Saturday, March 31, 2012

Magic Hat +/- (Plus/Minus)

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (637) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 22, 2012
I poured a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Brown body with some dark orange/red tones. Initially forms a large off-white, soapy head but it fizzles away quickly and completely and leaves no lacing.

Smell: Sweet cider-like aroma of tart apple and a hint of spice. Touch of cereal malt, too.

Taste: I don’t have a lot of experience with authentic English Milds, but I’d say Magic Hat +/- comes pretty close to what I’ve had. Cider, apple juice, flat cola, and a hint of chocolate candy are individually distinct. It’s an interesting combination of light sweetness and tartness - like a flat, watered-down soda mixed with a very mild cider. A touch of spice and tanginess, but the effervescence seems to wash it away before it can really grab hold of the taste buds. It finishes clean with a subtle, quick kiss of chocolate right before it all fades away. Impressive for what it is, but I think only drinkers with more refined palates will appreciate this.

Drinkability: I don’t tend to think of Milds as refreshing beers, but Magic Hat +/- makes a case that they can be. I drank this on a hot night and it was very refreshing. This is due to the mildly sweet palate as delivered by a thin, fizzy mouthfeel. As much as it tastes of flat soda, it also drinks as such. There’s noticeable vibration at the end of the swig, but it is not what I would consider a gassy beer since it’s difficult not to drink this in large gulps (or by the chug). At 4.2% ABV it’s absolutely a session beer candidate in my book.

Grade: 7/10

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