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Vinyl - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

605 Ratings

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Ratings: 605
Reviews: 264
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 15.09%
Wants: 7
Gots: 29 | 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

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 605 | Reviews: 264
Photo of HopHooligan
3.07/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I didn't realize that the middle of January was spring brew time but WTH. I got a 6 pack of this today with some other tasty hard to find brews at Northeast Liquors in CT from the local beer guru John. Thanks!

A: Pours smoothly with a rich amber-brown color. Has little head and the lacing disappears quickly.

S: Not much of a smell coming off the pour, after some sniffing i got a mix of fresh cut grass and deep hops. Slight sweet caramel scent.

T: Vinyl lager is smooth upfront and then finishes like a slightly hoppy IPA, a little strange for the taste buds to get used to.

M: Felt decent, left a earthy grass/wooden taste on the pallet. The malt definitely comes through with the aftertaste.

D: Like most lagers it is easy to drink, the aftertaste of flowery malts makes it slightly more of a sipper.

Overall definitely deserves a try, maybe a Monday or Wednesday night beer, not really worthy of a Saturday night purchase. I do give credit to magic hat for constantly trying new brew styles. Cheers!

Photo of scruffwhor
4.39/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rusty ruby and copper clor with a one finger head that recedes to a film of foam before I take my first sip. OK bubbling. Crisp and toasty malt aroma. Makes me think of pretzel bread and some faint earthy hops. Lighty toasted pretzel bread flavors upfront. Then toasted white bread fresh from the toaster in the middle with some earthy grass and dirt hops to cut the malts just a little bit. The finish stays the baked bread and toasted malt coarse. Very smooth palate all the way through. I wish there was a little more pretzel bread flavor, but this offereing still satisfied. Great session vienna lager.

Photo of jgasparine
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured from the tap into a pint glass with 1/2" of white foam, which slowly receded, leaving some impressive lacing in its wake. The body was a clear (filtered) medium amber color, with no visible carbonation.

S- Crackerlike Vienna malt is most dominant with a faint noble hop aroma. Smells like very 'clean' Vienna lager.

T- The malt comes across much more toasty and nutty than implied by the nose. Almost a bit roasty. The toastiness dominates the palate through the finish. Hops are not perceived.

M- A solid medium body, slightly underattenuated and complimented by a nice soft carbonation.

D- Goes down smooth, but it just doesn't taste good enough to keep me drinking past the first glass...

Photo of jlindros
3.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Huge rising head that slowly fades over a very clear darker honey molasses brown with hints of cranberry red color.

N: Nose has some sweet malts with some toasty malts as well, a slight crisp creamy lager aroma too.

T: Taste is pretty sweet with lots of honey, malts, a touch of darker malts, a little caramel, a slight toasty lager malt flavor, slight roasted porter taste.

M: Lighter with decent carbonation.

F: A little bitter and dries off a bit but still has some lingering syrupy sweetness that seems to be stuck to the mouth now. Too sweet overall.

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

Yet another of those oddly-named brews from those hippies at Magic Hat.

Pours amber into a pint glass with white head that goes away in about two minutes. No lacing to speak of. Nice enough color to the beer itself though.

Very beer-y smell. Malt dominates; no hops of note.

Solid but unremarkable caramel noted lager flavor. Again, not much in the hops department. Round but not overly so mouthfeel. Certainly drinkable, however.

Not bad, but there are so many better Viennas out there. Not really worth seeking out but if it's there, well, go ahead. Just don't expect anything revelatory.

Photo of MagicHatFan
3.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer pours out to be a reddish brown color with a small foam that leaves a light lacing.

Smell: The smell is quite faint. It's almost sweet with a hint of caramel or maple.

Taste/Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This beer goes down smoothly and reminds me almost of a cider with a hoppiness taste.

It's not what I would typically think of as a spring offering but since it is still February, I like it.

Photo of emsroth
2.93/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

App. Beautiful copper with a chunky tan head

Smell. A wonderfully balanced aroma. Fruitiness comes from both the malt and the hops which combine to a caramel Apple smell. Underneath is the earthiness of the dark malt and the htastops bot& which give a spicy, bitter note.

Taste. Here the brew is lacking. The flavor has a slight sweet character up front but is dominated by the roasted malt and hop bitterness. A hint a herbal flavor sneaks out but is truly lost in the bitterness.

Good medium body with great carbonation.

Photo of hosehead83
3.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a standard pint glass
Clear amber in color with a nice, fluffy two-inch head of foam
Aroma-Subtle malt and caramel
Taste-Clean, malt, caramel, some subtle hop notes-Abit light bodied overall-Would make a decent session brew

Photo of abriggs1
2.75/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The color of this beer is incredible. It's a beautiful cloudy amber with a buttery looking head. The smell is less satisfying than the appearance. There's a hollowness to the smell that leaves me unsatisfied. The taste is painfully average. Not much hop presence, some maltiness, but not as much as I would expect given the color. This beer doesn't taste much like a lager to me. It's missing that little bite of funkiness that I love so much about European lagers.

Something must be said. This "spring" seasonal was released in mid January. WTF?!? If it's spring in Vermont, then my cold ass is unaware of this fact.

Something else must be said. This isn't nearly as bad as the "Whacko" summer seasonal of last year, which was an abomination to everything good in the beer world. Lately, I sense Magic Hat has adopted a style-over-substance mentality. This beer isn't bad, but I can think of many better choices to be had. Skip this one; go for Sierra Nevada's Glissade, which is both original and inspired.

Photo of jpwadd
2.9/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I wasn't impressed with this new Spring beer. It tasted weak to me. Nothing stood out flavor-wise. Please stick to the old favorites... and rehire some of your retirees with stronger flavors. (Like the Magic Hats we knew and loved) Bland like (but not the sweetness of) their new Summer beet beer.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I'm trying to come to terms with Magic Hat's asinine beer names and lack of descriptions. Baby steps.

Cap says, "We brew what's true." Clear amber with brown hues thrown in--looks like really dark apple juice. White head leaves good retention.

Unique aroma reminds me of sweet stir fry and peanut sauce. Or maybe wet, fresh mulch and almonds. Some baker's chocolate. Either way it's a friendly, inviting aroma.

Initially smooth with a crisp mid-sip that picks up momentum. Almond nut and tea balanced by toasted malt. It's a somewhat off-kilter, struggled balance that leans towards the sweet almond bitter chocolate flavor, but it does work.

I like it but if this is replacing HIPA I've got issues.

Photo of KingEdward
3.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer from a bottle into a pint glass. This amber colored beer had a two finger off white head that went away quickly and left a foamy ring. Their is minimal lacing. The beer smells sweet and gives the aroma of malt, yeast, maple syrup, and brown sugar. The beer tastes of malt, hops, and has some chocolate notes. The front end is malty and the back end leaves a light hop slightly sweet aftertaste. The mouthfull is nicely carbonated and foamy. This is a very good beer and I think i will have another.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into 19oz pilsner

Appearance: Pours copper with a fairly large off-white head that dissipates at a normal rate with some lacing.

Smell: Sweet malts with some floral aromas and hints of grain.

Taste: Sweet caramel, with a bit of a toasted and slightly hopped finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium body with slight carbonation that dissipates much in the moutyh and a sticky, satisfying finish.

Drinkability: No complaints with this beer, but it's not quite outstanding. Very satisfying, though.

Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Modest head, but it recedes in a rocky fashion. Deep copper color; very clear. Some ring lace.

Lots of caramel aroma; light alcohol in the background. No notable hop (good for a marzen).

Far drier than the smell lets on. Also, this features a good hop finish. The body is typical of the style, which is to say it's lighter than an equivalently colored ale. The aftertaste is well-balanced, while the sipping flavor is lightly toasted malt, similar to "red" beers. Overall, a very pleasant and easy-to-drink brew.

Photo of BigJim5021
3.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours somewhere between amber and brown. The two-finger off-white head settles to a solid ring and leaves plenty of lacing.

Aroma is very faint. All I'm picking up is some doughy malts and a little bit of maple syrup.

The flavor is a more pronounced than the smell. It's got a nice smoked malt profile with some caramel malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel is not too thin and with a creamy quality.

Drinkability is pretty high. I could see myself grabbing a six pack before it goes out of season.

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A – Amber: good head, nice body, scantily lacy. Wait, I’m supposed to be describing a beer...

S – It smells surprisingly like a macro-adjunct, though cleaner and better. And with real hops.

T – It tastes good, but again, a bit like a macro/adjunct. It is actually quite tasty, I am just not used to tasting much quality in this style. The hop finish is good, the Ringwood yeast gives it a pleasant sweetness; overall this is a solid effort, if not my favorite style.

M – Refreshing.

D – I like it for afternoon drinking.

‘Vienna Lager’ is a strange category, especially because the denizens of the style are primarily not Viennese.


This is no longer classified as a Vienna Lager. Hmmm...

Photo of far333
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber honey colored with a beige frothy high head that settles down to a fine cap. Aroma of biscuit and doughey malt, some grassy notes, a faint hint of hops.

Flavor matches the aroma, doughey malt upfront, notes of caramel and toffee. Hints of cinnamon and butter. Mild bitterness, no hop flavors. Fermented with a lager yeast rather than the signature ringwood yeast, but there is a butter flavor in play here. Good interpretation of the style, but the buttery note detracts a bit for me. Tasty beer, could have another.

Photo of wahhmaster
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Pilsner Urquell pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a translucent tawny brown color. Has a thin, fizzy head that dissipates quickly and leaves spotty lacing.

Smell: Malty-smelling with a crisp hoppy aroma. Has a slight citrusy smell as well.

Taste: Has a crisp, hoppy taste up front that finishes sweet and malty. Leaves a refreshing aftertaste that lingers for a while.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a nice carbonation bite that lingers in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: A decent beer and a nice spring seasonal. I know it's early to be having a spring seasonal but this one is very refreshing. I'll be looking forward to trying it again in its proper season.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 1/27/2010 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light coppery brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, lager yeast, some hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out a little sweet with flavors of caramel & citrus. Then some lager yeast breadiness and a hearty malt character come in. There's a decent hops presence that brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, this is a solid sessionable beer with some flavor and substance making it worth drinking for a while.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Magic Hat- Vinyl

A- Amber brown, clear with a decent frothy head. Small lacing and good bubbly carbonation.
S- Buttery malt. Caramel, shortbread, cap'n crunch cereal.
T- Thick caramel, butter, and shortbread malt, sweet cereal grain and hints of brown sugar and molasses. Earthy dry hop finsh.
M- Very buttery smooth and slick. Thick malty body with a sweet and dry grassy/ malty finish.

Overall- Buttery, smooth, and clean. Nice dry hoppiness in the end. A good MH offering.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a deep amber hue almost light brownish color with a nice off white head. The head forms even lacing all down the sides of my glass as it dwindles. Aroma has a nice dark roasted nutty character going on with a low roaring herbal hop note. A clean nutty roasted brown ale like scent that actually works quite well for an Amber or Vienna style lager. Flavor is nice straight forward no surprises easy drinking lager, a slightly more roastier malt presence than expected by the color. Roasted nuts, caramel, and cereal grains fulfill my flavor profile on the palate, the low end Northern Brewer hops work just in balancing but no much in flavor a quaint herbal finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied overall moderate easy going carbonation works just the way it should. Drinkability is dead on classic for the sytle a beer that I really enjoyed imbibing and quite the nice change of pace from the typical seasonal or special release from Magic Hat.

Photo of jamie2dope
3.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was thinking recently that there need to be more Vienna style Lagers out there on the marketplace. Very cool artwork of an upside down butterfly, or pixie looking thing. Pour reveals a robust looking red ale, with a big crusty white head. Some rye bread is present in the nose, along with some caramel like sweetness, and a great malt overtone. Taste has some nice floral hops, bread like malt, and a touch of earth. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and really well balanced in the way the malt and hops play off of one another. Drinkability also receives high marks from me, as it makes for a well executed session beer. Great stuff here from Magic Hat. I would have thought this was an ale if I did not know any better. Although it may be a tad bit soon to be releasing your Spring seasonal when it is only January, I cannot complain too much, as it was a nice beer to have after a long day of work. Cheers to Magic Hat for nailing this style, and please keep it around for a while.

Photo of mutterfudder
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Spring seasonals already? In January? Okay then. Into the Sam Adams Uberglass you go...

A - Copper with quickly vaporizing head that left what little of itself was left on the sides of the glass. Interesting.

S - Not too much here. Some roasted malt and caramel smells.

T - Sharp citrus hop notes that quickly disappear into a sweet caramel flavor. Good thing there's 12 oz in the bottle since it all comes and goes pretty quick.

M/D - Leaves a thin coating of flavor behind. As with many MH beers, I feel a bit gassy on these (TMI, I know) but the carbonation is about what you'd expect. It's an interesting flavor with above average drinkability (though not as good as Mother Lager was)

I liked HiPA, but I guess now that they're doing lucky cat, they don't need a seasonal IPA to go with it. So be it... this is one of the better seasonals that MH puts out.

Photo of burnstar
4.08/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly murky dull copper color with a medium sized head. Nice lacing on the surface. Smell is sweet malt. Bready. Grassy hops. Nice bready malty flavor. Herbal hop flavor and slight lingering bitterness. Really balanced and smooth. Medium bodied. Extremely drinkable. This one reminds me somewhat of Yuengling (which I like and is my standby beer of choice) but better. Definitely a nice new Spring seasonal and one of my favorites from Magic Hat.

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

The beer pours an amber/red color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a nice roasted, caramel scent along with a dry fruitiness. The taste is decent as well. It has a moderately bitter hop character along with an overly sweet caramel malt flavor. It goes down smooth with some light roasted notes. The mouthfeel is average. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a nice attempt at an amber lager, except that it's too sweet for the style. A little less caramel malt and this beer is right in the front row.

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Vinyl from Magic Hat Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 605 ratings.