4.2AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2012 Mead is a very antique, primitive form of beer you really only hear about in books and movies set in medieval times. But the wise brewers at Magic Hat have decided to update it for modern times in the form of Braggot, a beer that is mead mixed with ale (although the braggot itself is also an old style of beer from what I understand). Still, a tasty beer can transcend time and cultures and that’s exactly what this brew does.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
Braggot poured very smoothly, but was able to form a one-finger, white, foamy head which lasted throughout the life of the drink and left significant lacing on the glass. The body lived up to its reputation, as it resembled the appearance of honey with its hazy, bright amber/light orange body. Carbonation was quite noticeable as well. There wasn’t a potent aroma to speak of, although this beer did have a scent very typical of other Magic Hat beers which I would describe as a “potpourri of sweetness.”
It was clear to me upon my first taste that Braggot was another winner for the Magic Hat brewery. A strong sweet taste saturated my palate which I found quite delicious. Beers by this Vermont-based brewery tend to have a “juicy” taste to them and Braggot was no exception.
Since this is a mead-based brew, I did find honey to be a distinct ingredient. Otherwise, the beer was a bouillabaisse of sorts – combining a taste of sweet fruits (but not citrus) and honey. Magic Hat beers rarely have a traditional “beer taste” and could easily pass for gimmicky alcoholic beverages. However, as I drank more I noticed the beer definitely had some typical beer qualities to its taste and even had a bit of a hop bite to it. This is definitely not an IPA or even a lager, but its beer roots are still in tact.
The only caveat to the taste might be that it’s a little too general and not specific enough. Still, a tasty, sweet palate without distinctiveness is something I can live with.
This beer has a fairly soft mouthfeel, as do most brews in the Magic Hat line. Because Braggot is a stronger brew, there definitely is a noticeable presence to it. Fortunately, it still goes down very easily. Its alcoholic content is more noticeable in the aftertaste.
Most people tend to associate potent beers with having a dark, thick body which makes Braggot something of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Just from the appearance, aroma and initial taste, this stuck me as more of a summer beer than a winter brew. However, after only one bottle I knew why it’s more appropriate for the winter months. Such a heavy body with a noticeable alcohol component to the taste makes Braggot much too bulky for casual summer drinking. After only two bottles on a full stomach I could definitely feel the effects of this beer.
I would say Braggot definitely took me by surprise in certain aspects, but it is a tasty, easy to drink beer and that shouldn’t surprise me considering the brewer. I would have liked something either lighter or more spicy but for it is, this is another commendable offering from Magic Hat.