Demo | Magic Hat Brewing Company

BA SCORE
79
okay
432 Ratings
DemoDemo
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States
magichat.net

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Demo is a deliciously dark lick of an India Pale Ale. It’s medley of roasted malts and heady hops will have your senses dancing to the beat of a different I.P.A.

45 IBU

Added by NEhophead on 01-13-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
432
Reviews:
145
Avg:
3.45
pDev:
15.07%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
33
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 432 |  Reviews: 145
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.46/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

A: Deep brown with tons of yeast and protein sediment suspended in the brew. A two-finger head of creamy, beige foam holds pretty sturdy and leaves a bit of nice lacing. A bit off-putting appearance though.

S: Musky, herbal and spicy hop aromas give off hints of pine, earthy, burnt hop leaves and roasted black malts.

T: Bittersweet, roasted hop flavor from the get-go, with a bit of a chewy, yeasty bread flavor. Earthy, herbal flavors send some deep bitterness across the palate before finishing up a little metallic and grainy.

M: Medium-bodied and slightly chewy because of the suspended sediment in the bottle. Carbonation adds some creaminess to the mouthfeel but not enough to enhance the overall experience much.

O: The appearance was a bit disturbing for a black ale. Not sure if this is a consistent byproduct or an off bottle, but it wasn't all that enjoyable. Also, not totally black or even deep amber, but more of a deep brown ale. Flavors aren't that impressive and the 6% ABV didn't really drink that smoothly to me. Not bad, but I'd pass if it were in a sixer.

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Photo of rebel1771
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a near black with a frothy tan head.

S: Hints of coffee and chocolate with a piney twang.

T: Watery burnt coffee flavor up front finishing with a subdued smack of piney hops.

O: This brew is kind of middle of the road but definitely worth a try.

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Photo of shand
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic.

This is a great looking brew, a deep-brown color with three fingers of head that retain well and leave great lacing down the glass. The aroma is of some nice hoppiness paired with some roasted, slightly smoky malts. Well, this is another odd one from Magic Hat. Can't say I've had something like this yet. The taste on this is a bit like a hoppy porter for sure, but with a stronger hop aftertaste, and a thinner mouthfeel. Roasted and smoky malts hit first, followed up by some restrained hoppiness. The hoppiness becomes more apparent on the finish, but never quite provides the bitterness I'd like. Still, a good beer, even if it doesn't quite tick the black IPA marks I'd like.

The mouthfeel is very crisp and well-carbonated, it's quite a bit lighter than the oppressive-looking brew in the glass would lead you to expect. The drinkability is also quite good, I drank this rather quickly. Another strange brew from Magic Hat. Almost reminds me more of an amped up Schwarzbier because of the cleaniliness and mouthfeel, but the lingering hoppiness on the finish (and the fact that this is clearly an ale, not a lager) betrays that description. Give it a try.

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Photo of drinkiusmaximus
2.91/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-very dark, black as night fingers width tan head.

S-slight pine hops heavy burnt toast and an odd nuttiness.

T-burnt flavors with a lingering drying bitterness.ash taste sticks around.

M-medium bodied and smooth very nice carbonation.

D-Not very impressed and at the same time it's not horrible I guess.

Prost!!!

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Photo of jlindros
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

"All we need is humble patience" so goes the wisdom of Magic Hat.

A big frothy head fades semi slowly with some sticky lacing and a bubbly head left behind, over murky super hazy dark brown reddish maroon color.

Nose has some toasty malts, reddish malts, a bit syrupy, a malty and light nutty aroma, slight musty grape seed hazelnut like aroma.

Taste starts with a light malty dark malt aroma, some toasty and nutty malts, a musty grape seed like flavor too, a weird hop bitter flavor, some light fruit, very dry even to start, and a light fruity hop flavor. Finishes a bit spicy and some earthy hops, dry but sticky, and super dry and bitter grape seed finish.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall pretty meh, pretty much what I expect from Magic Hat these days, very meh beers unfortunately, weird flavors, super dry, some fruits that don't blend, just not very good.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Black-ish, when put up to light looks more of a dark brown. 1/2 a finger of head but leaves behind great lacing.

S-Coffee, licorice and burnt malts. Not much hops though.

T-Starts with the coffee and burnt malts that are in the nose. However lacks in bitterness. For what Magic Hat describes as a Black IPA (not trying to start the name of the style debate here) where is the bitterness???

M-Medium bodied with little carbonation.

D-Bought a single of this to avoid the spring mix pack. Easily the worst of the IPA on Tour, but the previous three were all solid beers.

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Photo of Jason
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date inkjet printed on the neck of the bottle.

Tan head and lacing do a great job with dressing the glass, opaque brown color talks about being black. Stodgy pungent hop nose with a charcoal burnt graininess in the nose. Smooth with some crispness on the backside. Some burnt flavors from the malt, some sweetness as well. Hoppiness is pungent and pulls on the palate. Finish goes towards dry with a clean roasted flavor and lingering hop.

Solid, perhaps one of the best beers Magic Hat has come out with in years. Only gripe is that I expected it to be full on black ... splitting hairs now.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.91/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nothing pale about this one, but nothing that black about it either. So, it's a very dark IPA and a hardly-black Black Ale. Color is a dark reddish brown, mahogany maybe, and the head is a fluffy, creamy, meringue-firm sort of dirty white. I dig.

Nose is truer to style than its appearance. Lightly burnt grains, hint of smoke, citrus-y hops -- very clean despite the "something's burnt" element. Truth be told, not as burnt smelling as many others in this style. Everything is balanced well, the somewhat conflicting citrus and charred grain aspects mingling nicely.

Appearance would indicate that the burnt taste of many ABAs is going to be lesser here, and it is. You get more of a nice caramel-y, smoky toffee kind of taste instead, and the citrus-like hops don't abrade against that but instead mesh well within. The burnt aspect comes in the finish, and plays tricks on your tongue (burnt or fruity, or burnt fruit?). The feel is smooth and airy, soft and slick, and keeps Demo's drinkability high.

Gotta love the label, a 45 rpm demo record label. Very good beer too, a slightly different take on the style. But for their "IPA on Tour" series, I'm most anxious for the return of Encore.

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Photo of rtepiak
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this is interesting crossroad in american beer. its has the temperment of an APA but with the malt character of something quite heavy. this beer although isn't heavy. on a scale of density and darkness hops being the golden, fresh, and dry and coffee being that rich, thick and backend flavor. this is something in the middle. almond and toast. but bitter. this seems to me that quality of something that is a RIS in grit but without the body. this is not a brown malt. its not malty. but it has a character of somewhat bitter malt and a tad toasty.

pour is brown dingy with a beaut of a head of crag large bubbles. nose of almond and coconut which fades quickly to mineral and toastiness. palate is hard and somewhat coffee bitter with a toasty coffee finish. a bit loose around the edges but must say that i had a good bottle then a bad one. almost a bad coffee and good IPA hybrid.

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Photo of sdj5
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks very dark, maybe a reddish-brown, but very close to black. Smells like a relatively hoppy Hershey bar. Taste is a crisp hop bite, with chocolate and roasted malts mixed in and then more of the expected bitterness on the end.

The IPA label seems wrong because this beer is not what it says on the box. However, I do think it is a good beer and would drink it again, regardless of the error in judgement.

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Photo of busterthecat
2.68/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

best by: may 31 2011, poured into pint glass

A- A modest brown hue. A creamy head forms with some sticky lacing.

S- Smooth roasted malts. Some chocolate, a creamy sweetness, some earthy piney hops finally comes through. Malt mostly.

T- A big taste of chocolate and mild roasted malt upfront. Smooth. Hops are mostly absent. Some faint bitterness with no direction.

M- Medium to light bodied, wet, lingers ok. Kind of thin and watery.

O/D- No alc. Quite unimpressed. More like a watery stout then a ABA.

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Photo of Dotcubed
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not sure why the label says IPA, maybe it's meant to be like a "B" side?

Very dark, pudding skin of soft foam.

Almost coffee smell.

Burnt flavors. Creamy. Some smoked accent.
Tastes like coffee.

Bitterness like an IPA but attributes from something other than hops...

Thinner mouth feel.

Stamped Best buy March 31 2011

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Photo of joelshults
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not an IPA. This beer is tasty. A very smokey, dark beer, but nothing like any IPA I've ever had.

Has more of a lager flavor to me than an ale. If this had been labeled "Magic Hat Schwartzbier" I would've given it an A.

I'm just not sure at all how this is labeled an IPA.

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Photo of Ralphus
3.02/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy brown with an offwhite head that recedes to a ring of foam. Some lacing is left behind.

The smell is smokey pine. Nice hopping.

The taste is a slightly ipa taste with some smokey malts. The combination doesn't work too well for me as the malt is not that sweet. The beer just seems to be missing something.

Mouthfeel is ok, albeit a little gritty if that makes any sense.

Overall.. not a beer I'd go for again.

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Photo of Clownpants
3.34/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Love IPAs, but not really a huge fan of black ales. Here the black ale was more powerful than the IPA taste...thus the lower rating. It has a great first taste, but the aftertaste was very dark and not of the traditional IPA bite. A well brewed beer, but not my favorite.

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Photo of Kendo
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is dark brown with a small tan head that settles fast. Leaves some lace.

S: Leafy, herbal, earthy hops over a touch of malt. Not terribly strong in the nose.

T: Doesn't really taste much like an American-Style Black Ale; at times I think Rauchbier or Schwarzbier, at other times I think Porter. . . . There's some char or charcoal, a touch of roasted barley malt and leafy hops at the finish. Neither as chocolatey nor as roasty as I like for the style. And while we're at it, not as hoppy either - at least, not the juicy, citrusy, piney (American) hops I like.

M: Body is light-to-medium in heft. Carbonation is too active and sharp, not at all creamy and smooth.

O: The beer is OK. I had a few of them and wasn't disgusted by that. But they didn't really hold my interest either. Overall impression: there are much better beers of this style.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Freshness date of April 30, 2011 on the neck. Poured into a tulip pint: A good three-and-a-half fingers of loose-beaded mocha head over black body with deep plum highlights. Some heavy, sticky lacing around the sides.

Nice hoppy aroma, with some cool orange & grapefruit zest, even a little mintiness, over a mild biscuity roast, not too sweet (toast points?).

Some moderate hoppy bitterness in the taste, as well, with the citric characteristics again. The finish is, again, nice roast malt, ends very much like a porter, with a little coffee darkness thrown in. Mmm, I like that - good balance of "light" & "dark" flavors. A little brownie-like aftertaste lingers.

Medium-full-bodied with some action from the hops. Kind of sticks around in the aftertaste with a little astringency, but not bad.

This is the best thing I've had from Magic Hat in a while. A little more porter-ish than a lot of black ales I've had, which is fine with me. Doesn't tip too far in either direction.

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Photo of generallee
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a Pint glass. ("3/4 Pint of Ale" as they say on the label.) The label has a freshness date of "May 31 2011" and the abv is listed at 6%.

Appearance: It has a very dark look in the glass with some very deep dark garnet colored highlights showing through the beer. I also noticed some fine sediment hanging in suspension within the body. To cap off this beer I got a dense tan head which stands two fingers tall. This head has excellent retention and coats the glass with lacing.

Smell: I get a dark roasted malt character with hints of coffee and caramel. Hops are lighter than the malt and add some citrus and herbal notes to the nose.

Taste/Palate: The palate opens up with mild sweetness, roasted malt, coffee and toasted bread with citrus hop notes quickly moving in. It finishes with pleasant herbal/leafy hop bitterness fading slowly off the tongue. It has a creamy and smooth mouth feel with pleasant soft carbonation.

Notes: It come off more as a Porter than IPA but is still very tasty and beautiful.

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Photo of tempest
3.46/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had at bottle at Allentown Wegman's with some BBQ brisket in the cafe. Poured with an impressively thick light brown head.Not a bad combo. Bascially, this was a pleasant, creamy porter with a mix of black barley roast and grapefruit and citrus rind hops. I'd have like more hop character to make this more than a bitter American porter, but it's a tasty porter nonetheless. Drinkable for the strength, but not too thin.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance:
The beer pours a dark black with brown highlights around the edges. Little head/lacing, but copious amounts of dense particles floating (almost stationary) around my glass...I give points to beers that aren't ashamed to show where they came from.
The head that was visible for a brief minute appeared to be a light tan.

Smell:
I made the slight mistake of judging this beer as a "cold server," but upon reconsideration, I would have liked to see how this beer smelled at warmer temperatures.
Although I am slightly desensitized to hops, there is still a slight bitterness. However, a majority of this beer is devoted to a burnt toffee/caramel malt. A little aeration goes a long way with this beer.
Also, a little more alcohol really would have helped to crank up some of the aromas this beer is hiding.

Taste:
Initially I'm only getting rich, toasty malts with hints of the hops that would qualify this beer as being on an "IPA tour." Although initial impressions of a beer can go a long way, the truth unfolds to reveal this beer's true balance between a lingering burnt/bitter aftertaste and initial sweet/burnt maltiness. All prejudices aside, this is one of the better Magic Hats I've tasted in a long time.

Mouthfeel:
Roasted malt up front with a toffee sweetness that follows. The aftertaste is bitter, but the palate is still coated heavily with roasted malt.
No heavy alcohol and the body is between medium-full.
My only major complaint is I would have liked to get more hops upfront.

Overall (Drinkability):
Smooth, easy to drink, can drive home after having a couple.
I paid $0 for this beer, snagged it out of a friend's variety pack (which was fair priced to begin with). I appreciate Magic Hat's efforts to produce different "IPAs on tour" to try and tap into the east coast IPA market, but a huge "under-hopping" leaves this beer out of its league.
With great beer comes great responsibility. I feel responsible to stand up to this beer/brewery that has had their name run through the muck after their recent acquisition by Anheuser; I think Magic Hat is making an effort...so far it's just not enough.

Cheers.

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Photo of Daktyls
3.44/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown almost black with a half-finger mocha head that dissipates to a patchy lacing. There is also quite a bit of brownish particles floating in the beer which I'm somewhat concerned about because not many other reviewers made note of it.

S: Dark malts are present immediately, followed by chocolate and citrus notes. Herbal hops take somewhat of a back burner, but are present.

T: Something seems off here. I'm not quite sure what it is that's off, but it's something. There's definitely some herbal hops present, but it's very hoppy, almost as if the visible sediment were hop particles themselves.

M: Lightly carbonated, light body, a generally light beer considering the alcohol content.

D: I'm not particularly impressed here. Yea, it's drinkable, but as a whole it's not particularly memorable.

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Photo of mattgreger
4.07/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased this brew within the Magic Hat Spring Sampler pack.

This brew poured a dark brown, almost black color. It had a nice fluffy mocha colored head, that lasted for quite a bit and left some great sticky lacing on the glass while drinking the brew. So far its looking really good.

After the pour this brew gets better, it has a a nice roasted coffee flavor that has notes of caramel throughout. It almost smells like a porter. Very toasty smelling brew with a nice kick of hops.

I am really enjoying this brew. It has some great flavors, which are all roasted/toasted, blending really well with the hoppiness of the brew. When its being called an IPA, im still kinda confused, but who cars. this brew is pretty good. Its almost as mix. It has the nice toasted flavors of a porter, but hoppy character that gives it some life. I like it a lot, especially at it warms.

The mouthful on this brew is great. With a nice carbonation that has some life that balances this complex brew very well. I think if the brew had some carbonation added, it would put this as on of my top brews to date, at least in this style. Still very good none the less.

The drink on this brew is pretty good. A beer drinker who isn't into hoppy brews, might shy away, but anyone else should definitly give this brew a try. Its got great flavors, while remaining balanced and having a nice crisp finish. I will certainly enjoy the other bottles in my sampler.

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Photo of Billolick
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, Best before info etched onto the next of the bottle.

Pours quite dark brown, under a larger, fluffy and staying medium mocha head, that fades to a thicker film and leaves tons of thick sheeting and bands of unsophisticated looking lace.

Chalky chocolate laden nose.

This brew is a ragged mess, with more chocolate, more chalkyness, dark malts, hops somewhere in the back ground, but somehow not making sense nor dancing well with all that chocolate flavor. Finish is thin and not all that pleasant. C'mon Magic Hat, does anybody taste this stuff before it leaves the brewery?!?

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Photo of Guden
4.15/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice dark brown color, small head which recedes quickly, not what I was expecting when I saw IPA on the bottle but I'm buying it.

S- Yum, roasty toasty coffee and light caramel, smells like a porter, maybe a bit of hops

T- Wow, I am liking this one. The roasted flavors blend with the high hoppiness in a great great way. I don't know how this is an IPA but it sure is delicious. Maybe a cross between a porter and an IPA but it works very well

M- Good, moderate carbonation bristling with just right body to balance out everything, maybe a bit more carbonation could have sent it over the top for me

D- Great, maybe not the most drinkable because of the hoppiness but I could easily put away a 6 pack of this if I had it

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Photo of smcolw
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color and lightly cloudy. Good starting head that settles to a single layer of bubbles. Very good rim lace after each sip.

Dark but dry malts to the nose. Lesser hop smell. Light yeast aroma.

Quite dry, almost astringent. Slightly thin bodied, the carbonation does match this well. Good darker crystal malt flavors--slightly nutty. The hop balances the malt well, but is not distinct. Overall, a very drinkable, if non-distinct, black beer.

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Demo from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.45 out of 5 based on 432 ratings.
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