October 14th, 2010

The First Sip: Magic Hat – Hex

I’ve decided to bring this new beer article to The Loop Scoop.  Well, not technically new… “The First Sip” is old and busted. I’m going to give it a makeover by providing a short write up about a specific craft beer you can find here in the Houston market.

With hundreds of different beers out there, it’s tough to know which ones to try.  Hopefully, this article will help make that decision easier.  I’ll give you the background of the beer, any items of note and a nice little description of the beer itself.  Maybe by knowing a bit about the beer you’re drinking, you can come to appreciate it more.  So without further adieu…

You may remember that my last article was about Oktoberfest beers.  Well, this fall seasonal is what Magic Hat refers to as their “Ourtoberfest”.  Described as a “malty amber ale”, the beer is made using some traditional malts as well as some rye malt (rye malt imparts a tangy, spicy grain flavor to beer) and cherry wood smoked malt.

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Hex pours a beautiful amber-orange with a small, yet lasting head.  The aroma is pleasant and unassuming with sweet caramel notes and a hint of smoke.  The beer is medium-full bodied yet smooth making it dangerously drinkable.  The flavor is malty with some caramel sweetness up front, followed by some grainy flavors.  It finishes with a subtle smoke background and a careful bite of woodsy spiciness, probably from a combination of German hops and rye malt.

I won’t lie to you, I’m starting you off easy here.  Though I’m a beer geek who can appreciate a hop infused bomb or the latest barrel aged cask conditioned ale, I find great pleasure in some of the simpler beers that use smooth flavors and subtle complexity to make the point.  Hex won’t blow your mind or make you rethink everything you thought you ever knew about beer flavor, but it’s a damn fine beer.  It’s a laid back, easy drinking beer that’s perfect to drink on the back porch during the sunset on a cool autumn evening.

Stay crafty, my friends!

— Jeff

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