Appearance: Dark rusty orange/almost burgundy-like hue. Hazy and cloudy,
but not completely opaque. Forms an average sized, white, frothy head
which mostly dissolves but does leave plenty of lacing on the glass.
Smell: A strong floral fragrance plus significant sweet malty notes.
Taste: Usually, I’m not a fan of sweeter, thicker, stickier India Pales
Ales, but in the case of New Holland Mad Hatter IPA it works (mostly
because it’s not that thick, sticky or sweet). A well-balanced IPA that
has a lot to offer. Honey and toffee malty flavors from the two-row,
Munich and crystal malts, plus citrus flavor and a hint of resiny or
vegetal quality (a hint of garlic) from the Centennial and Nugget hops,
respectively. A dry, slightly starchy bitterness up front immediately
followed by a surprisingly rich malt character. More citrus bitterness
at the apex, but it washes away on the finish leaving a pleasant
aftertaste. This beer shows you don’t need a ridiculous amount of hops
or aggressive bitterness to make for a very good beer.
Drinkability: I was genuinely impressed by the amount of flavor and body
of New Holland Mad Hatter IPA considering it’s only 5.25% ABV. It’s not
simply a pale ale with extra hops, it truly is an IPA all around. The
mouthfeel is thicker and fuller than most of the weight, but comfortable
with a softer texture. There’s only a mild dry bitterness that lingers,
so it’s easily tolerable. Though not quite refreshing per se, it’s
definitely versatile making it ideal as a stand-alone drink or something
to work with the right food.