New Holland Imperial Hatter | New Holland Brewing Company

very good
256 Reviews
New Holland Imperial HatterNew Holland Imperial Hatter

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.38%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by SupaCelt on 07-20-2005

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Reviews: 256 | Ratings: 710
Photo of Seanibus
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear viscous amber with almost no head. Looks like a thinned honey. Aroma is strong, sweet with flowery hops that give it a honeyish edge. Flavor is carmelly and sweet, with citrusy and piny hops. Not terribly subtle. Tea like. The mouthfeel is thick, clingy and somewhat flat. Lots of alcoholly warmth. Ok, not wonderful.

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Photo of ralree
4.53/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Half-transparent. A bit of head, but it's an IPA.

S: Fruity, a little sweet. Not much smell, really.

T: Nice roust hop flavor, not too much grain on the front. A bit tangy and sweet. Aftertaste of major barley.

M: Light, dry, good carbonation.

D: Goes down perfectly.

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Photo of Intimidtor
4.55/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up at the Buckeye Beer Engine in Lakewood OH as a to go beer. I didn't locate any date on the bottle.
A: Poured into my GLB Christmas Ale glass. Poured a medium amber color with 1 inch of head. Nice sticky head and great lacing.
S: Very sweet, hops, pine, what I want a Double IPA to smell like.
T: Absolutly perfect. Great hop bitterness, perfectly blanced by malt sweetness. Citrus, pine, alcohol is very hidden.
M: Hard to do any better, creamy, sticky head, smooth finish.
D: When they taste this good I cant stop. Very good.
Summary: I believe that this one is heavily underated. This is a great beer and should be considered in the same level as Southern Tier UnEarthly. This is a must try for DIPA drinkers. I will pick up another bottle soon. UPDATE:: as of 4-20-10 they now sell this is a 4 pack of 12 oz bottles for $16.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I'll start backwards on this beer's appearance: nice candle-wax-ish drippings of lace are left on the glass; the head isn't enormous but is a nice creamy off-white/light-tan thing, and the color is heavily rusted orange, although it's lacking the hop-haze seen so often in this style.

Pretty much a slam-dunk aroma-wise. Just how I like this style: lotsa resiny hops, with equal amounts of caramel/toffee-laden malt. Even though the hops aren't as spiky, citrusy or rindy (that's a lot of made up words) as others in this style, I'm thinking this is going to be pretty damn hop-tastic on the tongue...

Here's an example where mouthfeel is so wonderful that it overshadows the flavor. This feels perfect to me, certainly the way I like any imperial IPA to be: creamy, velvety, cream-like, silky, and like cream. I might even call it thin, but don't mean that in a bad way, and there's enough carbonation to keep it from feeling dead; almost like a bottle-conditioned ale. This kind of texture works so well on a massively-hopped IPA featuring as much malt action as this. And this one does: the hops have the bitterness of grapefruit rind and a bit of pine resin, while big gooey gobs of caramel and toffee are thrown at the tongue. Alcohol creeps in maybe a hair too much, but it also lends a subtle spiciness to everything. The only reason I don't give the flavor a 4.5 is that the finish is pretty dry (for the style, anyway) and the flavor fades too quickly, leaving just a lingering sensory memory of ghostly grassy/pine. Darn.

Only after I bought this did I notice a sticker on the bottle with an early August '09 date (that was over three months ago). Not quite sure what that means, I guess that's when this beer was received and/or put on the shelf at the Battleground Avenue Total Wine in Greensboro, NC? It is definitely something put on by the retailer and not the brewer. This might account for the peculiar quick-fade of the hops in flavor and finish. Whatever the case, I'm happy with the purchase and feel this beer does right by the style.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a hazy reddish brown amber color that produced an admirable fluffy off-white head that is sticking around for awhile. Is leaving behind bits of lacing as it slowly dissipates.

(S)- Plenty of dry piney hops with lemon/lime & pineapple citrus. Behind that are some good balancing sweet malts.

(T)- Big & sweet malt backbone that is more a part of the main taste of the beer, but is somewhat supplemented by a dry finish that has a little bit of some lemon & lime citrus, but is mostly overshadowed by the big malt sweetness.

(M)- Good carbonation level with some good IPA characteristics, but is otherwise a bit too malty perhaps for the style. Plenty of sweetness.

(D)- An alright IPA that could be even better if it had a better hop presence. Still a bit sweet for my taste, but one of New Hollands best offerings I have had thus far.

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Photo of rkuhnel
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This 22 oz bottle was via a trade with Strykzone. Thanks. It poured an orange color with a very robust white head and very distinct lacing rings. The nose is of citrus and floral hops, with a hint of pine. Medium mouthfeel and a little alcohol burn. Flavor is bitter and full of citrus. Long bitter finish. A very nice DIPA.

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Photo of GrizzlyBrew
2.96/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

... made a trip up to NC a few weeks ago and had to visit "Bruisin' Ales". Good store, but I'm not sure of third best in world. Anyway... picked this up and honestly, I'm not too crazy about it.

A - Deep copper color and very clear

S - Hoppy, but not very bright, also picking up some diacetyle I think - something dense in there.

T - not a fan, I'm missing the bright/citrus hops I love so much. Also, alcohol is NOT very well blended/disguised. At the end of every sip I get a huge rush of ethyl alcohol - not very pleasing.

M - meh...

D - If you don't mind the burn (and I think I'm growing numb to it as I type), it might be alright, although at 9%+, I don't think you would want to drink to many of these at once.

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Photo of prototypic
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Imperial Hatter pours a copper or near caramel color. It's clear and doesn't have any haze. A somewhat modest off-white head sits atop. It's a little over a finger deep. Retention was on the shorter side. A sticky web of lace lines the glass, but it's not quite thick. Pretty good all around.

The nose is above average. It's a tad on the weak side of the spectrum. Hops kick it off and give it a citrusy sweet smell. There's some grapefruit and orange, but also some pine and floral notes that seem stronger. Not a bad profile by any stretch. It smells maltier than I'd like. Caramel sweetness is easily noted. If the nose is any indication, there's too much caramel malt. Alcohol is noted. It's probably blended pretty well since I wouldn't have guessed it's 9.4% abv. But, is there. It smells pretty good. Less of a malt presence would help, but it's not bad.

The flavor profile is also above average, but not by much. It is sweet with nice citrus fruit flavors up front. Grapefruit and orange are the most prominent flavors there. Obviously, there's a citric hop flavor, but pine and floral flavors emerge and take over from there. It flirts with bitterness, but it never really materializes. Caramel malt sweetness seems to bury that and quite a bit of the hop flavor. That's really Imperial Hatter's biggest shortcoming. An interesting light vanilla flavor enters into the mix later. It doesn't really add much. Alcohol is rather prominent in flavor and definitely has a warming effect. It finishes sweet and a little warm.

Imperial Hatter's body initially feels thin, but hits medium with a little warming. Carbonation is rather light. It actually is pretty smooth and has a nice feel. Drinkability, on the other hand, is just average. The flavor's okay, but it's nothing special. It's also a little warm and strong at 9.4% abv. There's many better DIPA choices out there. That's a fact that's hard to ignore. I'm good with a bomber, thanks.

New Holland needs to work on Imperial Hatter. There's something here and it probably wouldn't take much to improve it quite a bit. Dialing down the caramel malt sweetness and alcohol would accomplish a great deal. This is not one of New Holland's finer efforts. It's okay and probably worth a try, but I'd suggest sticking with a single bomber. Just my $.02.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty standard DIPA that focuses on a firm hop blend of citrus, pine, and hop resins. Yet, the beer has on extraordinary elements that make it a standout.

As all really good big hoppy beers do, this one carried a medium copper, light amber color with firm and creamy off-white foam. Very good lacing and a bit of hop haze.

Aromas and flavors mirror each other with an early focus on resiny and bitter hops. A wave of moderate malts carry a bit of bready taste, caramel sweetness, and sunkist grains. Mid-palate brings on more citrus hop flavors, mild fruitiness, and less sweetness. Later, the beer continues the hoppy citrus and pines but the malts begin to dry out into a graham cracker crustiness. All this is pretty typical of most big IPA's. Tack on a acetone/fruity alcohol note and we'll put a wrap on this one.

Body carries a lot of heavy sugars up front and the beer struggles to dry out later. Still, the beer is not a Barleywine comparison and still is validated as a big IPA. I would like more dryness and crispness though.

The heavy body that never dries out comnpletely, the hop profile that remains average, and a typical ester and alcohol profile keep this from becomming a standout. But it's good control of recipe formulation and relatively error free brewing keeps it from mediocrity also.

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Photo of pourmeup
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice dark amber with a thin white head that leaves the occasional bit of lacing on my pint glass
S- very fruity on the nose, not as potent as i would like
T- mild grapefruit flavor, nice sweetness from the malt, slight pine flavor on the after taste, well balanced in flavor
M- its a little thin for me to be honest but not as thin as many others I've had
D- despite its 9.4% alc/vol i could down a couple of these no problem
(reviewed by Daniel)

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Photo of portia99
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle received in a trade with brokenleadedcask. Thanks! Poured into a Bruery tulip (received as an extra in a trade with Vurt - thanks!).

A - Pours a beautiful dark copper, crystal clear with tons of bubbles rising constantly thorughout the glass. Dense two finger, cream colored head with good retention. Leaves behind lots of sticky lacing.

S - Lots of citrusy hops - orange and grapefruit. Good fruityness and some dark caramel aromas too. Good double IPA a nice hop forward focus.

T - Stong alcohol presence here that pervades the entire taste experience. Sharp hop bitterness and citrusy flavors. Strong malt backbone underneath the hops...full and rich, lots of caramel.

M - Thick and chewy malt body - very full. Strong carbonation with a certain smoothness and creaminess to it. Bitterness is sharp and lingers for a good long time.

D - Not really, but tends towards being a sipper of a double IPA. I find this to have the character of a strong ale opposed to a double IPA. Alcohol is high at 9.4%, limiting drinkability...I'm definitely getting thru this bomber without a problem, but I think it is all I'm having tonight.

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Photo of jera1350
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden orange with a slight cloudiness. Short dirty white head that reduces to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Big fresh ripe citrus backed by sweet caramel malts. My mouth is watering.

Wow, not what I was expecting. It's as if the malt leads the way and is backed by some piney and citrus hops. For me, as a DIPA, there's just too much malt. Malt is sweet but overwhelms the piney hops. Tastes nice, but just needs a little more hop bite.

Medium bodied, mostly soft and smooth feel. A little roughness comes from the carbonation.

Nice balanced DIPA that goes down nicely. Alcohol is felt in a warming sensation as it goes down. Overall, a pretty good DIPA, but not near the top.

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Photo of koopa
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber received as an extra in a trade....perhaps from iceicebaby or Tyson?

Appearance: Dark and malty drown red with honey folds. A frothy 1 finger white crown that shows some retention and lacing.

Smell: Caramel malt and floral hops.

Taste: Caramel malt, floral hops, a touch of astringency, a touch of citrus.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, a touch chewy, and very nice!

Drinkablity: The flavor profile is the only thing holding me back from rating this brew higher in this category.

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Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Twenty-two ounce bomber pours a mostly clear, orange/amber body with a two finger beige head that has some legs. Plenty of creamy and sticky lace hangs on the glass.

Aroma is grassy hops with a grapefruit edge. A hint of toasted caramel lurks beneath.

Mouthfeel has medium carbonation and body.

Taste has a dominant grassy hop bitterness with a grapefruit edginess. So grassy, it borders on the verge of cat urine, a note I've previously encountered only in Bells Hop Slam. Alcohol is well hidden. Finishes with a grapefruit rind dry bitterness.

A bit too much grassiness in the hop profile for my taste. Still, a very desirable DIPA that I will buy again.

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 7/22/09

A - Clean, deep colored copper. 1/2 inch head dissipates to patchy bubbles with intermittent lacing.

S - Full-bodied nose; juicy citrus hop notes predominate - grapefruit & orange. Very piney as well. A touch of caramel & faint hints of candied malts.

T - Deep-seated grapefruit with a nice dry piney bitterness. Slightly toasted characteristic with a spot of something akin to nougat.

M - Smooth, creamy carbonation balances well with a duly-noted resiny grit. Nice heft to the beer on the palate.

D - I found it incredibly well-balanced throughout. I quite enjoyed this one & would definitely consider buying it again. I had a half pint on draft the other day & it was excellent as well.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber into a tulip glass.

Pours a beautiful loooking, crystal clear amber, topped with 2 rigid fingers of off-white foam. Great retention here, with a massive flareup that leaves a big creamy latticework of lacing back. The aroma is floral and spice, with a touch of sticky pine to it. Robust grapefruit character really sticks out as well, sitting on top of some equally heavy grainy malts. Some alcohol warmth gives this a fume like feel in the nose. Moderate strength here to the aroma, but I was looking for maybe a bit more considering the stronger flavors at work here.

The hops are sticky and spicy, leaving a sharp sting of bitterness in the mouth. This is decently balanced by some tangy citrus, and once again, that same grainy and less sweet malt presence. The finish is fairly intense feeling on the palate, being spicy, sticky, and warm. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a big firm creaminess throughout. Some hoppy slickness is a little more subtle in the body, being mostly noticed towards the backend. Good bit of heat to this as well, which really intensifies the bitterness to a certain degree and holds the drinkibility back some.

This was definitley bold but not quite brash enough with the flavors to make up for the high alcohol presence. Solid but not quite up there with some of the other great DIPAs coming out of the Midwest.

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Photo of BigAl723
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor. I've wanted to try this for a couple weeks so I was excited when I saw it on the rotate board.

A: Outstanding! This is one awesome looking beer. Golden and slightly amber. Fairly dark and murky for a double IPA but the head is what really caught my eye. It was about two inches thick, tan and full.

S: Sweet and fruity. Grapefruits and citrus.

T: This beer really emphasizes the hops. The taste is a lot like the smell. Malt comes through towards the end. Cotton candy and grapefruits.

M: Fairly heavy in the mouth with medium carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. Very tasty. This beer has a really good IPA taste that flows quite well.

Overall, this is a solid IPA. Another quality brew from Holland, Michigan.

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Photo of jsh420
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours copper orange with a pillowy2+ finger head that left notches all down the glass

smells of fresh pine wit some some sweet carmel malt in the back ground but then again it had me at fresh pine

taste is bitter pine and some grapefruit hops then it becomes sickly sweet carmel malts - also has a buttery bubble gum flavor - i want to rate it higher but just a little too sweet - nothing that will keep me from buying it again though

mouthfeel is somehow light? yes - creamy finish - a beer that smells/tastes like this normally is oily and medium body and slick but this is dangerous and light

drinkability - the only down fall to this beer was how sweet it is - as much as i loved this beer i struggled to with the bomber thinking i would go into a coma

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Photo of atsprings
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'll admit I wasn't too impressed with this one on-tap, but I figured I'd see if it was better from the bottle. 22oz bomber poured into a Duvel tulip a crisp dark orange with a nice frothy eggshell head. Aroma is pine hops ahead of caramel malts. The taste is a nice balance of pine hops and burnt caramel malts with the hops up front in the initial and malts dominating the lingering finish. The beer is medium bodied with slight alcohol presence and decent carbonation. This one is much better out of the bottle than it is on-tap, one I'd have again if it was a buck or two cheaper per bottle.

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Photo of ibbjamin
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $6.99 for a bomber from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. Poured into a snifter to review. I'm a fan of the bottle which currently is not pictured on BA (only the blank growler is). New Hollands beers are quite attractive and usually excellent.

Pours rather thick, leaving a standard white head of about an inch. Transparent, attractive glowing orange, characteristic of my favorite DIPAs. Quality lacing, minimal head retention.

Orange and citrus hops dominate the nose, yet are held up by a noticeable malt base.

Taste is of oily, resinous hops. I'd still put this one in the more balanced category of DIPAs, but don't get me wrong, this is a tongue bruiser of a hoppy ale.

Meduim-Full body with an almost chewy thickness to it. Definitely not one for the faint of heart. Carbonation limited, yet certainly present. Lasting hoppy finish of bitter citrus hops.

With me being biased to the west coast hop profile, I must say this contends with some of the Three Floyds DIPAs for best east of the Mississippi. A quality brew from New Holland who have yet to disappoint. Hatts off!

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Photo of paulieatworld
3.32/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours hazy orange with very thin head that stays and laces nicely down the glass. huge hop profile which sweetens as the drink progresses. this one seems slightly less carbonated than the avg DIPA yet works well with the high abv. this is definitely a DIPA of note, but as far as the category goes - the competition is stiff and numerous and like most of new holland's stuff - this one's nothing to write home about.

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Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mad Hatter was the very first IPA I ever had back home,it was the first beer where the aromas stood out and led me down the path of becoming a hophead...enough of that shite.Poured into a impy nonic a deep bronze with a large clingy white head that settles oh so slowly,leaving multiple rows of lace behind.A mix of resiny hop and caramel malt in the nose with the hop profile winning out,flavors are "green"with hops,leafy and herbal with some citrus notes, a biscuit base holds up well to the onslaught.Its nice with more of a herbal "green" hop profile,its not as in your face as many wich might be a good thing,I enjoyed it.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

New Holland Imperial Hatter

Lightly hazed, amber to crimson appearance....dusky orange?nice white head, die too quickly in this pour.

Caramel tones, and herbal notes in the aroma, citrus-y notes peek out, then the pine, then the prickly pear, the apple...all swirled up with caramel-y, chocolate-y malt. This is no naked, raw in-your-face hop attack in this nose, it's blended and complex.

In the mouth, more of the same. Juicy malt, with bombastic hop attack coming from behind. Not a big, bitter bruiser. Not a ripper of the palate, but it is bigger than the normal IPA. Bitter and sweet, hand in hand, nicely balanced.
The extra ingredients, and the higher alcohol make this Imperial, and it becomes dominant quickly. Sweet, caramel malt remains large in the flavor, hop quotient just below.

I like this okay, but wouldn't go back for more, just not my style. Like the graphic, with a hug of beer in the Hatter's hand. What if he had brew at that tea party, how much madder would that party have been? How many more sizes would Alice have grown? Curiouser and curiouser...

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Photo of johannasclimacus
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured a nice copperish-orange. It was kind of dark so I couldn't see too well, but there was a nice 1/2 fluff of head on top.

Overall, the taste was a very solid DIPA. If you like the style, you'll enjoy it, but there's not much new here. Some pine, citrus, good hop bitterness. It's not intensely bitter, so it might appeal a little bit more to non-hopheads than other DIPAs.

The only thing that really stuck out to me about this one was the mouthfeel. It could have been a product of the tap system, and I can't be sure, but the mouthfeel was very creamy. It was immediately noticeable because all of the DIPAs I've had were very crisp - especially on draft. But this had a smooth, medium, creamy feel to it that reminded me of some of the English Pale Ale's I had when I was in the UK.

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Photo of morimech
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Duvel glass. Has a dark orange color with about one inch of off-white head that quickly settles to a thin cap. Just a little sticky lacing is left on the glass. Big hoppy aroma of citrus and pine. The alcohol is there but at 9.4% it is not that strong. The flavor features the citrus hops with hints of grapefruit. A little pine is also detected. The malt is not really there to balance things but on the plus side this beer is not overly sweet which I find unappealing in DIPAs. Alcohol warmth in the finish but again it is not too strong when considering its ABV. It also gives it an extra dry finish. Outstanding mouthfeel with a soft, smooth texture. Could use a little more body though. A good DIPA but short of being one of the better ones. Lacks a depth of flavor that the outstanding DIPAs are know for.

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New Holland Imperial Hatter from New Holland Brewing Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 710 ratings.
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