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Magic Hole IPA - Kennebec River Brewery

Not Rated.
Magic Hole IPAMagic Hole IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

40 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 40
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.54%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kennebec River Brewery visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
So named for its ability to make rafts disappear, Magic Hole is the Kennebec River’s biggest challenge. Dedicated to those with a "GO FOR IT" attitude, this bold, unrepentant ale is liberally hopped with premier East Kent Goldings.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-19-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ViveLaChouffe:
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


4.25/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12oz bottle.

Pours a hazy amber with a nice lacy white head. Looks great. Smells...hoppy.

Quite hoppy especially on the back of the throat. Bitter hops with light malt. Hoppy flavors just pitch a tent and camp out on your tongue. Love those East Kent Goldings!!! Very generously hopped. I am not a hop head but this is one of the most pleasantly hopped brews I have ever had. Medium bodied with a hops aftertaste that last forever. Damn good!!!

A pleasant surprise! How has this Maine brew escaped my tastebuds for nearly 4 years! Very drinkable. Very good.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2003 02:40:09 | More by ViveLaChouffe
More User Reviews:
Photo of psdriscoll


3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

07-01-2014 11:47:03 | More by psdriscoll
Photo of ccurrid


3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

06-13-2014 03:28:51 | More by ccurrid
Photo of mick303

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +10.5%

06-03-2014 00:13:17 | More by mick303
Photo of seakayak


3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

03-04-2014 19:04:07 | More by seakayak
Photo of abrodsky


3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

09-01-2013 22:35:29 | More by abrodsky
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

2/5  rDev -44.8%

11-21-2011 19:15:58 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of EkimGram

New York

3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Colour is a hazy nutty brown. Head is a very thin layer sitting on top with just the slightest amount of lacing.

Smell: Strong hops with a bit of sweetness.

Taste: Not as hoppy as the aromas but still strong. Bitter, a little sweet, very pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, sticky, just a little bit of carbonation.

Overall: A very middle of the road beer. Your standard IPA, nothing too spectacular but nothing horrible.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 05:22:42 | More by EkimGram
Photo of TMoney2591


3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Thanks to papollo for this bottle!

So many dirty jokes could be made with this beer. Oh, well. It pours a somewhat hazy auburn-amber topped by nearly a finger of light ecru foam. Streaks and waves of minor particulates permeate the liquid mass. The nose comprises light grapefruit, even lighter white grapes, and a decidedly light strain of caramel. The taste intensifies everything in equal proportions, though the grapefruit tries its vain hardest to overpower the others. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a pretty smooth feel. Overall, a nice IPA, but one that is mostly just above-average.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2010 03:01:03 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of lordofthewiens


3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bottle poured into a pint glass. The beer was a hazy amber color with a small tan head. There was a bit of lace.
Mostly floral aroma, but also citrus. Sweet malt too.
The taste was a little underwhelming, and did not deliver what the aroma suggested. More grapefruit than anything else, some piney hops, a bit of sweet malt. But I'd say it smelled better than it tasted.
Fairly balanced mouthfeel.
OK beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2010 00:03:12 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of Durge


3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

For lack of anything exciting of the home brews at Mainely Brews in Waterville, Maine, I tried this guest IPA. Poured cold into a pint glass it looked encouraging with a hazy deep auburn color and a big healthy off-white head and good lacing. However, the first sniff gave me an uneasy feeling that this would not meet my hoppy expectations. It was a peppery wheat hint with some sort of woodsy malt perhaps. Very mild and generally discouraging. But onward with my chin up, into the valley I plunge and sure enough, the flavor doesn't do too much better. It's a near medium bodied brew with decent carbonation but here again, though I do pick up some peachy hop edges, it's mostly a maple malt idea which is vague in itself. It has enough of an edge to make it fairly drinkable, refreshing and not a drain pour at all. Still, I was disappointed enough to find the brewpub had little to offer of its own to accept that it's best guest tap was this. The hop flag flies at half-mast this night in Waterville. Hops or no hops, this was an average brew at best. Tasting like something some macro brewer would devise, passable.

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2010 01:28:58 | More by Durge
Photo of caddybuyer

New Jersey

3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A-Veiled copper with a very nice rich and creamy eggshell head that laces nicely.

S-Not much of a nose on this one...mostly malts detected. Some earthiness, but not much hops...then again..this is a Maine beer

T-Malts predominate a slighly flat palate. A bit of orange zest mixes it up a bit but aside from some tasty malts this is truly lackluster.

M-slightly undercarbonated, but otherwise decent for the style.

D-Just came back from Maine, and this was a really poor excuse for an IPA...OK for a PA, or an APA, but, come on...where is the love?

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2010 00:31:12 | More by caddybuyer
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a one finger off-white head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Hoppy and yeasty nose. Flavor is mostly hop bitterness, some caramel and yeast. $1.75 for a 12oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2010 22:34:14 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Snamnoum

District of Columbia

3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - hazy honey caramel in color with about a finger of off white creamy head. Pretty good lacing.

Smell - very disappointing for an IPA, light and I mean light hops, citrus and phenols

Taste - well balance, little bit of bitterness up front which fades quickly into malted wheat and yeast. Pretty mellow for an IPA as others have said earlier more like an APA than a true American IPA.

Mouthfeel - medium/full bodied with good carbonation. Probably my favorite thing about this beer.

Drinkability - Is great I could have four of five of these no problem.

Overall - a good if confusing brew. If you called this an APA I and I think it's safe to say a few others would have given it a high score. Oh what the hell labels aside I'd drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2010 21:14:35 | More by Snamnoum
Photo of Admiraldinty


3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a murky amber with a two-finger, foamy head.

S: Floral hops, toasted malt.

T: Floral hops, toasted malts - almost charcoal like - earthy. Some citrus. Fairly bitter, but not like other IPAs. It's almost somewhat porter-like.

M: medium bodied, prickly carbonation - maybe too much.

D: I wasn't crazy about it at first, but it grew on me. Still, I certainly wouldn't call this an IPA - I'm not really sure what to call it.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2010 00:47:27 | More by Admiraldinty
Photo of tigg924


3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, hazy, orange-brown in color, high carbonation

Smell: floral hops, toasted malt, some earth

Taste: floral hops and some toasted malt--especially at the start with a big caramel finish

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, medium/high carbonation, slightly bitter start followed by a sweet middle and a slightly bitter aftertaste

Drinkability: I could relax with several. Lots of caramel flavor here. I could see myself drinking a six.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2010 22:03:52 | More by tigg924
Photo of albern


3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

As one reviewer commented, they've dropped the Magic Hole in the name. The beer is also contracted out and brewed by Mercury Brewing in Ipswich, MA. I'm not certain if that has had anything to do with the name change, or any recipe changes either. The beer is just too fruity to be a serious IPA. The label intones that we should "grab one and hold on ... dosed with fresh hops." Sorry, but I'm not buying in. The beer looks fine, with a nice orangey amber color, a bit hazy, smallish head, not much retention, not much lace. The nose isn't particularly hoppy, but more bubble gum fruity.

There is a leafy hop texture to the beer. The consistency and mouthfeel is a touch prickly, and that's fine. The beer is just a fruity APA more than a serious IPA. There are raspberry and strawberry notes in the beer, and things get more fruity as the beer settles. The drying, slightly bittering leafy hop is tame. The beer is medium bodied, fairly substantial in density, a touch sticky, maybe just a tad bit of a perfumy quality as well. When I opened the bottle, it did have a very slight English Pale malty yeast feel, and it reminded me of other beers out of Mercury Brewing, but this experience dissipated quickly, but it is worth noting. The beer just isn't inspiring one way or another. It's not a bad beer, I'll finish my bottle, but won't be going back to the well for another.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2010 22:22:16 | More by albern
Photo of jlindros


3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

They dropped the "Magic Hole" part of the IPA, but still have the goofy drunk sun on the label.

A: Pours big 2 finger frothy head into my oversized snifter. It has lots of large bubbles and fades pretty quickly. It's a super hazy dark orange reddish hue color, with lots of bubbles on the sides of the glass, and sediment galore.

N: Some crisp ale aromas give way to some slight citrus, earthy chewy hops. It has a slight earthy aroma, and some slight malts making me think this isn't as fresh as I though. A very slight grapefruit follows the background.

T: Starts with crystal malts at first, and some toasty malt almost bready flavors. Then goes into a slight chewy hop phase, with some slight citrus and earthy hop flavor. A little fruity. Some definite pale flavors, bitterness, but not so bright on the hops. This is a lot more like a pale ale than an IPA.

M: Medium body with too much carbonation.

F: Finishes slightly bitter and dries off quite a bit! Some fruity hop flavors and hints of that chewy hop flavor linger a bit. The bitterness doesn't ramp up too much, but doesn't fade either as it sticks around for minutes after the sip. It also has a slight nagging not so pleasant bitterness, like orange rind.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2010 00:25:34 | More by jlindros
Photo of ppoitras


3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased recently at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" beige head over the totally cloudy orangey amber brew. Pillowy head lasts very nicely, with heavy sticky lacing. Aroma is lightly citrus, but minimal. Taste starts sweet, hits a shot of tangy citrus in the middle, and closes with ample bitterness. Mouthfeel is reasonably smooth, and drinkability is alright. Not a bad beer, but was expecting more.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2009 22:53:49 | More by ppoitras
Photo of u2carew


3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle
A) Pours with a two finger head. Slowly settles to a creamy lacing around the edge of the glass. Overall lacing is thin and sticky. The body is hazy. Visible sediment. Bronze in color.
S) Floral notes with grapefruit. Caramel malt sweetness.
T) Mellow caramel malt upfront but not enough to balance the hop bite. The bite is fairly prominent and very ESB-esque. The hops linger long in the after taste.
M) Fizzy. Dry. Bitter. Medium bodied. Light sediment feel.
D) An alright IPA but not a standout.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2009 01:42:26 | More by u2carew
Photo of scruffwhor


3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks nate buddy!!!

The colro is a deep and hazey copper amber with some particulate in suspension. Nice, off-white head that leaves a film of foam after a couple of sips. Fresh cut pine wood and some orange zest hops mix with to give a marmalade and toast aroma. Thetaste starts with dry melba toast. Then the middle hits you with carbonated orange peel bitterness. The finish is a little sweeter. The malt and hops combine to give a bitter marmalade/jam taste with a resiny texture. Bitter and drinkable, not a bad AIPA.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2009 04:38:46 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of nickd717


3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle via trade thanks to ben4321 on ratebeer. Ben has been a friend of mine since middle school and he is just about as ridiculously into beer as I am these days. Magic Hole, hmm... Ok, nickd717, get your mind out of the gutter (yes I do refer to myself by my BA name).

A - Pours a fairly hazy medium amber with a nice lasting off-white head.

S - Aroma is somewhat faint for an IPA, with caramel, earth, spice, and muted floral hops.

T - Caramel malt, earth, apples, oranges, citrus hops, and even a little alcohol, which I normally don't pick up much of in single IPAs. Hop character is more like an English IPA, where it's more about bitterness than aroma and flavor. Maybe they should add the hops later in the boil. Still, the finish is surprisingly hoppy and fairly long.

M - Body is medium and so is carbonation level.

D - Pretty good. This was definitely a different beer than I'm used to - not bad, but just doesn't really stand up well next to a lot of more in-your-face American IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2009 16:25:45 | More by nickd717
Photo of OtherShoe2


3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper with a huge rocky head and good lacing. It is a beauty. Head stuck around for nearly the entire pint.

Smells of floral hops and some toasted malt and light caramel sweetness.

Hop bitterness up front, with a little acidity, which gives way to some sweet fruit-like flavors, toasted malt, and a bit of caramel sweetness. Hops are there, but not super strong --more of a well-hopped pale ale than anything.

Well carbonated and medium bodied.

This went down well, and could be consumed in multiples. It is not the IPA some people will be looking for. No over the top hops, or even strong hops. If balanced, then just barely. Still, a good solid brew. I like the fact that they did not forget about the rest of the beer and just focus upon hop bitterness. I'll get this again.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2009 23:02:56 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of smcolw


4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Great head with a frothy and rocky recession. Orange-amber color, cloudy. Excellent lumpy lace.

Earthy and less hoppy than most IPA's on the initial smell. Subsequent smells are far more bitterly floral by nature.

Very hoppy right from the first sip which lasts through the long aftertaste. True to the classic American style IPA. Good body with a slightly elevated level of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2009 20:21:39 | More by smcolw
Photo of IronCitySteve


3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pour a hazy/murky looking light amber color with some golden hues. A decent white foam head, about 2-3 fingers. Some spotty lacing.

S: Not a lot going on with the smell, some faint hint of citrusy hops is about all I could get from it.

T: Taste was much better than the smell. Lots of citrus hop bitterness that is balance by a nice malt flavor or biscuit/bread.

M: Some slight hop bitterness left on the palate and tongue. A medium bodied beer.

D: Very easy to drink, not overpowering.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2009 12:53:35 | More by IronCitySteve
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Magic Hole IPA from Kennebec River Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.