Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings!

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

#9 | Magic Hat Brewing Company

1,679 Reviews
Read the review

Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States | website

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: 1,679 | Ratings: 5,593
Photo of ithacabaron
4.54/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice...well, apricot color, out into my glass. Head is bold and it holds its own here.

Aroma is just knock your socks off, with a neutrally sweet malt (a little wheaty), fresh apricots in the back, and a very strong vanilla bean overlay.

Taste is of 2-row malt, a slight wheat sweetness, and that fresh apricot mid-section. The vanilla bean is present here, but takes much more of a back seat. Hopping here becomes a bit noticeable, in that it keeps the finish from being cloying, without identifying itself. This keeps you sipping, and that's a fine thing. Not too sweet (and I really don't have a sweet tooth at all) and not to hopped for a fruit beer. Almost perfect, swirling, drug-inspired Beatles recording-esque balance. Good times.

Mouthfeel is right on the money.

Drinkability is pretty good -- I've been left wanting a bit more after a 12 oz.-er, and the bomber was spot on.

All in all, a fruit beer for those that don't like sweet fruit beers. Fresh is best here, and it makes a great beer to start your night on.

 1,047 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
4.3/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I traded a few of my homebrews for a few of these beers with my new neighbor. I think we are going to get along very well. This beer pours a light golden/amber color with 2 fingers of head that fall to just coat the beer. The nose is nice. I'm getting sweet honey notes from the malt hidden behind a light estery fruity bouquet. The flavor has everything going on. When the beer hits my tongue, there is a sugary/honey sweetness first followed with a fruity (berryish, maybe apricot...well, I just looked at the back of the label and it mentions apricot, so that must be it) finishing with just a slight hop that just lets you know its in the beer. I actually didn't know what to expect from this, but I like it. The beer is a moderate light feel in my mouth. Drinkability on this one is high. I could sit down to a 6 of these over the course of a few hours easily.

 865 characters

Photo of masterbruewer
3.22/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a light golden brown with a medium white head. Solid lacing with light carbonation.

A malty berry smell with a smell of alcohol.

The tast was malt followed quickly by a grape/cherry syrup flavor and a mild hop presence.

The feel was crisp and light, but a little syrupy feeling settles on the tongue.

This is a decent beer. Drinkablity takes a little hit from the syrupy nature.

 398 characters

Photo of moulefrite
4.42/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep orange with a creamy, sticky head that leaves a generous lace down to the last drop. Tangy dried apricot aromas, on the palate a taste delight-sweet apricot, balanced with tangy hop. The beer heads in a sweet direction then quickly dries out and refreshes nicely. Washed down a baked haddock sandwich with great ease.

 330 characters

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

This was a tasty fruit beer. I am not ususally a huge fan of fruit beers, but there are a few exceptions, and this is certainly one. The appearance is a clear, light orange. The smell of apricot is very strong, but the taste is a little more mild. It is not overpoweringly sweet or syrupy like SACW. The beer finishes dry, and it is overall a very drinkable beer that compliments most any food.

 394 characters

Photo of donnebaby
3.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Turbid dark gold color color with average head retention. Smell is light strawberry juice, not much else. High carbonation blew me away and left me guessing at the strawberry notes and faint hops in the aftertaste. Died quickly.

As it warmed, however, (Maybe it was served too cold??) the hops boldened and developed into a small but flavor-packed grainy, chewy little pack of hops, which spread out from the faint strawberry taste in the mouth and gave the brew a little depth.

Tried this at the urging of my brother with high expectations--and was disappointed.

 569 characters

Photo of merlin48
3.2/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle cap says, "No matter Where, you're always There". This bottle pours a clear, apricot body, with a small head that quickly drops to collar and minimal, patch lace. Apricots dominate the aroma, with some grassy hops in the background. Mouthfeel is light bodied with prickly carbonation. Taste is basically about average for a fruit beer. Essence of apricot, pale ale malt, and grassy hops. Some bitter yeast flavor comes through in the finish. Definitely, my least favorite of the Magic Hat brews.

 502 characters

Photo of Hibernator
3.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this out of 12 oz brown bottle with the cool # 9 logo on the front of the bottle. This beer is fresh, with the enjoy by date notched for October.

The appearance was an orange with a much better expected head. In comparison to other fruit beers, this head is really impressive.

The smell is unmistakably apricot and peachy. Good amount of carbonation, but not excessive. I was also surprised at the good amount of lacing on the sides of the pint glass. Again, another feature that I don't typically associate with fruit beers.

What a tasty and fruity beer. Great balance of wheat, malt and apricot flavor.

I have been enjoying this beers for many years now and think its a solid beer choice to start the night off. I usually like a couple to start off, but can't drink these consistently throughout. A very drinkable and creative brew from Magic Hat.

 869 characters

Photo of mobyfann
3.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Paid $13.99 for the 12-bottle sampler...

The appearence is like a burnt goldenrod with a nice medium white head, good retention and nice lacing, cool bottle for a mantelpiece as well... The smell is of dark fruits and some sweetness...

The taste is purely apricot meets grain meets ale, an interesting flavor that does work well altogether. The mouthfeel is pretty light with the dark characteristics of the beer, nice. Drinkability is pretty solid but isn't the high point of this beer.

Final Thought: Out of a random sample of 50 random brews, this might rank #9 in my book, good stuff!

 597 characters

Photo of bigone4
2.95/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I dislike this beer with a passion. It is way too fuity and it makes me feel like I am drinking a wine cooler. This is a different beer with all the apricot flavor but if I wanted that much fruit in my beer I would drink wine. Forcing the yeast through the apricot essence allows them to pick up many natural sugars before the brewing wich is a neat process. I have lived in Vermont for five yrs. and had to drink this out of kegs at parties. Beggers can;t be choosers but I would end up leaving and getting some Long Trials. Magic Hat makes alot more beers that are so much better than this one. I will leave this one for my girlfriend. At least she likes it. Oh yah it is very light tan and has a nice white head. It had some nice lacing of the glass. It smells like a bag of dried apricots with a hint of hops. Well taste it yourself and be your own judge.

After drinking this brew a few more times, it is really not that bad and I think my taste is maturing. All though it is not my favorite it does have some interesting flavors and the hints of apricot are some what refreshing and lighter for a fruit beer. It can be quite refreshing on a hot summer day. Oh well the pallet can change over time. I am glad to be able to try new beers and retry some old ones. Heck, sometimes you find something that you really like, that you thought you hated.

 1,353 characters

Photo of TongoRad
4.17/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Freshness date on label: consume by end of July (sampled in July)

Aroma is a wonderful bouquet of dried apricots. Slightly hazy amber color with a nice thick head.

There's a really nice balance here between fruit and beer flavors. Apricot lingers a bit and then quickly fades. The finish is just right- neither cloyingly sweet or too dry.

This a very well made fruit beer.

 382 characters

Photo of cbl2
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Slightly dark golden and hazy liquid rimmed with just a touch of white head.


Served cold has a peach lambic scent to it; astringent though appealing.


Bitter at first though as it warms in your mouth it sweetens up and finishes with a kick of peach before going back to bitter; very intriguing, a good brew!

 358 characters

Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a fizzy, rocky head of medium-sized bubbles about 1/4" deep. A few rushing streamers aren't enough to keep it from quickly dissipating, leaving a few crusts of lace. Color is a highly translucent golden orange that looks especially brassy when held to light. Aroma of apricot or peach skins, quite sweet. A bit of lemony? hop emerging, with warmth, high in the nose. Not much of a nosefeel here. Flavor starts with more juicy apricot up front, taking on more of a mango-ish or papaya sensation when swished around on the tongue. Very light, near-pilsnerish maltiness eventually comes through, along with a citrus-rindy flavor at the sides of the palate. Mouthfeel is very wet and smooth--almost watery; just the slightest tingle of carbonation--with a slightly sticky finish filling the mouth. Refreshing drinkability but I reckon the sweetness would eventually bog me down; I would prefer more bitterness. Comes across as a bit too close to fruit juice, but a worthy effort.

 986 characters

Photo of erica
4.47/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I like this #9 stuff a lot. And I can finally get it near me! It's light and fruity and refreshing and not too bitter. It's a pretty orangey amberish colour with a bit of a white head, a tad cloudy in appearance too. It smells crisp and hoppy, with a big apricot punching me in the nose, but in a good way. It tastes great too, the biggest flavour I get is the apricots, followed up by hops that don't leave too much of a bitterness in my mouth. It's a perfect mix of fruit and hop to me. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, very nice, and drinkability is great, I could drink this often, and I just might!

 600 characters

Photo of gentlebubbles
2.69/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

on tap at the Quarterdeck in Maynard

Orangey amber with very little head. I have a lot of trouble getting past this funky sweaty smell that gets in the way all down the glass. It tastes okay, sweet as apricot jam or duck sauce. Maybe a buzz of hops in the background.

 270 characters

Photo of 57andcounting
3.96/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

If you are going to have a flavored beer, apricot is a good one. I am starting to worry about my preference for apricot flavored beers. This beer is not going to win any awards for it's head or it's appearance. It stands out on flavor alone. It has a head with a little lacing when poured. The brew is a cloudy orange color, nothing to write home about. It's all about the smell and the flavor. Apricots and other fruits. The taste follows the smells very closely. No mistaking the apricots. Other fruits abound.
This is an enjoyable flavored beer that is not tiring. You can drink more then one. Keep this one to yourself. Your Bud drinking friends wouldn't understand this one.

 681 characters

Photo of pheurton
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours the color of golden nectarines with a foamy white head that peaces out with the quickness. light grain and pronounced aroma of summer fruits. steady carbonation, light to medium bodied. immediately refreshing and thirst quenching. subtle graininess gives what to a fruit flavor that is hard to put your finger on. i guess i taste apricots, but the flavor remains somewhat mystifying. maybe they were going for this effect. anyway, it works pretty well and is mostly enjoyable. light hop character finishes it off and is there for balance, mostly just staying out of the way of the fruit flavor. easy drinking and an interesting twist on the pale ale. kudos for originality.

 679 characters

Photo of aquatonex
4.65/5  rDev +36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Magic Hat Brewing Company's #9 is probably my favorite beer at the moment. It's a rather odd color, a darkish pale ale. If you looked at it without actually drinking it, you might think it would be something your grandfather kept in the basement for 50 years. But, certainly drink it! Although the finish is not completely clean and it's slightly hoppy, the fruity taste (from apricots) complement the entire beer to create a wonderfully refreshing brew. I can only imagine how good it tastes on tap instead of from the bottle. It is quite bubbly as well, so if you plan to chug it be prepared to bring down the house with a burp afterwards.

 641 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.92/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The mysterious #9 with a cryptic label touting little quips to send you head scratchin' prior to even takin' a swig from a 12 oz browner held a beautious golden sunset brilliant cloudy pour fizzing with bubbles and crowned off with an ecru hued head, which is well retained. BA brownie points for freshness notches...whew! Just made it!

Apricots infused scents break out of this one a foot from me nose. Total apricot dominated aromas obliderate a hop squeek peaking out in the afterscents. Deep candy and fruit are all about this aroma.

MAGIC HAT #9 is not a juice-meets-ale mix. This is a robust, albeit, fruit inspired ale. A good spicy, fruity ale brew is always welcomed to me. Hops sneak out every so often, but become pushed aside with varied sugars. Once warmed, cloying syrup hangs around.

The crispness suggested by a zezty pour has become a bit dissapated.

Last swigs: Too unique of a regional apricot style to win over everyone. Reminds me of Pyramid's Apricot, but more mellowed mature sugars and syrup blended in. An excellent summer novelty switch. Thanks to my friend from Millis, JBDubs for dragggin' this one down.

Beer is good. Happy beering...even if it's fruity.

 1,199 characters

Photo of SheepNutz
4.2/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a hazy orange color with two fingers of head. There is a decent amount of lace left on the glass. The smell is sweet and fruity, with lots of apricot and peach present. They really stand out. There is a little bit of a hop aroma as well. The taste is also fruity, lots of apricot. Some sweetness, some tarty flavors. The finish has a nice little hop punch. The mouthfeel is pretty good for a pale ale, and the drinkability is good too. A fine fine pale ale, I wish I would have bought more while in Baltimore.

 564 characters

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

The beer pours a golden color with a thick frothy white head that quickly fades. The aroma is good. It has a citrousy hop scent and a pale malt flavor. It has quite a fruity aroma; maybe peaches. The taste is good. It has a strong apricot flavor and a grainy pale malt palate. It goes down smooth and finishes dry and fruity. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine fruity brew. It has a solid core and excellent aroma.

 464 characters

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

This beer is surrounded in fruitiness. The smell, the taste, the tap handle, the name and the bottle caps are all “fruity.” The smell, the taste and the handle set it apart. I like beers that branch out, and try something different with the handle. It makes it easier for me to figure out the beers when I forget my glasses. I don’t dig the fruity sayings generally seen on the bottle cap. This may offend some, but I think that it is stupid, like the sayings on the bottles of Snapple. I haven’t had it in bottles for a while, so this review is for the beer on tap.

Pours a golden/copper color with a full, white, frothy head formation.

#9 has a crisp flowery nose with a strong smell of apricot and peaches. Nice lacing throughout.

The flavor is generally different, depending on where I drink it. I recently tried it at a brand new bar in Fells Point (The new Red Star, I’m currently trying to get it added to the BeerFly). When I have it and consider it “bad” the bitter apricot takes over, overpowers my taste buds, and leaves me dissatisfied. However, when it is right, it is downright goood. On those occasions, a real biscuity, malty, buttery, yeasty tones come out and balance the beer with those flowery flavors. This makes it highly drinkable, almost forcing me to have several.

Last night, it was nice and balanced. It went down well with both mussels and finger foods. When it is overly fruity, it is more like a fruit/desert beer and I don’t know what you would pair it with.

 1,510 characters

Photo of brewQ
3.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The bottle says not quite a pale ale and it is true,
A tough one to categorize but not Pale Ale.

Attractive looking with a medium brown body and off white head.
Sweet floral aromas and fruitiness abound.The finish is surprisingly clean, but I don't think I could drink several of these.

My first "Hat"- I'll try more.

 326 characters

Photo of travolta
2.98/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
Apperance: Gold, quickly dissapating head, lacing is decent, but not impressive.

Nose: Apricots, and thats all I got.

Taste: Fresh apricot chunks, dry, aftertaste is sweet, not bitter, but dry...it tastes like chewing on the pit. In a good way.

Notes: A good drinkable brew, but nothing to challenge your buds.

 332 characters

Photo of sublimesipping
4.42/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

partook of this beer as an afterthought, more out of couriousity and not expecting much. boy, was I wrong!. Beer served in a pint, pours a nice orange,lemon color with great clarity, good carbonation and wonderful glass lacing and a strong head on its shoulders. this beer smells of dried apricots and dried apricots or canned peaches. a yeasty smell with a strong fruity essence is how I would describe it. Taste blew me away with an intial bitterness followed by a strong but subtle resididual sweetness. Taste of apricot danish followed by a belini mimosa. detect hops and malt , hops and malt, and a delicate balance therein. Beer is wonderfully balanced and the fruit esssence gives it a hint of allure and dvrives the drinkability quiotient through the roof. a delicious session beer with a subtle punch. cheers!

 818 characters

#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 1,679 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.
  • Quick Navigation

    Open the Quick Navigation

  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.