This past weekend, although I picked up a selection of Belgian strong Christmas ales for the next few days, I decided to imbibe in Magic Hat’s winter seasonal, Howl. Supremely drinkable, it pours nearly black, but goes down incredibly smooth.
Howl is a Schwarzbier in German, which literally translates to “black beer” and stylistically, is a dark German lager. Oftentimes the malts will present similar tastes to Irish stouts or English porters, including roasty coffee or chocolate flavors, but these lagers tend to have a much lighter mouthfeel, making them great for session beers this time of year.
Magic Hat Howl has a very crisp, clean taste that I don’t often come across in winter beers, which is just another reason people shouldn’t shy away from trying a brew just because of how dark it pours. Typically in winter seasonals, malts play a much bigger role than hops, but Magic Hat balances this brew out just right, so neither overtakes the flavor. Another reason I think Howl goes down in such a clean way is the carbonation; light and active, this beer does not just sit on your palate.
Elements of roasted, malty chocolate are evident, but again, Howl is light enough to sip and actually wash down whatever you might be munching on through the holidays – I enjoyed mine with some Christmas cookies and it was absolutely delicious. At only 4.60% ABV, I think I’ll have another.
[techtags:MAGIC HAT, MAGIC HAT HOWL, HOWL BEER REVIEW, MAGIC HAT BEER REVIEWS, SCHWARZBIER, BLACK LAGER, WINTER SEASONAL, WINTER BEERS]