Howl | Magic Hat Brewing Company

435 Reviews

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Fall

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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 435 | Ratings: 957
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears dark black with cola brown edges when held toward the light. Large tan head rises above the rim of my glass, nice chunks of lace spread evenly around the sides of my Weihenstephan glass. Aroma is filled with dark roasts with semi bitter notes. Herbal grassy mildly citrus notes of hops in the bacground, with upfront coffee and dark bitter chocolate. Flavor has creamy chocolate and bitter coffee grinds blended nicely a really nice experience. Like drinking a big stout with a light body and alcohol content herbal hops blend in the mix as well. Heavy on the dark bitter roasts in the finish I like it minimal herbal hops are flowing with persistance. Mouthfeel is medium to lighter bodied with a nice even level of natural carbonation flowing creamy overall with a nice roasted malt bitterness left on the palate with each sip. Drinkability is great especially in the cooler months, I could love on a sixer of this whilst tailgating in the Burgh before the Steelers play down at Heinz Field. I could mix a few lighter beers into the mix and have a black and gold sampler this would be a good staple for the schwarzbier category.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Magic Hat- Howl

A- Dark deep black with a thick frothy head, good lacing.
S- Smokey roasted malt with a hint of chocolate and molasses.
T- Sweet molasses and brown sugar, mild dark roasted smokey malt, buttery, and an earthy ashy light sweet green pine hops.
M- Sweet, ashy dry, smokey, and a thick maltiness. Nice sweet hop finish.

Overall- This is much better than I was expecting. Solid.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gotta love the appearance of this one.. deep black with a hint of redness in the light.. off white head. Smell it a bit roasted coffee smelling.. reminds me a lot of an oatmeal stout. Taste is very smooth with a nice mouthfeel. Nothing too prominent in the particular tasting notes, just some nice maltiness and some of the roasted flavors. Pretty heavy bodied as well which was a surprise, certainly not one to pound down. Nice of MH to mix it up for a winter seasonal, not my favorite but a solid beer in their mixed pack.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nose is malty - bread crumb with soft melanoidin-like aromas. Soft diacetyl notions. Smells okay.

Pours deep caramel/brown with some clarity through the darkness, mild head. Looks pretty good.

Creamy smooth with fairly thin body. Good bit of chocolate roast, also a soft, sweet, buttery diacetyl flavors and slick/soapy mouthfeel. Soft caramel and toast. Soft sourness. Tastes okay. Feels pretty good. Pretty good drinkability.

Would be better without the diacetyl.

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Photo of MikeBrandman
3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Looks a menacing black. Completely opaque. Not quite Imperial Stout Trooper, but close. Head is a little disappointing. I was looking for something a little rockier, or even longer lasting, but alas, the head is about 2 fingers of quickly receding white head. Good lacing to boot.

S - Smell is hardly there. From what I can tell, it's a little burnt coffee or something along those lings.

T - Taste is similar. Not as strong of a taste as a stout or porter, but good flavor nonthelesss. Very well balanced. Good combination of coffee and chocolate flavors with rich spices. Well balanced and dry finish to boot.

MF - Flows nicely through the mouth. A little thicker than I expected. Compliments the rich flavor very well. Makes the drinkability go down a little though.

D - If this was a little lighter, I'd say it was more drinkable. As it stands, it's hard to have more than two I'd say.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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 OneDropSoup
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Excited to see this on the shelves at 6 & Save in New Kensington, PA. Bottle to pilsner -- action.

Pours a deep, shiny black with some brown, karo syrup highlights toward the bottom & two fingers of tan head that falls to a thin coats & leaves sheets of lace.

Smell is interesting & complex -- starts off with kind of a smell of Shredded Wheat, even crisp fall leaves. As it warms a somewhat, um, "funkier" smell arises. Musty, tangy, not unlike manure actually, but not unpleasant. Accompanying it are some hoppy & chocolate notes. I'm a little tentative, but intrigued.

The wheaty, grassy flavors are up front, but soon consumed by a burnt bitterness. The style description says that schwarzes are distinguishing by not relying on roast flavors -- someone should tell this beer. Light-bodied, yes, but overwhelmingly roasted & bitter tasting. In the deep aftertaste a hint of vanilla comes into play. Nice to get this much flavor from a light-bodied beer. On second sip some other flavors pop up, some caramel, but again are swallowed by the roast. And there's that manure quality again, pungent yet floral...

Mouthfeel is pretty sharp & leaves a burnt taste after swallowing. For a sessionable beer, this has a big taste & mouthfeel. At first I'm kind of taken aback by the stripped feel I get from all the astringent roast, but that goes away after a minute I'm ready for more.

Got a lot of things I didn't expect from this one. Very complex for a relatively simple & "un-strong" beer. I both enjoyed & felt challenged by it -- there were parts I didn't necessarily love, but they were interesting enough that it wasn't a turn off. Nicely done, Magic Hat.

***EDIT: I've had other bottles since that didn't have the strange tangy manure taste. Must've been an off bottle.

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Photo of cbutova
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Haven't had many schwarzbiers, but they seem decently straight forward. This one reminds me of Left Hand Milk Stout from what I remember. Pours a pitch black color with a light tan two finger head that retains decently, nice and creamy. Leaves medium lacing behind. Smells of sweets, roasted malts and chocolate, strong nose but not a great one. Tastes of roasted malts and chocolate. Mouthfeel is moderate with a bit of creamyness to it, leaves a sweet grainy taste on the tongue. The carbonation is a bit much, really throws the beer off IMO. No alcohol warming at all. Drinkability is decent, the taste is not bad, the mouthfeel kind of throws this one off, great price, no bad flavors to kill this one, can be sessioned, probably won't buy this one again specifically.

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Photo of Brad007
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch-black color with a thick, two-finger head into my fluted glass. Lacing lingers on the edges of the glass.

Aroma is sweet with a hint of roasted chocolate malt in the nose. Roastiness isn't overwhelming (as it shouldn't be).

Taste is once again sweet with a hint of grainy malt and caramel. Just a hint of roasted malt at the back. Seems overly grainy.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering sweetness and grainy, roasted malt. Not bad. Carbonation is mild but could be toned down. Seems alright.

Certainly not like the (defunct) Orlio Black Lager but still quite drinkable. There are definitely better styles out there but given MH's recent track record, hopefully this is the last "new" beer they'll have on the horizon as they've already killed off much better beers.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
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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Howl from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.69 out of 5 based on 957 ratings.
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