Magic Hat Brewing Co., Howl

Grade: A
Magic Hat Brewing Co.

A khaki colored head tops an almost completely opaque black beer, with slight tinges of red at the edges. The aroma is I have to admit, a little odd. The lager sulfurs and grainy pilsner malt smells are there, typical of a lager, but there's something else as well. Light elements of coffee and roast, but very faint. It may simply be the result of mixing this particular yeast with roasted malts, but the aroma isn't entirely pleasing. Mouthfeel is medium light, finishing dry, with a fairly high level of carbonation that prickles on the tongue. Coffee and chocolate are overwhelming on the first sip, like a nice robust porter or a very dark dry stout. The pilsner malts add a slight bit of bready, biscuit-like sweetness that counteracts the roast beautifully. At no time is this beer acrid or burnt tasting.

Overall this is a mighty nice beer. It fulfills my desperate need for a drinkable, full flavored, chocolaty-coffee-stout-like beer that is as refreshing as it is dark. Winter often brings around sweet, overly spiced and generally heavy beers that fill you up and make you put on those insulating winter pounds. This beer has the elements of a drinkable lager, with enough flavor to make you settle down in an overstuffed chair by the fire. I will be picking up a six pack of this as soon as possible.