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Ravell | Magic Hat Brewing Company

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148 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
An enormous play in one significant act, Ravell is a porter brewed with whole vanilla beans, once available whenever young William and father John deem it so.

28 IBU

Added by taez555 on 03-06-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 283
Photo of clvand0
4.72/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"Don't climb a ladder with a full bladder." Awesome cap. Thanks to SheepNutz for bringing this beer along. Pours a very dark color with small head that dies off quickly, but leaves some lacing on the glass. Wow, what an aroma! Smells like thick cocoa. Chocolate and chocolate and chocolate. The flavor was very good. Thick and creamy mouthfeel with an overall flavor of cocoa. Slight hints of roasted in there, but mostly just chocolate. What a great beer. Magic Hat surprises me again. Wish I could get this stuff in my area.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.67/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bomber of this was shared by SheepNutz at our last tasting. The beer poured a nice dark brown color with no real head and no ring over top of the beer. The nose was a damn lot of chocolate, almost a fudgey chocolate. The Flavor was huge in chocolate tones. Maybe this is one dimensional, but its damn good beer. The feel was moderate, slightly creamy, but a hint too thin for my liking. Drinkability was huge. Smooth and highly drinkable. Damn fine beer.

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Photo of far333
4.65/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love porters, and I especially love this one, but I haven't been able to get my hands on it in a while. As someone else wrote, if you see it, buy it. Not sure why it's classified as a dark ale, since the brewery calls it a porter. The vanilla isn't overwhelming at all - just enough to provide a hint of flavor and a lot of character. The vanilla-chocolate smell rises up to your nose immediately as you watch the frothy light brown head percolate. Taste is of vanilla and chocolate, and mouthfeel is smooth and crisp, although just a bit watery. Very drinkable for a porter.

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Photo of ColForbin
4.63/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz bomber with the only description of the beer being "1.375 pint of porter." Have to go to the website to find out that it is a porter brewed with whole vanilla beans. Pours with a nice foamy head that fades to a thin coating that floats on the surface of the deep brown/black brew. The nose is full of chocolate with a hint of vanilla and smoke. Taste is delicious - chocolate, coffee, vanilla, maybe even some oak notes. Very silky mouthfeel. Extremely drinkable - so smooth on the palette, but with so many complex flavors. My only wish is that Magic Hat would be a little more descriptive of their beers.

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Photo of BuffaloBill91
4.62/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a nice somewhat thin head
The scent is sweet coffee and vanilla. I think that the taste on this is outstanding. Mostly vanilla in the taste with just enough coffee moving in toward the back it..this is easily one of my favorites and definately the best porter that I have tried.. The only way I could see someone not loving this beer is if they do not like vanilla. Mouth feel is excellent nice and smooth with very little carbonation. I think the drinkability on this brew is also outstanding and I could easily drink this entire growler and ask for more. Cant wait to get the the store and buy more.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.59/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

WOW! Not knowing what to expect, especially from Magic Hat, I was pleasantly surprised. This beer is a dark ruby red color with a slightly off white head that quickly dissolves into a ring around the surace. The aroma remided me of a hollow chocolate easter bunny. It's a combination of milk chocolate and vanilla. Each sip of this medium bodied beer is full of flavor. Milk chocolate and vanilla dominate, however roasted malts and a slight hoppy bitterness are also found. The aftertaste leaves behind a sweet stickyness with a milk chocolate flavor.

I'm not sure if this is a seasonal or experimental beer from Magic Hat, but I sure hope I can find some more. There is a world of flavor in every sip!

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Photo of littlebibs
4.57/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a nice winter porter from the ever surprising people at
Magic Hat. I could just drink these all night. My favorite Jinx
is a smokier version of something similar to this. Heart of Darkness is also black night as this with some similarites but
I really enjoyed this one, especially since its only 20 degrees out.
This one has a great foamy, fawn colored head with great lacing
for the time it took to finish her off. Chocolate expresso, just
a slight smokey underfinish. Delicious, a bit watery but it doesn't
make me feel full nor does it take away from this style, just wanting to appreciate this beauty by drinking more of them.( I haven't tried a vanilla bean/chocolate/coffee/slightly smoked combo quite like
this. I just don't understand why the guys at MH do not put out
this style in a six pack during the winter months??11/07 update )
Winter is so much easier to take around NewEngland when you
can find beers/ales of this quality.

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Photo of nixhecks
4.51/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My love for MagicHat is neverending, and a brew like Ravell only strengthens this love. Hard to find and in limited supply this is quite a treat. Fortunately for me, Villa Spirit Shoppe carries this rarity, for if it weren't for them I know my search for this beer would have been much more difficult. The aroma consists of malts and mild vanilla, and doesn't really foreshadow the delicious taste that awaits. The first sip is amazing, with vanilla on the forefront, along with chocolate, and finishing up with a pleasant bitterness. The only improvement I could think of would be a little thicker mouthfeel. Although the rating is not my highest, I have come to the conclusion that if I had to be stranded on a deserted island and could only have one beer, this would be it. A definite must buy (if you can find it).

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Photo of aquatonex
4.45/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the best porters I have had.

Pours dark, dark brown, not a lot of head from the tap, slight lacing. Nose only has slight coffees, not like the usual nasty porter, vanilla and creaminess as well. Taste follows with an incredibly smooth, creamy brew with nice vanilla, hints of coffee, but very well balanced and extremely drinkable. I didn't think I'd like a porter as much as I like this one.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber poured into a snifter. It pours a deep black color with one finger of light tan head. There is minimal lacing left on the glass. The smell is full of chocolate and fresh cocoa powder. A good dose of roasted malt as well. The taste is full of rich chocolatey flavors with a hint of coffee. Homemade vanilla coke on the finish. The mouthfeel is nice and thick, yet smooth. The drinkability is awesome. A very unique porter.

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Photo of Brad007
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black color with a one-finger head. Aroma is thick and rich with hints of coffee, vanilla beans and cream. Actually, the aroma is reminiscent of cocoa krispies (which is a good thing and something a friend of mine used to describe the aroma of Stone Vanilla Porter). Taste is roasty upfront with coffee and vanilla in the middle that flows into a creamy aftertaste. A few more sips and it feels somewhat thin in body but nothing too serious.

A lot more drinkable than I remember it being.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An almost opaque brown-black body reveals glints of mahogany at the base of the glass; and its creamy, dark tan head holds well and initially leaves wide rings of craggy lace. Sweet vanilla is obvious in the nose amidst rich chocolate and coffee notes. It's pleasant and inviting, although it does tend to lean a little towards the aroma of flavored gourmet coffee. It's lightly creamy across the tongue with a fine, median carbonation and medium body. Less vanilla is present in the flavor, but what is present combines with the dark chocolate and cocoa notes to lends it a nuttiness that's quite charming. It's well balanced by a solid bitterness and it finishes dry with lingering bitterness and almost burnt-coffee like acidity and roastiness. Quite nice on a weekend afternoon, but I'm not sure how well it's drinkability would hold up on a night at the pub.

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Photo of plaid75
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep brown hue with a half finger caramel colored creamy head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a sweet caramel malt and a rich coffee aroma.

The taste consisted of a rich creamy burnt grain and coffee flavor. Good sweet malt as well. Hints of vanilla.

The mouthfeel was full and very creamy. Nice dry aftertaste.

Overall a very drinkable and smooth porter. Very sessionable and highly recommended.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a fine bubbled, dark coco colored head that was thick and tall, leaving a coat of lace as it slowly dissipated. Deep mahogany black colored beer, light glow. The aroma was mostly chocolate and coffee witha bit of roasted barley underneath. Bitter chocolate flavor with creamy alcoholic undertones. A rich, flavorful, and tasty porter.

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Photo of cjl46
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very dark beer, almost completely opaque.

Sweet malty smell; very smooth velvety mouthfeel with a hint of vanilla, medium to full flavor, with a very light hint of smoke. Other notes of coffee and molasses.

One of my favorite beers, tasting like an above average porter but with subtleties that make it unique.

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Photo of AllThingsNinja
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass, the blackened ruby of a brew formed a moderate tan head. The foam quickly dissipated leaving a few scant oily bubbles and no lace. The aroma was of grassy chocolate with hints of vanilla. It was intriguing. At first the flavors are hoppy, but the chocolate malts and vanilla flavors quickly kick in and dominate through the finish. This porter isn't a traditional porter or vanilla porter, but sacrifices none of the complexities of the style. It's silky smooth and incredibly drinkable.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, dark brown color, with reddish edges, and a full, frothy, fluffy tan head.
Aroma: ah! Instant espresso hits in the nose, spice, pepper, and vanilla, and more..Wow, .it's really a complex mix that I couldn't figure out completely at first. Like a ginger cookie in the nose, really.
taste: huge chocolate on the palate, like a pound of baker's cocoa dropped straight on the mouth, met with all these other tasty flavors, rich and sweet, ful-bodied, with a profound, sticky-delicious finish, huge with cocoa, and quite satisfying.
I didn't know what I was getting into here, but it was a very happy circumstance. Cheers to Mr. Rabidawg for sending it out!

P.S. I've had so many other "vanilla porters" before that I just hated, so much that I came to disdain the mention of the phrase..cheers to Magic Hat for turning my hate of this odd "style" into a happy tasting!

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Photo of pezoids
4.31/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber from State Line Liquors. ($2.69)
This beer poured a very dark brown and burgundy with deep cherry highlights. Almost opaque in appearance. Topped with a beautiful creamy head that has great retention and an awesome “bounce back”. Looks like a new beer after every new pour.

The aroma yields sweet and fruity caramel notes. Dark, rich, toasty and slightly woody.

The taste is rich, flavorful and warming. Nice nutty quality and very tasty. The mouthfeel is light, but not entirely void of malt presence. The flavor and rich qualities more than make up for any lack of body. I think this is an excellent porter.

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Photo of rickcampie
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

once again this years mardi gras ale was a big hit the atrifactory was busting with people looking to get a taste. i myself bought 10 growlers. this porter has just the rightmix with the vanilla bean flavor. not to overpowering, great finish, growlers wont last long, to bad only availible in winter.

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Photo of jed
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Comes in a brown Magic Hat bomber with a typically colorful label. Oddly, the bottle says that it contains "1.375 pints of porter." Best if consumed by April 2004, so the sample I picked up at CT Beverage Mart was a bit past its prime. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color, reminiscent of an imperial stout — no light is getting through this one. Small, dirty brown head, less than one finger's worth. Very solid.

Smell: Nicely complex smell, with a toasted malt nose and some chocolate and nut notes. Subdued dark fruit aromas hide near the back.

Taste: A very smeet caramel streak balances the dominant toasted malt flavors. Some nice bittersweet chocolate takes the edge off the malt. Finish is dry, with lingering nut and fruit notes. Lots of vanilla in the finish and aftertaste. While there isn't a huge hop presence initially, lots of hop bitterness lingers in the aftertaste after the beer finishes.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, like a good porter or stout, but unfortunately also surprisingly thin.

Drinkability: For such a solid, complex beer, Ravell is surprisingly drinkable. I'm not sure if Magic Hat offers this one in 6 packs, but it would make a great seasonal for late fall.

I know that Magic Hat gets some derision from the craft brew community for beers like #9, but this is the real thing. A nicely crafted, very tasty porter that comes very close to the stout/porter line. This beer makes me want to try Nail Biter to see what happens when Magic Hat pushes this flavor profile further.

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Photo of koolkat
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow a nice thin porter for people who might not normally like beer. It has the strong taste of creamsoda right before a beer finish, with a slight burnt flavor and little hops. Very drinkable though, and could possibly be used for introducing people to good beer that dont normally like beer. It was from a growler so I dont know how to characterize it draught? bottle?? Finally settled on bottle as it was a couple of days after it had been poured

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Photo of Brent
4.24/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Printed on the underside of the bottle cap: "Take a day to roll in the hay." A philosophy to live by.

Poured a nice, dark-roasted black. Not much head, even with a vigorous decant. Aroma - wow - very concentrated chocolate extract notes. According to the brewery's website, the beer is brewed with whole vanilla beans - but the aroma struck me as distinctly chocolate. The aroma morphed into vanilla notes on the first sip - very prominent yet well balanced in the flavor profile. A little acidic tartness and a coffee-like bittering at the finish, which was just a bit harsh. Very smooth and enjoyable, a great dessert beer or nightcap.

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Photo of FranklinPCombs
4.23/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep rich black, with some dark cherry notes only when held up to light. The head is a thick dark tan, with semi-large bubbles, and it churns and bubbles down leaving little lace. The smell is lots of amaretto coffee, and some sweet chocolate, all pinned down by a background of malt. Theres a creamy vanilla smell lingering behind it all too, and a slightly sharp bite of spice. Taste is thick and meaty with lots of heavy spicy malts, with some bitter chocolate, and a bit of coffee. Theres a creaminess to the taste as well. It gives way to a burnt toast crust aftertaste, interestingly. Mouthfeel is a bit light on the front of the tongue, but it feels substantial going down. Good amount of carbonation.

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Photo of Hefe
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from 12oz. bottle 10/29/04

Appearance: Near black with mahogany around the edges, thick tan head that lasts for a bit.

Smell: Dark and roasty, with notes of tobacco and coffee.

Taste: The flavors are pretty complex actually. Roasted malt, burnt sugar, earth, espresso, bittersweet chocolate, smoke.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, but maybe a tad thin,... maybe.

Drinkability: Keep em comin barkeep!

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a nice dark brown rich beer that poured with a good head.

The aroma was of rich roasted malt with notes of freshly brewed coffee.

Tha taste was of rich roasted malt, with some bitter chocolate, and with an aftertaste of vanilla which was very light and had to work to get over the roasted aftertaste.

Overall a pleasant beer, and one which I wish was offered year round.

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Ravell from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.73 out of 5 based on 283 ratings.
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