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#9 - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,769 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,769
Reviews: 1,574
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 18.29%
Wants: 41
Gots: 443 | 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: 4,769 | Reviews: 1,574 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of watermelonman
3.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This poured to a light gold and peach color with a small head. Lace is minimal.

The smell is a decent mix of many light fruits. Those flavors come through in the taste, too. Malt and hop content is minimal. The mouthfeel is very light. Not a bad beer, but it could use some more depth.

watermelonman, Aug 21, 2006
Photo of wcudwight
2.33/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

On-tap at Barley's Taproom in Asheville NC
Chestnut color with some golden and yellow mixed in. Thin wispy head that had good retention.
Funky smell but it was good. Very sweet, fruity(tropical), bubblegum
This is a very different and unique tasting beer. It's a hodge podge and mish mash of flavors that don't go anywhere and don't mix well at all. I don't know where to begin. It's sweet. Too sweet. Alcopop sweet. But it's also bitter. Not good piney, citrus or floral hop bitterness, just bitter. You'd think the sweetness and bitterness would balance each other out but they don't...They just clash.
The mouthfeel is so dry it'll chap your lips. This is the dryest beer I've had.
Drinkability? I've drained a few beers(very few), but I've never left an unfinished pint. This was my first.

wcudwight, Aug 21, 2006
Photo of Enola
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was a lighter golden color. There was a fair head. The smell was of canteloupe and a little spice. The beer tasted like several things, none of which really stands out. There was a fruitiness, a blonde ale type taste and a little vanilla. The mouthfeel was similar to a lighter beer. I would likely skip this beer next time.

Enola, Aug 21, 2006
Photo of rabsten
4.63/5  rDev +36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Black Bear Burritos, Morgantown WV. Pours a dead on amber with no head to speak of. However, it strangely laced nice. Odd.

Smell was mild but very tasty. Light, crisp malt with a beautiful lavender hoppiness. It litterally made my mouth water. As it warmed up, the malt became more assertive but never overpowered the lavender. Nice indeed.

Flavor was lovely. Mild to start, with a growing malt character and of course the floralness.

Mouthfeel was good but a bit watery at times. It was very refreshing though.

As for the drinkability, it was top notch. I could have drunk several but I limited myself to one. It was hard, though. Enjoyed the hell out of this beer.

rabsten, Aug 19, 2006
Photo of sloejams
3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Initially this interesting ale was distributed only in Northern Vermont. My friends in school up there would talk of it as legend. Finally, I went to Burlington, Vermont (home of Magic Hat Brewing Company) for a visit and got to try it myself. And I thought it was weird. It was hard to putting a finger on this fruity apricot ale. It took a few tries, but I liked it. Within a couple years, it was distributed over much of New England, gaining a rather large following.

This is a summer beer, the light crispness and the apricot flavors seem only appropriate in the warmer months. It pours like it tastes, a light orange color - rather carbonated with the slightest head. Something you would imagine a beer version of an apricot might look like. The aroma is clearly that of the fruit with a lingering bready malt. It goes well with my being lazy on a hot summer day, kicking it out by the pond. I had another, that seemed plenty. Though still predominantly distributed in the Northeast, if you cross paths with the #9, it's an interesting beer that's worth giving some thought.

sloejams, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of JLaB
4.78/5  rDev +41%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite beers in existance. I don't get to have it all that often, but savour every chance I get. Burlington's finest export! This ale is great out of a bottle, but even better on tap. It is smooth, full-bodied with a very distinct apricot finish. A brew materpiece!

JLaB, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of Manosbeeroffate
2.4/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From a halloween mix pack bought at Hannaford. Looks nice, pours golden orange. Smells a bit sweet. Tastes a bit sickly sweet like apricot, some diet soda and sweet malt. Mouthfeel is ok. I'll finish this if need be but it's not that good. Chug it so you can get to the good stuff in the mix pack.

Manosbeeroffate, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of silver0rlead
3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a thin white head. The aroma is mostly grainy, with some apricot fruitiness as well. The flavor is initially malty with notes of biscuit and grain husk, along with some apricot, slight floral hops, cane sugar and a touch of alcohol. The mouthfeel is slightly rough and drinkability is good. An solid fruit beer, but this offering is vastly superior on draft.

silver0rlead, Aug 12, 2006
Photo of briman
3.65/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy, light amber color. Small white head, average retention. Some lacing.

Aroma is mild, with some fruity undertones.

Taste has some mild malt sweetness, with some fruity notes (lemons & apricots) coming through towards the finish. Clean, slightly hoppy finish. Very light bitterness lingers for a second in the aftertaste.

Medium-light body, moderate carbonation. Pretty crisp....refreshing. Seems pretty well balanced...hard to pin down specific flavors as they are all pretty mild. Seems like a great beer for summer, and certainly session material.

briman, Aug 04, 2006
Photo of Damian
4.3/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a medium amber-brown with a small head that faded quickly.

Aroma was intense. Ripe peach/apricot along with spices, malts and mild hops.

Taste was similar to the smell. Rich, sweet, malty and fruity with just enough hops to balance out everything. Aftertaste was a perfect mix of hop bitterness and apricots.

Mouthfeel was syrupy.

A refreshing and easy drinking summer brew.

Damian, Jul 26, 2006
Photo of Frozensoul327
2.83/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

An odd offering from Magic Hat. Pours out to a yellow amber color with a decent head of white foam. Some lace. Medium level of carbonation. Aromas of light sour berries and malt. Taste was quite non-descript. It was hard to sort out the flavors. Some bready notes of malt, unsweetened berry, wheat. That's about it. Mouthfeel was nominal. Drinkability is not great. There's not much going on here, so why revisit it?

Frozensoul327, Jul 24, 2006
Photo of nlmartin
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served in a pub glass. I cant remember the bar in Philly it was drank in. Oh well!

Appearance: The beer was a hazy coppery coloration. The head was thin and white almost no retention.

Smell: The beer is a apricot fruit bomb! To be honest apricot overloaded my sense of smell. I got a brief smell of wheat and nothing else.

Taste: The beer has a suprisingly dry wheat taste. This gives way to a pleasing apricot fruityness. The beer has just enough hop bitterness to break up the sweetness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer has a slick buttery mouthfeel. The beer is on the plus side of light bodied. This would be a fantastic beer for hot weather.

nlmartin, Jul 18, 2006
Photo of soulgrowl
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Creamy ivory head. Fair retention and thick, solid lace. Pale, brassy, yellow-amber color.

Smell: Fruity, with lime, cherry, strawberry, apricot and raspberry notes. Sweet honey malts and piney hops provide a nice base.

Taste: Nice, toasty, nutty, wheaty malts with a tinge of caramel and a light, tangy, citric hop flavor. Apricot character is subdued but sufficiently fruity and juicy. Finish is bittersweet, hoppy, and clean.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and very smooth.

Drinkability: Not too exciting, but quirky and refreshing enough to be easily enjoyable.

soulgrowl, Jul 16, 2006
Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lugged back from PA by expatsteve - thanks again.

Pour is a light, effervescent golden amber...well, apricot colored with a finger of white foam that fades to a skim.

Scent is fruity up front with apricot/peach followed by a creamy vanilla/honey and biscuity malt.

Tastes like a very light pale ale base - faint hops and caramel/biscuit malt - but is dominated by the sweet honey-fruit, again light apricot, nothing like Aprihop even, with a husky malt finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with soft yet tickling carbonation.

Overall, a very refreshing ale in the oncoming oppressive heat. I could certainly see myself drinking a whole lot of this stuff without a second thought were it available in the area.

Golden2wenty1, Jul 15, 2006
Photo of hunteraw
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At a function where Magic Hat was being served in addition to Budweiser, Bud Light and Dos Equis, going for a Magic Hat was a no-brainer, even if I haven't had great experiences with them in the past. Of course, I asked for the hefeweizen and was handed this instead. Oh well!

Appearance: poured a slightly hazy orange color. Little head, fair retention, no lacing.

Smell: I was expecting to find an intense apricot aroma, so I was very surprised how little there was to be found. Hops and an underlying sweetness, with a very faint fruitiness underneath that I have to assume is apricot.

Taste is underwhelming. "Not quite pale" indeed: the hops are underwhelming, the malt is underwhelming, and the fruit isn't there in sufficient force to take their places. I've been turned off by the Ringwood yeast in the other Magic Hat brews that I've tried, but here it was a little more subdued in the main flavor, but it showed up still in the aftertaste and turned me off there.

Mouthfeel: decent, not much worth mentioning. If you're going to have a beer this light in flavor, might as well give it a lighter mouthfeel to up drinkability, but they didn't go that route either.

Drinkability: I'm still glad I picked this instead of the other options that were available, but I opted for wine when I went back to the open bar for my second drink.

hunteraw, Jul 14, 2006
Photo of brentk56
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy apricot jam color with a modest head that fails to do much in the lacing department

Smell: I have always found the aroma the best thing about this beer as the wafts of apricot provide a pleasant invitation to imbibe

Taste: The caramel and fruity apricot tastes build from the first swirl until after the swallow but it is all a bit one-dimensional

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A fun change of pace; imagine what it could be if it were an apricot IPA!

brentk56, Jul 07, 2006
Photo of expatsteve
3.95/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I shoud preface this review by saying two things. First, there are times I find the taste of this beer overpowering and hard to swallow. Second, I've had many pints of this - among those, many more were good than bad. So I feel like this is a beer to try a few times before reaching a conclusion on its merits.

Appearance: Full orange amber color, with medium visibility and a modest 1/4 inch head. Head dissipated leaving light suds and a little lacing on the side of the glass. Low viscosity.

Aroma: Fuity malt aroma with a little hops in the background. Apricot and golden raisn finish and a slight bread and toffee malt mix.

Taste: I always think the first mouthful is going to be more thick than it is, owing to the richness of the beer's nose. But #9 starts life as a malty amber that develops apricot, lemon and molasses notes as it warms. THe fruity malt finish is refreshing for a beer that is heavy on flavor, as there is little astringency to complicate the lighter citric finish in the malts.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, with low carbonation and a pretty nice development on the front, middle and back palates.

Drinkability: I've spent many a night on this, and finished a brutal night last night with pints of this beer as well. The peculiar flavor doesn't overtake the beer and really give the mind and the tongue a lot to work over without being overwhelmed. One of the most interesting and affordable beers I've tried. Fruity, but not sweet, balanced with a respectably drinkable malt finish.

expatsteve, Jul 03, 2006
Photo of rtratzlaff
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Came to the table a clear amber body with little head.
Smells of sweet malt, and light fruitiness
Light and crisp mouthfeel.
Tastes of lemon and apple. Almost like a cider.
Not too much besides the fruitiness.
Leaves a pretty odd tart aftertaste on the tongue.
I don't think I'll be going back to this one, but it was one of those beers I had to try.

rtratzlaff, Jun 27, 2006
Photo of akorsak
2.95/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a 12 oz bottle served in a long-necked pils glass. The ale is cool.

Appearance: The ale is a soft golden-orange color. It is clear with no signs of haze.

Smell: The sweet aroma of apricot wafts out of the glass, providing the highlight of the beer.

Taste: A pale ale with apricots or an apricot ale with extra hops? Hell if I can tell. The beer is a bit of a muddled mess with the occasional apricot flavor escaping.

Mouthfeel: It does not burn the mouth. Unfortunately though, it does not inspire either.

Drinkability: First bottle in 5 years. That means that I have a five year grace period before the next one.

akorsak, Jun 23, 2006
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - an amber orange brew with a 1/4 finger of white head, a very few scant bubbles of carbonation

S - mmmm...smells like i just opened a bag a dried fruit mix, the apricots in the bag like in the beer are overpowering, behind the "essence of apricot" is the cold crisp aroma of unsweetened iced tea

T - the taste is good, the pale ale side is a quality hooped ale, the fruit side is a real, sweet, accurate apricot flavor, the combination of the two seems kind of forced

M - needs more balanced in my opinion, very tasty and well bodied, but the flavors battle instead of cooperate

D- moderate, as you may have gathered the balance is lacking which which lowers this, otherwise is it good

"Drink it Down and Lose the Frown"

sinstaineddemon, Jun 21, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
3.4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one does not look amazing or anything. The head is thin thin thin, while the color is a glassy pale copper. No lace at all.

Smell is hops and an earthy aroma of apricot, much nicer than the many fruit beers that smell and taste like the flavors were created in a lab. There's not much else going on in the aromas but the natural character of the fruit is appreciated.

All kinds of apricot in the flavor as well, only a trace of hops and malt, and ok, it tastes like a fruit beer, but the fruit element is a tad dominant. There's a lack of depth, and the flavor has not delivered full beer satisfaction by the end of the glass. It's not like I hate #9, it's enjoyable enough, but having several in the fridge takes up the space that much better beers could occupy.

Right from the label: "Brewed with the essence of apricot". That doesn't exactly boast of all-natural fruit flavor, but at least it's not a "fake" tasting fruit beer. This beer definitely has its place...I do like it on occasion. On one particular occasion it went insanely well with a sweet/sour Asian dish I whipped up. I've had my share of this beer (this damn beer is in every Magic Hat sampler pack), so maybe it's just overload. Regardless, it would've been nice to get more assertive hop and malt elements in there.

Metalmonk, Jun 21, 2006
Photo of treehugger02010
4.8/5  rDev +41.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was an exceptional beer. I have also had it on tap, but I don't remember it being this good. It was strong enought, but not too stong, and it didn't have an overly hoppy taste. Everything about this beer was understated yet bold. This was one of those beers that you would never think about drinking but would be very glad you had it in the end.

treehugger02010, Jun 17, 2006
Photo of doppelmeup
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Medium amber ale, with very little lacing and about a half inch head with a vigorous pour that dissipated quickly.

Not much aroma.

Taste was very mild, with a hint of apricot. Not much hop or malt presence.

Smooth and light mouthfeel.

Very easy to drink. Had several in a bar tonight. Recommended if you are looking for a light beer to drink, but not much to this brew.

doppelmeup, Jun 15, 2006
Photo of sabrills70
4.13/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jim for this one. 12oz brown bottle with best before end of July 2006 notched. Pours a clear medium light amber with a 2 finger head, good longevity and good lace. Smells of light caramel malt with some noticeable apricot aromas. Nice sweet caramel malt quickly folowed by a nice hop flavor and bitterness that quckly fades into the apricot flavor. Smooth and crisp. Very easy drinking. A beautiful example of the style.

sabrills70, Jun 06, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.13/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

On-tap at The Celtic Pub in Pawtucket, RI served in a US tumbler glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a little bit of lace on the glass.

S: Heavy fruitiness in the smell (apricot & berries) along with a background of hops and malt.

T: The fruitiness that you get in the smell hits you as soon as you get the beer in your mouth. It overpowers what little hops and malt characters exist in it. It does leave a bitter after-taste, but not the hops-style of bitter that is typically welcome.

M: Very crisp, light-to-medium body, high carbonation, dry finish.

D: It’s light and although the flavor is different, it’s strong enough to make it tasty, but to be perfectly honest; I don’t think I could drink more than one of these. I just didn’t like the flavor enough to stay with it.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 04, 2006
#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 4,769 ratings.