Maker: New Holland, Holland, Michigan, USA
Style: Barrel-aged IPA
Appearance: Burnt orange with a creamy head.
Nose: Vanilla whipped topping, hops, bergamot, hops.
On the palate: Medium-bodied and creamy. Orange toffee, key lime pie, lemon chiffon pie, lemon thyme.
Finish: Vanilla, bitter hops, sweetness balanced with pleasant hoppy bitterness.
Parting Words: In another sign of how out of touch I am with my own generation, I’m not a huge IPA fan. In general, I find adding metric tons of hops to beer to be obnoxious. Some of the hop bombs that garner praise these days, I find undrinkable. I do like Mad Hatter, though, so I had high expectations for this beer.
It did not disappoint. The time in “Kentucky Oak” (not a bourbon or rye barrel, apparently. Corn or wheat whiskey maybe?) has turned a very good IPA into a symphonic masterpiece. The barrel notes are a sweet, creamy counterpoint to the citric, bitter hops. No matter how many times I have gone back to this one, I taste something else. Something good. Oak-Aged Hatter is highly recommended.