Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Demo - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DemoDemo

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

139 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 139
Hads: 403
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 7.58%
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
firstprev| 76-100 | 101-125 | 126-150  | next → last
Reviews: 139 | Hads: 403
Photo of sdj5
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (410 characters)

Photo of MBrausen
3.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A. Pours a brownish black, 2mm thick head, minimum carbonation showing

S. Smells of sweet fruit, barley and mild coco

T. Tastes of strong barley, heavy halt, strong grains.

M. Grainy and coars tastes, medium carbonation feel, medium body.

O. An okay beer. Nothing really popping that will make me remember I had this beer. (326 characters)

Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.49/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a muddy deep brown with a tan head that disspiates to a skin rather quickly, leaving thin lacing on the glass.

Aromas of pine hops, dark malts (crystal & US chocolate), and faint hint of spearmint. Some fresh earthiness also.

Taste has more malts than the nose, but still sufficient hops. Burnt coffee (in a good way) and chocolate maltiness with piney hops. A nice hint of citrus blends well with a dark bitter chocolate ending.

Thin mouthfeel, high carbonation, crisp and slightly dry.

Second time was a charm with this one for me. I like the complexities, even though I'm not a big fan of the American Black Ale. The hint of citrus and bitter chocolate finish really boost the taste rating for me. (711 characters)

Photo of ADemshar
2.12/5  rDev -38.2%
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. (300 characters)

Photo of shaunb81
3.66/5  rDev +6.7%
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... (1,132 characters)

Photo of Hellabeerguzzler
2/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had this at a tasting tonight in a small glass. I was intrigued by the color obviously for an IPA but as I tasted it I realized it was the newer "dark ale" or whatever it's formally being called. I've had a few of these now and this was the worst.

Appearance was nothing to speak about. There was a head and it left some lacing but it looked how I would expect a beer with that much carbonation to look. Nothing frothy and generous but just some traditional bubbles that faded moderately

The smell was very diluted. I wet the tip of my nose just trying to get a strong enough smell to discern anything regarding the aroma. There was not much there. Some burnt malt with a little fizz and some deeply buried hops.

The taste was not a whole lot more exciting than the nose. A little burnt malt with some coffee hinting with the hops so far in the back, it "pales" in comparison to finer ales.

Mouthfeel was like soda pop. Not much body and nothing left on the palate to speak of.

Drinkability - yes, you can drink it. But I doubt you'll be rushing out of your seat for seconds.

2's across the board. Not impressed. But I've never been extremely impressed with Magic Hat in general. Not to mention this style has a long way to go before it's close to being perfected. There is potential here, but this has a ways to go in my opinion. (1,336 characters)

Photo of SteelerNation
3.13/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one last night so I am doing this from memory.

My overall impression of the beer was very good from a taste standpoint, but there were some major flaws with the brew. By the name "Demo" its pretty clear that this beer isn't 100% there yet, but it was also behind where I thought it would be.

First off, it pours a black semi-opaque color with a nice roasty head and good lacing. However there are chunks of green sediment floating in this beer. I am OK with hazyness or a little yeast on the bottom, but I could see chunks of hops and break floating in suspension. This came off as very unprofessional for a brewery of this size.

My second problem with this brew is that I don't buy that it is an IPA or even a black IPA. It's really just a hoppy porter. The hops don't dominate like they should in an IPA. I get more roasted malt on the palate than hops.

Other than that it has very nice characteristics: a nice roasty smell and taste, fresh American hops, a well balanced malt and hop profile. Very unrefined, but not far off from a solid brew. Highly drinkable without any astringent aftertastes or off flavors. (1,128 characters)

Photo of JohnTerrizzi
3.78/5  rDev +10.2%
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. (668 characters)

Photo of joelshults
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
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. (274 characters)

Photo of HopDevilfan
1.76/5  rDev -48.7%
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. (273 characters)

Photo of Clownpants
3.34/5  rDev -2.6%
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. (271 characters)

Photo of alanmarks
3.88/5  rDev +13.1%
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. (338 characters)

Photo of mbaldwin22
4.35/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first Beeradvocate review, I chose to start with this beer because I was absolutely shocked to see the poor reviews it is receiving. Magic Hat's Demo is one of the best new beers I have tasted in a long time.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown/black with a creamy head about one finger width that lasts for the whole beer.

Smell: Smells of hops, chocolate, roasted coffee and roasted malt.

Taste: Excellent. A cross between the smooth richness of a stout with the floral bitterness of an IPA. Strikes an excellent balance between sweet and bitter.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Highly carbonated, yet smooth. Has a somewhat thin mouthfeel, but the creamy head and rich flavors add a certain depth. Not quite a session beer, but certainly not too heavy to polish off a six-pack.

serving: bottle (802 characters)

Photo of mrpolarbear
2.06/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Dark brown body, acceptable head & lacing

S: Slight coffee/caramel aroma, somewhat weak

T: Malty, roasted flavor. Hops are very subdued, a twinge on the back-end, but too little too late.

M: Rather thin, balance seemed off.

D: Drinkable, but would not receive an 'encore'.

I've enjoyed the other Magic Hat 'IPA on tour' offerings, but this one truly misses the mark. As others have stated, it presents more like a porter, which is fine & well, as long as you really aren't expecting/wanting that hoppy IPA experience. (526 characters)

firstprev| 76-100 | 101-125 | 126-150  | next → last
Demo from Magic Hat Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.