Magic Hat Brewing Company

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Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #290
Ranked #33,854
3.76 | pDev: 13.3%
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States
Very Good
Notes: It’s OK to be a Wee Heavy. Much has been made of the ills of smoking. Jinx thinks there’s nothing wrong with it. For years, he stood strong with his peat-smoked whiskey malt mash. He held his head high when others made fun of his wee heavy physique, becoming a mainstay in Magic Hat’s Night of the Living Dead Variety 12-Pak. People said he’d never attain an Original Gravity above 15.1 degrees Plato or an ABV above 6%. He proved them wrong. Take Magic Hat into the next alellenium. Vote Jinx.

23 IBU
Reviews: 362 | Ratings: 623 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of hoptheology
hoptheology from South Dakota

3.37/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into tall deschutes flute.

A delightful highlighted color of caramel, with light streaking up the sides. The head is creamy and firm at 1 finger.

I get very fruity, bright, complex notes of raisin, peach, and hot caramel all over the place. It almost leans butterscotch-y, but it doesn't gain that flaw in the slightest. It's very delectable to the nose, I gotta say I'm really excited.

Delightful fruitiness just pops and dances with lovely candy-caramel and raisin notes. Borders on cloying, sometimes stepping over the line, sometimes staying behind it. The amount of palatable presence of floral hops on the finish sort of determine that detainer. Hints of butterscotch, could be diacetyl or just an overly bright caramel note. (score dropped to 3, things got really sweet)

Feel is creamy with some slightly painful CO2 going on in the belly. The slightly starchy finish also detracts a bit.

Overall - this is a weird one. I started out really liking this beer, but the more I drink it, the more I think I'm gonna be sick. It gets very cloying half-way through, and it's not sitting right with me. Now it's simply tasting like sweet ash. Hmmm, well I might have to dump this one.

Scores adjusted...I don't know what happened, I simply cannot do this beer.

Aug 02, 2018
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz 2017 bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Lightly hazed copper-brown body with a thin beige head. Limited lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Mild malt and fruity (!) hops.

Mouthfeel: Smooth medium-light bodied. Semi-dry finish.

Taste: nutty with medium and dark malts; some mild hop, smoke and peat notes.

Overall: OK version of the style with more hops and less toffee than average.

Mar 12, 2018
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nunitn from Arizona

4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was disappointed with the last two I reviewed out of my variety pack by Magic Hat I was hoping this one would come strong and it did they need to continue this and not just put it off for a limited run because this is tasting lot better than the other two that I reviewed for a big Brewery like this this is really good. Very solid for a big Brewery smell doesn't linger too long though almost kind of like aal smell but nothing like aal taste well done Magic Hat

Dec 09, 2017
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Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pretty tasty stuff. has a light smoky aspect to it, some sweet bready and caramel notes. pretty smooth and some creamy aspects. mouthfeel is a bit light but this enhances drinkablility. overall very enjoyable

Nov 20, 2017
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YoungMtn52 from New York

3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I never really had some experience with scotch ales, but recently had another from the Brau Brothers in Minnesota and this was pretty similar....crisp, peat smoky taste...I'll be getting more of these...

Nov 13, 2017
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garymuchow from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Kind of an oxidized aroma but not noticed in the taste. Not quite and bold as I would have hoped. Is malt forward but tastes and drinks lighter than advertised as style and even for size. Also not that dry, more clean.
Good looking beer hitting the color right and good looking head.
Flavors appear more as warms and opens up, with hints of smoke and hop flavor.
Has a nearly aqueous feel at times.
Another easy drinking ale from a brewery I like.
Thanks brother.

Nov 04, 2017
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jjamadorphd from Florida

2.39/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A scotch-ale, I love these...but not really *this* one...

MH somehow has a hook in me when it comes to their variety packs. Somehow, someway, I can't seem to walk away their variety 12ers. Though there were some good one in this latest pack, this one was a bit of a disappointment. Quite possibly my least favorite of all MHs I have had to date (and I have had quite a few.) The beer has a decent look and smell, but it feels watery to me and the taste swung between a metallic tang to no taste at all - very weird. Probably not going to be one I will be looking for ever again.

Oct 20, 2017
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WatertowerIV from District of Columbia

4.16/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Reddish brown, with little opacity. Head sprung up to about a half inch, but dissipates quickly with no lacing to speak of.

S- Brown bread, caramel, and fruit cake. Really quite fascinating.

T- rich, dark maltiness, with hints of chocolate and raisin. Very mild smoke lingering on the back end.

F- low carbonation, slightly sticky and syrupy. To be expected for the style, I'm sure, but I find it a little off-putting.

O- A very solid fall brew. Just enough oomph to make you forget the nippy evenings, and certainly a sound alternative for those who aren't into the yearly pumpkin craze.

Oct 17, 2017
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MichaelProcton from North Carolina

3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ultra-clear copper, with a creamy brown head that loses its height quickly, but maintains a nice cap. The smoke scent comes off very strongly at first out of the bottle, but you get a sweet malt balance as everything settles in. The taste doesn't seem to line up well with the nose; you get a lot more hoppy bitterness, particularly on the front end. Still, the malt sweetness is there, and there's a whiff of smoke on the back. Mouthfeel is a touch heavier than average, perhaps owing something to the low level of carbonation.

Oct 17, 2017
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a wee heavy glass.

Deep cherry and dark red bodied color. Fairly clear with a nice little bit of carbonation. Head is a nice forming aggressive khaki with a straight punch pour, and an excellent creamy settling top. Beautiful color and presentation.

Aroma seems to go for more toast and wood but nicely. Slight hint of smoke and toasty wood chip like sensing flavors. Very mild sensing caramel and maybe a touch of cinnamon like phenols but it's a bit subdued.

Palate seems to hint much of what the nose detects. A good thick body but without a large syrupy or boozy component. A nutty almost toasty wood like quality, one that also seems to linger on the finish quite a bit. Minimal sweetness and a bit of spicy and slightly bitter nutmeg as well. Very little sweetness going on here.

It's a very different take on a wee heavy, as it doesn't really have much toffee or caramel quality. But it's unique woody and slight smoke makes it enjoyable.

Sep 27, 2017
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ordybill from Georgia

3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a clear light amber color with a small white head. The aroma is sweet malt. The taste is malt driven

Sep 17, 2017
Photo of KensWorld
KensWorld from Florida

4.48/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Had this back in the day while on vacation up north and loved it. Have not seen it for decade or so untill this year. Totally syked to see it again this time in Florida. I have to say it's as good as I remembered in back in the day. What a great take on a wee heavy style beer. Might be the best USA has to offer.

Aug 12, 2017
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours brown. Smells like smoky chocolate. It tastes like barbecued chocolate. Roasty, smoky, chocolatey coffee, and almost a bbq smoked meat flavor. Feels thin and highly carbed. I like the combo of the chocolate coffee and roasty smoke flavor in this. Overall a pretty good beer.

Nov 08, 2015
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BrewMakeMeFeel from Connecticut

3.1/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Look: Light copper brown with off-white head
Smell: Smoky with a caramel sweetness
Taste: Caramel sweetness hits first, followed by smoky flavor with a hint of chocolate, finishing with a peaty flavor and lingering hints of smokiness.
Feel: Smooth, a little on the thin side

Feb 06, 2015
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bgillespie from New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: A clear copper to brown color. Off white head.

Smell: Caramel, sweet, not that strong.

Taste: Toffee, caramel, chocolate, a peaty finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy.

Overall: My first scotch ale and I am impressed. Smooth, creamy mouth with a chocolate caramel taste. Very good.

Nov 23, 2014
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schoolboy from Ohio

3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Unfortunately, I think this is the winner of the sampler of Magic Hats. I didn't expect much but I was hoping for something special. It wasn't there.

This starts off looking right in the glass. Maybe a little pale. The aroma is weak but inoffensive. The taste is an easy, starter scotch ale. Wee light on taste. There was a time when I would have preferred this, but I have a taste for these now, and they should have a lot more going on. That said, it is drinkable, and refreshing. It is much less tedious to drink that a typical scotch ale.

Overall, this is a well made brew, but not a great example of the style.

Nov 21, 2014
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +6.4%

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on November 13, 2014.

Medium copper amber pour with a modest white head.

Malts are not as forward as one would expect in a Wee Heavy but they are there. Odd sort of musky quality to the scent. Even something akin to vanilla bean.

Medium body.

The taste has a lightly toasted and sweet malt note with a mild bitterness taking up the rear. Not as malty sweet as what I like in Scotch Ales but it is likable in it way.

Nov 13, 2014
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hdofu from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +13%

This is an interesting beer, smells kind of nutty and malty... taste is like blue/gorgonzola cheese mix in hops, very interesting taste... that I kind of like. Not a beer you'd want all the time but definitely one worth speaking out once and awhile. If you like different tasting beers you should definetly give this beer a pour.

Nov 11, 2014
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Cavanaghty from Maine

3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Light brown with a thin beige head. No lacing on the glass.

Smell: Mild malt and nutty smell.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste nutty with heavier malts some very mild hop notes.

Overall: OK brew. Glad I tried it out.

Nov 06, 2014
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BEERMILER12 from Maine

3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a mahogany color with almost no head

S: Malty with a hint of smoke and nuttiness. Maybe a bit of fruitiness in there as well. A little on the weak side

T: Follows the nose, but stronger. Starts off with a hint of sweetness and a mellow smoke. Some fruity and nutty notes come in towards the end. Finishes with a light lingering smoke and a woody note

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: Aside from a weak nose, this is a nice scotch ale with a pleasant amount of smoke. Never overwhelming or cloying, just enough to make it different. Glad they brought it back for this fall

Oct 19, 2014
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cbutova from Massachusetts

3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- 12oz bottle into a tumbler with a clear, deep amber body and a small, pinky high foamy cap. Head retention is decent as a small ring remains with a few small islands. Lacing is spotty with a few small sheets.

S- Malt drive pretty much all the way. Smokey peat comes out but not dominating the strong notes of deep caramel, toast, brown sugar and some dried red fruits from the yeast.

T- Smoke from the peat malts a bit more prominent here but a hint of chocolate opens up atop the caramel, nutty and toasted Brown malt notes. Dried red fruit, bread and some spiciness are apparent beyond the grains.

MF- Just about medium bodied with a slight oily and creamy texture. Carbonation is at a medium level and hits the palate smoothly. Smoke lingers on the taste buds in the finish with a slight bitterness.

The smoke seems to open up more and more as time goes by which is not a problem for me. I actually think the use of peat here is quite smart considering how it blends with the other malt flavors. Not for those who don't like smoke but I actually think it's one of Magic Hat's better brews in recent times.

Oct 08, 2014
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CaptJackHarkness from New York

4/5  rDev +6.4%

From twelve ounce bottle in the Night of the Dead collection 2014.

Aroma is a bit fruity, malt. Pour is deep amber orange with thick white head. Head dissipates quickly, leaves a very spotty lacing. Taste is warm and mellow. Fig and datenut bread. Nice for a chilly evening.

Oct 08, 2014
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BigCheese from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +6.4%

I like this. Its good for a cold fall night. Lots of malty sweetness without being cloying. Pretty good for magic hat. Might make a better winter ale.

Oct 07, 2014
Photo of Brenden
Brenden from Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

This one has the not-quite-clear, medium-full bodied red-brown-black I'd expect of the style. The head is a fluffy sort of tanned cap about half a finger tall that holds up, for the most part, and throws down some pretty good lacing.
This one showcases the peat without a heavy smokiness to go with it, though there's a touch inherent to the peat. There's a nice caramel sweetness as well, though a bit of dark fruits eases in as well. Something slightly too buttery in the middle does make me wonder about diacetyl, but it isn't so heavy as to ruin it. It finishes with a blend of sweetness and roast.
The body just does run into full territory, but it just skirts the edge there. It's crisp and creamy, carbonation staying even and the feel keeping to the sweeter end.

Sep 24, 2014
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mikeg67 from New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

12 oz bottle. Pours dark red with long lasting, white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of caramel, cherries, hints of grassy hops and smoke. Body is medium and slightly crisp. Caramel, piney hops, smoked wood and ripe fruit fill the mouth. Finish is long and semi-dry. Not bad for Magic Hat.

Sep 16, 2014
Jinx from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 623 ratings