White Birch Hop Session Ale - White Birch Brewing

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White Birch Hop Session AleWhite Birch Hop Session Ale

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233 Ratings
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Ratings: 233
Reviews: 70
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.15%
Wants: 6
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
White Birch Brewing visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: johnnnniee on 03-26-2011

Hop Session is in. Starting with a blend of west coast hops for a balanced, bitter effect. We close the session out by late hopping the beer for a nice resiny mouth feel.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 233 | Reviews: 70
Reviews by dheacck11:
Photo of dheacck11
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

March 2013 batch.

Pour is a muted orange amber with a finger of creamy soft white head.

Nose is pretty muted as well, not much to speak of. Some hints of malt and grain, no real notice of hops.

Taste is surprisingly malty with lots of barley and rye to the front. Follows with medium strength dry and bitter hop.

Feel is pretty thin, with the hops leaving a rather bitter and baking soda-esque after taste.

Not what I was hoping for at all. It did grow on me with time, but really, there are so many better beers to be had, this one really left me wanting more. Too bad.

More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled February 2011
Batch One
Bottle Count 1356
A hazy amber color with a thick, off-white head. A lot of lace.
Very hoppy aroma. Mostly citrus but also a lot of herbal notes. Some sweet malt.
Predominantly grapefruit taste. Late earthy hops. The malt hung in there.
Pretty nice beer, just a little on the timid side.
Would drink it again.

Photo of mverity
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle share at Proof. Hazy orangey gold in color with thin off white head and same thin collar. Aroma is muted malt, some faded indistinct hop character. Taste is about the same, with some hop citrus, and somehow vaguely peppery. Thin body with medium carbonation.

Photo of Billolick
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can, w/ not dating info that I can find

Pours lightly hazed medium amber, frothy and loose light khaki head that stays and leaves quality looking low sheeting and nice relaxed fields of lace on the glass.

Leafy hop nose.

At 5% this is on the more robust side of the "session " IPA world.

Well hopped, fresh tasting and quite enjoyable. Light grapefruit, some resiny notes. All in all a real nice beer and in a can...win win ... go get some

Photo of Cavanaghty
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Reddish brown amber color, with a thin white head, mild lacing on the glass.

Smell: Mild citrus and hops, some sweet aroma as well.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Bitter hops and pine with a mild hint of citrus.

Overall: Not quite what I expected, but a good easy to drink brew.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask at American Flatbread's Real Ale Regalia, poured into a tulip.

I haven't been too impressed with White Birch's bottled offerings but seeing this on cask intrigued me, so here we go!

Pours a hazy amber/orange color with a small white head, the nose was very fresh and hoppy with grassy & herbal notes.

Taste is as the nose leads you to - delicate and fresh with a small hop bite, an almost fruity flavor with a bit of sweet malt to round it out. Mouthfeel was a bit light and watery but not too bad. Overall this was very good, I was really pleased and look forward to trying more of their beers!

Photo of jondeelee
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hop Session Ale (batch ten, bottled November 2011), opens with a lovely pink grapefruit and pine resin aroma, with more subtle hints of lemon and eucalyptus from the hops, and delicate notes of cherry, apricot, and berry fruit esters from the malts, as well as brown sugar. The beer is quite fruity and citrusy on the nose, almost Jolly Rancher-like in its candy sweetness, but with just enough effervescent citrus pizzazz to set it apart. Only a few bready notes come through, with mere shades of toast crust providing earthiness. As a whole, the nose is delicate and delicious, and while it may be slightly biased in favor of sugars and fruits, there’s still enough pine resin and toast to remind of beer.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a nice hop bite, with pink grapefruit, grapefruit rind, and touches of pine resin dominating the hop flavors, with hints of lemon and dandelion stem adding a few more citrusy and bitter notes. Brown sugars and hints of vanilla add a bit more sugar, and a small selection of orange, berry, and apricot fruit esters build off of this. Small bits of toast crust and biscuit provide some counterbalance. The aftertaste is mainly bitter grapefruit rind and dandelion stem hops, with some sugars and breads remaining, and lingers for a decent time. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, there are some excellent flavors in this beer--flavors that are nicely balanced and delicious--but I found myself simply wanting more of them. On a ten-point scale, the hops perhaps rate a five or six, and the malts a four or five. The lighter mouthfeel reflects these more delicate flavors, making the beer seem--while deliciously delicate--just slightly more watery than it could be. On the other hand, the lightness and nice balance in here means this would be excellent fare for a hot summer day’s lunch break, when you’re looking for flavor and refreshment, but not something that, at 5.3% ABV, is going to get you bombed.

Photo of far333
3.11/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Horribly overcarbonated bottle. This sat on the counter for 20 minutes because it was initially too cold, so there's no way it was shaken up. Even a slow pour kicks up two thirds of a glass of foam. Beyond that, it's a hazy apricot color with a rocky head of off-white meringue.

Inviting aroma of citrus hops, grainy and pithy, a bit of a rough-edged aroma. Flavor seems less hoppy, but the flavor may be masked by carbonic acid coming off the foam and carbonation as it is a bit harsh. Mild honey malt rides beneath a nearly acrid hop presence punctuated with mint and grapefruit rind. Some yeastiness in the finish, perhaps not a clean or complete fermentation. Rough mouthfeel, acidic and sharp.

Photo of AngryPenguinBrewCo
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Served on tap in a pilsner glass. Pale golden color, nice clarity. Good carbonation with medium white head. Good hop presence, with pine/ resin the dominant flavors. Overall a good session ale.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Gallows in Boston. Review from notes.

A: Served in a pint glass, Hop Session was orange/copper in color with a small off white head that had decent retention. Sporadic lacing.

S: Light floral hops with a hints of citrus. There is a bit of bready malt and a little caramel too.

T: Nice combination of caramel and bread a nice hoppy bite to it. Some floral/grassy hops with a little bit of citrus fruit.

M: Light to medium bodied, very crisp and easy drinking.

O: A nice beer, easy to sit back with this one all day.

Photo of Sammy
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Americo’s bottle, fresh from Rhode Island. Bottled in November. No aroma. Looks are good, cloudy with a significant white head and lacey. A melange of hops. That's about what I can say, as its mouthfeel is limp and its not that drinkable. Maybe their brews are better on tap.

Photo of KTCamm
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. 1/12

Pours blackish copper with a layer of white foam. Layer has some body to it. Light pine nose, a little grassy. Minor malt. Light flavorful taste. Backing hopo. Subtle bitter which builds. Resiny mouthfeel, chewy, sappy. Really good IPA. Much enjoyed.

Photo of puboflyons
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle - September 2013 batch. Sampled on October 12, 2013.

It pours an unfiltered looking hazy pale yellow with a foamy, lingering head that leaves lacing in its wake as it diminishes.

The nose is greeted with floral and earthy hops in a vibrant fashion and a kind of meaty fruit-like character as well as the White Birch house yeast.

The body is about medium with a kind of resin-like texture.

The floral notes continue into the taste along with a citrus-like tartness and a lingering, moderately bitter finish.

This is one of White Birch's flagship brews and with good reason.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 12/11. Consumed 5/12. Batch #11. Bottle count 1152.

A: A 2 finger foamy sea-shell white head is generous atop. The coloring is autumn orange, bright and neat, with a mixture of quick release macro bubbles and slow moving micro bubbles. Head retention is fair on the hold leaving speckled patches of foamwork behind of modest coverage.

S: The aroma is decent at first but quickly fades. Get your wiff early on this one, of light fresh pine and flowery orange notes.

T: The flavor is sweet citrusy pine with a nice level of hop bitterness, dry tangerines and some Amarillo? Lemony hop notes. A small bit of tropical pineapple and grassiness blends nicely together. Bright flavor, and good hop presence even after 5 months after bottling. The hopping is clean and well defined with some sweet toasted grain juice and pine lingering afterwards.

M: Frothy around the tongues edges. Bitter orange and pine flower hopping stays nicely behind.

O: Overall crisp flavor, smooth hoppiness is bitter yet smooth and tasty enough to satisfy ones quench as a summer time session hop ale. Easy drinkability, hops hold up nice and well balanced. Defines session material and one I would drink more off. Drinks more like a crisp pale rather a American amber red (body is a bit light on the speciality grains and malt backbone for an amber) but is a non factor and is crisp for a hot summer drink.

Photo of mrclog
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

Pours a dark amber with a three finger head. The head stayed with it for most of the glass

There is a strong hop smell.

The hops hit me up front. Nice mouth feel with a clean finish. I got a little floral flavor with some citrus and malt. The taste lingered for a bit after each sip.

To sum this up it is a very good beer worth the money spent( I was worried about this but took the chance on the word a fellow BA member).

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled March 2013, consumed July 4, 2013.

A - Hazy medium orange with a huge amount of cream coloued head.

S - Spice and a light to moderate bitterness. Some pine, citrus and herbal aromas are present along with a bready sweetness.

T - Moderate dry bitterness with pine and lemony flavours and lighter herbal notes. Some caramel malt sweetness in the background.

M - Light body. Some hop resin. Moderate carbonation.

Photo of smakawhat
3.29/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass, bottled February 2013. Hope this goes a lot better than my last White Birch beer.

A good solid orange amber body, a bit hazy with some fast rising cola bubbles. Head is a nice off white creamy and foamy consistency though, and makes easily three fingers nicely. Lots of staying power and creamy cap on it as well, but most of the head bubbles are also quite large as well.

A surprising simple and solid nose. Biscuity malts with hints of caramel like sweetness, and soft chewy grain. Hop action is downplayed but a noticeable citrus and possible floral aromas comes out. Nice hint of toast and sweetness matching as well. Pretty good.

Palate comes off a bit watery unfortunately. Grainy mouthfeel with an astringent grainy finish also. Hop angle doesn't bring the flavor, but there is a light medicinal quality finish to the brew also. Not much depth to this beer, a little bit of piney grapefruit sense in the mid palate that doesn't last that long.

It's a drinkable beer, but it certainly not a memorable pale ale, and there's much better out there than this.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

deep dark red, lots of ruby tones mixed in with a thick brown base. Really nice color here. Great clarity that you could see right though to the carbonation that was rippling up toward the service. A very nice head of foam formed on the top of this one, maybe a height of two inches would be about right, and this kinda of sat there for a little while before dropping down to a nice thin pillow that covered the rest of the top of it. Great side glass presentation capped it off nicely and what you have here is a fine looking red ale.

The aroma was as malty as I was expecting. Deep tones of bready malts coming through almost immediately, with a deep underlying earthy and grainy taste to it, kind of musky and very nice and typical of the style. Lots of caramelized sugar here sweeten it up and I started to detect just the slightest bit of hoppiness in the finish. Everything pointing to a very nice experience here. The flavor was spot on for the style. Rich medium bodied ale that was more then well carbonated, and had a good bit of life in it as well. Great malt flavor coming though here, very bready with a good amount of a hop kick in the finish. Lots of sweet caramel and sugar flavors and a nice touch of fresh grass ringing through on the finish. Very nice example here. The finish was great, super smooth and a touch dry, just enough to make you come back and get a bit more from it. This was a classic for me and exactly what I was looking for at the time.

Photo of metter98
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that died down, leaving a patchwork of bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of Belgian yeast are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of Belgian yeast. No bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes a lot more like a saison then it does an IPA. Both the smell and taste are dominated by aromas and flavors of yeast—not hops.

Serving type: can

Photo of NJM
2.67/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

From a can, not dated.

Pours murky dark orange, bordering on brown. Not a good look. Settles into a hazy dark orange in the glass, decent foamy head.

From there I'm not sure what happened with this one. Oxidized? Strange choice of yeast? I'm picking up primarily saison-like phenolics. Mouthfeel is rough, leaving a very undesirable astringency to finish.

I just started seeing this one around in cans, some I'm presuming it's only 2-3 months old.

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Tap and Barrel, Smithtown, NY.

Poured a hazy brassy hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a clean citric dry hop and light bready malt.

The taste was hop forward with clean notes of pine, pepper and grapefruit. A soft round psle malt supported the hops.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style with a pleasant carbonation and residual hop spice.

Overall a tasty hop forward sessioner.

Photo of BMFR1811
2.72/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Purchased a single bomber style bottle on 03/29/14 in CT. Bottle said that it was bottled march of 2013. Served at 58 degrees.

The pour initially showed a high level of carbonation as it was almost completely foam. It took a long time to pour the bottle into my glass because I had to allow the foam to drop.

Appearance: Amber beneath a thick head and thick lacing on the sides of the glass

Smell: No hop aroma, just malt.

Taste: Initial taste is malt. I don't taste any discernible hops, there is a a lingering bitterness. There is a faint citrus that is barely noticeable. Not bad, not great just okay

Mouthfeel: over carbonated for an ipa, the carbonation would be more suited for a hefe or a cream ale. That's being said it still had good body.

Overall: not a good example of an ipa. I would like to try a fresh one but I think the one I bought might have been stale since I didn't get any of the hop flavors and aroma that I expect from an ipa. I would classify this as an amber ale and not as an ipa

Photo of CHickman
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Lark in East Northport, NY; pours hazy yellow color with a 1 finger white head that faded on the quick side and left OK lacing.

Smells of light grapefruit, lemon zest, citrus hops, floral hops, a hint of caramel, coriander and light grains; basically all citrus with a nice malty backbone.

Tastes like it smells with grapefruit, lemon zest, citrus hops, floral hops, light caramel, coriander, pepper, malt and lightly toasted grains; nice flavor and balance with a smooth, easy drinking flavor.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp, with mild carbonation, a light body and a slightly bitter aftertaste that's a combo if citrus and malt. Perfect session beer, but flavor is nowhere near Founders All Day IPA but still a good beer overall.

Photo of dciBA
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into an oversized tulip. Color is a hazy amber. A small head forms but quickly fades to a skimming. Lacing is there, but not too much of it. Bottled in Feb. 2011, so not super fresh, but good enough.

Your nose greeted by a nice dose of hops right away. As the beer warms some sweet caramel works in but it's mostly citrus hops still. Very pleasant smell.

Just like the smell, your palate is hit with citrus hops at first followed by a really nice maltiness. Toasted bread and sweet caramel malt mix in with the hops perfectly. While the nose just revealed citrus, the flavor holds piney hops as well. I can only assume that this was more hop forward when fresher but at this point is very well balanced and tasty.

Carbonation is a little high in my opinion but doesn't really detract all that much from an other wise smooth mouthfeel. Finish is nice and dry, which is great for a beer called hop session. Very nice beer from White Birch. I'll try to grab a real fresh version next time it's around.

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$5 for a big boy glass @ Atwoods, Somerville MA

Translucent honey color with a sticky white head. Ample lace and retention.

Sweet and very bready. Hop character is a mix of fresh morning dew grass and sweet tobacco leaf twang.

Tastes like it smells: bready with with fresh grass and tobacco hop spice. Raw, fresh and grassy earthyness. Perfectly balanced. Big and creamy mouthfeel that you'd expect to find on a beer twice the abv.

This was a standout at the ACBF for me and it's even better in a less distracting enviroment. Far and above my favorite White Birch.

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White Birch Hop Session Ale from White Birch Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 233 ratings.