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 oberon
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the tap a deep dark brown with hints of ruby hue when in the light a thin light brown head that is gone quickly atop,light roasty notes along with wood and vanilla just a trace of chocolate wich became more pronounced on the palate.To me this beer was like drinking a liquid Three Muskateers bar chocolate and vanilla nuget-like flavors but not overly sweet at least at first,there was an underlying roastiness but it didnt hinder the sweeter flavors much.This became one of my wifes new favorite beers,me I liked it alot but it did become a tad sweet after a bit but what a great dessert brew this would be.

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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 TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 11/27/2011 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, coffee, vanilla and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with flavors of coffee and vanilla up front. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in along with a mild but complementary hops presence creating a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a very solid poundable porter worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Actually I first first had a taster of this at Pinocchio's in Media, but I think there was something wrong with the tap line there; perhaps they had just put it on and the lines weren't flushed completely. At that session, this beer looked and tasted completely different, being light tan in color and seemingly watered down. But I'm pretty sure I got the genuine effect at Capone's, and that is what this review refers to.

Poured a dark mahogany, rusty around the edges, with a small but solid eggshell head. Aroma of cocoa, leather, and very vegetal vanilla beans. Taste of cocoa, more bitter than sweet here, quality tobacco, leather, wood, and vanilla beans, again, more vegetal than extract-ish. Medium-bodied, a bit chewy, and drinkable, but perhaps a little heavy in the stomach. I'm not a huge fan of Magic Hat, but this one was not bad...glad I gave it a second chance.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Burnt tobacco brown suffused with red. I can just barely see fading sunlight on the opposite side of the glass. The small, khaki colored cap falls to a thin film without much fanfare and is too soft to leave much lace.

The nose is pretty nice. Chocolate is dominant with strong undercurrents of mocha and vanilla. Since I love the smell and taste of vanilla, I would have preferred even more of it. Different and enjoyable.

Black coffee leads the way on the palate. Bittersweet chocolate is still there, just a small step behind coffee. Vanilla bean has faded, but hasn't quite disappeared. Magic Hat could have turned this into a wonderful vanilla porter; a worthy idea if there ever was one.

The flavor is a little bit sweet, a little bit sour and a little bit bitter. Sour might edge out the others, but it's a near thing. The finish is on the clean side due to the relatively light body. In fact, the body is too light by half, edging uncomfortably close to thin on the swallow. As well, the beer loses its carbonation fairly quickly in the second half and ends up feeling a little flat.

Ravell is an okay porter, but it coulda been a contenda. If the brewery would only firm up the body and jack up the vanilla exponentially, this would (potentially at least) be an outstanding beer. But they haven't and it isn't. It's still worth a look though and I did enjoy these twelve ounces. Thanks once again to far333.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on draft at Capone's 9/20. Served ice cold in a pint glass.
A - Allowed to warm while observing the ale. Black w/ a 1/2 inch tan head. Totally opaque w/ a coating of lace that holds the sides well.

S - Deep chocolate w/ a hint of blackberry and vanilla. Sweet and almost floral scent w/ a hint of brown sugar.

M - Very carbonated and thin for a porter w/ roast and nut qualities w/ a seltzer type finish.

T - The flavor is like Bosco w/ a sort of milky chocolate w/out the creamy and full taste. It has a little lactic tinge and fruitiness like Frankenberry's corn sugar.

D - An ok porter, but it loses a lot after the first 2 sips. The feel and flavor don't hold up the front that the smell and appearance promise.

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Photo of Jason
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Redbones. Wow! This has a big vanilla flavour, not sickly sweet either just lots of vanilla. Vanilla up the nose and all over the palate. The Porter character was solid but let the vanilla have its way, I would have preferred to have this with dessert and not at the beginning of the event. I am sure it would have went awesome with the pecan pie.

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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 woodychandler
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured a deep, dark brown with a light white head and lots of CO2 bubbles. I noticed notes of coffee and chocolate on the nose. It had a somewhat light mouthfeel for a porter, but not bad, all the same. This is a very roasty drink with notes of charcoal, coffee, and most especially, chocolate, throughout.

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

Appears a deep dark chocolate hue with bright ruby highlights around the edges of my Allagash chalice. Big thicket of tan khaki head forming niecely and dwindling slowly with laced around the sides of my glass. Aroma has dark malts with a hint of dark cocoa creamed with a touch of vanilla flavored creamer this has a touch of coffee notes as well. Herbal hops peak through in the nose. I have to say what a nice sampler pack they put out, the great dark lager and nice wheat IPA, with this tasty dark beer. The #9 is the clunker of the bunch, but my wife usually drinks 'em down for me without any complaints. Flavor is almost dessert like, a nice semi roasty sweet stout with a creamy vanilla finish. You could almost dip chocolate chip cookies in this and be satisfied, herbal hops are taking a back seat to sweet vanilla and dark ccocoa bursts. Mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied carbonation is full carrying each sip through the palate nothing cloying it just works well. Overall an enjoyable beer, way better than most recent Magic Hat samplers very good mix of beers, I love the Howl, like the Encore, and I'm pretty happy with Ravell a beer I haven't seen from the Magic Hat crew in quite a few years.

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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 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 Billolick
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle, with freshness dating. pours a nice molassas rich dark brown, with some ruby highlights. Tan head, which dissolved quickly and left some lacing. Nose is vanilla, chocolate and some chalkyness. Nice complex flavors going on here, obvious vanilla, more subtle chocolate, cocoa,banana and caramel. Coating and smooth mouthfeel. Roasted malt. this is a Porter IMHO. Tasty stuff. Probably a g ood one to try on newbies as its fairly sweet and flavorful. Easy quaffing.

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Photo of tempest
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was on-tap at the Blue Tusk as Ravell, but names don't really matter. This beer really reminded me of chocolate and vanilla candy. It had a good pitch black appearance with a little foam. Smelled kind of like a Hersey's bar, but without the wax. Really, the chocolate aroma, not cocoa like some beers, was strong. That taste had more of this plus a little vanilla. It was smooth and finished with a respectable bitterness much like the bitterness of a fine, dark chocolate.

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

The beer pours a deep dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich and toastey black malt scent that boasts of patent, chocolate, and crystal malts along with roasted barley. The taste is good also. It has a dry and smooth black malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes thin and earthy. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking porter. It has good flavor and aroma; a solid offering.

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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 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 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 weeare138
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capone's...though I've had this several times in the past. I'm surprised I have never reviewed it...
Appears a dark brown with a red hue and a thick, 1 finger head of tan, silky foam that slowly fades out. Tons of lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla beans, cocoa, cream, caramel, and brown sugar.
Taste is of chewy vanilla cream and yummy, delicate balance that seems to be slightly reformulated than what I remember having in the bottle in the past.
Mouthfeel is smooth, velvetty, creamy, sweet, with a balanced finish.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Vanilla porter.

A: Poured a dark opaque color with a medium beige head with very little lacing left behind.

S: a nice roastedness, dry coffee grinds, French vanilla swirl coffee mate and sweet chocolate.

T: there was dark coffee beans starting things out, with some French vanilla hazel nut cappuccino, and a slight brunt bitterness which faded to a semi-sweet dry finish. There was a light smoked woodiness as well in the finish.

M: a tad light per style and a little thin.

D: Drinkability was good and enjoyable, solid example and one of their better beers.

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

Enjoyed on tap at Brew City, Worcester, MA.

Pint glass presentation. Minimal head on deep dark liquid. Aromas of coffee and vanilla present, even to not-optimal nose in bar/smoky conditions. Thick malty flavor, with the flavors backing up the aromas. Vanilla flavor not as strong as in the bottle, but still provides a good offsetting flavor to the often strong coffees found in dark beers. One of the few beers I've enjoyed more int he bottle than on tap. If this was on Nitro, I think it would start kicking some ass...

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep dark black with just a slight hue of red amber at the base. Head is a half inch of mocha colored head that quickly clears to a lace ring.

S - Fairly roasty but faint with tones of chocolate and molasses.

T - Wow this porter is thin but I reach for notes of roast and chocolate which taste kind of burnt. Flavors are well rounded and drinkable.

M - Light but I will forgive it since it's a magic hat beer.

Overall not something I would reach for again but it does have enough flavors and is sessionable to make it a good beer. Ow and it's better than howl if you can't tell the difference your touched in the head.

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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 Bighuge
2.95/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer looks good. Chocolate bronze color. Slight brown head. Retention is adequate. And the aroma is quite nice and forward as well. It smells like a chocolate shop. But alas, that is were the enjoyment ends. Upon tasting, I find big chocolate and cocoa flavors, but it is very unbalanced. It's got a little of that "Grant's" smokiness to it, but it seems very artificial to me. It's not one I'd grab again.

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Photo of Suds
3.57/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish brown on the pour with a slight creamy head. The aroma is coffee-like with an solidly intense roast malt and grain sensation. There’s vanilla in the smell as well, but I found it more faint than expected. Presents a grainy and slightly sour taste. Roast malts are predominate throughout, to the point of smokiness. Chocolate and ground coffee flavors mingle in the taste as well. Medium bodied and easy to drink. The finish is a bit hoppy and very tangy. It seems a little off-centered. There’s a lot going on in this beer. Unfortunately, the sensations don’t seem to come together very well. I’d certainly have it again, but it wouldn’t be my first choice.

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