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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

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841 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 841
Reviews: 289
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 15
Gots: 77 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-29-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 841 | Reviews: 289 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of metter98
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear very dark amber in color and poured with a finger high beige head that died down and left a bit of lacing on the surface and down the edges of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of dark malts in the nose.
T: The taste is nutty and has flavors of dark malts along with notes of toffee and sweetness along with some hints of chocolate.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very creamy and smooth on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and goes down smoothly.

Photo of mmmbeer
2.42/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12 oz. bottle with no freshness date. Pours like a porter - off-black with a tan collar, and light carbonation that leaves a bit of lacing. Smells of light roast coffee and milk chocolate, sweet caramel, licorice and a dash of aged malt. Well-integrated and refined, but it's downhill from here. Tastes roasty, lactic and acidic, with coffee and a bit of hops. The roast and the acid clash quite offensively, and it ends bitter. Thin body, moderate carbonation and short finish. This is very hard to drink. It looked and smelled so good, but it ended up in the drain. I would love to try a proper one.

Photo of womencantsail
2.49/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: The beer pours a dark brown color, almost mahogany with a rather small/thin layer of tan head.

S: Smells overly roasty and acidic, slightly acrid, perhaps. Mild toffee and malt sweetness, and a little bit of a nuttiness. A little bit of bad/stale coffee aroma in there as well. Poor all around.

T: Slightly better as I take a sip. Some sweet toffee and caramel underneath with some toasted bread. However, there is a noticeable acidity which intensifies as the beer warms up. Acrid roastiness is still present.

M: Medium in body with a nice medium and smooth carbonation--the one redeeming factor for this beer.

O: Overall, this was a pretty bad beer. Far too acidic and no real brown ale flavors to it.

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I don't know why this is a seasonal. It's not spiced or of higher gravity. Cabin Fever is simply a straight-up, professionally-made, tasty American brown. Dark sienna hue - decent off-white creamish head, no lace. Mild roasty, toasty malt and faint earthy hop on the nose. Good showing of brown sugar and dark bread malt flavor and pleasantly roasty finish with a medium-full body, yet not coming across sweet though mildly dried fruity. Odd funkiness in there is probably the rye.

Drinks real nice. I could down a few of these with a hearty well-balanced meal - turkey with gravy, dark green vegetable, perhaps sweet potato, and a big hunk of crusty bread.

Photo of dball
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a rich and heavy brown beer that is well labeled. The snowed in cabin on the label really fits this beer. It has a rich and heavy character and strong caramel flavor that fits nice on a cold evening. I really enjoyed it but certainly wouldn't pick it up in the summer. The color is a dynamic mahogany with a half finger head and a creamy finish. The smell is sweet and the sweetness carries through in the rich flavor. Feels great on the pallet and drinks very smooth.

Photo of outdoorbrewer
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured vigorously to form a tall tan head that lingered for awhile till subsiding to cover a mahogany brew. Some lacing. Grains, caramel, and touch of rye spiciness in the aroma. Initial light smoke followed by caramel/raisin sweetness and roasted grain flavor. Finishes with a slightly acidic blended bitterness and a short duration of dryness. Medium body, nice texture, soft carbonation create a pleasant experience.

Photo of UltraZelda64
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: Nice dark color with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Clear, with lots of tiny carbonation bubbles visible if viewed with enough light. Head was disappointing (almost none), but I think that was due to the glass used... probably dishwashing detergent residues lining the insides of the glass, I need to find a better way to clean my glasses. I think the beer would have looked better with bigger bubbles, but it's not a big deal because it takes quite a bit of light to see them anyway. I'll give the head the benefit of the doubt here, believing it's a problem on my end (could be the higher alcohol though), and give the overall appearance a 3.5.

Smell: Sweet, sweet, sweet. Chocolate, maybe a hint of alcohol. Not great, but not bad either. For the price, I was somewhat disappointed already.

Taste: The taste starts off very, very sweet and chocolaty upfront as the smell suggested, with a slight alcohol tingling and taste; this beer doesn't do a very good job hiding the alcohol. The taste pretty much mirrors the smell here, and in this case that's not a very good thing. After a few seconds a very slight hop bitterness kicks in, but not very long at all before the sweet-and-alcohol aftertaste kicks it out of the way and takes over for good. Overall, the taste is maybe just above average, but still quite disappointing as I was hoping for something more well-balanced and not so seemingly alcohol- and malt-centric... I've had Russian Imperial Stouts that do a better job masking the alcohol. In fact, after a few sips, you'll be lucky to discern *any* bitterness, and by the time you're done with a bottle you'll have nothing but malt and alcohol on your tastebuds and on your breath. Not pleasant... especially when it happens with not even one beer.

Mouthfeel: No problem here, it feels pretty decent. Not light, not heavy. Honestly, probably the best part of this beer. Too bad, to me at least, the mouthfeel is often the least important part of a beer...

Drinkability: I'm sorry, but between the smell and taste (unbalanced, strong in alcohol and malts but not hops), I would have to rate this low. Now I'm no hophead, and I prefer maltier beers, but something about this one is just off. After a while, you'll wonder if there's ever an end to the sweetness. The aftertaste that lingers just reminds me of how disappointing the smell and taste of this beer is. It makes me *not* want to have any more. I will probably pass on this one if I see it again. Too bad, because I really like brown ales.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber to brown in color, with a light tan head. In the aroma, a small roast and some faint spices. In the taste, spices, cinnamon stands out, and a small roast. A spice bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry spice and malt in the aftertaste, Just a mellow brown ale with some spices.

Photo of silentjay
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

not very dark brown with reddish highlights and a slow receding khaki-colored head that leaves decent lacing.

nutty and leathery aroma with butterscotch, toffee, a bit of chocolate, and some caramel.

nutty with some bitter chocolate and milk chocolate, sweet caramel and toffee and a bit of molasses covered toast. very sweet, sticky sweet.

almost medium bodied and very syrupy with a low carbonation and an aftertaste that is a bit off.

drinks okay. a bit too sweet with some aspects not quite meshing particularly well. not bad, not great. kind of forgettable, but not one I'd turn down, either.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.12/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From winter brew tasting notes (2010): This brown ale poured an almost black colour with a big, creamy, tan coloured head. to the nose there are scents of molassass, ripe fruit, coffee and roasty caramel. First swig was full flavoured with a slightly burnt sweet malt flavour, nutty, molassass and slightly sweet. finish was roasty with sweet roasted malt flavours lasting but something was lacking from this brown ale.

Photo of fdw3
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark brown with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing. Smell is of toasted, sweet malt with hints of caramel or molasses. Taste mirrors the smell and is dominated by roasted malt with a significant spice presence. Couldn't identify the rye or the fruit which everyone seems to notice. Body and carbonation are both moderate with a light creamy quality.

The flavor isn't quite complete in my opinion, but the beer is still pretty good. The flavor isn't very complex and all other aspects are relatively average. Worth a look but I doubt there will be many repeat buyers.

Photo of Pencible
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a clear dark cherry, with a little tan head.
S: It smelled like roasted barley and day-old coffee, with a bit of metallic hops and molasses.
T: It tasted like copper hops and burnt coffee, with some roasted barley and molasses. It had a somewhat dirty and soggy aftertaste that was mostly bitter.
M: It was watery with some carbonation. Kind of weak.
D: This was not an impressive beer. None of the scent or flavor elements were very good. The body was ok, but drinkability suffered from my lack of general interest in finishing the beer. There are much better brown ales and winter seasonals out there. Not recommended.

Photo of corby112
2.91/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled on tap at Kraftwerk during their New Holland event on 2/5/11.

Pours a very dark brown color that's almost completely opaque except for slight mahogany edges and a half finger beige head that quickly fades without leaving much lacing.

Sweet, slightly roasted aroma with hints of rye, caramel and toffee. There's also an odd spicy character and subtle sweet dark fruit.

Medium bodied and not very robust or roasty with sweet caramel malt and hints of rye and toffee. Sweeter than expected with dark fruit notes, notably raisin, plum and grape.

Photo of jrallen34
2.78/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a De Struise bottle... Pours a dark and very clear mahogany. A light tan head that rises about a finger but then falls fast to only a thing ring, poor lacing... The aroma is really weak, a hint of roasted coffee a little nut. Boring, too light... The taste is really bad, stale grassy hopppy coffee, gross... Terrible mouthfeel that is harsh, chalky, too carbonated... I don't want to drink this.


Photo of Bierguy5
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, 6% abv. Pours a nice chestnut color with some ruby edges. Beige head disappears rather quickly, leaving a thin ring.

Slightly roasty, toffee, caramel and subtle ripe fruit. A faint earthy note at the end.

Rich toffee, with roasty notes. Some spicy and earthy rye notes. Subtle dark ripe fruit. A slight bit of heat.

Medium body, with a great creamy feel. Lower carbonation. Pretty easy to drink, although I think the spicy and earthyness detracts a bit for me.

Photo of Justin23060
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown w/amber highlights. Beige one finger head. Smells of caramel with some dried fruit. A little scared of the metalic smell. Sweet up front with some dryness in the finish. Glad to see no metalic taste what so ever. Tastes of dryfruit, coffee, tofee and chocolate. Roasty malts with a mild smoke not unlike some porters. Carbonation is adaquate. Surprisingly light to med body. After a bad experience w/ New Holland's Ichabod the brewery has redeemed themselves with this one in my opinion. I could see this easily being the brown that I compare all other browns to.

Photo of DavoleBomb
2.8/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass.

3.5 A: Clear dark brown color. One and a half fingers of creamy beige head with about average retention and a small ring of lacing.

3.5 S: Butterscotch, caramel, and nuts. There's also hints of dish detergent, but that might be a problem on my end, so I won't hold it against them. The aroma isn't too bad, but isn't too good either.

2.5 T: Butterscotch is overly present in the taste. It's way too strong and covers up some of the nuttiness, toffee, and toasted notes. Low bitterness and maybe a touch of chocolate to round it off.

2.5 M: The mouthfeel isn't pleasant at all. It has a light to lighter medium body that is slippery and fatty. Carbonation is at a good level, but it's a harsher breed of carbonation.

2.5 D: I'll pass on this if I ever see it again. Plenty of problems without a lot done right.

Photo of hippityhops85
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle, no dates or nothing.

Pours a very deep amber color with a tan head that barely even develops. What does quickly dissipates.

Smell is of bittersweet chocolate, raisins, plums, and caramel.

Taste follows suit: malty creaminess with a deep caramel character. Taste is very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel leaves a little to be desired. It wasn't necessarily flat but the carbonation was a little too low for my likings of a brown ale.

A nice example of the style but nothing I'd go out of my way to get again... unless it was on cask. I bet this would taste fantastic on cask.

Photo of zoso1967
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cabin Fever pours a reddish brown color with a small light tan head. The head fades very quickly and does not leave much lace at all.

The aroma is pretty nice with a dark, round sweetness that is accented by some roasted malt. Hints of cocoa and a touch of coffee mingle with caramel and a bit of buttery aroma.

The flavor is much like the aroma with a nice balance to it. This is not a very robust brown, but sometimes that is what I am in the mood for. Plenty of caramel and butterscotch accented by chocolate and a touch of tart fruitiness.

The body is medium with a good amount of carbonation. It is fairly smooth and has a nice slightly roasty finish.

Despite this being a bit of a ho-hum brown, it is very drinkable and I felt it was quite solid. While I can understand some wanting something more robust, or not enjoying the buttery aspect of the beer, to me it was a well made offering.

Photo of DaveBlack
3.19/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Fairly deep brown color with only a thin layer of light tan head which has zero retention. Some very light lacing on the glass as The beer goes down in the glass. Looks kind of watery, thin and flat to be honest.

S: Sweet caramel malts, with also some hints of a roasty aroma, molasses and kind of an oaky smell.

T: Sweet and roasty malts up front, followed by the spicy notes from the rye which give way to... pretty much nothing. All the flavor is up front, then the beer falls totally flat for me. I feel like the beer keeps me waiting for something to finish out the flavor, to balance it or round it out, but there's nothing there.

M: Medium bodied, a medium amount of carbonation. Slightly creamy, and it actually feels better than it looks upon first glance.

D: I don't find anything objectionable about this beer, but nor do I find anything special about it. It doesn't sate my thirst for beer, it just leaves me wanting a good brown ale. Or stout. Or porter. Or really anything to round out the flavor.

Photo of JRed
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black body with red edges with very little off-white head. Sweet aroma of chocolate, cream, slight roast, butter notes. Chocolate, roast, diacetyl, some cola, and slight gingerbread. Medium carbonation and body. A sweet brew with some roast characteristics.

Photo of Erish
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A: clear dark mahogany, an aggressive pour produced a 2-finger cappuccino-colored head which quickly fell into a good cap with decent lacing.

S: coffee, chocolate, caramel malt, a hint of farm cheese, fruity/floral note.

T: sweet caramel malt and milk chocolate up front, the middle features roasted grain, mocha/coffee and tree fruit, and the finish is lightly bitter and a hint of chalkiness. Very nice.

M: medium-weight, lightly creamy, low carbonation, gently chalky finish.

D: pretty damn tasty, and probably the first brown ale I have truly enjoyed. To my palate it is like a stout "lite." I would definitely get this again.

Photo of DerekP
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cabin Fever Brown Ale from New Holland Brewing Co. Tried a sample of this at a local bar a few winters ago from the tap. My unsophisticated palate at the time drew hints of asphalt from the flavor. Let's hope I was just a young aficionado.

Smells like a smokey porter. Looks like one, too. Deep roasted barley; near charred. Fully roasted aroma. Sweet hop flowers describe the contour, making this one serve up an exceptional treat to the nose.

Oily-charred malts in the taste. Like it smells, but darker. Pretty reserved in the hops category when compared to the dark malts. Dry as the label claims, with a tamer finish. Very little astringency, but the alcohol is beginning to show face. That being said, it only stands at 6% ABV.

A solid, as expected body to this brew. Somewhere past medium, but not quite as thick as a stout. Crosses over into the realms of a porter. The malts-to-hops ratio, with the malts as the victor, renders this a highly drinkable option, and, for sure, I could see myself drinking a few of these while my wife imbibes hot cocoa in a cabin in the woods surrounded by the stark cold of winter. Cheers!

Photo of RedSpecial1
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a rich dark brown, with a very small amount of off white head. The smell is quite good consisting of lightly roasted malt primarily with a nice breadiness as well. The taste is also of roasted malts and light bread flavors, but with a very faint citrus aftertaste. The mouthfeel is smooth, but not too light for the style. This quite a drinkable beverage, especially in the winter season. Overall, I find this quite an enjoyable drink.

Photo of weizenbob
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was an early Christmas gift from my Mother-on-law. 12 ounce bottle poured to a pint glass. I'm sampling this at the higher end of the suggested serving temperature for brown ale. An aggressive pour yields a two finger head of creamy bubbles that retains pretty well. The brew is deep amber in color. Sticky lacing is thick on the glass.

The aroma is a little bready. The caramelized malt is giving off a nutty fragrance. Some bitterness is detectable on the nose. Wooden earthy scents emerge from a deeper whiff as well as alcohol, which lightly tickles my nose hairs.

I've had a couple of these at colder temperatures and I must say that this beer is much improved in taste and mouthfeel up around 50 degrees. The taste immediately yields all of that caramelized malt. It's very sweet and flavorful. The flavor of baker's chocolate is perceivable. The earthy tones in the scent are somewhat mild in the flavor, but still noticeable. Also noticeable is the alcohol, which comes dangerously close to appearing boozy without crossing the line.

The mouthfeel is indeed pleasant. The beer is medium bodied and pretty sticky, but not syrupy. The carbonation provides a mild soda-like bite while the alcohol warms mildly.

On the drinkability scale, Cabin Fever is closer to desert beer than refreshment beer. It is nearly a sipper but it's flexible enough to remain appropriate in diverse situations. ABV is 6.0% (according to the label) so a lightweight like me isn't going to drink these all night. But there is a lot of flavor here, not only for the style, but also for the price. I enjoy this winter seasonal and I will most certainly be revisiting Cabin Fever next year.


The Two Schlitz Scale™: (see my profile for an explanation)
When I'm in the mood for a brown ale, I definitely give two Schlitz about Cabin Fever.

New Holland Cabin Fever Brown Ale from New Holland Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 841 ratings.