Magic Hat Brewing (and Theatrical) Company
South Burlington, VT



This time I’m working without notes (and have no idea that this was supposed to be an Irish Red Ale). I do know that this brewery puts out a series of brews called “odd notion.” This one is labeled spring ’08. The label also tells me that this is three quarters of a pint of beer 5% alcohol by volume and that I can find their website at . If I am to believe the coded notches on the label affixed to the back of this bottle, it should have been drunk in January of 08. For that oversight, I beg pardon of the brewery and the indulgence of those reading these tasting notes. As I taste this beer I will keep in mind that it is supposedly at least two months past its prime.



This brew is a dark red garnet colored beverage of medium carbonation topped by a glistening; very light sandy tan rocky head.



The first impression is of a very pleasant roasted grain aroma. The second impression includes hints of caramel and brown sugar, and finally, there is a very fresh ground grain aroma that finishes off.

Mouth feel:


There is a pleasant non-assertive mouth feel to this beer, neither heavy nor light.



The moment between sip and let promises neither hop, nor malt ascendance. Hops permeate most of the flavor of this beer. The undertones of soft, sweet malt are there only to support a rather aggressive hop profile. It takes at least two or three sips to be able to start to separate the sweetness and the hop flavor. In the beginning, the two flavors are rather seamlessly blended together. Only after a sip or two, as noted before, can you begin to be able to detect distinct flavors.



The finish of this beer also takes time to develop. It starts out with a rather grassy green that relaxes so that a more sweet, slightly tongue-coating malt flavor can develop. This slides away and leaves the final sensation of a very light and unfamiliar hop.



This is a beer that I would very much like to try on draft. However, I feel that on draft it might take on a few more characteristics. For example, the carbonation in a bottle is very much different than the carbonation of a draft beer. This makes bottled beers, slightly fizzier and slightly more “acidic.” However, on draft I might not ever be able to separate the flavors in this beer.

I can suggest this brew to accompany sliced raw onions and a slab of cheddar cheese, along with a half a tube of saltine crackers. In short, the famous gastronomic presentation to be found at the venerable old ale house in New York City called”McSorley’s.” A pint of Odd Notion Spring ’08 would be quite the complement to a “McSorley’s Cheese Plate.”

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