Vinyl | Magic Hat Brewing Company

270 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Vinyl sails in on her shining wings as the spinning sun returns. She is the season-shifter, bursting from her cocoon to sing the ancient song of vernal yearning and to summon spring's sweet green return... Her metamorphosis becomes our own. Her thirsts are shared by all. Drink in her mysterious elixir as the revolution blooms again...

24 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-04-2009

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Reviews: 270 | Ratings: 649
Photo of barleyroad
4.8/5  rDev +38.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Medium amber in appearance, clear and clean. Smell is somewhat erronious and deceitful.Taste is a wow, this is a nice blend of hops and malts. Well done on this one and very much fridge worthy; but we digress. The mouthfeel is what you what in a beer. Leaves the tongue nicely and leave you whating more. Overall we at Barley Road can not say enough, this will be in the fridge.

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Photo of bigkingken
4.67/5  rDev +35%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, medium amber color similar to Yuengling, the only other really amber lager I’ve come across. Smells hit the nose immediately on the pour. Mostly caramel malt with notes of toffee. Not a lot of hops in the nose. Starts a tad sour but gives way to a deep, complex malt bill. Tastes more like a nut brown in a lighter lager form. Full rich mouthfeel with a subtle amount of carbonation. Not much hops to speak of. Finishes clean and refreshing, lightly coating the tongue with malty goodness. I love beers that rely on their malt bills for flavor more than their hopping schedule. Thus, I love this lager.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.51/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review taken from notes

A - Red haze in color.
S - Slight toffee smell along with bitter malt.
T - biscuit flavor from yeast along with slight bitter hops and malt.
M - Light and refreshing. Decent amber lager.
D - One of the few amber lagers I had and this one is Number one for price and drink ability. Flying dog and Yuengling lager coming in second and third.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.39/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rusty ruby and copper clor with a one finger head that recedes to a film of foam before I take my first sip. OK bubbling. Crisp and toasty malt aroma. Makes me think of pretzel bread and some faint earthy hops. Lighty toasted pretzel bread flavors upfront. Then toasted white bread fresh from the toaster in the middle with some earthy grass and dirt hops to cut the malts just a little bit. The finish stays the baked bread and toasted malt coarse. Very smooth palate all the way through. I wish there was a little more pretzel bread flavor, but this offereing still satisfied. Great session vienna lager.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.32/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I am picking up where I left off last night, in the Magic of the Hat. My thanks to my local, in-person trader, tone77 for this one!

From the bottle: "Scrumptious Amber Lager"; "The ancient ritual of brewing a distinctly rich and flavorfulbeer is a performance to behold. Our mysterious mélange of time-honored ingredients harmonize with chaotic chemistry, humble patience, and blind faith to create this unique beer to share in the rousing company of kindred spirits. Cheers!"; "A performance in every bottle".

Upon Pop!ping it, the cap advised me "I Second That Odd Notion ..." and so I returned the favor with an aggro pour. The reason that a California Common is also referred to as a "Steam Beer" is that once the lager yeast began to ferment at ale-like temperatures, the resulting foam looked to some like steam coming out of the fermenter. I mention this because the frothing foam that shot up was like an uncontrollable leviathan! Three-plus fingers of dense, puffy, rocky, tawny head with great retention. Sheesh! Color was a deep Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity. Nose held a prevalent caramel maltiness. I usually eschew such things, but tonight, I will drink anything placed in front of me. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but big for a lager of any stripe. The taste was very much of caramel and therefore very sweet, but tonight, I am giving everything that I usually dislike a pass. I walked into a Burmese tiger trap of a phone call and was sideswiped by a reminder of our inherent mortality. Fuh. It took all of the wind out of my sails at the end of the day & sent me home for a beer (or two). Finish was sweet, but I really don't mind. It is a pleasant, easy-drinking lager, clean, but tasty and since Magic Hat has begun CANning, I would certainly buy some more in a CAN.

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.3/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I liked this one enough I posted a link to the Magic Hat site on my Facebook page. Saw this on the singles shelf (in the seasonals section) at Corridor and picked it up. Very good decision. Very impressive, right from the awesome bottle graphics (gotta love that retro 1960s look) to the last very last sip. Nice brown to copper in the glass, with some rising bubbles visible. Decent, tan colored head that stayed through the first few sips and laced the glass nicely. Hint of light biscuity malt in the nose, but the taste matched with a nicely balanced malt and notable hops bitterness that made your mouth water from first sip. The flavor wasn't complex in the sense that it changed or shifted, but it was consistently well balanced and flavorful, with the nice bitter kick at the end. Nothing cloying or "sweet" or fruity about it. A definite session beer. Light mouthfeel and carbonation only added to the refreshing nature of the beer; and at just over 5% ABV, it was easily quaffed and enjoyed. Definitely a unique Ale. Almost (dare I say it) reminded me of an Altbier, in the way hops were used. Could be a regular in my fridge.

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Photo of Brent
4.3/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The red lager style is usually a pretty lackluster style, so I was pleasantly surprised with how bright and flavorful this beer was. Slightly tangy, with a well balanced but noteworthy hops flavor. Some light, slightly sweet caramel notes in malt. Odd name, cool graphics, good beer.

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.3/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a Pint Glass

A- Pours a reddish amber with a thinner 2 finger off white head that dosen't stick around to long and leaves little lacing.

S- Grainy roasted caramel malts and barley

T- Full flavored roasted malts with a good caramel toffee backround.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a slight bitter dry finish but not bad.

Overall this is probably the best spring beer i've had so far. Great flavor and body for a good cooler spring day. Magic Hat knew what they were doing with this one.


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Photo of TtheGrey
4.25/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I picked up the Magic Hat winter pack and was in luck to get three of these in it. Quite a tasty brew. I had high hopes for this going in and they were exceeded.

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Photo of shoelesstom
4.23/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured smoothly into a standard pint glass. The head of the beer was Nice and thick and created a smooth initial smell while taking the first sip. This beer is a high end summer beer that carries an excellent level of heavy amber taste without over doing it with too much of an alcohol content. Magic Hat continues to climb the ranks as one of my tried and true breweries. Absolutely perfect.

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Photo of therica
4.22/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A= basic brown with modest head

S= not strong but some nice toffee and roasted malts with some hops florals. It gets stronger as the beer warms.

T= WHOOOAH! What a surprise, I wasn't expecting anything this bold. Loads of potent flavor, bold dry chocolate and nuttiness and toffee. Chocolate becoming coffee at times. Adequate bitterness and slight dryness to make it balanced. Occasinal hints of grassy notes.

M= the toffee lingers on the tongue, almost slightly syrupy, with more evident hops florals and dryness plus residual coffee and chocolate. Very nice to savor for a while between gulps or sips.

D= only a slight bitterness subtracts from the drinkability. Session? Maybe.

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Photo of drewba
4.2/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Deep, hazy amber. Bubbly and irregular finger khaki head. The lacing is intense, sticky and clumping.

S - yeast, fruity esters, toasted nuts, toffee, caramel, molasses, plum, rye bread.

T - Reminds me of a traditional english brown, but in lager form. Muted, metallic caramel, toffee, plenty roasted malt, lots of buttery nut, some dirty lake water and a tiny grass hop tinge in the end. Some of those esters are coming through, along with a bit of tangy, dirty yeast. Most of that doesn't sound appealing, but I find myself really enjoying it.

M - Refreshing, smooth with a carbonation pop.

D - I've been seeking out vinyl for a couple years now and am bummed that this is only a spring release. Highly drinkable and refreshing, huge satisfying and clean nut and caramel flavors, I'm hooked.

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Photo of subversivemike
4.17/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Saw the handle on the tap for this at a local bar that is known more for its wings and sports than craft brews and so I was excited.

A - Poured from the tap very foamy, but every beer on tap was doing that the night I stopped in. I wasn't expecting such a deep amber color. Foam, after it settled down, was about two fingers, but dissipated relatively quicky ande left lacing that went the distance.

S- Nice hoppy aroma, not too much I should note, with a rich, malty sweetness that followed. A second, more focued sniff brought up an even sweeter carmel backdrop.

T- I was honestly expecting a hoppier aftertaste, but the malts really seemed to dominate. Not that the malt is over-powering, but hints of carmel and biscuit linger alongside the hops.

MF- The malts add a substantial and thick mouthfeel, but at no point do the hops take over like I was suspecting. Carbonation was ok, but with the heavier than expected mouthfeel, I think the hops were lost on the palate more than others textures.

D- I ended up drinking 3 of these in a couple of hours. I can see this beer easily performing as a session beer. It has flavors we all enjoy, but none are over-bearing. Malt sweetness lasts but not overly so. Hops tame the sweetness, but not overtly.

Serving type: on-tap

Reviewed on: 04-11-2010 02:11:59

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Photo of magnj
4.17/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Murky orange body rests below a one finger head that quickly fell to just a film and left little lacing.

S - Out of the fridge it's really clean, malt forward and slightly vegetal. Vaguely sweet and some grassy hops in the back.

T - This has to have some roasted or chocolate malt in it. Distinct flavor up front reminiscent of a dry stout. It's actually really refreshing and unique. That flavor, though slight, dominates the rest of the sip. Ending crisp, lingering for quite a while.

M - Great mouthfeel, mild carbonation, works well with the flavor.

D - Easy to drink, tasty, good brew.

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Photo of mempath
4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

decent lacing and head. both collapse slowly and with grace...nose is pure malt. nice thickish taste with a blast of biscuitness and malts. as mentioned by another reviewer, very english in character. good mouthfeel integrated. very drinkable. sessionable. not a monster. not a ghost. somewhere in between. not winter. not summer. it's almost spring...

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce pint - $5.25 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Served up a lightly hazed, dark amber-hued body underneath a very thin coating of off-white fizz.

Smell: Invitingly sweet-scented nose of toasted bread crusts doubly dunked in wildflower honey and sticky, viscous caramel sauce. Touch of background fruitiness.

Taste: A sweetish taste of pale and richly toasty Munich malts with a fair amount of both sugary caramel and quality honey. Slight fruitiness, perhaps a bit berryish, even strawberryish. Hint of yeastiness. Very, very low amount of earthy hop character though almost no imparted bitterness, so, that'll leave this beer to finish nearly as sweet as it started, with a lingering taste of sugar-encrusted toast.

Mouthfeel: Just barely comes up medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not bad, not bad at all. An easy drinking, malt-forward brew with a reasonable amount of alcohol. Sure, it may not be a strictly authentic Vienna, but, then again, I don't see where MH is making any such claims beyond it simply being an amber lager.

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Photo of wesl56
4.12/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

my first magic hat brew... been hearing a lot about them, and publix recently started to carry it, so i had to try it

i usually dont notice a strong smell from beers, but as soon as i cracked this one open, i could smell hops... i also like the messages inside the caps and the label artwork... color is a nice medium reddish brown with a thin head that lightly laces the glass... taste reminds me very much of a sam adams boston lager, but with bolder hops and notably less malts, but its still fairly balanced...

i like it overall... will definitely add this to my list of spring favorites, and i'm also looking forward to trying #9

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Photo of taez555
4.1/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark amber body with a nice bubbly off-white head.

Nose has a very strong caramel and clean lager grain malt smell. There's definitely a strong malty darker smell to this than your typical lager.

Taste is medium bodied and yet very easy drinking. Big caramel malt taste and a firm earthy hop presence. There's a big carbonation and bubbly chewiness to this beer, combined with the hops and hop bitterness give it a sort of rough, almost ale, like taste. Ends with a nice lingering malt bite and bitterness.

Wow, a dark amber lager. Kudos Magic Hat for not brewing a boring beer. This thing rocks for a session lager.

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Photo of Shaw
4.09/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A medium amber in color with a short off-white head that reduces to just a whisp in my glass.

It smells exactly like toast. Nice. One of the neatest smelling beers I've had in a while.

Nice toasted malt flavors with a bit of sweetness. No hop flavors to speak of, not that it's supposed to have any. Nicely robust for a lager.

Smooth and creamy body.

A winner. Check this one out.

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Photo of Fitzgerald
4.08/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured a 12oz. bottle into my trusty old Hamms glass, color was a reddish gold with a nice off white head which dissipated fairly quick nice lacing.

S- Not an overpowering but I can smell malts,bread and earthy type scent.

T- This beer taste great a little caramel,biscuit flavors and the malts really coming through a little sweetness also.

MF- A real full beer not hoppy or bitter the malt really comes through.

D- A really nice beer not a lot a alcohol very drinkable not a lot of bite like a lot of the spring beers have.

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Photo of burnstar
4.08/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly murky dull copper color with a medium sized head. Nice lacing on the surface. Smell is sweet malt. Bready. Grassy hops. Nice bready malty flavor. Herbal hop flavor and slight lingering bitterness. Really balanced and smooth. Medium bodied. Extremely drinkable. This one reminds me somewhat of Yuengling (which I like and is my standby beer of choice) but better. Definitely a nice new Spring seasonal and one of my favorites from Magic Hat.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.05/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark copper color that is somewhat cloudy and 1 finger head that quickly disappears

Smell - lots of malt, bronw sugar/caramel

Taste - an extremely tasty and fulfilling lager. Sweet and malty with a crisp finish. A very nice flavor profile that I love.

Mouthfeel - a tad watery but otherwise ok for a light lager

Overall - A very nice sessionable beer with plenty of flavor and well balanced.

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Photo of HippestHop13
4.05/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Well, the in-laws brought back a growler of this fine spring release and I quickly poured myself a tasting boot's worth. Being from the Adirondacks I quickly likened this to Adirondack Brewery's Bear Naked Ale, yet a lager version, and a bit more wheat-filled.

By itself, the beer sits with a medium ruby color with a bit of carbonation- no real head retention (possibly due to the growler). The smell is quite caramel-like and there is obvious wheat notes that are almost overwhelming for my palate. The mouth-feel is nice, but nothing special (not flat, not too bubbly). Drinkability is one of those clutch factors for Magic Hat. It goes down with ease, but this high-wheat billing makes me recognize my own funky breath after a while (reminiscent of #9- which is still a great beer).

In short, its a dandy brew- we all enjoyed it and thought it was pretty cool to have something that is only currently available in growlers from the brewery (spring seasonal), drink up!

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Photo of NaLoGra
4.03/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured very nice head, smelled malty at first. Good lacing as well. Tastes great with a hint of chocolate flavor, and an aftertaste lightly dominated by hops.

I've never had a magic hat before, but after this one I am willing to explore their different brews with optimism.

Very smooth, overall very impressed. Would buy again.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.02/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It taste like spring.

A- Medium amber color with thin white head and wispy lacing that floats filmy on top.

S- It smells like spring. Floral hops, roasted matls. Fruit and spice. Woody. Meadow grasses and things I'm allergic to. Perhaps cider. Subltle floral tones like honey suckle and lavender.

T- Floral tones intermingling with fresh spice, coriander, citrusy orange zest, biscuits and honey. Hops stands up clean.

M- Clean, smooth, crisp and refreshing with a mild hops bite.

D- Great beer for after the lawnmower. Smooth and refreshing with a bite. Nothing cloying or strong. On the hoppy side.

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Vinyl from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.46 out of 5 based on 649 ratings.
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