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#9 - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,444 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,444
Reviews: 1,562
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 18.29%
Wants: 32
Gots: 281 | FT: 0
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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-09-1998)
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Ratings: 4,444 | Reviews: 1,562 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of goblue3509


3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale yellow color with a faint head that goes away quickly. The smell is of floral hops but it is not overpowering, and fruity notes. The taste is of light fruits with a sweet grain backbone, the hop presence is almost non existant. The mouthfeel is of moderate carbonation, but it is slightly watery and runny. Overall it is a very drinkable beer due to the smoothness and refreshingness, however, it does leave you wanting a little more flavor.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2009 18:00:02 | More by goblue3509
Photo of BARFLYB


2.78/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Number nine is a pale golden color with a decent looking head that fades into nothing over time. Very minimal lacing. The smell is that of old dried fruits with some grassy hops and nothing much else. Not really getting any malt in the nose. This tastes sweet and the main taste is apricots and other minor fruits of the same nature. A small floral grassy middle and a small hit of sweet malt. The feel is perfect for a pale ale which it claims to be on the bottle. Light but a bit ruff from a big carb blast, does not glide down with ease. Drinkability is ok but the tastes are not all that impressive so this won't be on my mind all that long.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2009 18:29:31 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of tone77


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

Poured from a brown 12 0z. bottle. Has a golden color with red hues and a 1 inch head. Smells slightly sweet, fairly mild. Taste is rather bland, a tad sweet, not a lot going on. Feels light in the mouth. Goes down very smooth, a good chugging beer. Overall this is a decent choice.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2009 22:24:19 | More by tone77
Photo of BeerFMAndy


3.83/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 (or as they say, 3/4 Pint) oz bottle poured into an Imperial Pint. Best by end of September '09 notched on rear label. 4.6% ABV.

A - I poured #9 moderately but it was quiet.The body is a golden honey color that's brilliantly clear with minimal bubbles and a one-finger head, cloud-white head. Decent retention left a thin layer after a few minutes and bits of elegant lacing on the glass.

S - Extremely light pale malts fall behind the delicious dried apricot aroma that just seems to billow out. A light hop aroma is also present but pretty elusive. At this point the aroma is almost all apricots, not that I'm complaining.

T - Despite the heavy apricot aroma, the flavor is quite balanced between the slightly spicy and floral hops which, in conjunction with the apricots, leave a lasting finish in the mouth and the pale malts that stay fairly out of slight but provide a sturdy backbone. Very tasty.

M - Prickly carbonation dances in the mouth with a slightly smooth finish. A fairly dry, tangy finish emerges after the swallow. Light-medium in body.

D - Well, for starters I usually have six to eight ounces finished when my review is done but due to both the amount of fine layers and this beer's good drinkability, I'm left with two ounces or so right now. While it's drinkability is good, the fruity flavor gives a light edge to it that doesn't make it fantastic. Very well done beer that I would consider more of a Pale Ale as opposed to a Fruit beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2009 19:59:36 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of AgentZero


1.83/5  rDev -46%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - A little dark in the bar, so hard to see, but a pale yellow color, slight foamy head, about 1/2 finger.

S - I don't like this, smells kind of like fruit that's been sitting around too long or gotten over-ripe. Either that or someone dumped some fruity chemicals into it.

T - Grainy malts, some some of that funny almost-fruit taste. Really, this is pretty horrible.

M - Light bodied, thin, a little too oily for me, but not unpleasant.

D - Honestly, it would be easy to get down if it didn't taste so bad. I don't think I will every knowingly drink this again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2009 02:59:32 | More by AgentZero
Photo of BeerZack

North Carolina

2.33/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Pours a light golden color with a hint of orange, slight haze and pretty big white head that sticks around.

Smells like apricot flavoring, not quite real fruit smell.

Taste is not nearly as sweet as the nose would have me believe. There is a sweetness up front that quickly muddles into some astringent bitter note that lingers. Tastes pretty much like "apricot flavoring" as well.

Tastes more like an A-B ripoff novelty product than a craft beer in my opinion. Won't be drinking any more of these. With that said, I'm sure lots of other people will be drinking this stuff up.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2009 04:34:59 | More by BeerZack
Photo of Pleepleus

New York

2.3/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes.
Poured from bottle to SA Pint glass, had an apricot color with an inch of white foam that quickly diminished to a spotty sheen. Smells like fruity soap. Taste is not good. I don't know if they didn't go "Fruit" enough or "Ale" enough, but it comes up short on both counts. This is Magic Hat's most popular beer? Has a thin mouthfeel and is easy to drink if you enjoy washing your mouth out with fruity soap.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2009 03:40:50 | More by Pleepleus
Photo of Mdog


3.13/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Slightly hazy good, big head.

Smell: Floral, berry, sweetness.

Taste: Mild sweetness followed by a fruity berry-like flavor. (Which in reading other reviews should have been apricots.)

Drinkability: Doesn't taste bad, but not a flavor combo that makes me want to drink more than one.

#9 has shown up in Minnesota, so I gave it a try. I did not know what it was other than what the label said. I didn't get as much apricot flavor, it was more of an artificial berry flavor to my taste buds. Not bad, but not too exciting.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2009 02:15:02 | More by Mdog
Photo of July2Nov


2.8/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pale golden hue with a really big frothy head that dissipates a bit, but still clings to the glass for awhile.

Smell: Nice and fruity...the sweetness just pours out. I guess if you ask for a fruit beer, then it shall be delivered. does have a bit of that "earthy " tint to it, at the end.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Man the apricot really comes through. Was a bit surprised by the fruit, as i didn't see anything about the flavor on the label. Not bad, It just seems that the apricot is just too overpowering. I could see Mike's Hard Lemonade fans, digging this...just saying.

Drinkability: One and done. This thing is just too sweet to drink in abundance. would go well as a dessert beer and at the end of a meal...good thing i didn't spring for the six pack.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2009 07:47:19 | More by July2Nov
Photo of bgreg3


3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Nice looking beer , dark amberish brown embodyment with foam sticking arond the ring of the glass nicely the smell is very strong on apricots and maybe a citrus kick from orange or lemon or something like that. Taste is similar to smell , very strong on the apricots and has a pretty decent hop finish , especially for a fruit beer , I enjoyed it very much , better than sam adams cranberry , and better than fuckin wild blue. mf is decent like with a medium finish. My issue is the drinkability of this beer , it's their prmier beer and it is not that drinkable to me , good luck selling lots of something thats not drinkable , the finish was too wet to be very drinkable , takes sips of this one

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2009 04:47:05 | More by bgreg3
Photo of MaxBrews


3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Re-reviewing after having this a bunch more times. Magic hat's flagship beer. It's hugely popular in New England. I love to criticize it but this is my second critical review.

Presentation: 12oz into mug

Appearance: Pours with a nice dollop of white head. Thin in body but large. Color is a pale amber, only a touch lighter then gold. A really odd soapy lacing that is thinner in spots. Clings to the glass very well. Much better then I remembered from my first time.

Smell: The sweet smell of Apricot extract is the first thing the nose notices. A grainy malt sits behind that waiting.

Taste: Once again this is where this beer bothers, me there is a hint of apricot in he initial sip, but this mainly covers up a grainy malt. In a way almost tastes like an adjunct was used. A lot of this has to do with their Pale yeast strain that pokes its nasty head through. There is a slightly buttery biscuit taste that you can find if you're searching for it. The apricot extract is an interesting and potentially pleasant twist on an english pale ale but this is almost artificial. A very simple beer which bothers me as the two predominant flavors are grain and apricot.
Mouthfeel: A fair amount of carbonation with a lighter body, nothing offensive.

Drinkability: the beer I love to criticize. It not all that bad, but as your company's flagship beer, Magic Hat could do a hell of a lot better. A good sweet cold refreshment, do not dare serve on the warmer side the yeast and grain taste will slap you in the face. Better then I remember but all in all mediocre as a craft brew, but it is manys gateway to the world of craft beer. Your money is best spent elsewhere unless you can find a cheap bomber

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2009 19:53:00 | More by MaxBrews
Photo of peabody


2.88/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a clear amber orange with not much suds.
Smell is kind of a dirty mess of spices and caramel sugars.
Taste is kind of plain. Would be great for a lawnmower beer but this is very watery. It's not bad tasting, just not enough flavor.
Mouthfeel is clean but boring. Nothing left in the palate.
Drinkability would be high here but without much going on in the flavor dept. I have to rate it pretty low.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2009 03:33:17 | More by peabody
Photo of KenOnBass

New York

3.98/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Good head and lacing. Light gold color.

S: Sweet apricot smell.

T: Crisp, good, and refreshing. Sweet taste of apricot is not too overpowering.

M: Full and fizzy. Well carbonated.

D: Easy to drink, good everyday beer. In our apartment, for a very long stretch we were buying a 6 or 12 pack just about every week. Also a good beer to bring to a party.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2009 00:34:03 | More by KenOnBass
Photo of dpodratsky3

North Carolina

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

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Hazy golden color with a clingy pretty nice head.

S: Sweet smelling, with distinctly fruity notes.

T: A sweet, fruity taste to match the smell which turns into a slight bitterness, but nothing overwhelming. Finishes dry with a grainy note.

M: Medium bodied, dry finish

D: Not highly drinkable imo, but not bad either, can easy finish a bottle, but wouldn't want to use as a session for me

A good, interesting beer. As it says on the bottle "not quite pale ale" is an accurate description. The right balance of hops and fruity notes, while not being overwhelming in either regard.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2009 03:58:29 | More by dpodratsky3
Photo of BedetheVenerable


3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown op top with a clearly labeled freshness date on the bottle

Appearance: Hazy dark gold beer with a nice stark white cap with good retention and medium streaming carbonation

Smell: Light crisp malt/graininess, quite nice, and a touch of apricot preserve sweetness in there as well...overall this blends together quite nicely

Taste: Light/crisp graininess and malt with a medium hop bitterness on the finish (a bit surprising actually); this is not nearly as fruity as the aromas suggested, as there's just a ghost of apricot on the finish and this ends fairly dry

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied and crisp

Drinkability: Medium high

Conclusion: This is not bad at all; it's not really a fruit beer in the typical sense; it's crisp, fairly refreshing, and, while it's not really that memorable, I could see myself kicking a few of these back in hot weather

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2009 14:55:14 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of beerwolf77


2.35/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass the beer is a clear gold color. Looks like any typical lager actually. The head was impressive. Two inches high and bone white in color. After it dissipates a bit of lace rims my glass. The aroma is sweet. Very fruity. Mixed berry to be exact. The flavor is sweet berry with a wheat finish. Sort of fruity pebbles mixed with wheaties. Save for a tinge of grain malt hints I found no real beer flavor at all. It's got a light crisp feel. Which is good. Since I'm going to slam the rest of it so I don't have to taste it. Not what I look for in a beer. My mom might like this but not I.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2009 22:32:33 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of Contagion


2.75/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It came in the standard brown bottle. According to the label, it is ¾ pint bottle, apparently some math genius at the brewery thought that was funnier than putting 12 fl oz. on the bottle. The label is some kind of psychedelic red and orange color round label. The center of the label has #9 mixed into the swirls and whorls. In green on the label it states "Not quite pale ale."

The color is golden amber with a slight orange tint. When poured into a pint glass, a quarter inch thick head consisting of tiny densely packed bubbles formed at the top of the beer that faded slowly. There was some lacing on the side of the glass.

The scent of apricots is so overpowering you can barely detect anything else. What can be found is a slight bit of hops and maybe grain, but it's hard to tell because of the strength of the apricot scent. The flavor is surprisingly mild compared to the scent. Apricots are primarily what you taste. Hops and grains can be tasted, but they are very weak and washed out that you can barely taste them. However, they all combine together so that when the beer washes over the taste buds at the back of the tongue, it gives the beer a soap like flavor. The taste isn't strong enough to leave an aftertaste.

This beer confuses me. It might be "not quite pale ale", but it's also not quite much of anything. The apricot flavor, where overpowering compared to the rest of the flavors, really isn't strong enough for a fruit beer. The grains and hops really aren't present enough to really be able to adequately classify this beer as anything else. I guess it falls under fruit beer by process of elimination. It's really not a bad beer. I don't know if I would go out of my way for it, but I wouldn't pass one up if given to me.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2009 00:56:43 | More by Contagion
Photo of sbe1

New York

3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer seems to be available everywhere, especially college bars. This is my first time trying it after years of seeing it on tap and in bottles and, frankly, it's nothing to crow about.

Appearance: Decent sudsy head, with a tannish gold color. Not a bad looking beer.

Smell: A bit fruity, malt, apricots, a little caramel.

Taste: a kind of half-assed too fruity Pale Ale, a little hop in there somewhere, but mostly fruity -- apricots -- finishes slightly dry and sweet.

Mouthfeel: Refreshing, mild carbonation, light bodied.

Drinkability: kind of boring, it doesn't know if it wants to be a fruit beer or a pale ale and ends up compromising in an unsatisfying way.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2009 05:35:08 | More by sbe1
Photo of larsee01


3.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A--I've had this on tap before, and it looked more appealing than when I poured it from a bottle tonight. Charming, orange-tinged gold. No head this time. Clear without much character nor carbonation.

S--Definite apricot scent. More dried apricot than fresh produce or nectar. Sweet and mild with a hint of cooked veggie. A bit buttery too.

T--Again on the sweet side and apricot. A new flavor for me, so a fun novelty. Not overwhelming nor natural tasting fruitiness like a lambic. A rich, buttery taste emerges--that's the best way I can describe it. Bready/cooked veggie aftertaste is mild and not unpleasant.

M--Carbonation much more active on the tongue. With the sweet fruitiness it's an almost electric mouthfeel. Light crispness evolves into a comfortable mild, lingering richness.

D--Very much so, but I don't know about an extended session. Sweetness may eventually get a tad tiresome.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2009 02:32:06 | More by larsee01
Photo of BDLbrewster


3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a very light hued yellow with sort of an amber twinge to it. Large fizzy head with minimal retention. Sheets of lacing.

The smell is sweet, buttery apricots?... The smell reminds me of adjunct corn sweetness. No hop profile to speak of, at all....

This tastes like a heavily toned down Pyramid Apricot, and not in a good way. Notes of apricot and some sweetness due to residual sugars. Watery and suffering from a complete lack of bitterness, this brew comes off as completely unfocused to me.

Mouthfeel is on point for the style, light bodied, airy and extremely carbonated.

Overall the price is a bonus, $3 for a bomber. Not to enjoyable, for me at least. Is this the 211 of craft brews?

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2009 02:29:34 | More by BDLbrewster
Photo of Bockrules

New Mexico

3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a cool gold-copper with a one finger white head and perfect clarity. The head is gone a quarter down the glass, leaves behind a few splotches of lacing near the bottom of the glass. The only redeeming quality is the cool color.

S - Pale male with tons of apricot. Just like opening a bag of dried apricots as a kid.

T - Very fruity up front. The body is almost tea-like: the pale malt serves as a background for subtle apricot and pear flavors. The finish is dry and cidery. Slowly the fruity flavors come back and leave an apricot aftertaste.

M - Light and thin bodied. This beer could definitely be thicker. On the plus side, the carbonation level is high and seems to suit the style well.

D - I have to be in a certain mood to drink this beer. It's light body and subtle flavors make it an excellent thirst quencher, and in the right situation I could drink a few of these before getting sick of the sweetness. But too be in the real of a good micro it needs more hops and malt.The first time I ordered this, I was out on a date with my girlfriend and the water told me it was a pale ale. I was very surprised and repulsed when my drink came.. Only later did I find out that it was a fruit beer!

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2009 06:22:35 | More by Bockrules
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden orangey straw. Puff of white head, wuickly diminishing. Decent lacing.

S - Straw with appricot and even peach notes.

T - Bitter and sweet appricot and peach flavors. Earthy straw.

M - Light bodied, high carbonation.

D - Light, refreshing, not overpowering... all around decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2009 16:33:59 | More by rfgetz
Photo of bamadog


3.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at The Cellar in Blacksburg, VA this weekend with Kels. Not a bad choice for a place for food and beer, and not a bad beer either. On tap into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a light golden coppery color and comes with a one finger white head that fades to a thin and uneven skim; body is clear and shows strong and fast carbonation coming up in the lines of very tiny bubbles; a pretty full lacing is left holding to the sides.

Smell: Light and fruity esters (apricot); a wheaty/yeasty graininess; a mild hoppy bitterness and a slightly sweet maltiness - not a bad nose if I do say so myself.

Taste: Mild apricot flavoring; a strong wheaty breadiness; mild hoppy bitterness and the same slightly sweet maltiness that was found in the smell; the aftertaste is pretty much all wheat.

Mouthfeel: Average at best - moist and well carbonated; has a slight drying effect in the end and even causes a bit of a pucker as if there's a bit of a tartness that I didn't pick up anywhere in the flavors.

Drinkability: Not too bad - I don't think I'd go out of my way to get this beer, but if it's where I happen to be, then I would gladly drink it again.

Serving type: on-tap

07-27-2009 03:56:33 | More by bamadog
Photo of dbmcrorie


3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown long neck bottle poured into an American pint glass. Label states "not quite pale ale"... so... what is it then? Freshness date on back (Sept. 09). Under the cap reads, "If your Vote's Uncast, you can't Bombast".

Clear golden blond body with slight orange hues to it. A decent off-white head that starts to get clumpy as it fades. Nice foamy cap stays till the end of the pint, leaving plenty of sticky lacing to dirty up the glass.

Candied apricot and dusty grain is the predominant aroma. A buttery presence peaks around the corner, followed by weak hoppy oils and a biscuity malt. Nothing wrong here, just a bit timid and uneventful.

Well that's why I smelled a tart apricots. The body is full of it. Pale malt and biscuity flavors are overwhelmed by marmalade-meets-dried-apricot. There is a slight hop bitterness that makes itself known in the back of the mouth, but gets washed away with a fruity finish. Light-medium body with a smooth mouthfeel. A surprisingly clean crispness to it, and a bitter-fruit aftertaste.

Interesting pale ale. I applaud Magic Hat's ability to take a different spin on traditional beer. But sometimes it can be so unique that you have to be in the mood for it. This particular brew almost crosses over into being a fruit beer, rather than a pale ale.
Might pair greatly with chicken, especially covered in a marmalade or apricot glaze; or in a fruit-based salad. Would also go great with roast chicken, fruit filled cheese, and savory sauces.


Serving type: bottle

07-20-2009 17:36:38 | More by dbmcrorie
Photo of cdizinno

South Carolina

2.88/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear golden yellow color. Minimal head with medium to heavy lacing

S: Sweet smell. Hard candy and buttery scents.

T&M: Light bodied and smooth. Fine carbonation. Smooth and crisp. I don't like apricots and the first couple of sips are not tasty, however, it grows on you. Mild sweetness and a bit of an oily finish.

Definitely not my favorite. I wish Magic Hat would make their 'Odd Notion' '09 a standard, but I believe this is their most popular brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2009 00:59:59 | More by cdizinno
#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 4,444 ratings.