Wooly | Magic Hat Brewing Company

BA SCORE
76
okay
162 Ratings
THE BROS
74
okay
Read the review
WoolyWooly
BEER INFO

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

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Coniferous Concoction Pine for this Extra Special Bitter whose medium body and spicy hoppiness harmonize with flavorful, aromatic spruce tips.

40 IBU

Added by GilGarp on 10-11-2012

BEER STATS
Ratings:
162
Reviews:
43
Avg:
3.2
pDev:
17.81%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
3
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 162 |  Reviews: 43
Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

forget what everyone says, this is absolutely delicious. it is an elglish style bitter, a mild one at that, but that is the base upon which a generous spruce addition is infused, resulting in a full bodied, seasonally perfect, refreshingly yummy winter ale. the nose is really piney, both oily and sappy, which could also be aided by the strong hop presence for the style. rich but not sweet malts, bordering on amber in color and taste temper the intensity of the spruce, but they work well in tandem. finish is crisp and akin to a christmas tree. my brother said its like drinking a hippie, but i didnt think so (who am i to say?). the low alcohol and fuler body make this a nice winter session beer, and the carbonation is upbeat too, which helps the cause. overall i like this a lot better than the winter seasonals that came before it, i think it shows a nice inventive side on the heels of the dandelion summer brew. top quality i thought.

 945 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of brentk56
3.61/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A very attractive pour, with the crystal clear amber liquid capped by a couple of inches of foam; great persistence and residual lacing

Smell: Biscuity malt and pine, though rather hard to detect the spruce

Taste: Biscuity, up front, with the spruce much more apparent in the flavor than in the aroma; pine and tobacco flavors also come on strong in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not a bad tasting beer, but as an ESB it comes up short as it lacks the fruity character of the better examples of the style

Thanks, acurtis, for the opportunity

 601 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.18/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Spotted this in the singles section, hoping it's relatively fresh. Fall seasonal... neck has a string of random numbers: K1826 1 1325 556K. According to Freshbeeronly, that's October 18, 2012, with an extra 6 at the end. Huh.

Hazy orange color, one finger of foam, lasting skim that remains unbroken for quite awhile. Spotty lace around the edges of the glass, some visible rising carbonation.

There is a little dry herbal spruce spice in the aftertaste, but it's masked by a general watery soggy grain flavor. As it warms there's some low level crackery malt, but it's pretty mild overall. Light bodied, a little thin. Nothing special, but if you love spruce beers give it a try.

 682 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium to slightly bigger off white head settles into a nice lacing above a clear caramel golden colored beer.

Light piney hops mix well with a light caramel malt in an aroma that is quite nice but on the lighter side.

Almost burnt roasted malts dominate the taste with some slight hints of sourish hops skewing the dark malts.

A dryish aftertaste with some burnt like malt tastes staying around on this medium bodied ESB.

This beer has a almost burnt dark malt taste that is just a bit over the top for me, and as it sits it seems to become more prominent and to me less desirable.

 586 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.29/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light amber in the big tulip. Starts with a good head, but it dwindles down pretty fast. Hits you with the resiny, piney aroma which is rather pleasant.

Sharp and tangy mouthfeel with a light body. Bitter herbs on the tongue. The alleged spruce is right up front. Tastes more like rosemary to me. Sort of a buttery taste after a while. On the good side, it's crisp and refreshing. Bitterness keeps growing along with that resiny taste that seems to add to the bitterness.

I'll have to taste the Alaskan winter beer again, which is flavored with spruce that I remember more fondly than this. From the 12 oz bottle bought at Grapevine Liquors in Denver.

 661 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.63/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a hazed, copper-amber body with a one-third-inch, white head.

Smell: Under-toasted biscuit tops, a flash of bitterish herbs, and only the faintest blip of spruce on the radar screen. A little dull from an aromatic standpoint.

Taste: Shaky biscuit maltiness, minor toastiness, and very lightly caramelized sugars. Doesn't quite yield any lemon, any herbiness, and just a should shrug-equivalent of spruce character. Modest bitterness. Dry, seemingly unclean finish. Pretty dull tastewise, too.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Without the spruce, standing alone as an ESB, it doesn't fare too well, really. Add the spruce gimmick, it's not much better. Lackluster offering.

 716 characters

Photo of Jason
3.23/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Nearly clear amber, thick two fingers of head

SMELL: Biscuity malt, mild spruce resin, ripe fruit, faint diacetyl

TASTE: Moderate sized body, wet, grainy, grassy, twang of spruce, light hopping, slightly biscuity, dried grass, watery, very dry

Not as complex as I though it would have been, a little out of balance but since the spruce is not that agressive the dryness actually helps in the area ... sadly it leaves the beer a in a lackluster state. A good stepping stone for anyone that has not had a spruced beer before and perhaps even an extreme beer.

 608 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.25/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of TMoney2591
2.61/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Can a brother get some Sam the Sham up in here?? This stuff pours a clear brass topped by a half-finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises puffed rice, funky wheat, and old greens. The hell? There's spruce in this? This isn't a year old? Hmm... The taste brings the spruce into reality, though unfortunately by drowning it in dry-tasting caramel bespackled with old leaves. Dammit. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a bone dry finish. Overall, this was just odd and sad. There's pretty much no ESB character, and whatever else is there doesn't come through as well-melded.

 653 characters

Photo of imperialking
3.25/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of plaid75
3.63/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light brass hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light toasted malt and light grassy hop. Little to no spruce aroma detected.

The taste consisted of a crisp toasted malt with a balancing herbal hop. A bit of a thin malt bill however and no real trace of spruce.

The mouthfeel was toward the thinner side if the style.

Overall an easy drinking, clean ale.

 432 characters

Photo of beergorrilla
3/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
3.75/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of IdrinkGas
2.5/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of crobinso
2.75/5  rDev -14.1%

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a cloudy golden copper color. The head is a two finger offwhite color with a rather frothy texture and low retention. On the other hand, it leaves a level of lacing I only see out of IPAs.

S: Aromatically, it does come across like a non-hoppy pine aroma. It's not loaded with spruce, but I do notice it quite well. Other than that, though, it smells like an old IPA with stale hops and generic caramel malts.

T: Firstly, the flavor profile comes across like a generic ESB, hitting the basics of the style (bright fruit presence and weirdly tart caramel malts) without doing them brilliantly...then the wave of piny spruce comes (both from hops and added spruce); and honestly it kind of works, especially on the finish. It's not great, but it's actually quite okay - more than I was expecting.

M: Has a good coarseness to the texture which might be my favorite feature of this brew. The finish and aftertaste are pretty neutral between wet and dry.

O: Nothing wrong with this at all. There's no wow factor or 'zing', but I can't find anything bad with this. I wouldn't purchase this again, but I'd never refuse one.

 1,169 characters

Photo of leprechaunandfatman
2.99/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden color with good head that takes a while to dissipate.
Smells hoppy with noticeable spruce, but the smell overall is very light and at times almost imperceptible. Should be much stronger.
Taste is light on flavor. A hint of hop and some pine. Finishes tasting almost like an IPA. Tasty but not nearly strong enough.
Light and almost bubbly in the mouth, very smooth and easy to drink. Not a bad beer overall, but the flavor, while good, does not assert itself enough. Nice addition to the Magic Hat Winter variety pack with room for improvement though.

 573 characters

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.38/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Pours a hazy copper burnt orange color with a small mount of head. Not much aroma to it...some slight sweet malts i suppose.
Taste is very malty and has that typical magic hat malty-ness; but out of nowhere you get a huge wallop of spruce/pine/rosemary. Its actually pretty good, and would compliment a good roasted bird dinner - like thanksgiving...
while not the best ESB out there, its certainly different and drinkable.

 459 characters

Photo of Treyliff
3.14/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A- pours an orangish-gold color with a small white head that reduces quickly, but leaves a thin layer skimming the top with no lace.

S- toasted grainy malt with some fruity notes

T- some fruity notes follow the nose, grainy malt profile mid-palate, the finish is dry with a little bit of piney hops, perhaps assisted by the spruce. Seems to be lacking more of a malt profile that by would expect of the style.

M- medium-high carbonation, light body, creamy finish. The finish us pleasant but its too carbonated for an ESB.

O- it's pretty clean and easy to drink (except for the high carbonation), but doesn't really drink like an ESB.

 639 characters

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours an amber color with 2 fingers worth of puffy head that retains very well

S: A mix of the usual MH yeast, some maltiness, and a big hit of spruce

T: Starts out slightly malty with a little of the MH yeast. Then comes the onslaught of spruce... woah. Tastes like I'm sucking on a spruce tree... The spruce leaves a bitter aftertaste which isn't that bad after the spruce is gone

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: Way too much spruce to be enjoyable. It wouldn't be half bad if the spruce was just a compliment to the base, but it really overpowers the beer. I respect what MH was going for here, but again, just way too much spruce

 654 characters

Photo of Mantooth
3/5  rDev -6.3%

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Wooly from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.2 out of 5 based on 162 ratings.
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