Howl | Magic Hat Brewing Company

957 Ratings

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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 957 |  Reviews: 435
Photo of iemailjack
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of uwmgdman
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours clear dark brown bordering on black with a deep mahogany hue when held to the light. The head is moderate tan color but quickly diminished to a thin skim. The aroma is moderate-high roasted malt with a bit of chocolate and coffee. The flavor is moderate-high malt, roast and chocolate with just a but of acidic dryness. The hop bitterness is moderate-low and is complemented by roasted dryness. The body is medium and smooth and carbonation moderate. Overall a well made flavorful black lager that could be drank all night.

 539 characters

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug.

A: Clear dark brown with two-finger, tan, creamy head that lasted a couple of minutes. Okay lacing.

S: Coffee and roasted malt.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Nice roasted, burnt flavor.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation and silky smooth.

O: This is pretty good. Appearance left something to be desired, but it tasted good and had a great mouthfeel.

 391 characters

Photo of taigor
3.21/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap poured into pint glass.

A - Poured black, almost non-transparent color with medium head that slowly dissipated leaving a lot of lacing around edges of the glass.

S - Malts predominate right away, with hints of caramel, dark chocolate and oatmeal.

T - Malts and caramel sweetness upfront followed by dark chocolate, coffee bitterness later on.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D - Ok, very good for winter season and abv is low.

 449 characters

Photo of Varkias41
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of booga73
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Eastside151
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of fisherbray
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Stockfan42
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of shockrocker65
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of thekanna
2.94/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a thin dark brown with a decent tan, foamy head.

S: Aroma is of faint sourness, roasted malts, and medicinal hops.

T: Sour, roasted hops with a slight herbal medicine quality, capped off by a strong bitterness.

M: Strong, biting carbonation.

D: Interesting style, but I can't say I'm a huge fan of this Schwarzbier.

 332 characters

Photo of Yoda22
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of wahhmaster
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a 0.5L Krušovice-branded pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a medium-sized tan head that dissipates slowly leaving spotty lacing.

Smell: Has a sweet malty smell to it with a bit of a strange tea-like smell in the background.

Taste: Starts light with a bit of sweetness balanced by a touch of hops. Finishes with a strong roasted malt flavor. Interestingly balanced.

Mouthfeel: Has nice body to it but way too much carbonation.

Drinkability: An average schwarzbier. Makes sense for their winter pack though. It's got that full-bodied roasted taste you expect from most winter brews but is also light, crisp, and refreshing.

 682 characters

Photo of rjcoy06
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of zdk9
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours black as night- funny coincidence that...half a finger of head and not really any lacing.

S- The bottle smells deeply of soy sauce, teriyaki, and smoked meat. The beer...not so much. Some of those same things but not nearly as strong. So not too bad. Quite complex for such a low alcohol beer.

T- Wood burning, heavily toasted nuts, bread crust, and dark sweetness on the outside. Very nice.

M- This has some heft to it- I was expecting it to wash down easy, but not really.

O- Complex and flavorful, this is a great fall session beer.

 548 characters

Photo of BeerKangaroo
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Into a pint glass:

A: dark mahogany colored body with a tiny white head that dies fairly quickly

S: coffee, almost overbearing

T: coffee comes back with light hops, almost barely noticeable

M: medium/heavy, not that sessionable at all, thick coffee aftertaste and finish

O: decent for the style, however this is a "meal" beer, too heavy for me and with the low ABV, I was confused why it felt as heavy as it did

 416 characters

Photo of nukem5
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of Blueribbon666
3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. In deed, poured black as night with the smell of malt poured into a pint glass. Taste of malt with a slight coffee after taste before finishing clean. This reminded me of a bock really, bought this along with the more common #9 from Magic Hat in order to try two different styles from the same company in one night at a recent gathering w/friends.

 368 characters

Photo of wingman14
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown, looks black until held to the light. Has a nice tan head that fades fast. The smell is weird, some malt, burnt characters. The taste starts malty and doesn't have much depth, and finishes with the burnt characters that stay through the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is light, I wish it were a bit heavier, but it still is smooth. This is an easy drinker, nice session beer, a decent beer.

 409 characters

Photo of bushbeer75
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle with best enjoyed by date of February 28, 2011 and consumed on 12/26/10

Magic Hat HOWL Winter Seasonal poured a dark brown with red highlights producing a 2-finger tan bubbly fizzy head that left behind chunky but straggly lacing. The nose is malty, a little nutty and roasty. The taste matches the nose - beginning with a mild dark roast character followed by flavors of nuts and coffee.

Magic Hat is a session brew due to its lower ABV and less filling lighter/mellow flavor - a little thinner than I expected.

 533 characters

Photo of kshankar
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with some ruby streaks, and a tan head that is thick..but probably due to an aggressive pour. Recedes quickly, and leaves a cap

Aroma is of roasted malts.

Taste is of roasted malts. And its not a bad taste, its like a porter, except much lighter. Which isn't necessarily bad, but this is a schwarzbier. I sense very little in terms of hops (which I would consider a component of the style).

Mouthfeel is light and smooth

Drinkability is fine. It tastes fine (even if it deviates from the style), and its smooth.

Ultimately, I'm unsure how highly to rate it just based on the limited hop profile, and a roasted malt flavor that reminds me more of a porter than a schwarzbier. But its good, so I won't be exceedingly harsh..

 741 characters

Photo of EFR94
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of Arch578
3/5  rDev -18.7%

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

In spite of the subtitled name, Howl isn't quite a "black as night lager." Dark brown to black with ruby highlights around the edge that were apparent while pouring. Tan head bubbles up nicely, but dissipates quickly. In spite of being a winter lager, it seems a bit musty in the nose. Some nice roast malt, mineral, light off spice. Roast continues in the mouth, but lacks depth or a layered dimension to the taste and is a bit light and tasteless off the back. Not bad, but not one I would seek out as definitive for the style.

 529 characters

Photo of sebaastionb
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Howl from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.69 out of 5 based on 957 ratings.
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