Oak Aged Hatter

Maker: New Holland, Holland, Michigan, USA

Style: Barrel-aged IPA

Vintage: 2011

ABV: 5.1%

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.

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4 thoughts on “Oak Aged Hatter

  1. If you liked this you should try Founders Old Curmudgeon Ale.
    It is brewed with molasses and aged in oak barrels.
    It only comes out in June, I got a case a couple of weeks ago.
    Have a few left.:)

  2. I’d love a bottle or two if you can spare it O! Going to Naptown this weekend, but we should find time to hang in the next couple weeks.

  3. I also love the Oaked Hatter – IMO it’s the best of the series and makes a fantastic drink on a breezy afternoon outside. You Michiganders should look for Better Half on tap at the brewery – it’s Curmudgeon given the CBS treatment, aged in maple syrup barrels for a year in a cave. Gracious me, it’s good.

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