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 david18
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had a sixteen ounce draft of this at the Amsterdam Ale House on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Overall, a good, refreshing amber ale that has a low enough alcohol level to be an easy afternoon drinker.

Color was a deep amber with some red around the edges and a good, light amber head.

Aroma was bready and carmely, very nice.

Flavor as well was pretty complex for this type of beer with hints of carmel, bread and the Magic Hat house flavor (yeast).

Overall a very good beer. Surprisingly good for this type of beer. i'll definitely have it again.

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

A: Nice amber color, produces a perfect white head when poured into a tall beer glass.

S: Very delicate smell with malts, some caramel and a hint of raisins.

T: Taste is very good. Malty with just the right amount of sweetness to it. Medium to full bodied beer. This is a really impressive lager. Perhaps the best lager that I have tried that is made by Magic Hat Brewing Company.

M: Mouthfeel is also very good. Medium sized bubbles, and a "just right"-complexity make this a very good (not exceptional, but very good) lager in every way.

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

Appearance: Dark amber glass holds a half finger of dark lace that laces the glass a bit.

Smell: An earthy dusty note with some hop leaf in the background. Not a lot going on.

Taste: The earthy, English hop profile holds true, making this a little rougher than I expected for a lager. A little caramel sweetness in the finish keeps it fairly balanced and drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, little prickly, fairly heavy body with an oily finish.

Overall: A decent beer, if you dig the English profile you'll probably enjoy this. Not my cup of tea though.

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Photo of Matt1516
2.95/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hazy amber pour from the bottle. Head dissipates rather quickly. Smells of toasted grain.

Tastes of innocuously of toasted grains. A thirst quencher and a "safe beer". Not much to praise or criticize here taste-wise.

Not Magic Hat's best offering.

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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 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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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
3.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours copper with a thin white head that dissipates quickly.
Aroma is lightly roasted malt, some earthy hops.
Flavour is roasted malt, a lot of roasty flavour for a lager, still dry and crisp, not much else going on. Nice, but nothing memorable.

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Photo of shaunb81
3.89/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Since I love the sound of vinyl, I decided to see how it tastes....

Appearance - A rich amber body with a 1" head. The head dissipates quickly and goes a mediocre white rim around the glass. Lacing is minimal and doesn't hold onto the glass very well.

Smell - Is that cappaccino that I smell? Anyways, there are some funky hops coming through here. Malts are a bit doughy and something about this brew makes me think that there will be some sweetness on the front end. This beer smells like it should be a lot darker.

Taste - Sweetness hits the front, but immediately goes to a nice bitter middle. Afterwards? Coffee finish all the way until I take the next sip. An interesting selection.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is light and the body is pretty enjoyable. A bit creamy from the middle to end. Love it.

Overall - This is a good beer. It throws you off for a Spring seasonal offering with it's dark smell and taste, but lighter body for that Springtime fun. This might be one of my favorite Spring beers due to it's edgy taste at this time of year

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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 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 Erish
3.02/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured this 12 0z bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Best by 3-31-11. Missed it by that much.

A: clear reddish amber color, an aggressive pour produced a decent tan head, but that falls very quickly into a scant cap with scant lacing.

S: rye bread, plenty of earthy hops, the sweetness is subdued.

T: the malty sweetness is more pronounced in the taste, and it lingers through the middle and finish, the middle shows more earthy hops and some herbal notes, the finish starts with a faintly smoky note and finishes herbal and off-dry.

M: light bodied, lightly silky texture, moderate carbonation which probably leads to this beer showing a bit sweeter than expected.

O: this beer has no head, is a tad too sweet, and has some odd flavors that I don't hate but also don't really enjoy in a lager. I will take a pass on this the next time.

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Photo of JohnFatAss
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not what I was expecting, but I did not know what to expect with a name like Vinyl.

Pours a dark Amber color, off white head and no lacing.

Smells of roasted malts.

Tastes of sweet toasted malts and carmel with a slightly creamy mouthfeel.
Easy to drink with no bitterness.

It is different. A nice surprise.

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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 nukem5
3.62/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a copper color with a nice tan foam cap. Nice lacing.
S: bready with sweet malts, well hopped.
T: same as aroma with a biscuity taste
M: medium body, slightly alcohol taste in back.
O: very drinkable....would definitely order again.

I ordered this at my local bar, had never heard of it and was pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.11/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Hazy redish brown. One and a quarter finger head lastst pretty well at half a finger and leaves plenty of lacing.
S- Caramel, a bit yeasty, a touch of minerals that seem ill-placed.
T- Starts a bit minerally, which is a touch off putting. Caramel in the middle, with a yeasty finish. Pretty sweet throughout.
M- Medium, with a lot of lingering sweetness on the tongue. Smooth carbonation.
O- A decent lager, but one that's pretty forgettable. Not as easy going down as I'd like due to mineral quality, and excessive sweetness. Thus, since it's not all that easy going down, or all the memorable, it's probably not worth another purchase.

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Photo of DCon
3.92/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap @ Nick's Pub in St. Louis, MO. Poured into a Pint Glass from the Snow Globe Tap for $6.

Appearance- Dark Red, Light Brown Color with hazy body and clear. Half a finger of head and very little amount of lace on the glass.

Smell- Extremely sweet smelling, some type of fruit (citrus), and a honey or caramel scent as well. Very good!

Taste- Very sweet. I would say there is a munich malt used, with the bitterness obtained through the mild hop character and a caramel finish. Nice, but not true to style... Shouldn't be this sweet or have such an easy taste.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, Ton of carbonation at the beginning of the drink, and smooth!

Overall- Easy to drink, sweet, but no way I can see this as an Amber or Red Lager... I would definitely have this lager again if given to me on tap or in a bottle. Excited to see where I'll see this again...

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Photo of ryanonline
3.52/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear and slightly coppery with a white head that dissipates leaving only a little bit of lacing.

Smell is very unique, toasty with a slight citrussy nose.

Taste is the same but a strong emphasis on a roasty oat flavor. Much more fruity flavor though.

Mouthfeel is light, almost none existent body and a slightly dry finish.

Super drinkable.

Another Meh offering from magic hat.

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Photo of JesteR14
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Great look. Amber/Copper with some red. Cloudy throughout this beer.

S- Smells good, great malt backbone.

T- Its good, definatly a red lager. The malt taste is very noticable and leaves a SLIGHT bitter note afterwards. It tastes boozy but its 5 ABV.. i would of guessed 7 or 8 if i didnt know.

M- Smooth with some decent carbonation. Flavors are balanced and doesnt leave to bad of a lingering flavor.

D- Good, but nothing fantastic. I will get it again but only single bottles.

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Photo of billybob
3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a slightly hazy copper color one inch head very little lace. smell very bland of roasted malt taste same a little nuttiness to it smooth mouthfeel and you don't taste the higher alcohol in it. if your looking for a malty type of beer that is not to sweet and that caramel taste that they all seem to have this is the one. very smooth easy to drink its not a prize winner but its still a ok beer.

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Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.08/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Magic Hat Vinyl Amber Lager, 5.1% alcohol poured into a German Becker.

A- Pours a amber brown colored fluid with two inch thick frothy head that falls to a quarter of an inch top.

S- Chocolate and caramel malts come to mind with hints of lemon zest.

T-M- The taste is sweet caramel malts and mild citrus hop bitterness in the backbone. Mouthfeel is mild with a slightly creamy edge on the tongue.

All and all a good beer.

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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 mattgreger
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got in Magic Hat Spring Sampler

The pour on this brew was a basic brown/orange color. Very clear, and crisp looking. It pour with a great two finger mocha colored head. I leave some nice lacing throughout the brew and a nice ring that follows the brew down.

The aroma on the brew isn't huge, but it does have a nice roasted malt at the front, with some nice toasted toffee notes as well. There is also a great kick as it warms a bit with some floral hops. This brew clearly is going to be better as it warms.

BOOM. This brew is great when it comes to taste. I never expected the what I got out of this brew. Its packed with flavor. There is a great toffee/cocoa at the front of this brew. Its very bold, with a rich nuttiness. Its balanced very well, giving a bit of bitterness. Its got a nice dry finish. It also has some great floral/grassy notes that give this brew a complexity, I wasn't expecting this from this brew. Im impressed.

The mouthful on this brew is a bit sticky, in a good way. It has a nice floral hops, giving a nice dry finish. Great flavors that hold you on for the next drink.

For some the bitterness of this particular brew might be a bit to much, but for the a craft brew drinker its pretty good. It actually reminds me of a stout, but not so filling. It a nice brew, great job Magic Hat.

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