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Demo - Magic Hat Brewing Company

DemoDemo

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

398 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 398
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 15.12%


Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Demo is a deliciously dark lick of an India Pale Ale. It’s medley of roasted malts and heady hops will have your senses dancing to the beat of a different I.P.A.

45 IBU

(Beer added by: NEhophead on 01-13-2011)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 398 | Reviews: 139 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ScorpyX
ScorpyX

Colorado

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very dark brown, nearly black with little head to it. Lot of sediment floating around, which I wasn't sure about until I read a few reviews here. That's comforting, I guess.

S: A little smokey with a few coffee notes. Smells more like a porter than an IPA, but then again, I don't have much experience with Black IPAs.

T: Smokey on the taste with mild coffee notes. Tastes like a porter, but kind of watery. Has that roasty malt taste that one might expect from a porter, though this beer oddly isn't supposed to be one. A little thin, but the taste overall is pretty good.

M: As I noted in the taste section, thinner and waterier than I would expect, for both an IPA or a darker beer like a porter or stout. It's a little distracting, but not so bad that it diminishes too badly from the overall experience.

Not at all what I expected. There's not a hop to be had in the taste and it tasted much like the dark beers it resembles. Not the most balanced beer and a little thin, but not a bad taste and makes for a surprisingly solid brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 06:39:16 | More by ScorpyX
Photo of Jadjunk
Jadjunk

Georgia

3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Demo is one of Magic Hat's newest IPA on Tour offerings, brewed in the black IPA style. This is the second year it has been released. I managed to get a good deal on a six pack at Smokerise Bottle Shoppe recently.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to my Magic Hat pint glass. Served at 42º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a chocolatey medium brown creamy head that retains well, receding at a below-average rate and thickening with time. Body color is dark brown, near black. Surface lacing is medium-thick and nice overall. Appearance is substantial. 4

(Smell) Smell is very interesting, with a waft of oatmeal cookie and raisin, some chocolate, roasty malts and a faint hoppy bitterness. Much more malt-forward than anticipated for the style but the aroma, despite a hop shortage is very pleasing. Potency is high with roasty characters dominating the nose. 3.5

(Taste) Smokey, burnt malt flavors, some faint bitter cocoa nibs up front. Bitterness is a key to rounding out the flavor, but the hop flavor is quite vague with earthy tones and a tiny burst of pine on the finish, but not enough overall hop character to adequately balance the flavors of the roasty malt body. As such, it falls short in a couple of spots and in balance, but this is certainly a pleasing Black Ale, with tons of malt character, really bridging the gap to the drinkable dark ales. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) A tingly level of carbonation sharply combats the creaminess that existed for a moment at the beginning of the drink. Body is medium-high for the style and medium overall. Alcohol presence is light, well masked by the full malt body. Carbonation is a bit frisky for the style, a bit more than needed to remind me that there should be a hoppy presence in this beer, but since hop presence is limited, the texture should be far more relaxed and creamier to boot. 3

(Overall) As far as Black IPAs go, this one is relatively mild on the hop scale, while quite forward on the malt body. Despite the hoppy shortcomings, the overall result, while predictable for a drinkable porter, come off as quite enjoyable for a black IPA, and I haven't had many quite like this one. It's a very drinkable and accessible black IPA for the hop-fearful, but worth a try even for the earthier hop loving crowd, especially as a sessions option for the dark and roasty-loving bunch. 4

Magic Hat Brewing Company's
Demo Black I.P.A.
3.58/5.00

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2012 02:41:26 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of CHickman
CHickman

New York

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer review from 5/12/12: pours pitch black color with a lot of brown sediment floating in it and a 1 finger creamy tan head that faded slowly and left very good spotty lacing; looks like a stout.

Smells of roasted malt, grains, coffee, floral hops, cocoa powder and toffee or syrup; overall nose is roasted and malty, devoid of a major hop presence.

Tastes of roasted malt, toasted grains, coffee, vanilla, light floral hops, lemon, herbs, cocoa powder, syrup and brown sugar; a very nice beer, but totally misclassified as this in not an IPA. It's tasty, just not an IPA per the label.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with mild carbonation, a medium body and a feel that's on the watery side with a slight bitterness. Overall a good beer, however you want to classify it.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2012 03:35:23 | More by CHickman
Photo of KTCamm
KTCamm

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours dark black with some off white foam. Slight patchy on top. Roasted coffee smell. Dark chocolate too. Light mild pine-hop taste buried in an espresso malt. More Malt than bitter. Somewhat of a bitter remains, but mild. Some carbonation. Enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2012 10:15:23 | More by KTCamm
Photo of rarbring
rarbring

Sweden

3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer is very dark brown, has a huge tan head that leaves some lacing, rather small curtains.

Smelling of toast, dark roasted coffee, smoked meat and chocolate.

Starting with burned toast, dark coffee beans, bitter high grade chocolate, a few sprinkles of brown sugar and soy sauce.

Medium high carbonation, rather watery and a medium body, a coarse dry finish.

Well it's black, more than IPA. Miss some body and maybe more sweetness and less bitterness might have been good.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2012 16:56:30 | More by rarbring
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is spicy from hops, but it falls off quickly, and even though the spice remains, there is kind of this dirty water thing. Then a coffee thing seems to come through. I guess this one is okay, but it lacks cohesion that would put it a cut above the rest.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2012 13:49:58 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer is definitely underrated here on BA. pours a heady chocolate syrup color with a lot of carbonation. smells like sweet milk chocolate, lots of hops, and smokey burnt malt. flavor is cocoa on the front end with all the hops and roast on the back end. maybe a hint of rye spice in there as well. its balanced and big, but its smooth and drinkable in feel, with a velvet texture and a medium body. overall an excellent late summer beer when the evenings are chilly and a little more oomph is needed. should have higher scores on here.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2012 13:49:10 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of RickS95
RickS95

Indiana

3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Didn't read the label very well, so got a Black IPA without realizing it...not my favorite style. Regardless, pleasantly surprised with the appearance. Extremely dark brown, bordering on black with stuff in it. The head is really thick, a light brown color and lasts an amazingly long time. Lacing is great.

Smells nothing like I expected. Nothing hopworthy of note, mostly roasted malt scents fill the nose. A little smoke. Charcoal.

Tastes nothing like a pale ale. If I didn't know from reading the label or seeing the style on this site, I'd have bet money it was a stout. Can't speak for the style, but the taste is not bad. Lots of roasty notes, maybe a slight floral taste mid-sip, with a bit of hop in the finish.

Very smooth, again, nothing like a pale ale. Has an Earthiness to it, but nothing like the style suggest. Moderate bitter finish.

I have no idea what the beer is supposed to be. It's not an IPA, it's not a pale ale, and it's not an American black ale. I'm voting it's a stout. Either way, it's drinkable with some good features.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2012 02:32:19 | More by RickS95
Photo of Bung
Bung

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. A pretty much black pour, a light tan head on top. Kind if frothy appearing.

Aroma, lots of cocoa and roast malt. Almost like an American stout. Some herbal notes.

Taste, dry roast malt, chocolate, cocoa. Almost a lactose like quality. Finish coffee. Barely any trace of a hop.

Light side of medium, adequate carbonation. A carbonated mocha coffee. Drinks pretty easy.

Really odd one here. IPA fans will certainly be disappointed. For some reason I kind of dig it, but wouldn't call it much of a dark cascade.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2012 01:42:33 | More by Bung
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle - $1.49 at Charlie's Beer and Wine in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown body with a smallish, light beige head. Not too terribly much lacing on the descent.

Smell: Roasty, chary, slightly ashen malts with far fainter hints of bitter chocolate, licorice. Lightly leafy hops and some mild, understated citrus hints.

Taste: Coffee-flavored roastiness, a bit chary, with a small helping of dark, bitterish chocolate and oh-so burnt bread crusts. Hint of licorice coming through as it warms a minute or two. Light sweetness. Leafy, faintly citrus hops with sufficient bitterness. Drying, roasty finish with a low, lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied (barely). Medium carbonation.

Overall: Not nearly as hoppy or as bitter as many Black IPA's, but still firmly roasty. A situation I'll face with a brave smile. Even still, it's OK. Just OK.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2012 22:29:51 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Coffee black. Foamy head, eggshell color. Holding okay. 3.5

Baltic porter-like in the nose. Roasty with dusted cocoa and coffee in the nose. Earthy malts and herbal hops. 3.5

Very roasty and showing a lot of booze. Salty mineral notes with obvious coffee and chocolate. Strange wheat cereal in the finish. Sparse berry notes, but an otherwise dry black ale. 3.5

Medium carbonation and a medium body. Drinkable but with a booziness. 3.0

Average black ale. More malt bitterness than hop bitterness and obscured hop flavors. Bit of a misnomer. 3.0

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2012 03:11:17 | More by thecheapies
Photo of Redrover
Redrover

Illinois

3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the mixed 12 pack, poured into a pint glass, the beer is dark brown a beige head and tons of sediment. Is that supposed to be in there? It covers the bottom of the glass and is suspended through out.

Roasted malts and dark fruit in the nose. For a black IPA, I'm not getting many hops.

The taste is of roasted malts, a bit of coffee, raisins and brown sugar. This would be a decent brown or black ale, but I do want a few hops in my IPA.

The mouth has heft, but the sediment is course.

All-in-all, this was a bit of a miss for me.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2012 00:26:57 | More by Redrover
Photo of ThomasMetal75
ThomasMetal75

Massachusetts

3.03/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Nothing more than a black porter color. Had a nice head, but quickly died. Nice lacing for a while.

S- Porter smell. Very malty. No hops, but thee is a faint spice note. A tiny bit of alcohol nose is present, not much.

T- It's a porter. Not even a IPA in quality. Very malty with the faint spice that was detected in the nose.

M- Medium body. The Demo is too carbonated, and not smooth enough to make the porter flavors creamy in feel. Not really all that refreshing.

*I will not be seeking out this beer again. My brother somehow acquired a case of it, and I do thank him for it, but it's just not for me. It's not like a Black IPA at all; it's more of a porter. It's too harsh and carbonated in the mouthfeel and somewhat weak in the flavor to be something I'd want to keep around after my household is done drinking the case.*

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2012 19:33:01 | More by ThomasMetal75
Photo of david18
david18

New York

3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had a sixteen ounce pour of this at the Amsterdam Ale House in Manhattan's Upper West Side. It was listed as a Black IPA, which I thought was a little bit of an exaggeration. Not quite as hoppy as that.

Color was very dark with a dark head as well. Nice carbonation at first but it dissipated pretty quickly.

Aroma was of light hops and some dark roast. Not bad but i wished I was getting more from it.

Flavor also featured some roast and a little bit of hops. The balance was good but the overall flavor was not among my favorites.

Overall an ok beer. Try it if you see it but didn't blow me away.

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2012 19:21:59 | More by david18
Photo of yesyouam
yesyouam

New York

3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Magic Hat Demo Black IPA is a solid black beer with a bubbly light brown foam that has outstanding retention and lacing. It smells mostly of dark roast and licorice. It's grainy and grassy. The smooth medium body gets a little chalky toward the finish. There's lots of dark roasted flavor like you'd find in an Imperial Stout. There's a juniper bitterness that gets a little poisonous in the finish. This is not what I expect from something called a Black IPA. There wasn't really any hop aroma. A lot of the flavor seem to come from dark, complex malts. Call this something else.

[previous rating March 2011) Magic Hat Demo is a very dark brown ale that's nearly opaque. It's topped with a thin, bubbly, khaki foam that leaves outstanding lacing on the glass. It has a roasty aroma with a sweet caramel note. Coffee and chocolate are present, along with a hint of grassy hops. It has a foamy medium body. The finish is a little astringent. It's pretty sweet and quite chocolatey. There's a healthy amount of green bitterness in this. There's an sftertaste of dark chocolate. It's pretty good, but ultimately the flavors don't work very well together.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 14:15:38 | More by yesyouam
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, pours dark brown/chestnut in color, capped with a frothy tan head that holds great retention and leaves good chunky lacing n the glass. Downside to the appearance is chunks of yeast particulates suspended throughout the body of the ale. Aromas are roasted malt, anise, dark chocolate, some fruitiness. Tastes are dark fruit, cherry, dark chocolate, anise, leathery earthiness, piny bitterness on the finish. The bittersweet dark chocolate lingers with the pine on the palate, creating a nice complex balance to the ale. Medium bodied, creamy but resiny towards the end. Overall, nice offering from Magic Hat - one of the better ones I've had from this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 03:08:05 | More by barnzy78
Photo of scootny
scootny

New York

3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark clear fluid. Huge head lots of lace and retention. Smell is dark malts with brown breadiness. An English style fruitiness in the yeast. Light notes of coffee and chocolate. A bit mild for an IPA. Taste is full of char and firm hops with a super malty nut brown core. Toffee sweetness. Mocha flowing into full coffee flavors bloom on my tongue. Hops are a unique combo of leafy with grapfruit. Finish is dry and somewhat short with a lingering dark roasted grain malt and mild grapefruit hoppiness. Feel is mildly carbonated like an English cask ale with a gentle touch of creaminess. A touch of thickness in a medium weight ale gives a nice body. Quite drinkable and tasty. Very English in character and subtly satisfying. Just seems to be missing a big distinguishing quality about it to set it apart. Then again does it need to. Well done MH, a very nice beer

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2012 03:27:49 | More by scootny
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Magic Hat Demo
12 oz. bottle, freshness code ink-jetted on neck of bottle.
"BLACK I.P.A."

Appearance: Very dark brown body beneath a creamy tan cap (current style guidelines call for a "white to off-white" head). It's obviously got some body to it as I can see particles in suspension. Very fine bubbled carbonation.

Smell: Roastiness like cold black coffee, char, minimal hoppiness that's semi-floral and kind of like wet foliage.

Taste: Dark chocolate with a fruity edge (blackberry, perhaps currant, some orange) upfront and across the middle. A dry, charcoal-like roastiness allows for just a medium-level bitterness to balance it. There are some low-level hops in the background that emerge in the finish as the dark malt fades, with more orange-like citrus and a bit of spice (unless that's the alcohol), followed by more leafy and floral character.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth with a moderate, fine-bubbled carbonation.

Overall: While it's not a bad beer (it's actually pretty enjoyable), I certainly wouldn't label it as a "black I.P.A.". It's just too roasty with that charred dryness to it (how they got that using chocolate malt as their darkest malt, I don't know). And honestly, I don't think there are enough hops to it. It works on the bitterness side because of the drying quality of the roastiness, but the flavor hops shouldn't be relegated to the finish, they should be right up-front. And the complete lack of hops in the nose is almost unacceptable for a black IPA, it should be full of piney and resinous Pacific northwest hops. On the other hand, beer is beer, and experimentation is good, so taking it just at a hedonistic level I'd say it's my favorite Magic Hat beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2012 14:02:18 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of alanmarks
alanmarks

Nebraska

3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Think of an English IPA who married an American Stout in Burton-On-Trent. If you are looking for a Dark Caskadian Ale, this ain't it. It's not an "in your face" IPA, but a more subtle and digified English IPA with notes of coffee and roast. Finishes quite dry for me, a surpoisingly good beer with lunch, not to heavy but full on flavors.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2012 16:42:31 | More by alanmarks
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass:

A: deep dark black colored body with a small tan head that lasted for a good full minute. What there is of the lacing is spotty and slides down the glass slowly. No rings are left.

S: basically roasted coffee beans with a bit of dark chocolate. The hops are very faint in the background.

T: dominated by the roasted coffee beans with some malts coming back.

M: medium with a decent level of carbonation felt, mostly smooth and very creamy.

O: this is definitely one of the better offerings from Magic Hat. However, I think the hops are a bit weak for it to be an American Black Ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2012 19:20:53 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of chefhatt
chefhatt

Pennsylvania

3.03/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this into a pint glass , it has a nice black body with a small tan head that hangs around and laces the glass really well. The smell is of roasted malt with a very slight hint of hops. The taste is very dominate of the roasted malts. They give it a nice rich roasted and chocolate flavor. There are no hops present in the taste. The mouth feel is good and overall this is a good beer, just not tasting like a ipa.
This is the last of ipa on tour that i had to try and by far it is my least favorite.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2012 02:00:41 | More by chefhatt
Photo of HopDevilfan
HopDevilfan

Pennsylvania

1.8/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reminds me of yuengling porter. Dark pour. No smell taste is weak. This is not what I would expect from an IPA. I'm glad I got the spring fever variety pack. I do not know what I would do. If I had to drink a whole class of this stuff. Completely did not meet expectations.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2012 21:56:13 | More by HopDevilfan
Photo of FrankLloydMike
FrankLloydMike

Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep, mahogany, not quite black, with a moderate fluffy tan head that sticks around for awhile.

S: Faint, but pleasant. Begins as it ends: notes of roast coffee, a bit of dark chocolate, maybe some dark fruit, with hits of piney hops in the middle.

T: The dark, roasty malts dominate here, even more than in the smell. There's some hop bitterness and hints of the pine I'd expect, but they're secondary to the malts. The overall taste is not sweet or hoppy, but mostly a dark, roasted malt bitterness.

M: Medium-bodied, good level of carbonation, fairly smooth.

O: A pretty nice beer, but maltier and with less of the citrus/piney hop balance found in the best American Black Ales. I'd gladly have it again, though, and it's easily the best offering I've had from Magic Hat.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2012 19:23:44 | More by FrankLloydMike
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 3 fingers of tan colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Brown head, charred grain & coffee, dark fruit

T: Roasty grain, brown bread, some carob notes & dryness, as well as woody hops up front. Dark fruit notes, & more woody hops, plus some herbal notes, some black currant as well. Finishes dry, woody, fruitty, with a little carob sweetness

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, good balance

This is a different kind of Black ale, I do like it. Easily the best beer I've had from these guys in years

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2012 04:41:54 | More by russpowell
Photo of ADemshar
ADemshar


2.18/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Alright, I just got this out of a Magic Hat variety pack. I was excited to try their black IPA. Unfortunately I detect no odor whatsoever. The taste is more like a weak porter more than an IPA. Bottom line this beer blows. This is the first Magic Hat I have ever had and I don't think I will be back.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2012 23:30:44 | More by ADemshar
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Demo from Magic Hat Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 398 ratings.