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Howl - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

935 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 935
Reviews: 434
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 14.44%
Wants: 33
Gots: 43 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Born of dark and cold and snow in the marrow of the northeast's longest night, Howl comes in on wailing winds with winter-weary eyes burning holes in sunless shadows. In its darkened depths our inner voids are warmed.

32 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-18-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Howl Alström Bros
Ratings: 935 | Reviews: 434 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours akin to Pepsi. Bigger frothy head is born. Head is consistent and leaves lightning bolt lacing patterns. I can barely see through this beer.

S-Smells like a Porter. Roasty and surprisingly quite smoky. Light chocolate as well. I think the smoke is the most noticeable aspect of the nose. Certainly more brawny than I was expecting. Actually a bit excited to try this.

T-Chocolate comes out more in the flavor. Underlying smoky character. Roasted coffee beans strictly in the finish. Good dose of coffee at the end to be exact. Definitely has more flavor than I expected.

M-Medium body with enough carbonation. Not too much lasting feel.

O/D-Better than I was expecting. A pretty good glass. Magic Hat will come up and surprise you every-so-often. Hard to find fault with this one.

VelvetExtract, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of psuKinger
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle given to me by my neighbor Brian as part of a Christmas 6-pack. Many thanks to him for that.

Bottle poured into a standard nonic.

A: Pours a dark shade of brown with an off-white head on top, half a fingers worth, that stuck around for a while.

S: Strong notes of cocoa and a touch of spice, with "roasty" charachter underneath.

T: Nice roasty charachter here, lots of flavor for such a low ABV beer. Notes of cocoa and roasted malts, with a nice twang of dry bitter hops and a touch of grapefruit on the back end.

At 4.6%, there's considerably more flavor in here than I would have anticipated. Good balance, and more than just a 1-trick-pony, too.

M: Normally I'd like a little more CO2 in a lager, but this isn't a typical lager. Carbonation is appropriate. And a nice amount of hop residue on the finish. A little light and thin, but that's to be expected at 4.6% ABV.

D/O: A surprisingly enjoyable beer. When I hear "Magic Hat" and "Lager", my expectations are immediately lowered. But this far-and-away surpassed that. A very drinkable beer, and overall, a treat. I look forward to my next one.

psuKinger, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of miishka3
4/5  rDev +9%

miishka3, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of CBlack85
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Beer pours a deep dark brown (nearly black) with lots of ruby highlights when held up to the light. About two fingers worth of tan head recedes into a thin crown fairly quickly, leaving behind a small amount of lacing.

The aroma is mild, but enjoyable. It is comprised mainly of roasted malts, chocolate, and a mild coffee aroma. There are also an earthy quality. No real hop aroma to speak of.

The flavor is fairly well balanced between the roasted grains, caramel malts, coffee and chocolate. To a lesser degree there is a faint smokiness, and a light hop presence that is barely noticable. Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Very easy to drink.

One of my favorite styles, and this one doesn't disappoint. I went into this beer with low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised.

CBlack85, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of tzieser
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

a: black in color with a fluffy white head that settles into a thin lacing.

s: roasted malt. not much more to say

t: lots of roasted malt flavor with notes of burnt grain, bittersweet chocolate and hints of tobacco. finishes clean.

m: good mouthfeel.

a solid black lager. reminds me of Full Sail's Session Black Lager and brings back fond memories of Buzzards Bay Black Lager (though not nearly as delicious IMO).

tzieser, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of Arithmeticus
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured chilled in large dessert glass

A: solid black; good sized head drops down pretty quickly; black; good carbonation
S: toasted grains, doughy malt
T: nice balance of (prominent) toasted grains, (prominent) malt, and (light) hops; semisweet; not bitter; not complex; very drinkable

Not bad; good sessionable beer

Arithmeticus, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of laicha926
3/5  rDev -18.3%

laicha926, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

imperialking, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of Corpsehoagie
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After.being very disappointed with a magic hat variety pack.(my first and last magic hat experience) I was reluctant to try this one. Black lager was right up my alley but my previous magic hat scars were still there. It wasn't until the town drunk came into my work and insisted that I try it.
My first sip was a huge surprise, it didn't suck. Not only that but it was an excellent beer, I sucked down that six pack in no time.

Corpsehoagie, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of jpd7374
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

jpd7374, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of LookingToLearn
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

LookingToLearn, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of Rob315
4/5  rDev +9%

Rob315, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of BeardedRiker
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

You know, I think this might be my first Magic Hat beer. It seems that most of their beers are pretty good. A friend left a six pack of these so I took one for me to review. I used to not care for black lagers/schwarzbiers at all but over the past few years I'm starting to like them a lot. Locally, Rahr & Sons makes their Ugly Pug black lager and I think it's one of their best. I think what I like about the style is that it is easy to drink and has the roasty flavors I enjoy so much in porters and stouts.

This schwarzbier looks black, and it does look like that, but when held up to light it has more of a dark brown, slight ruby color to it. It's also a bit murky as well. I think there's some sediment in there as well. I hope that's not a bad thing. :P The head looked nice. It formed a little slowly with the surface looking pretty creamy and underneath it was more bubbly. It was about a finger and a half high and tan.

I get mostly mealy, malty, and nutty aromas. The roasted coffee and cocoa aromas are underneath, as is a sort of burnt sugar sweetness. The smell becomes easier to notice as the beer warms.

The roasted coffee and chocolate flavors are more pronounced in the taste than in the smell, although they show up in the middle and linger the longest. Up front is minimal hop bitterness and the mealiness I got from the smell. Sweetness is pretty strong, like caramel or brown sugar, and it stays on the tongue for awhile.

Carbonation is medium and it keeps alive what overall is a smooth beer that is just barely sticky at the end from the sweetness. It's definitely drinkable, as it should be. Nothing bad but nothing great.

This is another black lager I've enjoyed and now I can say that the only Magic Hat beer I've had is one I've enjoyed.

BeardedRiker, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of melodicnoise
4/5  rDev +9%

melodicnoise, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of Jordanbryan10
4/5  rDev +9%

Jordanbryan10, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of Lee45102
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Lee45102, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of Kahlerbock
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Kahlerbock, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of Clowerweb
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Very dark brown, almost as close to black as you can get. Completely opaque, though not quite "black". Single finger of light brown/tan head, although I always pour slowly down the side of the glass to prevent too much head from forming. Head lingers for about a minute, and then dissipates with a decent lacing that will hold for a good 5 minutes or more.

S: Doesn't have a very strong aroma, the scent was a very light hint of roasted malt, with just a touch of fruit. I thought I might have smelled a bit of blueberry. I thought the smell was a bit too mild.

T: As another commenter pointed out, it tastes just like it smells. Roasted malt, almost coffee flavored, smoky with a touch of fruit. No bitterness. Finishes with a sweeter, nutty flavor, with the smoky flavor lingering in the aftertaste. Nicely layered, complex, but not overdone. Definitely has more of a smoky/roasted flavor than anything else.

M: Has both a crisp and creamy feel, medium carbonation, goes down very smooth.

This is overall a very good beer, worthy of drinking a 6-pack easily in a sitting. It won't leave you wishing you had something better, but I wish it had a little stronger aroma, because what's there smells amazing.

Give this beer a try, I doubt you'll have any regrets.

Clowerweb, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of Turbodog666
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Turbodog666, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of CaptainHate
3/5  rDev -18.3%

CaptainHate, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of Jwren5
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Jwren5, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of Dope
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Dope, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of StoutHunter
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Magic Hat's Howl last week for $1.49 at The Lager Mill. I haven't had a Black Lager in a while so I thought I would take a chance on this one from Magic Hat, this brewery can be hit or miss for me but I am hoping for the best, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- I like the label on this beer, it looks good and has a cool dark Halloween look that makes it stick out. It poured a nice looking dark brown color that had some slightly ruby edges when held to the light and it had three fingers worth of fluffy tan head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left some nice lacing. This is a good looking Schwarzbier.

S- The first thing that I pick up in the aroma is loads of roasted dark malts that had a low amount of sweetness to it and imparted some roasty and grainy aromas. There was also a pretty noticeable nutty aroma, one reviewer said it smells like powdered cheerios and I would say that's a pretty good description. I didn't pick up any hops in the aroma of this beer. This beer has a nice roasty aroma and the nutty/powdered cheerios aroma gives this beer a pretty unique aroma for it's style.

T- The taste of this beer is very similar to the aroma. It starts off with loads of medium roasted malts that have a low amount of sweetness and impart a nice a grainy and roasty flavor and a slight sweet chocolate flavor. After that came a nice nutty flavor that really stuck out and it helped balance out all those roasted malts. I didn't pick up any hops in the flavor of this beer. The finish was slightly roasty, with a low amount of bitterness and it had an aftertaste that was full of roasted malts, grains, and some nuts, the nutty flavors seemed to stick around. This was a good an unique tasting Schwarzbier, the nutty flavors adds some complexity to this otherwise straight forward brew.

M- Smooth, crisp, on the light side of being medium bodied and it had a high amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was good and what it should be for a Black Lager.

Overall I thought that this was a good and solid Schwarzbier that managed to stick out from the crowd with some added nutty flavors and aromas that made it one of the more complex Schwarzbier's I have had to date. This beer has good drinkability, it has enough flavor to hold my attention, while going down very smooth and not being too filling, if I had another one I would drink it, I could maybe do four of these in a session without getting bored with it. What I liked most about this beer was pretty much everything, all aspects of this beer seemed to be right where they should be. There wasn't anything about this beer that I didn't like or would change, this beer doesn't need to messed with. I would buy this beer again when looking for a nice and sessionable Black Lager, this makes for a good darker beer to have with dinner and it paired nicely with a bowl of chili. I recommend giving this beer a try, the extra nutty flavors make this not your average Black Lager. I was impressed by this beer, I don't have the best history with Magic Hat beers, but this proved to be one solid Schwarzbier that proved to be pretty unique with the added nutty flavors, I know this beer isn't a traditional take on this style, but it comes together nicely and tastes good so I'm not holding that against them. IF you are leery about giving Magic Hat another try, man up and try this beer, it might change your mind about this brewery. This isn't my favorite Schwarzbier but it is one of the better and more unique ones that I have had.

StoutHunter, Jan 06, 2012
Howl from Magic Hat Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 935 ratings.