The 25th of December marked the beginning of the end of another year, and a perfect day to have a couple of beers while visiting family and friends. On this Christmas ,the choice of brews was Magic Hat's winter seasonal Howl and the Odd Notion Series' Winter 09. The two beers bring two completely different types of styles and tastes to the table so first we will look at the Howl. The first thing that comes to mind when you see the beer is how funky the label looks (this is true for all Magic Hat beers). After you get past the eye popping label and get down to drinking the dark brew, you get the typical tastes expected when drinking a winter lager with a few exceptions. First of all the beer has a pretty average ABV of 4.6%. As I said before, the taste of the beer is in line with other winter brews but with a few exceptions. In my opinion these exceptions make the beer much better than other heavy winter beers. While there is nice subtle chocolate taste the beer does not sit too heavy in your stomach. I feel like this is a nice beer that would be great to have late night while eating some desert, maybe replacing coffee for a few of us.
The second winter beer of Magic Hat that I had was one of the Odd Notion Series, Winter 09. Magic Hat puts out a new Odd Notion beer for each season every year and this year for the Winter 09 beer they decided to make it a sour beer. Now this was the first sour beer that I have ever had and the experience was not a good one for me. The first couple of sips of the beer caught my attention and I thought that I might enjoy it but by the time the beer was gone I decided that this was not a favorie of mine. There are subtle tastes of fruit in the beer (mostly lemon) but the beer is really kind of sour and leaves a not so pleasant aftertaste that lingers for a while. While this is completely different from any of the winter beers that we have seen so far, in my opinion, it is not a welcome change.
Magic Hat Howl
Overall Score - 7.0
Magic Hat Odd Notion Winter 09
Overall Score - 4.5
Keep posted because there are some micro brews on the horizon.