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Plus / Minus - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Plus / MinusPlus / Minus

Educational use only; do not reuse.

35 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 123
Avg: 3.39
pDev: 14.75%
Wants: 6
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: vicsju1991 on 01-20-2012

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

15 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Plus / Minus Alström Bros
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 123
Photo of Jesse13713
1.55/5  rDev -54.3%
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.

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Photo of Arborescence
2.23/5  rDev -34.2%
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.

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Photo of morebeergood
2.58/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

First off, what's up with this label? Intriguing I guess. Maybe that's why I grabbed it from my friend's fridge to try it. Poured into a standard pint glass. No head at all. Moderate fizz of carbonation. The body was the color of cola. Smell was non-existent. Taste was just a bit of malt and some caramel. Mouthfeel was thin and watery. This beer just had no redeeming qualities to it at all. Just plain boring. Mostly minus for me.

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Photo of wedge
2.92/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

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Photo of ChrisPratz
3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

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Photo of tastybeer
3.08/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of Shaw
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle supplied by the brewery.

A deep ruby in color with a big tan head.

Sweet aroma of toasted malt.

Taste is lightly malty with a hint of fruity sweetness.

Solid body that isn't watery.

Overall an average brew. A little light on flavor for me. I prefer El Lector by Cigar City.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark brown, ruby highlights, thin lace with no hang that disappears after a few sips.

S - Chocolate, faint hint of smoke.

T - Chocolate malts, some roasted grains, slight bitterness on back of tongue, not much else is present.

M - Slightly watery, carbonation is decent though low.

O - Overall it is drinkable, though unremarkable. It characteristics appear to be representative of the style, so its worth a try.

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Photo of jjchristiano
3.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It looks like a nice dark malt beer.
But there just isn't much taste in the bottle.
Not sure if +/- means = 0 is the math they were shooting for. I really can't say it is bad. You could drink them fine but it just isn't worth buying craft beer for this little flavor. Almost tastes like an unhopped homebrew kit made exclusively from liquid malt extract.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.41/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale dark copper color with a light beige head forming thick and dwindling slow, visually I'm all about this beer the smell leaves a bit to be desired with light dark roasts. That's about it light fruity accents generic tart cherry with cereal toasted grains. Flavor is light but has a creamy, dark roasted malts with fruit notes. Pretty mild ale, that shows me one thing Magic Hat has been going toward the mainstream. This beer tastes like a pseudo craft from a mislabeled ABI brew. Mouthfeel is light moderate carbonation slightly soft textures going on, easy to drink. A no brainer ale with enough flavor to help you get through it however it doesn't really push the envelope or do anything for beer.

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Photo of tdm168
3.41/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

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Photo of zac16125
3.41/5  rDev +0.6%
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.  

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.41/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.42/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.47/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Well it's dark and it has a mild tint to it. Head is minimal with a slight lace ring but lacing is sticky.

S - Can't knock the taste it smell English with malts and has a nutty aspect to it with sweet toffee.

T - Body is nice for such a session ABV. Flavors are mild (expected) with sweet malts, toffee, and a smooth nutty finish.

M - Light to medium but balanced.

Overall one of the better Magic Hat beers I have had with smooth sweet flavors and a nice smooth body. Would have another.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
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

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This must be new seeing that I'm the second review. I knew I hadn't seen or tried it before. Out of the spring seasonal mix 12 pack. Sorta boring and bland and not my cup o' beer...that gives it a minus, but it nailed what it advertised itself as...a mild dark ale. that gives it a plus. So lets grade it on what it advertised itself as.

It isn't too dark...its a cola color with brown and red tints and a good clarity actually. Definitely a dark ale and not a porter look...nailed the color...that is a plus. Thin and fuzzy head that fades fast and leaves light sea foam lacing that falls quickly as well...that is a minus.

Clean, bready, hints of cocoa and roasted grain. Mild...that is a plus. No hop presence...very clean and bland. Bland is a minus.

Taste is better so we get to make up some minuses. It nails being a mild dark flavor. Too mild and bland for me so a plus for nailing what it advertised and a minus for being boring. Faint cocoa, faint roast, some bready flavors and a bitter aftertaste. A minus for the bitter aftertaste. A plus for balance.A nice subtle nutty note..a tiny plus. Kind of watery...a minus.

A little thin and watery in body and taste. One demensional. A minus.

Wow! All the pluses and minuses just seem to cancel each other out to leave us with muddled and bland. I think its an above average beer. Its mild and dark so they nailed that. Its also boring and bland, and watered down. Got it out of a mix pack so I'm stuck with 2 more.

I wanted to give this a good grade for a session beer, but I don't enjoy the taste enough. Its easy drinking and mild, but lacking on flavor. Too muddled and bitter. Its drinkable though and maybe others will think differently.

It lives up to its name. Its neither here nor there. I could do with or without it. Plus or minus. Whatever. Cool label and way to nail the name....another plus.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.55/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.65/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Part of the most recent Magic Hat mixed 12 pack.

Pours a very dark amber color with a finger of foam that recedes without lacing. Aroma is mostly crystal malt sweetness.

First sip has an initial rush of nutty sweetness that quickly cuts out with a dry finish. Has a bit of a metallic aftertaste.

Lacking some complexity. Has a nice sweet flavor up front but quickly drops off and not much else takes its place. I guess it pretty much fits the bill for a Mild Ale, but it is not something I'd go out of my way to get.

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Plus / Minus from Magic Hat Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.