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Wooly - Magic Hat Brewing Company

WoolyWooly

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BA SCORE
73
okay

149 Ratings
THE BROS
74
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 149
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.13
pDev: 17.89%


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

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
A Coniferous Concoction Pine for this Extra Special Bitter whose medium body and spicy hoppiness harmonize with flavorful, aromatic spruce tips.

40 IBU

(Beer added by: GilGarp on 10-11-2012)
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Ratings: 149 | Reviews: 43 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of GilGarp
GilGarp

Colorado

4/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle served cold into a goblet.

Deep redish amber color with great clarity. The head is thin but leaves nice lacing behind.

Aroma is sweet and malty with a nice piney spruce undertone.

Flavor is sweet, herbal, and piney with good balance.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and well carbonated.

Overall a good ESB but I'm not sure the spruce makes it better than it would be without.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2012 02:10:25 | More by GilGarp
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.98/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

forget what everyone says, this is absolutely delicious. it is an elglish style bitter, a mild one at that, but that is the base upon which a generous spruce addition is infused, resulting in a full bodied, seasonally perfect, refreshingly yummy winter ale. the nose is really piney, both oily and sappy, which could also be aided by the strong hop presence for the style. rich but not sweet malts, bordering on amber in color and taste temper the intensity of the spruce, but they work well in tandem. finish is crisp and akin to a christmas tree. my brother said its like drinking a hippie, but i didnt think so (who am i to say?). the low alcohol and fuler body make this a nice winter session beer, and the carbonation is upbeat too, which helps the cause. overall i like this a lot better than the winter seasonals that came before it, i think it shows a nice inventive side on the heels of the dandelion summer brew. top quality i thought.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2012 22:22:24 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of shand
shand

Florida

3.9/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wooly has a great pour, a crystal-clear red-orange with a sizable head. The aroma is good, but seems a bit two faced. I'll stick my nose to the glass and get beautiful caramel malts with a big spruce hit, then I'll go back for another whiff and get sweet grains and wheat. It might be the spruce messing with me, because the spruce comes on strong right away. The spruce is backed up by some caramel and pale malts, and rounded out by some herbal hops. A little odd, just like Pistil was, but still very nice. The mouthfeel is light and well-carbonated, and the drinkability is good. Overall, Wooly is another unique, odd, and still drinkable beer from Magic Hat.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2012 01:03:18 | More by shand
Photo of SouljaSaia17
SouljaSaia17

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev +23%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the first beer that I have had that includes spruce. And am always attracted to this companies cool labels.

A: Beer pours a light orange/gold color that has a very thin, soap white head that leaves no lacing.

S: Aroma consist of pine, spruce and some mild hops. Also, I get a bread-type character at the end.

T: Very nice flavor that jumps at you with generous amounts of spruce, followed by a little pine, some honey and hops. A dry yeast in the mouth is present at the finish.

M: Very dry mouth accompanied with those herbal flavors. Not too much carbonation, but a very tolerable beer.

O: I really enjoyed this beer, very unique in the aroma and taste. The spruce is nice and sweet, where I thought it would be a little over the top or to uncharacteristic of a beer. Quite simply, the best ESB I have ever drank.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2012 07:49:47 | More by SouljaSaia17
Photo of FickleBeast
FickleBeast

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a hazy ruddy amber brown color with two fingers of magnificent fluffy foam. Aroma is grainy, biscuity, with a hint of spruce.

First sip has a evergreen, spruce flavor profile with an extremely dry finish with little residual sweetness. Leaves you thirsty after taking a sip. Strong bitterness is present on the back end but though it is potent, it is not harsh or lingering. I think this beer suffers from a lack of malty sweet flavor. As soon as you swallow, the flavor disappears and you are left with a faint evergreen aftertaste.

This is an interesting brew, but not something that I'd find myself craving again. Really could use a touch more sweetness to round things out.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 02:18:38 | More by FickleBeast
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

3.63/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light brass hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light toasted malt and light grassy hop. Little to no spruce aroma detected.

The taste consisted of a crisp toasted malt with a balancing herbal hop. A bit of a thin malt bill however and no real trace of spruce.

The mouthfeel was toward the thinner side if the style.

Overall an easy drinking, clean ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2012 02:10:49 | More by plaid75
Photo of Apellonious
Apellonious

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz from the Winter Mix Pack

A - Pours a semi cloudy orangish gold, with a half finger head that disappears quickly

S - Pine, bread, and some mild hops. That must be where the "with spruce" comes in.

T - Having a touch time figuring this one. I can detect a mild hint of the same flavors present in their signature #9, although more muted, on the finish. Definitely some biscuit qualities, and bitter hops.

M - A touch on the thin side, but it is very clean and crisp, especially for an ESB

O - A solid beer, but seems to be something.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2012 02:00:10 | More by Apellonious
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A very attractive pour, with the crystal clear amber liquid capped by a couple of inches of foam; great persistence and residual lacing

Smell: Biscuity malt and pine, though rather hard to detect the spruce

Taste: Biscuity, up front, with the spruce much more apparent in the flavor than in the aroma; pine and tobacco flavors also come on strong in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not a bad tasting beer, but as an ESB it comes up short as it lacks the fruity character of the better examples of the style

Thanks, acurtis, for the opportunity

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2012 20:19:58 | More by brentk56
Photo of Hopfenpeter
Hopfenpeter

Maryland

3.6/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pored a slightly hazy medium gold and produced a small finger high white bubbly head, which dissipates into some lacing.
The smell is of citrus fruits and tart.
Tasting the beer, the front is a tarty bitterness, which is subdued by fruit flavors like grapefruit, orange and lemon and lime. The middle has a more malty core, whle the Irish has a good bitter hop character. The tarty flavors a present throughout the tasting.
Overall the beer fits the ESB character, it is a good enjoyable brew!

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 04:50:37 | More by Hopfenpeter
Photo of TheMultiYeast
TheMultiYeast

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden yellow with 3 fingers of white head.

Smell is pretty hoppy. Some pine, light citrus, wheat.

Lots more pine in taste. Not overdone. Very drinkable. Some citrus, well balanced, light bitterness.

Pretty light, prickly carbonation.

Not very ESB-like but good.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2012 02:58:18 | More by TheMultiYeast
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
BurgeoningBrewhead

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into narrow pint glass. Crystal clear gold with a thick foamy head that shrunk to half its size and then stuck around for a bit, leaving some sticky lacing. Smells hoppy and sour. Taste is crisp and clean up front, with a nice pinch finish of hops. Upon exhaling through my nose after my first sip, a faint essence of spruce or pine is noticed. Not outstanding, but easy to drink and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2013 04:22:41 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of chefhatt
chefhatt

Pennsylvania

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

I poured this into a pint glass, it has a light red color body with a very small head to it. The smell is earthy pine with some fruit coming through.
The taste has a very light citrus hop flavor with a malt backbone coming in on the finish. the mouth feel is nice, a little after taste on the back of the tonuge, overall it is a nice,easy drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 03:49:13 | More by chefhatt
Photo of wingman14
wingman14

Ohio

3.49/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light orange with and off white head that fades fast. Smell is not very strong but it is mainly the spruce and a sweet malt. The taste starts with the spruce, not overpowering, but still the main focus to the beer. A nice sweet malt starts, but a bitter finish with a dry aftertaste with not much spruce. A nice smooth medium mouthfeel, an easy drinker if you are a fan of the taste. Not something I could have many of, but still a nice beer. Overall a good beer, not overpowering, mostly focuses on the spruce, but a good flavor.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2013 01:22:27 | More by wingman14
Photo of mattkoon
mattkoon

South Carolina

3.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this wooly esb from magic hat is a milder take on the esb style. the look of this beer is golden with a slight haze. the smell is earthy with a little bit of piney citrus. wooly is hoppy with a bitter kick at the end. i do however, feel like it is milder than others esb's that i have had, which isnt a bad thing. it is a lot more drinkable than some others. so i guess it all depends on if you want a really hearty esb, or if you want something that you can drink and enjoy while you watch the game or just fat-around. i like this one ok over all.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 22:29:37 | More by mattkoon
Photo of DrinkSlurm
DrinkSlurm

Connecticut

3.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Pours a hazy copper burnt orange color with a small mount of head. Not much aroma to it...some slight sweet malts i suppose.
Taste is very malty and has that typical magic hat malty-ness; but out of nowhere you get a huge wallop of spruce/pine/rosemary. Its actually pretty good, and would compliment a good roasted bird dinner - like thanksgiving...
while not the best ESB out there, its certainly different and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2012 19:45:43 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of scvance
scvance

South Carolina

3.38/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber color with a large white head. Excellent retention and cling. Medium to high in carbonation. Smell is similar to #9, slightly fruity, a little malty and a hint of citrus. Taste is very similar to #9 without the over the top fruit flavor. In wooly, the fruit is more subtle, there is a spiciness and citrus character to the hops that balance well with the big malty character of this beer. Overall very nicely done beer, I will be having more probably. I would call this #9's older more manly, less fruity brother.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2012 20:58:53 | More by scvance
Photo of Mit
Mit

Ontario (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

a-golden colour with a strong head.

s-slight earthy citrus smell....crisp...

t-citrus flavor dominates...very earthy...I found it reminiscent of ginger ale actually...

m-thinner as per the 4.5 abv.

o-I like this...def good...will look for this in the spring. I think it will be nicer in the spring or summer.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2013 01:45:48 | More by Mit
Photo of y2jrock60
y2jrock60

Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Light orange with a thin head that dissipates quickly only leaving behind a slight amount of lace.

S- Very sweet up front with a hint of toffee. The spruce makes an appearance, but it's not overwhelming.

T- Very malt forward and grainy like a traditional ESB. There is a slight sweetness and caramel flavor in the middle of the profile. That then fades away into a slightly tart and dry bitter finish. The spruce is definitely present at the finish giving it the bitterness you don't normally find in an ESB.

M- Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. It starts out sweet then finishes tart and dry.

O- A unique seasonal twist on a traditional English beer. The first time I tried this beer I didn't care very much for it. I thought the spruce and bitterness were too overpowering for the style. A friend said it tasted like dish soap, which I agreed with at the time. However, after giving this beer another chance I actually came to appreciate it for what it is. The base of this beers is a traditional ESB, which you pick up at the beginning, but it fades away into a seasonal twist. It has a tart and dry bitter finish from the spruce. It's not overpowering, I think an ESB is a perfect showcase for spruce, if you added it to a pale all I think it would be dominated by the hops.

If you have the opportunity, give it a try. I wouldn't run out to the store specifically looking for it, but it's a nice seasonal beer with a unique twist.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2013 05:18:24 | More by y2jrock60
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.25/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light amber in the big tulip. Starts with a good head, but it dwindles down pretty fast. Hits you with the resiny, piney aroma which is rather pleasant.

Sharp and tangy mouthfeel with a light body. Bitter herbs on the tongue. The alleged spruce is right up front. Tastes more like rosemary to me. Sort of a buttery taste after a while. On the good side, it's crisp and refreshing. Bitterness keeps growing along with that resiny taste that seems to add to the bitterness.

I'll have to taste the Alaskan winter beer again, which is flavored with spruce that I remember more fondly than this. From the 12 oz bottle bought at Grapevine Liquors in Denver.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2012 03:51:56 | More by mactrail
Photo of BEERMILER12
BEERMILER12

Maine

3.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours an amber color with 2 fingers worth of puffy head that retains very well

S: A mix of the usual MH yeast, some maltiness, and a big hit of spruce

T: Starts out slightly malty with a little of the MH yeast. Then comes the onslaught of spruce... woah. Tastes like I'm sucking on a spruce tree... The spruce leaves a bitter aftertaste which isn't that bad after the spruce is gone

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: Way too much spruce to be enjoyable. It wouldn't be half bad if the spruce was just a compliment to the base, but it really overpowers the beer. I respect what MH was going for here, but again, just way too much spruce

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 08:07:23 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

3.21/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Nearly clear amber, thick two fingers of head

SMELL: Biscuity malt, mild spruce resin, ripe fruit, faint diacetyl

TASTE: Moderate sized body, wet, grainy, grassy, twang of spruce, light hopping, slightly biscuity, dried grass, watery, very dry

Not as complex as I though it would have been, a little out of balance but since the spruce is not that agressive the dryness actually helps in the area ... sadly it leaves the beer a in a lackluster state. A good stepping stone for anyone that has not had a spruced beer before and perhaps even an extreme beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 02:50:22 | More by Jason
Photo of Jadjunk
Jadjunk

Georgia

3.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

"A Coniferous Concoction". Wooly ESB is brewed in the style of an Extra Special Bitter with spruce added. Available exclusively in the 2012-2013 Magic Hat Winterland Variety pack. No bottle information and no bottle date.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served north of 55º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours an airy, crisp foamy head. Body color is a mildly hazy golden amber with an abundance of spritely carbonation. Head retention is below average. Lacing is thin but consistent. Appearance is decent, although a bit more energetic in carbonation and short lived in head quality, both contradictions to my impressions of the style. 3.25

(Smell) The aroma is peculiar, very reminiscent of lemon shandy beers. A meager pale malt profile, tart lemongrass, lemon zest and a hint of prickly spice is a strong contrast from the more robust and smooth profile of an ESB. Spruce is hardly notable- I get hints of pine-like characters but far more citrusy zest- I think that the latter would have done much better for the style. Potency is high. 3

(Taste) The flavor is not too similar to the aroma, as the spruce finally settles in. There's a soft piney malt blend up front and the malt body is still a very mild player in the flavor, offering some subtle sweetness on the soft finish but not enough to balance the herbal tartness of the spruce. The dragging finish is slightly dry with a tart grassy lemon note and some residual sweetness. Despite the spruce character, this is an easy-drinking ale that avoids harsh notes. The spruce was better underdone than overdone but it's not particularly interesting nor anything quite like an ESB. 3.25

(Mouthfeel) Carbonation is soft with a mild slickness, some tart characters from the part spruce-part lemon piney resin. Mild resinous-dry finish. Body is light/medium for the style, light overall. Alcohol presence is low+. I'm more used to a hard water character in these beers, but this one is relatively clean drinking and finishing despite the mild lingering spruce/lemon character. 3.25

(Overall) This is an example of a harder-to-classify ale, but ESB was most certainly not a close match for this beer. I can't say I'm completely familiar with spruce, but this beer had a far more lemony-citrus character and less piney character than expected, with a moderate-at-best malt profile and very little hop character either. I'd more likely label this a "Spruce Shanty". Good drinkability and an okay beer, but I probably wouldn't seek this out again. 3.25

Magic Hat Brewing Company's
Wooly ESB with Spruce
3.2/5.00

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2013 23:13:35 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of far333
far333

Connecticut

3.18/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear honey amber with a frothy beige head that lingers long. Low aroma of corn. Flavors of honey malt, subtle floral hops, sharp bitterness, metallic notes, evenly balanced, piney spruce notes, somewhat subtle but noticeable and a bit reminiscent of cleaning solution. Crisp and dry mouthfeel, somewhat thin. Average beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2012 02:06:55 | More by far333
Photo of stxp
stxp

New York

3.18/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

appearance: slightly darker than pale straw, light amount of foam, sticky lace fairly transparent, bubbly

smell: clean, slight metallic, a bit of alcohol, spicy hop

taste: very balanced, a bit more hop than malt, lingering crisp taste, slightly lager-y

mouthfeel: slight bitter, exceptionally smooth, perfect carbonation

overall: clean and crisp, smooth, slightly malty but not too sweet, easy to drink

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 16:53:36 | More by stxp
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

3.18/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Spotted this in the singles section, hoping it's relatively fresh. Fall seasonal... neck has a string of random numbers: K1826 1 1325 556K. According to Freshbeeronly, that's October 18, 2012, with an extra 6 at the end. Huh.

Hazy orange color, one finger of foam, lasting skim that remains unbroken for quite awhile. Spotty lace around the edges of the glass, some visible rising carbonation.

There is a little dry herbal spruce spice in the aftertaste, but it's masked by a general watery soggy grain flavor. As it warms there's some low level crackery malt, but it's pretty mild overall. Light bodied, a little thin. Nothing special, but if you love spruce beers give it a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2013 00:33:29 | More by emerge077
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Wooly from Magic Hat Brewing Company
73 out of 100 based on 149 ratings.