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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

45 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 45
Hads: 77
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 15.27%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 45 | Hads: 77
Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
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. (505 characters)

Photo of brentk56
1.57/5  rDev -54.8%
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 (437 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
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. (415 characters)

Photo of largadeer
2.06/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Nickd717 shared this one. Thanks, Nick.

Black in the glass with a collar of tan foam, this looks solid. Big roasted malt aroma, oatmeal and chocolate and a strange cooked vegetable aroma that makes me think of cauliflower. Taste is a bit tart up front, berry-like. Coffee and roasted malt follows, along with a strange vegetable flavor that grows increasingly detracting the more I drink this. Finishes thin and roasty with lingering coffee, chocolate cookie and vegetables. What a wonderful combination. Pretty bad stuff, we indulged the drain with most of the bottle. (570 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got the chance to try two of the new offerings last night. This one was broken out for the finish at the end of the night. Served chilled and poured into a snifter, this one was consume on 06/25/2010.

The pour was dark, very dark with light garnet hints around the sides of the glass and a nice little tight head of light brown that just barely covers the entire top of the glass.

Aroma is deep smoked malts, hints of dark german chocolate an touches of coffee. Warming brings out a light prune or lum note, slight tartness and hint of light sour in here now. Hmm, not sure where this is going. It had me initially with the dark chocolate and smokey notes, but the fruit/sour taste just does not seem to work here. Distracts more then blends. Carbonation seemed a little low for me if it was going to go in that direction.

Overall it was a good beer, but this is just a touch off for me. The fruit note seems to be pulling me away. Still solid though. (955 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
2.73/5  rDev -21.3%
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. (505 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this as part of the infamous White Birch tasting at the Holistic Dramming Institute, thanks to Tim. Notes will probably be short since there were so many different beers to note, and drink.

Batch two, March 2010.

Essentially pitch black beer with a dark small head covering.

Nose has some light roast, some malts, coffee, and a little malty.

Taste brings more roast, dark malts, coffee, a bit of dark fruits, light chocolate, a little smooth, but still somewhat bland and seems like it's missing something. Light burnt roasted malts, some earthy hops, a bit of smoke as well.

Mouth is lighter, a little watery as well, decent carbonation.

Drink is decent, lighter overall, some bitterness but not a lot, light booze.

Again, this was a terrible followup to 80+35=20, also somewhat disappointing. (805 characters)

Photo of mactrail
4.08/5  rDev +17.6%
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. (924 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
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. (739 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
2.73/5  rDev -21.3%
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. (871 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
2.33/5  rDev -32.9%
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. (617 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.17/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black with a thinnish tan head that exudes almost soda like dissipation of the bubbles. There's a steady carb stream coming up the middle leaving a tan ring on the outside edge of my glass. Smells of milk chocolate and fudge right up front. Slightly earthy with a spice in the background kind of reminds me of rye. Taste is earthy and spicy as the smell suggests with a slight mineral water type taste in there as well. Oh yeah there's a crap load of chocolate in the taste as well. The aroma suggested milk chocolate, but the taste is darker bitter chocolate. There's a long lingering chocolate/coffee bite in the finish. Medium level of carbonation, medium to full body, thick sticky syrupy mouthfeel. Wow that's a great chocolate shake, er uhm I mean beer. I am enjoying the hell out of this one. I guess the subtlety fairy that usually finds Bill's beer is on vacation this week. :) (900 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.85/5  rDev +11%
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. (757 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
4.45/5  rDev +28.2%
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 (355 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.02/5  rDev +15.9%
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. (1,283 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received this one a while back from Jrae2424... Thanks for the brews Jason!! #148/204.

Good looking tan head... nice retention and lacing.. the brew is the expected black.

Nose shows plenty of cocoa... along with a whole bunch of dark malt char.... okay... doesn't really smell "indulgent".

Flavor has some sweetness that helps bring out the chocolate a bit... but the roasted malt blackness seems pretty out of whack.. finishes dry and chalky.

Body is surprisingly thin... carbonation also was a touch too high. Glad I got a chance to try this one, but I was a little disappointed... Thanks Jason for another nice trade.

4.5/3.5/3.5/3/3 (642 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (595 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.3/5  rDev +23.9%
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. (915 characters)

Photo of glid02
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle via trade with sisuspeed - thanks!

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of heavily roasted malts with good amounts of dark chocolate and lighter amounts of char. Also present are mild amounts of roasted coffee.

Tastes alright. Heavy roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by good amounts of dark chocolate flavors. Midway through the sip the malt flavors turn slightly off with mild amounts of bruised and mildly tart dark fruits. The off-flavors fade out into roasted coffee flavors that carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this is one of the better beers I've had from WB however I've still yet to have one that really hit on all facets of a good beer. (934 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
3.16/5  rDev -8.9%
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. (842 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.82/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled March 19,2010
Batch 1
Bottle 165 of 204
This beer was a black color with a really thick orange/brown head that disappeared quickly.
Nice aroma: chocolate, yeast, roasted malt, and licorice.
Tasted more of coffee, still some chocolate. Cereal.
Fairly good mouthfeel, a little too carbonated for me. (305 characters)

Photo of Gmann
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
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. (963 characters)

Photo of tpd975
3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours dark black with a small espresso head. No retention or lace.

S: Aromas of light roast, chocolate, coffee, and a strange sour notes.

T: Roasted for sure. The coffee and chocolate are there. Notes of light dark fruit and hints of molasses. The sourness I picked up in the nose is in the flavor as well. I have the feeling it is infection. Mostly tart dark fruit that does not seem to mend with the other flavors.

M: Medium in body, average carbonation.

D: Not really this one just does not come together. Infection going on here, or at least I hope the sourness is not intended. (590 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
2.55/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Artied2 picked this up recently, and he stopped by tonight to share this with me. Bottled 19MAR10, Batch #1, Bottle 44 of 204.

Poured about 11oz each into a small tulip. Color was an opaque, deep brown, like the crude gushing into the Gulf. Head was creamy and tan, though it ebbed quickly to a thin rim-job. No lacing to speak of, though. Aroma was very nice (the best part, in retrospect!). There's lots of choco here, with roasty coffee and some inviting bitterness. Looked and smelled like a stout. Body was a little thinner than medium, yet it was still fairly smooth going down.

Taste? Welll.... Both Artied2 and I looked at each other after our first quaffs. Uh-oh! It's verry dry; no sweetness at all. There's some chocolate there, but it's like an overly bitter dark choco. Lots of burnt, charred notes come in, with a sourish, off-putting attack on the palate at the finish. Almost medicinal or, as The Boy said, chemical-like. Artie gave me the rest of his, and I couldn't finish either. Even Alewife took a short sip and said "nope"... But it does look and smell good....

Prosit!!

2.85
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | drink: 1

1253 (1,162 characters)

Photo of Dope
3.4/5  rDev -2%
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... (885 characters)

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White Birch Indulgence Ale from White Birch Brewing
80 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.