Rye P.A. Hatter | New Holland Brewing Company

very good
113 Reviews
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Rye P.A. HatterRye P.A. Hatter

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by fear025 on 07-02-2010

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Reviews: 113 | Ratings: 334
Photo of hashiru
1.5/5  rDev -60.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I have to rate this awful - I hope it was a bad bottle, since overall other reviewers seem to lean toward raving about the brew. Also, I have enjoyed Mad Hatter in the past and in general like New Holland beers.

Half the bottle exploded in foam in the sink, where for some prescient reason I opened it. The remaining beer was enough to produce two pint glassfuls, each of which was about half foamy carbonation. The color was similar to a dirty mud puddle.

I got hardly any smell or taste of rye, hops or malt. It was not exactly plastic as another reviewer suggested, but more like library paste. Phew - what an experience.

Close to the worst beer I've ever had. Like I say, I hope my bottle was a total outlier (maybe left on a warm shelf in a sunny warehouse for six months?)

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Photo of Homebrew35
1.64/5  rDev -56.7%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Opens with a big gush of foam. Oh ohh. This is going to be a problem. Ultra carbonation wastes about 1/3 of the bottle.
Hazy amber body with a massive egg shell colored head.

Smells of carmel, sweet sticky green apple and funk. Some lemon pledge mixed with shoe polish.

Tastes of sweet cheeries, musty blanket, toffee and earthy hops. I know already this is not right but I must tell of my experience.

Mouthfeel is medium thin with little carbonation remaining. A sticky sweet and funky aftertaste remains.

Overall this is funkified and not right. I hope this can be resolved in a future batch.
2011 vintage.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.23/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

BOTTLE: Silver foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap. 2014 vintage. 1 pint 6 fl oz. Brown glass. Appealing label art.

Reviewed live as a rye pale ale per the label. Expectations are above average given the brewery. Purchased in CO and served cold into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass at high altitude in Castle Rock, CO.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1.5 fingers wide. Beige colour. Average thickness, creaminess, fullness, complexion, and consistency. Above average frothiness. Nice retention - ~5 minutes. Light, even lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Vibrant amber-copper. Translucent and transparent. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears well-carbonated. It's not spot on for a pale ale, but I guess the rye does have an effect on colour. Still, it's far from unique or special. This is a pretty middle-of-the-road appearance for a pale. I'm optimistic.

AROMA: Sweet sticky caramalt dominates, lending far too much sweetness for a pale and seemingly drowning out the hops. Hopwise, I get nectary notes, faint pine, and some herbal/evergreen character. Rye's signature spiciness is in there but's hidden; I doubt I'd notice it if I tried this beer blind.

Aromatic intensity is average.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

Suggests an overly sweet pale ale with insufficient hopping.

TASTE: Caramalt dominates the taste as well, to its detriment. I have trouble finding even any pale malts. Rye's spiciness does flourish on the climax, but it's not enough to save this flavour profile from its fundamental imbalance/overdone malt sweetness. And it suffers from a disgusting green apple/candied apple/caramelized apple note I despise. The hops get eclipsed, but I do find traces of herbal and evergreen hop character; maybe a hint of pine too? The ingredients were just poorly selected here; this should be a pale malt heavy flavour profile with bright hop notes like citrus and resins.

Average/underwhelming depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. There's no notable complexity/intricacy, nuance, or subtlety. It's a pretty overt build, lacking much cohesion. Not a gestalt flavour profile by any means. Sadly, there is some noticeable alcohol warmth as well. A problematic pale ale buid that I'm having trouble liking.

As it warms, I even find some marshmallow emerging - an awful flavour in a pale ale build.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, crisp, overcarbonated, too full-bodied, overly thick, and slightly syrupy, with an off-puttingly sticky feel on the palate. This texture is ill-suited to its intended style and doesn't do a good job of complementing the taste. Subpar execution. Fails to elevate the beer.

OVERALL: Disappointing work from New Holland. The execution didn't deliver on the potential of the premise. In order to fix this, they'd need to go to back to the drawing board; even the fundamental ingredient selection decisions are wrong. Not sure what they were after with this one. I'll finish the bottle with effort, but I definitely wouldn't buy this again. Why is it so damned sweet?

High D

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
2.36/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Like several other reviewers, I had a miserable experience with this beer. Upon opening the bottle, 1/3 of the contents foamed over and saturating the surface of my bar. Since many people have had this problem, it is a trend not an isolated incident. This is a poor reflection on an otherwise good brewery. The problem needs to be fixed.

What was left of the contents produced a copper colored beer with little aroma. The aroma may have already been spilled. The initial taste produced a modest hoppy flavor. However, there was no detectable rye flavor. Any mouthfeel was negligible. The aftertaste was watery and hardly significant.

I have loved many of New Holland's beers, but I really must wonder what went wrong here. Between the contents exploding for a number of people and the paltry amount of flavor, I am very disappointed.

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Photo of jpopejoy
2.74/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: poured a nice orange haze. good head, but minimal lacing.

S: nice rye with minimal hops

T: actually pretty malty on the backend, but finishes really watery.

M: too carbonated for me

O: probably the worst rye I've had. VERY VERY mellow. There was really hardly any hops to this at all.

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Photo of Wadsey
2.94/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Rye Hatter

Served in New Belgium tulip 

A: Pours clear light amber with big, fluffy head that shows decent retention. A little bubbly. 

S:  Light notes of grapefruit, tea, other citrus, and some toasted malts. The nose is fairly subdued on this beer.

T: Sweet, spicy rye and toasted malts, in that order. Tea and citrus appear intermittently on palate. Medium-high bitterness with spicy, dry finish. A strange dirty note keeps presenting itself. Not sure what to make of it. 

M: Medium body and carbonation.  Oddly enough,y  a little heavy. Somewhat drying. 

O: Rye Hatter has some complication to it and drinks reasonably well, yet it strikes me as very average. The dirty/earthy note keeps distracting me, too. 

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Photo of Viciousknishs
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- pours an amber color with a finger and a half of off white head that recedes into a thin cap of bubbles.

S- spicey rye aromas with a hint of caramel sweetness initialy. On the back of the bottle it says that they dry hopped it. If they did they must have thrown in maybe a handfull of hops because the hop aroma is very weak. Slightly citrus with an overall grassy hop aroma.

T- The rye comes out nicely in the flavor with a note of caramel malt. Toasted bread malt characters with a spicey note. Again weak hops and mild bitterness. Finish is dry with a herbal hop flavor lasting into the aftertaste.

MF- The mouthfeel is great. Smooth and creamy. Average carbonation and a slightly thin medium body.

D- drinkable? Yes but I can think of many other brews I'd want to have. Overall pretty average.


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Photo of BMMillsy
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This would not stop foaming and overflowing from the bottle. Pours dark reddish color, some ruby brown coming through the edges, with a big fluffy head of course. Smell is funky and spicy with a definite rye presence, light grass hops, and yeastyness. Something off about the flavor without much hop bitterness, some rye spice, yeast funk, very light watered down malts. Relatively light bodied with lots of bubbles. Not a huge fan of this one. Seems muddled.

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Photo of ahq514
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into snifter

Dissipates into a solid one finger head fairly rapidly. Is a murky orangish, reddish, amberish color.

Aroma is not a strong one, but I get some faint citrusy, floral aromas, mostly orange with a dash of lemon thrown in. A subtle aroma of rye spiciness.

Taste is pleasant, but nothing special. Get some citrus from the hops, but nothing near what I was expecting. Get a little bit of spiciness from the rye, and some light caramel malt notes.

Mouthfeel is adequate. The carbonation seems just right, but it seems a little on the light bodied side of what I thought would be good for this type of beer. Could use some more malt.

Overall, its a decent beer, but nothing really that stands out. I've had many other rye ipa's that have far outshined this one.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.11/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Pours hazy copper orange with a big frothy creamy white head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet bready rye, some fruit and hops.

The flavor is sweet bready biscuit malts, rye spice, some fruit with slightly vegetal hops in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with slightly sharp carbonation.

Overall, a decent rye pale.

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Photo of tapman
3.11/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Moderately opaque copper color with a dash of brown when taken out of direct light. Has an off white, 3 finger head of frothed foam. Carbonation is ample.

Hops are moderately bright citrus and sweet. A spicy character that could be either the rye or a more earthy hop. I am concerned with a phenolic/band-aid like aroma coming frrom the brew. Bad bottle?

Whew; there is a large phenolic presence to this beer. Whether it is supposed to taste like plastic or not I don't know, but I would guess it isn't supposed to taste like this. I hope. Next to the taste of a hospital's floor there is some malty sweetness, though very little, and a sour taste that could be the rye. Bitterness is relatively high in the finish. I get some sweet and floral hops, but commingled with the plastic taste.

Sharp from the carbonation and dry in the finish.

I hope this is a bad bottle, but I can't see paying another $7 and getting another doozy. If I ever get a free one or find this one on tap somewhere I will re-review.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.14/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2013 Vintage received in trade. I am worried...

Appearance - Pours a hazy rustic orange with a half a finger's width of sandstone colored head. Fair retention, breaking down to a thin, broken layer of surface suds.

Smell - Caramel and low, bitter earthiness.

Taste - Follows the nose to a T. Caramel malt base met by a leafy, earthy tea-like bitterness. Stale, woody finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with fair carbonation. Smooth, in the least.

Overall - I was wanting to try this brew, but unfortunately the guy I got it from missed the bottling date. This thing is way past it's prime. He's a good guy though, so I can't give him too much grief. Shows potential of what could have been, but unfortunately it's just too far gone. A certain candidate for re-review, but I doubt that will be anytime soon. PULL YOUR OUTDATED BREWS OFF THE SHELVES, DAMN IT!

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Photo of corby112
3.26/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy, dark golden orange color with a 2.5 finger frothy, yellowish off-white head. Excellent retention, slowly fading into a thick lasting ring that coats the glass with chunks of soapy lacing.

Earthy, floral aroma with lots of spicy, piny hops along with a sweet malt backbone and prominent rye character. Pretty dank smelling with uber fresh, resinous, oily hops. Lots of sweetness from the rye complimented by hints of caramel, toffee and biscuit. The sweetness from the rye and malt take away from the earthiness of the hops but it still smells pretty good.

Chewy medium body with a blast of dry, bitter hops that linger over the sweetness and spice int a bone dry finish. Lots of earthy bitter pine flavor up front that dominates the flavor a bit. The hop profile is a bit one dimensional with a slight spicy presence which could be coming from the rye. The rye compliments the sweet malt notes but I expected it to be more prominent in the flavor. Underneath the bitterness there are hints of rye, biscuit, toffee, hazelnut and caramel.

The malt backbone is a bit too strong for my liking and the hop profile could be a bit more complex. The rye is stronger n the nose than the flavor and I'm not sure if it improved the beer any. If anything it added a strong spicy presence that didn't care for. Still, this beer isn't bad, just not terribly interesting.

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Photo of rmcnealy
3.36/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served chilled in a traditional pint glass.

Although the bottle should have been settled, it really popped with a ferver leading to a foamover as mentioned by the previous two advocates. Nonetheless, the beer must be drunken! It poured a medium hazy amber with an over-robust ivory white thick lace that clung to the glass. The head fleeted and potentially took the aromas with! There were no overbearing smells from this brew like I expected from a 6.5%'er. It had a spiciness expected from a pumpkin brew. Some hints of citrus and floral followed up by traces of hoppiness. The taste fades quickly leaving a suttle bitterness. A great brew, very drinkable. Not sure if there was a issue in the bottling process but after the blowover the beer was very solid.

Found at Cardinal Liq's, Niles IL

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.37/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: a orangish-brown color. a foamy fingers worth of head that leaves a bit of a lacing. and good clarity

Smell: citrus and rye mixing together pleasantly

Taste: a nice smooth citrus upfront that turns to a weak rye spicy bitterness. rye is a bit too weak

Mouthfeel: fairly heavy in an unpleasant way. moderate bitterness

Overall: not unique and not perfect enough to be great. well crafted but fairly average taste in terms of rye hoppy beers

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark coppery-orange shows a good level of carbonation. A sturdy 1 finger oatmeal tinted head has a bit of sheen to it, is rocky and porous, and holds rather steady for a lengthy amount of time. End of drink covering doesn't leave much on the glass in terms of lacing.

S: Soft rye, soft citrus-pine comes with a low level of aroma.

T: Spicy rye, peppercorn, pine toasted bread crust with a dry caramel grain backing. Spicy, peppery caramel finish.

M: Good level of carbonation is detected on the tongue. Spicy peppery presence warms the inner cheeks. Light malt feel turns frothy on the hold leaving a bit of peppery fade behind and some alcohol warmth.

O: Ok drinkability, flavor shows flashes of peppery caramel spiciness, and a good amount of alcohol which unfortunately covers the rye contribution at times.

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Photo of emerge077
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Rye Hatter"
Review from written notes.

Lightly murky orange, lasting white foam. Earthy, grassy aroma, lightly spicy but mellow overall.

Bready and mild, lightly sweet. Some dry hay notes, spicy with earthy hops, rye lends a dry, spicy finish to the beer. Medium level of carbonation, medium bodied. Overall somewhat nondescript, not something i'd pick up again, but worth a try. A mellow introductory Rye Beer.

Thanks Justin for sharing this one!

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Photo of ChugginOil
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Loured from a 22oz bomber into a Sam Adams Perfect pint glass.

This brew pours a nice straw color tinted with amber. It settles a slightly hazy copper with 2 fingers of white head. The nose hoppy and clean. Pine and citrus ring out of the glass. The taste is pretty balanced. Similar to the nose, light grapefruit and pine are predominant. A hoppy/bitter forefront and pairs with a light caramel malt taste. Nothing special, but def. drinkable. The mouthfeel is light to medium with a prickly punch of carbonation. Decent overall

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Photo of IAmJacksHopTongue
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Note: According to New Holland website, this beer is not retired but will be made again (next ship May 2013).

2012 Vintage poured into a snifter-type glass.

A little disappointed in the smell; seems like a standard pale ale or even with low hops. Nice white foam with lacing on the sides after the head dissipates. Color is nice copper.

Taste is pretty good, but nothing to write home about. Mouthfeel seemed medium-light; lots of carbonation.

Overall, I find myself wondering if I've let this get too old and it's lost some of the flavor (7 months old; kept in a refrigerator for a few months and the rest in wine/beverage cooler at 45 degrees). Either way, I'd prefer Red's Rye (one of my favorite beers). I wouldn't be offended if someone served this to me at their house, but I don't think I'll buy it again.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.41/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Farmhouse Hatter was pretty good, but nothing spectacular; here’s hoping the rye will be better.

Brewed sometime earlier this year (“Vintage 2012” on the back of the bottle).

A: Pale orange with a creamy, foamy head; impressively dense retention with fairly thick (yet sparse) lacing. The solid appearance of the head gives it a very full look.

S: Roasted barley and dark (not spicy) rye are the main event, coming in smooth with aromas of earthy caramel, light pumpernickel, cereal, and a nutty, carrot cake sweetness. The malts smell a bit old and flat, not pleasant like a good malt-forward IPA. It probably doesn’t help that the hops aren’t there, either, showing only a hint of lemony bite.

T: Thankfully, the palate has more hop tastes than the nose would suggest, which certainly helps the balance. Still, musty malt and mildly spicy rye flavors are the main event here, showing the same cereal, earthy sweetness, caramel, and mild pumpernickel. Prickly, dry pine and floral bitters from the hops lay right on top of that maltiness, lightening it up to a more drinkable, citrusy, peppery palate. Finishes flowery and dry.

M: Oily and chewy, with a bit of dry bite to it. Not a single thin element to this body.

O: Not as good as the Farmhouse Hatter, but still alright. With all these variations, I’d be happy to try the standard Hatter – there’s nothing like an original.

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Photo of Florida9
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Gusher! Glad I opened this one in the kitchen because I had to rush it over the sink. Beer itself is a very cloudy rusty colored orange in color. Unsurprisingly, this one forms a huge bubbly head that requires three pours to get a full glass. Lots of lacing.

S: Smells pretty good, a rather potent combination of spicy rye and heavy floral notes.

T: Taste is a bit off, but given the age in this it remains surprisingly hop forward. Not saying his a hop bomb, but lots of spicy floral hops and even more spicy rye. The off flavor presents itself as a sort yeasty Saison quality, slightly tart, but not quite sour. Spicy on the finish.

M: Medium bodied. Heavy carbonation. Dry and spicy on the finish.

O: This beer is probably past it's prime, but it's not bad. However between it being gusher and the slight funk I wonder if something is developing in this beer that shouldn't be.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The husky, grainy, and harsh earthiness of rye grains make them difficult. Hard to use in bread making, beer making, and whisky making- the taste isn't all that compelling either. But when used in conjunction with hops, the steely grain's usefulness becomes not just known- but celebrated.

In keeping with the IPA appearances, the beer is amber in hue except the darker bronze tinge of rye casts a darker color upon the beer. Surprisingly clear, there's no real indication of dry-hopping on the appearance front. Firmly capped with a frothy off-white head, its retention is tremendous and its lacing is concentric and constant. It's simply a charming looking ale.

With its signature upstart, the scent of citrus and grass deliver a herbaceous overtone right from the start. Pine needles and an overall stemmy character rings true throughout the "Hatter" series. But this time, its the rye that which the hops bounce from- providing a slightly more robust aroma and taste of bread crust, toasted whole-grain, bran, and an overall spicy earthen character that not only rides along side of its hop dominance but exacerbates it. Hearty sweet to taste- cooked caramel starts nutty and finishes woodish.

Medium-light in body, the stronghold of malt extends deep into finish and allowing for a greater impression of malt and rye. But its boldly dry finish exposes mild grain and hop derived astringency to accompany a minty-type warmth.

Where many of the Hatters are husky, rustic, raw and somewhat lacking refinement- the rye character here continues the rough-and-tumble attitude and actually reinforces it with stern quality.

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Photo of mchegash
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 3.75/5
Pours a deep orange-brown. Moderately clear. A little haze. Can see many tiny particulates floating around in the beer. Minimal head. Moderate amount of carbonation can be seen rising at a quick rate.

Smell - 3.5/5
Pine-citrus hops and some sweet maltiness. Perhaps hints of caramel or other dark/thick sugar flavor. Nothing really special

Taste - 3.5/5
Pine-citrus hops, sweet darker malty flavor, some spiciness. Pine-citrus hops aftertaste. Nothing really special. Doesn't really taste much different from the Oak-Aged Hatter IPA I tried yesterday.

Mouthfeel - 3.5/5
Medium to full bodied, creamy texture, very light carbonation. I typically like more carbonation in my beers, but the light carbonation I think fits with this beer.

Overall - 3.5/5
Overall this was an okay beer. The bottles says "Rye lends spiciness to the caramel-malt base". I would have liked to feel more spiciness from this beer, as it was minimal. Also, I wish they brought out the caramel malt flavors more. I still don't think it would make this beer awesome, but I think it would be better if they did those things. Also, I don't know if I would have used piney hops. I would use other kinds of hops that are less piney for this beer. Again, I have been disappointed by yet another Hatter beer. I love New Holland, but don't think I've ever really liked any of their Hatters.

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Photo of Holland
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours red with a ton of carbonation. It was clear but my glass immediately clouded with condensation. Large head stays, covering the top with a full finger throughout.

S: rye, sweetness, malt, and bitter and floral hops round this out. Something smells a bit off.

T: the rye and hops come through quite a bit, but it's not as well rounded with sweet malty flavors as it could be. Leaves a bit to be desired.

M: medium-thin body. It's not a big beer, but it coats alright and takes away the feel of the huge carbonation.

O: delicious, drinkable, and it's $4. I'd do it again, even though it's not my favorite.

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Photo of jsh420
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours clear golden orange with a 1 finger white head that left a little spotted lacing

smells of pine and floral hops

taste is very close to original mad hatter but with a little spice - again flavors seem watered down

mouthfeel is light with decent carbonation

overall - while i would drink this beer again i would not buy thisbeer ever again - flavors were muted and @ $8 a bomber there are way too many other options

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Rye P.A. Hatter from New Holland Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 334 ratings.
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