F*** Russell Stover and other ho-hum variety pushers – beer samplers are where it’s at.
Magic Hat’s “Night of the Living Dead” sampler is a 12-pack stacked with 4 different beers at 3 beers per brew (do the math; it’s rad). The varieties in tow are #9, Circus Boy, Jinx and the most intriguing of all, Mystery Beer.
First up, #9: this fruity beer is copper in color, apricot in taste. Depending on how tolerant you are of fruit flavors in beer this could be a distraction.
On tap #9 is a bar favorite; the bottled version’s taste is far more subdued in comparison. If I wasn’t used to its taste on tap I may have not minded as much. Still, it’s worthy of inclusion.
In my last brew review I pored over the citrus taste of Blue Moon; I would’ve mentioned Circus Boy as a comparable beer if I had it at the time. My first impression of Circus Boy is one of almonds and lemons, that combined, fuse to a sweet orange flavor. Too much carbonation weakens the beer; I recommend letting it sit for a few minutes (or 10). Don’t worry about it being somewhat flat – in this case it’s an advantage, since the harshness of the fizz is much more palatable when weakened.
Jinx is much more earthy than the previous beers, with a rich, spicy finish. Perfect for cold weather, this brew acts as a warming agent when downed during crisp weather. I would assume Jinx would compliment most “comfort” food at the dinner table as well. Overall, the finest of the pack.
Then, there’s the Mystery Beer: bittersweet, malt-flavored goodness. Not recommended for everybody, Mystery Beer’s taste lies somewhere between fruity and nutty with a hint of vegetables. High-alcohol content (7.5) is not noticeable therefore surprising after a few bottles. Mystery Beer is perfect for the adventurous drinker that isn’t exactly a beer aficionado.
The sampler as a whole is hit-or-miss for both house and party purposes. Try before you buy…as in, have a friend buy it and try one of each before you buy your very own 12-pack.
“Night of the Living Dead” stats:
Tastes like: a cornucopia of flavor
Smells like: a cornucopia of scents
Alcohol content: higher than the average bottle, with Mystery Beer one-upping the bunch