New Holland Cabin Fever Brown Ale | New Holland Brewing Company

304 Reviews
no score
Send samples
New Holland Cabin Fever Brown AleNew Holland Cabin Fever Brown Ale

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-29-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 304 | Ratings: 975
Photo of Andrewtherooster
1.68/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This stuff just got to the shelf of my local store about a month ago or so, and as I used to enjoy it, I figured I'd grab a bottle and see if the appeal is still there.

It pours a dark, translucent brown with very little head. No lacing. Some carbonation rising to the top, but not much.

I take a whiff of it and am unimpressed. It smells like stale beer, like beer on someone's breath. No hops in the aroma, and only a slight hint of nutty malts.

When I taste this beer at first, it's not awful, but nothing stands out. As I continue to drink it, it gets worse. This beer cloyingly tastes of soy sauce, with very little of the nice malt I would expect from a craft-brewed brown ale. The mouthfeel is thin with very little carbonation.

I can think of so many other brown ales I would much rather have. This was a major disappointment and almost a drainpour. It's going to be some time before I give this seasonal another chance.

 932 characters

Photo of roadhouse
1.88/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a dark mahogany brown with a one inch light tan head. It sinks to a skim and leaves some spotty lacing. By far the best part of the beer.

Aroma is just like butterscotch candy. Quite filthy if you ask me. There's a slight fruity component to it but it can't top the butter.

Taste is like the aroma only slightly better. It starts out slightly tart with a bit of cherry-like fruitiness then that butter just blows everything away in the finish. Terrible aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is pretty good actually, it's medium bodied, and pretty creamy. Too bad it tastes horrible.

I have no idea what's going on with this stuff. Way too much buttery diacetyl - yuck.

 712 characters

Photo of TLove
2.1/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Picked up a seasonal 12 pack at Paul's Liquors in DC. LOVED the pumpkin and oatmeal stouts and was a big fan of the kolsch as well, but this one? Not a big fan.

Great color and heavy dark brown body, with a definitive, frothy 2 finger head that holds well and leaves a lot of lacing. The roasted malts were apparent, but there was an almost immediately overpowering scent of dark cherry sweet and sourness that went well through the mouth as well. Honestly, I had a very hard time tasting anything else.

The finish also had a pungent sourness from the cherry and blackberry scents that drowned everything else out. Maybe I got a bad batch? If this was the way it was intended to be, let me first say that I applaud New Holland for taking a normal brown ale base and aspiring to create a cherry porter, but at least forewarn me.

 830 characters

Photo of mmmbeer
2.42/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12 oz. bottle with no freshness date. Pours like a porter - off-black with a tan collar, and light carbonation that leaves a bit of lacing. Smells of light roast coffee and milk chocolate, sweet caramel, licorice and a dash of aged malt. Well-integrated and refined, but it's downhill from here. Tastes roasty, lactic and acidic, with coffee and a bit of hops. The roast and the acid clash quite offensively, and it ends bitter. Thin body, moderate carbonation and short finish. This is very hard to drink. It looked and smelled so good, but it ended up in the drain. I would love to try a proper one.

 601 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
2.44/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer pours a clear brown color. The head is absolutely none existent. The aroma is of molasses, nougat, and toffee. The taste is of dull caramel with some not so pleasant astringency. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with almost no carbonation, and a oily texture. Overall, this is a disappointing beer.

 306 characters

Photo of womencantsail
2.49/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: The beer pours a dark brown color, almost mahogany with a rather small/thin layer of tan head.

S: Smells overly roasty and acidic, slightly acrid, perhaps. Mild toffee and malt sweetness, and a little bit of a nuttiness. A little bit of bad/stale coffee aroma in there as well. Poor all around.

T: Slightly better as I take a sip. Some sweet toffee and caramel underneath with some toasted bread. However, there is a noticeable acidity which intensifies as the beer warms up. Acrid roastiness is still present.

M: Medium in body with a nice medium and smooth carbonation--the one redeeming factor for this beer.

O: Overall, this was a pretty bad beer. Far too acidic and no real brown ale flavors to it.

 710 characters

Photo of nightcrawler
2.56/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a very dark brown. The liquid was very thick, almost like an oatmeal or imperial stout. In fact, it was thicker than the Guinness I chased it with. The higher carbonation saved it from being too thick for me.

It had no real smell, even though it produced a nice, fairly long-lived head. The taste was sweeter than I expected. That alone makes me only want to drink one in a sitting, if any.

As far as American browns go, I'll probably spend my money on a different brand in the future.

 494 characters

Photo of OhYesILoveBeer
2.66/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12oz bottle into a standard pint.

Pours a deep mohagany reddish hue, crystal clear with a single finger light tan head. Smells like any other brown ale, and its starting to get old. Im not sure why every brewer and thier mother has to load these brown ales down with that horrible Tootsie Roll, fake chocolate taste. This is comparable to Abita's TurboDog, with the massive fake chocolate flavor. It gets even worse as it warms up. Mouthfeel is right on for the style. Finish is more Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Rolls, and more Tootsie Rolls...

Overall, I regret dropping the $10 on a six pack. Im not a huge fan of browns to begin with , but this one is just plain out cloying with the fake chocolate flavor.

Overall, pass it up. There are much much better brown ales out there.



 789 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It is brown with some red high lites. The pour is rather uninteresting passage with neither a foamy cap or carbonation.
Smells thin and sour slightly roasted malts. The taste isn't very good, there are brown ale aspects such as roasted malts and toffee but there is also a sour acidity that dominates here.
Mouthfeel is thin and bland. This really isn't very good. There was no head to speak of, little to no carbonation, a sour taste, and thin watery feeling.

 460 characters

Photo of jrallen34
2.78/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a De Struise bottle... Pours a dark and very clear mahogany. A light tan head that rises about a finger but then falls fast to only a thing ring, poor lacing... The aroma is really weak, a hint of roasted coffee a little nut. Boring, too light... The taste is really bad, stale grassy hopppy coffee, gross... Terrible mouthfeel that is harsh, chalky, too carbonated... I don't want to drink this.


 426 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
2.8/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass.

3.5 A: Clear dark brown color. One and a half fingers of creamy beige head with about average retention and a small ring of lacing.

3.5 S: Butterscotch, caramel, and nuts. There's also hints of dish detergent, but that might be a problem on my end, so I won't hold it against them. The aroma isn't too bad, but isn't too good either.

2.5 T: Butterscotch is overly present in the taste. It's way too strong and covers up some of the nuttiness, toffee, and toasted notes. Low bitterness and maybe a touch of chocolate to round it off.

2.5 M: The mouthfeel isn't pleasant at all. It has a light to lighter medium body that is slippery and fatty. Carbonation is at a good level, but it's a harsher breed of carbonation.

2.5 D: I'll pass on this if I ever see it again. Plenty of problems without a lot done right.

 840 characters

Photo of tlazaroff
2.8/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Light brown sugar and molases on the nose with a strange cola backdrop of aromas.

Very dark brown in color, but crystal clear. It has no speakable head except for a little light tan foam cap that just disappears but leaves a little lacing. Just as it smells of cola, it looks like cola too.

Good news, it doesn't taste like cola! I get lightly burnt caramel, molases, and nice robust malt flavors. Moderately carbonated and a medium body, it is easy to drink, I just wish it was a better experience overall.

 510 characters

Photo of bluemoonswoon
2.85/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, rouding out a seasonal 12pack from New Holland.

Clean looking cola color, that is to say, not demonstrating those sticky bubbles on the side of the glass that most colas are guilty of, that and the one and a half finger head make all the difference in the world. Apart from its caramel color, its aroma is even more apparant, almost butterscotchy in aroma and mixed with a prety decent amout of grapefruity hops. Not like any brown ale I've ever encountered, this one is American through and through. Rich, roasted caramel malt dominate the opening and everything keeps getting sweeter from there, hops seem to fall of a little bit from the nose. Beer closes overly sweet and grainy, almost cloying, would be almost unbearable if not for the soda like carbonation that keeps the beer bubbling just above the tongue. Not something I'd really want to reach for again, reminds me a bit of Atwater's beers, maybe I got a bad bottle, but the rest in teh 12 pack seemed okay. Just a bit dissapointed here.

 1,013 characters

Photo of corby112
2.91/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled on tap at Kraftwerk during their New Holland event on 2/5/11.

Pours a very dark brown color that's almost completely opaque except for slight mahogany edges and a half finger beige head that quickly fades without leaving much lacing.

Sweet, slightly roasted aroma with hints of rye, caramel and toffee. There's also an odd spicy character and subtle sweet dark fruit.

Medium bodied and not very robust or roasty with sweet caramel malt and hints of rye and toffee. Sweeter than expected with dark fruit notes, notably raisin, plum and grape.

 552 characters

Photo of TheViolator666
2.91/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 fl. oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Looks pretty good. Pours with a nice brown body with dark copper highlights when back lit. Great clarity. Head is about two-fingers and a nice light brown shade. Retention is low, lacing is light.

S: Notes of dark fruits and roasted malts. Some earthy hops. Pretty rich.

T: Some caramel and tons of/too much roasted malts as well as some chocolate. Not much bitterness. Slight signs of diacteyl. Sourness is detectable in the aftertaste and is definitely unexpected. Could pass for a porter. Dry aftertaste.

M/D: Mouthfeel is pretty full and a bit on the creamy side. Carbonation is moderate.

Overall, if they toned down the roasted malts a bit, fixed their diacteyl problem and got rid of that sourness this would be a nice brown ale. On the upside, I love the label!

 820 characters

Photo of jdflyer06
2.93/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Deep brown with some dark ruby character when held to the light. Not much head to speak of and very light in consistency.

S: Smells of burnt grains, raisins, rye bread, molasses and a bit of an acrid, almost spoiled smell finished off with some hop floralness

M: Harsh, watered down and a bit too much carbonation. It gets some creaminess on the finish but overall not a pleasant experience.

T: An acrid, astringent taste catches me off guard but as I settle into the pint, I get some sweet dark fruit and alot of biscuity flavors that really are not meshing for me at all. Roasted, almost burnt malt dominate the tongue and just won't go away. Some bitterness lingers, almost like burnt toast. Alcohol is also WAY to prominent.

O: It's a brown ale for sure, but it's a complete miss for me. Drinkability is OK given that it's not too filling, but I wouldn't ever seek it out again. I don't see how this really qualifies as a winter warmer. The first real disappointment from New Holland for me but hey, we can't all be perfect right?

 1,090 characters

Photo of argock
2.95/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $1.80.

A: Thick chestnut brown with orange highlights at the edge. Attractive creamy french vanilla 1-2 finger head with good retention and lacing mainly at the top of the glass.

S: Very candy sweet with buttery caramel, cocoa, cola, toasted dark grain aromas

T: The taste is a major disappointment, but the butter in the aroma unfortunately is the foreshadowing of diacetyl bomb. Ultra syrupy sweet chocolate and caramel do not play well with the tart, overly sour fruit flavors. A bit of wet newspaper flavor in the end from the liberal amount of toasted dark malt salvages something but this is cloying and astringent all at once.

M: A feel like thinned-out cough syrup is not helping and the aftertaste is like a sour cherry cordial.

D: Skip this one and seek out New Holland's Mad Hatter or Poet if you want a better idea of what this brewery is capable of. Glad I went with the single first for sure.

 1,046 characters

Photo of Gehrig
2.95/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I grabbed this as part of a mix-a-sixer at Friar Tuck's in Champaign. Seeing New Holland on the label made this a must-grab, especially since I hadn't had a good, new Brown Ale in some time. I wish I hadn't.

Dense tan froth dissipates rapidly, leaving no lacing around a rich, deep brown. Moderate aroma with some molasses, lightly toasted hazelnut coffee, and caramel. The taste is sour and somewhat bitter, at least as much as it is sweet. As it warms, the sour takes charge, unfortunately. The carbonation isn't bad, but the sour taste makes this a turn-off, much to the detriment to the creaminess that tries to emerge.

Big disappointment, the worst I've had from New Holland. I won't ever grab this again. Avoid.

 719 characters

Photo of keanex
2.96/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Deep garnet when held up to the light, light tan head that quickly disappears.

S: Very bland, not much outside of a slight raison smell coming through, light earth hints. Very bland and not inviting.

T: Toasted malts, brown nut flavors, and slight raison. Very bland on the taste too.

M: Medium bodied, light fizzy carbonation.

O: This is very boring, I wish I'd bought a Newcastle instead, and yes I mean that. This beer brings nothing to the table and will be forgotten.

 531 characters

Photo of smallbatchbrewer
2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

this reminds me of Meyer's dark rum.

A- Very dark mud brown, still able to sense that this beer has pretty good clarity

S- Nutty malts... I almost smell soy sauce but it may be woody too- going back and forth- might not be able to suss this one my friends. There is definitely something here that is off

T- Molasses, Meyer's dark rum, nuts, heavy malt. I wonder what the final gravity is for this beer. I wouldn't be surprised if it's high in residual sugars...especially for its category. Finishes a little sour for me

M- Thick coating feel but dissipates faster than one would expect. Maybe better for dessert than an afternoon pick-me-up/first-beer-of-the-day-beer

D- I don't know how much of this stuff I would want to drink in quantity but I am somewhat enjoying the one I have in front of me now. I have friends that I am sure would love it

 851 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

6.5% per my bottle. 17 plato. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Dick's Last Resort pilsner glass in me sister's gaff in low altitude Minneapolis, Minnesota. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average.

A: Pours a one finger khaki colour head of nice thickness and cream, and pretty decent retention considering the above average ABV. Colour is a very dark amber. Nontransparent but non-opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Toasted malt, caramelization, floral hopping, some nutty notes, cream, biscuit malt, and still more caramelization. A moderate strength aroma.

T/Mf: Toasted smooth malts, creamy qualities, prominent nuts, biscuit malt, and minimal hopping. Balanced and tasty, if simple. Smooth and wet. Clean. Good carbonation. Good thickness. Alcohol does come through. No yeast is detectable.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable. I wouldn't have it again, but it's a decent little brown ale. Doesn't hide its ABV all that well. Meh.


 1,005 characters

Photo of JustLikeMyDad
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this into a beer mug, pours dark brown, almost black.
Small foam head pour, some lacing.
Smells chocolaty.
Tastes as chocolaty as it smells, no surprised there, though compared tot he bottled description, it feels misleading. I had assumed it would be chocolate tasting when I purchased it though.
Feels smooth enough, not watery, bold flavor, nice carbonation.
Overall, I don't like chocolate but it's not bad, I kinda like it.

 437 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a chocolate brown color with tawny highlights; not much of a head or lacing

Smell: Butterscotch delight, with a hint of mocha; great for candy, not so much for beer

Taste: Butterscotch and mocha up front, but it turns somewhat sour by mid-palate, with a balsa wood undertone; woody, over-roasted and sour in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: For diacetyl lovers only, this beer just has a lot of flaws

 463 characters

Photo of drtacks37
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Dark-Brown, Reddish pour. Minimal tan head and no lacing.

Smells coffee and heavy. Taste mild-sweet with definite fruit and coffee flavor and some hoppy goodness. Mouthfeel, heavy and creamy (just what I was hoping for).

A nice, heavy beer. Could pass for a light stout. A good winter beer. Curl up by the fireplace and warm up from the snow.

A good beer.

 360 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber to brown in color, with a light tan head. In the aroma, a small roast and some faint spices. In the taste, spices, cinnamon stands out, and a small roast. A spice bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry spice and malt in the aftertaste, Just a mellow brown ale with some spices.

 307 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
New Holland Cabin Fever Brown Ale from New Holland Brewing Company
3.67 out of 5 based on 975 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.