Category Archives: Magic Hat

Review of Magic Hat Blind Faith

For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be profiling another brew from the Magic Hat Brewing Company located in Burlington, Vermont called the Magic Hat Blind Faith.

Let’s go ahead and jump right into the description of this IPA from the website,

An ale of enlightenment created to aid in deciphering the puzzles along life’s road, and to interpret signs in the voyages of the spirit.  Blind Faith is an extremely well-balanced India Pale Ale with a crisp, refreshing hop bitterness and a deep malt body to match.  

Sounds good.  Let’ pour.

The Blind Faith IPA has an ABV of 6.2% and it comes in a 12 oz. bottle.

The beer poured a very murky, amber/copper color.  Some burnt orange and yellow highlights were present around the bottom and sides of the glass.  The head was off white in color, full, soft, fluffy, rocky and soapy in texture.  The retention time was mostly average and the lacing was so-so, but it did settle to a very attractive skim right on top of the liquid that lasted for the duration of the drink.

The nose had a significant aroma of caramel and toffee malts.  A very liberal amount of “earthy” hops were to be found along with yeasty and bready hints, which gave it a very “round” bouquet.  Deeper into the fragrance I detected hints of apple butter, which I thought mixed well with the overall aroma profile.

The taste was similar to smell.  Plenty of “earthy” hops gave it a slight bite.  A worthy amount of bitterness was shown on the tongue, but the flavor seemed to be a bit more heavy on the malts than anything else.  Sweet caramel and toffee intermingled with over-ripened apples and a faint nuttiness.  Above all, it was a very smooth and well-balanced taste.  Not over-the-top or “loud”, but rather very pleasant and agreeable.

The mouthfeel was medium, soft, creamy, slightly chewy and smooth.  Only an average amount of flavor coated the tongue and roof of the mouth.  It wasn’t bad, however I was wishing for a touch more.

Essentially, this is an “ok” beer.  It’s relatively easy to drink and it has plenty of characteristics that are worthy of interpretation.  It’s a little more forthcoming on the malt than most IPA’s I’ve had, but I still enjoyed the drink and wouldn’t mind having a few more if they were offered.  This brew was nothing excessive or outrageous, yet I think it could be enjoyed by craft beer enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike.  I would say that if you saw this on the shelf at your liquor store….. sure, give it a go, but I wouldn’t expect an IPA that has been the norm of the craft beer world for the last several years.  It’s not a “hop bomb” or anything.  Just a solid beer that stays interesting throughout the entire drinking experience.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Remember, if you would like, hit me up on Twitter (@BeerApprentice or @shrews824) and Google+ (Scott Shrewsberry) to discuss craft beer in more detail.  I love the interaction.

Until next time.   Cheers.

Score:  3.55 out of 5
Grade:  B


Posted by on November 11, 2011 in Country: USA, Magic Hat


Review of Magic Hat "Hex" Ourtoberfest

For today’s craft beer review I thought I would try the Fall seasonal offering from the Magic Hat Brewing Company located in Burlington, Vermont called the Magic Hat “Hex” Ourtoberfest.

Magic Hat seems to always put some kind of abnormal twist on their brews, so I’m wondering what it will be with this one.

From the website,, we find this description.

A malty amber ale with hints of toffee and caramel and a slightly smoky finish. 

Short and sweet.

The brew has an ABV of 5.4% and comes in a 12 oz. bottle.

The beer poured a little bit hazy.  It was an amber to light copper color with some burnt orange highlights around the bottom and sides of the glass.  The head was relatively small in size, although the retention time was ok.  It was smooth and creamy looking and left behind some decent lacing as it settled. 

The aroma began with a significant dose of caramel malt and brown sugar.  Well balanced tones of lightly toasted wheat bread and earthy hops complimented the sweetness very nicely.  Deeper in the fragrance, I started to detect a hint similar to buttered bread along with a slight grain bill.  This beer smelled pretty good I thought.

The taste brought forth more of the caramel malt sweetness.  More prominent savors of grain came through in the taste than did in the aroma too.  Grassy hops gave a slight tickle to the sides of the tongue, however the bitterness was only “so-so.”  Lightly toasted bread notes were noticed just as they were in the aroma.  All the flavors seemed to be harmonized well.  The longer I sipped the greater the grainy aspects showed themselves however. 

The mouthfeel was medium, smooth, crisp, dry and somewhat refreshing.  A decent amount of flavor was left behind on the palate.  Not bad.

Well, this beer is just “ok” in my opinion.  It’s nothing horrible or off putting, however I didn’t find it to be anything outstanding either.  With that being said, I’d drink it again if it was offered for sure.  It was easy to down and it really fits the season.  I was expecting something a little more “experimental” from this beer, but I never really found it.  It’s relatively straight forward actually.  Other than that, there’s not much left to say except that if you see it sitting on the shelf, give it a try and enjoy it as the Fall gives way to Winter.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  Also, thanks to all the new followers of the blog.  That means a great deal to me to know that you are somewhat interested in the reviews I post.  Feel free to contact me via Twitter (@BeerApprentice and @shrews824) or Google+ (Scott Shrewsberry) if you would like to speak to me further about craft beer.

Until next time.


Score:  3.6 out of 5
Grade:  B

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Posted by on October 30, 2011 in Country: USA, Magic Hat


Review of Magic Hat #9

For today’s enjoyment, I’m going to be sipping on a beer produced by the Magic Hat Brewing Company, located in Burlington, Vermont, called #9.

I’ve often heard Magic Hat be referred to as the “Willie Wonka” of the craft beer world.  They produce a great number of “twisted” concoctions and #9 is arguably the most famous of them all.

Let’s see what the website,, has to say about this brew.

#9 – Not Quite Pale Ale

A beer cloaked in secrecy.  An ale whose mysterious and unusual palate will swirl across your tongue and ask more questions than it answers.  A sort of dry, crisp, refreshing, not-quite pale ale.  #9 is really impossible to describe because there’s never been anything else quite like it. 

Let’s see if we can solve this mystery.

This beer comes in a 12 oz. bottle and has a 5.1% ABV.

The brew poured a clear, pale golden to orange color with some yellow highlights dancing around the bottom of the glass.  The head was barely off white, of real nice size, creamy, fluffy and soft.  The retention time was good and the lacing was pretty nice too.  I must say, it’s looked pretty nice in the glass.

In the nose, I’m getting a strong hint of apricot with a bready/biscuity undertone.  It may be a little bit floral also along with various other unidentifiable pale malts (unidentifiable by me at least).  As the brew warmed, the apricot continued to get stronger and stronger.  This is definitely not my favorite aroma, but it’s ok I guess.   

The taste started with the aforementioned apricot, of course, however it didn’t seem to be as forward as in the aroma.  It was calmed by welcome hints of peach citrus, bread crusts and a light sugary sweetness.  The hops are not at all up front, although the taste does have a decent little bit of bitterness and a mild hop bite.  Not bad.

The mouthfeel is medium to medium/thin.  Very smooth, soft, crisp and mildly refreshing.  The palate is left with only an average of amount of flavor after the swallow.

Well.  This beer doesn’t taste too bad.  I will say that I didn’t care much for the aroma though.  The apricot was a bit too strong for me.  It really started to become distracting after a while.  I think that I could have 1 or 2 during a sitting, however I would probably move on to something else after that.  The drinkability was ok and if one so wished, this would make a great session brew.  I think it’s definitely worth a try if you happen to run across it because it may very well suit your needs perfectly.  I may try this again in a few years and see if I find it more pleasing, but at this moment, #9 didn’t turn out to be what I was hoping.      

As always, be sure to let me know your impressions of the Magic Hat #9 if you’ve had it.

Thanks, again, for reading everyone.  I hope a great Labor Day weekend was had by all.


Score:  3.35 out of 5
Grade:  B-

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Posted by on September 5, 2011 in Country: USA, Magic Hat

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