Séance | Magic Hat Brewing Company

469 Ratings
Read the review

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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 469 |  Reviews: 79
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.

 1,464 characters

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).

 960 characters

Photo of ac22rush
3/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of Haybeerman
3/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of HattedClassic
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of pagardner
2.5/5  rDev -24%

Photo of OgreSanchez
2.25/5  rDev -31.6%

Photo of MrBoh
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Dray
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

 1,184 characters

Photo of camclem2
2.75/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of RedneckBeerz
1.25/5  rDev -62%

Photo of GreenMountainBoy
2.5/5  rDev -24%

Photo of mikefuski17
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Drknight
3/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of SpAiReArGsEonNE
3/5  rDev -8.8%

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.

 874 characters

Photo of AmishRockstar
3/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of mrmitsui29
2.5/5  rDev -24%

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.

 391 characters

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.

 1,347 characters

Photo of complexnomenclature
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

 350 characters

Photo of Mattyb79
2.5/5  rDev -24%

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

 775 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More