New Holland Existential: Hopwine | New Holland Brewing Company

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New Holland Existential: HopwineNew Holland Existential: Hopwine
Very Good
142 Ratings
New Holland Existential: HopwineNew Holland Existential: Hopwine

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by alexgash on 01-04-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 142 |  Reviews: 137
Photo of Sammy
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Whole Foods, Cleveland Heights. A strange IPA, commercial description more of barleywine. Bitter IPA mostly, highly carbonated, below average moutfeel. Light orange colour. A little spicy, bready. Drinkable, though not that drinkable,OK as an IPA. A bit of hop aroma.Not all that much flavour for all that a.b.v.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't know about a hopwine. When I think of such terminology, I imagine the Avery 10 and 11's of the world; and especially Dogfish 120 Minute. This beer doesn't stand up to those larger-than-life beers. The beer begins with a promising pour: solidly copper and a firm, withstanding foamstand. Aromas of fresh fruit (apples, oranges, grapefruit, mangos, and appricots) swirl around hearty barley malts and obvious alcoholic presence. The flavors are a surprising balance of malts and hops. The citrus fruits stand up to the proclaimed hop additions and never waver. This keeps the beer from realizing the 'hopwine' promise. Despite the balance, this is a good heavy blend, but hendered by the higher, defiant alcohols -- fusals. All said and done, the beer is worth drinking and enjoying, but can't compete with so many other high-gavity IPA's.

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Photo of oberon
3.49/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass a clear deep bronze/burnt orange with a large tight pillowey slight off white head that settled slowly leaving a nice ring around the glass.Wow very mild aromas for the style and tame for such a big beer I pick up some brown sugar and dark fruit with the hops being faint in a piney form.Flavors to me are no where near a American DIP to me its kind of in the English Barley Wine style with its big juicy maltiness but the hop presence in the finish makes me think American Barley Wine but not DIPA.Starts out very sweet like honey,brown sugar and alcohol dipped dark fruit not quite cloying but close,a drying resiny,piney hop lingers in the finish.If you were to categorize this as an American Barley Wine I would say okay I can see it but not DIPA.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.24/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

How do I keep scoring all of these limited releases? It is not by design, I assure you.

The pour produced a finger of ecru head with decent retention. The color was a coppery amber with NE-quality clarity. The nose was resinous with pine-y hops. The mouthfeel was slightly hot with an interesting amalgam of hops and malt. In a moment of quiet introspection, it hit me - Wow, this is a pretty intense concoction! The finish was hot and spicy with hops and it lingered, burning the dead taste buds away. It may take me a while to recover from this bad boy. Whew!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, bright amber body with a lush, bubbly off-white head.

Smell: Light, delicate aroma of caramel, green tea, and tangerines.

Taste: Sweet and somewhat grainy with the taste of caramel flanked by hop flavors of juicy tangerines and a sprinkling of pine needles. Finishes bittersweet and also resinous and soapy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Not really as hoppy as the front of the bottle led me to believe.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.89/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Polished coppery orange with perfect clarity and almost no visible bubbles. Are high ABVs really foam and lace killers? This one has a pretty large head that lasts a pretty long time and positively plasters the glass with loads of sticky lace.

One would think that a beer with Hopwine in the name (although that word doesn't appear on my silk-screened bottle) would smell like hops. Not only aren't there very many hops in the nose, there isn't much of anything else either. Warming delivers orange sections soaked in white rum.

Did New Holland brew Existential Ale to be an American barleywine or a DIPA? It tastes most like the former because alcohol is prominent and hops are not. On second thought, that isn't fair to the American barleywine style. Let's just call it a woefully underhopped, pale malt-dominant strong ale.

I hate to keep beating this 'what style is it?' dead horse, but I'm also reminded of a big ass maibock, since almost no flavor, but plenty of sweetness, is provided by the malt, and the hops either weren't added with a heavy enough hand or they've faded to a considerable extent. Regarding flavor, see the description of the aroma and add 'sugar syrup'.

The mouthfeel is big and viscous. It's only kept on this side of overly sappy and sticky by the solvent-like properties of the unmasked ethanol. Better flavor probably would have earned feel a bump in score. The carbonation is barely noticed.

It appears as though Existential Ale is a seasonal release rather than a one-time release. If so, I hope New Holland decides to add some hops to this 'Hopwine' next time. Without them, it's just no damn good.

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Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber, purchased at Sicilianos's in Grand Rapids MI. (sheesh, what a great place!) No bargain @ $8.19, but you get what you pay for and this one did not disappoint. Poured clear, glowing and glistening amber. Loose medium tan head, and better then average lace left on the glass. Bold, earthy, grassy and minty nose. Bursting with flavor, bold hops jumping onto the palate, alcohol present but mostly kept to the rear. High quality, very enjoyable heady stuff. Went great with a sand wedge of spicy humus and stinky blue cheese. Love these kinda big, bold and hoppalicious, over the top, all American beers...Bring on the bold flavors!

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Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Existential...22 ounce bottle, 10.5% abv, tons of everything according to the label...

Hazed dark orange coloring, full 1/2 " creamy white head...
Citric hop aroma, pine resin, pineapple, ...brandy, candy, and cherry cough syrup...peaches and apricots....

Bing, bang, boom! This is a blast of hops into the mouth...a barrelling, blistering battering of bitterness onto the palate and all around the caverns of the mouth..
Full passage into the mouth, dripping juicy fruit and hop bitterness...then comes the pucker, the reaction to the overwhelming hop attack, the smash against the tongue, the explosion on the tastebuds...the scattering of flavors through the tops, the edges and the corners... there's no relenting and no remittance...
Every gulp and sip returns with the smack of grapefruit and orange, lemon and pine, that brings joy to these lips.

damned delicious, damned refreshing to these hop-addicted lips....yum...this is the stuff!

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light brown body with lace patches and a frothy one-fingerh ead. Something akin to grape skin along with faint citric for a juicy hop smell as well as a little caramelized malt sweetness. Smooth, creamy, sweet with good malt base and the ABV complements the beer as it adds a little spice and kick to the leafy, citric hops. Medium-bodied beer that is balanced, albeit slightly sticky, that is easy to drink from sweet hoppy flavors and has a nice dry backbite that is also crisp. Watch out as this can be killed quickly and it catches up with you.

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Photo of WesWes
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark golden color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale, Munich and Bisquit malt scent along with a mild hop aroma. It's a bit breadlike with a light piney hop aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a smooth, malty flavor that is intense and warm in the finish. It's mostly pale malt with a bit of Munich and bisquit for body and complexity. It melds well with the hop flavor which is mild considering there is a hop flower on the bottle. It adds just enough bitterness to balance the high alcohol content. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an interesting beer. It's unlike most double IPAs I've had. It's a regular IPA, just doubled. It's hoppy, but nothing over the top; nothing that really stands out. It's just a normal IPA with an elevated abv.. It's balanced and tastey. I guess I was expecting more, but this is a good beer regardless.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a. Hazy golden yellow with some nice head and lacing.

s. Piney hops dominate the nose theres some boozey notes too.

t,m,d. Caramel and a huge wave of hops riding along. An alcohal bite finishes leaving the palate quite dry. Medium bodied. Pretty well crafted, but the alcohalic bite is a bit extreme. A must for hop heads. Kind of like an intensely hopped barley wine.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle, split, and poured into an imperial pint glass. No visible bottled date.

(A)- Pours a clear orange amber with a respectable white foamy head, but dissipated rather quickly down to a layer of bubbles. Minimal lacing present.

(S)- Massive pineapple citrus with a laid-back hop and malt aroma. Just huge pineapple juice character with a touch of sugary honey.

(T)- Ample hop and pine presence with obvious pineapple citrus. Sugary sweet honey-lemon fruit and light caramel-ish malt.

(M)- Good carbonation level with ample sugary sweetness with great pineapple. But once again, the sugary sweetness overpowers all the great nuances this beer has to offer.

(D)- Serious sugary sweetness with pineapple and honey. . . . New Holland could be a really great brewery with their High Gravity series, but most, if not all of them are way too sugary sweet; it really ruins what could be superb styles of unique and interesting beers, instead just super sweet/super high abvs.

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Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at UJ's on the Manatawny last weekend.

The beer pours a copper amber color with decent head retention and lacing. The nose is pretty sweet and malty on this beer, but with a good lick of noticeable hoppy bitterness as well. Still, this beer smells as if it will be pretty sweet. As expected, this beer comes across as a fairly high alcohol IPA, but with a particular sweet and malty base. There is enough hops to keep it from tasting too sweet, but the beer is noticeable boozy and a bit heavy. The beer does have a pretty nice mouthfeel, and is smooth and long on the finish. However, alcohol is a bit over the top and hurts the beer's drinkability just a bit.

This is a still a solid beer, though I confess I'd like it even more if it had a bit less sweet malt and alcohol, and bit more hoppy bitterness to counter it.

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Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a semi-transparent orange with a small white head. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of pine, citrus, caramel, and toffee.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with standout roasted nuts, caramel, citrus, and pine.
Mouthfeel is sweet up front with bitter pine needles, and sap sticking to the palate.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle received from the generous Nephilium in the Virgin BIF. Thanks, Marty! I split this with my roommate this afternoon. Poured into my Sam Smith nonic pint

A: Mostly clear copper with some mild particulates floating around. Thin beige head with pretty good retention that leaves a good bit of lacework as it recedes. Solid

S: On the nose, this beer is mostly sweet with some pine hop bitterness. Rather rich with a good bit of caramel and honey-like sweetness. Hop aroma is mostly pine with some citrus/orange

T: On the palate, this beer is rather sweet (again) with the malt dominating. Caramel, honey, brown sugar - all OK in a barleywine but less than ideal in a DIPA. Thankfully, there's enough of a malt backbone to make this appealing even after the hops fade. As you've probably guess, the hops have faded and the little bit of pine and spruce that's present compliments the malt well.

M: Fullish in body with low carbonation that enhances the sweetness of this beer. The finish is a little sweet with some hop character.

D: Average, even though I split this, the sweetness got cloying towards the end.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a light toasted-brown body that is crystal clear with a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles. There is a thick spongy film that fades into a film pretty quickly.

S- This beer has a sweet caramel malt and sugary smell with a green hop note and a light citrus perfume note to it.

T- The sugary sweet caramel malt flavor has a note of sweet honey with a soft green hops flavor. There is an alcohol finish that is covered by the hop bitterness that hangs on after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a nice alcohol heat that is pretty smooth.

D- The biggest hops are on the label. In the bottle the hops are pretty soft compared to the sweet simple malt flavors. The bitterness of the hops is stronger than the flavor but both are lighter than I expect for an IPA.

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Photo of akorsak
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 65 cL bomber purchased at Capone's. I am drinking the ale from a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass.

A: The ale is an orange-brown color, closer I think to the orange side of the spectrum. The head exceeded 1.5 fingers and is lacing nicely thusfar in the glass.

S: The term hopwine is appropriate here. It conjures up a wheat or barleywine malt bomb met with big hops. The nose is hoppy but much more significantly it is matly. Thick to the point that the grains take on a tart grape-like flavor.

T: On first sip, the strong sweet malts almost overwhelm the palate. That sweetness is nicely cut by a strong hop flavor that fails to define itself as anything beyond bitter. The big malt flavors and hop bitterness can't distract the drinker from the alcohol warmth that sits just below the surface. That warmth is quite intense and not afraid to kick you around.

M: The mouthfeel is muddled with the big hops and big grains. Both flavor elements struggle to stand out and make an impression. The result is an interesting blend that never quite comes together.

D: The 10.5% abv is through the roof. That, coupled with the ill-defined body, makes me content to stop at one bottle.

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Photo of maximum12
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After an evening that included a Surly Furious & Wild Dog Gonzo, I needed something that would cut through the palate clutter like a laser. Hoo boy. This certainly fit the bill. And what's a hopwine?

For certain, this is a unique beer, which gets it points from the stink-go. The nose is unremarkable, alcohol with a bit of hops, but the taste is where this is at. I tend to favor my IIPAs as hops bombs - balance? it's a IIPA, screw balance! - but this one goes the opposite direction. The hops are present & saying the pledge, but the malts aren't balancing, they're screaming for attention & being hauled off to detention. If you're going to fuck up an IIPA by using malt, go deep! I like it.

Drinkability is high if you want to wake up sprawled out naked on your deck. Otherwise, imbibe with caution.

Good brew. New Holland is doing some good things, some I appreciate, some not so much, but tip-o-the-cap for the effort.

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Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from cburian. Thanks Chris!
Deep amber colour with a bit of haze, plus a frothy beige cap that had a mix of fine and big, soapy bubbles. Plenty of spotty lacing and good retention. The aroma was caramel and hops. Hops were mostly citrus, with a hint of resin, and there was a bit of fruit to the nose as well, ripe and vaguely tropical. The caramel aroma was accompanied by a malty, grainy character. Solid bitterness that balanced nicely with the malty caramel base. Citrusy hops were present throughout, but weren't overly strong. Slight resin and fruit notes. Finished with caramel, citrus, and light alcohol. Mild warmth, full bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Nice texture. The sweetness hid the alcohol quite well, making it surprisingly easy to drink. Really more of an american barleywine - too much emphasis on malt for a DIPA. Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Tarnished amber/scarlet red. Slightly hazed. Thin off white head. A bubbly collar leaves sporadic patches of lace down the walls of my glass.

Aroma: Nice mix of malt and hops for this beer. It's got the nice caramel and toffeeish malt backbone. But also the resinous, smoky and piney hop aromatics. And some notes that remind me of orange marmalade as well.

Taste/MF: Nice complexitites here, though I'd still like to see some more hop flavors and bitterness for a beer of this style. They call this hop wine and I understand the "wine" part of it due to the noticeable alcohol character. And though the hops are there, and are piney, floral and perfumey, they are not there in the quantity that I like in an Imperial IPA. This is still quite a good beer (much better than the I2PA from Sprecher I had last night). The malts give a nice firm foundation of caramelized fruits and toffeish notes. The alcohol is noticeable, but integrated somewhat nicely given the 10+ octane level of this. Medium bodied and easy flowing.

Drinkability: This is a beer I'd try again. Especially if I saw it on tap. I'd know enough not to expect a hop bomb, but that's o.k. I'll look at this more as a Barleywine or Strong Ale.

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Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at HopCat in GR.

Pours a clear orange/amber, thin off white head forms, drops to a thin ring and drops a few spots on the glass, looks alright. Smell is nice, very fruity, caramel and brown sugar, alcohol, very malty, floral, big malts and big hops, nothing jumps out but very well balanced. Taste is similar, very malty, some biscuit, caramel and brown sugar, toast, very fruity, apricots, alcohol, nice toasty finish, very balanced. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation, bit of warmth going down but the ABV is decently hidden. More of a barleywine than DIPA, and nothing really jumped out, but pretty solid and drinkable stuff.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
2.99/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had 1/2 a bomber in a pint glass. The beer was clear, bright copper colored, with a thick and sticky poof of foam, some laing too. The aroma wasn't near hoppy enough, I expected a lot more hops due to large hop graphic printed on the bottle. Instead, this beer smelled like sweet malts, a touch of hops, and ethanol. The taste was a bit boozy too, kind of barley-wine flavored in that the large malt bill pushed the flavor with a citrus hops character playing backseat. The mouthfeel was thick, again I think there was a large malt bill, but drinkability is only average as the alcohol is evident and the flavor really isn't as tasty as I'd hoped.

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4/5  rDev +6.7%

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New Holland Existential: Hopwine from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 142 ratings