As I sit here on a crisp autumnal Sunday afternoon flipping back-and-forth between the Red Sox and Patriots games Magic Hat Odd Notion Fall '09and munching on some homemade nachos, I decided to dive into the bottle of Magic Hat Odd Notion (Fall ’09) which was sent to me by the brewery a few days ago.

The Burlington, VT-based brewery describes their Fall ’09 Odd Notion as a,

Belgian Chocolate Stout… a fitting final nail in summer’s coffin. Five different malts and Belgian yeast possess each bottle, which combine to create a fiendishly complex and spicy character that heats bones and lights bonfires in the soul.

This was one absolutely interesting brew. Pours a dark, almost-jet black with a thin deep brown head which leaves some decent lacing. The beer looks more Russian Imperial than Belgian.

The mouthfeel was a little bit of a disappointment — the only disappointment in this beer — as it’s a pretty thin beer. Not a bad thing, really, just not what you would expect from a beer of this color. The beer feels more Belgian than Russian Imperial.

But the taste of this beer is outta this world. Lots of cocoa, roasted malts and dark, overly-ripe fruit (plum, for sure, and maybe some dates) like you would expect from a Belgian stout. But also some flavors you wouldn’t expect: a whole lot of smoked earthiness (it’s almost like someone slipped a little rauchbier into each keg) and a decent amount of a spiced, sorta-peppery kick. Not something I expected at all but it plays very nicely with the more traditional stout flavors. The Magic Hat Fall ’09 Odd Notion is absolutely one of the most interesting stouts I have had in a while; it paired quite well with the peanut butter cups I washed the nachos down with (I know, I’m a fatty). The beer seems to be getting plenty of BeerAdvocate love, as well.

Unfortunately (like all of the Magic Hat Odd Notion series), this brew is only available in the Magic Hat seasonal variety 12-pack (in this case the Night of the Living Dead variety pack). But if you’re going to go for any of the Magic Hat mixed packs this is the one to buy, as it also features the Magic Hat Roxy Rolles; my favorite of Magic Hat’s all-the-time beers. Enjoy!

Note: If you represent a brewery and are reading this and would like your beer reviewed on, please contact me for more info. Thanks!


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