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White Birch Hooksett Ale - White Birch Brewing

White Birch Hooksett AleWhite Birch Hooksett Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

132 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 132
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 14.29%

Brewed by:
White Birch Brewing visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  7.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Inspired by our love of Belgian ales and hoppy West Coast ales. We bring Cascade and Columbus hops together with our house yeast for a smooth Belgian style hopfest. Best when fresh, this beer is not intended for aging.

(Beer added by: johnnnniee on 01-26-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 132 | Reviews: 58 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mynie


3.19/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

From March of 2013. Been refrigerated that entire time, at least.

Pours a thick orange with a nice wheat head, very carbonated and pleasantly frothy.

Smells peppry with nodes of citrus and spice. The spice gets more pronounced as the beer warms.

Tastes quite spicy. Moves into a dry barley middle and ends with a combination of mild citrusy hops and your grandmother's spice rack. The fizz really tames out the back end, flavorwise, which is weird because it also makes it messy. It's like the flavor profile was very close to being a wreck but then age and overcarbonation made it merely uneven.

All in all, not that great.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2014 01:44:22 | More by mynie
Photo of DAllspaw


3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep, thick orange with solid white lacing that clings to the tulip glass for the full duration. Smell is not overpowering or juicy by any stretch, more piney and resinous with heavy malt, bready smell.

The strength of this beer is the malt, vey chewy with fairy heavy body. I prefer to sip here styles of IPA over the standard versions. I would certainly buy again, but the Belgian tag is lost one me, more an American or perhaps English yeast strain to me.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2013 00:52:55 | More by DAllspaw
Photo of MDDMD


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-slightly hazy red amber color with a nice off-white head and good lacing

S-citrus, dark fruit, caramel, bready malt

T-bready malt, caramel, citrus, pepper, little dark fruit, moderate bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-this beer has nice flavor, nice hoppy character

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2013 21:33:54 | More by MDDMD
Photo of bluejacket74


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, bottled March 2013 (8.5% ABV stated on label). Served in a DFH Signature glass, the beer pours a hazy reddish/copper color with about an inch light tan head that stayed around a little while. There's also a lot of lacing. The brew smells like citrusy and pine hops, bready malt, dark fruit, and a bit of peppery spice. It tastes like citrusy and herbal hops, bready malt/dark bread, dark fruit, and some caramel malt. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and has moderate carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew. I'd buy it again at $6.99 a bomber.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2013 23:40:18 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of Durge


4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This Belgian IPA has a deep aamber-copper color with a huge mound of oatmeal colored foam on top that collapses to a solid avalanched of head with oodles of chunky lacing. Perhaps a bit much. The aroma brings a nice blend of light fruit and clove with yeasty edges and dusty spice/bread. The flavor follows with a more serious backbone of malt and pineapple, maple and licorice yeast. Great combinations in a pretty substantially constituted brew that hints at it's 7.7 ABV. Clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and some grassy hop bitterness all make a contribution in this near full-bodied brew. It offers plenty of tasteful carbonation for a foamy, fairly luscious feel. A bit more of a mouthful than I typically look forward to in this style, but it's hard to complain. a class brew that will satisfy the tastebuds and complement the finaest cheese or pate, when you run out of pizza. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2012 03:46:34 | More by Durge
Photo of BeerKangaroo


3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on March 2011 (batch 3), but it says on the side "this beer is not intended for cellaring" in bold letters. Also this is my first Belgian IPA. So uh . . . here goes:

Into a chalice:

A: hazy golden orange brown colored body with a light one finger white head that appeared for less than thirty seconds. Some slight lacing appears and trickles down the sides of the chalice. It was too hazy for any carbonation to be seen rising.

S: balanced between the hops and citrus. Some caramel comes out but it is mostly faint along with the alcohol tones

T: dominated by the hops yet some citrus came out trying to match up to the hops. The caramel is way more subdued in the taste than how it was on the smell.

M: medium, slight silkiness - possibly creamy, with a light carbonation felt

O: ok, so this may have not been a fresh batch, but interestingly enough, I thought it was still a good beer. Also, since this is my first Belgian IPA, I still can't really beat on this or rave about it. Well, I would have it again and hope that I would have a fresher batch.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 00:19:36 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of SLeffler27

New York

4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, dark, golden amber that shimmers in the light. A scant, rocky, ecru head leaves little lacing on a tulip glass.

There are lots of aromatic hops here with a big presence of lemon-lime citrus and some alcohol fumes.

The flavor is dominated by the hops, yet bitterness is well balanced. It is refreshing to find a hop-forward beer that leaves the enamel on one’s teeth. Caramel comes out with warming as does some sweetness.

A medium to full body with silky texture and light carbonation. Slightly warming alcohol with a light, sticky residue left on the lips.

The bottle reads “Batch 1, February 2011”. This is a disturbingly easy beer to consume, either with food or contemplation.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 21:05:04 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours an orange color with a 3" meringue like head. Thick lace sticks to the glass.

Smell: caramel and Belgian yeast aroma is easy to detect.

Taste: caramel, bready malt, apples, some pepper spices, and a belgian yeast flavor is well balanced. Bitterness is moderate.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp from start to finish with some slight dryness late.

Overall: an easy to drink ale. Nice flavors, but not overwhelming. Solid beer with decent flavors.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 20:51:53 | More by Gavage
Photo of u2carew


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber
A) Pours with a finger thick beige head with great retention. Tight and sticky lacing on the drink down. Murky copper-amber in color. Some sediment.
S) Bright floral notes. Sweet citrus notes - apricot, hints of peach.
T) Malty sweet up front then a bold and bitter hop finish. Toasty. Subtle nuttiness. Grassy and leafy in the finish. Lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.
M) Fizzy, yet creamy. Medium body. Strong tannins and dry in the finish.
O) A delicious IPA. Didn't pick up on any Belgian characteristics but the "Belgian" could also be in the un-obvious characteristics.
I'd definitely would drink another one.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2012 01:49:51 | More by u2carew
Photo of mvanaskie13


2.75/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into tulip glass, color is opaque amber with light tan head. The hed presents nicely, lasts long and laces well.

Smell is somwhat sweet, light caramel, quickly followed by the hop bitterness in the form of some citrus and line pine.

Taste is underwhelming, very sweet and bitter, followed by some astringency. Flavors are caramel and overly sweet, hop notes are citrus; i don't really pick up any off or belgian type phenolic flavors, the astrigency seems to have covered it up.

Mouthfeel is very cloying and bitter on the tongue, the bitterness does clean up some of this.

Overall, note really much of a belgian IPA, overly sweet and bitter.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 20:07:17 | More by mvanaskie13
Photo of NardiByNature


4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm excited to drink this - (what else is there to do over winter break) - I've only had a couple Belgian IPAs before, and this is the first time I've tried anything from White Birch, a brewery from the great state of NH.

Poured this bomber into an oversized wine glass. Rich cloudy auburn with a nice, off white head that settles down to an uneven covering. Retention around the rim at first, turns into a bit of spotty lacing. Go ahead and pour this guy aggressively if you like a nice plume.

This smells really good: fig/apricot/plum (that sort of fruit)-like; yeasty, a little citric but sweet in the way that the inside of an orange juice carton would smell. The end of my first glass betrays Fig Newtons and alcohol.

A little less fruity than it smells, a little more bitter. Still plums, though. The bitterness is balanced well with the sweetness. The "Belgian" shines through in the backbone. The alcohol makes an appearance. Goes well with what I'm snacking on: some Danish blue and crackers. Finishes dry, leaves a nice aftertaste.

I really liked this beer. A solid change of pace from my go-to East Coast IPA. Not something I would go with on the regular, it's a little boozey-tasting, but it's a really good cheese-and-crackers type brew if you're in the mood.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 03:14:35 | More by NardiByNature
Photo of srandycarter


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Murky bright apricot, near white small head, leaves fast to disk. Small gathering of cling lace.

S - Sweet, somewhat spicy, piney and delicious.

T - Nice malt center, surrounded by flowers, pine and some citrus.

M - Nice med body, good carb and balance.

D - Deceptively drinkable for the ABV.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 03:48:59 | More by srandycarter
Photo of trlittle

Rhode Island

3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up after driving through hooksett for the past few years, and having heard some interesting things about White Birch.

A - Quite murky orange-copper color. Very little head.

S - Nice hop aroma, quite citrusy. A few malty notes.

T - Where was the beer I just smelt? Not nearly as flavorful as anticipated. Malts took over here. Still more of a hop flavor, but definitely not as much as I was expecting. After all, the label calls it a "hopfest".

M - hangs around for a bit. not as much carbonation as I usually like, but it really doesn't hurt the beer. Not much to say here.

O - Did not live up to my expectations, though now I'm wondering why I had them in the first place. Not a bad beer, just not a great one either.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 03:38:19 | More by trlittle
Photo of MrELovesBeer


3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The wife and I have finally made the move to Vermont and we're diving into the world of New England beer that's a LOT easier to get here than ye ol' Brooklyn, starting with White Birch Brewing which has been up there on my list of tries since hearing Bill Herlicka talk on Beer Sessions Radio. I snagged a 22oz of Hooksett and cracked it open along with a dinner of pan fried tilapia, kale, and roasted sweet potatoes. This is a beauty out of the bottle, hazy orange and a lovely pillowy head. Got a lot of toffee and orange pith in the scent. Big hop wallop on the tongue with a serious lingering bitterness that gets more aggressive as the beer warms up. This paired quite nicely with my dinner, bringing out the spices in the breading and the sweetness of the fish while at the same time cleansing the palate after big bites of garlic in the roasted potatoes and the kale. A nice intro to White Birch; I'd keep this one in mind for similar dishes but probably not one I'll have without food.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2011 00:40:42 | More by MrELovesBeer
Photo of MasterSki


3.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Extra from AshleyMiller - someone actually reads me profile! Served in a Glunz taster. Batch #6, April 2011.

A - Murky dark orange body. A half-finger of tan foam settles to a thin cap, leaving fingers of lace.

S - Citrus, tropical fruits, toffee malt, lightly phenolic yeast spice, and a hint of alcohol. Smells largely as promised - a Belgian beer with (faded) American hops.

T - Unfortunately, this tastes like a mediocre homebrew. Cardboard, apples, toffee, and a soda water finish with moderate astringency. Was this dry-hopped for six months or something? In any case, not horrible - it's actually in my Top 5 White Birch offerings.

M - Fairly dry texture, chewy medium-full body, lower carbonation, and White Birch's usual immaculately hidden (if not excessive) alcohol.

D - Started out promising, but the taste took a serious left turn. I'd actually consider trying this again if it was fresh, but probably not at White Birch's typical prices.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 18:26:29 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Sean9689


2.9/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Opposite of thanks to Alex for this one. Poured into plastic cup as to not taint the Narke tulip.

A - Pours a mirky orange color, thin collar, wisps.

S - Hops, yeast, sugary sweetness. Too sweet for a Belgian IPA...not really sure what they were going for here. That said, this is White Birch, so who knows what they're thinking.

T - Bitter hops, light citrus, funky yeasty malts. The sweetness isn't as bad as it is on the nose, but it's still too sweet. The bitterness is nice, and I would prefer less sweetness and more yeast and hops.

M - Too much body, good carbonation, creamy bitter finish.

O - I didn't really like this one at all. My pour was enough to let me know I won't be trying this again. I don't think I'd call this a Belgian IPA, but who knows what this beer could have originally been styled after. No thanks!

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 17:46:28 | More by Sean9689
Photo of AgentZero


2.88/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

As usual, thanks to Alex for this.

A - Golden amber colored beer with a small white head and not much stick on the sides.

S - Some citrus with a bit of yeast with some caramel sugar. Yeast is slightly harsh and phenolic. Hops are more of the earth variety and not particularly sweet.

T - This may be the best White Birch beer I've had, or if nothing else, the best one I can remember having. belgian IPAs are usually not great, an this is not great. Kind of herbal, bitter, generic malts, phenolic yeast, and gritty. That said I don't want to spit it out, so I'd say it's a winner for WB.

M - Gritty, medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

O - This was passable, which is amazing considering the source. Yeah, it's not good, but still better than expected.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 03:36:28 | More by AgentZero
Photo of smcolw


4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4, March 2011, 6.5% ABV for this bottle

Starts with a four-finger head. Leaves a dome as it recedes, leaving some larger spots. The brew is cloudy with orange-hued amber color

Beautiful combination of malt and hop. Lighter pale malt predominates, but there is an excellent floral, but mildly spicy, aroma hop. Smells delicious.

Creamy malt that leads to the beginning of a mildly bitter flavor. But when you swallow, wow, it becomes very, very bitter with a peppery punch. In a word: complex. Each sip brings out new flavors of stronger spices. There is no apparent alcohol flavor and I do not detect any of the typical Belgian yeast. (There is a slight yeast, raw bread flavor.)

This is an exceptional IPA--excellent in every attribute.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 23:02:51 | More by smcolw
Photo of gestyr


4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 7 Bottled June 2011 ABV 7.7%
Poured into tulip glass

A: Pours a hazy orange-amber with a long lasting head that leaves lacing

S: Wow! Citrus hops. Very nice hops aroma followed by caramel and malt. Some hints of fruit

T:Very tasty. Hops Cascade hops flavor with a strong malt backbone with a minty, almost candycane like sweetness.

M: Medium bodied. A satisfying mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation.

O: I liked this very much. It is complex without being complicated, refreshing and will fill the need for American Hops in anyone.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2011 22:26:03 | More by gestyr
Photo of Rifugium


3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Poured a slightly hazy amber color with a huge puff of off-white head...took a few minutes to settle before the bartender could actually serve me a full glass. Active and fizzy with carbonation. Citrusy hops in the nose, and plenty of fruit notes. Good taste, citrusy, piney, lots of hops, overlaid on a sweet malt base; fruit salad and a touch of spice detectable. Medium-bodied and quite enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2011 03:24:36 | More by Rifugium
Photo of ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

batch 5, 7.3%, into fantome tulip.

A- Creamy, large-bubbled head that lays a nice ring around the glass. Settles out to a thick donut on a hazy orange body. Really nice pour.

S- Lots of Belgian yeast and fresh hops. Clove is heavy.

T- Bitterness is right up front, a bit of orange peel and some pine sap. Malt is nice and sweet and compliments the hops. Yeast backs off compared to the nose.

M- Chalky, as mentioned. Full-bodied, candy malt sweetness and a nice bitter finish. Almost gritty.

O- Pretty good stuff, I enjoy a good Belgian IPA and this is no exception. White Birch should focus on hoppy beers, they are tasty.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 01:12:37 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of 05Harley

New Hampshire

4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on April, 2011
Batch 6, bottle #1105

Purchased @ somersworth Village Market, Somersworth NH

Price - $7.49/bomber

The appearance is a dark shade of orange with a fluffy two inch white head. Awesome long lasting retention leaving behind thick lacing and creamy foam burgs sitting on top. A very good looking beer to say the least.

The aroma is sweet and full of fruit with orange peel, grapefruit, apricots and tangerines followed by a piney resin. A faint hint of yeast is noticeable.

Flavor dominates up front with sweet citrus fruit followed spices, caramel, wheat and a hint of funk which adds the Belgian stamp. Surprisingly complex and well balanced.

The mouthfeel is lite and soft at first with moderate to high carbonation. Then comes the noticable warming sensation due to the alcohol content followed by a bitter finish thanks to the hops. Crisp and refreshing and not too dry. A little too much carbonation though for my liking.

Overall a complete surprise to me and very drinkable for 8.0%. This is definitely one of Bill's stand out offerings IMO, good job. I'm looking for more of the recent batch on the shelves...

Drink this as fresh as possible. I've had several since this review and they weren't the same beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2011 01:00:41 | More by 05Harley
Photo of rtepiak


3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

batch five was only 7.3 abv... bottle is four months old about.

a strong, gone orange, belgian strong. orange near amber pour. not as brisk as a belgian IPA but still quite drinkable. should be had with food. looks great but doesn't have much of a character. nose of booze and orange candy citrus... palate of orange blossom. a bit of a tanin rich palate. on par with a lot of the other belgian IPA's from the area. smuttynose in particular. i would say its a food beer only. something for the autumn if not winter. some heavy tanin quality that come out only as mineral inconsistencies. wanted this fresh... wouldn't recommend having it any other way. and i had the deproef tomme beer which was similar but more along side... more cannabis notes in this one.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2011 03:47:23 | More by rtepiak
Photo of djura


4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got it from U.S. Bottle 0.6L

A- When i pour it in the glass,there was so much foam,you can't believe it! Color is exceptional,light ruby,amber,strawberry color,with hugeee darker foam,lasting for very long. There is some carbonation.

S-On a first nose huge smell of elder-berry,hops and malt.

T/M-Refreshing taste,very good,but with huge,lasting long in the mouth,bitterness. Bitterness is very good balanced with malt sweetness.

O-You could drink it all day!

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2011 19:39:31 | More by djura
Photo of jsled


2.53/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

P: Cloudy gold/amber. Low head, low carbonation.

A: bitter, citrus

F: bitter. hoppy. malty, with some residual sugar. slightly chalky.
unpleasant piercing bitterness in aftertaste. indistinguished malt doesn't
meld well with bitterness.

M: slightly heavy and thick/lingering.

O: meh.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2011 01:30:32 | More by jsled
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White Birch Hooksett Ale from White Birch Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 132 ratings.