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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 ToAzwethinkweizm
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Date: 8 May 2011
Glass: Standard nonic
Type: 12fl oz bottle

Pours a 1-finger head, reduces to heavy film, lacing is surprisingly sticker for a typical Magic Hat. Color is deep copper-brown.

Aroma begins with some roasted malts and coffee, lightly hopped. No other ingredients than that, but the quality of the aroma is rather nice.

Taste of roasted coffee leads the charge, even lighter in roasted malts, but specifically no dark malts seem to be large in flavor. Hops are present, but light and on the bitter side.

Mouthfeel is not a palate-destroyer, and drinks as a great dark session beer. As the beer descends down the glass, the following sips the hops seem to hit the taste buds before the beer actually hits the tongue, making this extremely enjoyable. Their "on tour" series beers always impress me.

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

Magic Hat Demo

Pours a dark brown, murky, off white head forms and little in the way of lace but retention is good. Aroma is light and mainly floral in nature with some bready notes. In the flavor, some hop bitterness, pine, alittle porter like maltyness and small roast. On the light side of medium bodied. Overall, a pretty decent beer and worth the purchase.

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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 shaunb81
3.66/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this in a Magic Hat Spring Mix Pack.

Appearance - Holy moly!! This IPA pours black with reddish, mahogany hues toward the bottom of the glass. A rich, 2 finger beige head and medium lacing makes for a pretty exciting pour. Head really doesn't disappear totally.

Smell - Toasty malts are there right off the bat. Minimal hops come through. Much less than I would think for an IPA. Coffee and caramel also poke their heads out on the back.

Taste - This beer doesn't even drink like an IPA. It resembles more of Stout to me. Malts are prevalent throughout the experience. Hops are there on the back end. They come through when you least expect them. A nice burp reminds me that I'm drinking an IPA too. I tasted the hops much more the second time around. Coffee finishes this beer off and lingers until I take another sip.

Mouthfeel - It's a bit creamy and also carbonated nicely. I really like this beer.

Overall - Good stuff here. A different twist on what I'm "used" to. IPA, for me, can be a flavor journey and this was definitely an adventure that I would take again and again. Now, if only I can find it in a six pack...

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Photo of morebeergood
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Trader Joe's for a buck or so. Poured into a regular pint glass. Dark brown color, with a slight white head and some lacing. Aroma had notes of espresso and chocolate. Taste was appealing. I liked the flavors of cocoa, black licorice, and roasted malt. No real presence of hops. Lots of flavors resembling a porter, but with a smoother ale body. Mouthfeel was ample and full bodied. I liked this beer as great dark ale. One of the better MH beers I've tried in a long time.

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Photo of Genuine
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from the bottle into a clean pint glass.

The body is very dark in color with slight hints of red, with a medium tan head that stuck around for a while and actually left lacing down the side of the glass.

Taste - Lots of roastyness from the start. I'm noticing some breadiness as well from the yeast, which goes quiet well the roasted malts/hops.

Mouthfeel - the carbonation kind of reminded me of soda bubbles, which, wasn't that great but, it as good.

Overall - this is a decent beer from Magic Hat. wasn't a huge fan of the aftertaste, not sure if I would have it again, but it was nice to try.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle. Freshness date stamped on bottle neck.
Served in a standard pint glass.
It pours a mahogany-hued black with a fading beige head, along with some splotchy lacing.
Smells of cut dry pine and slightly burnt rye toast, mingle with citrusy and resinous hops.
Unlike a Schwarzbier, the hop flavors are upfront and dominant. Citrus, spruce, resinous and metallic hops are strong, but reluctantly give way to a fairly solid malty body. Rye toast and graham crackers with a touch of honey follow in behind the hops. A little boozy alcohol staggers in and joins the party, but sort of off to the side, belching and hiccuping now and then, but not totally inappropriate.
Nice beer to pair with grilled meats and veggies or spicy Asian dishes.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.46/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

A: Deep brown with tons of yeast and protein sediment suspended in the brew. A two-finger head of creamy, beige foam holds pretty sturdy and leaves a bit of nice lacing. A bit off-putting appearance though.

S: Musky, herbal and spicy hop aromas give off hints of pine, earthy, burnt hop leaves and roasted black malts.

T: Bittersweet, roasted hop flavor from the get-go, with a bit of a chewy, yeasty bread flavor. Earthy, herbal flavors send some deep bitterness across the palate before finishing up a little metallic and grainy.

M: Medium-bodied and slightly chewy because of the suspended sediment in the bottle. Carbonation adds some creaminess to the mouthfeel but not enough to enhance the overall experience much.

O: The appearance was a bit disturbing for a black ale. Not sure if this is a consistent byproduct or an off bottle, but it wasn't all that enjoyable. Also, not totally black or even deep amber, but more of a deep brown ale. Flavors aren't that impressive and the 6% ABV didn't really drink that smoothly to me. Not bad, but I'd pass if it were in a sixer.

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Photo of rebel1771
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a near black with a frothy tan head.

S: Hints of coffee and chocolate with a piney twang.

T: Watery burnt coffee flavor up front finishing with a subdued smack of piney hops.

O: This brew is kind of middle of the road but definitely worth a try.

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Photo of shand
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic.

This is a great looking brew, a deep-brown color with three fingers of head that retain well and leave great lacing down the glass. The aroma is of some nice hoppiness paired with some roasted, slightly smoky malts. Well, this is another odd one from Magic Hat. Can't say I've had something like this yet. The taste on this is a bit like a hoppy porter for sure, but with a stronger hop aftertaste, and a thinner mouthfeel. Roasted and smoky malts hit first, followed up by some restrained hoppiness. The hoppiness becomes more apparent on the finish, but never quite provides the bitterness I'd like. Still, a good beer, even if it doesn't quite tick the black IPA marks I'd like.

The mouthfeel is very crisp and well-carbonated, it's quite a bit lighter than the oppressive-looking brew in the glass would lead you to expect. The drinkability is also quite good, I drank this rather quickly. Another strange brew from Magic Hat. Almost reminds me more of an amped up Schwarzbier because of the cleaniliness and mouthfeel, but the lingering hoppiness on the finish (and the fact that this is clearly an ale, not a lager) betrays that description. Give it a try.

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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 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 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 Jason
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date inkjet printed on the neck of the bottle.

Tan head and lacing do a great job with dressing the glass, opaque brown color talks about being black. Stodgy pungent hop nose with a charcoal burnt graininess in the nose. Smooth with some crispness on the backside. Some burnt flavors from the malt, some sweetness as well. Hoppiness is pungent and pulls on the palate. Finish goes towards dry with a clean roasted flavor and lingering hop.

Solid, perhaps one of the best beers Magic Hat has come out with in years. Only gripe is that I expected it to be full on black ... splitting hairs now.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.91/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nothing pale about this one, but nothing that black about it either. So, it's a very dark IPA and a hardly-black Black Ale. Color is a dark reddish brown, mahogany maybe, and the head is a fluffy, creamy, meringue-firm sort of dirty white. I dig.

Nose is truer to style than its appearance. Lightly burnt grains, hint of smoke, citrus-y hops -- very clean despite the "something's burnt" element. Truth be told, not as burnt smelling as many others in this style. Everything is balanced well, the somewhat conflicting citrus and charred grain aspects mingling nicely.

Appearance would indicate that the burnt taste of many ABAs is going to be lesser here, and it is. You get more of a nice caramel-y, smoky toffee kind of taste instead, and the citrus-like hops don't abrade against that but instead mesh well within. The burnt aspect comes in the finish, and plays tricks on your tongue (burnt or fruity, or burnt fruit?). The feel is smooth and airy, soft and slick, and keeps Demo's drinkability high.

Gotta love the label, a 45 rpm demo record label. Very good beer too, a slightly different take on the style. But for their "IPA on Tour" series, I'm most anxious for the return of Encore.

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

this is interesting crossroad in american beer. its has the temperment of an APA but with the malt character of something quite heavy. this beer although isn't heavy. on a scale of density and darkness hops being the golden, fresh, and dry and coffee being that rich, thick and backend flavor. this is something in the middle. almond and toast. but bitter. this seems to me that quality of something that is a RIS in grit but without the body. this is not a brown malt. its not malty. but it has a character of somewhat bitter malt and a tad toasty.

pour is brown dingy with a beaut of a head of crag large bubbles. nose of almond and coconut which fades quickly to mineral and toastiness. palate is hard and somewhat coffee bitter with a toasty coffee finish. a bit loose around the edges but must say that i had a good bottle then a bad one. almost a bad coffee and good IPA hybrid.

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Photo of sdj5
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks very dark, maybe a reddish-brown, but very close to black. Smells like a relatively hoppy Hershey bar. Taste is a crisp hop bite, with chocolate and roasted malts mixed in and then more of the expected bitterness on the end.

The IPA label seems wrong because this beer is not what it says on the box. However, I do think it is a good beer and would drink it again, regardless of the error in judgement.

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Photo of busterthecat
2.68/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

best by: may 31 2011, poured into pint glass

A- A modest brown hue. A creamy head forms with some sticky lacing.

S- Smooth roasted malts. Some chocolate, a creamy sweetness, some earthy piney hops finally comes through. Malt mostly.

T- A big taste of chocolate and mild roasted malt upfront. Smooth. Hops are mostly absent. Some faint bitterness with no direction.

M- Medium to light bodied, wet, lingers ok. Kind of thin and watery.

O/D- No alc. Quite unimpressed. More like a watery stout then a ABA.

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Photo of Dotcubed
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not sure why the label says IPA, maybe it's meant to be like a "B" side?

Very dark, pudding skin of soft foam.

Almost coffee smell.

Burnt flavors. Creamy. Some smoked accent.
Tastes like coffee.

Bitterness like an IPA but attributes from something other than hops...

Thinner mouth feel.

Stamped Best buy March 31 2011

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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 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 Clownpants
3.34/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Love IPAs, but not really a huge fan of black ales. Here the black ale was more powerful than the IPA taste...thus the lower rating. It has a great first taste, but the aftertaste was very dark and not of the traditional IPA bite. A well brewed beer, but not my favorite.

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Photo of Kendo
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is dark brown with a small tan head that settles fast. Leaves some lace.

S: Leafy, herbal, earthy hops over a touch of malt. Not terribly strong in the nose.

T: Doesn't really taste much like an American-Style Black Ale; at times I think Rauchbier or Schwarzbier, at other times I think Porter. . . . There's some char or charcoal, a touch of roasted barley malt and leafy hops at the finish. Neither as chocolatey nor as roasty as I like for the style. And while we're at it, not as hoppy either - at least, not the juicy, citrusy, piney (American) hops I like.

M: Body is light-to-medium in heft. Carbonation is too active and sharp, not at all creamy and smooth.

O: The beer is OK. I had a few of them and wasn't disgusted by that. But they didn't really hold my interest either. Overall impression: there are much better beers of this style.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Freshness date of April 30, 2011 on the neck. Poured into a tulip pint: A good three-and-a-half fingers of loose-beaded mocha head over black body with deep plum highlights. Some heavy, sticky lacing around the sides.

Nice hoppy aroma, with some cool orange & grapefruit zest, even a little mintiness, over a mild biscuity roast, not too sweet (toast points?).

Some moderate hoppy bitterness in the taste, as well, with the citric characteristics again. The finish is, again, nice roast malt, ends very much like a porter, with a little coffee darkness thrown in. Mmm, I like that - good balance of "light" & "dark" flavors. A little brownie-like aftertaste lingers.

Medium-full-bodied with some action from the hops. Kind of sticks around in the aftertaste with a little astringency, but not bad.

This is the best thing I've had from Magic Hat in a while. A little more porter-ish than a lot of black ales I've had, which is fine with me. Doesn't tip too far in either direction.

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Photo of generallee
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a Pint glass. ("3/4 Pint of Ale" as they say on the label.) The label has a freshness date of "May 31 2011" and the abv is listed at 6%.

Appearance: It has a very dark look in the glass with some very deep dark garnet colored highlights showing through the beer. I also noticed some fine sediment hanging in suspension within the body. To cap off this beer I got a dense tan head which stands two fingers tall. This head has excellent retention and coats the glass with lacing.

Smell: I get a dark roasted malt character with hints of coffee and caramel. Hops are lighter than the malt and add some citrus and herbal notes to the nose.

Taste/Palate: The palate opens up with mild sweetness, roasted malt, coffee and toasted bread with citrus hop notes quickly moving in. It finishes with pleasant herbal/leafy hop bitterness fading slowly off the tongue. It has a creamy and smooth mouth feel with pleasant soft carbonation.

Notes: It come off more as a Porter than IPA but is still very tasty and beautiful.

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