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Jinx | Magic Hat Brewing Company

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602 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: 602 |  Reviews: 359
Photo of livedrinkbeer
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
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 +4.6%
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 +0.5%
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 -1.6%
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 +7.8%
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 +21.3%
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 +7.8%
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 +5.1%
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 -0.3%
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 -4.3%
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 -25.3%
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 -12.9%
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%
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 -0.8%
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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Photo of mralphabet
4.37/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into frozen glass. Trying this because it is part of Fall Sampler.... Color is deep brownish ruby, very little head and no lacing. Smells of caramel, chocolate and toasted malt... Smells wonderful. Mouth feel is lighter than I thought it would be... A little bitter with a smokey flavor, notes of caramel and chocolate but not over powering, a very complex brew. A very drinkable brew... To bad it is a fall only seasonal beer.. I like this one very much.

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Photo of rodrot
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with a small tan head that fades quickly. Aroma is malty with some notes of molasses and a hint of smoke. Taste is malty and fruity with some toasty notes mixing well with the smokiness. Hop flavors were there, but just barely noticeable. Not a bad example of a Scottish style ale and very drinkable. I could easily finish off 3 or 4 in a session.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.59/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jinx pours out a fairly nondescript dark ruby brown. Tan colored head quickly disipates to nothing and as a result no lacing. Label clearly notes drink by December '07. Underneath the cap says, "Remember the Dinosaurs." Will do.

Smells of smoked peat, caramel and a hint of brown sugar. Nothing overly special going on, but it is a personally pleasant scent. Smoked scent is not overdone and is well placed in line with the caramel sweetness.

Tastes begins of burnt caramel and gives way to a smoky dry finish. Quick and to the point without any fuss.

Mouthfeel is a little thin for the style and season. Carbonation is light, but present. An easy drinker, but a far cry from a session ale. I would prefer one paired with a hearty meal. One of the better beers by Magic Hat, which is quickly turning into a lackluster brewery in my opinion. They do offer a few good beers and I'd say this is one of them, but I believe they're heading in the wrong direction.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured amber with a decent head that stuck around for a while. The smell is beefy with touches of smoke and earthy hops. Surprisingly, not much maltiness is evident given the style. The taste starts a little malty, mostly dry, but this drops off and the beer becomes even dryer and a bit smokey. Nowhere near the level in a rauchbier, but it is there. Some more of that same earthy hoppiness that was in the nose is on the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and mild and dry for the style. Quite drinkable, and not a badbeer from Magic Hat.

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Photo of animal69
3.31/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

another one from the guys at Magic Hat; pours a dark copper w/ a slight tan head which dissapated quickly some lacing; alcoholic nose w/ a faint caramel aroma; a light nutty/malty taste w/ a hint of hops, a "macro" malt liquor type flavor lingers on the palate for awhile; a med body, surprisingly light mouthfeel for a scotty ( i'm a big wee heavy fan) maybe some dextrins; not a bad drinking beer, def. don't drink like 6.9 ABV beer, i'm on my second in fact...

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Photo of Douglas14
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copperish color with an ok head.

This beer really surprised me. Its got great raosty notes with chocolate coming out. It also has a nice dry feel in the mouth. Finishes nice and thoroughly.

Great beer from a brewery that for some reason doesn't appeal to me very much...but I highly recommend this one and I look forward to trying more of their selection.

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Photo of Litterbean
3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brown red, the head is minimal and disappears pretty quickly.

There's a spicy, alcoholic smell mixed with candied prunes, raisins, and molasses.

There's a specific smoky character. Malty all the way through, a little spice, and some salty, gorgonzola buttery quality. Yeah, I said it. Gorgonzola. Very sweet, but medium bodied and not thick. Overall, pretty good, but not my favorite wee heavy.

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Photo of pwoods
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. from Variety Pack poured into a pint. Dating on the back isn't very clear but appears to be 12/07 as the drink by date.

A: Best way to describe the pour would be a murkier apple cider pour. Soft, cloudy head that hangs out. Not great lacing but perhaps I needed to pour a little more aggressively.

S: Nose is full of fall spices. Spiced apples and sweet malts. Little bits of roasted, smoky walnuts come out here and there. Not getting any hop at all but I didn't really expect too.

T/M: Beautiful malt sweetness that is completely under control. Cinnamon cooked apples, dark fruits(figs?), and nutmeg. Nice, subtle smokiness that is also well controlled. If I were to ever have a homemade apple pie cooked in a wood stove, I imagine it would taste like this, lol. Moderate body with a just below average carbonation level.

D: Great brew, especially now that things are really cooling off. Hopefully I can find this out of the variety pack, especially since I didn't like their #9 or circus boy.

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Photo of becktone
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Eye: In the glass this beer pours a dark cherry-wood stained brown, basically a mix of red and brown.. The head is tannish/dirty white with great retention and pretty good lacing. Head looks creamy as opposed to rocky.

Nose: Lost of caramel in this brew. Some faint smokiness as well. Sweet malts play a big role in this brew's nose. Not too much in the way of the hop department. Some fruitiness in there as well. Good earthy background. Not at all like a typical scotch ale, but I really don't think that Magic Hat was trying to brew one here, so I'll review it as such.

Tongue: The easiest flavor to pick out of this beer is the smoked malt flavor that it provides. Sweet malts are nicely balanced out by the smokey flavor at the end as well as a bit of spiciness that it also has. Pretty interesting brew, reminds me of an oktoberfest almost, yet somewhat different. It seems to me that the main body of this beer has much in common with an oktoberfest, yet this is an ale, and the rest of the beer built around this quasi-oktoberfest is spicy, smokey, drier, and fruitier, and well, more ale like. Very interesting brew indeed. The finish reminds me of pumpkin ales, perhaps there is some allspice in here...yes I would say that there is.

Mouthfeel and drinkability: Medium-heavy on the palate, with a medium-low level of carbonation that is a perfect pair with the body. Not to much and not to little it fits in very nicely, compliments the spices very nicely. This brew also finishes pretty dry, I'm thinking that this is due to the spices. This is definitely a brew I'd drink again, though I don't think that I'd personally label it as a Scotch Ale, I think that, in my own opinion, something more like oktoberfest spiced ale would be a more accurate description. I really don't think that Magic Hat was brewing a style here, I think that they were going more for a seasonal fall ale, which is prolly the best descriptor for this beer that there is. This is a great beer, and provided I can find more of it I think that I'll be buying more of it before season ends.

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Photo of Rootdog316
4.04/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a beautiful dark coppery shade; the quintessential fall color. The tan head faded quickly and there was almost no lacing on the glass. The aroma is a heavenly sweet caramel. I could have just sniffed the beer all night and been happy. I was not surprised that the initial sip was a creamy, sweet malt; a very nice beginning. Next up is a pleasing warm spice taste that quickly leads to the surprising light smoky finish. The end is just a tad bitter to balance out the sweetness and definitely dry. You (or at least I) might consider this a "lite" sweet porter if such a beer existed. This isn't a beer to quench your thirst, but as summer gives way to fall that isn't what I am looking for in a beer anyway.

This is a lightly carbonated ale with a medium mouth feel, just right for a cool crisp night with its near perfect balance of sweet and smoky.

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Photo of albern
3.32/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I didn't realize this was a Scotch Ale until I read the header on the web page; in short, this is a decent beer, but a very weak, watery scotch ale that doesn't have nearly the warming alcohol notes, not nearly the syrupy thickness, or the maltiness of an ale representative of the style. What you will get is a hazy brown beer with some head that doesn't hang around too long. The smell is molasses, coffee, chocolate, toasted malts. The taste is quite subdued and you don't get near enough of that smoky peat flavor characteristic of the style. This is a light to medium bodied beer, that needs to be chewier. The mouthfeel is watery, little aftertaste, and the drinkability is fine, just not if you are in the mood for a real Scotch Ale.

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Jinx from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 602 ratings
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