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Plus / Minus - Magic Hat Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
78
okay

118 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 118
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 15.09%


Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
English Dark Mild Ale |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed with the tradition English style in mind, +/- aims to bring drinkers a truly sessionable craft beer experience. Tried it yet?

15 IBU

(Beer added by: vicsju1991 on 01-20-2012)
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Ratings: 118 | Reviews: 35 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.83/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber-brown body with a very thin, very short-lived near-white head.

Smell: Aroma smelling a bit sweetly with malty hints of nutty caramel, chocolate, and mocha with a base breadiness to it and accented with light fruity notes.

Taste: Bready malts with light touches of milk chocolate, roast, and dark caramel. Faintly nutty. Passably sweet. Mildly fruity estery notes lending a hint of cherry. Woodsy hop character with a low bitterness, just enough to counter the sweetness. Finishes out dry, a bit nutty.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation. Fairly smooth going down.

Overall: A nicely malty brew with a sensibly slackened alcohol presence. I thought it was a pleasant and it was gone in a flash.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2012 19:19:26 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of chefhatt
chefhatt

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beers pours a dark copper color body with a small head that doesnt' hang around long. The smell has a nice inviting malt characters to it. The taste upfront has nice maltness then on the back of the tonuge after it has warmed up a little bit then comes some chocolate and roasted malt flavors with a nice hop presence but not over powering. The mouthfeel is good and overall a pretty good beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2012 04:20:59 | More by chefhatt
Photo of KTCamm
KTCamm

New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Poured dark brown, two shades shy of being black. Little foam, very fizzy, settles out. Funky nutty smell. Taste is sweet, nutty, and cola flavored. Earthy? (from notes, but in hindsight not really). A little like flat soda. Or a funkier nut brown. Mild understates it. Hard to fully describe.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2012 10:19:13 | More by KTCamm
Photo of Jesse13713
Jesse13713

Ohio

1.55/5  rDev -54.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - This looks exactly like A & W light root beer with light vanilla and cola brown hues. Appears extremely watery with two fingers of head that puffs up in the center. This kinda looks like 'dirty' water.

Smell - Very heavy butterscotch and toffee right up front. A very faint sweet spice. All of the aromas are watered down.

Taste - I'm on my fifth drink and I hardly taste a thing. Water floods into the mouth and leaves no taste until being swallowed. This brings out tastes of light vanilla, cola, and Dr. Pepper. Extremely simple, and seems carelessly sloshed together. The low ABV is certainly no surprise. A flat soda-like disaster with light butterscotch notes. I suppose it is a bit nutty as well.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability - I honestly cannot tell the difference between drinking this and drinking a soft drink. If I didn't have any previous knowledge that this was a beer, I'd think I was drinking flat fountain Dr. pepper mixed with cola, A & W root beer, and Sprite. This is really just a watery mess. I picked the right beer to have before leaving for work. I was worried about finishing one in time, but I've drank 3/4 of it in the time it took to write this short review. Insanely drinkable, but that's not a good thing in this case. Sorry Magic Hat, but you continue to underwhelm my taste buds. At least I can finish it and it's not a drain pour.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2012 19:23:49 | More by Jesse13713
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.55/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, honey, maple and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out mildly sweet with flavors of caramel, honey and maple. Then a hearty malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, very mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid sessionable beer to drink for a while.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 21:55:22 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed by flashlight after power was knocked out by tropical storm Beryl.

A: single finger head with little retention and lacing on a amber with mahagony brown notes, I think, see above,

S: very very nutty with burnt toast and caramel malt notes. Hints of minerals and milk chocolate.

T: toasted malts and nuts dominate. Hints of minerals and milk chocolate.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation. Fairly smooth.

Overall: not anything super special but has some nice flavors and is fairy drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2012 01:19:42 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of yesyouam
yesyouam

New York

3.75/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Magic Hat +/- is a clear, very lively copper beer with a thick, elastic, off white foam. There's a little sweet, dark malt in the nose with a touch of herbal, medicinal hops. It has a smooth, medium body. The finish is a little gritty. There's not a ton of flavor up front. Upon the finish, a resiny, botanical bitterness rolls in with the sweetness of cake or bread. It lingers for a while. This is kind of like a lightened-up brown ale. It's mild enough to be inoffensive and it's pretty unique.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 14:10:53 | More by yesyouam
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Magic Hat "+ / -"

Interesting name. I won't go too far into it, but the point between a positive and a negative number is zero, which is quite possibly the most important number that exists because it equates to nothing, but suggests even more. It's at the center of infinity; and like a black hole, is perhaps the doorway to something that we don't yet understand.

Interesting beer. Most probably find the English dark mild style to be a little too pedestrian, but I swallow it up. It's got flavor, it's got some complexity, and it's a little bit lower in alcohol so you can have a few and not feel out of sorts. The only drawback is, as I see it, that it's a little thinner in the mouth. This version, however, isn't watery at all.

The one thing that I don't like about this beer is the yeast strain. I always find a bit of a stench in the nose of Magic Hat beers with lots of mineral, and I think, a hint of sulphur. It's initially off-putting to me, but then I get past it. Beyond that there's not that much here, a bit of dark caramel, a hint of dull cocoa, and some watered down roastiness.

The flavor, however, offers a beautiful palate of soft fudge, cocoa, golden caramel, darker caramel, light toffee, and delicate, underlying dark fruits. It's moderately bitter, yet it finishes dry - superbly balanced, and very drinkable.

I wish there were more beers like this available on the market, of course no one else would buy them.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2012 03:22:23 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Arborescence
Arborescence

Finland

2.2/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Dark, almost fully opaque. Pours a one finger head that recedes quickly.

Aroma: Very mild, hints of toast and roasted malt.

Taste: Something a little off about it. There's a little bit of malt, a hint of milk chocolate, and some bitterness. Very underdeveloped though, no depth at all.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, moderate carbonation.

Overall: Quite disappointing. I've had better beers with half the ABV, so it can't be just that. It's drinkable, but only just.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2012 23:24:11 | More by Arborescence
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium ruby and copper mix. A draker beer for sure. Quick head, no foam, but nice bubbling.

Mildly dark bread thats been watered down. Mineraly, hard water and some sweet darker malts.

Watery thin palate with some added mineral and dry qualities. Dry roasted and heavily toasted malts. Has some flavor, a little on the darker side, and is easy to drink. Good session ale for sure.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2012 03:59:13 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of ChrisPratz
ChrisPratz

Pennsylvania

3.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Deep rich brown/mahogany color. Very little head and no lacing remains after the pour. No bubbles around the edge either, slightly disappointed.

S: Getting some coffee, roasted malt and toasted grains coming thru. Some nuttyness and a hint of earthy smells coming thru as well but they aren't very strong.

T: Initially tasting coffee. Very much like the scent of a used coffee filter. Not very strong. Mild milk chocolate and some roasted nut flavors coming thru. Still picking up some earthy notes as well with some grains. All of it is very mild though, nothing here is really standing out strong or overly robust.

M: Carbonation is on par with soda. No head lingering around, keeps everything crisp and clean on the tongue. Can't really feel any alcohol in it either.

O: Nothing about this really stood out. From the lack of lace and head, to the mild notes on the nose and the very mild taste, I wasn't really impressed by any part of this brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 00:16:52 | More by ChrisPratz
Photo of zac16125
zac16125

South Carolina

3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a British pint glass
No born on date or other distinguishing numbers

A: Pours a translucent mahogany with a reddish hue and 2.5 fingers width of sea foam white head, which takes a fair amount of time to dissipate down to a thin film with thick outer ring which remains throughout the drink and leaves only trace spotty lacing.  

S: Slight citrus, bread, generic yeast, a toasted nut character and a hint of spice,  Not a bad aroma but what is there is mild and  subtle and thus this is pretty bland.

T: Taste is better than the nose.  The toasted nut character is prominent and quite good.  I also get a subtle roast flavor, some caramel malts, and a bit of spicy hops.  Nothing terribly complex, but I enjoy the taste, and it's actually not as mild as I was anticipating.  

M/D: Pretty heavily carbonated, light to medium bodied.  Drinkability is high.  

O: This is, to my knowledge, my first exposure to an English Mild, so its hard to compare to style.  However, my overall impression is a sessionable brew with an aroma that is kind of blah, but a taste which is actually rather nice.  I won't seek it out again (or the style in general for that matter), but I'll have no issue finishing the last bottle that's in my fridge.  

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2012 20:54:51 | More by zac16125
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber brown with a thin lacing of off white. The nose has notes of toffee, caramel, butterscotch, and a slight nuttiness. The flavor is very similar; malt forward with caramel taking the forefront followed by a nutty and butterscotch notes. There is a mild fruitiness and sweetness as well. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and very crisp.

This isn't bad, but not great either. Again, the creamy, butterscotch-like notes put me off of another Magic Hat offering.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2012 22:05:13 | More by tdm168
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle stamped: B142-61-01480113. Sampled on April 6, 2012. The pour is a handsome dark amber with a short-lived off-white head that becomes a ring. On the nose is a subtle profile of sweet malts and light hops and a little nutty. The body is in the medium range but smooth. The taste is sweet up front and then mildly bitter. It is a drinkable session beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 23:01:21 | More by puboflyons
Photo of shand
shand

Florida

3.95/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Hey, this'll be my first Dark Mild review. I've partaken in several pints of Cigar City's El Lector, but never in an environment conductive to reviewing. It pours out a deep red with some brown tinges to it. A centimeter of head steadily crowns the brew. The aroma is primarily nutty, with chocolate, roastiness, and just a touch of hops. The taste is good, it's got a nice complexity to it, with the nuttiness, roastiness, chocolate, and a touch of dark fruits all intertwining. The finish is earthy and hoppy before leaving a nice clean, dry feeling on the palate. The drinkability is, as to be expected, very good. Overall, it's a good Mild. I'd really like to find a honest Dark Mild from England to compare this to.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 02:40:10 | More by shand
Photo of tastybeer
tastybeer

North Carolina

3.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Not a bad looking brew off the bat. Deep warm brown color with a two finger foamy head. A thin layer with a 1/16" ring remains after it fades. Lace is sparse and sheety.

S: OK. Neither thrilling nor tantalizing by any means. Aroma is of musky malts, biscuit, caramel, a touch of stale coffee, cocoa, and something root-like that faintly reminds me of rooibos.

T: Flavor is also just OK. Malts come through again as musky and also thin. Chocolate, toast, coffee... Fruity yeast, generally diluted flavors, and extra crisp and clean.

M: Decent mouthfeel I suppose. Light body, smooth, with grape-like dryness.

This beer isn't bad, but it does lacks substance. Nothing exciting here.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2012 20:47:44 | More by tastybeer
Photo of wedge
wedge

North Carolina

2.93/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

"The Devil Is In The Potato Salad"

Pours a dark chestnut color under a slim, frothy ring of a head that dissolves to nothing. Nutty malt, cereal grain, and some dark - slightly tart - fruitiness. A little too clean, which seems to be an issue with Magic Hat beers over the last several years. Dark, dry malt and cocoa flavor, but somewhat watery. Faint toast and fruit, finishing dry. Medium-light body with too much carbonation at first. Too sterile and bland to be all that enjoyable. Not terrible, just not good.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 19:13:07 | More by wedge
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
Chickenhawk9932

Pennsylvania

3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich mahogany with a tan head that quickly dissipates.

Has a floral, nutty aroma with a hint a caramel and a touch of chocolate.

Slight citrus bite of hops up front followed by a roasted nut flavor with a bready mouthfeel that quickly gives way to a flat fruit flavor- plum. There is a touch of chocolate in the back of the mouth. A solid beer, very interesting with lots of subtlety.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 18:38:37 | More by Chickenhawk9932
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

3.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased as part of the Spring mix-pack at Market Basket in Somersworth. Pours a brick-red body with nearly an inch of khaki-colored head. Smells sweet and maybe even a touch sour. Nut, chocolate, and roast dominate the flavor. Light to medium in body with ample carbonation. While the aroma is a bit off-putting, the flavor is great. Spot-on for the style, and that's not easy to come by.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 00:42:46 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of BEERMILER12
BEERMILER12

Maine

3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice orange-red color with almost no head that fizzles to nothing in seconds

S: Some malts, MH yeast, and honestly not much else. Mild indeed

T: Follows the nose, with malts and slight smoke in the finish. Again, very mild

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A dumbed-down version of a classic style. Can't say that too many times about American brewers when they brew classic English styles, but it certainly applies here. Still worth a try, though

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2012 22:48:53 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a barely murky brown color. Reasonably dark. Head is nearly nothing. More or less just a patch of thin foam. Lacing shows up on the glass as light rings.

S-Very nutty. Almond, walnut, and hazelnut. Light chocolate aroma. Hops are not detectable. Small traces of coffee too. Not intense, but I do enjoy the nuttiness.

T-Chocolate is stressed here over the nuts. Still, the nutty medley does envelope my taste buds after the chocolate. Light leafy hop waft on the finish. Nicely malty but it does leave more to be desired.

M-Very light. Watery to a degree. Medium carbonation. Sessionable. I enjoy the light body.

O/D-Like most Magic Hat brews, this one has its bright spots but is mostly lackluster. I had no true complaints about this beer but it was pretty bland. I will easily finish the glass and will also give kudos to Magic Hat for trying to brew some of the lesser utilized styles such as this.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2012 03:38:00 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of RTEdmunds
RTEdmunds

New Hampshire

3.83/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A fairly dark and clear brown, with a foamy head that dissipates after a bit.

Strong grain presence, and a bit musty as well. Smells like old in an appealing quaint sort of way.

Similar to the nose, it tastes very earthy and grainy. Sweet, but it's offset by some bitterness that sneaks its way in. Taste lingers in the mouth a bit, it's not a bad thing though.

Super sessionable if you enjoy the earthyness. Medium carbonation, more than I expected.

Not my favorite by Magic Hat but it's certainly worth a try!

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2012 21:53:30 | More by RTEdmunds
Photo of CaptJackHarkness
CaptJackHarkness

New York

4.13/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce bottle from Spring Fling collection 2012.

Grassy sort of smell. Poured a deep coppery brown with a decent dark beige head. Head reduces to a light film in a minute, no apreciable lacing. Taste is very nice, but unexciting. Almost minty sweet with the barest hint of bittering. Definately mild, worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2012 02:24:24 | More by CaptJackHarkness
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Ruddy brown, clear with a decent amount of head

SMELL: Toasted bread, hay, buttery yeast, hint of fig, faint minty hops

TASTE: Malty, wet, buttery, bread crust, leafy, vague dark fruit, caramel, dry and clean finish

It is what it is and it hits all of the marks sufficient enough to be a Mild Ale but just does not seem to have the soul of that style. Perhaps due to it being not "real ale" and most of the milds I have run into have been on cask or bottle conditioned.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2012 01:25:28 | More by Jason
Photo of wvsabbath
wvsabbath

West Virginia

3.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Golden tan/dark brown, 1/2 creamy head and some lacing.

Smell - Dakr fruits like plum and rasin, malty, buttery, nuts, a chocolate/cocoa mix.

Taste - Malty and sweet sugar chocolate mix, along with some nut and fruit flavor. Theres a hoppy bitter fruit tang also, mixed with some dark rasin and plum. The finish comes up almost bitter vegetable like metallic bite.

Mouthfeel - Light, weak and underwelming mostly. Too weak for its own good. Tounge gets alot of malts, some sugars and a little nut flavor. Palette gets remaining malts and sweets, aftertaste is a little bitter and dry.

Overall - Average, too easy on flavors, and nothing special. Its not bad at all but, its too weak for any seasoned craft drinker.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2012 00:13:19 | More by wvsabbath
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Plus / Minus from Magic Hat Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.