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New Holland Existential: Hopwine - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
New Holland Existential: HopwineNew Holland Existential: Hopwine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

142 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 142
Reviews: 137
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 14.13%
Wants: 9
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kirok1999 on 05-16-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 142 | Reviews: 137 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jeremyd365
3.05/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Advertised as "Existential Ale": Poured a golden coppery with a white head. Smelled for a strange fruity-malty-hoppiness and also tasted of a strange blend that I wasn't too fond of. I don't know exactly what I didn't like, but perhaps it was the type of hops used or the other spices involved. It was strange nonetheless, but with a decent mouthfeel being about medium. The drinkability would have been fine had I liked the flavor. It just wasn't my cup of tea, but I guess others should try it for themselves.

jeremyd365, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of abankovich
3.03/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a relatively light amber/yellow. Slightly lighter than most DIPAs. Head faded very quickly and the lacing is minimal.

Smells moist, hoppy and a little sweet.

Taste up front is intense bitter hops. Through the middle though a decent amount of the sweetness from the malt comes through. A little more than I usually like in my DIPAs. Strong hop bitterness finishes this one off as it goes down. There is a burnt characteristic to this one as well that I'm not necessarily a fan of.

Mouthfeel definitely has some chewy/sticky characteristics to it.

Drinkability for me personally isn't too high just because the sweetness from the malt comes through a little too much for my taste.

abankovich, May 01, 2008
Photo of kmeves
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a thick deep amber brown with a almost nonexistent medium beige head. Aroma is medium sweet, heavy caramel, floral, bread and light grapefruit. Flavor is bread, pine, grapefruit, some orange, light grape and more caramel. Sticky texture, full body. Alcohol somewhat apparent.

kmeves, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of TurdFurgison
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had 1/2 a bomber in a pint glass. The beer was clear, bright copper colored, with a thick and sticky poof of foam, some laing too. The aroma wasn't near hoppy enough, I expected a lot more hops due to large hop graphic printed on the bottle. Instead, this beer smelled like sweet malts, a touch of hops, and ethanol. The taste was a bit boozy too, kind of barley-wine flavored in that the large malt bill pushed the flavor with a citrus hops character playing backseat. The mouthfeel was thick, again I think there was a large malt bill, but drinkability is only average as the alcohol is evident and the flavor really isn't as tasty as I'd hoped.

TurdFurgison, Jul 20, 2008
Photo of scott
2.98/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

V.07

Dark copper sporting a nice medium-tight head and a fair amount of carbonation. Sweet aroma with slight citric notes, and gluttonous hops lurking down deep.
This is a bit too syrupy for this session, but it might be perfect for a cool Fall night. Truthfully, it doesn't taste like much of anything. The aroma fools you, and this tastes like a beer that is a little past its prime. It's not necessarily cloying, but lays heavy on the tongue with a semi-bitter finish.
Like all leery speculation, this really doesn't have much focus, due to the fact it falls short of being a barleywine or big IPA.
Normally, NH never does anything less than spectacular in my book, so I rather not to slam it. It is hard to appreciate this offering, though.

scott, Jul 20, 2007
Photo of projectflam86
2.98/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep amber toffee color with a thick creamy beige head that leaves nice lacing.

S- Roasted malt and caramel make up the nose with a barely noticeable hop profile in the background.

T- Some initial hop bitterness that give rise to a rich roasted sweet malt flavor. A light grain and yeast sweetness comes through with caramel and earthy tastes. The hop flavor was not as developed as I was hoping for from a brew called a 'Hopwine' but it was present nonetheless. Alcohol is fairly present and easily noticeable.

M- Medium/full body with am ok amount of carbonation.

D- Not a bad brew but much more in the Barleywine category than a DIPA to me.

projectflam86, May 19, 2009
Photo of cvstrickland
2.95/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Double-deuce bomber with a big-ass hop silk-screen printed on the bottle looks promising. Pouring the beer into a tulip glass yields a clear red-orange-amber body with a fat finger-thick cap of pale, extremely fine-bubbled foam that retains at a big bubbly ring and leaves sticky lacing.

Smell is faint. Where are the hops? A little caramel and an earthy note make me wonder again, "Where are the damned hops?"

Taste is sweet, sweet, with a tang of alcohol-laden lemon and boozy orange. Syrupy mouthfeel and simple-syrupy sweetness is only countered by a vicious cheap vodka-style alcohol bite, as there is no hop bite to speak of. Wait, I'm wrong. There it is/was... a little sticky green thing in the aftertaste...right before the intense alcohol warming made me break into a sweat and set my fingers tingling. Caramel is more prominent as the beer warms, but as if miraculously, the alcohol begins to subside (probably as it numbs my palate and my brain). No, I'm wrong again...it's still as strong as ever. I'd rather shoot Jack Daniels if I want a burn and violent alcohol flavors. Hell, Jack is smoother than this!!!

Wincing, hating this beer a little. Dreading each caramelly-boozy swallow, but too stupid to dump it in the sink where it belongs. Feeling the burn and a nice little buzz. Never buying this again, as Olde English High-Gravity is waaay cheaper, and probably has just as many hops in it.

One more time:

Q: So, where are the damned hops?

A: Screen-printed on the bottle.

cvstrickland, Jun 18, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.9/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Polished coppery orange with perfect clarity and almost no visible bubbles. Are high ABVs really foam and lace killers? This one has a pretty large head that lasts a pretty long time and positively plasters the glass with loads of sticky lace.

One would think that a beer with Hopwine in the name (although that word doesn't appear on my silk-screened bottle) would smell like hops. Not only aren't there very many hops in the nose, there isn't much of anything else either. Warming delivers orange sections soaked in white rum.

Did New Holland brew Existential Ale to be an American barleywine or a DIPA? It tastes most like the former because alcohol is prominent and hops are not. On second thought, that isn't fair to the American barleywine style. Let's just call it a woefully underhopped, pale malt-dominant strong ale.

I hate to keep beating this 'what style is it?' dead horse, but I'm also reminded of a big ass maibock, since almost no flavor, but plenty of sweetness, is provided by the malt, and the hops either weren't added with a heavy enough hand or they've faded to a considerable extent. Regarding flavor, see the description of the aroma and add 'sugar syrup'.

The mouthfeel is big and viscous. It's only kept on this side of overly sappy and sticky by the solvent-like properties of the unmasked ethanol. Better flavor probably would have earned feel a bump in score. The carbonation is barely noticed.

It appears as though Existential Ale is a seasonal release rather than a one-time release. If so, I hope New Holland decides to add some hops to this 'Hopwine' next time. Without them, it's just no damn good.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of jbphoto88
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the 22 oz brown bottle into a seidel mug. No best by date. Weak carbonation, thin soapy looking head that fades fast down to a copper colored cough syrup looking beer.

The scent is weak for the style, in fact I think its weak for any style. There is light malts and ghostly remnants of hops. Every now and then I get a whiff of citrus... I think... but its gone just as fast.

The taste is a lot like the smell. Nothing big about it, mostly its a sweet malty one. Kind of syrupy in its consistency but nothing else. There is no hop flavors nor is there any residual bitterness or spice.

Rather disappointing offering. The only positive is the high ABV. Hopefully by the end of this bottle I will be drunk enough to forget the inadequacy's of this beverage.

jbphoto88, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of mondegreen
2.7/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz Bottle into a New Holland Tulip.

A: Rather clear copper/orange color. Thin whiteish head that fades quickly. Leaves just a tough of lacing.

S: Smells sweet and hot. Not at all what I expect from a DIPA. I'm picking up all kinds of alcohol and heavy malts, no hops to speak of.

T: Very sweet up front. Starts like an English Barleywine. Finish is a distinct floral heat with a touch of spice. Unique, but not in a good way. It seems like New Holland was attempting a style bender with this brew, but ultimately it's a mess. Aftertaste is slightly bitter with a lingering burn.

M: Very heavy with light carbonation. This might be the heaviest beer I've ever had, which does work to its favor.

D: The floral/spice aftertaste is rather tiresome. I love breweries that push the style envelope, and this beer appears to be a cross between a DIPA and an English Barleywine. Ultimately, the flavors clash and the hoppiness, if there ever was any, is lost in the crossfire.

mondegreen, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of chicagobeerriot
2.68/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle into tulip glass. Pours light copper with a slowly developing (but rapidly dissipating) white head. Dissapointingly little hop complexity on the nose which is the first hint of an overall theme. The flavor starts with the sweetness of the malt which provides a solid backbone, preparing you for the expected hop balance. Unfortunately, the briefly pleasant pine and caramel combo is rapidly clubbed into submission by a one-note hop bitterness and a level of alcohol that is completely out of balance with its surroundings(this is from someone who loves a good high abv barleywine or imperial stout). While the hops manifest themselves in the bitter aftertaste, I get virtually none of the citrus or floral complexity that I was looking forward to. Overall, this was a big swing-and-a-miss from a brewery that hits its fair share of home runs.

chicagobeerriot, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of Blybloke
2.63/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up at Dennis Brothers in Cottage Grove, MN.

I've tried a couple other of the big beers from New Holland and have to say that this one disappointed me a good bit. I have enjoyed their Dragon's Milk Ale on several occasions.

Poured a nice darkish orange into a snifter with about an inch of just-off-white head. Lacing was present, but underwhelming.

Aroma was disappointing. Nothing stood out to me. No big piney or grapefruit hops, no toffee, no candy. Sure, those aromas were present, but nothing stepped forward and took hold like a DIPA should. Everything seemed muted.

Flavor was another disappointment. They call this a "hop wine" but there weren't any big hop flavors showing up. If anything, it was a little sweet from a-bit-too-much malt. The malt stood in front of the hops and wouldn't let it get by. Alcohol was pronounced, but not too overbearing. I was expecting a palate-shredder of a hoppy ale, but alas.... This beer didn't know if it wanted to be a DIPA or Barley Wine or something else entirely.

Mouthfeel, on the other hand, was very good. Nice and thick. It's by far the best aspect of this particular beer, imo.

Drinkability was low due to the high ABV and the fact that the hops in this hop wine aren't very assertive at all.

Overall, if you're into DIPAs, you might take a chance on this one if you see it. It ranks near the bottom of the DIPAs I've tried. Who knows, I may have had a bad bottle, but I don't think I'll try it again.

Blybloke, Dec 26, 2007
Photo of becktone
2.6/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From notes 6-20-09

Eye: Terrible head formation and terrible retention, well there is none. Color is amber hued copper. Nice overall. Clarity on this beer is unbelievable, like none that I've ever seen. I mean it diffuses my sight when looked through but I can pick up minute details of what I'm looking at throgh the glass...simply amazing. This is either a great thing or a bad thing. There is some spotty lacing.

Nose: A burst of hops once the cap has been popped but then it quickly fades. Barley any CO2 escapes once the seal is released. Big on hops in the nose, malt is very strong, from about a foot away this thing smells much more like a barley wine. Hops are floral but have very little grapefruit quality to them. Not sure what to make of this. It smells, to me, more like a barley wine. Malt presence is just too forward for a DIPA, that or there aren't enough hops to hide it. Just a bit off for what I'd consider to be correct for the style.

Tongue: Wow, not what I was expecting. Real herbal and grassy, freshly cut herbs and grass, very green taste. Not at all to my liking. Least that the hops are here are much more prevalent than in the aroma. Alcohol is apparent. Maybe a bit piney too. This is just not an IPA for me. It does nothing and I'm thinking that I'm glad I didn't pay for it. Its not well rounded enough. Too angular, almost like its unfinished, it lacks something. It lacks the balance of a malt backbone. I mean there's alcohol and hops and bitterness, not really any malt to compliment either though. Besides I think that the hops that are here don't blend well with the malt that is there, not to mention they only help to showcase the alcohol and to show off their obnoxious selves. Not one for me.

Feel and Drinkability: Medium-heavy on the palate with fine carbonation that works for the beer but in my opinion should be a tad higher. It would give the impression that this is a lighter beer and therefore increase its drinkability. Its not poorly done, its just something that I really don't care for. Everything works together, though I think the end product could use some work, in the end it works out to being okay. I'll drink the rest of it, but thats about it. I won't be coming back to this one.

becktone, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of Oxymoron
2.58/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

How do I know if the beer is really here or not? Pours a burnt orange color. Mostly cloudy with a fizzy white head. Does dissipate quickly but some rings around the glass. Limited lacing.

The nose is on par with an East coast DIPA. The hops come out nicely with some citrus and piney. There are some off notes, cat urine specifically, that I usually associate with simcoe hops. The malt is a bit muddle overall with some minor caramel and toffee notes. The yeast has some alcohol and noticeable musty notes.

The taste is similar but the malt comes out more as the hops back off. To start there is a sweet malt flavor that has some off toffee and nutty notes. There is a light honey flavor in the background. There is something I just can't pick out as well, but has a almost wheat characteristic. The hops are not as offensive as the nose but more of a piney flavor mixed with a earthy citrus finish. Good bitterness with some minor astringency. The yeast notes are off as well, with noticeable alcohol and esters, mostly floral.

The body is moderate to full. Some astringency but not over the top. Carbonation is low. Overall this is a disappointment for a DIPA. Muddle notes in the malt and off hop aromas and tastes. Noticeable off yeast characteristics. Sorry, just not very impressive.

Oxymoron, Oct 22, 2008
Photo of BeerBelcher
2.58/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I was not a fan of this one. It was the last beer of the night and I was pretty hopped out by this one. Still, the sweet malty cereal-ness/graininess was an unpleasant surprise. Thought this beer was very unhopped for something called Hopewine...much more wheat wine than DIPA.

This beer poured a cloudy dull amber with a really minimal scummy head. Aroma was pure alcohol esters, which reminded me of rubbing alcohol. Flavor was sweet malty cerealness. Mouthfeel was dry and astringent...almost to the point of burning.

I would be reluctant to recommend this beer.

BeerBelcher, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of SPLITGRIN
2.45/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed 6-17-07

This beer was so fresh the store where I bought it didnt even have it in the system yet.

The body is a nicely amber orange brown haze. It hosts a creamy tan head that fades to a skim with some lace. Nose is a sweet mix of odd notes including rasberry, rubarb, and fresh peppers and sweet tarts. On first sip you get a really unbalanced run of flavors including underdeveloped malt, tomato paste, cherry candy, and a hop character that is scattered with notes of raw fresh cut grass. This beer is "odd" overall. Mouthfeel is a bitter doughy hue. I had no real desire to finish this beer.

SPLITGRIN, Jan 07, 2008
Photo of GJ40
2.1/5  rDev -44%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle purchased at Sam's in Durham, NC.

A - Looks great starting with the bottle. It features a green hop head that really stands out against the brown background. As usual, the promise of hops got me on first site. It pours nicely as well with a golden color, good clarity and a thick white head.

S - My hopes for this beer ended here. The smell was almost completely of yeast. Nothing else really came through.

T - It got even worse. The flavor was sweet with a strong presence of alcohol and a slight bitterness but it just wasn't working. Maybe I got a bad bottle.

M - Good thickness and consistency.

D - I tried to find some redeeming quality in this beer but it was really bad. My wife finally convinced me to pour it down the drain and I'm glad she did. Maybe it was a bad bottle but I wouldn't risk buying another to find out.

GJ40, Jun 07, 2008
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New Holland Existential: Hopwine from New Holland Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.