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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 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 HopDevilfan
1.76/5  rDev -49%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reminds me of yuengling porter. Dark pour. No smell taste is weak. This is not what I would expect from an IPA. I'm glad I got the spring fever variety pack. I do not know what I would do. If I had to drink a whole class of this stuff. Completely did not meet expectations.

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Photo of FrankLloydMike
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
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

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Photo of ADemshar
2.12/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Alright, I just got this out of a Magic Hat variety pack. I was excited to try their black IPA. Unfortunately I detect no odor whatsoever. The taste is more like a weak porter more than an IPA. Bottom line this beer blows. This is the first Magic Hat I have ever had and I don't think I will be back.

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Photo of homebrew311
2.69/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Grabbed this as part of a mix 6 for the purpose of reviewing. Pours black, like a stout, some cocoa colored head with fair retention. The nose is predominantly roasty with notes of chocolate and roasted barley. I am not getting the big hop profile that I'd expect from an ABA, instead this smells more like a porter/stout. The taste is roasty like the nose with a very mellow flavor. Some hop character makes its way to the surface towards the finish, but it seems to clash with the roasted profile that is happening. This brew has an identity crisis, as the dark malts and the piney hops compete for the spotlight. With that being said, the balance is a little off. The mouthfeel is thin with moderate carbonation. There is a wateriness to this beer as well. Overall, I would say pass on this. Magic Hat certainly does some interesting things on the branding/marketing side of things, but the product inside the bottle is lackluster and forgettable.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.37/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown to, indeed black in color. Quick head. Jus a little foam after a couple of sips.

A bit creamy on the roasty malt end. Very toasty too. Heavy on bread crust. Maybe some earthy hops.

Roasty malt and mild hop bitter bite upfront. The roast takes on a nice roasted coffee quality. But the palate lacks body and gets watery from the middle to the finish. Good roasted and toasted malt bill though. Easy to drink and enjoy.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.25/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I get that roasted dark coffee/chocolate bitterness even some lactose stout smells followed by citrus floral smells from the hops.

You definitely get the chocolate roasted coffee tastes right up front followed by citrus and piney bitterness. The best thing is how the bitterness from the roasted malts and the bitterness from the hops combine together.

The only thing keeping this beer from being outstanding is the thinner mouthfeel and maybe a LITTLE more hops but im not complaining too much at all. With that being said it seems masterfully crafted the bitterness and roasted qualities coming together in unisen to create honestly my favorite magic hat offering.

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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 wedge
3.66/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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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 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 Tone
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

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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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Photo of tastybeer
3.36/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.46/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear black with bits of yeast sediment suspended. Foams up with a tan head. Attractive lacing. Smell is caramel, chocolate, roast malt with a mild vein of citric hop. Taste zings the buds with a fleeting citric hop but too quickly subdued then the buds are infused with carbon black, charcoal, possibly faint chocolate malt, sweetness and, I think..anise. Body is a bit on the light side. It doesn't hold together well. Carbonation is good. Finish is actually quite clean with a subtle lingering bitterness. I'm not sure what to make of this concoction. There are much better and more straightforward black IPAs out there, but this one is interesting in its own right.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.81/5  rDev +10.4%
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!

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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 Chickenhawk9932
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep velvet maroon bodering on black with a frothy tan head - good retention.

Smells of malt, molasses, nuts, and sweet yeast.

Taste is bitter burst of grapefruit and charcoal up front. Followed by a roasted nut flavor backed by a quick malt bill which quickly dissolves into a watery molasses bite - all bitter no sweet - different than the nose. A very good beer more drinkable than most black ales that I've encounter, but lacking a little on the balance for me.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.83/5  rDev +11%
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.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.72/5  rDev +7.8%
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)

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with brown hues and a foamy thick head that slowly descends to a bubbly cover. Wispy lacing sticks.

The smell is of robust, deep-roasted coffee with some earthy, herbal notes that blend well.

The taste is very roasty - stops just short of burnt. The hops and roasted malt blend to leave a long, bitter, dry finish.

It is robust - hits full-bodied. Alcohol well-covered. Almost silky, though there is a slight sharpness to it.

I have found that there is sometimes a conflict between the hops and roasted malt in this style, but not so much so here.
I do prefer "American Black Ale" over "Black IPA". But, regardless, this is an enjoyable hoppy, roasted black ale. Roasty and bitter, but not overwhelmingly so.

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Photo of mnrider
3.72/5  rDev +7.8%
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.


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Photo of zac16125
3.83/5  rDev +11%
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.

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