#9 | Magic Hat Brewing Co.
OMGeeeeeee! After a long awaited arrival, Magic Hat #9 is finally here! The first time I saw it sitting quietly in a liquor store cooler, I shrieked like a 10-year old school girl. Those of you from the East Coast have been able to get your hands on it for a while, and have tortured us less fortunate Coloradans with your tales of taste and complexity. But no more!
ABV: 5.1% | IBU: 20
Magic Hat Brewing has now joined the ever increasing laundry list of craft breweries becoming available in the Centennial State. Their flagship pale ale #9 will soon be creeping up that list in terms of popularity. Soon more and more will begin to realize the quality of #9, and finding it on shelves in Colorado will once again be difficult. This time not because they do not ship here, but because their popularity will sky rocket! So get down to your local store (Magic Hat has a “sipcode locator” so you can find where they’re available close to you) and pick up a six pack… better make it 12… before they’re all gone!
I lived with a kid from Vermont for a few years through college and immediately afterwards. After going home for the holidays, he’d return ranting and raving about how Magic Hat was amazing, and needed to come out West. He even brought some back with him once or twice, which of course after listening to his logorrhea, I had to try. My palate back then was still developing and I remember thinking “What’s the big deal?” Little did I know I was naive as a child at a magic show…
Then, not too long ago, Magic Hat resurfaced in my life, and my opinion was forever changed. My Vermonter friend never brought back #9, probably because as an experienced Magic Hatter it was the non-flagships he was more interested in, so I never got to try it and know what I was missing out on… until now. The first thing that hits you is the complexity. A start with classic pale ale notes quickly gives way to what may be the best “raspberry” hint I’ve ever tasted. Like the baby bear’s porridge, the raspberry addition, thanks to the Crystal malt, is not too strong, but definitely noticeable… and comes out just right. The ease of drinking #9 is unmatched, almost dangerously so. I was through my 6 pack before my show (Girls… hehe, jk) even ended, and was ready for more. Unlike most “fruity” beers, #9 can be (and was) enjoyed by female and male beer snobs alike, maybe because even with the Crystal malt’s dominance, I wouldn’t describe this beer as “fruity”. I also wouldn’t describe #9 as a pale ale, exactly. Funny, neither does Magic Hat, (as seen in the upper left-hand corner of the title pic). Looks like my beer palate has finally matured like a Cheez-It.