Odd Notion - American Sour Ale (Winter 2009) | Magic Hat Brewing Company

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Odd Notion - American Sour Ale (Winter 2009)Odd Notion - American Sour Ale (Winter 2009)
Odd Notion - American Sour Ale (Winter 2009)Odd Notion - American Sour Ale (Winter 2009)

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 110 | Ratings: 137
2.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sits in the glass looking like an amber ale with a deep hazy amber colored body. It is about the color of apple butter. Head is a solid inch of very light tan head that fades in minutes and leaves a solid wall of lace. Nose is slightly fruity with lots of candy like sweetness and some yeasty tones. With first sip you get a moderate tartness up front but this quickly fades to a body of thin crispness that is far more hollow feel then I was hoping for. The flavor profile stretches to find yeasty fruit esters. It is a weak palate overall. A bit flat and thin on the mouthfeel. This beer is drinkable but quite boring.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains dark fruit, Belgian yeast, some spices and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with some sweet flavors of caramel, dark fruit and spices. Then some breadiness comes in from a hearty malt character and some Belgian yeast followed by a little sourness. The hops presence is mild but creates some balance. The after-taste slightly tart and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, very mild kick, decent representation of style, it’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be, but there isn’t much that’s too good about it either.

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.26/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

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.

a murky brown pour yields a semi pour head of off white that barely sticks to the glass long enough to produce any lacing with a light ruby color around the edges of the glass. aroma is sour but not in a good way, light wet hay that was peed on, just off in every aspect, malts that seem moldy and brown sugar? not a good mixture, the flavor was even worse with just a wrong overall profile that did not work in any manner at all. a drain pour for me.

overall i am not sure what this is supposed to be but it was not good.

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Photo of Thorpe429
1.24/5  rDev -59.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Reviewed from notes.

Why, why, why would you do this to anyone? This is a terrible, terrible beer. Just absolutely disgusting and I cannot understand why this would be released to the public. The color is an inoffensive brownish color with no head--likely because of the demons that lurk inside. Small is totally acetic and tastes like a beer that has been left out for days and days. In fact, I have a really apt description--this smells exactly like our kegerator's drip tray when I get lazy and don't change it for a few days. I imagine the taste is along the same lines, but I don't want to subject myself to that.

They got the sour thing; maybe I should give them half a point somewhere for that? Likely not, as I think the tactic on this was just leaving the beer out and then bottling it. This is really acetic with a hefty dose of cardboard. Overall, just an epic fail. Please don't try this again.

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Photo of jlandis
1.89/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

A - Murky brown in color with thin white head that slowly fades.

S - A medicinal malt aroma that has twinges of sweetness that are not very inviting.

T - After doing some reading I noticed that Magic Hat used acidulated malt, and there are no bugs in this one. Nothing that really makes it an American wild ale. Sour yes, wild no. There is a bit of a mouth puckering sour mixed with tainted moth balls. This is terrible.

M - High carbonation with a thin body.

I'm sorry, but I can't keep drinking this one. I think I'm going to die from tainted moth balls.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
1.98/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A-Hazy amber with a smaller head.

S-Has that Magic Hat scent. Sickly sweet. Not appealing.

T-Ew. They just puked into a bottle and called it a wild ale. Not a fan. Really sweet. Tangy bile like taste.

M-Medium bodied.

D-Not for me thanks. Had to really get focused in order to slurp this back.

Bad Notion

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sprecher nonic. 4.5% ABV, Best By F '10 notched on label.

A - Odd Notion Winter '09 pours a clear brown color with a quickly forming off-white head. The near three-finger head was poorly retained and quickly dropped to a sudsy layer of thin bubbles. Tiny specks of lace were left behind.

S - Sweet caramel and toasted amber malts erupt from the beer. It's very sweet initially. A small tart astringency barely comes through in the back end to clear it up a bit. Very low level of floral hops. Not very mild.

T - The malts almost make it borderline sour brown. Toasted amber malts and caramel once again but that is overpowered, this time by a slightly astringent, sour finish that lacks a good "wild" funk. Definitely could be the age though as it is a lower ABV.

M - Medium-light bodied and smooth with a slight carbonation tickle to the swallow. Dry and sour astringency finishes it out.

D - It probably would have been a little bit better fresh but I can't see it changing all that much from the standpoint that it was in a cooler the whole time. It's not bad for a mild wild ale, it's probably just overshadowed by the saturation of good beers in this now-popular style.

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Photo of larryi86
3.9/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle dated 2/2010 poured into a pint glass

A- A nice red color with a three finger head the goes away quickly. When the head goes away it looks almost like soda.

S- A brunt caramel/toffee smell with a hint of grapefruit.

T- Different but good. The grapefruit taste is big up front, very sour, and finishes with the brunt caramel/toffee with a hint of bitter hops. Very smooth

M- Tons of carbonation and a little light.

D- This is just a really different funky beer that is very easy to drink and leaves you wanting more.

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Photo of merlin48
3.43/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to mntlover. Pours a hazy brown body with a small beige head that leaves some wispy lace.

Aroma is very subtle. Hints of toffee and sour green apples.

Light medium body with below average carbonation. Feels a bit thin.

Taste is sour Granny Smith apples with a hint of toffee. Kind of funky, for sure, but hard to identify any Brett. Tart and sour into the finish.

Very drinkable, very strange. I liked it but it's difficult to review in that it's so different from any wild or sour ales I've ever tried.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.73/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have seen a few people criticize this beer for being 'average'. I personally was very excited when I heard MH was making a Wild ale. Whats even better is that it is in a 12 pack. Can anybody else fill me in where I can buy Wild Ales in a Twelve pack? Please, let me know because I will be alll over it.

Pours a copper penny amber with a respectable tan head at 4.5% abv.
Smell of light brett, biscuity flavors similar to #9, some pale malts, and a bit of caramel. A light aroma.

Taste of slightly bitter lemony sour, there is a minor hop presence, but just barely noticeable, possibly aged fuggle. Taste is light bodied , just the right amount of carbonation , and very drinkable. Extremely sour? No, but I would buy this in 6 packs if it were available at the same price point as other MH 6'rs and would stock up on it. This has been aging for about 4 months and has gotten slightly more sour IMO, I would definitely get more of these were they to come in six packs.

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Photo of mntlover
3.45/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a brown with amber hints foamy cream colored head that falls and leaves some sparse lace.

Aroma is malty, with good fruit notes doesn't really smell tart like it is. Molasses and sugary hints.

Taste is well different then most winter seasonal's. Starts out malty then turns flanderish if thats a word, more like a flanders ale then wild eh who knows. Malt is nice dry vinegary flavors at end are little strange.

Mouthfeel is medium and dry carbonation is nice and mellow.

Drinkability is not great not what i was expecting really.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A gift from an unlikely friend.

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a large flute glass. A hazy bland brown with a bit of murk to it. Half way through, what the hell, pour the yeast into it.

Smell: Smells of vinegar lightly, also some quite out of place chocolate malt.

Taste: Tart and roasted with a lingering acidity. A little earthy, chalky due to the yeast. Kind of like grapefruit juice. This is a weird brew. Sour Light? Roastedness, nutty, funk, acid. Sounds like a 70's frat party. Tastes like one too.

Mouthfeel: Sprizty carbonation, light bodied enough. Lingering bitterness.

Drinkability: One weird brew. Sour and tart. Light and even a bit quenching. Interesting stuff, but drinking more than one would be odd.

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Photo of dpodratsky3
3.2/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Rich brown color with noticeable amber hues, cloudy, head reduces somewhat quick, off white and around .5 finger

S: Crisp clean malt flavors, with some unique hops, also a big sweet fruit presence

T: Pretty thin flavor, dominated by a sweet/tartness, cherries, but not quite as sweet, kind of like a combination of Wacko and #9

M: Tart, but not real dry, a tad less than medium in body

D: Ok, easy to drink but a little less than I was expecting

Notes: Magic Hat can make consistently better than average beers. However some of their fruity creations just don't sit that well with me. This beer is still not a bad beer, but for a wild ale, it is definitely very average.

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Photo of Avagadro
1.98/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: hazy and amber in the glass, this beer pours with a thin head with a bit of lacing.

S: aroma is really faint, with just a touch of chocolate.

T: what were they trying to do? Semi-sweet body is marked by roasted malts and just a touch of funk. I'm really not impressed with this one.

M: medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D: sorry magic hat, this was just not good.

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Photo of Zekezilla
2.81/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought this one bottle on a whim because I've been enjoying the Spring odd notion this year. Glad I only bought one because this is just not an enjoyable beer. Too thin and too tart. Not sure what they were going for but this is an all around "miss" in my book.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour looks like a dirty light colored brown ale or amber ale. Sort of hard to pick a color really, a bit cloudy in appearance. Rather thin head.

Aroma is sour malt, earthy, old broccoli, dirt and cherries.

Tastes sort of sour but almost like that was a mistake. I also get a milky and caramel sort of aftertaste after each sip. This beer confuses and angers me. Its like an AB version of a sour ale. No real depth just a little something on the surface for the folks that like to dabble from time to time without any real knowledge of what they're drinking.

Overall, I am less than impressed. I am not sure what the layman's approach to this beer is and how it was received by those who got in a mixed pack and don't know much about sour beers. I am going to guess that they assumed this was bad beer and poured it out. Sigh.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.61/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Darkest ferric oxide orange that is almost reddish enough to be considered russet. A thick slice of pale caramel colored foam looks pretty good atop the beer. It's fluffy, but is also sticky enough to lay down a chain-like necklace of sudsy lace... which doesn't last.

The nose is... odd. And not in a good way. It lacks power and definition and doesn't seem to belong to any one style. CaraMunich and chocolate malts give the beer a slight brown ale vibe, but that's really grasping. Neither Columbus hops nor yeast add anything of note.

Odd Notion (Winter 09) is not a wild ale. The brewery calls it an American sour ale due to the use of acidulated malt. It that all it takes? Really? Sorry, but this is bug-free beer. No Pediococcus, no Lactobacillus, and definitely no Brettanomyces. Just English ale yeast.

Magic Hat is famous (or infamous, your call) for brewing outside the box. That's an okay philosophy and sometimes results in amazing beer. Not this time. At least they could have kept the box off to the side rather than crushing and then burning it. Seriously, this stuff makes no sense whatsoever on the palate.

Odd Notion (Winter 09) tastes like a slightly sour, slighty earthy, seriously watered-down brown ale. It also has a strange, vegetal-like surge once the other flavors have faded. There's simply nothing here to keep one interested beyond the first mouthful. I keep hoping the second six ounces will be an improvement. They aren't.

The mouthfeel is average (at best). It's thin, approaches watery on the finish and is acceptably carbonated. The bubbles started out a bit sharpish and have now faded considerably.

Oddness can sometimes be a good thing if one finds a way to combine familiar elements into something new and different and interesting. Oddness for oddness's sake usually misses the boat... which brings us to Odd Notion (Winter 09). Magic Hat continues to march to the beat of a different drummer.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
2.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass.

Pours clear dark copper, too clear really, with a fluffy light khaki head on top that lasts nicely in the form of a dense, half-inch cap. Lots and lots of effervescent bubble streams, highlighting how crystal clear this beer is.

Nose has lightly zesty lemon tartness, bit of a graham cracker sweetness underneath, with just a bit of light barnyard funk to disrupt the lemon-meringue pie sensation. Restrained.

Taste is... well, disappointing. Bit of dry, tart funk up front, but paired with a rather sharp bitterness, almost metallic. Malt comes through the odd tart haze, again with a muffled graham cracker character wrapped in the lightly bitter tartness. No real definition to the "wild" character at all. None of the vibrancy of even above average wild ales. Disappointing.

Mouthfeel is sharply carbonated, medium-thin in body, lingering bitterness.

Drinkability is pretty disappointing. The odd bitterness paired with the tartness just doesn't work, not to mention how one-dimensional and industrial the tartness is.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A mix of ruddy brown and copper greet my eyes. Not much in teh way of head or residual foam .

The aroma is barely toasted granny smith apples and a little vinegar in a barnyard.

The taste starts with toased bread then some tart granny smith apples get chopped and put on top of that toasted bread. The middle definetly has a tart pant from the wild yeast. But mellows out nicely on the finish, for a smooth close.

This tastes like a mildly sour English pale ale. Interesting, but nothing very special.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.98/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of a winter mix 12 pack.
Aroma holds an interesting mix of malt, sourness and a dusty, almost musty
Pours with a dense tan head that takes some time to settle. Quite clear, amber with brown and reddish hue. Looks nice. Some lacing.
Mild tartness with a touch of sourness. Mild malt flavor. Some dryness.
Nice light body with some prickliness to the bubbles that enhances the tartness and overall flavor.
I like this beer. The light body and low alcohol makes it easy to drink and it can be a bit of a thirst quencher.

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Photo of tjd112
3.57/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this into a Sam Smith nonic. The appearance is primo; red-mahogany body, finger off-white head with decent lacing. Smell and taste are both reminiscent of a dry red wine with a little bit of tart cherries mixed in. The mouthfeel is medium to heavy with decent carbonation and this is a drinkable beer. A solid introduction into the world of wild ales.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
2.96/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Odd Notion indeed. Winter 09. 1 week after the 'best by' date, I think I'll be OK.

A- Ruby/caramel, aggressive pour but little to no head on this one. Lighter in color than expected, looks almost flat too.

S- Cherries, watermelon, and honeydew. Very fruity. Mild jolly rancher-esque.

T- I can't quite wrap my head around this. Tasty, but muted. You could tell someone who isn't into craft that this is a fruit punch beer and they'd drink a ton of it no problem. A very very low tartness comes through and works well with the sweetness, that while prominent isn't really too powerful. It's almost a lack of anything else that brings the fruit front and center.

M- More carbonation than I first thought, a bit prickly, works well.

D- Not something I'd seek out. Interesting, but could have the potential to be a lot more. I'd like to see them double down on this beer and maybe make something a bit more memorable.

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Photo of Pencible
3.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This poured a dark, cloudy gold with some light tan head. It smelled like sour cherry and bready yeast, with some rusty copper. It tasted like sour cherry and pomegranate, with bready yeast and burnt barley and rusty copper. It was slightly thick with mild carbonation, and had a dirty aftertaste. Overall this was more interesting than the other Magic Hat beers I've had, but it still wasn't very good. (I don't know how this brewery is still in business - I haven't truly enjoyed a single one of their beers.) This one had some decent wild ale elements that were shrouded in poor brewing technique that muddied the scent and taste. Unimpressive and not easy to finish the bottle.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.2/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

magic hat odd notion winter '09

Lightly hazed, dulled red. Small, whitish head.

Vegetal aroma, a little funky, but not terribly wild.

Tasting it, caramel apple sweet at first, then sour, then...???
Odd is right. This almost feels like a middle-of-the--road Flemish Red. One that tried and couldn't quite make it. Nothing terribly wrong with it, but nothing exactly right, either. Flashes of weird sour, funk, and then, yeah, ...um, where were we? Were we going somewhere with this? No? What? Whatever.

Reminds me of another notion...got a foggy notion, in my brain...this ain't bad, it just ain't special, and I wish there was something else going on inside to grab me, something from hops, or yeast, or malt, something...

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Photo of DrDoitchbig
3.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: When set on the table the beer appears to be a partially opaque chocolate brown with some ruby red tinges showing through. But when it's held to the light it turns to an amber color not unlike that commonly seen in an IPA. The off-white head starts off at an uninspiring one finger and quickly fades before I can properly introduce myself to it.

Smell: Dominated by sweet caramel and toffee malts with some tart lemon in the background. It's much sweeter than I expected.

Taste: The lemon like citrus flavors slide into the forefront. This beer is really more tart than it is sour. The sweet malts are still here but are mostly overshadowed by the tart lemon. Along with this there is also an strange, almost tea like bitterness floating around. It's strange, but I kind of like it.

Mouthfeel: The body on this is pretty thin and watery. Carbonation is at a good level, but damn I can't get over the body.

Drinkability: As I said a moment ago this is definitely a strange beer. I enjoyed the experience, but I don't think I'll be repeating it. The whole lemon and tea vibe was just a little too 'Odd'.

This was my first brew from Magic Hat and also my first American Wild Ale. This doesn't really deter or encourage exploration of Magic Hat's line-up. I think I will probably just continue to feel indifferent about their offerings. As for American Wild Ales, from everything I've read and heard I don't believe this is a proper example and I do want to try more beers in this style.

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Odd Notion - American Sour Ale (Winter 2009) from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.03 out of 5 with 137 ratings