#9 | Magic Hat Brewing Company

5,720 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:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,720 |  Reviews: 1,708
Photo of phideltashaggy
4.45/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this many times, but I prefer from a pitcher at one of my favorite bars.

A-slightly hazy orange with a barely off white head and beautiful lacing.

S-Smells of fruit (apricot, apparently) and a slightly bitter hops.

T- More of the smell. I'm not usually a fan of bitter hops, but it offsets the fruity, sorta malty sweetness perfectly.

MF- Not exceptional, but very nice, the bubbles are present, but by no means off-putting.

D- I honestly believe I could drink this all night. The taste is great, but it's light enough that I could pound these back for hours.

Overall, this is one of my favorite brews, especially sharing a few pitchers with good friends and good conversation.

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Photo of theghost3
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very light copper with a 2-finger white head that quickly dissipates. Almost no lacing.

There are faint biscuit and citrus scents. The flavor is made up of lemon, grass, caramel malts, apricot, and slight tangerine. Mouthfeel is light/medium-bodied; somewhat acidic.

This would be OK to drink on a hot day because it could be refreshing. However, I found it to be a little artificial, and the amount of acidity is off-putting, so I won't be drinking this with any regularity.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.67/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Extra from Caleb - thanks.

Pours a slightly hazy amberish orange with an initial moderate white head which fades quickly to a ring around the edge and a few clumps of clingy lace. Biscuit bread yeast and spices of pepper with a sweet malt carmel nose. Intriging fruitiness like a hard candy which turns out to apricot extract. Tastes mildly hoppy with a sweet malt balance. The apricot is dominant with a yeasty dryness on the finish. Really enjoy the fruit quality but perhaps the extract could be toned down a little. Take an apricot Jolly Rancher and mix in some biscuit yeast and this is it. Glad to have tried it.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours an apricot hue, mild haze, with slight rose highlights and a slim fizzy white head. It looks pretty.

Smell -- Apricots and peaches, watermelon candy, biscuits, and mild citrusy hops.

Taste -- Lots of fruitiness up front with apricot and peach, as well as a modicum of citrusy hops. Malting is quite dry and biscuity in character. Hop bitterness, though it seems to clash with the fruit flavors only for the fact that there's so little malt sweetness to balance. Lingering flavors of grassy hops and apricot.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with ample fizzy carbonation. Not great, not offensive.

Drinkability -- Y'know, this was pretty nice. I don't see myself seeking this out on a regular basis, but I can see this being the beer that propelled Magic Hat into the place it is today.

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Photo of mattgreger
3.92/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour on this brew was pretty nice. The brew poured a golden, amber color with a great 2 inch fluffy head. Had a nice retention and strangely long lasting lacing. Not what you expect for a fruit beer.

The aroma of this brew is evident quickly. Fruit, not to sweet, but hits the nose with a nice punch. Its the kind of aroma you get with dried fruits. The fruit that I smell the most is apricots. That is followed up with a bit of citrisy, orangey aroma, that then ends with a bit of a bread or bread crust like smell.

Taste is very much what hewhat you expected after smelling the aroma of the brew. The first flavor that gets you first is that of sweet, almost juicy apricots. Like the ones I ate when I was a kid, the ones that were in dried and in the bag. The two major flavors you get after the apricots, is orange and sweet malts.

The mouthful on this brew is very light and some nice bubbly carbonation. It might be a bit a high for some, but it works very well with the flavors and texture of this brew.

This brew has a very nice drinkability. Surely a brew that I could session very easy. I have had a few Magic Hat brews, but this is the first time I have had #9. As above, its got a great flavor of apricots, that just remind me of wonderful, slightly sweet dried apricots. Not to sweet, but every much enjoyable. I look forward to having it again.

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Photo of BB1313
3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a hazy bright golden w/ a nice white head and decent lacing. Smells very sweet right off the bat. Lots of apricots, of course. That's all I really pick up in the taste as well. The hops definitely take a backseat. Although I enjoy the apricot flavor, this one is cloyingly sweet. Slightly malty finish. Mouthfeel is thin w/ no body. Low abv makes for good drinkability, but the sweetness can definitely take its toll.

Really nothing special going on here. Magic Hat means well, maybe w/ a few tweaks they could have something really special. But until then, this isn't really what beer lovers should be seeking.

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Photo of CampusCrew
3.41/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap: charlotte flying saucer

appearance: golden with a solid head retention

smell: some fruity aroma, not much

taste: apricot not overdone, avg pale ale

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: actually drinkable, not a BA lovers beer but it's decent.

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Photo of david18
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Here's a recent bottle review I wrote:

Fruit/Vegatable beer is a little misleading as a description of this beer. It's really a pale ale with some unique flavor and aroma. It's not my favorite, but can easily be enjoyed by people who aren't as adventurous.

Color is a pale/gold, carbonation is correct. Aroma is quite good, which is really where the fruit/vegetable comes in. I think this isn't a bad beer and would get it again.


I think the draft version I had recently was a little fruitier than the bottle I had last year. It's almost like a more subtle Blue Moon. Maybe a mixture of a Blue Moon and a pale ale or something.

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Photo of RickS95
3.84/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear faded tangerine color. A thin white head that was gone in no time.

Had a pleasant enough scent...citrus and what I thought was raspberry, but turned out to be apricot.

Again, I guess raspberry on the taste, but a look at the internet told me apricot. Cascade hops only helped the citrus explosion.

It was about 19 degrees out when I had this and it was still pleasant, would make a great heat beater in the summer. It was faily sweet and easy to drink, with only the faintest hint of bitter in the finish.

Highly drinkable. Just sweet enough to not be cloying and hardly bitter at all. More alcohol content than you'd guess.

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Photo of Luckyboy81
3.44/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Really cool labeling...swirly, kindof reminds me of a voodo style even though it's from Vermont. They have a really creative and cool website too. The look reminds me of a town near my college where it was really artsy and had a high Wicca population...that whole vibe...I could imagine people from there drinking this...wierd I know...but hey...this is an honest review. Poured into a standard pint glass it was a nice amber color, yet it was a little muddy looking, not super clear. A lot of nice carbonation rising to the top. Big, off-white head, a full 2 inches off of my aggressive pour. The head doesn't stay very long but leaves a decent lacing.

Smell: Definitely a fruity smelling beer, I caught an apricot/orangish smell. A little bit of an alcohol smell as well.

Taste: A light fruity taste, apricots/oranges. Alcohol taste was present, as was a little breadiness. It doesn't quench my thirst as well as some others...but it's a very drinkable and pleasant taste...not super exciting, but different and nice. Not a lot of hoppy bitterness...but just a bit of that. The aftertaste it leaves almost is a little bit like a slightly bitter, unsweetened tea.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation bite, which I like, but overall very smooth, a little more wet and billowy rather than dry and biting. Not super crisp...but it goes down easy.

Drinkability: As said before, very very drinkable. Not super bitter. It's almost like a bitter tea with some carbonation zing to it.

Overall, a nice and different experience. I don't think I'll buy it again soon as I'd rather spend my money on my more favorite beers...but maybe on a cold winter day, snuggled up on the couch with a blanket, I would drink more of this. It's almost a seasonal kind of beer for me. Not the kind I'd drink along with a manly barbecue with the guys on a hot summer day...maybe on a snowy day while songwriting on an afternoon with nothing to do...that's the vibe I get from this beer for me.

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Photo of Meerkey
3.17/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Clear pale gold, few bubbles and no head.

S: Still can't smell -but lots of apricots, a little grain.

T: Grain and apricots again, sour aftertaste. Not impressed.

M: The fruit fades in the mouth leaves a little bitter and sour aftertaste. It's weird to me.

D: Other people seem to like this quite a lot, but I can't get into it.

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Photo of stephens101
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear pale gold with a prolific white head that hangs around a seeming eternity before finally settling into a thick froth with little lacing. Subtle light fruits (apricots, apples) wet grass and sweet malts to the nose. Tangy and sweet (almost cloying) up front with a vegetal aftertaste. A bit of grain and an overripe fruits exists. Light to medium bodied with plenty of carbonation to keep things light. Not a big fan of fruit beers, but this one works on enough levels to make it satisfying.

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Photo of BigHeavy
3.32/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a Flat Branch nonic pint. Beer was consumed upon pouring.

A: Beer pours a peachy golden color and is pretty much perfectly clear. An off white two finger head appears and then settles to a thin cap. Some bubbling is visible through the beer. Fain lacing appears during the process of drinking.

S: Smell is dominated by apricots, which smell pretty sweet as well. I also pick up on some bready notes. There is no real hop presence to speak of.

T: Taste is again dominated by some fairly sweet apricot flavors. Not as heavy as I thought it would be. Those bready aromas manifest themselves in flavors which tone down the apricot a little. Some floral hops round out the taste. Finish is very dry. Kind of a different experience, not sure how I feel about it yet. Flavors don't really pop that much.

M: Magic Hat #9 is a little thin in the mouth. Pretty aggressive carbonation lends an almost soda like feel in the mouth.

D: Drinkability itself is high. Whether I would go back for another, well thats a different story. Flavors don't bombard your palate, which makes it easy to drink.

O: Eh. I am kinda indifferent on this one. It's not good, not bad. I appreciate the effort to create a different beer, but Magic Hat comes up a little short on this one. A little interesting, but the flavors are pretty subdued. If they could take this and super size it, I might be more interested.

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Photo of Groomsy
3.17/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass. Freshness date stamp of Jan 31 2011. Bottle cap says, "Simon says drink your beer." I think I'll comply with that.

Appearance: Pours a dark golden/light orange with eggshell wide head of two fingers width, quickly disappears. Lots of carbonation bubbles rise quickly to the surface. Average lacing and sip rings line the glass.

Smell: In this order - Wheat and grains, subdued floral hops and cloves, lingering notes of light fruit (duh, apricot). Strange but inviting, hints of alcohol. Almost sickly sweet. Not quite sure what to expect.

Taste: Heavy on the apricot and fruit at the forefront of the taste, strong tones of roasted malts and caramel in the finish. Hops in this beer are more or less an afterthought and provide some much needed balance to the fruity sweetness and tartness. Kinda tastes like if you took an average ale and squeezed juice concentrate into it. Not bad for what it is, but not what I would go after on a normal basis.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light and well-carbonated. The finish is very dry, but the alcohol and fruit flavors coat the mouth in a very undesirable way. Still quaffable though.

Drinkability: The weirdness happening here makes me shy away from this brew a little bit. It's not bad by any means, but the sickly sweetness of the beer is just enough to make me kindly refuse a second one.

Overall, worth a try, considering that it's one of the biggest craft breweries in the US. Some people probably really enjoy this - and that's cool - but this was just too much for me, it needed some balance with the fruit flavors and ale flavors.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.6/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a hazy yellow color with a small white head. In the aroma, dry fruit and a small maltiness. In the taste, small dry malt and a small dry fruit in the end. A small bite and medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a dry, small fruit hint in the aftertaste. Thin, quite light, nothing to write home about.

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Photo of ebrauser
2.91/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. to a moab brewing pint glass.

Appearance: Pale yellow with a thick white head that is sticky and leaves good lace.

Smell: Huge apricot with subtle hints of yeast, clove, and mangoes.

Flavor: Apricot beginning leads into an arrangement of fruit and yeast. A little pepper is thrown in to mix with the small background of floral hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and not too sweet for a fruit beer.

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

#59. Magic Hat #9. Now known as Magic Hat's flagship beer. At one time notorious for being my "first legal beer", one I despised from that fresh out of 21 moment... until tonight. Tonight... it's just OK.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle to a beer clean pint glass at room temperature. Served at 40 degrees fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a 1.5 finger depth head. Foamy; retention is average at best. Color is a light gold orange with plenty of lively carbonation. Speckles of sediment float around in it. Nothing amazing; beer looks alright. 3

(Smell) Some light clean grainy malts, caramel a hint of toffee. Smell of Apricots are tougher to decipher. There's really not much else in the nose. This beer would not give itself away to be a fruit/vegetable beer based off of the nose alone. 3

(Taste) A pretty malty grain taste with a toffee finish.. Balance is decent but the apricot taste gets pretty cloying over time. Minor alcohol tastes peek through the beer from time to time. Nothing too terrible about this beer but the taste is somewhat unexciting. A pretty average taste. 3

(Mouthfeel) A Lager-like thinness to this beer leaves it borderline watery. Finish is dry. Light body. Alcohol is hard enough to find. Decent. 3

(Drinkability) The bland taste slows things down a bit but the drink is light in taste and fair enough in ABV to become enjoyable, especially if you enjoy fruit & vegetable beers. Easy enough to have a few more. 3

Verdict: Decent but nothing special. If you like Apricots and beer, you may like this, but this isn't very memorable for me.

Magic Hat Brewing Company's
#9 (not quite Pale Ale)
C (3)

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

A - Orange colored, clear
S - Smells fruity and hoppy.
T - Tastes of citrus, hops, and is very sweet.
D - If you like sweet oranges, then you wont have a problem drinking this.

I was surprised by how much this tasted like oranges. This beer was ok, but I am not a big fan of fruity beers. It was actually so sweet that I had to get some water afterwards.

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Photo of curasowa
2.32/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, yellow color with 1 finger of head that fades quickly to a ring with little lacing.

Aroma: Very fruity, like grape or peach juice with notes of lemon rind and yeast.

Taste: Again, very fruity and almost juice like, with very sharp, prickly feel from the carbonation, leading to a more sweet, malty back end that finishes slightly lingering with a return of the fruit juice feel.

The Rest: Body is on the thin side of medium, and Drinkability is OK. I didn't really care for this beer; the flavor and the mouth feel really turned me off.

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Photo of Jshaouni
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've really enjoyed this beer ever since I first tried it. Being a craft beer made in Vermont, it's surprisingly available here in the Detroit area. It started showing up on tap and bars and now I can find six packs at any local store.

Appearance - In my personal opinion it's almost perfect. I love the color and transparency. To rate any beer a 5 in any category it has to be flawless. I take off half a point for the head. I love the foamy looking head and this one is a bit thin and fades quickly.

Smell - The apricot smell makes my mouth water. The downside is the lack of a hop smell.

Taste - Again, the whole apricot thing is great! unique and delicious. I just wish there was a bit more. The apricot covers anything else this beer might have to offer.

Drinkability - One #9 is smooth and delicious. The third one is hard to finish. I think it's the strong fruitiness that turns me off after one or two.

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Photo of ferrari29
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer poured from bottle into Pint Glass

A - Beer poured with a one finger white foam; bubbly & healthy in appearance; alive with a moderate amount of carbonation; body is gold in appearance and very clear; foam dissipated very quickly; low level of lacing

S - Very faint smell of fruit (peach, apricot, and grape) in the tail end of the smell; light grape almost champagne like; otherwise, its not very deep and smells like a average grade american lager

T - Sour grape & apricot/peach flavor; hint of sweetness and a then sour; I expected more of an explosive taste but I'm disappointed to find that it lacks in much bite; starts off OK with some flavor, but then finishes with a weird peach/apricot bitter aftertaste that's dry and unique

M - Thick and creamy consistency; effervescent feel over the tongue and down the hatch; leaves a sour feeling the mouth

D - I expected a little better beer from Magic Hat; I have been impressed with a lot of there other brews in the past, this was a let down; for a fruit beer it lacked a lot of the aromas, flowery notes and sweet tastes I expected from it; just not something I would try again and would probably recommend others to pass on

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Photo of damndirtyape
2.54/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle (best by 02/28/11) poured into a milkshake pilsner glass.

Appearance: Crystal clear golden yellow beer with a persistent 1/8" dense white head. Strands, walls, and islands of lacing as I drank it down were seen. When held up to the light along with the plentiful bubbles you can see what looks like a faint peach color to the beer - making the beer almost a rose gold in color. A nice looking beer.

Smell: Apricot mostly and only as it warms up. When cold the apricot smell is a bit off. It's not quite doing it for me.

Taste: Apricot up front colliding into what tastes like an adjunct lager to my taste buds. A bit sulfur-like in flavor at times (cooked veggie? maybe the taste of the smell of a perm if that makes sense to you, it does to me). The finish is bitter with a lingering fruit (apricot again) flavor. Well, this is a fruit beer, but it's an acquired taste and I'm not sure I've acquired it.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation on the tongue with some lingering sensation on the teeth. Thicker than water but I can't say that the beer goes down smooth exactly. I am almost tempted to say that the carbonation becomes fizzy on the way down.

Drinkability: Definitely not for me. One and done and it becomes a bit of a chore to finish by the end. I'll give the beer high marks for a unique appearance, but then the enjoyment ends.

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Photo of kindestcut
3.27/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The Magic Hat #9 pours a crystal clear golden color with an active white head. The aroma is definitely sweet and fruity with a distant hoppy note.

At first taste, the fruit steps forward...apricots or peaches. The hops definitely take a back seat to sweetness, however, the beer finishes with a light astringency, not unpleasant and a nice counterpoint to the fruitiness.

The #9 is a light beer (as opposed to a lite beer) and promises refreshment rather than massive flavor. It is quite drinkable, however, it is not a beer that will illicit a lot of amazement.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Orange and hazy. Pretty good head and very nice lacing. Rising bubbles.

Smells fruity with a caramel malt backbone. Pleasant but not too strong. An indistinct grainy aroma seems to distract just a little from the smell.

Tastes quite pleasant. Very fruity with just a touch of medicinalness, but not enough to really affect it negatively very much. Malt backbone. Sweet apricots.

Surprisingly dry finish for such a sweet beer. Medium body and a slick feeling after.

Drinks ok. I'd drink it again but not going to rush out to find it at all costs. Seems like it would be a good compromise when you're with ladies who like fruity drinks, but you'd rather drink beer.

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Photo of SickGnar
3.01/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Distinctly orangey light golden copper. Bright and clean without much head or lacing. Straightword & simple, but it looks ok.

S: Grainy sweet but not much else in the malt department. A bit fruity. Faint whiff of generic hops. Fruity note grows as it warms and takes on an apricot character. A faint hint of some soapy / hand lotion smell also pokes out. Still, the aroma is quite weak - even as it warms.

T: Here the hops are. Resiny and a bit herbal - almost medicinal. Firmly bitter, especially in the long lingering finish. Grainy and fruity / juicy sweetness only briefly makes a showing early on along with some light crackery malts. An odd sort of artificial apricot note comes out in the finish.

M: Firm CO2 with a body that is only medium-light. Seems a bit fizzy and thin. It is prickly on the tongue to a distracting degree.

D: Looks decent, smell is a bit weak, taste is barely ok, and it is kind of thin and fizzy. A bit less CO2 and/or more malt & body would help this one. I fall in the camp that says this beer isn't all that fruity - maybe a bit of apricot but not remarkable. But hey, if the chicks dig it, then bonus points for helping clothes fall off.

(from notes - tasted Sept 2010)

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#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.39 out of 5 with 5,720 ratings
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