I went through a bit of a dark beer phase this past year. For several months, I was tasting dark, stout beers almost exclusively. I have since moved on into more of a bitter, pale ale phase, but that certainly did not stop me from thoroughly enjoying Magic Hat's black lager.
Howl is a very tasty beer with a relatively complex flavor. Magic Hat is a bit mysterious about the ingredients that they use in the brew (the bottle makes no direct mention of any special ingredients), but the taste has a lot of nutty undertones. The beer has a strong, dark flavor, while still retaining the slight sourness of lighter lagers. One of the most interesting things about this beer is that it has a fairly profound taste of pretzels (more specifically the hard outer crust of a pretzel) in the aftertaste. I absolutely love pretzels, so this was a really interesting element of this beer for me. Overall, this is a great beer with a lot of strong, complimentary flavors, and I definitely recommend it to those drinkers who enjoy stronger, darker beers.
However, I have a difficult time giving this as a good "all around" recommendation. The only thing keeping me from highly recommending it is that I feel like anyone who does not like darker beers is really going to be put off by this one. The flavor is strong and offensive to the taste buds, which I really like, but I can see how fans of lighter beers or those who are new to the beer scene would really not like the taste of this one. That being said, I think that it's a wonderful beer. Keep an eye out for it.
Purchased: Gift from a friend [received in a sample pack]
Size: 12 fl. oz. [355 mL]
Price: Approximately $9.00 [six pack]