More like Love Potion #9. Magic Hat, you stole my heart with this beer. I just wanted to say that up front.

I first had this beer this past year. I had no idea what it was. They just poured it and brought it to me. It was a pivotal moment in my personal beer history. Along with Guinness, Magic Hat #9 broadened my beer horizons at a time when I was getting bored with beer (I can’t believe I’m saying that now!). Really, I was sick of light commercial beers and considered all the other craft beers and European offerings too distant for my tastes. But thanks to #9, beer made it back to the #1 spot.

On to the beer. Brewed in Vermont, this fruit beer pours a yellowish orange color and leaves barely any head. It smells like its key ingredient: apricots. A very pleasant smelling beer in my opinion, though it doesn’t boast the strength in aroma that other styles (IPAs, Stouts, etc.) do. After I tilt back the glass, #9 sloshes out and gildes down smooth. It has a crisp, refreshing apricot that hits you in the face right at the start … a tasting experience I almost always cherish. Thankfully, Magic Hat #9 is balanced out with pale and crystal malts, as well as some Cascade and Columbus hops that add a floral note. Carbonation is great and really brings out the flavors. ABV is an easy 4.6%. Thankfully this beer doesn’t finish too fruity or I don’t think I’d like it.

Magic Hat #9 is one of 4 year-round brews by Magic Hat Brewing Company, and I’m pretty sure it’s their most notable of those. So I’d venture to say this could easily be considered their flagship. They say its unusual palette is “cloaked in secrecy,” but I’m not so sure about that.

I will turn to this beer many, many times in life. It is extremely refreshing, so it’s great for summer. It’s got a strong enough taste to hold up in the colder months, too. A year-round beer to be sure. If I were to give beer as a gift, I would probably turn to #9.