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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.
I 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.
You may want to watch this video while you enjoy this treasure.
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!
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.
To 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.
I 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.
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.
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.
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.
When I drink a winter brown ale, I want earthy, smokey, warm, and roasted flavors. And just enough alcohol to warm you from the inside. That’s exactly what New Holland Cabin Fever is.
The aromas don’t set you up for how complex this brew is. It starts off almost like a chocolate bock, but then the roasted and smoked malt sneak in with a touch of dark caramel. The liberal use of rye adds nice texture and flavor. The hops round out the creamy mouthfeel with a strong earthiness. And the lacing is like a coat of snow on top of a cabin deep in the woods.
I have had about 4 or 5 offerings from New Holland now. And they’ve all been delightful to outstanding.
For those pining for the warm summer months, Bell’s offers a crisp Belgian White in winter with Winter White Ale.
Don’t expect this to be a big, spicy winter warmer, it’s more to get you through the cold times and see that spring is not far away. Hazy gold with a fluffy white head and endless carbonation. You’ll notice the familiar banana, clove, coriander, and citrus flavors shining through. Exceptionally light and creamy, and at just 5% ABV, it’s a very tasty session ale.
It doesn’t particularly stand out from other Belgian Whites, but it’s a solid brew from Bell’s.