Jinx | Magic Hat Brewing Company

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613 Ratings

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by stirgy on 12-06-1999

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 613 |  Reviews: 360
Photo of treehugger02010
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this single 12 ounce bottle at Capone's Restaurant in Norrsitown, Pa and poured it into a pint glass.
Appearance: A deep amber and cloudy body with a tan head up top. The head was big at first but left very fast, there was a ton of carbonation. No lacing at all.
Smell: Mostly malty, but not roasted. Hints of hops that balance everything else.
Taste: Noticeable hop presence that was mellow with just enough bite. Again, rather malty sans roast.
Mouthfeel: A bit fizzy, but with smooth pockets.
Drinkability: Good.
Don't drink and review.

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Photo of MMAJYK
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Light brown and semitransparent. Head and lacing are both minimal.

S- Light smell of smoke and whiskey with malts jumping in with subtle hoppy aromas.

T- Malty and sweet but with the whiskey thrown in. The smoke is present too but subtle. This one is a little on the sweet side.

M- Thin to medium with medium carbonation.

D- Decent. Kind of a funky tasting/smelling beer. Not something you want to session, but it is fun to drink.

Overall- Pleasantly malty and a very good brew. I am not too familar with the style but I really liked it. It is different and catchy; something that MH is very good at and one of the main reasons I like them as well as I do.

Thanks to hurleymanvw for sharing this one with me at his home.

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

A: Brown with a tan colored head.

S: Sour, malty and sweet.

T: This beer does not taste like it smells. It is sweet smoky and well balanced.

M: Medium to full bodied and works quite well with this beer.

D: This beer is quite easy to drink. It reminds me of some homebrews I've had the pleasure of drinking in the past.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber/brown color with some ruby hues when held to the light, decent sized head with a little retention but no lacing.

Smell is rather malty with a subtle smokey aspect, sweetness from some caramel, some earthy tones.

Taste rushes into a smokey caramel twist and finishes dry, low carbonation, could use a bit more hop profile, alcohol is also slightly noticeable which is surprising.

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Photo of deepsouth
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this is my first offering from magic hat since 1996. the beer poured a brownish red with a small tan head. the smill is sweet and buttery and citrusy. the taste is consistant with the smell, but i also pick up pitted fruits perhaps. the taste is a bit peppery as well. the mouthfeel is medium and consistant with what i expect from this style. overall, this is a good beer that i could drink a few of.

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Photo of Kendo
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Under the cap it says "I have what I want."

A: Poured into a Sam Smith's nonic, the body is a turbid brown, with orange-ish hues when backlit. Lots of sediment/particles in suspension (and at the bottom of the bottle). A very small off-white head disappears immediately, despite pretty active carbonation throughout. No lacing at all.

S: Not very strong in the nose -- malt with a hint of smoke. Becomes sweeter -- fruitier -- as it warms.

T: Smoky peat over sweet, fruity -- ripe apples, I think -- malt. Also a touch nutty with a woody, dry finish and a slight bitterness that reminds me of green apple skin.

M: Body is medium in weight. Good carbonation gives it a lively, drying feel in the mouth.

D: OK. Admittedly this is not my favorite style, but I didn't find this objectionable at all for what it is -- a solid version of a Scotch Ale.

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Photo of
3.13/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Clear, dark gold/amber. Small, ivory colored head.

Scents of caramel and pine.

Taste included toffee, roast notes, a touch of smoke, and grass/herbs/spice at finish for some bittering.

Medium in body. Low to medium carbonation. Dry.

OK, smoke was well done in that it accented rather than overpowered. Not terribly impressive, though.

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Photo of Floydster
2.78/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle that was part of Magic Hat's mixed pack, split with a friend, poured into a small pint glass

A-Murky brown color with a very red tint, could see through it easily in the light, small 1/4 inch off white head, not much retention, no lacing

S-Smokiness, sweet malts, toffee, caramel, nuts, milk chocolate, brown sugar, fruits but could not really tell which ones, faint whiskey aromas

T-Earthy and a little skunky, malt was a little chewy, smoky aftertaste, not much sweetness like I could smell, roasted nuts, faint hoppiness at the beginning, too much malt and bubbles that make it a little hard to get down

M-Way too much carbonation, taste lasted only a couple seconds, very thin body, somewhat dry and crisp mouthfeel

D-Could drink a few bottles of this and then wonder why I did not drink something else, fairly light on the stomach, low in alcohol for a scotch ale, not very smooth

Weakest wee heavy I have tasted, must be spoiled by Alesmith, first Magic Hat brew, pretty disappointed with this beer, cannot recommend it to anybody

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.94/5  rDev -21%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Too many infected bottles in the last month - I reach for a magic hat to break the curse with a jinx...

'Life in a Hurry makes everything Blurry'

Appearance - speaking of blurry, as the cap just did, this pours a blurry chestnut. A thin head, weak retention, unimpressive lacing.

Aroma - cocoa and smoked malts. Pretty nice!

Taste - brief sweetness, just a touch before a heft of smokiness clouds the palate. A thick smoke, wet wood really grabs the taste buds and doesn't let go. The finish is a sour smoky flavor, I don't much care for it. Edit - labeled as a scotch ale, I had my palate ready for something different. Reading some past reviews, this was once classified as a smoke beer. As a smoke beer, re-trying this, my expectations are better met, meriting a better score(from a 2 to a 3).

Mouthfeel - some smoothness, well-carbonated, no problems here.

Drinkability - nah, glad I only bought the single. Way too smoky and not near sweet enough. Edit - previous comments designed for a scotch ale. As a smoke beer, this is passable as an option for a cookout or something. I'd probably still spring for something else, but am bumping this a half point.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to NJpadreFan for this brew.

Pours a nice clean brownish color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, some sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, bitter, and some caramel. The taste is malty, some bitterness, and a good tone of caramel. This is a mild Wee Heavy at best. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice brew from Magic Hat, drinkable. Thanks Alan.

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Photo of maddogruss
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a glass mug.

A: Pours a dark amber body with a small, off-white head with low retention. Reduces to a nice lacing along the top of the beer with some lacing along the side of the glass, but not much at all.

S: A roasted smell that also seemed kind of earthy and moldy. Not a bad thing, but fairly interesting.

T: A very roasted taste with a robust roasted aftertaste. These malts were roasted and caramelized to perfection.

M: A full-bodied, very smooth mouthfeel that was like velvet on the tongue.

D: A pretty drinkable beer. High malt character fills you up a little bit, like a bock. Definitely an excellent beer.

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Photo of livedrinkbeer
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I actually liked this beer and though magic hat never impressedo me at first they have earned my respect. And the jinx reinforces my respect for them. I was plesantly surprised as soon as I poured it into my glass by the rich foamy head and dark creamy goodness. Although considered a scotch ale I felt it had many characteristics of a stout.
A- Poured a dark amber w/ a tan head
S- smelled sweet of brown sugar
T- tasted faintly of hops but mostly of brown sugar and coffee.
M- was smooth and full
D- deliciouse very impressed, well balanced and a good change of pace. Highly recomended.

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Photo of Viggo
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle picked up at Premier Gourmet in Buffalo.

Pours a hazy orange/brown, big thick off white head forms, leaves behind tons of lace, great retention, looks nice! Smell is caramel, some bread, light citrus, dark fruits, yeast, very earthy, kind of basic but enjoyable. Taste is similar, nice caramelization, bread, light yeast, earthy, touch of chocolate, some fruits, nice burnt sugary finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, pretty smooth, easy to drink. Not a bad beer!

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz. bottle, notched: "Best before end of J[anuary]"; poured to a pint glass. Under the cap reads: Better living through Alchemy. Thanks to Metalmonk for sending this one westward.

A: Tawny brown pour, a shade of crimson mixed in. Just an 1/8" or so of dusty tan head fizzles away in seconds. Fine, silty haziness with plenty of rising carbonation.

S: Light cocoa, sugared fruit and earthy peat. It's a pleasant but modest aroma, that improves a little with warming.

T: Malty and lightly smoky sweetness. I picked up a fairly chewy cocoa chocolate and mild roasted nuttiness, both nicely melding with the smoky and earthy qualities. Hops are mild, just enough to provide some balance.

M: Somewhat thin and slick-feeling. Good carbonation and a medium body, a bit of residual smoked grain flavor lingers.

D: Taste and appearance are good on this, but overall it's only a moderately successful scotch ale. Would like more aroma and definitely a firmer, or at least more textured, mouthfeel. Worth trying and certainly easy enough to finish.

On a side note, 'Jinx' has one of the more effeminate labels out there: a smiling/winking pink thing (a flower? an amoeba? what is it?). My wife actually calls the label "the smiling vagina", as the face's contours do bear an abstract resemblance to a pair of panties... :)

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Photo of Bassetdawg
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle, from Tully’s, poured into a 16 oz. shaker.

Appearance: a small head that rapidly dissipates. A nice dark amber color, with red highlights.

Aroma: sweet malt, with hints of smoke and peat

Taste and Mouthfeel: dark malt up front with mild hops, then an earthy and smoky after taste. Slightly watery mouthfeel.

Drinkability: OK stuff, though there are better Scotch Ales. Taste just seems to be missing something.

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Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Good retention of a tan colored head, though not much lacing. The beer is a hazy cocoa brown in color.

s: Earthy, with a range of malt aromas including some subtle smoke. Moderate, well checked sweetness. Maybe some milk chocolate in there.

m: smooth medium carbonation and a body on the full side of medium

t: Moderate sweetness of subtly smoky malts. Some notes of sweet cocoa. Earthy hop presence. Very nice, and certainly one of the better Magic Hat beers.

d: easy

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Photo of littlebibs
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been drinking this Fall seasonal for many years now.... I rate
it high because its been consistent and an ale that I look forward
to each fall/winter. Some call it a Scotch Ale, smokey, yeah it has
peat whiskey smells in their but just a quick nosefull,blending the taste, Caramel/chocolate built on the taste buds, COMPLEX,
many use this word but its true JINX is complex and perfect for
the time of the year when the seasons are changing and we
prepare for the colder months. For the most part it lives up to its high standards. Its has always been about craft brewing with an edge
and this brew stands out. Some years its more smokey, some
thinner, less sweet some years its perfect. I like this and most
of my friends feel the same. I got to go to this brewery on my
birthday towards the end of January a few years back and in Burlington, VT. its
freezing, college life still moves on, -11 degrees was not my
style but I found the Magic Hat and I'm still savoring the MH's that
I pour, I look forward to their new concoctions year after year.

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Photo of therica
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Read below for follow-up reviews. I'm beginning to think that these seasonal-brews should be rated separately, by-year.

17 Nov 2007
Apparently left in the back of our refrigerator by someone at my son's party here a few weeks ago. I just sent off a mass-email to say either "thanks" or "tough luck." I'd been outside all day in 40F weather, planting 19 trees, hadn't had a beer in a few weeks and just wanted something non-macro to sip out of the bottle while I sat on the back porch, recovering.

Nice out of the bottle. The finely-bubbled foam gathering on the sides of the bottle inside seemed to match this odd bubbly fuzzy feeling the beer repeatedly left on my tongue. Rather interesting, not annoying. Seemed rather dark in the bottle, not what I expected in an "ale" but actually welcome.

Taste-- immediately impressed me as different-- very different. Smoky, at first I thought maybe a neighbor had a campfire going. I agree with other reviewers on the smoky-peat taste, and scent. In fact, half an hour later I still kept finding the scent in my breath and occasionally re-emerging on my tongue.

Also some sorts of wild fruity berries or something. Caramel or toffee malt with occasionally more obvious hops, other times less apparent.

Very interesting, I want to find some more. Not sure it's a good session beer but what the heck, if it strikes your fancy then there's nothing to stop you in this beer, despite its modest "oddity" style.

NOTES added 8/23/2008
More apricot immediately apparent in this year's batch. Also less noticeable smoky-peat taste which I'd enjoyed, last year. Very mild if any head when poured. Nice dark-tea colored.

NOTES added 3/10/2009
This beer brewed November 2008, consumed tonight. I continue to be less impressed than my first bottle. This one smells like dirty socks, tastes like dirty socks with some nice bready malts hidden in there, dominated by what seems like a brandied-apricot. Far less impressive than my first experience of 2007.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- 1/2" tan head atop a rich brown beer with light carbonation.

S- Sweet whiskey scent with slight alcohol aroma. It all became more pronounced as the beer warmed.

T- Slightly smokey with light hops and a hint of alcohol. A bit sweet, a little sour, but all good.

M- Warming alcohol, light carbonation, and a smooth feel.

D- Easy sipper.

Overall- Good cold weather beer and a solid representation of the style.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into pint glass with a deep brown color, with copper edging and head. Head light, about 1/4" thich, dissipating to the edges while drinking.

Smells lightly of malt that becomes stronger as it warms.

Taste is malty with a smoky finish.

Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated and not bitter.

This beer is tasty, but I probably would not have more than a few in a sitting.

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Photo of zerofear13
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am not too impressed by this brew, even though I haven't tried too many beers in the "scotch ale" category. The amber is a reddish-brown, and there is a frothy head. The smell is definitely something you'll take notice to, but it just doesn't speak to me. It has a sweet malt, spicey, and smokey smell to it. The taste parallels the smell well, but adds an additional hop and spice profile. I can't quite put my figure on it, but there is this flavor that lingers in the background, and the best I can do to describe it is calling it this "smokey" earthy taste. Overall, just not my cup-of-tea. I'll pass on this brew, but I can respect what Magic Hat was going for, to some extent.

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Photo of GFSchwab
2.77/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Out of the tap I have found to be in agreement with my peers on this beer. From the name and even the tap design, the beer looks interesting enough to give a try. However, I was somewhat dissapointed i na lack of depth and overal simplicty for what could of been an outstanding beer.

It appeared an earthly dark brown with a fading to non existant head. very tall, very dark, would of lead to a statuesque figure if there was a thin layer of head to compliment the color.

The smell was laiden with the peat used to smoke the malts, it was the first and last aroma that came to me and for the most part dominated the beer in general.

The taste was also dominated by the peat with faint notes of stronger flavors that are much more common in a scotch ale. I found it completley absent of any hop accent and it just seemed that the smoked flavor trumped over everything. Slight tofee and an alcoholic pinge resonated on my pallet by those monents were fleeting.

The mouth feel was rough, it felt like I was drinking a side of bbq'ed chicken, it left an overbearing accent from the peat thhat made it barley palletable at times.

As for the texture and overall discourse, it was an extremley heavy beer that I had diffuctly in drinking down in its entirety. The lack of balance in the flavors and the thick content made it difficult overall.

Although the peat floavor was original, and did go nicely in the realm of scotch ales, I think the peat would have tasted better as a smooth (4.5-6.0%) porter or stout. It was difficult to handle as a scotch ale, usualy the mmalts used to make the scotch ale present morethen the sufficient challenge for the beer, smoking the malts was just too much.... Although this is a testament to magic hat's willingess to experiment and try new things, which as many brewery such as this do, envelop the ethos of American craft brewing.

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Photo of mntlover
3.23/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy deep burgundy color with small tan head that fades fast no real lace left behind.

Aroma is caramel mingled with smoke/peat hints some earthiness. Overall aroma seems muted.

Taste is caramel molasses mixed some smoke or peat shows up for a while. Finish has toffee like flavors appearing mingled with earthy herbal hops over all better then the nose but kind of simple not big and rich like it looks or I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is light for style carbonation seem little too much for style also.

Drinkability is try it you might like it, but one is enough for me.

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Photo of callmemickey
2.82/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Copper-Amber-Brown with a very thin cream offwhite head

S: Peat smoked roasted malts.. real earthy with some hop accents

T: Honestly, the flavor is so flat and mucky.. the malts are real bland .. only the interest of the smoky peat flavor is notable

M: Medium bodied with some carbonation.. a bit jumbled on the palate some sips are lasting others not so

O: The flavor really hurts the overal impression

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Photo of BWH3
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Jinx Magic Hat Brewery
12 oz bottle in Pint Glass at 50 degrees F
Appearance: Deep ruby hued amber ale the color of an autumn leaf covered by large beige head that lasts and clings to the edges and forms delicate islands of foam. (4.0)
Smell: Smoky, aged sherrylike bouquet. Mild peat/earthy hops contributions. Some sour notes (3.5)
Taste: Similar to scent. Mineral flavors followed by malt sweetness and enlightened by hearty, earthy hops bitterness to cleanse the palate. (4.0)
Mouthfeel: Far too thin for a Wee Heavy (2.0)
Drinkability: A good tasty beer with a few flaws, but well worth a taste. (4.0)

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Jinx from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 613 ratings