New Holland Cabin Fever Brown Ale | New Holland Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 304 | Ratings: 974
Photo of littleshamrocks
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with mahogany highlights in color, with a large frothy tan head that lingers and leaves behind streaks of sticky lace. Nice clarity.

S: Roasted malts in the nose with noticeable sweetness. Dark fruity esters reminiscent of raisins and hints of rye. Very pleasing aroma.

T&M: Medium to full body with strong/ full roasted malt character. Starts off smooth and then lets loose with some sweetness in the middle, followed by a burst of roasted malt and raisin flavors in the finish. Also picked up some caramel malt, brown sugar, and pancake syrup notes.

D: Let me start by saying that I like this beer. It is one of the fullest flavored brown ales that I have had the pleasure of drinking. New Holland scores big with this winter seasonal.

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Photo of estereich
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer with dinner (stuffed pepper soup). It poured a beautiful rich brown/red with a slight foamy light tan head that lasted about a minute. Smell was reminiscent of a dry red wine. Some strong fruity esters, plum and raisin come to mind. Chocolate undertones. It is quite sweet in front but the sweetness fades quickly and dries in the mouth(again much like a Cabernet Sauvignon). The back end is diacetyl and fairly bitter. Oddly enough, I had some fresh parmesan cheese with dinner, and when paired with the cheese the beer was quite nice. I think this is a wine.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The 12-ounce bottle yields a clear, dark reddish-brown body capped with a finger's thickness of creamy pale tan foam. The head relaxes into a milk-bubbly skim with a slim collar that leaves a few scattered freckles of lacing strewn about the glass.

The smell is muted but fruity, with a touch of grainy-sweet caramel-coated granola and a spritz of fermented golden apple.

The taste is mild and sweet with a dusting of spicy herbal hops that dry the finish. A drizzle of thin, mellow caramel sprinkled with hot cocoa mix forms the backbone of the drink, and a juicy splash of watered-down orchard fruit juice refreshes the palate.

The drink is light-medium in body, lightly carbonated, totally inoffensive and mellow.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at Pizzeria Paradiso in the Georgetown area of DC. I only bring this up b/c I was reading some reviews after I typed in mine and noticed someone else just last week had the same beer at the same place. Small world (I ralize that probably no one cares). Here's my review before this edit.

Came in a pint glass with a dark copper body and a two-finger white head that was foamy but quickly left. A dryer, roasted malt smell with some sweet malts like butterscotch and caramel that make an appearance but are minor. Not really a significant hop presence. Is a medium-boded beer that is smooth and creamy, but this one just didn't grab me. Had some sweet and roasted malts mix it up on the tongue, a little slick, but nothing amazing. Finishes clean with a hint of dryness and that's about it. Not a bland beer, but just a run-of-the-mill brown to be honest. Kind of shocked New Holland put out a "weak" beer (their "weak" is still miles ahead of a lot of other breweries), but if you really want a brown ale and there's nothing else on the menu then go for this.

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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.

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Photo of donteatpoop
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark maple wood color with very little head retention.

It smells sweet, honey and maple syrup, underlying crispness of hops.

This tastes really good. Very smooth beer, bitterness upfront and an almost creamy sweetness floodsing in at the end to balance the ale out.

Creamy, pleasant aftertaste. The belches are not unpleasant.

Really an interesting brown ale, not at all what I was expecting.

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Photo of glid02
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at Pizzeria Paradiso in Washington DC.

Pours a clear dark brown color with a thin off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer of bubbles on top leaving not very much in the lacing department.

Smells of lightly roasted malts, not quite as sweet as toasted malts but not as heavy as roasted malts in a stout/porter. There's also a hint of smokiness and buttery malts that make their way out from time to time.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though a bit less complex. Lightly roasted malts kick things off, then sweeten up as the malt flavor becomes a bit more buttery. Not much else happens, and there's a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's a bit on the thin side but still manages to go down pretty smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I could have more than one of these, but I'm not sure that I want to.

Overall this is right in the middle of the road with browns. There's nothing that really sticks out as above average, though in the same vein nothing sticks out as less than average. Worth a shot if you're into browns.

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Photo of matty
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is malts and chocolate.Taste is chocolate and smoky malts.A decent beer that would go well with a BBQ due to it's smoky flavor.Overall pretty good and something that I would recommend and purchase again!!

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Photo of rmasen
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: extremely dark, would not call this brown, almost black with a tan-ish head.

S: first thing I could smell while I was pouring was a malty sweetness. Very roasty.

T: Wow not at all what I expected. Very roasty and quite a bit of chocolate. Broad malt character comes across quite well. A little alcohol and carbonation in the flavor.

M: Very nice. leans toward the thinner side and the carbonation is pleasantly detected.

D: Too sweet to be really drinkable. a good beer none the less.

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Photo of biker30x
3.51/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint deep chocolate brown, clear with a thin head quickly fading. Smelled nutty & slightly burnt. This carried over into the taste of burnt nuts and burnt sugar. Flavors thin and riding an over abundance of carbonation. Left only a faint aftertaste of malt. Drinkable and appropriate for a cold Michigan weekend afternoon.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chocolate brown with generous orange accents (on the coaster)... black cherry when held up to the sunlight streaming through my front window. The khaki colored crown is on the small side, though it does hang around for a spell. So far, a high collar of lace is the only glass decoration.

The nose is interesting and makes me think that there's something other than barley, hops, yeast and water present. The dominant aroma is a caramel-butterscotch sort of vibe that I've smelled in some Lake Louie beer. Whatever it is, it works just fine in an American brown.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work quite as well on the palate. Cabin Fever tastes artificially flavored, like something that Leinenkugel would release. Not quite that bad, but along those lines. Man oh man, there's some serious clashing goin' on.

Sweet clashes with tart (there isn't much bitterness), and the flavors clash too. Specifics include brown bread, caramel-butterscotch, cocoa and unripe fruit. The website implies that rye malt is present. Hard to figure. It tastes like something went wrong at the design stage, not necessarily at the execution stage.

The mouthfeel was expected to have some amount of robustness. It doesn't. It isn't bad for the style... if the ABV was 4.5% rather than 6.25%. No beer this (moderately) big should bring the word 'watery' to mind, even if it doesn't quite qualify. Less than high quality carbonation doesn't help.

New Holland is a better brewery than Cabin Fever Brown Ale would suggest. I'm not sure what went astray with this offering (diacetyl most likely), but I would much rather stock the cabin with something more substantial and more tasty. This is disappointing beer. Especially considering the source.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into pint glass.

Poured with a nice 2F head, and deep, deep brown color. Pretty nice lacing, too.

Smelled of charred wood, roasted almonds, cigar smoke, and a wee note o' chocolate.

Found the flavor to have a nice balance of tart cherry acidity, with a touch of bittersweet chocolate maltiness.

Pretty rich on the palate for a brown ale. Some lingering smokey aftertaste.

Brown ales have been my least favorite of all styles - but this could be the first one I actually can say that I enjoyed enough to get a six of... aw heck, maybe a case.

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Photo of ABOWMan
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Excellend deep brown color with huge amber white head that lasts forever.

Smell: Roasted barley with hoppy backgroud.

Taste: Raosted malt, chocolate, bitter.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, rich, and velvety.

Drinkability: Depends on your constitution! Lots of flavor. How much can you endure?

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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

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Photo of droomyster
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I'm having this bottle side-by-side with Newcastle Brown so this should be a lot of fun. This pours a much darker brown than Newcastle with a medium tan head. Smells of darkened toast and rosted malts - very nice. Far more complex taste than Newcastle. This beer is very interesting. A strong roasted bitterness and almost sourness or tanginess that is very intriguing; bitter coffee finish. THe watery body is its biggest flaw but this is still a very drinkable beer. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of possumfollower2
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A little more in depth description of the main factors:
Aroma had vanilla and light touch of butterscotch. Color is deep, I mean deep, dark brown. Head retention was reasonable but died quickly. It was very light tan and thin laced. Texture was thick and hefty like taffy. I'd further say, the quafibility for me is in limited doses. This beer is great for the Vanilla Porter and sweet stout fans out there. Has just enough all spice to remind that it's a winter beer. You can tell it's the same guys who brew Red Tulip and Dragon's Milk. A little in love with the malts, boys? A suitable dark winter for those who don't enjoy the typical "winter" beers. It's fair to middlin', in my humble opinion as are most New Hollands. Too sweet and overly malty with no counter balance of dry tones that gives good to great beers their complexity.

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Photo of prototypic
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It's dark brown in color. Almost looks like cola. There's some red highlights around the edges. A vanilla colored head that's about a finger and a half deep tops it off. Retention was on the short side and lacing was light.

Smell: The nose is alright. It's fairly strong. Primarily, it consists of a caramel/toffee malts. Frankly, I don't find it all that enticing. It's a very strong buttered toffee smell that's nearly overwhelming. There's a touch of chocolate and toasted malts that help out a little. Smells a little yeasty. Alcohol is masked well. Not a trace of it. Buttered toffee rules the day. Very average.

Taste: The flavor profile is better, but not materially so. Caramel/toffee malts are easily the focal point. Chocolate malts are more pronounced here. It may help the butttered toffee flavor come across a little better. Something does. There's a slight yeast flavor, but it doesn't offend. Tastes like there's some light hopping that adds a touch of bitterness. Nicely done. Alcohol is not at all noted. Finishes sweet.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and has a pretty good feel. It is smooth. Carbonation is light. Actually, the feel is this beer's high point. Drinkability is above average, but not quite good. The flavor's not quite good enough to command many visits.

Cabin Fever's an okay beer, but it is a little disappointing. The strong caramel/toffee aspect of it is just a little too much for me. It really hinders the nose. There's a number of superior Brown Ales that are much more desireable. It's worth a try, but needs some work.

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Photo of ncstateplaya
3.22/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: This brew poured a very rich mahogany color with a creamy head about the color of oatmeal. The head was very frothy but had very little retention and quickly dissipated. The lacing in the glass was virtually non-existent.

Smell: Slight hints of coffee with notes of hops. Sweet aromas such as caramel and toffee were mixed in with some undertones of the alcohol.

Taste: I thought this beer had a smokey flavor with a rusty metallic bite. There was a slight bitterness that pleased my palate. On the finish it seemed to be more than just a 6.25ABV.

Mouthfeel: This brew was crisp and nicely carbonated. It coats the mouth and the slight bitterness persists through the finish.

Drinkability: Not a brew that I would actively seek out or even reach for if I saw it on the table. Many more winter seasonals that appeal to my palate.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Ohio a few weeks back on my HoF run...didn't know what to expect from this and I haven't had a Brown Ale since I tried Brooklyn's version of it a ways back. This beer wasn't that bad but there wasn't much about it that stood out. Not hoppy, not spicy, and certainly not outlandish. It goes well on a cold night like this, but trying to pinpoint the flavors is tough since I'm not accustomed to this type of beer.

The hue was the best part of this pour - a rich mahagony with traces of garnet at the edges. There was a slightly frothy head that didn't last long and the lacing is practically nowhere to be found. As for the mouthfeel, it's mellow, malty, and full of butterscotch and toffee. This almost seemed like a dessert beer, not on the level of a stout or a tart lambic, but instead, more on the sweet side. I almost thought of cheese when I first took a sip of this - something buttery and thick. I think it's just the sweetness of the butterscotch that's coming through, but I could easily see myself having this with some cream cheese and some grapes. It just has that basic appeal to it!

This has a week feel of alcohol to it and I'd swear it would make a good session had I not seen the 6.25% ABV. I don't really feel any toffee in this like some others do, but instead, I look at this as a less sticky and caramel-like version of Newcastle. It can warm ya up on a night like this but it's by no means a winter warmer. Instead, it's a mellow after-dinner beer perfect for those who just want to mellow out and not think about what they're drinking. A quietly solid offering from New Holland...

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pousrs mix of dark garnet and brown with a pretty quick head and some small, sluggish, sporadic bubbling. Nutty and toffee filled aroma with just a bit of bitter roasted malt. Very nutty and full of toffee, wuth maybe a splash of suagared and creamed coffee. Maybe a little too sweet. No discernable detection of hops. Velvety super sweet palate. Wintery sweet yes, but not all that sessionable. Although, the flavors are good, and they don't linger too long.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a nearly opaque dark brown beneath a thin tan head.

Aroma of malts, hazelnuts, butter, toffee, and vanilla.

The taste is sweet malts, butterscotch, raisin, toffee, and hazelnuts. Smooth finish of vanilla creme.

Medium bodied, smooth and creamy, with a moderate carbonation.

I really enjoyed this brown ale from New Holland. A real pleasure to drink.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Emerges a cocoa amber color with an impressive, stiff and dense one finger sized head, dark eggshell in color. Plenty of lacing and the head retention is quite amazing.

Aroma is pleasing and slightly alkaline. Loads of maltiness and sublte fruitiness.

I really enjoyed the flavor here. Somewhat sweet and quite fruity with a sticky sort of slickness. Some coffee and other dark grain flavors.

Great mouthfeel. Almost full bodied and thick and chewy and slick. Perfect carbonation. Perhaps a little fruity and slightly sweet, but a really good beer. I am usually not a brown fan (english, anyway), but these american browns are starting to grow on me.

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Photo of jmalex
3.37/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Phillyduke for offering this beer to me. It will be my first from New Holland.

APPEARANCE: Pours into an English pub-style glass a deep but not opaque brown. A small off-white head forms initially but falls quickly to a hearty collar with a large foam patch floating on the surface. Waiting a bit longer yields a completely still surface with only a scant few bubbles remaining.

SMELL: A full-strength, malty aroma comes fast out of the gates. Nutty, some light caramels, and a hint of black malt are the most prominent smells. A very light hop aroma balances everything out with an earthy, floral quality.

TASTE: A bit bigger and sweeter than I expected. The malts are big and bold with nutty, bready, caramel, and toffee flavors coming through strong. Hop flavor is not quite there for balance which throws the beer slightly askew. The finish doesn't let any flavor escape featuring the entire spectrum of tastes in close to their full glory.

MOUTHFEEL: Hard to get my head around this. Quite thick and approaches a syrupy feel. But the finish becomes almost too thin somehow and peters out somewhat. Carbonation is fairly strong and maybe the slightest bit too high.

DRINKABILITY: Great malt flavors make this easy to drink, but a lack of balance leaves me wanting more. More bitterness and hop flavor, that is.

My first beer from New Holland was also my first brown ale in quite some time. I'm glad I got both those things tonight, and will probably look for more of both despite being underwhelmed by this one.

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Photo of zeff80
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a deep dark brown color with ruby highlights. It had a tan, foamy, one-finger head. It left thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled very nutty, lots of hazelnut. It had a sweet roasted malt nose, too.

T - This had a very nutty flavor, especially hazelnut. Sweet caramel flavors emerged underneath the nutty taste and a biscuity malt flavor added to the sweetness.

M - It was smooth and very soft. A light to medium-bodied brew.

D - This has to be one of the best brown ales that I have had in some time. Great sweetness and nutty flavors.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark ruby brown body. Just a skimming of brown cream on the surface. Lace is minimal. Aroma is thick and sweet. Caramel and fudge and toffee and nougat all balled into one. Taste is pretty sticky sweet. Big toffee and a little butterscotch. Also caramel and some wet cardboard. Lingering semblance of cloying. Viscous mouthfeel with cough syrup feel to it. It turned out better by the end of it than with my first sip. But still very average.

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New Holland Cabin Fever Brown Ale from New Holland Brewing Company
3.67 out of 5 based on 974 ratings.
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