51. #9 – not quite Pale Ale

Posted: April 14, 2010 in ale, International beer
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

#9 – not quite Pale Ale

Company info:
Magic Hat Brewing Company,
South Burlington, VT, USA


Bottle size sampled: 3/4 pint (approx. 355mL)

Alcohol: 5.1%
Standard drinks: Not listed, but I’d guess 1.4 (?)

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: TBC

Label info: ‘The ancient ritual of brewing a distinctly rich and flavourful beer is a performance to behold. Our mysterious mélange of time-honored ingredients harmonize with chaotic chemistry, humble patience, and blind faith to create this unique beer to share in the rowsing company of kindred spirits. Cheers!’

What the label really means: Like all of the beers in the Magic Hat range, this label suggests a free-loving hippy approach to beer production. It reads well while you’re sitting down throwing back a couple of pints of ‘Grandpa’s ol cough medicine’ and that’s all that counts isn’t it? The more of these you drink, the clearer the label info will become. I think.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: This label has a real psychadelic look and feel, with the text ‘#9’ boldly printed amidst a sea of swirls and shapes. Down the bottom right is a moth looking creature, barely visible amongst the confusion. I don’t mind this label. Sure it’s busy and sure it rings of a time when tie dyed pants were acceptable street-wear (1991), but the red, orange and yellow colours give this bottle a warmth, a real sense of invitation and a sense of intrigue. (Note: Magic Hat brewery have some really fascinating labels and this one is perhaps the tamest. I wish I had access to more of the brews to show you what I mean. Take my word for it, or check out their bizarre website).

I give it a label rating of 6.5 out of 10.

AROMA: A deliciously fruity smelling beer with a distinct aroma of peach. This could be very interesting.

Taste: GLASS – #9 pours out a cloudy, golden ale and, surprisingly, tastes like a peach cider infused with beer. It’s a little confused in taste, but certainly has a good tasting ale undertone. Unlike the new-wave radler style beers this isn’t overly sweet, but for my money the peach is a little overwhelming.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 6.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – The peach isn’t as intense when drinking this ale from the bottle, and actually seems to compliment the the brew quite nicely. This is one ale that should be consumed from the bottle.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 7 out of 10.

A word from the wife: “Light, crispy and peachy sweet. Definitely one for the ladies”

She gave it a taste rating of 8.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: Fresh fruits, salads, and Summertime goodness.

Best season to appreciate: This could really work well on a hot Summer afternoon. It’s definitely a thirst quencher and the fruity, peachy taste would really help this slide back a treat.

All-nighter beer? I think this is possibly a little too fruity for me to drink all. But I could certainly drink a few before losing interest.

NEXT WEEK: I review another beer from Vermont, USA – Long Trail Ale. Stay tuned!

  1. BargeDave says:

    Well, two years after the review, I’ve finally tasted this beauty. Strongly recommended for any time of year, particularly among those who like fruity hop flavours.


  2. Adam Fay says:

    Welcome home Hell-Cat!

    This beer sounds a tad too fruity for my tough, grizzled, manly palate.

    Damn those hippies and their long haired, tie-dyed, fruity-beer ways.


  3. luke says:

    Ooh, I want one of those right now


    • BargeDave says:

      You’re a peach man, Luke? I must admit it sounds fascinating.

      Slightly off-topic but a brewing mate of mine once made an extraordinary apricot champagne – cut up a bucket of apricots fresh from the tree (but take out the good ones for eating), add sugar, top the bucket up with water and add beer yeast. Then let it go for a week, then bottle into bottles primed with a teaspoon of sugar and the end result is a quite alcoholic mix of brut champagne and a quality dried apricots flavour. It tasted great and knocked you over in quick time, but the taste was probably more dry than sweet which appears to be what Mase is describing from this beer.


  4. BargeDave says:

    Well this is hardly fair – reviewing a beer completely unavailable down under! Nevertheless, interesting comments. If I could propose a review of a US-brewed style of beer it would be a triple-IPA, which I understand is knocked out by several breweries on the Pacific coast in Oregan and Washington State. I’d love to try such a thing. My mouth sucks itself in (think sucking a lemon) just imagining about a beer with huge alpha-acid hops.


    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      But BD, I won’t pass up the chance to try new beers wherever I go. Perhaps this review will open up to a whole new crew of readers.


      • BargeDave says:

        It wasn’t meant to be a criticism of the blog, just a personal whinge that I can’t get more involved this week as I love to do every week.


      • Sniv Whettuce says:

        I agree with Bargé, I would’ve liked to have tasted the stuff as well. I give it a nine out of ten.

        Sniv’s Beer Trick of the Week: astound your whiffling colleagues by dropping a lit match into an empty stubbie and then holding a cocktail frank over the opening. As the flame consumes the oxygen it will create a vacuum and suck the frank in. Alternatively, you can just shove the frank in by hand. It’s not as theatrical but it gets the same result in a fraction of the time.


      • BargeDave says:

        Ooh, just to be a pedantic wanker (big hobby of mine), oxygen is only around 20% of the atmosphere so strictly speaking it’s not a vacuum, it’s about a 15% reduction in air pressure (as the match goes out when the oxygen level hits around 5%). That’s why it’s a fairly slow process for the bottle to suck the sav.


      • Sniv Whettuce says:

        Thankyou, Bargé. I would call you an egghead but I suspect you’d take it as a compliment.


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