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Circus Boy - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Circus BoyCircus Boy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,518 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,518
Reviews: 648
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 17.7%
Wants: 21
Gots: 106 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Unfiltered and unfettered, Circus Boy is a unique and refreshing American-style Hefeweizen. Is he a who? Or a what? Or perhaps some of both? Be amazed by the flavorful haze of this wonderful wheat beer.

15 IBU

(Beer added by: Jason on 02-22-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,518 | Reviews: 648 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Alcohol is listed @ 4.4% on the bottle. Best by end of May, 09. Into the Erdinger weisse glass.

A - Dark yellow body with orange tints. Head is a bit small for style, white, with some lacing a decent retention.

S - Clove is very pronounced, with more of an herbal quality than expected. Banana hides underneath, along with some mild peach notes.

T - Very mild malt sweetness at entry, with sharp lemon acidity following soon after. The lemon notes seem to mix with sweeter peach flavors and dry bread notes. Hops hit right before the swallow, first balance, then add some mild spice for the finish.

M - Seemed a little heavy for its style, with almost an oily quality to the mouthfeel, in addition to the usual crispness.

D - Maybe not classic, but not bad. The lemongrass makes sense in this beer, and and I assume would be the reason why this beer seems to have a little more spice and sharpness in flavor than I'm used to in American Style Wheats. It's a shame that Magic Hat is pulling back the reigns on this product a bit, and focusing on Pyramid's Hefe, because I much prefer this beer. Solid session style, with a lot more charater than most of it's contemporaries.

SammyDavisJrJrJr, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of littleshamrocks
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Very pale yellow with two fingers of frothy white head. A bit clearer than I was expecting from an unfiltered wheat beer. Plenty of bubbles rising to the top. Leaves spotty lace down the glass.

S: First scent I pick up is lemon, then straw, and a subtle bubblegum smell.

T&M: Medium mouthfeel with a tingling spritz of carbonation as it hits the tongue. Cereal and husky grain flavor run alongside a lemony undercurrent. Almost a sour lemon finish.

D: I would probably rank this somewhere toward the middle of the pack for this style. While I find this beer to be good, not great, I have a feeling that some people who prefer that lemon character will think this superb. I wouldn't turn it down if offered, but I probably won't be seeking it out either.

littleshamrocks, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of jmusic
3.98/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle, poured into a pint glass:

Appearance: A cloudy, golden straw color. Two finger head, minimal lacing left on the glass.

Smell: Clove spice, lemon zest.

Taste: A nice malt/hop balance, and the cloves promised in the aroma are certainly delivered when consumed.

Mouthfeel: Nice and crisp, good carb

Drinkability: Very drinkable and delicious. I could easily have a few without overwhelming my senses.

jmusic, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of wiseguy142
3.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a shining golden yellow with a big rocky white head, medium clarity and lots of carbonation. Aroma is metallic and of dried leaves, not a lot of banana but with a very light vanilla or licoricey spice to it. Flavor is a little weak but clean, with a lot of "neutral" wheat flavor along with some metal, astringency. Medium mouthfeel, not a real pleasure to drink. This wasn't really a winner for me.

wiseguy142, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of farrago
3.13/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very thin head but so bubbly it constantly renews itself. Perfectly clear yellow-brown golden color, light enough to not change along the rims. Full nostril presence, semi-oily feel with resin, tea leaf, wet shredded wheat and a pinch of lemon to orange peel, for its weight the scents lack staying power. Very similar in the mouth, a lot of sheer weight and heft with the flavors attempting to conjure up freshness while instead coming across as hollow. Malts lend more smoothness across the palate than direct flavor. Not intensely wheaty, more a mix of grains and grasses devoid of bitter bite. Moderate dose of lemon citrus. The carbonation is strong, however, unable to create a cleansing sensation at the end. Hence, falls forward awkwardly towards the finish line. Needs more focus and purpose.

farrago, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of xsists
3.83/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark golden cloudy yellow. Almost like a cloudy pilsner. Small amount of head but sticks around and laces to the glass.

S - Lemony smell with a hint of hopiness.

T - Nice citrus taste, sort of grapefruity. Acidic alcoholy bite in the front end but a very dry crisp finish.

M - Very bubbly with a sharp dry feel. Watery feel as well.

D - Great drinkability, I would love another.

xsists, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of neenerzig
4.22/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my pint glass. This beer pours a cloudy light to medium gold color with a nice white fluffy head about an inch thick when poured that settles to a good 1/2 inch and then 1/3 inch. Very nice lacing too. Sweet lemony, citrusy aroma with a bit of coriander and sweet malt. Has a sort of grainy, bit of a sour flavor along with the aforementioned coriander and citrus flavors, along with some wheat and malt. Rounded out with a slight touch of hops. A unique mix of flavors here. Has a crisp, sort of chewy, and frothy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink in the way a well crafted beer should be. It may not be a true Hefeweizen, but it is still pretty good.


neenerzig, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of Amalak
2.78/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Gold and opaque in color, with an average head and decent lace. It has a very veggie like scent. It's quite interesting.

I really kind of hated this beer the first time I had it, but I don't think I was giving it a fair chance. I actually appreciated the beer a lot more on the second go. Not what a hefe normally tastes like, with all the veggie taste it has, but a decent beer.

Amalak, Jan 22, 2009
Photo of TheBierBand
3.83/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this as part of a mixed 12 pack. Bottle says "The Hefeweizen". Although, this is clearly NOT a hefewizen. The Beer Advocate category is right on.... American Pale Wheat...

Poured into my pint glass and produced a 1" head of pure white. The beer was crystal clear and a light orangy/yellow in color.

Aroma: Interesting.... not at all like a hefewizen... much sweeter smelling... with a little diacetal (butter) smell...

Taste: Sweet with a carmely malt taste. A hint of grassy hops way off in the background.

MF: Quite Fizzy... but also somewhat rich and robust.

Drnkabilty: Yes... it's fine. Just don't be expecting a hefeweizen.... even though the label states that this beer is "THE HEFEWEIZEN". It is a decent beer... and you could probably knock back a few of these in a sitting without any adverse effects...

TheBierBand, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of htomsirveaux
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle received in trade, thanks Phil.

Tried Jul 2008.

Pours with a large thick yellow white head. Very bubbly. Hazy pale straw color. Aromatic, lemony, grassy with some coriander. Starts slightly watery but sweet and lemony, grapefruity. Medium body, almost chewy. Flavors are more developed towards the end. Overall light and refreshing.

htomsirveaux, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of talkinghatrack
2.93/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a - Decent look, nice chunky yellow hef. Head reduces down to a donut ring quickly. Floaty bits swirl on top.

s - The lemongrass claimed on the bottle shows up here. Lemons and yeast.

t - Not much really going on. The lemons and other citrus promised in the nose fail to show up (again, not a big shock with lemongrass). Some faint sweet mixed with faint sour. A refreshing hint of citrus in the finish.

m - it's got some hef chunkiness but it's overcarbonated for such light flavor.

d - Sure, you can put these down easily. You'll certainly build up some bubbles from the carbonation.

I think this is more of a summer cookout beer that actually does better straight from a bottle. Into a glass it underwhelms. Now I'm curious if the same will apply to the rest of the Magic Hats - I've tasted a bunch of them in the past but only recall having MH #9 in a glass.

talkinghatrack, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of JayNH
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a dirty cloudy yellow with a generous head. Ample lacing left on the glass.

S- a very nutty wheat with maybe a slight hint of citrus waaaay in the background.

T- A dry yeasty wheat with a tiny hint of lemon. On par for the style.

M- Light bodied and mildly carbonated.

D- Good. Probably OK for mowing the lawn on a hot day.

JayNH, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of chiefydawg
2.33/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Neat packaging overall, let's get to the beer inside. Very pallid and hazy yellow with a short, white,frothy head. There is the signature yeast at the bottom to swirl loose.

Smells wheaty with some fake citrus. No real banana, clove, or bubblegum to speak of, but a soapy, spent-grain aroma lingering. Not pleasant.

Initial taste is artificially cloying as it hits the tongue, partially due to the smell. After a couple sips, it settles in as not quite so bad. By the end of the glass it becomes more wheaty and crisp like a Hefe should, though this is more of an American Wheat ale with a Now N Later dissolved.

Overall, I would not recommend. Not the kind of flavor I want in a Hefeweizen, and I could go get something more palate refreshing seen in a commercial during any NFL game.

Note: I'm glad I didn't review more of these out of the 12 pack sampler in fear of sounding harsh. The #9 was even worse, but the Roxy was by far the best. I don't plan to buy more, so doubt if I review.

Edit - I see this is listed as an American Pale Wheat Ale on heere which makes more sense, though the bottle says "The Hefeweizen".

chiefydawg, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of TheDeuce
2.23/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Magic Hat Circus Boy....

Appearance-pale yellow, huge head, really really active carbonation, head is gigantic,

Smell-usual pungent aroma of bananas and sugar, some fruit, but the banana takes up most space.

Taste/Mouthfeel-heavy wheat flavor, bananas and fruits come in, muddled unfinished flavor which isn't pleasant, carbonated to the max.

Drinkability-not for me, but others may like.

Overall-the beer was made alright but for me it felt unfinished and had a flavor that was really not good. I didn't enjoy and will not seek out again.

TheDeuce, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of rdub
3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Smelled of lemon with a wheat note behind it. Taste was surprisingly average. I guess I was expecting more. Mouthfeel was thin and light with a high effervescence. The drinkability was good and would be a good choice if you're looking for an average wheat to down on a hot summer day.

rdub, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of OtherShoe2
2.9/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pale yellow with tons of carbonation bubbles and a light foamy head.

I stuck my nose in the glass a bunch of times on this one, just to get this right. Yeast, sweet wheat, grass, some lemon, and an odd scent -- almost like buttered popcorn. That last element is what always got me with every sip, and I did not like it at all.

Light flavors here. Some citrus, raw grain, and lemony notes.

Thin mouthfeel, but it allows this to be more of the thirst quenching type of beer, I think on a hot summer day, I could have several of these, but not in the winter seasonal pack (these will be the last of the group for me). Overall, an average effort.

OtherShoe2, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of gabe23
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy light orange color. Small off-white head that fades fast and leaves very little lacing.

S - Very mild aroma of grain, hops and citrus.

T - Mainly wheat flavor, with some light citrus and spiciness at the finish. Very mild as the smell would indicate.

M - A fair amount of carbonation gives this one a crisp body with a slightly dry finish.

D - This is a pretty light beer both in body and taste. I could down a few on a hot day and be refreshed, but it's not really something to be savored for it's complexity.

gabe23, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of LordFinley
3.93/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I'm a rookie at beer tasting and this is my first reveiw EVER, so give this a chance.

Circus Boy is an unfiltered wheat ale that I would perfer in the summertime because of its bright fruity taste. Out of the beers I've tried so far I feel it is very Goose Island 312.

Appearance: Bright Cloudy Gold (Unfiltered) with a quickly dissipating head.

Smell: Typical wheat ale aroma with a citris hint.

Taste: Bright/Crisp citrus taste with a sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A Little thick due to its unfiltered texture. Bubbly but not over carbonated.

Drinkability: Very easy drinking beer.

Serving Type: Bottle

One of my favorite beers so far.

LordFinley, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of WakeandBake
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes Oct 12 08
Pours cloudy yellow with a thin, dissipating head. There's a good aroma of citrus and spice. The flavor is bland, particularly at first. The blend of citrus and spices comes out much more as it warms. Light bodied with lively carbonation,a pretty good wheat beer.

WakeandBake, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of beer2day
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pale, pale yellow with a big head. Strong zesty, lemony aroma. Hard bite in the intial hit, with a bitter citrus finish. The citrus bite hit right away, but the taste does not linger. Mouthfeel is about right, maybe just a tad heavy. I know this is a Magic Hat staple, but am not sure why it should be in a winter seasonal mixed 12 pack.

beer2day, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of maddogruss
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a bottle of this into a glass mug.

A: Pours a cloudy, straw-yellow body with a small, white head that had fairly decent retention and nice lacing until the finish.

S: A slightly sour, lemon smell with some slight, sweet, malt notes.

T: A sweet, citrus malt taste with a mellow, sweet, slightly honey aftertaste. Pretty good, overall.

M: A pretty light mouthfeel that proved to be crisp and refreshing.

D; A nice combination of mouthfeel and taste that was excellent for the style. Definitely a nice drinking beer that would be very welcome on a warm, summer day.

maddogruss, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of hikebikemike
3.95/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Nice cloudy, yellow gold. Foam sticks to the side of glass with tenacity.

Smell - Crisp, citrus.

Taste - Lemony and spicy. A tad too much carbonation for my liking.

Mouthfeel - Very light and clean.

Drinkability - Very good beer. A little less carbonation and I would rate it a little higher.

hikebikemike, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of shroompod
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy , small head , a little lacing.

Slight aroma of orange with some biscuity bread notes.

Getting a lot of orange upfront with a subtle peppery finish.

Mouthfeel is light and creamy. Good carbonation.

I think I'd enjoy this more on a hot summers day, but a solid beer nonetheless.

shroompod, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of Beerbuddha
3.98/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- This beer poured a cloudy, golden straw color with a big white, fluffy head.

Smell- Very interesting aroma here. Real nice spiciness to it with hints of pepper and clove but alos nice hints of lemon. Had interesting yeastiness present as well.

Taste- The taste was similar to the smell but with a nice wheat background. The pepper and citrus flavors come through in the finish as well. No hops that I could taste.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and medium carbonation.

Overall- Overall a good beer. This is something that would be nice to drink on a hot day. Magic Hat doesn't distribute to LA though so oh well.

Beerbuddha, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of Jwale73
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased as part of the 12 beers of Xmas 12-pack. Best by March 2008 notched on the bottle. Served in my MH Circus Boy glass. Poured a hazy honey gold with a one inch tight, bright white head that reduced its volume in under a minute. Nose was skunky, followed by lemon and wheat. Bland flavor profile; biscuity, wheat and a slight citrus astringency. Mouthfeel was light and effervescent with a clean finish. Goes down easy, but a fairly weak performance for the style.

Jwale73, Dec 21, 2008
Circus Boy from Magic Hat Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 1,518 ratings.