Review: Magic Hat Dream Machine IPL

Review of Dream Machine IPL from Magic Hat Brewing Co. in South Burlington, VT.

Beer Type: IPL (India Pale Lager)  ABV: 5.7%  IBUs: 50  Tried from bottle.

Their Description: “Dream Machine, an India Pale Lager or IPL, is a melding of varied visions of an India Pale Ale and an Amber Lager. Once poured, its light copper color delights the eyes and a citrusy hop aroma flows through the nose. Upon first sip, a smooth hop bitterness reveals itself – fresh, bold and slightly spicy – before subtle hints of mild maltiness appear. A big hop bite and a crisp, clean lager finish combine for a beautifully balanced beer. Take Dream Machine for a spin and let your reverie begin.”

The Reality: When you look past the fanciful writing style and rhyming, their description is pretty accurate. It is a light copper color, the scent is a combination of malt and bright hops, which is a precursor to the flavor. The bold taste is a constant balance between malty sweetness with tropical fruit notes and medium-hopped bitterness that comes through more in the finish, making this beer both crisp and smooth. The only thing I would disagree with is the “big hop bite”. Maybe this description was written before the hop invasion of IPAs, Double IPAs, Imperial IPAs, heavy-hopped pale ales and even dry hopped ciders, but I didn’t find the hoppiness to be that strong, or even as strong as some other IPLs I’ve tried (like Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union), and that isn’t a bad thing.

Final Verdict: This beer strikes a nice balance, is full-flavored without being heavy and would make a good everyday drinker. The downside is that Dream Machine’s scare me, especially if they fall into the hands of nefarious super-villains, or worse yet, intelligent robots. After all, wasn’t The Matrix essentially a giant Dream Machine?  Robots don’t drink beer, they drink our life-giving bioenergy! Scary stuff…