don’t think it’s any secret that Magic Hat #9 is one of the few craft
beers available on the mainstream market. Most people know it’s infused
with apricots and thus consider it a beer for girls, yuppies,
hipsters, etc. It’s actually one of the beers that turned me on to
craft beer a few years ago and while I don’t like it quite as much
today, I can honestly say it’s not a bad beer at all. Sweet, fruity,
flavorful, and well-balanced - the marks of a good beer in my book.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.
Bright orange color with a distinct haziness to the body but plenty of
visible carbonation. Forms an average-sized white, foamy head, which
mostly dissipates and leaves no lacing.
Smell: As soon
as I popped the top the apricot aroma was noticeable. It’s a
candy-like smell of real apricots, flowers, and candy. Sweet to be
sure, but a closer whiff reveals the pale ale core.
Magic Hat #9 begins with a light floral sweetness plus some pub-style
bitterness, perhaps even a little tangy. It transitions to the fruity
side rather quickly as the sweet, rich flavor of apricot envelopes the
palate. This flavor seems to be both authentic and artificial (I’m
guessing it’s from extract rather than actual apricot but who knows).
It’s similar to a juice-from-concentrate taste, but it’s not overly
sticky or syrupy.
As it finishes, the apricot flavor
fades away slowly as the initial bitterness re-emerges. There’s a even a
quick kick of hops followed by sweet, honey-like, light maltiness on
the finish. There’s a very brief flavor of apricot in the aftertaste,
but it seems to disappear very quickly. That’s nice because it prevents
the apricot component from tasting too much like cough medicine.
Although a lingering fruity aftertaste might make the beer more
Drinkability: With a crisp, cold, wet
mouthfeel and a smooth finish, Magic Hat #9 is a very drinkable beer.
It’s very refreshing both during and after each swig and performs even
better during the warmer months. At only 5.1% ABV you could easily
throw back a few bottles of this before it begins to catch up with you.
The well-balanced palate makes it a great introductory craft beer.
Nothing I’d pair with food (aside from actual fruit maybe), but a
satisfying beer you don’t have to think too hard about.