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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 649 |  Reviews: 270
Photo of magnj
4.17/5  rDev +23%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Murky orange body rests below a one finger head that quickly fell to just a film and left little lacing.

S - Out of the fridge it's really clean, malt forward and slightly vegetal. Vaguely sweet and some grassy hops in the back.

T - This has to have some roasted or chocolate malt in it. Distinct flavor up front reminiscent of a dry stout. It's actually really refreshing and unique. That flavor, though slight, dominates the rest of the sip. Ending crisp, lingering for quite a while.

M - Great mouthfeel, mild carbonation, works well with the flavor.

D - Easy to drink, tasty, good brew.

 598 characters

Photo of oldhippie247
2.48/5  rDev -26.8%
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.

 363 characters

Photo of MaxBrews
3.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pouring a beer in the normal fashion yields little head, you end up with something that looks like a stadium pour. The only way to generate a head from this beer is to pour it down the middle which yields a 1 and a half finger head that dissipates all too rapidly. Lacing is thin. The color is a reddish tinted amber. Clear with a slight haze.

Aroma: Biscuity toasted malts, dark fruit and bread. A very malty aroma with fruity esters.

Taste: Plenty of roasted malt very stout and Vienna lager like in malt profile. There's a tinge fruity esters and some caramel, but a big malt profile.

Moutfeel: For all the malt, the body is lighter. I'd still stay it has a medium body with mild carbonation. It finishes a bit dry, though little bitterness.

Drinkability: This is a style that can be easily be boring. However Magic Hat keeps it real. Not interesting but real. A malty lager that doesn't have anything completely off about it. It could be a bit more complex and flavorful though. A nice malty lager and nothing else. The thing I like about it is there's no sweetness, its a simple lager you could spend the night drinking...

 1,189 characters

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

Glowing and hazy scarlet red amber body. Tightly packed light beige head. Lacing comes in moderate amounts of rings. Nice malty aroma. Some dusty caramel tones and a little biscuit. Smooth caramel maltiness on the buds with a little vienna like character showing through. Hops merely balance. Body is medium to medium-full. Lightly carbonated. Decent enough.

 358 characters

Photo of bob3701
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint. Poured a hazy orangy amber color with a big big-bubbled head that was very long lasting and had pretty good lacing. Some sort of flowery sweet aroma. Slight malty sweetness with a hint of citrus and a mild bitter aftertaste. Very easy drinking. Could drink many of these in a session.

 314 characters

Photo of mountdew1
3.67/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a dark red/light brown amber color with a thin watery off white head. Aroma was slightly hoppy, with a touch of orangey citrus. Very small amounts of spruce and a touch of buttery sweet. Hops were easy to taste, with a touch of pepper. Finishes with some sweet wheat bread flavoring. Felt decent in the mouth, a bit thin, but nicely carbonated and coated reasonably well. Easy to drink, could definitely do a few of these.

 468 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev +22.4%
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.

 1,072 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

 420 characters

Photo of Portertime
3.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got to love the artwork on Magic Hat bottles. This was beer two of a four beer sample pack I purchased from Magic Hat after long anticipation for the brewery's arrival in the southeast. Poured a dark reddish brown color with a mini head. The smell was sweet and malty with a little floral hops in the background. Taste was smooth and crisp with a tang in the back of the tongue but all around quaffable. The first beer I had, #9 was my favorite so far but this one is certainly worthy.

 485 characters

Photo of ArcaneXor
3.21/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clean, beautiful dark amber color with a generous, but quickly dissipating head that leaves behind very little lacing. Aroma is dominated by sweet and biscuity or caramel malt notes with very little hop character. Hits the palate quite sweet and slightly nutty with a slick mouthfeel. Leaves behind a lightly roasted taste with a little hop bitterness at the end of the palate. Quite one-dimensional, but not bad. A decent beer that I wouldn't go out of my way to purchase, but would definitely not say no to if it were offered to me by a friend.
I see this a good companion for pasta with tomato sauces, grilled chicken or a mild-tasting fish.

 652 characters

Photo of stakem
2.86/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

 463 characters

Photo of DrinkinBoy
3.93/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Vinyl appears an hazy amber color. Its head is a slightly off white color, and it has great retention.

Its smell is a lightly roasted malt smell with a slight hint of hops.

The taste starts of with roasted notes, it then moves into a sweet malt character. On the finish hoppy flavors appear, which is a surprising alternative compared to most beers of this style coming from the bigger beer companies.

Its mouthfeel is on the light end of medium as far as heaviness, with an average amount of carbonation.

Overall, this version of a red lager was quite exceptional. This is mostly based on the fact that I have not seen many craft beers make this style, and the big breweries that make them create average red lagers at best. It is very sessionable, and I think it is worth a try if not two.

 795 characters

Photo of imaguitargod
3.36/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Really digging the label on this one, such a cool design! Poured to a nice, stable head, slight lacing, and the color of the beer is amber. Very crisp tasting, malty right up front and actually tastes of rye. Slight hop bitterness that lingers in the back of the tongue.

~Jonathan Passow

 288 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Pours a slightly hazed dark brownish red color with an awesome off-white head with good retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is a little on the faint side with hints of toasted grain, caramel and a light fruitiness as well.

T- The taste like the aroma starts out with some toasted malt and caramel. The finish is very dry with a touch of earthy hops.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, Vinyl is a decent brew but nothing spectacular. Probably not something I would purchase again.

 546 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - chill hazed amber color with an off-white head that left trails of lacing.
S - earthy,caramel malt and a berry-like sweetness, it has a nice aroma.
T - sweet tasting most of the way through with a touch of bitterness on the finish.
F - medium bodied with good carbonation.
D - easy drinking beer.

 346 characters

Photo of DosBeerigos
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

C. Clear
H. Dark Amber / Light Brown
N. Strong Earth Tones; hints of caramel

Ok, Spring Seasonal offering from Magic Hat. The message under the cap said "Never tease, aim to please". Ehh...I normally would agree with most Magic Hats but this one was just sort-a ok. It reminded me of when I was a child and I was outside playing in the park, the smell of loose dirt, dead leaves on the ground, and new ones starting to come out on the trees. This is a great representation of a "Spring" Beer. Everything screams spring from the color, getting lighter from the winter beers, to the odor of earth. The taste is pretty strong with coffee and light hints of caramel and nuts, not much though. I can say that the beer did get better with each sip, but wasn't one that I would rush out to pick up a bunch of. Worth the try from the sampler though.

 842 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.47/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazed dark copperish amber with a thin head that fades away. Vanishing dotted lace temporarily sticks.

The smell is of a caramelish graininess, with some earthy and fruity (berry-like) notes. Yeasty - not quite as clean as expected from a lager.

The taste is of caramel, towards toffee, with yeast, and an apricot-ish and berry-like fruitiness. It has a mildly yeasty, dry finish.

It is smooth with medium carbonation and a light-to-medium body.

A bit too "yeasty"...could be cleaner, but an interesting lager, nevertheless. Pretty easy to drink. I preferred the Participation Lager...

 595 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Large bottle, pours murky, soft medium brown, non exciting light khaki head, leaves a thin collar, some slippery blots of lace and not much else. Nose to me is also pretty tame, with just some dusty malts. Tasty enough lager, has a respectable malty depth to it. Smooth and quite easy drining. Work work fine as a sessioner or with burgers and sandwedges. Nothing special, just a decent and affordable everyday kinda brew.

 422 characters

Photo of fastsrt
3.72/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured in a pint glass
A: deep amber, 2 finger head light and thin.
S: bread like malts, fruity, raspberry
T: good malt presence rounded out by the hops this is a well made beer, its nothing out of this world.
M: it lighter in body but the fact the malts sweetness is a bit more then the hops the finish is rather sweet and not as dry as I would have liked, when i think lager I think crisp refreshing, cold, with a dry finish.
D: this is good but will not buy again i tend to go for more of a refreshing beer when I want a cold beer.

 551 characters

Photo of dewalt
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Magic Hat Brewing's new spring seasonal, amber lager. Pours a hazy, dark honey brown, moderately carbonated. Smells like toasted malt, a hint of orange Pine-Sol. Flavors are simple and sweet; caramel, citrus, herbal finish. A little thin, but drinkable. Cool commercial, great label, likable but ultimately unremarkable beer.

 325 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured briskly out of a bottle this beer was a murky copper color with two fingers of tan head that quickly receded. It did lace in sliding bands despite the very thin collar it retained. The aroma was of toasted malt, nuts, hints of tobacco and bit of must that developed more as it warmed up. The flavors were better than the aroma. More well rounded; clearly a lager. Good tasted malt again, caramel malt, nuts, hints of licorice and finally the typical (but not always favorable) Magic Hat yeasty finish. The mouthfeel was creamy but slick, the body medium and the carbonation medium.

 588 characters

Photo of vdread
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vinyl pours a dark amber with a thick tan head that leaves a few splashes. not much for a nose, but the some floral hops, sweet caramel are noticeable.

tastes sweet, malty, dominated by toasty, bready malt, caramel. a range of slight fruit tastes come in, mostly of apricots and apples. all followed by a hint of cocoa (i had to confirm this with others to be sure). hops are light, floral, with a very slight bitterness.

well carbonated, medium bodied, easy to sip.

+ while not really an interesting beer in any big way, the slight dry cocoa/chocolate taste added a very unique dimension to this beer.

+ simple drinking at its best. a light, low ABV, clean, simple lager taste. i can't find anything less than positive to say about Vinyl

 742 characters

Photo of oberon
3.71/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

 507 characters

Photo of elgiacomo
3.32/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, pours dark amber with a one finger off-white/light tan head that reduces to a small ring and doesn't leave much lacing.

Aroma is mild but contians caramel malt, bready, a little yeasty, some cereal and grains.

Flavor is caramel malt, a little sweet, with some mild hop bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is oily, medium bodied, clean finish.

This is pretty good for the style, a bit better than Yuengling, but for a price. I'd like to try Brooklyn Lager to compare.

 487 characters

Photo of mempath
4.15/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

decent lacing and head. both collapse slowly and with grace...nose is pure malt. nice thickish taste with a blast of biscuitness and malts. as mentioned by another reviewer, very english in character. good mouthfeel integrated. very drinkable. sessionable. not a monster. not a ghost. somewhere in between. not winter. not summer. it's almost spring...

 352 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.