Thumbsucker - Magic Hat Brewing Company
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Ratings: 83 | Reviews: 74 | Display Reviews Only:
5/5 rDev +19%
When I saw this brew on the shelves at $29.99, I was very disappointed that I wouldn't ever get to try it ( can't pay that much!), especially as Magic Hat is hands down my favorite brewery. As luck would have it, tonight I saw it for only 15.99. Although, I have probably just been totally had by this package store, I am now happy regardless.
Now if I didn't deserve a beer before this, I sure did after wrestling out the cork. It actually took two people - one to hold the bottle down and the other to lift (of course we were using a swiss army knife corkscrew). All worth it.
Poured an inky black, I wasn't able to pick up any of the brown other reviewers reported. Also, the brown head had surprisingly good retention from what I expected. The aroma is nice and sweet, mocha, burnt chocolate, and a definitive whiskey aroma. The taste was really something else - easily the most complex taste I have ever experienced. It starts of as a fruity, whisky-ish, licorice, mouth puckering, I-just-can't-figure-out-what-the-hell-I-am-tasting brew, and then slowly molds into a bittersweet, mocha finish. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth with low carbonation. And trust me this description leaves out a lot - I could come up with flavor descriptions all night. The flavor changes as the beer warms - I had served it well below the recommended 55 degrees, and at first the chocolatey finish was the most prominent characteristic. However as it warmed the whisky, burnt flavors started to poke through. Unbelievable as far as I'm concerned - money well spent.
04-03-2003 16:49:26 | More by nixhecks
5/5 rDev +19%
750ml wicked looking bottle courtesy of PPoitras...thanks Pete!
Pours an obsidian black, no light...nothing...
Wonderful head, dense, creamed-coffee color. Nice lacing as well.
Smell is dark chocolate, coffee, very roasty. Perfect for an IS.
Taste is absolutely wonderful. Dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, a little bit of burnt sugar. Perhaps some molases? And through all of that, just a little bit of hop bitterness comes through. You can barely taste the alcohol in this one...but at only 7.8% abv, it's kind of on the mild end for an imperial stout.
Mouthfeel is just great, not too slick, not too smooth.
Overall, this is one of the better, if not the best, Imperial stout I've had. It's exactly what I would look for in an IS. This is the first beer that I've given straight 5's to, some folks may not be keen on this particular beer, but like I said, this is EXACTLY what I want out of an Imperial Stout...I would go broke buying up all of this if I could.
02-05-2005 03:36:33 | More by LuckySevens82
4.93/5 rDev +17.4%
First, a few notes. First of all, the current picture of the beer looks different from the bottle I bought in March 2004. My bottle has a painted on label rather than a paper label, and looks beautiful, better than the one pictured. Also, this is a corked beer, but I had more trouble opening this friccin thing then any other corked beer I had, I had to use a corkscrew. Damm that sucker was in there tight!
I've never opened a beer before and been blown away by the smell BEFORE I poured it, but in this case I was surprised. An overwhelming aroma of sweetness and chocolate emanated from the open bottle, and was amplified when poured, accompanied by smells of malt and spice. Pours a deep chocolate black, with subtle amber hues when held up to light. Head is brownish white and frothy, though not as long lasting as I would have hoped.
This beer has a taste that is out of this world amazing. Taking a sip of this presents a symphony of malty overtones, hoppy undertones, subtly carbonated, with undercurrents of fruity, spicy, and sour flavors. Potent aftertaste of spice and hops. If I was stuck on a deserted island, and could only take one beer with me, Thumbsucker would certainly be in the running. The best nine dollars I've ever spent.
03-31-2004 01:11:59 | More by RocketWidget
4.9/5 rDev +16.7%
Pitchblackness with a creamy brown head.
WOW! Fuckin' amazing scents here!! Scented of whiskey,chocolate, and merlot... Just makes you want to sit down and think and smell it for a long while....
Tingles from the first sip... Rich and creamy, incredibly smooth. Black coffee and chocolate. Light whiskey flavors but not overwhelming. Great flavors, easy drinking. Could EASILY enjoy tons more of this!! Very interesting bottle too. Nice one from majic hat, who has not impressed me in the past. Very, very wonderful offering!
08-06-2004 00:07:44 | More by shapudding
4.9/5 rDev +16.7%
A wonderful example of an American version of a Russian Imperial Stoudt. There is a decent hop presence -- but it definitely complements and does not overwhelm the mocha character of the beer.
This beer was simply fantastic.
If you have the opportunity to try this, consider yourself blessed.
08-23-2004 05:51:26 | More by dansteino
4.88/5 rDev +16.2%
2003 Notes[Jim Beam]: 750ml corked and caged bottle. This is a 'humdinger' series beer from the folks at Magic Hat. This is their Nailbiter imperial stout aged in used Jim Beam barrels and than bottled.
This is an excellent imperial stout that poured a very dark, opaque, black colour with a large tan head. The aromas were heavy on the bourbon oak casks that they used to age this beer in. Besides an oaky and alcoholic nose, this beer smelled of coffee, various malts, chocolate, and hops. The taste was very boozy, chocolaty, hoppy, and excellent. The mouthfeel: thick and chewy. The drinkability: also excellent. This was a great imperial stout from Magic Hat.
2004 Notes[Wild turkey]: 750ml corked and caged bottle. This is a 'humdinger' series beer from the folks at Magic Hat. This is their Nailbiter imperial stout aged in used Wild turkey barrels and than bottled.
The 2004 is still an opaque black colour with a nice large head of tannish/brown foam. The 2004 has more oak, and bourbon on the nose, yet it still retains a subtle smoothness. The flavor packs a bigger punch than the 2003 dues to the heavier bouron notes as well. The mouthfeel and drinkability remain top notch as well. Wow, this is some damn good stuff and I have re-rated it accordingly.
07-03-2003 14:24:04 | More by francisweizen
4.8/5 rDev +14.3%
I've been saving this bottle for a looong time, since Christmas 2003 (a gift from my fiancee). I decided to open it to celibrate her 27th birthday on July 15th.
The 750 opens with a pop as a puff of vapors escapes from the bottle. It pours perfectly, absolute pitch black, impermiable to light. A dense and creamy head the color of melted milk chocolate fluffs up and retains like Cool Whip. Lacing is as thick and crusty as it gets. It just looks perfect in my Delirium goblet.
The aromas grab me from five feet away. Succulant dark chocolate, toasted coconut, caramel, molasses, red ripe fruit, vanilla, oak, BOURBON, cinnamon, coffee, marshmellows, and licorice. One of the most intense and complex noses I've ever encountered. Powerful and seductive.
There is no let down in the tasting department. It's like an explosion of flavors in my mouth:dark silky chocolate dipped toasted coconut clusters, creamy vanilla laced bourbon, oak, plum, red currants, campfire toasted marshmellows, bittersweet coffee, molasses, cinnamon dusted creme brule', and hints of maple syrup. It's on the sweet side, but well within the realm of what is acceptable. This has aged beautifully, and would have no doubt done well for several more years.
The body on this beauty is huge. Mouthfeel is creamy, viscous, and bordering on syrupy. Tiny pinpoint carbonation rolls the complex flavors across your palate, coating your entire mouth.
Drinkability is the only area that didn't get a 5 IMO. It's delicious and insanely complex, but hard for me to finish the 750. Toward the end, it just gets too sweet and thick tasting. One or two glasses is pure bliss, but a whole bottle is just too much of a good thing. The best beer from Magic Hat EVER!
07-18-2005 17:27:18 | More by AlexJ
4.75/5 rDev +13.1%
The beer departs the bottle black, with a half finger of dark tan head that falls to coat the beer. The nose starts with a blast of dark earthy figgy fruit that moves into chocolate notes. The flavor is wickedly good. Its a nice roasted dark flavor, but the aftertaste is out of this world. Its a great chocolate aftertaste that keeps changing as you sit between sips. The mouthfeel was a nice thick and smooth one, very good as well. Another beer that I think everyone at the tasting could have drank all night. Once again, out hats off to SheepNutz for this treat.
10-24-2004 20:28:31 | More by kmpitz2
4.7/5 rDev +11.9%
On draft in the VT Brewers VIP tent...
This batch was aged in Wild Turkey barrels for 1 year.
Appears black with brown tints and a small tan head that leaves spotty lacing.
Smell is of dark roasted malt with pleasant oak bourbon and vanilla.
Taste is of well rounded roasted, chocolate malt that is outright addictive. This is such a kick ass brew.
Mouthfeel is slightly dry(probably due to the oak aging and bourbon subtleties) but contains such a nice roastiness with a rich, lasting flavor and hops coming through.
Drinkability is great. I need more and more of this.
Evidently, I was one of the lucky ones who got some of this in the VIP lounge. Seems that a leak had occured sometime after I got mine.
07-19-2005 22:46:43 | More by weeare138
4.7/5 rDev +11.9%
WOW! this is one of the damn best beears Ive ever had! DEEP DEEP AND DARK. Bourban whiskey, oak...yeah lots of oak and bourbon, slightly sweet awesome aftertaste! Sweet and chocolate. very earthy. Lots of flavor. Slightly bitter finish.
Awesome 9% ABV beer. I highly recommend purchasing this beer. I drove to South Burlington and visited the brewery! Good [slightly crazy] people make this brew! And it's very very good and slightly crazy.
07-16-2007 15:50:56 | More by RixBeer
4.7/5 rDev +11.9%
Thumsucker is an excellent example of an imperial stout from Magic Hat. Wish I could get a couple more bottles. Thumsucker is one of the Humdinger series of special beers released from MH, released in a champagne style bottle, corked, priced around $10. On opening, has an amazing aroma, notes of coffee and chocolate and spice. Good head for a bottled stout. Fairly strong alcohol presence, good and warming going down, definitely a sipper. I noticed the flavors became much more developed as thumbsucker warmed up a bit.
07-03-2003 05:34:01 | More by mikeys01
4.68/5 rDev +11.4%
On tap at TPH 2/22/06.
Wow, this is one great imperial stout. It is not as "extreme" as many of the top rated imperial stouts, but it is just as delicious. It is, by far, the best Magic Hat brew I have tasted. The interplay between the hops, the fruity yeastiness, and the roastiness of the malt is just phenomenal. I could drink this beer all night.
02-23-2006 03:04:23 | More by bignick
4.63/5 rDev +10.2%
Presentation: Champagne bottle straight from the brewery.
1" brown head that sticks around for a few minutes that eventually leads to intricate and cascading lacing. Very dark appearance; almost pitch black. Looks very hefty.
Chocolate, almonds, and coffee aromatics. Very malty nose that isn't too sweet. The aromas are very bold and promise good things.
A complex dark chocolate flavor followed quickly by roasted hazlenuts and almonds. I even detect some darker fruit in here; maybe a dark cherry flavor. The flavors are all very bold and hold their own. The syrup quality is dead on for a thick, great imperial stout. There's also a warming alcohol that accompanies a nice bitterness at the finish.
Well balanced considering how many flavors are at play and there is a nice bitterness in the finish to balance the stout's malty character. Very smooth.
This is one of the better tasting imperial's I've had in a while, but it's not one that I could drink all night. It truly feels like eating a five course meal in terms of how heavy the stout is. A great treat to try and to go back for more. Definitely worth seeking out during the few months out of the year in which they release it.
07-14-2004 13:01:17 | More by NEhophead
4.63/5 rDev +10.2%
Classy champagne shaped bottle which looks black, but empty is a dark hazy green; comes wrapped, caged, and corked, and my cork came right out...ha, ha. Inky black based liquid that can't get any darker really, finger high head of broken chocolate brown that's thick, bubbly, and frothy with some spotty lacing.
Solid oak-barrel boubon sweet nose, very lush and robust in that regards. Nice and bourbony with a pleasing oak-filled alcoholic presence at first. But it takes a bit of a turn towards the end of the bottle and/or as it warms where more of the rich and dark bakers chocolate and vanilla take over mixing with notes of black currants and plum. So as the whisky subsides the chocolate takes over and stays put, but that alcoholic-bouron-oak-sweetness is always underneath. Quite lovely!
Taste is complexingly thick and rich with a bold tone of tangy darkened chocolate that coats well leaving just enough surface left for the other nuances of oaky whisky sweetness, deep dark fruits, molasses, vanilla, espresso and anise spiced notes and even some slight hop bitterness mixes with the chocolate twinge in there too. Yum! Very slight alcoholic vapors sneak in late up through the nose, woufff, wow, how effective is that! Very! -Great oak barrel boubon notes! Oh and that finish is so coated with thick chocolate malts its nearly close to eating a chewy chocolate fudge brownie; and its laced with some boubon. How fancy and teriffic!
Creamy, smooth, silky, coating feel, lingering and sticking in length with chocolate and a favorable alcoholic bourbon twinge always keeping a presence upon bigger sips, which kept this from being completely, utterly drinkable for me, but man it's damn close! Ends semi dry and maintains a good chewy-like coating dotted with chocolate. This was gone in no time; as it is delicious!
04-14-2004 01:28:53 | More by tavernjef
4.6/5 rDev +9.5%
Cork's a bitch, for sure. Poured wonderfully into the glass, fat tan head atop what appears to be clear black nectar. The aroma, oh the aroma. A beer and whisky lover's (that's me) dream. Oaky, smokey, leathery whiskey aromas greet you first mellowed by sweet burnt malts and a hint of yeastiness. Careful of that first sip... KAPOWEE. It gets a little crazy, but there's those oaky whiskey notes, a deep vinous character, dark malts and coffee, it's sweet then it's dry, it's velvety smooth and everything in between. And I'll be damned if that Ringwood yeast doesn't fight its way through. I was at first upset that the bottle said it was only 7.8% alc/vol, I expect more out of a special edition Imperial Stout but I think they forgot a digit. It drinks much more potent than that. Maybe its the whiskey notes sublimilily telling me its stronger. Doesn't matter though, this is one I really enjoyed drinking.
04-08-2003 19:24:46 | More by pbrian
4.6/5 rDev +9.5%
johnnnniee hooked me up with this one. thanks john!
pours nearly opaque black with a small dense brown head. held up to the light you can catch just a hint of ruby at the sides of the glass, but there isn't much light getting through this one.
wow! aroma is fantastic. huge bourbon and vanilla kick. touch of alcohol. big biscuit malt. toasted wheat bread. molasses. bit of anise, especially as it warms.
taste is excellent. lots of bourbon and vanilla up front. huge bread and biscuit malt base. nice roast. anise. molasses. light alcohol. touch of orange. caramel sweetness. milk chocolate. low bitterness level. bit of raw oak.
mouthfeel is great. nice big chewy body. medium-low well integrated carbonation level. the growler had just a tiny leak in transit, losing about 1oz of beer and possibly just a little carbonation. however, this one is just plain awesome at this carbonation level.
drinkability is excellent. balanced and very enjoyable. for me, this has just the right amount of bourbon character. heresy fresh is too much bourbon for my tastes, and after a year has mellowed out almost too much. this one is great right now. big thanks john, this one was a definite treat.
09-22-2007 17:24:49 | More by grub
4.6/5 rDev +9.5%
32 oz brewery-filled growler
black and impervious to light, sitting angrily under an oppressively thick tan foam.. the foam is dotted slightly with small bubbles, but exists predominantly as a thick, velvety blanket of beery insulation. no mistaking the whiskey in the nose, tweaked slightly by a soy-ish tang that leans the whole skew towards graceful age. slightly acidic yet rich and boozy, sort of like a mexican coffee. not too thick yet full of flavor with an up-front jazzy note of raw cocoa. brisk body is like that of a strong coffee.. flavor hits but thickness does not impede drinkability (is there thickness in this <8 ris?).. finishes with a pulpy sense of sweetness.. lingering malt leftovers perhaps, notes that weren't hidden by the barrely goodness? the coffee and woody earth lay claim to the flavor profile.. and for once, the whiskey is here as essence only but fails to go unnoticed.. and yet refuses to interfere with the overall drinkability.
magic hat used to make good beers. seems like they still are.. at the brewpub. people, if you are losing (blind) faith in MH, visit the brewpub and reconnect with some secret growler fills of bootleg goodness.. you'll be glad you did.
i owe a big debt of gratitude to warriorsoul on this one.. for not forcing me to open mine, and sharing one of his. a true gentleman!
07-30-2007 00:28:22 | More by goodbyeohio
United Kingdom (England)
4.6/5 rDev +9.5%
The beers pours a nice deep blackness with a very brown head. The taste is reminiscent of a burned toast dipped in coffee. The maltiness of this beer is incredible. The finish is cleaner than expected with no residual roasted flavor lingering on the tongue. The hops are rather subdued, but really only for this age of over hopped monsters. I easily finished the 750 and wanted another.
10-24-2004 23:29:03 | More by koolkat
4.58/5 rDev +9%
A-Dark purple/black color-1mm head of tan, moderate lace on glass.
S-Malty dark chocolate with raisins and plums. Vinous like aspects and alcohol is fairly evident.
T- Almost barley-wine esque but still malty enough to be a stout. There are dark burnt wood and bitter chocolate notes with some dark fruit finish. These are plums, dark grapes, and dark cherries with almond hints too. Gives a warmth on the throat and chest similar to a bourbon.
MF-slick and somewhat quenching. Slightly salty and has a puckerish feel also.
D-extremely smooth and easy to drink. Perfect for cold weather. Exremely hearty and robust.
My favorite Magic Hat offering to date.
01-28-2005 03:36:07 | More by rousee
4.53/5 rDev +7.9%
Extremely cool bottle. Pours an extremely dark color with a tan head that quickly dies off. Thick aroma of dark sweet fruit and some chocolate and coffee as well. Complex. The flavor has a lot of chocolate and coffee, but also has a subtle sweetness from the dark fruits. Very very good example of the imperial stout. One of the best I've had.
10-25-2004 13:58:40 | More by clvand0
4.53/5 rDev +7.9%
This funky-ass conical bottle, which traveled here all the way from Connecticut, thanks to paceyourself, corked, caged, and wrapped, stands now in the Hall of Fame of Cool Beer Bottles.
Now to drink the thing! But first!
Color: dark as the Devil's stool, it is, with a buzzing, bubbling dark brown head atop.
Large aroma, full of roastiness, and chocolate and more....anise, molasses, rum, bark, carob, ... this actually has some very particular sensations for an Imperial, some that I can't put the word to, unfortunately. It's rather whiskeyish...is there something extra in this?...
Fully loaded on the tongue, with flavor, with malt, with hops. It all feels well-integrated, too, with no odd cluttering of flavors. It tastes a like a molasses candy bar, mingled with chocolate. Not too strong, as many over-powering ISs are these days, it still packs a wallop in flavor and alcohol. Generously sized bottle helps this carry me through the night.
The name, though, "Thumbsucker"? Am I supposed to crawl into a ball and call out for Mommy? A bit presumptuous, if that's their taunting tactic in the name.
It will put me to bed, though. A uniquely tasty IS, and one I'm glad I've had the chance to try!
04-01-2003 23:27:21 | More by feloniousmonk
4.5/5 rDev +7.1%
Pours out like engine oil with a chocolate milk head. Smells of molassas, chocolate, maple syrup and caramel. Taste is mild and sweet. The flavors are the same as the nose with a very minimal bitter finish. Medium in the mouth and smooth as silk. A sipper but could sip this all night.
09-24-2007 04:02:57 | More by franksnbeans
4.5/5 rDev +7.1%
HUGE thanks to grub for sharing this minigrowler, I'll try to even it up one of these days.
Pours an opaque black, no light gets through, thin tan head, some lace spots, settles to a thin layer, very viscous looking. Smell is licorice, chocolate, caramel, bourbon, vanilla, sweet molasses and oak, cherries, alcohol, excellent. Taste is anise/licorice, chocolate roast, espresso, bourbon, sour cherries, alcohol, toffee, more bourbon, vanilla/oak, amazing. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, warming, very smooth, fantastically done. Thanks Russ!!
11-19-2007 21:56:53 | More by Viggo
4.5/5 rDev +7.1%
Ok, so others have mentioned the difficulties they had with the cork, but I'm inclined to believe mine was even harder to pull than the rest. First my friend tried to open it, he was unsuccessful. Then he told me to give it a shot, I couldn't do shit. He gave it to his dad, still no luck. Then my friend held the bottle while I pulled at the corkscrew. We ended up bending the handle of the corkscrew. I mean, what the hell... I'm almost 200 pounds and can benchpress myself, and he's pretty much the same. How could a friggin cork be so much trouble? Finally, he braced himself against the corner of a wall while I put all my weight and bodily strength into that little bastard cork. It finally gave, and we hardly spilt a drop. Whoopdy doo, I wish they were all that much fun.
The taste was well worth the struggle we put into opening the bottle. It had all the elements of a great imperial stout: hints of coffee, chocolate, and spices with the perfect compliment of hops. When I think Magic Hat beers I usually think fruity, rooty-toot college beer. But after having Thumbsucker, I know the brewers are serious. Glad I had the chance to try it.
07-23-2003 03:37:24 | More by 86MonteSS
4.5/5 rDev +7.1%
Blacker than Satan's heart. Not one photon of light, not even a wee glimmer, penetrates the liquid. The molasses colored crown started life at a cascading four fingers and is now descending at a snail's pace. It's thick, rich and rugged, like a milkshake made with coffee ice cream. Even though there's very little lace, this is still an impressive looking beer.
The nose is a concentrated, vinous mixture of bittersweet chocolate, ground coffee beans and heavily charred barley, with a whiff of sweet smoke. I wish it was a little bit more aggressive, but it smells much too good to penalize it for that.
Thumbsucker is beautiful beer. An intense burst of flavor slams into the taste buds with each sip, and consists of a barrage of dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses, sweet black licorice and oak-aged bourbon. And it's still impressively smoky. This is a wee heavy or rauchbier lover's Imperial stout.
I started the beer at 50 degrees. As it warms to the recommended 55 degrees, the depth and breadth of the flavor profile expand to impossible dimensions. What the hell has Magic Hat put into this bottle? I swear there's a hint of Scotch whisky in there as well. Did these guys have some peat smoked malt shipped across the Atlantic? I have a lot of questions, but the only answer that matters is... delicious.
My first impression of the body/mouthfeel was that it was a shade too light for the style. However, with repose it has thickened into a smooth (not quite silky), chewy, luscious treat. Flavor intensity lingers on the finish--again, like fine whisky--and puts me in a philosophical frame of mind. Then again, maybe that's the alcohol talking.
This is one beer in which I'm glad the alcohol hasn't been buried beyond all recognition. It seems such an integral part of the experience that its absence would be sorely missed. At 7.8%, it's on the low end for the style, but definitely adds up over the course of an entire 750. Let's just say that I'm feeling pleasantly fuzzy right about now.
Magic Hat Thumbsucker is improperly named. Rather than the thumb, it should be named for another part of the anatomy, because it's the beer equivalent of mother's milk. Now pardon me while I savor the remainder of this (most impressive) bottle. A shout out to RocketWidget for an outstanding experience.
03-21-2005 21:33:52 | More by BuckeyeNation
Thumbsucker from Magic Hat Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.