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Wooly - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

43 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 43
Hads: 161
Avg: 3.2
pDev: 17.81%
Wants: 2
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: GilGarp on 10-11-2012

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

40 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Wooly Alström Bros
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Reviews: 43 | Hads: 161
Photo of FickleBeast
3.7/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

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Photo of KajII
2.68/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

[Suggested Glassware: Dimpled Mug]

The pour was a clear medium amber with a large (2-3 finger) white fluffy head that mostly diminished, down to a thin puddled layer of residue and small collar with fair streaky lacing.

The aroma was very mild of a light grain malt, mild pine hops and an earthy cobweb yeast with notes of caramel, dust, a light spiciness and a just a very light hint of spruce tips.

The taste was a bit malty with a light caramel sweetness from the get go, and then became a tad bitter with a mild hoppy presence and a spicy wood taste towards the end. The flavor lasted an average time proceeding the swallow with a slightly bitter woody taste left behind to linger in the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was a little beyond light in body and dry in texture with a carbonation that was just past soft in intensity.

Overall this brew did not have a strong spruce presence in the aroma, but offered it up nicely with a woody bitter taste at the finish...


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Photo of Beaver13
3.04/5  rDev -5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours a clear reddish gold with a small off white head that quickly goes to a thin collar.

The aroma is sweet biscuity caramel malts, honey, some fruit and a little spruce that comes out as it warms.

The flavor is sweet bready malts that quickly is dominated by a big spruce bitterness. The mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied and a bit watery.

Overall, interesting one-dimensional spruce beer.

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Photo of stxp
3.15/5  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

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Photo of plaid75
3.63/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.29/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of far333
3.18/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev +24.1%
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.

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Photo of Shaw
3.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle supplied by the brewery.

A pale amber/gold in color with a short head.

Bready and sweet aroma; however, I can't detect the spruce.

The spruce shows up in the taste, bringing a cleanser-like quality to the beer, along with earthy notes. The flavor strikes me as artifical, rather than being from actual spruce. That flavor, which I don't mean in a totally negative way, mixes with a hefty malt flavor like bread and biscuit.

Nice hefty body.

Overall a curiosity. My favorite spruce beer was made by the late Siletz Brewing Co. in Oregon with fresh spruce tips.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.38/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of leprechaunandfatman
2.99/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden color with good head that takes a while to dissipate.
Smells hoppy with noticeable spruce, but the smell overall is very light and at times almost imperceptible. Should be much stronger.
Taste is light on flavor. A hint of hop and some pine. Finishes tasting almost like an IPA. Tasty but not nearly strong enough.
Light and almost bubbly in the mouth, very smooth and easy to drink. Not a bad beer overall, but the flavor, while good, does not assert itself enough. Nice addition to the Magic Hat Winter variety pack with room for improvement though.

 573 characters

Photo of mckenziac
2.66/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass. Taken from a Magic Hat "Winterland" seasonal variety pack.

Appearance: Pours a translucent coppery-golden color. Has a large, fizzy head that dissipates slowly and leaves some spotty lacing.

Smell: Smells toasty with a slight piney note.

Taste: Mildly hoppy up front. Finishes toasty and bitter with some earthy hop flavors. This beer is really light on the spruce/pine flavors, especially given that it's the beer's main selling point.

Mouthfeel: Thin and watery.

Overall: A very unimpressive beer. A really sub-par ESB any day, plus the fact that it doesn't really deliver on the promised spruce flavors and aromas. Skip this one.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium to slightly bigger off white head settles into a nice lacing above a clear caramel golden colored beer.

Light piney hops mix well with a light caramel malt in an aroma that is quite nice but on the lighter side.

Almost burnt roasted malts dominate the taste with some slight hints of sourish hops skewing the dark malts.

A dryish aftertaste with some burnt like malt tastes staying around on this medium bodied ESB.

This beer has a almost burnt dark malt taste that is just a bit over the top for me, and as it sits it seems to become more prominent and to me less desirable.

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Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.55/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of shand
3.88/5  rDev +21.3%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.61/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Can a brother get some Sam the Sham up in here?? This stuff pours a clear brass topped by a half-finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises puffed rice, funky wheat, and old greens. The hell? There's spruce in this? This isn't a year old? Hmm... The taste brings the spruce into reality, though unfortunately by drowning it in dry-tasting caramel bespackled with old leaves. Dammit. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a bone dry finish. Overall, this was just odd and sad. There's pretty much no ESB character, and whatever else is there doesn't come through as well-melded.

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Photo of scvance
3.36/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of GilGarp
4/5  rDev +25%
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.

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Wooly from Magic Hat Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.