Disclaimer: This beer was sent to me by the brewery as a promotional sample
The final beer of my Magic Hat Brewing Company sample pack is Demo. Demo is labeled as a Black IPA and comes in at 6% ABV. According to Magic Hat, Demo is, “a deliciously dark lick of an India Pale Ale. It’s medley of roasted malts and heady hops will have your senses dancing to the beat of a different I.P.A.” Black IPAs and/or Cascadian Dark Ale and/or Cascadian IPAs have been increasing in popularity in the past few years. I believe that they even added a category to the beer styles to fit it. I have not tired many of these beers so I’m still a bit fuzzy on what a good example of this style is.
Demo pours a black color (shocker) and has a light tan head to go with it. The nose is nice and roasty. There are some hints of chocolate and deep caramels in there as well. Surprisingly I didn’t much if any hops on the nose of this beer. For something labeled as IPA, I would have expected there to be more hop aroma. It could be my lack of knowledge of the style, but I was hoping for more hops on the nose.
On my first taste I really loved the solid roasty flavor to this beer. There are some hints of chocolate and coffee, but mainly just a robust roasty flavor. The roastiness is not sharp, but smooth and round. The hops come into the picture on the back half of this beer. They mix very nicely with the roast and provide a good contrast of flavors. I was hoping for some stronger hops, but what was there worked well.
Of the three beers that Magic Hat sent me this is probably my favorite. It is super drinkable and it only comes in at 6% ABV. While I was expecting much more in the way of hops, the lack of a strong hop flavor allowed the malt to shine. If you are a hop head this beer is probably going to disappoint you, but if you like balanced beers (like I do) this one should be right up your alley.