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Demo - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DemoDemo

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

139 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 139
Hads: 403
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 7.58%
Wants: 6
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Demo Alström Bros
Reviews: 139 | Hads: 403
Photo of zac16125
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
no born on date or other distinguishing numbers

A: Pours a very dark brown, flirting with black, with 1.5 fingers width of light mocha colored head that takes a decent amount of time to dissipate down to a thin film which remains throughout the drink. Leaves very trace spotty lacing.

S: Aromas of milk chocolate and coffee, along with some piney hops, and a very subtle hint of dark fruits in the form of raisin.

T: Milk chocolate, roasted malt, subtle dark fruits, milk, a touch of biting hop bitterness but not much. The hint of piney hops is pretty much all the hop presence that can be found. I actually really enjoy the taste, but the palate profile is much more porter than black IPA.

M/D: On the thin side of medium bodied, with a carbonation sting. High drinkability though, definitely a sessionable beer.

O: Overall, I really like this brew, but it certainly comes off as a sessionable porter or American stout, much more than it does a black IPA. I am a big fan of the black IPA style, but it seems very few are able to pull it off to what I think is the desired standard (see Stone Sublimely). I won’t dock this too much for not fitting the style, because it seems like no one can pull it off except Stone. An enjoyable drink nonetheless. (1,298 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color and lightly cloudy. Good starting head that settles to a single layer of bubbles. Very good rim lace after each sip.

Dark but dry malts to the nose. Lesser hop smell. Light yeast aroma.

Quite dry, almost astringent. Slightly thin bodied, the carbonation does match this well. Good darker crystal malt flavors--slightly nutty. The hop balances the malt well, but is not distinct. Overall, a very drinkable, if non-distinct, black beer. (453 characters)

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased as part of the spring 12pack at Market Basket in Somersworth. Pours an opaque black body with well over an inch of khaki-colored head. Citrus and dark chocolate dominate the aroma. Toast and dark chocolate just slightly overpower the hops. Medium in both body and carbonation. Pretty damn good, though I wouldn't know it was supposed to be a "black IPA" if the label didn't say so. It definitely seems more like an American porter to me. Either way, it's tasty. (483 characters)

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance:
The beer pours a dark black with brown highlights around the edges. Little head/lacing, but copious amounts of dense particles floating (almost stationary) around my glass...I give points to beers that aren't ashamed to show where they came from.
The head that was visible for a brief minute appeared to be a light tan.

Smell:
I made the slight mistake of judging this beer as a "cold server," but upon reconsideration, I would have liked to see how this beer smelled at warmer temperatures.
Although I am slightly desensitized to hops, there is still a slight bitterness. However, a majority of this beer is devoted to a burnt toffee/caramel malt. A little aeration goes a long way with this beer.
Also, a little more alcohol really would have helped to crank up some of the aromas this beer is hiding.

Taste:
Initially I'm only getting rich, toasty malts with hints of the hops that would qualify this beer as being on an "IPA tour." Although initial impressions of a beer can go a long way, the truth unfolds to reveal this beer's true balance between a lingering burnt/bitter aftertaste and initial sweet/burnt maltiness. All prejudices aside, this is one of the better Magic Hats I've tasted in a long time.

Mouthfeel:
Roasted malt up front with a toffee sweetness that follows. The aftertaste is bitter, but the palate is still coated heavily with roasted malt.
No heavy alcohol and the body is between medium-full.
My only major complaint is I would have liked to get more hops upfront.

Overall (Drinkability):
Smooth, easy to drink, can drive home after having a couple.
I paid $0 for this beer, snagged it out of a friend's variety pack (which was fair priced to begin with). I appreciate Magic Hat's efforts to produce different "IPAs on tour" to try and tap into the east coast IPA market, but a huge "under-hopping" leaves this beer out of its league.
With great beer comes great responsibility. I feel responsible to stand up to this beer/brewery that has had their name run through the muck after their recent acquisition by Anheuser; I think Magic Hat is making an effort...so far it's just not enough.

Cheers. (2,145 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3.82/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (673 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.81/5  rDev +11.1%
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. (1,706 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
3.81/5  rDev +11.1%
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! (467 characters)

Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3.8/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Date: 8 May 2011
Glass: Standard nonic
Type: 12fl oz bottle

Pours a 1-finger head, reduces to heavy film, lacing is surprisingly sticker for a typical Magic Hat. Color is deep copper-brown.

Aroma begins with some roasted malts and coffee, lightly hopped. No other ingredients than that, but the quality of the aroma is rather nice.

Taste of roasted coffee leads the charge, even lighter in roasted malts, but specifically no dark malts seem to be large in flavor. Hops are present, but light and on the bitter side.

Mouthfeel is not a palate-destroyer, and drinks as a great dark session beer. As the beer descends down the glass, the following sips the hops seem to hit the taste buds before the beer actually hits the tongue, making this extremely enjoyable. Their "on tour" series beers always impress me. (812 characters)

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.8/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Another 'IPA On Tour' series brew, I've had quite a few. I am shocked when a nearly black brew comes out capped with a mocha head; I didn't know it was a Black IPA. The beer is a bit ruddy looking for the CDA/ABA style. It seems to present a look like I would expect from a Porter.

S - The nose tells me this is not like most of the other CDAs I've had in that it has taken on a lot of roasted characteristics from the dark malt, not just color as is often the case.

T - The taste reinforces elements found in the aroma such as prominent roastiness and coffee-chicory notes. There is also a grassy, green hoppiness, reminiscent of fresh-cut grass or aloe sap. I am a huge fan of the malt, not so much of the hop.

M - Medium-bodied and sharply carbonated. It could've been a bit softer in the effervescence dept. Otherwise, it is good.

D - Another solid offering from the 'On Tour' series, which is just about the only thing MH puts out that is worth drinking these days. (978 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
3.78/5  rDev +10.2%
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. (302 characters)

Photo of JohnTerrizzi
3.78/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving Type: poured from bottle into clear glass beer mug.

Appearance: dark brown almost black. completely opaque when held to the light. semi-tan off-white head that dissipates fairly rapidly. some lacing.

Smell: strong roasted malt aroma with hints of chocolate and hops.

Taste: strong roasted malt flavor with better cocoa after taste. some very faint hints of hops. the hoppiness emerges as you make your way to the end of the beer.

Mouthfeel: semi full bodied. nice carbonation. a little prickly on the tip of the tongue.

Overall: not a bad beer. more like a porter or stout than a black ipa. I was expecting more hops but I would definitely drink it again. (668 characters)

Photo of scootny
3.76/5  rDev +9.6%
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 (866 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I guess this is the last beer on the IPA on tour and since most offerings were good I picked it up.

A - Wow a nice murky brown which I didn't expect with a nice inch of head that turns to a sticky ring.

S - Nothing really stands out, mild roast malts with a touch of chocolate... no hops? Isn't this suppose to be an IPA?

T - Well it's not bad. Nice taste of mentioned roasted malts maybe a bit of chocolate but hops taste pretty subdued. Slight if anything.

M - Light to medium, pretty drinkable.

D - Not something I would pick up again. I really liked the Encore better and hoped this was kind of like this, if anything a black IPA but with roasted malts to the extreme it doesn't seem to even be IPA or Black IPA. Still pretty good and better than BMC. (760 characters)

Photo of CaptJackHarkness
3.74/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce bottle from Spring Fling variety assortment.

Smells of fig, dates, dark fruits with a hint of grass.

Stoutlike deep brown/black body with a very full dark beige head. Laces glass almost lovingly. Tastes like a hoppy milk stout with coffeee and caramel notes. Ironicaly the cap states "All hopped up and nowhere to go". (333 characters)

Photo of morebeergood
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Trader Joe's for a buck or so. Poured into a regular pint glass. Dark brown color, with a slight white head and some lacing. Aroma had notes of espresso and chocolate. Taste was appealing. I liked the flavors of cocoa, black licorice, and roasted malt. No real presence of hops. Lots of flavors resembling a porter, but with a smoother ale body. Mouthfeel was ample and full bodied. I liked this beer as great dark ale. One of the better MH beers I've tried in a long time. (495 characters)

Photo of mnrider
3.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown bottle. No freshness date. "Love is blind to your Behind."

A: Pours a dark brown with tan head. Sediment is visible. Good retention with a little lacing.

S: Strong burnt grains and an average hop aroma.

T/M: Flavors of burnt malts and a thick hop backbone. Goes down pretty smooth with a somewhat sweet feel. Aftertaste has that same burnt malt taste, yet is still clean.

O: I.P.A.? A good dark ale IMO. Good mixture of malts and hops. A good beer from a brew company I had almost forgotten.

Cheers! (519 characters)

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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) (596 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
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. (261 characters)

Photo of FickleBeast
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (618 characters)

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (750 characters)

Photo of sdj5
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (410 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (889 characters)

Photo of BeerNoobNC
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (550 characters)

Photo of FrankLloydMike
3.67/5  rDev +7%
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. (789 characters)

Photo of wedge
3.66/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"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. (520 characters)

Demo from Magic Hat Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.