Demo - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DemoDemo

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

403 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 403
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 15.12%
Wants: 5
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: NEhophead on 01-13-2011

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 403 | Reviews: 139
Reviews by Ljoreilly:
More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.11/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Part of the new 12 pack.
Enjoy by Apr 30 2011.
Oh boy. Another black IPA. In a pint glass the beer was a dark brown color with a thin tan head. There was a bunch of light brown particulate matter suspended in the beer.
Roasted malt aroma with some floral/herbal hops.
Chocolate and coffee taste, late piney hops.
Pretty bitter (and not in a nice way) mouthfeel.
This was unappetizing and didn't taste that great. I've had two, and I'm going to try to palm off the last one on my son-in-law.

Photo of generallee
3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a Pint glass. ("3/4 Pint of Ale" as they say on the label.) The label has a freshness date of "May 31 2011" and the abv is listed at 6%.

Appearance: It has a very dark look in the glass with some very deep dark garnet colored highlights showing through the beer. I also noticed some fine sediment hanging in suspension within the body. To cap off this beer I got a dense tan head which stands two fingers tall. This head has excellent retention and coats the glass with lacing.

Smell: I get a dark roasted malt character with hints of coffee and caramel. Hops are lighter than the malt and add some citrus and herbal notes to the nose.

Taste/Palate: The palate opens up with mild sweetness, roasted malt, coffee and toasted bread with citrus hop notes quickly moving in. It finishes with pleasant herbal/leafy hop bitterness fading slowly off the tongue. It has a creamy and smooth mouth feel with pleasant soft carbonation.

Notes: It come off more as a Porter than IPA but is still very tasty and beautiful.

Photo of Guden
4.15/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice dark brown color, small head which recedes quickly, not what I was expecting when I saw IPA on the bottle but I'm buying it.

S- Yum, roasty toasty coffee and light caramel, smells like a porter, maybe a bit of hops

T- Wow, I am liking this one. The roasted flavors blend with the high hoppiness in a great great way. I don't know how this is an IPA but it sure is delicious. Maybe a cross between a porter and an IPA but it works very well

M- Good, moderate carbonation bristling with just right body to balance out everything, maybe a bit more carbonation could have sent it over the top for me

D- Great, maybe not the most drinkable because of the hoppiness but I could easily put away a 6 pack of this if I had it

Photo of Jason
3.97/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date inkjet printed on the neck of the bottle.

Tan head and lacing do a great job with dressing the glass, opaque brown color talks about being black. Stodgy pungent hop nose with a charcoal burnt graininess in the nose. Smooth with some crispness on the backside. Some burnt flavors from the malt, some sweetness as well. Hoppiness is pungent and pulls on the palate. Finish goes towards dry with a clean roasted flavor and lingering hop.

Solid, perhaps one of the best beers Magic Hat has come out with in years. Only gripe is that I expected it to be full on black ... splitting hairs now.

Photo of Billolick
3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, Best before info etched onto the next of the bottle.

Pours quite dark brown, under a larger, fluffy and staying medium mocha head, that fades to a thicker film and leaves tons of thick sheeting and bands of unsophisticated looking lace.

Chalky chocolate laden nose.

This brew is a ragged mess, with more chocolate, more chalkyness, dark malts, hops somewhere in the back ground, but somehow not making sense nor dancing well with all that chocolate flavor. Finish is thin and not all that pleasant. C'mon Magic Hat, does anybody taste this stuff before it leaves the brewery?!?

Photo of far333
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chestnut colored and opaque with ruby highlights. An oatmeal colored head of low froth rises up minimally and settles slowly leaving legs of lace.

Low aroma of cocoa and caramel, hints of tangerine. Hops morph to pine in the finish. Hints of marshmallow, finishes with a nutty, buttery ringwood nuance. Fairly well-balanced, but leaning more toward malt than hops. Not overly complex. Even mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, finishes slightly tingly. This is a slightly above average beer, fairly tasty, but also pretty forgettable.

Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.49/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a muddy deep brown with a tan head that disspiates to a skin rather quickly, leaving thin lacing on the glass.

Aromas of pine hops, dark malts (crystal & US chocolate), and faint hint of spearmint. Some fresh earthiness also.

Taste has more malts than the nose, but still sufficient hops. Burnt coffee (in a good way) and chocolate maltiness with piney hops. A nice hint of citrus blends well with a dark bitter chocolate ending.

Thin mouthfeel, high carbonation, crisp and slightly dry.

Second time was a charm with this one for me. I like the complexities, even though I'm not a big fan of the American Black Ale. The hint of citrus and bitter chocolate finish really boost the taste rating for me.

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

Body is dark cocoa brown with a cloudy amber appearance once held toward the light, big light tan head dwindles slowly with fine evenly strung rings of lacing. aroma has dark mint hints of nearly burnt ash with mild to dark notes of cocoa. Very herbal highlights amongst the backdrop of dark roasted malt character this is pretty amazing for what it is. Flavor has mild dark chocolate brownie notes drizzled with mint icing light on candy heavy on herbs and endurance...pretty amazing actually, one of the beers that you try not to remember but actually grows on you with each sip. Mouthfeel is medium bodied dark silky smooth body with evenly done carbonation I can't complain about the texture or body in this one. Drinkability in this one isn't bad at all, I don't judge it but I'm scared about what it thinks about me.

Photo of tastybeer
3.36/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer isn't bad. Looks are good... Big inch high tan foam head, great looking lacing, and decent head retention. The beer itself is deep brown in color and somewhat hazy, from what I can see given the dark color. Aroma is of chocolate, licorice, caramel, and leather. Hop aromas are fairly faint. Taste is comprised of mainly chocolate mixed with tobacco and piney hops. Maybe some residual citrus rind. This also has a bit of an earthy feel in both smell and taste. Texture is chalky, kind of resinous, and dry. Medium, even bitterness is evident. I would appreciate a fuller body on this. Along with that a thicker malt base would be welcome not to mention some more flavor hops. I wouldn't be against having this again at all, but I've definitely had superior black ales/IPAs. This beer has a lot of separate parts that could come together more seamlessly. So, overall, not bad and not great.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.91/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nothing pale about this one, but nothing that black about it either. So, it's a very dark IPA and a hardly-black Black Ale. Color is a dark reddish brown, mahogany maybe, and the head is a fluffy, creamy, meringue-firm sort of dirty white. I dig.

Nose is truer to style than its appearance. Lightly burnt grains, hint of smoke, citrus-y hops -- very clean despite the "something's burnt" element. Truth be told, not as burnt smelling as many others in this style. Everything is balanced well, the somewhat conflicting citrus and charred grain aspects mingling nicely.

Appearance would indicate that the burnt taste of many ABAs is going to be lesser here, and it is. You get more of a nice caramel-y, smoky toffee kind of taste instead, and the citrus-like hops don't abrade against that but instead mesh well within. The burnt aspect comes in the finish, and plays tricks on your tongue (burnt or fruity, or burnt fruit?). The feel is smooth and airy, soft and slick, and keeps Demo's drinkability high.

Gotta love the label, a 45 rpm demo record label. Very good beer too, a slightly different take on the style. But for their "IPA on Tour" series, I'm most anxious for the return of Encore.

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle from Premiere. Not as hoppy as a black IPA, and has a decent bitterness for a black, good roasting mostly. Mouthfeel a tad less than middling, still nicely drinkable. Black coloured bodied, of course. Worth a try, just do not expect it to be a black IPA.

Photo of tdm168
3.19/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark black with a quarter of an inch of brown, dense, foamy head that has great retention. The nose is faintly roasty with a creamy, butterscotch note. The flavor is exactly the same. There is also a mild, astringent finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and crisp.

There isn't much flavor or balance here. The flavor is dominated by a big butterscotch creaminess which isn't pleasing. The hop character is mild, but harshly bitter when it wants to be. Overall, I'm not a big fan of this one.

Photo of Reverand
3.06/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

So another I.P.A from Magic Hat. I was eager to try this somewhat new style, a black I.P.A.
Demo poured beautifully. Deep black color with a really nice tannish head. Belgian lace draped down the inside of the glass.
Not much in aroma a little smokiness and a slight hint of hops. Where's the hops?
The mouthfeel is a bit thin for this style.

Overall a decent beer certainly not what I was expecting.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.81/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.04/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Boy oooohhhh Boy....I am struggling with this beer. I admire the moxy of Magic Hat to try an American Black Ale....which I refer to as a Black IPA. I just do not think it came together. The appearance, for me, is not rated high because of the floaties present...more than there should be. The color is black and you cannot see through it. Almost no head and poor lacing. The scent is gives the beer promise, definitely has a hop to it. The taste though comes of very espresso-ish and acidic. The of course hampers the mouthfeel. I would not session this beer. I am glad to have the opportunity to try this beer, but would not drink a lot of it.

Photo of cjgator3
3.81/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Pours a dark black color with a large light tan head with great retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts, hints of coffee and sweet chocolate. With this being a "black IPA" I was expecting more hops.

T- The taste is dark and roasty with a good amount of bitterness in the finish from the hops. Tastes good!

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, Demo is a tasty beer. Worth a try!

Photo of RickS95
3.61/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of tempest
3.46/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had at bottle at Allentown Wegman's with some BBQ brisket in the cafe. Poured with an impressively thick light brown head.Not a bad combo. Bascially, this was a pleasant, creamy porter with a mix of black barley roast and grapefruit and citrus rind hops. I'd have like more hop character to make this more than a bitter American porter, but it's a tasty porter nonetheless. Drinkable for the strength, but not too thin.

Photo of russpowell
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
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

Photo of Gmann
3.26/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a bunch of small particles floating about. The head is a toasted khaki color, fairly dense and rocky. Some lacing left on the glass.

The aroma is not very strong, especially for an IPA of sorts. There are light hints of a roasted malt and a barely there hint of hops. There is a bit of a twang in the aroma.

There is a decent hop flavor. Some lime citrus and a leafy fresh hop. There is some cola and roasted nut flavor from the malt, kinda has a home brew flavor to it. Some sour tea like flavors round out the brew.

The feel is light and very carbonated. Sits fairly balanced on the palate, sort of twangy and bitter.

There is some decent flavors and the beer drinks fine. Is it a great "Black Ale", no, not close but its not bad.

Photo of scootny
3.76/5  rDev +9.3%
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

Photo of KTCamm
3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of sdj5
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks very dark, maybe a reddish-brown, but very close to black. Smells like a relatively hoppy Hershey bar. Taste is a crisp hop bite, with chocolate and roasted malts mixed in and then more of the expected bitterness on the end.

The IPA label seems wrong because this beer is not what it says on the box. However, I do think it is a good beer and would drink it again, regardless of the error in judgement.

Photo of rebel1771
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a near black with a frothy tan head.

S: Hints of coffee and chocolate with a piney twang.

T: Watery burnt coffee flavor up front finishing with a subdued smack of piney hops.

O: This brew is kind of middle of the road but definitely worth a try.

Photo of Bung
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.

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Demo from Magic Hat Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 403 ratings.