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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
85
very good

67 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 67
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 17.07%
Wants: 6
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: 67 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Winooski. Could be the best WB I have had. Significant smoke and not overpowering, with great malt base, chocolate,Dry hopped. It works. Very Good drinkability. Middling mouthfeel. BBQ aroma. Dark brown bodied with some retained head and lace.

Sammy, Sep 09, 2012
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

zestar, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Texasfan549, May 28, 2012
Photo of metter98
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)

metter98, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +20%

kjkinsey, May 29, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

ygtbsm94, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
4.43/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A new one from a brewery I have always had great luck with, I jumped at the chance to try this one. Pours out a nice dark brown with a head of tan that reaches a height of around an inch or so before settling back down and leaving some nice lacing along the sides.

Aroma is full of campfire smoke right off the bat. I had been expecting it but it really came off quite strong and full. Really nicely done here I have to admit. Nice notes of light chocolate and big roasted malts are always a welcome treat. Flavor carries this over quite well as the chocolate and earthy notes lay underneath that wonderful smoky campfire like flavor that leaves a long finish with rich development across the tongue.

Overall a very fine example of the style

mikesgroove, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy 1 finger head fades semi slowly, dark brown molasses color.

Nose dark malts, light smoked malt, light syrup, light brown sugar, light earthy hops, touch of caramel and toasted malts.

Taste is a bit rich and creamy, very malty, dark crystal malts, brown sugar, some smoked malts, touch of brine, touch of cocoa, semi sweet, touch of earthy hops, drier finish with a bit of briney taste late and bit if smoke.

Mouth is a bit rich and slightly heavier bodied, decent carb.

Overall good, not too heavy on the smoke, bit of brine is not the best, but nice malts and rich body.

jlindros, May 10, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
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.

MasterSki, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of mactrail
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smoked Imperial Brown Ale is perfectly descriptive. Nearly opaque dark brown with a decent head. A pleasant fizzy mouthfeel. Just a bit of the sticky, but rather dry on the whole.

Woody flavor sets the teeth on edge. Fairly assertive hops. Smoke is quite nice, provides a sensual richness to the dark fruit and roasted malt. Nice smokey nose as you sip, but not overly bitter. Seems to have a buttery component. Some sweetness follows through until that dry finish.

Over a year old (Feb 2011) but flavors seem clean. Apparently just the one batch #1 (Bottle count 1032). From the 22 oz bottle bought at

mactrail, May 22, 2012
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Rochefort10nh, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of smcolw
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color where light does not pass. Thick, three finger head with some staying power, leaves lots of streaky lace.

Dark, earthy smells of richly toasted malt is the first impression. Mild smoke at the end of the sniff.

Surprising chocolate to the taste--I didn't detect it in the smell. Semisweet cocoa flavor in the swallow. Rich bodied with a decent carbonation level. Not much smoke to the taste. Easy to drink and deceptively mild.

smcolw, May 19, 2012
Photo of Gavage
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a wispy head that disappears immediately.

Smell: roasted malt, a bit of chocolate , and a soft smokiness creates a pleasant aroma.

Taste: roasted malt, dark chocolate, prunes, and mellow smoked flavor creates a well balanced beer. Bitterness is mild.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp at the start, smoother and a bit dry at the finish. The smokey tones linger in the mouth a long time.

Overall: a nice flavored brown ale with just enough smoke to make it tasty alongside some BBQ.

Gavage, Mar 04, 2012
Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Kelp, Apr 23, 2013
Photo of billab914
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. 22oz bottle shared at a recent tasting. It poured a dark brown color with a decent sized, off-white head to it. Pretty nice retention.

The aroma shows a lighter smokiness to it with more of a woody, slightly burnt flavor to it. I get some nice malty sweetness coming through with some caramel and brown sugar notes to it. The smokiness is really nice in it, it's not overpowering but adds some very nice depth to it for me.

The taste also has some very nice smokiness to it throughout the flavor. It blends very well into the malty, sweeter flavors of the brown ale. A little bit of a burnt, bitter flavor comes through in the finish. Very nice flavor overall, I loved the smokiness to it.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was a very good beer. I really loved the smokiness and how well it blended into the base beer flavors. The smokiness wasn't overwhelming either, typically I love smoke but the milder smokiness really worked well for this one. Very enjoyable beer overall

billab914, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of johnnnniee
4.28/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 3 Bottled 3/2011
Pours a deep shade of brown that barely lets any light through except faint ruby highlights when light is shined through it. Fluffy tan head shows some promise but is almost gone after the first sip. Smoky the bear would be proud to drink this, smells like smoked wood and a hint of ash. There's a spicy component that I can't quite put my finger on. Chocolate and caramel and some dark fruits lie deep in the background but are present. Quite a complex nose here. Taste is smokey up front but leads into a rich milk chocolate, caramel, and toffee flavor. There's a slight astringent bite that I can't distinguish as smokey phenols or hops. Finishes with an earthy almost herbal character and a smokey chocolatey finish. Smooth creamy mouthfeel, light to medium level of carbonation, medium to full bodied. Wow this is good! The smoke is a nice addition to a thick creamy chocolatey imperial brown ale. Great Job White Birch

johnnnniee, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of Brad007
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, almost black color with a nice brown head into my glass. It certainly looks like a smoked beer to me.

A good hint of what must certainly be the beer equivalent of liquid smoke in the nose. Chewy. Perhaps a bit of peat?

Chewy/smoky malt plays around in my mouth, followed by a slight hint of roastiness and molasses. The smoke is just right as well. Wondering if they used white birch to smoke the malt?

Lingering mild smoke/malt at the back. Finishes clean for something that's 8%. Alcohol warmth shows up.

I can't help but pine for MORE smoke. Regardless, I like this beer and it's done with a style that you don't usually see in smoked form.

Brad007, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
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.

AgentZero, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of Durge
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Durge, Jan 13, 2014
Photo of puboflyons
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From Batch No. 2, bottle no. 1008. Sampled on May 1, 2011. It has this gorgeous dark brown pour with a silky head that lingers for awhile and eventually goes away. The smoky aroma comes on strong right away to the point that the sweet malts and hops almost end up playing second fiddle. But this smokiness is definitely not offensive. On the contrary, it is quite enticing. The body is medium to heavy and satisfying. The taste starts out smoky and sweet for the first few sips but then there's this cool peppery-hop bite on the back end. Extremely well-balanced and it sets the bar high for other smoked ales.

puboflyons, May 01, 2011
Photo of gford217
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, batch 2, bottled Feb 2011 from Ben.

Pours a murky dark brown with a hefty tan head that recedes slowly to thick collar and a collection of bubbles in the middle.

Aroma is sweet dark chocolate and lightly smoked malts. There is a bit of a band-aid aroma to things, bit of alcohol maybe.

The taste has the smoke character up front with some chocolate malts underneath. It's definitely better than the aroma and sweeter up front with the smoke coming in more subtly in the finish. I don't get the band-aid that I got in the nose.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lots of carbonation and certainly falls short of what I would normally consider "imperial".

I like this beer and think it's one of the better beers I've had from White Birch. Solid smoked beer if not an imperial brown.

gford217, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of rudzud
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.

rudzud, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled February 2011
Batch Two
Bottle Count 1008
This beer poured a very dark brown with a thick cafe au lait head. The head dissipated fairly rapidly, and left a tiny bit of lace.
Smoky, roasted malt aroma. Sweet.
Sweet chocolate taste, coffee/roasted malt. I thought the smoky taste showed up late.
Nice smooth, rich beer.
I'm reminded more of a porter with this beer.
Enjoyed it.

lordofthewiens, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

CheapBeerBuzz, Oct 08, 2012
Photo of kwjd
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

kwjd, May 01, 2013
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White Birch Tavern Ale from White Birch Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.