Howl | Magic Hat Brewing Company

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981 Ratings

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: German Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Born of dark and cold and snow in the marrow of the northeast's longest night, Howl comes in on wailing winds with winter-weary eyes burning holes in sunless shadows. In its darkened depths our inner voids are warmed.

32 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-18-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 981 |  Reviews: 437
Reviews by drizzam:
Photo of drizzam
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation - Brown 12 oz. bottle with best by date of January 12, 2011.

A - Pours a dark opaque brown/black in color. Heavy dark sediment settled to the bottom of my pint glass. Nice fluffy one finger khaki head that retained fairly well and left nice lacing down the inside of the glass.

S - Dark malt and chocolate all day long.

T & M - Dark malt and bitter bakers chocolate, just like the aroma. Unlike in the aroma, there was a slight hop bitterness toward the back end. It helped round the brew out a bit and added some complexity. Seems like a touch of espresso in there as it warms as well. Medium bodied with a bit of prickle on the tongue from the carbonation. A bit more creaminess in the mouthfeel would have upped my mouthfeel score to a 4. Finishes dry and crisp.

D - I'm a fan of the Schwarzbier style, and this one did not disappoint. I could easily stock a sixer of this in the fridge and drink it all day. I don't think it would get old. Kudos to Magic Hat for a finely crafted beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Moncshof schwarzbier pokal a deep chocolate color with a ruby tinge,a thinner but well sustained light tan colored head atop.Chocolate aromas really stand out with a roast uderneath.Earthy and dry on the palate with some roasted coffee notes intertwined with unsweetened chocolate,again not much sweetness to be had here.Much dryer and more earthy than most I have had of the style but I like it.

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Photo of ravelli
4.75/5  rDev +29.8%

Photo of tectactoe
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Zakk
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of landonh485
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of ccapurso
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of CBOLAND17
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a very smooth magic hat brew. not as extreme as an ipa or as sweet as say the #9, but this beer is quite good. a very smooth lager which is not typical of magic hat, but it is very good and i enjoyed it. i got it at a local pud and enjoyed it there i really like magic hat.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #35 (Dec 2009):

A new winter seasonal from MH described as a "black as night winter lager." Under the cap: "only Louts are ruled by Doubts."

Blacker than night, actually, and opaque with a nice looking creamy tan head and residual lacing. Minerally and metallic in the nose; smells of old coins and fresh bloody steak. Light and fluffy up front with some lively fizzy carbonation. Roasty malt notes, burnt edges, wisps of smoke. Hint of chalk. Dry, well-attenuated; however, as the beer warms and opens up, some sweet undertones and a touch of caramel emerge, and a light note of apples. No real bitterness, which is expected, but there's a light, semi-coarse, leafy hop character woven throughout. Bone-dry finish with lingering mineral and earthy flavors.
Pretty on par with the style, which is a style that we dig and is rarely explored by Ameri- can brewers. Get some before the season is over and check out the cool micro-site.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a sixer on a whim for a Halloween party. Pours into my glass a deep dark brown bordering on black with a solid khaki head on top of the brew. Aromas of dark roasted malt with a burnt black coffee undertone. Toasty and a bit of cocoa. Rather mellow overall.

First sip brings roasted malt with a bit of a chalky aspect to it. Burnt coffee rolls in with a bit of a cocoa undertone. Mild hops roll through on the way down. Overall, an easy drinking, tasty schwarzbier.

Mouthfeel is crisp and light with an edge of graininess to it. Solid carbonation throughout. Pretty easy to drink. Overall, it's a little heavy on the burnt coffee for me, but is still probably one of my favorite beers I've had from Magic Hat. Sessionable.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I didn't know this winter seasonal was a schwarzbier until I sat down to review it. I thought I was drinking some kind of porter. In a pint glass the beer was a very dark brown/black color with a small tan head. Sweet, roasted malt, and floral aroma. The taste showed some dark fruit, coffee, and late hops kick. Medium bodied, moderately enjoyable.

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Photo of generallee
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of bishopdc0
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is dark with a thick head to start, the head dissipates but remains on the glasses edge. The aroma is full of roasted malts and is very pleasant. The beer starts with a roasted carbonation, and you expect a larger maltyness that never come. The carbonation quickly dissipates while the roasted flavor remains (think a like a stout but with no malt).

 359 characters

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of iemailjack
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

The color is not like they state "Black as Night" but it is pretty dark, good head retention like most of the Magic Hat beers. Hints of coffee, dark chocolate and charcoal in the nose. Big on smoothness with a light to medium body, roasty from start to finish though stays mild. Mild charcoal character is pleasant, maltiness lands dry. Hops a leafy and a little oily with a even bitterness. Dry end with a linger of roasted grain.

This does not make up for the fact that they killed of Heart Of Darkness a while back but I'll take this for now. Damn good stuff here.

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Photo of merlin48
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pours a dark cola hued body with a small tan head. Some spotty lace decorates the glass.

Aroma is faint. Hints of spicy hops and dark chocolate, not much else.

Light medium body is well carbonated.

Tastes pretty good and spot on for style. Dark chocolate, roasty notes, hints of coffee and smoke balanced by a subtle spicy hop bitterness.

Easy drinking and a good example of the style but lacking in the aroma department.

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Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler filled up at Yorktown Beer and soda, Yorktown, NY, $9.99 (yeah my closest beer store now has 8 taps for fresh growlers)

Pours near black, moderate darker mocha head, goes to a thick collar and leaves ample thicker lacing.

Light chocolate and darker grains in the nose.

More chocolate, minor coffee note noted, dark grains, moderate sweetness. On the lighter side bodywise. Nothing special, respectable dark lager, easy drinker. Nice long finish, with lingering coffee grains and lightly bitter chocolate. More slightly better then middle of the road beer from hit or miss Magic Hat.

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Photo of dcevans
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a dark brown, almost black with a white head. The beer has some brownish-red highlights when held up to the light.

Smell is some roasted malts, with a little bit of chocolate and coffee. Taste follows the aroma, with lots of roasted flavor. The beer is a little thin in the mouth, but there is a creamy texture similar to what you would find in a milk stout. Overall this is a good beer that has a very good mix of flavor and low alcohol.

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Photo of livewire05
2/5  rDev -45.4%

Photo of kingcrowing
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sample poured into a tasting glass at Magic Hat.

Pours a dark brown almost black, with a little lasing. Smell is very yeasty and roasty.

Taste is sweet, coffee and chocolate, low carbonation makes it very smooth and rich. Awesome winter beer, very tasty and malty, really surprising this is a lager!

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Photo of RTEdmunds
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

very dark, with a nice creamy looking (albeit smallish) head.

smells malty and roasty. can't really detect hops in the aroma.

tastes smokey and sweet. light on the hops

feels a bit thin, with average carbonation.

overall a pretty good brew.

 289 characters

Photo of virinow
4/5  rDev +9.3%

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Howl from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 981 ratings