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Hex | Magic Hat Brewing Company

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929 Ratings

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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 929 |  Reviews: 324
Photo of ktrillionaire
3.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew pours a burnt umber hue and is capped by a small off-white frothy head. The flavor here is malty and slightly roasty, not too dissimilar from a Scottish Ale. Caramel is there, but tempered with a generally mild herbal-spicy bitterness. There is something strangely sweet and fruity about this brew, and I suspect it is the yeast; I am just shy of disdaining that aspect. Overall, it is (just) okay.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tangelo orange with edges of liquid butterscotch. A standard pour produced three fingers of froth that is somewhere between ecru and ivory in color. Good persistence and a decent amount of lace result in an above average score.

An autumn seasonal named Hex Ourtoberfest is pretty much an Oktoberfest, right? Well... maybe not... since this offering is an ale. The beer smells primarily malty, with hints of wood smoke that becomes more-than-hints after warming.

Hex is pretty good, but it ain't no Roxy Rolles (which it replaced in the Magic Hat lineup). As expected, there's a big Oktoberfest vibe, given the toasted-earthy-nutty maltiness. We're now several months past the 'best by' date with no sign of breakdown in either flavor or body.

This would be much less interesting beer without cherry wood smoked malt. It actually comes across as a marzen-rauch hybrid that is roughly equal parts of each. Apollo and Hallertau hops still have life in them with respect to both flavor and bitterness.

The mouthfeel does what it should do and is right in line with the rest of the attributes. It's the correct size for the ABV/style and the bubbles are neither too scarce nor too intrusive.

Hex Ourtoberfest is intriguing beer that is actually fairly conservative for this brewery. It's still a mystery why Magic Hat kills some of their best beer (Roxy Rolles, HiPA) and keeps some truly awful beer alive. And why is their website always such a pain to navigate?

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Photo of biggred1
3.82/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish, tobacco-brown with a lumpy light tan head. Rich, caramel and smoky malts in the aroma. Light, biscuity malt with a touch of smokiness and herbal hop notes. Medium light bodied with bright carbonation. A nice twist on the trad O-fest style, I like the addition of cherry wood smoked malt. Not a bad brew from MH.

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Photo of dstc
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a burnt amber color with a thick, light tan head chess falls rather slow. Thin, coating lace.

Has a mild, roasted malt nose that has a soapy quality or something, can't quite place it.

Nice roasted, flavorful malts up front quickly followed by an odd flavor I cannot place, much like the aroma. Not bad though.

Thin to medium bodied with average carbonation. Bit of a bite on the tongue.

Not a bad brew, something just a bit off but ever so slightly.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From fall brew tasting notes (2010): Pours a clear brown-amber that is slightly redish with little to no head. Smells rather malty and faintly of caramel. Tastes greatly of the many malts used and some hidden caramel flavor, but not really sweet at all. Medium-bodied with a decent texture and average carbonation, Hex finishes smooth and lightly smoky. Not a normal fall/Octoberfest brew style, but interesting. I will have one if someone offered me this, but will not reach for it.

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Photo of racer2k
3.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a bottle of this beer in to my favorite pint glass.

A - Color is reddish amber. Beer creates a thick creamy one finger head that retains some light to moderate lacing around my glass.

S - Robust sweet malty front end profile that is highlighted by a fruity nutty presence to the smell.

T - This beer has a is a heavy duty malt backbone with a hint of bitterness on the front end. There are some hints of apples in the aroma.

M - This beer has moderate carbonation and a smokey mouth feel that fits very well with the slightly hoppy baseline.

D- Overall a good drinking session beer with a pretty innovative flavor profile.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.04/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer pours a clear red/amber body with an off-white head that recedes quicky.

S: A dry blend, but balanced, nose of sweet toffee, earthy hops, spices, a bit of sourness, as well as toasted & grainy malts.

T: A well balanced flavor of sweet toffee, dry toasted malts, and a bit of a bitter herbal hops. In the finish one can pick up a faint hint of smoke, but not much as I expected.

M: Medium body, light carbonation, and a light & creamy texture.

D: This beer is very light and refreshing and perfect for the fall season. It's extremely easy to drink, good price, and easy to find when it's in season.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #44 (Sep 2010):

Quick to foam with a dismal lace, the dried orange peel color shows some clarity. Vague hits of caramel, smoke, spicy rye and herbal hop in the nose. Creamy medium body yields a modest smoothness. Malty, with a big flash of caramel sweetness to start. Hop bitterness and a hint of rye go for balance as a thin layer of smokiness covers the palate. Semisweet, ending with herbal hop, remnants of smoke and a touch of biscuity grain. Magic Hat is up to their old tricks by concocting this creation.

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Photo of SickGnar
3.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Bright and clear ambery dark copper. A small sort of light beige head with okay stick and stay and some lacing.

S: Almost burnt sugary sweet toffee and plentiful caramel notes layered on rich and toasty Munich malts. This robust malty sweet sugary bread crust dominates and I do not really notice much in the way of hops.

T: Toffee and caramel notes again accent a toasty, rich, & bready base. There is a burnt edge running through it that makes me think that maybe there is a small portion of roasted barley or black patent in this one as well. There are also some fruity notes that seem to derive from both yeast and malts. It might just be the burnt edge, but there also seems to be a faint smokey ghost of hint. Grassy / herbal hops hops finally push through the sweetness to linger on a bit in the finish.

M: A bit above medium body with average, even modest given the body, carbonation makes for a robust & chewy, but not sticky sweet beer. Finish is semi-sweet. Overall it is a rich mouthfeel that works well with this beer.

D: An ale O-fest and a solid one too. It has an edge of sharp darkness in it to live up to the name and the slightly macabre label. It is murkier than the real deal, but it is an ale and hey that works with the name/label as well.

(from notes - tasted Sept 2010)

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Photo of JayS2629
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really enjoyed this beer.

A- Reddish amber with creamy white head, nice retention and minimal lace.

S- Hints of fruit, caramels, and biscuit. Nice hops profile with earty tones.

T- Well balanced with sweet malts and earthy hops.

M- Thin, crisp, refreshing

D- Very easy to drink.

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Photo of wingman14
3.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark orange with a foamy off-white head that fades somewhat fast. The smell is not very powerful, malty with an off putting sour smell, not sure if that is suppose to be there. The taste is malty, harsh to the tongue, finishes with that a sour note. The aftertaste is where you pick up the smoky flavor, but it is very subtle. The mouthfeel is light, not very smooth. This one is an ok drinker, not much going on, but it does have solid flavor. I would try this again just to see if they meant to have the sour notes.

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Photo of drizzam
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown 12 oz bottle with best by date of January 31, 2011 imprinted on the neck of the bottle.

A - Poured a clear amber/red in color topped by a creamy one finger eggshell colored head. Decent head retention and spotty lacing.

S - Sweet malty aroma with a clear fruit presence, apples I think. Not especially aromatic though.

T & M - Caramel malt body with a little hop bitterness early. That apple aroma I smell seems to represent itself with a slight taste of bitter apple skin. Light to medium bodied and it has a drying finish. The smokiness it proclaims to have in the description is very minimal and only seems to present itself very slightly as it warms.

D - This beer is an enigma as compared to the style. It's not a bad beer, and I could drink several easily in a setting, but it's probably not Magic Hat's best work. Worth a try any way you look at it.

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Photo of albertjr21
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

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Photo of BruceWineworks
4.24/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into a glass.

A: reddish orange color with slight white outer lacing.

S: brown sugar, sweet spices and subtle fruit notes.

T: smooth light malts, tastey October spices and a sweet almost flowery finish.

M: creamy, light, and watery on the palate.

D: overall a super sessionable all night long Octoberfest.

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Photo of Dodt
2.95/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

finally decide to review this one after a bit of hesitation
poured from the bottle into a tall beer mug
appearance a copper colored with a wispy head that goes away quickly
smell tad sweet
taste malty with a hint of cherries
mouthfeel light body
not a bad offering from the people from magic hat

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.12/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a transparent amber color with large bubbles rising up from the bottom of the glass, ultimately forming a large bubbly head.

Smell: Pale malt, fruity esters from the yeast, some toffee sweetness and a bit of hazelnut.

Taste: There is a soft toffee start, with some nuttiness as well. A bit of fruity yeast, followed by floral and herbal hops. Nothing really jumps out at me as special.

Mouthfeel: It feels a bit watery for most of it, with a crisp carbonation that lifts a light oil off the tongue.

Drinkability: It's fine.

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Photo of arboristfish
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a copper color, which is slightly hazy. There was a white foamy head but it did not last long. The aroma is odd, almost a smoke like smell to it, with a hint of cherries. There is a complex maltiness, it starts out sweet but ends with a cherry like flavor. The beer is medium light, and is somewhat balanced.

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Photo of maddogruss
3.01/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this at the Cloverleaf tavern.

A: Pours an amber body with a small, white head with decent retention and lacing until the finish.

S: A fairly sweet, roasted, malty smell with a slight hint of sourness or tartness in the undertones.

T: A fairly earthy, roasted malt taste. Not much of a taste. A slightly, bland, earthy aftertaste that was nothing overly impressive. I was hoping for a bit more malt character in this beer, but it did not quite hit the mark.

M: A fairly, light-bodied beer overall that was pretty refreshing and pretty nice for the style.

D: A decent mouthfeel and taste combination makes for a decent session beer, but I felt that the roasted malt flavors could have been a bit stronger. Not much of a flavorful tasting beer.

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Photo of madamebeer
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance- nice color, amber, has a soft ring of remaining head

Smell- fruity with a hint of caramel and malt.

Taste- definite taste of caramel, with a hint of fruit and malt. it hits a little hard on the stomach.

mouthfeel- smooth goes down easy with a slight bite around the finish

drinkability- i am not sure if i would drink this beer again. it is interesting and has ok flavor but i am not 100% in love with it

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

A: Light copper color with small off-white head that fades slowly.

S: Sweet malty aroma. Carmel, toffee, and some light bread.

T: Carmel malt upfront, and hints of fresh bread and bisquits. Light herbal and spice notes. Finishes with citrusy hops in the background.

M: Light to medium bodied.

D: I obviously liked this one a little better than most people here. I found Hex to be a very drinkable ale, with a nice twist on a traditional Oktoberfest.

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Photo of Agold
2.96/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hex is a light orange/ light amber color. I have had it before with a much bigger head, but this time the head was about 1/2 inch and receded to a film fairly quickly.
The aroma is sweet caramel malt and a little bit of fruityness from the yeast maybe. The hops come across very subtle.
The taste is sweet like the aroma, but there is a metallic flavor which is kind of off putting. The hops are a bit hidden, but do come through. It also has a bit of the "magic hat" taste that i taste in all the other beers of theirs that i have had( although i liked their IPA).
Mouthfeel is light and the beer has higher carbonation.
Not great drinkability because that metallic taste combined wiith that magic hat taste is actually quite off putting.

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Photo of Pencible
3.56/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a translucent copper with moderate light tan head.
S: It smelled like bready yeast and roasted barley, with copper and some citrus hops and caramel.
T: It tasted like copper hops with roasted barley and some bready yeast and citrus. It had a bitter and mostly clean aftertaste.
M: It was somewhat thick with moderate carbonation. Actually quite good body.
D: This was one of the better Magic Hats, but still only an average Oktoberfest (or amber ale?). It had nice body, but the scent and taste weren't great. It was fairly easy to drink, but it wasn't satisfying. Not worth trying more than once.

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Photo of dirtylou
2.29/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz single, Why oh why did i purchase thee? Woodmans of course

appearance: served in a great dane nonic pint, clear copper-amber, fluffy white cap with decent retention

smell: sweet and bready, very soapy

taste: soapy water, off bready notes, artificial sweetness, musty, grain. I'll drink half, then down the tubes. Boring, a little offensive, and i didnt need another beer anyway.

mouthfeel: a little unpleasant


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Photo of anotherpg
3.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A fine Red Ale / Octoberfest? It was lighter and fizzier than I expect an Octoberfest to be. My main complaint with MH is whatever yeast they use is quite sweet. This goes down fine, but has a pronounced aftertaste that you don't get with their lighter beers. Best in a mix 12 pack.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.27/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh by date of 11/30/2010.
Magic Hat's "Ourtoberfest" beer.

Pours a clear amber color with a thin head that fades fast and leaves no lacing on the glass.

Smell is pretty much all caramel malt with a slight fruitiness and hop balance, the hops are fairly muted though.

Taste is all caramel malt with a decent breadiness to it, light toffee like flavor in the aftertaste, carbonation is crisp and refreshing.

An adequate albeit average October beer, but there are certainly plenty more I'd rather reach for during that season. The best thing that this beer has going for it is the label though.

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Hex from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 929 ratings
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