1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

#9 - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,150 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,150
Reviews: 1,629
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 18.29%
Wants: 56
Gots: 735 | 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
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 5,150 | Reviews: 1,629
Photo of TexIndy
2.14/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Best by notches on back label of end of Oct '09. Was a hazy yellow color with average carb streams. No lacing. It had an average sized fizzy head that quickly dissipated into a thin collar and wisps in the center.

The aroma was pretty much only apricot. Slight hops in the far back. Pretty one dimensional but most fruit beer is that way. Generally, I'm OK with that especially if cherries are involved. Apricots, however, are another story. Not a big fan and this was apricot overload. The taste followed the aroma. Apricots all around with not much else there. The hops showed up a little more but still way in the back.

Overall, a big miss for me. As I said, I'm good with fruit beers in general but apparently not apricot ones. Don't recommend.

Rotation: one and done for me. Now if I could just get some more Founders Cerise I'd be set for fruit beers for awhile.

Photo of jnezda
2.32/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance:Hazy golden at first with egg shell white head. Head was thin with little retention and no lacing.

Smell: Fruit smell overwhelms all others, apricot, banana, citrus

Taste: Slightly malty with an abundance of fruit. Sort of dry but the fruit balances the dryness well. This would be a decent beer to have only one on a summer afternoon since it is refreshing and has little aftertaste but will leave a slight citrus pucker.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation accompanies a light flavor and taste for this beer.

Drinkability: This would go well with a citrus salad and an orange or lime marinaded grilled chicken but would never hold up o a cold day.

Photo of allengarvin
3.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This pours out a fairly limpid pale gold with a very slight head. Highly fruity nose, quite apricot-like, to the exclusion of all else. Ok, it is certainly an apricot beer, with a little bitterness, but little else. The kind of fruit beer that I've always found uninteresting, because of lack of complexity.

Photo of oldpinecone
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

Such an odd beer....

Pours a really nice light amber coller teetering on copper. One finger head that sticks around for a little while. Ok lacing.

Smell is odd. Fruity but what fruit....? Banana? Not much citrus but more so a sweet fruit. Flower aroma comes in but not until your nose is in the glass for a few seconds.

Once again...what an odd taste this is. Im tasting alot of fruit but cant pinpoint which fruit. I think I may be tasting banana or apricot. Sweetness is really nice in this beer. not too much hop bitterness going but its there.

Mouthfeel was ok. A bit watery but the carbonation was nice. very crisp, a little light though.

This is a good beer if your in the mood for something different.

Photo of BeanBone
3.89/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A nicely hazy, golden-amber body capped by a little under two fingers of whitish head that features good retention and lacing.

Aroma: Perfumy, floral, and fruity notes up front, with some pale malt and very mild hops underneath. Reminiscent of a particularly flowery Witbier.

Taste: Floral and apricot-like notes over a lightly toasted and ever so slightly chocolaty pale malt body. There's a bit of light bitterness from the hops keeping everything in check, but not much. Kind of similar to an apricot yogurt at times. It finishes with drying hops and fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with good carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability: Nicely refreshing on a summer's day and rather sessionable (if this is your cup of tea).

Verdict: #9 is a solid little fruity refresher. Sure, it's nothing groundbreaking, but it's still interesting enough to get me interested in what else these guys brew up.

Photo of ralree
2.86/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Cloudy yellow with a white head. No lacing, decent retention.

S: Rather terrible, like rice beer. Strong wheat malt and some hops, but not much. Slightly fruity.

T: Apricots like crazy with a little hop backing. Yeasty wheat malt is a little annoying, and the aftertaste is all bread.

M: Over-carbonated, like soda. Light-bodied. Non-astringent. Should be more syrupy.

D: Hard to drink - very fizzy. Better than lots of cheap domestic beers, but nothing to rave about.

Photo of goblue3509
3.37/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale yellow color with a faint head that goes away quickly. The smell is of floral hops but it is not overpowering, and fruity notes. The taste is of light fruits with a sweet grain backbone, the hop presence is almost non existant. The mouthfeel is of moderate carbonation, but it is slightly watery and runny. Overall it is a very drinkable beer due to the smoothness and refreshingness, however, it does leave you wanting a little more flavor.

Photo of BARFLYB
2.81/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Number nine is a pale golden color with a decent looking head that fades into nothing over time. Very minimal lacing. The smell is that of old dried fruits with some grassy hops and nothing much else. Not really getting any malt in the nose. This tastes sweet and the main taste is apricots and other minor fruits of the same nature. A small floral grassy middle and a small hit of sweet malt. The feel is perfect for a pale ale which it claims to be on the bottle. Light but a bit ruff from a big carb blast, does not glide down with ease. Drinkability is ok but the tastes are not all that impressive so this won't be on my mind all that long.

Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 0z. bottle. Has a golden color with red hues and a 1 inch head. Smells slightly sweet, fairly mild. Taste is rather bland, a tad sweet, not a lot going on. Feels light in the mouth. Goes down very smooth, a good chugging beer. Overall this is a decent choice.

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

12 (or as they say, 3/4 Pint) oz bottle poured into an Imperial Pint. Best by end of September '09 notched on rear label. 4.6% ABV.

A - I poured #9 moderately but it was quiet.The body is a golden honey color that's brilliantly clear with minimal bubbles and a one-finger head, cloud-white head. Decent retention left a thin layer after a few minutes and bits of elegant lacing on the glass.

S - Extremely light pale malts fall behind the delicious dried apricot aroma that just seems to billow out. A light hop aroma is also present but pretty elusive. At this point the aroma is almost all apricots, not that I'm complaining.

T - Despite the heavy apricot aroma, the flavor is quite balanced between the slightly spicy and floral hops which, in conjunction with the apricots, leave a lasting finish in the mouth and the pale malts that stay fairly out of slight but provide a sturdy backbone. Very tasty.

M - Prickly carbonation dances in the mouth with a slightly smooth finish. A fairly dry, tangy finish emerges after the swallow. Light-medium in body.

D - Well, for starters I usually have six to eight ounces finished when my review is done but due to both the amount of fine layers and this beer's good drinkability, I'm left with two ounces or so right now. While it's drinkability is good, the fruity flavor gives a light edge to it that doesn't make it fantastic. Very well done beer that I would consider more of a Pale Ale as opposed to a Fruit beer.

Photo of AgentZero
1.85/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - A little dark in the bar, so hard to see, but a pale yellow color, slight foamy head, about 1/2 finger.

S - I don't like this, smells kind of like fruit that's been sitting around too long or gotten over-ripe. Either that or someone dumped some fruity chemicals into it.

T - Grainy malts, some some of that funny almost-fruit taste. Really, this is pretty horrible.

M - Light bodied, thin, a little too oily for me, but not unpleasant.

D - Honestly, it would be easy to get down if it didn't taste so bad. I don't think I will every knowingly drink this again.

Photo of BeerZack
2.34/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Pours a light golden color with a hint of orange, slight haze and pretty big white head that sticks around.

Smells like apricot flavoring, not quite real fruit smell.

Taste is not nearly as sweet as the nose would have me believe. There is a sweetness up front that quickly muddles into some astringent bitter note that lingers. Tastes pretty much like "apricot flavoring" as well.

Tastes more like an A-B ripoff novelty product than a craft beer in my opinion. Won't be drinking any more of these. With that said, I'm sure lots of other people will be drinking this stuff up.

Photo of Pleepleus
2.33/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes.
Poured from bottle to SA Pint glass, had an apricot color with an inch of white foam that quickly diminished to a spotty sheen. Smells like fruity soap. Taste is not good. I don't know if they didn't go "Fruit" enough or "Ale" enough, but it comes up short on both counts. This is Magic Hat's most popular beer? Has a thin mouthfeel and is easy to drink if you enjoy washing your mouth out with fruity soap.

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

Appearance: Slightly hazy good, big head.

Smell: Floral, berry, sweetness.

Taste: Mild sweetness followed by a fruity berry-like flavor. (Which in reading other reviews should have been apricots.)

Drinkability: Doesn't taste bad, but not a flavor combo that makes me want to drink more than one.

#9 has shown up in Minnesota, so I gave it a try. I did not know what it was other than what the label said. I didn't get as much apricot flavor, it was more of an artificial berry flavor to my taste buds. Not bad, but not too exciting.

Photo of July2Nov
2.85/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pale golden hue with a really big frothy head that dissipates a bit, but still clings to the glass for awhile.

Smell: Nice and fruity...the sweetness just pours out. I guess if you ask for a fruit beer, then it shall be delivered. does have a bit of that "earthy " tint to it, at the end.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Man the apricot really comes through. Was a bit surprised by the fruit, as i didn't see anything about the flavor on the label. Not bad, It just seems that the apricot is just too overpowering. I could see Mike's Hard Lemonade fans, digging this...just saying.

Drinkability: One and done. This thing is just too sweet to drink in abundance. would go well as a dessert beer and at the end of a meal...good thing i didn't spring for the six pack.

Photo of bgreg3
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Nice looking beer , dark amberish brown embodyment with foam sticking arond the ring of the glass nicely the smell is very strong on apricots and maybe a citrus kick from orange or lemon or something like that. Taste is similar to smell , very strong on the apricots and has a pretty decent hop finish , especially for a fruit beer , I enjoyed it very much , better than sam adams cranberry , and better than fuckin wild blue. mf is decent like with a medium finish. My issue is the drinkability of this beer , it's their prmier beer and it is not that drinkable to me , good luck selling lots of something thats not drinkable , the finish was too wet to be very drinkable , takes sips of this one

Photo of MaxBrews
3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Re-reviewing after having this a bunch more times. Magic hat's flagship beer. It's hugely popular in New England. I love to criticize it but this is my second critical review.

Presentation: 12oz into mug

Appearance: Pours with a nice dollop of white head. Thin in body but large. Color is a pale amber, only a touch lighter then gold. A really odd soapy lacing that is thinner in spots. Clings to the glass very well. Much better then I remembered from my first time.

Smell: The sweet smell of Apricot extract is the first thing the nose notices. A grainy malt sits behind that waiting.

Taste: Once again this is where this beer bothers, me there is a hint of apricot in he initial sip, but this mainly covers up a grainy malt. In a way almost tastes like an adjunct was used. A lot of this has to do with their Pale yeast strain that pokes its nasty head through. There is a slightly buttery biscuit taste that you can find if you're searching for it. The apricot extract is an interesting and potentially pleasant twist on an english pale ale but this is almost artificial. A very simple beer which bothers me as the two predominant flavors are grain and apricot.
Mouthfeel: A fair amount of carbonation with a lighter body, nothing offensive.

Drinkability: the beer I love to criticize. It not all that bad, but as your company's flagship beer, Magic Hat could do a hell of a lot better. A good sweet cold refreshment, do not dare serve on the warmer side the yeast and grain taste will slap you in the face. Better then I remember but all in all mediocre as a craft brew, but it is manys gateway to the world of craft beer. Your money is best spent elsewhere unless you can find a cheap bomber

Photo of peabody
2.91/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a clear amber orange with not much suds.
Smell is kind of a dirty mess of spices and caramel sugars.
Taste is kind of plain. Would be great for a lawnmower beer but this is very watery. It's not bad tasting, just not enough flavor.
Mouthfeel is clean but boring. Nothing left in the palate.
Drinkability would be high here but without much going on in the flavor dept. I have to rate it pretty low.

Photo of KenOnBass
3.95/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Good head and lacing. Light gold color.

S: Sweet apricot smell.

T: Crisp, good, and refreshing. Sweet taste of apricot is not too overpowering.

M: Full and fizzy. Well carbonated.

D: Easy to drink, good everyday beer. In our apartment, for a very long stretch we were buying a 6 or 12 pack just about every week. Also a good beer to bring to a party.

Photo of dpodratsky3
3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Hazy golden color with a clingy pretty nice head.

S: Sweet smelling, with distinctly fruity notes.

T: A sweet, fruity taste to match the smell which turns into a slight bitterness, but nothing overwhelming. Finishes dry with a grainy note.

M: Medium bodied, dry finish

D: Not highly drinkable imo, but not bad either, can easy finish a bottle, but wouldn't want to use as a session for me

A good, interesting beer. As it says on the bottle "not quite pale ale" is an accurate description. The right balance of hops and fruity notes, while not being overwhelming in either regard.

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

Presentation: 12oz brown op top with a clearly labeled freshness date on the bottle

Appearance: Hazy dark gold beer with a nice stark white cap with good retention and medium streaming carbonation

Smell: Light crisp malt/graininess, quite nice, and a touch of apricot preserve sweetness in there as well...overall this blends together quite nicely

Taste: Light/crisp graininess and malt with a medium hop bitterness on the finish (a bit surprising actually); this is not nearly as fruity as the aromas suggested, as there's just a ghost of apricot on the finish and this ends fairly dry

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied and crisp

Drinkability: Medium high

Conclusion: This is not bad at all; it's not really a fruit beer in the typical sense; it's crisp, fairly refreshing, and, while it's not really that memorable, I could see myself kicking a few of these back in hot weather

Photo of beerwolf77
2.38/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass the beer is a clear gold color. Looks like any typical lager actually. The head was impressive. Two inches high and bone white in color. After it dissipates a bit of lace rims my glass. The aroma is sweet. Very fruity. Mixed berry to be exact. The flavor is sweet berry with a wheat finish. Sort of fruity pebbles mixed with wheaties. Save for a tinge of grain malt hints I found no real beer flavor at all. It's got a light crisp feel. Which is good. Since I'm going to slam the rest of it so I don't have to taste it. Not what I look for in a beer. My mom might like this but not I.

Photo of Contagion
2.76/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It came in the standard brown bottle. According to the label, it is ¾ pint bottle, apparently some math genius at the brewery thought that was funnier than putting 12 fl oz. on the bottle. The label is some kind of psychedelic red and orange color round label. The center of the label has #9 mixed into the swirls and whorls. In green on the label it states "Not quite pale ale."

The color is golden amber with a slight orange tint. When poured into a pint glass, a quarter inch thick head consisting of tiny densely packed bubbles formed at the top of the beer that faded slowly. There was some lacing on the side of the glass.

The scent of apricots is so overpowering you can barely detect anything else. What can be found is a slight bit of hops and maybe grain, but it's hard to tell because of the strength of the apricot scent. The flavor is surprisingly mild compared to the scent. Apricots are primarily what you taste. Hops and grains can be tasted, but they are very weak and washed out that you can barely taste them. However, they all combine together so that when the beer washes over the taste buds at the back of the tongue, it gives the beer a soap like flavor. The taste isn't strong enough to leave an aftertaste.

This beer confuses me. It might be "not quite pale ale", but it's also not quite much of anything. The apricot flavor, where overpowering compared to the rest of the flavors, really isn't strong enough for a fruit beer. The grains and hops really aren't present enough to really be able to adequately classify this beer as anything else. I guess it falls under fruit beer by process of elimination. It's really not a bad beer. I don't know if I would go out of my way for it, but I wouldn't pass one up if given to me.

Photo of sbe1
3.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer seems to be available everywhere, especially college bars. This is my first time trying it after years of seeing it on tap and in bottles and, frankly, it's nothing to crow about.

Appearance: Decent sudsy head, with a tannish gold color. Not a bad looking beer.

Smell: A bit fruity, malt, apricots, a little caramel.

Taste: a kind of half-assed too fruity Pale Ale, a little hop in there somewhere, but mostly fruity -- apricots -- finishes slightly dry and sweet.

Mouthfeel: Refreshing, mild carbonation, light bodied.

Drinkability: kind of boring, it doesn't know if it wants to be a fruit beer or a pale ale and ends up compromising in an unsatisfying way.

Photo of larsee01
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A--I've had this on tap before, and it looked more appealing than when I poured it from a bottle tonight. Charming, orange-tinged gold. No head this time. Clear without much character nor carbonation.

S--Definite apricot scent. More dried apricot than fresh produce or nectar. Sweet and mild with a hint of cooked veggie. A bit buttery too.

T--Again on the sweet side and apricot. A new flavor for me, so a fun novelty. Not overwhelming nor natural tasting fruitiness like a lambic. A rich, buttery taste emerges--that's the best way I can describe it. Bready/cooked veggie aftertaste is mild and not unpleasant.

M--Carbonation much more active on the tongue. With the sweet fruitiness it's an almost electric mouthfeel. Light crispness evolves into a comfortable mild, lingering richness.

D--Very much so, but I don't know about an extended session. Sweetness may eventually get a tad tiresome.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 5,150 ratings.