White Birch Barrel Aged Tripel | White Birch Brewing

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White Birch Barrel Aged TripelWhite Birch Barrel Aged Tripel
59 Ratings
White Birch Barrel Aged TripelWhite Birch Barrel Aged Tripel

Brewed by:
White Birch Brewing
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Belgian Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.65%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
2009 – Our Tripel aged in a barrel for an extended period of time. Belgian esters and light fruit notes meld with a smooth vanilla and oak to create a rich smooth sipping beer. Our first batch rings in at 11.65%, medium bodied with a smooth finish.

2010 – Aged in Pinot Noir and Merlot barrels. Each of the seven barrels we used are from the same vintage of wine.

Unlike wine makers, we did not blend the contents from each barrel together. Rather choosing to let the subtle and unique differences from each barrel stand on their own.

Each barrel is recognized on the label as batch PN1 through PN6, and M1. Meaning Pinot Noir barrel 1 through Pinot Noir barrel 6. and Merlot barrel 1.

Pinot Noir barrels 1 through 3 have a nice soft fruit note. Barrels 4 through 6 have a softer wine note and more of a sharp oak flavor from the barrel. The Merlot barrel has a rich, sharp Merlot note, soften by our Tripel, with hints of oak.

Added by chinabeergeek on 10-20-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 59 |  Reviews: 36
Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: hazy reddish amber, 2” head quickly dissipates into a thick film. S: Has some apple brandy on the nose. T: Very creamy sweet apple brandy palate joined by large pitted fruit, vanilla, and a hop finish that provides bitterness into the after taste. F: Medium to medium light body and medium low carbonation. O: With its lower carbonation this drinks like a cross between a wine and a beer. More carbonation would give it more of a beer character. It is also a little on the sweet side which additional carbonation might also tone down.

 539 characters

Photo of BucketBoy
2.25/5  rDev -33.2%

2010 M1 - Merlot barrel-aged. Bottle 186 of 192. Thank you ShadesOfGray for this long ago extra from back when I was still in NC. Enjoyed with an Aging Room Quattro F55 Concerto and The Sopranos season 2, episode 6.

It's a shame they call this a tripel.

I'm giving this review rated mostly to style. Ordinarily I rate beers completely to style, in which in this case the score here would be much lower because it tastes nothing like a tripel. Think 1.5. However, rated as a Merlot-barrel-aged wild ale or soured Belgian pale ale this would be closer to a 3.25 (my predilection is to be a tough critic so the truly exceptional brews rise to the top).

A - Soft golden hue with just a hint of a cream-colored foam ring and no lace. Pin bubbles continuously rising from the bottom of my Bells tulip. Pretty nice looking. 3.75

S - Light pale tripel in the nose, shades of sweet green apple, oak, touch of vanilla. 3.25

T - No real tripel character other than a hint of esters in the mid-palate and finish. Instead I am greeted by some minimal sourness, Merlot, some red and white grapes, green apple, vanilla, oak. As a wine-focused beer this is fairly enjoyable. As a tripel it fails fairly miserably. 3.25 if rated not to style. 1.25 to style

M - Thin, but the smooth carbonation and slightly oily slickness give it some life. Vinous tannins lend some depth in the mouth. 3.00

O - If you drink this, go in thinking it is an American wild, in which case it is not a bad beer at all. Actually fairly enjoyable and refreshing. But it has hardly any notable characteristics that would make it come off as a tripel. Consequently, I can't help but rate it as a failure. 1.00

They should have called this an American wild or wine-barrel-aged Belgian strong pale ale. If the label was changed to call it what it ended up being, as opposed to what it started as before the barrel, the scores would be higher. I actually enjoyed the beer and would gladly sample it again. It is only lightly sour but it is refreshing on this cool Autumn eve. It is certainly wine-forward and under a different name or style it succeeds. But it is no longer a tripel. I have no idea what PN1-6 are like right now; M1 is nice though.

Regardless, glad to have the obscure tick. It is not listed as retired, but have they made this since 2010? If not, perhaps it should be deemed as no longer made.

Thanks again, Ryan.

 2,395 characters

Photo of zestar
3/5  rDev -11%

Photo of Janeinma
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of REVZEB
4/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of JasonR1975
2.5/5  rDev -25.8%

Photo of athomasPSU
4/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of IdrinkGas
3/5  rDev -11%

Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 750 mL from Bert's Better Beers over a year ago. Aged out nicely, I hope.

A: The tripel, I'm guessing, didn't spend time in any red wine barrels (despite the 'PN' on the label that I assumed to be Pinot Noir), a golden yellow that is radiantly clear. A wispy white head, a thin webbing, rests in the center of the glass.

S: A medicinal lactic aroma, almost Berlinner-like, leaves off. It's not exactly tripel material but it is that White Birch house aroma. The oak is fast on its heels, bringing a vanilla laiden aroma and plenty of wood to the stage. I'd go so far as to say that the age has done the beer some good.

T: Well-carbonated, the bubbles jump around quite a bit. The house flavor is here, can't really avoid it I suppose, popping up immediately after the bubbles subside and then again in the finish. The middle of the sip is the highlight, where the barrel coalesces against ale. Vanilla and oak are present, not overpowering, and help draw some of the sugary candi flavors out of the tripel. As the tripel settles in to room temperatiure, the flavors mature nicely. The tripel's sweet strength is obvious, a warmth that pairs nicely with the oak barrel. A good tripel by the end; the barrel doing nice work.

M: Easily one of the best that I've had from White Birch, the oak and tripel taking their time to emerge. When they do, the candi sugars, strength and oak come together nicely.

 1,422 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.34/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 10/6/2009 Batch 1 22oz wax dipped
Pours a clear solid golden color with a good sized white head that quickly dissipates to a ring on top. Smells of bourbon, vanilla and oak mostly. There's a faint aroma of light fruit and spicy yeast deep underneath. Taste is pretty complex actually. I get the barrels contribution first, lots of vanilla, oak, tannins, bourbon up front. That's followed by a sugary malt sweetness as well as some light strawberry and apple flavors. Leaves a long lingering brown sugar and fruit sweetness in the finish as well as a touch of ethanol. Medium to light body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet fruity sugary mouthfeel. Wow that beer has done well with some age on it! Clean smooth complex and flavorful, I wish I had squirreled a few more of those away.

 806 characters

Photo of InspectorBob
3/5  rDev -11%

Photo of jophish17
2.5/5  rDev -25.8%

Photo of nathanjohnson
1/5  rDev -70.3%

Photo of photomike
3/5  rDev -11%

Photo of alamode
4/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of FrankLloydMike
4/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of Phelps
3.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by whiterascal, poured into a snifter.

Ephemeral color; a grayish yellow with mild haze. Head is a fizzy off-white that pops away in just a few seconds.

The aroma leads with the pinot noir — I get oodles of the herbal, minty white grape qualities of the wine. A touch of barnyard funk and saison-like spice make up the rest.

The flavor is pretty much the same. White wine leads with sweet, herbal and minty notes. Some acidic red wine, touches of pear, white pepper. Sweet white grapes; a touch of grain; clean, drying finish.

Gentle, massaging carbonation in a thin, medium-light body. Alcohol fumes come through the nose and add pepper heat to the tongue. Pretty clean.

Surprisingly, the wine-aging seems to overpower the underlying tripel in this one. It’s more like wine than beer, and more like white wine than red wine. Interesting stuff.

 861 characters

Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -11%

Photo of bum732
2/5  rDev -40.7%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of waiting4lunch
5/5  rDev +48.4%

Photo of bob727
4/5  rDev +18.7%

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White Birch Barrel Aged Tripel from White Birch Brewing
Beer rating: 3.37 out of 5 with 59 ratings