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#9 - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,027 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,027
Reviews: 1,590
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 18.29%
Wants: 52
Gots: 579 | 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)
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Ratings: 5,027 | Reviews: 1,590 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of whiplash3825
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From "Feast of Fools" Winter '09 variety pack.

Pours a clear amber-orange with two-finger head which fades to a lasting cap. Slight lacing.

First smell that comes across is apricots, then there's some hops in the nose.

Tastes like apricots too, but it's pretty subtle and backed up with a nice complimentary hops bitterness. I'm not one for fruity beers, but this is refreshing and seems pretty well balanced. Thankfully in my case, the more I drank the more I tasted the hops and the less the fruit.

These get better the more you have... along with the low abv the drinkability is quite good.

Photo of psujesus
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

got this in the Feast of Fools pack

pours an light orangery color with decent head retention, smells fruity with some malts, taste just as fruity as it smells, has an apricot aftertaste, some carbonation to it

this is a decent beer but i wouldnt have more than one in a session

Photo of olympuszymurgus
2.93/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

flying back from the east coast, had at the newark airport hours before the man rolled in with the shutdown plan. very good to have gotten out when i did. chose the diner bar over the guiness bar, cuz let's be honest, nobody needs that in their lives, and, lo and behold, they had magic hat #9 on tap. unsure of what to do, and with over an hour before my flight, i calmly ordered a budweiser, a classic american airport beverage, contemplating an imminent decision.
and then, i went for it. the golden body and creamy head made for a nice looking beer with apricots popping out of the imperial pint. there seems to be a little hop action hiding out behind there. tastes almost purely of apricots with a little maltiness and small hop presence. it feels like there's a pale ale in there somewhere. the malt and apricot sweetness clings in the mouth, but in an unfortunate, heavy syrupy manner, like high fructose corn syrup. probably won't have another one for at least a year. and i'm okay with that.

Photo of nickadams2
2.5/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A_ Pale yellow with a decent bone white head.

S_ Apricot overwhelms hiding the smell of anything else.

T_ Tastes fruity and sweet. Overwhelming to the palate with the taste of apricot. Pretty weak beer.

M_ Thin crisp mouthfeel. If it didnt taste so bad it might be refreshing.

D_ Imagine it would be a good beer for a session but dont care too much for another one.

This would be a good beer for a beginner. Also if youre trying to get your girl to drink beer might not be a bad idea to start her off with this. Lot of hype but overall dissapointing.

Photo of ujsplace
3.1/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First off, I have tried #9 off and on on several occasions over the last few years and have just not reviewed it until today. With that said, I had no idea that this was a fruit/vegetable beer. Kind of surprising since I never really tasted an overwhelming fruit/vegetable taste.

Anyway, poured this into a Duvel glass and the head was about two fingers thick. The color is a pale coppery orange with an off-white head that has descent lacing.

Smells of herbal hops and burnt caramel. The taste is thin with hops and mild malts. Some fruits - maybe peach and citrus. This is somewhat lacking in terms of flavor overall. Probably would be great for the summer at parties, but this seems to have changed since my last experience with this brew.

Photo of Josievan
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Looks quite a bit like an APA, sparkling yellow with a decent head.

Smell: The aroma is pretty fruity, maybe a touch of hops.

Taste: Lots of apricot flavor up front. Many others detect pear flavor. I didn't notice that myself but see where one might get that. Balanced enough with pale malt and citrus light hops to not be over-the-top fruity.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side, with significant carbonation.

Drinkability: Much more drinkable than many beers heavy on fruit flavor.

Notes: The waitress said people either love or hate this beer, but I find myself in the middle. I like it, but don't love it. It's advertised as a not-quite-APA, which I found to be an accurate description. Where this beer succeeds is where many other fruit beers fail: the quality of the base beer. #9 has good APA qualities, whereas so many wheat-fruit beers leave something to be desired in the wheat department. I can tell the fruit flavor comes from a syrup or extract, but it is still subtle and not too sweet, so as not to bash the drinker over the head with fruitiness.

Photo of grdahl
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber Orange with decent head retention

S - Fruity with smell of apricot apparent

T - Pleasantly sweet with apricot and pear upfront but not overbearing.

M - light body with medium carbonation.

D - Very easy to drink. Almost no alcohol taste present

Overall- Not bad.I Actually liked this for it's extreme refreshment qualities. This is still beer and the fruitiness is not overdone for my tastes.

A 22 oz. bottle goes down like a soft drink.

Photo of mntlover
3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a golden color with thumb sized off white head that falls and leaves sparse lace behind.

Aroma is crisp malt fruity notes citrus and funk lightly earthy yeasts.

Taste is malt some sweetness, fruits and funk, citrus apricot hints of pear. Yeast is earthy some hops also citrus, herbal notes. Not sure where the funk is coming from. Little strange flavor not really into fruit beers to begin with, this is drinkable but not something i would re buy.

Mouthfeel is on light side of medium nice mellow carbonation. Feels decent enough.

Drinkability is ok , not my favorite style nor something that appeals to me that being said it isn't bad.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pilsner. Pours a mildly hazy copper color with little head. Lacing is nothing worth talking about.

Aroma is mild...citrus/maybe orange, a little musky. Overall, scent isn't strong.

Mildly carbonated, with a funky taste. Not bad, but not great. A little citrus, wheat, dry. A little crisp and definately light...so an easy drink.

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.1/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is the phenomenon in my town. I am not a huge fan. Where were these people years back when I was in my Blue Paw phase?

A - Clear, orange-amber beer with a decent white foam white and good lacing sticking on the glass.

S - Very fruity and sweet, lightly tart, and not much else.

T - Dominant ringwood yeast yields apricot and honey sweetness, and a grainy mellow finish. This beer tastes slightly 'infused' with flavor, which is not a compliment.

M - Fairly light bodied, but rich and filling due to sweetness and carbonation.

D - Given the fact that it tastes as much like iced tea as beer, and that many people, especially hot chicks, are crazed over it, I would say it is very drinkable, if not personally that enjoyable. In other words, I could rock this stuff in order to take one for the team...

Photo of tjd112
3.55/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation - On tap in pint glass at Bar on A in East Village

Appearance - Poured a golden-orange colour with decent white head

Smell - Very malty and dry fruity, can't quite put my finger on it

Taste - Oh here's the flavor, a lot of apricot, as well as candy apple

Mouthfeel - Very light carbonation and body

Drinkability - Sessionable

Overall - a good choice, but if I want an apricot flavoured beer, I'd go with a River Horse Trippel

Photo of billez62
3.93/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap and liked it alot dispite the fact that i do not usually like any beer with fruit flavor .
I found it about average to average in every category .
The way i thought it taste best though is as a Black and Tan(black magic) with guinness which suprised me to .

Photo of alleykatking
3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Review from notes.

A- Very carbonated and clear caramel amber color. Big two finger off white head that stays for awhile. Heavy lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Sweet malt body with big hints of apricot. Light citrus hops. Light sweet grainy off scent with this one. Not really to complex at all and aroma shows this off well.

T- Sweet malt clash with the apricot giving off a sweet caramel apple taste. Nothing really else there taste wise except for a light citrus hop in the end. Light alcohol is present in the beer as well.

M- Light mouthfeel to this. Carbonation levels are a little too much for this beer I think. malty presence left on palate along with the aftertaste. Lacked the crispness most other beers give.

D- This is a drinkable beer that I would take over a BMC. But I would pass onto something a little more "meaty" as a pale ale or otherwise.

Photo of Duxx
1.73/5  rDev -49%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I have never seen or heard of this beer before. It is not available in Kansas City or in stores west of there that I have seen. The carton claims this beer is "not quite a pale ale" yet somehow I thought I was buying something like a pale ale? Because I was expecting a different version of a pale ale, I was just about to really slam this beer in this review. I had no idea this was an apricot beer until I found its classification on BA. As a matter of fact I went back an read the entire packaging and did not see any hint this was a fruit beer. Looking at the orangish label it does kind of look like a psychodelic apricot. So, I'll rethink my review with a fruit beer in mind. Lets see...

A: Pours kind of a golden orange sunset color. A strange color for a beer but since it is supposed to be an apricot beer I rated it higher than I would have otherwise because thats what it looks like.

S: I didn't care for the smell. Kind of reminded me of the perm solution smell at the mall hair places. Other people say apricot smell but I didn't get that.

T: Not my cup of tea or beer for that matter. No appreciable hops just that perm solution taste.

M: Not too watery and medium in carbonation. Perfectly acceptable for a fruit beer.

D: Fairly light on the palate like a macro lager. If you liked this beer I'm sure you could drink several. As for me, I had trouble finshing just one. Several people noted that this was a cheap beer. Not in St. Louis, I paid almost $9 for a sixer. Ouch!

Photo of Spineypanda
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a pale gold color and a decent head.
Smells of citrus and yeast. A lot of citrus and apricot.
The taste is just as citrusy has the smell. Surprising because the first two times I tried this beer I did not notice it.
Carbonation is somewhat low but it still feels right.
I would maybe buy this again, it just seems like it does not quench as well as I thought it would.

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one many times and finally sitting down to rate it.

A: Pours into pint glass an orange to light amber color with brilliant clarity. Fluffy white head settles nicely and sticks around with good lacing on the glass.

S: Smell of dried apricots, honey, biscuits and wheat. Hops are mellow but earthy and herbal.

T: Honey, caramel, apricots, and roasted grains with a touch of vanilla. Hops are spicy and grassy.
M: Medium body with a crisp bubbly carbonation. Alcohol is mellow.

D: Refreshing and very easy on the palate without being bland or tasteless. I can see why it has a wide appeal. It is easy to have a few especially if you don't mind apricots.

Photo of hube
2.4/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Not as bad as I remember.

I'm probably one of the few remaining defenders of Magic Hat 'round these parts - I applaud their creativity, despite the often mediocre execution. As one of my gateway breweries, though, they'll always have a special place in my heart and in my fridge (thanks to Humble Patience, Blind Faith, Heart of Darkness, Jinx, and others).

In my mind, #9 has long been the standby beer for people who don't really like beer. Likely, it still is. In a pinch, I'll put it down. And hell, this sixer was acquired at no personal cost to me thanks to a nondrinker.

Lastly, I wish the Hat would quit filling out their samplers with it.

On to the proper review -

A wheat beer flavored with apricot. For me, wheats need a more tart fruit to balance out the banana from the yeast. Apricots could be the natural choice here. An inherently sugary fruit already, but with some work, there's the potential for a nice sour bite when they're ripe.

Unfortunately, the Hat's version almost tastes like the brew sits on piles of dried, candied apricots before bottling. If they played with the flavor in the other direction, drawing out the hint of sour in an apricot, this beer could really be an all-time classic. That flavor almost makes it in the back of the mouth and the aftertaste here, but it's just a tease.

It's well carbonated and goes down easily. Here, the idea of a session beer for non-craft/non-beer drinkers comes into play. Served cold and fresh, there's nothing offensive about the beer at all. Looks great in a glass.

The drinkability score on this one is tough. I gave it a 2.5, thinking of each preceding category. Looks good. Nice in the mouth. Smells terrible if you're breathing deep and studying it, but the combo of smell/sip is fine.

Really, it's an average beer for people who only like sweet, sugary beers/drinks and are looking for something different. If asked for a recommendation on that level, I'd point the drinker to a traditional German hefeweizen or one of the sweeter American wheats. In a bar with limited selection, this would win out.

Photo of ollie78
3.95/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Time is slow when there are acres to mow"

a: light amber color, with a head that dissipates quickly leaving lacing around the edge.

s: sweet, fruity apricot smell with a faint hint of possibly orange

t/m: the taste is crisp and refreshing with a hint of apricot after taste. Sense of slight carbonation on the tongue.

d: not an every day beer, but I can definitely see myself picking up a sixer on a regular basis.

The beer would be great on a hot day. The refreshing/crisp quality would be a great way to start the evening.

Photo of mnrider
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle. Nice and fresh.

A: Pours a hazy almost clear light gold color. Small bubbly white head does not last very long.

S: Smells of apricots and I guess pears or peaches. Very nice.

T/M: Smooth and a bit crisp. Also refreshing. The fruit flavor of apricots is most noticeable. The hop bitterness is somewhat strong. Overall this beer has a good but not overpowering fruit taste.

D: An excellent fruit beer. I don't usually like fruit beers, so this one was a nice surprise. Not sure i'd get a six pack, but I would drink em from the various variety packs.


Photo of JohnQVegas
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into pint glass.

Pours hazy gold with a bit of an orange tint, with a thinnish white head that settles quickly into some scattered suds, and light lacing.

Nose is big apricot candy, maybe a hint of almost butterscotch sweetness.

Taste is dryish, biscuity malt up front, light hops come through after, right as the apricot hits, though with none of the sweetness of the nose. The light bitterness brings with it an odd artificial quality. Feels fresh, and goes well with some food, but on its own gets a bit weird.

Mouthfeel isn't bad - light bodied, light carbonation tickles the tongue without turning the corner to prickley.

Drinkability isn't bad. But the artificial quality in the taste hurts it a bit.

Photo of witster18
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

unbelievable how this beer gets such a bad rep on here. If I wanted to complain about fruit beers I'd start with a litany of others before this one(strawblonde, leiney'sbluewheatdisaster, many more).

#9 is literally magic to my mouth. It's a light flavor pale ale with a serious sour/sweet citrus. It's almost like somebody dropped a few sweet tarts into a good pale ale... maybe I just don't like the strawberry and blueberry flavors... but the citrusy stuff I can go for(no blueberry here thank goodness)... and this one is really good because it doesn't overdo it(the fruit)... and yet it's still a completely distinguishable brew. The sweetness is really rounded out by the sour finish which is helped by a small detectable hop presence. SOme decent lacing. Still has that real beer backbone. I like this.

perhaps the only magic hat brew I do care for.

I'll definitely re-visit this. A six pack is in my near future. I disagree with many reviewers here in that the flavors do NOT take away from the experience, and at the same time, do not completely over-ride the underlying beer character. This is a pretty dam^ good brew... I can see it as a definite beach favorite or lawnmower beer that beats the corona or landshark anyday at the same price...jmo

I like sour stuff.... especially sour candy...sweettarts.... sour patch kids... etc.... and this is truly a romance between sour candy and beer... it's definitely NOT for all tastes... but it's right up my alley.... maybe that will help... if you like sour candy and beer.... you will like this marriage.... if not you'll disown it.

This best thing about this fruit beer is the 'Ale' backbone that comes to the rescue every time you think it's getting too sweet. far too often these very fruity beers lack the normal good beer characteristics, but #9 here has a nice hoppy ale backbone that really sets it apart from the normal fruity crap on the grocery shelf. Underrated brew. A twist on a pale ale thank thankfully remembers it's roots.

Photo of mooseisloose
3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer first pulled me in by the price. A bomber for 2.99? Let's give it a whirl. Popping the cap yields a fruity peachy and grape smell, quite delicious smelling. Pours to a bright yellow with medium size bubble two finger head. The head recedes slowly and laces nicely. Upon tasting the pungent peach smell is evident up front but the taste is primarily tangy. Not overly bitter although there is some bitterness. Not real malty. It is a mix of fruitiness and big semi-sweet body. That said the mouthfeel is a little thin but the flavor easily overrides that. It is very similar to a weissbier with a fruity kick. A great thirst quencher. Not really a flavor that grows on me but a very unique brew.

Photo of jdense
3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Goat Hill Tavern, Costa Mesa CA, poured into the can't use it as a weapon in a bar fight plastic mug.

Golden amber, one finger white head, quick dissipation. Big blueberry nose, some apricots. Taste isn't cloying sweet, but it's damn close, very little hop presence. Smooth mouthfeel, and fairly drinkable, but this is just too damn sweet for my liking. I'll never drink one of these again. If it wasn't for the $3 pint and free shaker glass, I wouldn't have tried it once. The least favorite fruit beer I've ever had. Pass.

Photo of morimech
2.98/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Read books...not bottlecaps.

I have acquired six of these #9s after buying two Magic Hat seasonal variety packs. I have drank everything else but now is the time to get this over with. Is an attractive looking beer. Pale gold in color with some haze. A large white head that had excellant retention. Quite a bit of lacing is left on the glass as well. Has a fruit aroma but I do not think I could identify it as apricot if I did not already know what it was. The flavor is just something I can get into. In fact I do not liket it. Some apricot flavor but it seems artificial. The aftertaste is not pleasant and it lingers. The only thing saving this is that it is not overly sweet. The body is light, carbonation is nice, otherwise unremarkable. Did not care much for the flavor. I guesss I could see some people enjoying this beer.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.3/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I haven't had a magic hat 9 since last year but it was included in my "Feast of Fools" variety pack so I thought I would review it. Its weird because I always described it as an ale with "something extra" but had to come here and find out it was... apricots.

A - Golden body with decent lace.
S - I really couldn't detect anything but a crisp fruity smell and malt
T - Damn smooth. I enjoyed it more than my days a year ago when I drank nothing but lagers.
M - Coated my mouth nicely and the flavor of the apricots never got stale.
D - If they stocked 6 packs of this I would buy it again. Damn PA law taking forever to make that happen. Regardless it is a great cheap beer that's a change from the typical "draft"

#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 5,027 ratings.