New Holland – Hopivore Harvest Ale

New Holland HopivoreHOPIVORE IS New Holland’s wet-hopped fall seasonal, utilizing Michigan-grown Cascade and Brewer’s Gold largely drawn from the same fields that supply the vivacious Michigan Hatter. Unfortunately the formula does not come together as well here. Though only 3.5 Plato, the beer’s several specialty malts (Munich, Crystal, Carapils) leave its body a murky morass of muted caramel, distinctly separate from the pithy and citric hops that lack the context necessary to make their freshness very appealing.

At 5.8% ABV and 55 IBUs, Hopivore is also something of a misnomer—one would expect it to be more of a DIPA with that name, which it decidedly is not. 55 IBUs are fairly elevated, yes, but their impact is dulled on the palate by the density of malts (sticky, almost candied, but not robustly flavored) and abbreviated in the finish by aggressive effervescence. More lively bubbles typically accentuate a beer’s bitterness, but for whatever reason it fails to do so here. Altogether Hopivore’s parts just don’t seem to fit together, like an extract recipe with skewed proportions. Perhaps in their rush to get a harvest ale out to market the QA department just didn’t check their work very closely?

Served: 12 oz bottle

Rating: 76

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