Mar 8, 2012

Magic Hat Demo

Magic Hat Demo photo

The second sample I received from Magic Hat Brewing’s Spring seasonal mixed pack is Demo, a 6% ABV Black IPA. Comprised of five different malt types (Pale, Carafa, Caramel, Cara Vienna and Chocolate) and two hop varieties (Apollo and Goldings), the brew is a surprisingly well-balanced take on a relatively new style of beer.

Dancing along the edge between too roasty and too hoppy, Demo sits firmly in the middle with just enough of a coffee character that is then nicely counteracted upon by a decent bite from the hops (45 IBU).


Demo pours a near black with a quickly dropping, mocha head.


There’s a pretty solid roast malt character on the nose along with chocolate notes, a hint of coffee and light hoppy citrus. Sort of smells porter-ish.


A light roast coffee and subtle chocolate undertone get things started off well. The hop bitterness arrives almost immediately and lingers for a good long while in the dry finish. The bite isn’t over-the-top, but is appropriately strong enough for the style. The 6% ABV is masked well in this medium bodied beer. If it were any fuller or had a more dominant roast character this could very well have been mistaken for a lighter bodied porter.


I enjoyed this beer. It’s nicely balanced between the roasted malt and hop presence. It doesn’t lean too heavily in either direction and ends up being one of the more approachable examples of this style that I have had so far.

Rating: 3.5/5

This is a review of a promotional sample received from the brewery.

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