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White Birch Oak Aged Tripel - White Birch Brewing

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White Birch Oak Aged TripelWhite Birch Oak Aged Tripel

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31 Ratings
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Ratings: 31
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 20.38%
Wants: 9
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
White Birch Brewing visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  10.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewandbbq on 10-14-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Our Traditional Tripel aged with oak chips that were conditioned with rye whiskey. If you’re not familiar with it, rye whiskey is a subtle flavor. Distinct from bourbon or whiskey in that the rye tang makes it through the distillation process. It is not as sweet as a bourbon or whiskey can be.

To make this beer we age oak chips with the rye whiskey until it achieves the aromas we’re looking for. The beer then is aged with these chips for an additional period of time to absorb their flavor and aroma into the Tripel. The resulting beer is a balance of light malts, vanilla, oak, rye and cracked pepper. The finish is an almost light bodied, dry crispness that belies the overall ABV.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 31 | Reviews: 20
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4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

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4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of johnnnniee
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from July 6 2010 Batch 1 Bottle 31 of 84 sampled 10/23/2011
This bottle pours a crystal clear deep golden straw color with a decent sized bubbly white head that shows moderate retention and lace. I normally joke about the clarity with White Birch beers, but sitting in my basement for a year cleared this one right up. although now it looks like a dead ringer for a macro lager.
Spicy aroma in the form of rye with a strong bite of phenols from the yeast. Light fruit in the form of lemons and green apples and hints of bready malt round out the aroma. Taste is a bit sweeter than the aroma would have suggested. Sweet bready malt balanced by tart fruit apricots, apples, lemons come to mind and spicy Belgian phenols. There's a hint of rye character but it is very subtle. Light to medium body, moderate to high level of carbonation with a sweet slick almost sticky mouthfeel. Decent tripel that is quite drinkable. I could use a bit more body and some of the darker juicier fruit aromas that I often associate with a tripel.

Photo of stakem
1.82/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to tprokop7 for the bomber. This is Batch #1 bottle #79 of 79. Alcohol is listed as 10.7% abv with a bottled date of September 8, 2009. There is no wax on this offering but the color of the label matches the one provided here in this listing. I took a quick glance at some of the other reviews and I could not figure out how different people could batch one with a different amount of total bottles and dates. I believe people have inaccurately reviewed this beer under the "barrel aged" listing and vice versa.

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears nearly a crystal clear color of pale yellow. This is probably the closest thing I have ever seen to a Belgian style brew having seemingly polished clarity. 2 fingers worth of fluffy white head sit proudly atop the brew and very rapidly dissolves with audible pops and fizzes. A constant stream of bubbles rises through the solution maintaining a thin lace atop the brew that collects around the outside edges with about a half finger's strength. A light swirl easily revives a finger of head back to the top which again rapidly dissolves. This is without a doubt the most pale looking tripel I have ever seen.

The smell of this brew includes a very bold array of coriander-like lemony scents in the nose that is, as more whiffs are taken, almost like perfume with a seemingly exaggerated and artificial lemon quality. The first thing that comes to mind is lemon pledge household cleaner. What is even more solidifying of that statement is the raw oak character that is hidden underneath the lemony aspects of this brew's aroma that come out more as the brew warms. Once this brew nears ideal temperature it has a solvent kick of alcohol that stings the nose. When coupled with the lemon perfume and oak, it becomes quite unpleasant.

From the first sip until the very last, there is a dominating amount of raw oak in this brew that is so bold it nearly covers up all the other aspects of the base tripel. As more sips are taken, some of that previously noted lemon character from the aroma makes its way into the flavor with a full on assault of something like coriander and artificial lemon flavoring. Tasting this brew is a chore, I am trying to give it an honest chance but each sip gets less and less enjoyable as the brew warms up. Once the brew comes up to temperature there is an herbal hop element that is lightly bitter and earthy and the alcohol comes forward warming up the back of the throat. The aftertaste of this brew is lightly sweet, mildly grainy in character but tasting more like corn than grain... very strange.

This is a medium bodied brew with a very active level of carbonation. While cold the nearly 11% abv is masked quite well but as it comes up to temperature it gets unbearable coupled with the other characteristics of this beer. There is no balance here, the oak completely dominated the base and the lemony quality is so outrageous that it seemingly coats the tongue and lasts with an oily residue that I cannot get out of my mouth. If raw oak and lemon pledge are your thing, this might be the beer for you. If you are looking for a tripel, avoid this. If I didn't know any better, I would say something went horribly wrong with this batch and the inexcusable amount of lemon and oak was added as a band-aid.

Photo of HopHead84
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5


Bottle shared by Carlos, thanks!

A: Hazy blond with a frothy white head.

S: Sugary bread with green apple and a lot of oak. Lightly spicy phenols remind me of pepper. There's a little evident alcohol.

T: Sugary bread sweetness with peppery phenols and a prominent green apple flavor. The finish is boozy, spicy, tannic, and oaky with sugary bread lingering.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth and dry.

Overall: I found this to be over oaked and too sweet with an unpleasant finish. Nothing to seek out, and I wouldn't drink it again.

Photo of Billolick
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tap pour @ the Birdsall House, Peekskill, NY.

Pours crazy cloudy orangy amber. Long lasting off white head, frothy and then leaves ample sheeting. Looks like a mango shake.

Super citrusy, fruity, then hoppy..well done, densely flavorful, complex and damn tasty stuff. Glad I had the chance to try it. Worth seeking out.

Photo of jneiswender
2.51/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured out of a pint and a little over a half bottle into a Belgian chalice. Served cool but not cold.

A-Lemon drop body (somewhat cloudy), nice thick white head.

S-very yeasty, some lemon, some alcohol.

T-very yeasty, some lemon and spice (almost lemon bar), wine like astringent, light vanilla aftertaste.

M-light to medium and well carbonated

D-A little to astringent for me. A bit course flavored. I think I might pass on this next time.

Photo of GbVDave
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a White Birch flute. Special thanks to Vanillamike for this from a little while back.

Bottled: July 6, 2010
Batch: One
Bottle: 12 of 84
ABV: Alc. 10.9% by Vol.

A: Pours an extremely pale straw yellow with just the right amount of haze. Sitting on top is a fantastic looking, bright-white head that retains all the way. Lace was sticky and plentiful. Effervescent to say the least!

S: Pretty typical Tripel/BSPA aromas. Clove, spiced pear, green apple, spices, toasty grain, and some bright citrus. Pretty lively.

T: Tastes pretty close to the nose but everything seemed a little muted. Some tannins creep in as it warms as does a little alcohol.

M: Relatively crisp and spicy with a fair amount of stickiness. Finishes surprisingly dry and peppery.

D: Another fine effort from Bill and his crew. Keep 'em coming!

Photo of jlindros
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated Sept 8th, 2009, so it's got some age.

A very fluffy looking head rises up to a finger and fades semi quickly in a fizzy fashion, over crystal clear golden straw color. For being bottle conditioned and oak aged, crystal clear is really interesting.

Nose brings lots of oak to start, a little bourbon even it seems, some interesting malts, Belgian malts, light spicy rye like aroma, a bit of fruit, a slight honey like aroma too, golden malts. very interesting.

The taste is similar to the nose, starting with some malty flavors, light Belgian golden malts. A very slight sweetness, touch of a honey like flavor. Then come more of the interesting spicey tastes, starting with a spicy rye flavor, other interesting spices I can't put a finger on. The some oak, fresh oak, and even a cedar like flavor, and slight hints of bourbon. Some light citrus fruits, little orange peel and lemon zest with hints of saison like citrus. It gets pretty dry on the finish, with a lingering malts and spices, light rye and oak on the finish. A slight sticky and almost flemmy feel left on the mouth.

The mouth is medium bodied, a little sticky in the basic mouth feel like it had mead in it, and lots of carbonation.

Drinkability is decent, a slight sticky and almost flemmy feel late, a nice dry finish, and nice effervescence, and no bad lingering flavors.

Photo of Thorpe429
2.86/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Thanks to rpstevens for handing this over to me as an extra during an in-person trade at KTG 2010.

Pours a slightly hazed bright straw color with a nice bone white head and some good lacing. The nose brings forward a bit of oak as well as some clove and spice. A bit of grain and booze. Some light banana notes. A bit of cardboard. The taste is a bit grainy with some pepper, clove, and spice. Hints of oak. Then comes quite a bit of a vegetal taste and a weird cardboard character; this is all really hard to get overall. The mouthfeel is nice and dry with a good body and carbonation level. Feel was quite nice, but the nose and taste weren't quite up to par. Kudos for the style choice, however.

Photo of Phelps
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle received in a generous trade with CooperEllis. Number 27 of 84, batch one, bottled July 6, 2010. Poured into my Bruery tulip.

Looks: clear pale dandelion yellow with a one-finger sudsy head of eggshell white The tiny bubbles pop and crackle, becoming denser, creamier, and gripping the sides of the glass in thick horizontal tracts. Great retention; I bet this head would stick around all night if I let it. As I drink, the head sticks even more, the bottom half of my glass is covered in limestone-like sheeting.

Smells: white pepper, banana, lager yeast, peach, pear syrup, clove, cereal grain, no oak.

Tastes: there's the oak! It's more subtle than expected, but adds a nice accompaniment to the flavors that burst mid-palate: sweet and citrusy pear juice, lemon rind, light banana. Spicy pepper again, along with cardamom. A crisp, dry finish wipes away most of the flavors, but a slightly sour lemon flavor lingers on the back of the tongue.

Feels: soft. Medium-high, peppery carbonation with a medium-light body. Expands as it warms, becoming pleasantly creamy, with only a slightly noticeable alcohol warmth flowing into the stomach.

Drinks: sneakily. At ten percent, this beer goes down far too easily. Since it's a triple, I know the flavors should be pretty delicate, but for a beer aged in rye oak barrels, I'd like a little more of both flavors. Still -- very good, very drinkable.

Photo of ElGallo
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch One, bottle 41 of 79, bottled September 2009. Love the blue-wax-dipped top.

I bought this bad boy back in November and cellared it as long as I could, but curiosity got the best of me once again.

Straw color, way too clear for a textbook Tripel, but when is White Birch textbook? The nose is funky and surprising, and the oak chips soaked in rye whiskey give it a unique and somewhat dry and bitter taste. Oak is definitely present, though, in nose and taste. Mouthfeel is smooth, ABV hidded, but aftertaste is a little funky (not the good funky). Overall, an interesting take on the style and worth aging a bit. Nice job Bill.

The previous post failed this beer, citing "smell and taste of vomit" from a sample at a beer fest, and I must admit I had a similar experience at one of Bill's first tastings, when this beer was first on the shelves. I think it has to do with the rye whiskey taste, which is strong, at warm tempertures - it messes with the palate and the mind. Very different beer though when chilled and aged.

Photo of Longstaff
1.12/5  rDev -69.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Chose to sample this one at a beer fest since it was the brightest beer that was on the table at their booth as some other ones were quite milky. I usually don't review beer from a sample at a fest, but I had a fresh palate and this was soooo...distiguishable, from just a sip, that I feel confident in my review.

Appearance was normal for a tripel - golden and slightly cloudy.

Aroma of vomit that made my head snap back as if someone just punched me in the face. Barnyard funk gone bad - reminded my of the way the elementary bus smelled after someone puked and the driver threw down that stuff to soak it up. Did not want to take another whiff to find any nuances.

Taste. Vomit flavor upfront that matched the aroma was quickly "relieved" by yeasty flavored maltiness, followed by a sledgehamer of unclean alcohol flavors. Plasticy phenolic, fusely alcohol flavors overan any esters that were present. Gag reflex kicked into overdrive and I had to fight back my body's reaction to purge itself of this toxic liquid. I had to take another taste just to make sure - yup, all there in its ummm....glory - this time the dry heaves made my eyes water.

Mouthfeel. Didn't really notice anything but a caustic like hotness on the tounge since I was so distracted by its flavor.

Drinkability. 1 is too high praise. I couldn't even drink 1/10th of the 2 oz sample that was given.

Overall. How someone can taste this and still serve it to others is just beyond my sensibilities, never mind selling it at premium prices. Or maybe I just don't understand what is considered quality beer in the high end craft beer market today?

Photo of DIM
4.37/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle # 56 of 89

a: This was a very pale, clear, straw colored yellow. It poured with a moderately sticky, large fizzy head.

s: As advertised, the rye whiskey and oak are here. Both in very appealing moderation. Spice, phenols, green apples, and perfumed bananas all play beautifully off the tannins and rye. There was something vinous here that brought wine to mine. The warmth coming off this was very mild.

t: A fantastic balance is struck here as well. Dry from start to finish, I tasted gentle oaky tannins, flowet phenolic bananas, and a deliciously smooth rye finish. There are layers here I just couldn't come up with adjectives for.

m: Maybe a little on the thin side with gently fizzy carbonation. I love the long, dry finish.

d: So glad I got to try this one. Great stuff from White Birch.

Photo of mikey711
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A light straw color yellow, slightly cloudy, and looking a bit like lemonade. The carbonation level is very good and a nice layer of foam sits on top of the beer.

S: Very yeasty smelling providing some earthy estery tones, some wood notes and vanilla notes. A bit of funky barnyardness is present but more so in an oxidized sense.

T: Nice bready sweetness followed by some wood notes and a finishing soapy vanilla. A bit of floral hops also comes through

M: Some heat is present and it is very light even more a tripel, the texture just feels light. There is a nice smoothness, but something just seems off

D: Pretty easy to drink for such a high abv, but not my favorite tripel

Photo of akorsak
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle number 84 of 89 from Batch 2. Thanks to jmu500 for this blue wax-capped bottle.

A: The tripel has the pale straw color that I've seen in several other White Birch beers. This one, though, is appropriate for a tripel. The soft colors reveal a steady stream of carbonation in the middle of the glass. A wispy head, never more than a quarter finger, hasn't even tried to lace.

S: A bit of green apple sweetness drives the nose. Paired with that uncharacteristic sweetness is a firm oaky wood presence. The sweetness has a brandy element written all over it. Very interesting.

T: The tripel has an underlying sweetness that I attribute to the oak. The tripel is spicy, leaving a nice zest on the tongue. For the mild sweetness, the ale is quite dry, leaving a Belgian yeast flavor. The zest on the tongue turns out to have a peppery bite, not strong but definitely there. The second glass from the bomber offered more tripel sweetness, plenty of fruit (although just a hint of candi sugars). The first glass was alright, but I like how the second glass (replete with excess yeast) takes off. The second glass also offers a more pronounced oak flavor. A big plus is that alcohol doesn't really get in the way of the ale. The second half of the bomber is a clutch save on the part of White Birch.

M: The mouthfeel is dry, the yeast having snatched up all of the sweetness. I wasn't keen up front but it is definitely growing on me.

D: At nearly 10.5%, the ale is a doozy, no doubt about it. Like a good football team, this beer comes alive in its second half. Well done, White Birch (and, by extension, Bill).

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White Birch Oak Aged Tripel from White Birch Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.