoy beer) or on a really hot summer's evening. It could also go well with selected foods (particularly something with lemon in it to help reduce the abrasiveness of the scent), but I'd have a hard time drinking it over the course of an evening or drinking more than one at a ballgame.

tsbuttry, Jan 14, 2008
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
2.65/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

One of the fringe benefits of having people over for poker is that they sometimes leave beer at your place that you wouldn't normally buy on your own. Somebody left this Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat in my fridge a couple weeks ago.

This beer pours a hazy pale orangey gold and is topped with a lacy and frothy snowy white head. The nose is full of citrus, lemon and orange. Almost mimosa type smells with light a sweet spiciness.
The first taste is quite bitter with over the top orange peel flavors. Crisp but sweetish wheat malt with a spicy finish. A sweetness starts taking over, an orangey sweetness with a extracty kind of taste.

I'm not a fan of American wheat beers as a rule and they tried to do a Belgian wit here but missed the mark.

ViveLaChouffe, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of drperm
3.75/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pleasant American wheat ale offering. This would be the ticket on a nice summer evening, perhaps with some minor league baseball. It is a knockout with a spinach, orange, and nut salad -- not too heavy, but enough going on to keep it interesting. Pleasant and fun, not a beer to insult anyone.

drperm, Jan 12, 2008
Photo of jenbys2001
3.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very refreshing, great "anytime" beer. Has a faint citrus taste and of course a hint of blueberry flavor. Most of my female friends really enjoy this beer. Although one of my girlfriends claims it tastes like fruity pebbles. I have a deep love for witbier and this is a tasty, fairly inexpensive 6 pack.

jenbys2001, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of daledeee
3.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is an enjoyable beer. No, it is not a world class wheat beer, but it is easy to drink and has good taste. If I compare this to another widely distributed spicy wheat this is the clear winner.

I poured this into my favorite glass it has a nice cloudy yellow orange appearance. The head is medium at best and leaves a little lace and foam throughout the drink.

The nose is mostly fruity with a dash of spice. Pretty nice. Easily revived with a quick swirl of the contents.

Taste is fruity, citrus, yeast and some spice. Aftertaste is a little malty not as pleasant. Not far off from the European stuff. It is just not quite as complete as the world class stuff. I would like to try this without the blueberries.

Mouth feel is medium; not astringent. Nice carbonation that doesn't go flat as the beer progresses.

Drinkability is not bad. This may be the part that keeps the review a little lower in score. The intangibles are what makes great beer great. This is an easy one to get and much better than the macros.

daledeee, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of blatherbeard
3.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first leinenkugels was in Austin TX. It was the HOney Weiss and i really liked it so i figured since i can only get the Sunset Wheat up here in NH that id give it a try.

Very orange red in color and smells of orange. Very light hefe taste, strong in orange flavor. Ive found that after drinking other beers its a nice finish beer. It seems to compliment the other beer flavors as a last beer of the night. As a stand alone beer, its a bit ordinary....well as ordinary as an organgeish tasting beer can be. I like the orangeish color and love that it pours with almost no head. Foam just gets in the way for me.

blatherbeard, Dec 23, 2007
Photo of ianrca19
2.93/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light, bright orange. Fresh-sliced orange essence with subtle hints of honey and spices. Crisp, clean and smooth, with that orange zest sticking around from start to finish, almost with too much candy sweetness. This is definitely an "experience" beer, not a regular drinker. Tastes great with an orange wedge.

ianrca19, Dec 16, 2007
Photo of yourefragile
1.73/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle with twist off

A: Maybe its just the season, but when I look at this beer all that comes to mind is apple cider instead of wheat beer. There appears to be some small bubbles just hanging out throughout the glass and a nice white head that dissipates quickly. Not that appealing.
S: As soon as I remove the cap, its blueberries! And more blueberries! And unfortunately that's it and it doesn't smell good, very artificial and fake.
T: Immediately I taste blueberries. Again they dominate all else. Might be a little pepper in there and the soul of a good wheat beer hiding, but I can't get past the fake blueberries.
M: Slightly watery medium bodied, not all together unpleasant. Very carbonated. It is refreshing in the summer, not a persistent aftertaste.
D: I've tried this beer a few times now, from different cases and never really understood the appeal. Granted I'm usually skeptical of fruity beers but all this reminds me of is a carbonated blueberry soda, it's hard to remind myself I'm drinking a beer. I've heard from some friends that it's better and different on tap, but I've never had the opportunity. Over the summer, it can be a refreshing beverage, but drinking this now, it's a beer I'll end up pouring out.

yourefragile, Dec 12, 2007
Photo of JamesS
3.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Came to the table a decent straw color, with a nice crisp and citrus scent. It has a horribly weak taste, though. You can tell that it's a wheat, but there's very little in the way of true flavor. Goes down fine, and it would probably be good on a hot day after mowing the grass, but as for enjoying a good wheat beer with dinner, it lacks quite a bit.

Bottle update: Much better than on-tap. It had a much stronger flavor, although it was a little over the top as far as citrus went. Still, much better, more flavorful, better head.

JamesS, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of dedrinker
3.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Hazy light golden color with dirty white head. Sugary lemon aroma that leads to the flavor of a cheap "yellow" lollipop that bank tellers would give me as a kid when my mom went through the bank drive-through window. The balance is a bit off with this artificially sweet lemon flavor, but there were some detectable notes of tart wheat. It didn't taste bad, but I could not finish it, because I just couldn't take the flavor seriously while simultaneously thinking, "this is beer." This seems like an attempt to woo otherwise inexperienced beer drinkers into the mirror-world of "craft" beer.

dedrinker, Dec 04, 2007
Photo of vickersspitfire
2.73/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This one just smelled like summer, very refreshing and crisp with plenty of lemons and oranges and maybe a lime or two. It has a medium golden hazy body with plenty of carbonation and a foamy thick head that lingers for a while along with some mild lacing. It’s smooth but has a strong bitter orange peel flavor through out and is a little dry with not much body. The aftertaste is a bit difficult to figure out but it certainly goes with the flavor of the beer. This isn’t a bad beer just too bitter and dry for my taste.

vickersspitfire, Dec 03, 2007
Photo of Abacinate
1.8/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This beer smells interesting and has some interesting nuances to its flavor, but overall I don't agree with it. It apparently has coriander in it, which seems like a poor decision to me. I don't know if that is the problem, but I can't stomach this beer. It actually has made my stomach upset and I think I'm going to have to give away the rest of my six pack.

Abacinate, Dec 02, 2007
Photo of bruachan
2.08/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

"beer with natural flavors" is typically not a good omen. this is my second "Leinie" and it must undertake the task of compensating for the horrible one i last tasted (cherry wheat, i think)

well, it's cloudy. and the head is reasonable

smell heavily of artificially-flavored soda. orange and nectarine and the like. it doesn't smell bad, just unlike what i typically want my beers to smell like. oh gross, and it doesn't taste any better. that's shite...and down the drain it goes

bruachan, Nov 30, 2007
Photo of cyraxx
4.08/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a murky yellow, opaque to say the least. 1.5 finger white head. Disperses quickly, but not too quickly. Lacing remains much longer.

S- Fruity (doesn't smell as artificial as some say), wheaty, some hops.

T- Citrus and wheat. The comment about the fruitiness of the smell goes for the taste...not that artificial to me. When I think artificial, I think SA Cherry Wheat, and this is far from it. Although the brewer says there are blueberries, I taste none. The bitterness from the hops kicks up at the end for a smooth finish.

M- A little on the carbonated side, but I personally don't mind it. Not too thin, not too thick.

D- Very light, not filling, drinkable beer.

cyraxx, Nov 28, 2007
Photo of 3leggeddub
2.05/5  rDev -39%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Brown bottle, no date. Served in weizen glass.

A- Standard wheat beer presentation: cloudy dark yellow. Head is off-white and fairly creamy, though not thick.

S- Faux fruit is the first thing that hits you. There's the normal citrus of a wheat underneath, but it is over-powered by a pungent candy-berry smell; think Trix, Fruit Loops, or as some reviews have said Skittles.

T&M- If you concentrate there are the underpinnings of a solid wheat beer. It's a little hoppy and there are nice citrus undercurrents, but not too much of either. A bit of a peppery bite to boot. Unfortunately the fruit additive smell means a fruit additive taste that really overwhelms the tongue. Mouth feel is good, though: not too thin not too heavy with just the right amount of carbonation.

D- If you can get past the extract enhanced fruit taste this would make a good session beer.

Had I taken the extra 30-second to read the packaging where it says "Natural Flavors" I would have left this beer in the store because such a vague tag rarely implies something good. It seems a lot of reviewers had no problem and enjoyed the vague berry taste. Maybe I got a bad six-pack because the smell/taste is so overpowering. I've tried this beer over two different sessions hoping that the second time around, being prepared for the smell/taste I'd be able to enjoy the beer and think of the fruitiness as secondary to it. I was wrong, but on the up side I was able to get over the shock and find that without the additional flavors I could see myself returning to this as a very drinkable go-to wheat. However, just the thought of drinking the two I have left from my six-pack makes my stomach turn. If you like extract boosted fruit beers and wheat beers maybe this one is for you. If you aren't into the fruity, then steer clear.

3leggeddub, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of berserker256
4.05/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good looking wheat beer. Looks hazy yellow-orange with a nice head. It smells like Fruit Loops and/or Skittles. It smells so good that it makes me think that there's some sort of crazy fruit additive in this beer. A little bit of malt and wheat and tons of fruit flavor. Good carbonation and texture and quite easy to drink.

Now I think other wheat beers such as Bell's Oberon and German Hefeweizens create fruity taste without the help of added ingredients. I don't know what Leinenkugel's does to get that great fruit taste but it tastes very good. So what if they cheat, I guess. They'll get a good score from me regardless.

berserker256, Nov 23, 2007
Photo of jneiswender
3.4/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this beer on tap at Doyles Cafe in Jamaica Plain.

Poured into a pint glass very nicely with a light yellow and very cloudy color. The head is dense and remains for most of the drink.

Smell is citrusy and a little bubblegum.

Taste follows the smell somewhat. Very big bubblegum flavor. The taste reminds me of Orange crush. Finishes with just a very small hint of hops for some bitter. Would have liked a bit more of a grain flavor. I little too fruity.

My wife said she didn't like the flavor but ended up drinking quite a few anyway. That tells me that it is quite drinkable. Much better summer offering than November when I drank it.

jneiswender, Nov 21, 2007
Photo of theSaj
4.65/5  rDev +38.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A most interesting beer....

Having had a sampling of 6 beers last night, 2 of which were wheat ales and another was a heffenweisen. This one truly stood out above the other both in it's class and outside of it. It was unique while still remaining palatable.

Appearance: golden color, mild cloudy, but quite visually appealing.

Smell: Nice aroma though my nose didn't seem to be taking in the scents very well last night.

Taste: Wow...is Christmas a flavor? I described this to my wife as 'drinking a Christmas pie' but unlike so many spice drinks. This beer does not equate festive flavor with overly sickening sweet spiced liquid as so many spice beers & wines do. No, this beer is very well balanced in flavor, body, & sweetness.

There was a fruity aspect to this beer, almost akin to the sweet smell of oranges (without the citrus nature). Then you have the coriander. Having tried another wheat ale this evening that also included coriander in it's ingredient list. While the other took subtlety to a fault. The Leines Sunset brought enough flavor from the spice to be a highlight while stopping right before it'd start to overwhelm the rest of the beer.

It was as if this beer had 5 stages. The initial contact, followed by the wheat ale flavor, then the coriander hit. This was followed by a warmth that just made me want an orange. Lastly I was left with a very mild sweet hop remnant.

Mouthfeel: very nice feel on the tongue. Not too thick and sweet, nor to thin and watery. Had a nice coat but not a heavy lingering.

Drinkability: Decent drinkability, the feel of the beer makes it easy to drink. However, being a spiced beer you always have that potential of having just too much flavor. I'd really have to see how the drinkableness is on the second glass. But the first glass should be quite drinkable.

theSaj, Nov 20, 2007
Photo of erosier
3.88/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden amber color from the bottle with a medium white head that fades fairly quickly. The aroma is nice with hints of blueberry and banana under a thick wheat malty smell. The taste is just the same, which is something I like about this beer. It tastes exactly as it smells. Hints of banana and blueberry underneath a rich wheat malty flavor. The aftertaste is sweet and hoppy which is a nice finish. It has a great mouthfeel and is a very drinkable beer, just not too many of them.

erosier, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of altgeeky1
4.15/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy, has a slight zesty yeasty smell. It's pleasantly sweet, and the kind of sweet that comes from the yeast they are using (it's not unbalanced or anything like that). I can not get enough of this beer. Not too heavy or hoppy, this is a good gateway beer for friends that stick to MSBs like Bud Lite, etc. could get into.

altgeeky1, Nov 17, 2007
Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 2,140 ratings.