When I was in college, my friend came to visit from the Upper Peninsula and brought me my first craft beer, a Mad Hatter from New Holland. We were intrigued that there were beers that we had never seen an advertisement for during a sporting event. I tried it. And hated it. HATED it. When I look back it makes me laugh but it has always made me feel a little guilty for so harshly judging New Holland. Now that I’m a bit older and a bit wiser, I saw White Hatter on the shelf and decided to put this hat back on.
I am really pleased by the smell of this beer. It is bright and fruity and full of wheat. If you like the smell of wheat beers you’ll wish you could drink this with your nose. The Belgian style lends to the fruit smell and there are hints of spice around the edge of the glass. The color is bright and inviting as well. Everything about this beer says drink me!
Sadly, the taste does not match the smell. It’s a pretty high standard to meet and it does not quite make it. There is a basic witbier taste but there is an unfortunate acidic snap to it. The hops are not overpowering and roll over the tongue a bit. Next comes the Belgian inspired flavors with hints of banana and clove, and then there is a smack of stinky fruit. It’s sad to say but I was disappointed in the flavor of this beer.
Just as with Mad Hatter, if you are just beginning to explore craft beer, I don’t know if I would pick up a White Hatter. It is a thirst quenching drink and pleasant enough for a summer day but there are many similar beers to choose from that might be more beginner friendly. If you’re a veteran, this is a fine choice but you don’t need to knock over a small child to grab a bottle.