Not-So-Magic Hat

Since I wrapped up my series on stouts, we’re wide open to try different types of beers. I returned back to that old Magic Hat variety pack that I’d picked up a week or two ago and decided to review the final beer – the 60 Winks Ale. Wow! What a disappoint60wink.jpgment! Magic Hat, I love you, but this is NOT the best beer I’ve tasted from you…
Appearance: This beer has a pretty nice appearance. A frothy white head dissipates pretty quickly. The body is quite clear and bubbly, a very golden yellow.
Aroma: Aroma, again, not bad. A lot of malts, a corn/meal kind of smell, a bit of grass and pine hops. There’s also a faint scent of alcohol lingering in there too.
Taste: What a disappointment! This beer has little flavor. Some hop bitterness up front and those corny malts. A bit of a yeasty aftertaste, but mostly… there’s nothin’ going on here. This tastes really watery and almost soapy.
Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel doesn’t help us out here. 60 Winks is really carbonated, but watery. I guess on a hot day, one might find it refreshing. There’s a little bit of metallics and bitter going on here. Generally, it isn’t the mouthfeel or a particular taste that’s steering me away from this beer, just the lack thereof.
Overall, I feel really bad disliking this beer, though I know I’m not alone. While some reviewers find many Magic Hat beers watery, I tend to really enjoy them, especially the No. 9. I don’t think they set themselves up very well, either, as the label on this baby is probably one of the most unattractive I’ve seen. A guy sleeping on a bed? Yuck… Sorry Magic Hat 😦

The Facts:
ABV: 5.8%
IBUs: 35
SRM: 5.0
Gravity: 1.056

   
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Argh… There Be Smooth Sailing Ahead Cap’n!

small-craft.jpgI took a trip to New Beer Distributors here in New York City. That was a cool experience in itself which I’ll definitely be reporting on again this week. But first I wanted to tell you about Clipper City’s Heavy Seas Small Craft Advisory. Heavy Seas is an entire line of beers from Clipper City Brewery that they describe as “our highest expression of the brewer’s art”. I decided to try out the Small Craft Advisory because it was a pilsner, or as they describe it, an uber pils. I was surprisingly pleased by this beer. Pilsner is a beer I frequently have a hard time with. I think this is because I tend to associate the pilsner with mass-produced beers like Miller, Coors and Bud, even though these are actually considered lager. Go figure. I wonder what made me do that? So now I have a whole different view on Pilsners. Thanks Clipper City! Any way… I digress…

The Small Craft Advisory was pretty good. A great level of carbonation, this beer poured into a nice head and was a clear amber-gold color. This beer smelled pretty similar to an IPA with a hoppy, citrusy smell. On taste, this is a little sweet, but then you start to taste the hops and malts. In contrast to the smell of citrus, the aftertaste is a little more grassy. For a high ABV, they managed to keep the alcohol from being too prevalent, but it still is pretty prevalent. Overall, an easy to drink, fairly smooth beer.

The Facts:
ABV: 7.25