Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Magic Hat Roxy Rolles (2009 original review)


4.6
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Chad9976 (597) - Albany, USA - MAR 27, 2010
I’d like to think I’m a beer connoisseur at this point, and while I may have high standards I’m definitely not that discriminating of a drinker that I can detect all the intricate details of a beer on taste alone. Magic Hat Roxy Rolles Amber Ale is a good example as this, since it’s an absolutely delicious beer, although I think I may like it for a reason that is untrue.

POUR, COLOR AND AROMA

Roxy Rolles pours quite smoothly and forms a very thick, off-white, foamy head which dissipates extremely slowly and coats the entire glass in lacing. The body is a beautiful shade of medium red and amber. In fact, it’s actually difficult to distinguish whether this beer is more of a red or orange color. It’s crystal clear and carbonation is definitely noticeable.

Special mention should be made to the aroma as it is quite possibly the best-smelling beer I have ever encountered. Roxy Rolles has a strong scent of flowers and fruit even when the glass is held at a distance. I attributed the floral notes to the hops, but the fruitiness alone is something I rarely notice in a beer’s scent.

TASTE

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – there’s just nothing quite as pleasing as taking the first swig of a beer and knowing it will be a 5-star brew on the first tasting. Roxy Rolles is the kind of beer that only Magic Hat could pull off. The bottle describes it as “a hoppy amber ale” which I initially took to mean a strong Irish Red but this is much more reminiscent of an India Pale Ale.

Much like the aroma, the taste here is bursting with hops and a strong fruit component. It wasn’t tart enough to be citrus and not tangy like cranberry, could it possibly be strawberry? Having scoured the internet and read other critic’s reviews I noticed none mentioned strawberry as a taste component but I swear I can detect it here. Grapefruit is a very likely ingredient, as this beer has a strong, delicious, lip-smacking taste that is a joy to drink.

This is not a gimmicky beer, either, as its strong hoppy characteristics are quite notable. In fact, the beer has almost a slightly salty taste not unlike an IPA (and could be the only aspect of this beer that requires appreciation to enjoy).

FINISH

I’ve yet to find a Magic Hat brew that is NOT drinker-friendly. Most of their beers tend to have a juicy quality to them and a soft mouthfeel. This is true of Roxy Rolles and it also finishes very smooth despite its hoppy component. Perhaps the best way to describe it would be an “IPA Lite”.

BODY

Considering its light, fruity taste and its fairly light body at only 5.1% ABV Roxy Rolles is probably more of a summer than a winter brew and yet it’s Magic Hat’s winter “seasonale.” After three bottles I felt perfectly content and not overwhelmed. I wish more winter beers were this light.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’m still amazed at the high quality of Magic Hat’s Roxy Rolles Amber Ale, especially considering it’s intended to be a winter brew. It’s nice to have such a tasty, easy-to-drink, light-on-your system winter beer that anyone can enjoy.

Grade: 10/10