Ravell | Magic Hat Brewing Company

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.

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Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 283
Photo of Jadjunk
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Magic Hat's Ravell is brewed in the style of an American Porter with vanilla. Previously available during the fall/winter season, this beer last appeared in the Winterland 2011 Variety pack. I missed the pack but was fortunate to find a single bottle of this in an Athens Bottle Shop.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served upwards of 55º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy light creamy brown head. Retention is below average as the head settles out rather quickly to a light surface cover. Body color is a dark brown with deep ruby highlights. Less than pleasing head quality and a lack of lacing doesn't make for an impressive appearance. 3

(Smell) Chocolate cake, very roasty, sweet and robust in delivery. Light icing profile, a touch of cream with faint vanilla bean profile. Touches of alcohol are here and there. Very low hop profile and faint bitterness. Overall, its a simple, chocolate heavy scent but with a warming aroma. Balance is heavily sweet but may tone down by the flavor. 3.75

(Taste) Thinner texture, much less emphasis on chocolate than in the aroma. Tart, mildly bitter black patent malt, dry cocoa powder, and heavily roasted malts with a faint vanilla note in the midsection and increasingly prevalent smoke presence growing on the finish. Sweetness is not as intense as in the nose, but the finish is notably burnt wood and even a touch of cardboard, perhaps a bit strikingly intense. Overall I found that the vanilla didn't have as much of a presence as I had hoped and that the flavor was notably more bitter and even a touch out of balance. The finish, while unique, dominated the majority of this beer and was lasting on the finish. 3.25

(Mouthfeel) Low carbonation presence with a mild creaminess. Finishes dry and chalky. Body is medium amongst porters and heavy amongst all beers. alcohol presence is mild. The creamy carbonation would have better worked with a heavier body and a sweeter flavor. 3

(Overall) I hoped that the beer would have tasted similar to the way it smelled; a chocolate cake with vanilla cream icing would have made for a enjoyable dessert beer. The flavor was significantly different, with possible oxidation, a dry flavor profile and a pretty intense lack of balance, less malt than anticipated. While I don't mind a good puff of smoke on the finish, it seemed overly intense when compared to the pale malt profile of the beer. Vanilla was also faint but added a bit of welcome complexity, complimenting the smoked finish. I'd recommend getting a small quantity of this beer at a younger age, but many of the flavor characteristics, minus some oxidation should still be present. 3.25

Magic Hat Brewing Company's

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Photo of hackmann
3.41/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: black coffee body with a two finger tan head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass

Aroma: light bouquet; roasted coffee, light chocolate and vanilla

Flavors: uhm … taste like a porter with vanilla; light dark chocolate 50% like; wow … fairly simple; when it warmed up the flavors were more distinct

Mouthfeel: smooth, ultra-light carbonation, builds a creamy feel as it warmed up, linger roasted notes on the palate

To the Point: an okay to good porter, might be a good one for my wife to try … see says she does not like porters or stouts … I think it is a perception thing; anyways with Magic Hat I always remember Wacko, that ale made with beet juice so I always think they will have something crazy in their beer (perception thing). Just a regular Porter here with a nice touch of vanilla. I liked it more as it warmed up. Drink this around 50 degrees F.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
Served in a conical pint glass

A - It is very dark brown. Some might even call it ebony. An inch of cocoa head is short-lived.

S - I get a combination of vanilla and chocolate. It is on the sweeter side of smells.

T - The vanilla comes through in the taste and is not overbearing. It blends nicely with the roasted malt.

M - It is very smooth with low carbonation.

O - This is a nice surprise. I was unsure how it would hold up over a year, but it was very good and was an enjoyable beer the drink.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into a pint glass, it has a very nice black body with a very thin tan head to it. The smell is of roasted malts with a hint of vanilla. The taste is of roasted malts with some coffee flavors to it. I get a little sweetness (vanilla) on the back of the tongue. The mouth feel is great, it isn't thick like a porter, but i like this consitency. Overall i really enjoyed this beer, and i'm not a big porter fan.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.47/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle poured into a DFH snifter. What starts as a handsome tan head quickly shrinks into a wispy skim. Not much in the way of lacing, but the auburn highlights are attractive.

Subtle nose of cocoa, vanilla and roast. Thin and tangy with a watery finish, this sweetish porter misses the mark. I'm thinking the vanilla probably accentuates Ravell's shortcomings rather than hiding them. Ratcheting up the roast to create a better foil for the sweeter elements would do it a load of good.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.16/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Quite dark brown. Good color to it. Head is one finger thick, poor retention.
S- The aroma is pleasing with a touch of sweet vanilla, a bit of roasted malt.
T- The taste was ok at first but I had two main issues with it. First, the vanilla didn't come through that much at all. Second, the roasted malt notes, though welcome, took too much control and came across a bit astringent.
M- Medium-light for a porter. Carb is low. A bit dry in finish. Grating astringency on the tongue.
O- This one is a pass for me in the future.

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Photo of shand
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic.

This beer pours out pretty dark for a porter, no light shines through the very dark brown this beer pours. It has two fingers of head and some nice retention. The aroma is roasty, with vanilla overtones. The taste is quite good, it's intensely roasty, bordering on smoky at first, but the vanilla beans come and temper things out for a relatively smooth finish that has a touch of ash. The mouthfeel is very nice, it comes on thicker at first, but clears up for the more transparent finish. The drinkability is also quite good. Overall, it's a very good porter.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ravell is a good smooth light ABV porter. It is dark in color, but not opaque. The creamy head is not lacing, but it looks nice. The taste carries good chocolate, coffee and roast tones. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it is a tasty beer.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A bowling ball black base and a frothy tand head, nice...

Smells of tootsie rolls and roasted malts come off the top, as well as a mapel syrup note. Sweet cocoa nibs and a caramel flavor escort the first sip. A little above average expected flavor,with some malt bitterness on the tail end. Seems like an AP in body too, smooth and creamy, like a velvet shake. Medium light with a stickiness to it.

Overall I think I have a winner from my MHBC mixer pack.


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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 Mantooth
3.03/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle I picked up in trade (thanks for the extras SMason!) into a Southern Tier tulip glass.

A: Looks to be jet black in the glass but when held up to the light I see that it's actually (uh - jet brown?) super dark brown with red highlights. There's a minimal head that dissipates quickly and energetic lacing throughout.

S: I'm getting some coffee, vanilla, malt, maybe some coco and oak too.

T: Thin and disappointing. The appearance and nose led me to believe this would be thicker and more complex. Still, there's some coffee up front and a tinge of vanilla in the finish, perhaps even some black cherry in the final sips as the brew made its way from slightly chilled to warm. In that sense it sounds complex I'm sure; however, it's too thin and the hints of character I'm describing are just that, hints.

M: Thin and disappointing.

O: A thin porter with a very nice appearance and an enjoyable nose.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.21/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Magic Hat Ravell

Pours a dark brown with a creamy foam cap. Good lacing down the pint. Light aroma of roasted malt and coffee. In the taste, roasted malts are there giving off coffee and chocolate/vanilla flavors. Sweet, perhaps lactose sugar was added. Mellow, mild, agreeable flavor. Mouthfeel is the highlight of this beer with a smooth, rich, creamy texture. Overall, a pretty average porter but it has its moments.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.64/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep amber to black in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, a sweet roast, but somewhat faint. In the taste, a small caramel and a coffee roast, a bit watery and thin. A smooth and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry, and a sweet coffee like aftertaste. A bit thin, but it has nice mellow flavors.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a black color with a 1 finger light brown head that dissipates, but leaves nice lacing. Has some very strong smells of a darkly roasted malt with some vanilla and caramel notes. The malt definitely overpowers the taste, but very pleasantly. The other notes in the smell are there, but not as strong in the taste. The beer is balanced and goes down much smoother than most porters do for me. Overall, a very good porter, one that I actually enjoy drinking.

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Photo of stckhndlr
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown almost black with dark black cherry highlights. Beautiful carbonation bubbles rising to a 3 finger espresso colored head.

S- Vanilla malts with roasted hops

T- Sweet with vanilla and a light roasted flavor. Just a touch of bitter on the back.

M- Creamy and easy to drink. Could use a bit more carbonation.

O- Not a bad beer but not topping my list either.

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Photo of kaufmaal
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured very dark brown, black in the pint glass. Head the color of toasted marshmallows, 1/4". Vanilla aroma, some chocolate, a bit of hickory. Sweet, malty vanilla flavor with a tad bit of butter, smoke, and minerals. A somewhat heavier porter with mild carbonation.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured chilled in flared glass

A: solid black, thin head; good carbonation, though
S: very light porter aroma; the vanilla beans stand out
T: semisweet vanilla bean porter; low on the hops, simple in flavor profile
M: medium body

an average specimen of the genre

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Photo of thecheapies
3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle in my Magic Hat Wacko pint glass.

Almost black body with red hues from bright light beams through the glass. A big two-and-a-half fingered creamy beige head that sticks to the surface and crowns the beer nicely. Lacing is little. This still looks pretty good.

Roasty aromas invoke sweet black coffee, vanilla extract, and malted milk balls. Pretty tame smelling, but sweet and promising.

Feature dark-roast coffee flavor with an overwhelming vanilla tone; similar to the flavor of a bite of creme brulee with the caramelized sugar crust. The vanilla is custardy, like flan. The backend is somewhat lactic. Not as roasty as I would have liked, definitely on the sweet side. A least the roast is still in the finish.

A little thinner than medium. Big bubble carbonation doesn't hang around or combat the sweetness. Surprisingly not sticky on the lips. A bit hard to get all the way through, however. Too many of these is hangover country.

This was worth a try; especially, since this is the first time I've seen it in my neck of the woods. Pretty inexpensive bottle thrown into a mixed 6-pack. I was disappointed by the vanilla character--not as tried and true as I might have hoped. I won't seek this one out again, but it's worth a drink. Barely above-average. Too many other really good porters out there.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a cervoise glass.

A: Not much head, but some brief surface bubbles and decent lacing. The colour is dark, black, and opaque. Surprisingly so for a comparatively light porter.

S: Soft, sweet, and pleasant. Vanilla beans, chocolate, and lightly roasted malts.

T/M: Largely what I expected. A light-bodied, creamy dark beer, with moderately-bitter, thin malts (think Schwarzbier) balanced by the sweetness of the added vanilla. The creaminess is nice, but the sporadic carbonation seems almost...metallic? Not my favourite mouthfeel.

O: A good porter, but not a great beer. Drinkable and recommended if a Magic Hat vanilla porter seems good to you, but nothing something I would seek out (like the Encore IPA).

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Photo of KajII
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Nonic Pint glass]

The pour was a deep dark black with an average sized (1-2 finger) rocky beige head that receded slowly to just a spotty layer of residue which allowed for some decent lacing.

The aroma was of a burnt dark bread malt, a resin hop and a leathery yeast with notes of bitter sweet chocolate, coffee and a bit of vanilla.

The taste was very malty and a little sweet with a big chocolate note in the beginning and finished with a bold coffee note and a hint of vanilla at the end. The flavor lasted a good long time with the taste of coffee being the most dominant, but also having a subtle hint of vanilla.

Mouthfeel was just a tad under medium in body with a nice creamy texture and a lively carbonation.

Overall a nice robust Porter with just a slight hint of vanilla which did a nice job of breaking up the bitterness.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Gotta learn the origin of this name... It pours a dark ruby-tinted black brown topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, cocoa powder, light vanilla bean, and a touch of sweet coffee. The taste brings in more of the same, though the coffee is both stronger (now the centerpiece) and sweeter, the vanilla is sweeter, and the roast is milder. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a nice little vanilla porter, one of the better Magic Hat brews I've had in a long time.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Plano Gingerman. The beer pours a very dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma has a ton of chocolate as well as some roasted malt and maybe a little bit of vanilla. The flavor is more of the same. The chocolate and roasted malt are complimented by a little bit of nuttyness and some coffee notes. Medium, creamy mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of BeerNoobNC
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown or black color with a mocha colored head, typical of porters/stouts. Once again like always for this style, I don't get a lot in the nose. The bottle mentions that the beer is brewed with vanilla, and I do get a small hint of that and maybe a little chocolate, but just barely.

The beer is very smooth in the mouth. It is a very drinkable beer. It has a pretty light body for a porter. Also, the beer has a great flavor. I get that hint of chocolate and vanilla throughout, with great malt and hop flavor also. Overall, I think this is a pretty good porter. I have had many alright porters that I have liked but they have fallen out of my memory because they were only mediocre. This is not one of those. I recommend trying it, though if it is in the winter variety pack, the #9 and Encore IPA are not stellar.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.16/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown body with garnet highlights. Head is small, but dense, short lived, and khaki in color.

S: Nice roasted malt aroma with a hint of vanilla, coffee, brown sugar, and dark chocolate. There is a bit of charred wood in the nose as well.

T: This is one of those porters where the vanilla is played really nice without coming across artificial. Major flavors are roasted malts, coffee, and bitter dark chocolate. Vanilla and cream soften it up creating a nicely balanced beer.

M: Medium body; light carbonation; somewhat watery, but creamy texture.

O: One of the nicer beers from Magic Hat that I've had. Good take on the style and like most of their beers, the cost and low ABV makes it easy to drink. Only complaint is that I can only find it in the variety packs

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Photo of silentjay
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

deep brown to black color with a nicely sized dense tan head that sticks to the glass as it slowly recedes.

nutty porter aroma with some vanilla bean and roasted malts. a bit of old coffee and milk chocolate syrup as well.

interesting first sip provides some vanilla and roasted nuts. a bit of roast and slightly charred malts and some sweet milk chocolate (would like some dry, bitter, ashy cacao instead to complement the vanilla and nutty sweetness). Its okay.

Its thinner than I would like with a slightly creamy feel and a soft carbonation.

Oh, magic hat... such potential, just fails to follow through to something much above average.

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