1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Demo - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

404 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 404
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 15.12%
Wants: 5
Gots: 16 | 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:
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 added by: NEhophead on 01-13-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Demo Alström Bros
Ratings: 404 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of timbobandit
4.5/5  rDev +30.8%

timbobandit, May 27, 2012
Photo of Troville1990
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Troville1990, May 26, 2012
Photo of Hopmodium
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Hopmodium, May 25, 2012
Photo of yesyouam
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Magic Hat Demo Black IPA is a solid black beer with a bubbly light brown foam that has outstanding retention and lacing. It smells mostly of dark roast and licorice. It's grainy and grassy. The smooth medium body gets a little chalky toward the finish. There's lots of dark roasted flavor like you'd find in an Imperial Stout. There's a juniper bitterness that gets a little poisonous in the finish. This is not what I expect from something called a Black IPA. There wasn't really any hop aroma. A lot of the flavor seem to come from dark, complex malts. Call this something else.

[previous rating March 2011) Magic Hat Demo is a very dark brown ale that's nearly opaque. It's topped with a thin, bubbly, khaki foam that leaves outstanding lacing on the glass. It has a roasty aroma with a sweet caramel note. Coffee and chocolate are present, along with a hint of grassy hops. It has a foamy medium body. The finish is a little astringent. It's pretty sweet and quite chocolatey. There's a healthy amount of green bitterness in this. There's an sftertaste of dark chocolate. It's pretty good, but ultimately the flavors don't work very well together.

yesyouam, May 25, 2012
Photo of BigRob329
3.75/5  rDev +9%

BigRob329, May 25, 2012
Photo of barnzy78
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

barnzy78, May 25, 2012
Photo of Jumski
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Jumski, May 24, 2012
Photo of Joshhod
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Joshhod, May 23, 2012
Photo of scootny
3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
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

scootny, May 23, 2012
Photo of swgwilt
3/5  rDev -12.8%

swgwilt, May 23, 2012
Photo of FuturePilot
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

FuturePilot, May 22, 2012
Photo of EnjoiThePureTrip
3.75/5  rDev +9%

EnjoiThePureTrip, May 19, 2012
Photo of nstroup
4.25/5  rDev +23.5%

nstroup, May 18, 2012
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

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.

NeroFiddled, May 17, 2012
Photo of Horbar
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Horbar, May 16, 2012
Photo of FeelinSurley
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

FeelinSurley, May 16, 2012
Photo of GuidedByBill
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

GuidedByBill, May 13, 2012
Photo of jaay
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

jaay, May 11, 2012
Photo of alanmarks
3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Think of an English IPA who married an American Stout in Burton-On-Trent. If you are looking for a Dark Caskadian Ale, this ain't it. It's not an "in your face" IPA, but a more subtle and digified English IPA with notes of coffee and roast. Finishes quite dry for me, a surpoisingly good beer with lunch, not to heavy but full on flavors.

alanmarks, May 08, 2012
Photo of MouthfulOfchris
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

MouthfulOfchris, May 07, 2012
Photo of bvlaminck
2.75/5  rDev -20.1%

bvlaminck, May 07, 2012
Photo of TheDarkKnight
4.5/5  rDev +30.8%

TheDarkKnight, May 06, 2012
Photo of LateComer
4/5  rDev +16.3%

LateComer, May 06, 2012
Photo of kylemckinnis
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

kylemckinnis, May 05, 2012
Photo of Gregwa
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Gregwa, May 05, 2012
Demo from Magic Hat Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 404 ratings.