Aroma: Resiny and grassy hops, and nice malt balance.
Appearance: Copper in color, small head.
Flavor: Citrus and grapefruit hop flavor, slight malt balance, and a nice citrus hop finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium/light bodied, nice carbonation.
Overall: Not bad for an IPA. Pretty strong hop profile and bitterness, but without some of the more prolific grass and citrus flavors in some other IPAs. It’s not bad, but was hoping for better aromas and balance.
Aroma: Hints of lemon, grapefruit and banana. Nice fruity aroma but not too intense.
Appearance: Pours a hazy gold, very small white head (could’ve been a glassware issue).
Flavor: Fruity up front, banana with a fairly strong wheat and tart/hop finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium light body, nice carbonation.
Overall: Nice aroma, fairly tart and bitter flavors for a wheat beer, which was somewhat unexpected. Not sure I really dig this as a summer style. The flavor is just a little hard to get used to and too intense for a summer beer.
Pistil, Magic Hat Brewing Company
Herbed/Spiced Beer, 4.50 %ABV
Aroma: Grassy, fruity and lemony, sweet on the back.
Appearance: Light, clear golden, small head of white foam.
Flavor: Nice light hops up front, hint of sweetness and malts and a grassy finish. Not as much fruity taste as the nose would suggest.
Mouthfeel: Incredibly light, carbonation isn’t low, but not too intense. Feels very airy.
Overall: Definitely a summer session beer, but I think it lacks a little in flavor. I could drink a bunch on a hot day but my palette would probably prefer something else with a little more profile. For the ABV, not a bad effort.
So yeah, long hiatus due to moving, travel, and dissertation research. But I’m back and I’ve got a summer sampler of Magic Hat so I’m diving in and the next few reviews will be from that pack. I assume most East Coast crafties have had #9 before, but since I’m trying to document everything and I haven’t reviewed this yet, here it goes. Plus, the Artifactory is like the Willy Wonka version of a brewery, so you owe it to yourself to visit.
Aroma: Strong presence of fruit, apricot, hint of lemon.
Appearance: Pours clear gold with a wonderfully large head of white foam. Excellent lacing.
Flavor: Apricot up front, followed by a nice citrus hop flavor, and then a slightly sweet and fruity finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light body, nice carbonation, smooth but not slick.
Overall: It bills itself as a “not quite pale ale” but the beer world classifies it as a fruit beer with the pale ale as the underlying trait. For that style, I think it’s a pretty solid example. The fruit might be too aggressive for some seeking more hops and pale ale traits, but to me the profile fits Magic Hat’s billing. At 5.1% it’s a solid summer session beer.
Vermont is a pretty awesome state. It’s got nice wilderness, a great city in Burlington, good skiing and mountain biking, and a bunch of good breweries. Long Trail Brewing Company isn’t my favorite Vermont Brewery, but it’s up there because they make nice variety of ales. They’re also quite environmentally friendly, which is always a plus. Since it’s winter time, I thought I’d pick up their seasonal ale, the Hibernator. It’s an unfiltered Scottish Ale, so it has the yeast still in the bottle and when pouring you should be careful to not pour the yeast into the glass, but rather pour rather vigorously to get the full aroma.
Aroma: Rich caramel malt aroma with some nice spice notes.
Appearance: Nice head, rich dark amber in color, yeast sediment visible. Very nice lacing on the glass as I drank it down.
Flavor: Nice toasted malts on the finish, with caramel sweetness lingering on the back with the tiniest hint of hops.
Mouthfeel: Very nice crisp carbonation, medium body.
Overall: Nice winter ale with good malt character. I wish I could’ve tasted a little more flavor on the initial sip, as most of it comes on the finish. Quality ingredients from a reputable brewery. It’s a nice example of the style that could be a good winter session beer if you are looking for something lighter than a stout or porter, but still with flavor.