Four Witches | New Holland Brewing Company

BA SCORE
81
good
199 Ratings
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Four WitchesFour Witches
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
newhollandbrew.com

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by DannyDan on 06-02-2012

BEER STATS
Ratings:
199
Reviews:
40
Avg:
3.53
pDev:
17.56%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
13
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 199 |  Reviews: 40
Photo of 57md
3.74/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is a dark ruby brown with no head. The nose is an interesting combination of apple brandy and birch beer. The taste is lightly nutty and wheaty; a nice combination of flavors, but slightly thin. There was a sour citrus finish to this offering.

 254 characters

Photo of theecaleb
4.18/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lightly chilled bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Dark, deep red or amber tint. Deep Carmel head. Lacing is minimal.

S: Spices, and honey hints of cloves and barley.

T: Much like smell. Spicy and sweet with small tastes of yeast.

M: Thick, good carbonation. Warmth of alcohol.

O: I was pleasantly surprised by this beer.

I would recommend this beer to a friend.

 369 characters

Photo of Lawl3ss
4.06/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lightly chilled 12 oz. bottle poured int a shaker pint. Bottling date 5.18.12.

Look- Ruby brown with two fingers of sticky toasted marshmallow head that falls within a minute or two. Decent lacing.

Smell- It's like honeyed licorice tea, very, very aromatic. Sweet burnished wood, cinnamon, caramel, root beer, brandied cherries. Delicious.

Taste- Similar to the aroma, but more on the ginger beer/root beer side. I don't know if the "spices" mentioned on the label are just licorice root, but I'd believe it. It's a bold flavor that nearly overpowers the subtler pepper, vanilla, rye, and cherry, but I have to admit that I like it quite a bit (and I actually loathe black licorice candy.) With an unusual brew like this one, go bold or go home.

Mouthfeel- Light-medium body, soft carbonation, silky feel with a slightly astringent edge. Drinks like a whisky & cola.

Overall- I've never had a "black" saison before, but I may be a convert. Absolutely worth trying.

 970 characters

Photo of BB1313
3.39/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours black with no light getting though. Small off-white head fades quickly and leaves decent lacing and rentention. The first thing I smell is anise and black licorice. It actually dominates the nose along with some chocolate malts. It sure doesn't smell like a saison, and it really doesn't taste like one either. There's a slight tartness in the flavors. I can pick up some black cherries, dates, and raisins. Bittersweet flavors. Reminiscent of a stout? The Belgian characteristics are lacking. Mouthfeel is nice, light and has a moderate amount of carbonation. Finishes dry. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Interesting beer.

This is a very unique beer. It's pretty hard to classify what I'm drinking. It's definitely a hybrid. The anise/black licorice characteristics seem to dominate, so if you're into that, this is for you. If you're looking for something different, this is for you. It's a very odd beer. One second I'm enjoying it, and then the next I'm confused. It reminded me more of a porter/stout than any Belgian style beer. Unique..

 1,076 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a surprising dark brown nearly black colored brew with a one finger brown head. The head faded slowly over time to give a medium level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of black licorice. This is mixed with some sour dark fruit aromas of cherry. The aroma is rather tart smelling as would be expected of a farmhouse ale, but yet has a light roast aroma as well.

Taste – The dark malt flavors shine through in the front. Brown Bread and chocolate flavors are quite heavy in the start. As the taste advances a peppery-yeasty taste enters the flavor profile. This is quickly followed by a tart cherry flavor as well as some haylike and funky flavors as well. These sour and tart flavors grow stronger toward the end and leave a rather odd but quite tasty tart-chocolate flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body is light to medium with a carbonation level that is rather average. Neither were really that great for the style, although they really were not bad either. A more creamy and thick body would have done well for the initial roasty flavors, while a higher level of carbonation would have gone nicely with the more sour tastes at the end of the flavor profile.

Overall – This was a mighty tasty beer. While the dark and the tart may not seem like it would go together well, New Holland has pulled it off with this brew.

 1,417 characters

Photo of bluckbeyes
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of illini4x4
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of Stevie_Janowski
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of Gehrig13
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of amishbooze
2.25/5  rDev -36.3%

Photo of lupercmda
4.5/5  rDev +27.5%

Photo of bigdog73
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of zonker17
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Hanzo
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2012 vintage. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense khaki tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some decent spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of roasted malt, licorice, raisin, chocolate, caramel, molasses, cola, pepper, clove, herbal, earth, and yeast spices. Pretty nice and very unique aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of chocolate, licorice, roasted malt, raisin, prune, caramel, molasses, herbal, clove, earth, biscuit, rye, nuttiness, toast, and yeast spices. Light roast and fruity tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, dark fruit, roasted malt, biscuit, toast, clove, earth, rye, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Nice flavor complexity and balance; with no cloying flavor notes at all, very well blended. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good black saison. This was certainly an interesting and unique experience as I expected. It turned out to be nicely complex and balanced; and quite enjoyable stuff.

 1,208 characters

Photo of Bung
2.78/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz. Nearly black pour, nearly no head. Off white what there was.

Aroma, molasses and sassafras. A funky root beer, it's not really very pleasant. I don't get much else.

Taste, not quite as bad. Caramel, molasses, sassafras again. But there is also some chocolate and estery and spicy yeast notes, though very little.
The aroma just radiates and controls this one in a bad way.

Almost mid bodied. Kind of coats, not nearly enough carbonation. Alcohol is hidden, but it is too syrupy sweet.

Bought a four pack and regret it immediately. I absolutely loved the dark saisons I've had in the past, this is not in that boat. Definetely a Belgian Dark. Not my cup of tea. Like a very bad less alcoholic version of Gulden Draak.

 726 characters

Photo of DMarlinJ
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of cagocubs
3.76/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at NHB.

A: Pours a dark opaque black with minimal head due to water flush prior to pour.

S: Not much coming through the nose, some malts.

T: Roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruit, caramel.

M: Nice and dry. Good coating and aftertaste.

 252 characters

Photo of danp14
2.5/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of GRPunk
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (vintage 2012) poured into a Lion tulip

A- 1-1/2 finger brown head. Black Saison? Actually, deep, dark brown. Just a shade or two short of black. The head settles to a thin film and leaves some good sticky rings.

S- Almost licorice at first. No, definitely licorise, or anise. Rye comes through if you're looking for it. Subtle chocolate. It all keeps coming back to the anise/black licorice. Close to room temps, things mellow a bit and bring out more chocolate and brown sugar, even a touch of coffee.

T- Initial chocolate mixes with rye to create an interesting flavor combination. Maybe that's the anise I get from the nose, but I don't think so. hints of black pepper. Subtle smoke. A little spicy heat.

M- Surprisingly light bite considering the flavor profile. Moderate body and carbonation.

O- The cap says, "sweet.". I'm thinking it's more savory. It's another beer that's difficult to score. Not really a Saison in my book. Maybe a Belgian dark ale? Definitely a sipper.

Labeling and robust nature have me thinking this would be a decent fit come October.

 1,078 characters

Photo of GR_Rick
2.8/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle labeled 2012 vintage

Going into this with very little expectation, as I'm not sure what to expect from a "black saison" (on the label).

A: Pours a nice deep brown (almost black) with a thin khaki colored head. Nice looking beer.

S: Smells a bit like black licorice with some root beer-like qualities coming as well. The more I smell, the more I think it's similar to a "root beer barrel" candy. Also get a little bit of grape juice. Smell is unlike any other beer I've had... so far, so good, i'm still happy.

T: Wow, much stronger tasting than the nose suggests. Starts out almost faint-cola like. Perhaps that's the root beer smell I was getting. Can't really put my finger on the middle, but it ends with a little bit of a "funky" bite. Now I'm seeing (from the "funk") how this is a saison. Getting a little bit of black licorice as well, which hangs in through the shorter finish. Taste is different, but isn't necessarily anything special..

M: Thinner than expected given the dark color. Pretty highly carbonated on a relative basis, as well. Not bad, but I'm struggling with the disconnect between color and feel; the two don't seem to match well for me.

O: An interesting beer that tastes like nothing I've ever tried. I feel a bit like I'm at Short's trying one of their new experiments. Worth trying if you like black licorice and/or you like to try "outside the box" beers, but not something I can see anyone wanting to buy and consume a full six pack of. I also don't see myself finishing even this entire bottle (poured out about 1/2 - 1/3rd post review). Worth trying, but grab a friend or two and split the bottle.

 1,646 characters

Photo of hockenbeer
3/5  rDev -15%

Photo of oberon
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep dark chocolate brown with a nicely formed light beige head atop.alot of black licorice in the nose along with some sweet spiced cherries.First off the black licorice just seemed to overwhelm my palate,Iam not a fan of black licorice so that was a bit unpleasant,undereath the onslaught I picked up some earthiness and dark toast.Started off real well but for my taste I just got to much licorice to really enjoy,obviously alot of people like black licorice and may like this more than me.

 502 characters

Photo of divineaudio
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage, tulip glass.

a - pours black with a thin cap of coarse tan head that dissipates with the quickness.

s - grape juice, barnyard, faint cinnamon, faint sour cherry

t - lighter roasted malt character with notes of anise and dark fruits. a bit of rye spiciness and something more like cinnamon or clove. a lighter, earthy bitterness provides balance and a little funk rounds it out. finishes dry with notes of dark chocolate. anise becomes more pronounced as the beer warms, detracting a bit from the other flavors. serious complexity here.

m - lighter side of medium in body, medium carbonation with a med/coarse co2 profile that enhances the spiciness.

o - quite enjoyable, though doesn't seem to represent the style well. to be fair though, the few saisons i have tried have all been very different from each other. if it weren't for the anise flavors, i'd have rated this much higher. worth a try imo and i might pick up a few more just for fun.

 964 characters

Four Witches from New Holland Brewing Company
3.53 out of 5 based on 199 ratings.
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