Magic Hat: Circus Boy

Magic Hat: Circus Boy(Hefeweizen)

Score: 2.5/5

ABV: 4.4%

IBU: 15

The brew had a drinkable mouthfeel, but did not have the thickness that wheat should bring about in a traditional hefeweizen.

The brew had a drinkable mouthfeel, but did not have the thickness that wheat should bring about in a traditional hefeweizen.

Magic Hat is a brewing company out of South Berlington, Vermont, and has been brewing since the early or mid 1990’s. Merely skimming the wiki should show a few interesting statistics and facts about the company. North American Breweries recently purchased the company, and also owns Dundee Brewing Company and manages Labatt, USA. Magic Hat has four seasonals and four active brews, one of which I had the pleasure of trying, Circus Boy, their Hefeweizen.

One thing I would like to point out is my initial hesitation to try anything from Magic Hat, despite the fact that my brother actually sells it for his company. I have found the majority of their brews have the tendency to be overtly carbonated, which can be a good or bad thing depending on one’s taste. I find that the carbonation has the ability to compliment fruit adjuncts in a brew, which can bring about a taste that remains reminiscent of orange soda. But unlike Kel, I personally attempt to stay away from carbonated sodas, opting to only use soda for mixed beverages. I honestly find that the carbonation works as a weak way to compliment the fruit taste, remaining a contrived way to replace other adjuncts that could compliment the fruit flavor of a brew.

Just examining the color of this average hefeweizen.

Just examining the color of this average hefeweizen.

I poured my Circus Boy in a weizen glass, not because one should, but merely because it is one of the few glasses I have on me now. The beer poured a hazy golden color, but I always yearn for a hazier beer when I drink. The head was thick at first, but quickly dissipated into a thin white. I am not an expert on pouring in weizen glasses, and assume that these glasses contribute to a fluffier and fuller head. One should note though, that weizen glasses also allow for one to really analyze the color of the brew, and nothing is sexier than a hefeweizen with a good color. I could get an extremely slight banana hint on the nose, but I did not recognize anything special going on here. I was expecting more wheat and cloves in the nose, and have seen other hefeweizens with more impressive scents. Seeing how one should always start reviewing a beer based upon the color and nose, I can honestly say I was not razzle-dazzled.

In the taste one can definitely notice strong hints of lemon, which probably come from the lemongrass in this brew. I have mixed feelings about one using lemongrass as an adjunct in a traditional hefeweizen. How well do bananas and lemon even go together? I honestly do not find the tastes to be a dynamic duo of any sort, but if you do, then this may be up your ally. I actually was pleasantly surprised to notice that this brew remained less carbonated than the #9, Vinyl, and Wacko from Magic Hat. Much like Magic Hats other brews, this is an extremely drinkable and smooth beer, but I was hoping for stronger wheat and clove taste in this brew. The mouthfeel is smooth and light, which seems lead to one to argue that this brew remains watery, but I would prefer to let others decide this. One will also notice a medium-lighter carbonation in the brew, which I found to be lovely. For once Magic Hat did not hinder the mouthfeel of their brew with over-carbonation.

A lot of folks who are ‘riding the interwebs’ seem to be arguing over whether or not this beer truly remains a hefeweizen, which most likely comes from the subtlety of the clove and wheat taste here. This brew has a sweeter taste to it as well, which is derived from the honey adjunct in Circus Boy. And I would ultimately say that this hefeweizen remains more drinkable than others, but I believe one should look elsewhere if they are looking for a more traditional hefeweizen such as Sierra Nevada’s.

-The Jesse Jennings, an amateur beer enthusiast

Magic Hat always has an appealing bottle...

Magic Hat always has an appealing bottle...

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