Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Magic Hat #9

Magic Hat #9 is a "not quite pale ale" brewed with the natural flavor of apricots. I assume this label to mean that Magic Hat uses apricot extract to flavor the beer instead of using whole apricots. Nonetheless, its crisp fruity character makes for a refreshing experience. Available year round and always offered as part of Magic Hat seasonal variety packs. (Fruit beer - section 20).

Alcohol Content: 5.1%
International Bitterness Units (IBU): 20
Malts: 2-Row Pale, Crystal
Hops: Apollo, Cascade

Price: $14.00 for a 12-pack winter sampler
Medium: 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Aroma: Sweet fruity esters are perceived first, followed by a restrained citrusy hop profile. The light malty notes upfront contain hints of sweet biscuit and wheat characteristics (although no wheat is used). The citrus profile is of pear, oranges, and of course apricots. Overall the nose is sweet & tart with a hint of yeast character.
Appearance: Poured for a deep golden color with a small white head that dissipates to a thin film fairly quickly. Small degree of retention and no lacing. Presented chill haze that was slow to clear and never showed any true brilliance. Very bubbly suggests strong carbonation.
Flavor: At first a restrained sweet caramel and slightly biscuity character with a sour/ tart bitterness hitting about mid pallet and exponentially getting sweeter/ more apricot-like in the finish (quite a synergy of events). No distinct hop flavors detected in the bitterness, perhaps a bit grassy - also expected it to be a bit more citrusy, as suggested by the aroma. Somewhat fruity esters presented by a yeasty and grainy character. Aftertaste is moderately dry but still crisp and refreshing. More malt/ sweet balanced.
Mouthfeel: Very strong carbonation as expected, close to drinking champagne. Moderately light body with an overall sweet profile that is not too cloying. Pleasantly smooth.
Overall Impression: The message under the cap read, "If you're in jail, your friends pay bail". Definitely one of the better quotes from a bottle cap - cheers to John Dubs. Although a very drinkable beer, perhaps the fruitiness deters drinking more than one or two at a time. Great for that sunny afternoon at the beach (now served in cans).

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