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Four Witches - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Four WitchesFour Witches

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

40 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 40
Hads: 196
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 12.85%
Wants: 3
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: DannyDan on 06-02-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 40 | Hads: 196
Photo of Bung
2.78/5  rDev -22.3%
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. (726 characters)

Photo of cagocubs
3.76/5  rDev +5%
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. (252 characters)

Photo of GRPunk
3.58/5  rDev 0%
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. (1,078 characters)

Photo of GR_Rick
2.8/5  rDev -21.8%
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. (1,646 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (502 characters)

Photo of divineaudio
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (964 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
3.09/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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. (2,945 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (374 characters)

Photo of FaceYourBeers
4.04/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (520 characters)

Photo of prototypic
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (2,000 characters)

Photo of Nay
3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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. (286 characters)

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.09/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (689 characters)

Photo of bsp77
4.01/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (787 characters)

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.76/5  rDev +5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.... (576 characters)

Photo of DannyDan
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (714 characters)

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Four Witches from New Holland Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.