Jack Whacker Wheat Ale | Tommyknocker Brewery

227 Reviews
Jack Whacker Wheat AleJack Whacker Wheat Ale

Brewed by:
Tommyknocker Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An American-style wheat ale brewed with malted. Low hopping rates allow the refreshing aroma and citrus flavor of a late addition of lemon grass to dominate. This unfiltered beer retains all of its protein, flavor, and some of its yeast, resulting in a traditionally cloudy appearance.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-16-2001

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Reviews: 227 | Ratings: 418
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

this is probably my least favorite beer from these guys so far. it pours a weighty looking, majorly cloudy, palen yellow color with a small white head. my glass wanst properly full, and there was a lemon wedge messing things up, so it didnt look like a winner to start with. the nose is very perfumy, with some lemon notes and a really really fruity yeast. the flavor is a little more spicy than the nose, but that perfume character overwhelms the wheat malt and any subtle fruit flavors that might be enjoyable. the feel is also too big in body for the style. there is so much sediment in this, maybe i got a bottom of the keg glass. ill have to try this in bottled form, but this one didnt do it for me.

edit: in bottled form this is a vastly superior to on tap. the lemon is balanced out, more of a lemongrass flavor, and its much cleaner to drink. don't write this off if the tap version turned you off too. im bumping up a few scores accordingly.

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Photo of metter98
3.49/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is rather hazy yellow in color and has a high amount of visible carbonation with lots of large bubbles ascending near the sides of the glass. It poured with a two finger high white head that gradually died down, leaving a large pillow of bubbles in the center of the glass and a collar around the edge.
S: Light to moderate aromas of wheat are present in the nose along with some notes of lemongrass and hints of grainy malts.
T: The taste follows the smell, but the flavors of lemongrass are stronger and just about as strong as those of the wheat.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and slightly chewy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and the lemongrass helps to balance things out, cutting into the raw wheat and also lending some interesting flavors.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This one was sort of bland for me. A pretty high ABV for a pale wheat ale and is very drinkable, I could see myself having this on a nice hot day. As a beer though, it's a little boring aroma and taste wise and can definitely be improved. One of the better beers from this brewery though.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Surprised of the low ratings from other BAers. Sure it's not as good as it could be, but the intentions, creativity, and execution went quite well. It has an obvious American Wheat base that would have been better with a German Hefeweizen yeast to accentuate the clove, citrus, and bananna characteristics. The addition of lemon grass adds a nice citric, earthy tone that dominates the, otherwise, bland wheat character. Very clean and refreshing in the finish with a light, minty-dryness. A true thirstquincher.

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Photo of brentk56
2.56/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a very cloudy honey color with a rather modest head for the style; leaves a few shards behind, however

Smell: Bread and lemongrass

Taste: Bready, up front, but then the tart lemongrass flavor takes over and follows through into the finish; apple fruit undertones linger, as well, in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation; rather aqueous

Taste: A real disappointment; the idea of lemongrass sounded interesting, but the beer lacks finesse; making it more in the style of a Wit might make it work better

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Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Beck's Tulip in Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live.

A: Two finger head is devoid of cream and of limited thickness. Retention is bad. Colour is a clear copper.

Sm: Raspberry ester hops and slight wheat. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Raspberry ester hops, light wheat foundation, and a sort of extremely light off-sour ester buried in the climax. Decently built and balanced, but far from exemplary.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Slightly complements the flavours on the body.

Dr: Well priced and very drinkable, but of mundane quality. I'd have it again if it were well priced. Would likely be better on draught.

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Photo of zeff80
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best Before May 08

A - Poured out a cloudy, golden yellow color with a small, foamy, white head. No lace.

S - It smelled of wehat and lemon, not much else.

T - The taste was a nice blend of wheat, lemon and a subtle spiciness.

M - It was crisp, smooth and somewhat sharp on the tongue. A light-bodied beer.

D - This is a nice wheat. Great on a 100+ degree day.

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Photo of mothman
3.72/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

Thin white head that leaves little lacing. Very cloudy in appearance. Color is a pale yellow.

Aroma is of heavy banana and orange scents. There are some earthy hops present as well. Taste is a lot similar to the smell. There is also a lemon zest that I picked up at the end.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and somewhat smooth. It ends very crisp and clear.

Overall, this is a very easy to drink beer. I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to pick up this beer, but it could be a decent session beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Its cloudy yellow-gold body is capped by a decent-sized head of creamy bright-white foam that holds really well and leaves some splashes of lace here and there about the glass. The nose is clean, and delivers the expected delicate tartness and grainy wheatiness of an American wheat beer along with a soft, bready sweetness and subtle note of lemon-grass. The lemon grass becomes more apparent as it warms and adds a unique and refreshing character. The body is distinctly medium; and it's nicely creamy and smooth in the mouth due to its very fine, natural carbonation. Lightly sweet and bready wheat malt dominates the palate with just a subtle accent of fruit (even banana?). And although it's sweetish, it's still fairly well-balanced and finishes nicely dry with just a mild, lightly acidic note of cookie-dough-like malt. The tartness suggested by the nose is just barely present in the flavor other than the finish; and the lemon grass doesn't seem to have left any significant contribution other than to help balance the doughy malt in the aftertaste. It's an interesting twist on an American wheat that takes the ball but just doesn't run with it.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. single - $1.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a very slightly hazy, yellow-orange body with a thin, fizzy, white head.

Smell: Sweetish, mildly grainy wheat malt initially in the scent, but juicy, fruity citrus follow close behind.

Taste: Sweetish maltiness with only a very mild grainy wheat bread character. Fruity tangerine juice alongside an addition of near-savory lemongrass. Sparse hop character and only a tiny touch of bitterness. Finishes dry and very crisp with a final touch of doughy malts. Slight lemon hints in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: A slightly toned down carbonation would, for me, be appreciate. Otherwise, it's a fairly pleasant wheat ale.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lightly cloudy yellowish amber with a few fine flecks slowly settling to the bottom of the glass. The ivory colored crown is moderate in size after a spirited pour and has enough firmness to last. Some bubbly lace is beginning to stick, although not a great deal.

I had my doubts about the whole lemongrass thing, but I'll be damned if this beer doesn't smell wonderfully citrusy and a whole lot better than most APWAs (which isn't hard to do). It smells more like slightly perfumy candied lemon than fresh lemon peel, but I like it just fine. I hope the beer tastes like it smells.

It does. It isn't often the case, but I think Jack Whacker Wheat would be better if consumed colder than the 50 degrees at which it was started for this review. The wheatiness is a little grainy at this temperature. A bit more chill should fix it up just fine, while still allowing one to appreciate the bolder than usual flavor.

I don't care for most APWAs because they lack the clove and banana 'flavor hook' of the German hefe weizens. Gumballhead solves that problem by using a boatload of hops. Jack Whacker solves it by using what tastes like an impressive quantity of lemongrass. The end result won't be to everyone's liking, but it is to mine.

The body/mouthfeel is medium-full (for the style) and is appropriately fluffysoft. No fizziness is a major positive as well. I'm glad the brewery didn't drop the ball in the mouthfeel department because that would have had less than desirable repercussions for flavor and drinkability.

The label explains that a jack whacker's role was to whip the last mule to keep the supply train moving along. In essence, he was an ass whipper. Jack Whacker Wheat Ale isn't quite an ass whipper of a beer, but it is a very good one considering the style. I could go for a few more of these this summer.

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Photo of russpowell
3.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice white fluffy head, but it didn't stick around long

Body was a murky gold, but that didn't detract too much

Smell: Malty with hints of cloves and pepper, with a hint of mown grass

Taste: Malt on the middle and back of tounge gives way to spicy lime test (the lemon grass??) and a grainy/grassy taste I liked

Mouth feel was light, but not too light with good carbination

This is an okay beer for a hot day or with some asian or hot/spicy food of what ever ilk.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.73/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass

A – Poured a very nice and hazy sediment filled bright yellow amber with a good amount of head on top. A nice sized three finger deep head of lace settled down to a film across the top but was able to leave behind more then adequate side glass lace and ample carbonation continued to bubble up throughout the session. A good amount of yeast could be found at the bottom when finished.

S – Aroma was light and full of wheat and light yeast smells. Some nice fresh grass was apparent as was a touch of cereal light grains. All of the aromas were rather light and a nice fruity vibe was percolating throughout.

T – The flavor was quick, light and to the point. A nice crisp flavor of wheat and yeast immediately rolled off the tongue. A slight note of peach and pear and a touch of a hop like finish rounded it out very nicely. Not the strongest wheat I have ever had, but decent none the less. Nice classic profile.

M – Very light bodied and smooth the carbonation kept this one very lively throughout. I was very impressed with the quality of the feel, very light yet a good depth to the profile kept it from feeling watered down.

D – Very nice, this was light enough and had enough flavor to just have some all day long. Could never really tire of it and made a good session choice or something for a hot day.

Overall a very strong offering from Tommy Knockers. I have had a couple off ones lately, but this seemed to restore my hope that they are putting out some quality products. Not the best I have ever had, but nowhere near the worst. I would grab for this one again without hesitation if it were around.

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Photo of Jason
4.07/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with a blurb about the beer on the back label ... the "enjoy with the first four months of date" is cleary notched.

Appearance: Pale cloudy golden with a fluffy white head.

Smell: Aromas of lemon grass, wheat and barley grain.

Taste: Medium bodied with a crisp mouth feel, herbal and lemony from the additions of lemon grass. Undertones of grain, wheat and yeast. Low hopping though still help to balance. The end finished with a pushy lemon flavour that quickly fades.

Notes: Very drinkable and makes for a great hot weather brew ... nice addition of lemon grass in the brew to kick it up a notch.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.84/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Sounds like a euphemism for something... Anyway, this stuff pours a hazy straw topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises light wheat, very light grass, and a decent smattering of watered-down lemonade. The taste brings in more of the same, with the lemonade definitely not watered-down anymore: it's in your face, together with a bit of orange rind for good measure. Things on the tongue just spiting the absolute hell out of the label for it's fallacious "hint of citrus" comment. The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly watery feel. Overall, just too much citrus for this stuff to work, especially considering the consequent lack of any other character.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

I got in an unexpected visit at Country Garden 6-Pack yesterday on the way home from DC and when I saw this available as a single, I could not resist the odd bottle.

From the bottle: “Colorado Mountain Town Craft Beer”; “American Unfiltered Wheat with a Hint of Lemony-Citrus”; “Ale Fermented with Lemon Grass”; “Tommyknockers slipped into the moning camps of Idaho Springs in the 1800’s with the discovery of gold in our mountains and streams. These mischievous elves, though hardly ever seen, were often heard singing and working. They guided many fortunate miners from harm’s way and to the gold they sought.”

These wheat-based beers do not produce much in the way of lasting head. I initially had two fingers of fizzing, bone-white head before it simply fell to wisps. Color was a very cloudy Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4 -5) and I will readily cop to agitating it to get the lees back into suspension. Nose had a very pleasant lemoniness to it and my mouth began to water at the thought. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium. Taste had an immediate tartness on the tongue that slowly revealed itself as its inherent lemony flavor. Finish was dry and even slightly puckering with a lingering lip-smacking quality. Another perfect Summer beer that I wonder how it would fly during other times of the year.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.66/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clouded apricot hue orange golden really with a large bubbled thicket of bright white head. Lacing is sporadic and finely speckled. Aroma has a nice citric note between the typical yeast character and the lemongrass adjuncts. Smell has a really nie bready wheat tone to it. Flavor really is nice brings an earthy grass feel with the citrus/bready wheat profile. Yeast gives a bit of chalky character amongst everything else going on slightly spicy finish this brew would pair nicely with some Thai food. Mouthfeel is spritzy with carbonation really cleans the palate with fine bubbles, sharp acidity does add a bit of dryness. A nice light bodied wheat ale, that does a good job of not being a boring bland pale wheat ale that I've come to expect with most American micros. Drinkability overall was solid especially after being outdoors for most of the early part of today, I needed something refreshing to go with my water.

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Photo of tdm168
3.22/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy golden yellow with a thin lacing of fizzy head that quickly fades away. The nose has aromas of lemon grass and wheat. The flavor is citrusy with notes of lemon and orange and something resembling apple juice. The mouthfeel is light and well carbonated.

This is a pretty standard light, simple wheat beer. The flavor is a little sweet and the apple juice notes aren't pleasing. I probably won't have this again.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.57/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Jack Whacker wheat is a nice beer. The beer poured a pale yellow with thin white head that is not lacing. The smell and the taste had hints of lemon citrus. The mouthfeel was light and crisp with good carbonation. Overall this is a decent wheat....maybe a touch too fruity for me....but not bad. Great on warmer days!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
2.03/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Hazed, pale straw gold appearance, copious carbonation, smallish head, especially for the style, drizzles down in no time.

Funky nose, but not fresh...stale clove and squashed banana...with a side order of plastic....not great. The aroma is usually what I like best in a wheat ale, so this holds little promise.

Taste: ew...not good. Plastic feeling continues in the flavor, as if something is seriously amiss...none of the special, sparkling associations one enjoys in a wheat are anywhere around. Dull, drab, listless, with a flaccid flavor, there's nothing to like here...in fact, it's terrible...yuk...and I've got four more of these to get through...yikes...poor me...

Nothing more to say. Big disappointment.

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Photo of Tone
3.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy, golden color. 1/2 inch head of a white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of wheat, pale malt, some citrus flavors (lemon), and some sweet malt. Fits the style an American Pale Wheat Ale. Mouth feel is really smooth and slightly thick with an average carbonation. Tastes of lemon up front, but not just lemon juice. It's more of a lemon with a zesty/earthy kick, probably from the lemon grass added. After the lemon comes some slight spice, and then finishes with a smooth sweet malt flavor. The initial zest on the tongue is intriguing and along with the smooth finish this beer is amazingly easy to drink. Overall, this is a really good brew that I could drink quite a few of - worth a try. On a bad note, it does not get better with warmth, actually quite the reverse.

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Photo of tone77
3.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy light brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smells of lemons. Taste is also of lemons, tart, some malts. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall not bad, but definatly nothing great.

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Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a cloudy dark yellow color with a thick frothy white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a fruity banana/clove scent as well as a wheat malt aroma. It's light and yeasty. The taste is decent. It has a dry and slightly fruity wheat flavor. The yeast character isn't as pronounced in the flavor. The mouthfeel is decent also. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an easy drinking wheat beer. It's pretty run of the mill, but it works.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.06/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a golden color with a white head. The aroma is full of wheat and perfume. Not what I expected and not very good. The flavor is very similar. I get a lot of flowers and perfume notes to go along with wheat and some grassy hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not one I wish to try again.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A light gold/yellow with a two-finger head that died quickly. A stronger sweet malt smell than most pale wheats, but real lemon and clove/spice come through. A light to medium body, a little slick for my taste, with an intense, almost overpowering lemon bite. Kind of reminded me of a wit for a second. Not a bad beer by any stretch, but i just thought the lemongrass overpowered the brew a little, taking away from the malts and the wheat.

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Jack Whacker Wheat Ale from Tommyknocker Brewery
3.38 out of 5 based on 418 ratings.
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