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)
137 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 137 |  Reviews: 110
Reviews by cdizinno:
Photo of cdizinno
1.8/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

A: Odd color. Reddish, plum color with no head.

S: Sweet malty, some fruit. Maybe plum or prunes?

T&M: Tart berry fruit flavor, but not good. I love fruit flavored beers when done well, but this stuff is thin and rough. Like a cheap clear malt beveraqge with flavoring. More bitterness than sweet.

I wish Magic Hat would stick to stuff they do well. The Spring and/or Summer Odd Notion was pretty good, but their specialty brews are so inconsistent. This Odd Notion series is only available in 'sampler packs' around here, which forces one to drink half of their trashy beers for a couple of good ones. That is if you do like their 'once in a blue moon' accidentally decent concoctions.

This one is almost as bad as the "Wacko", beet beer they came up with last year.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

Tawny haze topped with a meringue-like head. Tart nose of lemon zest, taffy and vague berries. Lacks crispness and smoothness yet makes up for it with a creamy slick medium body. Tart, sure ... but it peaks quite low which lets the maltiness come through and compliment and contrast at the same time. A little biscuity while the tartness holds on. Semi-dry finish.

A big dog on a short leash, the guttural growl is impressive compared to the bite. A safe tart beer among the uber beer geeks though way outside of the box for the rest of the world ... get a wine drinker to try this one, who know. Glad I tried this.

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Photo of merlin48
3.43/5  rDev +15.1%
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 Mora2000
3.08/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a brown color with almost no head. I usually expect a strong aroma from wild ales, but this beer has only a faint malty and slightly funky aroma. The taste is slightly tart, with cherry being the predominant fruit flavor. I also get a little vinegar in the taste. This beer is fairly drinkable, but there is not too much wild character to the beer. Compared to other American Wild Beers this beer falls well short. Still not a bad beer, but not what I am looking for in this style of beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +42.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly clouded mahogany brown with ruby highlights when held toward the light. Head is thin poured beautifully into my Liefmans chalice nice and open allows the tart characteristics to flow for me. Lacing is even but fine speckled. Aromatics are tame but evidently sour with ripe fruits lying underneath the tart candy sweetness. Vinous, cherries with the skin, and apricot notes come around in the smell. I bit of oak and barrel like notes intermingling. Refreshingly tart with a clean watery oak finish. Upfront cider notes with cherries and other more citrus oriented fruits hit with a quick one two punch finished with a watery oak K.O. Mouthfeel is light and fleeting with airy carbonation bittering and souring effects are left on the palate from the oak chips added not much vanilla going on but it's there in the background. Drinkability overall this is a nice welcome mass produced American Wild ale that I will definitely drink again when offered one. Most beer drinkers won't get this one but I definitely do, strange brew for folks like us hats off to Magic Hat.

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Photo of glid02
2.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a clear brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of almost nothing. After letting it warm for a bit hints of caramel malts waft out along with mild tart fruits.

Tastes much stronger than the smell would indicate however that's not necessarily a good thing. Lightly toasted caramel malt flavors are overtaken almost immediately by vinegar and nondescript tart fruit flavors. Nothing works together and I would be very interested to know how this beer came together to be this distinct. Ending is muddled and leaves hints of tart fruits on the palate.

Mouthfeel is alright. It's got a decent thickness but the carbonation is on the heavy side.

Drinkability is not good at all. I didn't come close to finishing the bottle.

Overall this may be my least favorite MH beer I've had. I keep hoping I'll be pleasantly surprised by them a la Roxy Rolles or that they'll sneak a great beer by whomever is in charge and bottle it as an Odd Notion however I'm beginning to think that's not going to happen. Avoid this beer.

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Photo of mtparty37
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of Metalmonk
2.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Looks great...the head is creamy and cratered in spots, while lace hangs on the glass in spots and splats. Color is the best aspect of this beer's looks--a hazy, deep, rich auburn that shows off rusty highlights.

Predominantly fruity nose, typical of just about all Magic Hat beers. A bit musty, possibly some anise creeping in, but it's faint. All in all pretty ho-hum and one-dimensional.

From a fruity nose to a sour/tart taste. I know the difference between sour and tart, this beer just happens to exhibit both elements. A chalky, candy-like tartness too, as in Sweet Tarts candies. Some lemon zest, and...um...not much else. No real depth. Not sure what they're going for here. Even as a sour ale, it can't possibly hold up to the best in its category. If it's supposed to be a wild ale, then whatever the yeast is supposed to be imparting, it's failing.

Decent medium body, a little heavy on the carbonation but round enough. Pretty slick, and a little puckering action makes this feel stickier than it is.

Magic Hat consistently offers cool label art, fun beer names, seasonal mixed packs, a wide variety of beer styles, even wacky quips under the bottle caps. Their beers don't always live up to all the trappings, and this is possibly the worst I've had by them. Go for their Lucky Kat, Jinx or Roxy Rolles instead.

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Photo of psujesus
2.85/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

not bad for my first wild ale i guess, good thing i got 3 of these from the winter pack, didnt quite like the first one

had a nice dark amber color to it when poured,didnt quite like the fruity/veggie taste to it the first couple times, again a fruity smell, decent amount of carbonation to it, just about the only part i really liked at first

i guess sours and wild ales aren't really my thing but other than that it was a decent beer

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Photo of avisong
2.75/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of Enriquehopnog
3.25/5  rDev +9.1%

Photo of KOPBeerDrinker
3.18/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. SWhort head formed after vigorous pour and quickly went away. Color is drak brown with reddish hue.

Smells of sour or tart fruit, similar to cranberry.

Tastes of sour fruit and some bready malt in the background.

Mouthfeel is medium with tingly carbonation. This beer has grown on my the more I drink it, but I don't think I would buy again.

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Photo of morimech
3.11/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dirty, hazy amber color with one inch of off-white head that had good retention. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass. The aroma gives away the sour aspect of this beer but otherwise it is very tame. Hints of apples and cherries along with some crystal malt. Just slightly sour flavor. Again this is a very tame sour beer. Has an almost artificial flavor. Typical Magic Hat mineral flavor. Thin body with fizzy carbonation. Feels right for this beer. I would not bother drinking this beer again. Unremarkable in just about every way.

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Photo of bum732
3.82/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky dark brown, decent head that dissipates to a ring around the glass. Smells of earthy spices, cinnamon, anise, oaky wood, some chocolate, some fruits, rasberries specifically. Tastes of sweet fruity malt, passion fruit and rasberries mostly, that leads to a lemon like sourness. Finishes quite smooth with some earthiness. Medium mouthfeel, decent carbonation.

A surprising beer, smells similar to #9 with the fruitiness. A very tame wild ale overall, very sessionable, as hard to believe as that is. Fairly one noted, but hey, what do you expect.

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Photo of tjd112
3.57/5  rDev +19.8%
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 fitzy84
3.08/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had from the holiday sample pack. Sort of dull amber look with little to no lacing or head. Aromas have a fruity sense with mixes of apricot, oranges, cranberry and cherry. Also, interesting mixes of toffee and butter could be sensed. Taste-wise was ok. A little watery with burnt, fruity flavors and a nice touch of vanilla. Again, the drink was a little watery but had a somewhat silky texture. Overall, not too bad.

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2.98/5  rDev 0%
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 scottg
3.28/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a growler of this American sour ale at the brewery and poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a dark granite-reddish color with a one finger off white head that average retention that leaves minimal spotty lacing. Sweet cherry and grainy malt aromas. Tart cherry flavor up front with a sweet malty middle of raisins and currants which return to the tart cherry and leaves a toasted grain aftertaste. Good carbonation up front with a slightly watered down body but a very nice dry finish. Advertised as a beer that will "steal your facebuds", nice GD reference, it's pretty tame. It's a fairly drinkable beer, more like an intro to sours than a great sour.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.25/5  rDev +9.1%
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 phrobi
3/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of u2carew
2.6/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz long neck. Consumed 01/03/10

A) Pours with a finger thick head then settles to a thin lacing on top and trace at the edge of the glass. Slight haze. Some upward carbonation. Amber in color.
S) Light malt aroma with a pungent earthy layer.
T) Citrus sour with a touch of caramel malt up front. Then the taste thins out leaving just a lemony sour and a nutty finish.
M) A bit of puckering. Thin and light body despite the dark color. Dry with a tannin feel in the finish.
D) The Odd Notion ongoing series is a usually hit or miss... this is a miss. Not a beer I will drink again.

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.26/5  rDev -24.2%
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 thekanna
2.16/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Cap says: "Participation makes a great Nation." Amen to that.

A: Dark ruddy brown with a large, foamy tan head.

S: Some roasted malts, faint spices and a general sourness. There is a anise-tinged sweetness also floating in the background.

T: Very sour, like yeasty leavened bread dough before it is baked, with faint sour apples and roasted malts.

M: Somewhat under-carbonated and watery, with a dry finish.

D: This is a little too strange for my taste (and I'm strange enough to be one of those guys who actually LIKES chile beer!); I feel like they were going for funky for the sake of being funky, but in the process lost sight of what it meant to make a good brew.

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Photo of buschbeer
2.46/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A vigorous pour into a pint glass yielded a couple of inches of light tan head. It is orange/brown in color. It has a sour smell to it. It reminds me of a hefeweizen that is bad. It also has sweet toffee malt smell. It has an off flavor compared to my past expiiences with this style. It is initially tart but gives way to a sweet malt finish that is very clean. This beer is not at all what I expect out of an AWA.


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Photo of DrDoitchbig
3.03/5  rDev +1.7%
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: 2.98 out of 5 with 137 ratings