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#9 - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.

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5,070 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,070
Reviews: 1,605
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 18.29%
Wants: 53
Gots: 642 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-09-1998

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
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Ratings: 5,070 | Reviews: 1,605 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Photo of DoubleJ
2.65/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Drank this with Halcyondays at the Goat Hill Tavern. That is one of two places in Southern California that I can find this (the other is Naja's Place in Redondo Beach). On to the beer:

This beer has an orangish amber color to it, with a good amount of head retention to it. At first, there isn't much of an aroma, but as it warms, you can smell the apricots and a little bit of diacetyl. The taste is an interesting one. Take Bass and add apricots. Dry crackery malts, apricots, and a touch of diacetyl. The letdown is towards the finish. It feels like a light beer, and finishes like a light beer. Seltzery feel and taste towards the end, owy!

#9 is a classic among East Coast beers, so I was excited just to try this beer. (Okay, and the fact it's not found easily around here). It's half-decent, though I'll skip it next time.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Goathill, excited to try this East Coast classic,

A: Pours pale yellow with a hint of orange, nice head.

S: Some apricot, hops, malt, pretty mild.

T: The ale fruit is apparent. But really, there's nothing much to go by. It tastes good, but any interest is gone fast. The apricot is a nice touch and comes out as it warms.

M: Smooth, light-bodied for sure, in the end it's spritzy, it feels too much like a light beer in the mouth.

D: This is solid and servicable across the board, much better than BMC, but it's not impressive, I can find a lot better session beers out there.

Photo of Kromes
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Hazy orange in color with a thick white head. Lots of carbonation in glass.

S: Apricots and some grainy wheat or malt. But mostly overloaded with apricot.

T: Taste is also all apricot with some honey biscuit malt showing up in the finish. There is a slight flavoring hop in the finish also. The grainy malt and apricot lingers.

M: The carbonation is good and light feeling. The beer leaves the mouth somewhat dry and also a little sweet.

D: It really depends on your preference. I can't really have more than one fruity beer, but I can see where others might like it.

Photo of pmphil33
4.33/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer last night for the 3rd time and I thought I'd finally review it. After pouring you will notice the color is a dark gold with a decent head that retained through most of the duration. A sweet tasting beer with apricot flavors and a great after taste. # 9 great beer to drink at anytime of the year and is definitely one of my favorites.

Serving type: Bottle

Photo of rmolledo
3.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a beautiful merigold roughly 10 SRM color with a decent head but not too much carbonation. Smells very sweet and fruity, light citrus notes. Tastes very unique, not a very good example of a pale ale IMO but more like a specialty or spiced beer. The flavor is similar to Mighty Leaf Tea's African Nector. Lots of Fruity Esters. I taste plums, grapes, apricots, and tangerines. My general opinion is that I wouldn't go out of my way for this beer, but i would recommend it to beginner beer drinkers who want more taste in their beers.

Photo of Portertime
3.93/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have been dying to try Magic Hat after hearing lots of hype from people who have enjoyed it before they finally started shipping to the southeast! One friend of mine who is a huge hop head and IPA fan said he was not into it but I still was intrigued. Pours a clear dark yellow with a little head and fair retention. The smell is sweet and malty with a hint of spicey hops in the background. The taste is dangerously quaffable. I see why my buddy said it was too thin for him because it is smooth as silk! The caramel malts really shine and it actually reminds me of the South African beer Tusker. It is mild and malty with good drinkability reminiscent of an Oktoberfest. Magic Hat was worth the wait.

#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 5,070 ratings.