Chad9976 (1020) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 27, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
I used to think that Sam Adams was the best American craft beer, but I’m beginning to realize that line pales in comparison to Magic Hat. A beer I’ve never enjoyed by Sam Adams is their scotch ale because it was entirely too smoky and harsh, but Jinx by Magic Hat is essentially the same beer and yet I genuinely enjoy it. Those Vermont brewers sure know what they’re doing.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
As is the case with most Magic Hat beers, Jinx has a bit of a gimmicky marketing style to keep its style a mystery (“an ale inspired by medieval chemists” according the packaging). However, all I had to do is crack open a bottle and upon first whiff it was clear to me this was Scotch ale style beer. The aroma of deeply roasted, peat-smoked whiskey malt was strong.
The beer pours very smoothly and forms a rather small, soapy, off-white head which never completely dissipates and leaves some lacing on the glass, as well. The color is an attractive tea-colored appearance of very dark red and brown with a cloudy complexion.
Since I knew just from the aroma Jinx was likely in the Scotch ale style, I was wasn’t expecting much taste-wise since my other experiences with such beers have been disappointing. Much to my surprise I found this brew to be much tastier than I had anticipated. There definitely is a smoky taste to the palate, but it’s a much more subtle flavor.
Jinx drinks like a traditional English brown ale and is reminiscent of this summer’s “Odd Notion” beer – English Dark Mild. Instead of having a roasted or nutty taste, the flavor here is more like Scotch ale with significant caramel flavoring. It’s also very malty in the porter style, but its sweetness keeps the smoky taste from being overwhelming.
Dark beers are usually best drunk cool instead of ice cold, but I found Jinx to taste equally good at either temperature. Thankfully, its finish is fairly consistent as well. This is a beer bursting with flavor and although it has a smoky characteristic, it finishes fairly smooth (smoother than you’d expect a beer of this complexity to finish).
To describe Jinx as anything other than full bodied would be a lie, even Magic Hat’s own website describes it as such. However, a beer that falls into the heavyweight category tends to scare off non-connoisseurs, but that shouldn’t be the case with Jinx. I was able to drink two bottles in a row on a full stomach without feeling the least bit full or bloated. Thanks to its great taste and easy finish, this is the type of beer you could go through many bottles before you felt the need to stop.
Of course, it should be noted that Jinx is one of the most potent beers on the market with a 6.9% ABV. I would recommend it as an alternative to your usually party beer since it’s got nearly double the alcohol and obviously a much more delicious taste than any mass market lager.
If Magic Hat can make Scotch ale that I enjoy, then I might be willing to give some other beers of the style a closer look. It’s difficult to imagine any of them topping this one, but at least now I finally have a frame of reference I like.
madmitch76 (12162) - , Essex, ENGLAND - JAN 9, 2010
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
15th September 2008. Opaque brown beer - unusual - initially quite smoky when cold but this retreated as the beer warmed up. The start became silky and smooth and the ending had banana and bubblegum notes.
swoopjones (4913) - Buffalo, New York, USA - DEC 31, 2009
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draft. I really didnt mind this one. Brownish pour. notes of smoke, peat, roasted malts. Medium mouthfeel. One of their better beers IMO
DialSquare (2046) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - DEC 31, 2009
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
From an old rating note: 12oz bottle. brown pour with small head. aroma of smoke, caramel and dark fruit. tastes of wood, smoke and caramel sweetness. never been a fan of smoked brew - so my rate is all relative.
williamherbert (1166) - Syracuse, New York, USA - SEP 28, 2009
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Deep reddish brown with a nice half-finger of head. No lace. Deep and dark; opaque. Smell is dark smoky malt but not that strong. Tastes like a dry amber-red with a roasted/smoky BBQ accent. Really malty and dry but with sweetness at the tail end of the swallow. Slightly bitter, esp as it warms up; has a bite. Lots of bite, maybe hard to repeat. Still, a smoky, rich brew.
thedm (4850) - Fort Wayne, USA - SEP 20, 2009
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
This bottled brew from a bottle shop poured a large sized head of foamy light tan colored bubbles that were mostly lasting and left behind a slightly hazy light brown colored body. The mild aroma was brown malt. The smooth mouth feel was tingly at the start with a mellow finish caramel aftertaste. The mild flavor contained notes of chamomile malt and brown malt. A decent one that I would consider buying again.
yobdoog (1888) - Woodridge NY, New York, USA - SEP 15, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Brownish color with a small head. Aroma has some burnt caramel and sweetness with a light coffee roast. Not much smoke. Flavor is a bit light on the smoke also, fades fast. Some roast and malts.
unclemattie (3906) - Georgia, USA - SEP 4, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
12oz bottle. Hazy copper color, light tan foamy head. Aroma of smoked malts, crisp wooded hops, maple, and figs. Mostly wood and smoke. Very nice aroma. Sweet malt flavor, filled with dried fruit sugars. Flavor has a light smoke in the distance. Very balanced. Smooth, creamy texture. I really enjoy how the smoked malt is in the nose and mostly the sugars are in the flavor. Finishes with a sugary dried fruit flavor and a touch of bittering hops. I think this is my favorite Magic Hat so far. Here’s to you Mr. Jinx!
Rating #2222, 04 Sept 09.
daknole (8005) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - SEP 1, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Picked up in Atlanta. Brown pour. Aroma has some nice smoke, caramel malt, woody notes and some dark fruits. Flavor has a nice smoke flavor, but not overly so...I liked the balance between smoke and fruit. Pretty good actually.
drowland (5688) - Valdosta, Georgia, USA - AUG 19, 2009
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Got this in a mixed up 12 pack from my brother a couple of years ago during Halloween time but didn’t take good notes.