1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.

4,642 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,642
Reviews: 1,567
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 18.29%
Wants: 35
Gots: 381 | 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: 4,642 | Reviews: 1,567 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cfriend2

West Virginia

2.73/5  rDev -19.5%

I had this beer on tap back home. This is a brew I have tried before and enjoyed, but I thought I would give it another shot in order to give it a little more attention.

Served to me in a glass mug. Nice wispy white head sticks around for a good while atop a clear orange-ish golden liquid. As far as smell is concerned, not much to speak of, just faint hops and apricot. The taste of this beer can be adequately generalized with one word: apricot. Okay, so that isn't the only thing going on, I could taste some hints of grain and malt sweetness, but the apricot is pretty prominent throughout the whole drinking experience. Sweet apricot on the tip of the tongue, an apricot sourness while it lingers around the mouth, bitter and overripe apricot on the way down accompanied with the taste of cardboard. The finish could use some retooling. Crisp bubbly mouthfeel.

This one is definitely unique. I wouldn't say I was craving more after my first, but I had another anyway. It was the only craft beer on tap. Worth a try. I can see myself at some point in the near future thinking to myself, "I wouldn't mind having that again."

03-21-2008 05:08:45 | More by cfriend2
Photo of cvstrickland

North Carolina

1.63/5  rDev -51.9%

Got this in a "Pandora's Box" mixed pack. 12 oz bottle poured into a pint mug.

Nice fluffy head, pretty golden bronze color, light fruit smell, and then the drink...

Apricots. Apricots. Apricots. Sweet, sour, bitter. Hops undetectable above the jaw-clenching, eye-squinching,head-shaking sourness. Awful. Ugh.

Otherwise, it defintely seems to be beer,(if in no way resembling any version of a contemporary PA), but with a sour and bitter fruitiness that pervades, annoys, and overwhelms.

The originally enticing head cashed in early and diminished to virtual non-existence before I gave up trying to like this one; very little lacing to wash out of the glass. Won't drink the other two in the sampler, didn't finish this one, and opened a SN Celebration Ale to get the taste out of my mouth. Cheers!

03-21-2008 00:17:30 | More by cvstrickland
Photo of dreadnatty08

District of Columbia

3.9/5  rDev +15%

Best by 06/08
Pours a medium dark straw color with a slight haze and half inch of brilliantly white head. Aroma, right off the bat is hit with lots of fruitiness, especially apricot, a bit of toasty, biscuity malt and a touch of floral hops. On the palate, a mouth filling amount of malt hits you first, bready and toasty still, with that biscuit malt used. The apricot flavor is subtle (much more pronounced in the aroma) and blends well with the floral, citrusy hops which provide just enough bitterness to counteract the malt sweetness. This is a very balanced APA, much less hoppy than most, and the apricot, while some see it as just fruity nonsense, is a nice change of pace from your usual APAs. I've had this before on draft, and have to say it's better in the bottle.

03-19-2008 15:40:16 | More by dreadnatty08
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

3.03/5  rDev -10.6%

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. #9 has an amber color and a middling texture about it. There was a small, quarter-inch head on it and some OK lacing.

The smell isn't terribly noticable. There's a wheaty quality, along with some type of fruit in the aroma.

The malts, wheat and apricot appeared in the taste, but it didn't seem to have much of a personality. Very average taste.

The mouthfeel was decent, but not great. The carbonation level was alright and the finish was a little on the slick side.

Overall, this is a terribly average beer. It never really grabbed me in any way. There are certainly worse beers out there, but there are also a whole lot better ones.

03-18-2008 16:05:11 | More by avalon07
Photo of JDV


3.1/5  rDev -8.6%

bottle courtesy of davehoward.
Clear honey amber color with a medium white head. Smell is sweet apricot and malt. Taste is mostly mild apricot and a light bitterness that keeps it from being cloying at all. Nice fruit beer overall. A bit thin, but very drinkable, and it has a really nice apricot flavor to it.

03-15-2008 19:55:04 | More by JDV
Photo of Oxymoron


2.73/5  rDev -19.5%

Kings Cup? What is nine, rhyme time. Pours a hazy darker orange almost amber color. A good pour leaves to a rocky white head with decent retention but does dissipate over time.

The nose is limited overall. Some lighter malt and wheaty notes. A touch of biscuit as well. Not really much of a fruity nose at all. Some lighter yeasty notes but subtle.

The taste is more perceivable. There is a relaxed malty bill with some more generic grainy tastes. Some wheat-like flavors as well. The apricot is noticeable but is delicate. It noticed more in the aftertaste than the actual taste. There are some distinctive yeast qualities but noting overwhelming.

The body is light but not really crisp. Some residuals left over. Overall this is not a bad beer just not much to it.

03-13-2008 19:13:39 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of BeerTaster

New York

2.53/5  rDev -25.4%

Appearance yellow with a copper tint nice three finger white head. Smell fruity and some malt. Taste fruity some malt sweetness hop character was a bit disapointing for the style. Mouthfeel mediem body mediem carbonation and crisp. Drinkability don't understand how this beer is so popular.

03-12-2008 22:52:01 | More by BeerTaster
Photo of ricchezza


2.2/5  rDev -35.1%

A - Pours a slight orange/amber hue.

S - Fruity, but not hop-citrusy.

T - Crisp. Carbonation tickle. Light body. Mild maltiness. Has a peachiness to it. Somewhat sour bitter finish.

D - Light and easy to drink - just not for me. This reminded me a lot of Pete's Strawberry Blond (that tastes likes Trix Creal - which I do remember liking; just not in a beer!)

03-12-2008 21:30:52 | More by ricchezza
Photo of jspruit


3.55/5  rDev +4.7%

Got this 12oz beer in a trade from johnnnniee and drank it back home in Ireland.

I didn't actually know that this was an apricot take on an APA until I poured it and the sweet hints hit my nose. They aren't overpowering but they are really the only ones that I think is remarkable from the orangey pour with a light 1 finger head.

As an APA the taste isn't too strong, just some basic light malts but the apricot really is the remaining taste. Finishes on the dry side as the apricot kicks in on your tongue.

It has more character than some APAs in the sense that there is some fruit twist to it, but I don't detect much hops. Mouthfeel is alright but not too full.

I think that you could drink multiple of these in one session, but it probably wouldn't be something that I would want to drink consistently. I think that I would prefer more traditional APAs, but I'd recommend this to others who maybe want something a bit different in their APAs.

03-09-2008 20:59:07 | More by jspruit
Photo of spiffysamurai


3.7/5  rDev +9.1%

A: The beer poured in a light golden amber color. The appearance is not bad overall, looks quite nice.

S: As a huge fan of apricots I was attracted to this beer. The smell of hops are the next thing to come out as well.

T: The beer is quite tasty. The taste of apricots and malts dominated the taste and that is quite fine to me.

M: The mouthfeel was pretty good, easy to get a feel for and easy to shallow.

A: Very good beer for hanging out during the summer days and nights to pass the time. Also a good beer to sit and watch the sunset.

03-02-2008 15:36:45 | More by spiffysamurai
Photo of kevman527

New York

4.03/5  rDev +18.9%

Had it on draft.

Appearance: Had a perfect 'bar pour' with no head, ok lacing. Light copper-reddish color.

Smell: Fruity and floral, kind of hoppy. Fruityness comes from apricots.

Taste: Dried apricots, a little piney. Very mellow, nothing complex. Light bodied.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, low carbonation.

Drinkability: One of my favorite everyday beers, very easy to drink several of them.

02-29-2008 05:50:37 | More by kevman527
Photo of AshevilleSippin

North Carolina

3.1/5  rDev -8.6%

Short Version:
For a fruit beer I was pretty happy. Not a fan of the style but this was decent. Not too sweet. Watery fruity wheat flavor with low bitterness and a huge fruity nose on it.

April '08 freshness date. Attractive brown 12oz bottle with mystical #9 design.

Pours a clear orange-amber color with a 2 finger off-white bizarre looking head. Huge bubbles like bubblebath mixed in with small and medium ones. The huge ones really demand your attention. When each pops it opens up a gaping hole in the head and you can visibly see that section sink or contort. It leaves a pockmarked landscape with little bubbles surviving while big ones expire and leave empty spaces. Never seen any beer like it.

Carbonation is unique as well. Lively so far with clumps of big bubbles patched along the sides like club soda in a rocks glass.

Wow! On the nose I'm gettin HUGE fruity floral smells. It's a nectar-sweet fruit like berries. Possibly black raspberry. Reminds me of Chambord liqueur actually. Also smelling wheat maybe and a little citrusy tang. I have a sinking feeling this is going to be a fruity foo-foo beer that I'll have to pour out the last half of after rating it. Here goes...

Hum, not as fruity as I expected or the nose predicted. Fruity for sure though. Watery fruit flavor prevails. Light bodied (surprising). Seems like I'm tasting some wheat malt but it could be a psychological carryover from raspberry wheat beer I've had before. No bitterness at all. Is this really a Pale Ale?

Although I'm an anti-fan of fruit flavored beers this is a nice change up for me. I'm enjoying it even though I won't buy it again.

Finish is light and fruity but not overly sweet. Has a slightly sticky finish but the body is light enough that it's not syrupy at all.

Aftertaste lingers with me too long. It's not all that unpleasant but the longer it sits the more artificial the fruit is tasting on the back of my tongue.

Beer is half gone and the head is completely MIA. Not even a thin white film and no lace to speak of. Carbonation has died down substantially. Its gone flat on me. For some reason it's showing a little grainy dryness now. Didn't get that earlier. Maybe it's the temperature climb or the lack of fizz that's bringing it out.

I'll finish this beer but to be honest I'm not really looking forward to it at this point. Don't blame the beer though. I'm still just not digging fruity beers. This is one of the better ones I've tried though. Flatness and light body are it's weak points.

Kudo's to magic hat for making one I can actually finish.

**P.S. Just read the bottle. It said specifically that there is "essence of apricot" in it. So much for my palate. I called it black raspberry. In hindsight, with the last few sips here, I can taste apricot for sure. Gotta get back to the drawing board and keep honing my senses here. This is what it's all about!

02-26-2008 07:47:57 | More by AshevilleSippin
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev +6.2%

12 oz single bottle copped for $1.99 from Total Wine and More in West Orange...
Very impressive five-fingered full, foamy and frothy head lurking behind a golden, amber, copper appearance...
Smell was fresh and on-point, with a nice balance between dominating hops and subservient malts...
Great crisp, clean, clear, and refreshing tate dominated by fresh fruit, florals, pears, apples, noticeable apricots, and grapefruit...
Clean, clear, filling mouthfeel, without the slightest indication of any alcohol present at all although slightly watery which took a hit at the overall mouthfeel...
Excellent drinklability due to the relatively low ABV % and the nice combination of rich flavors that failed to interfere at all...
Good stuff from Magic Hat... Recommended...

02-24-2008 22:14:14 | More by dsa7783
Photo of CortexBomb


3.48/5  rDev +2.7%

Pour is orange with a light white head on top. Nose is sweet with apricots and some malts present.

The flavour on this is fairly straight-forward: basic malts with an apricot zing. Very dry finish. An enjoyable and not overly fruity pale take on a fruit beer, but not remarkable.

The mouth on this is a shade above average, some body, some tingles, but not a lot. The drinkability also a shade above the standard: nothing worth seeking out, but as pales go, it at least has some character.

The bottom line: I'm not a big fan of pales, but the apricot presence in #9 makes it stand out a bit for me. I wouldn't mind having another, though I would not go out of my way to do so.

02-23-2008 01:08:35 | More by CortexBomb
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.23/5  rDev -4.7%

A: Poured a clear amber-orange with a thin sudsy white head that quickly faded.

S: The nose was very fruity, fresh sugary-sweet apricots and light toasted caramel.

T: very fruity like the nose, with sweet apricots, and a very light cereal grain palate that lets the fruitiness overpower and distract from the overall flavor of the beer instead of adding subtle notes of complexity, it is left as a one dimensional drink.

M: light bodied, with a fizzy mouthful from the aggressive carbonation. The texture was slick while the flavor was crisp on the swallow.

D: On tap I found to be a little more balanced and more rounded. Bottled was to spicy and drank like an over-powering and over-carbonated wine spritzer.

02-22-2008 17:11:58 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Baileyuk


3.8/5  rDev +12.1%

Pale Ale meets Shorts Brewing Soft Parade?

A - Poured a very clear golden amber. No head and little lacing.

S - A complex fruit smell, nothing like I was expecting from a pale ale.

T - Hops were very light and were largely hidden by the fruit. I thought I tasted raspberry in there but I did not see that on other reviews. Maybe a little strawberry also. Overall a decent, and surprising, taste.

M & D - Although I liked this beer I could not drink that many. It would be something I may order again, especially outside on a hot day.

02-20-2008 02:28:20 | More by Baileyuk
Photo of SaucyA


3.25/5  rDev -4.1%

A - Golden, straw-colored. Thin bodied 1 finger white foam. Lacing present. Very clear.

S - Fruit. Apricot, lemon, sugar, call me wierd but I smell strawberries, too. No real hop or malt profiles to speak of, just fruit.

T - Slightly astringent and phenolic. Definitely not a style of APA I'm familiar with. Starts fruity and finishes dry. Not much to work with here.

M - Fine in all aspects, if a little thin.

D - A good lawnmower, backyard bbq, day at the beach sort of sessionable beer.

I'm not a huge fan of the interpretation of the style, but it's a solid party/session/non-beer-drinking-girlfriend beer.

*edit. I tried this on tap last night and it's actually a bit better. sweeter, heavier, less dry and astrigent. I suggest trying it on tap if you have the chance.

02-18-2008 23:19:37 | More by SaucyA
Photo of johnnyirishman


4.1/5  rDev +20.9%

A-It had a Golden Yellow apperance, with a smaller head that dissapeared to nice lacing a quater way through the beer.
S- An interesting fruity smell with a slight hop smell.
T,M- Definately tastes like Apricot but it dosent overpower the beer at all. It kind of lingers in the background untill you swallow.
D- It is quite a drinkable beer, but not for "all the time drinking". I do enjoy drinking this from time to time.

02-15-2008 00:36:13 | More by johnnyirishman
Photo of Proteus93


3.2/5  rDev -5.6%

A: A pretty light golden yellow hue, with an eggshell head. A touch of lace

S: A bit of hops, a bit of pear. Just generally fruity, yet a moderate to not be overwhelmingly so.

T & M: Tastes like liquid apricot, just the tiniest hop finish. Quite dry, though a little more sparkling would have been nice.

D: Reasonably flavoured so as to not taste like fruit syrup concentrate or something. Not what I'd consider representative of an "APA" as the style suggests, and not really my thing, but not a bad drink overall, and fairly refreshing.

02-14-2008 19:28:22 | More by Proteus93
Photo of Floydster


2.17/5  rDev -36%

12 ounce bottle that was part of a Magic Hat mixed pack I received in a trade, split with a friend, poured into a pint glass

A-Very light yellow, resembles a macro, miniscule 1/8 inch white head that settled immediately, not any retention and no lacing either

S-Lots of apricots, lemon, roasted barley, faint grassy hoppiness, flowers, malt, grains, blueberries, and yeast

T-Medicinal flavor I could not stand that tasted like Robotussin, strong apricot taste, small amount of hops, bready and biscuity malt, some different kinds of berries, nasty bitterness, too watered down, balanced pretty well, just not a fan of this taste, got even worse as the beer warmed

M-Dry mouthfeel to along with a funky sweetness, super thin body, taste did not last long thank goodness, not enough carbonation

D-Could not drink more than a bottle of this if that, not heavy on the stomach or high in alcohol, just not smooth and the taste is flat out funky and tiresome

Tasted more like a bad cough syrup than beer to me, would not drink this again, never had a pale ale that tastes like this, too weird, not recommended

02-13-2008 06:06:50 | More by Floydster
Photo of SpencerT


3.1/5  rDev -8.6%

This ale poured a butterscotch body with a thin white head. The scent of Apricots mix with the sweet scent of the malt.
The taste of Apricot Mix with a slight hint of floral flavors of the hops. This is a smooth drink with not much after taste.
This is a middle of the road Apricot Pale Ale with not a lot of complex flavors.

02-12-2008 01:28:55 | More by SpencerT
Photo of nrpellegrini


3.18/5  rDev -6.2%

Bottle poured to pint glass.

A: slightly cloudy deep yellow, 1 finger fast thinning head
S: very fruity, malty
T: bitter, bland, watery, light hoppyness
M: smooth all the way through, clean, not so great aftertaste
D: decent

Decent beer, probably not something I'll reach for again.
Give it a shot.

02-10-2008 02:13:01 | More by nrpellegrini
Photo of Mitchster


1.7/5  rDev -49.9%

$1.70 for a 12oz bottle, newly available in Michigan, here at Jack's. Pours out to a crystal clear orange amber, forming a modest white head which quickly recedes. No lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma opens with apricots, followed by some dank wet cardboard. The mouthfeel has a crisp carbonation, but also has a ruddy oxidized twang. The taste is pretty bland, quite dry, little to no residual sugars, chemical bitterness, cardboard, wet newspaper.

Pretty dang awful. Horrible mouthfeel, horrible taste, horrible aroma. This one is going down the drain.

02-09-2008 18:37:22 | More by Mitchster
Photo of brewskitier


4.15/5  rDev +22.4%

3/4 Pint Non-returnable out of pandoras box variety pack

Pours (i mean beautiful too) glorious golden brown crystal clear and light on the carbination.

smells like whoa. apricot and "not quite pale" grainy scent.

like apricot baby. yummy sweet apricot. for a flavored ale, most are wheat beers what give you a heaping headache and cant have more than a few. this isnt as bad and could finish more than my share.

02-07-2008 02:01:14 | More by brewskitier
Photo of Wasatch


3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this one.

Pours a golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, some sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, nice little touch of apricot, and caramel. The taste is slightly bitter/sweet, malty, slight apricot, and caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, not too bad of a beer.

02-07-2008 01:31:52 | More by Wasatch
#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 4,642 ratings.