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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 CHickman
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer review from 5/12/12: pours pitch black color with a lot of brown sediment floating in it and a 1 finger creamy tan head that faded slowly and left very good spotty lacing; looks like a stout.

Smells of roasted malt, grains, coffee, floral hops, cocoa powder and toffee or syrup; overall nose is roasted and malty, devoid of a major hop presence.

Tastes of roasted malt, toasted grains, coffee, vanilla, light floral hops, lemon, herbs, cocoa powder, syrup and brown sugar; a very nice beer, but totally misclassified as this in not an IPA. It's tasty, just not an IPA per the label.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with mild carbonation, a medium body and a feel that's on the watery side with a slight bitterness. Overall a good beer, however you want to classify it.

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Photo of rarbring
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer is very dark brown, has a huge tan head that leaves some lacing, rather small curtains.

Smelling of toast, dark roasted coffee, smoked meat and chocolate.

Starting with burned toast, dark coffee beans, bitter high grade chocolate, a few sprinkles of brown sugar and soy sauce.

Medium high carbonation, rather watery and a medium body, a coarse dry finish.

Well it's black, more than IPA. Miss some body and maybe more sweetness and less bitterness might have been good.

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Photo of ummswimmin
2.98/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

I wrote notes on this about a month ago, but I realized that I didn't get it into BA until today.

On the pour I had a ton of foam. The glass was more than a third in head. I thought that would mean a lot of aroma, but there wasn't much there. I only picked up some coffee and no real hoppiness coming off the top.

The flavor was mostly thin coffee with some roasted malts. I didn't catch any hop flavors. There wasn't much to the flavors. I hoped for more, but it wasn't there.

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

A - Another 'IPA On Tour' series brew, I've had quite a few. I am shocked when a nearly black brew comes out capped with a mocha head; I didn't know it was a Black IPA. The beer is a bit ruddy looking for the CDA/ABA style. It seems to present a look like I would expect from a Porter.

S - The nose tells me this is not like most of the other CDAs I've had in that it has taken on a lot of roasted characteristics from the dark malt, not just color as is often the case.

T - The taste reinforces elements found in the aroma such as prominent roastiness and coffee-chicory notes. There is also a grassy, green hoppiness, reminiscent of fresh-cut grass or aloe sap. I am a huge fan of the malt, not so much of the hop.

M - Medium-bodied and sharply carbonated. It could've been a bit softer in the effervescence dept. Otherwise, it is good.

D - Another solid offering from the 'On Tour' series, which is just about the only thing MH puts out that is worth drinking these days.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark brown/black in color, with a big rocky head of tan foam.
Aroma-Dark toasted malt
Taste-Roasted malt, coffee, subtle citrus note. Big roasty finish. Could have used a bigger dose of hops in my opinion for a bit better balance.

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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 AlCaponeJunior
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish brown, mostly clear, small rising bubbles, decent head and lacing.

Smells like a hoppy porter, with hops, roasted caramel malts, coffee and chocolate.

A bit more porter like and less hoppy than expected from the smell. Smooth roasted and caramel malts, accented by coffee, dark chocolate, and a fair amount of bitter hops flavor.

Feel wise it's tangy and light bodied, with a slight warming effect despite the ABV.

Drinks not too shabby. Not my favorite but not bad at all. Great in the mixer 12 packs.

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Photo of far333
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chestnut colored and opaque with ruby highlights. An oatmeal colored head of low froth rises up minimally and settles slowly leaving legs of lace.

Low aroma of cocoa and caramel, hints of tangerine. Hops morph to pine in the finish. Hints of marshmallow, finishes with a nutty, buttery ringwood nuance. Fairly well-balanced, but leaning more toward malt than hops. Not overly complex. Even mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, finishes slightly tingly. This is a slightly above average beer, fairly tasty, but also pretty forgettable.

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

12 fl oz brown bottle, served in a tumbler.

Caramel brown in color beneath a semi-intact, creamy off-white head; average retention that leaves a ring of soft lace.

Mild coffee, soft semi-sweet caramel. Floral hop aromas highlighted with saffron and licorice spice.

Flavors are more of the same from the aromas: milk chocolate, caramel, and coffee up front. Big, floral hop middle with an astringent bite that leaves an herbal, licorice aftertaste.

Medium in body; rough, astringent, and overly carbonated.

The flavor profiles are a little unbalanced and the mouthfeel isn't quite flattering. A decent stab at the style, but not my first choice.

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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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Photo of ms11781
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by April 30, 2011 on bottle. 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a murky, dark brown color with a good sized foamy, light brown head. Head dissipates to a thin, tan cap that sticks around and leaves good foamy lacing.

The nose isn't all that strong and consists mainly of a roasted malt aroma. At times it seems like I can pick up some hints of chocolate or coffee but when I look for them again they're gone. No real hop presence.

The taste is more of the same. Roasted malt is prominent and sometimes seems like its the only flavor. Some, and by some I mean very little, hop flavor towards the finish, maybe some slight pine notes. Finishes with a burnt flavor I can't quite put my finger on.

Medium carbonation with a body that is on the higher side of medium gives it a full mouthfeel. Definitely a heavier beer for the style, although not too heavy relative to other beers.

Drinkability is ok. It's not a terrible beer, but it isn't that good for a beer of its style. Definitely somewhere between a brown ale or a stout with a little bit of hops.

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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 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 angrybabboon
3.36/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Review adapted from notes taken 4/11/11

Appearance: Dark brown with a thin but nice little head, good lacing

Smell: A dull burnt character - overall, very mildly roasted and burnt - a hint of grassy hops - seriously lacking in hops and chocolate that seem more appropriate for the style - this could probably pass for a porter

Taste: Similarly underwhelming - roasted, burnt, a hint of vanilla, some chocolate, some sweetness - NOT a bad beer, but also not a good example of an American Black Ale - lacks complexity

Mouthfeel: Medium body, crisp, nicely carbonated

Overall: I'm usually generous with Magic Hat, but this... this is not great

I'm hoping this is just a "demo" and that this beer will not actually be rotating. It tastes more like a weak porter than the style it is supposed to represent.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.36/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of RickS95
3.61/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Didn't read the label very well, so got a Black IPA without realizing it...not my favorite style. Regardless, pleasantly surprised with the appearance. Extremely dark brown, bordering on black with stuff in it. The head is really thick, a light brown color and lasts an amazingly long time. Lacing is great.

Smells nothing like I expected. Nothing hopworthy of note, mostly roasted malt scents fill the nose. A little smoke. Charcoal.

Tastes nothing like a pale ale. If I didn't know from reading the label or seeing the style on this site, I'd have bet money it was a stout. Can't speak for the style, but the taste is not bad. Lots of roasty notes, maybe a slight floral taste mid-sip, with a bit of hop in the finish.

Very smooth, again, nothing like a pale ale. Has an Earthiness to it, but nothing like the style suggest. Moderate bitter finish.

I have no idea what the beer is supposed to be. It's not an IPA, it's not a pale ale, and it's not an American black ale. I'm voting it's a stout. Either way, it's drinkable with some good features.

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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 JayS2629
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Its a nice black. Pretty solid with a frosty off white head that does fade fast but leaves some chalky walls of lace.

Aroma of mild chocolate and lemon grass, a faint citrus hint with some grassy notes. Balanced and clean. Not much else.

Ok balance of mild chocolate, bitter cocoa, with some grassy notes. Wish there was more hops.

Ok medium body, easy drinking

Nice balance but kind of boring.

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

I poured this into a pint glass , it has a nice black body with a small tan head that hangs around and laces the glass really well. The smell is of roasted malt with a very slight hint of hops. The taste is very dominate of the roasted malts. They give it a nice rich roasted and chocolate flavor. There are no hops present in the taste. The mouth feel is good and overall this is a good beer, just not tasting like a ipa.
This is the last of ipa on tour that i had to try and by far it is my least favorite.

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