UPDATED: OCT 26, 2012
Summer beers are known for being light and crisp and often with a
citrusy taste. That’s an accurate description of Magic Hat’s “Odd
Notion” for Summer 2009 – Belgian Blonde. However, this beer has some
real gusto to it with a strong palate and a body to match.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
beer pours smoothly to form a clear golden body reminiscent of an
American lager. The head is average-sized and white and soapy but it
dissipates rather quickly and doesn’t lace the glass. The aroma more
than makes up for these things, though, as it is a very sweet
combination of light fruity scents and mild spice.
had no idea what to expect out of Belgian Blonde. I figured it would be
a slightly fruity but otherwise generic ale. However, I was pleasantly
surprised upon my initial taste to encounter such a vivid, complex
palate. Banana and clove are the most noticeable ingredients and are
very strong. Then the taste is balanced by a sweet lemony zest – which
is what most other summer ales tend to start with.
Magic Hat has
certainly put their unique spin on what is otherwise a pedestrian beer.
It’s best described as a hybrid of a summer ale and an American
hefeweizen. No other brewers would put this much spice in their beer,
but I’m glad they did since it has real flavor. And although there is a
lemon taste present, there is no tart citrus. Overall, the palate adds
up to a very sweet, malty taste that’s very refreshing.
Blonde is what a good summer beer should be – extremely soft and gentle
to the mouth and just as smooth going down. Since it has an IBU rating
of only 17 there is no bitterness here, although I would describe it as
slightly crisp. The average drinker should have no problem throwing back
a few of these.
As tasty and smooth as this
beer is, it doesn’t lend itself to drinking in large quantities since
it’s 5.9% ABV. This is surprisingly high for a summer seasonal and it
also has the sheer density to match. After drinking two bottles in a row
I could definitely tell, and although I could handle it, I was feeling
more than satisfied just a few swigs into my second helping.
part of me wants to rate Magic Hat Belgian Blonde even higher because
it’s so tasty, but another part of me wants to rate it lower because
it’s probably more gimmicky than genuine. Regardless, the fact is this
is definitely a good beer at the core and is quite refreshing as well –
and that’s what we all look for in a summer beer.