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 corby112
1.8/5  rDev -48%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bomber purchased at Vingo's in Whiting, NJ.

Pours a very dark amber, almost chesnut brown color with dark golden burnt orange hues when held to a light source and a two finger frothy off-white head. Excellent retention only slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves chunks of soapy lacing behind.

Toasty caramel malt aroma with hints of biscuit and toffee as well as a pungent earthy hop character. The hop presence in the nose is very earthy and almost smells like soil/dirt. There is also a slight metallic character that isn't very appealing.

Medium bodied with a dry piney hop presence that lingers troughout over a slightly yeast, grainy and metallic malt backbone into a very earthy long dry finish. Hints of sweet corn, solvent and grain and the hop finish is very dirty/soil like. This tastes pretty much like an unpleasantly hoppy adjunct lager. Avoid.

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Photo of jjanega08
2.02/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Best by Date reads Mar312011. So I'm a litle late.

A= Pours a deep red color with a nice big two finger head on it that holds steady retention and lacing. The head is an off white color.

S= Smells quite boring. I picked this up without looking at the best by date because I figured their spring seasonal would be ready to drink around spring time... I was wrong. I'm not sure if the lack of aroma has anything to do with it being a week or two out of the best by date however. Really just smells like a tad bit of sweet malt.

T= The taste is just like the smell. Weak and boring. There is a suprising roast malt aftertaste to it. WTF is that.

M= Average carbonation and mouth. About right for the style.

O= Ok I missed the best by date by a few days. I bought the beer because I thought it was a SPRING seasonal. Interesting. The snow litterally just melted off the ground today and my spring seasonals are already old. This beer isn't impressive and not worth trying.

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Photo of allthatAles
2.24/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pour: deep reddish brown, moderate head that breaks down quickly to a thin wispy lacing the lager over. Lacing becomes nearly non-existent about a 1/3 through the beer. Slight smokeyness to body similar to an unfiltered etc.

Nose: Malt, a little cream almost berry-esque a little hop at the end

Mouth: Light, malt/fruit slight sourness...the unfiltered apperance is just that an appearance, there is a slight malt to the finish.

This isn't me being a staunch Ale-er, but I don't believe this lager offers a proper depth of character. I think nearly all food pairings impossible minus the more delicate asian fare. Any other food simply overpower it ....

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Photo of Jesse13713
2.42/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Finally reviewed this after my fifth bottle. I really enjoyed the first one I had, but after that it just kind of went flat.

Appearance - A very caramelized earth tone. Brown and sort of plain looking with some slight transparency. Decent lacing but little head.

Smell - Smells sort of like rotting flowers. Slight malts are noticeable; but I fail to get any hint of hops.

Taste - A very caramelized malty taste. Quite yeast-like. Slight floral notes. I can't really tell that this is a red ale.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Easily drinkable at 5.10% alcohol. It can taste watery at times with floral notes. A slightly unbalanced watery alcohol taste is sometimes present. This isn't a bad beer; but compared to other ambers and lagers it is towards the bottom of my list.

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Photo of aflockofshegulls
2.47/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a glass, VINYL braces you refreshment with its Oktoberfest-esque color and head. Your hopes are then unceremoniously dumped by its vaguely woody and in no way fragrant smell.

The taste that follows is slightly better. Minor German-style malt upfront that quickly fades into slight bitterness. Ever so slight herbal/woody hop flavor in the aftertaste that is really almost imperceptible. Overall, the sparse positive notes in the taste rapidly diminish leaving a dully sweet, perhaps mineral aftertaste. Not refreshing.

Mouthfeel is good with low carbonation. Pretty smooth and if there were better flavor characteristics here, then more carbonation would improve the experience.

Why did they choose this name? Have you ever tasted vinyl? It is just another muddled, directionless beer from Magic Hat who seem to never make test batches of their recipes before going all the way.

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Photo of oldhippie247
2.48/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a medium golden-orange with very little head retention and relatively low carbonation.

Nose is predominately toasty malt, which isn't too bad.

Drinks rather one dimensionally, starting with the same toastiness as the nose and finishing dry.

I didn't buy this bottle and I'm glad, as I will add this to the other Magic Hat beers that I avoid--all of them.

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Photo of njmoons
2.53/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Did not like this Lager from Magic Hat. Too hoppy and way to bitter for a lager, and for the malt in the beer.

Appearance: Medium reddish brown, 1 finger of foam that dissipated quickly. Looked good

Smell: Grainy and Hoppy over powering malt aromas

Taste: Very Bitter, and way too bitter for the malt in the beer. The immediate flavors are some malt and hops, which are quickly taken over by the bitterness. Perhaps if this sat for a few months it would be more in balance?

Mouthfeel: Good, appropriate to style

Drinkability: I never want to have one of these again. That is not to drinkable.

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Photo of jjchristiano
2.55/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Just nothing special.
I keep hoping Magic Hat can recreate the "Magic" of Number 9 (which is one of my favorites) but I just don't see it.
Wacko and now Vinyl just are really not very good beers. With all the craft beers on the market today, I'm not sure it makes sense for Magic Hat to be widening their product offerings. I'll finish this six because it is not "bad" but it just isn't special enough to pay $9 for a six pack.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.65/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass. 5.1% ABV, Enjoy by end A 10 notched, "Life's a beer. DRINK IT." printed under the cap.

A - A somewhat tall pour creates a low off-white head with low retention and bits of lacing. The color is a touch hazy bronzed amber with steady carbonation rising up.

S - Toasted bread and sweet drizzled caramel with shavings of nuts sprinkled on top is what comes out right away. A lightly earthy hop addition blends nicely with the other aromas but a faint metallic finish hurts it. Rather ordinary regardless.

T - Toasted wheat bread and caramel quickly change to a nutty, earthy hop flavor and a big metallic, dry finish. A bit off-putting actually.

M - Very dry across the board, Vinyl has a full carbonation level and a medium-light body with a spritzy finish. The metallic thing just kills it though.

D - Really not something I want to have again let alone finish. It's just mediocre overall but the metallic flavor and scent pushes it into the "bad" realm.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
2.66/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Enjoy by Apr 30 2011 on bottle neck.
In a pint glass the beer was a dark amber color with a small tan head.
Aroma noticeably lacking. A hint of sweet malt/caramel.
Taste also lacking. A tinge of some caramel.
The beer was very light-bodied, almost watery.
Drinkable like water is drinkable.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.68/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Perfectly clear copper. Head is a dirty white and drops to a thin ring in short order. Carbonation was lively during the pour.

Smell: Lager yeast, corn, grass, and caramel malts. Biscuit dough and some sweetness. Faintest touch of citrus from the hops. Ever so faint. Nutty.

Taste: It has that Magic Hat taste. Faintly nutty with a small touch of citrus on the back. Biscuity at times with some lingering caramel sweetness. Very grainy with some gritty roasted malt character. As it warms it falls apart a bit. Malts begin to water down and lose some character.

Mouthfeel: Lighter side of medium for the body. Carbonation is higher than I'm used to, but works to carry the relatively mellow malt presence.

Overall: Eh. It's easy to drink and has some character, but it doesn't really grab at you. Definitely something I would drink if offered with limited other options. Magic Hat yeast makes all Magic Hat taste the same.

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Photo of sisuspeed
2.72/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Best by 3/31/11

Poured into a pint glass. Clear, burnt-orange body with a small white head that reduces quickly to a thin ring of film. No lacing.

Yeasty, floral and a bit malty on the nose. Touch of honey. Fairly muted. Not much going on, but not bad.

Honey malts with just a touch of bitterness on the tongue. There is some flavor upfront, but it fades quickly, leaving you with very little to taste. Slightly more interesting than a Bud, but not by much.

Mouthfeel is fairly watery and almost slightly slimy, but not in a good way. Could use a little more carbonation to give the body some depth.

Drinkability is ok. I might drink more of this than Howl, but both beers are really boring. Not offensive, but I'd rather just grab a bottle of juice or soda.

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Photo of abriggs1
2.75/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The color of this beer is incredible. It's a beautiful cloudy amber with a buttery looking head. The smell is less satisfying than the appearance. There's a hollowness to the smell that leaves me unsatisfied. The taste is painfully average. Not much hop presence, some maltiness, but not as much as I would expect given the color. This beer doesn't taste much like a lager to me. It's missing that little bite of funkiness that I love so much about European lagers.

Something must be said. This "spring" seasonal was released in mid January. WTF?!? If it's spring in Vermont, then my cold ass is unaware of this fact.

Something else must be said. This isn't nearly as bad as the "Whacko" summer seasonal of last year, which was an abomination to everything good in the beer world. Lately, I sense Magic Hat has adopted a style-over-substance mentality. This beer isn't bad, but I can think of many better choices to be had. Skip this one; go for Sierra Nevada's Glissade, which is both original and inspired.

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Photo of BeefyMee
2.76/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a murky rust color with minimal head. Intriguing but a little off putting at the same time. Aroma is slightly grainy but otherwise nonexistent. Taste is quite interesting. It's like a maibock crossed with a moderately hopped red ale. Still trying to figure out exactly what the flavors are. This one is a head scratcher for sure but worth a look.

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Photo of Derranged
2.76/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this beer in attempt to help a hangover I aquired from a party the night before. This was in the refrigerator.

Drank from the bottle, so by default appearance is listed as average.

This was not a good beer. It smelled of grain and adjuncts, rice, tasted the same, a little bread, some sweetness.

This to me tasted like an above average macro lager, pretty boring, no real complexity, not much going on. Not what I would expect from a craft beer.

Mouthfeel was very carbonated.

I guess I can pound a bunch of these if cold. I wouldnt go out looking for this again. Not that I was looking for it the first time.

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Photo of Duhast500
2.8/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The color is a slightly cloudy mahogany with a little less then a finger of head and no lacing. carbonation to go with the hazy, cloudy color.

The smell is a bit spicy with Oktoberfest type flavor. Some bready flavor is also present.

The taste is of sweet malt that are right up front. A slight bitterness does show itself toward the end but really seems a little out of place.

The feel of this beer is lighter than expected. It does go down well is pretty drinkable but is a little too carbonated.

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Photo of rodney45
2.83/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: crimson red with a paper white head. Good lacing.

S: Pilsner and munich malt with a slight clove aroma.

T: First and most dominant taste is of granny smith apples. Secondary flavors of citrus, bread and pepper. Aftertaste is dry.

M: Medium body with high carbonation. Slightly sour and bitter.

O: Below average example of a american amber. Has a slight champagne like finish, but without the class. It's distinct apple flavor really throws the taste buds off. Probably would not drink again.

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Photo of gfreed
2.83/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I haven't tried anything from Magic Hat for nearly two years, since I tried a Circus Boy and regretted every sip of it. One of the most froot-loopy-yet-bland beers I've ever had. Anyhow... as a fan of lagers this bottle caught my eye in the cooler. I couldn't pass it up: it was $3/22oz, and for that investment I could pour it down the drain if it was awful. And the label was intriguing.

Tea colored with a lagerish head that generated quickly and faded with little lace. Somewhat hoppier in the aroma than I had hoped for, there was a decent balance of malt that offered a note of optimism. While it was easy to drink, it had a slightly sour twang to it that I couldn't pin down. Could it be... vinyl? No, thankfully. Was it an aftertaste from the handful of rainbow jimmies I had snarfed immediately prior to drinking? I don't think so-- I had rinsed carefully. The decent helping of malt saved the day with appropriately light notes of caramel and fruit; otherwise this would have been just another blah example of an over-hopped lager. For $3, it's worth a try. But there are better examples of darker lagers from other breweries and other countries.

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Photo of Jadjunk
2.84/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

#108. As part of a Magic Hat 12 pack seasonal mix. Price is decent, just shy of $17. Found pretty much everywhere that carries a half decent craft beer selection.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass at room temp.

(Appearance) Pours an initially fizzy, later foamy 1.5 finger depth head that thickens as it gradually recedes. Lacing is also present, thin but consistent. The color is a very opaque hazy deep reddish tone with some orange highlight. Carbonation is incredibly bold. Looks really thick, one of my favorite appearances. Head does a pretty good job too- it wasn't big but it does hold longer than expected. So far, so good. 4

(Smell) Some very Lager-esque yeasts and a slightly thick bread and butter malt smell. Slightly roasty malts tie with the bread. Bread heavy, in general. There's not much dimension beyond the malt, so no hop presence and no additional flavor characteristics. Potency is medium and could improve. This isn't really the most appealing lager aroma I could gather. There's not a lot of diversity and excitement to it. Smell creeps close to a half-decent macro, but that's no winning formula. 2.5

(Taste) The smell carries over for the most part- there's a good deal of bread and butter but a very slight hint of spice and floral flavor in here. It's still far from balancing out and the whole thing just tastes malt-heavy, generally uninteresting but passable and certainly not disgusting. Pretty thick in flavor but no diversity, no high points, no low points, just a lot of malty flavor and some yeasty notes. There may be a touch of honey in there somewhere, but it could certainly use a boost to save the flavor of this beer. It does alright, but there's a lot of excitement needed in this beer to keep me coming back. 2.5

(Mouthfeel) A bit thick, a bit frothy and creamy. Texture is quite smooth with a touch of carbonation tingle in the beginning. It could settle even more. Pairs well with the malty taste. There's at least a medium body in this beer, with a well-hidden Alcohol content. Not a bad compliment to the taste. 4

(Overall) Quite drinkable but not very exciting. I'd personally get a 12 pack of Samuel Adams Boston Lager before this; for price mostly. I'm really not much of a lager guy, but this would do well as a classier party choice. I could and will enjoy several more of these alone, it's not really the embodiment of spring, but it'll pass. 3

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Photo of haazer
2.86/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Brew pours a reddish/orange/copper color with a bit of carbonation. Head pours thick at first but dissapates farily quickly in one minute to about 1/2 fingers worth. Head is offwhite in color with tiny bit of lacing.

S- Scent starts of somewhat metallic, blended with a lager yeast. After opening up it smells more breadish, with hints of caramel and copper pennies. Not that great.

T- Flavors in the beginning includes a little bit of caramel mixed with wheat grain. Toffee, medium roasted malt, and tiniest bit of hop bitterness. Some butterscoth is also present in the aftertaste. Metallic taste was on initial sip but dissapears after that.

M- Light bodied lager. Smooth on the tongue, no astringency. Somewhat thirst quenching.

D- Ehhh, this is ok. Easily drinkable I suppose but nothing to go crazy about. Luckily a friend left about 4 of these at my house after a party so I figured I'd review one. It's ok, would probably turn down if offered again. Boiled some frozen shrimp in this and they turned out pretty good though.

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Photo of stakem
2.86/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear amber color with a slightly yellowish stained head. Nose is quite full of sulfur and a bit of hops. Taste is a little bitter upfront with a very full grainy and biscuit-like body and taste. Crisp finish with some sulfur twang. Medium to light feel and moderate carbonation. Nice fresh grain taste but the sulfur is distracting along with the hop character that seems a bit displaced. Grain comes through in the nose more and more as this beer warms.

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.88/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a clear amber color. The head is half and inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of toffee and caramel malt. The taste is similar to the aroma. The taste and aroma are nice, but lack anything resembling complexity. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium bodied with a watery texture, and carbonation that is slightly high. Overall, this isn't the worst beer in the world, but it does have enough flaws that I will not be drinking it again.

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Photo of Abel25
2.88/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark color for a lager. A bit thin on the poor, barely one finger of head. Nice mouthfeel, but too sharp and too bitter taste. I don't get the bitterness. Odd in a spring lager

I enjoy other Magic Hats, but this one is not for me. I tried a second, thinking possible bad bottle, but the second was the same. Largely disappointing.

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Photo of jpwadd
2.9/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I wasn't impressed with this new Spring beer. It tasted weak to me. Nothing stood out flavor-wise. Please stick to the old favorites... and rehire some of your retirees with stronger flavors. (Like the Magic Hats we knew and loved) Bland like (but not the sweetness of) their new Summer beet beer.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.9/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to amber color with an off white head. In the aroma, small caramel notes and a sweet lager smell. In the taste, caramel like sweetness and all the characteristics of a lager. A small bite and light bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry caramel aftertaste. A nice twist to a lager, but eh!

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