17 November 2007

Magic Hot Roxy Rolles (VT)

To what extent are we supposed to look past imagery, packaging and marketing and focus only on the beer itself? I suppose we should do so entirely. I can't help but think about this when drinking an offering from Magic Hat, a brewery whose imagery is both (a) much of the reason for its success, and (b) in my opinion, awful. I dislike everything about it: the brewery name, the beer names, the label designs, the bottle cap "wisdom," the faux whimsy.

Roxy Rolles is a winter seasonal accurately described as a "hoppy amber ale." The hops are citrus and pine, slight in aroma and a bit stronger in taste (35 IBUs). It's a lot like an APA, but the malts are different, and ultimately offset the bitterness. Without them, it would make a fine, refreshing summer beer (it's even a bit heavy on the carbonation). As is, I don't know if it makes a great winter brew, and you may be able to get the same effect by mixing a hoppy pale ale with an amber ale. I can see some drinkers complaining that Roxy Rolles falls in between two styles, not succeeding at either. Still, I think it works, and am glad I bought a full sixer.

The underside of one of the bottle caps says "Art Show. Fart Show. Make the Beer." It takes a considerable lack of self-awareness not to appreciate the irony of this, Magic Hat, but it's good advice nonetheless, and in this case, good beer.


ksbrainard said...

I remember having Roxy Rolles for the first time last year. I didn't realize it was seasonal until it was gone, but I loved every minute of it. I bought the stuff by the case. I haven't had the chance to get it yet this year, but I hope it lives up to my memory.

Besides, I find the bottle caps fun if nothing else. Plus Magic Hat is one of those bigger micros (like a Harpoon, etc.) that manages to make beers that really stand out from the crowd.

Blog on!

Buttle said...

As much as I don't like Magic Hat's branding, I understand how this sort of thing is necessary. And it's not like they neglect the beer.

David James said...

Hey Buttle, chalk another hit up to Wortwurst. I really like the blog you got going here.

I too have battled my own personal demons with the whole Magic Hat image thing. But in the end, I always succumb to the curiousity of trying a new beer.

In fact, I'd just had this problem this evening struggling over laying down the $2.00 for the single of Red Roxy Rolles to complete my mixed six over that trusty smiling patriot on the reliable Sam Adams Winter Lager bottle. Well Red Roxy hit my glass and ran up my charts of what I though was a great beer overall and one I'll be buying again soon.

Keep up the great reviews. If it's okay with you, I'll be adding your link to my little rinky dink microbrew review blogin the next day or two. Nice job and I'm looking forward to more of your posts!

Buttle said...

Thanks for the comment. I'd love the link, and I've added Microbrew Review to my own links.

I definitely sympathize with the difficulties in choosing the last single of a mixed six. My local beer retailer now has Roxy Rolles on sale for something like $6.50 a sixer, but I still have a couple left from my current six pack. Oh well.