New Holland Existential: Hopwine - New Holland Brewing Company
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Ratings: 142 | Reviews: 137 | Display Reviews Only:
2.1/5 rDev -44%
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.
06-07-2008 11:53:55 | More by GJ40
2.45/5 rDev -34.7%
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.
01-07-2008 02:33:45 | More by SPLITGRIN
2.58/5 rDev -31.2%
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.
10-22-2008 15:37:59 | More by Oxymoron
2.58/5 rDev -31.2%
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.
09-10-2008 19:23:18 | More by BeerBelcher
2.6/5 rDev -30.7%
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.
10-18-2009 21:00:01 | More by becktone
2.63/5 rDev -29.9%
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.
12-26-2007 22:14:33 | More by Blybloke
2.68/5 rDev -28.5%
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.
06-09-2009 01:04:34 | More by chicagobeerriot
2.7/5 rDev -28%
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.
07-23-2010 21:17:02 | More by mondegreen
2.75/5 rDev -26.7%
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.
07-13-2008 02:29:04 | More by jbphoto88
2.9/5 rDev -22.7%
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.
01-21-2008 22:58:39 | More by BuckeyeNation
2.95/5 rDev -21.3%
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.
06-18-2008 00:29:09 | More by cvstrickland
2.98/5 rDev -20.5%
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.
07-20-2007 02:06:45 | More by scott
2.98/5 rDev -20.5%
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.
05-19-2009 04:55:02 | More by projectflam86
3/5 rDev -20%
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.
04-07-2009 14:11:07 | More by kmeves
3/5 rDev -20%
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.
07-20-2008 17:21:41 | More by TurdFurgison
3.03/5 rDev -19.2%
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.
05-01-2008 02:34:56 | More by abankovich
3.05/5 rDev -18.7%
Fairly bright, very clear, orange color with a golden fade to it, and a slim ivory lid of big bubbled foam.
The nose is very nice, very sweet caramely malts with pineapples, apricots, oranges, and pine.
Taste is not as good. It is syrupy sugary, with toasted, bready malts and toffee overpowering the above fruits and pine, finishing bitter. Full bodied and syrupy slick with light, foamy carbonation.
Not one of the best that I've had.
08-30-2008 21:53:40 | More by Slynger
3.05/5 rDev -18.7%
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.
03-23-2009 01:11:44 | More by jeremyd365
3.1/5 rDev -17.3%
Not overly impressed with this beer. Love New Holland, but this one missed the mark.
A-Deep amber, translucent. Little head on initial pour that disappeared quickly. Light lace, probably needed a cleaner glass.
S-Malty, hot alcohol, little to no hoppiness.
T-Not what I would have expected from NH. Weak compared to other DIPA. Bitter, malty hops.
M-Strong aftertaste for a weak ale. High alcohol content not well balanced.
D-Once was enough. Wouldn't be bad as a yearly-limited brew, but improvement over the years would be expected.
05-14-2008 22:15:01 | More by TasteTester
3.13/5 rDev -16.5%
Pours a slightly hazy burnt brown color with a very small and unsubstantial white head. Leaves pox on top of the beer like stirred up kool-aid.
Aroma is slightly hoppy and alcoholic. Plenty of maltiness to aid the hops and present a semblance of balance. Still, the beer leans toward alcohol and sweetness and maltiness.
Very hoppy and fruity and quite sweet up front followed by bitterness and a very clear alcohol bite. More fruit and caramel goodness in the finish.
Perhaps it is me, but I am growing tired of these DIPAs with way too much malt (read sweetness). I am looking for that hop explosion in bitterness in a DIPA. That is rare these days. This was okay but I grow weary of the same thing over and over.
01-13-2009 02:04:50 | More by SaCkErZ9
3.18/5 rDev -15.2%
A: Pours a deep golden with a frothy head that quickly disappears but leaves lots of lacing.
S: Balanced smell with aromas of toffee, citrus, and floral hops.
T: Much like the smell except with a heavy alcoholic taste and a strong bitterness in the finish.
M: Full-bodied, thick, and syrupy. Fine carbonation.
D: There's potential here, but the alcohol is far too overwhelming for the subtle flavors that are trying to come through. Worth a try, but I doubt I'll have this one again.
05-30-2007 00:31:41 | More by klewis
3.2/5 rDev -14.7%
This beer just didn't come together for me.
An IIPA needs to have big malt that is absolutely overwhelmed by even bigger hops, and that didn't happen here. The nose, for example, was a mix of really pretty muted citrusy hops, a lot of bready malt, and an overpowering blast of alcohol. The three were pretty much in balance with each other. The taste followed suit.
That could have been fine. After all, I generally gravitate towards more balanced beers. However, the malt component of this beer was really pretty boring. It tastes pretty much like straight domestic two-row. No flourishes from specialty malts, no interesting twists with the base malt . . . just straight barley. And, for my money, 'alcohol' in beer isn't a taste I particularly like. So, the malt is boring, and the alcohol makes up another third, so two-thirds of this beer is at best, pretty dull. As I said earlier, the hops weren't bad, but there really needed to be more of them with a base this boring.
The mouthfeel was really thick and rich. If this had been a better beer, I would have loved how it coated my mouth. As it is, meh.
The beer isn't a bad beer really . . . but it just isn't enough. IIPA is not a style that lends itself to words like 'balance' and 'subtlety'. If you are going to make a beer like that, why crank up the alcohol? Why not just make a balanced IPA or even an APA?
06-15-2007 20:39:16 | More by shbobdb
3.2/5 rDev -14.7%
A 65 cL bomber purchased at Capone's. I am drinking the ale from a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass.
A: The ale is an orange-brown color, closer I think to the orange side of the spectrum. The head exceeded 1.5 fingers and is lacing nicely thusfar in the glass.
S: The term hopwine is appropriate here. It conjures up a wheat or barleywine malt bomb met with big hops. The nose is hoppy but much more significantly it is matly. Thick to the point that the grains take on a tart grape-like flavor.
T: On first sip, the strong sweet malts almost overwhelm the palate. That sweetness is nicely cut by a strong hop flavor that fails to define itself as anything beyond bitter. The big malt flavors and hop bitterness can't distract the drinker from the alcohol warmth that sits just below the surface. That warmth is quite intense and not afraid to kick you around.
M: The mouthfeel is muddled with the big hops and big grains. Both flavor elements struggle to stand out and make an impression. The result is an interesting blend that never quite comes together.
D: The 10.5% abv is through the roof. That, coupled with the ill-defined body, makes me content to stop at one bottle.
07-29-2007 19:54:42 | More by akorsak
3.23/5 rDev -13.9%
Thanks to AltBock, this is one of his many generous gifts before being re-stationed in Okinawa.
Pours a hazy, amber/orange with a short, off-white head that has little retention and very slight lacing.
The smell is mostly sweet malt and little else.
The taste is very different from the aroma. The malt is the same but there is a grassy hop flavor and a bitterness that lingers.
Mouthfeel is full but with no carbonation.
Drinkability is not so hot in my estimation, it's definitely not in the East or West coast style for a DIPA. I don't think it's old, but how do you tell if there's no bottled on date?
05-02-2010 18:43:02 | More by meatyard
3.25/5 rDev -13.3%
New Holland's year round brews impress me a lot more than their one shots for some reason, and this one follows that trend. This brew pours a nice orangey amber, but almost no head appears in a late-forming head. Smell is slightly hoppy, some rubbing alcohol with some citrus and honey thrown in. Not quite as overwhelming with the pine or citrus like most DIPAs. Taste is slightly sweet with a honey-like flavor, quickly followed with some burnt orange and pine syrupy aftertaste that lends a little bitterness.
Malts are there, but there's not much that makes this brew balanced. You're better off with their superior Mad Hatter than this brew, which needs more than a few tweaks to the formula.
09-09-2008 06:30:14 | More by saintwarrick
New Holland Existential: Hopwine from New Holland Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.