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 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 Gambrinus1184
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Saranac pint glass.

A: Poured a very dark ruby brown color which bordered on straight black with a frothy head of tan foam which settled quickly into a coffee ring of lace.

S: Smells of coal and a deep roasted malt blend with some light, grassy herbal notes.

T: Flavor is sweet, slightly milky and bitter at first, with a big roasted malt flavor which gives off cocoa, weak coffee, smoke and burnt toast flavors. Some deeper sips throw a little blackberry and plum in the flavor profile, which turns a little zesty with Belgian yeast and sugary spiced flavors. Finish is very clean with a lingering bitterness.

M: Mouthfeel is thinner than what I'd expected, but the flavor cloys a bit and it had a slightly oily slick texture as well.

D: At 6.2% ABV and with a roasted, slightly strange flavor makeup as this ale has, I could have one post dinner and then one some other time during the day. No sessions or consecutive bottles though.

This Odd Notion bordered on a smoked porter/Russian stout side for me. It went as well as an early afternoon pick-me-up as it did with my cake for dessert. I wouldn't mind seeing this one refined a bit and bottled as a rotating bomber. Oh wait, does Magic Hat even do that anymore?

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Photo of thekevlarkid
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a bottle that my lovely friend Ashley procured for me this beer was an impressive, opaque black color just as it should be for the style. The head was one finger of tan bubbles that retained itself fairly well and left streaks of lacing. The aroma was of chocolate, dark malt, molasses and some Belgian yeast spiciness. The flavors were good; better pronounced than a lot of their product line. I tasted dark fruits esp. dried figs and raisins, some dark chocolate, coffee and the phenols from the Belgian yeast. The mouthfeel was good, the body full and the carbonation on point. A good example of the style and an above average beer both in general and for the company. Getit.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
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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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 GregSVT
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this in a mixed 12 pack sampler. Poured into a Rahr pint glass.

A: Pours a pitch black with a dark tan head that fades to almost nothing with pretty good lacing. This looks like an Imperial Stout and that's what I thought it was at first.

S: Smells like a mix between a RIS and a Belgian ale, lots of dark ripe fruit and roasted malt aromas with a bit of alcohol.

T: Taste is wonderful and mirrors the smell. Dark fruits, roasted malt, dark chocolate, and that Belgian twinge.

M: Mouthfeel is where this loses points. Very thin but good carbonation. After seeing the way it poured I was hoping this would be closer to a RIS in mouthfeel but it's not even close.

D: This is very good and I could drink this a lot. The low ABV makes the drinkability much better than an Imperial Stout/Porter. Easily the best beer in the 12 pack and I would buy more if I could get it on it's own.

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Photo of thirtysixbelow
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - dark opaque color with a creamy dark tan head, excellent retention of a nice thin layer of head

s - chocolaty and roasted, almost oak like, with noticeable alcohol

t - heavy alcohol and phenolic presence, nice roasted profile, slight dark ripe fruit tartness

m - full and smooth

d - surprising brew for magic hat. very good and something worth trying. it's a shame it's only a one time thing, but not the end of the world if i never get to try it again.

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Photo of Kadonny
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was labeled as an Odd Notion at TJs in Paoli. Poured into a tulip tasting glass.

A: A dark black color with a two finger fluffy light brown head. Nice full glass lacing.

S: Dark chocolates and roasted coffee smells with some faint sweet malt and a touch of hops.

T: The dark chocolate comes forth very quickly to take over the flavor. This is followed by a roasted coffee flavor with a yeasty tang. The malt sweetness is very subtle and holds the beer together, but doesn't really jump at you. Finish is slightly bitter with hops and the yeasty flavor returns. Creamy smooth to finish it out. This does not have an overpowering Belgian yeast flavor, just a nice subtle one that works very well.

M: Medium, actually just a tad bit thin. No alcohol tasted at all.

D: High, this was very enjoyable and it's drinkable with the lower abv.

Overall a solid beer. The Belgian characteristics are subtle and make the beer very drinkable and enjoyable. Nice beer Magic Hat, keep making it please and I will drink it.

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Photo of kevinjosephlee
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark with a two finger, cappuccino-colored head that quickly dissipates to a foamy ring around the beer. Low retention, no lacing; longer retention is typical for this style.

S: Maltiness present, alcohol detectable; dark roastiness which is not typical for this type of beer. Some spicy phenolics, peppery. Fruity esters moderate to low.

T: Campfire notes come through in these extra-toasty grains. Spicy phenolics, peppery here, too. A certain sweetness.

M: Some carbonation, smooth with little alcohol warmth. Leaves a light bitter dryness in the back of the mouth.

D: I have never had a beer this toasted and smoky. Its uniqueness has me wanting more. No overbearing or unbalanced flavors. Drinkable.

Overall: A little more alcohol warmth would have rounded out the flavor and made it. The after berth reminiscent of smoking a cigar

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Photo of dsa7783
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Single, twelve-ounce copped from Joe Canal's in Lawrenceville...
"Fall '09" on the logo sticker along with a decorative skeleton...
Sweet, pungent, dark malt aroma with hints of chocolate raspberries...
Pours a deep, dark, mocha hue with a slight head and minimal lacing that gradually dissipated...
Heavy on the aroma and flavor with hints of dark fruits, dehydrated figs, prunes, and cappuccino... Interesting stuff from Magic Hat and certainly not a horrible rendition of the style...

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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 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 morimech
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Odd Notion is an odd beer. A very dark color with a small head that fades to a collar of bubbles. Very little lace is left on the glass. The aroma is a combination of dark or over-ripen fruit and roasted malt. A unique combination of Belgian yeast and English malt. The flavor is also a collaboration of styles. Starts with fruity fones but then it switches to roasted, almost burnt tasting malt. Hints of smoke and chocolate as well. The body is not as full as I would like in order to better compliment the flavors. The carbonation is nice. The combination of flavors is something I enjoyed but it might not be for everyone. Definately worth a try at least once.

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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 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 BeerSox
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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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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 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 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 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 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 FrothyBeverage
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What an odd notion indeed. This beer has a super oil black apperance. Looks almost intimidating. Rich dark mocha foam with steam stack bubbles of industry. Awesome artwork on bottle. The smell is somewhat faint. I detect some sourdough and yeast, with some roasted tones. Very rich taste of coco and chocolate. Well roasted flavor but creamy at the same time. Very robust flavor. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, very pleasant. This beer is highly drinkable and one word to describe it would be robust.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In my opinion, this is not a belgian strong dark ale. The site has it wrong this is a porter/stout and I am reviewing it according to those guidelines.

Appears very dark engine oil with a brown head.

Smell is of faint chocolate, moderate espresso.

The flavor follows the nose with a robust roasted flavor, also some green hops are in there too adding moderate bitterness. Coffee notes are also there,just a hint of smoke.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and well carbonated.

A solid brew overall, would love to see something like this available year round. Good stuff.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark black with a mocha head

Smells chocolate malty and some fruit

Taste hit me with some fruitiness at first, then chocolate malt, followed up by some black patent malt. Not overpowering in any one sense, possibly a bit heavy on the black patent, but still very drinkable.

Mouthfeel was nice, not too light but not extremely heavy. Reminded me of a baltic porter, one of my favorite styles, which was why I was ready to test this one out even though I had to purchase more circus boy - not sure why they keep throwing this one in every variety pack, but hey, cant complain too loudly. Just wish I could get a six pack of Odd Notion Fall 09 without going for 12 beers, 3 of which are Odd notion. Hopefully this one makes it for another seasonal?? Would love to see a dark beer stick around for Magic Hatters....

Maybe I will have to head up to the brewery to find out

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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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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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