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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 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 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 vfgccp
3.44/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Best by Mar 31, 2011. Drank Feb 16, 2011.

A - Dr. Pepper in color. A khaki head pours about 2 fingers high and settles into a ½ finger of creamy, fine bubble foam that sticks through the drink. Nice lace.

S - Light, slightly earthy. Hint of roast. Surprisingly little hop.

T - A coffee-like bitterness and pine up front. Solid coffee and dark toast through the mid profile, with a touch of caramel. Has a nice milk chocolate flavor deep in the finish.

M - Medium-light body with a pleasant bitterness that doesn't build aggressively throughout the drink.

D - Nice balance and good flavor lead to on-par drinkability.

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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 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 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 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 spinrsx
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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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 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 DrDemento456
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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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 barnzy78
3.82/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

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Photo of Durge
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A thick black-brown, a bit murky with some chunky yeasty bits tumbling out from the bottom of the pour. The head is a modest off-white with fair rings of lace in retreat. The nose picks up yeasty coffee with a vague citrus hop blended in and just a hint of chocolaty sweetness over it all. Interesting enough. The palate detects tangy coffee malt, almost like a sharper version of a milkshake but in a very watery, fizzy beverage with little to sink your teeth into. This does not portray the kind of black IPA I admire most which would feature more of the hops bite muted by coffee and malt complements. This seems more bent on the side of a thin porter or stout so that would be my main complaint, billing this as an IPA. Flavor wise it's good enough to enjoy a taste. I even pick up a touch of fruit nougat and maybe a slight vegetable edge. The IPA idea perhaps picks up a little more as you get closer to those chunky goodies in the bottom of the glass, but this still comes short of what has proven to be one of the more enjoyable styles in recent years. It's really not bad. I would just suggest they beef up the body a bit and bring out the hops a little (in the aroma and flavor).

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

12oz. A pretty much black pour, a light tan head on top. Kind if frothy appearing.

Aroma, lots of cocoa and roast malt. Almost like an American stout. Some herbal notes.

Taste, dry roast malt, chocolate, cocoa. Almost a lactose like quality. Finish coffee. Barely any trace of a hop.

Light side of medium, adequate carbonation. A carbonated mocha coffee. Drinks pretty easy.

Really odd one here. IPA fans will certainly be disappointed. For some reason I kind of dig it, but wouldn't call it much of a dark cascade.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.3/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a deep amber to brown in color with a tan head. In the aroma, a caramel roast and a bit sweet. In the taste, a small caramel like roast but a bit watery. A smooth and lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry small grapefruit and caramel like roast in the aftertaste. Hops came to play in the aftertaste, and the nose is bigger than taste, quite thin and watery.

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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 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 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 rlee1390
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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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 JoeyBeerBelly
2.73/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - dark brown color with a tight beige head that left a decent amount of lacing behind.

S - roasted malt and a hint of cocoa powder, no real aroma of any hops.

T - roasted malt sweetness upfront with the slightest hint of bitterness midway with an odd bitter to sticky sweet finish.

F - medium bodied with a crisp feel.

D - it went down easy.

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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 KTCamm
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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