#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 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!

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of sinistrsam
3.24/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy, golden-copper body with a 1 inch head. The head was foamy white but dissapated very quickly and left no lacing whatsoever. Some champagne-like bubbles.
The aroma was of sweet fruits, apricot mostly, maybe some cherries, mild alcohol but not much else.
The smell was good, but the taste disappointed me greatly; grassy and semi-sweet fruit immediately fades to a bland, watery,weak aftertaste of very mild hops.
The mouthfeel was even less interesting, watery and bland, with mediocre carbonation. I could sip this guy or pound a few if my aim was to get plastered, but as a fruit beer this is about as lukewarm as they come.

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Photo of karst
3.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sat the bottle down to get a glass from the cubbard and the beer started without me! A slow eruption of creamy head was running down the sides of the bottle.

An easy pour in the Paulaner Weisbier 0.5 L rastal yeilded a full fist of rocky head atop the hazy lite peach nectar that was beading big time as the head slowly fell to a 1/2 finger thick dense cap and finally to ragged lace and a ring. Hard to believe there is no wheat in the recipe.

Taste of sweet ripe apricots blends with C-10 malt and two row barley - Aroma was fresh apricots. Mild tettnang bittering and faint flavor warrior hops just enough to break the threshold of taste ( 18 IBUs) and clear the palate. Everything is soft and the crystal 10 (maybe 20°L at the most) picks up the soft flavors of a Maris Otter like 2-row malt. Still looking for the flavors from the Whitbred wild English Ale yeast. It stays mostly clean or its esters are masked by the dominate apricot nectar. On the front label I see a bee dancing around an apricot that is pouring out its nectar. Having worked in orchards as college student and later taught biology - the dancing bee reveals a message that I can decipher. A quick hop bitterness fades becomming apricot essence in a subtile drying finish.

What is the secret of the #9 as my brew partner says "that's the unknown"!

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Photo of TrickKnee
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my jump into the fruit beers and it is still my favorite. The tastes of apricots is there but not to strong unlike many of the other fruit beers i have tried. Very good drinkability especially on a hot summer day. Still one of my favorites and an always good standbye if i cant think of anything else.

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Photo of tattooedtolley
3.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-Tap at the DPO in Staunton VA.

Appearance: Clear, golden/amber in color. Not much head to speak of but left some lacing.

Smell: Very fruity smell, overwhelms any other aroma, very much of an apricot smell.

Taste: The fruity flavors of apricot take command in the taste, upon the finish I can detect a slight bit of hop bitterness, which is nice since this beer is extreme on the fruity side. I can say however, this beer is not near as sweet as it smells. While still sweet, it doesn't cross the line into too sweet territory.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with a nice crispness.

Drinkability: Suprisingly drinkable. I wouldn't make this my session beer but someone who likes the style will surely be able to put these down.

Overall I do not care for this style of beer BUT this is the best in this style that I have had thus far. I don't make it my mission to search out beers in this style but everyone in my town has been raving about it since it is on tap everywhere now and selling in the grocery stores. I must say, #9 on tap was more pleasant to me than in the bottle.

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Photo of HurricaneMo
3.59/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is definitely worth a try, but I am not enamored like a few of my friends. It was a light, clear golden brown. The pour resulted in a generous head, but that left quickly and only slight lacing remained. I thought this beer was very intriguing on the nose, but wasn't quite as impressed with the taste. Somehow they manage to brew this extremely fruity but not too sweet, and with slight hops present from start to finish. Certainly a distinct taste with a significant amount of carbonation (not overpowering though). This is a decent beer worth drinking from time to time, but not the first beer I would reach for in the fridge.

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Photo of Higravity
3.28/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is about the millionth time I have had this beer and either the beer has changed or I have as it seems to me that it gets fruitier everytime I have it. One of two things could be at play here either I am so used to hops that the ones in this beer are not even regestering or they have really messed around with the beer.

Nice soft amber color with a good white head. Smells of apricot, peach, and raspberries with an underlying sweetness of malt. The flavor is upfront fruity apricot and peach, the raspberries is more from the tartness in the end of the beer along with a bit of hop bitterness. I liked this beer when I thought it was hoppier, but this is good too and not too fruity. Drinkability is close to session and it is ok on mouthfeel.

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Photo of clvand0
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with a small head that falls fast and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma has a lot of flowery/floral character along with some honey and fruity sweetness. Interesting. The flavor has some apricot along with other fruits and quite a bit of sweetness. Finish is fairly bitter. Some diacetyl/buttery stuff going on as well. The body is medium and the drinkability is ok. Overall, interesting, but not one I'll likely have again.

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Photo of Liquids
3.44/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Golden yellow. Extremely thin dissapearing head. Hearty carbonation. Smells sweet, fruity, appetizing, but artificial. Flavored and bready at times, but generally uninteresting. Mouthfeel is not ultra-watery, but burny and too carbonated. The hyper carbonation hurts this beer, and its taste is actually a bit more appealing when it has sat for a few minutes. With the carbonation dissipated, the subtle flavors come through more and it's not so sharp on the tounge, which overwhelms any flavors initially. Not hard to get down, but not a beer that calls to me from the collection. Still, better than a bud for party drinking, and it's a relief to see this at restaurants and bars when the only other options are macro lagers.

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Photo of DrJay
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Caramel amber colour with an off-white, rocky head. Good retention. Fruity apricots with light breadiness. There's also some strawberry character and pineapple sweetness, but these are fairly light. Mainly fruity in the taste department, with a yeasty sweetness and light bitterness. A hint of floral hops comes out towards the end and it finishes with a clean fruitiness. Some creaminess appears after initially sharp carbonation. Decent and quaffable.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.97/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a white, three finger-head that goes slowly to a ring leaving some lace. Nearly clear amber color. Very light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Smells like hay. Starts with a malty, fruity, hoppy flavor. "Not Quite Pale Ale" is a good name - the hops are not intense like in many pale ales. 12oz bottle from 12-pack $11.99 Market Basket Concord, NH.

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