Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Hex | Magic Hat Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
323 Reviews

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

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 berliner07
2.74/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer was a nice sipper. Nothing spectacular, but enough malty sweetness to engage you. The hop profile was a little generic thought. That was dissapointing. Also, too much carbonation takes away from the mouthfeel. Good enough to enjoy one, but needs a little bit more to keep me coming back.

 297 characters

Photo of jak3676
2.75/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Magic Hat - Hex - Ourtoberfest

Bottle says S. Burlington, Vermont. I've had Magic Hat before, but never thier Octoberfest (or whatever they're calling it). I wasn't even sure that is was actually supposed to be a märzen beer when I first saw it. And after a 6-pack of it, I still not totally sure that's what they were going for. I think it was, but they missed the mark at bit. It's not bad, but it seems like they tried to spice it somehow and it seems more carbonated that some too. It's not quite as clear as some others, but it's no where near as cloudy as the Old Dominion was.

At least they got the color right. 5.4% ABV is printed on the bottle, but no sign of a bottling date. I was going to give them a bonus point for labeling it as 3/4 of a pint vs 12 oz, but I'm taking the point away for printing corny sayings underneath the bottle caps.

I'd drink it again, but not my favorite.

 900 characters

Photo of Erish
2.76/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: clear reddish amber, 2 finger head without much lacing and no cap.

S: slightly musty, funky yeast, caramel, soap.

T: the fruit sweetness is quickly interrupted by the funky/soapy/medicinal flavors. It is not a drain pour, but it is not good.

M: the best part of this beer, creamy, moderate carbonation.

D: with so many good fall seasonal beers out there, feel free to skip this one.

 449 characters

Photo of rangerred
2.77/5  rDev -19%
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.

 763 characters

Photo of Jadjunk
2.77/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

#136. Another new beer for me from the Magic Hat Night of the Living Dead variety pack. One left and I will have (finally) finished the pack. This beer is reportedly NOT an Oktoberfest, but an amber ale. There is no date to be found on this bottle.

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle to a pint glass at room temperature. Served at 47 Degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a 1 finger depth off-white head of a frothy consistency that retains poorly, fading to a light cover within a minute. Color of the beer is a dark amber/orange tone, hazy with an excessive amount of spritely carbonation in tow. The head retention on this beer was average at best. Ultimately, this beer lies on par with the competition in terms of appearance. 3

(Smell) Caramel Crystal malts over an amber base. Medium toffee and molasses tones, some milder rye spice and smoked cherry in the background. Aroma is very sweet. Potency is about average, and could improve. 3.5

(Taste) A very sweet wave of caramel and toffee-based malty flavor overshadows the majority of this beer, with an intense tart cherry wood and toffee tone brace the finish. The taste is very cloying. I can't imagine having more than one in a sitting, although I'm having two tonight. This is far too sweet for me to enjoy but I would imagine that sweet-toothed craft beer inductees might get a pleasant surprise out of this beer. It's not a complete bomb but the balance is horribly askew, and I feel that there are components that just can't be experienced as a result of the saccharinity. 2.5

(Mouthfeel) The mouthfeel works decently for what the beer is- sickly sweet like syrup. It manages to spice thing up by adding some rough edges to the brew. But if the taste was to be toned down (and I hope that is the case) the carbonation should be turned down as well. Aside from within the medicinal flavors that could only pair with the cough syrup notes I gathered in the taste, there is little alcohol presence in this beer. Body is a medium only due to the sickeningly sweet flavor. 2.5

(Overall) One of my least favorite Magic Hat beers as of ever- I'd even take a #9 over this. This was a difficult beer to enjoy, tasting more like a visit to the medicine cabinet for a 12 ounce bottle of cherry cough syrup, or otherwise to the candy store for a "dentist's nightmare". Much better beer could come from a complete recipe overhaul. Not recommended. 2.5

Magic Hat Brewing Company's
Hex Ourtoberfest
C- (2.73)

 2,460 characters

Photo of VncentLIFE
2.79/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pour is a tad light for an oktoberfest, honestly. Light orange with a small head.

I get the caramel grainy oktoberfest base in there, but I want mroe overt sweetness, almost like a slick, sweet, smooth syrupyness.

Upon first smell, there is like loads and loads and loads of citrus fruits (pineapple, mangoes, and oranges). I think I kind of like it. The caramel notes come out to play, but just not enough.

The tastes dont mesh, and its not smooth enough for an oktoberfest. Theres a dominant earthy hop flavor that really doesnt go well with the slightly grainy, lightly sweet base beer. Odd aftertaste that I cant pin down. Kind of reminds of a flavor from Breckenridge Vanilla Porter. Not good.

Earthy medicinal hops really dominate, which doesnt work for me. i want those Citric hops to play well with the caramel malt, but sadly, nope.

What started so well ended in such failure. ugh.

 898 characters

Photo of crossovert
2.8/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Billed as an "Ourtoberfest" *rollseyes*.

It pours pretty much like a typical maerzen, it has an orangeish amber body with a foamy white head. The head dissipates very quickly and without lacing.

The smell is slightly nutty, sweet, with a hint of mineral water.

The flavor is sweet, there is almost a pickle spice character to it. There is a light breadiness and hop presence.

There isn't much going on here, a simple brew, but not in a pleasurable way.

 456 characters

Photo of stegmakk
2.8/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured clear copper. Color was good if not a bit light. Head was thin and lasted 15 seconds IF that.

S - Not too strong of an aroma. Sweet malt...bit of biscuit?

T- Not bad not great. Not a real Oktoberfest. Has some raisiny/spicey flavors. Almost like part Ofest part spiced ale.

M - Goes down REAL smooth crisp and clean

D - Sometimes I'll want an Ofest, sometimes a pumpkin ale. Rarely would I want them mixed, but if I get Oktoberfested out this fal and want a change of pace, this is an OK choice. Maybe I'll buy another sixer if on sale.

 552 characters

Photo of oberon
2.81/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a nonic a deep burnt orange with a large fluffy slight off white head that held pretty well,downhill from there.Aromas of caramel and some char,a off soapy aroma comes into play as well.Flavors start big and caramelly sweet with some underlying toastiness and then a real funky finish that has some soapiness and sourness that shouldnt be there.Sorta unpleasant on the palate,to me a clunker of a beer from Magic Hat.

 429 characters

Photo of devinoconnor
2.81/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

For Magic Hat, this is a big let down. I absolutely love #9 and most of their brews, but this was simply disappointing.

It tastes like a run of the mill ale that's just a tad heavy to really like. There's no good smells as you might expect for a beer to be named an Octoberfest.

With almost every brewery rolling out fall beers, this is one you certainly don't need to try.

 376 characters

Photo of LuthersMug
2.84/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark, rich copper color, clear. Large head that reminded me of fluffy meringue. Lacing was nice, leaving circles based on the previous beer level. Label was interesting, a party of nefarious witches and goblins. Somebody's legs lay dead or passed out. Hidden symbols also appear woven into the background. Cap had the message, "Just say 9."

S - Not that strong, maybe a bit of cardamom.

T - Malty up front, but quickly overtaken by the hops. The beer didn't feel like it was balanced correctly.

M - I didn't like the bitterness from the hops at the end, which lingered for too long.

D - Ehhh, average.

 611 characters

Photo of mactrail
2.85/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

 559 characters

Photo of alleykatking
2.86/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz glass.

A- Pours a coppery amberish color. Two finger eggshell white head shows lower retention. Light streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- The aroma is weak...pretty weak to say the least. Some bready caramel malts combine with a floral hops. There is a light metallic hint to this one as well.

T- The caramel malts come into play from the front of the beer. A light metallic hint comes in the middle with a toasted malt as well. There are hops in the ending of the beer that show a light bittering that helps balance the beer as much as it can.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Light malts and metallic hints left on the palate. Bittering hops and toasted malts left in the aftertaste. The beer itself is a little underbalanced but metallic hints killed most flavor profile. No real drying on the palate from alcohol.

D- This beer to me was a train wreck. The ABV on this seems to be on par for most brewery Oktoberfest beers. I wouldn't want to drink this one again unless I can get no metallic flavors. Magic Hat seems to be killing off any business they want from me.

 1,133 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.86/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

"I put a spell on you because you're mine." - CCR

Amber with a white head. Great clarity. Odd chunky archipelago retention. Few lacey cling-ons. Bottle dated.

Smells...like not much. Faint, faint aroma of toasted malt and soupy English tea bag hop.

Fruity ester laden malt with some sort of mineral accompaniment. Maybe I get a little of that "cherry wood smoked malt" but I think that's 'cause I'm trying way too hard.

Not bad but I can't picture ordering one unless it's a poor, poor tap list. Glad I just bought a single.

 530 characters

Photo of silentjay
2.86/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

about average amber ale appearance, a tad lighter than a traditional octoberfest giving a film of eggshell colored head that leaves a little lacing.

that buttery magic hat flavor comes out in the aroma, with a touch of caramel. thats about it.

a bit less buttery in the flavor, with more toffee and caramel. the slightly smoky finish does not work as well as I think it would in a traditional marzen lager style seasonal. a touch metallic and phenolic with plenty of diacetyl. kind of a balancing act of off flavors they tried to pull off, here. That being said, it ends up being rather smooth flavored, when not picked apart critically.

watery light body, but with a weird caramel stickiness that doesnt show up until after the swallow and leaves some sweetness sticking to the sides of the mouth and back of the tongue.

drinks average. I can see it being enjoyed by "the masses" which is what magic hat seems to be trying to do these days. I don't enjoy it much, and I may not finish the bottle.

 1,001 characters

Photo of Bendurgin
2.87/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. The body is a clear amber color with a very thin off white head that vanishes quickly and doesn't leave much for lacing. At my first whiff of this guy ginger immediately comes to mind with nutmeg and bit of citrus. Honestly, kind of a strange nose. The taste follows pretty well, it starts kind of yeasty and follows through with tones of nutmeg and citrus. Again, it just doesn't seem to be a combination that really seems to work. The mouthfeel is light and has decent carbonation, nothing really offensive on this end. And even though the flavors of this are odd, it's still pretty easy drinking. I'll share the rest of the six pack with friends.

 675 characters

Photo of UnderPressure
2.88/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

 267 characters

Photo of weller1js
2.88/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: pours a clear burnt-amber with decent carbonation that dissipates quickly; foam dissipates leaving only a small film of lacing.

smell: light scent of sweet syrupy flavor complemented with slight harvest-malt undertones

taste: malt flavor has essence of the harvest style, but is overpowered by a more caramel-maple taste; notes of hops enter toward the finish with a bitter lingering.

drinkability: definitely lacking a defined harvest taste, and more sweet than typical; yet still nothing overly dissapointing about it either.

 542 characters

Photo of htomsirveaux
2.88/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle tried 26 Sep 2010. Served in the 0.25 L DAB mug.

Medium beige head quickly dissipates. Moderate carbonation. Clear coppery brown in color. Aromas of stone fruit, melon, A says like dirty fruit. Sweetly malty, almost like a HFCS addition, fake sweetness. Slightly bitter and toasty. Some woodiness. Medium to light body. Light ethanol. Lingering lightly tart aftertaste.

Not so good as an Octoberfest, slightly better as an Amber but still not something I'd go back to.

 484 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
2.89/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked up a six pack of Magic Hat's Hex last week at Meijers for $8.99. When I bought this at the store I figured it was a Marzen just by the name, but after looking it up on here I see that it is an American Amber, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date but it's a fall seasonal so I know it's fresh. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a pint glass.

A- The bottle seems to look pretty good, I like the drawing of the three guys having their own little Oktoberfest. It poured a nice caramel/copper color with two fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left a little bit of spotty lacing.

S- The aroma is pretty sweet and malty. I pick up a good amount of caramel malts that have a pretty sweet aroma that is similar to candied sugar. There is also a noticeable amount of floral hops that help balance out all the malts but it still has a very sweet aroma.

T- At the start I pick up a nice mixture of caramel and toffee malts with the caramel malts being the most dominant. The malts are still pretty sweet but not nearly as sweet as they were in the aroma. There's a medium light amount of floral and earthy hops that helps balance out some of the sweet malts but it is still pretty malty and sweet, with hardly no bitterness on the finish.

M- Smooth and medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a pretty average American Amber that could have been less sweet and had a little more hops to provide better balance. Its seems to me like they took the concept of a Marzen being very malt forward and used it on an Amber Ale, that didn't really come together that well since the malts were a little too sweet and there wasn't enough hops to cut all those sweet malts. What I liked most about this beer was the mouthfeel, its was pretty much on par for an American Amber Ale and the appearance wasn't that bad either. What I liked the least about this beer was the aroma, it was super sweet and malty with little to no balance. I don't think I would buy this beer again, I can easily find much better Amber Ales for the same price. If you like your Amber's heavy on the malts then this might be your thing, but if you value balance there isn't much to be found here. I have had a few different Magic Hat beers in my day and all them fell into the same average category. I'm still down to try more beers from this brewery but I don't have the highest of expectations for their brews.

 2,490 characters

Photo of mckenziac
2.89/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass. Taken from a Magic Hat "Participation" variety pack.

Appearance: Pours a translucent amber color. Has a small, foamy head that dissipates quickly and leaves little to no lacing.

Smell: Has a caramelly and slightly smoky aroma with a bit of Noble hops.

Taste: Mildly bitter and up front with a bit of caramel sweetness. Finishes bitter with a touch of smoked malt as well. I can tell there are some good flavors at work here but it honestly feels like it needs to be turned up a notch. The flavors are kind of weak and muted, but I can sense the potential.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, with a water-like body.

Overall: A kind of "meh" beer overall. I can see the idea behind it and appreciate some of the flavors; I just don't think they pull it off very well. This is a common theme with Magic Hat it seems. Lots of interesting flavors, just poor execution.

 919 characters

Photo of VoodooBear
2.91/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

 706 characters

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
2.94/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A nice cooper color with a yellowish head.

In the nose is apple cider vinegar with a hint of cinnamon.

Taste is sour up front and bitter in the back - there are some nice flavor notes of roasted apple and grain, but sourness dominates. A good beer that grows on you, but not my favorite.

 290 characters

Photo of thebeerdoctor
2.95/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A tawny gold tinted amber. Hex, Magic Brewing claims as their "Ourtobefest", a strange intensely flavorful concoction, that has no balance whatsoever, just a continual splashing of juxtaposed flavors. Even the aroma is a bit weird, with odd combinations of sweet malty notes combined with surprising bitter dry finish.
A very odd beer indeed.

Can be enjoyed as long as you forget all about recipe focus. To put it another way, TV's Dr. Phil might remark: "You are all over the place with this one."

 499 characters

Photo of mralphabet
2.95/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Pours a clear bright copper color. Half a fingers worth of head that settles to a ring with very little lacing.

S: Wow lots of stuff here... Sweet roasted malts, caramel, a little dark fruit, and a touch of citusy hops. Hint of an Oktoberfest but strangely odd.

T: Sweet, malty, and toasted to start... then a little tartness and bitterness from the hops and ends with a bitter watermelon rine taste.... aftertaste is to me unpleasant. It had me at the start but loses me in the end.

M: Medium bodied to start and thickens as it warms up. Carbonation starts sharp and dulls as it warms.

D: Well the smell got me going, and the first tastes where not bad, but as time goes on it turns to a bad place for me.... 21 Adm Watermelon Wheat (bad memories).... Drink this one quickly... She turns on you fast. Sorry Hat I will not be back for this one.

 888 characters

Hex from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.42 out of 5 based on 927 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!