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Demo - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

139 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 139
Hads: 404
Avg: 3.45
pDev: 15.07%
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: 404
Photo of ms11781
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by April 30, 2011 on bottle. 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a murky, dark brown color with a good sized foamy, light brown head. Head dissipates to a thin, tan cap that sticks around and leaves good foamy lacing.

The nose isn't all that strong and consists mainly of a roasted malt aroma. At times it seems like I can pick up some hints of chocolate or coffee but when I look for them again they're gone. No real hop presence.

The taste is more of the same. Roasted malt is prominent and sometimes seems like its the only flavor. Some, and by some I mean very little, hop flavor towards the finish, maybe some slight pine notes. Finishes with a burnt flavor I can't quite put my finger on.

Medium carbonation with a body that is on the higher side of medium gives it a full mouthfeel. Definitely a heavier beer for the style, although not too heavy relative to other beers.

Drinkability is ok. It's not a terrible beer, but it isn't that good for a beer of its style. Definitely somewhere between a brown ale or a stout with a little bit of hops.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
2.9/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Part of the new sampler pack, the new spring beer for Magic Hat. Seems like Black IPA's are the new rage around the breweries, and now that it has become one of my new favorite styles, can't say I really complain.

Pours a very, very dark brown with a tannish head. Smell is of roasted malts. Taste is medium bodied, very stout like. Almost no bitterness or hops can even be detected. Has an almost sweet sort of taste to it, like cocoa powder or coka-cola. Definitely doesn't taste like an IPA and tastes kind of confused overall. I like the style, and this is drinkable for sure, but for me Magic Hat missed the boat here... way too much of a mess.

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Photo of ChrisPratz
2.91/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first Black IPA, and Magic Hat has made some good and tasty brews. Lets see how this one goes.

A: Appearance was very dark, no transparency whatsoever. Thick full finger of bubbly head with lacing that continued halfway thru the brew. Very nice on the eyes, almost reminds me of a coffeehouse concoction you pay a barista to make.

S: Very mild. Couldn't pick up much, but had some hints of roasted coffee and some other earthy tones. Beer wasn't ice cold when I opened it. Kept whisking it around in the glass as I drank, hoping it would get a bit aromatic with warmth but that wasn't really the case.

T: Some sweet/bitterness at the beginning, leading into roasted flavors. Coffee, chocolate, some nuttyness as well. Maybe a hint of pine, or maybe my palette is confusing the bitter roasts with the sweet/bitter fruit? Not unejoyable but im not tasting much hoppyness here. Bottle says black IPA, while its labeled as an American Black Ale. Most of whats coming thru on my tongue is the roasted flavors and mild sweetness.

M: Average amount of carbonation, and despite the ABV doesn't leave a very dry feeling.

O: Giving this a 3. Granted its my first Black IPA, I was hoping for more on the nose and a bit more taste. Would be interested in trying it on tap to compare.

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Photo of drinkiusmaximus
2.91/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-very dark, black as night fingers width tan head.

S-slight pine hops heavy burnt toast and an odd nuttiness.

T-burnt flavors with a lingering drying bitterness.ash taste sticks around.

M-medium bodied and smooth very nice carbonation.

D-Not very impressed and at the same time it's not horrible I guess.


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Photo of ummswimmin
2.98/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

I wrote notes on this about a month ago, but I realized that I didn't get it into BA until today.

On the pour I had a ton of foam. The glass was more than a third in head. I thought that would mean a lot of aroma, but there wasn't much there. I only picked up some coffee and no real hoppiness coming off the top.

The flavor was mostly thin coffee with some roasted malts. I didn't catch any hop flavors. There wasn't much to the flavors. I hoped for more, but it wasn't there.

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Photo of Ralphus
3.02/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy brown with an offwhite head that recedes to a ring of foam. Some lacing is left behind.

The smell is smokey pine. Nice hopping.

The taste is a slightly ipa taste with some smokey malts. The combination doesn't work too well for me as the malt is not that sweet. The beer just seems to be missing something.

Mouthfeel is ok, albeit a little gritty if that makes any sense.

Overall.. not a beer I'd go for again.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, part of the spring 12 pack mix

A- Jet black, minimal head , thin lace sticks with the beer to the end.

S - Smoke, dry hops.

T- Like chewing on a burnt piece of wood that you took out of the
fire pit. The smoke overrides all other flavors. There is some chocolate malt and coffee notes, and some faint hops, not as much as expected. Dry finish.

M - Mouthfeel is good, decent carbonation, balance

O - Still not sold on the style. The overly roasted smoke taste has yet to click with my taste buds. If that is what you are looking for, give this one a try.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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Photo of Shaw
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle supplied by the brewery.

Pours almost totally black, with a light brown head.

Doesn't smell hoppy, rather it smells like a brown ale or porter. Coffee and molasses notes here. But it's a good smell.

I can't say this tastes like a black IPA. It's more like a porter. The flavors of coffee and roasted malt are good, just not to style. Low bitterness and not much hop flavor.

Creamy body is nice.

Overall this beer is a fine porter. It's just not a black IPA.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.04/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Coffee black pour has a fizzy weak khaki colored head that is quick to dissipate. Lackluster appeal, no lacing, meh.

S: Medicinal & coffee notes with a decent amount of roasty nature, but offers little in the way of hop presence for a supposed Cascadian ipa.

T: Acidic coffee, milky bitter chocolate roast that is smooth and dark. Dark bitter fruit, some smooth wet charred silt, as with the nose the hops are hard to distinguish, playing second fiddle to the roasty malt.

M: Tingly carbonation, dark and roasty warmth with a light body. Nice leave on the tongue.

O: Overall would make for a good stout, nice dark malt base, hops seem to be forgotten. Wouldn’t bother with a six pack purchase here, single struggles enough to hold your attention to the end. Stout and porter fans may find this suitable as a dark easy treat to swallow, just don’t expect the hops to jump out at you.

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.05/5  rDev -11.6%
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.*

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Photo of Reverand
3.06/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.06/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark tan/brown, nice 2 inch creamy head, and some nice lacing.

Smell - Hops, some dark fruits, malts, a little smoke and coffee even. Not very strong aroma.

Taste - Dank hops, chocolate, molasses and strong mocoa coffee flavor. Moreso a porter then a plack ipa. Coffee flavor overpowers everything and knocks this out of balance somewhat.

MOuthfeel - Medium thickness, tounge gets naield with coffee and some chocolate sweetness. Palette gets more coffee, some hops and sugars. Aftertaste is bitter, roasted coffee and malts.

Overall - Out of balance, starts with some fruits and hops but gets crushed by the coffee and malts. Odd flavor profile, its not terrible but not something id want to drink again.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Its a nice black. Pretty solid with a frosty off white head that does fade fast but leaves some chalky walls of lace.

Aroma of mild chocolate and lemon grass, a faint citrus hint with some grassy notes. Balanced and clean. Not much else.

Ok balance of mild chocolate, bitter cocoa, with some grassy notes. Wish there was more hops.

Ok medium body, easy drinking

Nice balance but kind of boring.

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Photo of WesWes
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a dry, roasted/black malt scent along with a mild hop nose. It's pretty tame compared to most black IPAs. The earthy, roasted character is too intense and dwarfs the hops. The taste is average as well. It has a muddled flavor that boasts of earthy black malts and citrus hops. It's bone dry with too much roasted character. The hops sneak through in the finish, but are hidden through most of the drinking experience. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a pretty undrinkable beer. I have enjoyed most of their IPA series, but this one needs a serious tune-up.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Photo of SteelerNation
3.13/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one last night so I am doing this from memory.

My overall impression of the beer was very good from a taste standpoint, but there were some major flaws with the brew. By the name "Demo" its pretty clear that this beer isn't 100% there yet, but it was also behind where I thought it would be.

First off, it pours a black semi-opaque color with a nice roasty head and good lacing. However there are chunks of green sediment floating in this beer. I am OK with hazyness or a little yeast on the bottom, but I could see chunks of hops and break floating in suspension. This came off as very unprofessional for a brewery of this size.

My second problem with this brew is that I don't buy that it is an IPA or even a black IPA. It's really just a hoppy porter. The hops don't dominate like they should in an IPA. I get more roasted malt on the palate than hops.

Other than that it has very nice characteristics: a nice roasty smell and taste, fresh American hops, a well balanced malt and hop profile. Very unrefined, but not far off from a solid brew. Highly drinkable without any astringent aftertastes or off flavors.

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Photo of Brad007
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown/black color with a one-finger head into my glass. Not quite as black as it should be.

Aroma is a mix of roasted malt and slightly musty/grassy hops. Not too bad.

Lots of roasted malt and a disappointing hop profile to greet the tongue. Overshadowed by the yeast, which adds an undesirable buttery character to the beer.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering butteriness followed by grassy hops and dark malts.

Why did they even bother?

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of Arborescence
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Virtually black, pours an impressive dense head, although it recedes fairly quickly.

Aroma: Pretty weak on the hops for an IPA (ok, the black ones are sometimes like that), but there's some nice malt on the background. Perhaps a hint of licorice?

Taste: Tastes a little bit flat, like the hops hadn't quite kicked in. There's some lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. Malt is barely present.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, medium carbonation.

Overall: I'm not overly impressed. Seems like the beer couldn't quite decide what it is. It's drinkable, but nothing much to it.

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Photo of tdm168
3.19/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of Billolick
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
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?!?

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Photo of MBrausen
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A. Pours a brownish black, 2mm thick head, minimum carbonation showing

S. Smells of sweet fruit, barley and mild coco

T. Tastes of strong barley, heavy halt, strong grains.

M. Grainy and coars tastes, medium carbonation feel, medium body.

O. An okay beer. Nothing really popping that will make me remember I had this beer.

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Photo of chodinheaven
3.21/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I like the idea of a black IPA as long as its done as an IPA. This looks nice with a fluffy white head that laces all the way down. Aroma reminds me a weak IPA but I was thinking this might be one of those with a stronger taste. Alas I was disappointed by the lack of hops in the taste. Tastes more like a hoppy stout than an IPA. I'm kind of a hophead though so maybe I'm being a little hard on it. Its decent but I wouldn't get it again.

I'm looking forward to seeing the other IPAs that Magic Hat comes out with though because I know they do good things. I dont think IPA when I think Magic Hat but I will check out their others.

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