White Birch Barrel Aged Barley Wine | White Birch Brewing

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White Birch Barrel Aged Barley WineWhite Birch Barrel Aged Barley Wine

Brewed by:
White Birch Brewing
New Hampshire, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed in an English style, this beer is rich and malty with notes of toffee vanilla and wonderful oak. Full bodied with a smooth finish. Batch one is a beer that will drink nicely for years.

Added by barleywinebrewer on 12-10-2009

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 49 |  Reviews: 33
Photo of zestar
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of Holland
2.25/5  rDev -36.4%

Photo of Rifugium
2.05/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Whew. How do they sell this stuff? Dark rusty brown color, with a thin cap of off-white head; a little oily streaking on the glass. Looked harmless enough. Gnarly aroma, acetone, fusel alcohol, rotting wood, grease, some caramel malts coming through. Tasted basically like a strong ale aged in Windex barrels, conditioned on French fries; some caramel sweetness in there, lots of barrel notes but not really in a good way, shots of acetone and naphtha, with some lightly discernible bourbon. Body was about light-medium, thin mouthfeel for the style. Really not a pleasant beer at all. The non-BA version was at least somewhat drinkable, perhaps in very small doses. This was not. Infected? Poorly made? Both? You decide.

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Photo of Kelp
4.25/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of slvrmon82
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of hoppymcgee
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of ChadQuest
1.5/5  rDev -57.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

First off, i opened this over my sink, expecting a 2009 White Birch beer to gush, but it did not, good job at achieving what is expected.
The head is so thin in density it looks like the foam on soda and leaves as quickly. The body is a mahogany hue.
The aroma has a cherry and tannin note, cheap biting port is as close a description as i can imagine.
Flavor wise and mouthfeel wise, this is hollow and dry for a barleywine, like somehow an enormous amount of tannins from the barrels leached into this, oaky notes that remind me of beers labeled "virgin oak", cherry, and a thin low quality Shiraz, thin, alcohol in moderation and is only noticable due to how thin this is overall.

Not quite a drainpour, well, maybe i will since i am alone. 22oz of this could be too much.

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Photo of ChrisPro
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of ElGallo
2/5  rDev -43.5%

Photo of waiting4lunch
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of kirbsicles
5/5  rDev +41.2%

Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of BeerWorld
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of johnnnniee
3.84/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 1 2009
Pours a deep clear dark brown color with a solid two finger off white head that shows moderate retention and lace. Smells of oak, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, light dark fruits, hints of sherry and alcohol. Taste is sweet with caramel and brown sugar up front with hints of dark fruit midway. Light hints of vanilla and oak. Lots of warming almost burning alcohol midway and into the finish. Medium to thick body, low to moderate level of carbonation, sweet almost sticky mouthfeel. Its been a while since I had one of these, but I don't remember as big an alcohol presence as I see here today. This beer smells fantastic, and tastes pretty good if not a bit hot.

 687 characters

Photo of alpinebryant
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch One - Bottle 19 of 280 - Bottled December 7, 2009

A: Pours a large light brown head with tons of carbonation visible. dark chestnut brown with lacing present.

S: Bourbon, oak and sweet malt along with a hint of sourness.

T: When I first poured this I was worried I was going to have an infected mess, but it turned out to be ok in the end. Mostly present is a strong bourbon flavor with mixed oak tastes and roasted caramel. The caramel is muted slightly from what this probably once was as the infection has taken away some of the body and deeper flavors from this barleywine. What is left of this beer is still pretty good though. Roasted toffee, some peat flavorings and a bit of smoke.

M: Light mouthfeel for the style and I think only a hint of what it used to be.

O: Not great. I had heard great things about this a few years back and wanted to give it time in the bottle to see what developed. Unfortunately it went downhill from what it was at one time I am sure.

 984 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From womencantsail in the tickers BIF, thanks man!

Batch one, bottle 130 of 178.

It looks good for a barleywine, amber-brown and hazy with a pretty good head and heavy sheets of lace.

Dark fruits are the primary smell, along with some nice barley malt aromas. Not much alcohol at first but a little more as it warms.

Taste is strong, lots of barley going ons, with ample caramel malts, notable barrel aged character, obvious spiciness, pepper especially. It's almost a tad hot from the peppery spices and alcohol.

Body is nothing special, a bit light for a barleywine, not thick enough but adequate. Alcohol is notable.

Overall it's interesting and tasty, but not outstanding. An occasional slow sipper.

 710 characters

Photo of nhindian
2.36/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

22oz bottle poured into a Southern Tier tulip. Bottle provided by Exiled, thanks Jason!

Bottled on February 17, 2010. Batch #1, bottle #43 of 178. Another beer that has a reputation for being infected, so I decided to open it sooner rather than later...

A - The look of this beer is very pleasant. It's a burnt amber color with tinges of dark cherry to it. The head is large and rocky, culminating in 2.5-fingers worth of foam with good retention. Lacing is inconsistent but where it decides to stick it latches on for good. Relatively clear as well, with slow streams of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass.

S - The smell is interesting, and it's clear there is something a bit off in it. There's a strong alcohol presence, almost to the point where it reminds me of nail polish. Reminds me a bit of vodka rather than bourbon (I believe that's the barrel used in this beer), which isn't very appealing. Besides that overwhelming quality, it's relatively sweet and the malts come through the most. Hard to discern much besides that.

T - Again, the astringency of the alcohol and fusel nail polish tones come through again, combining with the malts to deliver a rather awkward flavor. Strangely it gives a rather fruity characteristic, giving some kind of pineapple note. Besides the heat it's rather bland, and if this is a sign of infection, I'm thankful it didn't impart a sourness to it, as it's still rather palatable, although not very enjoyable.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately light with medium carbonation. Unlike other reviews, I don't perceive a noticeable thinness to the body and it's not overly carbonated. Leaves a thin coating on the mouth.

D - Drinkability is low. I was able to drink a little over half of this before it just became a bit much. Unfortunately the experiment to trade for this beer, which I didn't hear much of before doing the trade, was a failure. Still, it seems White Birch is doing interesting things, so as long as their beers aren't notorious for being infected (ala Short's..), I'd like to try some other stuff by them.

 2,069 characters

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.06/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Courtesy of jcwattsrugger over on ratebeer. Pours deep copper with slight haziness and tan head. The aroma has grapefruit notes, soured citrus and some yeast as well as a mild level of sweet bourbon and spicy oak. The aromatics seem to be at odds with one another. The taste is pretty thin and watery with soured tropical notes, grapefruit hops, some tart notes and more sour citrus before mild bourbon and spicy oak slowly murmur to the surface. It ends with the addition of fusel like highlights.

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Photo of airohead2001
2.15/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This one was consumed as a courtesy from glazeman.

Let's be up front - this beer was a complete drainpour. It was clearly infected - didn't get any bourbon in the nose, no hops, no rich malts - just some yeast and bitters. Ewww.

The taste was just as bad - just infected...

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Photo of glazeman
1.69/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I haven't had a drain pour in a while...I guess I was due for one. I got 2 of this in separate trades...I guess the word is out...

A: This was easily the best part of this beer. It was a dark brown in color with a 1.5 finger light tan head.

S: There's some bourbon. There's some caramel, and then some strange astringency.

T: Obviously infected. There is a gross chalky taste and a slightly sour aftertaste. I took two sips to make sure and then poured the rest down the drain.

M: the viscosity is ok, the carbonation is slightly high. the aftertaste is terrible.

D: The worst imaginable drinkability. Poured it down the drain after two sips.

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White Birch Barrel Aged Barley Wine from White Birch Brewing
3.54 out of 5 based on 49 ratings.
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