Magic Hat Brewing Company

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Herb and Spice Beer
3.36 | pDev: 13.69%
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 118 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of wingman14
wingman14 from Ohio

3.47/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a big frothy mocha head. The smell is subtly sweet with ginger. The taste is earthy with strong ginger, and a long aftertaste. It has a medium mouthfeel, a smooth beer with strong flavors. Overall a one sided flavor, a decent beer, it could have been more complex which would have made it so much better.

Apr 04, 2015
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tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of ginger, spices. Taste is spices, malts, ginger, a touch of sweetness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall, while not something I would drink regularly, is a tasty and enjoyable change of pace.

May 08, 2014
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains ginger spice, caramelized malts, maple and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out a strong ginger spice flavor just like the smell indicates. Then some sweet flavors of maple and caramel come in. The malt character is hearty and there’s a mild hops presence brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, just a mediocre beer overall.

Mar 29, 2014
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

3.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Wegman's in a mix-a-six, bottle poured chilled in a mug.

The color is a medium brown like cocoa with moderate haze with thin white head after settling and small bead no lace clings. The smell has a dry ginger hint with mild toasted grain aroma with a light hint of caramel and vanilla. The feel is ok, moderately carbonated with a slight bite of spice with butter aspect and dry nutty feel with slight woody yeast and mild sweet tinge in the background.

The flavor has a mild ginger flavor with dry quality and slight buttery toasted grain with light cookie-like sweetness and gentle caramel flavor that leads to a mild yeast element which accentuates the woody quality of the ginger and leads to a dry finish. Overall I liked the combination of flavors but the feel was a little harsh and I probably would not drink several but it was good for a winter spiced ale worth trying.

Mar 04, 2014
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Billolick from New York

3.4/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with no freshness info to be had. Stole this bottle from a friends holiday party left over stash...

Pours murky darker brown, fairly minor khaki head, basically just a film, a thin collar and a few thin tongues of typical lace.

Moderate holiday spicing, gingerbread cookies coming to mind.

On the palate, I'm getting some dull/flat tasting cola sorta blended with the above mentioned holiday spice/gingerbread cookies. The holidays are over, and I'm over this beer. Muddled flavors and off putting over spiced/over herbed notes...not loving this one....One and done fo sho

Jan 30, 2014
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bgillespie from New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark with a dark reddish almost purple color. Almost no head, no lacing.

Smell: Not very strong, hint of ginger and cinnamon.

Taste: Pretty sweet, ginger, chocolate, caramel. Again, not very strong.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, mild-moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth.

An interesting beer and definitely worth a shot, but I think it falls a little short for me. Not a strong enough flavor. I wouldn't say no to it, but it would not be my first choice.

Jan 22, 2014
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Ohmmygawd from Minnesota

3.76/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer is perfect for the holidays. It's like a delicious gingerbread cookie without being overpowering like some ginger beers.

Appearance -cloudy and dark with a nice red color. One finger of head which is normal for winter beers.

Smell- spicy with a mixture of ginger and roasted malts. As it warms you can smell more of the chocolate malts.

Taste- Fortaste hits you with cinnamon, ginger and cloves and the following is deep with rich chocolate malts and a little carmel.

Mouthfeel- I really like the ginger snap feel of the fresh ginger bite right in the beginning and then the warmth of cloves and roasted malts. The carbonation lingers a little while and it actually settles quite nicely.

Overall- Great seasonal beer! It pairs extremely well with gingerbread cookies too! (Having some homemade right now!) The more the beer warms the more the malts come alive in the aromatics and complement the ginger bite even more.


Jan 04, 2014
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Act25 from New Jersey

3.34/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

New Year's Day. Taste off vs Celebration. (unfair!)
12 oz. bottle poured into a .5 L glass.

A - Pours a hazed cola, mahogany colored body; with 1 fast fade finger of khaki head. No lacing. Looks like the other winter specials.

S - Smell is the best part, smoke / char first, malt, coffee roastand spicy ginger / cinnamon. Busy, but good at a holiday party. Would cut above the noise of bad pot-luck and sweets and noise.

T - Taste follows the nose: smoke/char first, then malt roast, some caramel/ toffee, wet grass, hay, herbal spice, ginger, spice. More busy, but again the pot pouri reminds me of a busy xmas buffet with too many sugared items.

M - Feel resolves the busy sweet beer, pretty well with some bitter and dry, grassy & herbal, dark roast lingering. A bit of tea and tobacco too.

Smell and the finish were the best parts - would be good at a busy, noisy party, with lots of random and too sweet food and snacks.

Jan 02, 2014
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Fatehunter from Oregon

2.73/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Pours a finger of head on a dark brown body.
The aroma is gingerbread, cardamom and cinnamon. Quite festive.
The taste is more of the same. Very sweet, like actually eating a gingerbread house, but without the super-sweet frosting.
The texture is fairly crisp with moderate carbonation.
The taste is too sweet for me.

Dec 30, 2013
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle. Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a small, tan head of foam. It smelled a little like gingerbread. Sweet caramel and bready flavors with hints of ginger.

Dec 18, 2013
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.34/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

new winter mix seasonal from magic hat, spicy and festive, but not my favorite seasonal from them, and certainly a step below the spruce esb last year. fizzy pour with a fresh ginger and white pepper nose. not overly spiced, but its front and center well above the paler malt and whatever hops went in, if any, its hard to detect any. what i like is that its not sweet at all, what i dont like is that all i taste is the spice, no real beer ingredients. ginger is the strongest flavor, but there are others ranging from bay to pepper to clove. finish is oddly quick like a lager, oddly filling like a much larger beer, and predictably average from magic hat, who might do well to put a little less wit into naming and packaging and a little more back into their recipes. cucumber hibiscus beer was forgivable, this one less so, but thats two strikes as far as i am concerned.

Dec 16, 2013
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Jason from Massachusetts

3.6/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Opaque brown, light tan lacing that sticks around for the duration. Smells like the holidays; ginger, molasses, faint rum raisin, snickerdoodle cookies. Slightly creamy medium body, fresh ginger, faint cinnamon roll, toasted grain, mild cocoa, hint of alcohol, modest hopping, semi-dry finish.

Ends up being a decent holiday ale ... it is however a one and done ale. Worth a go at any holiday party.

Dec 16, 2013
Photo of RedMosquito1
RedMosquito1 from South Carolina

3.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased the Winterland mixed pack. G-Thing was the beer style which attracted me to buying it. I love spiced beers, especially in the winter months. Full disclosure, #9 is one of my defaults.

A: Minimal head even when poured aggressively. Deep brown color, almost cola-like.
S: Very ginger-ey. Wonderful aroma when swirled slightly. Exquisite.
T: Fresh ginger at the front, but very little else. Dry finish. Disappointing given the awesome smell.
M: Refreshing, somewhat thin, but overall very pleasant mouthfeel.
O: Good to experience one, but nothing outside of the smell is remarkable.

Dec 12, 2013
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stakem from Pennsylvania

3.38/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a snifter. The brew appears a hazy brown color with a fizzy tan cap that fades quick. When held to the light, more of a mahogany coloring with orange highlights is seen around the edges.

The aroma is spicy like cinnamon bark, ginger, nutmeg. A little bi of contrasting caramel to toffee-malt sweetness breaks up the heavy spicing. Also present towards the back of the nose is a bit of citrus hops.

The taste is very dry and spicy before getting bitter and herbal with hops. Ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg are all overtop a bready to caramel grain base. A hint of pine-like juniper also thrown in there towards the back that has a bit grassy quality.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is dry and spicy with quite a bit of bitterness and really not enough maltiness to help contrast the abundance of spice. This is the sorta brew you could drink after having total palate fatigue and it would wake you up...or put you over the hill. Would not recommend unless you really dig over-spiced beers.

Dec 10, 2013
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter raised a small, fizzy, short-lived head over a clear mahogany body.

Enticing aroma of ginger, cinnamon and malts - reminiscent of spice cake.

Flavor: A pronounced ginger hit up front turns out to be set at a fairly good level for the malty and spicy flavors that follow. Spicy aftertaste lets some sweet and bready malts show as well.

Feel: medium carbonation with a body that's a bit too thin.

O: enjoyable; good for price point, which is low here on the East Coast.

Dec 06, 2013
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I do not remember where I scored this recently, but I just remember that I was glad to be able to buy it as a single as I was curious to try it, but a case was out of the question.

From the bottle: "The ancient ritual of brewing a distinctly rich and flavorful beer is a performance to behold. Our mysterious melange of time-honored ingredients harmonize with chaotic chemistry, humble patience, and blind faithto create this unique beer to share in the rousing company of kindred spirits. Cheers!"; "A performance in every bottle"; "It's alive ... with spice!"

I used to have a die-cut gingerbread man in my classroom whose motto was "Icing is for sissies!" since he was a tough little cookie. Let's see just how tough this "Ginger Spice Ale" actually is.

My aggro pour produced just over a finger of foamy, deep-tan head with decent retention. Color was a deep, dark-brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with ruby highlights and just a modicum of light penetration. Nose had notes of ginger along with Mary Ann, no, peppermint and a light chocolate malt. t was like one of those seasonal hot chocolates that a lot of the big coffee shops sell right around this time of year. Mouthfeel was big and soft, kind of creamy on the tongue. The taste was VERY minty, not really what I would consider ginger, but more like wintergreen or spearmint and on the intense side. I wonder how this would cellar. Would the spiciness abate to the point that it would be more drinkable? As it is, it comes across too strong for my liking, but I think that it has room for improvement. Finish was dry, thanks to the overabundance of spice, but it just was not my bag. If I manage to score another bottle, I will set it aside until late-winter and revisit it at that time.

Dec 06, 2013
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JackMcAwesome from Florida

3.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I just purchased the Winterland pack, and this is one of four included in there.

I poured it into my standard pint glass. The bottle has some crazy looking gingerbread man on there. I'm not sure if I should fear for it, or fear it. I don't like his smile.

Look: Pours a dark brown. I was a bit aggressive and I was rewarded with a two finger head that was mighty fluffy. It went away fairly quick, and as I've drank, it's left minimal lacing. Not bad I suppose, but I do like to see some lacing on my winter beers. It just makes it look right, in my opinion.

Smell: There's some chocolate notes, which to be honest, I'm not really liking in a beer that is supposed to be ginger based. It overrides it, and I only detected the ginger right after the pour. After that, nothing but the faint note of chocolate. There is also a lager smell to it. But it's all very faint.

Taste: About what I got from the nose. Very mild ginger, mild chocolate, and then a lager-ish taste. Maybe the malt they use? Not sure.

Feel: Not too much here either. It'd medium bodied, with a sharpness on the tip of the tongue, but other than that, nothing to report.

Overall: I'm a bit bummed. I was hoping for something a bit more, I passed on another winter pack to try this one out, and it wasn't all that worth it. (So far, I do like the darkness brew, and am still looking forward to the other two as well) Oh well. Improvements could include: Lacing (It just screams winter to me!) more ginger, less chocolate, or even NO chocolate. A smell that doesn't taper off after a minute, and more pronounced spices.

Dec 04, 2013
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mfnmbvp from Illinois

3.08/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. A new winter seasonal from Magic Hat, expectations are about average, but I'll try to keep an open mind.

Poured into an over-sized wine glass.

A - Pours a chocolatey amber colored body; mahogany when held to the light. About a finger of fluffy creamy khaki head. No lacing. Looks alright for what it is.

S - Smell is fairly bland and uninteresting. Chocolate malt, maybe some slight coffee roast, some smoke / char, soda pop like carbonation, mineral water, and spicy ginger / cinnamon / licorice presence. Not great smelling, in my opinion.

T - Taste follows the nose: dark chocolate malt roast, some dirty earthy grass, hay, herbal spice rack notes like thyme and oregano, and bitter cold coffee infused with ginger spice. Maybe some faint coconut, although I could be imagining it. Not entirely awful, but there is just something about this flavor combination that is not doing anything for me.

M - Feel ends bitter and dry, grassy & herbal, with some dark roast lingering, along with some spicy overpowering ginger. Like I said, not awful, but the flavor combination does nothing for me. Again, I feel like I am picking up on some coconut flavors lingering alongside the ginger spice. Medium bodied with high carbonation.

Overall, a pretty messy tasting beer. Imbalanced in favor of the ginger, which was obviously intentional, but just doesn't work for me. Seems like it was just sloppily thrown together quickly for the winter variety pack. I wouldn't have it again.

Magic Hat G-Thing ---3/5.

Nov 17, 2013
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Brenden from Ohio

3.24/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This beer is dark brown, darker than many of the style with a thick opacity to the body. It grows a light brown head to just less than one finger in height. Retention is pretty good, though it eventually fades to a thin foam. Spotty lacing is left on the glass in moderation.
There are some malts backing this beer, but it smells like ginger soda. Ginger is so strong that it's hard to tell what else is in here until a kick of cinnamon finishes it out. It's what they were going for, I suppose.
At first there's mostly char and burnt toffee, but the ginger kicks in hard. In the finish, it's all spicy ginger from the tip of the tongue to well down the esophagus. Notes of cinnamon flash in and out, but the ginger adds a hard bite with little malt backing to ease it or add any real depth.
The body is medium with an initial biting crispness that ends up slacking off at the end. It gets pretty smooth for a moment in the middle.

Oct 30, 2013
G-Thing from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 77 out of 100 with 118 ratings