HICu | Magic Hat Brewing Company

34 Reviews
Read the review

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jwc215 on 04-15-2013

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 215
Photo of udfan07
1/5  rDev -65.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is the worst beer I have ever had. The cucumber was the worst aspect of the beer and it didn't provide anything at all flavorful. Terrible taste and a terrible beer. If I could give this a zero I would

 209 characters

Photo of JosephBieske
1.4/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Hicu from magic hat ... Brewed with cucumber and hibiscus, ale. Darker than I thought it would be. Rich cucumber aroma on the nose. Gives a refreshing invite. Strange taste of the hibiscus and cucumber.... Light. Semi crisp. After taste is a bit rough. Makes me think of cleaning supplies, or a early summer day, grass wet with dew.

Overall - I wouldn't buy a 6pk or a single btl again. Not mad that bought a btl to try, but not worth the $2 it cost. Don't try this beer unless you want to be let down.

 504 characters

Photo of Jadjunk
3/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

"Create a Haiku inspired by the HiCü you have in your hand." Brewed in the style of a Fruit Ale with a central focus on cucumber and hibiscus. This beer was the throw in Variety Pack exclusive included with the Summer sampler in 2013, possibly a one-off beer. While beers that go to this level of wildness are often overly criticized, I'm going to give this one a fair shot.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to my Magic Hat pint glass. Served north of 48º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) A vigorous pour yields an ecru cream head of a stale dish suds consistency over a maple amber body with moderate carbonation and very heavy sediment. Retention is average at best, lacing is specked and thin. There's not much to value in this appearance. 2.5

(Smell) There's most certainly a strong sweet cucumber candy aroma up front that doesn't conflict significantly with the pale malt build aside from being an incredibly unusual choice and admittedly an appealing aromatic element. Some herbal and vegetative aroma chimes in to lesser effect, likely the hibiscus element, adding some aromatic bitterness through fresh-cut vegetation, it's unlikely that hops are equally utilized otherwise in this beer. Potency is medium. 3

(Taste) Going into this beer, I vowed not to let the cucumber nor hibiscus angle be the focal of any criticism I had for this beer, and I feel certain that neither tarnish the beer as individual entities nor collective ones. My biggest concern is in what malt build compliments these two unique flavor choices while offering balance to highlight them. Ultimately, the balance issue is glaring to anybody with a seasoned palate. There is a lacking sweetness and also a shallow, uninteresting malt body. Cucumber provides mostly flavor (which I found very enjoyable) yet very little sweetness to remedy this issue. What remains is a very sharp garden greens medley of characters that generate a great deal of leafy, herbaceous bitterness, led by the hibiscus plant, without significant malt body to compliment or counteract. In conclusion, I appreciated the thought and enthusiasm that went into crafting a beer concept as audacious as this, but the actual beer side of the recipe was not as well orchestrated as I had hoped. 3

(Mouthfeel) The texture is thin and dry, a touch chalky. Carbonation adds a touch of crisp liveliness and fizz. The body is light/medium for the style, light+ overall. Alcohol presence is very low. As before mentioned, balance lacks sweetness and body and preferences bitterness of the raw leaf and herbal variety. If you're not put off by the herbaceous bitterness, this might be a nice sessionable choice for you. Finishes generally clean. 3.25

(Overall) A nod to the "what if" kind of beer drinker, HiCü showcases gloriously the art of cucumber and hibiscus together in a single bottle. Cucumber does, in fact manage to come out wonderfully in this beer, and I can see this fruit being used in many different kinds of beer with favorable results. The dominant issue resulted from either an overemphasis on hibiscus for bitterness or through a lack of body and sweetness to counter that bitterness. Either way, I was not as put off by this drink as the angry mob scouring their Facebook page would like to make it seem, but I think it could have used some more thought from a "beer engineer's" angle to truly pull it off well. Kudos to Magic Hat for trying, though. 3

Magic Hat Brewing Company's
HiCü Cucumber Hibiscus Ale

 3,476 characters

Photo of Catamount18
2.23/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Purchased as part as summer sampler. Wish there were less than 3 bottles. Drank out of a bottle

S- smells like a cucumber
T- Tastes like you are a drinking a cucumber sushi roll
M- Light beer
O- I felt like I was drinking a cucumber roll. That is something I'm not looking to drink. I'm not sure what hibiscus would taste like. Maybe Magic Hat did this well, but drinking this I don't think cucumber or hibiscus should be associated with beer. Even my girlfriend didn't like it.

 479 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
2.44/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

A: Pumpkin orange pour shows up a deep, dense, bengal orange in the vessel with a lively carbonation factor. The head is 3+ fingers in height, antique white in color, with a foamy nature and rock steady retention rate. Loads of thick sponge film lacing.

S: Sweet cucumber-citrus, green melon, sweet berry fruitiness, perhaps from the yeast, and sweet rose water. The hibiscus flower comes through nicely, fresh, with a pale lemon grain fade.

T: Flavor didnt translate as well as aroma did. Not as sweet or pleasant, a bit soapy, cucumber, soapy sweet rose hibiscus flower, wheat, and watermelon. Tastes like a hibiscus air freshner, rose water, turning tangerine.

M: Mouthful was a bit washy, carbonation not as lively as visible presentation, light bodied, lifeless and ordinary.

O: Overall after a promising start visually, and aromatically, this dropped off a cliff where it mattered most. Feels washy, soapy, perhaps due more to brewing technique, didnt mind the cucumber aspect, just was washy, soapy, and flavor didnt translate. avoid.

 1,048 characters

Photo of cmep
2/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was excited to try Magic Hat after purchasing a variety pack. I had heard of them before but never tried any of their beers. The most interesting beer that I had anticipated trying was the Hicu. Being a fan of Cucumber and Hibiscus, the later tastes good in tea, I chilled a bottle for a few hours. Appearance was okay and it smelled like Cucumber. The mouthfeel was okay. The flavor on the other hand was awful. This beer tasted like Miller Lite with Cucumber flavor added. I have to give them points for being creative but this beer is a gimmick. Should not have made it past their tasters.

 594 characters

Photo of JoshSyphilis
1.31/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1

More low grade perfume than libation. Like using a Magic Tree air freshener as a tea bag. Almost as if a sub par beer was finished by straining it through a Garden Center planter at whatever crappy box store it was purchased at. Throw in a fetal stage pickle wedge and Wa-La! Straight butt!

 290 characters

Photo of chefhatt
3.39/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this beer and it has a light amber color body with a small white head. The smell is like you just cut a fresh cucumber. The taste is like eating cucumber, I get a faint hint of some hops but not much. The mouthfeel is nice and smooth, overall it is interesting but I wouldn't buy a whole case of it.

 308 characters

Photo of ScottR
2.06/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Serving type: 12-oz. bottle from a Summer Scene variety pack from Magic Hat, poured into a snifter.

A: Light brown and hazy/cloudy; one-finger head, nice retention.

S: Cucumber.

T: More cucumber. If there's a beer in here somewhere, I'm not finding it. If you added cucumber juice to a glass of Coors Light, you'd get something like this monstrosity.

M: Watery. Wet and refreshing, if you can tolerate the taste.

O: Well, I have to award Magic Hat a point for imagination; I don't think there are too many cucumber-hibiscus beers out there, and the idea is at least interesting. But then I have to take away a point for their failure to implement that idea in a way that doesn't totally suck. Save your money.

 714 characters

Photo of Bockrules
4.22/5  rDev +44.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a slightly hazy pumpkin-spice coppery-orange with substantial streams of small bubbles rising to the creamy, one-finger, off-white head. Head stays firmly intact all the way down the glass and leaves behind a nice web of lacing on the lower 3/4ths of the glass.

S - Definitely some cucumber and hibiscus notes as promised by the name with a faint earthy bitterness. I don't know if I would be able to recognize these smells if I didn't have a priori knowledge from the beer's name. More Hibiscus seems to emerge as the beer warms.

T - The lack of malt notes immediately registers with the drinker that this beer is something unique. Instead the front of the beer is driven by a slight bitter cucumber notes with floral overtones. Things seem to balance out more in the body with hibiscus and a slight sweetness mingling well with the bitter cucumber notes. Sweet and floral soda-like fizz as the beer passes over the back of the tongue transitions into a fresh cucumber and vinegar salad finish.

M - Very light bodied and plenty carbonated. This works well with the flavors and aids in making this brew a real summer thirst quencher.

I don't know if its because i've been spending far too much time in Colorado over the past month, but this oddball of a beer has really grown on me. I dig the complex and unique flavors as well as the real-beer appearance and light mouthfeel. Great summer thirst quencher when you want something light and out of the ordinary. I would buy this again, this is by far my favorite Magic Hat brew.

 1,586 characters

Photo of wingman14
2.23/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

Pours a dark yellow beer with a frothy white head. Smell is strong cucumber and hibiscus with some malt. The most odd concoction I've ever smelled. Taste is similar, strong cucumber up front, with the smooth hibiscus finish. Tastes like a fresh salad in beer form. Not the most pleasant flavors, and it didn't grow on my palette. Good mouthfeel and carbonation, the beer was done well, the flavors just were not enjoyable. Overall the beer is done well, with different flavors. I won't be trying this beer again.

 512 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
2.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Firestone restaurant glass
From: BevMo in Mission Valley North (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $15.99 for a Summer Scene variety 12-pack
Purchased: July 26, 2013
Consumed: July 28, 2013
Misc.: N/A

Poured a honey caramel amber with 2-3 fingers of frothy khaki-white head. Average amount of sporadic lacing on the sides of the glass. Great retention all the way down.

Smelled cucumber, fruity aromas, blueberry, grape juice, grape Jolly Ranchers, cotton candy, Irish Spring soap.

Tasted even more cucumbery than the smell. Got that massive cucumber taste, faint floral notes, faint fruity taste, butter, grape juice and soap. Oft-putting overall.

Light body. Thin-to-oily texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt finish. Somewhat refreshing.

Just not that good of a beer in my opinion, but loved the creativity. Not happy about having to drink two more of them.

 886 characters

Photo of Zorro
1.36/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Orange colored beer with a small white colored head.

Smell is cucumber, hibiscus and strong tea.
Tastes like the smell in a horrible way. No three flavors could combine to make a concoction this foul. Worst beer I have tasted since Super Brew 15. Foul stuff!

Mouthfeel is water.

Overall Good God does this suck! So bad that is will cause you mental scars. Don’t buy this or put it in your mouth.

 400 characters

Photo of Felgercarb
2.4/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

I expect to find something to like in almost every beer I try. This beer posed a challenge in that regard.

This beer, which I poured from a bottle into a tulip glass, doesn't do any one thing well. It smells interesting--certainly not offensive--which makes its blandly sour ooze across your palate that much more of a disappointment than it might otherwise be.

If you're looking for a cucumber beer (which is a much better idea than it might initially seem), go hit up Twisted Pine's Cucumber Cream Ale.

 506 characters

Photo of jifigz
2.34/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Bottle poured into a pint glass

The beer is a rich copper color with a nice head that lingers. The beer looks good. It looks like your average copper colored brew with a nice rich and malty flavor. The aroma reminds me of watermelon or strawberry chewing gum (think Bubbalicious) or a hard candy. No real beer aromas are present in the nose. That is an interesting thing, but i certainly wouldn't call it a good thing. It does smell somewhat enticing, but I want beer dammit. The taste is, well, near horrid. This is one of the strangest and least desirable tasting beers I have ever had. It is very bitter on the end, but not in a good way, and has a strange funky flavor that lingers in your mouth. It feels somewhat strange on the tongue as well.

I can drink any beer. Whether it is as lowly as Genny or Lion's Head or as mighty as Rochefort, Chimay, or something like a Surly Furious. This just isn't doing it for me. It tastes so funky and not in a good way. This is by no means satisfying, but it isn't undrinkable either. I would personally never spend a dime on this product though. Thank god it is free to me and that somebody bought it so Magic Hat can keep making these strange beers.

 1,198 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.19/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Served in an Ohio State shaker pint glass.

I don't think that's how you spell that particular form of poetry, but it's been a while, so I could be wrong... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear sunrise amber topped by a finger of dirty-white foam. The nose comprises cucumber, sweet flowers, and very light biscuit. The taste brings in more of the same, with an increased bit of cucumber and some funky rice tossed in for good measure. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slick-ish feel. Overall, an okay little flavored brew, but there are times when the cucumber and flowers (pretty much the only flavors involved) can be a bit much at times, leading to an experience that fluctuates too much for my liking.

 737 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.85/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Magic Hat HICU 
That's an copper ale wit hibiscus cucumber ale a light pale almost melon like vibe aroma has flowery fruit note that actually works....flavor gives off a cucumber flush hibiscus note that just works eady going ale very good stuff! The first fruit vegetable beer I've liked.

 290 characters

Photo of sublimesipping
3.48/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The reviews are harsh but folks how about some credit for innovation? Great outdoors hot humid day beach beer- great with grilled seafood and beach munches. How about sushi? The cucumber is present but I like cucumber and always found it to be a great palate cleanser. So is this beer. Very refreshing. I would not buy a case but a six works just fine. Hats off to MagicHat for innovative thinking outside of the box. How about on tap? And what about a cucumber IPA say with Columbus hops, might be pretty tasty. Try this one with an open mind and taste, it's worth a shot.

 573 characters

Photo of BEERMILER12
2.87/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: Pours an amber color with half a fingers worth of head that slowly fades to nothing

S: Quite fruity and citrusy with cucumber and hibiscus in the background. Seems fairly sweet

T: Starts off with a sweet maltiness and then goes into the cucumber with a bit of citrus and fruitiness to accompany it. Finishes with notes of hibiscus and a light bitterness

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: Another odd brew from Magic Hat. I like their creativity, but sometimes it goes a little too far (specifically with some of their 'reclusive rarities' brews like this one). Just an okay brew with some odd flavor combinations. Pick it up in the variety pack if you wish, it's not as bad as some of the reviews here are claiming

 733 characters

Photo of BryanCarey
2.83/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Orange in color with a nose of vegetables and light malt, this beer is light on the foam and has a slight haziness. The foam doesn’t last very long, but it isn’t too bad and is very clean, leaving no lace.

This beer has an interesting flavor of vegetables and light malt, with little or no hop. The taste is sweet overall and there is some spice from hibiscus, but not much and the vegetables are the most dominant flavor. Cucumbers and other greens are obvious and they present a flavor dimension you don’t usually find in most beer. I could even taste a little bit of fruit in the flavor, mainly melon, and there is little hop character.

Vegetable beers are not commonplace, but Magic Hat seems to have made a respectable effort with this beer. It’s been a while since I sampled a beer made with cucumbers and while it may sound weird, it isn’t too bad overall. The alcohol is lower than normal, but so is the body. It all adds up to a beer that is okay, but could be better.

 991 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.6/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to tenderbranson69 for sharing this -enjoyed chilled from a sampler glass.

The color is deep amber with light haze an thin white cap with fine bead, retention is ordinary. The smell has a vegetal aroma which I guess can be related to cucumber -it is light with mild sweet scent ,but in general nothing offensive or outstanding, just mild. The feel is good with a refreshing light aspect with moderate carbonation and generally clean profile.

The flavor is unique which is what I expected since it is the first cucumber beer I have ever tried - it does have cucumber in the taste but fresh and slightly sweet, not very vegetal or even -pickle-like. I don't get a lot of hibiscus in the taste but it does have a floral tinge which is mellow and pleasant. Overall I don't get the hate for this unless you despise cucumbers or just think the concept is an abomination but it really isn't that bad and has a sort of refreshing drinkability.

 946 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
2.84/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Well I only got a 1/4 inch of head that fizzes out to a mild lace ring, Color is a light copper brown.
S - Very weird it smells of fresh cut watermelon, Cucumber flesh, and skins, with a mild bit of tea leaves.
T - Man I kind of wish this was a watermelon ale because that's what I got at first, juicy refreshing crisp watermelon. Then the cucumber kicks in and it gets weird very earthy, vegital but the finish is just disgusting. Has a sort of wheat mixed with tea leaves thing that leaves the mouth bitter and dry. Experimentally odd.
M - Has session capabilities but I could barely handle one.

Overall this beer takes the cake for the weirdest beer I drank this year, that is if it even counts as beer since I got very little malt or hop flavor. If you love watermelon and cucumbers this could be your new favorite beer but for me it was interesting enough for the $1.50 single.

 887 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.33/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a light copper color with an off white head that settles into a light cap.

The aroma has a big cucumber scent, very fresh. This is mixed with the floral hibiscus. The malt is neutral and there is that brown sugar like yeast scent that is in all magic hat brews.

The taste is of a tea like malt with a light lemon twang. Big cucumber flavor that provides a fresh flavor. The hibiscus is noticeable and provides a floral and bitter not. Not very deep in flavor but refreshing.

The feel is light and the carbonation is airy. Lightly sweet on the palate and finishes with a dry bitterness.

A decent brew. Not very exciting but I like cucumber though it may be a bit strong.

 683 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.6/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

maybe the only beer of its kind, to combine both of these elements into a drinkable summer session beer, I like the execution, and I love the idea. it pours a red tinted bronze color, perfectly clear with just less than in inch of settling white foam. the nose is like a watermelon jolly rancher, the old school kind, quenching but sweet, vegetative but enticing. in terms of flavor, I get hibiscus up front and cool cucumber in the finish, its quite floral, but despite the nose isn't really too sweet at all. there is a refreshing element to this, and its important to drink it ice cold. there is a lighter pale malt backing, but its subtle enough to let the additives shine in all of their glory. it doesn't taste much like beer though, which I guess is a critique, but its a fine summer drink, straight from the bottle. its low alcohol is appreciated in that context,. excellent carbonation and less than medium on the body. overall this is a beer I will look forward to drinking again, and I think a few in the mixed twelve pack is just right, as I don't need a whole lot of these at a time. good stuff from magic hat, nice to see them continue to push the envelope even though they are getting quite large these days. this beer says Vermont all over it.

edit: how did people hate this so much? a unique, refreshing, and flavorful brew here, come on

 1,355 characters

Photo of Jason
2.69/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date. "Natural Flavors Added" worries me.

Good looking head, hazed copper hue. Medicinal or botanical cucumber aroma, reminds me of soap or perfume ... not much else to the nose. Very smooth, dryish moderate sized body. Very tame hibiscus that gets steamrolled by the cucumber flavor, which again tastes soapy to me. Some beer-ish flavors come out, mainly a light graininess.

Extreme ... yes, drinkable ... no. Great idea but it lacks execution here and perhaps cucumber just does not work in beer. We'll chalk this up with a good effort in experimenting similar to their rosemary garlic ale they did years back.

 651 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
HICu from Magic Hat Brewing Company
2.92 out of 5 based on 215 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.