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Howl - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

949 Ratings

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Ratings: 949
Reviews: 436
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 14.48%
Wants: 35
Gots: 52 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-18-2009

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 949 | Reviews: 436
Photo of RobDB
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of TR0219
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of dowen44
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Didier
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%

Photo of 100200300
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of BryanK
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of obywan59
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours thinly into my weizen glass (closest thing I have to a flute or pilsner glass) A moderately hard pour gave me a 2 1/2 finger faintly brownish head which recedes rather quickly leaving minimal lacing. The beer is dark brown with ruby highlights.

Smell of dark chocolate, coffee and some sweet malt.

Minimally sweet, almost tart, but really more of a metallic taste--not unpleasant. Burnt malt and roasted coffee. Some light hop bitterness in the end. A drying sensation on the tongue. I wouldn't say the taste was exceptional, but it's pleasing.

Being a winter brew I expected more thickness, so at first it seemed watery, but I'll call it medium bodied lightly coating the tongue.

Very easy to drink. I could have had a fourth, at least.

Overall, not what I was expecting from the name "Howl" and from the winter theme. Previously, all the winter brews I've tried could be described as "substantial". Compared to them, this one was pretty subdued, but it's a fine beer nonetheless. However, if I was in the mood for a winter brew, this probably wouldn't be one of my "go to" beers.

Photo of cantfindme
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of Jesse13713
2.65/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - A very opaque black. No head and it laces poorly to the glass.

Smell - Smells a bit like a black lager. Light coffee and espresso notes.

Taste - More stout-like than I expected. Carbonated coffee and espresso notes. Heavily carbonated. This beer seems very artificial-tasting to me, though it does match the category quite well.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability - A decent offering for a lighter winter option. A bit hard to swallow because of the carbonation despite its light body.

Photo of freshcarl
3.59/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Nipitato
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark mahogany hue. Nice buff moussy head with good retention. Stick lacing. Very dark - opaque.

S: Earthy and malty with plenty of grainy character. Slightly roasted but not overpowering or bitter. Floral hop bouquet adds additional layers of complexity.

T: Caramel malt with well balanced notes of roastiness and earthiness. Only slightly bitter. Some grainy character. I nice tasting beer.

MF: Moderate carbonation with medium mouthfeel. Slightly dry and just a touch of astringency.

D, notes: A nice well made, well balanced beer. Very drinkable with enough complexity to keep things interesting.

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It is a deep burnt umber with a light brown head. More brown than black but definitely dark.
Cap reads "no rain, no rainbows."

In the nose is roasted oats and sweet cereal.

The fullness of the grain coats the palate followed by the slight sweetness, then finnishing dry with a slight bitterness. This has balance and complexity - quite delightful.

Photo of beerman207
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got a great deal on a case of this beer at one of my favorite new beer stores.

A: Darker than expected - nice tan head leaving some lace on the glass after it dissipates.

S: Cocoa, expresso, malt, maybe some chocolate.

T: Mmmm - not trying to compare this to any other beers out there but it has some notes that hit similar to the Edmund Fitzgerald which is never a bad thing. It has some good malt backbone and the lager style is there but the flavor is fantastic - cocoa, malt,

M: Very smooth - carbonation is pretty high but it's just like most lagers where the carbination always seems higher for that style.

D: Easy to drink - glad I have a case. I will polish this one off in the next few weeks.

Photo of cdizinno
2.88/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown with a thin tan head and minimal lacing.

S: Fruity sweetness with little or no hops.

T&M: Roasted molasses and caramel are prominent in the tast. Light to medium body with toasted caramel finish.

Better than most Magic Hat's, but weak in substance.

Photo of biglite351
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Quite dark, only a sliver of red around the edged. Tall creamy head leaving considerable licing.

S - smoaky malts, very nice and inviting.

T - smoaky malts, but that is about all. Not much deoth. The smoaky malts are good, but do not carry too far.

M - It is a lager so it is thin, but nice coating for a lager. slight tingle on the front of the tongue.

D - I usually go for stouts but this dark lager is quite drinkable.

Photo of jrempel
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of Duvel
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of uwmgdman
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours clear dark brown bordering on black with a deep mahogany hue when held to the light. The head is moderate tan color but quickly diminished to a thin skim. The aroma is moderate-high roasted malt with a bit of chocolate and coffee. The flavor is moderate-high malt, roast and chocolate with just a but of acidic dryness. The hop bitterness is moderate-low and is complemented by roasted dryness. The body is medium and smooth and carbonation moderate. Overall a well made flavorful black lager that could be drank all night.

Photo of bluetrevian
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of DaveBlack
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Brown and slightly cloudy, with maybe a finger's width of tan head with and OK amount of retention and some decent lacing.

S: Maltiness, almost exclusively. Slightly roasted malts, coffee, and maybe a slight pine aroma from the hops.

T: Wow, has a flavor that the aroma barely hints at. Deep malty flavor, lots of coffee and well balanced on the hops. The more I taste, though, the more i get a kind of medicinal flavor that is pretty off-putting.

M: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Fells relatively light for the flavor.

D: It's a pretty decent beer, but the medicinal taste is throwing me off. Its light feeling body and deep roasty taste make it drinkable. I will certainly finish my six pack, but i don't intend to seek this beer out.

Photo of Jackal
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of drizzam
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation - Brown 12 oz. bottle with best by date of January 12, 2011.

A - Pours a dark opaque brown/black in color. Heavy dark sediment settled to the bottom of my pint glass. Nice fluffy one finger khaki head that retained fairly well and left nice lacing down the inside of the glass.

S - Dark malt and chocolate all day long.

T & M - Dark malt and bitter bakers chocolate, just like the aroma. Unlike in the aroma, there was a slight hop bitterness toward the back end. It helped round the brew out a bit and added some complexity. Seems like a touch of espresso in there as it warms as well. Medium bodied with a bit of prickle on the tongue from the carbonation. A bit more creaminess in the mouthfeel would have upped my mouthfeel score to a 4. Finishes dry and crisp.

D - I'm a fan of the Schwarzbier style, and this one did not disappoint. I could easily stock a sixer of this in the fridge and drink it all day. I don't think it would get old. Kudos to Magic Hat for a finely crafted beer.

Photo of mnrider
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. Brown bottle. Pilsner glass.

A: Pours an almost moonless night black. Thin brown head with very little lacing.

S: Roasted malts with coffee and chocolate.

T/M: Roasted malts. Tastes like a porter but much thinner and watery. Don't taste much hops, but this brew is smooth. Finishes on the bitter side.

D: It's a good brew for sure. I'd get it again. Although it's nothing remarkable, as it's a little light on taste. Still very drinkable.


Photo of aepb1
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark brownish black body with an off-white head

S- Coffee and some chocolate in the nose but not real big

T- Roasty caramel maltiness, some coffee up front, a little hop finish, a dry finish

M- Medium-bodied, good carbonation and a crisp, dry finish

D- A very good, accessible beer. Very easy to drink and can give the recognizable name to others

Photo of TheGordianKnot
4.46/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nothing makes me smile more than seeing such a black lager stare back at me with a beautiful 1 1/2 inch foam.

S- Didn't have quite the aroma I was looking for. More a subtle smoked/roasted scent

T- I cannot stress how delicious this beer was. Schwarzbier is my favorite type of beer, and Howl only reaffirms my preferance. The hops were subtle and the malt sweetness was just exceptional. It had a few toffee like undertones, but nothing overpowering or off the wall that ruined the flavor.

M- So smooth. I think I could hear my tastebuds applaud as this beer filled my mouth. It was just so balanced and not too carbonated that every sip got better and more enjoyable.

D- I could have pounded a twelve pack if I didn't have limits... That's all I will say

Overall, though I am quickly developing a taste for different beers, this one really stands out to me as something special. It wasn't just another "elixer" from the Magic Hat Brewing Company, but I feel it really went above and beyond! The only thing that truly bothers me about this beer, is that it isn't available year round. Superior drinkability and refreshment made me come back to this beer over and over while it was available.

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Howl from Magic Hat Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 949 ratings.