Smile Politely

Beer review: Spring Magic Hats

Magic Hat Brewing Company has continued its distribution and PR onslaught of the region with a new batch of “seasonales.” Smile Politely got the chance to review the Spring Special hI.P.A. and the Spring Odd Notion Poppy Agave Pilsner.

Obviously, the beer reviews on this site have been one-sided (but hey, the nice folks at Magic Hat are sending us free beer). In order to remove any possibility of looking partisan, I suggest readers post a beer or brewery they would like reviewed in the comments. I will purchase the beer and analyze it.

For this review, I graded the two beers against the typical criteria: Appearance, Smell, Taste, Mouth feel, and Drinkability. It is important to note an obvious point before taking any review to heart — everyone has different notions of what is desirable in each of these categories. As always, I urge you to try a beer yourself before drawing any serious conclusions.

Odd Notion Spring ’09 — Poppy Agave Pilsner

ABV: 5%
Gravity: 12.5
Bitterness: 15
SRM: 6.0
Hops: Hallertaur
Malts: Pilsner, Munich
Additions: Organic agave syrup, natural blue poppy seeds

Served from bottle

Appearance: A soft golden color.

Smell: A sweet aroma foreshadowing the taste.

Taste: Balanced with a distinct dichotomy between sour and sweet. The agave is a beer accent I have never tasted before — certainly deserving of the moniker “Odd Notion.”

Mouth feel: Medium body.

Drinkability: I’d keep it to one at a time.


Spring Seasonale — h.I.P.A.

ABV: 5.8%
Gravity: 16.5
Bitterness: 45
SRM: 7.0
Hops: Columbus (also dry hopped with Columbus)
Malts: English Pale

Served from bottle

Appearance: A murky gold — you know this is going to be a strong taste before the first sip.

Smell: Not the most potent I.P.A. aroma — a surprise, considering the dry hopping.

Taste: Significantly bitter, dry, and even malty. Pretty good, but definitely not my favorite style of I.P.A.

Mouth feel: Heavy body.

Drinkability: Too heavy to have more than two in a sitting, but I bought a six-pack to have with meals and found it a very satisfying quencher despite its dryness.



The Poppy Agave Pilsner is worth trying for the new experience, but I would hesitate to suggest Magic Hat make it a permanent addition to their line.

I dig the label art for the h.I.P.A., and as mentioned, I went back for more. I’m an I.P.A. lover and have tried around 40 different styles. I’d say this one ranks in the upper third, but in no way touches the likes of a West Coast I.P.A. from Green Flash Brewery.

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