Four Witches - New Holland Brewing Company
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Ratings: 174 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
3.08/5 rDev -8.6%
I picked up a bottle of New Holland's Four Witches yesterday for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. It's been a while since I have had a Black Saison, and I liked the only one I have had so I thought I should give this beer a try, so lets see how it goes. Spring 2012 vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a tulip.
A- I like the label, the witches look a little creepy, I like it. It poured a dark black color that didn't let any light come through and it had three and a half fingers worth of fluffy darker tan head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and left some nice looking lacing. This is a damn good looking beer with a pretty impressive head, I really like the way this beer looks.
S- The aroma is pretty weird, it starts off with some roasted malts that impart some slight sweet chocolate aromas. Next come the black licorice which is unexpected and seems to dominate the aroma. Towards the end I get some of those grassy Saison aromas followed by some some light funk and tartness. The aroma is Ok, but the Black Licorice seems to overpower some of those nice Saison aroma, it's pretty weird aroma combination.
T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma, it starts off with some dark roasted malts that have a medium amount of sweetness and impart a light roasted flavor along with a little bit of bitter chocolate. Next comes the black licorice which still sticks out the most but it isn't as dominating as it was in the aroma. Towards the end comes the Saison like flavors that are pretty light and impart some light grassy and slightly funk flavors followed by hardly any bitterness instead there was medium amount of tartness. The flavors is kind of a mess and the Black Licorice takes away from the roasted malts and Saison flavors that should show up more, I think it's average at best.
M- Not that smooth, a little dry, not that refreshing, on the light side of being medium bodied and it had a nice amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is average, it should be smoother and more refreshing and not so dry.
Overall I really wasn't feeling this beer, and I thought it was a pretty average example of a Black Saison, it just didn't have the balance that it needed. This beer didn't have good drinkability, the flavors to meld together well and that makes a half of this beer more then enough for me, there's no way I would want another one. What I liked most about this beer was the appearance, it looked damn good in my tulip. What I liked the least about this beer was the heavy anise aspect, it just seemed out of place and it wasn't pleasing. I wouldn't buy this beer again, one try is enough for me, I don't recommend this beer unless your a big anise fan. I had high expectations for this beer and it feel way short, the black licorice just didn't go well with the other flavors and made this beer a mess. Better luck next time guys, I don't think this beer is worth brewing again.
07-02-2012 03:33:34 | More by StoutHunter
3.83/5 rDev +13.6%
A-dark brown red color with no head and no lacing
S-anise, chocolate, spices and some herbal notes
T-dark roasted malt, chocolate, anise, pepper, yeasty dough, tartness
F-light to medium body with low carbonation, smooth rather than crisp and refreshing
O-interesting take on a Saison. Had some interesting flavors and if you like anise, it works. Not a summer quencher.
06-28-2012 01:49:11 | More by MDDMD
4.05/5 rDev +20.2%
If you like GD Hibernation Ale, try this!
A. Good'n Black. No head. No lacing. Flat appearance.
S. I love how this beer smells. Licorice and candied sugar! Almost as decadent as a Belgian ale.
T. This reminds me so much of great divide's hibernation ale, which I love, only it's drier and a tad sour. Tootsie rolls + boozy licorice!
M. Surprisingly not as carbonated as I expected. Pretty creamy. Tho, It's not smooth.
O. Generally I don't go nuts for Saisons, but this is really good to me. Try it, definitely.
06-26-2012 21:50:00 | More by FaceYourBeers
3.55/5 rDev +5.3%
Four Witches pours a dark, chocolate fudge color. It looks black initially. When held to light, a few burgundy highlights are apparent. It’s not quite opaque. A light tan head covers the top. It’s modest and barely covers the surface before disappearing quickly. Lacing was very light and spotty on the glass.
The nose is alright. It seems a little weak. More strength would easily upgrade it. It does feature some dark malt notes up front. Chocolate, roasted, and caramel malts all seem to be present. Smells a little sweet. It does have some earthy and grainy notes throughout. Yeast brings some spicy notes to the table. Interestingly enough, anise seems to be the strongest spice scent. Perhaps a little pepper backing it. Alcohol is masked pretty well. Not bad.
The flavor keeps the pace. It definitely has a strong anise presence. If you’re not into black licorice, you probably won’t like it. It’s definitely a tad strong for my taste. The malt base is a tad roasty, but is mostly chocolate and light, sweet caramel. It’s not bad. Definitely intriguing. Belgian yeast is pretty flavorful. The spicy notes it brings to the table are interesting. I’m not sure if anise is a product of that or not. There are some pepper and clove notes, as well. It’s herbal and grainy throughout. Alcohol isn’t much of a factor at all. Finishes with a bit spices, herbs, and black licorice.
Four Witches has a body that’s on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation feels light and rather soft. It definitely doesn’t seem as refreshing as your typical Saison, but I’m sure they weren’t going for that. For what it is, I like the feel pretty well.
New Holland’s been a very hit and miss brewery for me. Four Witches falls somewhere in between the two. It’s alright. I like the idea of a Black Saison. This one has a bit too much of an anise or black licorice flavor going. It’d be better with a little less of that. Still worth checking out. Grab a single bottle if you can.
06-24-2012 02:47:22 | More by prototypic
3.43/5 rDev +1.8%
Ok, this review is completely subjective since it was listed as black saison. Saison: no. Black? Yes. Roasty, licorice, sour fruit. Dry? Not so much. Refreshing? No, substantial. Good? If you can forget the word saison and replace with Old or tart then maybe. I didn't finish the tulip.
06-15-2012 01:27:42 | More by Nay
4.08/5 rDev +21.1%
Poured into a tulip from a 12 ounce bottle.
A: Pours a dark brown with a finger of eggshell head that settles to a thin froth on the surface. Very subtle carbonation, and minimal lacing.
S: Earthy and herbal. Strong anise character, but with a sweet nose as well. Smells just like old-school sarsaparilla.
T: Much like the nose, but more subdued. Herbal and spicy up front, with hints of clove and anise, along with strong caramel on the mid-palate. Finish is dry and spicy.
Notes: Medium-bodied and extremely flavorful. Alcohol is well-hidden. This is one unique brew. Very enjoyable by my standards. I've never been huge on New Holland, but I had to try this one, and I'm glad I did.
06-07-2012 04:05:49 | More by WYVYRN527
4.08/5 rDev +21.1%
Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Tulip.
Appearance: Extremely dark brown with decent light brown head.
Smell: Holy licorice! All I smell is anise. I would like to say that I can detect some roasted malt and spiciness, but I think that would be a lie.
Taste: Certainly taste a lot more than anise, but that is present as well. Nice dried out roasted malts that taste of smoke, char and coffee. Pretty spicy as well, with rye and clove.
Feel: Moderate carbonation, with a medium body (lighter than it looks). It is fairly smooth and lightly chalky, but the chalkiness doesn't bother me as it usually does because it works with the very dry roasted and spicy finish.
Overall: Other than the one-dimensional aroma, this was surprisingly good. Wish I had bought more than a single.
06-04-2012 00:23:43 | More by bsp77
3.78/5 rDev +12.2%
Pours out nearly black with no head nor lacing at all whatsoever. Where's the foam? An intense aroma of licorice, horehound, bubblegum, and a slightly medicinal cough syrup sort of smell fills the room! The flavor is very much like that old-fashioned BlackJack chewing gum combined with oven-roasted allspice seasoning, and presents a earthy raunchy rye fade-out with an odd little lift of sweetness at the very end, probably from all the wheat used. Medium body and medium-low carbonation that amplifies the pepperpot nature of the spicing somewhat. If only it had a head....
06-03-2012 20:41:45 | More by WastingFreetime
4.28/5 rDev +27%
This is a new black saison ale that pours out a black hue with a thick tan head that leaves some retention, minimal lacing and moderate carbonation. It has a nice caramel, rye, yeast and root beer aroma. The taste starts out with wheat followed by some rye, caramel, yeast and some peppery spices on the tip of the tongue. The finishing taste reminds me of drinking a nice yummy creamy root beer. The mouthfeel is a nice smooth creamy feel even though it tends to leave the mouth dry with a chalky finish. This single batch seasonal is a must try as it gives a saison ale a slightly different feel and taste compared to traditional saison ales. It will be fun to see how many others like this brew as much as I do.
06-02-2012 00:50:14 | More by DannyDan
Four Witches from New Holland Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 174 ratings.