New Holland Black Hatter | New Holland Brewing Company

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New Holland Black HatterNew Holland Black Hatter

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by granger10 on 06-30-2006

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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 354
Photo of JohnnyHopps
2.4/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

As far as the Madder Hatter series goes, this is the second bottle I have had that has foamed over after opening. From other reviews, this problem is not unique to me. I love many of the beers from New Holland. With this is mind, the problem needs to be fixed.

Poured into a pints glass. The beer was a thin black, giving a distinct hoppy aroma. On the intial taste, my first thought was green olives. These are good on a pizza, but bad in a beer. This was accompanied by the sensation of a strong licorice taste. For an IPA, the hops were rather mild. If it did not say IPA on the bottle, I might not have guessed the style. The mouthfeel was thin, making the experience end quickly. This was help along by the blast of carbonation which probably caused the bottle to foam over in the first place. Obviously, this was not a well balanced beer.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.63/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 7/24/11

Vintage 2011

Medium brown on the pour; dark in the glass but has a crimson-brown hue. One finger head dissipates to a thin layer of foam quickly, leaving a few clumps and trails of lace.

Aromas of tangy roast and semi-sweet chocolate are most notable. A hint of earthiness, too. Unfortunately the hops seem second string here. Mild notes of earthy hops and pine. Maybe a tad floral, too.

Meh. This tastes even more disappointing than it smells. In a lot of respects it's weaker than the nose (roasted aspects) and the hops are really in a dismal display. Aside from some earthiness, there's a smattering of pine followed by a bunch of crushed pill bitterness. Beyond that, it just seems disheveled and off, kind of like spoiled coffee. As it warms the bitterness becomes more noticeable and unpleasant.

Huh. The feel is strikingly thin; it certainly doesn't benefit this beer at all; far too watery. Fizzy, effervescent carbonation is much to prominent for the feel and sends everything into total disarray. Coating as it warms. Finishes a tad roasty and a lot dirty.

I had high hopes for this one and they were completely dashed. This isn't anything like what I want from a good CDA or black ale, or what have you. I'm far less inclined to try the others in the Hatter series. I drainpoured half the bottle.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
2.64/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- pours almost black mahogany with some deep garnet hues when held up to the light. An agressive pour produced two fingers of tan head that recedes into about half a finger. Some lacing as you sip.

S- this is where this brew goes wrong. Aromas of burnt paper and human flesh (ok that parts a joke) mix with a moldy citrus element. An earthy chalky aroma finishs off this brew with a decomposing compost pile aroma.

T- The flavors are at war with each other. The charcoal and cocoa flavors clash with the (very weak) grassy/citrus hop flavors. Overall you get burnt and bitter(i like some crushingly bitter beer this just is the flavor killing kind) flavor with an offputting astrigency.

MF- harsh sharp mouthfeel with a light body and average carbonation.

D- it's time to put the whole black IPA fad to rest. If your going to do it do it well or skip it.

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Photo of jdense
2.99/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. foil-topped bomber, shared by the ever generous Shawn K. consumed in Baker City, OR 8.25.11.

Deep reddish brown body, good garnet highlights when held up to bring light, no visible carbonation. 1/2 finger light tan head, slow dissipation with good retention, minimal lacing. Nose is, err, off to say the least, latex band aids, significant dose of roasted malt, hops negligible in the nose. Taste is fairly roasty, hard to get by the aroma, but there's a pronounced lack of Cascadia hops, the label mentions Centennial but having a hard time detecting much else. Mouthfeel is medium not much effervescence. It was hard to try and enjoy this after the strange aroma profile. Pass.

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Photo of corby112
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown color that appears pitch black in the glass with faint mahogany edges and a one finger light beige head that slowly settles into a thin ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Roasted malt aroma with a nice balance of earthy and citrus hops. At first the malt overpowers the nose with hints of chocolate, coffee bean and licorice but as it warms the hops become more apparent. Hints of earthy pine along with some grapefruit and lemon peel.

Medium bodied with a good balance of dry, bitter, earthy hops and deep roasted malt. There’s a blast of bitter earthy hops up front with hints of soil and pine which is countered by some sweet citrus. The citrus character isn’t as strong as the nose suggests with faint hints of grapefruit and citrus rind. The dryness from the hops is complimented by the deep roasted malt flavor. Hints of coffee bean, dark chocolate, burnt toast and licorice. Overall this was okay but not the best of the style. Decent balance but the hop profile is one dimensional and the malt presence is a bit heavy for my liking.

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Photo of TCgoalie
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Notes from 6/2/11

A - Black but light does pass through. No head and no lacing.
S - Malt, a hint of chocolate, some pine.
T - My first impression is thin, some smoky malts with a bit of chocolate and pine bitters.
M - Very thin for the style and not that impressive in the mouth.

Overall, this was a disappointing brew. I really enjoy black IPA's, but this one was below par. I followed this brew up with a Sublimely Self-Righteous ale, and the Stone beer was far superior.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours jet black with a light tan head. In the aroma, hints of coffee, chocolate, and sweet oatmeal. In the taste, pine like hops and small presence of coffee, although a bit watery. A small hop bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry pine hop in the aftertaste. More a porter, small hops, just about average.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Fiddler's.

A- Pours a dark brown color. Half finger khaki colored head shows light retention. Left some medium sized streaks of lace down the sides of the glass.

S- A tame aroma for a black ale I thought. There was a light roasted malt throughout the entire nose but it was layed under longer whiffs of floral and bitter hops, light bready malts, and hints of chocolate. The alcohol was light which fell in line with the whole aroma profile of this beer.

T- Light roasted malts in the front with hints of chocoalte to balance out the malt. Floral hops come in next and counter balance the malt flavor. Hints of bready malts toward the middle of the beer. Chocoalte malts come back with some light roast toward the ending. Piney hops give a nice crisp hop bite in this beer. Alcohol is light and clean tasting in the ending.

M- Light mouthfeel. A little watery feeling at times. Carbonation was good for the beer. Light roasted malts, chocolate malts, and bittering hops are left on the palate. Aftertaste is more along the lines of alcoholic chocolate and hints of hops. Flavors were balanced for the style not too bad but a little light on the flavor. No off flavors were present. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

O- A nice try on a new style of Mad Hatter for New Holland. I think they went a little too safe and it shows as this is not more than a average beer. The ABV is light making it drinkable for many pints over but I would just stick to one and then go onto something else.

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Photo of Florida9
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appears black from a distance, but up close you notice quite a bit of light coming through revealing more of a cola color. Forms a moderate sized light tan head colored head. Some mild lacing. Aroma is roasted malts and citrus, but the combination doesn't work so well resulting in a slightly metallic note. The taste Is similar with some lightly roasted malts, grapefruit, and a mild acidic quality that seems very out of place. Not a whole lot of hops or roasted malts or coffee for that matter. Medium bodied. Appropriate carbonation. Mild bitterness.

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Photo of JRed
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with some reddish edges with cinnamon head that leaves lacing. Aroma of wet grass, lemon, roast, toast and slight cinnamon. Tastes of wet grass, earth, vegetation, lemon, roast, toast, cinnamon sticks, burnt bread toward the finish and then goes clean. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Flavors are aggressive and unbalanced. An attack of malt vs hops with no cohesion.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 22oz bottle.

Pours a dark brown color with some nice ruby hues on the edges. There is a thin off-white head with some nice dense bubbles. It is quickly reduced down to a thin film.

Aroma of hops up front with some slight citrusy notes. Grassy and herbal with a nice background of slight toasted roasty malt. Bready notes are mixed in with some slight malty sweetness as well.

Flavor starts off with a burst of citrusy and herbal hops. Not too intense but definitely very present. There is a slightly acerbic note during the middle that isn't as attractive as it could be. There seems to be a very low roasted note to the malt component. It seems that the Black in ABA is only referring to the color. The malt bill doesn't shine as much as expected. Mouthfeel is a bit light for my taste. Very crisp with an intense bitter finish.

Not my favorite ABA. Very overwhelming. The malt bill needs to be more in your face.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.27/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Well, it could be blacker, but hey, it's still a tantalizingly deep dark brown, and the head is a beauty, all creamy and tan and long-lasting.

Nose has that certain something that defines this style, that deep roast vs. bright hops thing. A total "opposites attract" kind of character, although the incredibly clean, breezy hops dominate just a little over the black malts.

The taste doesn't totally deliver, however. It is, in fact, a rather thin flavor, not really carrying through for very long and not impressing much either. If anything, I think "ashtray" as I drink it. Not a good thing to think. Ever. The hops do keep their green, pine needle, breezy brightness, so I guess it's the "black malt" bill that ain't up to snuff here. I do like the way the hops keep singing on the tongue, they never quit! Still, this is just one of those black ales where the contradictions don't work so well...not on the palate anyway, but I still like what I'm smelling.

Texturally it's on the thin side, not quite watery, but perilously close. Stays likable thanks to a silky slickness and just enough carbonation to make you feel it.

My favorites in this style category tend to be above 7% ABV (excluding RJ Rockers' Black Perle, which I didn't love)...and this one doesn't buck that trend. New Holland beers are usually nothing less than excellent, but this one, although not a total loss, is something I have no interest in buying again.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.27/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Black, slight tan tint, not much head or lacing.

Smell - Hops, dark malts, brown sugar, pineapple, grapefruit, some dark fruits like rasin and plum.

Taste - Very bitter, dry first taste. Plenty of hops and dark fruits. Malts are roasted and strong. Very sour with a lemon acidic flavor. Some cocoa and chocolate buried beneath the hops. Really bitter/sour. Hops are bitter and lacking citrus flavor.

Mouthfeel - Its thin and flavor is weak. TOunge gets bittered, but mouth is quick to recover. Aftertaste is lacking also, bitter but quickly gone.

Overall - Not very impressed with this. Its too bitter, lacks flavor, and too thin and mild. Black ipa's are getting popular now, i hope new holland reworks this brew, not something i want again.

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Photo of Vonerichs
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, almost black, opaque color with just a border ring of head.

The nose is a borderline burnt roast, some pine, and a musty earthy smell.

The taste is all over the place and didn't seem to blend well together. I like the pine aspect to it but the charred malts is distracting. There was a strange aftertaste like a copper penny. After I drank mine I read some reviews and see that others have had a similar experience and describe a metal flavor.

Mouthfeel is a little thin and is dry.

Overall, I wasn't very impressed with this Hatter variation. The flavors didn't mesh well and the aftertaste is foul.

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Photo of ahq514
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22 oz bottle into Tulip glass

Pours a nice solid black color with a decent head the quickly dissipates to less than a finger.

Smell is faint, but from what I gather, I get some citrus hops and some roastiness.

First thing that hits is the hops. Some citrus, but mostly bittering hops that complement the dry, roastiness of the brew. Coffee lingers in the background from the roast that precedes it. Unfortunately what knocks this down is a metallic taste on the finish.

A little on the light bodied side from what I was expecting. Carbonation seems right on for the style.

Overall it was a good beer, not great, but solid. Love the bitterness and roastiness combination, but not a fan of the metallic aftertaste and the lackluster aroma.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, dated 2014. Pours dark brown with a medium creamy light tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet cola with leathery roast and a little pine and fruit.

The flavor is sweet roasted chocolate malts with some fruity piney hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, an OK sweet fruity black IPA.

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Photo of Brenden
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2012 reviewed fresh.

This devious-looking Hatter's just darker than cola-colored brown-black, light seeping through at the edges. A tan head grows to a finger in height. Retention is good and the thick foam that remains after it fades leaves pretty thick lacing in patches in good density down the glass.
The focus seems to be on roast, with an earthiness and a vegetal quality before a more leafy, herbal bitterness comes out from the hops. This isn't as aromatic as the original Hatter, though the malts play nicely.
The flavor is oddly tame and not particularly hoppy, though a bit; I might think it was an old batch and the hops were faded if I didn't know it's fresh. The bitterness that comes out is a mix of pith and an acrid touch from the malts, as a charred note mars it. I'm not sure what happened, but I don't think the execution is here. The bitter edge in the finish is bracing, but not because the bitterness itself is too much. Think raw dandelion.
The feel is good, about a medium body with a brightness to it that seems to contradict its thick, dark look. Crispness never fades and it's smooth underneath.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass at Beer Run.

A: Coca-Cola brown. No head, but moderate lacing. Translucent, barely, but too dark to see through.

S: Hops. Vegetal hops. And...marinara sauce?

T: Hrmm. Huh. I'm not sure I like it. Sort of bitterly, herbally sour. Hops are vaguely astringent and the citrus is like chewing on a lemon peel. The finish is light and mediocre. The herbalness grows on me...

M: Thin and disappointing.

O: Not my favourite black ale. Drinkable if you can get past the bitter herbs, but I won't be having another. I might dry one out of the bottle...

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle. 2012 vintage. Served in a Red Brick snifter. 

Pours deep but opaque brown with two fingers light khaki head. A little lacing.

Smells of fire roasted grapefruit,  cloved orange and smoked fresh cut grass. A more subtle take than many of the style I've tried. 

The grapefruit it a little more pronounced in the flavor. Bitter citrus followed closely by softer aspects of charred wood, black pepper, rind, dark malts and dough.

Feel is light to medium with an almost heavy hand on the carbonation. Bitter grapefruit lingers in the aftertaste. 

Not a stand out in this growing style but not bad either. At $5, it's not a bad value either. 

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Photo of tmm313
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Looks exactly like a Porter in the glass. Darkest possible reddish brown with a quickly dissipating 1/2 finger head. Good lacing.
S- Weird... Prunes and booze with a touch of chocolate and spicy hops. Notes of tropical fruit when you really dig in. How can I be smelling so much alcohol? Its just over 5%.
T- Dark fruits up front with a touch of caramel, followed by spicy hops, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and some citrus. Pine and char on the finish.
M- Thin with slight carbonation. Drying.
O- Rye Hatter is one of my favorite beers, so I was expecting much more from this one. When my wife asked me how it was, I paused for a minute and finally answered, "It's confused." I'll stick with Rye.

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Photo of fear025
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma:Less aroma compared to the normal Mad hatter IPA.

Appearance:Nearly opaque black with nice head.

Taste:The dark malt and the hops add a mild astringency to the beer. On subsequent tastes, I get a ginger ale flavor that's very interesting. The more I drink the heavier the ginger ale comes through.

Mouthfeel:Nicely carbonated, and pleasant.

Drinkability:This is a very interesting beer, with subtle qualities.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.44/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes to brewseum for this!

I must admit, this is a beautiful looking brew. Black when it's all said and done. Head was light tan and leaves an amazingly awesome trail of lace throughout. Aroma isn't bold at all; bits of chocolate, with some floral and pine touches. Nice bitter edge on it, with a good floral bite. Not a lot of contradicting stout or porter qualities aside from some roasted notes. Light to medium body for what it is, but no detraction as a works.

It's tasty, and overall a good brew. I good IPA, but it's definitely somewhat of a disconnected American Black Ale.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

With sharp flavors coming from all angles, the grain, the hops, the alcohols all take turns with their assault against the palate. It reminds me of when I first tried IPA and couldn't fathom who would drink it by choice.

Black hatter begins with a dark, bark brown pour that constructs a short statured but densely creamy foam stance. Moderate on retention and lace, the beer doesn't really sing best the head character that's expected of IPA. However, the dark color gets me every time.

Vegetation plays on the nose with a lot of earthy and fragrant scents: tree bark, citrus, leaf, and straw blend for a very sharp and earthy aroma profile. Any softer caramel or bread scent offers slight rebuttal but at a distance as not to interfere with the aromas of hops or char.

Flavors are every bit as sharp as the taste of heavy toast, coffee grounds, chocolate, and burnt caramel deliver a decidedly dry malt character that acts as sparse support for the dominance of hops. Lead by grapefruit pith, the sharp and excessively bitter beer also attributes subsidiary flavors of leafy hop matter, twigs, tree bark, leaf, straw, and lemony sassafras. It's somewhat obvious that we're getting a lot of chlorophyll, tannin, and phenolic character from the hops and grain along with the more desirable oils and resins. It seems that the dry roast and high attenuation brings further attention to the vegital character.

The pang of hop bitterness and grain-derived astringency seems to attack the palate immediately, and without allowing the creamy carbonation or malt structure to fully support the hop dryness or alcohol. This leaves the beer lackluster in mouth feel and ushers in a quick finish of char, wood, and citrus snap.

The beer is pleasurable enough to drink, but the problem is that the beer has a tough time competing with the black IPA of Southern Tier, Stone, or Rockers.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber split with my gf, poured into a globe. 2012 batch.

a - pours a deep garnet color and forms a thin cap of tan foam. head calms quickly to a thin film that lasts for the duration and leaves thick swaths of lacing in the glass.

s - grapefruit, cola, grass, faint honey.

t - roasty malt character with faint dark chocolate undertones. grapefruit notes come in and crest into a mouth puckering wave of pine resin bitterness that hangs on the tongue for quite a while. unfortunately, the bitterness washes away all trace of the other flavors.

m - lighter side of medium with adequate carbonation. finer co2 profile and lots of hop oils lends to a creamy but slick feel.

o - pretty good, but doesn't hold a candle to the stone or deschutes takes on the style. i actually prefer regular mad hatter over this version. worth a try i guess but not a beer i'd drink often.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep cola pour with red brick highlights glisten from the light upon exit. A dense black in the vessel with a khaki colored head that was a finger in size and fairly firm in structure has a good stay. Window dressing is kept to a minimal.

S: Sweet caramel and pine mix nicely together, smooth easy roast bitterness is enough to appreciate accompanied by a creamer touch, some mocha and a spicy bit of tarragon. Subtle complexity, just wish it should more muscle to really shine though.

T: Flavor had a spicy bit of pine-roast and licorice, burnt barley sweetness and some coffee flair. Flowery citrus and pine brings a modest level of hops to the table while the earthy coffee roastiness is left to shine.

M: Good tingle of carbonation, thick oily feel, frothy texture on the hold with a warming bitterness of burnt citrus and wet coffee grounds.

O: Overall a decent cascadian ale. Flavor was decent, but felt it fell just a bit short of being a solid good (4.0) rating with a linear complexity and lacked that spike or stand out quality. End of the day a good example, respectable, worthy of a try.

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New Holland Black Hatter from New Holland Brewing Company
3.71 out of 5 based on 354 ratings.
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