New Holland Night Tripper: 10.8% abv
Background: We’ve talked a little bit about New Holland. In fact, when we started doing reviews, we started with New Holland as a brewery, so there has been some discussion. Just recently we visited their quaint brewing operation and saw what could only be described as breath-taking: a room full of barrels aging Dragon’s Milk. That brings up a good point. Dragon’s Milk is now New Holland’s highest selling beer, having surpassed Mad Hatter as number one. One could say New Holland knows how to make a dark beer, and we couldn’t agree more. That’s why we were skeptical about Night Tripper, an imperial stout aged in oak that comes out once a year. Could this beer really be worth waiting for, when Dragon’s Milk is always available? They do sound very similar when you chart them next to each other. Both aged in oak, both black as night, and 10% compared to 11%. So you might think this is a gimmick. It isn’t.
Nose: Chocolate, brown sugar, coffee, caramel, apple, malty, pear, vanilla, light butterscotch, raisons, slightly dry, dark, crisp, smooth, balanced
Arrival: Coffee, chocolate-covered strawberries, slight citrus, toffee, apple, vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, refreshing, fruit, blackberry
Body: Coffee, brownies, rich fudge, cherry, sweet, slight tartness, toffee, crisp apple, butterscotch, oatmeal
Finish: Roasted coffee, malt, chocolate, slightly bitter grapefruit and hops, vanilla, pecans, boozy, raisony, wheat, apple
Final Comments: What can we say about this? This is quite a killer stout. It’s complex, but unlike other stouts out there, it balances between different flavor profiles without overwhelming you with the dark notes generally associated with a stout. So it is sort of an oxymoron, but you can find out for yourself. Is it like Dragon’s Milk? It isn’t nearly as creamy, and it is a different kind of stout all together. Better or worse? We’d like to say better, but you will have to find out for yourself.
Why you’d buy it: Find a reason why you can’t. I can’t think of one.
Why you wouldn’t: Read the above comment