Review of Magic Hat #9

05 Sep
For today’s enjoyment, I’m going to be sipping on a beer produced by the Magic Hat Brewing Company, located in Burlington, Vermont, called #9.

I’ve often heard Magic Hat be referred to as the “Willie Wonka” of the craft beer world.  They produce a great number of “twisted” concoctions and #9 is arguably the most famous of them all.

Let’s see what the website,, has to say about this brew.

#9 – Not Quite Pale Ale

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. 

Let’s see if we can solve this mystery.

This beer comes in a 12 oz. bottle and has a 5.1% ABV.

The brew poured a clear, pale golden to orange color with some yellow highlights dancing around the bottom of the glass.  The head was barely off white, of real nice size, creamy, fluffy and soft.  The retention time was good and the lacing was pretty nice too.  I must say, it’s looked pretty nice in the glass.

In the nose, I’m getting a strong hint of apricot with a bready/biscuity undertone.  It may be a little bit floral also along with various other unidentifiable pale malts (unidentifiable by me at least).  As the brew warmed, the apricot continued to get stronger and stronger.  This is definitely not my favorite aroma, but it’s ok I guess.   

The taste started with the aforementioned apricot, of course, however it didn’t seem to be as forward as in the aroma.  It was calmed by welcome hints of peach citrus, bread crusts and a light sugary sweetness.  The hops are not at all up front, although the taste does have a decent little bit of bitterness and a mild hop bite.  Not bad.

The mouthfeel is medium to medium/thin.  Very smooth, soft, crisp and mildly refreshing.  The palate is left with only an average of amount of flavor after the swallow.

Well.  This beer doesn’t taste too bad.  I will say that I didn’t care much for the aroma though.  The apricot was a bit too strong for me.  It really started to become distracting after a while.  I think that I could have 1 or 2 during a sitting, however I would probably move on to something else after that.  The drinkability was ok and if one so wished, this would make a great session brew.  I think it’s definitely worth a try if you happen to run across it because it may very well suit your needs perfectly.  I may try this again in a few years and see if I find it more pleasing, but at this moment, #9 didn’t turn out to be what I was hoping.      

As always, be sure to let me know your impressions of the Magic Hat #9 if you’ve had it.

Thanks, again, for reading everyone.  I hope a great Labor Day weekend was had by all.


Score:  3.35 out of 5
Grade:  B-

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Posted by on September 5, 2011 in Country: USA, Magic Hat


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