White Birch Saison | White Birch Brewing

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White Birch SaisonWhite Birch Saison

Brewed by:
White Birch Brewing
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Saison is brewed once per year in the summer to take advantage of the higher temps. Our Saison yeast loves to ferment at higher temps. The resulting beer is a slightly hazy golden orange colored beer with a lightly funky aroma, wonderful spicy pepper notes and a crisp dry finish. Balanced, nuanced, great with fish, steak or rich cheeses. For us, this is a beer that works on many levels.

Added by barleywinebrewer on 09-20-2009

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Ratings: 46 |  Reviews: 31
Photo of andrewinski1
1/5  rDev -72.6%

Photo of mmmbeer
1.31/5  rDev -64.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

From a 22 oz. bottle, brewed in the summer of 2009 at higher temperatures. Batch 4; bottled 9/9/09 and sampled this past April. Bottle 90 of 105; 7.3%. This very active bottle pours hazed golden, highly carbonated, with visible particulates and three fingers of very frothy white head. A bit muddy, but not terrible. Smells of orange and spice (cinnamon?) at first, but then quickly progresses to vinous malts and rotten oranges, with something definitely "off" about it. Tastes of musty grains, rubber, cardboard, acetone/ethyl acetate, an acidic note, and an overall rancid/moldy character. The body is light and overly-carbonated, with an exceedingly short finish. Wow, just... wow - seriously bad. This beer is absolutely riddled with defects that have nothing to do with its age. It reeks of fermentation errors and contamination (not the "good" brett contamination mind you), and I can barely drink enough to give a full review. I would rather drink Bud Light, because at least it doesn't have any flaws. I haven't tried any other batches, and this could be a complete anomaly, but this bottle has turned me off of White Birch altogether.

 1,144 characters

Photo of womencantsail
1.32/5  rDev -63.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Pours a cloudy golden color with a huge, soapy white head. Puke and old cheese. This is putrid, putrid shit. Wow...seriously? This is funkier than some of the blue cheeses I’ve had. The flavor is pretty cheesy too, but it’s also watery and also a little bit cidery. This is truly horrible.

 293 characters

Photo of mikefour77
1.75/5  rDev -52.1%

Photo of d6a5fa971c
2.25/5  rDev -38.4%

Photo of Aisha
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of errantnight
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 1, 48 of 102

Thanks to rpstevens for this one.

Pours a pale straw with a thin, quick head with moderate to light lacing.

Aromas of musty grain and crackers with a hint of citrus.

Peppery and more must on the palate, sweetness is front and simple, pale malt in character. Easy herbal and spice notes just underneath some hints of toast and nuts. Finishes with a mineral bitterness.

Crisp and light in body, easy to drink. Musty notes are a bit overpowering, esters could do to run a bit more wild (as it reaches room temperature they start to play up a bit more in the nose and the beer gets substantially better).

 624 characters

Photo of mlazzaro
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served in tulip glass.
white head. hazy yellow color, low head retention. pretty much looks like a farmhouse ale.
Smells of sourness, and saison yeast, with a touch of alcohol.
Easy drinking saison beer. Sourness like lemons, I assume from some brett. Booze is quite apparent because it is so thin bodied. More of a spicy saison character, rather than the bubblegum I sometimes notice. I split the 22oz comfortably with two friends. I thoughht both the beers from this brewing company were extremely similar. But pretty good.

 527 characters

Photo of Faxmesomehalibut
3.39/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of roach4230
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of kingcrowing
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured in a stemless snifter.

Pours a cloudy light wheaty color with a tinge of head. Nose is like peanut butter and corn, very interesting.

Taste is very good, somewhat sweet but still very sharp. Quite mild for a saison though. Smooth and easy drinking, although it's got a bit of that cream corn taste to it. A Tasty brew!

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Thanks to rpstevens for handing this over to me as an extra during an in-person trade at KTG 2010.

Pours a slightly hazed yellow golden color with a white head. The nose brings a good amount of grain as well as some earth and a bit of citrus. A bit of wheat. The taste brings some dry wheat as well as citrus and earth. Faint notes of light dough. Some nice yeast characteristics that lead to a fairly dry mouthfeel. Good carbonation levels. Somewhat plain, but a good tasting saison in the end.

 517 characters

Photo of Lefty_P_Hand
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of illidurit
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by someone at Woodshop 5.0. Pours a crazy light shade, sort of a milky white peach color. Opaque with a small white head. Spicy and fruity Belgian estery aroma, pear and pepper and maybe lime? Flavor starts with pale malts and yeast before a stone fruitiness comes into play. Not as robust as the aroma. Light body with slightly too-high carbonation.

 364 characters

Photo of corby112
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber received as an extra in a recent trade with rpstevens. Thanks again man.

Pours a cloudy, pale golden-yellowish ripe banana color with golden yellow hues when held to a light source and visible carbonation bubbling up the glass. Frothy, bubbly three finger white head that quickly fades into a lasting ring that leaves sporadic spots of lacing.

Slightly funky earthy aroma with lots of bready yeast notes, citrus, ripe banana, peppery spice, lemon zest and crisp light fruit. The nose on this beer is really complex with a delicate blend of earthy, sweet and spicy scents.

Soft carbonation of front with a slightly spicy, bready/yeasty medium body. Slightly tart with a bit of earthy funk to it and some nice peppery lemon zest spice up front. Hints of light fruit, mostly apple and pear with a good bit of ripe banana, bread and crisp spicy peppery finish. Slight alcohol presence. Pretty odd tasting with a lot of weird flavor with sour/earthy funk notes bouncing off of the bready fruity character.

 1,011 characters

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

Pours a two finger white head that fades slowly, leaving some lace. Hazy light amber color, ton of yeast left in bottle. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Flowery, spicy nose. Flavor is flowery spice and tart citrus, high ABV is totally hidden, the label says 9.0% but it doesn't feel like it. $8.75 for a 22oz bottle from Bert's Better Beers Hooksett, NH. Bottled 8/5/2010.

 376 characters

Photo of Pens1967
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of JuliusCaesar
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of joepais
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 52 batch 2 spit among friends Poured into tulips. It produced a finger worth of white head that left quickly. The body was a pale hazy golden yellow.

There was something funky going on with the aroma. Almost offensive when the head was dissipating but it calmed down once it set a while. I saw the words Feta I think it was the closest to the sent

Now the flavor was great. Crisp in the mouth with a dry finish I got a ton of grass and citrus with a light pepper finish.

It was easy to drink with enough flavors to want to drink more I would buy this again

 568 characters

Photo of joe1510
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber

Bottled 9/9/09
Bottle #58 of 108
Batch 3

This new saison was generously shared by the man, the myth, the legend, d0b, thanks Bitch! This saison ended up being a slow gusher. A soft pour produces an opaque golden body, with a couple chunkies floating about, and a perfectly white cap that rises out of the glass like meringue. The head stays put throughout the entire drink with tenacious staying power and chunky drink lines cling to the glass.

The nose is chock full of wheaty twang that verge on sour graininess. The middle shows some spiciness that reminds me of coriander and bitter orange peel. White pepper makes itself known although in small quantities while freshly malted barley make up a huge portion of the backbone. I'd appreciate the smell much more if there wasn't so much wheat in the grain bill. The wheaty twang actually verges on wet dog but never quite makes it there, thankfully.

A strong wheatiness presents itself in the flavor from front to back with that slightly tart twang. Mid palate brings along an unusual and welcomed tartness that brings to mind ripe, gritty pear and tart peach that tickles the sides of the tongue. The finish brings along a couple of the spices I noticed in the nose; bitter orange peel and coriander. The swallow leaves behind an aftertaste I'm not all that fond of that reminds me of sulfur. I have no idea where that's coming from but it's there. This saison was going good until that slight sulfur note hits on the back and throws it for a loop. As this beer warms the sulfur notes seem to dissipate, which is most welcomed.

They did a good job with the mouthfeel of this beer. While I was afraid the carbonation would be too high when the cap was popped it seems to work well with the light body. The carbonation has a slight prickliness that washes the tartness of the sides of the tongue and adds to a rather dry finish.

The flavor and nose are solid but nothing super interesting. Luckily the lively carbonation, body, and refreshing qualities keep this beer flowing. This would make for a good summer sipper; it's too bad I'm drinking it in what feels like winter.

This is my second beer from White Birch, the other being the Belgian Pale Ale, and oddly enough they both have very similar traits. Both seem to use handfuls of wheat and the spiciness of both is very similar. The saison seems to finish drier, which is something I appreciate. I'd give this another whirl if it was available around these parts. Thanks for sharing, Dave!

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

This is a bottle from batch one, poured from a bottle into a dogfish head signature glass.

The beer pours a golden straw color with a thick, frothy two finger white head. The beer looks well carbonated and leaves a slight oily lacing on the sides of the glass.

The smell starts with some sweet graham cracker malt and some floral spice that balance well, followed by earthiness and some light citrus notes.

The taste is light, refreshing and incredibly well balanced. The sweet malts and floral hop characters give way to a light citrus, maybe some fresh orange peel. The finish is crisp and spicy with a nice balance of not-too-bready-malt. Through all the crisp citrus and floral notes there is an almost sour earthiness that balance the flavors and flattens them out.

The drinkability and mouthfeel are excellent on this beer. It is perfectly carbonated, well balanced and very refreshing. The alcohol is barely present, definitely a beer that I could drink more than one bomber of.

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Photo of akorsak
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 650 mL bottle from Batch 3, #72 of 108. Thanks to jmu500 for it in a recent trade.

A: Would you believe me if I said that this one looks exactly like the Belgian Pale Ale I just had? Luckily this one is supposed to look this way. The saison is hazy, a golden straw color with a finger of snow white head.

S: The nose is pleasantly herbal (I was originaly going with floral but realized that was inappropriate). Coriander is the primary herb and is paired with a noticeable pale malt bill.

T: The saison delivers a pleasant opening salvo of pale fruits, courtesy of the yeast. Lingering behind the start is a combination of mild sourness (extremely mild) and anise. Despite being amply carbonated, the bubbles don't register on the palate, allowing coriander and pale malts to linger. A floral sweetness replaces the herbal body near the end of each sip, a nice touch that sees the sip away.

M: The saison starts out nicely and quickly picks up from there. The mild funk, combined with flowers and herbs, sits very nicely.

D: The alcohol is never really an issue. The saison throws a whole flavor spectrum at you, a very enjoyable two hours spent with this bottle.

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White Birch Saison from White Birch Brewing
3.65 out of 5 based on 46 ratings.
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