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 atsprings
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a Duvel Snifter. Pours a nice crisp amber with a thin diminishing head. Aroma is Earthy pine hops with sweet caramel right behind, quite fragrant. The taste is dominated by bitter pine with some burnt caramel and dried fruits in the background. The hop bitterness is quite overbearing and the alcohol is cloyingly sweet, I'm hoping some aging would do this beer well. The beer is one of the driest I've ever had, slight cloying alcohol hits hard but than somewhat dissipates, just not completely. This is certainly an interesting beer, but this one in particular is not what I look for in this style.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On cask, poured into a tulip glass.

A- It poured a hazy gold color with a 1/2 finger off-white head that turned into a full lace that clung nicely to the side of the glass.

S- Initially it had a big hoppy pine scent. Later on I picked up some grain and alcohol aromas.

T- There were some sweet malts up front followed by a hoppy bite. It was even a little fruity later on. It was a bit boozy with a sort of branyish flavor.

M- It was thick and smooth with a lot of bite from the hops and alcohol.

D- It's definitely a sipper. Even at 10.5% ABV, I thought it could be a better drinker and the booze could have been better hidden.

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Photo of GJ40
2.1/5  rDev -44%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle purchased at Sam's in Durham, NC.

A - Looks great starting with the bottle. It features a green hop head that really stands out against the brown background. As usual, the promise of hops got me on first site. It pours nicely as well with a golden color, good clarity and a thick white head.

S - My hopes for this beer ended here. The smell was almost completely of yeast. Nothing else really came through.

T - It got even worse. The flavor was sweet with a strong presence of alcohol and a slight bitterness but it just wasn't working. Maybe I got a bad bottle.

M - Good thickness and consistency.

D - I tried to find some redeeming quality in this beer but it was really bad. My wife finally convinced me to pour it down the drain and I'm glad she did. Maybe it was a bad bottle but I wouldn't risk buying another to find out.

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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 brewandbbq
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear, dark copper, with a one-inch head of white that disperses quickly. A few dots of lacework and a placid surface remain.

Aromatics are heavy on conifer pine, resinous hops, sap-seeped bark, and alcohol. Fresh cedar pulls through, as well as a hint of cinnamon. Spicy, resinous, and alcoholic.

Medium bodied, slick and syrupy. The carbonation is low and doesn't do the beer justice.

Spruce dew, hop oil, and citrus-spiked alcohol lead off the pallet. Tasting much like a barleywine, with a bit less malt.
Bitterness is firm and sustaining but not over-the-top. Slightly sweet and very resinous.

Finishes with plenty of thinning alcohol and pine-spiked hop oil.

The aromatics could especially benefit from a more lively carbonation level, and the drinkablity would be boosted as well.
Otherwise, a very big and strong IIPA.

I could see this one getting you wrecked.

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Photo of CaptainIPA
3.54/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on-tap in a tulip glass @ Sugar Maple on 5-22-08.

Pours a dark, rusty amber with glints of ruby. Reveals a thin, pitted head rimmed with bubbles. Magnificent lacing.

Toasted caramel nose with virtually no hints of hops.

Taste profile mirrors the aroma: caramel and lots of it. Warms quickly from the apparent (yet, well-concealed) rush of alcohol. Well-balanced, though skews malts. Whoa, it's an Imperial alright. Not very sessionable.

The perfect ale to drink while pondering boredom, alienation and absurdity. Or, nothing at all.

What Kierkegaard and Nietzsche would have sipped if they were drinking buddies.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Slightly cloudy, copper color with a few streams of rising carbonation that give way to a splotchy white head.

S- A lot of sweet candy, which was a little odd but very appealing. I also get some caramel and some vegetable hop aroma. Kind of subtle, but enjoyable none-the-less.

T- Very sweet and candy like with a slight vegetable aspect. The alcohol is also apparent, but isn't overly hot. There is somewhat of a malt backing keeping things from getting out of control.

M- Smooth and sweet and a little thick and sticky.

D- Not the best DIPA I have had, but is a unique beer and worth a try. A very sweet and interesting brew.

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Photo of TasteTester
3.12/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not overly impressed with this beer. Love New Holland, but this one missed the mark.

A-Deep amber, translucent. Little head on initial pour that disappeared quickly. Light lace, probably needed a cleaner glass.

S-Malty, hot alcohol, little to no hoppiness.

T-Not what I would have expected from NH. Weak compared to other DIPA. Bitter, malty hops.

M-Strong aftertaste for a weak ale. High alcohol content not well balanced.

D-Once was enough. Wouldn't be bad as a yearly-limited brew, but improvement over the years would be expected.

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Photo of drxandy
3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip glass from the bomber, heavy beer! wow, pour left little to no head, very thick from the alcohol.

color is of a golden amber, very deep - looks like trouble

smell is of hot alcohol, and extreme hopping - malt is sweet, almost malt liquor in quality, bready yeast creeping in the end.

taste proves this to be a hop bomb, extreme bitterness with sweetly dry finish. The malt is very much in the background with all the overpowering hops, makes me feel like if i sat on the bottle for a year it would balance out and it might come off smoother and more delicious.

mouthfeel is oily and thick, definately DIPA territory

overall drinkablity is where this fails, i really couldn't see myself drinking often if again soon, i would really like to see how age would do on it as stated before and am tempted to get another bomber to hold onto.

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Photo of abankovich
3.03/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a relatively light amber/yellow. Slightly lighter than most DIPAs. Head faded very quickly and the lacing is minimal.

Smells moist, hoppy and a little sweet.

Taste up front is intense bitter hops. Through the middle though a decent amount of the sweetness from the malt comes through. A little more than I usually like in my DIPAs. Strong hop bitterness finishes this one off as it goes down. There is a burnt characteristic to this one as well that I'm not necessarily a fan of.

Mouthfeel definitely has some chewy/sticky characteristics to it.

Drinkability for me personally isn't too high just because the sweetness from the malt comes through a little too much for my taste.

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Photo of Twerknasty
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orange drank color, haha its so true though! Very little lacing, very little head. To start this off, the nose is very sound. The hops are incredibly pronounced on the nose, showing tropical fruit canned base and have a hint of showing a bitterness at the first taste. The palate consists of a very simplistic barley wine, with malts dominating with hops on the background showing only a slight bitterness. The main flaw that i notice is the sheer alcohol presence which is unbalanced. Not a terrible beer, but I wouldn't bring this beer home for a double dip

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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 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 brewdlyhooked13
3.36/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - pours a slightly hazed tangerine color, a finger or so of cream colored foam on top. Very sticky as it recedes, leaving a lacy, drapy network of residue behind. As the beer sets up, the load of bubbles rising from pour turbulence is a thing of beauty. It rolls and weaves below the surface, lazily gathering the mass of suds for the under-head, finally condensing its effort into a solid mass. not the best head retention, but I dig the look otherwise.

Aroma - a very sweet, hoppy, fresh barleywine aroma. Peels back after a minute, leaving a sweet, orange jiuce or peach juice smell.

Taste - a full, caramel, sweet grain base, quickly followed by a syrupy mix of pineapple-like hops, sugar, and alcohol heat. The hops turn a little medicinal and the alcohol makes this a little too hot for ideal enjoyment. Any thoughts of cellaring to quell that would surely wipe out any advantageous hop flavors.

Mouthfeel - heavy and think on first sip, the beer glides like oil over the palate. Carbonation is kept well in check.

Drinkability - not something I'd go for other than posterity's sake.

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2.53/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed 6-17-07

This beer was so fresh the store where I bought it didnt even have it in the system yet.

The body is a nicely amber orange brown haze. It hosts a creamy tan head that fades to a skim with some lace. Nose is a sweet mix of odd notes including rasberry, rubarb, and fresh peppers and sweet tarts. On first sip you get a really unbalanced run of flavors including underdeveloped malt, tomato paste, cherry candy, and a hop character that is scattered with notes of raw fresh cut grass. This beer is "odd" overall. Mouthfeel is a bitter doughy hue. I had no real desire to finish this beer.

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Photo of Blybloke
2.61/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up at Dennis Brothers in Cottage Grove, MN.

I've tried a couple other of the big beers from New Holland and have to say that this one disappointed me a good bit. I have enjoyed their Dragon's Milk Ale on several occasions.

Poured a nice darkish orange into a snifter with about an inch of just-off-white head. Lacing was present, but underwhelming.

Aroma was disappointing. Nothing stood out to me. No big piney or grapefruit hops, no toffee, no candy. Sure, those aromas were present, but nothing stepped forward and took hold like a DIPA should. Everything seemed muted.

Flavor was another disappointment. They call this a "hop wine" but there weren't any big hop flavors showing up. If anything, it was a little sweet from a-bit-too-much malt. The malt stood in front of the hops and wouldn't let it get by. Alcohol was pronounced, but not too overbearing. I was expecting a palate-shredder of a hoppy ale, but alas.... This beer didn't know if it wanted to be a DIPA or Barley Wine or something else entirely.

Mouthfeel, on the other hand, was very good. Nice and thick. It's by far the best aspect of this particular beer, imo.

Drinkability was low due to the high ABV and the fact that the hops in this hop wine aren't very assertive at all.

Overall, if you're into DIPAs, you might take a chance on this one if you see it. It ranks near the bottom of the DIPAs I've tried. Who knows, I may have had a bad bottle, but I don't think I'll try it again.

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Photo of oakbluff
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great looking barleywine. Light orange/amber with good clarity and a two finger head that hangs around. Nose- Sweet grains and some pine. Taste- very sweet but not too cloying. Hops attack the palate on the back end in a really nice way. Grains are toasty and lively. The finish is quite dry from the hops and cleans away the initial honey like sweetness. Not picking up much alcohol which is nice. Excellent barleywine/american strong ale.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy orange amber color with about a finger light orange wispy head that resists fading. A good amount of lacing. The smell is wonderful; like a sugary citrus syrup. Adequately carbonated, the mouth feel is rich and heavy. Full flavored, the taste is quite sweet... obviously a ton of malt in there! The 10.5% ABV and the unique hoppy character present themselves well on another level during the swallowing breadth . A real nice drinker. Pops, I'm afraid I'm going to need to consider this one some more. Hope that you'll be up for that. Peace.

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Photo of mmcave
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kept this in my fridge for about three months and finally decided to crack it. Big bomber, chilled and poured into nonic. The head rose and fell fast lingers about a centimeter off the surface a nice, slightly creamy white. lacing is faint, but still present. The body is a meld of many colors, looks very much like fossilized amber.
Smell is extremely malty along with a creamy alcohol presence the hops are right up in there though. I get lots of grass and pine with mild touches of citrus. The malt is bready with maybe the faintest note of banana from fermentation, with touches of vanilla from the malt blended with the hops and tones of residual malt sugar, any how big big malt..
Flavor is no different than the smell, big, malty, hoppy and alcoholic. First sip is sweet and flavorful I get maple syrup, with leafy grass notes, bitterness is medium to light, but well perceptible and balanced. The malt and hop blend some how to me create notes of vanilla which is great. Alcohol is present in the taste, but is still very warming subtle and fun. With a bitter sweet lingering finish with residual sugar, this beer reminds me more of a barley wine or a very strong american strong ale than double IPA. Mouthfeel is thick sweet, oily, and syrupy, which I like. Although far from a session beer still very quafable under the right circumstance (winter after a meal). I get the feeling that this would do nicely with some age, just the same it is still fun youngish and I'm sure it was just as interesting brand new.

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Photo of cameraman
4.62/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deep amber color, that fades down the glass. An inch high head forms, cream in color, and it laces slowly along the glass. The aroma is fantastic, starting of with a pine and grass scents at first, followed by a twinge of citrus, and ending with a touch of malt sweetness. The malt comes out right the start of each taste, then halfway through a grassy flavor begins to dominate, slowly blends with a mild citrus bitterness tofinish it all off. It hits the palate almost like a medium-heavy feel, but it gradually thins as rolls to the back of the palate. There is a warm feel of alchol on the throat as well. A strong offering, a well blended flavor, incredible aroma, followed by a mor than favorable feel, make this a must try for craft beer lovers.

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Photo of dogger6253
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful, rose/amber color, bits of honey topped with huge foam. Light tan head, great retention and lots of lace. The head never seems to fall. Citrus and floral hops both jump in the aroma, grapefruit coming in too, kind of wheaty too...The taste is like nothing I expected. Immediate tastes are dark fruits, lots of raisin and plum, some fig, hops, alcohol, caramel, toffee, bits of coffee and chocolate even. The hops kind of take a back seat...craziness!

I thought this was medium bodied with little carbonation, very syrupy with a lingering hops flavor - great taste, really enjoyable. I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys quality beer. The aftertaste may deter the unexperienced drinker though...

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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 FightingEntropy
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: bottle from Andy's liquor in Rochester and poured into a pint glass cold--advise to let warm up a bit more, see below.

A: amber ale with a small very white head the disappeared quickly.

S: hops hit my nose while pouring into the pint glass. Clear and distinct from two foot away from my nose. Very strong spice and some fruity citrus as well. Hot from the alcohol. Somewhat complex spiceness from 10 hop additions.

T: A bit grassy, bitter front to back, peppery, malty sweet and oily. I was distracted reading for a bit, and as it warmed up the alcohol filled the pint glass and my nose in spite of the wide open rim. The bitterness mellowed and blended a bit and it became a better beer than my initial reaction.

M: full bodied, oily, and a drying aftertaste that lingers.

D: a bit overwhelming, but go slow, let it warm, and it grows on you.

Overall: not the best DIPA I've had, but good and worth a try if you're a NH fan like myself.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.32/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy amber/orange in color. Small tight head on top. Thick, resiny aroma of hops. Slight "booze" smell. Full frontal hop assault in the flavor. Piney and sticky hop flavor with a solid, bracing hop bitterness. Very malty and sweet-almost a caramel like sweetness to it. Body is spot on for this brew-thick and viscuous just like the flavors. Very, very drinkable and enjoyable beer. The stickyness of the hop flavor falls right into place alongside the huge bevy of malt and malty sweetness. Well done.

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Photo of hero27
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz silk-screened bottle.
10.5% abv...yowza.

Pours a stagnant amber color..head of off-white foam leaves some good lacing behind. Aroma consists of enormous toffee malt and a hop presence that you can smell from feet away.
Grapefruit, coating pine resin, and unrelenting bitterness with each sip.
Drinkability is decent considering the overwhelming characteristics of the brew itself.

This is one helluva double IPA (flirting with barleywine territory in my opinion)...full-bodied, heavy dosage of hops, and a thick malt presence.. lest we forget, it clocks in over 10% in the alcohol department.. proceed with caution!

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