#9 | Magic Hat Brewing Company

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5,753 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: 5,753 |  Reviews: 1,714
Photo of BierReise
3.37/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep golden and slightly hazy with a effervescent head that dissipated quickly. Aromas of citrus and fruit with a bit of graininess (wheat?) to it. Palate is quite thin and I found it slightly watery. Flavors of honey, orange and corriander stand out. Slight metallic aftertaste.

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Photo of kelticblood
4.27/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is slowly becoming my staple beer.Its strange like everything Magic Hat does,but this beer tastes different everytime I drink it.I've tried it on tap and it tasted totally different than in the bottle.When poured a thick white head remained leaving trails of sticky lace.Left an instant warming feeling in the stomach.Color is a crystal clear light gold.First taste is a spicy ginger followed by a dry bitterness.I've had this on tap and it was very fruity with a cherry-like taste.Light bodied with a foamy mouthfeel that goes down easy.Leaves a strong aftertaste of many different flavors.Ginger,wheat,and hops.A bit watery which surprises me.Highly drinkable and refreshing.Great for a Summer day.

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Photo of nixhecks
4.22/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

#9 poured a golden color with plenty of tiny bubbles and a frothy white head. The head dissapated to a thin film that was continuously reinforced from the high carbonation. The aroma was my favorite part, very floral and fruity, full of apricot and other soft and sweet fruit notes. The taste fills the mouth with the same apricot background and a mild hoppy bite - bittersweet to start and crisp on the finish. This is actually the first microbrew I ever had and began my love affair with the Magic Hat family. I would recommend and type of MH, but this is one of the best - very unique and easily enjoyed all year round.

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Photo of Stubbie1
3.95/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

#9 pours a gold with a slight orange hue. There was a thick white head present after the pour. The head did give way to a nice lace to the end of the glass. The aroma was a bit different from other brews. There is an oaky/smokey aroma there with hints of fruit. The taste has a malt flavor to it and hops and that fruit again. Maybe it is apricots or peaches. As the malt leaves in the flavor the hops take over and then there is the peaches again. Well worth the effort to drink. One beer that I will have again

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Photo of marburg
4.3/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Everything about this beer screams "apricot!" Hazy apricot/orange color brings forth mental images of apricot skins and dried apricots. The aroma is heavily dominated by apricot with some subtle, lighter, more syrupy fruit flavors underneath. Naturally, the flavor is similarly loaded with fruit. Never one to mind a little sweetness in his beer, I'm a big fan of the concept -- but I can imagine this one being especially popular. The apricot flavor is true to form with a very dried apricot sense, and the surprisingly crisp finish is not really bitter -- but extraordinarily clean. Don't blink, or you'll have drank this one before you even notice it's in your glass.

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

Orange-gold color with a white head that disappears quickly. Aroma is nothing, but apricots. Apricots are in the taste, but not nearly as much as I expected. Taste is malty with a slight hoppy dryness. I expected beer flavored with apricots to be incredibly sweet, but this was dry and quite pleasing.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

about five years ago, #9 was my first and most frequent magic hat brew. now i'd have to say it's toward or even at the bottom of my magic hat list, which certainly isn't to say it's a bad brew...'cause it's not. as i remember it in the past, the apricot taste used to be much more subtle than it is now. while still the most drinkable fruit beer i've ever had, #9 seems to pack a bit more of an apricot punch lately. it's still amazingly dry and lacking (in a good way) in the sweetness that most fruit beers bring to the table. also, i'd like to see it pour with a bit more head as well, but maybe that's just me. overall, still a fine brew that's quite good.

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Photo of shirfan
3.52/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Rich gold with a thin, fluffy white head, this immediately gives off an aroma of dried apricots, with a hint of biscuity malt.

Taste is light-bodied, hints of biscuit and very mild hopping are overtaken by more apricot and what might pass as pear. Much drier than I would have epxected from a fruit beer; unfortunately ringwood-style yeast is also discernable. A slight sourness and musty undertone takes away from the fruit flavor, which would probably be better in a belgian-style, sweeter beer.

The hat may be magical, but a ringwood-laden apricot brew rolls a d20 and comes up with a 1 when attempting to cast Impress Shirfan. Not a bad brew, and definitely different, but I won't rush out to buy any more of these.

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

On tap at Old Bay in New Brunswick, NJ

Poured a copper color with no head at all and very minimal lacing.

The nose was of dry malt and hops with notes of fruit like apricot or peach and hints of wheat. Not all that appealing to me.

The taste was of malt, hops, butter, apricot with a grainy residual taste and a slightly bitter hop finish. The residual of grain or husk was very unappealing to me. The body is medium with a crisp finish that flows very smoothly. Not a bad beer, but I don't see what all the hype is about. I might sample this again someday, but I don't ever see myself going out of my way for it. A little disappointing.

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Photo of LiamStLiam
4.2/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I will freely admit that this is one of my favorite beer by one of my favorite brewers. I have had this at the brewery, which is where I first found out about it.

Since then, I have begun to drink it regularly, especially when I just want a six-pack that I know I will enjoy, kind of an old reliable.

Yet, what spurred me to write a review was drinking it on tap and realizing how much I really do enjoy it. I find it sweeter on tap than from the bottle.

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Photo of taez555
4.47/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Beware the bore behind the Door"

This beer poured very clear orange/copper colored body. A finger size white head sat on top that took it's time to slowly die down.

The smell is in your face apricot. Very overpowering syrupy sweet smells of apricot.

The taste of this beer is amazing. It starts with a very soft bitterness and some light but very present soft malt flavor. What then follows is this amazing fresh apricot taste. As if you just big into a juicy ripe apricot and the nectar is flowing out. But at no time is the apricot flavor overpowering to the beer. It sits perfectly in the mix and finishes very dry and even.

Just like smoked beers fruit beers are an aquired taste. I myself love Magic Hat, but hated this beer for years. I think once you let down your predjudice towards fruit beers lumping them in with malternatives, you can really look at this beer for what it is. A work of art.
It's not for everyone, but another fantastic and original beer from Magic Hat.

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Photo of stegmakk
4.14/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazy light copper with a small off white head...

Smelled mostly of a refreshing fruit (couldn't tell what kind) with a very slight hint of hops...

Tasted sweet, fruity, and light floral citrus hops...

Good mouthfeel and I could drink alot of these...

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Photo of jeffboo
2.69/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A very pretty deep orange color with very creamy head. Aromas of earthy hops and musty aprocot pits. It has a full mouthfeel and a long toasted malty finish that's a little soapy. A fruit is detectable in the flavor but if the bottle didn't tell me that it's apricot I wouldn't have guessed it. There is also a lemony hop flavor and a lightly bitter finish. This fruit beer didn't work for me very well but it was eye candy.

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Photo of marc77
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hazy light peach hue. One fingered well retained head leaves lace. Ripe, sugary, apricot and light lovibond caramel dominate the aroma. Mild butterscotch and faint citric hops are secondary. Unique, but not particularly enticing aromawise. Transiently sharp hop bitterness fades quickly, revealing an agreeable fruit driven combination of sweet, nectar like apricot essence and a clementine citrus hop flavor. Light caramel along with bread and butter notes curface mid palate and linger until cessated abrupted in the surprisingly dry, cracker like finish. Lightly bodied, and appropriately crisp if intended to by a fruity quaffer. Kuods to Magic hat for using a light pale ale as the base for a fruit beer rather than the typical, insipid wheat or blonde ale base. It grew on my palate the more I sipped. The apricot presence remains a notch shy of becoming cloying. Refreshing... a nice change.

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Photo of far333
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy amber color with a thin off-white head that disappeared quickly. Aroma is of faint hops overpowered by the sweet apricot, perhaps a hint of honey and floral. Flavor is of immediate sweet apricot, with undertones of honey, but nearly no hops, and definitely no malt. Crisp mouthfeel, a little wet. There seems to be a very faint hops aftertaste, and then that also is overpowered by a sweet apricot aftertaste that overpowers. Too crisp and sweet for me, and not balanced in any respect.

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Photo of xgrigorix
3.89/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours sunset amber with a tight white head. Intense apricot smell.
Very sweet up front, with more of that amazing apricot flavor. Lively carbonation, & quite refreshing. Not a particularly hop infested finished, but more than enough to balance the sweetness. Dry as a bone.

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Photo of BitteBier
3.97/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pleasant orangish straw color with a bit of haze. Average amount of foamy head that speedily breaks down to a bit of clingy lace. Underlying foundation of grain is complemented--even suppressed--by sweet apricot notes. In terms of taste, the most balanced and appetizing fruit beer I have had to date. (Pyramid Apricot Ale could learn a good lesson in balance from this one.) Smooth mouthfeel with sweet malt and apricot flavors omnipresent but never overstated. Hoppy up front and somewhat dry at the end. A fascinating beer for this type, and one that finally gets it right in terms of maintaining harmony between fruit and ale. God bless the peacemakers at Magic Hat.

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Photo of aaronh
2.7/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a hazy orange-amber with a thin white head. The head fades quickly, but leaves behind a thin, patchy layer of foam. The aroma is earthy, woody hops and a bit of malt sweetness. Some alcohol esters are also present in the nose. The taste is also woody. Theres a bit of sweetness and some bitterness at the end, but overall it tastes like I'm chewing on a stick. Not a good experience. The mouthfeel is decent, but I still have that sawdust feeling going on. Drinkability, well let's see. I'll finish it, but I'm glad Loren only brought me one. This beer is as odd as the Beatles' Revolution #9, but nowehere near as good. Give me another Blind Faith or Heart of Darkness. Keep the #9.

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Photo of Boto
3.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Somewhat dark straw colored, without much head on it. Subtle aroma of apricots in it. Taste of apricots is evident, but not overpowering. Medium body wheat beer. Drinks very easily. This is still one of my favorite summer beers. Slightly better than the Pyramid, although I do like the JuJu Ginger, which is similar with ginger added to the style.

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Photo of jward
2.95/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is indeed an apricot beer, and, contrary to what some other reviews have reported, I find the apricot flavor to be quite pronounced. Light orange color, with a fluffy white head. The dominant aroma is apricot, with hints of yeast and freshly cut flowers. The flavor suggests, not surprisingly, apricot, with notes of malt and something like black tea, especially in the finish. Hop bitterness is low, and the mouthfeel is disappointingly thin.

Although Magic Hat produces some good beers, I've never been a huge fan of this one. Yet no. 9 does seem to be a very popular brew. My advice would be to try this one on tap, if possible, paired with a spicy meal that might stand in contrast to the fruity sweetness of the beer.

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Photo of stirgy
2.52/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this beer out and my first smell of it was a bit disconcerting. Pine Sol came to mind although the smell of lemons came through. The beer poured out a slightly orange gold color with a large white head that receded quickly. The taste wasn't that bad. Tangy and tart with some hops there. A drinkable and interesting beer, but I would go for something else first.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
2.45/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

What is #9? A reference to John Lennon's repetitious refrain on the "White" Album? And what’s with the hippyish label design. Ah, I'm beginning to see the psychedelic connection here. A more significant question is; why add the essence of fruit flavoring (apricot) to a beer when it would be a far better achievement to brew the apricots into the beer like a Lambic? I don't know. While its not really a bad beer, it certainly could be much more. #9 is a little too thin and the added flavoring masks the hop flavor. Interesting nose though!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.82/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A confusing label here. "not quite pale ale" What does that mean? "natural flavor added" Which ones? If you "read" the psychedlic/op-art label, you'll find the image of an apricot. I still don't know why it's called #9..
Peachy color, with a short, white head. Aroma is the very essence of apricots! I read that it's "a pale ale with a spritz of apricot essence." Some spritz! That's the cheif aromatic, and flavor, but, I don't mind, I love apricots! Texture is full and welcome. Light body, good hop play on the palate, but very little bitterness. Malt is in adequate supply. A very tasty , bright, delicious ale, that I enjoyed.
However, my curiousity was originally piqued by an article in All About Beer, which quoted Magic Hat president Alan Newman saying, "I can look people in the eye and tell them 'you'll never have another beer like this!'" Well, I have, it was called Pyramid Apricot Ale! Or maybe Pyramid doesn't get to Vermont?
Thanks to purplehops and UncleJimbo for the trades.

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Photo of kaszeta
3.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice ale, pours with a nice very light amber color and a thin head which quickly dissolves.

The smell is that of a typical microbrewed pale ale, dominated by apricot,. but with wheat and hops fairly present as well.

The taste is fairly crisp, with enough apricot to give a pleasant fruitiness, without excessive sweetness. Just enough hops to give a slight bitterness, and enough wheat flavors to be vaguely reminiscent of a hefeweissen. The mouth feel is fairly dry and light.

In general, I don't care much for fruit beers, but the folks at Magic Hat have done a good job applying to apricot sparingly---enough to give a decent flavor, but not enough to overwhelm the underlying ale flavor. Quite drinkable, and rather enjoyable if done in moderation (alas, of all the fine Magic Hat brews, this is the only
one that seems to have wide availabilty on tap)

A good summer beer.

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Photo of PatandDavid
2.93/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Where have all the flowers gone? I knew where, after drinking this beer.

Like honey in color, no head, the overwhelming taste for me was of a sweet, flowery concoction. I really couldn't taste that much more.

I think that I could enjoy this in very, very small quantities, as a little goes a long way. An entire pint is too much of a flowery thing.

Very sweet.


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#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.39 out of 5 with 5,753 ratings