It makes a lot of sense. Establish yourself as a craft brewery, and then branch into craft spirits. Michigan’s New Holland Brewery has done just that. Located just minutes from Lake Michigan in the tulip capital of the U.S., they began brewing 15 years ago. In 2005, they began distilling and in a little over seven years, they have already made their mark on the spirits industry by winning several coveted awards for their products.
What they do, they do very well. Their spirited lineup now includes over half a dozen kinds of whiskies, several rums, a few vodkas, a gin and something intriguingly called “Hopquila”. I was sent three products for review. I look forward to trying more of their portfolio in a future review!
New Holland Knickerbocker Gin (85 proof)
Visual: Perfectly clear.
Nose: Highly spiced with lemon citrus and juniper blend. mouth-watering and luscious.
Taste: Dry, yet sweet with a lot of lemon notes. Almost a lemon vodka with an echo of juniper.
Finish: Lingering essence of dry lemonade and vodka. Pleasant, but less herbal than most gins.
Overall: Quite mixable, and in the mould of new world artisanal gins.
GSN Rating: B+
New Holland Beer Barrel Bourbon (80 proof)
Visual: Golden amber.
Nose: Slightly hopped nose with corn bourbon sweetness. Moderate amount of spice.
Taste: Quite smooth with a light woodiness that borders on herbal. A splash of spiciness like rye.
Finish: Long and with a warming sweet whiskey finish.
Overall: Quite interesting as a bourbon, with the addition of aging in ex-beer barrels. The hoppy quality tempers the sweetness of bourbon, creating a more complex and intriguing spirit.
GSN Rating: A-
New Holland Zeppelin Bend Straight Malt Whiskey (90 proof)
Visual: Clear gold.
Nose: Slightly sweet with a hint of honeycomb, cinnamon, vanilla bean, and fig.
Taste: Quite sweet with a lot of caramel and nut. A bit of smoke hits you quickly, but then it spreads out into a rich and somewhat spicy blast with a lot of top notes.
Finish: Long and pleasant, with lingering baking spice notes.
Overall: Really, really nice as a sipper, but perfect for a rich Old Fashioned or Manhattan. Well done!
GSN Rating: A
For more information go to: New Holland