New Holland Envious (bottle)
This one apparently ran out in a matter of minutes at the Winter Michigan Beer Fest, which makes me think it must be pretty fucking amazing. Yet BAers have only given this one a B- overall, with twelve reviews. Since the collective wisdom of BeerAdvocate is right more often than it's wrong, this leaves me with a bit of trepidation.
Pours deep ruby red with a thick brown head that dissipates quickly. Almost transparent, but with very slight sediment in the body. Aroma is sweet, fruity, lots of grapes and hints of citrus, maybe a touch of grapefruit? Rich bready qualities underneath, slight notes of yeast.
Flavor is sweet, syrupy, with a strong yeastiness up front. Lots of the aforementioned fruit, significant grape notes and some grapefruit, with a slight chocolate undertone that finishes with a somewhat tarty astringency. Amazingly complex flavor. Mouthfeel is thick, with low hoppiness and a heavy dose of carbonation.
Is this really a B- beer? Not on your life. It is, however, a beer that doesn't fit into an easily grasped style guideline, and asking beer geeks to appreciate fruit without providing some Belgian character to prep the tongue might be a bit of a risk on New Holland's part. I think this is fascinating, engrossing, and definitely worth a try for anyone willing to give it an open look.
My overall BA rating: 4.3/5