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Howl | Magic Hat Brewing Company

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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: 956
Photo of BetweenTheLions
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Completely black, save for the transparent brown edges. Nice seafoam looking head that is holding well in this odd shaped glass I'm using (Its a sort of mug thats bigger at the bottom and smaller at the top)

The smell is roasty and sweet... it's suggesting I eat Black Mission Figs.

Roasted bitterness hits the palate immediately. I'm getting watery coffee flavors. The consistency is fairly light, like water, with crisp carbonation. The flavor is staying consistent as I sip... bitter roast, coffee-ish. Light sweetness.

All in all I would deem it super drinkable. The taste is staying pleasant from beginning to end. I would definitely have another.

 655 characters

Photo of Philfromakron
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured out dark. Really dark. Held it up to the light to see what would happen and had absolutely no reaction. No light got through until their was only about an inch left.

It smelled great. Rich, dark with a hint of coffee. Too bad the complexity didn't translate to the taste.

The flavor was a little bland for my tastes. It felt smooth, almost like a root beer float, but without the "root". The label says "Winter Seasonal" but it's far from your typical holiday spices. If standing alone in the woods at midnight had a taste, magic hat captured it pretty well. I would have liked the flavor to be a little stronger.

[edit] - Tried my second one right from the bottle and the taste came across much better

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Photo of droobacca
4.32/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: very dark brown with a tan head that tries but fails to hang around

S: Cocoa smell with roasty toasty malt in there as well

T: Coffee and Cocoa nice divergence from most Magic Hat offerings

M: Medium cocoa with hops joining in towards the end

D: First Schwarzbier ive encountered, was surprised at first and a little taken aback because this beer followed a #9 in my evening so the dichotomy of the two was very interesting.

Overall i really was surprised and enjoyed this beer, not the best beer ive ever had, however i enjoyed the contrast between howl and #9. With some wintery mix falling outside this was a nice warm rich beer for a cold evening.

 660 characters

Photo of misterlimey
4.04/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Very little head appeared, just a bit of beige foam.

A- As advertised, this is "black as night." Pours a very dark brown, not a lot of light gets through, just a bit of red shadow.

S- The smell is accurate to the taste, with bold caramel and distinct coffee tones dominating the nose. There's also a bit of chocolate and some hint of winter spice.

T- Somewhat sweet and crisp for such a dark lager, with a great emphasis on caramel. The coffee introduces a bit of bitterness to the palette, and the spices are otherwise lost. A really soothing and cooling overall beer experience.

M- I'm a bit lost by the mouth on this beer, as it's a bit syrupy and the carbonation is pretty delicate. It succeeds, however, in leaving a clean feel in the mouth afterward, especially considering how thick it seems.

O- A well balanced and sufficiently unique beer. If you're looking for something dark and you don't plan on drinking more than one or two this is a great choice. I could imagine pairing this with a savory winter stew or chili and being delighted by the complimentary flavors.

 1,125 characters

Photo of luis_dibiase
4.5/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

great beer my first time having it my friend brought me a case when i ran out of my usual beer I opened up a bottle and took a sip it was delicious. It has a nice cream flavor to it nice black charred look and taste. great for watching the game and sipping on a hot day haivng a b.b.q my review overrall outstanding. unfortunalty its not for sale in my town i have to drive a ways from here.

 391 characters

Photo of GordonGreene
3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells like it taste...delicious. If you like coffee/chocolate malty beers this is for you. Smells like chocolate but taste more like coffee with a slight, and I do mean slight, hint of bitterness at the end. An all around good beer especially during those colder seasons or after dinner when you just want a drink instead of dessert.

 334 characters

Photo of bierslaaf
3.07/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with almost no head. Slight lacing left on the glass. Coffee and roasted malt aroma with no distinctive hop present. Fairly low bitterness for a dark beer. Light body. I'd prefer this in summer. Flashiness lingers in the finish. Fairly average beer.

 266 characters

Photo of reinkster
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Folks, this beer is a labeled as a "holiday ale" but it is a German Schwarzbier -- Black Lager. Closely resembling a Kostricher.

My review is short, only because I felt I needed to clear up some things for this beer. I checked and I do not have another bottle in the fridge, but I will purchase more to review officailly.

As a certified beer judge (BJCP), this beer exemplifies the qualities of a classic example of a German Schwarzbier. Until I further review the beer, I hope those of you reviewing it along with me enjoy the rich, bready aroma, subtle bitterness, and solid malty backbone with a smooth finish.


 630 characters

Photo of porterk
4.66/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from growler from consumers beverages into pint glass nice half inch head. Appetizing black red. Slight malty smell. The taste of chocolate is much stronger than the smell. excellent chocolate malt to go with the contrast of a lighter lager mouthfeel. A very new easy drinking smooth feel for so much flavor. I enjoyed this alot.

 336 characters

Photo of JeffP4prez
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A = Quite dark and chocolaty with a soft creamy head.
S = Hints of the chocolate and even a bit of coffee
T = Much smoother than I expected, lighter in over all flavor as well - not at all heavy, as I expected from the dark color.
M = This beer had a very nice "feel", smooth, not real carbonated or bitter.
D = The dark color is deceiving, this beer is much lighter in flavor than its appearance might suggest. The smells of chocolate and the hint of coffee add to the mystery of this light dark beer. I certianly enjoyed my first Howl and it helped me warm up after an afternoon out in the snow.

 597 characters

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Howl from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.69 out of 5 based on 956 ratings.
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