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

very good
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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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Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 112
Photo of darrenc7
2.23/5  rDev -41%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I have to say this was vile. One of the first beers I have not finished in a while and I have enjoyed the previous Odd Notion offering. I figured this was a failed attempt at some kind of Rauchbier. The flavor was all over the place but it just finished on a burnt note.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
2.46/5  rDev -34.9%
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 ppoitras
2.55/5  rDev -32.5%
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 GrittyMug345
2.58/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz. brown bottle, best by 11/30/09 on bottle, drank 10/18/09. Vigorous pour into a tulip produced a very thin, light brown head which disappeared in moments, black body. The nose is of sweet chocolate, belgian yeast, anise, too sweet. Tastes of acrid olive brine, anise, kind of bitter and unpleasant, hints of cocoa. Thin bodied, decent carbonation. I did not find it very drinkable, it was close to a drain pour at first but got gradually better as it warmed, would not repeat.

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Photo of hreb
2.84/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Odd Notion Fall 09 pours black, like stout, with a thin brown head that disappears quickly. Cold 12 oz bottle poured into tapered pint glass. Aroma is slightly more hoppy than appearance suggests, and sweeter/estery like either a hefeweiss (which this isn't) or a belgian dark ale (which this apparently is!).

First sip is alarmingly thin. Not "thin" like a dry stout, but more like a black lager. Smokey, and stery flavors still come, but otherwise the beer is mostly bland. Not overly carbonated, and hides the 6.2% ABV quite nicely. Still, overall I'm not impressed.

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Photo of ommegoose
3.02/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Fall mixed 12 pack.

Poured into a tulip. Opaque black. Brown head, but fizzes out rather quick, leaving a ring.

Smoky. This is not what I expected. Dark and fruity with one sniff, stout-like with another. That bready, yeasty Belgian ale aroma is in there too.

Odd indeed. Smoky burnt malt dominates a beer with a clear Belgian yeast character. The smoke has a little touch of sweetness. At times fruity like dark cherries. Softens a bit as I get adjusted. No hop profile of note. I don't dislike this, but too much burnt malt. Frankly, I don't get coffee or chocolate or mocha at all. Astringent and dry finish.

Has about the right amount of body, but would benefit from a livelier carbonation.

Can't say I'm real enthused at first, but it grew on me a bit. It still is beer after all. It must seem that there's a reason beers like this aren't in mass production. Probably very niche. Looking at reviews I guess I'm going to be the low man by now. Still have two more, and I'll probably try again at a higher temp to see if that astringency evens out.

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Photo of BeerZack
3.04/5  rDev -19.6%
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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Photo of BEERchitect
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
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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Photo of jjanega08
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A=pours a total black out color with a small head that's about a finger high and lasts just long enough to enjoy with it falling into a thin attractive looking coat on top of the beer. No lacing is there.
S= like a weird fruity stout. A little apple in it and a lotta sweet chocolaty malt. Somewhat yeasty and odd.
T= lots of chocolate and coffee up front very thick. Some spicy fruityness coming from the belgian yeast. Lots of roasty goodness as well.
M= thick as hell and really coating.
D= pretty good beer. Not the greatest but still pretty good. I'm happy I got to try it.

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Photo of Dodt
3.27/5  rDev -13.5%
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 hockeynut
3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
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 stakem
3.32/5  rDev -12.2%
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 irishking1977
3.32/5  rDev -12.2%
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 dpodratsky3
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from Night of the Living Dead variety pack poured into pint glass

A: Almost black, doesn't let any light through, brown head that starts at a modest size and settles to a covering that lingers indefinitely

S: Roasted malt, although mainly the roasted note comes through, has a kind of spicy note as well something a little different, but interesting

T: Dark roasted malts, pretty much burnt, has a smokey flavor too that reminds me of that spicy aroma I got, that's really the only flavor I'm getting from this, not much flavor just a kind of burnt note almost like over-roasted coffee, a bitter/sourness almost

M: A redeeming quality along with the appearance, refreshing up front carbonation, but still fades to that over-roasted finish

D: Like the mouthfeel it starts good, but a lingering smokey/roasted/burnt note makes it difficult to drink

Notes: Interesting, and I wouldn't have expected anything less from Magic Hat and their Odd Notion. However, it is only that, a kind of novelty to me. Super roasted and burnt flavor dominate. It doesn't really remind me of a belgium in any way though.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
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 chickencoop
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Excited to have this, picked it up at a Whole Foods in a sample pack. Not my favorite as a whole, or comparing to their other beers, but based on other beers in this style it is solid. It's smoky, dark and smooth. Complex flavors in the mouthfeel onto the finish. This isn't the most drinkable beer, based on how heavy and rich it is, it's like eating one of those massive slices of chocolate cake at Cheesecake Factory, but the first few bites and sips are worth it.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
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 Monkeyknife
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
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 mikesgroove
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
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 billybob
3.59/5  rDev -5%
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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Photo of TexIndy
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
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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Photo of craftaholic
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a completely opaque black that nothing can fight through. Has just a very light creamy tan lacing and not much of a head at all.

Smell: Has a very complex aroma with the scent of dried plums from which a roasted malt profile arises. Past the malt lies a very bittersweet dark cocoa as well as accents of arabica beans.

Taste: The flavor of big roasted malt rumbles past your palate like a robust java. Has a sharp acidity that is matched by the deep dark chocolate. Belgian yeast isn't extremely prevalent but what is, is phenolic alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth as a baby's bottom as they say and warm from the alcohol which is perfect for the autumnal season. Leaves a dry and almost burnt aftertaste.

Drinkability: Sits more as a sipper than a sessioner, nothing unbalanced but enjoyable. Flavorwise it drinks like a nice iced coffee, astringent yet flavorful. The abv isn't high but you feel every last percent from this one.

Overall: Quite unique and is a surprise from the brewers in vt. Robust and smoky which makes it perfect for a nice chilly eve. Has me reminiscent of a nice cigar.

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Photo of billzee
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
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 capra12
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
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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Photo of DrDemento456
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
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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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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