Review: Magic Hat Exotic Spring Ales 2013

magic hat ticket to rye 298x300 Review: Magic Hat Exotic Spring Ales 2013Three new seasonal brews from our ever-experimental pals at Magic Hat, including a huge winner with coriander underpinnings. Thoughts follow.

Magic Hat Ticket to Rye – It’s a nice IPA with a twist, rye grain in the mash that gives the beer a bit of an edge and a distinct, rye bread flavor. The chewy finish reminds me of a red ale more than an IPA, giving Ticket to Rye a double identity. The cost comes in the form of less up-front bitterness — which may or may not be to your liking — but I find this to be a fair trade-off considering the extra flavor you get. 7.1% abv. A-

Magic Hat Saint Saltan – A German gose (unusual from the start) brewed with Hallertau hops, plus coriander and sea salt. I was a huge skeptic of this at first… coriander? Sounds girly. But man, this beer really has it all going on. Slightly sweet with lovely aromatics of baking spices and fresh bread — but not at all anything I’d describe as especially salty, except maybe a touch of seaweed on the finish. Very fresh and well balanced, the flavors harmonize and refresh. I really like it, and the low abv makes it completely sessionable. 4.6% abv. A

magic hat pistil 291x300 Review: Magic Hat Exotic Spring Ales 2013Magic Hat Pistil – A fresh, lightly golden ale, flavored with dandelion leaves. I didn’t catch much floral element at first, but it builds over time, building to a semi-sweet and slightly sour finish that offers some vaguely floral character… but more stems than petals. Think grassy vs. flowery. Overall it’s fine, refreshing, and pleasant, but the flavor additions are so minor as to be almost unnoticeable in relation to any garden-variety blond ale. 4.5% abv. B+

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