1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

#9 - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,727 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,727
Reviews: 1,572
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 18.29%
Wants: 40
Gots: 420 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of #9 Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,727 | Reviews: 1,572 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vazy
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a warm golden color with a head that disappears quickly. The smell is inviting, a very soft fruity smell. It tastes great and finishes smooth. It has the raspberry hint to it. Its very easy to drink and and enjoyable for a crisp spring afternoon.

There's something about this beer I really like. Highly recommended if you're looking for a well balanced beer thats easy to enjoy.

vazy, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of Kanebanger
1.73/5  rDev -49%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: Yellow with a slight orange tint to it. Very little head that disappeard quickly.

S: Hint of apricot, seemed to be a little bit heavy on the malt side.

T: Apricot smell really misleading as there was very little apricot tast for some reason. Malt was a little overpowering. Flavors just did not seem to blend very well at all.

M: Extremely undercarbonated for the style. Felt as if it had been sitting out all night and then thrown into the fridge for an hour.

D: Couldn't drink more than one. Would prefer most BMCs over this.

Kanebanger, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of rebel1771
3.13/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a crystal clear golden straw color with little to no head.

S: Big aroma of apricot with a slight aroma of grain/corn.

T: The apricot from the smell doesn't come through as strong in the taste. It's there, it just doesn't seem quite right. Flavor fades to a slight sweet corn flavor with little after taste.

D: This brew is just ok. Meh.

rebel1771, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
3.93/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pale orange color with a sticky head that leaves plenty of lace

S- Tart apricots mingle well with the bitter hops and funky yeast

T- Starts off sweet and juicy but quickly begins to pinch your tongue with bitterness

M- Very smooth carbonation on top of a slick body with a very refreshing quality

D- I find myself liking this beer more and more as I discover its versatility

EnojysAnyBeer, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of chickenflea
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden color. Clarity is lightly hazy. Upon pouring the beer shows a thin white head with minimal lacing.

The aroma reveals peach, coriander and a very light butterscotch. Some light malts are also evident.

Taste is just OK.

The texture is thin, but not unexpectedly so. Mouthfeel is Crisp and tart.

The aftertaste is spicy with some biscuit notes. Very drinkable.

chickenflea, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of tykees88
4.05/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Club Soda in Fort Wayne. Came in a tulip glass

A brown/orange color, much like many others have said looks alot like apple juice.

Smells like pears for the fruit, and I get the wheat smell too

Tastes alot like blue moon if they used pears. Just a pretty good fruit wheat beer.

Drinkability, well would be rather easy to drink a few of these. Light abv, light taste, a little heavy on the sugars but for drinking a beer and not trying to get drunk it's a sessionable one I think

tykees88, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of Chico1985
3.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottom of the cap reads... "read Books...not Bottlecaps". Good advice I suppose. Pours very faint brown/orange, looks exactly like apple juice. Small fizzy white head turns to a small ring very quickly. Carbonation comes from bottom of the glass letting out strange bubbly fireworks at the top, keeping what's left of the head somewhat thick. Very slight amount of sediment visible. Decent apricot scent, kind of artificial smelling. Little bit of a macro-esque corn scent as well. It has that "cheap" scent for sure just covered up with the fruity aromas. I'm tasting less apricot than I would've guessed from the smell, but it's definitely there along with a bit of pear and bubblegum. Slightly bready in the aftertaste. Not entirely bad but I just don't find this taste very appealing. Tastes a little artificial. This is my first time having it in the bottle, I remember on-tap being better than this. Just tastes a bit strange, not very refreshing like many others seem to think. Some hop bitterness is a nice plus here. Mouthfeel is alright for the style, smooth but very thin, good amount of carbonation. Drinkability is good too I suppose. Even though I'm not a huge fan of this it is seriously easy to drink, and the fruitiness surely is very appealing to the non-beer crowd.

Chico1985, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of chucko
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Tasted last night at "38 Degrees" in Alhambra. The menu said it was an "almost pale ale". Served in a beer specific pint glass from Magic Hat brewery. On the glass the brewery has described this beer perfectly. Unique, refreshing, fruity. Actually almost more flowery than fruity. Lavender was one opinion offered in our group. So light and crisp as to "lagerish". I don't think this is an ale at all, but that description was from an establishment whose motto is 38 taps at 38 degrees. Much too cold. Very drinkabable and enjoyable. Good summer day suds.

chucko, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of DrinkinBoy
3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Magic Hat #9 pours a deep gold color, almost the color of apple juice. The head was small and white but it did have great retention.

The smell is lightly fruity with notes of apricots ands pears.

Its taste begins extremely light, on the mid palate the fruit flavors from the nose comes through. The finish has the first signs of hoppy bitterness.

The mouthfeel was very refreshing on the palate, and the cripness of the carbonation and finish balances out nice with the sweetness of the taste.

Overall, Magic Hat #9 is very drinkable. Although I was not all that impressed by the beer in general. It says its "not quite Pale Ale" and its classified as a Fruit/Vegetable beer, but it just seems confused and without a direction.

DrinkinBoy, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of likethetaste
3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

had this in a bottle and on tap. Pours a dark yellow with a white long lasting head with good lacing. Does not have strong smell but smells of persimmon fruit and bubble gum or a slight taste like baby aspiran. Sounds bad but not so bad. :) It seems a few of magic hat beers have a sugary baby aspiran taste. Mouth feel is good. Medium bodied. Crisp carbonation. Taste of light fruit and a sort of bubble gum flavor at the finish. This sounds bad but it isn't. This is a good beer but not great beer. I will not go out of my way to get it again but if it is the only thing going I would have not problem drinking it but would probably prefer another if there was a choice.

likethetaste, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of ArcaneXor
4.08/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle from Spring 2010 Magic Hat variety pack. Pours a slightly hazy, golden color with copper highlights with a small head that dissipates in a matter of seconds, but laces nicely. Aroma strongly suggests apricots, floral hops and pale malt with a hint of caramel sweetness.
The taste is crisp and very well balanced. High carbonation and medium mouthfeel become apparent immediately. The fruit flavor is clearly evident but not overpowering, and interplays nicely with the citrusy-floral hops. The lingering aftertaste is somewhat unpleasant, reminding me of astringent, unripe fruit, but another sip instantly refreshes the palate.

ArcaneXor, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of marvin213
2.08/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Cloudy for a pale ale, and light for a fruit beer (as I now see BA has it labeled). Light carbonation for either as well, and light on the color (almost peachy) relative to a traditional pale. It looks oddly fruity--though brown, its ghost white fizz looks lambic-like. Unique, but the uncertainty about this "not quite Pale Ale" leaves me uneasy.

Smell is apricots on a hop biscuit with a twist of peach. That combo has obvious potential, but there's a sourness here dissuading me. It doesn't smell bad as in soured by bacteria and poisonous...but as if the fruits were overly ripe. It's a little puckering.

The taste is stale fizz. Isn't that ironic? There's definitely the apricots, and I've yet to embrace 'em in a beer. I love weird brews and scoff at Reinheitsgebot, but maybe apricots aren't good beer ingredients...or maybe I just don't like apricots. There's a subtle hop background, but the fizzy, sourish apricot dominates. It feels like it tastes--maybe even worse with the way the carbonation accents things.

Magic Hat creeps toward DFH-level status with its general marketing, but my experience with their beers pales to that of Dogfish Head. I haven't had as many of the Vermont specials, and I realize it's not about #9 relative to anything else, but this beer leaves me less apt to reach for another Magic Hat.

marvin213, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of lbaker
2.25/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(a)- Pourned into pilsner with decent head, light caramel in color, decent carbonation...overall very average, decent see-through. (3/5)

(s)- I feel like my nose has the ability to sniff out the best in things, but wow is it struggling with this. Every sniff I breathe Im reminded of cleaning my dog's piss stains on the carpet. Disgusting (1.5/5)

(t) after getting over the smell I move to taste. How can so many people enjoy this brew? I guess anyone tipping thier hat to a fruit/veggie brew isnt a friend of mine. No distinct fruit flavors to really nail one or two. I assume the bottom of most juicers to taste like this. (2/5)

(m)- This is one area where this brew doesnt dissapoint...only if the taste could accomodate the decent mouth-feel. Great carbonation, light on the tongue...but also light on everything else. (3/5)

(d) Tottaly could drink 12 of these, if i didnt care what I was drinking tasted like. (3/5)

lbaker, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of BeerSquid
4.13/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I really really like Magic Hat #9. Its refreshing, and I find I can drink it just about anytime, although particularly delicious as a summer beer. This brew is so unique and truly live up to the slogan, "Not quite Pale Ale".
Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.

A- Nice semi-cloudy pale orange pour. Leaves a thin veil of head that dissolves into a ring at the glasses edge, producing a mild lace.

S- Great unique aroma of apricot, the aspect that the beer prides itself on. The apricot is strong, but not to the extent where it is overpowering. One can still smell the hops.

T- Once again, to pair with the smell, is a fabulously unique taste of apricot and beer! Its sweet, yet tart, cool and refreshing. Has a great, clean flavour to it, with just enough bite to make it almost a Pale Ale, but not quite.

M- Nicely balanced carbonation. Cradles the flavous well across the tongue and really holds in the mouth as a strong semi-hoppy apricot aftertaste.

D- A very enjoyable beer. Great drinkability. Enjoyable anytime particularly in the summertime.


BeerSquid, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of DosBeerigos
4.1/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

C(clarity). Cloudy
H(hue). Orange
N(nose). Fruity, strong apricot

First of all, one of my favorite beers, but while trying to stay unbiased, this is a light beer that is easy to drink, and the flavor dances on your tongue like Tinkerbell dancing on Peter Pan's nightstand.

DosBeerigos, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of farrago
2.98/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Delicate head, close to a finger, almost all large bubbles popping in concert, gone lickety split, bleached white in color, very small lacing left. Faded metallic orange, yellow coloration, like old citrus peels even, mostly transparent, vague translucent distortion of light. There's a sourness to the nose like spoilt milk, even as apricot, peach, pear fruit clearly comes to the fore, wheat germ, light coating of molasses, sweet tea leaves, not much depth nor staying power. Medium-bodied with its weight dissipating as it progresses forward. The apricot right there, followed on by peach, pear and red apple notes. The carbonation is a bit high, doesn't allow the sweetness to really soak in much. Somewhat leafy, more bitter than herbaceous per se. The malts don't do much to smooth things out, like a malted milk ball without the chocolate coating. Orange citrus blooms close to when it's finally down the chute and retronasally. Given its lack of deep sweetness, can't say it's particularly refreshing. Actually, kinda boring.

farrago, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of mutterfudder
3.55/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ahhh... #9. The beer that got me into craft beer before I was legally able to drink. I swear I remember this beer differently than how it tastes now, but who knows... those were many years ago. Fired it back up on tap @ the Brew for a refresher course.

A - Bright, clear copper color with no discernible head. What little was there was relegated to the sides of the glass in a thin halo around the glass. No lacing as it disappeared.

S - Holy fruit loops! I remember it being a little sweet but this smells cloyingly so. No hop notes that I could pick out. It doesn't smell bad, but wow... is my memory that hazy?

T - Sweet fruit flavors on top of a thin malt and hop base. The fruits are very orange/pear and overpower any hops that may be there. Again, I remember this beer being a lot more balanced and hoppy.

M / D - I don't like the aftertaste that this beer leaves. It's a dry, fake hazelnut flavor with the same juicy fruits. Drinkable? Sure. When I'm at a bar with limited options, it seems #9 is still one of them. It's sessionable and inoffensive.

10-ish years ago, I remember this being a semi-sweet hop bomb. Now, it's a very sweet, watery thing. Is it a different recipe? Change in tastes due to a greater exposure to craft beer? Don't know. I still remember my first, but I think it's been deified in my mind. The beer's not bad.

mutterfudder, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of alkemy
2.17/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Slightly hazy golden pour sporting a tight white head just shy of a finger high. Lots of lacing left behind on this one. You get apricot in the nose, but the scent reminds me a bit of their Odd Notion wild ale. There's some diacetyl along with apricot combining to form a taste I found truly awful. I remember not being a big fan of this, but it was much worse than I remembered. There's also a very faint caramel bready note and zero hops. It does look good and the feel is pretty satisfying, but the taste is quite bad.

alkemy, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours golden orange with a white head. The aroma is very fruity, with lots of citrus including orange, apricot and peaches as well as some lighter malts. the flavor is more of the same with apricots and peaches being dominant as well as some bready malts. No real hop presence. Light mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Overall, a disappointing beer.

Mora2000, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of urwithdave
2.42/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle (best by date end of March)into a pint glass.

A- poured a golden orange. Kinda looked like apple juice with an inch of foamy head. The head goes down to 1/4'' quickly but sticks around for the duration. Lots of bubbles rising to the top.

S- It smells like papaya and a grainy smell.

T- Again, not a whole lot going on here. I taste papaya mixed in with some malts. It tastes flat to me. Very thin and almost sparkling water tasting. Only the water, has more carbonation. Not really impressed.

D- It depends on what my goals are for the night. This seriously drinks like water, I could guzzle the stuff down all night long. Very low alcohol content. If I'm drinking to enjoy a beer, I would rate the drinkability very low probably a 2. If I'm doing a chugging contest it would be a 5 all the way. You get the point.

urwithdave, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of elgiacomo
1.1/5  rDev -67.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

12oz bottle, best by Feb 2010. Pours light amber with a small off-white head, tiny spots of lacing, maintains a weak cap.

Aroma is orange kool-aid, orange gatorade, fruity shampoo, smells VERY artificial.

Flavor is orange rind, almost like Flinstones vitamins or generic orange tums. Despite this, it feels like this is giving me heartburn. Blech.

Mouthfeel is oily, a little sticky, medium carbonation.

Pretty nasty overall, gonna go put a PBR in the freezer, this is going down the drain. Yeah this is at the end of its run, but still technically within the "best by" range. Undrinkable, artificial, nasty crap.

elgiacomo, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of buschbeer
3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured into a pint glass to a small off white head. It is a slightly hazy yellow. The smell is big on apricot and reminds me of a wit. The taste is exactly like the smell. This beer is not the best selection for a winter day with two feet of snow on the ground. I'm not sure why it was in the winter variety pack. It would be more refreshing on a hot summer day.

Happy Ash Wednesday!

buschbeer, Feb 18, 2010
Photo of droomyster
3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy pale yellowish gold with a small white head. The aromas and taste are sweet and very yeasty. Both are dominated by a blast of apricots that is fun at first but becomes tiresome after about five sips. By the end of the bottle I'm sick of the dried fruit flavor. Texturally appealing but overall lacking in depth.

droomyster, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of animalchin
3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Looks like an average macro beer - pale copper color, no lacing and no head. Minimal carbonation apparent. A little bit of grain and peach in the smell. Similar deal in the taste - obvious occurrence of apricot happening. No hops really, but wet malts instead. Also feels pretty light.

I've had this beer a couple of times - I enjoy it out of the bottle more than anything. It's not so bad. I don't understand why it's the staple of Magic Hat since they certainly make better regularly available beer. #9 is good if you want a lighter feeling beer with some more taste.

animalchin, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of BlackBearForge
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Magic hat No. 9, pours a light golden amber shade with a small white head that fades quickly.

The aroma is somewhat fruity with a bready pale malt scent.

The flavor is also fruity, juicy apples and pears with big bready malts. Hop are only moderately bitter on the finish. With a bit of warming No. 9 opens up a bit with the fruit and malt flavors becoming a bit stronger, nicely holding each other up.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth with moderate carbonation.

No. 9 is an unassuming and mild take on the pale ale style. It won't either wow you or turn you off. It is however very drinkable.

BlackBearForge, Feb 15, 2010
#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 4,727 ratings.