White Birch Hooksett Ale - White Birch Brewing

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White Birch Hooksett AleWhite Birch Hooksett Ale

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very good

156 Ratings
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Ratings: 156
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.62%
Wants: 10
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: johnnnniee on 01-26-2011

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 156 | Reviews: 63
Reviews by DoreenAndDave:
Photo of DoreenAndDave
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is a cloudy copper with a thick beige head that lingers nicely. Complex aroma: yeast, malt, bread. Taste is very good: a sturdy malt backbone with a pleasantly bitter finish with a hint of citrus. Mouthfeel is nice. It's solid without being heavy and has a nice warm punch of alcohol. Overall a very good beer. Complex but nicely balanced.

More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Dec 10, 2010
Batch 2
Bottle count 978
This beer was a hazy orange color with a huge ecru-colored head that left a lot of sticky lace.
Herbal/peppery hops aroma, a little citrus. Sweet, yeasty.
It tasted even better than the aroma suggested.
Cotton candy, piney hops, peppery, and a little touch of grapefruit.
Nice balance. A little hop-forward.
A most enjoyable beer from White Birch.

Photo of merzbeer
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at Bert's Better Beers in Hooksett. Bert himself recommended this fine ale to me when I asked him which regional beers he prefers (read: beers I couldn't get on the west coast.)

The head on this thing was out of control - majorly frothy, flowing out of the glass. Head was an off-white color, and the body of the beer is a cloudy amber.

Taste-wise, this beer is very balanced. More floral than malty, more piney than caramel. I can taste hints of cinnamon and allspice. On the nose I'm getting a sort of pumpkin.

I sense more IPA than Belgian in this one, but nevertheless, this interesting spicy floral beer reminds me of fall in the best possible way.

My only complaint is that this beer seemed a little over carbonated based on the head activity when I first poured it.

Photo of 05Harley
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of Gmann
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy blood orange color with a big off-white head that settles into a solid cap leaving some fantastic lacing on the glass.

The aroma has that sweet Belgian yeast scent. Clove, bubblegum, and pepper are forefront. Some tart apple skins and light hop rounds out the aroma. Very nice belgian aromas.

The tastes starts off with the nice belgian flavors: candi sugar, clove, bubblegum, pepper. This is followed by a shot of grapefruit hops, perhaps some tropical fruit. White Birch does a good job restraining the american hops from overpowering the belgian yeast, like so many american made BIPAs do. The american hops add a bit more fruitiness than the european variety. One of the best american made BIPAs I have tried. Stays true to the belgian style.

The feel is moderate with fizzy carbonation. The carbonation gives a bit of a burn. The beer is sweet on the palate but is nicely offset with hop bitterness.

This is a wonderful BIPA. They use american hops but done appropriately. I like their yeast, authentic belgian flavor.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Paul (pmlondrigan) for this great beer. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours a hazy tangerine color into my glass with over three fingers of off white/tan head achieved by a gentle pour. This head sticks around for quite some time leaving nice chunky lacing.

Smell - Lots of spicy and citrus hops, pine, white pepper, yeast.

Taste - I admit I normally do not like Belgian IPA's, but I feel that is because most I have had used a yeast strain that just didn't meld well with the beer. This is an exception, however. While hops were in the forefront of the nose, there is more of the Belgian flavors that make their mark first. Cloves, spicy pepper, a bubblegum-esque taste, and yeast. The hops come in after this initial kick, having less bitter/piney presence than I would have thought. A bit heavier on the floral notes.

Mouthfeel - Moderate bodied, fizzy champagne like champagne, finishes a hint dry. I like the excess carbonation. I think it adds to the beer.

Overall - An interesting beer, and one of the better I've had with this style. Glad I was able to try it!

Photo of bluejacket74
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of DAllspaw
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of u2carew
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The frothy top never fully settled down and there were copious amounts of lace present throughout the entire session and this really gave it quite a full appearance. Very active and lively carbonation could be seen streaming up towards the top constantly refreshing the large amounts of foam already there. I could tell this was going to be an interesting one for sure.

There was a large amount of hops present on the nose as well, what seemed like citrus like west coast hops to be exact really punctuated an already significant looking brew. First thing I noticed was the huge hoppy flavor coming off of it. This was easily recognizable and made a nice overall introduction. As you worked past that some nice fruity flavors worked their way in, lots of peaches and pears, apples and a touch of orange, probably coriander starting to break through. A good amount of yeast gave way to a nice dry hoppy finish.

Very nice light body with huge amounts of carbonation really let it pop a bit when you started to sip on it. There was a crisp, clean freshness of the hops that served to lighten it up as well. I found this to be an excellent accompaniment to dinner and something that was best served over a period of time to really enjoy the flavors and really let it bring out all the subtle nuances it had to offer.

Overall I really enjoyed the hops in the finish and thought that the fruit notes of the yeast were really splendid as well. A really nice treat and something I would very much like to try again.

Photo of trlittle
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy dark amber-orange in color and poured with a finger high off white head that left wispy lacing on the surface.
S: There are aromas of citrus in the nose along with notes of yeast.
T: Similar to the smell, the beer has notes of grapefruit flavors with some initial malt sweetness and a light amount of bitterness from the hops. Notes of spices are evident in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is rather easy to drink because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Note: Batch #1, Bottled February 2011

Photo of leemalone
1.12/5  rDev -70.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Popped the top and half the bottle foamed out. Smelled awful so I just dumped the rest. What a shame.

Photo of david18
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought two bottles of beer from this brewer recently, the other was the Wrigian. I have to admit that I like this one better of the two and found it to be very drinkable especially given the alcohol by volume.

Color is dark orange, much darker than I consider an IPA, particularly a belgian one. The head is very active and there was some belgian lacing on the glass.

The smell was quite intense with hints of citrus, yeast, corriander and other fruit.

Flavor was also a good mix of the belgian and IPA aspects with a nice balance of bitterness, alcohol, fruit taste and hop flavor.

Overall, as I've said this is a very drinkable beer and one of the better beers of this style, which I've had problems with in the past.

Photo of jsled
2.48/5  rDev -35.2%
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.

Photo of ppoitras
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased at Table & Vine, West Springfield, MA. Batch Two, Bottled December 10, 2010, Bottle Count 978.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, gusher foam, 4" ecru froth over 1/2" of cloudy amber brew. Head falls sedately, leaving huge chunks of lacing here there everywhere. Aroma is effervescent and lemony.

Taste starts moderately sweet, spices int he middle, closes with ample lemon citrus and bitterness, and slight warming aftereffect. Mouthfeel is soft over the tongue but gassy, with okay drinkability. A little less carbonation would do this brew good.

Photo of JamieDuncan
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Definitely more of the American Style.

Photo of 31Sam13
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No complaints from me. A very solid IPA, though not really in the Belgian style so much as I'd hoped. Still, a very good offering from a small outfit and not overly expensive. It is quie carbonated, so be careful...great with smoked Gouda.

Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, white birch making an IPA? Batch #2 on this one.

Fizzy decent head over golden colored beer.

Nose is golden Belgian malts, and yeasty light fruit, noble grassy hops. A nice combination of Belgian ale and grassy noble hops.

Taste is crisp, golden Belgian malts, lighter fruity Belgian yeast addition, nice noble grassy hops and a slight bit bitter spicy hop addition, light astringency and a little spicy.

Mouth is medium to lighter bodied, with decent carbonation.

Overall not bad, surprising for WHite Birch, and it was a pretty decent beer. Nice noble hop addition combined with a nice Belgian light ale flavor. And holy crap, I had no idea this was 9.5%!

Photo of Rifugium
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of AgentZero
2.86/5  rDev -25.3%
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.

Photo of jdhilt
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Will pour a five+ finger off-white head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Hazy amber/orange color. Fierce carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is Belgian yeast and citric hops and flavor is citrus hops with sweetness, some yeast, well balanced. Higher ABV is hidden but warming. Best WB so far. Bottled 12/10/2010, $10.99 for a 22oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

Photo of tim9887
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle poured into a stemmed tulip glass. Pours a hazy, rusty orange with moderate white foam that sticks around for quite a while. The aroma is of ripe citrus - especially orange along with spicy Belgian yeast and a hint of tartness. Orange and yeasty flavors dominate the palate with a slight hint of pine as it finishes dry and bitter. Bright, sparkly carbonation with a medium body - not too thick and not too light. Tastes like a hoppy tripel and boy is it fantastic! So far all brews I've had from this brewery have been fantastic!

Photo of smcolw
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

Photo of Moonraker7
2.16/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: The beer was very cloudy, perhaps due to some yeast still in suspension.

S: Smells of alcohol, which overpowers hop aroma typical of this style.

T: Tastes of alcohol that overpowered any sort of citrusy/hoppy flavor.

M: What I would expect for a Belgian IPA -- crisp and light, medium carbonation.

D: I have a feeling there may have been a problem with this particular batch, it was drinkable, though the amount of sediment in suspension was not normal.

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White Birch Hooksett Ale from White Birch Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 156 ratings.