#9 | Magic Hat Brewing Company

1,691 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: 1,691 | Ratings: 5,643
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.63/5  rDev -22.6%
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 santoslhalper
2.47/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearence: Pours a simple orangish copper with a little head. Very mild carbonation, and no lacing.

Smell: Smells like apricots. Thats about all. Nothing else stands out, and it definitly doesn't smell like beer.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Ouch!! This one really hurts the taste buds. Disgustingly sweet with no balance and no flavor. Doesn't taste like beer even. Tastes like old juice. The mouthfeel is gross and watery.

Drinkability and Overall: Fruit beer. Need I say more?

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

Poured a slight,hazy golden color. Average carbonation level. Nice fruit aroma-apricots,malty and sweet. Apricot flavor up front. Somewhat dominant in the overall flavor. Nice malty backround. Finishes sweet. Its almost like the aroma translates right into the flavor. The body is fair-a bit thin. A decent enough pale-might get to be too much after a few. Good summer beer in moderation.

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Photo of Shiloh
3.08/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A very unusual beer, I will always remember this one. A nice lookong brew with a surprize.
The colour is a nice deep yellow with a very light carbonation and limited crown. The body is full.
The aroma is that of a fruit mash combination...grapes and cut flowers are dominent.
The taste is floral and fruity, more like a medium sweet wine than a beer.
This would not be a session beer...maybe dinning...but not for me.
Sadly, I was disappointed.

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Photo of Skidz
4.1/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out bright gold and sits an even brighter copper-amber in the glass with a bitg white head. Nice lacings. Killer in a tuliped glass.

Smells intensly fruity. Full of Apricots and nectarines. Nice caramel twist with a light dose of herbal hop aromas. Some hints of apples topped with caramel cream.

Tastes lightly sweet up front, light malty charater. Faint traces of apricots and nectarine skins. Some hints of apples and canned pears. Tart, hoppy flavors provide a bit of herbal spiciness. Finish is mildly bitter with lingering fruity flavors.

Crisp and clean in the mouth with nice carbonation in a medium-light body. Glides around the mouth with great ease.

Very delicious, and the flavors continue to intrigue. Couldn't go down much easier than this one.

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

On-tap at "Big Daddys Wagon Wheel Tavern" in Wuakertown, PA!This beer is a nice dark golden, peachy colour with a nice head. It smells of a light pale ale with some apricots in the mix. It tastes like more of the same. Dry and fruity, but not too fruity. A very light tasting beer with not much going on...this is immensely drinkable with a light mouthfeel and a good drinkability as well.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pouring this at room temperature into my trusty goblet, I quickly got the aroma almost before I poured it from the bottle. I caught hints of vanilla w/ apricot malts, and maybe some sour grapes in there. I expected a hoppy aroma but that is not what I got here. it was overpowered mainly by the apricot (fruity) scents.

however, it was a nice coppery color and left a good 3/4" fluffy, creamy head that lasted for a few minutes before tasting, which was pretty cool. It also showed some nice cascading, which I also enjoy watching!

Upon tasting it, the apricots came out right away, but I also tasted almost a sour grapieness coming out as well, along with some hints of vanilla tones punching through lightly. Up front the fruit destroyed any other flavors, but the light hops came through a little at the end of the swallow.

Mouthfeel was very thin, crisp, w/ bursts of fruity flavors but didn't hang on very long throughout. Nice carbonation, but not much to write home and tell mom about.

Overall, this is just another example of how Magic Hats cool as hell labels market a pretty average beer.

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Photo of meathookjones
3.13/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Its always interesting to see what will be under your cap with Magic Hats brews. This poured out a clear orange with a decent sized off white head on top. The head dies quickly leaving a slight lacing around the glass. Aroma is sweet with malt with a touch of fruit and an odd smell that I couldn’t recognize. Taste is similar with a malt sweetness standing out the most over slight fruit notes and an odd taste matching the smell. Overall this is a very mild brew that is a bit odd but I can’t place my finger on what it is. Mouthfeel is a little watery. Ok drinkability, but not something I could have many of or something I would have very often.

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Photo of TinusTime
3.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a peachy (surprise) golden colour with a fair off white head. Smell is of peach-apricot and a bit of pale malt. Taste is confusing. Pale ale at first followed by a growing apricot/peach finish. As others have said as well the finish is just odd.. It almost tastes like a peach land lotion my wife used to use. Mouthfeel suffers due to this odd aftertaste. In my opinion, between the odd finish and the strong fruitiness this can only be taken in limited doses. Not bad, but just a bit odd.

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Photo of NEhophead
2.73/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle.

Creamy off white head with poor retention. Some thin and spotty lacing with average strength. Light orange in color; very watery in appearance.

Musty odor along with some metallic, burnt fruit (apricot) aromas. A bit of floral hop aromas as well, but all in all unpleasant.

Burnt, metallic astringency. Dark apricot flavors that are also unpleasant. Underlying floral hops with a mild bitterness. A very soapy aftertaste that made me queezy.

Light bodied; crisp on the palate yet a bit thin.

This is a light beer, but drinking more than one of these would really piss off my tastebuds. Just a bad tasting concoction and probably Magic Hat's worst offering IMO.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.28/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottlecap: "Life stinks with no Jinx." I thought these were suppose to more fortune cookie than ad? Disappointingly corporate.

A dullish gold body,with a tinge toward red, topped by an initial two inches of tight bumpy foam, which rapidly deflates into a table top with a lumpy table cloth. Some lacing.

Nose does feature apricots, but not nearly with the strength I would have expected. Nor do the hops approach what I might expect from a "not quite pale ale".

An underwhelming splash of malt, a light sheen of hops, a late low-level eruption of apricot, it surges by at the speed of a rushing river, before mangling together in a somewhat soapy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is middle of the road ok.

Drinkability? Thankfully this is over quick. I hope the other bottles went at the party.

Fruit beer or American Pale Ale, this #9 is a bad dream.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.4 out of 5 based on 5,643 ratings.
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