1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  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.

4,968 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,968
Reviews: 1,585
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of #9 Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,968 | Reviews: 1,585 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smibroncos
3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A. Poured a very light straw, withy a short white head. Not much lacing on the glass.

S. Apple, fruit, not much of a beer fragrance at all.

T. Fruity almost like a hard cider, or a malt beverage. There is a hint of hops in the back.

M. Light bodied and fizzy carbonation.

D. Good brew different in all the normal attributes of any beer, but good nonetheless.

smibroncos, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of irishking1977
2.8/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Final of four in a mix 12:

A: Orange amber hue with moderate head and lacing. If a hefeweizen and a pale ale had a child, this would be the fruit of their labor.

S: Holy cow this beer has a potent scent! I usually find that more subtle scents of beer are more appealing, and so this one is kind of over the top. Extreme fruit, mostly apricot along with a wheat and yeast aroma. Ehh.

T: I recall when I first had #9. I thought it was amazing. During that time, the only other beer I had ever had previously was Yuengling. So the palate had changed drastically. Nine isn't bad by any means, just a bit potent in it's fruity characteristics. I don't drink Mike's Hard Lemonade for a reason. Excessive and cloying flavors.

M: Moderate carbonation with a middle-of-the-road creamy mouthfeel. It's difficult to determine the "feel" of the beer when the taste is so overwhelming.

D: I'm not Nostradamus, but I can predict that more than a few of these would elicit a visit from the hangover fairy.

irishking1977, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of babaracas
2.95/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a pale amber with two finger white head, lacing all the way down. Smell: husky, grainy pale malt, minimal floral hop, not a whole lot of apricot either. Taste: blonde + fruit kind of thing going on, or a mega-filtered pale wheat + fruit thing. Either way, not a lot going on. A touch of floral hop. The apricot flavor really shines through in mid sip, but towards the end turns into a peach jolly rancher, no thanks. Mouthfeel: light, thin, with an oddly drying and unpleasantly long-lasting finish. Pretty pedestrian, but could see drinking a bunch of these in the summer, if not for the awful lingering finish.

babaracas, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of UWDAWG90
3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Purchased as part of a mixed 12 pak from local Kroger. 12 oz bottle.

A - poured clear gold with lots of large bubles in the head. Large white head dissapated after about 5 mins leaving little to no lacing. Still lots of bubbles

S - Apricots and yeast is all I smell, hardly any hops or malt.

T - Apricot comes through with what seems like a hint of peach. As a fruit beer it defintely does its job.

M - clean maybe even a bit watery, doesn't linger on the tounge. Still feel the bubbles. Maybe a bit to much carbonization.

D - easy drinking though not my cup of tea. Could drink alot of this though if I had to, but why would you want to.

OK for a fruit beer, but time to move on.

UWDAWG90, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of matjack85
2.93/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found this single 12oz brown bottle at Binny's in Glen Ellyn, IL for $1.69. Giant psychedelic 1960's looking #9 on the front label with an orange background. A freshness date of Jan '10 is marked on the back label so this one is well within its optimum drinking range.

The beer pours a cloudy pear-yellow color with a very short lived white head that left no lacing.

The smell is all wheat and apricot - lots of apricot!

The taste is biscuity wheat malt with apricot flavoring, but it also has an oddly bitter hop taste that didn't miix well with the other flavors. It's not overly sweet for a fruit beer, but it is overly bitter. I didn't care for it.

Medium bodied mouthfeel that finishes dry and bitter with very high carbonation that cuts into its smoothness. I liked it a lot better after it warmed up a bit and the carbonation settled down.

matjack85, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of mothman
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into Rare Vos glass.

Pours 2 fingers of pillow topped white head. Pretty good retention, leaving splattered lace. Color is a clear copper hued gold.

Aroma: Really fruity. It seems very artificial. Lots of berries, bananas, and even some cinnamon coming from the nose. I am not a real big fan.

Taste: Again, more of an artificial taste to it. The berries just seem to fake. The hops are very grassy and mellow. Big fruit taste, in a bad way however. Not enjoying this one to much.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and grassy like. It is sticky and dry, very chewy. Light bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends with a grassy dry aftertaste with tons of fake berries.

Overall, this beer isn't for me. Nothing seemed to work with this beer and I really don't plan on drinking it again. I am glad the price was cheap for this bomber.

mothman, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of TAMU99
3.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden color with a thin foam and negligible lace. Smells of citrus and flowers with a noticeable alcoholic odor.
Taste is robust and hopped, though no overpoweringly so. Hoppy finish, average drinkability. Carbonated, thin mouthfeel.

Thin hops just aren't enough in this one. More hops/more complex hops: ok OR some malt to balance the hops: ok. This one's fair, but probably won't rebuy

TAMU99, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of stakem
2.98/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, slightly orangish-yellow color with 2 fingers of white "big bubbles" head. Leaves spotty lacing about the glass. Aroma has a strange fruit (apriocot) sweetness mixed in with malt. Taste follows suite with the malty apricot-like sweetness playing out most of the flavor profile. Upfront there is a bit of hop bitterness and the finish has a lingering taste of apricot. Not a whole lot of carb despite the big head initially produced. Feel is quite thin. Bottle reads: "not quite pale ale" and I guess I have to agree with it. This definately isn't something I would go after if I was in the mood for a pale ale. It's an interesting beverage but not something I would drink again. I am trying to be fair with this review despite my dislike of apricot and apricot seems to be the center of attention in this beer.

stakem, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of Riccymon
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a strikingly clear apple-juice orange color with a finger of clean white head. Head doesn't last forever, but this is already going better than most of my experiences with fruit beers.

Smell leaves no question about what kind of fruit this beer uses, which is an instant plus. Fruit beers where the fruit is so subtle as to be nearly nonexistent are a big pet peeve. Instead, a sweet blast of peach and apricot greet the nose. Taste largely follows what I've been smelling, and I dig the peach/apricot flavors up front. Mid-sip, a little hop bitterness comes forth and takes over the finish, which I'm not enjoying as much. Perhaps without the hops, the flavor would becoming too cloying and syrup-like, but I'm not too keen on them, as they add an astringency to the flavor and mouthfeel.

#9 has a solid, full body that seems appropriate for the style. Not very carbonated, but I think that's also appropriate as too much can make a fruit beer more like sparkling water. That astringency is again my knock on the mouthfeel. Even so, I'm enjoying my glass. I'm glad I had a chance to pick up a single, and I might even buy #9 again.

Riccymon, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of bnes09
3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this beer on-tap at a Shananigan's after I have already drank a couple so this may not be a completely accurate review but here goes:

Appearance is light blonde with a thin head initially that maintains itself well and leaves behind a thin, frothy lace.

Smell is slightly citrusy with hints of pine and is somewhat spicy to the nose.

Taste is close to the smell. Malt gives a smooth texture and the hops provide a citrus flavor, consisting mostly of apricot. The brew finishes dry.

Mouthfeel is good: light to medium bodied with plently of tingly bubbles.

Overall, a descent blonde ale. I usually prefer more hops than what this beer has to offer but it is quite drinkable and tasty at the same time. Would make a great session beer!

bnes09, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of thecarster1
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a pint, one finger cream bubbly head, clear deep golden color with hints of amber, lace holds up nicely and clings all over the glass.

s- lots of nose, sweet, tangy apricot dominate, hints of light lemon come out as well.

t- nice, really refreshing, light apricot flavors that don't overwhelm at all, slight hop finish, this beer has grown on me.

m- nice and light.

d- i've had this beer many times and i've gotta say that it's grown on me, it's very drinkable with a good amount of flavor, and it's definately not like alot of beers that are out there, another solid offering from magic hat.

thecarster1, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of GoalieRon33
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pale orange, maybe with a hint of brownish haze

S- fruity, fresh, but maybe a little muted which could cause it to seem staleish??

T- Definate apricot flavor noticeable, with a nice hoppy dry finish. Overall tongue tingler

M- Bubbles, but a little thin

D- Overall decent. I can understand it as a "gateway" beer to better examples of pale ales or hoppy beers

GoalieRon33, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of sbw138
1/5  rDev -70.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Magic Hat #9 might be the worst beer I have ever tasted. It is bland, and the flavoring they add is simply horrendous. I've noticed this is the "cool" beer to drink in college towns. I don't think it is because it tastes good to certain people, I think they just like to say they are drinking a Magic Hat #9.

But really, this beer pours a hazy orange/yellow color. I have had this, or people I know have had this, and every time it smells like it is skunked to me, but that is how the brew always smells.

But, I do appreciate how this could be considered some sort of a gateway beer from your coors and miller lights to a better beer!

sbw138, Oct 30, 2009
Photo of Kooz
3.83/5  rDev +13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Lightish yellow color gave no hint of what was to come. Drinking left some mild, sticky lacing on the glass.

Smelled semi-sweet hints, which was a nice thing and unexpected. Taste followed. It was a mellow flavor with a fruity-sweet aftertaste. Quite nice!

There was a bit of bite with the mouthfeel, but it was okay. It wasn't enough to drop the mouthfeel below a 3.

As for drinkability, I could easily enjoy this beer all night long. It bites a bit, but isn't harsh, and it goes down easy.

Kooz, Oct 30, 2009
Photo of MeisterBurger
2.78/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The inside of the cap reads: "You're never Alone with a Bone." (Random capitalization theirs.) I don't even want to know what that means.

Pours a slightly hazy orangey amber with a 1/4" of head with nice ribbons of lace lingering till the end.

The aroma is grainy with sweet candied fruits at play in the background. Apricots and taffy are going on here. Smells interesting.

The taste is well rounded, if a little restrained and watered down. There's grassy hops and a slight caramel malt, graininess, with an mild apricot lingering in the mid-dry finish. No real bitterness to speak of. It tastes...different. I'll give it that. I'm just not sure that's a good thing. (I'm leaning towards no.)

The mouthfeel is a little thin but there's a creaminess that works with the apricot.

I think it would be better if this was cranked up to a number eleven. It just seems like it could be a lot better.

MeisterBurger, Oct 28, 2009
Photo of mempath
4.58/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a nice dark golden-amber with nice, light, tall lacing and sustained head....nice ripe/dry fruit sweet note in the nose (apricots? peaches?) along with the malty (almost) pale i would expect...taste is really strengthened by the nice malt backbone and chewy mouthfeel. there is a perfect balance going on at multiple (!) levels. the hops and carbonation do the micro work that allows the malt and whatever odd magic hatwork is at play here...VERY drinkable and a nice, solid session (almost) pale for anytime of the year.

mempath, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of wahhmaster
3.1/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a tight fizzy head that dissipates quickly leaving almost no lacing.

Smell: Smells heavily of apricots and hops. A little bit of sweet maltiness comes out too.

Taste: Tastes, once again, heavily of apricots. A little bit of hoppy bitterness but not much. I know this is "not quite a pale ale" but the apricot taste heavily masks and pale ale tastes.

Mouthfeel: Thin and a little over-carbonated.

Drinkability: A decent beer and highly drinkable. Not the greatest by any stretch of the imagination but not that bad either. The apricot flavoring is actually quite tasty.

wahhmaster, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of RomaniIteDomum
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

So, this technically wasn't "on-tap", more like an impromptu growler. Long story, but let's just say that a 2 liter Coke bottle will work as a growler if nothing else is available and you don't plan on keeping the beer for more than a few hours. (Which is technically illegal in my home state of Florida. I'll not say where this was done to keep from possibly incriminating myself.) Poured from the Coke bottle into a pint glass to rate; I'm not a barbarian.

Pours a nice light golden color, which is iteself rather average. The head that it manages to maintain, though, is rather nice.

Smells nice. The apricot is a nice addition to the malt and nearly absent hops. Sweet, but not overly so. Honestly, I'd rather smell this beer than drink it.

That said, the taste is still pretty good. Again, the apricot shines after the initial light malty taste. It leaves a nice apricot after taste.

It feels nice and light in the mouth. Well-balanced and nicely carbonated, but it still feels like it is missing something.

Strangely, this beer has some nice things going for it and, yet, remains only moderately drinkable. I could see the sweetness getting a little old. It's a good beer in moderation and goes well with pretentious conversation.

RomaniIteDomum, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of cbutova
4.03/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear golden color with a white two finger head that retains really well for this light of a beer. Leaves great lacing behind. Smell is huge on fruit, apricots, also malts and a bit of hops. Not the best balanced smell, but not a weak one by any means. Tastes like a fruit soda, in a good way. Huge on the apricots but with a decent malt backbone that is not found in the nose. A tiny bit of hop bitterness gives this one a good finish. Mouthfeel is light, smooth carbonation, no alcohol or warming either, doesn't give you a good coat of flavor either, not bad for the style. This beer is very drinkable, probably one of the better session beers out there. The taste is good and holds up, the price is great, no bad flavors are present or ones that will take over the beer and ruin it, probably will have this one again, maybe my go to session beer.

cbutova, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of Ralphus
4.35/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When I bought, drank and reviewed #9 I actually thought it was a pale ale - just a very fruity one! Some of my marks have been upgraded after noticing its actually categorized as a fruit beer, which is typically a style I find dodgy at best. This beer is a keeper however.

It pours with a pleasing, clear orange colour with a white head. The head recedes to a ring of foam and leaves some lacing behind. The smell is huge citrus fruits. Oranges and tangerines galore. I found that the taste has them all over again, mixed with some sweetness and very nice dry finish. Remarkable balance and the taste kept me coming back to this beer time and time again while sailing for a week in the Chesapeake bay. The mouthfeel is remarkably refreshing for a fruit beer being both light and crispy. Perfect after a long day on the water.

#9.. the best fruit beer I've tried to date. Keep an open mind and give it a shot.

Ralphus, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of GrittyMug345
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. brown bottle - best by 11/30/09 on box. Vigorous pour into a snifter leaves a somewhat coarse 1 finger head that quickly dies down to leave nothing. An attractive light gold color. Pale malts, yeast, and a pleasant tangy fruit in the nose. Light, yeasty, very little fruit, none of the "tang" from the nose, dissapointing taste. Light bodied, well carbonated. I wouldn't pick this up again, a little too light and it lacks the fruit and tang that it seem sto promise in the nose.

GrittyMug345, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of njmoons
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am not a fan of fruit beers, but I have always really enjoyed #9. A great session beer, available all over (at least near me).

Pours a orange/brown with a moderate head that dissipates quickly.

Smell of malt, and apricot extract. It is a nice balanced mixture of aromas.

Taste is a solid pale ale with a hint of apricot that is well in balance. I think most fruit beer have difficulty wiht this balance, I like that #9 is a beer first, with a hint of apricot.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability are solid for a session beer. I like these in the summer on the patio at the bar.

njmoons, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of jpeterman
3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

--Poured from a 12 ounce brown bottle into a 16 ounce snifter.--
-Best before date printed on back label.-

Appearance- Pours an amber/copper, no haze. A hard turn gives minimal head, mostly wisps on top after about 30 seconds. Decent lacing down the glass, though.

Smell- You get the apricots up front. A bit of hops in the nose, nice and floral. Some sour-dough bread. Sweet scent, and that's for sure.

Taste- The apricots and floral hops hit first and foremost, and it holds at that. Malt is very remote, but you still get a fruity sweetness. Bitter in the back, but well balanced with the apricot. Bread as it warms, but not much. Substituting the fruity sweetness for a majority of malt in this one does well. Still holds balance, but in a different method.

Mouthfeel- Light, crisp, and refreshing. Kind of slick. Plenty of carbonation, maybe even a bit too much. However, it goes down smooth enough.

Drinkability- One or two of these is certainly enough for me. However, it is simply because i'm not a fan of many fruits, and this beer seems as if it might get too sweet after a couple. This will certainly differ from person to person. Overall, though, it goes down easy, and is very refreshing.

jpeterman, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of Tone
3.4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of citrus (weak raspberry) and slight hop. Fits the style of a Fruit - Vegetable. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of citrus (raspberry/apricot), slight sweet malt, and hop finish. I was really looking forward to this beer and therefore I'm even more disappointed. Doesn't even begin to compare to any of the good fruit beers I've had in the past.

Tone, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of beeragent
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a medium gold, forming a 1/4 inch white head that quickly fades. Small spots of lace stick to the glass.

S - Very light aroma consisting mainly of apricots, but with a hint of hops present in the background.

T - The taste is dominated by the apricot flavoring, but beneath the apricot is a well balanced malt and hop profile. Nothing extreme, but both taste like they are equally present.

M - Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Very smooth in the finish.

D - For a fruit beer, this seems to be a better representation of one. Not overpowering in the fruit flavoring, but enough to taste what they were going for. Very refreshing and enjoyable.

beeragent, Oct 09, 2009
#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 4,968 ratings.