Pistil | Magic Hat Brewing Company

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

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Stop and smell the petals Pistil is a summer beer unlike any other, brewed with a combination of dandelion petals, Pale and Acidulated malts, flaked oats, and Apollo and Northern Brewer hops that results in a one-of-a-kind beer with a slightly sour acidity and a smooth malt body. Perfect for taking down deep thirst.

20 IBU

Added by shand on 04-16-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 124 | Ratings: 700
Photo of woodychandler
3.7/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

My local, in-person trader, tone77, dropped this off as part of a big box o' beer recently and I have been having a good time sifting through them and trying to theme styles and tastes rather than just pulling bottles out randomly and opening them. Rest assured, I will open and review all of them and then The CANQuest (TM) will get back on its feet toot sweet.

From the trippy, groovy label, man: "stop and smell the petals"; "The ancient ritual of brewing a distinctly rich and flavorful beer is a performance to behold. Our mysterious melange of time-honored ingredients harmonize with chaotic chemistry, humble patience and blind faith to create this unique beer to share in the rousing company of kindred spirits. Cheers!"; "a performance in every bottle". Dig it, baby!

My pour blossomed into a fluffy finger of bone-white pollen until it was borne away on the wind. Color was dandy, lion-yellow with a haze of suspended particulate in evidence. Nose had an earthy, grassy smell and I began to consider boiling it down into something that I could put in a pipe and smoke. Mouthfeel was medium and it had an initial, unexpected tartness that gave way to a grassy flavor, like freshly-mown grass. Interesting. Unibroue makes "Ephemere", pronounced "Ay-fem-er-ay" and the finish on this one was ephemeral. I found myself wondering if I had even had a sip until I saw the lacing in the glass. Just like for the lotus-eaters, time was passing me by like nothing. There may be a subtle message in there - stay away from some types of plant matter, man. Wow, this was such a smooth drink that it seemed to evaporate out of my glass as I simply could not have drank it that quickly. I am definitely buying some more for use this summer. Next up in the series of nine beers: Peduncle; Receptacle; Sepal; Petal; Stamen; Anther; Stigma & Ovary (the last one subject to FDA approval).

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.38/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter.

Pours a hazy light golden - straw yellow color, a bit of fine sediment. A good looking tight white head with good retention, and decent lacing. A good amount of rising carbonation bubbles.

Familiar aromas of basic pale grain, almost macro lager like with maybe a hint of minerals. Just the slightest floral/ herbal thing going on, possibly from the hops and as it warms a fresh cut grass aroma is apparent.

The taste is slightly better than the aroma suggests. Sweet bready pale grain gives way to a kind of sweet tart hop, reminds me of some sort of old candy I can't quite name. A bit of lemongrass, fresh cut grass. A slight, but noticeable tartness. Finishes with a bit of hop bitterness as well.

Refreshing and light bodied. Maybe a touch on the bland but still somewhat enjoyable.

Really just another non offensive beer that any kind of beer drinker will be able to put down. Not something I'd ever buy, but I see how a few of these would work on a hot day.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.87/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Magic Hat Pistil
12 oz. bottle, coded "AO3361 1304 1651"

So what is Magic Hat's Pistil? I thought it was just a floral IPA, but it's certainly not hoppy or bitter enough. It is quite floral though, clearly reflecting the name. Ah, the label reads "ALE BREWED WITH DANDELION". Well that's fairly unique. I'd heard of dandelion wine as a kid (it was something my older neighbors made at home), but I've never heard of it in a beer. Or have I? Let me look it up. Ah, yes. Apparently it's not that unique, but it's still interesting. I also note that it's just 4.5% ABV. Perhaps this is a spring beer. Check, the Magic Hat website confirms it. OK, let's take a closer look: Hazy yellow-gold body beneath a pillowy white head. Slightly better than average retention and lacing. Floral nose as mentioned. A little bit of golden malt sneaks through as well. Nice. In the mouth it's light bodied and moderately crisp. Appropriate for what they're doing here. The flavor is not as floral as the aroma suggests, implying to me that it's actual dandelions and not just hops giving it that brightness in the nose (I also get an occasional light note of chlorophyll as well, which backs that up). There's a light tartness to it, which is refreshing; and which also seems to give me more of a floral impression (unless I'm just succumbing to the power of suggestion). It's not very bitter... maybe in the 20's, and it finishes quite dry with the flavor almost vanishing. That's OK though, that works. It's a light bodied and lower alcohol spring beer that's very refreshing, and I don't really need it to linger in the mouth. There's enough charm to the floral / dandelion aspect of it that it's interesting, and thankfully not overdone. I can imagine drinking a few of these in a row. Would I buy it again? Sure. I'd enjoy a pint of this at the pub as my first beer, and I think it would be a good beer to take to a party (I'm pretty sure women would like it). Would I recommend it? Certainly to try. It may not be the only dandelion beer available (does Fantome still brew Pissenlit?), but it's still unique.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.46/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a shaker pint glass at Bobby Qs in westport CT.

Clear light gold, some white foam. Transparent for sure, and not much lacing. Light floral aroma, pleasing, but not in a significant kind of way. Just good. Taste is a clean crisp, very light blonde ale taste, small fruitiness. Simple and subdued. Goes down smoothly. Sounds like they did a lot of tinkering here, but the end result is something mellow and lighter flavor.

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Photo of mattkoon
3.38/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

dandelion beer... i had to try this. its light and slightly cloudy, white head. smell is ok, i cant smell anything odd or cool or unusual. it tastes crisp and bitter... there is an odd bitterness.. that i can only assume is the dandelions... i havnt ever eatin dandelions so i cant be sure... i do like the willingness to experiment. and over all this isnt a bad beer. i applaud the efforts. i think this beer is ok. nothing really out of the park but the effort to do something unusual gets a lot of points.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a six pack of Magic Hat's Pistil a couple weeks ago for $8.69 at Meijers. I find Magic Hat to be pretty hit or miss, but dandelions seems like such an odd ingredient to brew a beer with that I just had to give it a try to see how it turns out, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I think it's fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks very nice, it has a cool late 60's psychedelic look to it and it's pretty eye catching. It poured a fairly hazy yellow color that took on a golden hue when held to the light with three and a half fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thick ring with some lumps in the middle that stayed till the end and left lots of sticky rings of lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness that had a slight floral honey aroma to it and was followed by some bready and grainy malt aromas. After that comes a slight yeast aroma followed by an earthy and pretty big floral aromas along with some lemon grass aromas really sticking out and mixing well with the floral aromas. This beer had a nice aroma, I didn't get any straight up dandelion aromas but the floral and lemon grass aromas were a little similar to that, I liked how floral it is, it almost smells like a really floral Saison.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma but also lighter. It started off with a lower amount of medium sweetness followed by some grainy and bready malts that are on the lighter side along with some peppery yeast. Up next comes some big grassy and floral flavors with a nice lemon rind flavors to round things off. On the finish there's a lower amount of bitterness with a bready, grassy, and floral aftertaste. This beer had a nice taste to it, the taste didn't scream dandelions, but the grassy and floral flavors seems to be somewhat similar to the aroma of a dandelion, I like it.

M- Smooth, creamy, refreshing, dry finish, on the lighter side of being medium bodied with a nice amount of slightly lighter medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was ok, but I could have gone without out the creaminess.

Overall I thought this was nice beer and a good example of the style, it wasn't full of dead on dandelion flavors but the earthy, floral, and lemongrass aspects reminded me of them. This beer had good drinkability, it was smooth, refreshing, and the flavors held my attention nicely, this would be a great warm weather beer and I could see drinking a few of these while enjoying a warm day in late spring, the refreshing flavors would really work nicely during the warmer months. What I liked the most about this beer was the aroma and appearance they were both good and I like the complexity in the aroma. What I liked the least about this beer was the creaminess in the mouthfeel, it just seemed unnecessary and out of place. I would buy a six pack of this beer again when it starts to get warmer outside, I think it would make for a nice beer to enjoy while playing some disc golf. and I would recommend this to anyone who likes floral beers. All in all I liked this beer, but I didn't love it, the dandelions worked out better than I thought they would and while they didn't provide any exact dandelion flavors, it did impart some flavors that reminded me of smelling the dandelions bloom in the spring time. Magic Hat seems to be stepping their game up, Heart of Darkness and this beer have both been better than I expected and they give me hope that one day I will find a Magic Hat beer that I really like. Good work guys, I would have never thought to brew a beer with dandelions, and while this wasn't a smash hit it sure wasn't a failure by any means and I enjoyed drinking it, it takes some out of the box thinking and creativity to come up with a beer like this and I applaud that.

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Photo of ajanesz
2.79/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass...

Appearance - golden yellow with nice carbonation. A finger of white head that dissipates quickly. Would like to have seen more lacing. Looks light and airy, refreshing.

Smell - Scent of clover and grass with some subtle hoppiness. Does not have an overly strong aroma. Smells how it looks. Very light and summery.

Taste - Not really too much here. Very light grassy flavor. finishes dry with some bitterness. Tastes like there is some rice adjunct and possibly corn. Not sure I taste the dandelion, but there is definitely something unique about the flavor.

Mouthfeel - Dry with a very light body. Tastes similar to an Asian lager (think Kirin or Tsingtao) due to the dry finish and rice adjuncts.

Overall - Not a bad beer, but not as refreshing as many other beers this light. I dig what they tried to do with the dandelion, but I think the execution is a bit off.

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Photo of metter98
3.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy light yellow in color (like a witbier) and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense white head that died down leaving a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of floral and citrus hops in the nose—marigolds and lemons seem to stand out in particular.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of floral hops along with notes of lemon and orange citrus and a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels rather light-bodied (but not watery) on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: While this beer has muted aromas and flavors, it is very easy to drink. I wouldn't mind having one of these again on a summer day.

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Photo of brother_rat
2.56/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a nice translucent golden hay, with a mammoth (two-finger) white head with adequate retention, with uneven bubbles. Pronounced lacing. A pretty, appealing look. 3/5

S: Not a great burst when popping the bottle. Not a great burst of scent when poured. Not a whole lot of smell halfway through! You get the picture--not a lot of aroma, but there are faint traces of hops and wet hay. After drinking a bunch and allowing the beer to warm up a bit, you can detect some sweet fruitiness. Subtle, but not subtle as in complex. 2/5

T: Interesting--moderately tart and astringent, with a faint sweetness, with moderate hop detection. I can detect some citrus up front, and some sweet malts lingering in the aftertaste. Actually tastes like you crushed up some dandelion flowers between your fingers and gave it a whiff, but that's not entirely a pleasurable taste. 2.5/5

M: Rather refreshing, with moderate carbonation. Very drinkable, and perhaps more refreshing on a hot day (in other words, not in cold March). 3/5

O: I'm glad I tried this, although I won't reach for it again. Interesting flavors and an ambitious attempt at incorporating dandelions, but beyond the dandelion flavor there wasn't a whole lot of depth or scintillating aroma. My grandpa used to make dandelion wine, as I've been told, so I can only wonder if his brews shared any characteristics with this one. 3/5

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Photo of Omnium
3.1/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Bottle > Standard pint
A - Pours cloudy light yellow, super thick head nearing 3 fingers that hangs on for a bit, thick lacing as well.
S - This beer smells rather interesting, lemon peel, grass, herbs, light malt, a little hop aroma, some different spices mixed in, dandelion floral quality is definitely pronounced.
T - Doesnt taste nearly as interesting as it smells, but its not that bad actually. Big on the dandelion flavor for sure, fresh grassy earthy tones to it, even a little pine and mint. Refreshing.
M - Thin feeling but thirst quenching.
O - If I was outside all day in 80-90 degree weather, I'd love one of these. I dont really care for magic hat by any means, but for the refreshing quality it has, its kinda nice.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.16/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I hadn't had one of these beers in years and years and I remember when the Magic Hat offerings were so bold and different than what else was out there. The names, bottle designs, and flavors were different than anything that I had before, but that was a long time ago and things certainly have changed. When I saw this on the shelf, I decided to give it a go since it had dandelion on it and once again, looked like a change from what I was used to. This wasn't an outstanding beer but I didn't spit it out and I could see how people could enjoy this before hearing Phish for the 1,000th time.

This had a golden hue to the pour with a somewhat fluffy head that lasted a bit longer than I expected it to. Not much of an aroma here and hardly any lacing to be seen either. Just a hint of lemon grass in the nose with more of it in the taste, followed up with dandelion, sourness, straw, and just a hint of pepper. The carbonation was light, but on the mark, and there wasn't much of an aftertaste either to this. It almost reminded me of a ginger soda since the finish was like that, with the snappiness holding on with the light carbonation. With a bit more spice, this could have been a poor man's Saison of sorts, since it never felt like a Herb/Spiced Beer.

The alcohol was so low in this, that it did indeed almost feel like a soda. I could have had more than a few in a sitting, but only if there was some food to help this go down. While this wasn't undrinkable, I would have only have one in a sitting, since everything didn't mesh that well together. Maybe on a nicer day, I'd kick back with a few of these. For now, it's only a try once just to see what's out there and how much my tastes have indeed changed over the years.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.46/5  rDev +36.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Magic Hat Pistil has a medium, frothy, off-white head, a hazy, yellow-golden appearance, some lacing left behind, streaming bubbles, and an enormous amount of fine white particles floating throughout. The aroma is a strange mix of sweet malts, acidic juice, and freshly-mowed grass. Taste is of pineapple juice, weeds from the lawn, acid, sweetness, bitterness, and plant stems. Mouthfeel is medium, and Magic Hat Pistil finishes dry and tart. Overall, this is an usual, yet interesting beer. It's worth looking for.


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Photo of jwc215
3.38/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clouded yellow with a thin head that lasts. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is very mild - some crackery wheat with a slight floral touch.

The taste is slightly sweet, slightly tart with a dandelion-like floral touch.

The carbonation edges towards fizzy, but th ere is enough body to it to keep the fizz controlled, allowing it to be fairly refreshingly crisp with a light, smooth body.

Overall, to me it seems like a run-of-the-mill blonde ale with a slightly floral, well... like dandelion touch. Part of the spring variety pack, though described as summer-like. Inoffensive and refreshing enough to drink a few of these, but I doubt I would buy again.

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Photo of Zorro
2.37/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Clear and very pale yellow beer with a small white colored head. Looks REALLY light.

Smells malty and peppery with a herbal weedy aroma. That's about it a weird smelling beer.

Starts out very dry with a faint mango taste. Earthy and peppery with a substantial bitter finish. Tastes like Bud Light with extra hops.

Mouthfeel is thin.

Pretty insubstantial beer. Not recommended for any use.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.32/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I'd say it's pretty good looking. Clear and lightly tan with a big fizzy white head that surprisingly had really good staying power and left good lacing. Rising bubbles are plentiful.

Aroma is lightly grassy, a little spicy, and a bit floral.

Flavors that come through are reminiscent of a spring field, with floral, grassy, herbal, with a light hops bite.

Body is very light, well carbonated and a bit fizzy, easy to drink with a slightly grassy aftertaste.

Overall it's a nice summery type beer, which ironically, I'm drinking in the dead of February. Nothing spectacular but worth a try if that's what you're looking for. Great for Saturday yard work.

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Photo of riversider76
2.85/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a hazy golden with a fluffy white head. Not much retention, but decent lacing. Aroma is of grassy hops with some spice. Body is thin and fizzy. Taste is of bitter fruit up front with a rather sour finish. Some hints of spice. For me,this was barley drinkable.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.76/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

The beer is a hazy golden color. A soapy bone-white head recedes to a thick froth. Light lines of lacing.

The aroma is sweet, spicy, malty, and grassy.

Taste is spicy and herbal up front, but a nice sweet wheat body. Slight tangy hop finish.

Light mouthfeel.

Not sure where the word "dandelion" comes from in this beer, but whatever.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.78/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

I remember enjoying Fatome's Pissenlit, so I have high hopes for another dandelion beer. This stuff pours a clear pale gold topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises light honey, very light white bread, and a touch of sweet flowers. Everything is vague and sweet-ish. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some severely-funky lemon peel, light grass, and moss greens. It literally leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a pretty sad beer, one that just plain doesn't taste very good. I guess dandelions are fickle little weeds...

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle pours a lightly hazed yellow color with an ample cap of white head. Pretty fine-bubbled with decent retention and great lacing.

Nose is...interesting...to say the least. Quite sweet and fruity...papaya comes to mind with maybe some canteloupe and I dont think Im trippin when I say yellow dandelions.

Taste is tough to pin down individual flavors...some sort of unidentifiable fruitiness and a pithy, floral bitterness. The malts are very light, I think maybe more of an amber-ale type background might have worked better with this. The mouthfeel is ok, and the body has a nice creamy aspect to it. It makes for a moderately fun experiment, but I sure wouldnt want a whole sixer of it. Magic Hat might want to consider going to the ~3.99 bomber route, they always seem to brew odd beers that are fun to try once but are really never all that great.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
2.55/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.75

Ick. What the h, e, double hockey sticks is the base on this? It tastes dirty and just off. Not as in the beer is spoiled, but just totally bad. Almost a dirty taste to it. It's been a long time since I've made a beer drainpour, but this might be the next one.

Magic Hat should lay off the gimmicks and stick to making solid beers.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 ounce bottle - $1.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a hazed, pale light yellow body with a smallish, white head.

Smell: Shredded flower petals, chopped mint leaf, and some weedy, and bitterish dandelion greens atop the subtle, highly restrained malts.

Taste: Mild malts from top to bottom with some slight milky oat hints. Light, low sweetness that doesn't last long. Herbal tea accents, a slight sourness there, and a touch of lemon, too. The hops yield a slight mintiness. Dry, lightly sourish, vegetal finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: It's a bit different, and, while interesting, one was enough for me, thanks.

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Photo of bubseymour
2.9/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Appearance - This beer poured really nicely with a billowy head similar to a Belgian or a Heff.

Smell - mild lemon zest but some grain and slight spice coming through. Very mild scents to say the least.

Taste - Very bland and not very interesting. Slight hop crispness in the finish. Not much noticeable flavors on the pallet.

Mouthfeel - a tad watery. Not much going on.

Overall - I'd rather have a macro if I was after a bland uninteresting beer. This one just lacks flavor and not much really is going on with it to make it a worthwhile beer to seek out. It's drinkable and sessionable but I wouldn't want to session it.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
2.66/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured this Herbed beer from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a hazy golden/yellow color, produced an average white head, average retention and left very nice lacing on the glass. The aroma consisted of fresh baked bread, lemon citrus, cooked veggies and coriander. Medium in body, a foundation of malted grain, white pepper, lemon, and grassy bittering hops. Can't say that I can detect the danelions, but then again- I usually pull them out of my yard, can't say I've ever consumed one. Maybe this spring. Overall, decent session beer- but it sounds more interesting then it really is- This danelion ale had me swinging my hips, prancing around the kitchen, dipped in gold (A La Joe Pesci) - If you want to have this much fun, try this Ale- You won't be disappointed. WWSTCWBD?

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Photo of silverking
3.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had to try this beer. It pours a hazy light gold with a white head. Head retention is moderate, but the lacing is lacking. The aroma is grassy and floral, and it smells a little nectar like. The taste is surprisingly light. Grassy with a bit of malt. The finish is mildly bitter with a lingering taste of salad greens. Definately not what I was expecting. It has a relitivley light mouthfeel and it is vigorously carbonated. Unique, but not great.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Cloudy, pale gold in color, with a short head of foam.
Aroma-Faintly floral, pale malt
Taste-Pale malt, lemongrass. Light-bodied and refreshing but lacking any real substance,. like a dandelion puff in the wind.

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Pistil from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.27 out of 5 based on 700 ratings.
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