#9 | Magic Hat Brewing Company

1,693 Reviews
Read the review

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,693 | Ratings: 5,661
Photo of doppelmeup
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

 381 characters

Photo of sabrills70
4.06/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

 430 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.15/5  rDev -36.8%
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.

 854 characters

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.33/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with no freshness date. Poured into a stndard pint glass.
Clear pale amber color. Lively carbonation and a fizzy white head that left tracings of lace behind.
Smell had a soft fruitiness with hints of apricots, pineapple, and nectarine embedded in the malt notes. Subtle hops aroma.
Taste had a subdued fruitiness that seemed too generalized to be able to really sort out. Apricot flavor was borderline non-existent and the hops in the finish lacked much punch. Feel was light and lively.
Overall, this just seemed to be a beer that couldn't decide on what it wanted to be when it grew up, an APA or fruit beer. Styled as a fruit beer, #9 just lacks the fruitiness to truly be a fine example of the style. Worth a try, but just barely.

 751 characters

Photo of gbarron
3.23/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, no dating that I saw in a brief glance.

A - perfectly clear orange, light-amber. Slightly off-white head of tight, small bubbles. A little lacing. Pretty brew.

S - strong fruit aroma. Pineapple, apricot, pears. Very slight hop aroma, spicy. Lots of fruity esters, don't know which are from the ingredients, which are from the yeast. Nice, unique aroma.

T - strong flavors of fresh, ripe fruit. Apricots, peaches, pears, pineapple. Not all that sweet, pretty dry, with balancing hop bitterness. Fruit flavor is nearly overwhelming, though. Little hop flavor.

M - carbonation is moderate, a bit tingly, body is on the thin side.

D - I'm not normally a fruit beer fan except for lambics, and this beer is no exception. Strong, unique fruit aroma/flavor, but I don't particularly care for the flavor of apricots, which is prominent here. Not a beer I would ever try again, but if you're a fruit beer lover, this one should be at the top of your list.

 990 characters

Photo of kpwill07
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer seems to be popping up all over the WNY area in the past year. I'd have to say that I don't mind that at all.

It pours amber. Thin wispy head. Not all that much for retention.

The smell is very subtle. A little bit of fruit, a very light hoppy smell. The taste lives up to its "not so pale ale" tagline. It does have a mild bitterness to it, but it's mild at best. There are also apricots present and almost a butteryness as well. Overall nothing too imposing.

A good beer for someone trying to stray from your bud/coors/labatt what have you... Not my favorite beer, but I do enjoy it, due to it having such a subtle, drinkable feel.

 655 characters

Photo of nickg902
4.11/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This used to be my favorite beer until I tried it again after a long hiatus. This disappointed me on its lack of taste. The pour was a nice hazy, orange/amber; pretty much what you'd expect from a pale ale. Aroma is heavy with apricot and other citrus fruits. Taste is of apricots with mild hop bitterness, none of which lingers for too long. Taste is kinda watery and not as strong as I used to remember. Mouthfeel is watery, perhaps a little too carbonated. Drinkability is high becase there is not much complexity to this brew. I would recommed trying but I feel there are far too many better pale ales out there to try. This officially ended my fascination with this brew.

 676 characters

Photo of AaronHomoya
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had during a visit to Ithaca, NY.

Pours an amber color with rather little head. Good carbonation. Smell is sweet and fruity but rather one-dimensional. Taste is similarly sweet and fruity but is complex with a bit of yeast-taste and hops in there with a nice clean finish. Mouthfeel is a little light, but smooth. A very drinkable beer, although a bit sweet, I liked it.

 373 characters

Photo of oberon
3.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this many times while living in Vermont and had a bottle yesterday for the first time in a few years.Poured a slight hazed light amber color with a tight 1/2 finger white head that stuck around for a minute leaving no lace behind as it settled,quite effervescent on the nose with big apricot and honey notes,with a noticable toasted grain elemant in there as well.Its a good cook out and or bbq beer lighter easy going down and chicks dig it,anyways the fruity flavors of apricot and or peach are not as big as in the nose but really show thru in the finish as well a little toastiness with just a lighter herbal hop note as a slight balancer.Hey it is what is a easy quaffing cult beer I would take it over any macro or other fruit beers out there for sure.

 764 characters

Photo of RedChrome
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a fantastic deep coppery red color. The head rose to about 3/4 of an inch, and had great retention. There was a decent amount of carbonation rising through the beer.

The aroma was strikingly fragrant. The scent that hits the most is peach. It was almost two sweet to take. A second inhalation is just as sweet, but also has some notes of raspberries and slight white grape.

The was surprised that after the aroma, I was not overpowered by peach flavor on my first sip. While there was a hint of peach, It was much more of a mixed fruit flavor. I was surpised at the quality of taste in this beer as compared to other Magic Hat selections.

This beer had an average mouthfeel. It was nothing that stuck to my tastebuds, but while the beer disappeared, the taste stuck around. Carbonation was also average.

I have to say this is an outstanding beer. While I usually swim against the streams of my firneds recommendations based on popularity, I have to say that this is definitly a finely created brew, and should be on everybody's list of quality beers that are widely availiable.

 1,098 characters

Photo of aluskungs
4.22/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the best beers from Magic Hat. In a trend of hop crazyness it is nice to drink a beer that relies on good flavor. Yes it has apricot in it, but most people don't know, it's almost doesn't taste like a fruit beer instead the flavor might be coming from the yeast.
This is a very smooth drinking beer and has perfect balance to drink anytime of the year, 'nuff said!

 372 characters

Photo of oelergud
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden clear body with some red tint. Off-white head, moderate carbonation. Decent lace, head dissipates to a thin float that stays to the bottom.
Honey and fruits in the nose, raspberry and rubarb, tart and sweet.
Undertones of butter.
Hay and green apple skin make up first impression of the taste. Tart and sweet quickly passing into the aftertaste of very strong hops. Some faint hints of marzipan.
Mouthfeel is full and leaves good coating followed by a dry/tart finish.
Highly drinkable if you like fruitbeers boasting with some pale ale qualities. Not my choice for a drink but considering the style I think this is pretty good.


 653 characters

Photo of NVbeer
3.97/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Pours a clear dark yellow with a hint of amber color. White head appears, but quickly vanishes..Upon smelling hints of apricot flavor are noted, no real hops or malt smells. Tasting this ale stays true to the smells. Minimal hops flavor noted, with a mellow malt flavor, almost as if the two cancel eachother out, leaving the apricot flavor that starts out mild, and becomes more pronounced through the swallow. Mouthfeel is light throughout, but avoids being watery. This is a pleasent sipping fruit ale, but would not be my choice of a session beer, as the apricot flavor could quickly become too much. Well worth a taste, and I will return to it from time to time.

 727 characters

Photo of ITK4ever
4.09/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite Magic Hat offerings. Great as a filler mid-session just to change things up. It's uniqueness is what this beer is all about. There's really nothing quite like it on the market.

Pours a light amber and a light tan head that draws up to about an inch and hangs. Apricot and hops on the nose right away. If your in the middle of a session and you grab one of these puppies, the apricot really stands out. Almost like a beer dessert. Sweet apricot, fruity, malty, hoppy....but in good balance. They way the tastes are fleeting is actually quite astonishing.

Good carbonation and good mouthfeel...mmm...apricots again.

It's hard to session #9's, because of the sweetness/richness, but great as a stop gap to move on to another brew.

 766 characters

Photo of JCBears
3.01/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I cant say that this is a bad brew the rating dosent reflect the unique fruity essance. The smell was a bit pungent with some hoppy yet fruity essance. It was very drinkble even for my snail paced drinking ways. I really like this brew good feel good taste thanks Joe.

 268 characters

Photo of frosty
2.63/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I tell you I was no impressed with this one. I picked up a variety pack of magic hat called Joes garage and three of these were in there. As I poured it it looked like a normal APA. The smell of this was hoppy with a trace of apricot. As I tasted this beer I was very disappointed. Not a good APA to me. Taste was dry and I think it was like a yeast after taste (I cant really explain it). Dont get me wrong plenty of hops in this one but not a beer for me

 456 characters

Photo of TheDeuce
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5


Pours out of the bottle beautifully, amber gold with a huge head that settles nicely into the pint glass. Nose is fruity with banana and apricot undertones, some hops as well. Taste is similar to a normal American Pale Ale plus fruit, not too bad at all. Aftertaste and mouthfeel are slighty peculiar, dry and bland as the taste dissapears. Quite drinkable due to its decent taste for a beer of this style. I would have it again and that's saying a lot for fruit and vegetable beers.

 489 characters

Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12-ounce brown longneck into Imperial pint glass.

A: peach/amber color with off-white foam that fades quickly yet sticks to the sides of the glass.

S: slightly hoppy pale ale, with apricot coming through more and more as it warms.

T: Caramel malt, mild hops, with the apricot getting much stronger as it warms. I would even say it's better and more balanced when warmer.

M: Light and refreshing--I would say just slightly heavier than a Yuengling Lager, for the sake of comparison--with tight carbonation.

D: I could definitely make a session out of this; it's not to strong on alcohol and the flavour is very pleasant.

 637 characters

Photo of ericj551
3.61/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a medium gold color, with a healthy head that lingers as I drink it. Smells like apricots with some maltiness hidden in there. Taste is a semi sweet apricot flavor, with a small amount of astringency and a malty background flavor. The hops are undetectable, which works farily well. This beer was one of my steps towards good beer, and in the magic hat mix packs it's a nice change of pace.

 405 characters

Photo of Avagadro
4.27/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an American Pint, this beer poured with a pretty decent sized, whitish heads, with not alot of retention. Lacing remains throughout the beer around the edges.Upon smelling, the first thing you notice is the apricots. In fact its about the only thing you can smell. Taste is very pleasing. First you get a light taste of hops, with a hint of sweetness, followed by a small taste of apricots. I love this because its not overly fruity. The mouthfeel is not as good as most because the fruit gives it alittle bit of a sugary feel to it. Very drinkable because this is a very tasty beer. Overall, this is a fruit beer for people who don't normally like fruit beers. Definitely worth trying once.

 703 characters

Photo of Schwarzbart
3.19/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: You can just tell by looking at it that this is a fruit beer. It almost looks like juice if it wasn't for the little bit of carbonation and the big bubbly foamy ring around the glass. The color was a copper/amber tone and the lacing on the glass was decent.

Smell: When I first poured it, I could smell apricot and citrus aromas, but after having a few sips it is really hard to smell anything. The apricot aroma comes back out as it warms a little and there is a flowery note as well.

Taste: Some wheat malts and apricot, but not what I remember. This used to be a real treat in college (wow-10 yrs ago), but either my taste has changed or this beer has changed. A little bit of a sour taste with some yeast flavor and just a slight hop twist.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a crisp finish.

Drinkability: Decent for a fruit beer, but leaves a tart aftertaste on the tongue and seems a little filling.

 924 characters

Photo of lindenboy
3.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Talking about an upcoming trip to the East coast area, a friend of mine somehow sidetracked the conversation on a beer I had never heard of: Magic Hat No. 9.

I found the brew in one of the few states to which the brewery apparently distributes: Virginia; Charlottesville to be exact (Go Wahoos!). My friends explained to me that the brew is becoming increasingly popular in their area, and is sold at most of the more stocked liquor stores in the area. It was on tap at nearly every bar that we went to over the weekend.

I had no idea that the brew was a "fruit beer" until my first sip. I was completely surprised. It's golden orange color with a mild cloudiness didn't really give that part away. I was thinking it would be mildly hoppy and crisp. But apricots? Never crossed my mind.

At first, the beer seemed thin. Like you could definitely note the apricot flavor, but it was really mild. Almost too mild, like it didn't have enough apricot. And because of that rest of the taste was plain and uneventful. Like a mild pale ale with a hint of apricot. But after having a few more sips and my taste having adjusted to the new flavor, I started to really like the subtlety.

I wouldn't characterize this beer as anything more than "pleasant to drink." It certainly has it's own charm in a range of beers that often are too much one thing or another. I'm definitely a hop head, and the Magic Hat No. 9 is a refreshing change from the intensity of hops my taste buds usually receive. This beer reminds me of the Pyramid Apricot Ale, but more subtle in its apricotness.

Furthermore, at $9.19 a sixer, I'd probably find something else to tempt the palate. But for $3.00 pints at Orbit, it definitely becomes a permanent fixture into my afternoon rounds.

PS -- I just tried one of the bottles from a spare sixer I brought home. Wow. It isn't remotely good. Not near the balance the 1/2 barrel had, nor the apricot. Had I reviewed it first, I would probably give the bottle a 2.5 tops.

I wonder if this is typical of the bottle vs. 1/2 barrel tastings. There weren't as many 1/2 barrel reviews as I would like to have seen to compare.

 2,150 characters

Photo of battlekow
3.02/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Murrayswine brought this back from DC for me to try. I had no idea it was a fruit beer until I tried it, and ironically enough I just tried ApriHop for the first time yesterday. #9 is not as good. Musty apricots dominate, with no hop balance as in ApriHop. Not complex, very sweet, and rather gross. Flavor all but evaporates as soon as you swallow. Pass.

 355 characters

Photo of JasonCoop
4.45/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a nice amber color with large off-white head.

reeks of sweet ripe apricot. nice hop spice in there too. nice.

taste is sweet. ripe apricot flavor with slight bitter edge from hops on the finish. delicious. very refreshing. i'll get these again on one of the hottest days in summer.

mouthfeel is clean and crisp. fairly light. nice little ale.

 357 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
2.91/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

How this got to be Magic Hat's best known beer I don't know. I'm sure it has something to do with its appeal to women, but even that doesn't make sense since women are better at tasting than men and this is just crap. Now don't get me wrong, 10 years ago with a little more fruit, it was bearable. Now, however, it just lacks fruit character. The yeast, at the very least, over-rides it for sure. It's more obvious once it warms though. I won't even drink this as a last option, I'd rather have the Miller Lite.

 511 characters

#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.4 out of 5 based on 5,661 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.