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 kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Single finger head with minimal lacing on a clear amber with crimson hues body. Aroma is typical caramel malt. Taste is also fairly standard with mostly caramel malt and mild toffee note. Light to medium body and moderate carbonation. Very drinkable but fairly standard for the style and therefore not too memorable.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a bottle right after it's first release into the area here. The beer was a deep golden color with a fizzy white head on it. The smell was of some typical grains and had a little bit of a lager aroma going on. The taste of the beer isn't all to impressive. It's got some grainy malts on the foreground and some hops in the back. The mouthfeel is light and doesn't really do too much. Overall, the artwork for magic hat is always awesome the beer itself kind of fell short of my expectations.

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Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear reddish copper in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that died down, but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface, a thick creamy ring of bubbles around the edge and lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of grainy and nutty malts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has some flavors of toasted malts and wood. No bitterness or malty sweetness is detectable.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit smooth on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite malty but it isn’t that filling and is relatively easy to drink.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Like many Magic Hat beers, Vinyl follows suit with high sweetness and fruitiness.

The beer begins with a standard amber color, moderate on head formation, fleeting retention, and slight lacing at first. A better head with staying power would have been nice, but the beer takes on a flat appearance within a minute or so.

Sweet aromas of caramel and toffee. Fruitiness of appricots, apples, peaches, and pears line the beer from beginning to end. Light herbal hops seem to take an English earthy tone. Pretty simple, just sweet.

Flavors amplify the sweetness that is expected in the nose. Overly sugar notes resemble caramel but not the rich malts that I want in a Vienna. Lacking breadiness, richness, and fullness the beer drinks much like a caramel flavored soda pop. But there's the intense bitterness that comes in late; not much hop flavor but big on bitter (especially for a lightly bitter balanced Vienna Lager style).

Body is medium, seemingly larger because of the level of sweetness from unresolved sugars and abuse of caramel malts. Leaves a lot of sweetness on the palate without any resemblence of dryness.

Not a bad beer but it lacks several of the key characteristics that make true Vienna Lagers so great. I'm a little disapointed by the shortcuts.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

New seasonal from Magic Hat.. don't remember them ever trying this type of beer before. Pours a nice copper color, nice head and lacing to it. Smell is of slight hops. Taste has a nice maltiness to it, subtle bitterness from the hops. Well balanced, could use a tad more flavor in my opinion but definitely drinkable and another solid addition to the Magic Hat line up. Pick one up for a nice, easy to drink amber lager.

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Photo of brentk56
3.11/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a nice head; better retention and lacing than expected

Smell: Toasted bread with a bit of sugary malt

Taste: Bready, up front, with a sugary malt character that builds to toffee through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: For those who don't like any "bite" to their beer, this should prove to be popular; sweet and very approachable, just not for me

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.42/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a medium brown color beer with a large enough head with Ok retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of caramel malt is more dominant that I would have expected. Taste is also dominated by caramel malt with some balanced sweetness. Body is fuller then anticipated with good carbonation. There is nothing to write home about but well made and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from about an inch or so above the glass gave this dark reddish amber colored beer a big light tan head that fell into a decent lacing.

Dark roasted malts dominate the aroma with almost a roasted chestnut quality.

The taste is more dark roasted malts with still a hint of the roasted chestnuts and an added almost light sour grains or something like that.

The light dry aftertaste that is loaded with dark roasted malt characters.

I kinda liked this beer even though I'm a hops beer lover and this doesn't have any outstanding hops qualities.

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Photo of zeff80
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a small, tan head of foam. The head was short-lived and left no lacing.

S - It smelled of bready malt and caramel. Not much else.

T - Tasted of sweet breads with caramel and a nice spicy hop bite.

M - It was smooth and a little creamy. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a pretty nice amber lager. It really surprised me.

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Photo of oberon
3.71/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Mellow in Greensboro.An impressive pour from the tap,a slight hazed amber hued brew with a large,craterous, slight off white head that settled very slowly.A mix of toasted malt and caramel in the nose,nice but would have liked a little hop zip.Flavors were alot like the aromas,toasty with a bit of caramel and anise,if there there would have been some hop imparted sharpness in the finish it would have been great,as is pretty good.A decent stab at the style,has flavor...but could have more.

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Photo of superspak
3.91/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, bottled on 10/29/2015. Pours crystal clear deep orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Great appearance. Aromas of brown sugar, cracker, toasted biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of brown sugar, cracker, toasted biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Light herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of cracker, toasted biscuit, light nuttiness, light pepper, and herbal/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. very nice robustness, complexity, and balance of bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Very clean on lager flavors with zero yeast ester notes present. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and moderately creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 5.1%. Overall this is a very nice Vienna lager style. All around good robustness and balance of bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jlindros
3.41/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Huge rising head that slowly fades over a very clear darker honey molasses brown with hints of cranberry red color.

N: Nose has some sweet malts with some toasty malts as well, a slight crisp creamy lager aroma too.

T: Taste is pretty sweet with lots of honey, malts, a touch of darker malts, a little caramel, a slight toasty lager malt flavor, slight roasted porter taste.

M: Lighter with decent carbonation.

F: A little bitter and dries off a bit but still has some lingering syrupy sweetness that seems to be stuck to the mouth now. Too sweet overall.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 1/27/2010 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light coppery brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, lager yeast, some hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out a little sweet with flavors of caramel & citrus. Then some lager yeast breadiness and a hearty malt character come in. There's a decent hops presence that brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, this is a solid sessionable beer with some flavor and substance making it worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of mactrail
3.07/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Undistinguished amber beer of no apparent pedigree.

Looks OK in the pint glass with a pleasing amber color. Rather flat in the mouth. Some pleasant malt flavors. Dry caramel like an old Sugar Daddy. Hops are just a source of some bitterness-- no floral or aromatic flavors. Kind of the astringency of chewing on pomegranate seeds. Clean and decently made, though. Aftertaste not very pleasant.

Quite forgettable. I don't know why they are making this mongrel.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Casey's, Newtown Square, PA

A basic but tasty lager. Poured a hazy amber with a thin white head that becomes a layer of spotty bubble patches. Simple caramel malts in the nose, with a touch of fruitiness. A bit bready, with clean, slightly roasted malts in the taste, and a fruit sweetness, balanced by light floral hops. Crisp and clean, light-medium mouthfeel, and decent to drink even if it's not overly distinctive.

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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 mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The other new Magic Hat I ran into. I wasnt sure what to make out of it at first, but turns out to be very nice in the end. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 02/13/2010.

The pour was nicely done, dark orange in color with a good clarity and a nice and tight head of white on top of the glass. Faded smooth and left a tiny but broken head across the top of the glass. Aroma is caramel malts and rich earthy hops, Very green it comes across. Nice and smooth and even as it warms it maintains its richenss. Nice caramel flavor washes across the tongue, followed by a healthy dose of grain and a nice and well rounded feel. Smooth, lightly dry finish smacks of grass and bready malts before it falls down and leaves you looking for more.

Overall this was very solid, a very intresting and very drinkable amber. There are doing good things with these seasonals for sure.

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Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Modest head, but it recedes in a rocky fashion. Deep copper color; very clear. Some ring lace.

Lots of caramel aroma; light alcohol in the background. No notable hop (good for a marzen).

Far drier than the smell lets on. Also, this features a good hop finish. The body is typical of the style, which is to say it's lighter than an equivalently colored ale. The aftertaste is well-balanced, while the sipping flavor is lightly toasted malt, similar to "red" beers. Overall, a very pleasant and easy-to-drink brew.

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Photo of mdfb79
2.96/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From 06/11/11 notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a nice amber color with one inch of white head that quickly leaves and moderate to high carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bready malts, caramel malts, and toasted malts. Not bad, but pretty average. A little bit bland.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toasted malts, bready malts, and light fruit. A step up from the nose.

m - Light to medium body and moderate to high carbonation.

o - Overall a pretty average red ale. Not awful or offensive, but kind of average and bland. Not something to seek out but worth giving a shot and better than some.

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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 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 WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a deep amber hue almost light brownish color with a nice off white head. The head forms even lacing all down the sides of my glass as it dwindles. Aroma has a nice dark roasted nutty character going on with a low roaring herbal hop note. A clean nutty roasted brown ale like scent that actually works quite well for an Amber or Vienna style lager. Flavor is nice straight forward no surprises easy drinking lager, a slightly more roastier malt presence than expected by the color. Roasted nuts, caramel, and cereal grains fulfill my flavor profile on the palate, the low end Northern Brewer hops work just in balancing but no much in flavor a quaint herbal finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied overall moderate easy going carbonation works just the way it should. Drinkability is dead on classic for the sytle a beer that I really enjoyed imbibing and quite the nice change of pace from the typical seasonal or special release from Magic Hat.

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Photo of tdm168
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brownish amber with a thin layer of dense, soft, off white head that has decent retention. The nose has notes of burnt, toasted malt and caramel. The flavor is caramelly and sweet up front followed by toasted malt and finishes with a faintly earthy, bitter hop character. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth, but a little heavily carbonated.

This is an alright beer. It wouldn't be my first choice especially for a spring seasonal, but it has its merits. It has flavor and balance. It's drinkable and refreshing. But ultimately it's not very memorable.

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Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Magic Hat seems to brew beers on the fringe of normal styles. However this beer seems pretty normal for a amber lager. It has that Magic Hat characteristic taste not sure if that comes from the hops or the house yeast but I liked this beer. It is malty and does have a lot of hops but not overpowering. Nice lager for everyday drinking.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Time to relax on this fine Saturday....made all the right moves this morning prepping for Mom's day tomorrow....and got the grass cut....YEAH BABY! Opened up a bottle of Vinyl Lager from a spring Magic hat mixed box. The color is amber/red with very thin head....and does not appear to be lacing much. The smell is ok...lil' grainy...with maybe a hint of citrus. The taste is common of American Reds...grain dominates, but there is a lil somthing in it that give it flair. Not sure this would be my beer of choice off a generous beer menu, but certainly worth a taste.

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