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 joex444
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of ltdantheman
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of JoshEngleman
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of chrispoint
2/5  rDev -45.8%

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 xipho
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of jfcaa193
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of NEDmiller
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of schlimenhaumer
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a "3/4 pint" bottle into a Samuel Smith nonic pint glass (thanks to ballmouse for the glassware!) at low altitude. After a good experience with my first few Schwarzbiers, I'm looking forward to this one.

A: Pours a translucent dark brown with an exceptionally-fizzy two-finger light tan head that fades rather quickly. Not much lacing, but I think this looks pretty good overall. Surprisingly, there's some sediment in the bottom of the glass.

S: Plenty of roasted barley, light toffee and caramel. A relatively light smell overall, but pleasant.

T: Roasted barley up front gives way to some sweet malt notes, followed by bittering hops on the finish. The flavors are light overall, but there's still plenty of roasty complexity here. The roasted barley stays on the palate for quite a while after the finish.

M: Light-bodied with a wet mouthfeel and plenty of carbonation. Matches the other Schwarzbier's I've tried so far, and I think it suits the flavors well.

D: This beer was a pleasant surprise for me. It's light in flavor, but still develops plenty of tasty roasty character. A good introduction to the style, especially for people who have a fixed conception of dark beers as "heavy."

 1,210 characters

Photo of JohnnyMc
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Rantingfury
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a bottle into a glass. It took three bottles to get enough of a head of foam to say it's tan colored, thin at best, and disappears rather fast... With some lacing. The color isn't solid black, but as dark as some stouts and porters. The nose was sweet, with caramel and perhaps brown sugary notes to the aroma. There wasn't any discernible hop aroma at all. The taste fell in line with the aroma, caramel and sweet malts. There was some carbonation and medium mouthfeel. It tried to cling to my palate.

Overall I gave the beer a 3.5 because the lack of foam, plus it was terribly sweet and not complex in taste. I expect more from something marked seasonal. It is a drinkable beer. I could drink these in lieu of the dessert course after a dinner.

 763 characters

Photo of TikiD
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of sansho
2.5/5  rDev -32.2%

Photo of Ishogai
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of zimm421
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a shaped pint glass. Appears a nice brown, but not quite black, color with a nice dark tan head. Head doesn't have great staying power, but does leave some decent lacing.

Nose is very sweet. Lots of caramel and toffee, with some good roasted flavors. Some coffee, but not a lot. Smell surprisingly has some good staying power. Taste is very similar to what I'm getting in the nose. Not overly impressed with the lack of complexity, but there's some decent things going on.

Mouthfeel is medium-to-heavy bodied with high carbonation. Overall, not too bad, not too impressive, but it will do.

 624 characters

Photo of TechTriumph
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 01/16/12; Poured in a pint glass.

A - One inch light tan carbonated head with decent retention; Very dark brown in color and not quite black; Some, but not a lot of lacing left behind

S - Notes of wet grassy/earthy hops, roasted coffee beans, and a touch of chocolate; Earthy aroma is the dominant characteristic here

T - Good dose of earthy and grassy hops up front that give way to roasted coffee beans, toasted grains, and caramel flavors afterwards; Very mild bitterness present towards the end of the taste with subtle hints of chocolate as well

M - Very carbonated and a touch under medium bodied; Smooth and somewhat chalky mouthfeel that has a semi-dry finish

O - This is the first Schwarzbier that I can remember trying, and I found it to be pretty solid. The balance of hops and roasty malts, in combination with plentiful carbonation and a lighter body, make this a tasty and very drinkable brew. I've been in the mood for some lighter, more sessionable beers lately, and this one certainly satisfies.

 1,030 characters

Photo of Brewsed
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

 411 characters

Photo of wertschy
2.5/5  rDev -32.2%

Photo of jharkins07
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of Sagehawk
2.5/5  rDev -32.2%

Photo of LJWalker
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of jacknsally5148
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger head with nice circumferential lacing on a very black body with light passing through

S: sweet, little roasted malts. Nothing overwhelming here.

T: More roast in the taste which is semisweet and very smooth. Cocoa notes.

M: medium to full body and moderate to high carbonation. very smooth

Overall this one is very drinkable. The taste isn't amazing but its a nice beer to enjoy without any off-putting flavors.

 432 characters

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