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#9 - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,970 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,970
Reviews: 1,586
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 18.29%
Wants: 48
Gots: 544 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,970 | Reviews: 1,586 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jcartamdg
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my CCB pint glass, golden color with a 1 finger head that disapates almost instantly, a little lacing. Aroma is all apricots, taste follows the nose, nothing real complex here, just a smooth refreshing fruit beer. Great for the summer, this is a good beer, just not outstanding. Sometimes you just want an easy drinking refreshing beer, this is one of those beers

jcartamdg, May 30, 2011
Photo of OldPenguinHunter
3.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A good, hot weather beer. Thats about it really, the aroma is weird to say the least, kinda bubble gummy malt. The taste is ok, but I have definetly had better. I think Dfish's Aprihop is a way better example, though it is an IPA. I would not drink or but this again.

OldPenguinHunter, May 30, 2011
Photo of WoodBrew
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From Notes of a Recent Beer Tasing Party.

Magic Hat #9 was clear light amber with thin white head. The nose was quite pleasent...wonderful notes of peach and apricot. The taste was decent is a little sweet, certainly could taste the citrus and floral hints. The mouthfeel is tough to gauge, this beer is a situational beer...meaning that you need to have right situation to really enjoy the beer.

WoodBrew, May 29, 2011
Photo of SuperSpy
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A slightly hazy gold. A decent enough head but very little lacing. Lots of carbonation to watch.

Fruity. Apricot, sweet floral aromas.

Slightly sweet apricot, a body that is on the light side of medium and just enough pale malt flavor to remind you this is a beer. Apricot flavor upfront, very floral with a bit of grain toward the middle, and more sweet and sour apricot in thr middle. Not the biggest fruit beer fan but this is pretty good.

SuperSpy, May 27, 2011
Photo of chugalug06
3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Quite an aggressive pour! A nice fluffy white head pours very aggressive!!! Brew is a lovely clear golden color with yellow and red hues. Head reduces to very little.

S - Very berry! Strawberry and peach notes, for sure! Quite a nice scent. Very pleasant! Perhaps just a touch of caramel and pine.

T - Not nearly as sweet as I thought it was going to be... Taste hardly reflects scent. Not sure the flavor meets the style... Very bitter and very little fruit flavor. Only a mild fruited flavor, quite mild.

M - A light bodied over carbonated brew. A bit all over the place. Super bitter for the style.

O - A good brew that I would love to have while outdoors, but far from hitting the style... It's kind of a mess, it doesn't know quite what style it is... A very unique brew! A good brew in a great trade. Thank you Another6Pack!

chugalug06, May 27, 2011
Photo of Tundruth
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out into a pint glass a light shade of amber topped off with an inch or so of foam that is an off white/bone yellow color.

I pick up on smells of flowers, fruits like apricots and peaches, and a hint of light malts that gets drowned out.

Taste is pretty pleasant if you like a sweet and fruity flavor to your beer.

Its light and slightly carbonated. I think it could use a bit more carbonation to make it work a bit better.

If you like a good fruit beer than this is for you, you;ll probably enjoy it a lot. If not its probably something you need not try. For the adventurous beer drinker who likes a little of everything this one is definitely worth a shot, its not bad and you;ll probably find something about it that you;ll like.

Tundruth, May 26, 2011
Photo of DaveBlack
3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had a good friend who drank this beer constantly in college. And I saw it on a list of beers that you "must try before you die." Both these occurrences surprised me because I distinctly remember this beer just being OK. So here we go with an actual review.

A: Looks pretty good. Light amber color with a finger's width of white head that has decent retention and is fed by a constant stream of bubbles from the bottom of the glass. Some light lacing clings to the glass, but not much.

S: The smell of the apricot is almost cloying. Some light malts, but almost everything is hidden by the aroma of fruit. Smells more like juice than beer.

T: Tastes better than it smells, but not by a whole lot. The taste of apricot still hits hardest, but the malts come through and the beer finishes with a nice hop bitterness.

M: Certainly adds to the character of the beer by complementing the fruit with a light mouthfeel and high amounts of carbonation.

O: It's a hell of a lot fruitier than I remember, which is not really a good thing as far as I'm concerned. For what it is I suppose it's pretty good: the mouthfeel and the fruit play well together, but the fruit overwhelms. Drinkable, but definitely not a beer that I feel like I needed to have before I die. Somewhere between fruit juice and beer.

DaveBlack, May 24, 2011
Photo of Matt1516
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

For some reason this tasted much better 3 years ago. It may be due to enjoying it back then fresh on their premises in Vermont from their tap, or maybe I've changed or it has....Anyhoo:

Cap message: "Whatever peels your orange"

Pours up cloudy amber with a thin head that goes fast.

Smells and tastes of apricot, grassy and lightly hopped. Light to medium carbonation. Slightly sweet with some background maltiness.

Could be a gateway craft beer for newbies, but otherwise not that exciting.

Matt1516, May 23, 2011
Photo of BeerLover99
3.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: deep golden/amber body, trace head, a little lacing

S: mild apricot, light malt, trace of floral scent

T: sweet citrus, mild malt finish

M: light body, big carbonation, semi-dry feel

D: First Magic Hat beer I have tried, heard good things,
but this is just ordinary. Good gateway brew.


BeerLover99, May 22, 2011
Photo of woodychandler
2.83/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

CAN you believe that I am only the 3rd to review # 9 in a CAN?!? Also, # 9 = # 499. Today's review brought to you by PBS' The Count, who also wants you to give props to the #'s 27 and 81. I personally CAN't believe any of this nonsense.

This was a gift from an Altoona-area distributor in return for my picture. I got the better end of the bargain, IMHO.

From the CAN: "Not quite Pale Ale"; "Ale with Natural Flavor"; "Drink Me". As to that last, what are we, "Alas in Wonderland"? Woe is me!

Unlike that silly little wench, I would NEVER drink and unknown quantity directly from the bottle or CAN. Always decant when possible and take note of off-colors or smells. The Crack & Glug produced just over a finger of thick, eggshell-white head with good retention. Color was a deep, coppery-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was simply redolent with apricots. Apricots?!? WTF?!? I drank some and suddenly, I was shrunken to the point that I could no longer reach the keyboard. Fortunately, Mr. Johnson does not shrink, even in freezing water, and he helped in typing out the remainder of this review. All hail Mr. Johnson! Mouhtfeel was medium with a very apricot-forward flavor on the tongue. Here is where it might help to like the flavor of apricots. For me, a little CAN go a long way. Finish left me wondering whether I had drunk a beer or eaten some preserves. If that is the choice, I will go back to sumo wrestling.

I am not changing anything WRT my original CAN review, but today is Thursday, 17 July 2014. I am now committed to reducing, if not eradicating, my backlog of bottles. This one was part of a local, in-person trade with tone77.

From the bottle: "The ancient ritual of brewing a distinctly rich and flavorful beer is a performance to behold. Our mysterious melange of time-honored ingredients harmonize with chaotic chemistry, humble patience and blind faith to create this unique beer to share in the rousing company of kindred spirits. Cheers!"; "not quite Pale Ale"; "a performance in every bottle".

I used a rousing pour to rouse the beer since it is very early in the morning (0452, local, EDT) and I wanted to make sure that it is as awake as I am. The pseudo-cascade gave way to a finger of yellowish head with decent retention that slowly fell to wisps. Color was a slightly hazy golden-yellow (SRM = > 5, < 7). Nose smelled like apricot preserves and once more, I was thankful for older parents and older grandparents. Both of my grandmothers could cook and both had their own gardens so canning was a frequent activity. Believe me when I say that I know the scent of apricot preserves. Mouthfeel was thin but effervescent. The nose just does not translate to the taste. Yes, it tasted of apricots, but in a small, muted way that struck me as being boring. I hate to say that, but it just lacked any Ooomph! and when I have recently tried other apricot-laced beers that did not lack for flavor, I can only shake my head at this one's popularity. Finish was semi-sweet, perfumey, actually. Meh.

woodychandler, May 22, 2011
Photo of Extrajoker00
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer 4 of 5 at Magic Hat Sampling on 05/19/2011

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass

A : middle of the road

S : faint fruitiness

T : complex flavoring

M : slow start, big middle, slow letdown

D : well balanced:flavor / kick make #9 a g pretty good drinker

in my opinion: surprisingly good

Extrajoker00, May 20, 2011
Photo of STKPICR0720
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I liked this brew but agree with many when they say this beer was better yrs ago. The brew just does not have enough IMO to hang with the other Pale's.

That being said it is a very simple pale ale that I would drink again but there is nothing special about it.

STKPICR0720, May 19, 2011
Photo of mocktm
4.18/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This review is a long time coming. A staple of my college drinking days, Magic Hat #9 has long been one of my go to session beers. It only seems appropriate that the bottle I chose to use for this review also sports my favorite cap slogan reading:"If Jerry were here, we'd buy him a beer." This of course refers to the late and great Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, whose improvisational yet brilliant nature match almost synonymously with the character of this beer. Anywho, back to the review...

A: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a custom #9 pint glass, the beer pours a bright golden orange with just a slight bit of haze. A moderate pour yields one finger of white frothy head that slowly settles decorating the inner glass with a small amount of lace.

S: Smells real sweet with heavy emphasis on apricot and a slight hint of grapefruit citrus. Not much else is detectable.

T: Fruit sweetness matched with a crisp dry finish and just the right amount of hop bitterness for balance. This is one flavorful and tasty beverage. While I've had other apricot ales, none really come close to the unique balance this brew boasts.

M: Crisp and well carbonated with a silky smooth character. Glides nicely over the tongue and around the mouth. A seriously drinkable brew.

O: While Magic Hat may catch alot of flak for their inconsistency, which is very well deserved, their flagship beer continues to be a staple within my fridge. This is almost strange since I am not a fan at all of most fruit beers and especially dislike lambics. However, I'd be willing to throw down a few bottles of this unique, refreshing and well balanced brew just about anytime. Their recent appearance in cans also makes them ideal for outside activities in the coming summer months. Cheers!

mocktm, May 18, 2011
Photo of indiapaleale
3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour - golden, amber in appearance with a bubbly, soda-like head that fizzes away rather quickly leaving a film on top.

Aroma - apricot essence, orange peel and some slight malt aromas but that is about it. Not a whole lot sneaks by that sweet apricot smell.
Taste - sweet and tangy with a more than subtle, but less than intense, flavor of apricots. No real hop presence in this beer, not like Dogfish Head's Aprihop, as this is more of a standard ale with the defining characteristic being the apricot. Finishes rather light on the tongue with only a bit of the sweetness carrying over to the next sip.

Overall - #9 tastes much better, in my opinion, from a can. The apricot flavor, which is an issue for some folks, is not overly syrupy or cloying and actually tastes like apricot. There is also a freshness in this beer that I've rarely tasted before, even on tap. Sure, its a bit sweet and it's not for everyone but it certainly goes down easy when it's nice and cold on a hot day and there are definitely moments when that's all you really want.

Would I buy more of it? - you know I might. A 12-pack of this would go over well at a barbecue as its a pretty approachable beer for most folks. I also think it goes extremely well with yardwork. I drank one of these straight from the can while mowing and it worked wonders.

indiapaleale, May 17, 2011
Photo of BarryMFBurton
2.3/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Ok; one of my friends told me about this beer. A lot. It is her favorite beer ever. Trust me, I've heard it many times. So I decided to see what all the fuss was about.

Served on-tap at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Avon, Indiana.

A: A cloudy gold, with a big, white head. No lacing really...sort of greasy-looking. The foam fades fast.

S: The nose consists mainly of a yeast aroma that is big, but pretty stale. There's some nicer notes: some mellow wheat and fruit. But overall, pretty lifeless.

T: Some chewy wheat at first. There's a unique taste there - the wheat combines with a strange plum/grape. It's unique, but not great - it tastes cheap and processed. No hops are apparent; phenolic, but overly sour yeast, dominates the aftertaste. Overall, just not good-tasting.

M: A good carb out of the tap. Good, but forgettable. Not incredible in any way.

O: I hope all fruit/vegetable beers aren't like this. This was not a good drinking experience. I feel that there were good intentions for making this one a unique brew, and it does show some craft elements. However, if you are truly looking for the great, balanced flavor that makes craft beer great, avoid Magic Hat #9.

BarryMFBurton, May 16, 2011
Photo of drowninginhops
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from their variety pack served in my Left Hand pint glass.

A: Darker gold in color. White to off white head 1 finger width with little retention

S:Apricot smell is the most prominent, some floral hops and malts also present.

T: Apricot and light floral hops.

M: Crisp. Nicely paired to the South Carolina mid spring evenings. Not overly carbonated.

D: Good session beer.

drowninginhops, May 15, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
2.15/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

First had: on tap at Casey's, Newtown Square, PA

It took me a while to finally sample Magic Hat. I didn't even know that #9--their flagship brew--was a fruit beer, specifically, an apricot beer. And I didn't care for it much.

Pours a clear golden-yellow with a quickly dissipating head and moderate carbonation. Aroma is light, with pale malts and fruit on the nose. Light, grainy malt taste, with dilute apricot and a sugary quality. A small hop bite towards the end and some bitter aftertaste. Light bodied and somewhat drinkable, but not really my style at all.

Rifugium, May 13, 2011
Photo of orock25
2.55/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Golden pour. decent head and carbonation. Looks like a beer.

Smell -Not much in the way of malts which is to be excepted. some floral and citrus smells, kind of nice.

Taste -Not balanced, almost forced flavors. It's not a welcoming flavor for me.

Mouthfeel - It is crisp and carbonated well. Probably be more drinkable if i liked the way it tasted.

Overall - can't say I'll buy this again. the flavors almost feel added for me. like ingredients were added rather than brewed with. looks good, smells good, tastes bad.

orock25, May 13, 2011
Photo of spitInTheOcean
2.83/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

this beer looks good, and it smells good too, but in the end beer is not drunk for the way it looks or smells.

good head retention too, by the way.

but the taste... 'dissonant' is the only word that comes to mind.

the website tells you little of what is in you bottle, but i would wager there is a little coriander or cardamon in the recipe, and perhaps some citric acid? the taste is a little malty too, but that over the top crispness that suggests adjuncts are being used. it just overpowers any subtle favors.

at 20 IBUs the balance is nice though, its not too sweet, not too sour.

overall i guess im just on the fence, i want to like it, i do. its just hard for me to describe this beer as pleasant. perhaps in ten years when my beer knowledge is a bit more refined...

spitInTheOcean, May 13, 2011
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint. Thin white head. Slight bit of lacing. Cloudy apricot color.

Aroma is barely there. Not much at all. Little bit of apricot and light malt.

Taste is good. You can taste a bit of apricot and it has a slight hop bite in the finish. Nice bit of malt flavor too.

Mouthfeel is nice and dry and higher carb.

Overall a nice summer brew. If this came in cans I would buy it more often to take to the beach.

PeprSprYoFace, May 12, 2011
Photo of Illtryit
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought this beer because of its packaging. It always seems to catch my eye so today i went for it.

Pours a nice clear gold with 1/2 inch foam which goes away in a hurry, but leaves a little reminder on the sides of my mug.

I honestly cannot smell this beer at all. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Taste is an interesting combination of cream and apricots. A little malty aftertaste.

Sharp carbonation and just enough body give this a good rating.

Overall, this is actually a pretty tasty drink, but as far as beer goes its just avg. I'll drink it again, but not very often. Good beer for a beginner.

Illtryit, May 06, 2011
Photo of shaunb81
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a nice amber body with a dismal head and lacing. Impressive? Not really.

Smell - Acidic with an earthy maltiness. Fruity hops are pretty apparent here.

Taste - I taste apricot and a slight peach. The malts are there, but the fruity hops take over. It definitely has the taste of a pale ale, but also encompasses everything about a hefe.

Mouthfeel - A slight creaminess and the carbonation is nice. Not too watered down.

Overall - A solid go for Magic Hat. It sneaks down the adventurous path, but stops halfway from it's lack of execution. I've had this before and I will admit that it was better this time around, but I will leave this for my wife to drink.

shaunb81, May 04, 2011
Photo of ckollias
3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: An amber-brown beer with a one-finger white head that dissipates in a white lace

S: Strong fruity smell – strawberry – peach –apricots?.

T: Surprisingly very fruity – a very tart, strawberry, peach, apricot combo. A little taste of hops at the end.

M: Pretty light on the palate. Medium body and carbonation

O: A decent brew, but nothing I would have more than 1 or 2 of.

ckollias, May 04, 2011
Photo of vandemonian
3.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Magic Hat #9 is an interesting fruit beer, but I don't love it.

A: Cloudy orange colour with a 1 cm head that fades to good lacing. 4

S: Smells of dried fruit and some hints of spiciness. 4.5

T: It tastes initially of apples, pears and yeast. The finish has some spice but is also slightly musty. 3.5

M: Reasonable foamy. 3.5

O: Decent enough. 3.5

vandemonian, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of bashiba
3.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a clean orange color with a thin white head.

The smell is all citrus and sweet tangerine.

The flavor is very citrusy and fruity with a big tangerine flavor and a light bit of citrusy hops.

The mouthfeel is very thin.

Overall this isn't bad, but very fruit dominated, could be good on occasion, but not something I would drink regularly.

bashiba, Apr 24, 2011
#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 4,970 ratings.