Odd Notion - Chocolate Belgian Stout (Fall 2009)
Magic Hat Brewing Company

Odd Notion - Chocolate Belgian Stout (Fall 2009)Odd Notion - Chocolate Belgian Stout (Fall 2009)
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Belgian Dark Ale
3.82 | pDev: 17.28%
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Odd Notion - Chocolate Belgian Stout (Fall 2009)Odd Notion - Chocolate Belgian Stout (Fall 2009)
Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 112 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep obsidian in color, with poor lacing. The head utterly collapses quickly. The lacing is thin and scattered.

Aroma: Dark, roasted malt, molasses, burnt caramel, earth, and a bit of smoke.

Taste: Opens with lots of roasted malt and cold coffee. As the taste progresses, faint vinous alcohol appears. As the taste progresses, the dark charred malt dominates. Finishes with a long, lingering roasted malt note.

Mouth feel: Smooth and full, very soft.

Drinkability/notes:: Well-made and very drinkable, I regret it is a "one-shot". Reviewed from an old tasting notebook.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twelve-ounce brown glass long-neck bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm pretty sure that this is by far the best Odd Notion I've ever had. This one has really set the bar high in my opinion for others to follow after it. This beer poured out as a nice deep black color with a creamy tan colored head on top. The smell of the beer gave off some nice hints of dark chocolate and yeast. The taste of the beer is also chocolaty and has a good amount of Belgian flavors coming off of it. The mouthfeel was pretty thick, I thought this was a Stout more than a Dark Ale. Overall I really enjoyed this one... I'll actually miss it.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is jet black, with a huge, thick, foamy, dense, milk chocolate head that starts out around three inches, but quickly settles into a thin layer of film. Aromas are heavy in coffee and dark, sweet, old world fruit like plum. The beer's flavors are heavy in coffee, dark roasted and slightly charred, with a hint of bittersweet dark chocolate and spicy peppering at the end. The aftertaste is sweet, with a heavy coffee bitter undertone. A little smokey, too. The finish is bitter and dry, almost to the point of puckering. This beer has been aging for almost 2 years, and it's actually pretty darn good. Held up well, and smoothed out considerably.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes, this one was serve in a pint glass during a magic hat tasting i had with my brother in law down at his apartment.

the our was a nice dark brown color with this tin wispy head of off white that capped the top only for a slight time offering little in the way of side lacing. aroma of roasted malts, light smoke, and hints of chocolate, nice and warming, but lacked the punch i was looking for. flavor was more of the same, not bad at all, had all the right markers there with light peat, lots of chocolate, deep roasted profile, just too light for me to be honest. thin feel as i find with alot of these beers, but easy to drink and a smooth aftertaste.

overall not sure who piked the style on this one, but that is definitley off, but the beer itself was solid and decently put together.

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Photo of thirsty4beer
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

32oz growler from Whole Foods

Poured a deep black with a dark brown and creamy head that settled quickly.

Roasted chocolate and roasted malt aromas are the most prominent. Pretty good nose, one associated with most chocolate stouts, but can't compete with the great ones.

Dark roasted malts and dark chocolate are unmistakable up front. Notes of mocha with some spice and a drop of licorice (maybe plum) come out as the beer warms. I also get a bit of earthy and bitter hops coming through with slightly bittersweet, lingering chocolate finish. The finish was a very pleasant surprise and the best aspect of this beer in my opinion. The Belgian yeast allowed for such a lingering, clean finish, which clearly distinguishes this from your average chocolate stout.

Medium bodied with lower carbonation.

I was very happy with my growler but not dying for more. A very memorable lingering finish. Well worth the 5 bucks for a 32oz sample.

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Photo of hockeynut
3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Almost pure black, Nice dark brown head that dissipates quickly, leaving nice lacing.

S: Smell of roasted malts, licorice and smoke. Little hop smell.

T: Taste of smoke upfront, lots of roasted malts, and very little hops.

M: Nice carbonation, great mouth feel, light to medium body.

D: Good drinkability, but can only drink 2. Great beer once in a awile, but not my every day beer.

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Photo of JerseyPaul
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black with thick light brown head that dissipates rather quickly but leaves pretty good lacing

Smell: Roasted malts with strong chocolate notes; some coffee & smoke scents also

Taste: Dark chocolate up front, with roasted coffee & smoke evident in the finish; slight hop finish as well

Mouthfeel: Medium body, although not as thick as one may think; good carbonation

Drinkability: Tasty & smooth; went down easy (had three in one sitting); didn't notice alcohol much but it did warm me up

Overall, this submission in the Odd Notion series was quite good. I chose this over Magic Hat's Vinyl (it was Magic Hat Promo Night) since it was a snowy winter evening and I wasn't disappointed. It had a pleasant aroma & nice taste that helped warm me up on this cold night. However, I was surprised to see it classified as a Belgian Dark; it seemed more like a Chocolate Stout to me, but hey, it was good regardless.

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Photo of beeragent
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Poured a dark brown with ruby hues when held up to the light. 1/4 inch tan head with light lacing on the glass.

S - Roasted malts along with some Belgian candy sugar dominate the nose. Not much else is detectible.

T - Roasted malts create a nice coffee flavor with a bit of Belgian candy sugar mixed in. The finish carries a distinct dark fruit flavor.

M - Medium bodied with a low amount of carbonation. Very clean in the finish.

D - Very unique flavor! Great offering from Magic Hat. This has to be my favorite offering to date.

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Photo of taez555
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from Notes, sampled 11/11/09
"tonight can be thrilling if you're willing"

This beer pours a dark oil black body with a small off-white/tan head.

Nose is in your face rich milk chocolate with a balanced burnt smoke, almost meaty rauch smoke smell. Rich rich rich rich milk chocolate smell.

Taste is medium bodied with a bit of a watery mouth feel. A strong earthy roasted malt dark unsweetened chocolate milk and granite smoke flavor dominate. Earthy grassy hops with the classic magic hat yeast flavor. Ends with lingering chocolate earth bitterness.

Why oh why magic hat must you discontinue all your amazing beers!!!??? A killer smoky chocolate stout that I could drink all day. (yes I see it's labeled Belgian Dark ale, but MH's website says Belgian it's a Chocolate stout) Anyway... Thumbs way up.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Odd Notion is a dark, walnut beer with a fine, half-inch, dark chestnut head. Some lacing is deposited but washed away as a viscous film coats the Delirium Tremens snifter glass.

Bitter chocolate and coffee aromas come up from the roasted malt while molasses, raisins, a hint of whiskey, and nuts wait within. This one has lots of character, revealing black coffee late in the session.

Strong roasted malts begin while black coffee and some candy flavors hide in the background. Odd Notion has a long finish with charred flavors and light bitterness. It warms very well.

A moderate alcohol heat lifts the full-bodied, silk-textured beer with light, prickly carbonation off the palate.

Magic Hat has made a fine, before-dinner beer. This one is clearly my favorite of theirs so far.

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Photo of billzee
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Franklin House Tavern in PA. Pours a dark brown almost black with minimal dark tan head. Chocolate, smoke, dark fruit and roasted nut notes. Initial taste is dark chocolate, dark fruit, and spice followed with a bit of smoke and a slightly hoppy finish. Medium body with moderate carbonation. Overall this was a nice surprise. I Was not expecting too much and was very happy with the choice. Best offering I have had from Magic Hat recently.

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Photo of stakem
3.32/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a black color with a nicely tanned dark brown head. It doesn't offer up much retension and just a bit of lacing clings to the glassware. The nose caught me completely off guard and I had to do a double take at the style. Initially it smelled just like the smokey beef jerky found in a rauchbier. However, it also includes a prominent amount of licorice, chocolate and coffee as well. Taste has a bitter combination of burnt grains and hops. Also picking up on some yeasty off flavors masked behind chocolate notes and alcohol. Lingering taste of bitter chocolate is left in the mouth. It has a medium body with low carb.

Really everything about this beer truely is odd. It has the look of a stout, the nose of a rauchbier and the taste of well; nothing I ever had before. I can't really say it was a bad experience, but at the same time it wasn't that great either. Labeled as a belgian dark, I wish it would of had more characteristics of that style.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Situation: Watching The Wizard of Oz for the first time straight through...
Glassware: Yuengling pint...
Appearance: dark black body witha crackling, foamy brown head that settles in time to a ring...
Aroma: sweet lactic fragrance with a toasted element; fresh and vivacious...
Palate: warm, smooth body with the presence to be reckoned with; effervescent if not a bit slick or oily...
Taste: chocolatey and thick, like a microwaved milkshake--not sure if that is a compliment, but it fits...
Overall: among the autumn sample, this one pleased me with its mellow approach and its complimentary place among party food fare. The odd notion was not odd at all, actually--a solid stout...

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Photo of scottbrew4u
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This one pours black from the bottle into my pint glass with not much light breaking through. Tan head is quick to settle and never developed much.

S: Ripe plums and dark cherries, coffee, raisins, some hints of bourbon, smoke and vanilla. Burnt malt and robust roasted grain aromas. Hops are subdued and a bit earthy.

T: Bitter from burnt grains and dark chocolate and coffee flavors. Some dark cherries, raisins, and hints of port. Ashy, smoky and semi-sweet, semi- dry in the finish. Hops add a bitter bite but flavor is over matched by the malts.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Some alcohol warming but overall modest.

D: This was a very drinkable beer and it got better as it warmed. Some acrid bitterness may become too much after s few though. Was of the best offerings from Magic Hat.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Empties out of the typical whimsical Magic Hat bottle a black body with a frothy, dark tan-colored head.

Smell: Chocolaty, lightly roasty, smoky aroma with round-about notes of cracked cloves, ripe plums, and oven-smoked 'nanas mingled within.

Taste: Roasty, toasty, but mainly roasty grains and semi-sweet chocolate with a medium level of sweetness. Midway into the taste, a staunch smokiness washes in. For me, the Columbus hops didn't add too terribly much character beyond a bitter that pairs with the roasted quality of the grains. Light clove spiciness ushers in a fruity mix of bananas and plums. Choco-roasty finish with a final kiss of smoke.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Why, that's not bad at all! And such a sensible percentage of alcohol, too. Usually, I'm left looking like a bored ox on a hill when it comes to Magic Hat's offerings, but this, I dare say, is one of their better brews as of late.

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Photo of Dodt
3.27/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

almost forgot i stashed this one from the rest of the fall mix set.
poured from the bottle into a large bulb wine glass.

appearce dark red with a thick malt colored lacing
smells of dark chocolate and cherry.
taste malty with roasted coffee notes.
nice full body and pleaseing drinkability.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this about a month ago when it was at my bottle shop. I thought I would review it since I recently had the winter release.

A - Dark red almost black yet transparent
S - chocolate and cherries.
T - Lived up to the taste but was kind of watery. Still it wasn't as bitter as most of the chocolate beer I have tried which was a plus.
M - moderate kind of dry. It was ok but I really wanted more creamy out of this beer.
D - I had one and it was enough. If it comes around again as a solid Magic had beer I would sample it again but I believe they could lower the abv and make it taste a bit better. Still it lived up to the name Odd Nation.

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Photo of ppoitras
2.55/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle received as a trade extra from VanillaMike. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head recedes slowly, with leggy, slow-falling lace. Aroma is dark malts, prominent fruit, light tartness. Taste is cherries and rich, almost cloying sweetness, closes tart, with a chalky aftertaste. Mouthfeel is okay, but drinkability is knocked down by my unhappiness with the flavor. Odd notion, indeed.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
2.46/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Straggler left in my friend's fridge. He didn't like it so he gave it to me.

Pours a black, stout like color with some yeast clumps splashing in the end. The head is brown and forms a good ring of foam around the edge of my tulip glass, with lace in the middle.

The aroma has a Belgian yeast character along with some roasty malts. I'm guessing they were going for a Belgian stout. The yeast provides a general Belgian fruitiness along with some strange, old mustiness to it. The malt contributes a slight chocolate to the nose.

The first thing I thought was this beer tasted awful cold. So I didn't sip it for about an hour until it got to room temp. It's a little better but not great. Malty and sweet with some roast. Chocolate up front is good, but the finish reminds me of stale chocolate. I think the Belgian influence is just clouding things up. This beer just doesn't taste fresh, and that strange, old mustiness is back from the aroma.

The mouthfeel is slightly bubbly with a surprisingly full body. Finish has a chalky dryness to it. I wouldn't want another one of these only because it just wasn't very good, which is funny because it's the only reason I'm drinking this in the first place.

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Photo of Amalak
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- It's basically completely black and has a reddish/brown, thick foamy head and lots of lace.
S- Smokey, cigar scent.
T- Has a cherry, malt taste. It's smokey. But has a much sweeter taste than say a pure stout. It's different and it's definitely worth a go.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle an opaque purple-black with a quickly fading thin tan head. Not even a whisper of lacing with this one.

Aroma of brown sugar, butterscotch, dark ripe fruit, and chocolate.

Tastes of raisins, chocolate, dark cherries, roasted malts, and charcoal. A slight plastic-sourness in the finish.

Medium bodied, slick, and lightly carbonated.

An average Belgian Dark IMO in which nothing really stands out.

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Photo of scottg
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Filled a growler at the brewery and brought it home and poured it into a Magic Hat snifter glass. This beer is actually a Belgian Chocolate Stout.

Pours a jet black color, no light gets through with a one finger dark tan head with light retention leaving light lacing. Smoke and roasted malt are the up front aromas that give way to raisin and cherry. Complex flavors of smoke, roasted malts, cherry, raisin, dark chocolate and espresso all taking turns as the dominant flavor. Medium high carbonation, full body, very well balanced with a delightful raisiny finish.
For those who feel that all Magic Hat beer taste alike, you should try this one. By far, the best I've had from this brewery. Makes me look forward to future Odd Notions.

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Photo of irishking1977
3.32/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of a mixed 12 pack:

A: Liquid tar. I don't think I've ever seen a darker liquid before. Virtually no head whatsoever. It looks like a black wine.

S: Mild dark candy sugar, malt, and a tinge of alcohol. Not too shabby.

T: Appearances can be deceiving. It has a good mixture of malty and candy sugar. There is a slight alcohol burn, But it's masked fairly well by the other flavors. Pretty good.

M: Decent carbonation, which again, is deceiving because there was virtually no head and it appeared to be either a black wine or a really dark barley wine. Regardless though, Fairly decent balance between carbonation and the few distinguishable flavors.

D: Probably not a session beer, but a few of these could get the job done. It's not nearly as filling as the appearance would suggest. Again, this is a deceitful beer. But in a good way.

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Photo of xanok
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap from the Gingerman in NYC.

A-Near jet black. Unlike most reviewers here, mine actually had decent head. Still almost no lacing.

S-Smokey and roasted malts, chocolate, yeast. Everything here smells smokey.

T-The malts are the dominant flavor here. Smokey malts. Hints of some sort of nuts as well.Tastes of caramel and chocolate in the finish. Others are saying dark fruits in the taste as well, I'm not tasting it though.

M-Medium body. Had a bit of a lasting effect inside the mouth.

D-Very good drinkability, although I don't see what makes this beer a Belgian style. I could see myself having a couple of these in a session. This one was definitely a surprise. I haven't been impressed with any of Magic Hat's offerings as of late, but I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

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Photo of capra12
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed solo @ the gingerman NyC

Appreance jet blac with little head whhc left no lcing

Smell: earthy with dark malts and earthy grains.

Taste: opens rather malty with dark grains and roasted malts. Which come in through the end.

Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied with s slight roasted coffee on you

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Odd Notion - Chocolate Belgian Stout (Fall 2009) from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 112 ratings