#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:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,751 |  Reviews: 1,713
Photo of Rschis16
3.61/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A hazy straw or orange color depending on the light with a fluffy white-ish head. Always love the bottle caps, this one says, "everywhere is walking distance if you have time." Smell isn't of spectacular notice, but I can appreciate the fruity aroma for what it is: a faint but good reminder of how refreshing this beer can be. The taste is that of faint oranges, or tangerines rather, wheat, and apricots. Moutfeel is mildly carbonated while remaining slightly creamy. Overall, not an overly complex beer necessarily, but very enjoyable for its unique simplicity.

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Photo of zackmoney
4.17/5  rDev +23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouring a #9 into a glass reveals a light golden beer with a little bit of a red-ish hue, and a nice layer of head. #9 tastes a lot like a cherry ale, and while I'm not a bad fan of fruit beer I do enjoy drinking this. The cherry flavor is not to overwhelming, and as the label says its "not quite a pale ale". This beer is a little sweet, and completely lacks any sort of bitterness.

Overall this is a beer I often come back to and really enjoy, can drink this beer practically anytime.

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Photo of harrymel
1.56/5  rDev -54%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to: jenray, SBALDWIN, and Beerindex helping beerthursdays to put some junk in my mouth in my first BIF. And also thanks to Urbancaver for helping me put somebody's junk inside me...

So, I pull this abortion out of the box, only to think, "really you guys, that bad?! Or that awesome?!" Then, I label it with name and person/people I should thank when I taste this junk.

Fast forward, I open the mini fridge, what's next? #9. It's my second beer of the night, but the number 9 was considered sacred for the Egyptians and Grecians, and is the hour many begin their workday - so I say fuck work, I'm having a sacred beer! Here we go.

A: Upon first impression, bottle looks psychedelic, notches indicate this would have been best before 10/2010. After removing the several revolutions of electrical tape from the cap, I pull off the protection of the hat. Standard sounds from something busting open with fluid. So, then I pour this hazy, toasted grain ale into a NB globe. A near single finger of soap sud head dissipates freely and resolves to a thin, broken sheet of the same. No lacing.

S: Smells like caramel malt. Yep, that's about it. Some sweet hues of fruit (over ripened apricots, maybe). But mostly just smells sweet. I think it's funny the label identifies this as an "almost pale ale" when it's a fruit beer from my understanding. Little bits of wood and cardboard breach my nostrils as well. Whatever, bad, not memorable for fucks sake.

T: So, I remember this one time when I was younger, and it was the first week of July. I had the chance to spend over $200 on fireworks at the Nez Perce Reservation (in case you don't know, this meant fire hazard level of fireworks). My poor, naive grandma hooked it up. I nearly burned down the forest that dusk, and then when I got home, my mom made me eat dry raw wheat toast (AKA bread). No butter, no nothing. My dirty fireworks hands were dusting the raw toast as I put it in me. So, take that, bottle it, sell it, expire it, send it to me, and that's what's in here and now my mouth/throat. Apricots elusive here.

M: The beer slides into the breadth of my oral cavity with ease and rolls around with medium body and low carbonation for the style (IMO). I'm no style expert, but this ain't quite right here.

D: I could always put the cap back on and send the rest to my BIF target. Who don't like sloppy seconds!?

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Photo of doucmehu
3.31/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured fairly cold into pint glass. 1 finger light fine head, rich golden color, opaque

S: Citrus/Apricot, very fruity, nice. Nose is best part of this beer.

T: Slightly sweet and tart citrus and Apricot, dry hops, true to nose. Gets progressively worse as it warms though, need to drink fairly cold.

M: Solid carbonation and neutral ale MF, somewhat dry finish but not too hoppy. Light, despite color.

D: Average, low ABV. Nice hop profile, but lacking in depth overall.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 2" headd which eventually dissipated completely. Hazy yellow tan color. Smells of seet malt, citrust, and apricot. Taste has more of the same plus what I'd describe as crackers or biscuits. Although there's lots of talk about the apricot in this to me it's not overwhelming. An upper end average of the pale ale and/or fruit beer genre.

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

[Best served in a Lager glass]

The pour was a clear golden copper in color with a thin (1/2 finger or less) frothy white head that dissipated rapidly and had fair lacing.

The aroma was of moderate grain malts, a mild floral hop and an earthy yeast with a definite hint of apricot and maybe a little honey.

The taste was a little malty and had a nice fruity note in the beginning then shifted to a slightly bitter hoppy flavor at the end with just a hint of spice that left the flavor hanging around for a decent amount of time.

Mouthfeel was excellent, with the body being light to medium and a the texture being creamy at first then rather dry at the end with a nice lively carbonation.

Overall, the mild bitter finish and the flavors that were left to linger allowed you to enjoy the full embodiment of this brew. Nice and tasty and quite drinkable.

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Photo of JesteR14
3.4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a golden brown color. Big head that recedes quickly.

S- Slight hop bitterness smell, with some sweetness that comes through for the most part.

T- Nice hop taste that gets balanced quite quickly with the fruit. I taste some orange, banana type of fruit. Very mild but very tasty as well. fairly balanced.

M- Love the slight perk of carbonation. hops pop your mouth but quickly calms down which makes this a good drinking beer.

D- Pretty good, good flavor and easy drinking beer. Try it but dont swear by this one. Still a good beer!

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Photo of ramseye4
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with best by date clearly stamped on the neck. Pours a very clear golden orange color with a one finger head with decent retention and rings of lacing around the glass.Aroma is of pear, peach, strawvberry an some other fruit with some grain, little hop presence. Tastes very fruity with lots of pear and peach, not much malt or hop presence. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very dry, drinkability is substandard as the fruit overload makes me want something else. Not terrible, not great overall.

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

22 oz bottle. Best-by date clearly inked on bottle neck.

The last time I sampled this beer was about 3 years ago. Spotting a bomber @ the Giant Eagle for $2.49 (!) led to a purchase. Pours a hazy golden yellow. A slightly off-white laces the glass a bit. Smell is very much of apricots, and grasses. Sweet. Taste is fruity (ton of apricots), a bit of hops on the tongue and a residual tartness, sort of the fruit-loop, bubblegum hops spiked with fruit juice. I'm getting quite a bit of a rhubarb taste, too. Feel is effervescent at first, with an oily backing. Drinks good, and even if it's a little sour and deprived of malts, for the price it's a decent pour.

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

Reviewed from notes 2/26/11:

Appearance: golden orange, very small head

Smell: sweet malts, apricots

Taste: sweet, apricots

Mouthfeel: mild carbonation, crisp, oily on the tongue

Drinkability: highly drinkable just wish it didn't have this oily feeling on my tongue.



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Photo of morebeergood
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was at a friend's on Sunday afternoon, and he offered me a beer. He handed me a #9 in a SA Perfect Pint glass, so let's drink. Clear body, with a orange tinted color. Lots of carbonation and a nice white head. Smell was on the citrusy side. The flavor - well, it's unique to this beer. It's an odd marriage of ripe peach and lemony hops. I've always thought this beer was unusual in an off-putting way, which may be why it's literally been years since I've had one. Thin body, but not quite watery. It's a beer that made MH famous and some people love it. I just don't care for it much from a craft beer point of view.

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Photo of Floyd12
3.4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. "Simon says drink your beer," under the cap.

A- Pour an orange/amberish hugh with a half inch head that should some retention throughout the beer, minor lacing that lasted briefly.

S- A fruity apricot smell dominates the smell of this beer. A slight scent of hops are present in the aroma, but are almost entirely drowned out by the fruity scent.

T- A very crisp and clean taste with the strong fruity taste of sweet apricots. But again the slight tastes of hops and malt are present but fighting to be recognized with the fruit.

M- Very highly carbonated beer contributes to a strangely dry beer given the fruitiness. But overall a light bodied beer.

D- Conditionally high. A very good beer on a hot summer very refreshing.

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Photo of boudreaux
3.93/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

In Magic Hat's Spring Variety Pack '11. Best by 4/30/11.
Magic Hat's "Not Quite Pale Ale."

A: golden straw/light amber color on pour; a white, frothy head, about 2.5 fingers thick; good, inviting appearance

S: hello, APRICOT, which dominates the aroma profile; grainy hops also present, but mostly an after-thought

T: Tangy, sweet apricot flavor overwhelms the taste buds at first; followed by a mildly hoppy bite; a hint of the yeast/grain bread aroma comes through as well

M: medium/light body with a pleasant carbonation feel; good mouthfeel

D: definitely great drinkability; perfect for a sweltering, hot day; refreshing and crisp; not perfect, but close

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Photo of Aiptasia
3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First tasted this beer at a brewer's pizza on tap. Most recently in a 22 oz. brown bottle.

A: Pours a warm blond color with a decent head and not much lacing.

S: Smells of hay and lemon citrus.

T: Eh. It's a clean taste with light hops up front and a dry apricot finish. A little watery but balanced.

M: Light bodied with medium carbonation.

D: Drinkable. Light on the alcohol and heavy on the water makes this beer a refresher during a hot summer day.

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Photo of mjn5036
2.79/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. This one pours a golden/amber/honey color with a large, three finger white head. Head it actually quite substantial; sticky looking and when it recedes it leaves behind a lot of soap-like lacing around the glass.

The nose is lightly floral, light citrus and very slightly hoppy. There is also this lingering fruity smell that reminds me of artificial smells found in soap products...off putting to say the least.

Taste is significantly breadier than the nose alludes to. The apricot is there but it doesn't taste as natural as I would like. Again, floral notes with a definitive soapy flavor are offsetting. All of the flavors are light and fairly subdued, leaving your taste buds moments after you take a sip.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with ample carbonation. It is thin on the palate and goes down easy. I could definitely see this being more enjoyable on a hot summer day.

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Photo of mattsdenney
2.29/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Clear gold with thin white bubbly head. Some lacing and retention.

S: Apricot candy, cough syrup, slight pilsner-y scent. Overall not much "beer" smell to speak of.

T: Not much to speak of. The Apricot is there with very faint hints of hops and malt. A weak yeasty aftertaste lingers. Pretty bland overall.

M: Light, bubbly, a light sticky coating remains.

D: I get what they were going for and I'm sure this beer has been the initial stepping stone for many into the craft beer world. I wouldn't drink if unless it was the only craft offering on tap (which is frequently the case. Has probably made Magic Hat alot of money.

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

Color is a murky yellow-gold, with a large head and nice lace. Attractive presentation!
Aroma is of peach and apricot. Unusual but refreshing and clean.
Flavor is apricot. I get very little of a "beer" taste, though. Mixed feelings here. It's not a typical brew, but certainly drinkable enough. Beer snobs will hate this one, but I found myself enjoying this one while it lasted.

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Photo of jar2574
2.95/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours clear yellow-orange, white head of average depth. The smell is faint, but what smell there is is vaguely sweet.

I'm not sure why this is under the category of fruit / vegetable beer. I can't make out a fruit or a vegetable. It's just sort of sweet.

It goes down easily and the taste is inoffensive, but that's about the most positive I can be about it.

There's just not that much to this beer. Can't make out any hops. It's sort of sweet. But mostly it's watery and reminds me of a macro lager with sweeteners added.

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Photo of Reaper16
2.16/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

served on-tap @ The Alcove, Tuscaloosa, AL into a mason jar

Pours a one-note orange color. One finger or more of sterling white head forms, but it sneaks out the back door when you aren't looking. It doesn't look bad, but it in no way impresses.

Magic Hat #9 has the potential to smell good. Very pale, light malt flavors waft up to the nose. The artificial apricot flavor is very strong. A beer can go a long way towards averageness by just smelling like sugar-sweet fake apricot. Where #9 takes a wrong turn is smelling like burning PVC pipe. There is a serious I-have-some-plastic-and-it-is-currently-on-fire component to this beer's aroma. And no, you can't get past it. It dominates everything and makes you think of carcinogens being released into the air and generally makes you hate life.

That terrible, plasticy taste carries over to the palate, but it's softer. The off-putting flavor tastes composed of 40% burning PVC pipe, 60% too-charred apricot skin, like someone saw Bobby Flay grilling fruit on the Food Network and decided to give it a go with used-up charcoal. The apricot juice flavor is woefully artificial. I think I tasted a hop or two, but it too was singed by the fire that befell the apricot syrup factory.

The mouthfeel is lightish, carbonatedish. There's plenty that's wrong with #9 but its mouthfeel isn't one of those things. Drinkability sure is, though. Because of the screwed-up flavor profile, this is a slow sipper at best (drain pour at worst) in a style that should be very quaffable.

In the past two days I've had Magic Hat #9 on-tap and in the bottle. Both forms featured this charred plastic flavor, so I can't blame it on the tap-lines at the bar. It's Magic Hat's fault that this beer is awful.

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Photo of livewire78
1.69/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

My first Magic Hat.

Lemme just get to the point and say that this tastes like a Bud Light PLUS.

I could describe the color and the aroma and blah, blah, blah but it all comes down to the taste anyway.

It has the same stale wet clothing taste that Bud Light has but only amped up a little bit. I certainly don't think it's a masterpiece of brewing perfection but it would be a great gateway beer for your BMC buddies.

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Photo of mdunman
3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Lightly hazy amber with a good head and little linger.

S: Blueberry, lemon and light malt are notable here.

T: Fruitiness takes over early, a lot of the blueberry from before with a bit of malt and finishes w/ a light dryness.

M: Light body, good carbonation.

Not my cup of tea at all. If you like this style, it's probably a good choice for you, but I wouldn't come back any time soon.

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Photo of MinnesotaRIS
2.36/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Serving from a bottle. Pours with low body. Golden, darker amber appearance. High carbonation with medium, white head that dissipates at a decent rate. Immediate smell of apricot and slight hops. No malt aroma.

Very weak taste. The apricot is apparent but there is not a lot of body to the taste. Finishes without taste and watery. No aftertaste. For me, this was a hard beer to drink because it there wasn't much to it. The apricot comes from extract so the contributing factor is only to aroma and some taste.

I don't recommend this beer and that is hard to say for a craft brewery. This is a poorly constructed pale ale. The alcohol to hop to malt/fruit balance is way off.

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Photo of eatsleeprepeat
2.8/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I found this beer to be more fruity than anticipated. When you crack the bottle open you receive a delicious apricot smell. The taste, however, leaves something to be desired. If you like a fruity beer, give it a try and decide for yourself. If you don't like a fruity beer, maybe pass on this one.

A - The beer isn't really even pale, as the name suggests. But it looks good - it has the consistency a beer should have. Not water, but not syrupy.
S -The smell is probably the best attribute (hardly a good reason to drink any brew).
T - Leaves you thinking there's something missing.
M - Very light.
D - Low alcohol content lends it's self to high drinkability.

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Photo of Fatherskull
3.1/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle into a pint glass

A: copper, half a finger of white head, maintained decent lacing throughout, lots of carbonation

S: Not very strong, fruity apricots

T: very light malt, fruity

M: light, crisp

D: easy to drink, not much to it

I have had this in bars a few times but this one was in a mixed pack I picked up at Trader Joe's. Pretty light and as it says on the bottle "Not Quite Pale Ale". It's kind of refreshingly crisp with the high carbonation and light fruity taste. Overall underwhelming but drinkable.

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Photo of derekmorris7
2.67/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Not impressed. Smell was very nice, sweet and fragrant. I thought after smelling this it would be very nice. Wrong, had a sweetness and fruity flavor but this underlying metallic taste you find in a Coors Light..ugh

A > Nice golden color with touch of amber, nice carbonation

S > Smell was great, fragrant and sweet

T > First its sweet and fruity then the metallic undertones come up

M > very light almost weak

D > Not very drinkable, one is enough

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