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New Holland Cabin Fever Brown Ale - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
New Holland Cabin Fever Brown AleNew Holland Cabin Fever Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

700 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 700
Reviews: 263
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.39%
Wants: 11
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  6.25% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-29-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 700 | Reviews: 263 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HeyItsChili
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark brown, semi-opaque with a thin light tan head.

S - Faint roasted malts overpowered by dark fruits. Very raisiny, nutty, and sweet.

T - Dark brown sugar, butter, nutty, coffee, mild chocolate.

M - Thin to medium bodied, slightly oily.

D - Unusual tasting beer, not too heavy, not bad. Not my favorite from New Holland, but a well crafted beer nonetheless, just not my favorite genre.

HeyItsChili, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of cadenwhitaker
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hrm... this one felt a little all over the map. Very malty and lots of caramel. Almost has a burned marshmelow afterataste. Typical burnt coffee, toffee and earthiness.

I would say this is one is average. It is tasty, I would probably drink it again but the flavors didn't feel entirely cohesive.

cadenwhitaker, Dec 19, 2008
Photo of robbyc1
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown ale with ruby notes, good head.

Great malt nose with butterscotch notes, slightly sweet.

The flavor carries through the smell, very malty, roasty, some interesting backbones but no hops as there shouldn't be, but nicely balanced.

Good heavy mouthfeel, lowish but good carbonation.

Impressive effort for a brown ale, almost a session beer but it would be hard to only have one. Nice going!

robbyc1, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of Gehrig
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I grabbed this as part of a mix-a-sixer at Friar Tuck's in Champaign. Seeing New Holland on the label made this a must-grab, especially since I hadn't had a good, new Brown Ale in some time. I wish I hadn't.

Dense tan froth dissipates rapidly, leaving no lacing around a rich, deep brown. Moderate aroma with some molasses, lightly toasted hazelnut coffee, and caramel. The taste is sour and somewhat bitter, at least as much as it is sweet. As it warms, the sour takes charge, unfortunately. The carbonation isn't bad, but the sour taste makes this a turn-off, much to the detriment to the creaminess that tries to emerge.

Big disappointment, the worst I've had from New Holland. I won't ever grab this again. Avoid.

Gehrig, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a somewhat thick texture. There was a half inch of long-lasting head and some good lacing.

S: There was a nutty aroma, along with a sugary quality.

T: A nicely balanced taste, with roasted malt, a nutty quality and a helping of brown sugar. A good cold weather beer.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This is a likable, drinkable beer, with a nice warming quality when you drink it. A good beer for the season.

avalon07, Dec 12, 2008
Photo of drxandy
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz to standard pint, pours a dark reddish brown - creamy tan head hangs around

smells of roasty malt, metallic, slight hops

taste is of nice heavy malts, roasty, creamy texture, slight bitterness, alcohol is present, nicely balanced, nutty, slight coffee, chocolate, brown sugar - perfect for a cold day.

mouthfeel is slick and slightly creamy, robust flavors, one of my favorite new holland offerings!

drxandy, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of CHSLBrew
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A-Poured a moderately deep brown, clear beer. Topped with a dark tan head, low retention, reduced to inconsistant bubbles.

S-Prominant toffee, with some butterscotchiness. Appropriately malt-dominated.

T-Toffee and more toffee. Also, some hints of toasty malts, all of which is paired with some minimal bitterness. A flavor later in the taste and into the aftertaste, perhaps abit of a spiciness, but almost a metallic twang.

M-Medium body, medium-low carbonation. Feels pretty thick flowing over my palate.

D-It's a drinkabile beer. Enjoyable down to the last sip, but nothing that I will seek out in the future.

CHSLBrew, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of nightcrawler
2.58/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a very dark brown. The liquid was very thick, almost like an oatmeal or imperial stout. In fact, it was thicker than the Guinness I chased it with. The higher carbonation saved it from being too thick for me.

It had no real smell, even though it produced a nice, fairly long-lived head. The taste was sweeter than I expected. That alone makes me only want to drink one in a sitting, if any.

As far as American browns go, I'll probably spend my money on a different brand in the future.

nightcrawler, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of superdedooperboy
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark chestnut-brown hue with a very small light brown head that disappears abruptly and shows no trace of lace behind.

Nose is filled with toffee and molasses, mixed with a bit of fruity esters and an ever-so-faint hint of herbal hops.

Thick and chewy mouthfeel, with a rather viscous body. This is one malty brew, with full sugary-sweet malt flavor up front, filling out across the palate with a full complement of flavors such as chocolate, nut, dark fruit, slight bitter hops, a mild earthiness, and a noticeable warming alcohol presence, with a finish that is very long and sweet.

An excellent and complex blend of flavors and textures, but the viscous, chewy mouthfeel, sometimes slightly cloying sweetness, and not-so-well-hidden alcohol presence hinder drinkability. Despite this ale's downfall as a session beer, it is certainly a nice, rich filler for a cold winter's night.

superdedooperboy, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of sudsface69
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An intriguing brown ale for sure. From the pour, you would swear you were looking at a glass of coke - the color is strikingly similar and the head dissipates to a cola-like set of bubbles. I get a lot of butterscotch on the nose of this one, intermingled with some slight metallic notes, and definitely some brown sugar/molasses. I'd say the body is medium-heavy, and the carbonation is plentiful, perhaps a little too much. I usually think of brown ales as having a smooth mouth feel. This one is a little rough given the amount of carbonation. The flavor is quite interesting - a lot more complexity than your average English Brown. I get raisins, figs, molasses, toffee, plus some herbal notes that mingle together pretty dynamically. I'd be interested to know what yeasts they are using here. Kind of reminds me of a recent trip I made to the Ommegang Brewery in NY where I tasted a couple beers made with wild yeasts. There are definitely some wild, estery notes in this brew. Not quite sure where this one fits categorically, but it's an interesting beer to try. Maybe not one of my favs, but certainly worth sampling. Give it a shot if you're looking for something different.

sudsface69, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American Pint glass)

A- This beer pours a dense brown body with a faint ray of brown light at the very base of the glass. There is a thin head that fades to patches soon after the first sip.

S- There is a soft metallic note that gives way to a nice dry roasted malt nose with some chocolate malt notes coming through as it warms. There is a watery quality to the finish.

T- The light carbonic acid note gives way to a pleasant roasted malt flavor and some chocolate malt notes followed by a crisp watery flavor in the finish. As the beer warms there are some nice coffee malt notes and a tartness that comes through at the beginning of each sip.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a fizzy finish and a light watery texture to it.

D- This beer has some nice clean dark malt flavors to it but it is a bit thin and taste a bit like a porter that was diluted with water. The tartness was a bit bold for the rest of the malt flavors and it would be nice to taste some other flavors besides the mineral watery notes.

rhoadsrage, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of bluemoonswoon
2.8/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, rouding out a seasonal 12pack from New Holland.

Clean looking cola color, that is to say, not demonstrating those sticky bubbles on the side of the glass that most colas are guilty of, that and the one and a half finger head make all the difference in the world. Apart from its caramel color, its aroma is even more apparant, almost butterscotchy in aroma and mixed with a prety decent amout of grapefruity hops. Not like any brown ale I've ever encountered, this one is American through and through. Rich, roasted caramel malt dominate the opening and everything keeps getting sweeter from there, hops seem to fall of a little bit from the nose. Beer closes overly sweet and grainy, almost cloying, would be almost unbearable if not for the soda like carbonation that keeps the beer bubbling just above the tongue. Not something I'd really want to reach for again, reminds me a bit of Atwater's beers, maybe I got a bad bottle, but the rest in teh 12 pack seemed okay. Just a bit dissapointed here.

bluemoonswoon, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of weasbri
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks like a Coke after pouring: not much head, dark brown coloring.
Roasted malt aroma, not much else to it.
Flavor profile is more of one of a higher alcohol content than 6.25%. Raisin seemed most prominent to me, like I see in more extreme brews. More roasted malt flavor, some chocolate, just a touch of hop bitterness in the finish.
Nothing particularly sensational, glad I only got two to sample.

weasbri, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of flyphisherman
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Before the Industrial revolution, most beers of the world were brown; that's because the malt was roasted or "cured" in kilns by wood fires, producing heavily roasted grains and therefore, darker beers. After the wide-spread availability and use of pale malts, brewers were liberated by a more diverse range of styles. Amongst so many popular styles , the Brown Ale has endured the numerous brewing advents heretofore, and is still flourishing today.

Yes, the English created the Brown Ale, spawned from the "Mild Ale"; it's usually a sweeter and maltier style, with a fuller body. Hues can range from copper-colored all the way to deep, dark browns. Although Cabin Fever is a far cry from the"English" Brown, it is important to recognize from where it draws inspiration. What sets Cabin Fever apart from other Browns, for one, is its abundant use of wheat and rye. Rye isn't a typical ingredient in many contemporary styles, and adds a resilient spiciness to the palette, while the wheat brings a twangy crispness that works well with the moderate hop levels. Also unlike the English Brown, Cabin Fever adapts a "Belgian Farmhouse Ale" technique where they let the yeast ferment "out of control". Cabin Fever closely resembles the Farmhouse Ale in that they are very complex and spicy beers with moderate bitterness. According to Brewmaster John Haggerty, instead of trying to model beers after a specific style, "let's make [the style] up ourselves." This is one of many instances where "Art in Fermented Form" is a mantra NHBC takes quite seriously.

Appearance is a dark, shadowy brunette with a crimson translucency on the edges. The head is a supple khaki-beige color that is velvety and frothy. Lacing is decent; it clings to the glass and dissipates slightly throughout consumption. It smells of sweet molasses and ginger. The dark malts they've incorporated here evoke elements of coffee and caramel yet avoid an overtly sweet and cloying finish. Sweetness is subtle and nutty, balanced by the spicy characteristics. Hints of fruity esters exist in the distant background and segues a beautiful, warming alcohol finish. Cabin Fever is medium to full-bodied and drinkability is something to take caution with.

In its second year as NHBC's winter seasonal, Cabin fever is a strong choice among many winter varieties. Cabin Fever is preceded by Ichabod in the fall, Zoomer in the summer and Red Tulip in the spring; all of which available at The Beverage Company in Traverse City. Cabin Fever is rich and complex, just what a winter beer should be. So before you reach for that ordinary and ubiquitous "New Castle Brown Ale", consider a beer that pushes the boundaries of beer and is made right here in Michigan.

flyphisherman, Nov 19, 2008
Photo of younger35
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a mixed 12 pack of New Holland brews from Friar Tucks in Bloomington, IL. Going to try to review all 6 different beers that come in the mixed pack today while watching football. Drank from a generic mug while watching Boston College and Florida State. I under the cap.

Appearance- Pours a super dark brown crimson that borderlines on black. A very small half finger creamy tan head comes and goes leaving behind no cap and a small thin collar that isn't prominent enough to really leave much in the way of lacing.
Smell- Fairly pungent with very strong dark caramel and peanut brittle. Malt is king here. A little bit of light vanilla French pressed coffee and subtle chocolate. Very light tinges of citrus ring through when the malt allows.
Taste- Same deal as the nose. Loads of overly burnt sugars that borderline on charred. Semi sweet notes of coffee and cream with light hints of bakers chocolate. The vanilla character really seems to show as the beer slowly warms. The citrus I got in the nose isn't really detectable although it does finish with a light lingering bitterness, which I assume is from the use of extremely roasted malt.
Mouthfeel- Nice full body with a slight note of creaminess and light prickly carbonation.
Drinkability- This is an extremely flavorful Brown Ale. It's fairly sweet for the style IMO with loads of specialty malts that really gives an enormous caramel note. I prefer my Browns a bit more on the nutty side but either way it was a nice change of pace.

younger35, Nov 16, 2008
Photo of TheMistler
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on draft, this brown was brown to point of blackness. Nearly completely opaque, there were ruby highlights where light peeked through. I would go so far as to describe the head as seething it was so foamy. Off-white, a few fingers' width. Nice lacing and good retention.

The aroma has a smokey, roasted character. Coffee, grains and dark chocolate. A hint of alcohol warming and spice at the end.

Heavy on flavor, including caramel, but with the rest of the notes having a roasted quality. Nuts, chocolate. Coffee, without much bittering but with plenty of a drying sensation that finishes things up. I guess a descriptor that comes to mind is burnt molasses, sweet and very roasted.

A creamy feel and a medium (towards heavy) body. A decent amount of unobtrusive carbonation.

As noted, this beer is heavy on flavor, and is quite enjoyable. Not standout, but tasty. A tad much to be that drinkable.

TheMistler, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of BeerSox
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into nonic.

Very deep brown, bordering on black, with ruby highlights at the bottom.

Toasty malts along with some sweet caramel, toffee, and brown sugar. Very malty aroma.

The flavor is very porter like, with some roasted malts and a bit of coffee, along with a little more caramel. Full bodied with good carbonation. The roasty malts linger for a while after each sip.

This Brown Ale is almost like a porter in aroma and flavor. But the lighter flavor and slightly thinner body makes it more of a robust Brown Ale. Recommended.

BeerSox, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of bruachan
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

man, do i love brown ales. what a fertile platform for variety. you've got dry ones, sweet ones, hoppy ones, strong ones, quaffable ones, nutty ones,

the head didn't last too long, but i believe that is a trait of rye beers (rye is oily, right?). good deep garnet color

the aroma is sweet and roasty. i might be able to finger a rye zing but i wouldn't have spotted it without knowing it was there.

full of flavor, including heavy raisin notes. hop flavor is limited, but each sip finishes with enough bitterness to keep the malt in check. to be honest the roast is subdued as well: the aroma belied a modest darkness of flavor. you know, there's a cola thing going on in there, too. not sure i like it, though

bruachan, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of BierFan
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tumbler glass.

Appearance: Big tan head. Dark brown body. Almost a black.

Smell: Sweet smell of malts. Bit of roastiness to it.

Taste: Nice balance between roasted bitterness and chocolatey sweetness. This might be the best tasting brown ale I've ever had.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation gives it a really smooth mouth coating quality.

BierFan, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of lpayette
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received from fellow BA sjvicker on a visit he made here back in the winter. This has been sitting in the beer fridge for quite some time now- time to clean up some of the older stuff in the fridge.

Appearance- Pours a nice deep ruby brown with a small head that diminishes to just a small ring around the outside.

Smell- is very much on the sweet side with leanings towards brown sugar/molasses, cinnamon, and faint spices. Hops are pretty minimal, probably especially so after at least 6 months of aging.

Taste and Mouthfeel- Just like the smell, this is a very sweet beer (at least at this point anyway). Brown sugar, sweet chocolate, bitter chocolate, and cinnamon. Slickish mouthfeel with light carbonation.

Drinkability- Certainly a drinkable beer for a brown if not for anything else but for the sweety goodness contained within. At this point in the aging process it definitely needs to be served after dinner and not with dinner. Just a bit too sweet for that.

lpayette, Jul 29, 2008
Photo of Sammy
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an ice cream fudge borwn with white head encasment. Malty smell, brought aggressive with toasting. Some chocolate malt, brown sugar, caramel. Some hop and aggressive carbonation workws as offset. Very malty taste. Medium mouthfeel. Some astringency in finish. Altogether so-so.

Sammy, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of blakesell
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found on tap at Fox & Hound Centerville, OH location. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- There appears to be something brown floating in the finger deep head. Looks completely foreign to me. I have dipped a finger in and flipped the offending brown thing towards some businessmen sitting across from me. A dark brown but still clear when held to the light. Lacing glued to the side of the glass.

Smell- Brown malts and soapy with very little in the hops department. Cinnamon spices, but soap overpowers. Could be hops, could be off flavours. A syrupy sweetness that I'm guessing is a byproduct of extract brewing.

Taste- Soapy again, but outside of that, a nicely balanced brown. Amber malt extracts and Maris Otter malt. A light hop spice character. Is this spiced? I'm thinking no but this beer has some strange byproducts.

Mouthfeel- Light but still thick on the mouthfeel. For the purposes of this review I'll call the body medium-light with medium carbonation.

Drinkability- A little warming but very nice and smooth for drinkability. Good for a session or a pint at the bar.

blakesell, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of becktone
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eye: You can't ask for more from any kind of beer. Color is brown, pretty dark, with real deep and dark garnet highlights. Head is perfect, great retention, nice texture-creamy, perfect size and very nice lacing.

Nose: Either my nose is out of whack or I actually am getting some clove and banana phenols. I also detect chocolate in the aroma and just a hint of some dark toasted/roasted smells. Hops are there but a bit subdued, a somewhat spicy aroma. All in all it smells nice.

Tongue: On the tongue there are a number of different flavors. I get chocolate, black patent malt, some coffee flavor, general malt sweetness, a bit of fruitiness and some warmth and sweet notes from alcohol. Also some bitterness from black or roasted grains.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Smooth on the palate and creamy. The beer is medium bodied, and as afore mentioned it has a bit of a warming character. It goes down real easy, and I have no problem drinking this all night, this is one that I can see myself coming back to. All in all this is a nice beer, nothing really grand, but extremely enjoyable. I can see this appealing to alot of people, just something about it.

becktone, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of alexgash
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mahogany root beer brown with a solid cm of whipped, khaki head. Nose of molasses, cocoa, chocolate Twizzlers, faint vanilla, and caramel. Nice. Toasted malt and nuts. Roasted chocolate flavor fills in. Light peat and earthy licorice. Hints of vanilla and sasparilla. Moderate herbal hop bitterness gently glides in and brings a little balance. Some residual brown sugar sweetness. Medium-bodied, with a smooth, mouth-coating feel. A very nice beer from New Holland and a welcome addition to Michigan's winter seasonals.

alexgash, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of MmmIPA
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown,with a small tan head.No lacing is left.Head falls to a nice patch.

Fruity,very sweet malts,

I taste molasses,brown sugar,almost no hops and some malts.

Good mouthful,very tastycarbonation is awesome.

Great session beer,maybe a bit too sweet but im not counting that.

MmmIPA, Feb 01, 2008
New Holland Cabin Fever Brown Ale from New Holland Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 700 ratings.