Saturday, November 8, 2008

New Holland Brewing Co.: Red Tulip Ale

I've been dormant for a while. I'll see if I can remedy that in the coming couple of weeks. My goal will be to review not only a new brew, but a new brewery every week from here until the end of classes. (No promises regarding duplication if I post more than once per week.) I'll start off with the New Holland Brewery: specifically, their Red Tulip Ale.

I'm not quite sure where the name Red Tulip comes from. The reference to the tulip could be nothing more than an allusion to the tulip craze that seized Holland in the seventeenth century. I'm not sure about the "red" part--while this might technically be a red ale (it does have a reddish hue), the predominant taste here is toasty carmelly malts, which is more typical of a brown ale. This is a thoroughly drinkable amber ale (of which red ales are usually considered a sub-group), which--probably to New Holland's detriment--means that it is strangely evocative of Budweiser's new American Ale. Except, unfortunately, this one has even less hops than its megabrew counterpart. It makes up for that lack a little bit by bringing out the malt taste a bit stronger. However, all in all, it's a disappointingly bland beer.

This beer's chief redeeming factor is its drinkability. It may be the only carmel-malty ale that stands no chance of filling you up. But that's hardly enough to warrant craft brew pricing. Good effort, New Holland, but you'll have to try again.

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