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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 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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Photo of joelshults
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not an IPA. This beer is tasty. A very smokey, dark beer, but nothing like any IPA I've ever had.

Has more of a lager flavor to me than an ale. If this had been labeled "Magic Hat Schwartzbier" I would've given it an A.

I'm just not sure at all how this is labeled an IPA.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Not a terrible black ipa, but still not great. Pours a light brown with small white head. Aroma is some roast, a good bit of pine, some light chocolate sweetness, and a bit of caramel. Roasty malt character with a slightly watered down taste, brief hints of citrus on the back end. Relatively light bodied, medium carbonation. Magic Hat continues to be a small step above some other, but not much else.

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Photo of jlindros
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

"All we need is humble patience" so goes the wisdom of Magic Hat.

A big frothy head fades semi slowly with some sticky lacing and a bubbly head left behind, over murky super hazy dark brown reddish maroon color.

Nose has some toasty malts, reddish malts, a bit syrupy, a malty and light nutty aroma, slight musty grape seed hazelnut like aroma.

Taste starts with a light malty dark malt aroma, some toasty and nutty malts, a musty grape seed like flavor too, a weird hop bitter flavor, some light fruit, very dry even to start, and a light fruity hop flavor. Finishes a bit spicy and some earthy hops, dry but sticky, and super dry and bitter grape seed finish.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall pretty meh, pretty much what I expect from Magic Hat these days, very meh beers unfortunately, weird flavors, super dry, some fruits that don't blend, just not very good.

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Photo of Gmann
3.26/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of phantomwyse
3.26/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very, very dark brown body with tawny highlights. Two finger beige head rises quickly and sticks around.

S: The first thing that hits is a whiff of bitterness, slightly citrus and acidic quickly followed by a heavy dose of malts that smell of chocolate and coffee.

T: Light pine, almost dusty. Chocolate powder, instant coffee, malted milk. To be honest, this tastes more like a hoppy porter than an IPA.

M: Medium bodied, slightly dry.

D: It's a decent tasting beer, and as always I appreciate Magic Hat mixing things up a bit, but I fear this is a tad bit off the mark.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.29/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours an extremely dark color. Nearing black. Looks more like a stout than anything else. Head is very attractive. Frothy head that is not too tall but retains its minimal stature and remind me of a frothed espresso drink. Head laces like a dream as well.

S-Soapy hop aroma is the most prevalent scent. Also a mix of floral and pined hops with coffee roast. Plenty of coffee in the nose. The hop profile is not overly attractive however.

T-Still soapy. Like a cup of coffee that didn't have the soap washed out properly. Aside from that, the pine and grass hops are back. Plenty of coffee again, but the mixture of flavors doesn't work well.

M-Pretty light, good amounts of carbonation too. The feel is npt the problem here whatsoever. A bit creamy too.

O/D-Overall I did not love this brew. Flavors were coarse and didn't flow. I am all about raw flavors in my beer, but this one just didn't meld well within itself. Not too bad, but this beer is evidence why some people avoid Black IPAs. Flavors collide too drastically.

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Photo of weeare138
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a dark brown with a ruby hue when held to the light. Streams of co2 quickly rise to the top. A pillowy beige head slowly fades out.
Smells pretty good. Cocoa, toasted nuts, herbs, pine needles, and a blast of ripe peach.
Taste is of the aromas with sweetness up front that quickly becomes a tad muddled with roasted chestnuts and herbal bitterness.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, bitter, astringent, and mineral laden.

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Photo of Redrover
3.32/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of david18
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From Tasting Notes... Poured from 12 oz bottle into CBS snifter. This was served slightly chilled.

A) Black with a finger of tan head that settled pretty rapidly to a dusting. There was some light lacing.

S) What I mostly got fom the aroma was deep roast, slightly burnt, with a little pine and grass. Not bad...

T) Quite a bit of roast and a charred flavor. Hop bitterness is present in pine and even lighter citrus. Pretty earthy flavors. The aftertaste lingers in a negative way.

M) Medium body with a good amount of carbonation. This had some tingle, more crisp than smooth. Slightly dry finish.

O) I can't say I enjoyed this all that much, but it was okay. I would not go out of my way for another bottle.

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