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Wooly | Magic Hat Brewing Company

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162 Ratings

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 162 |  Reviews: 43
Photo of brwnchrstpher
3/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of mattkoon
3.46/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this wooly esb from magic hat is a milder take on the esb style. the look of this beer is golden with a slight haze. the smell is earthy with a little bit of piney citrus. wooly is hoppy with a bitter kick at the end. i do however, feel like it is milder than others esb's that i have had, which isnt a bad thing. it is a lot more drinkable than some others. so i guess it all depends on if you want a really hearty esb, or if you want something that you can drink and enjoy while you watch the game or just fat-around. i like this one ok over all.

 548 characters

Photo of silverking
2.99/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A- It pours a slightly hazy light amber with a fluffy white head. Head retention is decent, and lacing is equally decent.

S- Piney, Caramel, citrus.

T- Piney, to the extreme of being soapy. It literally tastes like a christmas tree. There is a mild bitter finish with lots of, you guessed it, piney notes. The finish comes across as dry. There are some mild citrus notes as well.

M- Light, and yet mildly oily. Carbonation is moderate.

O- The thought was there, but it doesn't taste like beer. It's just a collection of strange flavors.

 540 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.11/5  rDev -1.3%
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 BEERMILER12
3.26/5  rDev +3.5%
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 jjchristiano
3/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of jlogan7
3/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of ajkiser12
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of ale207
3.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of ralphw56
3.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of FCRICH
3.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of cliff1066
3/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Mantooth
3/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of SlaughteredWolf
4.25/5  rDev +34.9%

Photo of brentk56
3.61/5  rDev +14.6%
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 J_Beloved
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of nquigley16
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of SouljaSaia17
3.82/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the first beer that I have had that includes spruce. And am always attracted to this companies cool labels.

A: Beer pours a light orange/gold color that has a very thin, soap white head that leaves no lacing.

S: Aroma consist of pine, spruce and some mild hops. Also, I get a bread-type character at the end.

T: Very nice flavor that jumps at you with generous amounts of spruce, followed by a little pine, some honey and hops. A dry yeast in the mouth is present at the finish.

M: Very dry mouth accompanied with those herbal flavors. Not too much carbonation, but a very tolerable beer.

O: I really enjoyed this beer, very unique in the aroma and taste. The spruce is nice and sweet, where I thought it would be a little over the top or to uncharacteristic of a beer. Quite simply, the best ESB I have ever drank.

 828 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
3.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Apellonious
3.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz from the Winter Mix Pack

A - Pours a semi cloudy orangish gold, with a half finger head that disappears quickly

S - Pine, bread, and some mild hops. That must be where the "with spruce" comes in.

T - Having a touch time figuring this one. I can detect a mild hint of the same flavors present in their signature #9, although more muted, on the finish. Definitely some biscuit qualities, and bitter hops.

M - A touch on the thin side, but it is very clean and crisp, especially for an ESB

O - A solid beer, but seems to be something.

 542 characters

Photo of bigbeers84
2.5/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of FickleBeast
3.7/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a hazy ruddy amber brown color with two fingers of magnificent fluffy foam. Aroma is grainy, biscuity, with a hint of spruce.

First sip has a evergreen, spruce flavor profile with an extremely dry finish with little residual sweetness. Leaves you thirsty after taking a sip. Strong bitterness is present on the back end but though it is potent, it is not harsh or lingering. I think this beer suffers from a lack of malty sweet flavor. As soon as you swallow, the flavor disappears and you are left with a faint evergreen aftertaste.

This is an interesting brew, but not something that I'd find myself craving again. Really could use a touch more sweetness to round things out.

 721 characters

Photo of mattparsons
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Ispeakforthetrees
1.75/5  rDev -44.4%

Wooly from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.15 out of 5 with 162 ratings
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