Wild Ale
White Birch Brewing

Wild AleWild Ale
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White Birch Brewing
New Hampshire, United States
Wild Ale
3.01 | pDev: 32.89%
Jul 13, 2015
Oct 06, 2009
Wild AleWild Ale
Notes: The first batch of this was a festival only release. Aged with oak chips and the second generation of two strains of brettanomyces. Each strain of brettanomyces was selected for contributions to flavor and aroma while maintaining a low acidity in the finished beer. Notes of dark fruits, grape skins, vanilla, chardonnay and oak mix with a hint of cherry tartness. Velvety, medium carbonation deliver a balanced refreshing drink that the base Belgian yeasts can not create on their own. This beer will be released once per year.

Batch “SNHBF” was first sampled at the 2011 Southern NH Brewers Festival where we served it directly off the barrel. We were able to get a few hundred bottles from what was left after everyone enjoyed it at the fest. This batch was barrel aged for over a year in a Merlot barrel from California.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 2.89 by mklisz from New Hampshire

Jul 13, 2015
Rated: 3.5 by Kelp from New Hampshire

Apr 23, 2013
Rated: 3.25 by adkieffer from Washington

Mar 13, 2013
Rated: 2 by phingdong from New Hampshire

Jan 22, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by sdaly3 from New Hampshire

Nov 22, 2012
Rated: 2 by ScottP from New Hampshire

Nov 11, 2012
Rated: 2.75 by furthurgone from California

May 16, 2012
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Reviewed by AgentZero from Illinois

2.53/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2
Another White Birch offering at my Good Beer/Bad Beer birthday tasting. I can't say I'm surprised, given the format.

A - Brownish red beer, somewhat opaque. Had a bit of a white head that left some minor stick.

S - Hmmm, I wish I were surprised when I found out this smelled a little off. Some medicinal and chemical notes, apples, mild tartness, a bit of oak. Even when it doesn't smell horrible, it's still never good.

T - Taste is worse. A bit like apples with some tartness which is okay before a shockingly trainwreck finish of nail polish and medicine. It was kind of amazing how the taste went from not horrible for a while to disastrous.

M - Medium bodied with an appropriate amount of carbonation.

O - Not the worst White Birch beer I've ever had, but it's still nothing I would drink again or could send to anyone in good faith, even as an extra. Avoid.
Jan 17, 2012
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Reviewed by SpdKilz from Illinois

2.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
A “thanks” to Alex (MasterSki) for bringing this to the “good beer bad beer” birthday tasting for AgentZero. This was obviously a bad beer... One of 208 bottles.

Appearance – Pours a cloudy hay color into a tulip with slight off white head that dissipates quickly leaving spotty lacing.

Smell – Coincidentally the aroma (when cold) wasn’t horrible. A nice oaky aroma mixed with some tart/sour berry smells. Metallic earthy notes come through at the end.

Taste – Sweeter than expected, heavy metallic taste up front which is only then followed by malty fruity notes. I noticed a most definite nail polish remover taste which made this beer impossible for me to drink. That mixed with metallic and band aid flavors (with just a hint of berries in the back) made me drain pour this...as did everyone else.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, decent carbonation.

Overall – I’ve had a couple other WB beers before this and wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. However, after having three different versions Saturday night, I must say, the beers really are that bad.
Jan 10, 2012
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Reviewed by Sean9689 from Illinois

2.63/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2
C&C 750ml into Bell's tulip. Part of our good beer/bad beer night.

A - Pours a mirky darker golden color, white head, thin collar.

S - Tart fruity notes, oak, some lactic sourness, slight stagnant watery notes, metallic, and some sweet malts in there as well. I'm actually surprised this wasn't all too bad on the nose, but it does have a lot of room for improvement.

T - Very sweet, light fruity notes, some funky yeast notes, and the metallic taste is there as well. The finish is a harsh plastic & metallic with a light sour sweetness, which isn't good at all. Bleh.

M - Medium body, good carbonation, dry finish.

O - The nose was considerably better the the taste of this beer. Not sure if it had time to warm up between the nose & palate, but man, I couldn't finish my pour. Moar White Birch (in my Masterski voice)!
Jan 09, 2012
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Reviewed by MasterSki from Canada (ON)

2.33/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2
Thanks to AshleyMiller for this one. Batch SNHBF(?), totaling 208 bottles.

A - Quick-dissolving white foam settles to a thin collar, leaving a few tiny splotches of lace. Opaque dark red-brown body.

S - Oak, gauze, medicine, copper, smoke, and a hefty amount of malt. A somewhat incongruous mix of flavors, but it isn't offensive.

T - The taste starts out fairly malt-forward and surprisingly palatable, but it finishes quite medicinal. There's some caramel flavor, tart green apple, and then a strange hospital flavor mid-palate (formaldehyde?) as well as some light nail polish and stagnant water.

M - Medium-full body, lightly grainy and dry texture, mildly sticky finish, and the usual well-hidden alcohol that I expect from White Birch. Seems more appropriate for a barleywine, which is odd as their Barrel-Aged Barleywine is thin and overcarbonated.

D - Better than Indomitus, but still quite poor for an American Wild Ale. I think the house brett strain needs to be put out back and shot as the flavors being produced are pretty horrendous.
Jan 09, 2012
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Reviewed by johnnnniee from New Hampshire

2.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
Bottled 2/2011 Batch 1
Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a decent sized white head that dissipates rather quickly. Smells of tart fruits with lemons and cherries immediately coming to mind. Earthy herbal aromas as well as a slight bit of funk and a hint of band aids round out the nose. The taste is a little weird even for a wild ale. Slightly sweet candy sugar and a light fruitiness come in up front then are quickly gone. Lots of Belgian yeasty flavors still in here with a bit of herbal, plastic, and medicinal off flavors. Wow this one doesn't taste at all like the aroma. Medium body and level of carbonation with a slick tart mouthfeel. Uhm yeah, this one didn't do it for me.
Jan 03, 2012
Rated: 5 by CharlieMurphy from New York

Nov 21, 2011
Rated: 1 by Rochefort10nh from New Hampshire

Nov 18, 2011
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Reviewed by jwinship83 from Illinois

3.48/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
750ml bottle broken out at the alewatcher/oreo birthday party. no one had anything remotely positive to say about this, so i felt i HAD to try it. near the start of my time there i got a full pour in my big eddy snifter and prepared for the worst.

A- the pour was a cloudy copperish colored body with an eggshell colored head on top. the head is quick to fade and little to no lacing gets left behind.

S- the smell is well, wild. very funky. well worn gym socks comes to mind. oddly fruity. lime, lemon, grapes...definitely different. a little bit of melting plastic (not the turnoff youd expect it to be).

T- the taste is just as weird and funky as the smell. the well worn socks come back and take charge. mushrooms, ripe cheese, musty and earthy. very heavy on the funk. mildly sour. lots of fruit rinds. limes, lemons, a hint of grapefruit. the melting plastic comes back also.

M- very dry. not overly sour. the body is on the upper side of light. the carbonation is a little low.

O- definitely different, but not the train wreck i was bracing for. id give another one a shot again. white birch makes some really off the wall stuff. definitely one to think about while drinking.
Jun 27, 2011
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Reviewed by brewandbbq from New Hampshire

3.97/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Batch one, Sept 3, 2009, bottle #15 of 26.

Pours dark copper with a ruby hue and a fine bead of off-white.
Retention is short-lived and a placid surface reamins throughout the glass with zero lacing.

Aromatics lead off with plenty of medicinal phenols, soured fruit skins, lime pith, and shades of burnt plastic. A hint of an electrical fire follows through.

On the light side of medium bodied with a slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Carbonation is low for the style. A bit watery.

A blast of strange funk and melted plastic lead off the palate. Very phenolic with menthol, cloves, lemon-lime, and cooked styrofoam. Light malt and traces of red fruit follow through.

Finishes with lingering medicinal qualities and a hint of butchers wax.

What an unuasual beer. Certainly quite different that the fresh version I tried at the Belgian fest about a year ago.
Oct 23, 2010
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Reviewed by mikesgroove from South Carolina

4.85/5  rDev +61.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
What has Bill done. I will tell you what we have here. We have the beginning of the redefinition of the American Wild Ale. First off let's get the semantics out of the way. Batch one of the beauty in its wax capped bottle is brought up to cellar temp and decanted into an oversized wine glass to make sure the full nose is there for all to enjoy. Consumed on 10/04/2009.

Wonderful pour here as the rich amber color just softy drops into the glass. Light sediment begins to form on the bottom as a touch of a light head takes shape. Nothing huge here, but two and a half inches at least are capping the glass at its peak and dropping loads of spider web like lacing all throughout the night. I am itching to move in for a closer look. Then it hits you, it is unlike anything else you have encountered before. Notes of dark fruit, plums, raisins, are immediately noticeable as is the rich oak notes that are coming at me. Nothing sours here at all about this one. Complex sugary notes dancing around with a touch of a grape skin like tartness hidden way in the back. Interesting mix of flavors here for sure. The balance in flavor here is sublime and I have to admit I am utterly floored. Oak flavor all over this, just wonderful woody notes that are soaked with a rich spiciness that I can only equate the yeast flavor in a perfect quad. Again with the grapes and plum notes offering just that light touch of fruit flavor before melding back into a super dry finish. Small touch of tartness again as it fades away.

Overall I am not sure what to say here. First off an American Wild Ale does not have to be a sour and that is something we are all going to realize soon enough as brewers start to take chances and push the limits of what can be done with flavor. This is a perfect example. Load in a couple of strains of yeast, throw at it some oak chips and let it ride! You never know what you might find. In this case one of the most flavorful and easy drinking experiences I have ever come across.
Oct 06, 2009
Wild Ale from White Birch Brewing
Beer rating: 76 out of 100 with 17 ratings