White Birch Cherry Quad
White Birch Brewing

White Birch Cherry QuadWhite Birch Cherry Quad
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Style:
Belgian Quadrupel (Quad)
ABV:
11.7%
Score:
85
Avg:
3.44 | pDev: 17.15%
Reviews:
29
Ratings:
35
From:
White Birch Brewing
 
New Hampshire, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  10
Gots
  3
SCORE
85
Very Good
White Birch Cherry QuadWhite Birch Cherry Quad
Notes: We buy the best fresh cherries we can get locally and spontaneously ferment the cherries starting in August. After a couple of months or so, we take the cherries and surviving wild yeasts and add them to our Quad. The mix of Quad, house yeast and cherries make for a rich, sweet, and lightly tart cherry flavor. It has a medium light body and soft carbonation. Made once per year.
Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 35 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by largadeer:
Photo of largadeer
1.8/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Murchmac shared this one a while back. Thanks, Tim. Another curious brew from White Birch.

It's an incredibly turbid, almost milky looking beer. Despite the upper level of carbonation, it retains no head or lacing. The aroma is predominantly bubblegum. There's a bit of cherry in there, almost artificial in character, and a healthy dose of apple cider. On the palate it's more apple juice than cherry, though there's still a fair amount of medicinal cherry character. The body is strangely viscous and almost chalky with a brief cidery finish. This is one of the more bizarre beers I've ever tasted, and in the end I think we all sacrificed our glasses to the drain.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of jdhilt
3.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a five+ finger white head that vanishes instantly leaving no lace. Hazy amber color. Fierce carbonation and medium bodied. Tart cherry nose, flavor is same tart cherry, some sweetness, dry finish. High ABV is hidden. Not worth $14.95 for a 22oz bottle from Bert's Better Beers Hooksett, NH.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.97/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Pours cloudy copper with a quarter inch head that fizzled to a barren surface with barely a trace of dotted lacing throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with musty fruit, appleskins, dried jam, powdered cloves, and orange oil. A trace of cherry hard candies is there if you really look for it. Funky with a tart promise.

On the thin side of medium bodied with a lightly crisp mouthfeel. Mildly sticky and tacky. Carbonation low for the style.

Overly ripe fruit, soured apples, and sweet malt start the palate. Traces of grape jam, cider, woodsy tannins, and spicey alcohol follow through.

Finishes with a mildly lactic twang, a papery dryness, and lingering honey-drizzeled sour fruits.

A very unique beer. The cherries are very subdued but the jammy quad character is underneath all the funk. Definately would need more rich malt and cherries to get it closer to the moniker.

It will be interesting to see where this one goes in the cellar. If the tartness ramps up to full-on sour in the next few years I can see this one killing.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled January, 2011.
Batch OLS Special Edition
Bottle 117 of 237.
ABV of 10% on label.
In a goblet the beer was a dark ruby brown color with a medium tan head. Not much lace.
Tart cherry aroma, sweet, sugary. A little bit of chocolate.
Taste followed aroma. Tart cherry, brown sugar, chocolate.
Sharp, almost medicinal, mouthfeel.
One and done.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of gestyr
4.42/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into the glass a deep red-brown. A light head gives way to lacing.

Aroma of fruit.. cherries, figs, dates. raisins. Malty and caramel aromas mix in.

Tastes... malty with caramel notes followed by subtle flavor of cherries and other fruit. It finishes off with cherries and a nice warming alcohol.

Medium to full mouthfeel with light carbonation

Overall, I was happy with this beer. There was a variety of flavors that got more intense as it warmed up. I will buy again.

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Photo of GbVDave
3.77/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. Special thanks to Vanillamike for this from one of our trades!

Bottled: January 12, 2010
Batch: One
Bottle: 43 of 185
ABV: Alc. 11.7% by Vol.

A: First pour was exceedingly clear. Maybe a slight chill haze. Second pour (with all the swirled sediment) was a light milky brown. Like melted caramel. Hardly any head and no lace to speak of.

S: Slight bit of vinegar mixed with funky cherries. As it warms it takes on a definite jammy cherry aroma with an undercurrent of dirt.

T: The tiny vinegar of the nose doesn't transfer over to the taste. Mostly cherry juice with some earthy and dirty funk.

M: Certainly not as thick and chewy as a Westy and/or ABT 12, but surprisingly smooth considering the funk and cherries. A bit of a cider-like prickle during the finish.

D: Really pretty un-Quadlike. But saying that, I rather enjoyed it. Would love to see this as more of a rich, sweet, and malty Quad with the cherries. I'm thinking that would be killer!

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Photo of Murchmac
3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks NHLakesBrewer. This is the fermented cider answer to fermented apple cider.

Pours a cloudy dehydrated discharge from miso soup.

Smells like cherry bubble gum harvest.

Tastes like WTF? Juicy fruit mixed with soap mixed with cider and finishes mild.

JANE Stop this crazy thing.

A for effort. C for weirdness.

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Photo of DIM
4.03/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Bill for bringing a few of these down for Jes and I. We both liked them a lot.

a: This was a clear, dark cola brown with cherry highlights. It poured with a stiff, thick fizzy head.

s: Brown sugar, toffee, some faint dark fruits, and of course, plenty of funkily tart cherries. The alcohol is mild, well incorporated, and does not suggest such an elevated abv.

t: We split the last bottle last night and I don't think we should have waited. It was still quite good, but the cherry flavors had faded to a surprising extent. It starts off sweet with rich caramel, brown sugar, and toffee. The finish is cherries and, surprisingly, a fairly pronounced chocolate note.

m: Big and chewy with lush, fizzy carbonation.

o: If you have one, drink it now. These are better fresh imo, the first bottle we spilt was an "A" at least. Thanks again Bill.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.04/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I was pleased to be able to try a White Birch ale for the first time, thanks to Unclejedi for sharing.

A - A murky and strange appearance like fresh pressed grapes light red with creamy appearance, yet appears slightly light in body. The beer seems to have a yeasty appearance with no head whatsoever - it doesn't look very appetizing, but not offensive either.

S - The beer has a strange wild yeast aroma that is both fruity w/ possibly bitter cherry notes and band-aid w/ a medicinal aroma that is not especially pleasant

M - The feel is medicinal like the smell, tart w/ a hint of vegetal creamy and mild yeast influence with very low sweetness and not high in acidity, but mildly astringent

T - The taste has gentle cherry flavor w/ subtle malt notes and leads to a medicinal/band-aidy taste 1/2 way through which is fine for a few sips given it has wild yeast in the process, yet it detracts and causes the fruit notes to seem diminished in the overall flavor and wasn't pleasant IMO

D - I could not say it was a very tasty fruit accented belgian ale. The wild yeast doesn't add anything positive for me and while not horrible, I could take it or leave it. It lacks the kind of cherry you expect since the wild yeast dries it out

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Photo of ffejherb
2.53/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to unclejedi for sharing this bomber on 2/3/10.

A - Emerged from the bomber as a cloudy, cider-like liquid with caramely orange hues and a minimal head that disappeared completely.

S - It didn't take me very long to pinpoint the aroma of this Quad, but you know what? This beer smells like a McDonald's cheeseburger with ketchup and pickle... no shit! Seriously, the aroma of this beer is tangy and vinegary. I swear this smells like when you first open the cheeseburger wrapper and a waft of pickle tickles your senses. With that said, there is obviously not much cherry character here.

T - The flavor features cherry more prominently than cheeseburger, although the vinegar character still persists, this time in the form of slightly sour notes, perhaps Brett. While this tastes better than it smells, I'm not overly thrilled by the flavor.

M - Extremely thin mouthfeel for a Quad and very softly carbonated. Finishes slightly sour on the palate.

D - Not digging this Quad at all, actually. AT ALL. I find it to be way too heavy on the vinegar. Reminds me more of ketchup and pickle than cherry, and I just couldn't get past it, I'm afraid. Funny thing too is... I love McDonald's cheeseburgers. Go figure!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.32/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another one from bill that has a bit of history to it. i tried this when it was just a homebrew so i was anxious to be able to the production version

smooth and even look to it, nice dark color with light ruby hints around the sides and the bottom and nice sticky lacing all arounb the glass.

aroma is rather odd but really works for me, tart cherries mixed with currants and dark fruits, figs and touches of spices that seem to really see,m to work quite nicely i have to admit. warming brings out more of the rich spicy notes and a well blended and full prfile. dark grape seeds, caramel, herbal notes, lots of cherries and dark fruits. a touch of booze and a warm note of oak like flavors finishes it off.

overall i was veyr pleased with the way this one turned out, just outstanding

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Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber into several glasses. Thanks go to unclejedi for bringing this one out.

Pours a nice looking hazy rose, with just a bit of white colored head that stays relatively rich around the edges, leaving some spotty foam on the sides of the glass, before eventually fizzling out into more of a dead look. The yeast and cherries work some strange magic in the aroma, with the fruity tartness of the cherries being detectable but the majority of this smelling sugary and even a little bit cheesy.

The cherry comes out much stronger in the taste, along with some candied sugars from the Quad, and then some yeasty funk in the back. The finish is mostly tartness from the cherries and is probably my favorite part of the profile. The mouthfeel is medium boded, maybe even a touch thicker, with a lower feeling carbonation that sits in the mouth with some heaviness. Pretty good hiding of the alcohol here as well, considering that this this is in the 11-12% range.

You know, I think that I must have enjoyed this a bit more than the other guys that split this bottle as I overall didn't think that this was too bad. The interesting flavors took some getting used to at first but after a while, I was digging the tart stickiness that this was putting out. This was my first brew from White Birch and it piqued my interest enough for me to want to try some more from them.

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Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of jwheeler85
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

a- hazy reddish pink cidery appearance, no head

s- slight sourness upfront, apple, cherry, yeasty notes, almost cobbler like, but tart, maybe a hint of oak, very delicate slightly sweet cherry layered on top of the sour cherry profile

t- hot alcohols initially (may just have been a shock to my palette), then smooths out; very blended tart cherry, apple, and mild sourness. long medium-dry finish. hides alcohol well (after the initial shock that came with the first few sips). overall flavor emphasizes dryness and tartness. Some bittering on back of the tongue midway through each sip.

m- in my opinion, probably the biggest shortcoming: watery and soft with fine tongue prickling co2

d- on one hand, the relatively watery mouthfeel makes this beer more drinkable... on the other hand, 11.7% is 11.7% no matter what you do to make it seem lighter. drink with caution

i really wanted to like this beer much more than i did. i think that the sourness overpowered a lot of the more subtle flavors. this beer has a lot of potential for greater complexity. i would also have expected a beer such as this to have a thicker mouthfeel... would make it more to style. a higher lever of carbonation would have also made it nicer to drink.

i'm interested to see how this beer changes in future batches.

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Photo of younger35
3.05/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received this as an extra from one Mr. BeerTruth in a trade. Spontaneously fermented with cherries? Sold! Drank from a random pint glass while overlooking the lake on vacation.

Appearance- Pours a light hazy orange with a big fizzy two fingered white head. The cap and collar are nonexistent after 10 seconds and obviously no lacing remains.
Smell- Lightly tart and really not quad like at all with a somewhat lemon and light cherry smell. I get a light woody aspect as a tinge of vanilla and oak work their way in. Something ever so slightly dingy shows as I'm assuming the yeast is the culprit. Not the most intense nose ever.
Taste- Starts with a fairly earthy tone that is yeasty and lightly tart. The cherries are very underwhelming as the fruit is minimal. The beer is very dry and quenching as a sort of odd bitterness takes over. The wood on the beer lingers as does a thick bite of booze. I don't quite get the quad out of this one. As it warms the beer almost turns to a sort of weird dingy flavor. A bit of tart something lingers and does that dirtiness.
Mouthfeel- Very dry and quenching with a medium to light body and a touch of warmth on the finish.
Drinkability- The beer is definitely unique and a great idea but in the end it's not the greatest beer. Maybe some time would have helped? No idea - but right now it's strange. I didn't have a problem finishing the bottle but a bit more cherry could have helped. Thanks much Adam!!

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 1/2011 Batch OLS Special Edition.
Pours a solid clear dark brown color with beautiful ruby highlights and a good sized creamy tan head that displays moderate retention and lace. Smell is sweet and malty with a tart fruity edge. Caramel and brown sugar with a dark malty aroma mixed with some tart fruit, cherries perhaps, with a hint of ethanol. Taste is malty with dark sugars and a bit oxidized. Tart fruit comes into play but is not really as prevalent as in the aroma. Alcohol burn comes in a little to remind us this is 10% abv. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a tart sweet almost sticky mouthfeel. Nice brew, not as thick or sweet as some quads, and the cherry is really subtle. I'd drink this again, but I'd really love to see more cherry.

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Photo of jlindros
3.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark coca cola brown color with light head.

Nose has nice cherry aroma, some darker malts, a bit of syrupy sugars, bit of bolotin cherry, very light herbal hops.

Taste is semi sweet nice darker Belgian malts, light spicy, touch of herbal hops, nice rich malts, light cherry (bolotin cherry), sweet fruit, eating dark chocolate on the side really pulls the cherry out.

Mouth is medium to heavier bodied, decent but lighter carbonation.

Overall not bad, a decent cherry flavor, unfortunate that is starts with the original quad which was sub par, but not bad.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.17/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled: January 12, 2010
Batch: 1
Bottle: 175 of 185
ABV: 11.7%

Pours a very hazy golden color with a good amount of orange and red hue, small head that fades fast and leaves no lacing along the glass.

Smell has at first a strong whiff from the bottle of cherry tartness, that soon melds with the malt backing and works together rather well.

Taste is not overwhelming in any aspect, light sour/tartness that comes from the cherries with the malt smoothing things over with a bit of candied sugar, the carbonation is spot on with a decent stickiness afterwards, the odd thing is when it's in my mouth it feels thin and hurts the mouthfeel, followup has a slight tartness that is nice.

This is dangerously drinkable, I have a hard time picking up any of the alcohol and would never believe this to be 11.7%. One thing to note though, this is not very Quad like, although I'm not sure what style I would classify this as.

Edit: Tried the most recent batch and it is more Quad like and less tart funky, not sure if it's an improvement in my eyes, but at least the style is now more accurate.

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Photo of rlasker3
4.5/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

My first review.

First off, I am not a sour beer fan so when I read that this beer used a spontaneous fermenting of the cherries I was a bit nervous. But, given that this beer was such a limited release and all of the White Birch stuff has been well brewed, I snapped up 3 bottles.

On first pour I noticed a cloudiness that made me think of yeast at the bottom of the bottle. Once the pour was finished it seemed like a murky copper.

When I sniffed it the funk of the fermentation was very evident. I got nervous at that point.

On my first sip my fears seemed confirmed. I immediately noticed the funk of the spontaneous fermentation but it still was very smooth. I could feel the tension in the back of my jaw but it wasn't overpowering. After a few sips the initial pop of the funk was subdued and the nuances of the beer came out.

By the end of the glass I was fully enjoying the beer. It is very well balanced and involves all the senses of the mouth. Initially there is a tingle on the tip of the tounge. Next is the tart along the lower jaw. Last is a smooth light velvet to the back of the mouth. I can hardly believe that the alcohol is so high. I can't taste it. I'm guessing the tart is just enough to hide it. I often compare Kate the Great to a chocolate whiskey. Very smooth but you know it's strong, not this. I would on taste put it's alcohol at 8 - 9% not 13.

I'm very happy to say that this is the first tart beer I have enjoyed (perhaps the Consecration as well). BUt, it is so well balanced and nuanced that if you get over the initial pop of the spontaneous fermentation there is a world of flavor behind it.

Thanks for reading my first review BM me with your thought on this beer.

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Photo of maximum12
2.81/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to msulinski, Weyerbacher dealer supreme, for dropping this into a trade as an extra this summer. Looking forward to trying White Birch & this is my first bottle. Pop.

Bottled 1/12/10, 76 of 185, split with my wife after opening a disappointingly infected 2009 Abyss (my second bad one). Pours a rabid orange that scorces the eyes like Florida sun bouncing off an orange grove. Forward carbonation. Smell is sharply wild, with a bare undertone of cherry. Mildly musty, too. The partying yeast seems to have won the battle, at least at first blush.

White Birch Cherry Quad brings more cherry in the taste than the nose. The sweetness of the cherries is overpowered by muscled wild yeasts, overbalancing the cherries instantly into tartness. The quad-ness, sugar, is scarcely noticeable.

Unfortunately the wild yeasts have seized control of the brew ten months into its tenure, obliterating whatever other aspects of the brew that might have been evident when it was a toddler. Not bad, but there's nothing quad left about this one.

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Photo of photomike
3/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of Kelp
3/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of KeefD
3.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pale reddish-orange color with a small head that was gone in a flash, no lacing, good carbonation however. Light cherry in the nose, followed by a lighter musty-like aroma, with a touch of quad qualities buried deep in the back. Flavor is kinda throwing me off on this one. I can taste the cherries, but they're in such light amounts, it's hard to really get a grasp on what they add to the beer, but it does bring some mild tartness to the table. The base beer isn't very quad-like. It's lightly sweet and a tad thin for the style. I'm really not sure what they were going for in this beer. Body is very thin, carbonation is under control however. This is my third offering from WB, and I can honestly say I'm not overly impressed with what they're putting out. The beers are decent, but nothing to write home about. I appreciate Rochefort10nh sending these my way so I could have the chance to try them, but that being said, I don't think I'll be searching any of them out again in the future.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.03/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours an amber color with quite a bit of orange and almost no head, but a bit of carbonation.

S: Smells like cherries, sort of sour, in fact. A little bit of metallic notes to it. It's kind of funky, which I wasn't expecting at all. Overall, though, the nose is pretty light.

T: Sour cherries and tootsie rolls on the front end. A big metallic flavor to go with it and a touch of grass. Seems to be a little vegetal as well. A touch of apple cider in there, for some reason.

M: The body is fairly light with a moderate to high level of carbonation.

D: Nothing really quad-like about this, and this has quite a few off-flavors to it.

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White Birch Cherry Quad from White Birch Brewing
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 35 ratings