Review: Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s

For those of you under the age of 25, let me set you straight, the Shamrock Shake has nothing to do with the latest viral dance craze, even if you buy it from a McDonald’s north of Central Park.  Instead, this is one of those, now iconic, McDonald’s menu items that have been around long enough to be placed on some sort of “Nostalgia Menu” along with the McRib.  — Closed circuit to McDonalds executives: If you’re going to start a McDonalds Nostalgia Menu, I’d lobby for the McPizza and the McDLT (hot side hot, cold side cold) to be at the top of the list.Shamrock Shake According to Wikipedia, the Shamrock Shake was introduced in the 1970s and at one time was advertised using a slightly racially stereotypical character called Uncle O’Grimacey, which was just a green Grimace dressed as a leprechaun (see it here).  Nowadays, the Shamrock Shake is marketed as part of McDonalds’ McCafe’; a classed up line of overpriced drinks.  With this association comes the mistake of trying to mess with something that doesn’t need messing with.The Shamrock Shake has been doing well year after year (this is what it used to look like), but despite this, McDonalds has decided it can’t be a part of McCafe without whipped cream and a cherry.After a few spoonfuls of pure whipped cream, I mixed a little in with the first bite of my shake.  As I suspected, the combination really didn’t work that well for me.  I ate the rest of the whipped cream and decided not to taint the bulk of my treat with this new unnecessary twist.  It had been a few years since I’d had a Shamrock Shake and the first few bites sent me back in time.  Ryan’s bench buddy hadn’t forgotten how to make a good mint shake after all, he’d just hidden it beneath a Starbucks influenced heap of excess.Shamrock Shake McDonald'sI was impressed with the consistency; not too runny, not so thick you can’t suck it through a straw.  I know there are some malt shop snobs who will say that a shake or malt should be eaten with a spoon, but I don’t mind something in the middle that can go either way.McDonald's Shamrock ShakeI know the green color is added, but unlike other things people dye green around St. Patrick’s Day, this one actually makes sense with the mint flavor.  Even after 16 oz of minty goodness, I was surprised not to be sick of the flavor or overwhelmed by the sweetness.  McDonald’s has established a nice balance of flavors here sans the whipped cream and cherry.  Who knew a Scotsman could make a decent Irish treat?

Pros: Nostalgic, good consistency, balanced flavor.

Cons: Fancified McCafe twist (whipped cream and cherry).

Taste: 8.75/10
Value: 7.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 9.00/10
Price: $2.19 (small)

Overall GrubGrade: 8.75/10

More Info:
Nutrition Facts:
530 Calories
11g Protein
15g Fat
86g Carbs
160 mg  Sodium

18 comments on “Review: Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s

  1. IowaGal82 says:

    I’ve never had a Shamrock Shake. I guess I need to try it. 🙂 I’m always weary of mint flavors. I love thin mints, junior mints, but HATE mint toothpaste. Guess I just need to try it and find out.

  2. Jay says:

    One of the two items I will not eat from McD. Well 3, because I won’t eat the vanilla shake while the mint one is running because the flavors mix if they filled a mint shake before yours. Utterly terrible flavor.

  3. Burger365 says:

    The shake has too much of a distinct chemical flavor for me.

  4. PetrifiedWoody says:

    My wife and I tried the Shamrock Shake last night, holly frijoles what a treat! It was like a four leaf clover for the leprechaun in my loins; oh yes, somebody got lucky! My shamrock got quite a shakin’! Def will try again.

  5. lar says:

    HA!! I just swung by McD’s after midnight on Friday the 1st- just to get one. I was ready to be disappointed that the shake machine was down for the night. Luckily they were still up and running while I drove home happy, fulfilled, and minty.

  6. Gilly says:

    I had a Shamrock Shake on the way home from the bar on St. Patty’s Day last year and even through my drunken haze I thought it tasted like toothpaste. I still finished it, though.

  7. Mike N. says:

    I know I say it every time a McD’s shake comes up on GG, but, bring back the ‘fake shakes’! I prefer the weird pre-mix stuff that comes out of the machine and cost the same as a soda rather than these ‘premium’ shakes.

  8. Scrape says:

    THIS IS NOT A SHAMROCK SHAKE! This is a SHAM Shamrock Shake! A real Shamrock Shake came out of the shake mixer machine already green, minty and delicious. It was its own specialty premix just for March. The McCafe version is simply the vanilla shake with plain ol’ Creme de Menthe syrup you can find at the grocery store mixed in after the fact. Sometimes they mix the wrong proportion of mint to shake, or they don’t mix it properly, and the shake ends up being disgusting. Even at McCafe’s best, it still pales in comparison to the original premix. Just like the horrid newfangled chocloate Frosty at Wendy’s, which is just the crappy vanilla Frosty with choclate syrup haphazardly mixed in because they are too cheap to buy new machines to handle both.

    • M86 says:

      GAHHH! 1stWorldProblems!

      I have to admit though, that the McCafe crap is f’in stupid. I don’t want whipped cream and a cherry… I want a milkshake.

    • Ruffy says:

      I’m with ya, man. I used to look forward to the shamrock shake every year, but there’s something about the ‘new’ version that just doesn’t work for me. It tastes oddly sour and it’s just. not. the. same.

  9. Tori says:

    After hearing so much about how amazing these are, I finally tried one this year, and I thought it was nasty. I expected more of a crisp peppermint taste. The flavor was too creamy, if that makes sense. Had 2 sips and threw it out. The premixed version sounds much better!

  10. Ray-Ray says:

    the new Shamrock Shakes are horrible — they’re not even milkshakes anymore. They’re just syrupy, chemical-tasting slop, with a ton of fake whipped cream on top to cover the horrific taste. McDonalds has ruined yet another classic.

  11. doctorx0079 says:

    Little-known fact: Any DQ will make you a mint shake any time that they’re open, not just in March. It’s a vanilla shake with Creme De Menthe syrup mixed in, but it’s more minty than any Shamrock Shake and you don’t have to wait for St. Pat’s.

  12. […] Also back on the menu and available through March is the minty green McCafé Shamrock Shake (we reviewed it back in 2013). […]

  13. Sarah says:

    Ok, I don’t like mcdonalds (unpopular Burger King fan)….but once a year I will go for this shake. I still love it but prefer the old school paper cup with the regular lid. Whipped cream and cherry is in my way!

  14. […] a quick Google search, I found this: an in-depth article reviewing the Shamrock Shake, bite by bite. Author Murray cites a sweet taste […]

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