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#9 - Magic Hat Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,839 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,839
Reviews: 1,577
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 18.29%
Wants: 45
Gots: 484 | 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: 4,839 | Reviews: 1,577 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - pours a light tangerine color, a thin white layer of suds that laces randomly.

Aroma - a light orange, citrusy aroma, apricot even. Not much else, but I like it.

Taste - decent grain front with a moderate citrusy follow-through. Finishes on the fruity, citrusy side, tastes good.

Mouthfeel - medium body and carbonation, nothing special but a good fit for the style.

Drinkability - an easy session pick for a lighter, sweeter pale ale. Props to beachbum for hooking me up with this one.

brewdlyhooked13, Oct 11, 2006
Photo of HossMcGraw
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty decent brew. Ignore it's recent trendiness, and just enjoy it for what it is: A clean, tasty, well made pale ale.

Pours a light amber/orange color, with a decent 2 fingers of head and some lacing Aroma is a bit lacking, with notes of chemicals, subtle hops and raspberry iced tea.

The flavor is initially steely and similar to your average lager, but then some hops join in and you get a decent bitter kick. Aftert that, some honey joins in and some fruitiness and more hops on the finish. Well balanced, but lacking in flavor.

Mouthfeel is slick and creamy, with decent carbonation. Drinkability is high. I would have no problem with this as a sesher.
Overall, pretty good, but it seems like Magic Hat could truly make something spectacular out of this instead of dumbing it down for a mass audience.

HossMcGraw, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of pootz
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle (Thanks Eric):

Poured a hazey-amber orange ale in the pint glass...nice frothy sticky 2 finger cap lasts a while then laces the glass.

Aromas of sweet malts and fruits: apricot-pear tones, some wet hay.

Medium-light bpdy, decent malt presense, dry-sandy mouth feel, sharp fruity character.

Starts very fruity with attenuated malt sweetness, fruit adjuncts and yeast by-brodusts combining to give a juicy fruit cocktail cider, mid palate more interesting flavors evolve: jolly rancher gum mixed with wet hay, some pine and citrus....finishes dry with a wheat presense and a growing bittering.

A nice pale with a special edge from fruit additives.

pootz, Oct 08, 2006
Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.48/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A hazy copper with a pink tint. Small patchy head, no lacing.

S - Well, it smells strongly of dried apricots, also with some raspberry Nestea aroma. Odd.

T - Quite tart for starters. Mostly just like tart apricot infused seltzer water. The aftertaste has an extremely mild bitter which is hard to detect due to the lingering numbness from the carbonation explosion.

M - Very thin and extremely carbonated. Quite refreshing though!

D - Well, it is like drinking flavored selter water (actually, I think seltzer water has a weird unpleasant taste that this lacks, so it is a bit better really) so it is pretty easy to drink. I like it better than soda, since it hate high fructose corn syrup. Aside from being a fabulous beer for college girls at frat parties, its uses are very miniscule. Not terrible, but nothing worth having. Unless of course, you are female and in college - then you might as well start raving about it now, because that is the only place I have ever heard about this beer being consumed.

mrasskicktastic, Oct 06, 2006
Photo of abcsofbeer
2.7/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This one is a bit different, but, nothing to write home about. Pours a pale orange and light straw color. The liquid is very clear and has a good amount of rising bubbles. The head is white in color, about a finger high and dissipates to a thin crown. Leaves no lace.

The smell is mostly apricots with some banana thrown in. It is sweet smelling brew. The flavor is lemony and apricots together with a very light hoppiness. The mouthfeel is tangy and medium bodied.

abcsofbeer, Oct 01, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
3.93/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty pale crystal clear aprocot liquid fills the glass with a nice 1/2" white head that melts to sticky glass covering lacing.
Aroma is faint sweet fruits...tangerines and aprocots with a little earthy tone to the finish.
Taste is surprising...soft fruits seem to balance very nicely between creamy sweet and tart at the end. Tartness fades to lemony citrus hops as it finishes.
Mouthfeel is slightly creamy with nice brisk carbonation.
Aftertaste is pleasantly drying although just slightly cloying and sticky in the mouth.
Overall...nice...pleasant...comfortable drinker or sipper.
Thanks, Clint

IntriqKen, Sep 23, 2006
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
2.68/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

AP: Clear, pale gold. Plenty of activity, dispalys a clear white foamy head.

Smells: fruity sweet, obviously appricot and maybe raspberry.

Taste: A thin, tart, slightly sweet. slight wheatyness. Pretty simple.

MF: Dry, crisp and a decent bite that quickly becomes thin and flat feeling.

DA: ???? I'm not having another.

GratefulBeerGuy, Sep 21, 2006
Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from the tap.

Number 3 in my apricot night (aprihop, sea dog, then #9), and it didn't disappoint. Another of the wife's favorites, too (along with Strawberry Wheat), so I always have a few handy.

Pours a yellow-golden with a small head. Smells of a sweet, hoppy, fruit medley. The citrus/apricot flavor, coupled with a decent amount of carbonation. Sweet, slightly hoppy aftertaste; pretty drinkable. I place it above sea dog, but below aprihop because of the lack of major hop action.

JohnnyM2002, Sep 20, 2006
Photo of horndecker
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pale dirty amber gold, bright white head, coarse and short-lived. Aromas of malt, caramel and very subtle fruit and candy. A hint of butterscotch. The taste is an odd pairing of indifferent malt and faint fruit. Not much sweetness, save for a flash at the start of each mouthfull. Not much bitterness either. The whole thing comes off like a fizzy cranberry iced tea. Can't say much to recommend this. Mouthfeel is a trifle oily with coarse and quick carbonation. I may not finish the bottle....

horndecker, Sep 17, 2006
Photo of davidshamoon
3.1/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As you can see from the scores I've assigned above, I consider this beer to be pretty average. It pours, as advertised, "not quite pale" and with a toothpaste-white head. A flowery aroma is immediately evident -- to such an extent that I actually wondered at first whether I was smelling scented soap on my hands. Sure, it's a fun thing to smell in a beer that otherwise appears pretty run-of-the-mill, but it's not enough to justify a brew. Magic Hat has decided to be pretty subtle with the fruit flavoring, which would be just fine if the "base" beer were more interesting or delicious. Unfortunately, I found it rather bland and watery, and the flowery-fruity layer is just not enough to save it.

It's nice to see a fruit beer receive such (relatively) wide distribution, but I can't say I'm a big fan of the #9.

[Written by yellow lamplight on a gray Sunday afternoon. The upstairs neighbors sound to be moving furniture and shooting marbles.]

davidshamoon, Sep 10, 2006
Photo of mnj21655
3.78/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was an orange copper in appearance with a nice white head. Smells citrusy with apricots dominant. Hints of hops as well. Taste is predominantly of apricots and citrus with some sweetness. Nice clean finish that is slightly hoppy. Nice mouthfeel with a decent amount of carbonation. Good drinkability. An excellent beer for a warm late summer day.

mnj21655, Sep 09, 2006
Photo of Absumaster
3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this beer visiting the US and bought it together with a bunch of other Magic Hat brews. This is the first one I will review.

It pours an orange amber color with a thin coarse head and little carbonation.

Smell was somewhat artificial to me, with some kind of condiment (what we call Maggi or Marmite in Holland). This is probably due to the apricot flavor that is in there. Because it is on the label, I know that I should smell some apricot, I do, but it is not very apparent and it is masked by this 'off-flavor'.

Taste like orange lemonade sirope, with some fruity notes (apricot?). Again not very apparent, but taste is certainly better than the smell. All kinds of tropical fruits pass, orange, pine apple, apricot. Quite nice. A nice bitter which really suits the beer and a medium body finish off this beer.

Absumaster, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of Derek
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best before the end of October.

A: Golden-orange, fluffy white head, not much retention, but leaves a little lace.

S: Bready malt, grass, metal and a touch of apricot.

T: Surprisingly, it has more of a Continental, Nobel hop flavour (grassy, metallic, a little earth & a touch of saaz-like spicyness). I thought they'd use a more citrusy American hop. A little pale malt flavour (biscuity). Slight fruityness seems to be overpowered by the bitterness. Finishes dry. It'd probably taste more like fruit if it was sweeter. Not your typical fruit beer.

M: Moderate body is dry, with a hint of acidity; carbonation is moderate.

D: Fairly good, though I'm not overly fond of the hop flavour.

Thanks Eric!

Derek, Aug 30, 2006
Photo of Rudgers73
2.95/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

"It's like there's a party in my mouth and everyone's invited"

This beer is wild. I don't really like this taste (well, the after taste is what really get me), but I can sure appreciaite the complexity. This beer has a reddish-orangish look. The head is foamy, fizzy, orange and settles quickly. The taste is: ...I'm not sure how to explain it.

This beer is fruity, sweet, bitter, dry, hoppy, bold, etc. It tastes like 10 different types of beers all rolled up into one mixed batch.

Not for me, but certainly worth trying...

Rudgers73, Aug 30, 2006
Photo of akajimmyd
3.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Minimal head, only a thin layer retains. Peachy or dare I say apricot coloration.

Smell - Not much aroma, a little fruity.

Taste - Suprise - apricot flavors. Faint hops and a tart finish.

Mouthfeel - Quite thin in the mouth, a tad watery and a little fizzy. Sweetness lingers.

Drinkability - Nice little brew for the summer maybe. Interesting taste, will suprise a newbie to craft beer. Unless you really hate “fruit beer” give it a try. Very good for the style but just average overall.

akajimmyd, Aug 29, 2006
Photo of blackie
3.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour gives a low white head that soon recedes to a ring around the glass and a thin island of carbonation on the surface. The beer is a light amber in color, very clear.

smell: Peach, apricot, both candied, and pale malts are first noticed. Light, but nice hop aroma.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is between medium and high, and is pretty smooth. The body is a medium-light.

taste: Flavors of pale grain and apricot upfront, lightly sweet, with a spicy hop flavor. After the swallow, a moderate bitterness dries out the finish and lingers with a light fruity flavor. Not much to it, but well balanced.

drinkability: quite easy

blackie, Aug 26, 2006
Photo of mynie
3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hoppedup for the trade.

Geeky internet confession #4541: I like The Retarded Animal Babies.

Just what is "Retard Animal Babies?" A flash cartoon about cute animal babies that are retarded and do horrible things to one another. Everyone says it's like "Happy Tree Friends," but the similarities end at the fact that both feature little animals doing profane stuff.

Anyhow, RAB once made a commercial for a craft beer company that I'd never heard of. The commercial was funny times ten and it made the Magic Hat beers that it featured look super tasty. They had beautiful labels and a hip sense of humor. They referenced the Beatles and once made a mix pack named after a Frank Zappa album! Nevermind their "meh" scores on BA--I was set on finding them!

That was a few years ago, and, well, I kind of dwadled in tracking them down. Most of my trades have been with people in the midwest or on the west coast, and so I've never gotten any Magic Hat. Until now.

And what did I want more than anything? To try this here beer named 9. It looked fruity and rereshing, I'll tell you what.

And it pours good for a flavored pale wheat. Maybe a little too filtered, but it's an appealing light orange with a big white head that sticks around for ages.

Smells of full fruit and kind of a meh grain...a little metallic. Good thing the fruit outweighs the grain by a good margin.

Tastes like it smells. Big, ripe juicy fruits--peaches and apricots-- and spices that I can't place. They're great and they keep things going until right near the end, when a really subpar grainy yeast comes in and just about ruins everything. It's pretty much the same frustraingly bad ending you get with O'Fallon's beers, only not nearly as pronounced.

Overall, it's tasty and refreshing as all hell, but marred by a mediocre finish. No matter what, I love the bottle art, and I'm really glad I got to try it!

mynie, Aug 25, 2006
Photo of rarevos
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into pint glass. Part of the "Night of the Living Dead" 12-pack. Under the cap is a message that reads "Philosophy is not a Luxury item."

A: Pours an orangey yellow with thick layer of head, good retention. Sticky trails left behind.

S: Dominated by apricot. Huge apricot aroma. Faint wheat aroma in the background. So essentially smells like wheat toast with apricot jam spread on it.

T: Apricot isn't as prevalent as the nose would lead you to believe. There's a wheatiness and a fruitiness, but it's subtler than the aroma, which partially suggests a strong nectar flavor. Finish is bitter, but not balanced at all. It jumps right out from the apricot sweetness like a mugger from behind a corner. The "average" score reflects this. The taste itself is unique, but the execution is not so good.

M: Light-bodied and crisp.

D: Eh. It's different, I'll give it that. But its component parts don't play well together, and the finish doesn't make me want to drink more, it makes me want to drink something else.

rarevos, Aug 24, 2006
Photo of weasbri
3.13/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Everything about this beer was subtle to me.
Nice orange-copper color, with a slight head. Slight fruity aroma to it.
A little bit of hop flavor and bitterness, and just a bit of fruity apricot taste too.
It's just very understated. Nothing in particular bad, but nothing jumped out at me either. Not nearly as interesting as the Aprihop I had from Dogfish Head a while back, which is probably its closest cousin.

weasbri, Aug 23, 2006
Photo of laintringulis
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

served in a pub glass. Pours a nice light peach color with small white head that thins quickly. Light bodied, well carbonated.

Smells strongly of citrus and fresh apricots with a light vanilla spiciness.

Taste sweet initially, very malty. Strong apricot and almost a butterscotch taste. Finishes with a little bitterness. I would have liked it to finish a little drier and spicier.

Heavier mouthfeel than I expected, but it left a coating in your mouth that I did not care for. It is sessionable and easy to drink.

laintringulis, Aug 22, 2006
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
#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 4,839 ratings.