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Feast Of Fools - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Feast Of FoolsFeast Of Fools

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

171 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 171
Reviews: 86
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.78%
Wants: 59
Gots: 16 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UnionMade on 05-08-2002

In medieval times, the celebration of darkness and light was marked with great halls filled with smoke and mirrors. Gilded goblets brimming with seasonal brews were lifted to lips speaking a language no longer known. The present connects the past through the brewer’s art and a beer of utter darkness is born - Feast of Fools Raspberry Stout. Gather thy friendly fools for a round and celebrate the oncoming darkness with sweet ale and glee.

28 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 171 | Reviews: 86
Reviews by DaveFL1976:
Photo of DaveFL1976
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a small sample @ Coasters during the Magic Hat night.
Pours an opaque black with hints of ruby on the edges. Really not too much head. It starts out as fizzy, big bubbles and then settles down into a thin layer.
The smell really is incredible. A mix of cocoa, toffee and raspberries. The taste is the same, but the raspberries take a back seat.
A super nice beer. It reminds me of a low ABV and sessionable version of Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock. Good job!

More User Reviews:
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 vintage, 750ml bottle with new artwork. Pours into my glass a deep brooding black color with dark ruby highlights and a nice bubbly dark tan head on top. Does look nice in the glass. Aromas of roasty, even slightly smoky cocoa alongside a nice fresh raspberry as well. I'm picking up a touch of oxidation and I might have held onto this for a little too long. Even still, the aroma is inviting.

First sip brings some roasty dark maltiness upfront with a touch of smokiness. Notes of bitter cocoa lead into a rush of wonderful raspberry flavor. The fruit works in really well and brings a light touch of sweetness. Just a really enjoyable fruity stout.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a prickly carbonation. Goes down smooth and tasty. I've enjoyed this beer the last time I had the chance to drink it and I'm enjoying this bottle as well. I haven't had much from Magic Hat but the Feast of Fools is surely worth checking out. I hope I cross paths with it again! Thanks to UnionMade for this one.

Photo of Richie_Inman
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Raspberry dance on your palate.

Photo of Jason
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 750ml corked champagne bottle is a nice touch. If you don't know this beer it a stout brewed with raspberries. A couple of shades away from pitch black. The head forms and dissipates quickly though there is still a healthy pasty tan lace that hangs around. Both tartness and a little sweetness from the raspberries bring a faint cordial aroma with hints of roasted grain in the back. Medium sized body with a silky smoothness. Nice tartness upfront from the raspberries then some stout like characteristics come through ... mild roasted grain and faded charcoal. Hop bitterness just helps to balance and the palate is quite clean from start to finish.

Very drinkable and the fruit is always a good nudge to introduce new beer drinkers into the world of beer. I guess putting this beer is six-packs would take away from the charm a little bit but I would not mind.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked bottle poured into a snifter - this cork was a pain in the ass to get off!

Pours almost black with a slight ruby and no head at all. Nose is amazing with tons of raspberry and nice malt.

Wow. Best. Magic. Had. Ever. Very smooth and sweet, super drinkable. Really light and not too malty so it's real accessible to non-craft drinkers but still very well balanced and nice.

Photo of far333
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2002

Served at cellar temperature in a crystal goblet.

Pours out oily black, and foam rises up to a high mound of chunky brown meringue, but settles down quickly to a half inch lid of fine, tight brown bubbles. Aroma is subtle and understated raspberry, with the slightest hint of cocoa, some plum, and a bit of talc riding beneath.

Mouthfeel is smooth with moderate carbonation, creamy with a fine tingle along for the ride. Flavor is very well-balanced and enjoyable, with the raspberry and cocoa swimming in and out and complementing each other very well. Dark roasted malts ebb and flow. A coffee bitter lingers, and fans out across the back of the tongue morphing into chocolate. The flavor gets more intense with each sip.

As I swirl the glass, a thin sheet of foam rises evenly up the sides and slides slowly back down. This one has aged well, and is very satisfying to sip slowly. Would go well after dinner, perhaps over dessert, or even with a mild cigar.

The other three 2002 bottles in the cellar may have a short lifespan.

Photo of pwoods
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, poured into a snifter. Thanks to beachbum1975 for sharing this.

A: Pours nearly pitch black, some ruby tinting on the edges and on the bottom, average viscosity. Large light mocha head forms and holds pretty decent. Not much lacing.

S: Nice sweet raspberry aroma. Smells like raspberry soda.

T/M: Light roasted malts with a bit of dryness. Raspberry mixes well with the stout qualities. Tartness is light but still there. Other than the lightly roasted malts and raspberry, there's not much else. Maybe a hint of chocolate or light coffee would compliment it a bit better. Body is rather light, even for a single stout. Carbonation is lively and holds up the entire time.

D: Pretty easy to drink and definitely interesting. The 7.5% ABV isn't noticeable.

Photo of poop_brew
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serving Type - poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance - deep brown coloration with what appear to be reddish tints when under light. Two finger head which was a creamy brown color.

Smell - Has a strong raspberry and malt smell

Taste - Not as much raspberry flavor as expected but still quite sweet and has a bit of a jam-ish flavor. A bitter taste creeps in on the tongue towards the middle of the sip and a raspberry flavor lingers on the tongue along with malty undertones.

Mouthfeel - Very mild carbonation and a biting feeling towards the back of the mouth and tongue.

Overall - Good beer, great due to its seasonal taste. Wouldn't be a consistent buy for me personally, but a nice treat during a Nor'easter snow storm!

Photo of drocpsu
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had a chance to sample this beer recently by chatting with a magic hat rep. The beer was poured from a corked champagne-like bottle. Poured almost black with a roughly 3/4" head.

The smell was delicious. A mix of fruit and chocolate with a noticeable raspberry aroma.

Taste was also very good. Subtle chocolate flavors present, but the raspberry seemed to be the predominant flavor. Very flavorful overall, but also pretty sweet. This would make for a great dessert beer, but would probably be a little sweet as an everyday drink. Also, it was surprising that this is 7.5% abv, as the alcohol did not seem noticeable in the taste.

Mouthfeel was the most surprising to me, as it seemed very light for a stout. I would not have classified it as a stout if I didn't know beforehand. It certainly wasn't bad, just not characteristic for the style.

Overall, I thought this was a very tasty beer and certainly wouldn't mind to have a bottle for a special occasion. I was glad I got a chance to try it, since I've never seen it on sale anywhere.

Photo of BillyB
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma's in this beer are fantastic. Strong scents of deep rich chocolate and sweet, tart raspberries. Also some slight coffee/ caramel notes in the smell.

Appearance is deep black with a dark tan head that quickly disperses.

Taste is of slightly roasty malt flavors. Strong chocolate and raspberry flavor. No alcohol taste.

Mouthfeel is kind of watery and bland.

The smell sets you up for a great taste and mouthfeel but kind of falls short.

Not a bad beer but taste and mouthfeel don't meet up with the fantastic aromas.

Very drinkable.

Photo of Kegatron
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Specially branded 32 oz brewery filled growler into a tulip glass.

Pours black in the glass, with roughly a ½ finger of smooth mocha colored head. This stays foamy around the edges and throws up a moderately rich cascade of spotty froth which slowly creeps down the sides of the glass. The aroma has a pretty lush smelling raspberry nose on this, with a flavorful berry tartness that mingles with the sugary sweetness of cocoa and vanilla, while notes of green citrus and dark roast sit along the back. This is mostly all about the raspberries though, putting them front and center where they belong here in the nose.

The raspberries are more subtle here and take a bit more of a back seat, with fresh berry flavors that meld with a dark and sugary blend of chocolate, toffee, and roasted malt. Some hop character imparts a current of green citrus that runs through the profile and offers up some earthy balancing bitterness. The finish is dry and bitter with some lightly lingering notes of cocoa and roast. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a bit of a sharper feel up front that then gets progressively creamier and creamier until it achieves a satisfyingly smooth and silky feel towards the swallow. That 5% ABV suits the body and flavors here perfectly, giving this some presence but without any alcohol flavors whatsoever.

I was very happy to find that this kept the Stout character at the forefront in the taste, allowing the raspberry flavor to merely compliment that and not overdo it with the fruitiness. That combined with a very easy and smooth feel really helped make this much more drinkable than I initially thought that it was going to end up. It figures that this is probably the best Magic Hat beer that I've had in a long time and you can only get it there at the brewery. It's a bit pricier than their other growler offerings there but it's definitely worth checking out.

Photo of bditty187
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black in color, there was no hue to it, pure blackness. Even when I held it to a light there was no wavering in its depth. I didn’t notice a hint of highlight. Impressive. The head was brunette in color, attractive, at the apex it was a little over a finger in height. Head retention was fair, it slid to a bubbly but pocked cap, thicker around the edges but not naked in the middle. The subsequent lacing was spotty and it didn’t cling particularly well. Overall this looks wonderful in my goblet. The nose is gourmet raspberry chocolate. It is like New Glarus’ Raspberry Tart in regards to the mouthwatering fruity aromas, granted the strength here doesn’t compare but I get the same “lavish” vibe. To state it simply, it smells good. When mixed with the chocolate it is simply amazing. Sam Adam’s Chocolate Bock couldn’t even dream of being so chocolaty. Rich, dark, mysterious and these are just the overtones. Roasted malts are noticeable, coffee hints. Some trace hints of cookie. Distant hint of grass at the back, airy at the finish, I wish the overall potency were stronger but the invitation is still clear, “Drink Me You Fool!” The palate has plenty of charm. I really like the harmony between the raspberries and chocolate flavors. Lovely. Neither one is too loud nor too quite. I’m enjoying their conversation immensely. The chocolate flavors are dark and semi-sweet; there is a good amount of depth. In the middle I get a hint of roast, some astringency, and a silky fruitiness that is beyond just the raspberries (plums and a grape or two?). Grassy at the back. As is, the palate is tasty. There is a good amount of complexity but everything falls into some general categories. But what really elevates this beer is the aftertaste. The roast really grows on the tongue; it spreads like a plague or something. Coffee does the same thing to me. I like it. More raspberries flavors as well. I must also comment that even though the abv falls above 7% I don’t taste a lick of it. My brain says otherwise. Now the only thing that doesn’t impress me is the mouthfeel. It is too thin and even a bit watery, medium in body. This aspect of the beer is average; I can’t really compare it to another style because this is a hybrid of sorts. Still it feels light in the mouth. Still, that isn’t much to criticize about. This is easy drinking, it just isn’t bulky enough to *have* to sip it but it is so damn tasty you *want* to sip it. Bring on the cheesecake! Thanks UnionMade, this was a surprise inclusion. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to quaff this gem. I owe you one buddy!

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

750mL. 5.3% 2004-2005 version. Thanks for sharing Dylan! Aroma is an intense, lightly parching cherried candy and sweet chocolate, however mildly artificial. Dark black with dense foam tan rim. Cordial cherries dominate the initial flavor, in that sold at the counter, wrapped in red foil, in plastic trays, at a midwestern gas station, kind of way. Stout character takes over with a salty and pithy stout run. A medium, woody and seedy stout with dropping of cheap kirsch. Finishes in the middle.

Photo of Goldorak
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled 21JUL2004

I bought this 2003 edition Humdinger at the brewery, during their holiday season open house. A great visit, nice people, excellent Beers and good specials. Very nice black champagne-like bottle, with simple sticker and inscription card, suggesting this should be consumed within 6 months of purchase. I'm a month late, but we decided to give it a go anyways.

It took forever to get the genie out of the bottle, seriously the cork was at least an inch deep in the rim. It finally came out a very dark black with a beautiful creamy brown head. Some brownish yeast deposit was found at the bottom of my glass.

Excellent smell, smokey, coffee, mild fruit that translated nicely from the nose to the mouth. Even my girlfriend who isn't very stout inclined enjoyed this one. After a few sips, the mouthfeel develops a strange aftertaste. After much debate we pinned it down as being yellow mustard served on those giant hot roasted pretzels! Call me crazy, but I wasn't the only taster in the room to pick up on this one. I'm sure this had something to do with the aging process because I certainly didn't recall that when I tasted a fresh sample at the brewery. Interesting indeed. Next year I won't wait so long before poping the cork on edition 2004.

Only 3.5 for drinkability, because I wouldn't see myself downing tons of this stuff, but as an after dinner "dessert beer".

Photo of puboflyons
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

From the 650 ml. bottle. 2014 batch. Sampled on December 5, 2014

Brown pour with a quick lasting tan head that dissolves to nothing. Carbonation bubbles cling to the glass.

Aroma: Raspberry and light chocolate. Not a whole lot else.

The body is medium.

The taste is also overpowered by raspberry and a thin veil of chocolate with a vegetable oil flavor too. That seems very typical of Magic Hat brews. It must be their house yeast.

Photo of akorsak
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

I received this as a gift from my brother and his girlfriend, recent initiates into the New Hampshire way of life. I am drinking it from my Chimay chalice.

Appearance: For once, I will talk about the bottle. Very nice looking 25 oz bottle. Red and white illustration on black bakground. As for the beer, it is black with no discernible colors eminating when held up to light. It pours with little carbonation and holds no head.

Smell: Rich, decadent chocolate, almost a solid milk chocolate like Hersheys. The smell might be a little top over the top, but it is unusual (think Young's Double Chocolate Stout).

Taste: Slightly sweet raspberry makes itself known upfront, followed by smooth chocolate flavors. There is little carbonation to cleanse the mouth on each sip, prolonging the pleasant flavor.

Mouthfeel: This beer is milk chocolate in the mouth, enough said. The raspberry can be a little too much, but the chocolate can overpower that sweetness.

Drinkability: I think that this is a very drinkable ale. The biggest problem is that one can not drink more than one. The damned cork is too small and wedged to tightly in there. I ended up using a corkscrew to open it up, just a little ri-goddamn-diculous. Magic Hat, go easy on the cork, please!

Photo of bluejacket74
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle, 2014 edition. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a very dark brown color with about a half inch tan head. Head retention is decent, and there isn't much lacing. The brew smells like raspberries, chocolate, roasted malt, and a little bit of coffee. The taste is just like the aroma. It starts off with the raspberries, and then the bittersweet and milk chocolate, roasted malt and coffee flavors are stronger in the finish. With that being said, I do think this smells better than it tastes. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit coating but it also seems thin at times. Moderate carbonation. Overall I thought this was an OK brew. Glad I got to try this one, and it's worth picking up if you're never had it before.

Photo of CRJMellor
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep black with a dark tan/ brown bubbly head that recedes very quickly.
Aroma of dark fruits, some light cocoa powder, chocolate and hint of roasted nuts.
Flavors of the raspberry stands out well but ind of overpowers the chocolate and caramel notes bit too much. Roasted notes appear towards the bak of the palate and cut the sweetness appropriately.
Mouthfeel is very smooth with not wuite enough carbonation. Finish is sort of abbreviated and left we wanting a bit more palate coating tang and coffee bitterness.
Drinkability is solid, not spectacular. Expecting more from this one but it is a pleasant brew.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Much thanks to meatbeagle for gettisto me!

Poured a thick deep black with a huge brown head and a huge amount of lace. Looks pretty much as good as a stout can look, awesome, can't wait! Smell is a strong licorice with hints of caramel and rasberry. The taste is very very sweet. Deep flavors of licorice and candy, is that dark cherry I taste..yummy to say the least! Nice as thick as I would have liked, but it goes down very easily and could be an easy all night drink.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Random find in Norwalk, CT - last bottle on shelf, no price, not in system - sold to me for $5! Awesome!!!
I have no idea when this was bottled...but it looks different than photo . Poured from caged bottle into shaker glass. Pours a black color with thick off white head...great cherry/raspberry and roasted bitter malt aromas. Taste is awesome. Sour cherry and bitter black malts, roasted, and full bodied. This is a great sour brew...although im not sure if it supposed to be. Nice balance of sour fruit and roasted malts...I really liked this one.

Photo of Rastacouere
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Almost black. Low light brown head. Very fruity/vinous aroma where raspberries somehow stand out among dark chocolate roastiness. Complex torrefaction aspect with even more fieldberries notes (lueberries, strawberries). Desserty on the palate, not unlike a chocolate and tart fruit syrup to add on ice cream. Finished with a light roastiness, almost smoky and definitely nutty. Almost no carbonation on the medium body.

Photo of erosier
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a deep brown color with a medium sized but quick disappearing tan colored head that leaves very little lacing down the glass.
S: Smells of a huge amount of raspberries mixed with some deep roasted malts, chocolate, and caramel flavors in there as well but mainly the raspberry aroma.
T: Tastes of sweet and somewhat tart raspberry flavors mixed with chocolate, caramel, and some sweet sugars (could be from the berries) mixed together. The raspberry flavor is nice because it's not an extract flavoring, it's the real berry in there, and it shows.
M: Smooth, medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation, sweet and slightly warming.
D: Very drinkable if you know what this beer is about before you dive into it. It's jam packed (pun not intended) with raspberries but it's a nice mix for the dark beer underneath it.

Photo of weeare138
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark brown with a red edged hue. A nice, 2 finger tan head slowly fades out to a fizzy little head and collar.
Smell is of raspberry with chocolate syrup and nuts.
Taste is of raspberries, cocoa powder, roasted nuts, and maybe mild white grape flavors as well.
Mouthfeel is resonating cocoa, brown sugar, and creamy whipped raspberries.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very nice looking bottle. Cork was very hard to remove from the bottle. Smell is faint raspberry, and a little black patent malt. Taste is mostly raspberry. However, this is a fizzy, highly carbonated, raspberry stout. Very thin and watery on the mouthfeel. I love raspberries, but the underlying stout here needs a lot of help.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to a friend in VT, I finally had a chance to try this hard to find beer. What a rollercoaster of a beer to say the least. This is the current release picked up from the brewery 12-5-07.
A - really cool blacked out bottle, caged and corked. Cork took a pair of plyers to pry out and is loaded with graphics. Rating though is based solely on the beer - midnight black with a medium dark tan head.
S - opened at cellar temp, mineral effect but really nothing shows up till 3/4 through the bottle when the raspberries say hi.
T - light yet rich milk chocolate, the perfect amount of blended raspberries, cocoa and the barest hint of roasted grains. WOW.
M - surprisingly light bodied, creamy smooth with a light sweet aftertaste reminiscent of fine european raspberry chocolates without the sugar effect.
D - so easy to drink, so magnetic it draws you back for another sip and another sip... Wow, did I just finish that?

If you get a chance at this definitely try it!

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Feast Of Fools from Magic Hat Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 171 ratings.