Magic Hat Brewing Company

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Fruit and Field Beer
Ranked #791
Ranked #46,685
3.42 | pDev: 17.84%
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States
Notes: 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
Reviews: 1,740 | Ratings: 5,888 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by thehooksman:
Photo of thehooksman
4.42/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

While this style is said here to be a "fruit beer," fruit beers must have a base style before the fruit is added. This beer seems to have characteristics that place it well within the bounds of an American Amber Ale or an English ESB. It's fruitiness and lighter than amber color leans more towards the ESB.

It is a slight hazy orange color with a thin white head. The aroma is of caramel malt, fruit, yeast. There is some faint sour aroma as well. The flavor is incredibly sweet up front (tastes like candy and cherries). There is just enough hop bitterness to kill the sweet for a clean finish. It has a medium body, not too carbonated and has a bit of cream.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
2.48/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Stone Pub. Pours a mellow amber-orange color with highlights of burnt sunburst around the edges; slight haze but not enough to completely cloud your eyesight to the other side. Fizzy, bone-white head goes almost as quickly as it comes. The aroma is fruity, light, and crisp; apricots, oranges, peaches - sounds great, right? Unfortunately the smell comes off a little too contrived, artificial, and errs on the side of medicinal. Not enough to abhor the beer already, but it doesn't bode well for how it's probably going to taste. Hits the palate with a thin-almost medium body, crisp, snappy, and fizzy. Takes over with the fruity sensation right away - apricots still in the forefront, with some peaches, tangerines, and pears on deck. The strange, vitamin-like medicinal character is actually less apparent on the palate then it was in the aroma, which is a good thing, but I still have to smell this sucker every time I bring the glass to my mouth. A bit of grain and pale malt flavors along with a flower-like hop character which is unfortunately mostly shoved aside by the fruitiness. Low bitterness start to finish, highly carbonation with an aftertaste of artificial fruits and a touch of yeast.

I commend this beer for being almost somewhat of a "gateway" brew that brings people from macro style lagers to the wonderful world of craft beer. It's lighter, not abrasive, easy on the palate; so it's easy to see why newcomers will enjoy it. Unfortunately, it doesn't hold a candle to the rest of the craft world, and once you expand your tastes, this one is easily forgotten, and in many cases, eventually frowned upon for having a weird, medicinal astringency.

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Photo of spaceman24
2.38/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

I drank it from the bottle. It tasted like if you mixed a pale ale with that lavender scented toilet paper that I bought by accident once before I knew it existed and I thought it was just regular angel soft.

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Photo of PMakowski
3.21/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 Oz Bottle poured into glass
Look - golden orange with some touch of amber. Very small foam head and only minimal glass lacing
Smell - bar none, the strangest beer aroma I have come across. Cherry-apricot bubble gum. Some slight wheat or grains. Very sweet smelling and honestly it smells like a strange fruit cocktail more than a beer...
Taste - It's got a strange taste too. I don't know what's in it so it's hard to describe. It's like a fruity highly carbonated ale. Not saying it's fake but it doesn't taste like fresh hops or anything. Not one single characteristic stands out. It has quite a bit of carbonation. The bitterness is perhaps more than IBU's suggest. It's sweet but its not overwhelming. Drinkable i guess.

Overall, this one is just not my thing. I don't enjoy the taste enough to buy it again. Grade is a B-

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.63/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

"... number nine... number nine...
number nine... number nine..."

--from 'Revolution 9' on The Beatles (The White Album)

Light, bright orangish amber beneath a fluffyfirm head of yellowed bone white. The cap is more stubborn than it looks like it'll be immediately after the pour and leaves meandering chunks of soap sudsy foam as it slowly deflates.

The beer smells a little soapy too, like apricot-scented hand cream. Okay, it isn't quite that bad. Let's call it floral and apricot fruity, that's more of a beer-related description. The nose is interesting without being all that appealing.

This isn't my kind of beer. Like the nose, it's still floral and semi-soapy on the palate. Part of the problem is that #9 is, as the brewery describes it, a 'not quite pale ale'. Translation: the hop content is 'not quite' what it should be in order to end up with good beer.

It tastes insipid to me; there's isn't enough malt and there aren't enough hops. What's left? Answer: fresh apricots sprinkled with shavings of Irish Spring. That may (repeat, may) be overstating the case to some degree since the beer is still somewhat drinkable. The body and the mouthfeel are no help at all. Thin and wimpily carbonated just doesn't cut it.

I'm confident that the other bottles from this brewery that currently reside in my basement will be more to my liking (thanks far333). As far as #9 goes, my feeling is that Magic Hat should plunge their (collective) hand back into their magic hat and pull out a rabbit with balls next time.

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Photo of xXTequila
2/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I do not llike this beer at all. I hear alot of people love this one and when bars have magic hat on tap it usually this one and I just don't understand why. This, to me, is their worst beer. It is way to fruity, with a very sacharine (sp?) after taste that takes forever to go away.

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Photo of grminzey
5/5  rDev +46.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

#9 is always the first and last beer that I order as soon as I enter a bar or pub. The taste and aroma is leagues above any one else. And there is no hang-over feeling if I have had one too many. And usually I always have a morning head ache after a night of drinking draft beer. So I definitely appreciate Magic Hat for allowing the moment of clarity to get out of a one night situation! Slainte everyone!

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Photo of muffins
1.22/5  rDev -64.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Honestly, this is my least favorite beer in the world.

I first had it at the brewery. They make a few perfectly good, delightful, unpretentious beers.

Since that first trial, this beer has been heavily marketed (at least in my market), showing up all over the place. "Maybe I missed something at the brewery, where I sampled a number of beers," I thought, otherwise, why would this beer be everywhere. I had just delighted in an Aprihop, which in description might seem similar. So I ordered a draft of it.

Wow -- worse than I thought. My girlfriends reactions are often more jarring and unaccepting than mine -- she took one sniff, recoiled in disgust and said "ugh it smells just like cat pee." She was right, sort of -- I debated if perhaps the pee in question was more likely from a coyote. Certainly nothing of hops in the aroma.

Took a sip. Wow worse than I remembered. Synthetic fruity flavor (even if it is natural) -- like an apricot jolly rancher in your mouth while you drink a beer you don't like.

Left it 90% un-consumed -- unheard of in my cardholding clean-plate-club world.

Perhaps most distressing is that this seems to be the worst beer this brewer makes. I sincerely believe that some brewers should not be allowed out of their state. There is no reason a beer like this must travel near 1000 miles. Certainly they have drains to pour it down in Vermont?

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Photo of KingHefe
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look: Golden with average head that quickly dissipates
Smell: Apricot scent
Taste: Mild Hop Flavor..not bitter at all
Feel: Light and smooth

Average beer, no surprises. Balanced, doesn't crash the palate.. Likely enjoyed most by consumers who enjoy a mildly Apricot scented ale. Definitely suitable for the IPA fan and not for the higher calorie beer enthusiast on the lookout for a bold flavor.
If you are a Quad fan..or even a Hefeweizen fan, then this beer may just be a palate cleanser. If you like pale ales, then go for it as I see no reason for this beer to disappoint the category it represents.

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Photo of Absalom
4.75/5  rDev +38.9%

Apricot beer doesn't at first seem like a genius idea, but let me tell you it most certainly is.
The fruitiness draws you in, and the little ditties they write under the cap keep you from drinking all of it at 3 in the afternoon on a Monday, you know, just cuz.

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Photo of Bwalkertxranger
3.76/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

As advertised...can NOT figure out what the taste is! It's familiar but can't pinpoint. Squash? Definitely good for summer - crisp, not too light, plenty of flavor.

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Photo of Hutchman25
3.86/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Refreshing brew for a hot day.
Hints of apricot/peach flavor. Not real bitey, would not classify it as a pale ale, but nice alternative to your ordinary go to.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
3.58/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a bubbly white head.
The aroma is a combination of floral and spice and a bit of fruit candy.
Taste is similar. A bit flowery and maybe a hint of corriander and a bit of earthiness. As it warms, I pick up a bit of a vegetal flavor. Very little bitter.
Mouthfeel is on the thin side and well-carbonated.
Overall, weird but not unpleasant and somewhat refreshing.

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Photo of Spence26
4.33/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very drinkable beer with a hint of a berry taste

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Photo of Packageguy
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tricky situation, here.
Overall, #9 is a decent beer...but it's definitely old school. I mean, it popped up in the mid nineties, somewhat as a pioneer in the craft beer scene. They did things with beer that no one had ever done, before. Apricot flavored beer? What?
It was different, and stood out in a crowd. Jeez, back then, green bottled imported beer was "fancy," and most people (in the northeast) were just drinking Bud. Beer was beer...all the same...bottles were better than cans...etc, etc.
Then #9 appeared. People were like: what's that?
Fast forward to today, and the flavor trend has shot into the stratosphere...only, the flavor comes from hops....hops that didn't even exist back then. So...cheers to Magic Hat for paving the way..sort of.
Today, there are certainly some fruit puree flavored IPAs out there that sell well...
What I liked was that I found a Can-tastic mixed 12-pk. Let's face it, cans are where it's at, today. Three cheers for the "old man" keeping it "young."
And, anyways, they've been bought and sold a few times...they aren't quite who they used to be.
So, as a beer goes, when you have a #9, you're drinking a pioneer...enjoy it for what it's worth... I do.

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Photo of Kingbee73
4.18/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer is a bit of an acquired taste and in my experience needs to be one of the first things you drink or with a clear palate. The distinct flavor a such as apricot and coriander can be harshly influenced by other beers before it. That said I like this beer a lot. Love the dark color and very floral scent. Easy to drink multiples.

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Photo of gaulsandman
3.54/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Just a strange feeling and taste to this beer, to me it taste like grape cotton candy. Sweet and fruity but in a sugary way which I'm not use to in a beer. I don't hate it, nor do I love it but I will order it again until I figure out what taste is hidden in this beer. No head upon pour ... just confusing

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I picked this up at Brew&Brew in North Ridgeville, OH while visiting family and looking for things I couldn't get at home. And in this particular case, I can't say I'm upset that this beer is not available in my town...I wouldn't buy it if it was.

Appearance is a dark gold color, maybe like you'd expect from a really full-bodied lager. Head was thin and not persistent. Aroma was lightly hoppy, a bit fruity, but cereal is really what dominates here. Flavor is a weird graininess followed by some off fruity esters. I'm not a fan. Careful examination of the label reveals that this is a "flavored IPA." Additional examination yields that this beer has apricot flavor, which I did not detect. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and unpleasant.

I would not recommend this beer. The enjoy-by date stamped into my label was Mar 2008 (a good 3 months past when I drank it)...I am grateful that Magic Hat provided me with this date.

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Photo of lpayette
3.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear orange/amber.

Smells - subtle apricot, light malts, light hops.

Tastes- more apricot- and a stronger reflection of the smells.

Mouthfeel is smooth, finishes dry. Not much carbonation.

Very drinkable but leaves me a bit too dry however.

This is one of the better fruit/vegetable beers that is fairly widely available in my opinion. It's really well balanced for the style, and a very good session beer. How many fruit beers can you say that about?

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Photo of tcfishler
2.31/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Moderately cloudy amber-tinted orange. Offwhite head makes a brief appearance.

Soft, simple, inviting but dry nose that suggests apricots and flowers.

Initial flavor replicates aromas but then diffuses disappointingly fast, becoming watery and almost flavorless, leading to a very halfheartedly bitter finish.

Not much going on in this one.

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Photo of AshevilleSippin
3.13/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Short Version:
For a fruit beer I was pretty happy. Not a fan of the style but this was decent. Not too sweet. Watery fruity wheat flavor with low bitterness and a huge fruity nose on it.

April '08 freshness date. Attractive brown 12oz bottle with mystical #9 design.

Pours a clear orange-amber color with a 2 finger off-white bizarre looking head. Huge bubbles like bubblebath mixed in with small and medium ones. The huge ones really demand your attention. When each pops it opens up a gaping hole in the head and you can visibly see that section sink or contort. It leaves a pockmarked landscape with little bubbles surviving while big ones expire and leave empty spaces. Never seen any beer like it.

Carbonation is unique as well. Lively so far with clumps of big bubbles patched along the sides like club soda in a rocks glass.

Wow! On the nose I'm gettin HUGE fruity floral smells. It's a nectar-sweet fruit like berries. Possibly black raspberry. Reminds me of Chambord liqueur actually. Also smelling wheat maybe and a little citrusy tang. I have a sinking feeling this is going to be a fruity foo-foo beer that I'll have to pour out the last half of after rating it. Here goes...

Hum, not as fruity as I expected or the nose predicted. Fruity for sure though. Watery fruit flavor prevails. Light bodied (surprising). Seems like I'm tasting some wheat malt but it could be a psychological carryover from raspberry wheat beer I've had before. No bitterness at all. Is this really a Pale Ale?

Although I'm an anti-fan of fruit flavored beers this is a nice change up for me. I'm enjoying it even though I won't buy it again.

Finish is light and fruity but not overly sweet. Has a slightly sticky finish but the body is light enough that it's not syrupy at all.

Aftertaste lingers with me too long. It's not all that unpleasant but the longer it sits the more artificial the fruit is tasting on the back of my tongue.

Beer is half gone and the head is completely MIA. Not even a thin white film and no lace to speak of. Carbonation has died down substantially. Its gone flat on me. For some reason it's showing a little grainy dryness now. Didn't get that earlier. Maybe it's the temperature climb or the lack of fizz that's bringing it out.

I'll finish this beer but to be honest I'm not really looking forward to it at this point. Don't blame the beer though. I'm still just not digging fruity beers. This is one of the better ones I've tried though. Flatness and light body are it's weak points.

Kudo's to magic hat for making one I can actually finish.

**P.S. Just read the bottle. It said specifically that there is "essence of apricot" in it. So much for my palate. I called it black raspberry. In hindsight, with the last few sips here, I can taste apricot for sure. Gotta get back to the drawing board and keep honing my senses here. This is what it's all about!

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Photo of Bilco
4/5  rDev +17%

Photo of bumchilly25
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of SylviaFaye
3.36/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This apricot-colored brew leaves poor lacings from a "just barely there" head that quickly fizzled and died. The nose is also of apricots with a dash of malts and honey. While the mouthfeel is a bit thin the pallet is rather crisp, so perhaps this is intended. Crisp, slightly malty, and mildly sweet, this beer is simple but very refreshing. I could definitely see myself throwing back a couple of these while hanging out at a BBQ or at a pool on a hot day. It's nothing to write home about, but it's great for what it is.

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Photo of Act25
2.19/5  rDev -36%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Never again #9! That's what I'd call this beer.

When I first tried it in Asbury Park where Yuengling was the other choice, I drank 2, but that was at the beginning of craft and now I think this is so passe to be almost comically fruity.

A: Nice enough pale ale on a brown body, with a thick head and good lacing.
S: You've got to be kidding me! Who pumped the dish soap into my beer? Nothing but Herbal Essence shampoo notes. Entirely too artificial fruity. I think they amped up the recipe since I first tried.
T: Soapy, Starts in the smell with strong artificial apricot and herbalessence. A bit of malt body, but still sweet in the middle, and it does finish soapy bitter.
M: Creamy, but sudsy, doesnt leave my mouth in a good place (but clean!)

This has gotten worse. Pass. Pour.

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#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 5888 ratings