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Feast Of Fools - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Feast Of FoolsFeast Of Fools

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

87 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 87
Hads: 176
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 19.34%
Wants: 61
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 87 | Hads: 176
Photo of poop_brew
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%
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!

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Photo of UnionMade
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours out of it's fancy teardrop shaped bottle a deep, dark brown, pretty much black. Completely opaque, with no light shining through, even when put right up to a light bulb. A vigorous pour generates a healthy, short beige foam. The head settles into a light coating of mist, with a thick collar bordering. The mist keeps all the way through, leaving tons of lace clinging to the glass.
The aroma is deep and complex. Very much like a gourmet raspberry chocolate, with sweetish roasted malt generating a dominating dark chocolate scent. An underlying raspberry tartness is perfectly placed, not too strong so the malt doesn't come through enough. A bit of sweetish, cookie like yeast. Some burnt quality to the malt, although remaining extremely smooth and blended.
The flavor starts with a sweetish, full roastiness, very heavy on the chocolate. Plenty of dark chocolate, with a mild burnt malt edge. The yeast smooths it all out, adding a creamy, cookie dough quality. The raspberry creeps in, adding a well placed berry sweetness, countering the slight malt bitterness. A touch of prune, red grape and fig into the finish, meeting soft herbal hops that slide under a growing burnt malt bitterness. A bit of astringency, with the chocolate intensifying into a baker's chocolate bitterness. The raspberry takes on a pleasant tartness, mingling with the burnt flavors to create an amazingly complex finish. A lasting dark choholate flavor sticks to the tongue for ages, along with a bit of herbal hops and plenty of raspberry.
Easily one of Magic Hat's best beers, this is probably one of my all time favorites. One of the most well wrought fruit beers, if not the best. My only complaint is that I have to drive 5-6 hours to Burlington to actually get some. I brought home a case this year. It's really that good.

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Photo of billybob
4.73/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours black in color with a medium tan two finger head with the consistency of shaving cream leaving thick rings of lace. nice blend of raspberry, chocolate in the nose. taste silky smooth like fine raspberry chocolate candy mixed with roasted malt. full bodied mouthfeel, carbonation is weak but seems match this beer very well. i will definitely be looking to buy more of this beer.

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Photo of Therealfootball
4.73/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Inky look with noticeable, but not overwhelming carbonation. Slight raspberry smell. Nothing special for the nose. Did ale taste with a distinct, but not too fruity raspberry finish. Solid feel on the palate. Excellent overall beer. Not surprising from this more than above average brewery!

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Photo of erica
4.73/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mmmm! Had a lovely glass and a half of 2003 Feast of Fools last night, I was actually woken up for it, and I'm so glad i was! It was quite dark, black really, and to be honest I wasn't crazy about the smell. It smelled musty to me almost, with a sweetish backgound. But I tried it anyway, since I was awake now and was told it had a pound of berries in each 750 ml bottle. And my, did my eyes go big with a big smile with the 1st taste! This might be my fave stout, with flavours of raspberries, chocolate, coffee... Very desserty. I would take it over a chocolate raspbery coffee any day! And it wasn't syrupy like sweet fruity beers can sometimes be, no, this felt quite good in my mouth. And so, drinkability wins out here, and I wish I had more to drink!

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Photo of Running4beer
4.65/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is definetly a desert beer. This tasted great, it shocked the shit out of me. The aroma was amazing rasberries, chocolate and coffee. I'm not a big rasberry fan but the way the berries were mixed with the chocolate and coffee and a slight alcohol flavor made this beer taste very very good. This was a medium bodied brew very smooth and tasty. This was an easily drinkable brew. IMO this is a must try brew.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.65/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003 Vintage/750ml Humdinger Bottle: Holiday Stout. This stuff pours out as black as a siberian night. This stuff is completely opaque and has a lovely tan/beige head of foam. The aromas are perfect and consist of cherries, raspberries, deep roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, toffee, and more! The taste is wonderfully roasted and consists of berries galore, and chocolate and caramel. The mouthfeel is super creamy and great and the drinkability is excellent as well. One hell of a "Humdinger"!

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Photo of theo871
4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2004 Edition. Humdinger!

This "epic elixir" is hand packed in champagne style bottles. The Black bottle matches its contents perfectly. Once you manage to pop the cork you are in for a treat.

Pours dark as night with a large tan head that subsides to about thumbnail depth. Lots of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smells primarily of raspberries and dark chocolate, with a hint of dark roasted coffee.

Taste is fruity, with coffee undertones. Very smooth in the mouth with few signs of carbonation.

Even though Magic Hat has this one labeled as 5.8% this year, its complexity is that of a sipping beer, and one to savor, as it only comes around once a year. They recommend consumption at 55° F.

One of the best beers I have ever sampled. Pick this one up at the brewery while it lasts!

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Photo of RixBeer
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Original review:

OK magic hat needs to knock it off with these damn corks. Thick raspberry choclate stout with tons of flavor and huge body. Too much head and tastes to much like fruits other than raspeberry. An awesome and drinkable beer! Can't wait for the '05-'06 version!

A year later this beer became a huge and delicious champion of Raspberry Stout. Not many stouts are as delicious this one. I've been having trouble finding more.

Pours a nice thick black color with a thin ring of a head.

Smells of raspberry with a slight hint of chocolate.

Large taste of raspberry with a smooth creaminess that reminds me of a milk stout.

Way to smooth. Magic Hat ought to stop handing these out as gifts to retailers and start selling these to the public again. This is one hell of a humdinger!

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Photo of scottum
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery!!! Too bad they weren't selling growlers!

Served a out very dark brown with a brown head. Yummy! Chocolate and raspberrys are lovely in flavor. Nice and thick. Smooth the whole way through. A great beer on tap, but even better from the bottle. I was smart this year and took home a case of them.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color, with an eighth of a finger of chocolate-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Strong aromas of bready, earthy, roasted malt, imparting notes of freshly toasted dark bread, and a hint of smoke. There are also lots of aromas of brown sugar and dark molasses, and raspberries. Think freshly toasted dark bread topped with raspberry jam.

Taste: Very tasty! Lots of roasted malt and brown sugar-like sweetness up front, followed by lots of semi-tart raspberries and dark chocolate. There is also a touch of licorice, and a slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, and extremely smooth as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 6%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a very nice, very tasty beer. Great flavors of roasted malt and brown sugar-like sweetness up front, followed by lots of semi-tart raspberries and dark chocolate. Recommended.

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Photo of taez555
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a black body with a small brown head.

The nose was beautiful. There was a mix of chocolate and raspberries flowing back and forth.

The taste started off big and chocolatey. Lots of dark malts with a firm roasted barley bitterness. Chocolate, caramel, espresso, even a slight metallic touch from the bitterness. Medium to full bodied, yet very smooth. But what really made this beer unique was the tart raspberry overtone. Fresh and tart, yet never overpowering. It just sat perfectly in the mix as if a flavor shot in a cappuccino.

Overall I found this too be a fantastic beer. I was expecting a lambic/stout, or something like omengang three philosophers, but it was nothing like that. Basically a dark roasted barley bitter stout with a nice overtone of raspberries. Really the best way to describe it is like a latte or cappuccino with flavor shot added. Great beer.

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Photo of erosier
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

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Photo of tprokop7
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split with BA rbuckstar after I shared a bottle. Poured from the (tough to open) bottle into 22oz snifters.

A - Dark brown, not fully opaque. Pours with a thin, tan head.

S - Overwhelmed by raspberries. Followed with notes of sweet chocolate and roasted grains.

T - Raspberries are still strong, but a little more balanced than in the aroma. Dark chocolate and coffee notes follow.

M - Lively on the tongue, just a little syrupy.

D - No complaints here, my glass was empty too quickly.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
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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Photo of mynie
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't think I've ever gone so long from the point where I first read about and wanted to try a beer to when I finally got to sample it.

This used to be hypey, believe it or not. Back before beer hype was much of a thing, outside of some non-imported Beligans and a handful of midwestern stouts. Ever since I've acquired the means to trade for Feast of Fools, the notion of doing so seemed somehow pathetic, like sucking dick to get backstage passes for Jackyl. Very Serious and in no way snobby beer geeks wouldn't be caught dead venturing over to Magic Hat to pick this up. And the yokel tourists who did happen to stop by the brewery in December... well, they ain't trading on this board, and if they is, they offering up Breakfast Stout in exchange for Dark Lord.

So, okay, turns out Magic Hat is like literally five minutes down the road from Fiddlehead. So naturally I wanted to stop by and experience in person the kooky brewery I'd seen on so many packages. And, honest, I'm totally hip and with it. I swear. But I like these guys. Think they're just about the most unfairly shat upon craft brewer in the US.

And, lo and behold, they had this on tap and in bombers. I had forgotten about it (and had confused it with Thumbsucker, thinking it had been long since discontinued). Grabbed a growler even though the bar's forced carbonation was off. Because, hey.

Theeeen we pour it into a little chalice, here, out of it's adorable and custom-painted 32 oz growler. Nice and dark, good head. Smells like good blend of a straight up American stout and red raspberry syrup.

Tastes excellent. The closest comp I got is when at the Rogue brewhouse the bartender gave us a Shakespeare that had a shot of Lindeman's framboise in it. Super solidly brewed dry stout mixed with juuuuust the right intensity of authentic tasting raspberry at the back end.

Nothing overpowering, nothing bizarre. Just a blend of medium-strength flavors balanced together almost perfect.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
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!

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Photo of mikeys01
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This review is for the '03 Feast which I had on tap at the brewery last weekend and had a bottle of tonight. The bottle is a corked and foiled dark glass champagne bottle, characteristic of all the MH humdinger beers. The Feast pours out a nice deep black with a moderate amount of foamy brown head, which gradually fades out. Aroma is heavy with fresh raspberry and sweetness, with a nice roasty malt as well. This years version seems to be a bit less carbonated than last year's, and thus easier to pour as well. Taste is definitely very sweet, full of raspberry and nice chocolate maltiness, this is definitely a dessert beer. Nice and tart without drowning out the stout background, the malt and roast flavor come into play through the middle and end, with just a bit of hop bitternes there to wrap things up. Body is not as heavy as expected, for a choco-rasp stout, quite drinkable after dinner. This is always good stuff, worth picking up a few bottles from the brewery.

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Photo of nixhecks
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been searching for this beer since I heard of it about four years, and tonight I finally found one. Poured a viscous, inky black with a brown head reminiscent of an imperial stout. Very stciky with lots of lacing Aroma was overwhelmingly of tangy, sweet raspberries and a sharp coffee note in the background. Flavor was very interesting, obviously full of raspberries - very sweet at first, melding with a chocolatey malts, and then tart, accompanying a hop bitterness perfectly. Aftertaste contains the coffee/mocha flavors hinted at in the aroma. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but I can't think of much wrong with this brew. I also have the very satisfying feeling one gets at the end of a long, long beer hunt. Cheers to MH!

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Photo of far333
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this 750ml champagne bottle for Christmas last year, but I think it is actually a few years old. The date was missing. Anyways, I poured this into a red wine glass, expecting a big bouquet.

A: This raspberry stout poured a dark reddish black. With a vigorous pour it developed a thin, but dense, head, which stayed around for quite a while.

S: I was right about the big bouquet. It has a delicious smell that is a combination of raspberries and chocolate and, I think, cinnamon! There is a strong sweet malty character, which compliments the raspberries very nicely.

T: The taste was a bit of a shock after such a sweet smell. Immediately my mouth was puckering from the tartness. Okay, not literally, but this beer is definitely tart! I attribute that to the raspberries. The chocolate was pronounced, and it had a somewhat buttery taste. Overall, the taste was not as sweet as I had expected. Once my mouth got used to the flavor after the first few sips, I really started to admire the decision to avoid over sweetening this brew.

M: I was disappointed by the mouthfeel however. It had a watery consistency and it just felt light in the mouth. I wanted something thicker and more chewy.

D: I wanted more, so that is a good thing. The ABV which is listed on BA as 7.5% did not do much harm and I could have indulged in another bottle certainly. Overall, this beer was a great one to split with a friend.

Update 6/1/08: I tried another bottle tonight and was surprised at how different this experience was from the first. Everything that I wrote about the taste being real tart and the mouthfeel being watery did not hold sway tonight. This bottle was not overly sweet, but sweet enough to compliment the raspberry taste well. Also, there was a chewier body to this beer. It really felt like a stout should. The other bottle may have been sitting around for too long...that is how I explain the difference between the two.

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Photo of jamie2dope
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

picked up a few bottles of this mysterious stout a few months ago at the magic hat brewery, but didnt have the heart to open one until tonight. In a word: Beautiful. It poured pitch black with an impressively thick light brown head. Smell was mild at first, but with a little spin some lovely coffee,chocolate,berry and charcoal aromas surfaced. Taste was delicious, like a big piece of EXTREMELY rich chocolate cake with rasberry lingering just behind. Being a somewhat mild, medium bodied stout, it was very drinkable. Ive had this brew before and have to say that it is one of my favorites, however this seasons batch seemed to be lacking a bit in the amount of rasberry in comparison to other years. Even so, the berry complements the stout and is still a damn tasty choice for any time of year.

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Photo of Qbrew49
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Went to the brewery in Burlington, VT and had a sample of this. Then had three more to make sure that I liked it the second, third, and fourth time just as much as the first ;)

A- based on the little 2oz sample it had a nice, thin head that was brown with a hint of red in it. Body was one shade away from black

S- had a very sweet scent consisting majorly of raspberries with a hint of chocolate.

T- initially I was hit with the raspberry which was very nice and fresh. Then the sweet taste of chocolate and coffee comes soon after and gives a nice aftertaste.

M- had a little carbonation but not too little.

D- although it was a little heavy, I could definitely drink a few of these before feeling full. I like sweet stouts very much so this beer is right up my alley.

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Photo of RoninTK3
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2009 or 2010 bottle. Unsure.

A - Very dark with two or three fingers of mocha head that slowly dissipates and leaves a bit behind.

S - Sweet with lots of raspberry. Some roasted malts present.

T- The raspberry still has a lot of presence in this, but it's balanced out nicely with roasty malts and hints of chocolate and coffee. Sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.

M - Light to medium bodied with little carbonation. Surprised how light bodied this is.

This is one I've wanted to try for a while. It's very nice though a bit lighter than I'd like. I'd be interested to try this beer fresh. Wish this was easier to get.

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Feast Of Fools from Magic Hat Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.