Tag Archives: Michigan

New Holland Black Tulip

New Holland Black Tulip

New Holland Black Tulip

From their delightful High Gravity Series, here is New Holland’s Tripel, Black Tulip.

Color is cloudy orange. Very little head. Tantalizing aroma of orange, yeast, and butterscotch. Bit of an early kick from the yeast that mellows out into complex, sweet malt, a bit of fruitiness, and a dry finish. Some sharpness to it, but enough subtlety underneath to even things out. Apparently, this is brewed with both beet sugar and tulip leaves, but I don’t think I would’ve known that had I not read it.

Very nice, indeed.

Grade: B

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New Holland White Hatter

New Holland White Hatter

New Holland White Hatter

Another variation on New Holland’s Hatter IPA series, this is the White Hatter, a Belgian version.

Pours a cloudy orange with a fluffy white head, as expected, that dissipates quickly. Orange, coriander, and chamomile in the aroma. Light, crisp, and very refreshing. Mostly citrus fruit flavor, but piney hops come in at the end. Especially noticeable in the bitter finish. This is a sacchariferous and subtle beer, with balance from the hops to keep it from getting cloying. Clocks in at just 5.5% ABV, so several of these on a warm summer night would do quite well.

Grade: A

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Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale

Founders Curmudgeon

Founders Curmudgeon

Just from the label, you know you’re in for something interesting from Founders Curmudgeon. Art aside, an Old Ale with molasses and aged in oak, certainly lets the imagination run wild.

Pours a hazy orange that’s just on this side of brown. Virtually no head. Oak, raisins, and must in the aroma. The flavor is mostly oak and molasses. Bit of punch from the 9.8% ABV. A touch of bitterness from the hops at the end. It’s a sipper, but something different comes out with every sip, including maple syrup.

Spend a lot of time enjoying this one.

Grade: A

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New Holland The Poet

New Holland The PoetI love the imagery of New Holland The Poet. Deep and dark with the image of a raven adorn the label. A not-so-subtle reference to a certain Mr. Poe (I’m going to ignore a football team with similar imagery. I’m a Browns fan).

Aroma is a pleasant mix of oatmeal and loads of bitter chocolate. Chocolate continues into the flavor and the oatmeal becomes more assertive in both the flavor and the ultra-creamy texture. It’s almost like velvet in a glass. Hops come in at the back end and linger. Phenomenal balance with sweetness from the oats and charred malt.

Just wonderful.

Grade: A

You may want to watch this video while you enjoy this treasure.

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Bell’s Two Hearted Ale

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale

This is one I have actually enjoyed several times, but am just now getting around to enjoying.

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale is a big, punishing IPA. Interestingly, the only hops used in this are Centennial. Light orange color with a massive, rocky head. Aroma is overloaded with the Centennial hops. Surprisingly light body. Flavors of orange, grapefruit, and caramel. Super hoppy brew. Almost makes you pucker. Hops stick around for a long time in both flavor and bitterness.

Nothing to hide here. Just a ton of Centennial hops and 7% ABV. Hop heads will love it!

Grade: A

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Atwater Brewery Vanilla Java Porter

Atwater Vanilla Java Porter

This is the first beer I’ve had from Atwater Brewery. To be perfectly honest, I hadn’t even heard of this Detroit brewery until I picked up Vanilla Java Porter.

I have high hopes simply from the title. If executed well, this could be an outstanding beer. Color is as expected for a porter. Head might be a little on the thin side. The aroma is full of chocolate, which was a little surprising given the title. Quite tasty. Chocolate dominates the flavor, as well, but the vanilla and coffee are definitely there. The body is on the light side and the carbonation is surprisingly high.

I like it, and will very likely get it again, but I would like to see better balance. Less chocolate (can’t believe I’m saying that), more vanilla and coffee.

Grade: B

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B. Nektar Meadery Evil Genius

B. Nektar Evil GeniusTo be honest, I have no idea what I am getting myself into with B. Nektar Meadery Evil Genius. It’s a hybrid mead-IPA.

Hardly any color. Just a hint of yellow distinguishes it from water. Although, because of how clear it is, it’s fun to watch the bubbles constantly float to the top of the glass. Aroma is very inviting with a mix of sweet honey and citrus hops.

Flavor is very unique. Loads of sweetness from honey and grapes, counteracted by a hit of hops. Interesting finish, as well. Lick your lips and get a hint of sweetness, but the bitterness and dryness from the hops lingers.

Quite tasty. Bonus points for creativity, cleverness, and the label.

Grade: B

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New Holland El Mole Ocho

New Holland El Mole OchoI have rather high expectations for New Holland El Mole Ocho. Firstly, I have high expectations from anything from new Holland. I really like the concept of this beer, as well. It’s exotic, yet still within the realm of familiar flavors.

Pours a bit lighter than expected. Rather than being a dark brown, it’s closer to a dark iced tea. Fluffy beige head that has not settled a nanometer since the pour. Intense aroma of bitter chocolate, bitter coffee, and chiles. Big, big flavor with the chiles becoming more prominent. The chiles give this a distinct fruitiness, but I am not getting the heat I expected (and wanted) considering how much flavor there is. Mix of bitter chocolate and coffee give the back end a full, round taste and feel.

El Mole Ocho is part of New Holland’s High Gravity Series, clocking in at 9.8% ABV. There is not even a hint of alcohol heat here.

Really digging on this beer. Daring flavors, velvety texture, great balance, and unique. My one complaint is that I would like more chile heat. But that’s just nitpicking.

Grade: A

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New Holland Mad Hatter IPA

New Holland Mad Hatter

I am finally having what is considered to be one of the better Midwestern IPAs, New Holland Mad Hatter.

Pours a cloudy copper with a clingy beige foam. Pungent citrus hops attack from the aroma. However, the hops are a little more subdued (don’t read scant) in the flavor. Decidedly bready malt offers a nice counter balance. Bitter finish leading to a lingering flavor from the Centennial hops.

Smooth for an IPA with enough hops to please the hop heads.

Another cool thing New Holland does with Mad Hatter is all the different variations, like Black Hatter, White Hatter, Imperial Hatter, Oak Aged Hatter, etc. All with fantastic labels.

Very nice IPA, even if it isn’t a bruiser.

Grade: A

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Dark Horse Scotty Karate

Dark Horse Scotty Karate

Scotch Ales are to the maltheads what DIPAs are to the hopheads. Bold flavors, booze, high ABV, but not much hop character at all.

Dark Horse Scotty Karate has a smell that will draw you in immediately. Butterscotch, a hint of cinnamon raisin toast, and oak. The lightly toasted malt makes a big appearance with smoked peat, butterscotch, dark fruits, and booze following it up. There is just a touch of hops, but not enough to get in the way or overpower anything.

Smooth, complex, tasty, and you’d never guess it’s pushing 10% ABV.

Great example of the style.

Grade: A

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