White Bark Ale - Driftwood Brewery

Not Rated.
White Bark AleWhite Bark Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

96 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 96
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 9.62%
Wants: 14
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Witbier |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-12-2009

This traditional Belgian-style wheat ale is brewed with the addition of freshly ground coriander and curacao orange peel. Hops are outshone by the wonderful floral aromas that dominate the nose of this dry and quaffable beer.
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Ratings: 96 | Reviews: 33
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle, a bomber brought back from Kelowna, BC, earlier this summer.

This beer pours a cloudy, and very, very pale whitish yellow colour, with two anemic fingers of bubbly and foamy bone-white head, which leaves some broad pillars of droopy lace around the glass as it gently falls away.

It smells of grainy pale malt, light white pepper and other indistinct savoury spice, mild oily citrus, and a bit of earthy yeast. The taste is semi-sweet pale malt, mild black pepper, a trace of very dry coriander, some edgy and ethereally spicy wheat graininess, and a suggestion of also-ran citrus fruity esters.

The carbonation is moderate, just a wee probing frothiness traipsing about, the body on the low side of medium weight, and a fair bit prickly, from, I'll say yeast, to be deemed all that smooth. It finishes with a spicy coriander/pepper/orange zest fragrance standing dominant over a mild wheat malt sweetness.

A rather impressive version of a traditional witbier, a bit dry, but I suppose that's what so encourages me to finish the whole damned bottle! My girl just arrived home with some large format Blanche de Chambly - so we are going to proceed to do a taste comparison of East vs. West. The winner, I imagine, will be us, naturellement!

Photo of BashOnABike
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

4oz taster @ The Island Beer Festival, Club 919

A: Light and clouded, like pulpless grapefruit juice or lemonade, nice clean lacing with little head

S: Saison, more spice than phenol or fruit, reminiscent of a weak Tripel/Golden Ale, slight phenol and orange flavour

T: Much like the smell, but with a bit of fruit and malt in the back. Interesting yeast phenols

M: Creamy and full, but not unbearably heavy, with a med-high carbonation.

O: Nice summer-style Belgian, a little watery though

Photo of chickenm
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very pale cloudy golden color with a thin white head. Smells nice, aroma is of fresh citrus, spices, and wheat. Similar flavor with lots of lemon and coriander. Body is a bit thin, dry finish. Pretty good, this is very drinkable and refreshing.

Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared with Craig at Bar Volo. Fairly regular witbeer. Yes refreshing citrus, but also on the slightly tin side. A little bitter and sour. Pours hazy white, with a Caesar head. High carbonation.Some sugary sweetness. Drinkability OK, it was a palate cleanser.

Photo of CanuckRover
4.14/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very pale straw-gold and not quite as cloudy as I would like. Nice big white head though that takes some time to settle. Bit of sediment floating around.

Nice burst of citrus right on the nose accentuated with some obvious coriander. About what you'd expect.

Something a bit different out of the gate, a bit of tartness. Classic citrus takes over pretty quickly, that familiar lemon-organe, and, true to aroma, nicely blended with refreshing coriander. A dose of yeast spices thing up a tad. Nice cookie dough malt to finish, one of my favourite tastes in the world of beer.

A little thinner than I like by wits, enjoy a bit of body to go with that creamy look.

Very drinkable. A nice witbier, with a bit of sourness that you might not get elsewhere. Citrus and coriander are evident, providing plenty of flavour.

Another winner from Driftwood.

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from notes
A - slightly hazy straw golden, very bubbly with a solid head that retained well
S - fresh cut grass, grainy with cloves and orange peel
T - bready wheaty malt, clove and coriander spice, grassy hops are there but lighter than the nose, subtle orange zest finish, pleasant but a little busy
M - refreshingly carbonated with a very bready feel up front, but finishes a little thin
D - generally refreshing and easy drinking, a wit beer with a twist that works

Photo of souvenirs
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straw-coloured and cloudy. Banana, a bit of spice, lemon, light floral hops. Smooth.

Photo of Rutager
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a light straw with some light haze and a thin white bubbly head.

Smell. Belgian spices and white pepper, bready yeast, some dry toasted wheat and dried orange peel.

Taste. Oranges and Belgian spices, some toasty wheat, bready yeast and saltine crackers. Tastes better than expected from the look and smell.

Mouthfeel. Light+ body with medium+, fairly lively, slightly prickly carbonation. Works well.

O verall. Very easy drinking and fairly refreshing. The flavours were better than the smell led on.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a cloudy pale yellow. One finger fine white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of wheat, light lemon and a pilsner like bready malt. Taste follows with light bready malt, coriander, wheat, light hops. Finishes smooth and a bit dry. Medium bodied with nice carbonation. An interesting pleasant grassy component. This is a nicely made witbier.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber pours a light, white wheat, crystal clear at top, cloudy on the bottom. A finger or two oh white, foamy head that dissipates, leaving no lacing. Lots of little bubbles.

Smell is fresh. Orange, spices, grains. Definitely light.

Smell is nice, same orange notes, coriander, wheat. Sparkly carbonation gives it a lively feel.

Nice light fare, goes easily with a meal or by itself, and yet different and quality enough to make you take note. A nice offering from a quality new brewery.

Photo of EspressoGuy
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: opaque pale "creamy" yellow
S:intense clove, pineapple, pepper, yeasty dough, mandarin peel. very nice.
T: full, complete and long lasting with a nice dry finish. Complex. fruit cocktail. Blood orange. But the flavour is fleeting... after 5-10 minutes there wasn't much there but dryness.
M: crisp, dry. Medium carbonation.
O: This would be a delicious summer beer! I think it would be perfect with Indian food ...

Photo of papat444
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to mgermani for this one.

Shared this with my wife last night. Best before sticker on the cap says 11-27-09. No idea of the bottling date.

Poured out of a bomber.

Appearance: A slightly cloudy & pale yellow body with an extreme effervescence. A thick & billowy white as snow head rests on top and lasts pretty long.

Smell: Very nice aroma of citrus & orange. A nice sharp smell of coriander and maybe cloves. Smells quite zesty.

Taste: Not as good as the aroma. Very discreet and flees the scene before i can grasp any taste. Slight mix of spices with a touch of lemon and some orange. Finishes with a whisper of rind bitterness. Better as it warms but was expecting more in the flavor dept.

Mouthfeel: Quite smooth with a not as active as you would have though carbonation. Nothing exciting but nothing wrong either. A tiny bit soapy in texture.

Drinkability: Not hard to drink but not a joy either. This one doesn't really do it for me.

Overall: After a strong showing with looks and aroma, the rest falls short revealing a taste that is a little bland. Give me a St-Bernardus over this one any day.

Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pale hazy gold, with a finger of white head reducing down to a barely noticeable row of bubbles around the glass.

S: Great scent of cloves and wheat malt, with a good part fresh Brioche. Wet grain scent, smells like wet wheat fields.

T: Consistent of the scent, this beer tastes like yeasty sweet dough, cloves and grains. The maltiness and the hops are combined in a perfect balanced, making this beer easy to drink

M While there isn't any carbonation in the glass, each sip encourages surprise pin pricks of carbonation on the tongue. I find this White Bark light and refreshing - although there seems to be some that disagree - try it for yourself.

O:The maltiness and the hops are combined in a perfect balance to create a refreshing smooth drinking beer. Consider drinking this a little cooler for maximum refreshment. I wouldn't dare add a lemon slice - this beer is really a stunner on it's own without any help. Pair it with whole wheat bread and creamy rich cheeses, I went with a whole wheat pizza that seemed to springboard the wheatiness. Anything like vinaigrette dress salads or tomato based dishes will over power.

Photo of J-Swan
4.48/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Yeast is the star of this show. Light and fruity. Malts and hops take a backseat to the yeast which imparts a fruity and smooth mouthfeel to this white ale. White Bark does a great job showcasing yeasts ability to add complexity and layers. Its pale grey translucent appearance can be off-putting for the uninitiated but I swear its worth a try! I am always excited when i see this on a tap list.

Photo of Smurf2055
3.14/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

About two fingers of white head. Pretty pale yellow. Not as murky as most Wheat beers, you can see through this one. Could be mistaken for a light lager by appearance alone. Decent head retention and carbonation though.

Very subtle smell. Smells sweet but not that strong.

Taste is also mild, semi-sweet, a bit citrusy.

Nothing special, and unless it’s local for you, probably not worth picking up. It’s a decent beer though.

Photo of mahakaya
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Light, citrusy, hints of pepper and a little too much orange peel.
I'll revisit it on a hot day....might just be missing sunshine.

Photo of Derek
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Quite white, moreso than many new world version. This isn't just a malt brew with some wheat thrown in. It's the real deal.

S: Light spicing & rind with a little citrus & fruit.

T: Lemony-citrus & rind with a very mild spicing. Healthy yeast character, hints of vanilla, modest bitterness with slight hint of tartness giving it a crisp finish.

M: Light to moderate body is quite smooth & quaffable.

D: Great stuff.

Photo of LazyL
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice lacing on the glass and a great straw colour. This is an unfiltered wheat beer so there is a level of cloudiness but the beer is still bright.
The smell is where this beer steps up. There is a nice level of spice with star anise, pepper and clove coming to the fore front.
This is a light bodied beer that is quite dry and has a nice creamy, herbally finish.
Not my favorite style of ale but if your into Belgian wit its definitely worth a go.
On a side note, the new labeling that Driftwood has gone to is a big improvement.

Photo of Grunewald
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - poured from a 650ml bottle into a tulip glass. It's cloudy tinted yellow with a white head. The head leaves spatters of lacing settles to a ring around the glass.

S - lots of flower/ester, light citrus and light spice

T - citrus hits right away, once settled a dry malty wheat flavor presents itself, then yeast flavors and a light hop finish with citrus details

M - high carbonation, medium-thin body and semi dry finish

D - refreshing

Photo of flagmantho
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: light silvery hue with a moderate haze and a very light effervescence. Head is a finger of frothy white foam with decent retention.

Smell: lightly wheaty and floral with a nice component of coriander and orange peel. There's a bit of a sour note, though, which doesn't work as well. Still, I find it quite nice.

Taste: quite floral with a grainy malt flavor. I think the orange peel is working against the beer a little bit; there's a spicing element that is not quite working for me. The floral, fresh flavor up front is great, but the aftertaste is a little over-spiced in a not-so-good way.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a big carbonation and great creaminess. Love it.

Overall: the aftertaste on this beer is really getting to me. There are some good components of this brew, but something (I really think it's the orange peel) is not playing well with the rest of the ingredients.

Photo of Viggo
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at St. Augustines in Vancouver.

Pours a light hazed straw yellow, very light in colour, thick white head forms and settles down to a thin ring around the glass but drops a real nice lace sheet on its way down.

Smell is alright, quite lemony, some pepper and coriander, wheat, a bit yeasty, orange peel, biscuit and a bit of toast, oats, bready, some honey, decently malty but a bit sweet.

Taste is similar, quite dry up front, some wheat and yeast, toasty, a bit of lemon and orange peel, coriander, honey, bitter orange, very dry in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation. Comes through a bit too thin and dry for my liking but a solid wit.

Photo of andrenaline
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The last of my tasting notes from my BC trip.

A - Pours a hazy straw colour, thumb of head with decent retention, and no real lacing.

S - Very wheaty with some sour lemon. The coriander also comes through, which was nice.

T - Quite a nice wit, with the orange noticeable off the top. The sweet spices linger after the finish, with nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon and cloves all having a presence. The orange could be a little stronger, and the finish is a little tart, but still quite tasty.

M - Nice light bodied ale, goes down smooth and has the perfect level of carbonation.

D - Overall a very tasty offering and worthy to any wit fan. Not my favourite of the Driftwood beers, but still a very well crafted Wit.

Photo of brewymcgee
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pale cloudy yellow with a foamy white head that sticks around.

Aroma: Yeast and wheat with some sour lemon, pepper and honey. Can seem a bit funky at the first whiff when poured from a bottle but this quickly passes.

Taste: Sweet wheat malt with a citrus tang cutting through nicely, with a citrus and light yeast finish. Clove and cinnamon flavours are present as well. Very nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and light with just the right tingle of carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite good actually, very thirst quenching yet worth savouring. Could be the best BC wheat I've had.

Photo of StJamesGate
3.69/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On draft at Commune Cafe, Vancouver.
*from notes
Cloudy champagne body. 4
Yeasty lemon nose. 3.75
Saltines and lots of citrus. 3.5
Fizzy and tangy. 4

-- For a wit, a step above Blue Moon - but just a step. 3.75

Photo of astout
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Definitely a great belgian style wit, profound not really, but delicious definitely

Pours a cloudy light orange, light foamy head
Aromas of orange, coriander and spice, light and fruity.
Similar orange and coriander profile in flavours with a great light and soft mouthfeel, very drinkable.
Could easily see myself drinking a couple of these on a hot summer day, not going to change your life but a very very good beer from a cool local brewery.

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White Bark Ale from Driftwood Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.