White Birch Tavern Ale - White Birch Brewing

Not Rated.
White Birch Tavern AleWhite Birch Tavern Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

36 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 36
Hads: 79
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 9.02%
Wants: 6
Gots: 5 | 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:
Beer added by: womencantsail on 02-11-2011

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 36 | Hads: 79
Photo of Jeffo
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
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! (1,476 characters)

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled February 2011
Batch 2
Bottle Count 1008
ABV 8.0%

Pours a dark brown color with a fizzy light brown head, sticks around longer than I though but doesn't leave any lacing on the glass, bubbles form a small cap that sticks around for awhile.

Smell has just the right amount of smoke in my opinion, I've had other smoked beers where it smells like cigarettes and is off-putting, whereas this beer has a nice balance of roasted malt, smokiness, a bit of dark cocoa in the nose, as well as a charcoal aspect.

Taste is roasted malt up front, the smokiness is blended in with the malt so as not to be overwhelming although it does linger a tad too long, a decent burnt bitterness follows in the aftertaste, carbonation is spot-on and the body is thick enough to be creamy but not cloying.

I'm not a huge fan of smoked beers (or rauchbier's either) but this one treads a fine line and makes it work, it's certainly better than I expect it to be. (948 characters)

Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So I let my buddy Steve from MA stay at my house when he comes to Holland. In return he brings me beer from MA that I can't get over here. This time he has send his wife out to get me some. Great job picking up this one, Jen.

Bottled feb 2011
Batch one
Bottle count 1032

Comes out like a real dark cola. A one finger tan head. Little carbonation seen...

Not too much going on upon smelling this baby. I smells lots of fruits and a ton of sweet malts.

Great tasting beer this is. Chocolate and malty sweetness. There is a very pleasant smokiness after the swallow but not too overwhelming and a good amout of bitterness afterthe swallow. A very interesting brew.

A medium to full body with a decent amount of carbonation.

Another very surprising and interesting ber from MA. I really liked this one. So did my wife who hijacked my glass when she came home and wouldn't give it back. This beer is unlike any other I have ever had I feel happy to have tried this one! (970 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (582 characters)

Photo of vtblackdog
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
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. (670 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
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. (610 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
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. (667 characters)

Photo of gford217
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (799 characters)

Photo of ToasterChef
3.57/5  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. (1,316 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (383 characters)

Photo of bishopdc0
2.94/5  rDev -22%
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 (1,470 characters)

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White Birch Tavern Ale from White Birch Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.