Howl | Magic Hat Brewing Company

966 Ratings

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 966 |  Reviews: 436
Photo of mountainzen
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Photo of KVNBGRY
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Photo of sisuspeed
2.82/5  rDev -23%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass. Dark brown body with two fingers of foamy white head that quickly fades to a few suds. No lacing.

Lager yeast and somewhat roasted malt on the nose. Little bit of burnt caramel and a hint of dark fruit. Not much going on. I haven't had too many schwarzbiers, but the nose seems a bit dull.

Grainy and slightly malty on the tongue. A little bit of roastiness and sweetness comes through, but the finish is very clean, leaving little on the tastebuds. Touch of caramel.

Mouthfeel is watery, somewhat crisp on the finish with just a hint of alcohol. Slightly sweet.

Drinkability is sub-par. Getting down a glass wouldn't be tough, but it would be boring. Not much going on here. I wish Magic Hat would focus more on brewing than on advertising.

 771 characters

Photo of Dadoftwogirls
2.86/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saw this at the store and figured I'd give it a try. This beer was just plain weird to me. It almost had a taste like artificial ingredients or some sort of flavoring was added. For lack of a better term, it taste like it was over processed if you can even say that about beer. Pours dark and looks great. But drinking it makes me want to howl for my money back. I had several other beers from this brewer in a 12 pack sampler-offering. None of them impressed me nor will I waste my time rating them. I know I won't be trying anything else from this group for a while.

 568 characters

Photo of cdizinno
2.88/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown with a thin tan head and minimal lacing.

S: Fruity sweetness with little or no hops.

T&M: Roasted molasses and caramel are prominent in the tast. Light to medium body with toasted caramel finish.

Better than most Magic Hat's, but weak in substance.

 265 characters

Photo of BobThomas
2.92/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Looks very dark, but looks translucent and granite colored when held up to the light. 3/4 foamy off white head.

S: Cocoa at first, some coffee, diarrhea (off putting to say the least), chalk dust.

T: The flavor is led by roasted malts, hints of cocoa, chalk, earth, and a vague hint of citrus.

M: The beer is light but feels full in the mouth with a good amount of carbonation.

D: Alcohol isn't at all noticeable, and I would be able to drink a bunch of these if it actually tasted better.

This was my first magic hat beer in almost 3 years. I probably won't have another for at least that long.

 651 characters

Photo of bubseymour
2.93/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Appearance - very nice pour, dark as night (as advertised) and a great 2 finger head with solid tiny bubbled carbonation

Smell - to me this is where it throws the beer off. The aroma to me smells like a burnt coffee pot or food that fell onto a hot stovetop and turned to char. THis was something I just can't get over and holds this beer back for me.

Taste - Surprisingly this beer tastes a little like a Guiness but with hardly any noticable hops and the burnt smell. It is smooth and flavors are mild througout.

Mouthfeel - very rich and creamy. Nice mouthfeel.

Drinkability - seems like a very drinkable beer if you can get over the smell.

Overall - A decent effort from Magic Hat and most parts of this beer seem to work, but the smell alone keeps me from wanting to return to this beer.

 831 characters

Photo of thekanna
2.94/5  rDev -19.7%
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 Kooz
2.97/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

Not quite black as night--more of a dark brownish-amber. Tan head that starts out pretty thick and stays for the length of the beer.

Smells of malt and molasses. Fairly nice.

Tastes a bit bitter and burnt, but has a mildly sweet aftertaste that fades into a mellow maltiness.

Mouthfeel is a bit harsher than expected. Sharp at first and has a very sharp (not crisp) bite. Somewhat creamy and thick on swishing, but not enough to outweigh the overbite!

Overall, this beer is a bit too much for me to drink regularly. It's not bad, but I'll pass next time.

 610 characters

Photo of tehawful
2.98/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Magic Hat's Howl pours just short of pitch black with a nice light-tan head. Roasted malts, coffee and chocolate are all present upon the smell.

The roasted characters come out more in the taste, supported by the strong presence of bitter coffee. There is a little bit of chocolate in there, but it struggles to compete with the roasted malt/coffee. There is also a smokiness which is pretty pleasant, probably my favorite part of the experience. Howl finishes pretty dry, as the bitter coffee lingers into a mildly dry, leafy hop finish. I enjoyed the smokiness of this Schwarzbier, but I feel like the roasted flavors overpower some of the more subtle qualities. Overall, it has decent drinkability, but I don't know if I care for it enough to try it again anytime soon.

 773 characters

Photo of ccapurso
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of iemailjack
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of Nikki
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of blknikon
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of MattWatson37
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of tmillhone
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of dgeebs07
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of Bwbkicks
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of cantfindme
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of 100200300
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of phishinNYC
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of aboji
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of cosmonick
3/5  rDev -18%

Howl from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 966 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.