Black Hatter
New Holland Brewing Company

Black HatterBlack Hatter
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American Black Ale
Ranked #491
Ranked #34,670
3.71 | pDev: 11.86%
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Black HatterBlack Hatter
Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 355
Photo of tavernjef
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a fairly portesque brown and settles in the glass a very solid brown with a modern dark burnt orange cast when up to brighter light. A slimming but thick foamy cap of dark beige builds breifly. Crumbling down to a whispered skim and bubbly collar ring. Lots of lacing in broken globby sheets stick on the glass.

Aroma is quite clean with a mighty pull of hops bringing in orange tones and candied grapefruit bits. The chocolate roasty tones underneath build very nicely along with some burnt grains as it warms, adding for a complexing mix about the aroma.

Taste is a bit thin with some burntness of orange peels, a twist of curdled cream, a touch of lemongrass, and a tinge of burntish bitterness as it finishes. The roast or chocolate malts are barely pulling any flavor thru the overall weaked hopitude it creates.

Thinner medium body without a whole lot of length to it and short on any finishing complexity other then the apparent orange hop notes and a slight taint of burnt roast.

I have liked the Hatter series, but much like the Rye, this comes up quite short when compared to the Oak aged, which is by far superior and the top of the group.

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Photo of Holland
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours dark brown on the sides to black in the center. Has a bit of head at first, but it dissipates quickly. You can still see the carbonation in this one - they're medium sized bubbles.

S: smells of roasted malts, chocolate, and fruity hops. Interesting combo.

T: tastes very much like it smells - no surprises. Hops and carbonation give it some bitterness, though there isn't a lot of thickness or sweetness to balance. Kind of reminds me of a good dark chocolate except for the....

M: mouthfeel was thin for such a dark ale, and there was a lot of carbonation. It brought out the bitter flavors, but less carbonation would be desired for me.

O: decent, interesting brew. It was $4 for a 22oz in Chicago, but I'd like to try it on tap at New Holland to see what it's like. Drinkable for a glass, but don't have 2.

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Photo of Hazer115
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured very dark brown with a short tan head that did not stay around for very long.

S: Had good aromas of dark roasted malts with a slight hoppy smell on the back end.

T: The color of this beer really threw me; I was expecting a really smoky dark roasted flavor but was pleasantly surprised by the light bitter hoppyness that I got.

M: Average mouthfeel, nothing really to write home about.

O: I'm glad I tried this on, I tend to like dark beers and IPAs and this one did a really good job combining the two.

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Photo of beerismysavior
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a wide red wine glass

Aroma: Hints of chocolate with an earthy presence and refreshing notes of mint in the background.

Color: Pitch black body with a soft cream colored head. Microfine bubbles and significant head retention.

Taste: Extremely unique taste, reminiscent of pumpernickel bread.

Mouth: Medium-low carbonation, immediate bitterness, stays persistent over time. Mild to no residual sugar. Dry and bitter sensations reside on the middle-front portion of the palate.

Overall: Very pleasant beer. Surprised to catch notes of mint in the nose. Not a common beer smell, not an unpleasant one though. Silk-like texture with low carbonation made this black IPA surprisingly smooth.

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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 TheHoppiest
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew is part of the Mad Hatter series of IPA's that New Holland came out with in 2011. I've had two so far; the Oak-Aged IPA and the Belgian IPA, and thought the Oak-Aged to be a rather good IPA, but was not as thrilled with the Belgian. Curious to see what New Holland's take on the black IPA will be.

Poured this from a 22 oz bomber into a tulip glass with a fairly aggressive pour that gave me a tan two-finger head. The beer itself is quite dark, impenetrable even, with the appearance of an Irish stout. Decent lacing as the head retreats to a thin foamy lid crawling up the sides of the glass.

Despite having such a heavy appearance, the Black Hatter has a very light, almost floral bouquet. Light citrus, with orange and tangerine, mix with honey and rosewater for a sweet and airy aroma.

While the aroma was surprising given the brew's appearance, its taste is not. Toasted and bitter, with a black coffee malt start, a citrusy middle, and a bitter hop finish, this has a lighter, almost watered-down taste compared to other black IPA's I've had.

Thin-bodied, with a sticky malty feel and a dry finish, despite a watery feel it leaves you feeling thirsty. Indeed, this not only has the look of an Irish stout, but the mouthfeel of one as well.

A decent black IPA, although not as good as others I've had before, like the Thornbridge Raven Black. Also, a decent IPA offering by New Holland, though not as good as its oak-aged sibling. If you're looking to complete the Mad Hatter series, definitely give it a try. Otherwise, I personally find it to be a rather forgettable entry in the black IPA market.

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Photo of Badbobx
3.71/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a pint glass from a bomber.
The pour was nearly black with a light brown head that persisted for a third of the glass. I noticed a small amount of lacing.
The aroma was not pronounced just a small hint of roasted malt with perhaps a bit of dark chocolate.
The taste was appealing. After moving furniture most of the day, I was very thirsty. The first impression is of the dark roasted malt, then the hops came through.

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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 bnes09
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown, almost black in color. Ruby hues at the bottom of the glass. Off white head forms but does not stick around for too long. Not too much lacing either.

Aroma is mainly from the hops with floral and citrusy notes.

American hop flavors of grapefruit, orange and pine needles control the show from the start. Mild roasted character creeps in with a touch of coffee and nuts. Biscuity malt backbone holds the brew together. Bitter character overall.

Medium bodied. Somewhat high carbonation. Dry feel.

Pretty good.

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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 latackbeer
3.51/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

New Holland is a Great Brewery!!

Poured a black as night color with a great tan head!! Lots of lacing, smells of citrus and a sugar loaded coffee, the way I like it!! Very smooth hardly anything that stands out, great balance of hops and malt!!

Little boring on the mouthful, seems like it's watered down or hours old coffee.

Loved the Rye but missed me on the Black Ale!!

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle. $5.99 from Ned's.

Appearance: Black in the glass, but not at all opaque in the light with lots of dark ruby showing through. Light brown head and quite a bit of sticky lacing.

Smell: Citrus and pine and some sweet and slightly roasty malt notes. Nothing bad, but nothing stands out.

Taste: This is really good. Bright pine and some earthy hops notes really match up well with the never overbearing roasty flavor. Good balance.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth feeling. Carbonation adds a slight creaminess. Hops resin in the finish.

Overall: This is a really good, low alcohol black IPA. Lots of flavor and feel. Not over the top, but very solid.

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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 Pencible
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear black ruby with moderate light tan head.
S: It smelled like bright mango and grapefruit and honey, with some fresh roasted coffee and cream.
T: It tasted like lots of citrus and mango, with some roasted coffee and cream. It had a clean and bitter aftertaste.
M: It was somewhat thick with moderate carbonation. Nice body.
D: This was a very nice black IPA with perfect balance of mostly hops complemented by dark malts. It had good body too, with no alcohol noticeable, so it was very easy to drink. One of the better examples of this style. Recommended.

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a cream colored head of bubbly foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of pine, citrus and roasted malt. Some chocolate notes, too.

T - It had a good roasted malt flavor with chocolate and toffee flavors. Nice piney bite with some orange flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a very nice black ale. These Hatter variations have been pretty nice.

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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 Bung
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. It's black, darker cream colored head on top. Recedes to just a thin layer.

Aroma, mild earthy hops some pine, that's about it. Faintest roast.

Pretty balanced roast malt with herbal and piney hops. This is like a hoppy Schwarbier. Finish with minimal roast and pine.
Straight forward though not spectacular by any means.

I like the body, high end of light, lively carbonation. Very drinkable, certainly sessionable. Probably the most sessionable black ale I've had.

Kind of more of a cross between a Schwarz and an IPA. I have a feeling this could be best on draft.
Enjoyed this more than the Oak Barrel Hatter.

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Photo of jera1350
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Coffee black bodied with a thin soap sudsish looking tan head. A bit of lacing, some retention.

Some light hop notes with an even lighter roasty malt scent.

The roasty malts are there adding notes of coffee and dark chocolate. The hops are also there adding some bitterness which compliment the malt. A nice subtle flavor that perhaps makes this a bit more drinkable.

Smooth, but maybe a little thin. Light-medium body with a dry finish.

A fine beer. Pretty drinkable, but seems to be missing something. I would call this a good introduction to the style. Fairly priced beer as well, although I won't reach for this one again personally.

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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 WastingFreetime
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber date stamped 5/16/11.
Looks black coffee colored with a nice craggy head + lacing. Smells of pine needles and soft faint charred roast. I must emphasize that there are far more pine needles than malt in the nose, and in the taste, the dominant roles are reversed. As in, it tastes mostly of peppery earthy char malt with centennial hop signature on the finish. Speaking of finish, this ones a dry one. Almost a bit too...dry. But such is the nature of Black IPAs so I won't hold it against it. Medium-light bodied, with a nice astringent finish.

With the low ABV as it is, this is one of those "sessionable" beers. It doesn't really do anything badly by my book. I searched and searched in vain for the metallic aftertaste so many other BAs have described but I could not find it in my bomber. One hopes that perhaps they may have fine-tuned out some kind of problem that used to exist. I'll be looking for this one again next time I am in a black IPA mood.

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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 titosupertramp
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cola colored dark brown. Finger of tan head that leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. Not much of a film, but lots of large bubbles around the edge of the glass.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate and coffee, a good bit of pine and a little citrus. A little on faint side, but it's good.

T: Pretty well follows the nose except I'm not getting any coffee in the taste. Roasted malts, chocolate. The hops seem to be fairly well balanced here with pine and citrus. There's an earthy finish as well. There were some off flavors(metallic and plastic) at the beginning that quickly fade as the beer breathes and opens up a bit.

M: On the thin side of medium. Does leave a nice coating behind though.

O: After I got past the initial bad impression of off flavors, this opens up to be a pretty nice beer. I'd certainly buy this again.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.26/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage, first bottled version, I think. Remember having this in the brewpub two years ago. Glad it's bottled now.

Poured into my New Holland Pint glass. Pours a clear deep garnet with a sandy tan colored, rocky head. Head stands up pretty well, leaving some lacing.

Aromas of grassy, citrusy, hops, with a hint of roasted malt and dark coffee.

Flavors of lightly roasted malt, dark coffee, citrus and piny hop bitterness. Finish is medium, with a nice citrus peel bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium, with a nice mouthcoating bitterness.

Overall, a very nice, balanced, ABA. Not too roasty. Roast malt and hop bitterness pair nicely.

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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 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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Black Hatter from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 355 ratings