Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Magic Hat "Odd Notion" - Spring 2009: Poppy Agave Pilsner

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (744) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 27, 2010
 I’ve never been a fan of the pilsner style of beer because, in my personal experience, they’ve tasted bland and boring. When I heard Magic Hat was issuing a pilsner for their Spring 2009 “Odd Notion,” I was a little discouraged. But then again, this Vermont-based microbrewery has put their eccentric spin on classic styles previously that I had enjoyed, so I had high hopes for Poppy Agave Pilsner. The result is a new slightly unusual, but enjoyable brew.


This beer poured smoothly to a clear, dark gold/amber body with light carbonation. The head was average-sized with a white, fizzy/foamy composition that left some lacing on the glass. The aroma was typical of a Magic Hat beer – strong and sweet, but not to the point of being overtly gimmicky.


What would a beer made with blue poppy seeds and organic agave syrup be like? I have no frame of reference for either flavor, so I was assuming it would be either a very spicy or sweet palate, but this Odd Notion beer was neither.

The overall palate is definitely complex with a distinct hop characteristic along with a bitter finish. A variety of spices are present here, although their intensity is rather mild. The generic grainy flavor is not entirely masked, either, but in Poppy Agave Pilsner this is easy to forgive. This beer is much more reminiscent of a very mild American pale ale, rather than a grainy European green bottle macro pilsner.


As is often the case of spiced beers, Poppy Agave Pilsner has a rather dry finish that leaves a doughy, almost chalky aftertaste. Still, the mouthfeel itself is mostly mild, although it does have a noticeable hop bite. Most likely, the average beer drinker will find it quite drinkable.


Weighing in at only 5% ABV, Magic Hat’s Odd Notion for spring 2009 is a beer that is even lighter than its statistics might imply. I drank two bottles in a row a barely felt a buzz at all. Combined with the fairly easy finish, this is a beer that lends itself to large consumption. I’m surprised it’s not a summer seasonal, instead.


I’m still not sure what part of Poppy Agave Pilsner’s palate was poppy and which was agave. But what I do know is this beer is quite different from most pilsners I’ve experienced. Now if only the makers of those other grainy pilsners could take a hint from Magic Hat. 
 Grade: 6/10

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