Oct 10, 2013

New Holland Black Tulip

New Holland’s Black Tulip (a 9% ABV Belgian-style tripel) has apparently been around since 1998, but the first time I’ve ever encountered it on store shelves was late in August. As with any other beer of which I’ve heard, but never crossed paths, I quickly grabbed a bottle and continued shopping. I don’t know much about the beer other than I’ve heard friends mention it in passing as a pretty good brew. That works for me.

Much like every other specialty product (think Dragon’s Milk or the recently reviewed Monkey King), Black Tulip is not a small beer. It’s actually quite boozy which is somewhat appropriate for this particular style. The beer also has an interesting herbal character that I particularly enjoyed.


A dark amber in color, Black Tulip rests with a dense, resilient cap of off-white foam.


This beer smells darn good with herbal, floral notes and a blend of spices. The yeast brings a bit of white pepper and banana to the table.


The herbal and spice qualities to the beer stand out a good deal more in the flavor but fade smoothly through fruity yeast and a malt sweetness before arriving at the warm finish. Hints of honey, bread and caramel mingle with the peppery yeast and a late forming, soft and grassy hop character. The brew finishes drying and warming.


I like a good tripel with plenty of peppery yeast and fruitiness. This one has that in spades, but also brings in a slightly too amplified spice blend that, thankfully, doesn’t dominate too much. The level of sweetness is a little high, but again, nothing that would detract from the beers enjoyment. I’d like to grab another couple of bottles to see what some time in the cellar would do for Black Tulip’s flavor.

Rating: 3.75/5

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