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Beer Review: Magic Hat’s Vinyl

   March 29, 2012

Magic Hat, out of Vermont, has recently wisely joined the pantheon of breweries sending me review samples of their products.  I actually have not had much of their beer prior to the samples they sent me…in all actuality, now that I think about it, the only one I can specifically remember trying is their #9.  This is why sending me review samples is such a good idea.  I would have gotten around to reviewing some of their beer sooner or later, but sending me samples makes me feel obligated to review the beer pretty quickly.

Vinyl, an amber lager, puts Crystal, Munich, Amber and Victory malts on display to share the stage with Apollo and Northern Brewer hops.  This lager is no heavyweight, weighing in at 5.1% ABV.

The Pour
This is a very pretty beer on the pour, showing a nice clear orange amber color with a light straw-colored head that doesn’t last very long.  Looks thirst-quenching and refreshing.

The Nose
Smells like a good lager, with butterscotch and toasted bread notes, slightly hoppy but with tasty malt aromas.

The Taste
This beer is a light-medium bodied beer, and is quite smooth.  I’m not a lager guy, really, but this is different.  It has a good amber lager foundation with hints of chocolate, but it also has a buttery feel and flavor to it, and something else unique that I never could identify.  Some unexpected flavor profile that made me want to keep drinking to see just what it was. I never did figure it out.

Scoring Breakdown

Appearance: A very visually appealing beer. 9 points out of 10

Nose: Really nice nose, good profile. 13 out of 15

Taste: Features good amber lager characteristics but with more complexity and depth of flavor. 46 out of 55

Style: Definitely fits in with the other amber lagers I have tried. 19 out of 20

Total rating: 87 points out of 100.

In a nutshell: I am not a huge lager drinker, but if you are going to drink a lager, make it one like this, with complex flavors and some depth and flavor to it.  Definitely an interesting brew I would like to try again.

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