Aug 26, 2019

New Holland Ichabod

The last time that I cracked open a bottle of New Holland’s pumpkin ale, Ichabod, was back in 2008 when I reviewed it with a couple of other examples of the style. I enjoyed the beer and found it easy drinking and nicely balanced.

Back then the seasonal treat weighed in at 5.5% ABV. Now the smooth drinking Ichabod sits at a sessionable 4.5% ABV. And that’s not all that has changed over the time period. Just like previously, the pumpkin and spice blend (including cinnamon and nutmeg) dominate as they should in a brew like this, but not so much that they come across too strongly. Bready notes, caramel and a soft sweetness join in on the fun while a new-to-me and welcome hop bitterness helps keep everything in check.

I don’t recall this touch of bitterness from past experiences. That’s certainly going to happen after that many years and several hundred beers. My notes also don’t mention it, but I can tell you that for my personal preferences, the hop bite comes in at just the right level to keep the pumpkin, spices and sweetness comfortably in the “balanced” region. It all makes for a deceptively easy drinking brew.

The weather outside, especially in Virginia has been exceptionally hot and not really conducive to the flavors that Ichabod presents. This weekend, however, saw a welcome break in the heat with temperatures hanging in the mid-70s — that’s cool enough weather-wise for me to justify enjoying a pumpkin beer at this time of year. I look forward to enjoying a few more of these as the days continue to get colder.

This is a review of a promotional sample.