#9 - Magic Hat Brewing Company

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5,274 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,274
Reviews: 1,667
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 18.29%
Wants: 64
Gots: 891 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-09-1998

A beer cloaked in secrecy. An ale whose mysterious and unusual palate will swirl across your tongue and ask more questions than it answers. A sort of dry, crisp, refreshing, not-quite pale ale. #9 is really impossible to describe because there's never been anything else quite like it.

20 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,274 | Reviews: 1,667
Photo of ggaughan
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

#9 pours a nice bright orange color into my pint glass. The white head disappeared rather quickly on this one. The smell was a please fruit bouquet, apricot and maybe a bit of butterscoth. Yum. At just over 5% this beer is an easy drinker and I find a favorite while watching football. There is not much of a mouthful feel with this beer as the taste disappears from the mouth rather quickly but overall is still enjoyable.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the Capital Ale House. A "Steal the Glass" beer.

Mostly clear orangish-yellow in color. Thin, tight layer of dense foam. Scant lacing of the glass. Citrusy aroma of apricots. Light. Flavor is dry, with sweet bready malt mixed with a light fruit flavor. Thin, with fizzy mouthfeel. I really didn't care for this one that much.

Photo of arguemaniac
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Had this one on tap about six months ago, this review is therefore from notes. However, I’ve had the bottled version several on several occasions since and I can tell you that the recipe hasn’t changed nor are there any problems with brewing consistency…

Pours an orange amber color with lass than remarkable head retention. Apricots and sweet, fruity malt in the nose. The very malty palate includes flavors of grain and very distinct notes of apricot and pale malt. A somewhat thin mouthfeel with a mild carbonation tang.

Though my review might indicate otherwise, I really like this beer. It’s one of those craft beers that are truly accessible to the unrefined palate; this exceedingly drinkable beer features a tasty, fruity flavor that isn’t too strong or too weird. In fact, not only is it useful in converting those who exclusively drink swill beer, but it’s also something that can be appreciated by those who generally prefer foo-foo drinks! Anyway, while it’s certainly far from the best brew I drink these days, I always end up buying a six-pack of this here and there… and I always enjoy it. Highly recommended.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden honey color with a creamy head that is slightly yellow. Smells of cucumbers, dish soap, aluminum and a bit of butterscotch. Quite odd, but not entirely un-pleasant. There’s lots of butterscotch in the flavor with a tart sourness that is really ill paired. I’m guessing this is some sort of bizarre pale ale. Finishes very dry. This is definitely original. Mouth feel is Creamy and thick, but not too heavy. I’m not sure what to think about this beer. It’s an odd duck that’s worth a try on originality alone.

Photo of blitz134
3.4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear body. Orange in color. White head that didn't stay for any amount of time. Aroma mainly has a malty base to it. Some slightly noticable citrus hops.

Taste follows up with a mainly malty flavor with some fruit overtones. A little bit of apricot and some lightly toasted malt flavors. Comes across to me as a flavored lager.

Somewhat thin mouthfeel, nothing outstanding here. Drinkability is good though. Easy to put down, nothing offensive.

Photo of Jarod
3.87/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Best by date January 2006

This beer poured an amber/orange color that was slightly hazy and had decent carbonation. The head that was formed was a light tan to off white color, not a firm packed foam, very airy and bubbly. Was alittle disappoint in the lasting power of the foam which was not very long, it fell fairly fast to just a skim on the surface of the beer. There was some lace, kind of soapy/bubbly in nature. The aromas of this fruit beer were mostly, well fruit, apricots, pears, some apples and maybe berries, I noted some light spices (like the white pepper bite) which was probably from the hops, and sweet malt, but mostly fruit. The flavors mirrored the aromas where fruit (mostly apricots) , dominated, sweet crisp malt, some citrus (hops), white pepper and some grains all intermingled through the whole mouthful from start to finish. Aftertaste was very light and faint - all apricots. I thought this beer was on the thin side so I would say this is a light bodied beer. A good fruit beer, allot better then most that I have had in the past.

Photo of BuckSpin
4.1/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a warm, ruddy orange hue, not clear, juicy. Nose was interesting - strong with yeast and unusual citrus, perhaps some straw. Initial tongue was strong with the yeast Magic Hat is fond of, nice body, fruity...one of the more exotic citrus fruits, almost punchy, papaya? Even on the pallete, it finished nice, clean, little sweet, almost a bit syrupy. This was enjoyable, would be easy to session, would probably pair fantastic with seafood, spicy, Pacific Rim. Would definitely drink again.

Photo of arizcards
3.92/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of a Haloween 12 pack sampler from our visit to Vermont in early October.

This brew poured a orange-brown color with a small head. Nose was of sweet apricots. Taste was of the fruit tones to start followed by a hop note, and finishing with roasted malts. Mouthfeel has a decent body and carbonation. Overall drinkability was pretty good as this was a pretty unique beer that was easy to enjoy.

Photo of mmmbeer
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz, best by December. Pours a very clear golden/amber that is not very active and has a 1 finger tan head that leaves some lace. Smells of malts and apricots. There are caramel malts, hops that have a mild to medium bitterness, carbonation, and some sweet, almost syrupy apricot on the palate with a medium to light body. Decent... kinda like a watered-down ApriHop.

Photo of ElGordo
3.47/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep golden with orange highlights. Head is thin and whispy and disappears almost immediately. Not much carbonation. Nose of apricots, sweet malt, very light hops. Palate is redolent with apricots, along with some light hops, mild citrus sourness, and a touch of sweet malt. Finish has some pretty serious astringency. Body is nice and substantial, but not heavy. Sort of a novelty, but still a decent beer.

Photo of hopsaplenty
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

#9 pours orangey gold into the glass, pushing up a modest of-white head that disspates and leaves thin trails of lacing. The nose is of apricots and malt, and the taste is much the same. But the fruit is dry, almost astringent, a bit too "clean" and the malt is not quite enough to offset this. It has a modest body and bitey mouthfeel.

This beer has changed over time and is not the same as I remember it.

Photo of daliandragon
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The famous Magic Hat #9. An ex-girlfriend introduced me to this beer long ago..at least I got something out of the relationship.. Saw a Halloween Mix 12 of Magic Hat's beers and went to an old reliable first.
#9 pours a bright reddish color, actually closer to orange than brown, with a hint of head but no more. This is among the fruitiest beers I've ever smelled, with sweet apricots and probably other fruits as well. It almost smells like wine from some angles which is normally bad until you sniff again and get the fruit.
Beautiful full flavor with obvious fruit tones at the begiining followed by a hop period and finishing with roasted malt on the roof of the mouth. There is a yeast flavor mixed in here as well. This is a very pleasant sipping beer, and more adaptable than most fruit beers because of its dual hop/malt action.
High marks to Magic Hat for originality and craftmanship. A bit of the "jack of all trades, master of none" label here but this is still a nice effort.

Photo of CastAStone
4.29/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tap from Buffalo Brewpub - about the farthest they let this beer travel. Essentially no head, no lace. Beautiful smell - very orange, very smooth. A little weak, however. I could say the same about the taste - orange, smooth (i.e. no hop taste whatsoever), other fruit flavors are noticeable. A lighter beer flavor, but not in the light beer way. Thicker than you might expect in your mouth. Very drinkable - you could easily drink this all night. My two non-beer snobs with me both were blown away by this beer.

Photo of unknownlamer
3.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Everything about it seems every so slightly above average. It looked alright, didn't have much of a head, and had a grainy smell with a hint of frutiness. It has a fairly simply taste with a bready grain flavor dominating in the front, and a refreshing dry fruitiness in the back. It is a bit sweet around the edges with the fruit flavor becoming more apparant for a moment or two after swallowing. The slightly tart aftertaste disappears really quickly.

The one thing that stands out about this is how easily drinkable it is. It goes down smoothly, doesn't leave much of a taste behind, and really is refreshing. Definitely something that I would get for hanging around outside during a warm day with friends.

This is an interesting beer, but not really something I saw initially as being a good flagship beer. After drinking a lot of these I can see why it is the Magic Hat flagship (easily drinkable and a definite good session beer).

Photo of beermanbrian
3.71/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one many years ago on a visit to Vermont. Can finally get it in PA and was looking forward to trying it again. Nice golden/amber color but really lacking for any kind of head or lacing. Smell is full of appricot that really drowns out much of anything else but is nice and inviting. Taste is fruity up front with a wheat malt background that turns into a dry finish with no real aftertaste. A nice change of pace beer that is worth a try.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the glass clear medium amber with a white head which rose medium and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was apricots front and center with a nice sweetness. The aroma also contained peach and just a hint of caramel and perhaps a cinnamon spice.

The flavor was light with a wheat flavor and not much of a fruit flavor at all. There was a light apricot and low peach at the very first contact with the palate but that quicky goes away leaving a dryness and no other real flavors besides just a hint of caramel and a light tartness.

The finish was dry with really nothing lasting into the afteraste. The body was just a bit less than medium. Nice aroma, but not much else here of interest.

12 ounce bottle. Best before end N notched on label.

Photo of jmz62565
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A full two finger head with a nice amber color.The smell is a little sweet with hints of ginger,cinnamon and carmel.The taste has a sweet carmel start,but leaves a dissapointing watery finnish.This ale is a little lighter than it looks,it does go down smooth,but I wish this was a little bitter.

Photo of wedge
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

"Don't Tease, aim to Please"

Pours clear copper color with a small head. Smells of malt and fruit - apricot and peach. Sweet fruity taste - but not too fruity. Solid pale malt and wheat behind the fruit too, making this much less one-dimentional than other fruit beers - very earthy. Minimal hop bitterness. Light, dry mouthfeel.

The most common of the Magic Hat's and not as bland as one might think. Simple but good if you want a nice refreshing beer to chug. Crisp and enjoyable.

Photo of HappyHourHero
3.65/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mild, barely sweet aroma that is a mix of apricots and grainy malt. Small white head fades quickly to a thin film leaving no lace. Scores of fine bubbled streams rise through the glowing copper beer. Faint apricot combines with a dry hop tea flavor up front. Maybe a bit of wheat in there, and if you try hard a pinch of hop bitterness towards the end. Finishes rather dry and clean. Moderately light, crisp mouthfeel combine with the lightly sweet flavors to create a very drinkable beer (especially when it's extra cold). A good fruit beer, decent overall that unfortunately become a

Photo of tastybeer
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks crispy clear and golden tangerine with a nearly white mediocre head that fades fast. Nice color though. Smell is quite refreshingly full of fresh apricots, pear, apple and peach. Its a very nice mouth watering smell. Taste is also refreshing. Very fruity with a slight twang and some malts that peak through. Very smooth in the mouth with nice crisp carbonation, and very very very easy to drink. It slides down real easy and leaves the palate fruity and dry with subtle bitterness. A very easy beer to enjoy. Not complex/very simple.

Refreshing, crisp, and apricotacular. I can see why many like this beer. Easy going and not offensive.

Photo of asabreed
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just bought a 6-pack at the grocery store for around $6. For some reason tons of places around Richmond now are carrying Magic Hat. They had a 6-pack of Jinx, too, which I'll try soon, but since it's still hot and this seems to be a good hot weather thirst-quencher, I opted for the #9.

Appearance: Decent head that doesn't fade as quickly as I thought. Oddly there's tons of sticky lacing all over the glass as I drink, which is pretty cool and surprising.

Smell: Not an overuse of fruit in the aroma, but you can definitely tell it's there for sure. You can smell the apricot and faint hints of malt, but it may be that there's not enough malt to give this a decent enough backbone.

Taste: Once again, seems like it's too light on the malt. It's not insanely fruity like some fruit beers, and you can still tell it's a brew for sure, as some fruit beers won't do. Mostly apricot flavor and a little bit malty and yeasty. But I wish there was more of a chewy body, as it seems a bit watery. Still, it's tasty, refreshing, and has enough in it that I'm not sick of it and can easily drink another. It seems like fruit beers (not lambics but fruit / vegetable beers) are hard to get right, and I suppose that makes sense. But this is pretty good for what's going on with it.

Mouthfeel: A little slick and a little watery, but the carbonation is the thing saving it, as it's enough to make it enjoyable as you keep drinking, but it's not overdone.

Drinkability: If the smell and taste were better it would be a 4, but as it stands it's not something I could see many people wanting to drink this as a session beer. But for summer, when you're thirsting for a beer that's a little bit different, or something to sweeten up the palate in the fruit department, this is a pretty decent and readily available (I think) version of the style.

Photo of freed
2.49/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This is the last sample my friend brought back from the east coast, and the one I'm most anticipating because of internet chatter. The label is cool, and the bottle pours a light copper liquid with a slight haze. Rim of foam and little spots on top and seemingly active carbonation.

The aroma is, well, it's like almost any fruit beer. Like you took a regular beer and put generic fruit into it. It's reminiscent of Blackberry Wheat but with an apricot twist. Whether the aroma comes from extract or not, it doesn't smell natural.

The taste is also dominated by the apricot-ish flavors. Following the initial rush of sweetness there's a quickly drying tartness that leaves the mouth parched like soda ash. It's really not very pleasant, and I'm not sure I want to finish it.

In a world of beers with big flavors, one often finds their way back to balance. I think this beer could use less of the fruit flavoring and rely on the goodness of malt to give it a more palatable taste.

Photo of granger10
2.06/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I got a sixer of this from my family in New York, it's their favorite beer. Throughout this week I have been trying to enjoy it, thinking it would improve but alas it did not happen. Flavor is sickening with a poor apricot flavor and some funky English ale type taste. Finish is medicinal and leaves a nasty flavor on my tongue. I could be wrong but I don't think they used real apricots in here. It just doesn't work for me. This tastes really fake and overly sweet and medicinal. Not a good beer at all.

Photo of Rootdog316
3.97/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Magic Hat #9 Ale pours to a golden color with a light head formation and a crisp malty nose. Nor does it in the palate, where the fruit is not entirely noticeable upfront but becomes apparent in the finish. There's just a touch of it, and it accents the crisp, biscuity malt palate and slightly buttery Ringwood yeastiness nicely. A light kiss of hops punctuates the brew and makes it quite drinkable.

Photo of semihobo
4.28/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a nice glowing orange-amber. Poofy head slowly faded down to a nice layer of lacing.

Smells of spiced fruit, with spices like those in some wheat beers (coriander, etc). Some smell of citrus rinds and tanginess, with a mild hops scent.

The taste is excellent, very different. Fruit and apricots (listed on the label, they are a prevalent flavor). NOT too sweet, which is welcome as so many fruit beers go over the top and come out cloying. Some light malts and a grainy aftertaste after a small but noticeable hop finish. For being described as a "not so Pale Ale" the hops are very subtle.

The mouthfeel is nothing dominating, moderate and appropriate bubbling that doesn't overwhelm the flavor. Far from flat, though.

The drinkability of #9 is ridiculous. It's one of the most drinkable beers I've had or even heard of, in all senses of the word. I could barely set this one down, and it's even more quaffable when it's fresh on tap. The taste is friendly and nonthreatening but surprisingly complex. Doesn't fall into the usual "super sweet" or overfruited categories of fruit beers. Good for inexperienced or even non-beer drinkers, but also good for those who like to root around looking for flavors. You can think hard about it or not. Also gets points for creativity -- I don't know of any other fruit beers as multidimensional as this.

#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 5,274 ratings.