#9 | Magic Hat Brewing Company

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5,751 Ratings

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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 5,751 |  Reviews: 1,713
Photo of AleWatcher
1.95/5  rDev -42.5%
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 SouthFLBeerLover
3.65/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer has a light golden color and a nice white head, with medium sized bubbles.

S: The smell is good, but not awasome. Would have liked to see little more hops involved.

T: It has some pine, some citrus in it, all and all pretty solid taste for an "Almost Pale Ale"-beer, as Magic Hat Brewing Company calls it.

M: Mouthfeel is good. Well balanced and very enjoyable beer, especially on hot summer days.

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Photo of CaptainInsaneO
4.18/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very brown, looks like glass, possibly a piece of paper glued onto it. Normal looking bottle. Though I do dig the spiraling #9 logo. Seriously though, it starts off a little cloudy as the carbonation rises to the top, and settles into a just off orange gold.

S: Smells how it tastes, you get a strong whiff of the apricots along with a buttery undertone. It smells... interesting. In a good way.

T: Fruity, hoppy, sexy goodness. The first thing you taste is some carbonated hops and then comes a tickle of dried fruit and apircot, with a smooth buttery finish.

M: there's a significant smoothness here, it almost feels heavy or thick but it goes down thin.

Overall: Listen, this is a shoehorn beer. What i mean is that this is the kind of beer that makes you realize there's more to beer than pounding keystone and natty in your friend's basement while trying not to wake their parents. You back up and say "wow, so beer doesn't have to taste like carbonated piss?" suddenly dropping a few extra dollars on some obscure beer you've never heard of seems like a possibility.

I know a lot of other people that shoehorned their way into the world of craft brew through #9, and I think it deserves some real points because of that. #9 is the Quentin Tarentino, the Kurt Vonnegut, of beers. It's not the best beer out there, but it demonstrates how good beer can be, and makes you want to go out there and find out for yourself.

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Photo of bmwats
3.13/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Cloudy, golden hue. Heavy carbonation. Pours about a half finger, bubbly, white head. Disintegrates pretty quickly, and carbonation seems to disappear completely in short order. No lacing to speak of.

S: Wheat and a little lemon pepper.

T: Tastes like it smells. Wheat base, lemon pepper, and a little raspberry maybe.

M: Light crisp body. Slightly sweet start and a slightly bitter, steely finish.

D: Decent enough, but probably not something you'd want to make a session brew.

Atmosphere is decent enough. Okay appearance, and a fair nose. Flavor is decent enough. Nothing overly impressive. Overall, this is a pretty decent brew.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have seen this beer for quite some time and saw one sitting at the Kroger in Porter Texas tonight and I was one six-pack short, so I guess tonight is the night. Let's see what this one has to offer.

Appearance: Pours a somewhat hazy orangish yellow color with a small 1/8" head of white foam that faded back into the beer within about 30 seconds. There are only a few bubbles rising, but they don't stick once they make it to the top. There is no lacing on the glass so far.

Aroma: I initially got a clean dose of the peachy/apricot fruit along with some mild caramel malt and some also subtle floral hops. Aside from the apricot notes, this beer is quite subtle.

Taste: The flavor follows the aroma pretty closely. The apricot flavors are showcased with some supporting malt and hops. The body is light to medium-light with low carbonation so that the beer finishes quite watery on the palate. With the floral hops and the sweetness that the balance of this beer is leaning toward, it is crazily enough reminding me of a kid's juice box. The hops are reserved in the bittering department, so the sweetness that you get pretty early on in the flavor profile carries you all the way to the finish. There is a very slight acidity that is left on the palate long after the sip that feels like carbonation, but it may just be atringency from the apricots or something that I am mis-interpreting as this is a light beer on the palate so just about anything stands out.

Opinion: This is an alright beer. The bold apricot is nice for a change, but it is rather mild and uneventful for my particular taste. I am sure that this is better than drinking one of the flavored "malt beverages" that they have out there...if that kind of thing floats your boat. If it were me, this beer would have a sour edge to it, and the hops may play out a bit more with the apricot...like an Amarillo hop that would accentuate the flavor of the fruit and still crank up the overall profile a bit. Obviously, I would like this one to be more bold.

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Photo of celticfutblclub
3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - a light peach flavored beer thats quite transparent with noticeable carbonation a finger thick fluffy white head that withdraws to a ring quickly. some decent lacing.

S - apricots are the main smell here with a bit of cracker/bread malts in the background. simple. a little too sweet in the nose which is not surprising given its about 90% apricot. not bad not good.

T - again its all apricot in the taste. there is a bit of creaminess to the apricots which is nice. its some bread malts in come in the middle before again apricots hit in the end. maybe a bit of clove and banana in there as well but very faint.

M - light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. no real puckering or alcohol feel. its ok but nothing special.

O - eh its alright. its kind of a one trick pony which is great when you are first getting into beer but losses its appeal after a while. a good transition beer into the world of craft but once you go back you realize its just decent at best.

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Photo of DarthRadb
3.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Golden, almost the color of Apple Juice, even with an Aggressive Pour Head foams to a Fat Finger and fades almost instantly. Slight Lacing left behind.

Smell: Tangy, Piney Hops with Lots of Yellow Apple and Apricot Notes.

Taste: Fruit up front with some Hop Profile, Sweet and Tangy finish.

Mouthfeel: Lawn Mower Beer with a Good Taste. Body is Weak and Watery.

Drinkability: Very Drinkable on a Hot Day, A Good Session Beer.

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Photo of jcartamdg
3.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my CCB pint glass, golden color with a 1 finger head that disapates almost instantly, a little lacing. Aroma is all apricots, taste follows the nose, nothing real complex here, just a smooth refreshing fruit beer. Great for the summer, this is a good beer, just not outstanding. Sometimes you just want an easy drinking refreshing beer, this is one of those beers

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Photo of OldPenguinHunter
3.06/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A good, hot weather beer. Thats about it really, the aroma is weird to say the least, kinda bubble gummy malt. The taste is ok, but I have definetly had better. I think Dfish's Aprihop is a way better example, though it is an IPA. I would not drink or but this again.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.79/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From Notes of a Recent Beer Tasing Party.

Magic Hat #9 was clear light amber with thin white head. The nose was quite pleasent...wonderful notes of peach and apricot. The taste was decent is a little sweet, certainly could taste the citrus and floral hints. The mouthfeel is tough to gauge, this beer is a situational beer...meaning that you need to have right situation to really enjoy the beer.

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Photo of SuperSpy
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A slightly hazy gold. A decent enough head but very little lacing. Lots of carbonation to watch.

Fruity. Apricot, sweet floral aromas.

Slightly sweet apricot, a body that is on the light side of medium and just enough pale malt flavor to remind you this is a beer. Apricot flavor upfront, very floral with a bit of grain toward the middle, and more sweet and sour apricot in thr middle. Not the biggest fruit beer fan but this is pretty good.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Quite an aggressive pour! A nice fluffy white head pours very aggressive!!! Brew is a lovely clear golden color with yellow and red hues. Head reduces to very little.

S - Very berry! Strawberry and peach notes, for sure! Quite a nice scent. Very pleasant! Perhaps just a touch of caramel and pine.

T - Not nearly as sweet as I thought it was going to be... Taste hardly reflects scent. Not sure the flavor meets the style... Very bitter and very little fruit flavor. Only a mild fruited flavor, quite mild.

M - A light bodied over carbonated brew. A bit all over the place. Super bitter for the style.

O - A good brew that I would love to have while outdoors, but far from hitting the style... It's kind of a mess, it doesn't know quite what style it is... A very unique brew! A good brew in a great trade. Thank you Another6Pack!

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Photo of Tundruth
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out into a pint glass a light shade of amber topped off with an inch or so of foam that is an off white/bone yellow color.

I pick up on smells of flowers, fruits like apricots and peaches, and a hint of light malts that gets drowned out.

Taste is pretty pleasant if you like a sweet and fruity flavor to your beer.

Its light and slightly carbonated. I think it could use a bit more carbonation to make it work a bit better.

If you like a good fruit beer than this is for you, you;ll probably enjoy it a lot. If not its probably something you need not try. For the adventurous beer drinker who likes a little of everything this one is definitely worth a shot, its not bad and you;ll probably find something about it that you;ll like.

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Photo of DaveBlack
3.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had a good friend who drank this beer constantly in college. And I saw it on a list of beers that you "must try before you die." Both these occurrences surprised me because I distinctly remember this beer just being OK. So here we go with an actual review.

A: Looks pretty good. Light amber color with a finger's width of white head that has decent retention and is fed by a constant stream of bubbles from the bottom of the glass. Some light lacing clings to the glass, but not much.

S: The smell of the apricot is almost cloying. Some light malts, but almost everything is hidden by the aroma of fruit. Smells more like juice than beer.

T: Tastes better than it smells, but not by a whole lot. The taste of apricot still hits hardest, but the malts come through and the beer finishes with a nice hop bitterness.

M: Certainly adds to the character of the beer by complementing the fruit with a light mouthfeel and high amounts of carbonation.

O: It's a hell of a lot fruitier than I remember, which is not really a good thing as far as I'm concerned. For what it is I suppose it's pretty good: the mouthfeel and the fruit play well together, but the fruit overwhelms. Drinkable, but definitely not a beer that I feel like I needed to have before I die. Somewhere between fruit juice and beer.

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Photo of Matt1516
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

For some reason this tasted much better 3 years ago. It may be due to enjoying it back then fresh on their premises in Vermont from their tap, or maybe I've changed or it has....Anyhoo:

Cap message: "Whatever peels your orange"

Pours up cloudy amber with a thin head that goes fast.

Smells and tastes of apricot, grassy and lightly hopped. Light to medium carbonation. Slightly sweet with some background maltiness.

Could be a gateway craft beer for newbies, but otherwise not that exciting.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: deep golden/amber body, trace head, a little lacing

S: mild apricot, light malt, trace of floral scent

T: sweet citrus, mild malt finish

M: light body, big carbonation, semi-dry feel

D: First Magic Hat beer I have tried, heard good things,
but this is just ordinary. Good gateway brew.


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Photo of woodychandler
2.88/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

CAN you believe that I am only the 3rd to review # 9 in a CAN?!? Also, # 9 = # 499. Today's review brought to you by PBS' The Count, who also wants you to give props to the #'s 27 and 81. I personally CAN't believe any of this nonsense.

This was a gift from an Altoona-area distributor in return for my picture. I got the better end of the bargain, IMHO.

From the CAN: "Not quite Pale Ale"; "Ale with Natural Flavor"; "Drink Me". As to that last, what are we, "Alas in Wonderland"? Woe is me!

Unlike that silly little wench, I would NEVER drink and unknown quantity directly from the bottle or CAN. Always decant when possible and take note of off-colors or smells. The Crack & Glug produced just over a finger of thick, eggshell-white head with good retention. Color was a deep, coppery-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was simply redolent with apricots. Apricots?!? WTF?!? I drank some and suddenly, I was shrunken to the point that I could no longer reach the keyboard. Fortunately, Mr. Johnson does not shrink, even in freezing water, and he helped in typing out the remainder of this review. All hail Mr. Johnson! Mouhtfeel was medium with a very apricot-forward flavor on the tongue. Here is where it might help to like the flavor of apricots. For me, a little CAN go a long way. Finish left me wondering whether I had drunk a beer or eaten some preserves. If that is the choice, I will go back to sumo wrestling.

I am not changing anything WRT my original CAN review, but today is Thursday, 17 July 2014. I am now committed to reducing, if not eradicating, my backlog of bottles. This one was part of a local, in-person trade with tone77.

From the bottle: "The ancient ritual of brewing a distinctly rich and flavorful beer is a performance to behold. Our mysterious melange of time-honored ingredients harmonize with chaotic chemistry, humble patience and blind faith to create this unique beer to share in the rousing company of kindred spirits. Cheers!"; "not quite Pale Ale"; "a performance in every bottle".

I used a rousing pour to rouse the beer since it is very early in the morning (0452, local, EDT) and I wanted to make sure that it is as awake as I am. The pseudo-cascade gave way to a finger of yellowish head with decent retention that slowly fell to wisps. Color was a slightly hazy golden-yellow (SRM = > 5, < 7). Nose smelled like apricot preserves and once more, I was thankful for older parents and older grandparents. Both of my grandmothers could cook and both had their own gardens so canning was a frequent activity. Believe me when I say that I know the scent of apricot preserves. Mouthfeel was thin but effervescent. The nose just does not translate to the taste. Yes, it tasted of apricots, but in a small, muted way that struck me as being boring. I hate to say that, but it just lacked any Ooomph! and when I have recently tried other apricot-laced beers that did not lack for flavor, I can only shake my head at this one's popularity. Finish was semi-sweet, perfumey, actually. Meh.

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Photo of Extrajoker00
3.55/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer 4 of 5 at Magic Hat Sampling on 05/19/2011

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass

A : middle of the road

S : faint fruitiness

T : complex flavoring

M : slow start, big middle, slow letdown

D : well balanced:flavor / kick make #9 a g pretty good drinker

in my opinion: surprisingly good

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Photo of STKPICR0720
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I liked this brew but agree with many when they say this beer was better yrs ago. The brew just does not have enough IMO to hang with the other Pale's.

That being said it is a very simple pale ale that I would drink again but there is nothing special about it.

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Photo of mocktm
4.13/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This review is a long time coming. A staple of my college drinking days, Magic Hat #9 has long been one of my go to session beers. It only seems appropriate that the bottle I chose to use for this review also sports my favorite cap slogan reading:"If Jerry were here, we'd buy him a beer." This of course refers to the late and great Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, whose improvisational yet brilliant nature match almost synonymously with the character of this beer. Anywho, back to the review...

A: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a custom #9 pint glass, the beer pours a bright golden orange with just a slight bit of haze. A moderate pour yields one finger of white frothy head that slowly settles decorating the inner glass with a small amount of lace.

S: Smells real sweet with heavy emphasis on apricot and a slight hint of grapefruit citrus. Not much else is detectable.

T: Fruit sweetness matched with a crisp dry finish and just the right amount of hop bitterness for balance. This is one flavorful and tasty beverage. While I've had other apricot ales, none really come close to the unique balance this brew boasts.

M: Crisp and well carbonated with a silky smooth character. Glides nicely over the tongue and around the mouth. A seriously drinkable brew.

O: While Magic Hat may catch alot of flak for their inconsistency, which is very well deserved, their flagship beer continues to be a staple within my fridge. This is almost strange since I am not a fan at all of most fruit beers and especially dislike lambics. However, I'd be willing to throw down a few bottles of this unique, refreshing and well balanced brew just about anytime. Their recent appearance in cans also makes them ideal for outside activities in the coming summer months. Cheers!

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour - golden, amber in appearance with a bubbly, soda-like head that fizzes away rather quickly leaving a film on top.

Aroma - apricot essence, orange peel and some slight malt aromas but that is about it. Not a whole lot sneaks by that sweet apricot smell.
Taste - sweet and tangy with a more than subtle, but less than intense, flavor of apricots. No real hop presence in this beer, not like Dogfish Head's Aprihop, as this is more of a standard ale with the defining characteristic being the apricot. Finishes rather light on the tongue with only a bit of the sweetness carrying over to the next sip.

Overall - #9 tastes much better, in my opinion, from a can. The apricot flavor, which is an issue for some folks, is not overly syrupy or cloying and actually tastes like apricot. There is also a freshness in this beer that I've rarely tasted before, even on tap. Sure, its a bit sweet and it's not for everyone but it certainly goes down easy when it's nice and cold on a hot day and there are definitely moments when that's all you really want.

Would I buy more of it? - you know I might. A 12-pack of this would go over well at a barbecue as its a pretty approachable beer for most folks. I also think it goes extremely well with yardwork. I drank one of these straight from the can while mowing and it worked wonders.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
2.33/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Ok; one of my friends told me about this beer. A lot. It is her favorite beer ever. Trust me, I've heard it many times. So I decided to see what all the fuss was about.

Served on-tap at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Avon, Indiana.

A: A cloudy gold, with a big, white head. No lacing really...sort of greasy-looking. The foam fades fast.

S: The nose consists mainly of a yeast aroma that is big, but pretty stale. There's some nicer notes: some mellow wheat and fruit. But overall, pretty lifeless.

T: Some chewy wheat at first. There's a unique taste there - the wheat combines with a strange plum/grape. It's unique, but not great - it tastes cheap and processed. No hops are apparent; phenolic, but overly sour yeast, dominates the aftertaste. Overall, just not good-tasting.

M: A good carb out of the tap. Good, but forgettable. Not incredible in any way.

O: I hope all fruit/vegetable beers aren't like this. This was not a good drinking experience. I feel that there were good intentions for making this one a unique brew, and it does show some craft elements. However, if you are truly looking for the great, balanced flavor that makes craft beer great, avoid Magic Hat #9.

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Photo of drowninginhops
3.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from their variety pack served in my Left Hand pint glass.

A: Darker gold in color. White to off white head 1 finger width with little retention

S:Apricot smell is the most prominent, some floral hops and malts also present.

T: Apricot and light floral hops.

M: Crisp. Nicely paired to the South Carolina mid spring evenings. Not overly carbonated.

D: Good session beer.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.17/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

First had: on tap at Casey's, Newtown Square, PA

It took me a while to finally sample Magic Hat. I didn't even know that #9--their flagship brew--was a fruit beer, specifically, an apricot beer. And I didn't care for it much.

Pours a clear golden-yellow with a quickly dissipating head and moderate carbonation. Aroma is light, with pale malts and fruit on the nose. Light, grainy malt taste, with dilute apricot and a sugary quality. A small hop bite towards the end and some bitter aftertaste. Light bodied and somewhat drinkable, but not really my style at all.

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Photo of orock25
2.62/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Golden pour. decent head and carbonation. Looks like a beer.

Smell -Not much in the way of malts which is to be excepted. some floral and citrus smells, kind of nice.

Taste -Not balanced, almost forced flavors. It's not a welcoming flavor for me.

Mouthfeel - It is crisp and carbonated well. Probably be more drinkable if i liked the way it tasted.

Overall - can't say I'll buy this again. the flavors almost feel added for me. like ingredients were added rather than brewed with. looks good, smells good, tastes bad.

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#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.39 out of 5 with 5,751 ratings