White Birch Brewing

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White Birch Brewing
New Hampshire, United States
3.06 | pDev: 27.12%
Aug 22, 2014
Oct 22, 2009
Notes: Belgain Style Dubbels have a history going back to the mid 1800s. Our interpretation of this style is a ruby mahogany colored beer highlighted by toffee, caramel and dark ripe fruit notes with a subtle dry finish. Great on it’s own or paired with chocolate, red meats or fish.
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Ratings by weeare138:
Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by weeare138 from Pennsylvania

Sounds like I had a good batch of this, though mine was on tap. A few folks didn't fare so well out of bottled samples.
Appears a light haze of dark russet with mahogany edges and an off white head that slowly fades into a gentle cap. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, caramel, raisins, brown sugar, ripe fruit, and a touch of spice.
Taste is of the aromas with a ripe fig flavor pulling through with vanilla and brown sugar pulling up the rear with a touch of earthy mushrooms found among the flavors.
Moutfeel is medium bodied, sweet, evenly carbonated, and lip smacking with some residual Belgian candi sugar sticking around.

Nov 07, 2010
More User Ratings:
3 by zestar from California on Aug 22, 2014
Photo of brentk56
2.18/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2
by brentk56 from North Carolina

Batch One: 10/5/09

Appearance: Far too light in color, pours amber with a modest head; no lacing

Smell: Just a vague hint of caramel - nothing else

Taste: Vaguely sweet, up front, but the caramel is quickly overtaken by a green apple flavor that dominates the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Well, this sure doesn't taste like a Dubbel; more like a combination of unsweetened apple juice and artificial sweetener

Nov 05, 2013
3.5 by EvanWilliams from Illinois on Sep 02, 2013
1.5 by largadeer from California on Aug 09, 2013
1.5 by CheapBeerBuzz from California on Jul 08, 2013
1.5 by westcoastbeerlvr from California on Jul 07, 2013
2.5 by spycow from Illinois on May 01, 2013
3.25 by Kelp from New Hampshire on Apr 23, 2013
2 by Wally1912 from Massachusetts on Nov 24, 2012
3.75 by TheBirdSanc from Massachusetts on Jun 02, 2012
Photo of illidurit
2.5/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
by illidurit from California

Bottle 116 shared at the May 2012 iteration of the Santa Cruz tasting series. The brewer’s description invokes toffee, caramel and ripe fruit. What I get is toffee and caramel left in your pocket after your pants went through the laundry, and unripe fruit -- mainly scuzzy apple juice notes. Tastes old, and like it wasn’t too good in the beginning either.

May 28, 2012
3 by Diomede from California on May 19, 2012
3.25 by deleted_user_127363 from Canada (QC) on Apr 04, 2012
4 by BigCheese from Massachusetts on Jan 21, 2012
Photo of mvanaskie13
2.58/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
by mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

Poured into an orval glass, color is amber, with light tan head tht presents somewhat thinly but lingers on top

Smell is very is mainly some brown, toasty malt with hint of caramel. no phenols or yeasty notes.

Taste is sugary, touch of toasted type flavors hint of caramel, no phenols or yeast.

Mouthfeel is pretty clean, not too carbonated, flavors come in and linger lightly, little bitter finish.

Overall, a very sub par dubbel, something mixed between a brown ale splashed with some notes of something that might be a dubbel but never lives up to it.

Jan 21, 2012
Photo of AgentZero
2.78/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2
by AgentZero from Illinois

A - Brown bodied beer with some orange in it. Bit of tan head that left a bit of stick on the glass.

S - Smells sweet, a little sugary. Maybe some spices. Doesn't smell like any Dubbel I've tasted.

T - Tastes more like a brown ale than anything else. Kind of reminds me of Moose Drool or whatever that brown ale is, or at least, a poorer version of it. Really tastes a bit like a cheap cola, think RC.

M - Too fizzy for the style, but perfect along the lines of trying to make a cola/beer hybrid. Medium bodied.

O - It's a pretty unoffensive beer, but it's not good, and it's not a dubbel. Guessing they misprinted some labels and then just used them anyway. Oh well, for them, this isn't a bad beer. Fails as a dubbel, but whatever.

Jan 14, 2012
Photo of Sean9689
2.85/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
by Sean9689 from Illinois

Thanks, Alex! Good beer/bad beer tasting. 22oz bomber poured into Bell's tulip.

A - Pours a mirkey orange/brown color, white head, thin collar.

S - Light spice, generic sweetness, malts. The spice is subtle and nice, the sweetness smells a little "fake" (think Nutrisweet) to me, and the malts help hide the sweetness a bit. Not offending, which is good.

T - Watery spice, light malts, touch of caramel sweetness, pretty generic and un-Dubbel-like. Almost reminds me of an American Brown Ale. The alcohol is barley noticeable, and for 9%, that's damn impressive. Again, not offending...go WB!

M - Too thin, light body, good carbonation, watery clean finish.

O - Well, it's not a good Dubbel, but the beer doesn't smell or taste bad, which is a step forward from my previous White Birch experiences. I cannot recommend this to those who are looking to try a Dubbel, but if you want to try a drinkable WB beer, this is all you!

Jan 10, 2012
Photo of MasterSki
2.44/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
by MasterSki from Canada (ON)

Thanks Ethan! Batch Four, consisting of 1536 bottles. Bottled December 10th, 2010. Served in a Captain Lawrence tulip.

A - A dime of tan foam settles to a thin ring, wispy patches, and a few tiny lace spots. Hazy brown body.

S - Reminds me of corn starch and off-brand cola. Perhaps a hint of tobacco and anise in there too. Reminds me quite a bit of adjunct-brewed Guinness from the tropics.

T - The taste is a bit better, but it mostly tastes like fizzy sugar water. There's a hint of chocolate, and some seltzer flavors as well.

M - Zesty carbonation, surprisingly medium-light body, dry texture, well-hidden alcohol, and a sticky finish.

D - Congratulations! You've just brewed the worlds first 9% cola! Fairly easy to drink actually, but horribly off-target for a dubbel.

Jan 09, 2012
3.5 by InspectorBob from New Jersey on Jan 02, 2012
1.5 by jophish17 from Georgia on Dec 24, 2011
2 by nathanjohnson from Vermont on Dec 18, 2011
Photo of atlason
2.87/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3
by atlason from New York

750ml bottle into tulip. Serving temperature from 48 to 55F. Batch 4.

A: Light brown, ample head dissipating fairly rapidly. No lacing.

S: Roasted and toasted malts dominate. Smells like a dry stout.

T: Metallic, not much Belgian yeast character. Strong roasted flavors with a touch of dark sugar.

M: Thin, lightly carbonated.

Overall this doesn't seem like a dubbel at all ? Somewhere between a stout and a Belgian strong dark ale.

Nov 29, 2011
3 by Rochefort10nh from New Hampshire on Nov 25, 2011
4 by KGarrett from New York on Nov 19, 2011
Photo of Ryan011235
1.28/5  rDev -58.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1
by Ryan011235 from Ohio

Poured into a Rochefort chalice on 8/9/11

Bottled Feb 4, 2010; Batch One

Thanks(?) to MbpBugeye for sharing

Ugly, murky brown. Muddy pond water - with bubbles! One finger head crackles out quickly to a thin layer of popping bubbles. The head holds fairly well, I guess. No lace.

Smells terrible - rotten tomato paste, garbage, yeast, biscuit, spoiled banana and a cluster of other disgustingly over-ripe fruit. Cherry air freshener aromas as it warms. I don't want to taste it. And yep, it tastes terrible; nay, pathetic. Dead and withered fruit... notes, I suppose. Tea leaves and earth. Vapid implosions of cocoa dust on the finish. Thin body with way too much carbonation. Meddled, dirty finish. Dry erase marker.

This beer is very unpleasant; though a little less so as it warms. Regardless, it's atrocious.

Nov 17, 2011
Photo of gfreed
2.87/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3
by gfreed from Massachusetts

I'd like to teach the world to sing...

Oh... sorry.

If you like Coke, this is your beer: cola in the aroma, in the taste, on the sides of buses... it's the dominant flavor. You'll find some leathery smells and some raisins, and loads of brown sugar in the taste, but otherwise this is Coke with fewer bubbles. Not terrible, but overly sweet and not very good. You'll easily do better in American dubbles by buying just about any other bottle from the shelf.

Oct 11, 2011
Photo of MbpBugeye
1.73/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1
by MbpBugeye from Ohio

Shared with Ryan011235. Split into two Rochefort Chali.
Feb 4, 2010 Bottle 239 of 315. Ho-hum.

This beer is thin looking right out of the gate. Its ruddy and murky. Very thin looking on the edges with a muddy looking core. A fizzy, coarse head dissipates quickly.

There is a low level of tartness coming from an artificial cherry aroma. A light hint of malt vinegar and some tobacco. I don't think this is infected, as the vinegar and tart aromas are merely subtle off notes.

There is a noticable level of rotten cherries and apples. This taste is very watered down and weakened. Artificial cherry cola. A strange cocoa and sweet tobacco finish. There is a salty/minerally essence to the whole thing.

Thin, watery and painfully carbonated.

Not good. Watery, rotted tasting.

Aug 14, 2011
Photo of Naugled
3.7/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
by Naugled from New York

I found a bottle of Dubbel Batch #4 in a local store.

Served in goblet at 45F

Nice color, chestnut brown and clear. The head was ok but a bit fizzy.

Smelled wonderful, like flowers, hints of lilac and rose. Not sure where that came from. I was expecting more malt and sugar notes.

Tastes goods, sweet like a dubbel, good malt base, the floweriness didn't come out in the taste.

Mouth feel was a bit thin, I was expecting a bit more body and was let down.

A very drinkable beer, I'd reccomend trying it.

May 16, 2011
Photo of Gmann
3.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by Gmann from New York

Pours a dirty dark brown color with some ruby highlights around the edges. The tan head is fairly small but its dense; settles into a light ring.

The aroma is fruity and not very strong. Dark fruits, perhaps plum or cherry, get things going. This transitions into an earthy carob like aroma. Some alcohol vapors and metallic notes pop through.

The taste starts off with a red grape fruitiness but quickly turns earthy and slightly bitter. Metallic notes and some stale chocolate give the dubbel an earthy edge. A touch woody. It doesn't have the sweetness that a typical dubbel has and I am not picking up much fruitiness or spiciness from the yeast.

The feel is light to moderate with very fizzy carbonation. This is quite a dry and bitter dubbel.

I feel that a good amount of dubbels get lost in what they are trying to be. The White Birch Dubbel isn't one of those. They went with an earthy, dry, and bitter dubbel and I found that to be a refreshing change of pace. I think it could use a touch more candi sugar sweetness but the earthiness is good.

May 16, 2011
Photo of ToasterChef
3.18/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by ToasterChef from Maine

I pulled this bottle out of my cellar this afternoon. It's the first beer this season that I am enjoying outside. This bottle is from batch 1, bottled 2.4.2010, and is number 59 of 315. I pour it into a tulip glass.

Pouring into the center of the glass causes the beer to foam up a lot. It is slowly receding, but at it's height, there were seven inches of egg shell foam in my glass. The liquid is clear and ruby colored. There is a lot of carbonation rising within. Swirling the glass causes the foam to build back up a bit (it has settled on a finger/finger and a half height). Plenty of film is left behind, but no lacing.

The beer has a malty sweet aroma. There are dark fruits, like plum, but there is also a strong Belgian yeast scent. It is a tad musty. Lastly, some candi sugars are present, rounding out the sweet smells.

I initially taste brown sugar, then raisin. Noticeable diacetyl makes up the back end of the taste. There is some of the Belgian yeast, but it is all too slick and buttery at this point. Some bitterness, but nothing of note.

The beer feels slick and leaves a big, watery coat. There is some flavor left in the coating. Some stickiness is present, but not too much.

After a year in the cellar, I have to give this beer an overall rating of 3. It probably didn't have the slickness issues when it was fresh. For now, I'll finish this bottle but age no more. I would try it again fresh, if I see a bottle for sale.

Apr 29, 2011
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.25/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3
by JoeyBeerBelly from New York

I got this beer from Joppa. Thanks Ben!

22oz bottle (bottled on 4/22/10) served in a chalice.

L - dark brown with a beige head that thinned to a light ring.

S - sweet aroma of dates/figs.

T - a smoked taste upfront with some sweetness kicking in... whoa, this is kind of odd for a dubbel?

F - medium bodied with mild carbonation.

O - the smoked flavor is strange for the style but it's not a horrible beer by any means.

Apr 10, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.41/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by metter98 from New York

A: The beer is hazy brownish amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that quickly died down into a thin layer of bubbles that consistently covered the surface.
S: The smell isn't very strong but has some notes of dark fruits and spices in the aromas.
T: The taste has a slight amount of sweetness and flavors of caramel, dark fruits and toffee. There are also some notes of spices, which particularity stand out in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness in the finish.
D: I had no problem finishing this beer; I'm just not sure if I would try another one of these because it didn't have as much maltiness compared to other beers in the style.

Note: Batch 4, Bottled December 10, 2010

Feb 21, 2011
Photo of SunDevilBeer
1.66/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5
by SunDevilBeer from Massachusetts

I don't usually write many reviews - especially after only sampling a beer, but this beer was so lacking it warranted a review.

Upon rasing the glass to my mouth, the 1st thought that crossed my mind was "cooked veggies" in the aroma. Things didn't improve during the taste...more of the same cooked veggie effect (specifically cauliflower), backed up by the taste of dirty socks. I immediately sought another beer to erase my palate.

I've read some articles about this brewery and the brewer seems like a nice guy, but this beer is unbelievably bad....especially at a price point of $15 per bomber! And this is the flagship???

If this is what is passing as "high-end/premium" beer nowadays, the craft beer business is in trouble.

Sep 25, 2010
Photo of Jwale73
3.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by Jwale73 from Rhode Island

Thanks to Dave for sharing this. Pours a hazy mahogany with a skim and a band of foam. Nose is vinous, malty and pruny, with a hint of cocoa. Taste follows nose, but flavors are a little thin and watery with a slight earthiness. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a mild carbonation. A decent Dubbel, but a little lackluster. Fairly drinkable, but the pricing just makes it a little unapproachable for what it is.

Aug 23, 2010
Photo of donkeyrunner
3.14/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
by donkeyrunner from Massachusetts

I've been on a Belgian kick as of late.

Large, vivacious beige head settles in to a tiny bubble blanket atop my beer. In my Allagash glass as the color ascends from yellow to amber to ruby red to burgundy. Beautiful color. Bill nailed the appearance.

Aroma is faint. Really faint actually. Plum, candi sugar, anis, wet earth and a floral hop reminiscent of lavender.

Taste mirrors the aroma with earthen plum and black cherry standing out. As faint as the aroma is, the taste is even more subtle.

This beer is...too perfect? No flaws jump out at me but nothing special comes out either. If this was in a contest you could check off every requirement and it would probably win in a BJCP competition. It's standard? Kinda boring.

Aug 04, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
1.06/5  rDev -65.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1
by Arbitrator from California

Chilled bottle into a glass. Shared by alfrantzell, I believe. From notes.

A: Pours a murky amber body with off-white head. Retention is decent -- maybe a bit weak for a dubbel. No lace.

S: Plums, cherries, and cooked vegetables. Incidentally, that last bit is what inspired me to write up this review. We had Indulgence last night, and it had the same cauliflower aroma that I jotted down in my notes of this brew. It seems to be a White Birch signature.

T: Plums, cherries, apples, caramel... And cooked vegetables. I gave up taking notes here, just wrote an expletive in all caps. I encourage you to guess what that might be.

M: Medium-bodied. Carbonation is a bit low, and the finish is decidedly watery. Quite lacking in presence and satisfaction.

D: No one else at the tasting liked this. EDIT: Nickd717 liked this. No one else did. I have tasted several of this brewery's beers and they have at best been mediocre -- most are terrible. Skip.

Jul 17, 2010
Photo of nickd717
3.53/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by nickd717 from California

Bomber shared by alfrantzell I believe.

Pours slightly hazy reddish in color with an off-white head that fades to some swirly foam.

Aroma is very fruity - cherry and plum stand out - with caramel, brown sugar, and yeast.

Flavor is mildly sweet caramel malt, cherries and plums, maybe a little oak. A little oxidation maybe.

Medium-bodied with fairly lively carbonation.

Pretty decent for an American version of the style. Nobody else at the tasting liked it, but I thought it was solid.

Jun 24, 2010
Photo of jamie2dope
4.2/5  rDev +37.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by jamie2dope from Massachusetts

The bottle says that this is batch #2 and bottle 350 out of 492. Pretty damn dark for a Dubbel, it is a deep brown color, with about a finger of white head. The nose is very bready, which is interesting considering there is little to no dark fruit along with it. There is also a nice chocolate aroma that compliments the nose well. Some fruit comes through in the taste, but it is still centered in the grains and chocolate. The mouthfeel seems heavy, but does not impair the drinking experience at all. Overall I am very impressed with this Dubbel, as I have been with most of the White Birch brews. Welcome to Massachusetts!

May 23, 2010
Photo of vurt
2.13/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2
by vurt from Oregon

Batch #1, bottle number 7 of 204, poured in stages into a Bruery tulip.

A dubbel ought to be dark red/brown, while this is a golden amber at best. There's a sturdy skin of beige foam on top, which leaves decent lacing. The beer is attractive enough on its own, but doesn't really look anything like a dubbel.

Well, it's certainly fruity. Mostly pears and white grapes with a touch of clover honey. There is also a significant cooked vegetable note (broccoli? cauliflower? a touch of corn?) which really brings the nose down a couple notches. Mingling in these aromas: alcohol and a bit of crackery malt. Overall, it's no closer to a typical dubbel than the appearance.

Fruity and watery with a mildly tart edge. If the bottle didn't say "dubbel" I'd have to call this an odd Belgian-style pale, and even then it would be disappointing. Flavors of pears and fuji apples and grapes, with light honey, a bit of tart citrus, and some white wine character. LIttle flavor in the watery finish. Not bad enough to be a drain pour, but barely interesting enough to encourage the next sip. At least there isn't much of the cooked vegetable character from the nose. "Not impressed" almost feels like a compliment here.

Perhaps the best part of this beer. The carbonation is lively and light in texture. The body is a bit light, but is arguably closer to style than the other characteristics I've assessed so far.

Batch #1 of White Birch Dubbel is really not a good example of a dubbel. Too pale in color, too light in flavor, and the prominent fruitiness brings to mind the wrong kinds of fruit. Alcoholic without being particularly strong. This is not necessarily a damaged beer (aside from that cooked vegetable note in the nose), but still misses the mark in almost every way. Not recommended. I've enjoyed other beers from White Birch, so I hope the subsequent batches of this brew were closer to style.

May 22, 2010
Dubbel from White Birch Brewing
Beer rating: 73 out of 100 with 62 ratings