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
Reviews by BeerZack:
Photo of BeerZack
3.04/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Pretty black with a tan foamy ring of head that laces a bit.

Smell is interesting- roasty, almost smokey, good dose of vanilla and hints of chocolate chip trail mix (nutty and dates or raisins). Almost a bourbon barrel quality to it. Nice+

Awe, taste is a let down for sure- starts off nice, if a bit light, same rich vanilla oakiness and chocolate notes as in the nose, but then falls off as the dark roasty malts just overpower this beer with their tannic astringency. Nothing really bad going on, just out of balance with the light body of this beer (its only 6.2%). Hard for me to swallow this beer.

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BeerZack from North Carolina, Aug 20, 2009
More User Reviews:
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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Pegasus from Texas, Apr 12, 2015
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another impressive fall sampler selection from a large "micro" brewery who happens to make craft beer. Appears a pitch black hue body that absorbs all spectrums of visible light, large mocha tan head forms thick with some large bubbles scattered throughout. Streaks of lacing forms on the sides of my chalice, pretty nice looking dark brew from Magic Hat. Aroma very big with dark dried dark fruits like plum with another component of citrus fruit, big and roasted malt profile arises with dark cocoa and dry bittering coffee accents. Flavors bring big roasted malt complexity matched with lactic creamy tones and sharp acidic fruit qualities with each sip. By the way the website states that this is a Black Stout nowhere can I find any Belgian yeast strain mentions or strong dark ale info and frankly 6.2 is more in line with an American Stout than with a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Finishes roasty with some dry bitterness from that, also herbal hops notes are expressed a bit watery in a since but definitely susbtantial enough to fulfill the shoes of a good stout. Drinkability is definitely doable, I enjoy dark brews from South Burlington it's a shame they don't release much anymore this is a welcome addition to brews of the past that I loved so dearly for example Heart of Darkness.

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WVbeergeek from West Virginia, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of Winter
4.36/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a light brown head. The aroma consists of chocolate, molasses, cocoa powder and some Belgian yeast. The mouthfeel is full-bodied. This is complex and wonderful. Dark roasted malts & chocolate start things off. A hop bitterness dries things out in the middle and is carried through into the finish. Just before the finish Odd Notion reveals it's Belgian character with a unique flavor imparted from the yeast. The finish is smokey and the dark roasted malt taste comes full circle. The chocolate and smokey characteristics of this beer are really enjoyable.

This is a great rendition of Odd Notion and for a Belgian Chocolate Stout. It's different than I was expecting yet, perfect for Fall and the Halloween season. I could totally enjoy this around a fire outdoors on Halloween evening.

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Winter from Wisconsin, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of TexIndy
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. Back label had notches for best by end of Oct '09. Was pitch black in color. No visible carbonation. Quick sliding lace. It had a small brown head that dissipated into a collar.

The aroma was roasted chocolate malt, coffee, touch of bourbon with a splash of vanilla. Taste followed the aroma but ended with a good smokiness. This is not one of my favorite styles but this one was good.

Overall, a good beer but again not one of my favorite styles so it can only go so far. If you like the style, this might be a good one to try.

Rotation: good to try it but won't be seeking another (style).

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TexIndy from Texas, Sep 07, 2009
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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taez555 from Vermont, Jan 11, 2010
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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ppoitras from Massachusetts, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of durwood64
2.5/5  rDev -34.6%

Photo of allengarvin
3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very dark brown color with a dark-tan head. Is that style right? This smells like stout, with chocolate and roast malt aromas. No hint of any interesting yeastiness. Lots of roastiness in the flavor as well, with a bit of cocoa. Doesn't resemble any Belgian I've ever had.

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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 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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scottbrew4u from Pennsylvania, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours Stout-like enough with a dark brown, opaque appearance. A loosely knit head gives lightly tanned foam that laces fairly and with little legging.

Very smokey for a beer that should be centered around roasted malts and spicy Belgian yeast. Malts bring a lot of roasted and char aromas and flavor with a coffee, burnt cocoa, and hazelnut hint here and there. Belgian character is slight but with light tartness of blueberries, black raspberries, and currants, and grapes.

Quite sweet and abrasive textures work to dry out in the end but can't hardly seal the deal. A lot of cola-like residual sweetness is left on the mouth's surfaces. The beer is kinda everywhere except for the focus on chocolate and Belgian traits. Smokey as hell though.

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BEERchitect from Kentucky, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

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 ColForbinBC
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Chouffe tulip

Pours a viscous, used engine oil black with a brown head that rose to fill the tulip. The head fell slowly and left some mild lacing, but nothing to get too excited about.

The nose has a lot of roast. Deep roasted malt, dark belgian chocolate, molasses, raspberries, and spicy phenols. A very impressive nose. Not overly broad, but pretty deep. The layers of roast is extremely impressive.

Deep roasted coffee beans, almost charred with bitter dark chocolate. A spicy clove character seems to pop up towards the end. The finish is bitter with a touch of sweetness. Complex for sure.

The carbonation is tuned up a touch too much to really let this beer shine. A thick, creamy mouthfeel is inhibited by some fizzy bubbles. Full bodied for sure, but it lacks that truly creamy, robust mouthfeel I was hoping for.

The alcohol showed up towards the end and left a slight warming in its wake. Overall though, well hidden and drinkable for the style.

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ColForbinBC from New Jersey, Oct 14, 2009
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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hockeynut from Massachusetts, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of dmamiano
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Night of the Living dead variety pack...gotta love Magic Hats marketing.
Purs a very dark, alost blck. Thick tan head sits atop this one. Lacing is evident.
Smells of chocolate, fruits and coffee. Very stout like. This is a Belgian strong dark ale?
Tastes mirrors the nose with grainy chocolate, hints of coffee and a very nice mouthfeel.
Maybe a slight hint of 'Belgian funk'
Really good beer, but possibly falls into a different classification.

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dmamiano from West Virginia, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of Kendo
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got it on-tap at the Lionheart in Albany, 9-23-09.

A: Black body with a small chocolatey-tan head. Leaves behind decent lace.

S: Cocoa powder, chocolate in general, with a hint of coffee and dark fruits. Nice nose.

T: Immediate taste impression was about the mouthfeel -- it was lighter in heft than expected, which was unfortunate. As for the flavor profile, there's plenty of chocolate, roasted barley malt and a touch of coffee beans. finishes slightly dry, however.

M: Lighter in heft than I'd like, and lacking in creaminess.

D: Pretty good. This is one of the better Magic Hat offerings I've had.

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Kendo from New York, Sep 28, 2009
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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irishking1977 from New Jersey, Nov 20, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle from a variety 12 pack. Thanks to my BIL Kevin. Poured into my Adnams Imperial tumbler. BTW, this is a belgian stout, not a belgian dark, and I'll review it as such. Appears a very dark brown color letting no light pass through. The head is about two fingers tall and ecru in color. Nose and flavors consist of a slight char/smokiness, dark chocolate, roasted malt, the smokiness is more prevalent as it warms. This also brings out notes of milk chocolate and dark cherries. A quick swirl of the glass releases a huge blast of sweet cherry candy into the nose. Body seems a bit thin for the style with adequate carbonation and a slightly slick, bitter finish. Pretty tasty stuff. Check it out while it's still around.

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ClockworkOrange from Pennsylvania, Nov 03, 2009
Photo of Avagadro
5/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: pours viscous and black with a caramel colored head with little retention. The ale has no sign of lacing, and is opaque even when held to the light
S: the bouquet is rich with hints of coffee, oatmeal, and anise.
T: quite rich, mildly sweet with notes of chocolate, caramel, and the subtle sourness that is often associated with the use of oatmeal.
M: this ale has a full body with a slight chalky texture. The carbonation tingles the tongue as bubble form on it.
D: I was shocked that such an amazing ale came from a one-time release. I'm not typically a fan of Magic Hat's somewhat bland repertoire, but this one is exceptional. I want to mention that whoever dubbed this a Belgian dark is insane. This is a stout, and a damn fine one at that.

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Avagadro from New Jersey, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.69/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

opaque Darkness, mocha coffee foam head, nice retention.

I'm really enjoy the sweet fruits and big malts in the aroma, red grapes, sour dates, soft and tangy with chocolate malt and a dry-sour yeast aroma that is really nice. mild heat at the end.

roastie, dark malts bitter chocolate with a dry and earthy yeast. The hops and earthy yeast adds a really nice counter-punch to the malt. both spectrums of flavor's are allowed to shine! bitter and dry effect is pretty heavy and a dense malt complexity of sour fruits and black coffee. yeah, it all works pretty well, although the chocolate malt is a bit too slick and heavy feeling, full bodied with a decent bite though.

This is a stlye bender for sure, it's a nice complex yeast but the malt comes off as too chunky for my taste.

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GratefulBeerGuy from New Hampshire, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of BeerSox
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into wine glass.

Pitch black, opaque, with a one finger brown head. It fizzled away quickly but I'm using a wine glass at my parents' house that was in the dishwasher.

Roasty malts along with a little bit of bitter chocolate, mixed with typical Belgian spicy phenols.

The phenols come out a little more in the flavor, but it's still mostly the burnt malts. The chocolate is back, but a little sweeter. Full bodied.

This is a good example of the Belgian Stout style (not on BA yet, but it's a style I'm creating, sort of) with it's roasty malts mixed with the phenolic Belgian yeast. Recommended.

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BeerSox from Virginia, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of peabody
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a thick dark black with one finger of tan suds. Some lacing.
Smell is almost a fruity porter and not a lot of the belgian spices are present. Chocolate and raisin are most present to the nose.
Taste is dark chocolate malt and a medicinal alcohol quality. Kind of strong but really good.
Mouthfeel is a bit dirty but leaves the palate ready for the next drink.
So, drinkability is good even though it has a bourbon kick to it.

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peabody from Kentucky, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of billybob
3.59/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours black in the glass with a very small tan head and a very small amount of lace.

fruity, roasted malt aromas.

taste of dried prunes, raisins, roasted malt with a slightly smokey mustiness.

mouthfeel is light carbonation is good.

the fact that it is only brewed once takes points away from the beer.

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billybob from Massachusetts, Sep 21, 2009
Odd Notion - Chocolate Belgian Stout (Fall 2009) from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 112 ratings