Friday, September 27, 2013

Magic Hat deVEILed

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (976) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 27, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. It was bottled on August 28, 2013. It came in a mix pack for $14.97 ($1.25 per bottle; $0.10 per ounce).

Appearance: Deep amber to brown chestnut hue. Clear. Forms an above-average size ivory, frothy head which laces and retains very well.

Smell: Slightly toasted malts with classic English ale yeast character. A hint of smoke.

Taste: I’m not usually a big fan of the amber ale style, so it’s nice to see a brewery try to take a different approach to it. That’s what Magic Hat did with the oddly-named "deVEILed," as it’s brewed with a little more character and stronger bitterness than most, but still uses and English ale yeast strain. It’s not amazing, but it’s at least interesting.

The base palette might be described as a hybrid of a very light Scottish Ale and a traditional brown ale since it has the slight smokiness of the former, but the sweetness of the latter. More of a toasty/nutty malt character as the star of the show, though some residual confectionery notes of caramel and toffee linger in the background. Surprisingly bitter at the crest, though that’s likely due to the Magnum hops. Cascade impart a hint of pine needles and earthiness. There’s a smoke-like flavor on the finish, complemented really well by the dry bitterness. Overall, it’s a tasty, ambitious brew, but isn’t likely to be a mind-blower unless you’re a big fan of the style.

Drinkability: At 5.2% ABV, Magic Hat deVEILed is surprisingly robust for a relatively light brew. Probably a tad too heavy to session, but certainly bigger in body than most others of a comparable weight. It’s also no challenge to drink whatsoever. The mouthfeel is soft, smooth, and calm. It does leave a smoky/dry residual bitterness, but it fades fairly quickly. A good beer to pair with a cheese platter. 
Grade: 7/10