Wacko is the summer seasonal offer from Vermont brewery, Magic Hat. I’ve enjoyed their Fall seasonal, Hex (review here), in the past, as well as their best known beer, the apricot-y #9.

Wacko is billed as “the liquid song of summer” and that, “Wacko is a delicious summer beer with a big malty aroma, a subdued hop bite and a clean, slightly sweet finish. ”

It pours a surprising red color and according to BeerAdvocate, it is made with beet sugar. I’m not sure if this is the source of the color or not, but I think the “heart” on the logo is also supposed to suggest the imagery of a beet, so it must be.

The aroma on this beer is EXACTLY the same, to me, as #9. It’s malty, clean and has a little fruitiness of some sort to it. Of course, I don’t have a #9 sitting here to compare, but my memory is telling me “hey, this is #9!” The beer weighs in at a sessionable 4.5%ABV and only 15 IBU’s (International Bitter Units).

My first impression of this beer is that it is pilsner-like. Boy, it really tastes like #9 to me, without the apricot undertone. Take the apricot out of #9 and I feel like you’re left with Wacko. I’d be curious to know if these are the same recipes with just the beet/apricot being the variable. The malt and hops bill for #9 contains everything, plus a little more, that Wacko does, hence the similarities.

The beer has a malt-forward, slightly sweet, flavor. There is a little hops in the finish and it does finish a little drier than I would expect it to. It’s a light, summer beer, exactly as billed. There is some fruitiness in the flavor, but nothing specific. Maybe some esters from the ale yeast? This is a nice, light, inoffensive, easy-drinking summer beer with a pretty low ABV, exactly what you want from a “lawnmower” beer!