Beer Review: Magic Hat Wacko…Think Pink?

Magic Hat Wacko

Yesterday was a warm and humid day, so when I left work for the evening, I found myself craving a refreshing summer beer to cut the heat and moist air.   Most breweries worth their salt offer up a summer concoction specially formulated to cut the summer heat and leave you refreshed without a lot of residual stickiness or aftertaste.  Sierra Nevada and Harpoon make two of my favourites, but I wanted to go down the road less traveled.  I noticed a Magic Hat sixer with “Summer brew” splashed all over it, and dove right for it.  Magic Hat (out of South Burlington, VT) brews up some funky and flavorful stuff, and I left the store very excited to crack one open and have at it.

The first thing I noticed when I popped the cap was a flood of sweetness jamming up my nostrils.  I raised an eyebrow and paused before pouring.  A sweet summer beer?  That’s definitely off the beaten path.  There’s nothing worse on a hot day than an overly sweet beer clogging your mouth with malt.  I tried to throw my preconceived notions aside, tilted the bottle and started pouring.  I was not prepared for what I saw.  The beer that flowed out was a shocking pink colour and collected into a head the colour of cotton candy.  What the shit?  I glanced at the bottle, dismayed that I might have purchased some kind of strawberry nightmare, and only then did I notice “a beer with beet juice colour” on the label.  Oh my, what had I done?

The pink head dissipated quickly and left some scattered lacing behind.  The aroma was sweet and light with a slight note of hop spice, and a tinge of berry at the finish.  The first sip was far less sweet than I had expected or was indicated by the aroma.  The flavour profile was definitely lager-like, but slightly sweeter.  The sweet taste was deceiving though, because it comes from beets and not from malt as we’re all used to.  The malt itself was very subdued and definitely took a back seat to the sweet beet.  I still can’t tell if the slight zing left behind on my tongue as I swallow is from hops or just residual beet hitting the front of my tongue again.  At first, I found it very refreshing, but as I got deeper into the beer and it got slightly warmer, I found the sweetness to be a little too cloying for a hot afternoon.  The mouthfeel of the beer can best be described as thin and sparkly, again I can’t tell if it’s beet or hops causing that sparkle.  Overall, this beer has an underdeveloped flavour profile.  Everything beery about it takes a back seat to the beet juice.  It could be more bold in any direction, and feels slightly unfinished.

I give Magic Hat credit, they are not afraid to take a risk.  I tend to shy away from fruit beers, and they pulled off an apricot lager (Magic Hat #9) that is not only refreshing, but enjoyable.  This beety beast they call Wacko isn’t quite a swing and a miss…so let’s call it a foul tip.  They’re not out and heading back to the bench, they could just use a do-over.  if they scaled back a notch on the beets and added a dash more of any kind of traditional beer ingredients, they might have a winner on their hands.  Instead, they’ve put out a confusing and slightly underwhelming brew.  Overall, I’d give Wacko a C+.

~ by schlippo on June 15, 2010.

One Response to “Beer Review: Magic Hat Wacko…Think Pink?”

  1. Get off your lazy ass and post some new stuff!!!

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