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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
Reviews: 139 | Hads: 403
Photo of cjgator3
3.81/5  rDev +11.1%
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! (467 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.63/5  rDev +5.8%
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. (525 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.37/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (436 characters)

Photo of Brad007
3.15/5  rDev -8.2%
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? (452 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (889 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%
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. (760 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.29/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (1,030 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3.82/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (673 characters)

Photo of Durge
3.5/5  rDev +2%
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). (1,189 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
2.3/5  rDev -32.9%
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. (363 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.11/5  rDev -9.3%
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. (491 characters)

Photo of Bung
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (519 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.26/5  rDev -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. (766 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
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. (402 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
3.65/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (574 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
2.73/5  rDev -20.4%
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. (393 characters)

Photo of david18
3.33/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (604 characters)

Photo of wedge
3.66/5  rDev +6.7%
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. (520 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
2.69/5  rDev -21.6%
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. (950 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
3.35/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Coffee black. Foamy head, eggshell color. Holding okay. 3.5

Baltic porter-like in the nose. Roasty with dusted cocoa and coffee in the nose. Earthy malts and herbal hops. 3.5

Very roasty and showing a lot of booze. Salty mineral notes with obvious coffee and chocolate. Strange wheat cereal in the finish. Sparse berry notes, but an otherwise dry black ale. 3.5

Medium carbonation and a medium body. Drinkable but with a booziness. 3.0

Average black ale. More malt bitterness than hop bitterness and obscured hop flavors. Bit of a misnomer. 3.0 (548 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
3.48/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark brown black color with a finger of frothy tan-brown head. The head has pretty good retention and laces nicely.

S - Aroma is full of sweet lightly roasted carmel malts. There is also some sweet chocolate and some coffee elements that break through.

T - Starts off with some chocolate flavor and some roasted sweet carmel malts. A little bit of coffee flavor in the background. Just a touch of hops come through in the middle with more chocolate flavor and roasted flavor. The finish is fairly sweet with a some brown sugar flavor and toffee malt. Finish feels a little bit off.

M - Medium-light to medium bodied with moderate assertive carbonation. Feels even a bit creamy at times with a slightly syrupy finish left behind.

D - Fairly drinkable. Resembles more of a porter than an American Black Ale with the rather low hop presence. The flavors are pretty nice up finish with feels a bit off. (914 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
3.78/5  rDev +10.2%
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. (302 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
3.91/5  rDev +14%
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. (1,196 characters)

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance:
The beer pours a dark black with brown highlights around the edges. Little head/lacing, but copious amounts of dense particles floating (almost stationary) around my glass...I give points to beers that aren't ashamed to show where they came from.
The head that was visible for a brief minute appeared to be a light tan.

Smell:
I made the slight mistake of judging this beer as a "cold server," but upon reconsideration, I would have liked to see how this beer smelled at warmer temperatures.
Although I am slightly desensitized to hops, there is still a slight bitterness. However, a majority of this beer is devoted to a burnt toffee/caramel malt. A little aeration goes a long way with this beer.
Also, a little more alcohol really would have helped to crank up some of the aromas this beer is hiding.

Taste:
Initially I'm only getting rich, toasty malts with hints of the hops that would qualify this beer as being on an "IPA tour." Although initial impressions of a beer can go a long way, the truth unfolds to reveal this beer's true balance between a lingering burnt/bitter aftertaste and initial sweet/burnt maltiness. All prejudices aside, this is one of the better Magic Hats I've tasted in a long time.

Mouthfeel:
Roasted malt up front with a toffee sweetness that follows. The aftertaste is bitter, but the palate is still coated heavily with roasted malt.
No heavy alcohol and the body is between medium-full.
My only major complaint is I would have liked to get more hops upfront.

Overall (Drinkability):
Smooth, easy to drink, can drive home after having a couple.
I paid $0 for this beer, snagged it out of a friend's variety pack (which was fair priced to begin with). I appreciate Magic Hat's efforts to produce different "IPAs on tour" to try and tap into the east coast IPA market, but a huge "under-hopping" leaves this beer out of its league.
With great beer comes great responsibility. I feel responsible to stand up to this beer/brewery that has had their name run through the muck after their recent acquisition by Anheuser; I think Magic Hat is making an effort...so far it's just not enough.

Cheers. (2,145 characters)

Photo of Redrover
3.32/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the mixed 12 pack, poured into a pint glass, the beer is dark brown a beige head and tons of sediment. Is that supposed to be in there? It covers the bottom of the glass and is suspended through out.

Roasted malts and dark fruit in the nose. For a black IPA, I'm not getting many hops.

The taste is of roasted malts, a bit of coffee, raisins and brown sugar. This would be a decent brown or black ale, but I do want a few hops in my IPA.

The mouth has heft, but the sediment is course.

All-in-all, this was a bit of a miss for me. (542 characters)

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