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 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 donkeyrunner
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I'm trying to come to terms with Magic Hat's asinine beer names and lack of descriptions. Baby steps.

Cap says, "We brew what's true." Clear amber with brown hues thrown in--looks like really dark apple juice. White head leaves good retention.

Unique aroma reminds me of sweet stir fry and peanut sauce. Or maybe wet, fresh mulch and almonds. Some baker's chocolate. Either way it's a friendly, inviting aroma.

Initially smooth with a crisp mid-sip that picks up momentum. Almond nut and tea balanced by toasted malt. It's a somewhat off-kilter, struggled balance that leans towards the sweet almond bitter chocolate flavor, but it does work.

I like it but if this is replacing HIPA I've got issues.

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Photo of KingEdward
3.97/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer from a bottle into a pint glass. This amber colored beer had a two finger off white head that went away quickly and left a foamy ring. Their is minimal lacing. The beer smells sweet and gives the aroma of malt, yeast, maple syrup, and brown sugar. The beer tastes of malt, hops, and has some chocolate notes. The front end is malty and the back end leaves a light hop slightly sweet aftertaste. The mouthfull is nicely carbonated and foamy. This is a very good beer and I think i will have another.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into 19oz pilsner

Appearance: Pours copper with a fairly large off-white head that dissipates at a normal rate with some lacing.

Smell: Sweet malts with some floral aromas and hints of grain.

Taste: Sweet caramel, with a bit of a toasted and slightly hopped finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium body with slight carbonation that dissipates much in the moutyh and a sticky, satisfying finish.

Drinkability: No complaints with this beer, but it's not quite outstanding. Very satisfying, though.

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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 BigJim5021
3.56/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours somewhere between amber and brown. The two-finger off-white head settles to a solid ring and leaves plenty of lacing.

Aroma is very faint. All I'm picking up is some doughy malts and a little bit of maple syrup.

The flavor is a more pronounced than the smell. It's got a nice smoked malt profile with some caramel malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel is not too thin and with a creamy quality.

Drinkability is pretty high. I could see myself grabbing a six pack before it goes out of season.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A – Amber: good head, nice body, scantily lacy. Wait, I’m supposed to be describing a beer...

S – It smells surprisingly like a macro-adjunct, though cleaner and better. And with real hops.

T – It tastes good, but again, a bit like a macro/adjunct. It is actually quite tasty, I am just not used to tasting much quality in this style. The hop finish is good, the Ringwood yeast gives it a pleasant sweetness; overall this is a solid effort, if not my favorite style.

M – Refreshing.

D – I like it for afternoon drinking.

‘Vienna Lager’ is a strange category, especially because the denizens of the style are primarily not Viennese.


This is no longer classified as a Vienna Lager. Hmmm...

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Photo of far333
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber honey colored with a beige frothy high head that settles down to a fine cap. Aroma of biscuit and doughey malt, some grassy notes, a faint hint of hops.

Flavor matches the aroma, doughey malt upfront, notes of caramel and toffee. Hints of cinnamon and butter. Mild bitterness, no hop flavors. Fermented with a lager yeast rather than the signature ringwood yeast, but there is a butter flavor in play here. Good interpretation of the style, but the buttery note detracts a bit for me. Tasty beer, could have another.

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Photo of wahhmaster
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Pilsner Urquell pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a translucent tawny brown color. Has a thin, fizzy head that dissipates quickly and leaves spotty lacing.

Smell: Malty-smelling with a crisp hoppy aroma. Has a slight citrusy smell as well.

Taste: Has a crisp, hoppy taste up front that finishes sweet and malty. Leaves a refreshing aftertaste that lingers for a while.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a nice carbonation bite that lingers in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: A decent beer and a nice spring seasonal. I know it's early to be having a spring seasonal but this one is very refreshing. I'll be looking forward to trying it again in its proper season.

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

Magic Hat- Vinyl

A- Amber brown, clear with a decent frothy head. Small lacing and good bubbly carbonation.
S- Buttery malt. Caramel, shortbread, cap'n crunch cereal.
T- Thick caramel, butter, and shortbread malt, sweet cereal grain and hints of brown sugar and molasses. Earthy dry hop finsh.
M- Very buttery smooth and slick. Thick malty body with a sweet and dry grassy/ malty finish.

Overall- Buttery, smooth, and clean. Nice dry hoppiness in the end. A good MH offering.

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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 jamie2dope
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was thinking recently that there need to be more Vienna style Lagers out there on the marketplace. Very cool artwork of an upside down butterfly, or pixie looking thing. Pour reveals a robust looking red ale, with a big crusty white head. Some rye bread is present in the nose, along with some caramel like sweetness, and a great malt overtone. Taste has some nice floral hops, bread like malt, and a touch of earth. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and really well balanced in the way the malt and hops play off of one another. Drinkability also receives high marks from me, as it makes for a well executed session beer. Great stuff here from Magic Hat. I would have thought this was an ale if I did not know any better. Although it may be a tad bit soon to be releasing your Spring seasonal when it is only January, I cannot complain too much, as it was a nice beer to have after a long day of work. Cheers to Magic Hat for nailing this style, and please keep it around for a while.

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

Spring seasonals already? In January? Okay then. Into the Sam Adams Uberglass you go...

A - Copper with quickly vaporizing head that left what little of itself was left on the sides of the glass. Interesting.

S - Not too much here. Some roasted malt and caramel smells.

T - Sharp citrus hop notes that quickly disappear into a sweet caramel flavor. Good thing there's 12 oz in the bottle since it all comes and goes pretty quick.

M/D - Leaves a thin coating of flavor behind. As with many MH beers, I feel a bit gassy on these (TMI, I know) but the carbonation is about what you'd expect. It's an interesting flavor with above average drinkability (though not as good as Mother Lager was)

I liked HiPA, but I guess now that they're doing lucky cat, they don't need a seasonal IPA to go with it. So be it... this is one of the better seasonals that MH puts out.

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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 WesWes
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an amber/red color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a nice roasted, caramel scent along with a dry fruitiness. The taste is decent as well. It has a moderately bitter hop character along with an overly sweet caramel malt flavor. It goes down smooth with some light roasted notes. The mouthfeel is average. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a nice attempt at an amber lager, except that it's too sweet for the style. A little less caramel malt and this beer is right in the front row.

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Photo of riversider76
3.76/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just took the Christmas tree down last week and the Spring Seasonals are out?? This beer pours Cooper with a fluffy head. Not decent retention,and very nice laceing. Aroma of bready malts and and roasted grains.Body is light with some carbonation. Taste is a good mix of roasted carmel malts and bready yeasts. Sweet finish. Light, but yet full flavored. Nice.

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Photo of Brad007
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

So, this is the beer that bumped off HiPA as a spring seasonal? Vinyl? Seriously? Who thought that'd be a good name for a beer?

Pours a mild amber color with a one-finger head into my glass. Not a bad hue. Looks drinkable.

Taste is a bit sweet and smokey with a slight caramel taste to it. Reminds me a bit of their rice lager (texture).

Mouthfeel is full of lingering sweet and smokiness. Rather dull but where it should be.

Underwhelming. I'd rather have HiPA but if you like your beers to be middle-of-the-road, this Vinyl's for you.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a rather dark lager, it's a raw honey color with dark amber hues and a 1" high tan colored head, dissipates pretty fast but leaves plenty of nice foam kicking around at all times. This stuff is pretty fresh, and it looks that way.

The aroma has a a big flax seeds and sunflower seed aroma in the malt along with some pretty roastie grains, darker wheat malt and veggie garden greens.

This is a crispy, medium bodied lager with some very strong roastie malts. There is a flax seed flavor along with the dark wheat malts that give this lager a very unique but strange effect. Earthy, bitter hops provide a pretty good balance. I'm feeling the seedy flavor might be a bit too much overall in the the flavor spectrum but it unique. The finish is earthy, herbal and slightly sour from the lager yeast which is a classic effect.

Well, i love the lable, I usually really like how MH presents it's brews and this one is no different. i love vinyl records, I'm a collector and avid listener to old vinyl, especially old jazz records, mostly from the 50's.
A nice ode to an old-school past time and a nice ode and thought) for spring time.

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