Magic Hat Brewing Company

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American Amber / Red Ale
3.49 | pDev: 15.19%
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: A malty amber ale with hints of toffee and caramel and a slightly smoky finish.

25 IBU
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Reviews: 325 | Ratings: 930
Photo of stevoj
2.96/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Catch up rating from notes, 2012: Bottle from sampler pack. Light copper pour, head dissipates to nothing. Aroma is grainy, light fruity notes, smidgen of hops. Taste is more of the malts, some odd sweetness, citric notes. A bit odd for the style.

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Photo of q33jeff
3/5  rDev -14%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Not much in the aroma department. faint fruit, hops.
Light Copper Color; zero head.
Notes of raisin and something sourish, maybe grapefruit, slight alcohol finish, despite being only 5.4%.

Not bad, but not what I expected.

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Photo of Lemke10
3.19/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This pours a clear, amber color with a slight head. The aroma is malty with a touch of spice. The taste is fairly thin, light and easy drinking. There is a sweet, malty flavor as expected with this brew. Pretty decent, much better than the rating would suggest.

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Photo of scotorum
3.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this to try in a mixed six last June, so it was a leftover from August 2012. Didn't think that would make much difference since it's a low hop Octoberfest. Now I see it has been retired, so this may be one of the last BA reviews of it.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a: nearly clear amber, half finger thick white head dissipated quickly to slight surface foam and traces of lacing.

s: mild caramel malt

t: Light tasty caramel malt. Dry finish.

m: Moderate, nice heft for an Octoberfest.

o: One of the better Octoberfests I have had. Always enjoyed Magic Hat's Number 9, and its the only brewery I have ever toured. Glad to see they make a fine Fall brew too. Make that "made" since it has been retired. Too bad.

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Photo of Brenden
3.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Just beyond amber to about a medium orange, very clear with lots of light shining through and brightening the edges to a dark yellow, this beer develops a 3/4 finger cap of tan head that shows pretty good retention and drops a modicum of spotty lacing.
The toffee and caramel are as advertised in the nose, the smokiness not too difficult to come by but not showing up until the end of each sniff. There's a very light balance of leafy and herbal hops. A sort of woodiness comes out as it warms, bringing out a hint of spiciness with it.
This beer is strongly malty on the tongue, with a biscuity backbone, and it starts off sweet without letting up. Even as the leafy and herbal hops notes come out, the caramel and toffee almost swallow it up. The nicely smoky finish does accentuate the caramel very nicely into the finish.
It stops shy of being cloying on the tongue, the raw leafiness of the hops doing the job to limit the sweetness in the feel so it isn't too sticky or heavy. The body stays at a firm medium into the end, showing a crisp nip up front and smoothness following.

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Photo of Samp01
3.21/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear amber with small quickly fading off white head. Aroma and Taste of toasted barley, malt, yeast, some mild fruity notes and grassy flavor, light hops bitterness. Palate is a medium body with good carbonation. Finish is toasted barley, malt, yeast, mild fruity notes with some hops for balance. Overall good brew.

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Photo of mactrail
2.85/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Slightly hazy amber in the Duvel tulip. No sediment in the botle. Bought at Texas Wine in Fredericksburg in the 12 oz bottle. Light grainy aroma.

The malty sweetness seems to be cut by a slight sourness. Caramel and fementing apples. A touch of hoppiness at the ending with some bitterness and an earthy aftertaste. Not the most refreshing amber I've had. I am just not a Magic Hat enthusiast. Everything I've tried seems kind of murky and odd, but not an interesting sort of oddness. At least it wasn't reviewed as an Oktoberfest, which it doesn't resemble.

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Photo of UnderPressure
2.88/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper colored beer. One finger head.

Tea like, Sweet sugary aroma

Grainy roasty flavor. Somewhat bitter

Crisp mouthfeel light to medium bodies. Lasting bitter finish.

It's ok, but I probably won't be looking forward to this one when it comes out again next year.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3.81/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this Amber Ale from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a hazy amber color, produced a average off white head, average retention and left below average lacing on the glass. Aroma of malted grain, rye, and caramel. Medium boded, very much dominated by malt, spicy rye, gives way to sweet carmel and then to bitter hops. C

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 8/23/2012. Pours slightly hazy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of caramel, pear, apple, golden raisin, toast, toffee, bread, light grass, and herbal hops. Pretty nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of caramel, apple, pear, toast, toffee, nuttiness, bready grain, light grass, floral, and light herbal spiciness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, light fruits, toast, toffee, bready grain, nuttiness, and light herbal spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and robustness of flavors; with zero cloying sweetness present on the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and light slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a good Oktoberfest style. Nicely robust with good balance of flavors; and very smooth to drink. This was a nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of VALIS666
3.41/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very pleasing, even rusty orange color. The taste is very strong at first in a skunky/malty way, but like most beers with an initial strong taste, that fades by the third or fourth sip. Hard to get much of a smell from. Way better from a glass than the bottle, but aren't they all? A solid, smooth, slightly above average beer.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance- Pours a lightly hazed orange amber color with a fizzy white head. The head has a moderate level of retention fading to leave a moderate amount of lacing.

Smell- The aroma is quite light overall but consists of a light roasted malt and some toffee sweetness. Mixed with these aromas are some lighter notes of a citrus and herbal hop smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a bready and sweeter caramel flavor up front. A light roasted malt flavor comes to the tongue soon after. With it is a light lemon and orange citrus hop flavor. A light earthy hop flavor comes to the tongue and the end and when mixed with the rest of the flavors leaves a lightly roasted and semi-sweet and hoped flavor to finish out the taste.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is average in terms of creaminess with a carbonation level that is average to just above average. Neither are bad for the sweeter flavors of the brew with the lighter citrus and earthy hop flavors being decently complemented by the body and carbonation.

Overall – Pretty easy drinking overall. A good blend of roast, sweet,and hop make it a nice beer to try and possibly try again if you agree.

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Photo of jsisko01
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a hazy, orangish/amber color with a thin, creamy white head. Dissipates instantly leaving a very nice lacing.

Smell - Orange zest, caramel, and hops.

Taste - Very sweet, caramel, bready, mildly hopped, very herbal, orange zest, and slightly smoky.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall - I've never seen an amber ale labeled as an Oktoberfest.. lol. This isn't exactly what I was hoping for but I'm not saying it's a bad beer.

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Photo of Dcor
3.9/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a sixer from my daughter, bottle poured into Sam Adams sensory glass

Darker amber color, not much of a head, light lacing

light caramel hint, not much of an aroma

caramel marzen base, hint of spices, hoppy finish, hint of citris

smooth, not much carbonation, clean

having at least a case of SA Octoberfest in the beer fridge when I got this, I took a plunge and tried Hex and was surprised how muck I liked it. Will get this again come next August Pretty good marzen with a hot brat, would be great for a fall session beer.

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Photo of BottleOfPills
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Ok so I'm sitting here reviewing this beer I just purchased from a neat little beer store in here in Morgantown WV, in my Hotel Room.

So let's dive right in:

Appearance - I guess it's average or better - I don't have a glass as my employer is too cheap to put me in a nice hotel that puts actual glasses in your room - so I just have styrofoam cups. Plus I'm lazy and am drinking straight from the bottle. Call it an average - hell beauty is in the eye of the beholder right? However, after pouring into one of those said cups - it looks reddish - kind of like a high vitamin'ish pee. I really didn't get no large foaming head, and what small head I did get quickly disappated. Now only large bubbles cling to side of my cup - probably due to the styrofoam. It's no concern though as I'm on my second one, as the beer is quite tasty - getting a head of myself ...or as they say in literature terms - that's a bit of foreshadowing.

Smell - I'll be quite honest - I can't smell a damned thing. I do have a screwed up nose, but really there isn't much smell - a small hint of what may be malt. Is this due to the cheap paper cups or is it due to that it's mid november and the Magic Hat site says the quit brewing this around Sept 15th (explains the no freshness label). I'm going to go with average. It doesn't smell bad, and it doesn't smell good.

Taste- is malty and what I would call lightly sweet - not so much a caramel sweet but more like a tangy bbq sweet. I doubt that makes any sense. I like it though. There is no lingering aftertaste and that "malty slightly sweet" taste still manages to stay - but it's a welcome stay. Let me pause while I get number three. Same on this one, however I must add that for me mouthfeel and taste go hand in hand....which brings me to... (ohh... 4.5 on taste)

Mouthfeel - CRISP - I'm giving it a 5, it's the way I like a beer to feel. It doesn't feel like I'm coating my mouth with something.

Overall - I'm going to give it a 4 as I'm not sure about the smell or the appearance but at the end of the day it's all about taste so I'm going to weight it that way.

Doubt this review was helpful, but at the same time it's my review and my opinion.

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Photo of gcamparone
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams pint glass. Purchased at Nikki's Liquors in North Providence, Rhode Island.

A- Pours a golden-orange clear body with a generous 3" head that reduces to a white film and leaves a little lacing.

S- Nutty and malty with a vanilla-caramel backbone. Fresh and inviting.

T- Starts with a sweet vanilla caramel malt flavor and ends with a nice citrus hoppy finish. Tasty and balanced.

M- Medium-heavy body, medium low carbonation. Smooth.

Overall, I enjoyed this one. Balance was the big winner here. You get a big malt character typical of octoberfests, and just enough hops to compliment the malt.

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Photo of VoodooBear
2.91/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle with no freshness date. Bottle cap reads: "Be True. Be You." Served in a steidel.

Appearance: Very clear, dark amber color. Almost a finger of head, that quickly fizzles out into a thin ring. No lacing on the glass.

Smell: Not aromatic at all. Slight hints of malt and hops, but that's about it.

Taste: Quite malty with a helping of hop bitterness. A bit of sweetness in there as well with an overall smoky taste.

Mouthfeel: Not that much carbonation. It's medium bodied and creamy.

Overall: Not the best seasonal out there, but it's not like Magic Hat was out to knock everyone out. It's certainly one of the more interesting ones available. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a light amber color with a small creamy head that retains a thin layer with a good bit of lace.

S- caramel, sweet biscuity malt, faint herbal hop and a bit if cereal grain.

T- sweet malts with a bit of a rye kick, and just a touch of herbal hop.

M- medium creamy body with medium carbonation. High drinkability.

O- this one is deceiving as it isn't nearly as malty as an oktoberfest. It's very drinkable but the flavors seem to be a bit too subdued. I would have liked to see a bit more of a malt backbone.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A- Pours clear deep orange. A one finger of an off white head.

S- A lot of caramel malt in this beer. A slight lemon grass and dark fruit. A tiny bit of grain.

T- A caramel sugaryness up front. Sweeps over with a German marzen style malt flavor. A slight sour bitter grain flavor. A light flavor profile but it still makes an impact on the tongue in a bitter stinging way. Not bad but pretty so so.

M- This beer has a very light feel. It is very drinkable which is to be expected from this beer but personally I find it a bit light.

O- You could do worse if your in the market for an Oktoberfest.

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Photo of mynie
3.97/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hex falls somewhere in between a marzen and a red. That's not a bad place to be, but I kind of wish they would try to explain as much on their bottles so I don't get my hopes up for a full-blown marzen. I'm weird like that. Marzens excite me.

Anyhow, yeah, the reviewy stuff: it pours dark brown with a nice white head. Smells of sweet bready malt with distinct nodes of Magic Hat's dry, fruity yeast. Tastes much the same. Very sweet bread up front moving into slightly less sweet bread and biscuit in the middle and ending on nodes of differently sweet, yeasty fruit and spice. Very well balanced and competently brewed.

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Photo of mnrider
3.57/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown bottle. No real freshness date.

A: Pours a semi-clear light orange. Fast forming fast dying white head.
Medium carbonation and no lacing to be found.

S: Thick caramel and toffee. Faint herbal hops.

T/M: A crisp medium bodied start leads to a creamy smooth feel. Strong
malt taste with sweet caramel. A bit of smokiness comes through as the
hop taste begins to appear. The finish is pretty clean with a hint of
sweet malts lingering.

O: Not exactly an Oktoberfest, but a fairly similar style. Magic Hat has
always been a hit or miss for me. I would put this one as a hit. An enjoyable
and easy to drink Ale. Well worth a try.


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Photo of SerialTicker
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: I got lazy and enjoyed straight from the bottle, but I Googled me a pic ... doesn't look much like an Octoberfest. A bit light. Nice lacing in the bottle.

Smell: Well, it's an amber. Not shy, and gets you with the malts. The hops are certainly in there, but you can get an idea of what kind of beer this is just from a quick whiff. Pretty good stuff.

Taste/feel: As an Octoberfest, it's average. As an amber, it's average. To me, this tastes quite a bit like Boston Lager, but missing a certain "oomph" that Sam Adams puts in that beer. This is still a pretty nice beer, and I wouldn't mind having myself another. A nice bit of malts, and a refreshing beer all the way. I dig it.

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Photo of SouljaSaia17
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a golden-orange color with a very thin, soapy, off-white head that leaves a little bit of lacing.

S: Not much to the smell, but I do get some malts and a bit of hops with a little bit of spice.

T: Very malty up front, followed by some caramel or toffee. Has a little hop bite in the middle and finishes with a smokey Rauchbier flavor with a dry, yeast finish.

M: Sweet and malty with some smoke. Medium bodied with subtle carbonation. Dry towards the end of the flavor, but very drinkable.

O: I really liked this beer despite the lack of appearance and aroma. I had this last year but was way before the point of reviews for me. I remember liking it and am a sucker for cool labels, which this one has.

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Photo of rangerred
2.77/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy medium orange with a half finger head. No lacing at all and very poor head retention.

Aroma has caramel and toffee along with some Earthy hops and a touch of smoke.

Flavor is quite tart up front which kind of surprised me. This caused a bit of a citrus note. There is caramel and toffee in there along with a bit of wood. Smoke is present albeit extremely light. Bitterness is light with just enough present to balance out the sweetness.

Overall, a unique beer but I feel that it misses the mark. I can tell there are complex flavors buried in here but they are overshadowed by the tartness. Not sure how old this bottle is or if that would even make a difference but I would like to try this really fresh sometime.

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Photo of ZAP
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Brunt orange....light white head...

S-Sweeter malts and a slight spicy dimension as well...

T-Nice malt forward flavor...caramel, toffee, some very faint smokiness...

M-For 5.4% beer this really has a nice firm body...substantial with no watery notes at all...while sweeter it finishes clean without a cloying aspect.

O-This is drinking much better tonight than the first time I had it pouring it into plastic glasses at the hotel I was at. Not a true ofest but a nice tasty malt forward ale with some character...

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Hex from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 930 ratings