Séance | Magic Hat Brewing Company

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

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jackal on 07-31-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 469
Photo of micromaniac129
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wasn't expecting a dark session, interesting.
Well it pours a dark brown. The head is small with some tight bubbles that linger a good while before fading. The mocha head leaves spotty lacing.
The aroma is malty. There is some faint wispy yeast and wispy faint roastedness.
Drinks dry and tart. Feels thin on the palate, watery. The taste has a bit of smokiness in it or maybe peet. Some yeast and wheat malts possibly.
There is a metallic bitterness in the aftertaste that lingers a long time.
Not a bad beer but I won't go running for another.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.1/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Cap: "Next time use less cologne".

Poured into a tulip glass. Pour is very dark brown with slight translucence when held to the light. Tan head rests up top for a while eventually forming a thick ring, some lace spots left. Kinda oddball scent of bread, spice, smoke, earthiness, tobacco, some light fruit.

Scent was interesting at least, taste isn't quite as redeeming. Peppery smoke, toasted bread, nutty malts, some caramel, some light Belgian yeast, grassy and earthy tones. Smoked dark saison? Reminds me of the bad batch Fantomes but more drinkable. Mouthfeel is very foamy and has a certain weirdness to it, not all bad but could be smoother for sure.

Not sure what to make of it, definitely a mess/clash of flavors but not horrible.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.64/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear dark brown appearing black in the glass with a thin slightly tanned head. Not much lacing on the side of the glass.

S: First thing I notice is a belgian yeastiness with a touch of banana. Roasted malt with a hint of smokiness. Nutty qualities are present too.

T: Mild flavor that is characteristic of the dark saison style. Roasted malt blend with a banana yeast, bit of sweetness yet also smokiness. Aftertaste lingers with a yeasty flavor.

M: Medium body with ample carbonation. Pretty crisp finish that has a touch of stickiness.

Overall a nice entry beer for those who are interested in dark saisons. Doesn't get too roasty, smokey or yeasty on you, but still has all of those flavors balanced nicely.

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Photo of Xach
3.11/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

First dark beer rating.

A - Very dark. Small head that lasted about 30 seconds. Opaque. Looks like a dark beer should look.

S - Ok, this my be random, but I'm smelling some olive. The people with me agree, so either they've been drinking, or it's legit.

T - Heavy on the malt, light on the hops. A slight bready taste. Nothing that quite stood out, very average dark beer.

M - Very carbonated, overpowers the taste quite a bit.

O - The carbonation brought it down, but still okay beer. This is now our benchmark for dark beers.

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Photo of the38raven
2.01/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

I don't know what was going on with the bottle of this I got, but it does not seem to match up with the beer that other people are describing. The nose was a bit smoky, but otherwise unremarkable. The taste though... I got nothing but smoke. And not a good smoky flavor, either, but smoke from a fire made with rotted wood. I guess I could call it "earthy" if I were feeling generous, but the impression I got as I drank it was "wrong." I only finished it due to a misguided sense of honor, and I would not drink it again.

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Photo of Kooz
3.28/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Didn't know what to expect since there's no real description. Bought this one on faith alone. (Blind Faith, maybe?)

Poured into a standard pint glass to a very dark brown--almost like a porter, except the brown has a reddish tinge to it. The tan head left a decent lacing but dissipated quickly to a thin layer floating on top.

I smell sweetness, and a hint of malt. The sweetness smells, as far as I can discern, like molasses.

Tastes very acidic up front but smoothed out by the end. Here is another flavor I'm finding hard to name. Maybe orange peel?

Body and mouthfeel are good. It's a creamy beer and had a good tight foaminess on swishing. I wish it left a bit less of a sour aftertaste, but it's still very good.

I wasn't crazy about this beer, but it grew on my. Half way through the glass, I was pretty happy with it and a bit sad I don't have more. I would get this again.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Magic Hat Séance has a thick, beige head, a very dark brown appearance, and some decent lacing left behind on the glass. The aroma is of medium-to-heavy roasted barley, wood smoke, cream of wheat, and bread crust. Taste is of those elements, with some sort of spice (white pepper?), sugar, powdered milk, hop bitterness, and oats. Mouthfeel is medium, and Magic Hat Séance finishes lager crisp, refreshing, and easy drinking. RJT

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Photo of pls2087
3.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Nice nice dark brown, hint of red. Opaque. Nice thick one-finger head that sticks around.

S: Roasted malt, smokiness, hint of spice

T: Nice malt flavor. Subtle smoky flavor comes through as well.

M: Creamy feel. Slight carbonation.

O: Different type of beer for me. Enjoyable. Seems like a light Rauchbier.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.15/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear but opaque very dark brown in color with light amounts of gentle carbonation along the edges of the glass and some faint cola brown + amber highlights. The beer has a two finger tall foamy/creamy tan head that slowly reduces to a half finger thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of roasted malts and toasted bread along with some faint hints of spices.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavors of toasted bread and roasted malts. There are some notes of chicory and dark chocolate as well. Light flavors of spices (possibly from the yeast) and a light amount of bitterness that lingers.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light hints of dryness in the finish.

O: This is a strange beer that does not really fit well into any style and I don't think that I am a fan of it... I will not be getting this one again. I really did not get any of the saison elements to this beer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.59/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 9/29/2013 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

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

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, roasted malts, wheat and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty roasted malt character, wheat and a decent Belgian yeast backbone. Then some flavors of coffee and chocolate come in. The hops presence is mild but brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry.

O: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent variation of style, it’s a decent beer to drink for a while if you want something a bit different.

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Photo of SteveB24
2.51/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

appearance; deep brown, but not cloudy, very much like diet coke. thin streams of rising bubbles but a lack of overall carbonation. sticky head that last for a reasonable amount of time before settling into decent lacing.

smell; blunt malt, might be a hint of caramel in there. nothing complex.

taste; malt, little else. just a hint of hops. watery finish.

mouthfeel; light carbonation, thin, watery.

overall; have had better from magic hat. not impressive, have had beers that are a lot worse but wouldn't buy again.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.12/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep brown color with a one finger of thick cream colored head. The head very slowly fades over time leaving a nice level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is very sweet with a strong caramel smell mixed with some chocolate, raisin, prune, and cola. Behind all the sweet smells, is a brown bread aroma as well as a little bit of yeast.

Taste – The taste is much less sweet then I would have originally anticipated from the nose. It begins with a light caramel flavor mixed with a light amount of roasted malt. The roasted flavors get a little bit more intense taking on a slightly more bitter coffee flavor. Some chocolate flavors come to the tongue more toward the middle of the taste, being accompanied by some yeast which brings with it some more tart and funky tastes. In the end, as a light cola and grassy taste and a bit of an earthy flavor come to the tongue, one is left with a slightly bitter, funky, and roasty flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thinner side with a carbonation level that is on the slightly higher side. The thinner body is not really very fitting for the more roasted flavors of the brew, but both the thinner body and the higher carbonation are rather decent for the saison tastes of the beer, so overall it if pretty decent.

Overall – A decent brew, although nothing all that fantastic.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
2.53/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

A: Pours dark brown, the color of cola. Head was 2-plus fingers of frothy, wheat-colored foam that lasted a good while. Small amount of lacing.

S: Bready grain and citrus dominate. I also detect pepper, and the faintest hints of maple syrup and chocolate.

T: Not a hint of sweet malt or grain favors. It goes straight to tart fruit, then abruptly changes to bitter... funk -- that's the only word for it. It's not pleasant, and unfortunately it lasts. This is not what I was expecting after smelling it. By really focusing (not an easy chore), I detect some metallic and soapy favors in the mix.

M: Average carbonation, but a bit thin on the palate. Finish is a touch dry, not that I really notice with that taste on my tongue.

O: What happened? It looked and smelled promising, yet it totally failed in the mouth. Drain pour, and I'm going to try to get a refund from the store -- It's that bad (and not at all like a saison, despite what the label says).

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.17/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a surprisingly dark brown. Two fingers of beige head rises from an aggressive pour, but settles to a thin cap soon after. It can be revived fairly easily with a swirl of the glass. A foamy collar of lacing remains.

S: Big waft of overripe bananas hits the nose first. Walnuts. Brown sugar. Ghostly clove. Caramel. Subtle earthy yeast.

T: Black pepper and clove up front. Baseline of campfire and smoked malts that were curiously absent on the nose. Banana begins to emerge toward the mid palate, but stays shy. Brown cocoa powder, walnuts, and banana bread contributed from the malts stay muted as well. Tropical fruits. Touch of tartness. A tad metallic. Drying smokey finish.

M: Rather light in body, Light creaminess, but watery and lacking in dimension. Strong prickling carbonation.

O: I appreciate the fact that Magic Hat tried to get creative with this one, but it just doesn't work. The flavors at play clash hard, making for a lot of distraction. The body was also a bit lifeless. This was a chore to drink. Like so many other Magic Hat offerings, the packaging and marketing are enticing, but the liquid fails to deliver.

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Photo of stakem
3.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a snifter. Thanks to wishuwerebeer for sharing. The brew appears a reddish color with nice clarity. A huge khaki head almost fills the glass entirely.

The aromatics are quite malty with scents of caramel and toffee sweetness. It is almost meaty and earthen with some herbal hops. Quite strange, cant really figure out what the deal is with this based off the nose alone. A strange brown of sorts?

The taste is mutually malty as the aroma would lead you to believe with toffee to caramel and molasses. It is earthen with minerals all across the back that hint towards carbonic quality. This brew screams strange brown ale yet again.

This is a medium bodied offering that is fully carbed. After looking at the label I am perplexed by the listing of saison. I really dont get any saison character from it. I think they missed the boat with this one, really.

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Photo of therica
3.03/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Dark brown with a slight timt toward gray rather than yellow hues. Reasonable tan head and rimming. Plentiful variety in the nose, not that they all fit together. Roasted malts, of course, and some other notes. Taste is dry like a Guinness cousin, burnt unsweetened chocolate, dusty, slight sour taste as in "not quite right." Occasionally slight liquor. Interesting to try and then move on.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. A new beer from Magic Hat, acquired as part of the Magic Hat Night Of The Living Dead variety pack. Expectations are relatively low for this one. The cap says "drink it down & lose your frown". Sounds good to me.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Pours a cola brown color; mahogany / ruby in the glass. Just over a finger of creamy fluffy tan head.

S - The first thing I smell is chocolate / coffee and roasted malt presence. Some crisp yeast presence and some faint brett, but it isn't exactly what I would call "funky" or "farmhouse". Beyond that, there isn't really anything to it. Doesn't smell bad, but very lackluster.

T - Taste follows the nose: bland and fizzy. Some malt roast, light unsweetened chocolate, some char, crisp carbonation, and maybe some mineral presence.

M - Feel is thin, watery, and over carbonated. Some dry light roasty notes lingering on the palate.

Overall, a pretty disappointing lackluster of a beer. Reminds me more of some kind of a weak porter or a brown ale rather than a saison / farmhouse ale. I really don't know what Magic Hat was going for with this one. Over carbonating a weak porter doesn't make it "farmhouse". I won't have any trouble finishing these off, but it's not something I'd seek out again.

Magic Hat Séance ---3/5.

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Photo of Jason
3.28/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Look: Dark mahogany brown, nearly opaque. Decent lacing.

Smell: Candy sugar, mineral, spice, toasted bread, faint candied fruit

Taste: Crisp, chicory, carob, dry-ish, light hopping, toasted grain, salty, dried grass, grainy finish

I don't really see any sort of "Sasion" like qualities here, an ok brew.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.96/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I picked this up at wegmans, enjoyed chilled in a cervoise.

The color is practically black, opaque with tan head of about 3 fingers w/ average bead and good retention with sticky lace. The smell has dark malt and saison yeast character with mild phenols and spice with light roast ester and woody aroma. The feel is very good with deep malt and medium high carbonation and light bitterness with gentle sweetness/mostly dry texture and somewhat spiced finish

The flavor is toasty and dry but not bitter at least in the malt or not burnt with light yeast flavor that has a saison fruit element with light herbal note from the hops with gentle nutty cocoa aspect with mild hint of woody tobacco as it finishes. This is a very good dark saison of the more sessionable variety

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Photo of Fuzzycranium
3.07/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Not sure why this one is categorized as a farmhouse/saison. Seems to look, smell taste, feel like a one dimensional porter.
A: dark copper red, Minimal head,

a: Roasted barley on the moderate side

F: roasted

M: Wnderful

O: Enjoyable, but perplexing to categorize this as such, Wonder if they used a wild yeast?

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.68/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in an Ohio State shaker pint glass.

Nothing like a beer to accompany lone viewings of romantic comedies, amiright? (*sniff*) Anyway, this stuff pours a sunset sienna-topaz topped by a finger-and-a-half of khaki foam. The nose comprises toasted wheat bread and a bit of what seems like charred sesame seeds. The taste holds notes of fennel, lightly-toasted rye bread, the vaguest possible sense of fruit in the distance, and a pinch of cardamom. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, I'm not sure I fully get where Magic Hat was going with this. I mean, it could be construed as a "black saison" or something to that effect, but there's zero trace of the base style here. If anything, it's more like an odd brown ale or dark mild or something along those lines, 'cause there's no sense of Belgian-like yeast, there's little to no farmhouse-ness, and the maltiness, rather than balancing or playing off of the aforementioned missing parts, dominates the proceedings, precluding any future cooperation. Suffice it to say, I did not enjoy this, neither as a saison nor as anything else.

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Photo of soju6
3.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2013 Artisans Craft Beer Festival.

A: Served a dark brown color with a firm tan head.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, fruity, bit of yeast and earthy.

T: Taste of roasted malt, dark fruit, trace of yeast and spice. Mild bitterness and a tart finish.

F: Medium body, smooth with a bit of a creamy texture.

O: Interesting beer that does not come across as a typical Saison.

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Photo of microbrewlover
4.59/5  rDev +39.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours black in color with a two finger tan head which lasts for several minuets. Moderate carbonation and medium to high lacing which stays on the glass until the end.

The smell is fruity, nutty and earthy. Heavy with roasted and sweet malts. Some chocolate and maybe brown sugar.

The taste follows the nose with sweet and then roasted malts dominating. There is a bitter element, similar to coffee. Fruits and nuts come in in the middle then light spiced hops appear on the back end. All very well balanced.

The mouthfeel is thin and creamy; very drinkable. Some, not much, bitterness left in the mouth after swallowing.

Overall this a very well balanced beer. A little different than your usual Saison due to it being dark with very thick roasted/burnt malts. It is an interesting mix from Magic Hat; I would buy it again.

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Photo of I3eck
3.65/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle -> Wine Glass

A: Coffee-brown with an orange hue, unfiltered haze, little sediment, head quickly dissipates.
S: Roasted coffee, malty, dark chocolate, earthy.
T: Black coffee bitterness, malt chocolate, smoky (wood smoke).
M: Surprisingly light to medium body with fairly high CO2.
O: Packs a light of flavor for such a light mouth feel. I love coffee so I can appreciate the bitterness and coffee undertones. Reminds me a lot of a stout. Little too smoky for my liking. Interesting for Magic Hat indeed.

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Photo of Neorebel
3.77/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Seance from Magic Hat pours a surprisingly muddy brown color with a decent khaki colored head. (for some reason I did not think this was a dark Saison) The liquid is actually revealed to be almost as light as a raw umber hue when held up to light. There is some evidence of carbonation, too. The aroma is pleasant and inviting. I nice bouquet of lavender and spice, cherries, eucalyptus, lemon, and toasty bread scents fill my nostrils. The flavor is quite similar to the aroma, revealing only a little more. The toastiness in the aroma comes off as smoky, and the cherry sweetness dominates a little more. I do happen to like the way those two bigger aspects blend though. There's a yeasty farmhouse flavor present enough as well. The herbal finish comes off a little sharp with a tingling sensation. It's got a pretty light mouthfeel to it. Overall though, this is very unusual but I would say worth trying. It is one of the beers in Magic Hat's roster that has a bit more substance.

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Séance from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.29 out of 5 based on 469 ratings.
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