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White Birch Indulgence Ale - White Birch Brewing

Not Rated.
White Birch Indulgence AleWhite Birch Indulgence Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

72 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 72
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 19.25%
Wants: 4
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
White Birch Brewing visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 04-22-2010

Permit us to indulge our creative side. Made with copious amounts of chocolate malts. Highlights include sweet chocolate aromas and dark chocolate and coffee notes in the finish. Smooth, deceptive and decadent. Not a stout, not a porter, pitch black and just plain fun. The chocolate malt and our grain mill disagree vigorously so we only make this from time to time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 45
Photo of JebBeerFish
2.9/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Newer Batches are 10%, not 8.50%.

While it may be smooth as the brewery's description states, I did not find it decadent. It's kind of a mess. Most prominent style is Strong Ale, with stout/porter, and touch of rauchbier. I drank but did not enjoy. I am unlikely to purchase again.

Photo of JAFoley
3.76/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - vigorous pour barely raises a bubbly dark tan head over an opaque dark body. Decent retention with lots of foamy lacing.

S - fruits, caramel, and chocolate

T - dark smoke and cherry, tangy and super sugary. Alcohol is strong throughout and lingers in the medicine flavor aftertaste.

M - full body with light fine carbonation. Super creamy and smooth

O - this was very enjoyable. Lots of good flavors but intense, so it's hard to drink a full pint

Photo of jdhilt
4.45/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a two finger light tan head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights, ton of yeast left in bottle. medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Chocolate nose and flavor is sweet chocolate, no soy sauce, smooth chocolate/coffee finish. High (10%) ABV is hidden. $10.99 for a 22oz bottle from Bert's Better Beers Hooksett, NH

Photo of brentk56
1.57/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Batch One: 3/19/10

Appearance: A motor oil pour; just a thin film of tan-colored head on top; a few strands of lace

Smell: Phenolic and sour, with soy sauce underneath

Taste: Starts out with a combination of soy sauce and vinegar, with the sourness building through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I have never rated a beer with a "1" for smell and taste before, but this one deserves it

Photo of Dope
3.4/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch 1, bottled February 2011. 8% ABV, 840 bottle count.

A: Pitch black pour with a big fluffy EXTREMELY dark head. It's almost as dark as the body initially. Light, fluffy head dissipates fairly quickly. Zero lacing at all. Decent retention.

S: Heavy dark chocolate and dark fruits. A bit of a meaty, umami type aroma.

T: Dark chocolate and loads of smoke and umami. Middle is all umami, like drinking liquified BBQ beef. Almost get a little soy sauce. Mild dark fruits like raisin, fig and even cherry in the finish. Metallic in the aftertaste, like copper.

M: Very smooth, almost creamy with a medium body. Carbonation is a bit too high unfortunately, giving it a fluffy sort of mouthfeel.

O: A decent concept but just doesn't work. It's pretty much pure chocolate, meat and smoke. Odd combination. A belgian-style chocolate smoked porter? Not as good as that would imply...

Photo of akorsak
4.02/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A wax-capped bomber, personalized from my brother and sister-in-law.

A: The ale is pitch black, absolute darkness in all of its murky depth. The viscous brew is a sight to behold. A dark tan head, a cordoban leather color, leaves a few patches of lace from a rather vigourous pour.

S: The nose is roasted, burnt malts and coffee, cut with the sweet by-products of Belgian yeast. Nuts and toffee along with spicy fruits drive home the Belgian stout hybrid.

T: Mmmm, roasty. The stout is formidable, dark and burnt. Toffee, nuts and chocolate are prevalent, each adding depth to the stout's body. Belgian yeast makes a strong impression, sweetening up the dark body with fruits and spices. I detect some cinnamon along with pale fleshy fruits. The Belgian flavors are strongest in the last third of the bomber. Generally though, the stout rules the day in a very warming way, much stronger than the label's 7.1% would indicate. This is a beer that I can get behind (and my name is on the label).

M: The mouthfeel is big, much larger than the label suggests. A warming stout, the sweeter flavors are a welcome diversion.

D: The ale feels much, much bigger than it actually is. That limits the drinkability of the stout. Too bad because the richness of the flavors is very nice.

Photo of CharlieMurphy
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dahk. Black. Medium brown head that is effervescent to varying degrees.

S: A little funky, kind of like a quad or dubbel, and every some tart yeast. Like.

T: Definitely a little phenolic and funky character but it works very well with the effervescent quality and dark malt flavors of chocolate, roasted oats, and some fig.

M: Smooth, medium to slightly high carbonation which accentuates modest tart flavors.

O: I like this a lot. I could drink a whole pint but 3-5oz is perfect.

Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On this bottle, the apv is 9% (batch #2, February 2011)

90% head on the initial pour. It takes a couple of minutes to recede. Surprisingly little lace on the glass. The liquid is near where no light shines through.

Strong semi-sweet chocolate aroma--this smells like a freshly opened bag of Nestle Toll House Chips. There's also a touch of whole milk and alcohol, like a White Russian cocktail.

The flavor reminds me of a Russian Imperial Stout: Strong black coffee is the initial flavor. Absolutely no creaminess. The swallow is bitter, mostly from the abundant black patent malt but there's also a bit of dry hop. The aftertaste has a Kahlua element to it--long lasting coffee and the warming presence of alcohol. A near extreme beer.

Photo of far333
3.24/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Inky dark blackish brown with ruddy highlights and a HUGE head of rocky foam that rises up way too high almost overflowing the glass even with a careful and controlled pour. The foam slowly sizzles down to a low fine cap.

Inviting aroma of roasty malt and cocoa, some bitter coffee and subtle smoke. Rich flavors of darkly roasted malt, cocoa, espresso, licorice, leather and smoke. Very malty, very chocolately.

Mouthfeel is where this beer falls apart. It is seriously overcarbonated. Even after the enormous head recedes, the beer is difficult to drink because it's so gassy. A big burp punctuates every other mouthful. There's a burning sensation in my mouth as physics takes over and the beer tries to degas itself on contact with the tongue and cheeks. I actually feel my cheeks expanding as it sizzles and bubbles. In all of that I can sense that the body is thin, could be more viscous. And to add insult to injury the last few sips have to fight with chunky sediment left in the bottom of the glass.

Overall this beer has potential, but the interesting flavors are overshadowed by the unpleasant experience of actually trying to drink it. This is the second beer from White Birch that has been way overcarbonated. The biggest "Indulgence" was that I paid $11 for this bomber. Ouch.

Photo of mdaschaf
2.33/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Found this one in the back of the cellar and decided it was time to drink it.

A: Pours thin and black in color. A small head forms upon pouring but is gone quickly and leaves behind no lacing at all.

S: A very strange combination of vinegar/sour, maple, chocolate, and smoked malt.

T: Again, has a sourness up front. Very grainy, can almost feel the malt on my tongue. Some roasted malt and chocolate round it out.

M: Medium bodied, not much carbonation. Has a vinegary twang to it.

O: Not a fan at all, difficult to drink as well. Not sure if the sourness was on purpose or something happened along the way.

Photo of angrybabboon
3.83/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 10/9/11

Appearance: Jet black with a little brown around the edges when held up to the light - a huge tan head thanks to a borderline ridiculous amount of carbonation

Smell: Somewhat one-dimensional, with a ton of chocolate, but nice - burnt, roasted, charred malts - dark baker's chocolate, cocoa - some tartness with some dark fruits

Taste: A little odd, but good - tons and tons of chocolate malts - excessively burnt - other than the burnt bitterness, there are some interesting flavors here, mainly baker's chocolate - some dark fruits, some tartness - alcohol is quite obvious

Mouthfeel: Absurdly carbonated - not in a nice, bottle-conditioned foamy way, either - very fizzy, very bubbly - otherwise, smooth, light body

Overall: Strange, but worth a try

I guess this really fits into the American Strong Ale category because it certainly doesn't fit anywhere else. It's as burnt as an imperial stout, but it's really light in body. It's very bitter, without a chewy malt backbone. It would probably be a lot better with less carbonation and perhaps something like oatmeal to add to the body.

Photo of womencantsail
2.73/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Finally, an end to the White Birch beers. Shared by Bobby.

A: The pour is black in color with a huge tan head.

S: Like so many other white birch beers, just an unpleasant aroma. It's quite acidic with excessive roasted malt aromas. A bit of coffee and spoiled cocoa, maybe some char.

T: Lightly sweet, but fairly watery and acidic. Like the nose, there is some old cocoa and chocolate flavor. A bit of paper and cardboard as well.

M: Light bodied with medium to high carbonation.

O: Just unfortunate.

Photo of Gmann
4.05/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black color with a rapidly raising airy brown head that just as quickly settles into a solid cap. Very fizzy at first but has some holding strength.

The aroma has a nice subtle roast aroma with some scorched caramel, some brown bread and a hint of wet bark. Reminds me of a porter or brown ale aroma. Perhaps a slight sour berry scent.

The taste is of a nice toasted brown bread, pumpernickle, wet wood and light toast & roast. Perhaps a hint of chocolate. The beer has a nice caramel under-current to it. Has a really delicious brown ale flavor.

The feel is light to moderate with extremely fizzy carbonation. Way way way way too fizzy. It takes away from the lovely flavor. The body feels light but it is hard to tell from the carbonation burn. Finishes nice and earthy.

I really like this beer but way too fizzy, especially for the style and malt body. Its like champagne yeast in a brown ale. Cut back on the carb and this is a top notch brew.

Photo of John_M
3.85/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Listed on this site and on the bottle as a strong ale... this beer looks and smells for all the world like a stout to me.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with pretty good head retention and light lacing. The nose is interesting, consisting of considerable licorise and roasted malt, with a hint of chocolate and vanilla in the background. The flavor profile is a bit more enjoyable, as the licorice blends in better with the chocolate, vanillla and moderately sweet malt. The beer dries out a bit on the finish, and the mouthfeel is fairly full, with a long, soft finish. Alcohol is pretty well integrated into the flavor profile in this beer, and I get no heat from alcohol in the finish.

Nothing extraordinairy here, but a solid beer nonentheless.

Photo of mactrail
4.08/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Dark black" in the big wine glass. Nice brownish head that bubbles out of a very foam-filled beer. Almost nitro-fueled, but with coarser bubbles. The carbonation, the deep flavors, and the syrupy texture give this beer a big, rich mouth feel. As black as it is, I don't taste much of the sourness that burnt malt can give, and the sweetness helps balance that. But this ale is so full of dark flavors that it is deeply explores the many ways of roast, toast, and barbecue malt. Fruit with the sweet part, a hint of cherries. Lots of cocoa flavors without the old coffee taste of some stouts.

Interesting that there is such wide variation in the way reviewers taste and score this beer. And the brewers don't identify it with a specific style, which is maybe the American way, long may it wave. But I think it's closer to an Imperial Stout than anything. And I think it's great. Label says February 2011, Batch 2, 9.0% ABV.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a pitch black color stout with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma consists of chocolate malt with light grainy notes. Taste is a somewhat weird mix between chocolate and grainy unrefined cereal. Body is slightly fuller then average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. First time I’ve had something form this brewer and this is leaving me perplexes.

Photo of ppoitras
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle purchased as a single at Formaggion Kitchen, Cambridge, MA.

Poured into a Chimay chalice, formed a 3/4" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head holds well, literlly sizzling with small bubbles bursting and being replenished, with thick coating lace. Aroma is rich dark maltiness, with coffee notes.

Taste is dark sweetness to start, a peek of fruitiness in the middle, and lingering alcohol close that seems to increase in intensity as time passes. Mouthfeel is too bubbly, and lacking in body, and with okay drinkability. For $12, I want to be more impressed.

Photo of david18
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whenever I see beers on cask that I haven't had that way before I always order a taste and I'm often a little disappointed. Not in this case. The flavor was so complex and interesting that I ordered a couple of pints.

Poured very dark with not too much head, which isn't surprising considering it was cask ale. Enough to make it appetizing.

The aroma was of complex dark fruit as well as chocolate and dark roast.

The flavor was similar to the aroma and did not disappoint. Very complex and very good.

Overall, I like this beer a lot and can't wait to find it on CO2 draft or in bottles. Get it if you can find it.

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz dark brown bottle. Bottled on date on front label.
Served in a tall nonic glass.
One of the tannest heads I've ever seen floats atop an impenetrable brown-tinted black body.
Smells of chocolate, coffee, licorice, root beer, wet gym socks, chimneys, with a bit of citrus peaking through, are all jumbled together.
The flavors are a bit all over the place as well. Cocoa, coffee with cream, fruit cup, banana bread, molasses, resinous and citrusy hops and warming alcohol blast around without any thought of balance or harmony, but then why not just make a really BIG freaking beer??!!?!??
It's not really a Schwarz or Imperial Schwarz or an Imperial Chocolate Stout, or anything in between. It is what it is.

Photo of MasterSki
2.73/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Reagan1984 for this extra. Served in a Stone IRS tulip.

A - Good looking brew. Finger-plus of mocha foam settles to a partial cap and chunky ring of foam, leaving splotches of lacework. Near-black solid dark brown body.

S - Smells like chocolate, roasted malts, caramel, dark multi-grain bread, with a faint yeasty note.

T - Alcohol is well-hidden. Unfortunately, so is the flavor. Very chalky and bland, with some burnt and char notes. Chocolate has somehow vanished. Starts tolerable, but ends horrific, like soda water almost.

M - Harsh carbonation, thin body - consistent with nearly everything I've had from this brewery. Like carbonated water, but with a tannic, astringent finish.

D - I had a few ounces and saw no point in continuing to waste my liver's processing prowess. Not the worst White Birch beer by a long shot, but not recommended either.

Photo of AgentZero
3.16/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I drank this after a horrible beer, and it tasted really good for a while by comparison.

A - Dark black beer with a bit of a khaki head to it. Some small bits of lacing left on the sides.

S - Dark fruit, little bit of chocolate and roast. Not sure what type of beer this was exactly, but old ale seemed incorrect. Maybe stout, possibly porter.

T - Not a ton going on, sweetness is its biggest character. Some dark fruit and chocolate, slight amount of roast. A bit bland and somehow too sweet, this isn't a very good beer, but actually a bit of a winner compared to a lot of White Birch beers I've had (in that it wasn't absolutely horrible).

M - Little bit light, moderate carbonation.

O - It's okay, it's not great, but it's not disguating and can actually drink it without feeling the urge to drain pour, swear, or rip on White Birch.

Photo of Brad007
4.3/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first White Birch beer. I'm shocked they haven't made it up my way yet, picked up this bottle at Bauer Wines & Spirits in Boston.

Pours a pitch black color with a one-finger stout. I notice the style says American Strong Ale. I don't think so.

Roasted coffee and chocolate are apparent in the nose. Feels more like a stout than the listed style.

Rich and full of dark fruit, coffee and chocolate notes. I can see where it would confuse the person who first added it. I'm guessing they aren't familiar with stouts.

Coffee bean and cream hang around at the back of the the throat. Very pleased to have their company.

I don't understand how this beer could possibly get a low score. Perhaps earlier batches lack consistency? I will never know but by reading some of the other reviews, I believe the people doing those reviews seem to be missing a lot of positive things here. Sure as hell isn't any DMS here.

Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin beige head that has good retention properties.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of coffee in the nose.
T: The taste is very rich and has complex flavors of chocolate, coffee and hints of roasted malts. A light amount of bitterness is present in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and thick on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The alcohol is well hidden, which makes this beer very easy to drink considering tis strength.

Photo of thain709
3.18/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - The beer was served with a black body...there was a creamy, tan head standing about one finger tall...the head fell into a wispy cap and left some decent lacing

S - The nose was faint but I could pick up some chocolate, roasted malt, and some dark fruits

T - The roasted malts start things off with an almost burnt flavor...the roasted cocoa beans comes out in the middle but isn't very prominate...tart and sour dark cherries come in and takes over...it ends up finishing the beer as well

M - Medium bodied...smooth but too sour and tart

D - This is not what I was expecting...I thought I'd go out on a limb and try something different but I was not rewarded...faint roasted malts with a tart and sour dark cherry flavor that would not leave my palate

Photo of ElGallo
3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled March 19, 2010. Batch One. Bottle 125 of 204. Poured into a cervoise.

The initial pour produced a decent mocha head a top a pitch black liquid, but the head vanished. Some lacing throughout the tasting.

Not much going on in the nose. Kinda bland. Taste gives you notes of roasted dark malts, some chalkiness, a little semi-sweet chocolate. Overall it tastes like a basic if not thin porter.

I cellared this for some time expecting an interesting result, but there's not much going on here. Worth trying, and certainly not bad, but it's one of those "been there, done that" brews.

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White Birch Indulgence Ale from White Birch Brewing
80 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.