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Circus Boy - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Circus BoyCircus Boy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,509 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,509
Reviews: 648
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 17.7%
Wants: 20
Gots: 98 | 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: 1,509 | Reviews: 648 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HurricaneMo
3.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Somewhat pale beer with a slight orange tint. Average head but lacing was not very impressive. Smelled stongly of citrus, definitely some lemon. The taste seemed to comprise of a lot of citrus with some wheat undertones. A nice mouthfeel but less carbonation than one would expect. Definitely very easy to drink. Try it if you get the chance but nothing to write home about.

HurricaneMo, Jun 01, 2006
Photo of DrunkPagan
2.3/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

There are good hefeweizens, and bad hefeweizens. Good ones are light, aromatic, flavorful, and the really good ones have a nice crispy aftertaste. The Circus boy has none of that.
While it has an appealing light honey color, the smell put me off. It reminds me of some floral soaps that we have in the bathroom i.e. too powerful, too heavy, and slightly soapy.
The taste was also a let down. A slightly sour aftertaste to a sickeningly sweet flavor. I can barely taste some hops, but they don't mix well.
There is a bit of crispness as it rests on the taste buds, but it's mostly from carbonation. Worst of all, this one goes down heavy. My stomach is still protesting. There are better hefeweizens out there.

DrunkPagan, May 30, 2006
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into pint glass. 1" thick white head that stuck around for a while. Cloudy swirls appear after last pour.(unfiltered) nice legs run down the glass after a few gulps. Foamy white head stuck around the top of the glass for a bit.

Sweet citrus and other fruits, maybe some apricot. wheat/spice undertones.

Wheaty, with a bunch of citrus taste and spices.

a nice clean feel, very light and fresh.

Pretty dang drinkable, yesterday(5/28/06) was a hot one up here in the great woods of cow Hampshire and these went pretty easily.

GratefulBeerGuy, May 29, 2006
Photo of ppoitras
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA. Best by end of July.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" white head over the slightly cloudy light golden brew. Head is quickly slow to fade, and presents ample bubbly white lacing. Aroma is earthy wheat, with citric notes. Taste is lots of citrus, not much wheat. You can taste and feel the light wheat charcter floating under the surface, but it just isn't pronounced enough for me. Lingers with a slight lemony aftertaste. Mouthfeel is acceptable, certainly nothing detracting, and drinkability is definitely easy. This would probably fit into the thirst-quencher category, but even for that it seems a bit lacking on flavor.

ppoitras, May 29, 2006
Photo of jyeast101
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Citrus and Flowery in smell. A cloudy dark yellow and light orange in color with a 1/2 inch white head. Also notice the left over yeast in the bottle. Just a note: yeast is good. Definate flowery taste with a bit of a citrus taste and slightly bitter. Absolutely dry. Good lacing on the gless.
Cap reads... What is the mixture of life's elixir

jyeast101, May 24, 2006
Photo of tubbnik
3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

got a case at the local beer distributer. (i heart PA)

a - yellow-orange. bright. opaque but not cloudy. almost syrupy in apperance.

s - fruity. oranges and lemons. perhaps grapefruit. little discernable yeast or bread smell.

t - oooh...sour. oranges more than lemons. iced tea perhaps. worse as it warms.

m- decent. active carbonation early. gets a flat feel half way.

d - havent had more than two in a row. i tire or the taste. i've re-upped with another case of victory prima pils this weekend. also bought two bombers of stoudt tonight. methinks im done with circus boy.

kinda disappointed. perhaps i bought too many. a twelve pack would have held me. i dont know when (if) i'll purchase more. theres others heffey's out there, try them first.

tubbnik, May 24, 2006
Photo of akahn
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky, opaque yellow. Like a hazy honey. The head leaves lace and lasts as a skim with a bit of reddish yeast on top.

Quite yeasty in the nose, and more malt than wheat.

Interesting a punchy flavor. I'm impressed. Quite malty, and tangy-sharp from the yeast and hops playing together. The final exhale wheaty. A sweet, soft banana note.

Very soft on the palate, mellow carbonation. Light to medium body. I could definitely quaff this. Maybe I should revisit this brewery.

akahn, May 22, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer is a mildly hazy, pale yellow with a foamy white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: A lemon & wheat aroma with a background of malt and yeast and a slight hint of alcohol.

T: It has a mild but hearty wheat & malt flavor with a touch of lemon, well-balanced taste that stays consistent from beginning to end and a very faint lemony malt after-taste.

M: Very smooth, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation and a clean, slightly dry finish.

D: This is an easy-drinking, poundable kind of beer, due to the smoothness and mild flavor. This was decent beer. The best thing I can say about it is that it’s perfect for the beer-drinker looking to take their first step out of the macro rut.

TheManiacalOne, May 21, 2006
Photo of geexploitation
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Magic Hat offering pours a murky off-orange with a scrubby head. The nose is dominated by lemony citrus smells. The palate starts with a big citrus burst that is then attentuated by wheat but finishes with a ton of sour acidity. Mouthfeel is crisp and even thoughout. Overall, the flavors in this beer aren't incredibly great or anything, but they are interesting, which is a step up for most American wheat beers. This is one of the better Magic Hat brews I've had recently.

geexploitation, May 19, 2006
Photo of oberon
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a a cloudy cross of lemonade and iced tea with a thinner white head that had no lasting power,at first the aromas struck me as unappetizing but after a minute it was better had like a wet grain element but the lemon and slight cloviness showed up after a minute.Wheat malt flavors are large here and toasted cereal grain with the lemon and clove taking a backseat although noticable mainly in the finish.You know its not half bad I am not a huge fan of American wheat ales but this has character a little rough around the edges but its worthy of having a few on warm spring day I think.

oberon, May 16, 2006
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The label says "unfiltered and unfettered". The unfiltered part I get, but I'm not sure about the unfettered part. The beer was a hazy yellow with a fairly small head that lingered. It had a sweet, grainy aroma. Taste-wise, it was mostly sweet, with a slight citrus flavor. Nothing too special. The bottles I had left a sour taste in my mouth, so mouthfeel was average. An OK , but not great, beer.

lordofthewiens, May 14, 2006
Photo of aquatonex
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another quality offering from Magic Hat.

Pours cloudy with a hint of orange, and a bunch of yeasty chunks that I let settle and made sure NOT to drink (yuck!). Otherwise, it's unfiltered so that's normal. It's got a nice foamy head on it also, moderate lacing and carbonation. Smells of light fruits (bananas), yeasts, and malts. Taste follows well with a refreshing light sweetness and acrid yeastiness with smooth malty foundations. Easy drinker.

aquatonex, May 14, 2006
Photo of cubedbee
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, best by the end of May, poured into an imperial pint glass, this is a deep hazy gold with a huge off-white rocky head that takes it's time to subside. Scattered fingers of lace. Nose is a subdued clove and wheat mixture, and a slight lemon note. Taste is a grainy wheat with an almost tart lemon, finishes with a very gentle spice note. Bit on the thin side of medium. This is a decent easy drinking beer, but nothing really stands out, and this probably isn't a beer I'll purchase again.

cubedbee, May 12, 2006
Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice cloudy straw hue with swirling and churning darker sediment. A two finger head with good retention and lacing.

The smell was rather complex. A nice clove type spiciness with a lemon tartness.

The taste was spicy and lemony as well. It seems that Magic Hat has taken the trouble of adding the lemon for you. The beer finishes with a strong lemon tartness.

The mouthfeel is nice and clean. Finishes dry due to the lemon element.

A very drinkable and enjoyable hefe. I just wish it was a little hotter out.

plaid75, May 12, 2006
Photo of RedChrome
2.85/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a weizen glass and was unimpressed. The wasn't much of the murkiness I think of when I remember my favorite weizens.

I also was not impressed with the aroma of this beer, while I did note some wheat aroma, I was overtaken by a very pungent odor of plastic. It was almost like attempting to smell a loaf of wheat bread through the bag. It poured with a large fluffy head, which dissipated quite quickly.

The flavor was only average without some of the fruity notes I have seen in other beers of the style. It tasted like eating a slice of very yeasty wheat bread.

The beer also didn't have the full feel I expect in an unfiltered beer, and only left an average impression.

Overall, I have to say, this is just another average effort from a brewery that has yet to life up to the hype I hear of their work.

RedChrome, May 11, 2006
Photo of Gavage
3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a hazy pale yellow color with a decent 1/2" head that slowly fades. Some spots of lace develops. Limited carbonation bubles slowly rise to the top.

Smell: dull citrus and grass.

Taste: a mild but quite dry grainy wheat tone is paired with some soft lemon zest, lots of fresh pepper, and green grapes. Noticeble bitterness rounds it out.

Mouthfeel: light-medium in body. Lightly crisp and dry throughout. Not as clean as I would like to see, as the flavors tend to stick to the tongue.

Drinkability: not very impressive to me. I like my hefe's more crisp and refreshing.

Gavage, May 05, 2006
Photo of ski271
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

How appropriate, the circus is in town this week. Good time to try this beer. Lots of sediment in this one. A careful pour produces a cloudy but vibrant amberish-yellow beer with an off-white, foamy, medium-sized head that quickly diminishes to a thick film. The smell is mild and sweet with plenty of fruit, most notably apple and white grape, with light citrus and berry. Reminiscent of champagne. Some mild grain and slightly off-putting yeast. Tastes kind of like a wheat wine cooler. A little less fruity than the nose while still remaining vinous. It’s fairly thin and lively with a finish that turns a bit bready, followed up by a chalkiness very late in the finish. Definitely a different one and worth trying out their interesting take on the style.

ski271, May 05, 2006
Photo of ism
3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz from Joe's Garage, poured into a hefeweizen glass, which contained the voluminous fluffy white head atop a pale gold body that doesn't get properly cloudy until you dump in all the nice yeasty gunk at the bottom of the bottle. Retention is good and the lacing is sudsy. Subdued wheat in the nose, and more of the ticklish spice, with phenol hints, and a slight lemon citrus. Gentle carbonation, medium body, just nice and mellow. Wheat flavors are rather subdued and there's a rather pronounced lemon zest that zings in the aftertaste, mixed along with spice. Going down, there's a dry hop pull, slightly piney, that imparts a nice bitterness as well.

I agree with the BA categorization. There's aren't any characteristic banana and cloves, and the hopping leans towards PWA. It's a PWA with lemon citrus, basically.

Starts out pretty nice but by the end, I'm thinking I'm ingesting lemon Pledge. Still, pretty good for a hot day and in that odd Magic Hat tradition, has crossover appeal.

ism, May 05, 2006
Photo of oelergud
2.38/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Golden cloudy body with a tint of red. Good carbonation and a white undulating head, not much lace but ok retention.
This has a raw smell, not like any other hefe I've had. Sour mash and some licorize notes but not in a pleasant way.
Taste is not a hefe. Some hop present but not much, aftertaste is ok. No discernable malts here.
Mouthfeel is grainy which is good for the style but also dry which is not. Little coating.
Drinkability is not too high.
This was a disappointment from a brewery I've heard so much good about.


oelergud, May 05, 2006
Photo of dippy
4.22/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I would like to preface this review by saying that I am not a huge wheat beer fan. I like them but not love. I started to annoy my girl the other night because everytime I took a sip I had to say, "Goddamn, this is good beer". I paired it with grilled filet mignon, asparagus and roasted potatoes. Bloody delicious.

Poured a nice finger and a half head. THe beer was a bit more pale than most beers i drink.

Smelled a bit citrusy on the top, nothing crazy, but it got my mouth watering a bit.

Mmmm, so f-ing good. It has a real clean, crisp taste. A bit lemony (I didn't pair it with any fruit as it is not my custom).

This beer was good to the last drop. Some very light lace was left on the glass, more like a film.

I will make this beer a regular at my bbqs this summer.

dippy, May 04, 2006
Photo of SixpointJMH
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wasn't expecting much out of this brew, but I ended up really enjoying it quite a bit.

It pours a nice cloudy, somewhat murky gold colour with a puffy, wticky white head.

The aroma is spicy, with some wheat and hops thrown into the mix, along with some sweet fruit (lemon) notes as well.

The flavour is very much along the lines of the aroma. It starts out peppery and spicy then moves into a juicy fruit/wheat mix in the middle before combining all three elements at the finish for an almost herbal flavour. The mouthfel has a nice crisp bite to it that echoes the spiciness of this brew.

This one is tasty all around and a bit different from most hefeweizens (listed here as an American Pale Wheat but MH labels it a hefeweizen and I agree, so that's what I'm calling it). It's certainly got more of an interesting flavour than I've tasted within the style in some time. I'd be more than happy to have this one again.

SixpointJMH, May 03, 2006
Photo of Hautacam
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy, light gold...very foamy head...laces and drops slowly.
Smells earthy, doughy, lemon....hints of alka-seltzer.
Tastes grainy....semi sweet...sour lemon...slight hop bite, kind of grapefruity.Finish is bitter citrus rind. dry. Not bad.
Mouthfeel is light/medium...carbonation kind of high.
Pretty drinkable....but not really a hefe, right ??...no banana or clove...to me, tastes more like a saison. Either way, pretty good brew.

Hautacam, Apr 28, 2006
Photo of Liquids
1.9/5  rDev -44%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ultra cloudy, nectar-like consistency and appearance. Ugly, thin, pond scum head. Smells of yeast, more yeast, with a not-so-subtle aroma of epoxy. Yes, epoxy. Ah, and the epoxy aroma continues into the taste. Only a slight taste of wheat considering what it is. The taste, overall, is pungent and sick. Makes me lose my appetite. Finishes with a slightly piney tang. Mouthfeel is full and seems overcarbonated for the style, but overall has the typical heavy/slightly syrupy mouthfeel characteristic of wheat beers. On the whole, this was a drainpour. Magic Hat has lost some of my respect.

Update: Another review is in order - I tried a sample of this recently and it had none of the above negatives, and was actually rather good.

Liquids, Apr 26, 2006
Photo of bonbright7
4.1/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured the hazy golden beer into a 50cl glass mug after the beer spent some time in the freezer with the Skyy vodka I keep there.
It formed a big fuzzy head before I went for the first taste.

The remarkable lemon-orange-grapefruit twang bended like notes on my Telecaster playing Delta Blues. I was taken aback by the smooth light taste that reminded me of a Hefeweisen I had on tap in a street cafe in NYC last summer. It might have been a garish idea, but an orange slice would have been good with this.

bonbright7, Apr 22, 2006
Photo of akorsak
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I purchased a six pack of Circus Boy for tryin' purposes in State College, PA.

Appearance: The ale is a hazy yellow-orange color. It poured with a nice ring of head that left a patch of lace on the glass.

Smell: The ale has a wheat aroma, with little yeast/ester characters.

Taste: The wheat malts dominate the flavor. I hoped for a bit of banana or clover, but those flavors are very hard to find. This is very refreshing, but it is more of an American-style wheat ale.

Mouthfeel: The ale tastes very well and does not overpower the tastebuds. The lack of banana esters hinders it.

Drinkability: The ale is surprisingly good (when I think of other magic hat ales, that is). The wheat gives it a refreshing quality that is perfect for the summer months.

akorsak, Apr 21, 2006
Circus Boy from Magic Hat Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 1,509 ratings.