Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Vinyl - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

265 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 265
Hads: 615
Avg: 3.45
pDev: 22.9%
Wants: 7
Gots: 41 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-04-2009

Vinyl sails in on her shining wings as the spinning sun returns. She is the season-shifter, bursting from her cocoon to sing the ancient song of vernal yearning and to summon spring's sweet green return... Her metamorphosis becomes our own. Her thirsts are shared by all. Drink in her mysterious elixir as the revolution blooms again...

24 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Vinyl Alström Bros
Reviews: 265 | Hads: 615
Photo of cmq103
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel Belgian Tulip glass. I just picked up a 6-pack of this from the Joe Canals in Lawrenceville NJ. Pretty darn good selection there for 4 & 6-packs of craft beers that are already cold.

Appearance: With a semi-aggressive pour I was able to get maybe a ¼” off-white head that quickly dissipated to a thin ring. Darker copper color with a hint of cloudiness is how I would describe it. Lacing was so, so as I tilted my glass. It surely didn’t want to "stick" around between sips.

Smell: Toasted malts and lightly sweet caramel catches my nose right away, with a hint of citrus and chocolate in the finish. Decent, but not overly dominating in any sense.

Taste: Your typical lager comes to mind with its sweeter, caramel, malty blend. A light nuttiness of a brown ale, tries to come through but fails. Mild, grassy hop bitterness lingers in the finish. Kind of plain if you ask me. Not bad, but didn’t give me a “wow” factor.

Mouthfeel: A lighter, watery body with higher carbonation. Finish is buttery and dry.

Overall: Not a bad tasting beer, but nothing that I would run out and buy again. For a lager, it was decent and certainly sessionable enough in a pinch. I like their #9 and Circus Boy much better.

 1,262 characters

Photo of Shaw
4.09/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A medium amber in color with a short off-white head that reduces to just a whisp in my glass.

It smells exactly like toast. Nice. One of the neatest smelling beers I've had in a while.

Nice toasted malt flavors with a bit of sweetness. No hop flavors to speak of, not that it's supposed to have any. Nicely robust for a lager.

Smooth and creamy body.

A winner. Check this one out.

 387 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

A. Pours out reddish brown and transparent with a craggy two finger foamy head that lasted for several minutes, minimal lacing.

S,T. Mostly toasted bread aroma with a side order of grassy / herbal hopping, gains some minor nuttiness as it warms up somewhat. Has all the "clean minimalism" you'd expect from a lager. This lager is memorable, however, for actually having a decent volume level of toasted malt character compared to other lagers. Too bad it doesn't come across as complex as other lagers do, as well.

M. Medium body but somewhat heavier carbonation, which is okay for the boldness of the flavors presented.

 644 characters

Photo of tjkinate
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reminded me of what BMC should taste like.

A: Single fingered head, little retention that settles to a thin film only rising near the rim of the glass. Enjoyed peering through the transparent copper, red bodied brew.

S: Malty sugary backbone, very grainy with a light hint of spice.

M: Spice is stronger than the smell indicated and is followed by loads of grain and caramel malt backbone.

M: Medium bodied, slight burn as the beer passes down your throat.

O: Not bad, enjoyed a six pack, but probably won't seek again in the future.

 538 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brownish amber with a thin layer of dense, soft, off white head that has decent retention. The nose has notes of burnt, toasted malt and caramel. The flavor is caramelly and sweet up front followed by toasted malt and finishes with a faintly earthy, bitter hop character. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth, but a little heavily carbonated.

This is an alright beer. It wouldn't be my first choice especially for a spring seasonal, but it has its merits. It has flavor and balance. It's drinkable and refreshing. But ultimately it's not very memorable.

 572 characters

Photo of powellmg
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish-brown with a nice head. Rich, malty aroma. Taste of toast, nuts, with a nice bitterness to balance it out. It has that biscuity flavor (but no biscuit malt, apparently) of many English bitters despite being a different style altogether. Medium body. Moderate carbonation.

Overall, really enjoyable. I was surprised to see the mediocre reviews here.

 358 characters

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.68/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Perfectly clear copper. Head is a dirty white and drops to a thin ring in short order. Carbonation was lively during the pour.

Smell: Lager yeast, corn, grass, and caramel malts. Biscuit dough and some sweetness. Faintest touch of citrus from the hops. Ever so faint. Nutty.

Taste: It has that Magic Hat taste. Faintly nutty with a small touch of citrus on the back. Biscuity at times with some lingering caramel sweetness. Very grainy with some gritty roasted malt character. As it warms it falls apart a bit. Malts begin to water down and lose some character.

Mouthfeel: Lighter side of medium for the body. Carbonation is higher than I'm used to, but works to carry the relatively mellow malt presence.

Overall: Eh. It's easy to drink and has some character, but it doesn't really grab at you. Definitely something I would drink if offered with limited other options. Magic Hat yeast makes all Magic Hat taste the same.

 940 characters

Photo of Steverus
3.12/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Out of the bottle, you can tell there's quite a bit of carbonation here. Appearance is a deep amber, somewhat cloudy.
S: Smells like a lager with a bit of wheat and citrus and an even smaller bit of spice.
T: Tastes like your standard default amber, with a little extra bitterness on the back.
M: Despite the pouring, feel once the beer has relaxed is pleasant, about what you'd expect
O: Overall, not a bad beer, but not one you'll find yourself craving either. Maybe for this reason it could go well with a variety of dishes, and it went well with the Mattar Paneer I paired mine with.

 592 characters

Photo of Kornoms
2.99/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice amber/copper color with a bit of lacing and minimal head.
S: There is no real distinct smell- except a faint smell of wheat.
T: It has a slight taste of a woody-nut lager.
M: It has a nice mouthfeel.
O: Overall, a very average beer.

 251 characters

Photo of FickleBeast
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a clear amber color with a finger and a half of foam that slighly laces as it recedes. Aroma is husky, grainy, with a faint crystal malt sweetness.

First sip is rather nutty, finishing with a firm bitter kick. Decent amount of residual sweetness serves to balance things out. Nothing too exciting going on here, but it is nicely balanced and drinks easy.

A nice, drinkable, above average lager.

 439 characters

Photo of rodney45
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: crimson red with a paper white head. Good lacing.

S: Pilsner and munich malt with a slight clove aroma.

T: First and most dominant taste is of granny smith apples. Secondary flavors of citrus, bread and pepper. Aftertaste is dry.

M: Medium body with high carbonation. Slightly sour and bitter.

O: Below average example of a american amber. Has a slight champagne like finish, but without the class. It's distinct apple flavor really throws the taste buds off. Probably would not drink again.

 502 characters

Photo of barleyroad
4.8/5  rDev +39.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Medium amber in appearance, clear and clean. Smell is somewhat erronious and deceitful.Taste is a wow, this is a nice blend of hops and malts. Well done on this one and very much fridge worthy; but we digress. The mouthfeel is what you what in a beer. Leaves the tongue nicely and leave you whating more. Overall we at Barley Road can not say enough, this will be in the fridge.

 378 characters

Photo of paulginva
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Poured from the tap into a pint glass, this beer had lively carbonation and a 1/2" fizzy off-white head with virtually no lacing and no retention when it got to our table. Body color was a clear deep amber.

AROMA: Smells quite sweet with some baked caramel scent and a little citrus.

TASTE: Pretty similar, though not quite as pleasing as I expected. Modest caramel malt taste, again with a bit of citrus.

MOUTHFEEL: Light to medium body with a smooth texture, lively carbonation and virtually no body lacing. What little there is seems to disappear almost instantly. The initial flavor was heavily sweet while the short finish was more modestly sweet with a lightly bitter taste.

DRINKABILITY: An okay session beer but nothing to write home about primarily due to its highly sweet character -- kind of a deviation from the standard. While it is easy to drink and offers good value, I probably won't bother buying it again simply because there is nothing memorable about it.

 990 characters

Photo of jifigz
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: A hazy orange/brown with a head that dies instantly and no lacing to speak of.

S: Sweet fruit and veggies. This beer's aroma reminds me of a macro lager.

T: A hint of caramel up front that finishes really smooth. There is a lingering caramel/candy sugar flavor that is pretty enjoyable. A very slight bitterness helps to round things out. A stale cigarette like taste is also present.

M: Pretty thin and watery, would be good for a hot day.

O: This is not a special beer at all. It is rather bland and forgettable. My brother gave me a few bottles of this so I am not sure what it costs, but it is probably not worth the price. Magic hat has never really impressed me, but I'll keep trying them.

 737 characters

Photo of MTNboy
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours dark red amber. The head is about a finger and half but frothy tan. There not much retention or lace. OK, there was no lace at all. The flavor is complex and reminds me of a dunkel lager and red hybrid. There are strong toasted malt flavors as well as toffee sweetness with chocolate bitterness. The aroma was more roast than anything. The body is thin with actually a bit of bite.

 397 characters

Photo of JNewbs
3.76/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think this beer gets something of an unfair rap. For a craft lager, I thought it brought loads of flavor and a great creamy mouthfeel to the table. Think Sam Adams Boston Lager but better. I know that may be an unpopular statement, but I like this style of Lager a lot more than other types. It doesn't compare to the more flavorful Ales out there in all of their diversity, but it doesn't try to. Kudos to Magic Hat for bringing a decent lager to the table.

 460 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a bottle right after it's first release into the area here. The beer was a deep golden color with a fizzy white head on it. The smell was of some typical grains and had a little bit of a lager aroma going on. The taste of the beer isn't all to impressive. It's got some grainy malts on the foreground and some hops in the back. The mouthfeel is light and doesn't really do too much. Overall, the artwork for magic hat is always awesome the beer itself kind of fell short of my expectations.

 494 characters

Photo of thegodfather1076
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer was served out of a 12oz. bottle dispensed into a glass....

Presentation - Typical cool Magic Hat label very colorful and noticable.

Appearance - Poured out a brown copperish color with a 1 finger tan foam head that dissipates quickly. Not much lacing left at all.

Smell - Smells of toasty nutty malts with a hinto of caramel sweetness.

Taste - Tastes nutty and very malty with the same hint of caramel sweetness in the smell. Finishes with a slight hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with a light carbonation.

Drinkability - Smooth, drinkable, and tasty.

I enjoyed this but thought it kinda strange for a spring seasonal. Too much emphisis on the malt in this one. It was worth a try.

 711 characters

Photo of david18
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had a sixteen ounce draft of this at the Amsterdam Ale House on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Overall, a good, refreshing amber ale that has a low enough alcohol level to be an easy afternoon drinker.

Color was a deep amber with some red around the edges and a good, light amber head.

Aroma was bready and carmely, very nice.

Flavor as well was pretty complex for this type of beer with hints of carmel, bread and the Magic Hat house flavor (yeast).

Overall a very good beer. Surprisingly good for this type of beer. i'll definitely have it again.

 552 characters

Photo of mdfb79
2.96/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From 06/11/11 notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a nice amber color with one inch of white head that quickly leaves and moderate to high carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bready malts, caramel malts, and toasted malts. Not bad, but pretty average. A little bit bland.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toasted malts, bready malts, and light fruit. A step up from the nose.

m - Light to medium body and moderate to high carbonation.

o - Overall a pretty average red ale. Not awful or offensive, but kind of average and bland. Not something to seek out but worth giving a shot and better than some.

 626 characters

Photo of SouthFLBeerLover
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice amber color, produces a perfect white head when poured into a tall beer glass.

S: Very delicate smell with malts, some caramel and a hint of raisins.

T: Taste is very good. Malty with just the right amount of sweetness to it. Medium to full bodied beer. This is a really impressive lager. Perhaps the best lager that I have tried that is made by Magic Hat Brewing Company.

M: Mouthfeel is also very good. Medium sized bubbles, and a "just right"-complexity make this a very good (not exceptional, but very good) lager in every way.

 542 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
2.9/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to amber color with an off white head. In the aroma, small caramel notes and a sweet lager smell. In the taste, caramel like sweetness and all the characteristics of a lager. A small bite and light bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry caramel aftertaste. A nice twist to a lager, but eh!

 309 characters

Photo of HardTarget
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark amber glass holds a half finger of dark lace that laces the glass a bit.

Smell: An earthy dusty note with some hop leaf in the background. Not a lot going on.

Taste: The earthy, English hop profile holds true, making this a little rougher than I expected for a lager. A little caramel sweetness in the finish keeps it fairly balanced and drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, little prickly, fairly heavy body with an oily finish.

Overall: A decent beer, if you dig the English profile you'll probably enjoy this. Not my cup of tea though.

 564 characters

Photo of Matt1516
2.95/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hazy amber pour from the bottle. Head dissipates rather quickly. Smells of toasted grain.

Tastes of innocuously of toasted grains. A thirst quencher and a "safe beer". Not much to praise or criticize here taste-wise.

Not Magic Hat's best offering.

 249 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Casey's, Newtown Square, PA

A basic but tasty lager. Poured a hazy amber with a thin white head that becomes a layer of spotty bubble patches. Simple caramel malts in the nose, with a touch of fruitiness. A bit bready, with clean, slightly roasted malts in the taste, and a fruit sweetness, balanced by light floral hops. Crisp and clean, light-medium mouthfeel, and decent to drink even if it's not overly distinctive.

 441 characters

Vinyl from Magic Hat Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 265 ratings.