We Tried The New Jack In The Box Basic Witch Shake. Here's How It Went

Do you start buying pumpkin spice lattes the second Starbucks puts them on the menu? Do you take family photos in a pumpkin patch every year? Do you bust out earth-toned sweaters when there's even the faintest hint of chilly weather? If so, you might be a bit basic. Of course, we would never accuse you of that, but you know who would? Jack in the Box. That's right, the fast food chain decided to give its seasonal pumpkin spice-flavored milkshake a mildly trollish, rude name: the Basic Witch shake.

It seems like a risky move to mock your own customers for liking the pumpkin spice product you're trying to sell to them, but we're not marketing experts. We had to see if this product had anything going for it besides its jokey moniker, so we headed to our local Jack in the Box, swallowed our embarrassment, and asked for a Basic Witch. Here's what we thought.

What's in the new Basic Witch shake?

Per Jack in the Box, the Basic Witch shake starts out as a normal vanilla shake. It gets turned into a Halloween treat with the addition of pumpkin spice and crushed-up Oreos. The milkshake is topped with a squirt of whipped cream and, in the menu picture at least, a maraschino cherry. We didn't receive a cherry with our order, which we weren't upset about. It seems like it would have been a strange combination with the pumpkin spice ice cream.

The exact ingredients for Jack in the Box's shakes don't appear to be listed online, so beyond the basics, we can only guess what's in this product. The pumpkin spice flavor appeared to be from some kind of syrup, as there was a small amount of bright orange syrup at the bottom of the cup that didn't get mixed in with the rest of the shake. According to the chain's nutrition facts sheet, the creamy substance on top of its shakes is some kind of whipped topping rather than real whipped cream.

Where can you get it and how long is it available?

Although pumpkin spice season seems to come earlier and earlier each year, Jack in the Box is bucking that trend by only offering the Basic Witch shake during the heart of fall. You can pick up this seasonal treat at Jack in the Box locations nationwide between October 3 and November 20. The company is selling the regular size for $4.69, and the large is just a bit more at $5.19 (via Thrillist).

If a pumpkin spice milkshake loaded with Oreo pieces isn't enough dessert for you, you can get a pretty sweet deal when you order the Basic Witch shake online or with the Jack in the Box app. If your use the promo code ACTUALLYFALL (which seems like it's a joke about the fact that many other restaurants start selling pumpkin confections in the summertime), you can get a free five-piece order of churros to dunk into your shake.

How does it compare to other milkshakes?

You could say that, besides this seasonal offering, the milkshake menu at Jack in the Box is pretty "basic." You can get the classic trio of vanilla, strawberry, or chocolate, as well as an Oreo shake without pumpkin spice flavor added to it. These are all delicious shakes, but they're not anything you haven't seen before. Other options for sweets from the chain include New York-style cheesecake, Chocolate Overload cake, and the aforementioned mini churros. Interestingly, you can't get straight-up ice cream from Jack in the Box. If you want a creamy, frozen confection, milkshakes are your only option.

If you're craving a pumpkin spice-flavored ice cream dessert from a fast food place, Jack in the Box isn't your only option. You can also snag a Pumpkin Pie Blizzard from Dairy Queen (which doesn't seem to include any actual pumpkin), or an Autumn Spice milkshake from Chick-fil-A (which doesn't claim to be pumpkin-flavored but does contain many of the same warm spice notes).

The Basic Witch shake nutrition facts

As you would expect from a fast food milkshake (or any milkshake, really), the Basic Witch shake is a sugar and fat-laden calorie bomb. Jack in the Box doesn't provide a detailed nutritional breakdown for this limited-time shake, but it does list the calorie counts as being 760 for a 16-ounce regular and 1,080 for a 24-ounce large. That means that if you're following a 2,000-calorie diet, a large Basic Witch shake has over half of your daily calorie requirements.

The closest thing to the Basic Witch shake that the restaurant does provide full nutrition facts for is the Oreo shake, which has 50 fewer calories in a regular and 90 fewer in a large. We would guess that the extra calories in the seasonal shake are coming from the spice syrup, but other than that, the two flavors are otherwise fairly nutritionally similar. A regular size Oreo shake has 28 grams of fat, 18 of which are saturated fat and 1 of which is bad-for-you trans fat. It also contains a whopping 78 grams of sugar.

The verdict: It's a fun seasonal frozen dessert

Maybe we're just basic witches, but we enjoyed this Jack in the Box seasonal offering. This milkshake was satisfyingly thick and difficult to sip through a straw at first, which we prefer to a watery, thin shake. The initial sip was powerfully spiced, with hefty kicks of cinnamon and nutmeg. It was actually a little bit too intense, but as we kept eating the shake, the flavor mellowed out and tasted more balanced. This is a shake for people who like their pumpkin spice products to be spicy.

The chopped up Oreos stayed crunchy even when mixed with the shake and provided a nice textural contrast. We also liked the combination of chocolate and pumpkin spice flavors more than we were expecting to. This milkshake had a creamy, natural dairy flavor and didn't taste like it was loaded with stabilizers and chemicals like some fast food shakes. Shockingly, it wasn't disgustingly sweet either. While we'd still probably pick a regular Oreo shake most days, the Basic Witch shake was a fun spin on the formula.