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White Birch Tavern Ale - White Birch Brewing

Not Rated.
White Birch Tavern AleWhite Birch Tavern Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

66 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 66
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 17.07%
Wants: 5
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
White Birch Brewing visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Smoked Beer |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Butter’s Tavern was a fixture of Concord, NH in the eighteenth century. Inspired by their loggerhead ale, we’ve created a Smoked Imperial Brown Ale. Hearty malts, with a nuanced smokiness and smooth finish create our interpretation of this historic ale. We hope you enjoy this slice of New Hampshire history.

(Beer added by: womencantsail on 02-11-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 66 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of erlenmeyer
erlenmeyer

Maine

1/5  rDev -73.3%

01-11-2012 12:25:47 | More by erlenmeyer
Photo of teleman
teleman

New York

2/5  rDev -46.7%

03-19-2012 01:54:56 | More by teleman
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

2.08/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of ShogoKawada. Thanks, Phil!

A: Dark brown, very small and short-lived head.

S: Immediately out of the cold bottle, this had a nice, smoky roasted grain aroma. A few minutes later, as it warmed up, it brought burnt plastic and cigarettes to the party. You could kind of overlook them, so I can't say it's the worst aroma ever. I get the feeling this would be an ok beer without (I'm guessing) QC issues.

T: Plastic, smoke, and cigarette ash. A little bit of chocolate, earth, and roasted grain are found too; it's almost stout-like, but with enough nuttiness to suggest a brown ale variant. This could be a pretty interesting beer, actually...

M: Medium-bodied, but low carbonation.

O: White Birch has shifted from "trainwreck" to just shy of mediocre. It is actually a positive trend, but I don't understand why they release most of what they have made...

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2012 21:00:41 | More by Arbitrator
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CheapBeerBuzz

California

2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

10-08-2012 19:32:52 | More by CheapBeerBuzz
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

2.85/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Picked up when this first came out at Julio's Liquors batch 1 bottled in February 2011.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a deep dark muddy brown with a creamy two finger head that fades slowly to leave nice side lacing and good residual head.

S - This has a slightly smokey aroma but somehow drowns out all other scents. There's a light hop note on the back but mostly smoke.

T - Similar to the nose in that there is a smoky note that masks most if what makes a good brown ale. Lacking sweet malts with just a hint of hops. Rather average.

M - Easily the worst part of this beer. Super thin with not much carbonation. Watery and the higher abv really shines through due to that.

O - Overall I find this beer to be quite mediocre. There are so many better brown ales that aren't overpowered by smoke or as thin as a glass of water. Worst White Birch I've had to date by far.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2011 23:49:32 | More by rudzud
Photo of bishopdc0
bishopdc0

Maine

2.98/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

shared a bomber with my wife.
Listed as a Smoked Imperial Brown Ale. Bottled February 2011, batch 2
Bottle count: 1008

Poured dark brown into my goblet. A slight head form and quickly fades the the glasses edge leaving a wisp of bubbles in the center and a tan rim on the edge. The bottle indicates 8% abv which isn't enough to shrink the head so quickly. the bottle, like all White Birch is very very informative which helps the overall look

The aroma on the beer hit you first as you pour it into your glass. At first the aroma is like a bandage almost sterile, the smoke mixed with the alcohol perhaps, after giving a few more deep inhalations I am able to am amber to distinguish the smokey malts. I can also pick up toasted and sweet malts but it takes some work, perhaps a lower abv would make a better aroma.

The taste is much better then the smell. the alcohol is up front, with a mix of sweet malts and carbonation. The sweet malts make a mix of crystal and toasted makes it a brown but the abv is the only hint that it is Imperial. As you swallow this beer this is when the taste of smoke comes in. The sweetness dissipates and the carbonation fades. As your mouth dries a smoky flavor lingers in the mouth.

Overall I feel this it is a good smoke beer but the ABV I think doesn't mesh well with the smoke taste. The mix of smoke and alcohol don't work for me but this is a well crafted beer if you like smoke beer you should try it as it may work for you

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 00:02:02 | More by bishopdc0
Photo of harsley
harsley

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -20%

02-18-2014 14:19:17 | More by harsley
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

3.05/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle share by ChrisPro who called this the "second best White Birch beer he's ever had." That could mean anything.

A - Dark brown beer with a khaki head that left some spots and other stuff on the side of the glass.

S - This smells almost exactly like a Tootsie Roll. It has a little smoke in there as well, so I guess it's a smoked Tootsie Roll.

T - Tastes like a Tootsie Roll, with a little more smoke and roast than the nose had. The taste is really heavy and gets fatiguing fast, but unlike a lot of White Birch beers I didn't have to spit it out or supress my gag reflex.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The big taste makes it seem heavier than it really is.

O - Well it wasn't a complete disaster like I'm used to from White Birch. I didn't really like it as there was just too much Tootsie Roll flavor but it wasn't horrible. Wouldn't likely drink again.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2011 02:45:45 | More by AgentZero
Photo of davey101
davey101

Connecticut

3.15/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber into a pint glass, January 2012, Batch One, Bottle Count 1152.

A - Dark brown/black body that lets no light through. Silky one ginger high light mocha head. Great lacing and retention.

S - Subtle smoked malts, dark fruits, chocolate, cigarette ash.

T - Smokey malts and a layer of chocolate and nutty flavors. Finishes ashy with an acrid red wine like flavor. Mouth feel is smooth and medium bodied.

O - Sub-par beer. This beer is more ashy than smokey with an oddly harsh aftertaste.Its drinkable, but not very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2012 04:17:47 | More by davey101
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Yoonisaykul

Quebec (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

08-15-2012 17:08:30 | More by Yoonisaykul
Photo of PriorDoubleDark
PriorDoubleDark

Maine

3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

03-19-2013 02:52:28 | More by PriorDoubleDark
Photo of mvanaskie13
mvanaskie13

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a mini pint glass, color is dark brown with light tan head that presents bout 1/2 inch thick then laces nicely.

Smell is lightly sweet, some rosted malt and hints of chocolate with a nice light smokiness.

Taste is a sweet malt that smoothes to a roasted flavor followed by a mild smokiness, more beachwood type smoke.

Mouthfeel is a little strong on the tongue, sitting on the tongue strongly, a touch cloying.

Overall, an ok smoked ale, flavors are not too out of sync, but a little sweet and not quite enough smokiness is the right places (nose).

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 22:58:01 | More by mvanaskie13
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MasterSki

Illinois

3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by ChrisPro - thanks man! This is from Batch 2, but there is no bottle number. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

A - A tan foam settles to a thick collar, leaving spotty lace and wisps on top. Dark brown body.

S - Tootsie roll, caramel, molasses, and chocolate malt mingle with smoke and meat.

T - Taste is smokier, with some char and dark chocolate bitterness. There's some mild astringency and plastic in the finish as well. Otherwise it smells much like it tastes.

M - Moderate carbonation, medium-thin body, and well-hidden alcohol like all White Birch beers. Solid, but unexceptional.

D - A passable smoked beer. It's in the top tier of White Birch beers I've had, which renders it tolerable.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 01:31:34 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Ego
Ego

New Jersey

3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 5
Bottle Count 1092

eyes...
barely any head whatsoever, whatever head there was disappears faster than the plot in the twilight movies, very dark brown, almost opaque save for the bubbles (very few) traveling up the draft. nothing much to look at here...

nose...
dark molasses and fruit (prunes), bitter chocolate, the smoke is rather subdued, if it was more forward this would be much better imo. the more it sits the more the smoke does come out though.

taste etc...
is this more of an ash taste or smoke? mixed in are some bitter chocolate notes that really linger. the carbonation is as expected by the pour - very underwhelming. The body is medium and is neither here nor there. after sipping some more of this the smoke is really more of an ash flavor and detracts from the brew.

verdict?
this beer is OK, it has slightly above average taste points but overall is pretty average. looking at the reviews (especially on the head) it seems this may not be consistent batch to batch.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2012 04:21:59 | More by Ego
Photo of ChrisPro
ChrisPro

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

12-16-2011 05:18:10 | More by ChrisPro
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tigerbeer90

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

08-22-2012 00:31:58 | More by tigerbeer90
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

02-10-2013 05:44:58 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of mmarv74
mmarv74

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

09-20-2012 00:17:25 | More by mmarv74
Photo of ToasterChef
ToasterChef

Maine

3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Like the other reviews, this is an unnumbered bottle from batch 2, a total of which 1008 bottled were produced. The cellar temperature beer was poured into a pint glass.

A dark brown liquid with a brownish bubbly head fills my glass. The beer is dark and no light penetrates. Some lace is left behind.

There is certainly a smokey bacon scent emanating from this beer. I also get some sweet malts and a touch of alcohol. It is interesting and makes me excited to take a sip.

The flavor is certainly that of a smoke beer; don't let the label's claim of "Imperial Brown Ale" fool you. Charcoal smokiness is prevalent, and some alcohol and bitterness come about in the finish. Possibly English hops are used here, as it certainly isn't a big American hop presence and reminds me of ales form across the pond. Malts are not too sweet and work well as a base for the smoke.

The body is on the fuller side and carbonation is average. There is a good sized coat but it is just of average quality; there isn't anything wrong with it, but it doesn't impress me.

I have yet to come across a smoke beer that I would drink regularly, and this one is no exception. It is an interesting experiment and worth picking up if you want to drink something different, but not as exciting as some of the other beers White Birch makes.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 23:33:04 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Doopie's mate Steve brought this over from MA. Thanks a bunch for sharing man!

Described as a Smoked Imperial Brown Ale
Bottled Feb 2011
Batch #1
Bottle count 1032

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium looking, tan head with good retention. Head fades to a decent wisp. Dark brown, bistre perhaps, and minimal carbonation evident. Ring and slight wisp remain leaving dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Milder nose on this one. Roasted malts, mild dark chocolate notes, and some dark fruits, raisins perhaps. A touch of smokiness, but not much at all. More roasted malts and dark fruits in the nose. Milder but quite nice.

TASTE: Roasted malts, dark baker’s chocolate, and a good dose of smoky malt. Some more roasted and smoky malts and a good dose of bitterness after the swallow. Some spiciness in there as well in the milder yet lingering aftertaste. Medium strength but quite interesting. Very enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation, and a little lighter on the palate. Creamy enough, goes down fine with a bit of a surprising burn after the swallow, and finishes somewhat dry. Could be a little heavier and smoother as well.

OVERALL: Quite a tasty and enjoyable brew. The other four categories were nothing to write home about, as the nose could have been bolder for an “imperial” and the palate a little heavier and creamier, but the flavor was wonderful. We all really enjoyed this one. Thanks again Doopie!

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2011 19:51:48 | More by Jeffo
Photo of sethmeister
sethmeister

New Hampshire

3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Batch 3, bottled March 2011.

Pours very dark brown with a fizzy khaki colored head. Held to the light a glimmer of red at the edges. Minimal lacing, head drops to a ring.

Scent is first caramel and molasses and then woodsmoke and charred, peat like notes underneath

Taste is sweet with dense dark chocolate and molasses. Sweet like bacon drizzled with maple syrup. Dark fruit, plums? The smoke is very subtle and not at all overpowering. (I actually would welcome stronger smoke flavors. See what Islay scotch does to you?) Builds gently in the background. A hint of black licorice.

Mouth is a bit disappointing. Starts a little too fizzy and ends a little too watery. Would like to see this with a creamier fuller body. Mild alcohol warming in the throat.

I love smoked beers so I was intrigued and had to try this. A solid brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2011 00:58:29 | More by sethmeister
Photo of vtblackdog
vtblackdog

Vermont

3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am becoming a fan of this brewery so let us see how this one goes. Bottled in Feb 2011, batch one.

Appearance is a dark brown with just a little light around the edges of the pint. An ok head forms but disappears quickly.

Smell is a weak slightly cheesy (the cheese you eat) with a little alcohol aroma in the back. I do not get any smokiness.

Taste is much better than smell. I get the smoke up front, which is why I picked this style up and a nice malt finish.

Mouthfeel is average for me. Nothing really noteworthy.

Overall this is a very drinkable beer. I was expecting more from the smoked part.

This one seems a bit expensive ($9) for what I got out of it.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2011 18:53:23 | More by vtblackdog
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is very dark brown in color (black when viewed from afar) and has red visible near the bottom of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a two finger high dark beige colored head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of smoky malts are present in the nose along with some faint hints of licorice.
T: Like the smell, the taste is pretty much dominated by flavors of smoked malts, although these aren't too strong or overpower the beer. Slight hints of chocolate malts are also perceptible. While no bitterness is perceptible, there are just enough hops to prevent the malts from having any sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I thought that this beer had a good balance and wasn't overly smoky. This could be a nice beer to try if you want some smoke but aren't looking for the intensity of a rauchbier.

Note: Batch #4 (December 2011)

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2013 01:14:53 | More by metter98
Photo of ale207
ale207

Maine

3.75/5  rDev 0%

03-26-2014 17:06:57 | More by ale207
Photo of maxhock
maxhock

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev 0%

11-24-2013 02:06:32 | More by maxhock
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White Birch Tavern Ale from White Birch Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.