#9 | Magic Hat Brewing Company

1,693 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A beer cloaked in secrecy. An ale whose mysterious and unusual palate will swirl across your tongue and ask more questions than it answers. A sort of dry, crisp, refreshing, not-quite pale ale. #9 is really impossible to describe because there's never been anything else quite like it.

20 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-09-1998

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Reviews: 1,693 | Ratings: 5,661
Photo of Schwarzbart
3.19/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: You can just tell by looking at it that this is a fruit beer. It almost looks like juice if it wasn't for the little bit of carbonation and the big bubbly foamy ring around the glass. The color was a copper/amber tone and the lacing on the glass was decent.

Smell: When I first poured it, I could smell apricot and citrus aromas, but after having a few sips it is really hard to smell anything. The apricot aroma comes back out as it warms a little and there is a flowery note as well.

Taste: Some wheat malts and apricot, but not what I remember. This used to be a real treat in college (wow-10 yrs ago), but either my taste has changed or this beer has changed. A little bit of a sour taste with some yeast flavor and just a slight hop twist.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a crisp finish.

Drinkability: Decent for a fruit beer, but leaves a tart aftertaste on the tongue and seems a little filling.

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Photo of lindenboy
3.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Talking about an upcoming trip to the East coast area, a friend of mine somehow sidetracked the conversation on a beer I had never heard of: Magic Hat No. 9.

I found the brew in one of the few states to which the brewery apparently distributes: Virginia; Charlottesville to be exact (Go Wahoos!). My friends explained to me that the brew is becoming increasingly popular in their area, and is sold at most of the more stocked liquor stores in the area. It was on tap at nearly every bar that we went to over the weekend.

I had no idea that the brew was a "fruit beer" until my first sip. I was completely surprised. It's golden orange color with a mild cloudiness didn't really give that part away. I was thinking it would be mildly hoppy and crisp. But apricots? Never crossed my mind.

At first, the beer seemed thin. Like you could definitely note the apricot flavor, but it was really mild. Almost too mild, like it didn't have enough apricot. And because of that rest of the taste was plain and uneventful. Like a mild pale ale with a hint of apricot. But after having a few more sips and my taste having adjusted to the new flavor, I started to really like the subtlety.

I wouldn't characterize this beer as anything more than "pleasant to drink." It certainly has it's own charm in a range of beers that often are too much one thing or another. I'm definitely a hop head, and the Magic Hat No. 9 is a refreshing change from the intensity of hops my taste buds usually receive. This beer reminds me of the Pyramid Apricot Ale, but more subtle in its apricotness.

Furthermore, at $9.19 a sixer, I'd probably find something else to tempt the palate. But for $3.00 pints at Orbit, it definitely becomes a permanent fixture into my afternoon rounds.

PS -- I just tried one of the bottles from a spare sixer I brought home. Wow. It isn't remotely good. Not near the balance the 1/2 barrel had, nor the apricot. Had I reviewed it first, I would probably give the bottle a 2.5 tops.

I wonder if this is typical of the bottle vs. 1/2 barrel tastings. There weren't as many 1/2 barrel reviews as I would like to have seen to compare.

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Photo of battlekow
3.02/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Murrayswine brought this back from DC for me to try. I had no idea it was a fruit beer until I tried it, and ironically enough I just tried ApriHop for the first time yesterday. #9 is not as good. Musty apricots dominate, with no hop balance as in ApriHop. Not complex, very sweet, and rather gross. Flavor all but evaporates as soon as you swallow. Pass.

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Photo of JasonCoop
4.45/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a nice amber color with large off-white head.

reeks of sweet ripe apricot. nice hop spice in there too. nice.

taste is sweet. ripe apricot flavor with slight bitter edge from hops on the finish. delicious. very refreshing. i'll get these again on one of the hottest days in summer.

mouthfeel is clean and crisp. fairly light. nice little ale.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
2.91/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

How this got to be Magic Hat's best known beer I don't know. I'm sure it has something to do with its appeal to women, but even that doesn't make sense since women are better at tasting than men and this is just crap. Now don't get me wrong, 10 years ago with a little more fruit, it was bearable. Now, however, it just lacks fruit character. The yeast, at the very least, over-rides it for sure. It's more obvious once it warms though. I won't even drink this as a last option, I'd rather have the Miller Lite.

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Photo of sinistrsam
3.24/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy, golden-copper body with a 1 inch head. The head was foamy white but dissapated very quickly and left no lacing whatsoever. Some champagne-like bubbles.
The aroma was of sweet fruits, apricot mostly, maybe some cherries, mild alcohol but not much else.
The smell was good, but the taste disappointed me greatly; grassy and semi-sweet fruit immediately fades to a bland, watery,weak aftertaste of very mild hops.
The mouthfeel was even less interesting, watery and bland, with mediocre carbonation. I could sip this guy or pound a few if my aim was to get plastered, but as a fruit beer this is about as lukewarm as they come.

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Photo of karst
3.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sat the bottle down to get a glass from the cubbard and the beer started without me! A slow eruption of creamy head was running down the sides of the bottle.

An easy pour in the Paulaner Weisbier 0.5 L rastal yeilded a full fist of rocky head atop the hazy lite peach nectar that was beading big time as the head slowly fell to a 1/2 finger thick dense cap and finally to ragged lace and a ring. Hard to believe there is no wheat in the recipe.

Taste of sweet ripe apricots blends with C-10 malt and two row barley - Aroma was fresh apricots. Mild tettnang bittering and faint flavor warrior hops just enough to break the threshold of taste ( 18 IBUs) and clear the palate. Everything is soft and the crystal 10 (maybe 20°L at the most) picks up the soft flavors of a Maris Otter like 2-row malt. Still looking for the flavors from the Whitbred wild English Ale yeast. It stays mostly clean or its esters are masked by the dominate apricot nectar. On the front label I see a bee dancing around an apricot that is pouring out its nectar. Having worked in orchards as college student and later taught biology - the dancing bee reveals a message that I can decipher. A quick hop bitterness fades becomming apricot essence in a subtile drying finish.

What is the secret of the #9 as my brew partner says "that's the unknown"!

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Photo of TrickKnee
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my jump into the fruit beers and it is still my favorite. The tastes of apricots is there but not to strong unlike many of the other fruit beers i have tried. Very good drinkability especially on a hot summer day. Still one of my favorites and an always good standbye if i cant think of anything else.

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Photo of tattooedtolley
3.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-Tap at the DPO in Staunton VA.

Appearance: Clear, golden/amber in color. Not much head to speak of but left some lacing.

Smell: Very fruity smell, overwhelms any other aroma, very much of an apricot smell.

Taste: The fruity flavors of apricot take command in the taste, upon the finish I can detect a slight bit of hop bitterness, which is nice since this beer is extreme on the fruity side. I can say however, this beer is not near as sweet as it smells. While still sweet, it doesn't cross the line into too sweet territory.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with a nice crispness.

Drinkability: Suprisingly drinkable. I wouldn't make this my session beer but someone who likes the style will surely be able to put these down.

Overall I do not care for this style of beer BUT this is the best in this style that I have had thus far. I don't make it my mission to search out beers in this style but everyone in my town has been raving about it since it is on tap everywhere now and selling in the grocery stores. I must say, #9 on tap was more pleasant to me than in the bottle.

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

This beer is definitely worth a try, but I am not enamored like a few of my friends. It was a light, clear golden brown. The pour resulted in a generous head, but that left quickly and only slight lacing remained. I thought this beer was very intriguing on the nose, but wasn't quite as impressed with the taste. Somehow they manage to brew this extremely fruity but not too sweet, and with slight hops present from start to finish. Certainly a distinct taste with a significant amount of carbonation (not overpowering though). This is a decent beer worth drinking from time to time, but not the first beer I would reach for in the fridge.

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

This is about the millionth time I have had this beer and either the beer has changed or I have as it seems to me that it gets fruitier everytime I have it. One of two things could be at play here either I am so used to hops that the ones in this beer are not even regestering or they have really messed around with the beer.

Nice soft amber color with a good white head. Smells of apricot, peach, and raspberries with an underlying sweetness of malt. The flavor is upfront fruity apricot and peach, the raspberries is more from the tartness in the end of the beer along with a bit of hop bitterness. I liked this beer when I thought it was hoppier, but this is good too and not too fruity. Drinkability is close to session and it is ok on mouthfeel.

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Photo of clvand0
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with a small head that falls fast and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma has a lot of flowery/floral character along with some honey and fruity sweetness. Interesting. The flavor has some apricot along with other fruits and quite a bit of sweetness. Finish is fairly bitter. Some diacetyl/buttery stuff going on as well. The body is medium and the drinkability is ok. Overall, interesting, but not one I'll likely have again.

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Photo of Liquids
3.44/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Golden yellow. Extremely thin dissapearing head. Hearty carbonation. Smells sweet, fruity, appetizing, but artificial. Flavored and bready at times, but generally uninteresting. Mouthfeel is not ultra-watery, but burny and too carbonated. The hyper carbonation hurts this beer, and its taste is actually a bit more appealing when it has sat for a few minutes. With the carbonation dissipated, the subtle flavors come through more and it's not so sharp on the tounge, which overwhelms any flavors initially. Not hard to get down, but not a beer that calls to me from the collection. Still, better than a bud for party drinking, and it's a relief to see this at restaurants and bars when the only other options are macro lagers.

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Photo of DrJay
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Caramel amber colour with an off-white, rocky head. Good retention. Fruity apricots with light breadiness. There's also some strawberry character and pineapple sweetness, but these are fairly light. Mainly fruity in the taste department, with a yeasty sweetness and light bitterness. A hint of floral hops comes out towards the end and it finishes with a clean fruitiness. Some creaminess appears after initially sharp carbonation. Decent and quaffable.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.97/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a white, three finger-head that goes slowly to a ring leaving some lace. Nearly clear amber color. Very light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Smells like hay. Starts with a malty, fruity, hoppy flavor. "Not Quite Pale Ale" is a good name - the hops are not intense like in many pale ales. 12oz bottle from 12-pack $11.99 Market Basket Concord, NH.

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Photo of adowney523
3.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is reddish with a thin head.

Smell is mostly of fruit.

Taste is of apricots and other lighter fruits. Nice balance of hop bitterness, which is pleasant.

One of my favorite session beers. Easy to drink, yet with just enough complexity for my taste.

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Photo of mjohn27603
2.63/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very golden color. Aroma is of raspberries and fruit. Maybe a slight vegetable smell. Taste is of grains and a slight bitter taste. Mouthfeel is very slight and like water. This is not very good. I'm pretty surprised that this tastes so awful. Some cardboard taste to this. An unpleasant surprise.

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Photo of lpayette
3.9/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear orange/amber.

Smells - subtle apricot, light malts, light hops.

Tastes- more apricot- and a stronger reflection of the smells.

Mouthfeel is smooth, finishes dry. Not much carbonation.

Very drinkable but leaves me a bit too dry however.

This is one of the better fruit/vegetable beers that is fairly widely available in my opinion. It's really well balanced for the style, and a very good session beer. How many fruit beers can you say that about?

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Photo of jvdineen
2.96/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer looks like your everyday pale ale yet alas 'tis not. #9 has a slight apricot taste. My friends can taste a much stronger flavor than I can. I've run through the Magic Hat mix box and I really can't say that I like anything from them. Past the slight fruit flavor #9 should be #5 for run of the mill. A slight strawberry blonde color, medium hop notes and a head that sort of stays around.

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Photo of Freshie
3.72/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice pale golden hue, with small head that fizzles quick. The head had some rather large bubbles, that may be a result of a shitty pour, or something else. The aroma is sweet and true to the bottle's hint...a bit apricotty (is that a word?)

In terms of taste, the malt is very sweet, and the fruity taste blends nicely. The aftertaste is clean and sweet.

I can see how some would not favor this brew, with a general lack of hopiness being overpowered but the sweet fruit overtones, but I think of it as a nice change of pace. It works well in the summer with a nice light meal, like seafood, carribbean, or mexican.

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Photo of geexploitation
2.29/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

There's not much to recommend this beer. It's pretty enough -- just shy of crystal clear and bronze, with a head that starts decently and then fades. But the smell of apricots that dominates the nose is not appealing at all. There's some pear in there too, but little else -- it's a simple and boring nose. The taste is no better. There's some fruity acidity and a rather flat malt character, with little bitterness or hoppiness. Mouthfeel is average; a bit watery, perhaps, but nothing bad. That inoffensiveness aside, though, this isn't something I'll drink by choice. No thank you.

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Photo of Jredner
2.83/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Aroma is a kind of cereal and fruit mash. Apricots stand out. Amber/tea colored with a thumb thick white head and moderate lacing. Watery fore followed bya grainy apricot tinged middle and finish. Flavor is fairly low intensity and watery and not something I really care for.

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Photo of psugrad98
3.63/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale gold in color and clear in comlexion. Smooth hop aroma with hint of malt sweetness. Moderate carbonation.

Smooth light malt sweetness. Slight apricot sweetness that seems canned, fizzy and slightly over carbonated. Seems too light for style, and lacks body.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
2.35/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The first time I had this beer, two or three years ago, I enjoyed it. With time, as I drink it occasionally, I like it less and less. It has an amber appearance, without much head. It has a sweet odor of apricot. The tase is sweet, but there is a distinctly bitter aftertaste which is not very pleasant. It has ordinary mouthfeel, somewhat on the thin side. Not much fun to drink.

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Photo of pbr85
3.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a golden amber color with a small, one finger head that disappears quickly. Smell is apricot with sugar, almost like a caramalized apricot was used in the brewing. Taste is apricot upfront with some malty sweetness in the backbone. There is a strange aftertaste that is not very pleasing that is kind of metallic, ocassionaly with a hint of apricot added to it. Carbonation is good and the beer is smooth. The aftertaste makes the drinkability score low, because it really got to me after a while.

I remember this beer being much better than this, but I'm pretty sure there is nothing wrong with the six pack I bought. As I drink more quality craft beers I find that many of the brews I used to like are not what I remember. I guess this is just a case of that.

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#9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company
3.4 out of 5 based on 5,661 ratings.
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