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#9 - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,745 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,745
Reviews: 1,573
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 18.29%
Wants: 41
Gots: 430 | 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
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Ratings: 4,745 | Reviews: 1,573 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sleazo
2.35/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-Hazy orange with virtually no head and minimal head.

S-Smells of spent vegetable matter, sulphur. This smells putrid.

T-Tastes of that same sulphur with a vague fruityness. There is a sweetness that intermingles with some bitterness but doesnt meld at all. Kind of an artificial tasting train wreck

M-Light to medium body with a hard carbonation.

D-I used to like this beer about 10 years ago but now it totally falls flat for me. The whole thing is kind of a mess as the flavours are all vague and dont go with one another. The sweetness of the apricot just doesnt go with their hopping. The offputting smell doesnt help things.

sleazo, Jul 20, 2007
Photo of Durge
4.28/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been one of the few fruit induced beers I consistently like, along with Sam's Cherry Wheat. I drink it in bottles regularly and had it here as a pint from a local establishment. A thin looking pale golden-yellow, but it does produce a great white head with big bubbles. You get the apricot aroma right away but it is not overpowering, smells like a fresh apricot with a bready overtone. First mouthful comes on as a pretty watery blend of fruit and wheat/yeast. It's mild and finely carbonated with that unique, tasteful apricot flavor that results in a very drinkable beer. I generally find that I don't like to overdo this apricot goodie as the taste can wear a little thin after a few, but they go done fast and easy, and they really seem to quench your thirst. I can see where not everyone would rave about this, some might think it is whimpy and weak, but I think it does a good job of keeping this in the beer family without the heavy syrupy, champagne like stuff you can get from some of the old school fruit beers. It is watered down, but I think it works. A favorite.

Durge, Jul 15, 2007
Photo of cracgor
3.93/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber beer with a kind of week head on it. Smells quite fruity. Where sweet, very aromatic. I don't know what kind of fruit, but it is an appealing smell mixed with the hops. A very berry taste to it up front with a delicious malty bite at the end. I don't really like fruit beers that much. This one really isn't that bad, and it could be a nice change to your normal routine. Not excellent by any means though.

cracgor, Jul 09, 2007
Photo of Viggo
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have had quite a few times, reviewing from having on tap at Coles when they screwed up my order!

Pours a clear yellow, small white head, leaves a few spots, settles to a thin ring. Smell is sweet, carame, apricots, florally citrus hopping, not bad. Taste is sweet, apricot, citrus kick, kind of wheaty middle, more apricots in the finish, good balance. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation. Refreshing summer beer but nothing special.

Viggo, Jul 09, 2007
Photo of Slar211
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on draft from the B-Side Liquor Lounge on Coventry, Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Appearance: Golden amber with hints of orange, and a thin white head that leaves little lacing.

Smell: Sweet, unmistakable apricot. Interesting if not all that appealing.

Taste: Fruity sweetness with a faint, alcoholic spice. No trace of hops, I guess that's why they call it "Almost Pale Ale."

Mouthfeel: Light body with minimal carbonation.

Drinkability: Glad to try it, but it's not an everyday beer for me.

Slar211, Jul 08, 2007
Photo of jmalex
3.93/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This may have been the first craft beer I ever had. I've moved on to drink bigger and better beers, but I do still enjoy #9, and I try and have one as often as I can.

APPEARANCE: Pours a crystal clear light orange amber with barely a head on it at all. All there is is a few foamy patches scattered across the surface.

SMELL: Aroma is strongly of apricots with a sweet malt background. Some spicy, pungent hops lurk in the background.

TASTE: Again, apricoty, but not significantly so. The base beer is an easy-drinking blonde. Hop bitterness comes in on the finish and is a bit sharp and pungent, but it fades away on the swallow.

MOUTHFEEL: Thin body makes this a refreshing summer sipper, but it lacks a sharp carbonation that one would usually find in a thirst-quenching brew such as this.

DRINKABILITY: Drinkability is excellent as this is a fine go-to beer when you need an old stand-by. The fruit flavor is subdued just enough to not make this beer desserty or cloying.

#9 is a good beer. It's the truth. It's certainly not deserving of the bad rap that it gets, and I'm thrilled that I can get this in more and more restaurants and bars each time I go out.

jmalex, Jul 05, 2007
Photo of dickroop
3.83/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer was golden with minimal head or lacing, almost clear and bubbly. It smelled a little bready, not a strong nose at all.

I tasted good bittering, a little sourness, and balance of caramel malt with weak hops. But it was a friendly flavor without any off-flavors or bad notes. Whatever fruit or vegetable was used to make this didn't leave much impression with me.

It was light to medium-bodied and pleasant on the palate. Drinkability was good - I'd buy it again to explore further.

dickroop, Jul 04, 2007
Photo of musicjustintime
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this before, but never reviewed it.

I must say, it's not all that bad...and really, kinda good...like many of you say...on a hot summer day. It's the color of, well, say an apricot, (go figure) and tastes like there's an apricot pit in my glass, too. Has a nice light feel to it, so I'm guessing one could down several of these before too long, dispite the fact that it's a tad on the sweet side. There IS a little bitterness (hops?) at the finish, so that kinda balances out what sweetness is in there.

All in all, a unique offering that one should indeed try in the summertime. Not harsh, not offensive....just a fruit beer. Can't see the big-ass, muscle-bound construction workers drinking this with their biker friends in public....but I'm sure they'd enjoy it in private.

Cheers and happy summer, my friends!

musicjustintime, Jun 22, 2007
Photo of tapman
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Number 3 on the magic hat tour...

This brew pours golden/brassy opposed to the yellow of their hocus pocus brew. Head is much fuller, also, but dissipates quickly like the 2 other magic hat brews thus far.

Fruity, fermented apricots and mild berries. Has a Smuckers-like sweetness that means either really fresh fruit or artificial flavoring or lots of sugar(sucrose). Light malts help to keep the fruitiness in check.

Sweet and very slightly bitter hops. Immediately next comes the fruit (apricot). Devoid of any significant malt taste. Is this a cold-filtered ale/lager, because the malts take a lesser position as if it was.

Mouthfeel is thinner than I had anticipated from such a full smell. A little more texture would have helped the fruitiness settle on the palate.

Like other magic hat brews, on a hot summer day this could take the place of water in thirst quenching, but for beer's sake, overall that's too thin. Still the fruit is pretty good and doesn't taste as fake to me as it does to other reviewers that I've browsed.

tapman, Jun 22, 2007
Photo of ZimZamZoom
2.9/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a bit cloudy and was golden in color. Not much of a head and what was there was soon gone.

The fruit in the nose and the taste is overwhelming. I don't remember it being like this the first time I tried it. I have had samples on draft at festivals and they did not seem this fruity. There might be some hops in the finish but my palate was still too busy tasting the fruit.

Really in my mind this is fruit beer way overdone. I guess the ladies may enjoy it for what it is but I will certainly pass in the future.

ZimZamZoom, Jun 21, 2007
Photo of MTNboy
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had tried this beer out of bottle a while back a go and was not overly impressed but this time I got on tap and it was a great improvement.

Appearance- Cloudy gold color.

Smell- You can definitely smell the fruit.

Taste- Essence of a pale ale with a fruit candy kick. It really reminds me of dime store candy in beer.

Mouthfeel. Medium to light bodied.

Drinkability-Alright and does the trick when you want something different. A good conversational beer.

MTNboy, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of beveritt
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. Label recommends drinking before August of 2007.

Appearance: Pours with 1 inch of off white head. This settles slowly into a 1/4 inch coating of foam. The beer itself is perfectly clear and light to medium yellow.

Smell: Low bitter smell, with a hint of sweet malt and fruitiness. Slight metallic aroma.

Taste: Carbonation bite upfront, followed by a slight sweetness. Finishes with very low bitterness and just a hint of fruitiness. Lingers well.

Mouthfeel: Average to less than average carbonation level. Mouthfeel is okay.

Drinkability: I have been craving soem Magic Hat since I left New England and it has finally made it's way next door in Ohio. I have not had the chance to try any of Magic Hat's "crazier" brews, but I have always been pleased with their flagship, #9. Definitely not the best beer around, but great for drinking on a hot summer day.

beveritt, Jun 12, 2007
Photo of chadspivey
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a light golden yellow. one finger head.

S: first thing i smell is apricot and other sour weird stuff.

T: I can't decide wether i like this. The apricot is nice, but everything else seems to fall short. Maybe on a hot summer day, this would be really nice. In my room temperature living room at 10 at night, I'm really not digging this too much. Seems to be missng something.

M: not an impressive mouthfeel. not an impressive beer. definitely interesting though.

D: I think i'm gonna give away the rest of my six pack. It's interesting with a good aftertaste, but seems to be lacking balance. Too much fruit flavor, not enough beer flavor.

chadspivey, Jun 01, 2007
Photo of mcarroll10177
4.05/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A- Hazy gold with a nice off white head and tons of lacing coating the glass

S- some fruit, apricots and some slight hops

T- clean subtile hop profile with some fruit, not to sweet but smooth and clean

M- a bit thinner than I expected

D- an easy drinker for sure. This is a great warm weather beer, nothing to extreme just good tasting refreshment with a clean dry finsih. I will be having this beer a lot this summer.

mcarroll10177, May 30, 2007
Photo of mwearl
3.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap, poured into a clear glass, this beer was a pale golden color with a very white head with small bubbles. The smell was sweet with some flower fragrances. Taste was sweet with some hoppiness, so white grape flavors. Mouthfeel was light with little after taste. This is a good drinkable beer for a hot day. I prefer heavy dark beers but found this a drinkable beer.

mwearl, May 28, 2007
Photo of benmiliron
3.78/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Paid 1.79 for a "3/4 pint" bottle. Psychedelic label & bottle cap. Nice package. Straw yellow with a heavy brush of orange. Not much foam. Smell is fruit, cut grass, good all-American hop bite. Heavy fruit in the taste, with a mean bitter from the alphas right beside it. Not much malt presence in the taste, but some noticeable gravity in the mouthfeel. Mouthfeel is overall very good - good sharp but small bubble.

This is a weird beer to categorize, as other reviews state. Regardless it's good drinking and something I could definitely get used to.

benmiliron, May 24, 2007
Photo of kimcgolf
3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A very odd beer that alternated between bad and good, while all the time being very strange.

Aroma was a mixture of what I could swear was pumpkin, sour apples and some mystery spice. Flavor likewise, started out like a mild pale ale, but then ended with a bitter aftertaste of the mystery ingredient. This all led to a palate finish of talcum-powder dryness and a lingering bitterness.

I’m glad I tried this different offering, but could not have too many at once.

kimcgolf, May 20, 2007
Photo of Melchizedek
2.98/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Takes some doing to raise a head on this one; once it's up, though, it holds pretty well, subsiding to an uneven white cap (very bubbly). Light amber-gold.

Smell is a mishmash of light malt, leafy hop and apricot. Fruit hits first in the mouth too, followed by a wash of grain and very mild bitterness. Not doing much for me. Just a rather uninspired pale ale with some fruit. It's easy enough to drink, but I wouldn't buy the stuff.

Melchizedek, May 20, 2007
Photo of yourunclewalt
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a twist-off(! why has thou forsaken me, Magic Hat?) bottle found in the new summer variety pack. One finger, foamy head that recedes to bubbles. Light orange, clear body. One whiff and you know you've got a nine, all I can smell is apricot perfume. Taste is, like the smell, a bit over the top with the apricot; fruit notes dominate here until the finish which is sticky, corn grit? Like a macrolager. Bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is similar with a creamy start into a light, medium finish and a pang of carbonation. It's a hippie Corona. Drinkable on a hot summer day in the lots, strolling down shakedown. I can almost smell the grilled cheese and goo-balls.

yourunclewalt, May 16, 2007
Photo of drseamus
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It pours a amber/straw color with a small white head. There is a light apricot aroma with a small malt background. The flavor is much stronger in the fruit department than the aroma and is fairly sweet as well. The body is light and drinks fairly easily, especially in warm weather. I would give this average drinkability because it's a bit too sweet and only really works for a lawnmower beer for me personally.

drseamus, May 12, 2007
Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear 14k gold, with a creamy, one-and-half finger creamy head. Good retention and decent lacing. Tropical fruit and DMS/cooked veggie aromas dominate the rather mild nose; with some pale malt aromatics in the background. Toasty pale malt and some biscuit notes upfront, followed by a flash of ripe tropical fruit. Nice clean bitterness in the aftertaste that balances well with a restrained hop flavor that does not get in the way of the mild fruit taste. Dextrin is more noticable in the end which is not unpleasent, but does combine with an emerging tannic fruit-protien taste, and this becomes distracting. Medium-light body and medium-high carbonation creates a refreshing and light mouthfeel that compliments the apricot pressence. Nicely, done, though a higher dose of fresh apricot could make the fruit character more appealing and fully permeate beyond the rich malt. The stronger malt profile is a welcome change from the fruit beers I have tried, and the fruit profile really opens up in the finsh, achieving a beer that is both exotic-and very quaffable.

PBRstreetgang, May 11, 2007
Photo of TravelingBeerMug
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On first appearance, the color is nice being a rich golden hue. I poured from a bottle and there wasn't much head. The smell is oddly like dirty river water, which kind of turned me off at first. After tasting, however, I was pleasantly surprized by the fruity apricot flavor that dissipates into a sharp but nice aftertaste that is not too bitter. Overall, I think this is a good beverage that will give you a chance to try something a little different from the average pale ale.

TravelingBeerMug, May 11, 2007
Photo of zdk9
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An apricot punch followed by a smooth malty texture and some faint hops bitterness, #9 seems to be the standard for measuring fruit beers (at least by non-BA's. I don't know how that statement fares in the community)

A- Poured out a slightly murky golden color. A small head that lasted through the entire glass, and some weak lacing.

S- I found the nose of the beer to be way too neutral. Some fruit and malt but almost undiscernable scents to my nose.

T- The taste was a blast of sour apricots, like I was chewing on a dried apricot, followed closely by bready and not too sweet malts. There was a touch of hops tinge in the back of the mouth but nothing that made you say "There's the hops". The blend didn't seem to be there, though the balance was. Instead it was fruit-malt-hops. If I could want something more it would be for these flavors to meld together like a watercolor better.

M- Very light and considerable smooth. Only a hint of bitterness which I felt allowed the flavors to come out fully (maybe I'm just being a bitter wussy though).

D- A delicious fruit beer appropriate for a light mood, and especially for summer.

zdk9, May 10, 2007
Photo of Brad007
4.43/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a medium pale color with a head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is dry with hints of apricot. Taste is similar with the apricot complimented by a slight maltiness. I first sampled this beer 5 years ago and have not had it often since. However, I'm still impressed with the taste and as I have gotten older, I've learned to appreciate it more. One of Magic Hat's hints of brilliance and their flagship brew as well.

Brad007, May 03, 2007
Photo of micahgoldfus
2.98/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Mostly clear, with a rusty look and barely any head. Smell was overpowered by fruit, mostly apricot, but maybe other fruit compliments as well (perhaps pear?). The taste is also overwhelmingly apricot. Sweet and tasty at the first hit of the tongue, and the aftertaste has a slightly bitter bite. While I like the beginning taste, the balance between sweet and bitter doesn't quite work in the end. I enjoy this beer, a sugary fruit beer isn't bad every once in a while, but I certainly understand why others would not.

micahgoldfus, May 02, 2007
#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 4,745 ratings.