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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

67 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 67
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 16.8%
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: 67 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of greenmonstah
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%

Bomber bottled Feb 2011. Poured into large snifter

A - Pours a very dark brown with a finger of light tan head.

S - Smokey, but subtley so. Surprising amount of chocolate. A bit sweet. Some dark fruit.

T - Smokier in the flavor, for sure. Smoked meat and malt flavors come in, along with a roast characteristic and a bit of chocolate. Finish is a strong char flavor. No alcohol flavor

M - Medium body with average carbonation and a slightly dry flavor. A bit shapeless in feel, it is somewhat hard to place.

O - Overall I enjoy how the smoked flavor isn't too overwhelming. I think it does a great job of complementing the other flavors without drowning them out. The smoke goes well with the roast, chocolate, and sweet malt flavors, making for a real treat. I couldn't justify higher category scores, but overall I really enjoy this beer. I'd love to have it on a cold night in late Autumn by a camp fire, or perhaps in a ski lodge next to a roaring fireplace.

greenmonstah, Aug 02, 2011
Photo of rudzud
2.85/5  rDev -24%

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 12, 2011
Photo of sethmeister
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%

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.

sethmeister, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of johnnnniee
4.28/5  rDev +14.1%

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 mikesgroove
4.43/5  rDev +18.1%

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 jbertsch
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%

Darn brown in color. Head is tan in color but isn't hefty and fades easily. Little to no lacing.

Smokiness is very prevalent in aroma. It takes the form of smoked prosciutto or bacon. Some sweet malt is there a well.

The taste offers the proper amount of smokiness that I expect after smelling this. Notes of hickory, wood, and brown sugar are all there. Faint note of chocolate malt. Alcohol taste is completely hidden.

Mouthfeel is ok. Medium body with an oily feel and lower carbonation.

Overall, I think this would go so well with BBQ or smoked meats, or anything with a sweet BBQ sauce. Might also go well with cigars.

I'd buy this again.

jbertsch, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of Jeffo
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%

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!

Jeffo, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%

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.

deltatauhobbit, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%

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!

doopiedoopiedoo, Jun 09, 2011
Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +6.7%

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 vtblackdog
3.6/5  rDev -4%

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.

vtblackdog, May 08, 2011
Photo of puboflyons
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%

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 Brad007
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

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 gford217
3.9/5  rDev +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 ToasterChef
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%

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.

ToasterChef, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%

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 bishopdc0
2.98/5  rDev -20.5%

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

bishopdc0, Mar 27, 2011
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White Birch Tavern Ale from White Birch Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.