Magic Hole IPA | Kennebec River Brewery

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Magic Hole IPAMagic Hole IPA
44 Ratings
Magic Hole IPAMagic Hole IPA

Brewed by:
Kennebec River Brewery
Maine, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
So named for its ability to make rafts disappear, Magic Hole is the Kennebec River’s biggest challenge. Dedicated to those with a "GO FOR IT" attitude, this bold, unrepentant ale is liberally hopped with premier East Kent Goldings.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-19-2001

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 44 |  Reviews: 34
Reviews by EkimGram:
Photo of EkimGram
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Colour is a hazy nutty brown. Head is a very thin layer sitting on top with just the slightest amount of lacing.

Smell: Strong hops with a bit of sweetness.

Taste: Not as hoppy as the aromas but still strong. Bitter, a little sweet, very pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, sticky, just a little bit of carbonation.

Overall: A very middle of the road beer. Your standard IPA, nothing too spectacular but nothing horrible.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bottle poured into a pint glass. The beer was a hazy amber color with a small tan head. There was a bit of lace.
Mostly floral aroma, but also citrus. Sweet malt too.
The taste was a little underwhelming, and did not deliver what the aroma suggested. More grapefruit than anything else, some piney hops, a bit of sweet malt. But I'd say it smelled better than it tasted.
Fairly balanced mouthfeel.
OK beer.

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Photo of tigg924
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, hazy, orange-brown in color, high carbonation

Smell: floral hops, toasted malt, some earth

Taste: floral hops and some toasted malt--especially at the start with a big caramel finish

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, medium/high carbonation, slightly bitter start followed by a sweet middle and a slightly bitter aftertaste

Drinkability: I could relax with several. Lots of caramel flavor here. I could see myself drinking a six.

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Photo of ccurrid
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of far333
2.9/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Apricot-honey color with a lumpy beige head, that deposits oily spotty lacing down the sides of the glass. Aroma of sweet malt and citrusy hops. Tingly and somewhat tannic mouthfeel leads to flavors of sweet malt and corn, but where's the hops? I honestly detect no hops, and this is the second bottle I tried so that I could be sure. Tastes nothing like an IPA should taste, and no other characteristic can make it enjoyable for me.

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Photo of acurtis
3.49/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of caddybuyer
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A-Veiled copper with a very nice rich and creamy eggshell head that laces nicely.

S-Not much of a nose on this one...mostly malts detected. Some earthiness, but not much hops...then again..this is a Maine beer

T-Malts predominate a slighly flat palate. A bit of orange zest mixes it up a bit but aside from some tasty malts this is truly lackluster.

M-slightly undercarbonated, but otherwise decent for the style.

D-Just came back from Maine, and this was a really poor excuse for an IPA...OK for a PA, or an APA, but, come on...where is the love?

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Photo of seakayak
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of nickd717
3.36/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle via trade thanks to ben4321 on ratebeer. Ben has been a friend of mine since middle school and he is just about as ridiculously into beer as I am these days. Magic Hole, hmm... Ok, nickd717, get your mind out of the gutter (yes I do refer to myself by my BA name).

A - Pours a fairly hazy medium amber with a nice lasting off-white head.

S - Aroma is somewhat faint for an IPA, with caramel, earth, spice, and muted floral hops.

T - Caramel malt, earth, apples, oranges, citrus hops, and even a little alcohol, which I normally don't pick up much of in single IPAs. Hop character is more like an English IPA, where it's more about bitterness than aroma and flavor. Maybe they should add the hops later in the boil. Still, the finish is surprisingly hoppy and fairly long.

M - Body is medium and so is carbonation level.

D - Pretty good. This was definitely a different beer than I'm used to - not bad, but just doesn't really stand up well next to a lot of more in-your-face American IPAs.

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Photo of u2carew
3.42/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle
A) Pours with a two finger head. Slowly settles to a creamy lacing around the edge of the glass. Overall lacing is thin and sticky. The body is hazy. Visible sediment. Bronze in color.
S) Floral notes with grapefruit. Caramel malt sweetness.
T) Mellow caramel malt upfront but not enough to balance the hop bite. The bite is fairly prominent and very ESB-esque. The hops linger long in the after taste.
M) Fizzy. Dry. Bitter. Medium bodied. Light sediment feel.
D) An alright IPA but not a standout.

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Photo of CraftyViki
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

This is a fine IPA. It has a nice hop character, is refreshing, and I like that the ABV is not too high. I was at the brewery 3 times last week and ordered this beer each time.

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Photo of MenardMa
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%

Photo of ppoitras
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased recently at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" beige head over the totally cloudy orangey amber brew. Pillowy head lasts very nicely, with heavy sticky lacing. Aroma is lightly citrus, but minimal. Taste starts sweet, hits a shot of tangy citrus in the middle, and closes with ample bitterness. Mouthfeel is reasonably smooth, and drinkability is alright. Not a bad beer, but was expecting more.

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Photo of villainchiwwin
4.12/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into pint glass from standard 12 oz. bottle.
murky reddish amber hue, quarter of an inch off-white head. decent lacing
slight but sweet nose - toffee, pine, some mustiness.
this is a mellow and straightforward i.p.a. in terms of taste, too, but not boring. i really dig it. hops lurk in primary sweetness, raw hop character comes forward with some pine and floral sharpness. tasty but not too in-your-face; formidable hop finish on the back of the tongue lapses into a certain dryness.
mouthfeel is split between the prescence of (enjoyably) rough hop texture on palate and an unfortunate under-carbonation - seems a bit flat.

not a bad offering, though unabashedly linked to the commodification of rafting. nothing too wild but balanced and tasty with a long finish. if only the mouthfeel were more up to par...

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Photo of abrodsky
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of jlindros
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

They dropped the "Magic Hole" part of the IPA, but still have the goofy drunk sun on the label.

A: Pours big 2 finger frothy head into my oversized snifter. It has lots of large bubbles and fades pretty quickly. It's a super hazy dark orange reddish hue color, with lots of bubbles on the sides of the glass, and sediment galore.

N: Some crisp ale aromas give way to some slight citrus, earthy chewy hops. It has a slight earthy aroma, and some slight malts making me think this isn't as fresh as I though. A very slight grapefruit follows the background.

T: Starts with crystal malts at first, and some toasty malt almost bready flavors. Then goes into a slight chewy hop phase, with some slight citrus and earthy hop flavor. A little fruity. Some definite pale flavors, bitterness, but not so bright on the hops. This is a lot more like a pale ale than an IPA.

M: Medium body with too much carbonation.

F: Finishes slightly bitter and dries off quite a bit! Some fruity hop flavors and hints of that chewy hop flavor linger a bit. The bitterness doesn't ramp up too much, but doesn't fade either as it sticks around for minutes after the sip. It also has a slight nagging not so pleasant bitterness, like orange rind.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.05/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a one finger off-white head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Hoppy and yeasty nose. Flavor is mostly hop bitterness, some caramel and yeast. $1.75 for a 12oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Thanks to papollo for this bottle!

So many dirty jokes could be made with this beer. Oh, well. It pours a somewhat hazy auburn-amber topped by nearly a finger of light ecru foam. Streaks and waves of minor particulates permeate the liquid mass. The nose comprises light grapefruit, even lighter white grapes, and a decidedly light strain of caramel. The taste intensifies everything in equal proportions, though the grapefruit tries its vain hardest to overpower the others. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a pretty smooth feel. Overall, a nice IPA, but one that is mostly just above-average.

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Photo of yearwood
5/5  rDev +38.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep copper color. Medium bodied, malty and bitter. Nice aroma from generous dry hopping with East Kent Golding. Brewed to please "hops lovers".

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Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Great head with a frothy and rocky recession. Orange-amber color, cloudy. Excellent lumpy lace.

Earthy and less hoppy than most IPA's on the initial smell. Subsequent smells are far more bitterly floral by nature.

Very hoppy right from the first sip which lasts through the long aftertaste. True to the classic American style IPA. Good body with a slightly elevated level of carbonation.

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Photo of Manosbeeroffate
3.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer brewed out in the middle of nowhere, yet easy to find (up here at least) Pours a deep amber color. Not much smell, a bit sweet. Taste is nice malt sweetness, grassy/citrus flavor hops, not too overwhelming. Nice mouthfeel. Overall another great session beer for me. I like the cool sun logo on the bottle and thinking of getting that tattooed on my arm.

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Photo of mgigs
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of albern
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

As one reviewer commented, they've dropped the Magic Hole in the name. The beer is also contracted out and brewed by Mercury Brewing in Ipswich, MA. I'm not certain if that has had anything to do with the name change, or any recipe changes either. The beer is just too fruity to be a serious IPA. The label intones that we should "grab one and hold on ... dosed with fresh hops." Sorry, but I'm not buying in. The beer looks fine, with a nice orangey amber color, a bit hazy, smallish head, not much retention, not much lace. The nose isn't particularly hoppy, but more bubble gum fruity.

There is a leafy hop texture to the beer. The consistency and mouthfeel is a touch prickly, and that's fine. The beer is just a fruity APA more than a serious IPA. There are raspberry and strawberry notes in the beer, and things get more fruity as the beer settles. The drying, slightly bittering leafy hop is tame. The beer is medium bodied, fairly substantial in density, a touch sticky, maybe just a tad bit of a perfumy quality as well. When I opened the bottle, it did have a very slight English Pale malty yeast feel, and it reminded me of other beers out of Mercury Brewing, but this experience dissipated quickly, but it is worth noting. The beer just isn't inspiring one way or another. It's not a bad beer, I'll finish my bottle, but won't be going back to the well for another.

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Photo of psdriscoll
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of sprucetip
3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into snifter.

very attractive orangeish golden color, kind of hazy, modest short lived head, good lacing.

Faint and without much legs. Grainy mainly, with some very subdued hop character.

Grainy and bitter flavors battle, with some sweetness, though hard to find, at the start and finish. Hop bitterness largely without the flavor, but some citrus notes poking in toward the finish.

Too much tingling fizz lingers too long, then fades into a dry, bitter finish that is partially clean, but some bitterness lingers. Body is on the thin side of medium.

Overall, not anything to write home about. But surely the river runners at the Forks have no problem sessioning this one. And the fact that it comes from a brewery in the middle of Boondocks, Maine is something for which to be grateful.

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Magic Hole IPA from Kennebec River Brewery
Beer rating: 3.6 out of 5 with 44 ratings