New Holland Spirits was relatively unknown to me until I ran into them at Tales of the Cocktail this year and tasted their fantastic orange liqueur (more on that in a minute).
Born out of New Holland Brewery in Michigan, the spirits line is pretty diverse and I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve tried so far, including their Beer Barrel Bourbon. They were generous enough to let us try many of their other spirits. Here’s what we think:
Walleye Rye, $40-50. A rye with more fruitiness than I expected. Spicy, yes, but there’s a lot more dried fruit and sweetness than I’m used to in a rye. I feel like this rye’s fruity flavor is possibly due more to its younger age than what it’s distilled from. It;s fun to use this to make more fruit-forward rye cocktails, like Manhattans.
Knickerbocker Barrel Gin, $35. I love barrel aged gins. They helped me transition from being mostly a gin drinker to whiskey. When you take a sip, this is in the very end of the taste you get a caramel-barrel sweetness that’s really great. We tasted this on an episode of the podcast as well.
Clockwork Orange Liqueur, $30. This is the drink that drew me to New Holland initially. A high-proof (40%) triple sec that can easily be a stand-alone sipper. I know folks who like to drink straight triple secs or curacous while smoking cigars, and this is leaps and bounds better than the $10 bottom-shelf triple secs you see at the grocery store. It’s not too sweet, it’s slightly bitter and spicy. I’ll be saving this bottle for high-end cocktails and for sipping.
As their distillery line is relatively new, there isn’t national distribution of New Holland’s spirits. Mostly available near and in the areas surrounding Holland, Michigan, USA, if you get a chance to try their line, you won’t be disappointed.