A while ago, my beer fridge went kaput. As I have been trying to find someone within my area to repair the box, I was forced to drink some of the stock (I know, poor you!) and move some of the stock into the actual “family” refrigerator. Let’s just say that this move was met with mixed results. Having limited space on the top shelf for milk and oj, not a good idea. Having to move bombers to get an apple or a clementine, a really bad idea. In any event, I moved the bottles somewhat surreptitiously and found that my late night shenanigans were quickly uncovered. I was left with a further need to deplete the back stock. To that end, I pulled out a bomber of New Holland’s Night Tripper.
Now, New Holland is not a new brand to me. I have had their Full Circle (a Kölsch), their Poet (an oatmeal stout) and their Ichabod (a pumpkin ale). I enjoyed their beer and I love a good imperial stout, so when I saw the Night Tripper’ I was sold.
New Holland is the brainchild of Jason Spaulding and Brett VanderKamp who founded the brewery in Holland, Michigan in 1996. They have eight beers in their regular lineup, a number of seasonals and also distill whiskey, rum and gin.
Before we begin the review, here’s what New Holland has to say about the Night Tripper’:
An abundance of roasted malts and flaked barley create rich, roasty stout with deeply intense, lush flavors. Ideally paired with dark chocolate, stinky cheese and cayenne.
And, now for the review…
- Appearance: Midnight black with tan foam.
- ABV: 10.8%
- Aroma: Roasted chocolate and dried stone fruits (prunes, raisins, dates) and just the slightest hint of copper.
- Taste: Viscous with a full body. A bit of chocolate syrup followed by hints of barley wine (the 10.8% leaves a bit of booziness). There is a bit of sweetness upfront met at mid-palate by the roasted chocolate and then some acrid notes (not overpowering but present) ending with a slightly bitter finish.
I’m a big fan of imperial stouts but I think this one may have crossed over to the barley wine end of the spectrum. It was a really well-crafted beer but I found that it reminded a little of the Firestone Walker Fifteenth Anniversary Ale and I was not overly fond of that. Of course, it might have been the time of year. Had I had this deep in a Northeastern winter rather than at the end of summer, maybe my impressions would have been different.