White Birch Saison - White Birch Brewing
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Ratings: 43 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
4.63/5 rDev +29.7%
Batch #2 Bottle #24
Loved this one, seriously loved this one. Thrilled to be able to sample another of White Birch's offerings I wasted no time at all with getting this one chilled down and served last night so I could enjoy it after the soccer game. Served at a comfy 55 degrees and poured into a 24oz wheat glass, this one was consumed on 10/13/2009.
The pour was perfect and I have no qualms at all with saying that. Simply stunning. Hazy golden in color with light amber highlights and just wonderfully cloudy. Light bouncing off and through it in the most wonderful way. A perfect head forms on the top, three and a half inches of pure white foam at first but it settles down after a few minutes and leaves a good bit of foam streaking down the sides of the glass. This is exactly what it is supposed to look like and I start to drool just thinking about it.
I am actually outside in the garage working on a few things as I enjoy this one now, so it's a nice crisp fall night, 52 or so degrees out and the clouds are rolling in for what is sure to be a rainy day tomorrow. I look over at this glass and reach in to try and catch a whiff of what could be inside. Very light aroma, I pick up some very light tart tones, maybe like a small touch of lemon, along with light grain and a very floral, herbal smell. Hints of what I construe as a lavender or heather like smell, fresh meadows come to mind. Seems this maybe just what I am looking for this evening, so I lean in and take a sip, fighting my way through the foam that is still capping the top to find the most mellow, smooth, and refreshing Saison I have had in quite a long time. Fresh herbal and floral notes, touches of light grass all greet the palate immediately giving it a wonderfully bright start, and keep it light, nothing overdone here at all. But then I start to pick up this nice light biscuit or buttery flavor mid palate, so well balanced here. The whole time this light almost lavender like flavor is bouncing around my palate with hints of light banana and almost clove. Again though something needs to be said about how light and refreshing this is. Such a welcome change from the overly hopped, super spiced, and high ABV versions of the style that seem to be flooding the market.
The smooth, refreshing nature of this is much more akin to what the style is supposed to be. After a long day working outside it was a way to unwind, relax, and reflect on your day. No need for super spicy concoctions, or a beverage loaded down with hints of pepper and hops. Something, reminiscent of the field you just walked out of, that can cool you off on a hot summer day but let your mind look forward to those crisp fall nights that lay just around the corner. This is what a Saison should be and this is exactly what we have here. Masterfully done and an instant classic.
10-14-2009 13:24:32 | More by mikesgroove
4.38/5 rDev +22.7%
a: This was a clear, pale golden color. It poured with a huge, fizzy white head that faded to moderate lace.
s: Yeasty aromas take center stage here. Lightly sweet grains, a trace of banana, and plenty of earthy, musty yeasty goodness.
t: Bill hit the sweet spot with his saison I'm happy to say. I'm being ironic when I say that, this is definitely on the Saharan side. Just what a saison should be. Dry, prickly yeastiness dominate but are backed nicely by some banana-y grains and a little sourdough bread.
m: Active, fizzy carbonation, just about dead on for the style.
d: My Dad is a big fan and so am I. Congrats to Bill on this great brew and his bold new endeavor! Thanks to joepais for the chance to try it.
12-18-2009 21:13:30 | More by DIM
4.33/5 rDev +21.3%
Gotta start reviewing the White Birch beers. I've become a good friend of Bill, and have a ton of the beers at home, just haven't reviewed them yet.
A: Pours with an immense 2/3 head into my White Birch tall tulip glass. The fluffy head takes a while to crash back as tons of new bubbles refuel it in the super clear golden wheat yellow color.
N: Hmm, can you say Bavarian Belgian wheat? It hits with some light wheat aromas, Belgian malts, and some light sweet malts. It also has some light fruits and yeasty aromas. It even adds some banana, citrus, and bready malts. It doesn't have the same yeast aroma as the dubbel did, instead this is a very pleasant aroma.
T: Starts a little creamy, with more Belgian malts, wheat, and lightly sweet toasty aromas. It then goes into some citrus fruits, really like a sweet and not so sour lemon. Slight yeasty flavors, but again pleasant. A little more banana and spicy saison like flavors. Some bready malts seem to follow a bit.
M: Medium body surprisingly with tons of carbonation and a little spicy feel.
F: Pretty dry on the finish with more carbonation airing it out. A little rustic spicy earthy farmhouse like feel. The toasty bready malts also seem to stick around with the creamy banana and hints of yeast linger. A really nice saison, and I'm not just saying that because I love White Birch and friends with Bill. I wish I could get this more readily available.
01-30-2010 02:10:22 | More by jlindros
4.22/5 rDev +18.2%
Batch 2 Bottle 40 of 84
Pours a slightly cloudy pale golden straw color with a huge fluffy white head that slowly dissipates to a cap on top.
Smells of light citrus, lemon and clove with a fleeting hint of banana. Slightly earthy and spicy aroma slightly tart with a hint of funk deep underneath. The taste is light and citrusy with an earthy edge. Smooth and medium body with a very dry finish.
I'm impressed that Bill managed to brew a Saison that I enjoyed so much. This is a great light easy drinking ale, there's no way I'm going to be able to cellar the rest of these.
09-24-2009 23:50:05 | More by johnnnniee
4.22/5 rDev +18.2%
This is my first sampling of White Birch - picked up this and the Pale Ale at Johnson's Marketplace in New Durham on 10/4/09.
Poured into a medium tulip glass, beautiful pale gold color, solid and retained finger of head with some lacing. Great nose right out of the bottle with hints of citrus, barnyard, and morning dew.
This was a smoother Saison (less tart) than I expected, which was a pleasant surprise. I am also a hound for collected yeast, so I swirled up what I could into the last pour, and the result was delicious.
Nice to see a new craft brewer from NH getting it done right. I tried Ommegang Hennepin last week, and that's a great beer, but I have to admit I liked this one more. Great beer Bill! Please send more Tripel (and perhaps wild ales too?) to Johnson's.
10-05-2009 14:17:01 | More by ElGallo
4.18/5 rDev +17.1%
Batch 4. Bottled September 9th, 2009. ABV 7.3%. Bottle 65 of 105.
A: Super hazy golden color. Less than a finger of white head with quite a bit of lacing.
S: Overipe cheese. Little bit of cheese as well. Great funky nose. A touch of oak as well.
T: Starts off as super sharp cheddar. A little bit funky.Little bit tart. More funky than anything else. Really nice complexity.
M: Very light in body. Well carbonated.
D: Very well carbonated. Been holding on to this bottle for a while but it is damn good. I really enjoy their beers.
03-07-2010 00:06:01 | More by aerozeppl
4.13/5 rDev +15.7%
Batch 2, bottle 28 of 84 from the fridge.
Pours clear pale gold with an inch-plus head of dense white. A solid quarter inch head of lengthy retention lingers throughout the glass along with plenty of smeared lacing.
Aromatics lead off with honey-drizzled biscuit malt, cut greens, and wet boards. Hints of pineapple skin, lemon pith, and wet straw follow through.
Light bodied with a crisp, drying mouthfeel.
Biscuit edges, wet sock, crushed grass, and black pepper start the palate. Dried pineapple with pithy tannins and a mild yeast bite step forward.
Finishes with a persistant dryness, firm bitterness, and an afterthought of honey.
Another tasty one from Bill. The Brett adds a great complexity but doesn't take mainstage.
09-25-2009 00:18:32 | More by brewandbbq
4.13/5 rDev +15.7%
My second beer from White Birch. The first one did not disappoint, and I hope this one will not either. Pours an almost perfectly hazed golden orange, with a finger worth of white heading. Nose is also as noteworthy, with some tangerine, lemon, pineapple, cream and a tiny amount of funk. Some more fruit comes through in the flavor, namely melon, along with some champagne dryness and a spicy peppery aftertaste. Carbonation is tight and prickly on the palate, and would be perfect for a Spring or Summer day. I am hoping this beer becomes available here in Boston soon, as it more than meets my expectations for what a great Saison should be. Only good things to say about this beer as well. Bring on more!
09-25-2009 00:01:19 | More by jamie2dope
4.1/5 rDev +14.8%
Got as an extra in a trade with johnnnniee - many thanks! Batch Two Bottle 39 of 84 bottled on 9/1/09 - love that they have all that info clearly visible on the front label. Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip. Was a hazy golden yellow color. Plenty of carb streams. It had a large fluffy white head that settled into a collar and some central wisps. Slow sliding non-sticking lace.
The aroma was excellent. Spicy and fruity as expected in a saison plus a good hint of some funk which was unexpected. I love wild ales so the funk was a pleasant touch. The taste followed the aroma with the spice taking center state. The fruit didn't show up as much but the earthy, funky taste came thru. Great taste and a slightly different take on the style. Mouthfeel was light and crisp with a spicy, dry finish.
Overall, an excellent saison that I highly recommend. Great taste that goes down smooth. The ABV never comes into play. Rotation: not avail here - got in a trade.
11-06-2009 00:31:15 | More by TexIndy
4.08/5 rDev +14.3%
22oz bottle purchased as a single from Glen Beverage, Glen, NH. Bottled 8/5/10, Batch 1, one of 408 bottles.
Poured into a Harpoon chalice, formed a 2" off-white head over the very cloudy blondish amber brew. Thick head lasts and lasts, with heavy chunky lacing. Aroma is spicy, earthy, maybe a bit of smokiness.
Taste is sweet upfront, lemony in the middle, and closes crisply with the lemon lingering. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is easy. Nice brew to enjoy more or less anytime.
12-12-2010 20:34:26 | More by ppoitras
4.05/5 rDev +13.4%
Another solid beer from White Birch. This beer was a hazy gold color with a medium-sized white head. It had quite a floral aroma, almost perfumy, and some sweet fruit. Fruity taste, a little peppery toward the end. A crisp, dry beer that was quite enjoyable. I hope the brewer will start sending stuff to Maine.
10-29-2009 22:59:36 | More by lordofthewiens
4.03/5 rDev +12.9%
Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Saison Dupont tumbler. Extra special thanks to Vanillamike for this from our recent trade!
Bottled September 9, 2009
Bottle 4 of 108
A: Very strong hiss when the cap was popped. The bottle didn't gush, so on with the pour! Immediately the glass was filled, bottom to top, with thick and bubbly, bright white foam. It eventually calmed down and I was able to get some liquid in the glass. Perfectly hazy, light straw colored Saison. Two fingers of sticky, meringue-like foam perches itself on top and refuses to go away! Sadly, not much lace was left behind.
S: Subtle, toasty wheat with some mildly tangy citrus and green apple. Maybe a touch of coriander? I swear I picked up the scent of fresh cut key limes.
T: Same as above with the toasted grain taking on a slightly sweet edge, right before the tart and tangy citrus steps out front and hangs around through the finish. Mild funky twang right at the end of the finish. The second pour takes on a decidedly "yeasty" flavor.
M: Peppery for most of its' time on the tongue. Lots of dry roasted and slightly sweet malt, tangy citrus and orchard fruit, and some subdued hoppy spice.
D: Quite nice. I felt it could've used a bit more tart fruit, spices, and hops, but that's just me. I really liked this beer. White Birch is on a roll!
03-16-2010 00:02:34 | More by GbVDave
4/5 rDev +12%
From the 1 pint 6 fl. oz. bottle. Bottled on September 1, 2009. Batch Two, no. 28 of 84. Sampled on September 27, 2009. It pours a cloudy golden yellow with a foamy white head that lingers on to the end. The aroma sports a sharp sense of citrus and yeast. A litle bit of hops in there too. A creamy medium tecture mouthfeel. The taste is also full of citrus and yeast and it is plenty tart...maybe too sour for my tastebuds. Still it was a nice brew in the end.
09-27-2009 20:51:03 | More by puboflyons
District of Columbia
4/5 rDev +12%
Thanks to masterchiefMD for sharing this.
Bottle 6 of 84
A: Cloudy, hazy yellow with great head retention and decent lace.
S: Very floral, mild tartness, lemons.
T: Decent tasting. Nothing outstanding, nothing amiss, just an average saison. Floral aromas, slightly yeasty, a tad tart. This is an ok beer, but I rarely have an American beer brewed in the Belgian style that can compete with an authentic Belgian ale. This is yet another example.
M: Smooth and refreshing.
D: I'd be happy to have another, but these aren't easy to come by. I'm thankful for the opportunity to try it.
04-05-2010 21:46:37 | More by Huhzubendah
3.95/5 rDev +10.6%
If we're counting...Batch 4, 14/108. Nice pop and pffft of the oxygen-encapsulating cap. A little wavy funk off the top. Into a Duvel tulip...
It has a cloudiness to it as well as a full-finger-and-then-some pure white, meringue-blue head. Lacing is decent, as is retention.
A little iffiness on the nose at first; it's almost a note of feta cheese with a spent charcoal tone that obscure the solid yeast and light grain electricity. It's a bit on the weird side at first, but the good side is that there's definitely a bit of expected funkiness. The components of a traditional Saison are there; although the feta/charcoal dust is a bit off-putting in the beginning, I expect that it won't be an issue anywhere else. (edit) It takes a while...almost an hour...but now we're dealing with a little bit of solid Saison funkiness. NOW we're cooking with gas...
As expected, this deal is back on the game. Nice, dry and tight yeast and raw grain electricity. A bit of nice hop pine. Underlying barnyard notes work better on the taste buds than on the nose. It's dry, well-carbonated and rustic...a bit of unevenness adds to the character of the style. Well-carbonated and a bit spritely.
Once the scent dissipates it's a lighter Saison in body but a heavier one as far as palate notes go. Finish is carbonated and funky; there may be something different brewing here that keeps it a little left of clean.
This one starts clearing up after a while to serve up a solid Saison. Definitely more funky than the average bear; partly it seems by intention; a little bit seems to provide a smidge of weirdness. I'm missing the intended spice and fruitiness on the front end, yet the yeastiness indicates that it may be what we expect. A little spice on the nose and palate indicate more promise as it warms and warms. Definitely a rustic Saison that can be appreciated.
10-07-2009 01:24:48 | More by IBUnit63
3.95/5 rDev +10.6%
Bottle thanks to Drazzamatazz.
Pours a cloudy straw color with one finger of foamy white head.
Scent of lemongrass, wet oats, light spices, a bit of horse blanket, subdued sugars, and a hint of orange peel. A little strong for the style.
Taste of bready oats, dry earth, sugar, lemongrass and light spices. Finishes dry with more bready oats and tobacco. A bit too bready, but a good American representation of the style.
Mouthfeel is light bodied with a smooth, but strong bite of carbonation, very good.
02-21-2010 02:35:52 | More by paco1029384756
3.93/5 rDev +10.1%
A: The pour is a slightly hazy golden 'apple juice'-like color. It's topped by a crisp white head with visible carbonation.
S: I defiantly get a sour funkiness in this beer. Like apricots mixed with a healthy dose of Brett.
T: This has a slight puckering effect on the palate. It is somewhat earthy, a tad grassy, bold - not afraid to show it's colors. It has a good mix of just about everything. This is quite nice.
M: light bodied with moderately-high carbonation.
D: Quite drinkable for the alcohol content which isn't too high. It's a nice beer.
08-02-2011 00:15:09 | More by tlazaroff
3.9/5 rDev +9.2%
A 650 mL bottle from Batch 3, #72 of 108. Thanks to jmu500 for it in a recent trade.
A: Would you believe me if I said that this one looks exactly like the Belgian Pale Ale I just had? Luckily this one is supposed to look this way. The saison is hazy, a golden straw color with a finger of snow white head.
S: The nose is pleasantly herbal (I was originaly going with floral but realized that was inappropriate). Coriander is the primary herb and is paired with a noticeable pale malt bill.
T: The saison delivers a pleasant opening salvo of pale fruits, courtesy of the yeast. Lingering behind the start is a combination of mild sourness (extremely mild) and anise. Despite being amply carbonated, the bubbles don't register on the palate, allowing coriander and pale malts to linger. A floral sweetness replaces the herbal body near the end of each sip, a nice touch that sees the sip away.
M: The saison starts out nicely and quickly picks up from there. The mild funk, combined with flowers and herbs, sits very nicely.
D: The alcohol is never really an issue. The saison throws a whole flavor spectrum at you, a very enjoyable two hours spent with this bottle.
11-02-2009 02:00:56 | More by akorsak
3.9/5 rDev +9.2%
I got this beer from Joppa. Thanks Ben!
22oz bottle served in a tulip glass.
L - murky straw color with a fluffy white head that stayed around a while before finally settling down.
S - earthy yeast and tart apple.
T - tart apple and pear upfront with some yeast in the middle finishing dry and tart.
F - medium bodied with a crisp feel.
D - it went down ok but the tartness keeps this to a glass or two.
12-11-2010 01:57:58 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
3.8/5 rDev +6.4%
Bottle 52 batch 2 spit among friends Poured into tulips. It produced a finger worth of white head that left quickly. The body was a pale hazy golden yellow.
There was something funky going on with the aroma. Almost offensive when the head was dissipating but it calmed down once it set a while. I saw the words Feta I think it was the closest to the sent
Now the flavor was great. Crisp in the mouth with a dry finish I got a ton of grass and citrus with a light pepper finish.
It was easy to drink with enough flavors to want to drink more I would buy this again
10-26-2009 23:12:17 | More by joepais
3.78/5 rDev +5.9%
This is a bottle from batch one, poured from a bottle into a dogfish head signature glass.
The beer pours a golden straw color with a thick, frothy two finger white head. The beer looks well carbonated and leaves a slight oily lacing on the sides of the glass.
The smell starts with some sweet graham cracker malt and some floral spice that balance well, followed by earthiness and some light citrus notes.
The taste is light, refreshing and incredibly well balanced. The sweet malts and floral hop characters give way to a light citrus, maybe some fresh orange peel. The finish is crisp and spicy with a nice balance of not-too-bready-malt. Through all the crisp citrus and floral notes there is an almost sour earthiness that balance the flavors and flattens them out.
The drinkability and mouthfeel are excellent on this beer. It is perfectly carbonated, well balanced and very refreshing. The alcohol is barely present, definitely a beer that I could drink more than one bomber of.
09-23-2009 23:32:59 | More by rpstevens
3.75/5 rDev +5%
Bottle #58 of 108
This new saison was generously shared by the man, the myth, the legend, d0b, thanks Bitch! This saison ended up being a slow gusher. A soft pour produces an opaque golden body, with a couple chunkies floating about, and a perfectly white cap that rises out of the glass like meringue. The head stays put throughout the entire drink with tenacious staying power and chunky drink lines cling to the glass.
The nose is chock full of wheaty twang that verge on sour graininess. The middle shows some spiciness that reminds me of coriander and bitter orange peel. White pepper makes itself known although in small quantities while freshly malted barley make up a huge portion of the backbone. I'd appreciate the smell much more if there wasn't so much wheat in the grain bill. The wheaty twang actually verges on wet dog but never quite makes it there, thankfully.
A strong wheatiness presents itself in the flavor from front to back with that slightly tart twang. Mid palate brings along an unusual and welcomed tartness that brings to mind ripe, gritty pear and tart peach that tickles the sides of the tongue. The finish brings along a couple of the spices I noticed in the nose; bitter orange peel and coriander. The swallow leaves behind an aftertaste I'm not all that fond of that reminds me of sulfur. I have no idea where that's coming from but it's there. This saison was going good until that slight sulfur note hits on the back and throws it for a loop. As this beer warms the sulfur notes seem to dissipate, which is most welcomed.
They did a good job with the mouthfeel of this beer. While I was afraid the carbonation would be too high when the cap was popped it seems to work well with the light body. The carbonation has a slight prickliness that washes the tartness of the sides of the tongue and adds to a rather dry finish.
The flavor and nose are solid but nothing super interesting. Luckily the lively carbonation, body, and refreshing qualities keep this beer flowing. This would make for a good summer sipper; it's too bad I'm drinking it in what feels like winter.
This is my second beer from White Birch, the other being the Belgian Pale Ale, and oddly enough they both have very similar traits. Both seem to use handfuls of wheat and the spiciness of both is very similar. The saison seems to finish drier, which is something I appreciate. I'd give this another whirl if it was available around these parts. Thanks for sharing, Dave!
11-18-2009 01:16:35 | More by joe1510
White Birch Saison from White Birch Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.