Vinyl | Magic Hat Brewing Company

Liked This Beer
3.39 w/ 649 ratings

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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 649 |  Reviews: 270
Photo of glid02
3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Taco Mac in Decatur.

Pours a clear amber-brown color with a half-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of faint caramel malts with earthy hop aromas and lighter notes of indistinct fruits.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Grainy and light caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by mild amounts of light fruits - pears and green apples if I had to put my finger on them. Midway through the sip the flavors take a turn to bittertown with the addition of leafy hop flavors. The hops carry through to a muddled and slightly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I finished my glass however I'm not sure about another.

Overall I can't say I'm surprised by another sub-par beer from Magic Hat. Here's hoping they turn their nice facilities and know-how into another Roxy Rolles sooner or later.

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Photo of Amalak
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had out of a 12 ounce bottle. It was brown with a red hue. Great head and lacing. Some small bubbles. Had a very nutty, ale scent to it.

It has a burnt, stout taste. Roasted hops or malt. Has more of a sour pilsner taste. It has a unique taste, between a good stout and a pilsner. I like it. And a good spring beer. Has a slight heaviness, but a refreshing pils aftertaste.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
3.59/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vinyl pours a hazy red to orange hued body with a white foamy head that sticks around and holds it own rather well.

The Aromas are sweet caramel and bready along with a faint apple fruitiness. Little to no hop presence in the nose.

The flavor is dominated with loads of malts creating flavors of fresh baked dark bread. A noticeable spiciness from North Brewer hops is appreciated.

The mouthfeel is on the full side of medium with light carbonation.

I was expecting something much lighter as this was a "spring lager" but the word "scrumptious" ample describes this beer.
Thanks to 6-12 Convenience Store in Raleigh for my 12 oz. sample.

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Photo of weeare138
3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a light, semi-transparent amber with a fluffy, off white head that slowly fades into a gentle cap. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of toastd malt, freshly baked bread, mild bits of caramel, and ripe fruit.
Taste is of the aromas with a yeasty, mildly earthy flavor that toes the line of freshly roasted peanuts.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, spritzy with CO2 up front, with a sweet finish.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle with an expiration date of April '10. I'm drinking it on April 30, 2010. It pours a mahogany-reddish hue with excellent clarity but little in the way of head. The aroma leads off with a good malty note and a light hopped mixture and something bready. The taste is pleasantly bitter. Overall it is easy to drink.

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Photo of Duhast500
2.8/5  rDev -17.4%
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 BeerFMAndy
2.65/5  rDev -21.8%
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 travduke
3.56/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brownish red body with a finger of white head with pretty good retention and decent lacing.

Aroma: Predominately malty. No real hop smell. Little spice maybe?

Taste: Really sweet malt, mild bitter hops.

Feel/Drink: Medium bodied, drinkablity is decent if you're not looking to get wowed.

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Photo of jhammel01
3.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a little bit of red tint. The head is a bit of an off white color without much retention.

Not much to the smell. Maybe some hops and a little hint of caramel. Not much else.

Its a nice full tasting beer. It seems to have some hop bite at 1st with a bit of some foreign metallic flavor. Not sure about that..
It finishes with a bit of burnt maltiness..very good!
Theres a bit of caramel in the back ground as well.

Its a bit heavily carbonated but overall has a medium bodied mouthfeel.

Its a good beer but not expected as opposed to other hoppy, light, spring beers (not a bad thing!)

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Photo of hreb
3.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On sale wicked cheap at whole foods. Notch in label reads best before end of April '10. Picked up a 22oz bomber; poured into pint glass, served cold.

Beer pours a reddish amber with a small amber head. Aroma is citrusy and hoppy, like an American IPA. Besides the sharp carbonation, there's a surprisingly rich nutty flavor, like a brown ale. Toffee/burnt flavors, but still refreshing and dry, however, not too caramelly. Other than the nut-brown quality, the overall profile of the lager suggests German Bock to me, more than anything else. "Full" characteristics but not chalky and reasonably low ABV (5.1%).

I surprisingly good find from Magic Hat.

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Photo of chadmcneeley
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Copper Red in color. Slightly Hazy. Initially, a decent head. Dissipated quickly to virtually no lacing.

S - Caramel and bread crust smells along with bitter malt.

T - Biscuity, significant malty flavor. Slightest bittering hops.

M - Medium feel. Not much on the hops. Left me wanting more.

D - A decent beer. Not awe inspiring, but good. I expected a little more as it was suggested by a distributor . Not disappointing, but just left me wanting something more.

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Photo of subversivemike
4.17/5  rDev +23%
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 Fitzgerald
4.08/5  rDev +20.4%
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 tone77
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a small head. Smell is primarily of malts. Taste is a good balance of malts and hops, caramel, a bit if nuts as well. Feels light in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a fine quality beer.

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Photo of BierFan
3.67/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy amber body and a thin light tan head. Head disappears too quick and leaves little lacing.

Smell: Toffee and hops. Not bad.

Taste: Prickly carbonation. Reminds me of a German bock, except with less sweetness and a bigger hop presence.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.51/5  rDev +33%
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 silver0rlead
3.78/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber color with an off-white head that retains OK. The aroma is nice but a little one dimensional, with a big toasted bread/biscuit character upfront, followed by some mineraly hops, and a little yeastiness. The flavor has that same toasted bread/biscuit character from the aroma, followed by some earthy and mineraly hops, a little caramel and a touch of yeast. The mouthfeel is a little more rich that you'd expect from this kind of lager but it's not distracting. Drinkability is excellent. This is a really nice spring beer, it's a one trick pony but it's a good trick. This seems more like a Vienna lager than an American amber lager but whatever

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not sure why they call it discernible reference to spinning the black circle or name and label anyway...

Pours a rusty red color, some haze, and a thin off-white head that doesn't stick around long.

Aroma is nondescript. A generic lager smell: cooked veggies, DMS, not much else, but I don't mean to make it sound offensive, it's not. It's just kind of boring.

Flavor is quite good, and it saves the beer from being sub-par. And taste is what counts most, right? While there's a cooked veggie vibe happening, a spiciness arrives to help out, mostly the hops talking I'd imagine. A slight zap of allspice or cinnamon, maybe, and something very much like strong herbal tea. Slight grassy bitterness in the finish.

Feels a little too tingly and sharp for my liking, I'd prefer a smoother lager, unless we're talking a crisp European pils or something.

A worthwhile entry from Magic Hat. Like the majority of their beers, it's not a mindblower but not bad either. Just very drinkable, and something of a savior when it comes to small-town supermarket beer selections.

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Photo of keanex
3.56/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought this at a local Canal's to split with my friend.

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Pours a cloudy dark amber, slightly red. Head was a medium sized slightly tan colored, which disappeared rather fast, but the beer retains a small layer and lacing.

Smells earthy, hoppy, and slightly malty. Hops seem to be most present.

Tastes malty with a caramelish hint. Hops are present, but not overbearing.

More carbonated than your average beer, medium bodied beer.

Decently drinkable, more suited towards hop heads.

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Photo of tetonka4kzoo
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a surprisingly frothy 1-fingered head. This seasonal has a dark reddish-orange color. Looks more like an amber or red ale than a lager.

Has a malty and sweet smell. I notice some grains too. Not as aromatic as I thought.

The taste is sweet from honey. It also has a pleasant hop taste. A caramel sweetness adds character and contrast the slight bitterness from the subtle hops.

Medium-bodied and balanced well. Decent carbonation and kind of creamy.

Pretty good drinkability. Like most Magic Hat brews, has good hop presence.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Saranac pint glass.

A: Poured a medium-dark copper, amber color with a thin veil of frothy white foam which fades quickly and leaves little to no lacing. Carbonation is weak and stops bubbling after a few minutes.

S: Smells like shredded wheat and caramel topping. Some mild grassy aromas blend with a light, toasted grain character.

T: Flavor is a little sweet and cloying at first, with a big dose of caramel malt and little hop bitterness to smooth it out. Some light, fruity flavors of apple appear mid palate before sweetening up to a candied and semi-sticky finish. Low bitterness, a sort of sweetened tea quality and nearly all malt.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied for a lager and comes away with a sort of rich sweetness that is a bit much.

D: Certainly sessionable around 5% ABV, but not really a great classic American amber lager. I tend to think of quenchers like Yuengling, but this was a borderline red ale with large dextrose sweetness within. Not a bad brew, just not what I was expecting, perhaps.

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Photo of gfreed
2.83/5  rDev -16.5%
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 ejimhof
4/5  rDev +18%
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 njmoons
2.53/5  rDev -25.4%
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 Hibernator
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Magic Hat Vinyl
12 oz brown bottle
Freshness date notched for May
Served in a Great Lakes 20 oz tulip glass

Pours a reddish/burnt orange color. Decent head on top that becomes a thin, round circle quickly.

The nose is malty and grainy, maybe some type of sweetness in the background.

Toasted grain and sweet malt flavors. Very sweet actually with a caramel malt emphasis. Hints of fruit, maybe an apple or grapes. Average hop snap on the finish.

Slightly better than average red lager.

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Vinyl from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 24.7% out of 100 with 649 ratings
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