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

very good
112 Ratings
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Odd Notion - Chocolate Belgian Stout (Fall 2009)Odd Notion - Chocolate Belgian Stout (Fall 2009)

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-02-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 112 |  Reviews: 84
Photo of dave00100
5/5  rDev +32.3%

Photo of Goldfoot
5/5  rDev +32.3%

Photo of Avagadro
5/5  rDev +32.3%
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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Photo of generallee
4.87/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: The new fall seasonal in the very cool night of the living dead variety 12-pack. It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. There is a best before the end of Oct. date on the back label of the bottle.

Appearance: It pours like used motor oil, thick, viscous and dark brown/black into the glass. In the glass beers color is as black as the night and opaque. On top sits a thick and creamy light brown head. It is about one finger tall and slowly fades to thin coating of lacy foam. The lacing is slick and slides down the sides of the glass as I drink.

Smell: The aroma is full and rich. It has notes of dark roasted grain, molasses, burnt caramel, light herbal/metallic hops and a hint of smoke.

Taste/Palate: The flavor has a deep roasted character with nice complexity and balance. There are flavor notes of roasted coffee, roasted grain, dark chocolate, burnt caramel and molasses. Underneath there seems to be a hidden estery/yeast flavor as well. This comes out more as the beer warms and adds dark fruity notes of ripe plums and black mission figs. Herbal and leafy hops come in on the back end and give it a good balance of bitterness to the sweet and roasted flavors in the finish. The palate has a solid medium to full body with soft carbonation and a slick viscous texture.

Notes: I love this beer!!! It has great complexity and good drinkability. The only thing I would like is a little more head retention but other than that it is a nearly perfect Belgian Stout. I think that Magic Hat should add this one to there regular line up!!!

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Photo of skinny0ne
4.7/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I guess it's fall. Magic Hat rolls out their Autumn 09 stout. It has a great deep dark creamy head. The color is near black with maybe a hint of mahogany color. The aroma is big with sweet malt, chocolate, and black coffee. It's got a great flavor. Lots of creamy malt upfront, a hint of ripe fruit, which quickly moves to bitter hops, dark chocolate, and black coffee. The exhale definitely has some plums and apricots. The flavor clings to the tongue for a while. Under it is a good bite of alcohol. Kind of reminds me of an Irish coffee but without the tons of cream.

Really, an excellent stout. A+.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.57/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nose is chocolaty malty with nice fruit and floral/herbal freshness. Smells quite good.

Pours essentially jet black with large brown head. Looks good.

Fantastic! Velvety smooth and heavenly rich. Deep veins of dark coffee roast and tart fruit. A hint of alcohol. Large malt body is softly toasty with some biscuit undertones and caramel edges. Only mildly sweet - with a slight sugary edge and a good dose of roasted caramel and natural bread-or-vegetable-like sweetness. Soft sourness ties into the fruit. Mild hoppy bitterness lingers in back, more roasted-like bitterness with brings feelings of burnt wood. Hint of vanilla over the woodiness. Finishes slightly nutty/oily and roasted. Tastes very good. Feels very good. Amazing drinkability.

Quite good. I had it pinned down as a Stout, but was thinking what an insane Belgian Dark Ale it could make if spiked with the right yeast.

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Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at Bridgid's during Philly Beer Week.

Pours a pitch black with a dark mocha two finger head. The aroma coming off of this is all chocolate. There is a slight roasted malt aroma and some coffee as well. The taste is fantastic. The chocolate dominates but it is all stout. The roasted and slightly burnt malts balance the sweet chocolate along with the slightly bitter coffee. The mouthfeel is creamy and thick. This is nothing like any of the other Magic Hat offerings I have had. I could drink these all day and night. I really hope this one sticks around and becomes a regular.

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Photo of squirrelpirate
4.37/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Magic Hat Odd Notion Fall 09 pours a dark brown with a reddish tint and a very minimal brown head that barely coats the top of the beer. The aroma consists of molasses, cherries, nuttiness, roasted barley, and coffee notes.

Coffee, tart cherries, and chocolate come through very strongly in the taste, along with some alcohol, roastiness and sourness. An extremely pleasant blend with a slight bitterness at the end.

It has a lighter mouthfeel than you would expect and is very smooth. In between medium and full-bodied with appropriately low carbonation. This is certainly not a session beer, and therefore gets docked points for drinkability, but is very enjoyable. I want to get my hands on more of these!

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Photo of VTaler
4.37/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark brown with a caramel colored head that is decend at first but goes away over time. Leaves a nice lacing
S - Fruity Belgian yeast esters. Kind of like bananas dipped in chocolate. The chocolate comes in later.
T - First taste is the spicy hops QUICKLY followed by the chocolate malts. Tastes like chocolate dipped banana fritters served with a mocha drink. However it is not very sweet in fact it tastes bittersweet. The roastes malts add nice character to it. The hops are kind of subtle. The combination of the Belgian yeasts and the chocolate and roasted malts lend to an excellent combination. My friend who hates coffee (hates coffee!?!?) tried it and didn't like it though.
M - Medium mouth feel that leave a nice syrupy texture on your tongue
D - Somewhat drinkable. I wouldn't call this a session beer.

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Photo of Winter
4.36/5  rDev +15.3%
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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Photo of Tates
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer smells and tastes like what I imagined Guinness did when I was a kid. The chocolate notes hit you like a ton of bricks, but there is a lightness, like this beer would go great with oysters or lobster. I probably could knock back a handful of this DARK BLACK beer. Oh and I love the label - very Day of the Dead.

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Photo of elniko
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Unibroue tulip glass.

A: Motor oil black with minimal tan head and nice lacing. Really nice looking.

S: Wow, I really enjoyed the nose on this beer. Definite chocolate roasty tones. Very nice.

T & M: Tones from the nose come through in the taste as well. Medium to light bodied. Finish very unique with the Belgian qualities coming through.

D: Quite drinkable and definitely the best Magic Hat from the variety pack that I bought.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured deep brown with a tan head that left just a light bubbly ring around the glass. No lacing.

Deep rich scents of french roast coffee, light smoke, molasses, dark chocolate, and a whiff of alcohol.. Belgian Dark Ale? Really?

Nice strong flavors that blend and balance perfectly. Coffee, then some sweetness, with hints of licorice, burnt toast, and a very light sourness at the end. Alcohol is there but not in the way at all. Absolutely great.

Medium body and light carbonation make this one easy to drink. This should be a regular thing from these guys. Try this if you can.

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Photo of saminadams
4.28/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Extremely drinkable. Hope they make it all the time.
They can call it Black Magic. 3 is not enough,why do they push the wheat beer in all the packs?Liked the #9 and the other ale,Magic Hat is a no brainer.Black and smooth ,slides rite down.
To bad you can only get it if you buy the whole pack.
its a keeper

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Photo of beeragent
4.27/5  rDev +13%
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 +13%
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 Mag00n
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I somehow scored a fall '09 night of the living dead variety pack at a podunk gas station in maine...seemed a little early being the end of july, but having tasted the odd notion(belgian chocolate) at a beer fest a few weeks back, i couldnt resist.

A: pours jet black with a few thin mocha head

S: smell is mostly of chocolate and a hint of hops

T: taste follows smell, chocolate upfront with a chocolate malty aftertaste, very pleasant, no bitterness

M: mily/creamy mouthfeel, mediumly carbonated, very nice

D: extremely drinkable. I had no problem drinking all 3 of them in my variety pack in one night. Theres nothing overwhelming here, so you dont ever really get sick of it. I had one on a 85* day outside and i found it rather refreshing

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Photo of BeerPhan86
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was recently in Burlington for a job interview so I stopped by Magic Hat to decompress. They were bottling Howl and I was psyched to get a chance to try it early, but unfortunately the sampling keg was tapped. I did get to try this Belgian Chocolate Stout (Odd Notion) and was very impressed, so much so that I ended up getting a growler to bring back home.

A - Pours black as motor oil with a one finger medium brown head.

S - Smells like an Imperial Russian Stout to me. Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, hints of raisin and toffee. Plenty of roasted malt as well.

T - Predominantly chocolate tasting with a nice coffee undertone, and slight hop bite in the finish. Slightly burnt tasting and a bit more bitter than other stouts I have had. Definitely resembles an imperial Russian stout but lacks the high alcohol content. Very nice. Belgian yeast is also present but not dominating, a very nice touch.

M - Creamy and silky, with just the right amount of carbonation for this style.

D - Surprisingly sessionable, a somewhat lighter version of an imperial stout. I am only finishing the growler because I don't want it to spoil though, otherwise I would pace it out a bit more if I had it in bottles.

Overall, a very nice offering, and it made up for missing out on the Howl sneak preview. For a brewery that has missed more than hit with the Odd Notion series, this is a nice change of pace. Magic Hat really needs to consider getting some big beers on the market and reviving themselves, and I think a tasty stout like this would work well as a big beer. Cheers!

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Photo of scottg
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
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 Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
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 Brad007
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color with a thin brown one-finger head into my fluted glass. Definitely stout-like.

Aroma is creamy with a good hint of chocolate, coffee and candi sugar/spice. Nice.

Taste is full of cream, bitter coffee with only a small hint of chocolate. Dark fruits and a hint of raisin seem to be secondary flavors.

Mouthfeel has just a bit much carbonation for my liking. Still quite drinkable. Alcohol seems to be present quite a bit.

A decent beer that when it warms up, the flavors open up like a flower bouquet. Again, carbonation could be lower to make the beer smoother

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thick viscous black with a small amount of tan head that fades fast and leaves little lacing. Wasn't really expecting something so dark to come from Magic Hat so this might be a treat (or trick).

Smell has a rich roasted malt aroma, some molasses and chocolate.

Taste is a lot of roasted malt, slight burnt aspect, hints of chocolate and a little larger hint of coffee and molasses, quite bitter, heavy carbonation almost cola-ish.

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Photo of Buggies
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark black with a thin dark tan head. Aroma is of roasted malt... nice coffee and toffee smell with a little chocolate there as well. The roasted grains come out nicely in the taste. An interesting touch of smoke too. A little bitter bite too. I taste a lot of fruit also from the yeast?

This is a good beer. Reminds me more of a stout... but the Belgian yeast adds more too it. The fruity yeasty notes come out nicely.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from the '09 Night of the Living Dead mix pack served in a small snifter.

The beer is black with a creamy tan head that thinned to a ring and left a few streaks of lacing.
The smell is chocolate upfront with a bit of funk in the background.
The taste is smooth roasted malt with notes of chocolate, bourbon, and dark fruits, tasty brew.
The smooth feel plus a darn good carbonation level makes this brew very easy to drink.

The beer 'type' is listed as "Chocolate Belgian Stout" on the MH website which is not a BA 'style'.
Considering this brew is pretty much in nowhere man's land as far as style goes on this site overall it's a damn fine beer that should be enjoyed while available.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
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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Odd Notion - Chocolate Belgian Stout (Fall 2009) from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 112 ratings.
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