More Bottled Magic

Having tried the majority of the Magic Rock range (both in draught and bottle form) I was looking forward to trying the final two "specials" as sent to me by Dan Glover (@dandanglover), cheers!

First up, the Magic 8 Ball which plenty of people have been reviewing positively. It pours very dark brown with bubbly tan head. Some citrus and pine on the aroma but fairly subdued to what I was expecting. Flavour full of mango skin and lime pith, its pretty astringent actually. A touch of chocolate in there underneath it all. I wasn't all that keen on this but can see why it appeals to others.

Dark and mysterious
Bearded Lady is the bigger sister of Dark Arts (a firm favourite of mine in the Magic Rock range) and the family resemblance is certainly there. Chestnut tinged dark brown with creamy tan head that soon collapses to a lacing. Rich coffee and roasted barley notes on the nose. Spiky carbonation obscures initial flavours but finish is coffee, chocolate and tobacco. As it opens up there's some vanilla and caramel with watermelon flavours developing in the after-taste. Thick and warming, certainly a sipping beer but one of the better UK Imperial Stouts I've had the pleasure of supping.

I'd recommend adding both of these to your wish-list and look forward to other new releases this year. For a brewery that's still less than a year old to produce beers of this calibre is excellent work.


  1. I was lucky enough to be at the Bearded Lady launch last year, sadly I've not had any since, I recall it being a lovely rich beer and I can't wait to get re-aquainted on #IMPOFF night.. ;)

    8 ball was different, I'd read loads of rave reviews and yet it was several weeks before I finally got some which was in York a few weeks back. My initial reaction was mixed, it's a great beer but I couldn't get over an overpowering burnt note. Luckily it was on keg at York Tap so I revisited several times and it really grew on me, in fact it was my most indulged beer and the one I used to say goodbye to a great weekend.

    Cheers Steve, quality reviews as always

  2. Thanks Phil

    yes I certainly hope to try these on draught and will do so if I ever spot them

  3. I really like both of these beers, particularly the 8 Ball which has a lot more malt character than a lot of Black IPA's I've tried. I bought a few bottles of it when it was released and they are definately loosing their hoppyness as they age, might cellar my last bottle for 6 months and see what I get when it's aged a bit!

  4. I didn't get much malt character from it at all! Hops all at front which is true to style...too much malt and its just a hoppy porter. I just think the aroma hops had faded leaving too much bitterness

  5. Strange! My bottles must've come from the other end of the batch...