This flavoured American pale ale from Magic Hat Brewing Company in South Burlington, Vermont pours a clear golden colour with an amber tinge and a moderate white head that remains as a persistent ring throughout the glass while leaving spotty lacing. Apricot dominates the nose of Magic Hat #9. The ale also has a fresh, floral tone with a syrupy, but light caramel backing and a slight vegetal note.
The apricot is more balanced in the taste of Magic Hat #9, imparting a mild dryness over a tropical citrus body. An earthy graininess serves as the backbone and a nectar-like quality builds as the ale warms. The ale is medium-bodied with a mild carbonation. There is a nice creaminess with a syrupy quality on the tongue. The finish has a mild, slightly dry grape character and the aftertaste is tart with syrup and apricot notes.
The packaging of Magic Hat #9 is a deep orange color with burgundy and yellow highlights and the brewery’s wordmark in white. The beer’s logo is reminiscent of an elixir swirling in a cauldron and contains insect imagery.
A description of the beer can be found on the bottom of the six pack sleeve, along with an invitation to visit the brewery. A brewing philosophy is printed in the sleeve and on the neck label and coded freshness dating is stamped on the bottle’s shoulder.
I normally don’t like fruit-infused ales, particularly if they’re apricot flavoured, but this is a well-balanced and natural-tasting exception I’ll probably pick up on occasion now that it’s available in Ontario.
Magic Hat #9 pairs well with grilled chicken, Indian dishes and fresh bread. You can find it listed at both The Beer Store and the LCBO. The beer is also distributed throughout the USA and to parts of Europe.
A technical note: This iteration of Magic Hat #9 is not brewed at the Magic Hat Brewing Company in Vermont, but at the Genesee Brewing Company facilities in Rochester, NY for distribution by parent company North American Breweries, operating as Labatt USA.
Type: American Pale Ale / Flavoured Beer / Fruit Beer
Region: Vermont, South Burlington
Brewery: Magic Hat Brewing Company
Format Purchased: 6 x 355 mL
Alcohol Content: 5.1%