HICu | Magic Hat Brewing Company

215 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 215 |  Reviews: 34
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 Ecxeeder616
3.5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of Enriquehopnog
3/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of bsm80x
1.25/5  rDev -57.2%

Photo of TheHumanTorch
2.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of beernads
1.5/5  rDev -48.6%

Photo of Benjaminwileketchum
1.75/5  rDev -40.1%

Photo of DMACH
2/5  rDev -31.5%

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of Wsherry1
1.5/5  rDev -48.6%

Photo of budgood1
2.5/5  rDev -14.4%

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 camclem2
4/5  rDev +37%

Photo of JVoyager
2.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of BA_Berto
2/5  rDev -31.5%

Photo of Saison9s
1/5  rDev -65.8%

Photo of ImFlyerThanYou
3.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of Mainelyhops
1/5  rDev -65.8%

Photo of arnulfooxblood
2/5  rDev -31.5%

Photo of still_thedragon
2.75/5  rDev -5.8%

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 cciquera01
3/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of cornpone
2.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of Hopstout
1.5/5  rDev -48.6%

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

HICu from Magic Hat Brewing Company
2.92 out of 5 based on 215 ratings.
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