Magic Hat is one of those breweries that I tend to ignore for some reason. I guess its because they seems to be very easy to find (at least here in the NorthEast) so I figure I can try their beers anytime without problems. Looking back, I think we’ve only reviewed one of their beers here at The Brew Club – and that was their 2008 Summer Beer called Hocus Pocus.
Well, fast forward two years to Summer 2010 and we’re going to review the Magic Hat Odd Notion Summer 2010. Yep. that’s what its called. Magic Hat has this “Odd Notion” series of beers that they put out only once per season. From what I can tell, the Odd Notion series is a beer lab of sorts for their brewers to concoct oddball recipes and see if they are a hit or not. I think its a good idea, don’t you? I’m also pretty sure these Odd Notion beers are only available as part of their variety packs and not as stand-alone products.
The Odd Notion Summer 2010 is a 5.5% ABV Golden Ale with ginger. Before I did any research on the beer, I thought it loosely reminded me of some Belgian Golden Ales like Duvel in its look, aroma and taste.
As I mentioned, it does appear to be a golden color. Its a bit hazy with little particles floating about in the mix and the head that it creates is rather meek. Its a nice foamy affair, but it rapidly dissipates and in addition there is no lacing.
The aroma is dominated by spicy tones, and the fact that I know there is ginger in it makes it easy to pinpoint! If I didn’t know it was ginger, I might guess that this was a nice spicy beer – something nice and peppery like coriander. There’s also a recognizable yeast aroma reminiscent of Belgian ales and its definitely on the malty side. I guess the point is that the beer does not smell like ginger-ale or ginger-beer (if you’ve ever tried that) but a spiciness does come out.
The taste is surprisingly similar. Spicy tasting indeed, and you can certainly tell that it is ginger in the taste. I don’ t think the ginger is over-done here either. You won’t be confusing this with ginger-ale! I think the ginger comes through most prominently in the after-taste, if you give it a minute between sips, there is a nice warm spicy flavor that lingers on the tongue. Other flavors I noticed were mild citrus of orange and perhaps they do have other spices in there like coriander – I don’t think its just ginger.
Odd Notion Summer 2010 felt nice – I’d say it had a medium body to it and with fairly low carbonation it was an easy drinker for me. This is a first for me, and I can see this beer being a nice treat for summer. That said, I’m not sure I’d miss it if it didn’t make the full-time Magic Hat line up but I’m glad I gave it a try. Oddly enough, I think this would also make a decent Winter Seasonal beer.
I’m going with a solid 2.5 stars here. Not bad, but not great.
What do you think of Magic Hat beers? Any favorites? What do you think of their Odd Notion series? Good idea to test new beers or just silly?