1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Demo - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DemoDemo

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

400 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 400
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 15.12%
Wants: 4
Gots: 16 | 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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Demo Alström Bros
Ratings: 400 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of athomasPSU
athomasPSU

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +9%

09-18-2013 16:51:28 | More by athomasPSU
Photo of chasmandocharles
chasmandocharles

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +9%

08-09-2012 21:51:06 | More by chasmandocharles
Photo of sdj5
sdj5

New York

3.7/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

03-29-2011 00:46:45 | More by sdj5
Photo of BEERMILER12
BEERMILER12

Maine

3.7/5  rDev +7.6%

A: Pours a dark mahogany color with a tiny mocha head

S: Mostly malts and chocolate, with hints of coffee and hops

T: Follows the nose, with big roasted malts, chocolate, and bitter coffee. Hops go unnoticed or the most part until the finish where they add a pleasant bitterness

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Fairly light/thin for the style

O: I'm fairly impressed with this, it's pretty much on par with most ABAs I've had. It's enjoyable, and a nice segue from winter to spring/summer beers. The only big drawback is the absence of the hops (aside from a finishing bitterness)

03-30-2012 21:31:07 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of nriech
nriech

Virginia

3.7/5  rDev +7.6%

I havent particularly a fan of Magic Hat but this one puts me back in the mindset of being willing to try more.

Nice soft brown, hazy color, slight head.

Malty nose, a little floral, a little yeasty.

Good malt backbone for the style, maybe a little lacking in lasting flavor. Good carbonation. Very drinkable. A good gateway beer so being in the mix case is a good idea. It could use a little more hop in the flavor though.

01-24-2011 22:30:56 | More by nriech
Photo of shaunb81
shaunb81

Florida

3.7/5  rDev +7.6%

Got this in a Magic Hat Spring Mix Pack.

Appearance - Holy moly!! This IPA pours black with reddish, mahogany hues toward the bottom of the glass. A rich, 2 finger beige head and medium lacing makes for a pretty exciting pour. Head really doesn't disappear totally.

Smell - Toasty malts are there right off the bat. Minimal hops come through. Much less than I would think for an IPA. Coffee and caramel also poke their heads out on the back.

Taste - This beer doesn't even drink like an IPA. It resembles more of Stout to me. Malts are prevalent throughout the experience. Hops are there on the back end. They come through when you least expect them. A nice burp reminds me that I'm drinking an IPA too. I tasted the hops much more the second time around. Coffee finishes this beer off and lingers until I take another sip.

Mouthfeel - It's a bit creamy and also carbonated nicely. I really like this beer.

Overall - Good stuff here. A different twist on what I'm "used" to. IPA, for me, can be a flavor journey and this was definitely an adventure that I would take again and again. Now, if only I can find it in a six pack...

05-04-2011 02:54:14 | More by shaunb81
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev +7%

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.

03-13-2012 03:30:18 | More by Sammy
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev +7%

12oz Bottle

Appearance - Dark brown/black colour with a large size frothy light brown coloured head. It is too dark to see the carbonation levels and there is some really great lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, chocolate, coffee

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and the beer has a nice well balanced full bodied taste. Lots of hops mixed with caramel and malts. Also some chocolate and coffee. There was a bit of an odd flavour to the beer that I couldn't quite figure out.. but it didn't hurt the taste too much. It finishes with a malty and hoppy aftertaste.

Overall - Black IPA's are quickly becoming one of my favourite styles. This is a solid beer that Magic Hat should have as part of their regular line up. It reminded me a bit of a junior version of the Stone S.S.S.R black ale. I'd buy it again.

05-16-2011 18:06:13 | More by spinrsx
Photo of FickleBeast
FickleBeast

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev +7%

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic

Pours near pitch black with a finger of off white foam. Aroma is predominately spicy hops, with some raisiny malt notes as well.

First sip is very smooth, minimal bitterness or hop bite at all. Slight metallic twang on the back end. Also surprisingly dry, without much malty sweetness. There is a sneaky bitter flavor that catches up to your palate a few seconds after you swallow. Flavor is lacking a bit. Hops are not assertive, and I get just a kiss of roasted malt.

Overall, not bad. Quite drinkable due to the dry mouthfeel. One of Magic Hat's better offerings, in my opinion.

01-25-2012 03:18:45 | More by FickleBeast
Photo of BeerResearcher
BeerResearcher

Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev +7%

12oz brown bottle. Freshness date stamped on bottle neck.
Served in a standard pint glass.
It pours a mahogany-hued black with a fading beige head, along with some splotchy lacing.
Smells of cut dry pine and slightly burnt rye toast, mingle with citrusy and resinous hops.
Unlike a Schwarzbier, the hop flavors are upfront and dominant. Citrus, spruce, resinous and metallic hops are strong, but reluctantly give way to a fairly solid malty body. Rye toast and graham crackers with a touch of honey follow in behind the hops. A little boozy alcohol staggers in and joins the party, but sort of off to the side, belching and hiccuping now and then, but not totally inappropriate.
Nice beer to pair with grilled meats and veggies or spicy Asian dishes.

04-23-2011 21:18:08 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of BeerNoobNC
BeerNoobNC

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +7%

Poured from a bottle from the 12 pk variety pack (not sure if it comes other ways or not). Expecting this as a black IPA that would be hoppy, this beer was a big disappointment. This is especially true since I bought the variety pack hoping for a good black IPA. With that, the beer was still pretty tasty, but tasted more like a well-balanced porter than a black ale. I gave the beer still generous ratings because most disappointing beers taste gross, but I would definitely like to taste more hops in this beer for it to be considered a black ale.

02-27-2012 03:19:10 | More by BeerNoobNC
Photo of wedge
wedge

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev +6.1%

"Nuthin' to It but to do it!"

Very dark, opaque brown color under a huge, chunky, milk-shake head. Lacing all the way down the glass. Light grassy hops over some roasted malt, creamy coffee, and nuts. Quite mild overall, though it improves as it warms. Heavier roast in the flavor: bitter chocolate, black malt, and some piney hops laying underneath. Much nicer as it warms up. Dry, smooth, medium body. Although this isn't much of a "Black IPA", it is a tasty beer. I could drink a few of these and be perfectly happy.

04-10-2012 00:15:51 | More by wedge
Photo of FrankLloydMike
FrankLloydMike

Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev +6.1%

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.

04-26-2012 19:23:44 | More by FrankLloydMike
Photo of RickS95
RickS95

Indiana

3.63/5  rDev +5.5%

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.

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

Oklahoma

3.63/5  rDev +5.5%

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

04-22-2012 04:41:54 | More by russpowell
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390

Indiana

3.63/5  rDev +5.5%

A-Black-ish, when put up to light looks more of a dark brown. 1/2 a finger of head but leaves behind great lacing.

S-Coffee, licorice and burnt malts. Not much hops though.

T-Starts with the coffee and burnt malts that are in the nose. However lacks in bitterness. For what Magic Hat describes as a Black IPA (not trying to start the name of the style debate here) where is the bitterness???

M-Medium bodied with little carbonation.

D-Bought a single of this to avoid the spring mix pack. Easily the worst of the IPA on Tour, but the previous three were all solid beers.

04-13-2011 21:32:46 | More by rlee1390
Photo of Tone
Tone

Missouri

3.63/5  rDev +5.5%

Pours a black color. Two inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, hint of chocolate, slight roasted malt, slight hops, and a hint of earthy malt. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, hops, sweet malt, and a hint of pale malt. Overall, good aroma, but lacking in body.

04-09-2012 19:07:51 | More by Tone
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.6/5  rDev +4.7%

The message under the bottle cap was a warning: "If you imbibe, Let Others Drive." I thought I was drinking an American Black Ale but it really feels more like a Porter. The pour is incredibly dark brown to practically black with a silky head the disappears after a few moments. The aroma is of dark malts, smoke, coffee, and a bit of hops. The body was in the medium range. The taste came across as dark malts and coffee much like the aroma with a moderate bitterness coating the palate. I found it to be a fascinating beer.

04-07-2012 01:01:25 | More by puboflyons
Photo of Genuine
Genuine

Connecticut

3.6/5  rDev +4.7%

poured from the bottle into a clean pint glass.

The body is very dark in color with slight hints of red, with a medium tan head that stuck around for a while and actually left lacing down the side of the glass.

Taste - Lots of roastyness from the start. I'm noticing some breadiness as well from the yeast, which goes quiet well the roasted malts/hops.

Mouthfeel - the carbonation kind of reminded me of soda bubbles, which, wasn't that great but, it as good.

Overall - this is a decent beer from Magic Hat. wasn't a huge fan of the aftertaste, not sure if I would have it again, but it was nice to try.

04-27-2011 20:58:28 | More by Genuine
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

3.6/5  rDev +4.7%

A:three finger tan foamy head on a very black with little light getting through body

S: lots of coffee and roasted malt. Strong aroma

T: more coffee which dominates however it is very mellow without much coffee bitterness. The hops are light and mostly in the finish. Roast malts as well.

M: full bodied and moderate carbonation.

Overall: I like the coffee in this one a lot. I wish the hole had a stronger presence but with this much coffee, more may not even have a chance to come through.

03-11-2012 06:58:06 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of rarbring
rarbring

Sweden

3.58/5  rDev +4.1%

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.

09-10-2012 16:56:30 | More by rarbring
Photo of NoLeafClover44
NoLeafClover44

Delaware

3.58/5  rDev +4.1%

12 oz. bottle poured into standard pint.

A - Almost black with a beige head. Splotchy lacing.

S - Very smokey, toasty black malts, some piney hops. A bit musty.

T - Burnt malt flavors with some sweetness. Finishes with smoke and hops.

M - Good carbonation, slightly creamy, medium bodied.

O - One of the best on tour IPA's thus far. Magic Hate did a very nice job in one of my favorite styles although I would have appreciated some more hops to solidify it as a (black) IPA. I am excited to see that Magic Hat has been using their "IPA on Tour" series to experiment with several different types of IPA's (Wheat IPA, American Black Ale, English IPA, etc.). All things considered, I enjoyed it very much.

02-08-2012 06:17:21 | More by NoLeafClover44
Photo of Jadjunk
Jadjunk

Georgia

3.58/5  rDev +4.1%

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

11-16-2012 02:41:26 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev +3.2%

Got a bottle from a good friend of mine. He was very excited for me to try it. The pour was pretty nice, a deep brown color with a pretty good looking tan head on it. The smell of the beer was hoppy and had some dark chocolate notes as well. The taste of the beer was hoppy, then it faded to a macho coffee type of aftertaste. The mouthfeel was too light for this style. Overall it was one of the better beers Magic Hat has put out in a while but still not that impressive.

06-25-2011 18:36:21 | More by Knapp85
Photo of ThreeDimesDown
ThreeDimesDown

Connecticut

3.53/5  rDev +2.6%

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.

03-04-2011 22:45:38 | More by ThreeDimesDown
Demo from Magic Hat Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 400 ratings.