1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Vinyl - Magic Hat Brewing Company


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

578 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 578
Reviews: 265
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 15.34%

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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-04-2009)
View: Beers (36) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Vinyl Alström Bros
Ratings: 578 | Reviews: 265 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jjchristiano

New Jersey

2.55/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Just nothing special.
I keep hoping Magic Hat can recreate the "Magic" of Number 9 (which is one of my favorites) but I just don't see it.
Wacko and now Vinyl just are really not very good beers. With all the craft beers on the market today, I'm not sure it makes sense for Magic Hat to be widening their product offerings. I'll finish this six because it is not "bad" but it just isn't special enough to pay $9 for a six pack.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2011 03:03:50 | More by jjchristiano
Photo of

3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours copper with a thin white head that dissipates quickly.
Aroma is lightly roasted malt, some earthy hops.
Flavour is roasted malt, a lot of roasty flavour for a lager, still dry and crisp, not much else going on. Nice, but nothing memorable.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 23:27:37 | More by
Photo of shaunb81


3.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Since I love the sound of vinyl, I decided to see how it tastes....

Appearance - A rich amber body with a 1" head. The head dissipates quickly and goes a mediocre white rim around the glass. Lacing is minimal and doesn't hold onto the glass very well.

Smell - Is that cappaccino that I smell? Anyways, there are some funky hops coming through here. Malts are a bit doughy and something about this brew makes me think that there will be some sweetness on the front end. This beer smells like it should be a lot darker.

Taste - Sweetness hits the front, but immediately goes to a nice bitter middle. Afterwards? Coffee finish all the way until I take the next sip. An interesting selection.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is light and the body is pretty enjoyable. A bit creamy from the middle to end. Love it.

Overall - This is a good beer. It throws you off for a Spring seasonal offering with it's dark smell and taste, but lighter body for that Springtime fun. This might be one of my favorite Spring beers due to it's edgy taste at this time of year

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 06:07:12 | More by shaunb81
Photo of NaLoGra


4.03/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured very nice head, smelled malty at first. Good lacing as well. Tastes great with a hint of chocolate flavor, and an aftertaste lightly dominated by hops.

I've never had a magic hat before, but after this one I am willing to explore their different brews with optimism.

Very smooth, overall very impressed. Would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2011 19:09:42 | More by NaLoGra
Photo of jjanega08


1.98/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Best by Date reads Mar312011. So I'm a litle late.

A= Pours a deep red color with a nice big two finger head on it that holds steady retention and lacing. The head is an off white color.

S= Smells quite boring. I picked this up without looking at the best by date because I figured their spring seasonal would be ready to drink around spring time... I was wrong. I'm not sure if the lack of aroma has anything to do with it being a week or two out of the best by date however. Really just smells like a tad bit of sweet malt.

T= The taste is just like the smell. Weak and boring. There is a suprising roast malt aftertaste to it. WTF is that.

M= Average carbonation and mouth. About right for the style.

O= Ok I missed the best by date by a few days. I bought the beer because I thought it was a SPRING seasonal. Interesting. The snow litterally just melted off the ground today and my spring seasonals are already old. This beer isn't impressive and not worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2011 04:31:09 | More by jjanega08
Photo of Erish


3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured this 12 0z bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Best by 3-31-11. Missed it by that much.

A: clear reddish amber color, an aggressive pour produced a decent tan head, but that falls very quickly into a scant cap with scant lacing.

S: rye bread, plenty of earthy hops, the sweetness is subdued.

T: the malty sweetness is more pronounced in the taste, and it lingers through the middle and finish, the middle shows more earthy hops and some herbal notes, the finish starts with a faintly smoky note and finishes herbal and off-dry.

M: light bodied, lightly silky texture, moderate carbonation which probably leads to this beer showing a bit sweeter than expected.

O: this beer has no head, is a tad too sweet, and has some odd flavors that I don't hate but also don't really enjoy in a lager. I will take a pass on this the next time.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2011 00:28:28 | More by Erish
Photo of JohnFatAss

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not what I was expecting, but I did not know what to expect with a name like Vinyl.

Pours a dark Amber color, off white head and no lacing.

Smells of roasted malts.

Tastes of sweet toasted malts and carmel with a slightly creamy mouthfeel.
Easy to drink with no bitterness.

It is different. A nice surprise.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2011 02:24:11 | More by JohnFatAss
Photo of aflockofshegulls


2.45/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a glass, VINYL braces you refreshment with its Oktoberfest-esque color and head. Your hopes are then unceremoniously dumped by its vaguely woody and in no way fragrant smell.

The taste that follows is slightly better. Minor German-style malt upfront that quickly fades into slight bitterness. Ever so slight herbal/woody hop flavor in the aftertaste that is really almost imperceptible. Overall, the sparse positive notes in the taste rapidly diminish leaving a dully sweet, perhaps mineral aftertaste. Not refreshing.

Mouthfeel is good with low carbonation. Pretty smooth and if there were better flavor characteristics here, then more carbonation would improve the experience.

Why did they choose this name? Have you ever tasted vinyl? It is just another muddled, directionless beer from Magic Hat who seem to never make test batches of their recipes before going all the way.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2011 22:22:16 | More by aflockofshegulls
Photo of nukem5


3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a copper color with a nice tan foam cap. Nice lacing.
S: bready with sweet malts, well hopped.
T: same as aroma with a biscuity taste
M: medium body, slightly alcohol taste in back.
O: very drinkable....would definitely order again.

I ordered this at my local bar, had never heard of it and was pleasantly surprised.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2011 01:52:10 | More by nukem5
Photo of jsprain1


3.1/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Hazy redish brown. One and a quarter finger head lastst pretty well at half a finger and leaves plenty of lacing.
S- Caramel, a bit yeasty, a touch of minerals that seem ill-placed.
T- Starts a bit minerally, which is a touch off putting. Caramel in the middle, with a yeasty finish. Pretty sweet throughout.
M- Medium, with a lot of lingering sweetness on the tongue. Smooth carbonation.
O- A decent lager, but one that's pretty forgettable. Not as easy going down as I'd like due to mineral quality, and excessive sweetness. Thus, since it's not all that easy going down, or all the memorable, it's probably not worth another purchase.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2011 02:04:58 | More by jsprain1
Photo of DCon


3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap @ Nick's Pub in St. Louis, MO. Poured into a Pint Glass from the Snow Globe Tap for $6.

Appearance- Dark Red, Light Brown Color with hazy body and clear. Half a finger of head and very little amount of lace on the glass.

Smell- Extremely sweet smelling, some type of fruit (citrus), and a honey or caramel scent as well. Very good!

Taste- Very sweet. I would say there is a munich malt used, with the bitterness obtained through the mild hop character and a caramel finish. Nice, but not true to style... Shouldn't be this sweet or have such an easy taste.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, Ton of carbonation at the beginning of the drink, and smooth!

Overall- Easy to drink, sweet, but no way I can see this as an Amber or Red Lager... I would definitely have this lager again if given to me on tap or in a bottle. Excited to see where I'll see this again...

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2011 08:14:37 | More by DCon
Photo of ryanonline


3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear and slightly coppery with a white head that dissipates leaving only a little bit of lacing.

Smell is very unique, toasty with a slight citrussy nose.

Taste is the same but a strong emphasis on a roasty oat flavor. Much more fruity flavor though.

Mouthfeel is light, almost none existent body and a slightly dry finish.

Super drinkable.

Another Meh offering from magic hat.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2011 04:38:03 | More by ryanonline
Photo of JesteR14


3.65/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Great look. Amber/Copper with some red. Cloudy throughout this beer.

S- Smells good, great malt backbone.

T- Its good, definatly a red lager. The malt taste is very noticable and leaves a SLIGHT bitter note afterwards. It tastes boozy but its 5 ABV.. i would of guessed 7 or 8 if i didnt know.

M- Smooth with some decent carbonation. Flavors are balanced and doesnt leave to bad of a lingering flavor.

D- Good, but nothing fantastic. I will get it again but only single bottles.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2011 05:45:13 | More by JesteR14
Photo of billybob


3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a slightly hazy copper color one inch head very little lace. smell very bland of roasted malt taste same a little nuttiness to it smooth mouthfeel and you don't taste the higher alcohol in it. if your looking for a malty type of beer that is not to sweet and that caramel taste that they all seem to have this is the one. very smooth easy to drink its not a prize winner but its still a ok beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2011 18:43:10 | More by billybob
Photo of wesbrownyeah


3.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Magic Hat Vinyl Amber Lager, 5.1% alcohol poured into a German Becker.

A- Pours a amber brown colored fluid with two inch thick frothy head that falls to a quarter of an inch top.

S- Chocolate and caramel malts come to mind with hints of lemon zest.

T-M- The taste is sweet caramel malts and mild citrus hop bitterness in the backbone. Mouthfeel is mild with a slightly creamy edge on the tongue.

All and all a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 22:00:42 | More by wesbrownyeah
Photo of zeff80


3.75/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a small, tan head of foam. The head was short-lived and left no lacing.

S - It smelled of bready malt and caramel. Not much else.

T - Tasted of sweet breads with caramel and a nice spicy hop bite.

M - It was smooth and a little creamy. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a pretty nice amber lager. It really surprised me.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2011 03:37:08 | More by zeff80
Photo of mattgreger


3.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got in Magic Hat Spring Sampler

The pour on this brew was a basic brown/orange color. Very clear, and crisp looking. It pour with a great two finger mocha colored head. I leave some nice lacing throughout the brew and a nice ring that follows the brew down.

The aroma on the brew isn't huge, but it does have a nice roasted malt at the front, with some nice toasted toffee notes as well. There is also a great kick as it warms a bit with some floral hops. This brew clearly is going to be better as it warms.

BOOM. This brew is great when it comes to taste. I never expected the what I got out of this brew. Its packed with flavor. There is a great toffee/cocoa at the front of this brew. Its very bold, with a rich nuttiness. Its balanced very well, giving a bit of bitterness. Its got a nice dry finish. It also has some great floral/grassy notes that give this brew a complexity, I wasn't expecting this from this brew. Im impressed.

The mouthful on this brew is a bit sticky, in a good way. It has a nice floral hops, giving a nice dry finish. Great flavors that hold you on for the next drink.

For some the bitterness of this particular brew might be a bit to much, but for the a craft brew drinker its pretty good. It actually reminds me of a stout, but not so filling. It a nice brew, great job Magic Hat.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2011 03:20:05 | More by mattgreger
Photo of mactrail


3.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Undistinguished amber beer of no apparent pedigree.

Looks OK in the pint glass with a pleasing amber color. Rather flat in the mouth. Some pleasant malt flavors. Dry caramel like an old Sugar Daddy. Hops are just a source of some bitterness-- no floral or aromatic flavors. Kind of the astringency of chewing on pomegranate seeds. Clean and decently made, though. Aftertaste not very pleasant.

Quite forgettable. I don't know why they are making this mongrel.

Serving type: on-tap

03-22-2011 01:54:40 | More by mactrail
Photo of Jesse13713


2.45/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Finally reviewed this after my fifth bottle. I really enjoyed the first one I had, but after that it just kind of went flat.

Appearance - A very caramelized earth tone. Brown and sort of plain looking with some slight transparency. Decent lacing but little head.

Smell - Smells sort of like rotting flowers. Slight malts are noticeable; but I fail to get any hint of hops.

Taste - A very caramelized malty taste. Quite yeast-like. Slight floral notes. I can't really tell that this is a red ale.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Easily drinkable at 5.10% alcohol. It can taste watery at times with floral notes. A slightly unbalanced watery alcohol taste is sometimes present. This isn't a bad beer; but compared to other ambers and lagers it is towards the bottom of my list.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 02:05:02 | More by Jesse13713
Photo of Jadjunk


2.83/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

#108. As part of a Magic Hat 12 pack seasonal mix. Price is decent, just shy of $17. Found pretty much everywhere that carries a half decent craft beer selection.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass at room temp.

(Appearance) Pours an initially fizzy, later foamy 1.5 finger depth head that thickens as it gradually recedes. Lacing is also present, thin but consistent. The color is a very opaque hazy deep reddish tone with some orange highlight. Carbonation is incredibly bold. Looks really thick, one of my favorite appearances. Head does a pretty good job too- it wasn't big but it does hold longer than expected. So far, so good. 4

(Smell) Some very Lager-esque yeasts and a slightly thick bread and butter malt smell. Slightly roasty malts tie with the bread. Bread heavy, in general. There's not much dimension beyond the malt, so no hop presence and no additional flavor characteristics. Potency is medium and could improve. This isn't really the most appealing lager aroma I could gather. There's not a lot of diversity and excitement to it. Smell creeps close to a half-decent macro, but that's no winning formula. 2.5

(Taste) The smell carries over for the most part- there's a good deal of bread and butter but a very slight hint of spice and floral flavor in here. It's still far from balancing out and the whole thing just tastes malt-heavy, generally uninteresting but passable and certainly not disgusting. Pretty thick in flavor but no diversity, no high points, no low points, just a lot of malty flavor and some yeasty notes. There may be a touch of honey in there somewhere, but it could certainly use a boost to save the flavor of this beer. It does alright, but there's a lot of excitement needed in this beer to keep me coming back. 2.5

(Mouthfeel) A bit thick, a bit frothy and creamy. Texture is quite smooth with a touch of carbonation tingle in the beginning. It could settle even more. Pairs well with the malty taste. There's at least a medium body in this beer, with a well-hidden Alcohol content. Not a bad compliment to the taste. 4

(Overall) Quite drinkable but not very exciting. I'd personally get a 12 pack of Samuel Adams Boston Lager before this; for price mostly. I'm really not much of a lager guy, but this would do well as a classier party choice. I could and will enjoy several more of these alone, it's not really the embodiment of spring, but it'll pass. 3

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2011 02:34:42 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of shand


3.83/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice clear amber colour with a finger of head that sticks around nicely and leaves some decent retention. Smell is toasted malts, a touch of nuttiness, and a bit of prickly hops. The taste is quite similar to the nose, this is very big on the toasted malts with a fair amount of nuttiness. The aftertaste brings in some subtle hops that are quite interesting. A good tasting, full-flavored lager.

The mouthfeel is pretty good, it could be a little fuller bodied but otherwise feels good on the tongue. And the drinkability is also good. Nothing wrong with it in this aspect. A solid lager that's nice and toasty.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 01:14:54 | More by shand
Photo of rebel1771


3.55/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an amber color with a small head that fades quickly.

S: Aroma of toasted caramel malts with just subtle grassy note.

T: Toasted malt up front and not much else. Slight sweetness chimes in at the end.

D: Good not great. This sort of middle of the road performance is becoming standard for Magic Hat.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 22:52:52 | More by rebel1771
Photo of chodinheaven


3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy dark orange color with a healthy almost-white head. Nothing special from the aroma other than some sweet malts after a stale hop smell. Some roasted malts in the first sip and a decent backbone of flavor on the palate, not as was expected from the nose. A decent hop character is balanced out by some sweetish malts that make this beer pretty good in the taste. There's a small taste on the backside of it all, a bitterness or something, that is unpleasant though and almost puts the beer in a lower category. It's decent up front, but in the end of it all kind of loses its luster. Its easy enough to drink, its just not one that I would go out of my way to buy again. Decent, somewhat crisp and refreshing though and does manage to remind me of spring, so not a bad choice.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 05:09:17 | More by chodinheaven
Photo of KarlHungus


2.88/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a clear amber color. The head is half and inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of toffee and caramel malt. The taste is similar to the aroma. The taste and aroma are nice, but lack anything resembling complexity. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium bodied with a watery texture, and carbonation that is slightly high. Overall, this isn't the worst beer in the world, but it does have enough flaws that I will not be drinking it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2011 22:51:21 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of brewemstrong


3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Lovely dark amber with a 1 finger white head. Zero haze.
S: Nothing overpowers the nose but a quality maltiness is definitely there.
T: Perfect amount of bittering hops that pairs nicely with the malt. Probably great with pork chops.
M: Smooth and not too sugary. Gives a full-bodied flavor.
D: Easy to drink but there is a slight stickiness to the finish that leads to long pauses between sips.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2011 04:27:25 | More by brewemstrong
Vinyl from Magic Hat Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 578 ratings.