1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Humdinger Series: Burn Pile - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Humdinger Series: Burn PileHumdinger Series: Burn Pile

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

81 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 81
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 15.1%

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

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
A smoked porter brewed with six malts offering an aroma of caramel and chocolate with a subtle, complimentary smokiness.

35 IBU

(Beer added by: Brad007 on 08-26-2012)
View: Beers (36) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 81 | Reviews: 25 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Ego

New Jersey

3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

had this in the cellar for about a year...

audible sizzle, one finger of slightly cocoa head, fades in a minute but does not totally vacate the premises, nice lacing, some carbonation gurgling up from the deep dark depths, pretty black but some light is able to work around, nice looking

sweet cocoa nibs, ah, there is the smoke, kind of playing hide and sneek with my nose, smells like beechwood if I had to guess, it exists on the borderline of smokey meat and smokey outdoor summer camp fire, along with the cocoa nib notes there is a dry cocoa powder aroma as well, overall this is pretty balanced

taste etc...
mild chocolate notes, definitely on the sweeter side, the smoke comes through a little in the after taste, medium full in the mouth and very smooth/silky going down, pretty average with interesting side notes but very drinkable

more pile than burn... but not terrible, went pretty good with some red hot blues tortilla chips (they enhanced the flavor actually), adding some chile to this would do it some good imo.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2014 04:30:28 | More by Ego
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.18/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Son-in-Law and I shared a 0.73 litre bottle he brought back from Philadelphia last year: it was broached on 6th Feb 2014, smoking!

One of the most intensely smoked beers I've ever had, I struggled to pick up any other flavours at first because of the burnt smoky depth it had. Slowly dark chocolate and ground coffee esters began to fight their way through the ashtray style feel.

We managed to finish it off, just: we'll not be having another.

I've tried to score it objectively.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2014 15:36:12 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of MeganPhillips


1.88/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

Been to the brewery several times and always try what's on tap - had the Humdinger series - I am a fan of porters, and maybe I just tasted it after something very mellow - but it was so smoky I could not even finish the tasting pour, it was like eating a block of charcoal. I've never in my life not finished a tasting pour of a beer... Ever.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2013 20:22:38 | More by MeganPhillips
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark black with a slightly tanned head. Leaves a few spots of lacing on the side.

S: Not an overpowering aroma. Hints of roasted malt and faint smokiness. Things wake up when it warms giving you some nice dark fruit qualities.

T: Flavor is pretty good. The roasted malts go nice with the light smoke flavor. Dark fruits are present. Just a touch of alcohol on the back-end.

M: Light to medium body with a somewhat thin feel to it. Slightly oily. Low carbonation. Finish is easy enough.

Overall its a good selection from Magic Hat. The concept is well executed and works well. Not as complex as it could be but an easy sipping tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2013 23:18:00 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of superspak


3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, August 2012 bottling. Pours clear almost pitch black color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of raisin, apple, molasses, chocolate, roasted malt, toast, smoke, light char, light coffee, floral, and roasted earthiness. Decent aromas with solid balance and complexity of roasted notes; but a bit too fruity. Taste of chocolate, roasted malt, raisin, toast, molasses, smoke, light char, dark bread, and light roasted earthiness. Lingering notes of chocolate, roasted malt, toast, raisin, molasses, smoke, light char, dark bread, light wood, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Pretty good balance and complexity of roasted flavors with moderate smokiness; fair amount of robustness; and minimal cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with nearly zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a solid smoked porter. A bit too fruity in the aromas, but has some solid balance of roasted flavor and smokiness; and is very smooth to sip on. A fairly enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 04:19:19 | More by superspak
Photo of Neorebel

New Jersey

3.74/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Burnpile pours an oily dark brown, with some very faint carbonation. A gorgeous puffy tan colored head sits on top, which eventually recedes to about a quarter inch. Healthy lacing is left on the glass as the beer goes down. The aroma is relatively complex, with coffee toasted malts, burnt crust, and black cherries. The taste is initially strong, with a woody characteristic taking the forefront. Very smoky, perhaps just a tad over the top for some people's tastes. There is a tiny bit of sweet citrus hop flavor as well. The mouth feel is crisp, but watery. I would prefer if it was just a little thicker. Overall, this isn't a bad beer by any means, but not the best example of a smoked porter. If you are really into smoked beer or the German style Rauchbier, give it a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2013 19:46:30 | More by Neorebel
Photo of nickfl


3.61/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours with a small head of light tan foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles at a moderate lace and leaves decent lace.

S - Light smoke, leather, and a bit of coffee,

T - Lots of dark caramel up. Front with notes of smoke. A bit of clove and molasses in the middle with a finish of toast and caramel.

M - Medium thick body, moderately low carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - Not bad, the smoke character is subdued but present enough to make an impact.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2013 19:05:35 | More by nickfl
Photo of kylehay2004


3.29/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Half finger head with thick lacing on a very deep brown body. Aroma of smoked and roasted malts, peat, vanilla. Flavors include general porter notes which are sweeter than normal from the vanilla and brown sugar. The flavor is not at all smokey. Medium to thick body and light carbonation. Disappointingly not very smokey. The packaging is impressive, the beer not so much.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2013 02:53:40 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Magic Hat : Burnpile

APPEARANCE: Pours a clear dark amber brown. Leaves behind a pretty good display of webbed lacing on the glass.

SMELL: Bready and toasty, with hints of chocolate. Magic Hat yeast strain adds sweet bread notes. Malted milk ball candy comes to mind.

TASTE: Roasted malt, chocolate and caramel. Small dry charcoal like smoke emerges a few sips in, into the aftertaste. On the sweeter side even a bit worty. Hops are mildly bitter and spruce tea like. Finishes with more caramel and dry smoke. Faint raisin flavor, dark chocolates and alcohol.

FEEL: Medium bodied, with ample carbonation, smooth and creamy. Has a drying finish, leaving behind caramel and smoke flavor.

OVERALL: This is an enjoyable porter. It is pretty sweet but has a good feel and overall flavor. Decent example of a mainstream smoked porter. Compared to most porters this is fairly potent. Would pair nicely with BBQ.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2013 06:01:31 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of uno99

Ontario (Canada)

3.3/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Not fan of smoked beers, but how can you resist when its a Christmas gift?

Appearance: The bottle is very nice. Heavy frosted opaque glass, with very nice painted label. Corked and caged and then wrapped with gold foil. Beer is perfect porter dark brown, not much head to speak of though

Smell: Smoke, is upfront but not completely dominate. Cherries, plums and dark fruits/malt. Not really any hop presence.

Taste: Sweet smoke, like a BBQ sauce. Not really anything complex about it though. The above scents listed enter into the taste category, but not a whole lot else. A bit medicinal on the finish.

M: Quite well carbonated and makes this a bit more drinkable, especially if you aren't particularly liking it.

Overall, It's tough for me to recommend this, but if you like smoked beer then my opinion could be all together wrong.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 00:54:21 | More by uno99
Photo of WanderingFool


3.89/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Burn Pile pours near black with ruby highlights on the edges. On top sits a small fizzy tan head. The foam disappears quickly leaving only a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is faint, but does have some notes of smoke, chocolate and roast malt. Hint of nuts is also present.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is watery on the palate with moderate carbonation. The flavor is malty with a fair amount of smoke. Chocolate, roast malt, caramel, dark fruit (plum or raisin?), and smoke are all present. The smoke is the strongest flavor, but not overpowering. It finishes with a mild grassy bitterness. Once gone the smoke and dark fruit lingers on the palate.

This is an easy drinking beer with a nice balance of malts and smoke. However, it's a bit thin in the body and the aroma isn't very strong.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 22:33:15 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of thecheapies


3.3/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A caged and corked bottle of 7.5% ABV smoked porter. I was too intrigued not to buy this. $12 for the bottle. I'm splitting it with the girlfriend, as per usual, and pouring it into pint glasses. Here goes.

Pours practically black. Some dark caramel tones along the edges when held to the light. The head was meager, but an attractive color of yellowed-mocha. Some drippy lacing shows.

Smells like dark, wet cereal with maybe a touch of smokiness. Maybe. There are major flaws here. I was looking for a bold aroma and I got roasted fluff.

Lightly smoked malts with some caramel notes and flavors of burnt grain, however, it still doesn't come off as bold--nor delicate. It's a good porter, and I like how the smokiness imparts subtle flavor and never comes close to breaching the threshold on the palate, but a medicinal note is noticed and a bit abrasive. There's a sweet and savory quality that I like, but it's malty sweet, and I don't mean chocolate of coffee flavors. A hint of salinity in the finish helps to dry out the backend, and some light hopping shows up as well. It's nice to know they're there even though hops aren't the most welcome component in a smoked porter. I'd advocate letting this warm up to near-room temperature, as the smokiness amplifies, which is what you need here.

Alcohol strength is pretty much appropriate, as this is bordering on Imperial potency. Maybe a little heady, still. Dextrinous body with a lot of oatmeal chew. Carbonation feels barely dissolved and uneven, but the brightness is close enough to call it ideal. Chewy doesn't equal creamy in body, but there's enough here to be happy with it.

While Burnpile is still a nice, little smoked porter, this has to be one of the most disappointing caged-and-corked beers that I have had. It's fun, but the price is too high on this one. I don't recommend, but I enjoyed trying it.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 05:07:03 | More by thecheapies
Photo of mountdew1

New Hampshire

3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a very dark brown, almost black. Very slightly translucent near the edges. A 1/4 inch mocha colored head, with a handful of streams of carbonation from the bottom. Aroma had a touch of lactose sweet, but was mostly a bit of smoke. Not a fake smoke. Taste was slightly bitter up front, but switched to a mellow smoke. Felt a smidgen thin in the mouth, with no noticeable carbonation. Fairly good smoked porter, not necessarily worth the cage/cork. $5-6 would be reasonable for this.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 00:24:18 | More by mountdew1
Photo of tigg924


3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at New World Tavern, Plymouth--served into a pint glass.

Appearance: black in color, 1 inch head, opaque, minimal carbonation

Smell: smoked malt and BOSCO

Taste: roasted malt, dark chocolate, light sweet chocolate, creaminess at the end and light smoke

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy bodied, moderate carbonation, sweet with roasty bitterness

Overall: An above average roasty semi-smoky beer. Decent, but nothing I would go out of my way for.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2012 15:56:44 | More by tigg924
Photo of ummswimmin

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My buddy Naugros shared this bottle with me about a week ago while watching my Ducks lose to the Stanford Cardinal.

I had this beer in an english style pint glass. The coloring was very dark with a touch of red on the edges where the light comes through. The foam is very minimal leaving only a scum on top shortly after pouring.

You can definitely smell the smoke coming off this beer. It is present, but it is not overwhelming like Aecht Schlerneka is for many people.

The flavor is good. It is well balanced with some decent coffee in there. The smoke is in the flavor, but it doesn't kill the pallatte. I like the way this eases off in the back end.

I like this beer by Magic Hat. I need to try the other Humdingers brews based on my experiences with this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 01:15:37 | More by ummswimmin
Photo of brewdude1982

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: 4.0 very dark almost no head and I tried to pour it to have some
S: 3.0 faint smoke smell
T: 3.5 just smokey dark malts
MF:3.0  weak on carbonation but a little bigger on the biddy
O: 3.5 not a lot going on with this one. There are definitely better beers out there in this style.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2012 20:03:27 | More by brewdude1982
Photo of smcolw


3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep ruby brown color. Only bright light passes through. Small head but it does provide some streaky lace.

Behind the typical toasted and mildly burnt malts is a subtle medicinal smell.

This medicinal aspect is even stronger in the taste, particularly after the swallow. Still drinkable, but distracting. This porter leans to the bitter side both with burnt malts and notable hop. Moderate body with an elevated carbonation level.

Serving type: on-tap

11-21-2012 17:47:24 | More by smcolw
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - dark brownish black with no head

S - faint smoke, burnt sugar, caramel

T - roasted malt, sugary, vanilla, some caramel, a bit of smoke in the finish

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This is a decent beer, but it's not "caged & corked" special. It has a decent flavor profile, but I'm underwhelmed. there are better beers out there, but this was nice to try once.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2012 02:30:24 | More by tdm168
Photo of buddha5050


3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 750ml cage and corked bottle into tulip glass

A: Dark brown/black with a tinge of burnt umber around the edges. 1.5 finger of creamy khacki colored head, and alot of carbonation straming up from the bottom, a little more than I would expect from this style of beer.

S: Nice deep roasted malt smell, cocoa and coffee smell with a hint of smokey-ness undernieth. Nice nose.

T: Roasted dark malt taste with small bitterness on the front and sides of the tongue, light smoke flavor, I expected more smoke, and the bitterness was not what I would expect from a porter a little light. Boy, I could not taste the 7.5% in this.

M: A thin/med body not as thick as what I expect from a good porter, dissapointing. Like I said earlier it had a little too much carbonation for a porter.

O: Nice beer, I would buy again a nice middle of the road porter for a beginer to start getting into darker beers, at 7.5% it has little taste from this aspect, quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2012 00:20:29 | More by buddha5050
Photo of MatthewWilde


3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sample: 1 bottle 2012

A: Pours a light off-white head that quickly dissolves, reddish dark mahogany in color, minimal internal carbonation

S: Smoked malt, some bbq sweetness, smoke and wood, mild cocoa as well

T: Nice smoky malt throughout, elements of chocolate and mesquite additionally, robust and flavorful, quite delicious

M: Incredibly smooth, although a bit drying, mild smoky aftertaste, mildly lingering, but not overpowering

O: Certainly worth a try, a nice representation of the style, while nothing seems unique about this porter it remains satisfying

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2012 04:06:25 | More by MatthewWilde
Photo of ppoitras


4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle purchased as a single from Savemore Discount Beverage, Clifton Park, NY. Corked and caged. Helluva time getting the cork out (in pieces), but I would not be denied.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head over the almost opaque dark brown brew. Head is promptly down to a skim, with sticky lasting lace. Aroma is rich and lightly smoky.

Taste is light to moderate smoke from beginning to end, with some sweetness in the middle, and a lightly bitter close. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, and drinkability is great. Smoke could be a bit more, but I like Schlenkerla, so what do I know. Nice brew, would look for again.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2012 00:14:31 | More by ppoitras
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

2.85/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750ml Bottle - Thanks to igunard for this

Appearance - Black/brown colour with with a an average size fizzy head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, smoke/burnt notes

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and some smoke/burnt notes. There is also an odd flavour that I can't put my finger on.. along the lines of cooked vegetables. It ends with a lingering smokey finish.

Overall - Almost like a log that was covered in moss and then thrown in a fire.. just an odd tasting beer. I'm not a fan of smoked beers so don't take my word for it.. but this beer is a miss in my books.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2012 18:57:34 | More by spinrsx
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.13/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bottle: Poured a brown color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of light smoked malt notes with light roasted malt notes and some weird overcooked vegetables noted which are not really pleasant. Taste is smokier then the aroma with light roasted malt notes and that weird vegetables notes still coning through way too strongly. Body is a bit light for style with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. The fact that most of the bottle ended up in the drain is probably a good representation of my degree of enjoyment of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2012 18:07:08 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of acceptmj


4.38/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll admit that the look of the bottle made me buy this beer. I didn't even know it was from Magic Hat until i got home

A: Very dark almost a midnight black with a thick and some what dark tan head. The head disappears quickly.

S: Smells sweet and roasted. A little cocoa and maybe some raisin. I wouldn't consider it a smoky smell though.

T: Very bold flavor. More of a porter flavor with the sweetness from the malts. The after taste is where the dark roasted flavors come out. Not too bitter either.

M: As soon as you drink it it coats your mouth but not like a syrup. The body is somewhat thick but it finishes smoothly.

O: If you like porters and stouts then pick this up. It's alittle expensive but I think worth trying. This beer is good if you enjoy beers that have opposite flavors. It is a very balanced porter that incorporates a roasty smoky flavor.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2012 03:07:34 | More by acceptmj
Photo of Brad007


3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Didn't see this in the database. It's a smoked porter so a toss-up between the Smoked Beer and American Porter category. What would you have put it in?

Pours a nice dark garnet with a thin head into my glass. Color is hard to analyze further even with some light.

Smoky as a late August bonfire in VT with a chewy texture that's quite apparent in the nose.

Smoky, chewy malt upfront. Some roastiness as well but never too much for the style. Dark fruit, maybe a bit of cocoa from the malt?

Leaves a chewy texture with an aftertaste that is reminiscent of cocoa and chili peppers. Smoked doesn't usually mean HOT but this benefits from such a characteristic. Makes it less of a mediocre smoked porter.

Whether or not it's worth a try is entirely up to you. Magic Hat's bigger beers have always been hit or miss even if this one doesn't even crack 8%. The retail price might turn people off. Still, if you have that "gotta try 'em all!" mentality, you won't regret this too much.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2012 03:05:11 | More by Brad007
Humdinger Series: Burn Pile from Magic Hat Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.