1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Four Witches - New Holland Brewing Company

Four WitchesFour Witches

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

158 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 158
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 18.81%


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

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: DannyDan on 06-02-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 158 | Reviews: 34 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of nukem5
nukem5

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Appearance is black as coal with a tan foamy cap. If you look closely at a light you still can't believe how dark it is. the head is frothy with very tiny bubbles almost like whipped cream.

S: Aroma is of grain and spices. there are slight Coffee hints in the nose.

T: Taste is out of the park awesome, heaps of dark malts all roasty and yummy. Touches of sweet carmel and barley.

M: Mouthfeel is a medium to full body, silky , smooth and rich.

O: Overall a great balance of flavors one that makes you to come back for more you barely notice 8.9 alcohol percentag that you will soon feel instead of taste.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2014 01:19:16 | More by nukem5
Photo of breakingbland
breakingbland

Michigan

3.65/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Essentially an opaque brown/black with slight red highlights. The beer pours with a nice light brown, though scant, head that converted to a foam ring.

Aroma: Coffee and a slight hint of fruit.

Taste: The taste follows the aroma but with more fruit. There is some sour funk as would be expected. This lingers a short time on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: The beer has good body and carbonation.

Overall: This beer has a pleasant rich taste, but overall, it is somewhat lacking in depth. I'd look for it again as I like this style.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2013 21:29:46 | More by breakingbland
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.73/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Perhaps mistaken for Porter, this "Black Saison has dry toasted character and creamy-sweetness from wheat, and then turning spicy with husk-like rye. Yet its earthy peppercorn, charred wood and burnt currant flavors rises from its calderon, just ahead of a semi-dry and effervescent finish.

Dark and creamy, Four Witches pours with an ominous brown hue. Showing off garnet low lights, the beer's dark clarity gives a rich and masculine look. Its creamy head floats above the beer with stubborn retention and spotty lace. Its a handsome ale, just less exuberant than more authentic Belgian-made saisons; preferring English-like foam and carbonation to that of champagne.

Fruity, spicy and chocolaty, the common balance of Saison is complicated by the toasty and slightly roasty characteristics. Its fruit shift from apple and pear to blackcurrant and faint raisin. Its spiciness shies from the soft coriander and white pepper to the sharpness of fresh-cracked peppercorn. All this lays firmly on a bead of dry toast, chocolate and coffee.

Medium-sweet, the beer holds on dearly to its malt flavor and never prefers a quick transition to dry malt taste. Seemingly creamy and lightly starchy, the taste of thin corn syrups, yogurt and semi-sweet chocolate before its toasted and ground coffee finish. Its sweetness waivers slightly after the middle palate to allow for a spicy finish of black peppercorn, rye grain spiciness, burnt toast and grape seeds.

Its creamy body keeps the beer mid-sweet as the residual malt sugars cling to the palate and lessens its drinkability just slightly. But the peppery bite comes from a few different directions- rye, pepper, alcohol, toast, and coffee-type bitterness.

What's old is new again, as many contemporary aficionados thing that these darker Saisons are a current phenomenon. Turns out that darker Farmhose Ales have been alive for centuries and only highlighted in recent craft beer attempts, like New Holland's version- perfectly suited for upcoming Halloween!

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2013 15:30:04 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of KFBR392
KFBR392

Illinois

2.84/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours with a thin head. Sits black in the glass with dark brown edges when held to light. Low carbonation active in the glass. No lacing on the edges of the glass.

Smell: Caramel malt is pleasant on the front end. A very bitter vegetable body comes on very strong. A yeast base is also very present. Interesting but nothing spectacular.

Taste: Some of the smooth caramel malt greets the palate right away. But an incredibly bitter body of celery, cucumbers, and exotic yeast hit way too hard. Even as the beer warmed up, the bitterness was too much. Finishes with a wild yeast dryness.

Mouthfeel: Yeasty twinge haves an interesting feeling on the palate. Dry but not as much as I expected.

Overall: Decided to go out on a limb and give this one a shot. Wasn't terrible but nothing I would get again. Black Saison is such an interesting style, but this one overall is kind of a miss.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2013 17:41:20 | More by KFBR392
Photo of alk3kenny
alk3kenny

Georgia

2.71/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a deep black color no real head to speak of thin, tan gone in a few seconds. Nose has no hops, some booze, grapes, dark fruit. Flavor is slightly sour, no hops, sourness coming from a grape maybe red? Hardly any dark, roasted malt that you would expect from the color. Bought this because I really like saisons and bought this because I thought it would be an interesting mix. Unfortunately, it is not as intriguing as promised. Won't buy again.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2013 05:15:20 | More by alk3kenny
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.04/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Unique, but something I could not drink much of. Black, very dry. Like the base for something that had to be added, and it wasn't. Aroma was OK. Bottle from Steve. Some licorice. Low drinkability. Missing hop, mouthfeel, malt. I may cook with it though.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2013 05:18:09 | More by Sammy
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

2.75/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into snifter. Thanks for the bottle jbck109.

A: Pours near black with a finger of fizzy dark brown head that quickly bubbled away into basically nothing.
S: My first thought was this beer was infected but upon further inspection it may be just a strange bill of ingredient. I’m still getting a strange kind of infected cherry sweetness, but notes of anise, caramel, booze, and chocolate come through as well. Clove and a little bit of dark fruit too perhaps.
T: Anise and spices dominate along with that strange dark fruit cherry taste. I get notes of root beer and cola, cherry cola, as well. This tastes like black licorice cherry rootbeer cola if that makes sense.
M: The carbonation is super airy and froths up on my palate. I’m not saying this beer is infected, but the carbonation sure does froth up in a way that reminds of infected bottles of stouts I’ve had in the past. Medium body, frothy soda mouthfeel.
O: Anise cola with a splash of cherry. Definitely strange, not sure I like it. Not undrinkable, just not my taste. Thanks for the tick though, Jay.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 04:47:23 | More by scottfrie
Photo of NilocRellim
NilocRellim

Minnesota

2.85/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured cold from the bottle, this beer was pitch black. It had a nice cream-coloured head, while sitting on the black beer, looked very nice. The smell was very strong and very complex. There were notes of spices, burnt barley, molasses, and a dominant anise smell. The taste followed the smell like a map... Very complex, almost too complex, with the anise taste overpowering the other flavours. The anise flavour lingered for a bit while the aftertaste of roasted barley took over, which was a nice finish.

Would I buy it again? No. I enjoy the taste of anise, but this beer had too much going on.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 05:41:41 | More by NilocRellim
Photo of Giggy
Giggy

Michigan

4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: a dark brown leather couch color with a thin tan head.

S: aroma seems lighter than appearance. Nutty, spices, apple, wood.

T: spicy, licorice, pepper, vanilla, cherry, cola

O: Great beer. Mild with flavor. Alcohol is well hidden, very balanced.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2012 22:32:53 | More by Giggy
Photo of Minkybut
Minkybut

Virginia

2.73/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer poured a really black color with a nice big tan head. However the head did not last long but the lacing lingered pretty well. The beer smelled spicy and cloves flowed over the edge of the glass. I was hopeful. Alas though the beers head faded away quickly and the taste was just not good. I will not buy again.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2012 23:04:36 | More by Minkybut
Photo of bennetj17
bennetj17

Arizona

3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Looks dark like a Porter, with a medium thick, soapy looking tan foam that holds nicely. Chocolate, hints of dark fruit, licorice, and a bit of caramel in the aroma. Not sure where this is going but it does smell decent.

Tangy sweet malt with a bright intensity. I don't really like the combo of roasted toffee and caramel malts with the tangy fruitiness. It doesn't work well with each other and there isn't enough dry roastiness in the finish to round it out and add another dimension. Smooth, velvety body, good carbonation.

Overall this is not a success. I'm not sure about this trend of making dark Saisons, it's such a great style, why pervert it and make it taste almost like a stout? Furthermore, without knowing the name there is no way you possibly guess this was a farmhouse ale of any kind. It doesn't bear resemblence.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2012 18:46:29 | More by bennetj17
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - black with a reddish hut; big foamy brown head that fades quickly

S - black licorice, anise, figs, raisins

T - anise, black licorice, roasted malts, figs, raisins, some faint chocolate, some peppery rye, some funky yeast comes through

M - crisp, medium bodied, well carbonated

This is a surprisingly complex and unique saison. It's has a ton of flavor. The black licorice and anise notes dominate which I'm not crazy about but the uniqueness, the rye, the dark fruit, the roasted malts and chocolate all play a part as well. I'm impressed. This is definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2012 18:01:54 | More by tdm168
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a deep brown color, it's black in low lighting. There is a thin tan he's on top that settles into just a light ring of foam aroun the edge of the glass. The smell of the beer is really interesting! It's got some sweet nutty aromas with some spices and grains, not much roast though. It's a much brighter beer on the nose than the color suggests. The taste is quite nice too, the flavors of anise and sweet grains balance nicely with the hops in the finish. There is a very distant roasted note on the far back end of this beer. The mouthfeel is soft, gently carbonated and easy to drink. Overall I really enjoyed this crazy hybrid of a brew. I would drink again for sure!

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2012 16:59:44 | More by Knapp85
Photo of 57md
57md

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is a dark ruby brown with no head. The nose is an interesting combination of apple brandy and birch beer. The taste is lightly nutty and wheaty; a nice combination of flavors, but slightly thin. There was a sour citrus finish to this offering.

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2012 03:42:24 | More by 57md
Photo of theecaleb
theecaleb

Alaska

4.18/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lightly chilled bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Dark, deep red or amber tint. Deep Carmel head. Lacing is minimal.

S: Spices, and honey hints of cloves and barley.

T: Much like smell. Spicy and sweet with small tastes of yeast.

M: Thick, good carbonation. Warmth of alcohol.

O: I was pleasantly surprised by this beer.

I would recommend this beer to a friend.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2012 21:37:34 | More by theecaleb
Photo of Lawl3ss
Lawl3ss

Texas

4.05/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lightly chilled 12 oz. bottle poured int a shaker pint. Bottling date 5.18.12.

Look- Ruby brown with two fingers of sticky toasted marshmallow head that falls within a minute or two. Decent lacing.

Smell- It's like honeyed licorice tea, very, very aromatic. Sweet burnished wood, cinnamon, caramel, root beer, brandied cherries. Delicious.

Taste- Similar to the aroma, but more on the ginger beer/root beer side. I don't know if the "spices" mentioned on the label are just licorice root, but I'd believe it. It's a bold flavor that nearly overpowers the subtler pepper, vanilla, rye, and cherry, but I have to admit that I like it quite a bit (and I actually loathe black licorice candy.) With an unusual brew like this one, go bold or go home.

Mouthfeel- Light-medium body, soft carbonation, silky feel with a slightly astringent edge. Drinks like a whisky & cola.

Overall- I've never had a "black" saison before, but I may be a convert. Absolutely worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2012 01:52:45 | More by Lawl3ss
Photo of BB1313
BB1313

Ohio

2.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours black with no light getting though. Small off-white head fades quickly and leaves decent lacing and rentention. The first thing I smell is anise and black licorice. It actually dominates the nose along with some chocolate malts. It sure doesn't smell like a saison, and it really doesn't taste like one either. There's a slight tartness in the flavors. I can pick up some black cherries, dates, and raisins. Bittersweet flavors. Reminiscent of a stout? The Belgian characteristics are lacking. Mouthfeel is nice, light and has a moderate amount of carbonation. Finishes dry. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Interesting beer.

This is a very unique beer. It's pretty hard to classify what I'm drinking. It's definitely a hybrid. The anise/black licorice characteristics seem to dominate, so if you're into that, this is for you. If you're looking for something different, this is for you. It's a very odd beer. One second I'm enjoying it, and then the next I'm confused. It reminded me more of a porter/stout than any Belgian style beer. Unique..

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2012 23:41:23 | More by BB1313
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a surprising dark brown nearly black colored brew with a one finger brown head. The head faded slowly over time to give a medium level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of black licorice. This is mixed with some sour dark fruit aromas of cherry. The aroma is rather tart smelling as would be expected of a farmhouse ale, but yet has a light roast aroma as well.

Taste – The dark malt flavors shine through in the front. Brown Bread and chocolate flavors are quite heavy in the start. As the taste advances a peppery-yeasty taste enters the flavor profile. This is quickly followed by a tart cherry flavor as well as some haylike and funky flavors as well. These sour and tart flavors grow stronger toward the end and leave a rather odd but quite tasty tart-chocolate flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body is light to medium with a carbonation level that is rather average. Neither were really that great for the style, although they really were not bad either. A more creamy and thick body would have done well for the initial roasty flavors, while a higher level of carbonation would have gone nicely with the more sour tastes at the end of the flavor profile.

Overall – This was a mighty tasty beer. While the dark and the tart may not seem like it would go together well, New Holland has pulled it off with this brew.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2012 22:31:19 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

3.8/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2012 vintage. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense khaki tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some decent spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of roasted malt, licorice, raisin, chocolate, caramel, molasses, cola, pepper, clove, herbal, earth, and yeast spices. Pretty nice and very unique aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of chocolate, licorice, roasted malt, raisin, prune, caramel, molasses, herbal, clove, earth, biscuit, rye, nuttiness, toast, and yeast spices. Light roast and fruity tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, dark fruit, roasted malt, biscuit, toast, clove, earth, rye, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Nice flavor complexity and balance; with no cloying flavor notes at all, very well blended. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good black saison. This was certainly an interesting and unique experience as I expected. It turned out to be nicely complex and balanced; and quite enjoyable stuff.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2012 04:17:45 | More by superspak
Photo of Bung
Bung

North Carolina

2.85/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz. Nearly black pour, nearly no head. Off white what there was.

Aroma, molasses and sassafras. A funky root beer, it's not really very pleasant. I don't get much else.

Taste, not quite as bad. Caramel, molasses, sassafras again. But there is also some chocolate and estery and spicy yeast notes, though very little.
The aroma just radiates and controls this one in a bad way.

Almost mid bodied. Kind of coats, not nearly enough carbonation. Alcohol is hidden, but it is too syrupy sweet.

Bought a four pack and regret it immediately. I absolutely loved the dark saisons I've had in the past, this is not in that boat. Definetely a Belgian Dark. Not my cup of tea. Like a very bad less alcoholic version of Gulden Draak.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2012 03:03:29 | More by Bung
Photo of cagocubs
cagocubs

Illinois

3.8/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at NHB.

A: Pours a dark opaque black with minimal head due to water flush prior to pour.

S: Not much coming through the nose, some malts.

T: Roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruit, caramel.

M: Nice and dry. Good coating and aftertaste.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2012 03:23:51 | More by cagocubs
Photo of GRPunk
GRPunk

Michigan

3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (vintage 2012) poured into a Lion tulip

A- 1-1/2 finger brown head. Black Saison? Actually, deep, dark brown. Just a shade or two short of black. The head settles to a thin film and leaves some good sticky rings.

S- Almost licorice at first. No, definitely licorise, or anise. Rye comes through if you're looking for it. Subtle chocolate. It all keeps coming back to the anise/black licorice. Close to room temps, things mellow a bit and bring out more chocolate and brown sugar, even a touch of coffee.

T- Initial chocolate mixes with rye to create an interesting flavor combination. Maybe that's the anise I get from the nose, but I don't think so. hints of black pepper. Subtle smoke. A little spicy heat.

M- Surprisingly light bite considering the flavor profile. Moderate body and carbonation.

O- The cap says, "sweet.". I'm thinking it's more savory. It's another beer that's difficult to score. Not really a Saison in my book. Maybe a Belgian dark ale? Definitely a sipper.

Labeling and robust nature have me thinking this would be a decent fit come October.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2012 00:33:37 | More by GRPunk
Photo of GR_Rick
GR_Rick

Michigan

2.7/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle labeled 2012 vintage

Going into this with very little expectation, as I'm not sure what to expect from a "black saison" (on the label).

A: Pours a nice deep brown (almost black) with a thin khaki colored head. Nice looking beer.

S: Smells a bit like black licorice with some root beer-like qualities coming as well. The more I smell, the more I think it's similar to a "root beer barrel" candy. Also get a little bit of grape juice. Smell is unlike any other beer I've had... so far, so good, i'm still happy.

T: Wow, much stronger tasting than the nose suggests. Starts out almost faint-cola like. Perhaps that's the root beer smell I was getting. Can't really put my finger on the middle, but it ends with a little bit of a "funky" bite. Now I'm seeing (from the "funk") how this is a saison. Getting a little bit of black licorice as well, which hangs in through the shorter finish. Taste is different, but isn't necessarily anything special..

M: Thinner than expected given the dark color. Pretty highly carbonated on a relative basis, as well. Not bad, but I'm struggling with the disconnect between color and feel; the two don't seem to match well for me.

O: An interesting beer that tastes like nothing I've ever tried. I feel a bit like I'm at Short's trying one of their new experiments. Worth trying if you like black licorice and/or you like to try "outside the box" beers, but not something I can see anyone wanting to buy and consume a full six pack of. I also don't see myself finishing even this entire bottle (poured out about 1/2 - 1/3rd post review). Worth trying, but grab a friend or two and split the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2012 02:40:15 | More by GR_Rick
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep dark chocolate brown with a nicely formed light beige head atop.alot of black licorice in the nose along with some sweet spiced cherries.First off the black licorice just seemed to overwhelm my palate,Iam not a fan of black licorice so that was a bit unpleasant,undereath the onslaught I picked up some earthiness and dark toast.Started off real well but for my taste I just got to much licorice to really enjoy,obviously alot of people like black licorice and may like this more than me.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2012 15:21:01 | More by oberon
Photo of divineaudio
divineaudio

Michigan

3.83/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage, tulip glass.

a - pours black with a thin cap of coarse tan head that dissipates with the quickness.

s - grape juice, barnyard, faint cinnamon, faint sour cherry

t - lighter roasted malt character with notes of anise and dark fruits. a bit of rye spiciness and something more like cinnamon or clove. a lighter, earthy bitterness provides balance and a little funk rounds it out. finishes dry with notes of dark chocolate. anise becomes more pronounced as the beer warms, detracting a bit from the other flavors. serious complexity here.

m - lighter side of medium in body, medium carbonation with a med/coarse co2 profile that enhances the spiciness.

o - quite enjoyable, though doesn't seem to represent the style well. to be fair though, the few saisons i have tried have all been very different from each other. if it weren't for the anise flavors, i'd have rated this much higher. worth a try imo and i might pick up a few more just for fun.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2012 00:48:24 | More by divineaudio
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Four Witches from New Holland Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 158 ratings.