Chad9976 (884) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 27, 2010
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: OCT 26, 2012 Iíd like to coin a phrase in the beer-reviewing world: Just because a beer is gimmicky doesnít make it bad. While I would support that statement whole-heartedly, I donít think Magic Hat Wacko is the example Iíd chose to defend it with. This is one of the gimmickiest beers Iíve ever encountered, which wouldnít be a problem if only it were good. This is a summer beer marketed on the notion that itís made with beet extract Ė does that sound appealing to you?
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
This beer flowed out of the bottle like water and produced a dark pink, but crystal clear complexion reminiscent of raspberry ginger ale. There was plenty of carbonation upon the initial pour, but it quickly calmed down to complete tepidness. The head matched the body with a small, but brink pink color and a soapy composition. It evaporated very quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The aroma was typical for a Magic Hat beer with a sweet, fruity scent with a noticeable malt presence.
I had no idea what to expect from Wacko. Iíve never had beet sugar or extract (or even the vegetable itself), although I suppose thatís good because it gives me a more neutral starting point. Upon my first swig I tasted something I havenít had in years Ė a wine cooler (or at least a very watered-down version of those alcopops).
Magic Hat is known for being experimental and having eccentric beer styles, which is fine since the beer always tastes greatÖ until now. Drinking Wacko is not a pleasant experience. I get no specific ingredients here other than an overly-sweetened palate which finishes with a dry, malty thud. No fruit flavors are noticeable, although there is a taste similar to the tartness of cranberry or grapefruit juice.
While I found the first bottle easily drinkable, after my second and third I realized just how unappealing the beer was. Itís just all beet sugar and little else. At only 15 IBUs this beer probably couldíve been vastly improved by increased bitterness for balance.
Some beers are easy to drink in small sips, while others are not. Wacko is definitely an example of the former as it has a fairly soft mouthfeel and a finish to match. However, if drank in larger gulps its dry, tart side becomes very prominent and it begins to take on a much more coarse texture. This is surprising considering this is a summer seasonal, after all.
I was able to drink two bottles of this beer back-to-back without feeling the slightest bit buzzed. While some might argue this is good, I think there is such thing as being a little too light. Wacko is only 4.5% ABV and wonít fill up the drinker Ė believe me, I tried!
Obviously, not all experimental beers can be a success and while the Magic Hat brewery has a strong track record, Wacko is one of the few blemishes to their record. I could see it being enjoyed by everyday drinkers looking for an easy-drinking summer beer. However, after just one bottle I think most people will be content and prefer to move on.
Imaena (846) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - APR 20, 2013
1.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 6/20
Bottle. This is a plain old pale lager with macro taste dressed up with beet juice for color. Not worth it.
JuliusCaesar (140) - New Hampshire, USA - JAN 24, 2013
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Not the best magic hat. It is definitely lacking in flavor but still it is drinkable. Cool idea.
fauxpunker (76) - Florence, Kentucky, USA - SEP 24, 2012
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. The beet juice definitely gives it an interesting color; amber that shows red/pink in the light. Not much of head. Was expecting a rather sweet falvor due to the beet juice, but didnít notice much to be honest. Easy to drink but otherwise rathre plain.
tpd123 (8) - - SEP 2, 2012 does not count
1.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 1/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 6/20
Most disapointing Magic Hat beer out there. Average aroma but a very unique appearance which is deceiving. Weak malty sweet flavor is overun by the strong unbearable beet flavor.
NeoHippie2 (450) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - AUG 27, 2012
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
This beer could have been so much better than what it was. Donít get excited by that color...itís a trick. To call it a spice/herb/vegetable is really a stretch because the beet juice in this one has got to be strictly for color because at best I would describe this brew as a decently drinkable, watered-down pale lager. Just disappointing really. Could have been epic. Beet juice? Really? thats your selling point here? NEXT!
ads135 (1572) - Lawrence, Kansas, USA - AUG 15, 2012
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Its nice when brewers go out of their way to try something new, and sometime its a success. I wouldnít go as far as to say this beer achieves that, but its not bad either. Interesting color, a sort of metallic taste, some sweet caramel aromas and other spices.
oddaroma (129) - Texas, USA - AUG 2, 2012
2.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 7/20
The beet juice is just for color I guess, but what is giving it that strange finish. Get past the pinkish color and the bready aroma and you are trounced by a flavor that initially is pleasing. The malts stand up and announce themselves then disappear behind a wall of sweet something. The sweetness isnít overpowering but it brings with it a strange metallic, almost coppery flavor.
kayres (210) - , Georgia, USA - MAY 6, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pouts clear yellow orange(bit darker than style) aroma is light and fruity. Sweet lt body, floral but crisp no hop. Bit more body than a target kolsch
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Onenote81 (1002) - Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA - APR 26, 2012
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Originally reviewed: 7/31/09. This beer came to the bar a reddish pink with a light pink head on top. Retention was weak, but it left nice lacing rings all down the glass edge. Smells like apples, earth, and flowers.
The mouth was crisp and bubbly with a moderate amount of carbonation. Flavor was of sweet malts, some vegetable taste, and finished slightly bitter. This was decent. Much better than I expected. Iíd get it again.
Fech (259) - Parsippany, New Jersey, USA - APR 10, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Beet juice color...not actual beet juice...random anyhow, but smooth and refreshing. Perfect summer brew.