Oak Aged Mad Hatter India Pale Ale | New Holland Brewing Company

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Oak Aged Mad Hatter India Pale AleOak Aged Mad Hatter India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.12%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by RedHaze on 12-26-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 161 | Ratings: 493
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, crimson coloration, under a generous slathering of creamy, off-white foam.

Aroma: right there, right off the bat, a big whiff of wood. There's the oak, hanging over the hops. They're pretty well hidden, actually.

Taste: Boom! here they are, hops aplenty, all in a pretty much English-style IPA, some herbal qualities, some fruit (apple, cherry), prickly bitterness, but wrapped up in warm, friendly malt. Hops continue to deliver on flavor, but the bitter assault is smothered, or perhaps caressed, there's a more positive spin, by the oak.
Bitter and sweet continues, toasty wood on top.

Drinkability is high, body is medium, hops and wood swim in the mouth, and spread joy throughout the land.

Unique, well-balanced, and terrifically tasty.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap poured into a nonic pint

A- 2-finger head above a clean, copper body with light (really minimal looking) carbonation. Retention is pretty good as the head drops to about 1/2-finger and leaves great sticky rings.

S- Lots of grassy hops initially. Some sweet malts come through late. The oak isn't strong, and I'll admit to missing it completely initially. Woody tones are subtle, but come into play with a little warmth.

T- This is where the oak comes through. It's a little more robust than the normal offering. Lots of grassy hops, but equalled by the grainy/cereal malts, and oak tones. Clean finish.

M- Light carbonation. Pretty viscus. A little bite from the hopping. Everything dries out in the finish. Very solid for the style.

D- Very easy drinker. Well balanced. May have expected a bit too much due to the "oak aged" tag.

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Photo of cdizinno
4.56/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass at the local Flying Saucer.

A: Mildly hazy copper/orange color. Nice head and moderate lacing.

S: Grapefruit, mild pine hop aroma and woody grain.

T&M: Nice and crispy. Smooth, medium bodied, and well-balanced hop and malt flavors. Mild bitterness that is mellowed by the aging. Finishes semi-dry with a long lasting hop flavor.

Great stuff.

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Photo of Shumista
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a growler while downtown holland to enjoy over the course of the evening.

Pours clear copper amber with a 2 inch frothy white head. Smells of earthy hops, oak, some nuttiness. Taste is comprised of a very caramelly backbone, earthy hoppiness, oak, some vanilla. Pretty hoppy for having aged on oak. Nuttiness persists.
Mouthfeel is a bit watery, but so is the original mad hatter in my opinion so that is to be expected. I've never quite felt like water is a distinguishable element in a beer (besides on the most obvious level) but this is different. Profound or stupid observation, who knows? Very difficult to explain, just a feeling I'm getting. I polished off nearly the entire growler by myself in an evening, so I have to go pretty high for drinkability.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from growler into Stone nonic. Pours red orange clear with a frothy off white head. Maintains nice lacing throughout. The aroma is comprised of hops and subtle wood note with a hint of malt. The flavor is of subtle malt with a subtle hop flavor as well. It is light on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this is a pretty nice brew. Glad New Holland decided to re-do it as it was listed as discontinued awhile back. Worth trying it if you haven't for sure.

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Photo of nickadams2
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Uptown grille in Commerce MI.

A_Dark amber. Thick eggshell white heat that dissipates into a thick foamy ring. Lacing smothers the glass.

S_ Earthy,woody oak upfront followed by piny subdued hops. Great oak aroma.

T_Bold but not overpowering oak. Smooth vanilla. Wood. Grassy pine. Terrific example of an oak aged IPA.

M_Thick and creamy. Very sticky on the lips. Full bodied.

D_ I wouldn't want to drink a whole bunch of these. This is a beer that deserves your full undivided attention. Great to savor.

This is a very close second to Dogfish Heads Burton Baton on my list of best oak aged IPAs.

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Photo of maximum12
3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A second brew consumer after softball. Initially I was told that the keg had kicked, to my disappointment, but after I ordered something else, was told another keg had been hooked into the mainline. Yippee! Haven't had a new New Holland brew in quite some time. Shame on me.

Once set down gently on the wire table, with me sitting in the horrifically bent & uncomfortable wire chair that just ate a chunk of my leg, it's darker than I fancied it might be, darker red skew of the IPA spectrum. Not much to huff, a bit of woodiness & subdued, quiet hops.

As a fan of New Holland, & having toured the brewery, I was hoping this was going to be a big upgrade on Hatter, which it isn't. The oaking is big & bad, overpowering the IPA base & leaving on with only a faint hop residue that was steeped in barrels. While the smoothness of the brew certainly ups the drinkability, it loses a great deal in the bitterness category.

Good beer. I'd never turn one down, but this is defintely a case where the oaking of a brew really pummeled its other characteristics into submission, to the point of nonexistence. But if you haven't had it, it's well worth a glass.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a pint glass at Brews on 6/12/10

A - Clear, even-hued amber. One finger head leaving essentially no retention. Lacing is solid, though it does dry out.

S - Earthy tones of wood amid notes of spicy pine hops & fresh citrus zest (grapefruit). Caramel sweetness.

T - Zesty hop bitterness hits upfront; grapefruit & lemon peel. Dry, piney taste is nice. Balanced by caramel, it's somewhat sweet mid-swallow. Oak undertones add complexity without too much coloring of the overall flavor.

M - Medium body, average carbonation. Finishes dry & spicy.

D - An interesting twist on the base beer. Not bad; however, I'm not clamoring to try it again.

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Photo of fear025
2.46/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma:This beer doesn't have much of an aroma, but I do get a little orange.

Appearance:It's a tad bit lighter than the normal Mad Hatter IPA.

Taste:On the first sip of the beer, the oak hit me in the face. It's a musty oak flavor that overshadows the rest of the IPA through the fore and midtastes. The aftertaste does contain some maltyness. Even though this is a bourbon barrel oak, it only has a slight bourbon flavor.

Mouthfeel:A little alcohol burn because of the bourbon, but not too much.

Drinkability:The mustyness imparted by the oak is a little distracting, and hinders the IPA somewhat, compared to the Mad Hatter IPA.

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Photo of beerhan
3.12/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I am a fan of the imperial hatter but not the regular. I feel this beer is right in between. It tastes very very oaky with a maple syrup aftertaste. I had a 4oz sample last night and thought it was okay...I would never get this beer again but it was entertaining to try. I am more curious about the other hatter releases this summer

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Photo of Pecorasc
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at South Park Tavern in Dayton, Ohio. Served at tap temperature in a shaker pint glass.

A- Pours a glowing orange that is clear but not polished. Topped off with a thin white head that attempts to toss some lacing on the walls of the glass. Thorough and consistent beading is clearly visible.

S- Dominated by oak, coconut, and a perplexing fruitiness. Complimented by vanilla, cherry, and a slight hop bitterness. The lack of hop aroma is disappointing, but there is a pleasant oakiness that compensates.

T- Opens with a nice oak character, but lacks in hop flavor. The hops that are present are piney and earthy. I think the most appropriate adjective to describe the hop character is "handcuffed." A moderate bitterness leads to a slightly metallic aftertaste and an alcoholic character in the finish. Very little residual flavor other than the oak. Sometimes, intense oak flavor can compensate for a lack of hop character in IPAs; the oak flavor isn't good enough to make up for the lack of hop character here.

M- Medium bodied with high carbonation and a dry finish. Not much bitterness, so the palate certainly doesn't take a beating or feel fatigued. The oak leaves a cleansing sensation on the palate.

D- Despite the mediocre review, this beer does well in terms of drinkability. There are no off flavors and the oak is pleasant, even in large quantities. This is an enjoyable session beer. Well done, just not a stand out.

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Photo of chaz410
4.32/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this mean beer at the mellow mushroom in greensboro.
Pours a yellow tinted amber body with thick white head.
Smells of subtle flower and citris hops mixed with vanilla oak notes and caramel malts.
Taste mostly of oaky sweet malts. Flavors are enhanced by the aged hop textures. Floral and pinneapple notes ride over the vanilla oaky woood character and biscuit malts. A nice crisp grapefuirt finish along with a smooth barley and woody malt character.
Smooth mouthfeel. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of jhoban19
2.71/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap, poured into a New Holland High Gravity Series tulip.

A: golden color with some orange/amber hues when light strikes the glass. bartender poured a decent foam, which was fairly dense and bubbly. settled into a thin ring with some moderate lacing.

S: citrus hops - mostly lemon - and vanilla... lots of vanilla. I detected a bit of toasted malts, but I couldn't quite decipher the exact flavor as the citrus and vanilla really overpowered everything else.

T: taste is akin to what I imagine lemon bars would taste like if the baker used 20 times the amount of vanilla called for in the recipe. something else that came to mind was that of a chardonay with hops in it. too much vanilla and too much lemony hops (and I usually love a lot of hops, this just didn't work for me).

M: a bit overcarbonated and too astringent with all the lemon.

D: This beer looked good and smelled ok, but went down hill from there. I like a lot of New Holland's brews, particularly Mad Hatter, but I didn't care for this one. The hops and the effects of the oak-aging just didn't seem to work together.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft sample at MBGF Summer09.

Poured clear copper color with an average frothy white head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Moderate sour citrus hop, wood and earthy aroma. Medium body with a slick texture and soft carbonation. Medium bitter flavor with a medium bittersweet bourbon finish of moderate to long duration.

My expectations where met.

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Photo of atsprings
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Raleigh Times served in a New Holland tulip a crisp orange with a thin head that diminishes to a ring and leaves decent lacing. Aroma is an intriguing blend of oak and citrus hops with slight vanilla. The taste is an interesting blend of citrus and oak that gives way to sticky oak in the finish. The beer is medium bodied with decent carbonation. I enjoyed this one, at long last, oaked IPAs have grown on me.

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Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mad Hatter was the first hopped IPA I ever had and so I have a soft spot for this beer,the Impy hatter I liked alot more than the oaked version.Poured a deep copper with a tight 1/2 finger white head,aromas were of citric hop and deep vanilla-like oak.Flavors started out with big cirtic/oine pine flavors melding into a really hefty vaniila/oak flavor that takes over the finish.It has complexity but do I want all the oak flavors mesin with my hop flavors...no,some may like it more than me.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a light amber color and a modest head that leaves a bit of lace

Smell: Floral citrus, but more tea-like than a typical IPA; tempered by the oak

Taste: Opens with the biscuity malt and citrusy grapefruit flavors you would expect; the malt flavors tend to balance the fruit by mid palate, with a lingering subtle barrel flavor in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The effect of the oak barrel on this one is very different than what I expected; the beer didn't have the big wood and vanilla flavor; in fact, the oak was very subtle, but added a sweeter dimension to the bitter IPA flavors

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Photo of OneDropSoup
2.48/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Excited to see this bad boy on tap at D's in Monroeville, PA.

Poured a light, brassy orange with gold highlights & about a finger of head. Little lacing (I guess due to the high ABV & oaking?).

Citrus was most prominent in the aroma, that orange & lemon zest that brightens your day. Didn't notice any oak in the nose at first, but halfway through the glass it was about all I could smell.

Taste had a huge oak presence, as well as bitterness from the hops & just straight booze. Now think of this combination: wood, bitter citrus, alcohol. Put it together, stir it around, & you got furniture polish, right? This is really what it started to remind me of after a while. Big flavor, but not necessarily one I enjoyed. The mouthfeel was tannic & drying. Too much!

I had difficulty getting through one of these babies. This feels like a worthwhile experiment, & I applaud New Holland for trying a relatively novel approach to a ubiquitous style, but I don't think it worked out for the better. I can't even say I'm "not impressed" with the taste -- I'm very impressed, overwhelmed even. Experimentation is good, but this is one specimen that mutated, broke free from the lab, & wreaked havoc on my tastebuds.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft. Meant to get the non-barrel aged Imperial Mad Hatter, but it turned out ok I guess. I just was wondering why I was getting bourbon from the beer...Anyway, pours a light orange with a small head. Aroma of light citrus and grassy hops. Flavor bourbon initially with a hoppy finish. Actually decent for a bourbon-aged IPA (which sounded quite frightening to me initially).

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Photo of jwinship83
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

small pour into a samuel smith glass at the grumpy bull dog on the fourth of july. taken from notes.

A- this one pours a very clear golden amber colored body with a head that vanishes instantly. very weak rings of lacing left on the sides of my glass.

S- caramel malts first and foremost. then comes the barrel smell. lots of oak/vanilla in this one. a bit of bourbon as well. theres a decent amount of hops at the end. pine and citrus. grapefruit.

T- the malts and the barrel come through strong again. less bourbon than i could smell. about the same amount of caramel. lots of vanilla from the oak. the hops are much more faded than i thought. less astringency from the barrel than i was expecting.

M- a little thin and watery for my liking. low level of carbonation.

D- easy to finish such a small glass, and at 7$ i dont think i would have wanted another. im glad the bar tender comped this one for me. one of the better barrel aged IPAs ive tried.

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Photo of kels
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed one of these on tap at the Comet last week. Didn't know at the time it had been retired for awhile (according to this site). I wasn't blown away by it, but it's always cool to try something I'll probably never get the chance to try again. Review on the tap pull into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a very toasty orange-brown color, fairly clear, with light carbonation running throughout. A short, white head fizzles out quickly and leaves a weak ring of white bubbles along the walls of the glass.

Smell: Initially I smell nothing, but as the beer warms, more aroma starts to come through. Sticky, stinky hops take the lead, a little pine sappy, along with some hardly detectable sticky, caramel malts.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Taste is VERY oakey, surprisingly, considering the absence of oak in the nose. Alcohol comes through very hot and earthy, and the sticky hops join in later in the taste. The aftertaste provides only the slightest hint of toasted malt undertaones. Feel is sticky, moderately thick, fizzy, filmy and oily.

Drinkability: Moderate at best. The lack of the malt/grain balance to the hops and alcohol brings it down a little bit. The oakiness is really nice, however. Just wish it came through more in the aroma as well.

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Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at HopCat in GR. Served in a tulip.

Pours a clear golden yellow, some orange, thick off white head forms, drops to a nice ring, some lace chunks, looks good. Smell is nice, very fragrant, grapefruit and pine, lightly sugary, caramel, sweet middle, oranges, touch of vanilla and wood, quite hoppy. Taste is great, oaky up front, lots of vanilla, toasted coconut, almost bourbony, grapefruit and floral, caramel, some biscuit malt, solid bitterness in the background, nicely done. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, very smooth and I really like the barrel character. Real nice IPA that more than holds up to the oak. My travelling partner did not enjoy it as much as I did.

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Photo of bamadog
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Seeing that this is retired makes it a little more enticing to try. I've had the original and didn't think it was too bad, but this one just didn't cut it. Perhaps oak-aging is just not for everything... Had on tap at The Comet -- poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Comes a nice golden coppery color with no head whatsoever; body is pretty clear and shows no signs of carbonation.

Smell: Hoppy, but a funky kind of hop -- it's sticky and smelling piney and a hint of sweet citrus to it; there is also a honey sweet maltiness coming through; a slight woodiness comes in as it warms a bit as well.

Taste: Wood. Straight up wood and then some bitter piney hops; a very mild hint of the sweet/syrupy malts offers a little bit of a blance; slight presence of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: It looks a little on the viscous side and it comes across oily/slippery; I find the body a little more watery than what I would prefer; the roof of my mouth is left a little dry and there is a slight stickiness on the tongue; mouth is left tingly due to the alcohol's burn and the mouth and tummy are left warm.

Drinkability: Mediocre at absolute best. Flavor is too much wood and not enough IPA, mouthfeel is a little off.

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Photo of grub
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

sampled on tap at hopcat june 13/09.

pours crystal clear deep reddish amber with a small fluffy off-white head. the head drops slowly and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is nice. slightly sweet citrus and caramel. orange and tangerine. bit of alcohol. white bread and cracker. touch of vanilla, but very little oak coming through in the aroma.

taste is good. tons of coconut. vanilla and a bit of oak, but almost no tannic presence. light caramel. bit of tropical fruit. medium-low bitterness level. the citrus is much more subdued than in the aroma, but a bit of the orange and tangerine still come through. the coconut dominates, and after a while it becomes too much for my taste.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. nice balance. neat barrel character. some of the ipa character is softened or lost, but overall it remains pretty good. i grew tired of the overwhelming coconut presence - but my travel partner was more than happy to finish both our glasses.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Comet.

Pours a golden amber in color. There's about an inch of head from the pour. However, it is gone in no time.
Smell is citrusy hops, some oak, and at times, either a hint of bourbon or a ton of it.
That seems to be the trademark of this beer. With each sip you don't know whether the citrusy hop flavor is going to be apparent, or the oak and bourbon flavor is going to. I'd take a sip and get a hoppy flavor with some mellow oak and bourbon flavors. Next sip would be all bourbon with a bit of hops. Really interesting.
Very easy drinking and enjoyable. Just couldn't quite figure this one out. I would stick with the Oak Aged Unearthly when available.

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Oak Aged Mad Hatter India Pale Ale from New Holland Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.