#9 | Magic Hat Brewing Company

1,693 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-09-1998

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Reviews: 1,693 | Ratings: 5,656
Photo of lynchtae
1.7/5  rDev -50%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Was excited to try this IPA. It looked good from afar, but was far from good. First smell was reminiscent of Nyquil. The taste was somewhat fruit, a little hoppy and mostly menthol / Nyquil. After one taste I had to order another beer, quickly, to get rid of the taste in my mouth and the burning in my mind from this awful concoction. If you have ever considered drinking aftershave this is the beer for your, otherwise steer well clear of this brew.

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Photo of cvstrickland
1.71/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Got this in a "Pandora's Box" mixed pack. 12 oz bottle poured into a pint mug.

Nice fluffy head, pretty golden bronze color, light fruit smell, and then the drink...

Apricots. Apricots. Apricots. Sweet, sour, bitter. Hops undetectable above the jaw-clenching, eye-squinching,head-shaking sourness. Awful. Ugh.

Otherwise, it defintely seems to be beer,(if in no way resembling any version of a contemporary PA), but with a sour and bitter fruitiness that pervades, annoys, and overwhelms.

The originally enticing head cashed in early and diminished to virtual non-existence before I gave up trying to like this one; very little lacing to wash out of the glass. Won't drink the other two in the sampler, didn't finish this one, and opened a SN Celebration Ale to get the taste out of my mouth. Cheers!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
1.74/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle: Poured orangey color ale with almost no head or carbonation. Aroma is quite weak but I can distinguish some sweet fruity flavour and some malt. Taste is almost indescribable, like a mix between some poorly grown apricot (lacking flavour and sweetness) and malt that doesn’t do any favour to this mix. Like all fruit beer, they can be a wonderful experience when correctly balanced or a complete disaster when things go wrong, such as this case was. Almost needs to wonder if this was a bad bottle.

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Photo of Duxx
1.74/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I have never seen or heard of this beer before. It is not available in Kansas City or in stores west of there that I have seen. The carton claims this beer is "not quite a pale ale" yet somehow I thought I was buying something like a pale ale? Because I was expecting a different version of a pale ale, I was just about to really slam this beer in this review. I had no idea this was an apricot beer until I found its classification on BA. As a matter of fact I went back an read the entire packaging and did not see any hint this was a fruit beer. Looking at the orangish label it does kind of look like a psychodelic apricot. So, I'll rethink my review with a fruit beer in mind. Lets see...

A: Pours kind of a golden orange sunset color. A strange color for a beer but since it is supposed to be an apricot beer I rated it higher than I would have otherwise because thats what it looks like.

S: I didn't care for the smell. Kind of reminded me of the perm solution smell at the mall hair places. Other people say apricot smell but I didn't get that.

T: Not my cup of tea or beer for that matter. No appreciable hops just that perm solution taste.

M: Not too watery and medium in carbonation. Perfectly acceptable for a fruit beer.

D: Fairly light on the palate like a macro lager. If you liked this beer I'm sure you could drink several. As for me, I had trouble finshing just one. Several people noted that this was a cheap beer. Not in St. Louis, I paid almost $9 for a sixer. Ouch!

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Photo of Kanebanger
1.76/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: Yellow with a slight orange tint to it. Very little head that disappeard quickly.

S: Hint of apricot, seemed to be a little bit heavy on the malt side.

T: Apricot smell really misleading as there was very little apricot tast for some reason. Malt was a little overpowering. Flavors just did not seem to blend very well at all.

M: Extremely undercarbonated for the style. Felt as if it had been sitting out all night and then thrown into the fridge for an hour.

D: Couldn't drink more than one. Would prefer most BMCs over this.

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Photo of PhageLab
1.78/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Looking around at the beer selection on tap at the NorVa in Norfolk during a concert recently, I realized this was the only beer they had that I had never actually tried. I was reluctant @ $5, but why not? Or so I thought...served in a plastic cup.

A - Hard to tell really in my red cup, but it appears to be dark orange. Decent bit of froth on the top. Couldn't tell how it would lace. Doesn't look bad at all.

S - Something peculiar, ripe fruits mostly. Some fruit punch-like blend of citrus and a slight touch of fermentation. Oddly reminiscent of peach schnapps.

T - Gah! Rotted fruit notes, and, that's about it. Some beer like qualities I suppose, but this simply wasn't pleasant.

M - Light bodied, medium carbonation level, acrid aftertaste.

D - Negative on this one. Will not revisit. No reco's here. For the record, their taps weren't very bad, after this disaster, I tried several other brews on tap and found not one to have any off flavors. Unless the keg had been improperly handled, I simply did not like this brew.

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Photo of Maestro
1.84/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I had a really hard time with this one. The "essence of apricot" was overwhelming to me. I think this would have made a great pale ale, had they left out the apricot. The fruitiness dominated the smell and taste. There was a decent head. The color was yellow/orange. Anything else was just apricots. Yuk! It sort of tasted like tea?

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Photo of AgentZero
1.85/5  rDev -45.6%
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.

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Photo of PolarBear3
1.88/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Poured honey/amber colour with a light frothy head that dissipates to a thin film rather quickly only a little lacing.

S - Very sweet apricot, fairy floss or perfume like aromas. Weird..

T - Apricots, mango, sweet sticky toffee apple and candy. Quite syrupy and difficult to consume.

M - light to medium bodied with very little carbonation

O - As a fruit beer definitely not for me this one. Very sickly to drink and I will struggle to finish. Would not recommend.

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Photo of DmanGTR
1.88/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

Poured orangey yellow with a hazy body and a white puff of head that diminished quickly. Aromas of pale grains, wheat twang, boiled vegetables, mild citrus, and an odd earthy tone blended with the apricots that is simply off putting. Flavors are very similar, with more of a fruity kick in the finish. Big carbonation for the thinnish body. Not really my thing.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
1.89/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Look: Light copper color with 1 1/2 inch foamy white head and some good lace. This beer has some crazy looking carbonation bubbles looks like a science project.

Smell: Some wide range of fruit in here and when mixed together they leave a kind of funky smell. Picking up hints of apricot, peach, bananas and just a slight note of citrus most likely from the hops

Taste: That same funk that I described with the scent. Its fruity thats for sure but not sure the flavors are working in harmony.

Mouthfeel: Thin body mildly carbonated with a smooth finish

Overall: I think the logo describes this beer the best. It does not make any sense to me. Seems like they just winged the recipe and threw things together and said to hell with it we brewed it so let's bottle it and see if it sells.

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Photo of Bulkman
1.93/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured a golden color with amber hues from a bomber into a goblet; yields a full one finger head. There is no lacing to speak of as it immediately drops after drinking.

This beer smells like dish soap, I am trying hard to find something else in it, but that is all I get. Ughh.

Once you get past the smell, it is actually not awful, but not even average either. Pretty bland with an artificial fruity taste.

It feels light on the tongue with a crisp, though not clean, finish. It's barely drinkable, and in fact, I am drain pouring the rest of my glass, as well as the rest of the bomber. Pass this one by, not recommended.

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Photo of AleWatcher
1.95/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I love pale ales, and I love fruit beers... So a marriage of the two could only be awesome....
Sadly, tis not the case here.

The beer is a weak pale ale--- not enough hops to be a good pale ale... The fruit flavor isn't popping enough to make this a good fruit beer. This is taking to mediocre attempts at the two styles and combining them into one bottle.
Kudos to Magic Hat for trying to reduce their carbon footprint by combining two crappy beers in one crappy beer, but this is not good for any other reason.
Golden yellow with small white head and virtually no lacing or retention. Looks undercarbonated.... And it feels like it too. Weak thin body is in need of more bubbles!

Weak thin beer is in need of more flavor! This thing has a slight touch of malts, little sweetness and breadiness. Little hops come through with floral and citrus notes. The fruity apricot notes hit too, but very weakly. There is also a soapy bitterness that comes through on the finish.

Overall, if this were a Pale Ale it would score worse than it is here. As a fruit beer, I'm inclined to be more forgiving. This is just not enjoyable.

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Photo of hardy008
1.96/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Amber color with an off white head with poor retention. Smells like apricots, or maybe artificial apricots. Not real appealing. Some pale malt is also present.

The taste is as unimpressive as the aroma, maybe even more so. Apricots / artificial apricots, pale malt, and not much else. No real hop presence.

Light bodied, if not thin, fair carbonation. Not impressive, and I don't plan to try this again.

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Photo of JamesTurkey
1.97/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

Appearance: Golden honey with a thin white head, which dissolves quickly and leaves little lacing. Good carbonation keeps it bubbling throughout.

Smell: Slightly sweet and fruity, but I can't put my finger on exactly what it is.

Taste: Some of the same as the nose: a little sweet and fruity, but I also get a strange buttery taste. Malt and bread presence at the end. Surprisingly light, quite off-putting.

Mouth: The carbonation offsets a slight thickness. I have nothing else to say here.

Maybe it was the fact that it had to be shipped to the West Coast, but this beer just ain't right. The buttery taste is just something I can't get into. Not a drain pour, but close to it.

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Photo of Verticalgambit
1.98/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Orange/Amber in color with somewhat cloudy in glass.

Poured with almost no head.

Smell is mild floral and malty with a little fruit.

I can definitely taste the apricot with a little acidic after taste.

Overall not my favorite beer, but I can see how my people would like this beer. It really could be sensational with someone that is not in to super hoppy beers.

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Photo of StrangeBrew1
1.98/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Not sure what all the hype is about this beer with friends and every time I go into the store? I can only say the marketing is much better than the product. Every brewery has there signature taste like adding hops or chocolate in the brew. Magic Hats signature is Dove soap. Every single beer from them tastes like a mouth full of soap. I have tried and tried other ones and the same aftertaste is there. Explaining everyones reviews that they couldn't drink more than 1 of them. It must be the MAGIC I'm tasting?

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Photo of KarlHungus
1.99/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This beer pours a cloudy golden orange color. The head is two inches in height, and recedes quickly into fluffy lacing. The aroma is of berries with a hint of pale malt. The taste is of rotten fruit. Very unappealing. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation. Overall, this is a bad beer, and I'm really having a hard time getting it down. This is about as close to a drain pour as it possibly could be without actually going down the drain.

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Photo of Rennpferd
1.99/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

It poured extremely pale. It had a one finger, pure white head. Moderate carbonation was present.

It had a slight rice like smell at first. There was little to no scent present after a moment of sniffing at it.

It had a unique taste. Not bad, but not good. There was a presence of fresh pea-pods. It was medium bodied. It had a clean finish.

Not a good beer for me. I did not find it very drinkable.

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Photo of xXTequila
2/5  rDev -41.2%
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 rickyleepotts
2/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is classified as a fruit beer. Well, a fruit/vegetable beer. Not sure I would enjoy a vegetable beer. Yuck! At least a fruit beer sounds sweet, and somewhat enjoyable. What’s next, Miller Cabbage Lite?

The beer smells quite carbonated, with a punch of fruity goodness. With just one sip, you are hit with a force of carbonation then the palate is covered with a fruity sweetness. Not too sweet, like candy, but a soothing and polished sweetness. The beer has a very low ABV, and it’s obvious when you drink it. The aftertaste is weak too, and leaves your palate quickly after you swallow. Even the burred (a subtle burp of course) is weak and has little to no flavor. This beer smells a LOT better than it tastes.

The folks at Magic Hat are known for making unique beers, with even more random naming conventions. But this one just doesn’t cut it. I would rather just smell this and then drink a Bud Light. Nice try Magic Hat, but this beer just isn’t for me.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2/5  rDev -41.2%
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 atlason
2.01/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

33cl bottle. No freshness date in spite of promises on the label.

A: Clear deep gold, minimal lacing and v. small head.

S: Smells of overripe fruit gone a bit bad with some butter.

T: The fruit is overwhelming. Some background maltiness, the wheat does show when you know it is there but the main flavor is an overpowering slightly artificial funky fruit.

M: Dry and crisp with medium carbonation. Fresh and drinkable.

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Photo of bishes
2.02/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Tasted similar to robitussin cough syrup. I struggled to finish the glass and only did so in order to get another beer (and to save my friend from having to stomach it). This is only better than some nasty blueberry beer I drank last summer. Very disappointed.

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Photo of EAKovac
2.03/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

In my humble opinion, a nasty undesirable beer. However, it came in my variety pack, so alas I will drink it...and since I will drink it, I will review it!

the "not quite Pale Ale" pours all but clear with just a hint of cloudiness. Pours almost the same color as the lettering in the bottle recycle statement on the back with little head at all. What head there is disappears quite quickly.

The smell and taste of apricots overwhelm me as I struggle to swallow this beer (not a fan of apricots at all!)


I guess if you love apricots and hate delicious beer, then you should give this one a chance!

I must stand up for it on one point though, and that is that much like all magic hat beer bottles, this one has some nice label artwork. If only the beer was as fun as the label...

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#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.4 out of 5 based on 5,656 ratings.
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