Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Hex | Magic Hat Brewing Company

323 Reviews

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
A malty amber ale with hints of toffee and caramel and a slightly smoky finish.

25 IBU

Added by soccerman7 on 08-01-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 323 | Ratings: 927
Photo of ZAP
4/5  rDev +17%
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...

 520 characters

Photo of Shaw
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle supplied by the brewery.

A lovely amber in color with a short white head, more of a layer of foam, actually.

Nice aroma of caramel and biscuit.

The aroma carries over to the taste. Nice malt notes of caramel with a bit of a hop bite at the end. Nice.

Good body. Hefty.

Overall this is one of Magic Hat's better brews. They bill it as a sort-of oktoberfest, and I agree. It's worth checking out.

 411 characters

Photo of BeerNinja007
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bomber for $2.99 at the brewery on Friday. Label says to consult the best by date stamped on the neck but there ain't nothin there, oops. Served cold in a standard
pint glass.

This mostly clear orange-copper brew throws up a very dense and creamy head with an odd neon yellow hue. Smell and taste are similar to describe. Fairly sweet with a little malt thickness behind it, some fruity aspects to the sweetness with mellow mulled spice. Odd and hard to describe in the ways unique to Magic Hat. Feel is kinda thin but a hoppy resin gives it some feel and the carbo is kept creamy by some hidden viscosity. Finishes with some light malty citrus. Easy to drink and begets pondering.

 689 characters

Photo of generallee
3.98/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from brown 12oz bottle into a mug. The label has a best by date and lists the ABV at 5.4%.

Appearance: The body has a beautiful orange amber color with good clarity and some carbonation. The head on top is a creamy off white color about two fingers tall and has good retention. 2/3 the way down the glass and a thin cap is still holding on. There is not much in the way of lacing as the head just slides right down the glass.

Smell: The aroma has an odd astringent sour hop note with sweet caramel, candy like maltiness.

Taste/Palate: Its medium body sports a sweet caramel candy and toffee like character with some bready and lightly toasted notes in the background. This is balanced by a somewhat sour leafy/grassy bitterness from the hops. As this is Amber Ale and not a true Oktoberfest Lager the finish is slow and light hop bitterness lingers. The carbonation is well balanced and active keeping the texture lively and light.

Notes: Overall this beer quite drinkable and captures the spirit of fall and Oktoberfest.

 1,056 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought this was a pretty good beer.
It was an amber color with a very thin tan head.
Caramel aroma, sweet bread.
It had a caramel taste with a whiff of smoke late.
Crisp mouthfeel.
This beer evoked memories of a crisp New England fall day, the leaves have changed, and woodstoves are burning.

 295 characters

Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very clear amber colored ale with a nice tan head that leaves ust a little sticky lacing as it fades.

Very nice caramel malt aroma, with a nice touch of hop spice. This is all about the malt though, bready and rich. Some deep mysterious fruit aroma is the overall effect, maybe sweet cherries. Taste is very bready and sweet. Not much if any of the hop spice, and very little in the fruity esters department, but just a nip of the cherries in the finish. This is a nice clean finishing ale, maybe closest to an actual Märzen style I have had.

Medium in body, nice smooth mouthfeel, only mildly carbonated. Great fall session beer IMO.

 638 characters

Photo of WinthrHOPHEAD89
3.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Standard tumbler

A - Pours a dark amber coppery color with medium effervescence. This beer pours a 3 finger head which is composed of mostly big bubbles that slowly start to fizzle away. The center of the head is brighter than the outside, with the center being bright white and the outside having a off-white tanner complexion. Although the head fizzles away, this beer does leave some nice lacing on the glass.

S - For an Oktoberfest-style, this beer has more of a hoppy aroma than a caramel malt aroma. Caramel is still in the nose, but it seems to be mixed with a floral hop scent. Very nice nose.

T - The taste is very nutty, with a tangy walnut kind of taste. A nice caramel sweetness sits on the back end of the tongue and a crisp hop bitterness follows on the finish. A little bit mild, but all in all a very well balanced taste.

M - The mouth feel of this beer is fairly suitable for this style. Not to heavy bodied like the Sam Adams Octoberfest, and not thin and watery either, like the Lienenkugels Oktoberfest. The slight carbonation and and sticky composition is very soft on the tongue.

D - The drinkability of this beer is super high. For those looking for a sessionable Psuedo-Oktoberfest that will not overwhelm you, this is it. This would also be a good starter Oktoberfest for those not too familiar with the style.

Final Thoughts: A far as Magic Hat goes, they seem to always have new tricks up their sleeves, but when it comes to traditional style beers the always seem to do a pretty solid job. This beer is no exception. A solid one thumb up!

 1,584 characters

Photo of bnes09
3.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Translucent caramel colored beer that actually looks fairly thick. Weak ivory colored head dissipates to a thin film then disappears from view. Not much lacing.

Rich biscuit-like malty aroma with lots of caramel sweetness mingled in.

Sturdy, almost dense malt character with hearty biscuits and sweet caramel. Mild earthy hop bitterness provides some balance. Finishes with a tart flavor that is different but not bad.

Beefy, medium body. Good level of suds. Smooth feel.

This is a pretty good brew. Good depth. Good balance. Easy drinking.

 544 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Slips out a clear, amber-hued body with a small-sized, sudsy, whitish head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, tangibly fruity ("I smell apples." -TheLibrarianGirl) nose, with notes of sugar-encrusted, toasted bread, nuts, and smoke. However, that smoke hint is very faroff, very vague, but just barely there. The hops aren't really coming through clearly on the nose.

Taste: Modestly toasted nuts and bread with a hint of burnt sugar. Soundly sweet, particularly as it warms. Gentle fruitiness incorporated into the taste. A hint of clean, just noticeable smoke character. Characteristic Magic Hat yeast. Floral, spicy hops (boosted by the addition of rye) with a medium-low level of bitterness. The hop flavor, while present, isn't rather effusive. Develops a bit of cinnamon as it warms. Lightly bitter, earthy finish. Leaves teensy touches of sugar, smoke, and spice on the tongue in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation. Fairly smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Tasty for a Magic Hat aletoberfest. I thought it was pretty decent, though I feel like I'm in the minority in thinking so.

 1,180 characters

Photo of mynie
3.97/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

 623 characters

Photo of FickleBeast
3.96/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours a nice rich amber color with a finger of healthy white foam that sits upon the beer for several minutes. Looks great. Aroma is mostly malty, some DMS and grainy/husky aromas.

First sip is quite malty, with a nice munich/crystal sweetness and substantial body. Hoppiness is minimal. Very easy drinking despite the sweetness and viscosity of the mouthfeel. Overall very nice. I'd get a six pack of this.

 447 characters

Photo of centbeerfest
3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a sample bottle into a small tasting glass.

Nice orange amber color. Little bit of haze. Very little head or carbonation
Smelled of tobacco leaves or a mild cherry cigar.
Gives of some of the characteristics of an Octoberfest style beer, and has a slight cherry finish to the flavor. Just enough to tie it into what you have come to expect in a Magic Hat beer.
Wee bot of smoke flavor as well.

Nice alternative to the flood of Octoberfest beers and uniquely Magic Hat. Very drinkable.

 500 characters

Photo of Mojo
3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This offering from Magic Hat pours a nice pale orange color with a two finger light tan head and no observable lacing. Smell is weak, but I picked up oranges, bread, and some honey notes. Mouthfeel is world class. Very satisfying and full. Taste is some roasted malt, caramel and tofee upfront with grapefruity bitterness on the finish. The bitter is a little stronger than the sweet so I can't say it is perfectly balanced, but a worthy offering nonetheless.

 459 characters

Photo of scotorum
3.93/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

 752 characters

Photo of chodinheaven
3.92/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apple cider look to the beer, perfect for the season. The head is of a decent size and off-white in color. Dissapates slowly with nice retention. Smells a little like apple cider as well, with sweet malts and baked apples coming through as well as what smells to me a little like candied oranges. Very pleasant to the nose.

The taste is clean and fairly straightforward for such a pleasant smelling beer. Some hoppy bitterness shows through some easy-going caramel malts. Somewhat surprisingly, the nose doesn't quite match up with the palate, but there is a slight fruitiness to the taste in the form of underripe oranges. The caramel malts manage to hold it together and make for a decent tasting beer, but nothing to write home about. The mouthfeel is very clean and crisp and very easy overall. The drinkability of this brew is very high, and that may be the best thing going for it. This is a decent example of an oktoberfest and definitely worth a chance.

 963 characters

Photo of Dcor
3.9/5  rDev +14%
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.

 541 characters

Photo of lovindahops
3.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I love fall. Another new seasonal brew to try. I am a tad bit different than many on this site... I am not going to hold a grudge on rating this, as others are because MH was sold to NAB. Let's rate this as a craft brew

A- a classic amber red color that has a head that quickly dissipates. The colors are consistent with the theme, no doubt

S- some toffee and prune like fruity scents. Very bready and malty as well. There is a slight earthy fig theme in the brew. Even some slight alcohol. One knock is the flavor does not necessarily jump out at you

T- not bad as far as an amber ale goes. Hex stats with with a fair amount of caramel and malty notes. The flavor is disciplined in the sense the malt stays true to american amber themes. The same fruit flavor is there throughout. I like this depiction of MH's fall flavor

M- very carbonated but flavor is sticky

D- OK.... so here it is. Magic Hat creates an Octoberfest interpretation... and it will get blasted. Meanwhile, I think this is a great brew to intro someone to craft beer. I also think this is a delicious brew that can be enjoyed in a sitting. I think this is very tasty

 1,140 characters

Photo of burnstar
3.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty copper with a medium sized head. Smell is sweet malt- some apple notes. Taste is toasty malt. Caramel. Apple note again. Pleasant light lingering bitterness. Tastes autumnal. Medium bodied and well carbonated. Very easily drinkable. Really, quite a nice fall seasonal.

 283 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish copper in color with a creamy off-white head. Lots of bubbles briskly rising to the top, in formation.

Nice aroma. Toffee, caramel, mushy overripe red apple, cinnamon and the faintest hint of smoke.

Interesting flavor. A delicate smokiness, a toffee character, some Delicious Red apple (ie. crisp, juicy, lightly sweet, and having that pectin-like thing going on). Even a little bit of a citrus/metallic twang, but with warming this is relegated to the background, letting the nice, autumnal malt flavor come through strongest.

I've found Hex drinks best with just a little bit of chill on it...and that improves the texture too...seems a little sharp when too cold, but with some chill off, it's got a supple, silky smoothness that's quite wonderful.

Love the name and especially the logo/label. Do I love the beer as much? Just about. It took me a few meetings with Hex to really appreciate it and understand it. The real discovery was that drinking it too cold didn't do it justice.

 1,000 characters

Photo of japcmiller
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A nice light amber color with thin head retention, thin lacing but nicely carbonated.

Smell: It has a wonderful heavy spice and caramel nose with almost a hint of brown sugar. Very little hop character adding to the nose, but heavy on the malt.

Taste: Has a high almost acidic character, that balances well with the sugar sweetness that is a very mild taste that comes at the beginning of the sip. It finishes bitter with a bready malty taste.

Mouthfeel: Has a very dry and heavy feel on my tongue. Not an overly tanninany dryness but still dry. It feels very heavy and coats the inside of my mouth like syrup.

Drinkability: This beer has great balance between its' nose and the taste. The acidic character blends well with its' sweet malty character and even though it finishes dry. The beer as a whole has great balance and very good drinkability.

 866 characters

Photo of 312HopBomb
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Color is orange amber with a faint haze. Medium head retains a layer of foam on top of the brew and a cool looking lace pattern.

S: Caramel malt with subtle euro variety hop aroma.

T: Taste follows the nose with caramel malt and wood. Hops are in the background but present themselves on the finish for a nice bitter end.

M: Carbonation is appropriate for the style, a smooth medium body.

O: I enjoy this fall offering from Magic Hat. It goes down smooth and easy.

 471 characters

Photo of albertjr21
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A deep yellowish amber color with a dense murky look under a thin sud head.

S: A lightly sweet malt nose with a hint of lemon citrus and note of hops.

M/T: A fizzy, lightly citric/sour and crisp feel upfront continues itself alongside a complimentary malt center that is robust yet still friendly with the beer's bright citrus notes. The finish leaves a nicely balanced bitter and sweet afterthought on the palate.

D: A robust yet very refreshing beer and a great option for a session with its moderate abv.

 513 characters

Photo of imasloth
3.87/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Good clear amber, with an almond-coloured thin head that persists. Good amount of small carbonation filters up throughout glass. Good lacing.

S- For homebrewers, it smells a lot like the liquid pale malt extract. The malt is there, but it's a bit sweeter than expected ... I like it.

T- Malt hits first, very grainy, followed second by a lighter sweetness than the aroma implies. I'm normally a hop head but I'm starting to really appreciate the flip-side of things.

M- Very ordinary. It's a lighter-bodied beer that swallows easy and leaves almost no residual taste or feel in the mouth.

O- The smell and taste carry the day on this one. It's unapologetically malty and that's what I was looking for when I chose to drink it. Could definitely have several, though the more discriminating tastes that prefer greater balance or hoppiness may choose not to.

 862 characters

Photo of JerseyKirk
3.86/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Reddish, cloudy, with little head that went away quickly.

S: Caramel, chocolate and malty. Good.

T: Wow it's the only other beer I like by Magic Hat. Slight cherry cigar aftertaste. I'm surprised considering their house yeast gives a very natural, earthy taste that I'm not a fan of like in their beet beer.

M: Full bodied and well carbed. Just missing a creamy white head.

O: I'm happy with the beer. If I'm in the mood for an amber beer with more body and slight chocolate vibe I'll pick it up.

 503 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice copper color with a slight haze with average carbo's and low foam head.
Smells malty with some bread and biscuit tones.
smooth tasting light in body.
While drinking I get a sense of alcohol. That warm alcohol feeling.
This is a pretty good beer, I wouldn't buy a case I don't think.

Drink well my friends

 312 characters

Hex from Magic Hat Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.