Magic Hat Vamplifier

We picked up a Magic Hat mixed pack, as we usually do. There were more beers in there that I reviewed and this was the only one I hadn’t. Plus, the label was exceptionally cute. Let’s crack it open.


ABV: 5.2%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “AN UNSTOPPABLE ANTHEM OF ALE. Summoned by a shift in seasons, the Vamplifier appears with devious deeds in mind. Baring its sonic sound waves, it swoops down and crashes into glasses, striking palates with a big hop bite. Tastes are forever transformed, and the Vamplifier’s power increases with each sip while the sounds of soul-pleasing sighs fill the cooling skies.”

Random: I’ve never been into vampire movies. I haven’t ever found one that I really liked, except “Interview With The Vampire.”

The beer poured with a two finger, thick, light brown head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark brown with high carbonation visible. The nose was hoppier than expected with pine sap and then went into malt. The malt was sweet with caramel and hazelnuts. The taste came across as more grassy than piney with lemon pith. There was also some nutty malt as well. It had a medium body with moderate carbonation. The finish was quick with grass clippings. A bottle of this was $2.59 ($.22 per ounce). I thought this beer was a bit boring. It needed some more hops for my liking and balance with the malt.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Magic Hat Poppy Agave Ale

Today’s selection is a beer that I’ve been seeing more and more in coolers at parties. Even at my family reunion, something out of the Magic Hat mixed pack is the first beer that everyone grabs for (although my parents usually only pick that and Coors Light). Let’s see how this beer, which started as an Odd Notion was.


ABV: 5%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “AN ODD NOTION BACK IN MOTION. Brewed only once before, Poppy Agave Ale was part of a series of exceptional (and mostly odd) specialty releases known as Odd Notions. This crisp, clean ale is brewed with agave nectar and poppy seeds for a slightly sweet, nutty flavor.”

Random: Poppy seeds always get stuck in my teeth.

The beer poured with a two finger, white head. It went away quickly, but still left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark, straw yellow color with moderate carbonation. The nose smelled like a Mexican lager with sweetness from the agave. It also had some pilsner malt. The taste also had agave sweetness. It had a small amount of spice from the poppy seeds. I kept trying to find more in the beer, but there wasn’t much there. It had a thin body with high carbonation. A bottle of this was $1.83, which came to $.15 per ounce. This beer was really boring and needed a punch of flavor. I wasn’t a big fan of this beer, but I had no problems finishing it. If the choices at a party are this or a macro, I’d go with this.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Magic Hat S.M.A.S.H. Hits Volume 2

Single hop and single malt beers are becoming the new trend in beer. I’ve had some good ones and some not great ones, but I think it’s interesting how the trends keep changing. It will give more familiarity with certain hops and malts though, which I think is a good thing. Let’s see how this one was.


ABV: 5.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “ONE HOP, ONE MALT, ONE SMASHING IPA. A delectable duet of Cascade hops and Goldpils Vienna malt sing notes of citrus and grapefruit and rich, toasty malt tones.”

Random: I’m almost done watching “Blindspot.” I really enjoy the series so far. It reminds of the first few seasons of “Prison Break.”

The beer poured with a one finger, white head. It went away quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow with high carbonation. The nose had a lot of pilsner malt with mineral water and grass. I didn’t pick up much in the way of hops, but what was there was grassy and had some lemon rind. The taste had more of a hop presence with grapefruit segments. But, it also had an off-putting metallic note. It also had some sweetness from the malt. It had an overly thin body with high carbonation. The finish was quick with grain. A bottle was $1.83, which came $.15 per ounce. This IPA was overly thin and simplistic. It would be good for a beginner who was just getting into IPAs, but would be boring to the experienced drinker.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Magic Hat S.M.A.S.H. Hits

Single malt, single hop beers seem to be all the rage lately. So much so, that even Magic Hat is getting on board. This was part of a mixed-pack that we picked up, so I saved one to give it a shot.


ABV: 5.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to, “A liquid compilation of the spicy, citrusy flavors of Delta hops backed by a mildly sweet malt base.”

Random: I find that watching TV distracts me from blogging more than listening to podcasts.

This brew poured with a finger of thick, white head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark yellow color and moderate hazy. I couldn’t pick up much carbonation as a result. The nose had a rancid lemon juice note that was complemented with moldy bread. So far, I was not impressed by this beer and a bit off put. Luckily, the taste was much better than the nose. Up front, I picked up lemon flesh, lemon zest and a borderline-vinegar tartness. There was some white bread as well, but this was way more hop forward. It almost reminded me of a lemon drop shot. It had a medium thick body with high carbonation, which added to the drinkability. The finish was lengthy with lemon candy. A bottle of this set me back $2, which came to $.17 per ounce. This beer had some pretty obvious flaws and I was not a big fan. It doesn’t look like they are making this beer anymore, but if you come across it, I’d leave it on the shelves.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Magic Hat Wee Heavy Champ

Val loves the artwork on the Magic Hat bombers, so whenever there is a new one, it comes home with us. Magic Hat was one of my gateway breweries to getting into craft beer, so with their bombers, I expect something decent, but not mind-blowing. Let’s see how this was.


ABV: 8%

Style: Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Just to the west of Burlington lie the majestic waters of Lake Champlain. A diverse population of creatures resides in and around her shores, including the mythical lake monster Champ. This Scotch Ale, or Wee Heavy as the Scots say, is brewed in celebration of Lake Champlain, all of its inhabitants, and the legend of Champ himself. Catch him if you can. Wee Heavy Champ is a Scotch Ale nearly as dark as the deepest depths of Lake Champlain. A rich, robust, yet smooth, malt character rises to the surface where notes of caramel, chocolate and wheat can be discovered. A light addition of hops is present for balance in this big, complex and soon-to-be legendary brew.”

Random: I am surrounded by cats.

The beer poured with a plentiful, three finger, tan head. It took awhile to go away, but it did leave a slight amount of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark mahogany color. I couldn’t see a lot of carbonation due to how dark the beer was. The nose had peat, alcohol, and spicy dark malt. It also had some toffee and caramel sweetness with a touch of molasses. The taste was more towards the spicy side. The peat note was big and up front. It was quickly followed by vanilla and date notes. The sweetness was there, but not as pronounced as the nose. The sweetness was more of a molasses/caramel note than toffee. It had a thick body with light carbonation. The booze was hidden with no throat burn. It had a long and sweet finish with molasses and peat. A bomber of the was $9.99, which came to $.45 per ounce. I was impressed by this beer. I would definitely have it again, especially on a rainy night.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Magic Hat Stealin’ Time Summer Wheat

This was the second beer that I had at Foodery. It was also on draft and I’m a sucker for a Magic Hat beer. They bring me back to my early years of getting into craft beer.


ABV: 5.5%

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Stealin’ Time, a summer fling…with a zing! ‘Stealin’ time…ain’t a crime,’ she laughs, the hot hazy sun glinting in her sunglasses as she reclines on the contour of a low knoll. Her head falls back with her ginger locks mingling with the tips of the green glass. With a flick of a finger, she pushes her shades down, an eyebrow rises and a sly smile parts her painted lips. ‘Stay the summer,’ she says with a wink. ‘We’ll have the joint to ourselves. Stealin’ Time is a hazy summer sipper that will while away the days with a light malt sweetness, balanced by hops and a pinch of ginger.”

Random: I do miss the Odd Notion series beers. I wonder if they’ll ever bring them back.

This beer poured with a one finger off white head that dissipated instantly, but left some lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy yellow with light carbonation visible. The nose was ginger dominant and light lemon. Some wheat was there as well, but it smelled like ginger ale. The taste was slightly bready with lots of ginger. Again, some wheat came through and there was a note of lemon at the end. The body was very light with high carbonation, which is definitely what I want from a summer beer. The finish was quick with ginger. I really enjoyed this beer and it is one of the better offerings from Magic Hat. I would pick up a sixer of this for a barbecue this summer.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Magic Hat Big Hundo

We watched the season finale of “American Crime” tonight. I think I was more into the show than Val was, but I thought it was really good. I’m curious to see how next season is. Let’s get to the beer. This is one that Val picked up to me that I was very excited to try.


ABV: 9%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “What does it take to be 100 times bitter than the rest? Hops. And Big Hundo IPA has a lot of them. Step right up and test the strength of your taste buds … if you dare. TIPPING THE SCALES AT THE ABSOLUTE PEAK OF BITTERNESS, BIG HUNDO CARRIES WITH IT THE HEADY HOP AROMA OF APOLLO AND SIMCOE, AND A FLATTERING DARK GOLDEN BODY.”

Random: The meow is failing at killing bugs tonight.

This beer poured with a four finger, thick, white head that took forever to dissipate and left lots of lacing on the glass. The nose had a lot of grass and citrus to it. The taste was lighter than expected. There was bubble gum and orange to it with generous bitterness. The alcohol warmed on the back of the throat, but was much lighter that the 9% would indicate. There was no malt to speak of, but I was fine with that. It was a lighter beer for the style with moderate carbonation. It had a very dry finish that was moderately hoppy. For $9.29 a bomber, it came to $.42 per ounce. This was a well-done IPA and one of the best from Magic Hat I’ve had. I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0