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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 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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Photo of stampfler07
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours very dark brown with a very foamy and thick brown head, some suspended sediment is visible

S- Hints of cocoa, roasted malt, not too much hop

T- Very dark roasted malt, some notes of dark fruit, really light notes aftertaste of cocoa

M- Light in carbonation and body, surprisingly so

O- Not really what I expected at all given the IPA label on the bottle, it's still good though with some nice flavors, very little hop though

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
3.74/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce bottle from Spring Fling variety assortment.

Smells of fig, dates, dark fruits with a hint of grass.

Stoutlike deep brown/black body with a very full dark beige head. Laces glass almost lovingly. Tastes like a hoppy milk stout with coffeee and caramel notes. Ironicaly the cap states "All hopped up and nowhere to go".

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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 Sammy
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle from Premiere. Not as hoppy as a black IPA, and has a decent bitterness for a black, good roasting mostly. Mouthfeel a tad less than middling, still nicely drinkable. Black coloured bodied, of course. Worth a try, just do not expect it to be a black IPA.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.61/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A:three finger tan foamy head on a very black with little light getting through body

S: lots of coffee and roasted malt. Strong aroma

T: more coffee which dominates however it is very mellow without much coffee bitterness. The hops are light and mostly in the finish. Roast malts as well.

M: full bodied and moderate carbonation.

Overall: I like the coffee in this one a lot. I wish the hole had a stronger presence but with this much coffee, more may not even have a chance to come through.

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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 57md
3.41/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is dark brown with a finger of head that lingered a bit and left some nice lacing behind. The nose is mild hops, but pretty weak. Roasted malt is there, hops are there but overall this offering is pretty thin and pedestrian. As with many Magic Hat offerings, the best part of this beer is the artwork.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, part of the spring 12 pack mix

A- Jet black, minimal head , thin lace sticks with the beer to the end.

S - Smoke, dry hops.

T- Like chewing on a burnt piece of wood that you took out of the
fire pit. The smoke overrides all other flavors. There is some chocolate malt and coffee notes, and some faint hops, not as much as expected. Dry finish.

M - Mouthfeel is good, decent carbonation, balance

O - Still not sold on the style. The overly roasted smoke taste has yet to click with my taste buds. If that is what you are looking for, give this one a try.

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Photo of Shaw
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle supplied by the brewery.

Pours almost totally black, with a light brown head.

Doesn't smell hoppy, rather it smells like a brown ale or porter. Coffee and molasses notes here. But it's a good smell.

I can't say this tastes like a black IPA. It's more like a porter. The flavors of coffee and roasted malt are good, just not to style. Low bitterness and not much hop flavor.

Creamy body is nice.

Overall this beer is a fine porter. It's just not a black IPA.

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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 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 BeerNoobNC
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle from the 12 pk variety pack (not sure if it comes other ways or not). Expecting this as a black IPA that would be hoppy, this beer was a big disappointment. This is especially true since I bought the variety pack hoping for a good black IPA. With that, the beer was still pretty tasty, but tasted more like a well-balanced porter than a black ale. I gave the beer still generous ratings because most disappointing beers taste gross, but I would definitely like to taste more hops in this beer for it to be considered a black ale.

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

The pour looks just like a porter. There's a 2" mocha head. The body is a dark burnt umber brown color, almost coffee. It smells first of roasted malt, then of coffee. It's taste is the reverse, first the coffee, then the roasted malt. The finish has a long burn which must be the hops, but the truth is many other porters or imperial stouts have very similar finishes. I wouldn't call the hops in this enough to reach Black IPA levels. To me, this beer is just a good porter.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into SN pint glass. No bottle date or notches but this is the winter 2012 version.

A: Pours pretty darn dark black. Almost completely opaque color. Two fingers of tight bubbled head. Sheets of lacing.

S: I get mild roast coffee and dark chocolate notes. Surprisingly I don't get any hops. Smells like a porter more than a bipa.

T: Ok so I do get "some" hops on the tip of the tongue. Then the malt bill kicks in. Has to be black patent malts for that color. You get the chocolate and the soft coffee. It end with a smooth clean finish.

M: It's medium bodied even though it tastes of a porter.

O: It's a good beer but I wouldn't put it up there with the best BIPAs or Cascadian IPAs I have had.

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Photo of JohnTerrizzi
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving Type: poured from bottle into clear glass beer mug.

Appearance: dark brown almost black. completely opaque when held to the light. semi-tan off-white head that dissipates fairly rapidly. some lacing.

Smell: strong roasted malt aroma with hints of chocolate and hops.

Taste: strong roasted malt flavor with better cocoa after taste. some very faint hints of hops. the hoppiness emerges as you make your way to the end of the beer.

Mouthfeel: semi full bodied. nice carbonation. a little prickly on the tip of the tongue.

Overall: not a bad beer. more like a porter or stout than a black ipa. I was expecting more hops but I would definitely drink it again.

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