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Peter LaFrance

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A taste of… Participation Lager

Magic Hat Brewery and Performing Arts Center
5 Bartlett Bay Road
South Burlington, VT 05403

Preface: This bottle has been well cared for despite its age. (It is a pre-election offering by the folks at Magic Hat.) The promotional material for this brew can’t be found so I’ll just take the label information at its word… The neck label “RATE it online at: ODDNOTION.MAGICHAT.net” as well as “HeadCount is a not-for-profit nonpartisan organization devoted to registering live music fans to vote. Register to vote at HEADCOUNT.ORG” The front label states that this is “3/4 pint of beer” and “5% alc./vol.”

Appearance: This is a brilliant light golden brew with lively carbonation and a slight chill-haze. The Head is composed of medium to large bubbles that knit into a semi-rocky head with a smooth almost white color.

Aroma: The first impression is of a faintly sweet refreshing mix of cool (served at 40F) and herbaceous with whispers of clover (yes clover).The second visit revealed a sweet cereal grain tone. The lip-to-sip sensation revealed neither sweet nor floral.

Mouth feel: There is a firm but not full body, enhanced with a creamy carbonation.

Flavor: The refreshing chill of this brew is only momentarily kissed with sweetness before the more powerful herbal push to the front. There is a rather interesting mix of hops used in this brew. Although these flavors dominate, it is, dare I say it, not an unpleasant sensation.

Finish: The final sensation is that of the sharp rather than bitter hop contribution.

Comments: Although this was not the freshest example of this brew the impression is one of a medium bodied lager with a bit more hop esters than is traditional.
(Magic Hat and the word “traditional” are related how?) As the asterisked note on the front label states, this is “A brew to provoke political discussion.”

It would be my beverage of choice with pizza “all the way” (with everything including anchovies).

The Brewery: http://www.magichat.net/

What others say:

BeerAdvocate: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/96/44215

RateBeer: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/magic-hat-participation-lager-08/91662/7393/

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