They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Monday, 4 July 2011

Genie In A Bottle

So tonight I had my first proper taste of what Magic Rock are all about.

I missed the launch at the Grove a couple of weeks back, and then I missed the Leeds launch at North Bar last week. They still had plenty of bottles left though at North though, and you know me well enough by now to know I love my bottled beers. Something to take home, get proper intimate with and really give it your full attention and respect. I knew nothing about these beers apart from what was stated on the bottles. I know others have written about them, but when it came to what they tasted like I skipped over those parts, not out of disrespect, but because I love to go into new beers not knowing what I'm getting into. (once again, apart from what's stated on the bottles)

Overall I've always said they look very nice, the design is very well thought out, although I think it's slightly busy and if it wasn't for the stark differential between the colours I believe you'd have a hard time to pick out the different brews. The labels do have their individual qualities through colour though, so this pitfall was masterfully avoided. My only problem with the bottles was the white bottle caps, something about them, to me, just didn't sit right. It would have been nice to see them in the classic gold shine caps or with some of the Magic circus creatures on the tops.

On to the beers though....

I started off with the High Wire: a 5.5% West Coast Pale Ale. A beer inspired by, and is a tribute to the Pale Ales of the West Coast of America.

Apparently this beer is a "tightrope of taste" that is "unapologetically hop forward in character."

It certainly came across the nose that way, To me there was large hints of grapefruit, pithy orange rind and some pine needles. The taste is very interesting. It's really light, and very soft. A subtle carbonation, I was expecting a little more like in the Common Ale examples like Anchor Steam. It's an extremely well balanced beer and it certainly drinks lighter than it's 5.5% - I could easily happily get though a 6-pack of this! A little malt/spice in the body and finish, but it's mainly about the juicy fruit hops; a very refreshing beer indeed.

My second beer of the night was the extremely red looking, 4.6% Red Hop Ale; Rapture.

This beer is produced with 5 different types of malt and 6 different hops, and is packed full of bottle which makes for "a truly elating experience."

There's a huge malt aroma to the brew, lots of light caramel and a little, very dry hopped whiff. It's a very malty beer, not as hop forward as I though it would be, maybe I had these two the wrong way round? It's certainly a full bodied beer, with a good toffee and caramel malt backbone, but it's backed up by a good bitter bite of citrus and orange flavours.

The last one was the daddy.

Cannonball; their 7.4% India Pale Ale was the beer I had most been looking forward to. An "IPA in the true tradition, high in alcohol and massively hopped."

A beer that, after the pour, absolutely stinks of hops! Pick a fruit, you wouldn't be far off. Melons, Mangos, Grapefruits, even a little hint of mint was creeping in there. It's quite a thick beer, but with a good balancing carbonation. Quite piny with an obvious alcoholic nature. Lychee and big orange pith abound, it certainly is a devastatingly big and powerful beer. I got the slight impression that it was more like a sweet warming Barley Wine, rather than a big 'bitter punch in the face' huge IPA. Call it what you like, It was certainly a damn fine beer.

Magic Rock then.... what more can be said about them? My three magic genies in bottles all opened tonight, and all delivered as good as promised.

"Same but Different" Not really.... I'd say "Same but Better!"

I'm really looking forward to getting some of these beers in the shop, I'm really wanting some more now! I can't help thinking the High Wire would go well in a bigger bottle though.... ;)


  1. Awesome pics mate!!! Great write up too

  2. A good read for me having not tried the beers yet....I too missed both launch nights. can't wait to try sounds a beauty!

  3. They sound damn tasty and no mistake.

    That's a good three-beer range, pale ale, red ale and IPA, is this all that they do at the moment?

    Definitely keeping an eye out for these. Great labels too.

  4. Chris - That's all they do in bottles I'm pretty sure, they do more for cask though including a great stout I've heard of which I need to try.

    Thanks Andy and David, the beers are excellent and Cannonball Rules!

  5. I think they'd *all* do well being in bigger bottles! #greedyleigh