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White Birch Wrigian | White Birch Brewing

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White Birch WrigianWhite Birch Wrigian
Very Good
53 Ratings
White Birch WrigianWhite Birch Wrigian

Brewed by:
White Birch Brewing
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with a complimentary blend of rye and hops to highlight the spicy nature of rye.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 40
Reviews by Kinsman:
Photo of Kinsman
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into chalice. Batch #2 bottled on March 4, 2010

Cloudy bronze colored body with lighter orange highlights. Capped by an impressive thick head with decent retention.

Aroma is bready with the rye providing a good bit to the smell. Slight sweetness is detected along with the spice notes, but are very subdued.

Rye malt contributes a strong flavor in the body with the yeast character adding to the bread flavors. Clove and other spices back up the malt and the hop flavors seem to add a minimal amount of bitterness, and help round out the flavor.

Well rounded and full bodied while being quite deceptive with hiding the alcohol give this a high score for mouthfeel. Overall this is a very unique beer and highly enjoyable.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 1, bottle 26 of 228.
Brewed March 3, 2010.
A hazy orange brown color with a medium-sized tan head. Rye apparent in the aroma, some sweet fruit, and spice. Taste of rye, banana, and clove. A little bit timid. 10% ABV not at all noticeable. Decent beer.

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

Bottled: mar 2011
Batch: Two
Bottle # 1170

A spot-on amber in color, light delicate head, fluffy and fizzy.

Dry, very subtle nose, earthy and natural. Pleasant rye and wheat, pepper and herbs, dry hard wood.

A righteously crispy feel and flavor of rye, wheat and peppery yeast, subtle yeast though. Pretty complex, amber malt, slightly tangy aftertaste. the house yeast has pretty good complexity overall.

Bring it! NH brewers!

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Photo of LukeD23
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mucky mahagony with a thin head.

Aroma is really intreuging. I really like the complexity of dates and cocoa. Dried fruits meld well with spicy yeast character.

Flavor is good as well. Cocoa and a hint of toffee roll into a spicy peppery dry finish.

The mouthfeel is full upfront but finishes thin and dry.

I like this beer and am very impressed with it coming from a nano!

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Photo of russpowell
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from LarryG in my last trade, review based on notes from about 2 months ago...

Bottle 111 of 504 pours an effervescent chestnut & a sliver of mocha head. Some floaties, average head retention & lacing

S: Pears, cherries & some oaky notes

T: Tartness, figs, a bit of apple peel & candi sugar up front. Dryness, peppery notes imparted from the rye as this warms along with much pear & apple & some sour notes. Finishes warming, with a slightly figgy boozeyness & more tartness

MF: Medium bodied & slight carbonation

Drinks easy, a bit off style, but a nice sour none the less...

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Photo of BelgianPrincess
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Belgian Rye Pale Ale pours cloudy-straw-golden with a nice 1/2 inch white head. Beer drinkers who look for clarity may be disappointed, but I say a blind man's taste-buds are just as good if not better.

Smell is of subtle malt, hops, and oak.

Rye spiciness, oak, hops, belgian malt, and a hint of sourness from the wild yeast due to barrel-aging bring this beer to a nice balance. Hops are used sparingly as the rye brings a spiciness that only needs a playful nudge from them to shine.

Medium to light bodied, this is crisp. Your marriage with hops as sole provider of tongue sensation has been corrupted by this mistress of rye. Can you ever feel the same?

The first time I tried this, I thought it was ~8%... nope 10.40%... watch out!

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Photo of claaark13
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of puboflyons
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From Batch Three, #418 of 504. Sampled on May 24, 2010. It pours a handsome dark amber brown with ruby hues when held to the light. Not a lot of head to speak of but the ring remains. The aroma has minor notes of bitter hops and caramel malts but overall it is muted. There is also a little bit of alcohol noticeable. The mouthfeel is full and creamy. The taste is more sour than bitter with a yeasty sensation and a thin but dry hop aftertaste. It was satisfying on a hot day.

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Photo of akorsak
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bill for this 650 mL bottle at BCTC. Batch 3, bottle 25 of 504.

A: The ale has a dark amber color, caramel-like, or perhaps cola-like. An off-white head, a finger or so on pour, dissapates gradually, leaving only a thin band behind.

S: Dark caramel malts, musty Belgian yeast, a dash of spicy dark rye. A bit of molasses and dark candi sugars round things out.

T: Rye and darker caramel flavors are present, leading things off. Sour green apples follow, an unusual follower to the dark malts. The yeast dries my mouth out, forcing me to take another sip. Chocolate is slow to emerge but it does, a second banana to the tartness. Interesting? Yes. Belgian? To its core. The rye/chocolate/apple finish is a nice deal-sealer.

M: The mouthfeel is unique. The tartness seems out of place at first, only to mature nicely into the roll. As a rye afficionado, I'd live to taste more of that spicy grain, but that's a minor complaint.

D: A BSPA? That's pretty damned dark to me. That being said, the ale has a lot going on; unfortunately it misses the mark sometimes. I suppose that's a sign of brilliance though: some get it and some don't. As a plus, the 10% is well-hidden.

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Photo of SickGnar
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Warm ambery copper with a good size, slightly golden, off-white head. Settles slowly to a nice skim of foam. Second pour from 22oz bomber is far more hazy. Very minimal lace.

S: Very fruity – pears & plums mostly, but also hints of apples, dates, figs and more. Candied sweetness underlies the fruity esters. Good amount of rye spice in the background bready malts. Hint of Belgian yeast notes that grows as it warms, and is far more yeasty in the second pour from the bomber.

T: Spicy rye is foremost here. It adds a really nice kick to the bready & caramelly malts. Belgian yeast funk is even more present than the nose. The mélange of fruit esters is also here, but more focused on plum. Though balanced to malts, this is backed by a reasonably firm bitterness with strongly woody and slightly herbal hop character.

M: Medium plus body with carbonation to match. Quite a fair amount of tacky sugar sweetness up front, but it ends slightly drying.

D: A nice, very Belgian, pale ale. A regular pale – not a strong one – my bottle says abv 6.3%. Solid base pale with rich Belgian character & an interesting rye twist. Full of flavor and very drinkable.

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Photo of CheckMate
4.64/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber from the second batch obtained at The Drinkery in Londonderry, NH split with BA member MrHurmateeowish. pours a murky brown with about a half inch of off white head. scent of spicy rye immediately jumps at the nose with nothing in the background. taste of spicy rye bread, with some earthy hops in the background. medium bodied and moderate carbonation. the first sip invites another. the beer reminds me of a nice artisan bread. I will definitely be picking up another bomber or two of this!


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Photo of mikesgroove
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another one of Bill's fine creations that I get to sample. I was thrilled to be able to open this one up at Owen's party last night and it was once of the first bottles gone, obviously a favorite. Served in a snifter, this one was consumed on 05/16/2010.

Great pour here. Golden amber in color with a big head of white across the top. Reaches a height of nearly two fingers before settling back down to reality and leaving a wonderfully balanced look to it. Nice carbonation could be seen streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Aroma is light at first but builds very quickly. Bready malts, touches of light spice, rye one would have to assume, pears, light tart apples. Warming seems to really bring out a nice balance here as well with the rye really starting to pull its weight. Each sip is clean and refreshing, just what it should be with a very mellow and balanced taste. Again light fruits, pears and apples lead the way, but quickly bready notes, spiced rye, a very light lemon like kicker come into play. Grassy in the finish with a light dryness that begs you to go back for another sip while at the same time really hiding the abv quite well.

Another winner here from Bill. Great take on a style that can at times be a bit overplayed. Really nice use of rye and great little fruit bites.

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Photo of david18
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't know that I'd have characterized this as a belgian strong pale as it had a lot more going on than a typical belgian strong pale. It almost reminded me of a typical Bruery beer. Overall it wasn't bad, a little strong but a lot of fruit character.

Color was almost amber more than it was pale. Typical of a belgian style ale there was a lot of active carbonation that lasted a long time. Aroma had a lot of fruit, citrus, plum and banana. Flavor was a little hot but also featured the same characteristics as the aroma. Overall an ok beer but not my favorite. I am curious about this brewery, it's one of two beers I got from them and would love to try some others.

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Photo of GeezLynn
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Bottle 67 out of 228. Bottle obtained in a trade with markskar

Color is a cloudy golden orange with a modest white head sitting atop. Retention is not too impressive.

Hops and yeast are pretty apparent in the aroma, but I don't get any spicy notes as expected with the rye. It does have some nice apple and pear characters along with some vinegar.

Flavor starts slightly bitter, with some sweet fruit (apple in particular), lemon, and then quickly moves to a malty bread flavor. The finish is abrupt and surprisingly clean. No off flavors, but very soft to the point of blandness, which I don't look for in this style.

Mouthfeel is quite thin with low carbonation. Very unsatisfying and probably the biggest weakness for this beer.

Overall, the flavor and aroma were decent, but too watered-down. Not bad, but I didn't pick up much rye and don't think this would stand up very well to some of the food pairings suggested on the bottle. On the positive side, the 10.1% abv was hidden very well.

Thanks Mark!

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Photo of boothbeer
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to jrae2424 for this bottle. Bottle 115/228. 10.1%

A: Pours a cloudy golden straw yellow with a tiny bubble white head. Good head retention.

S: Really like the aroma. Nice spicy yeast smell. Some lemon zest as well as tart green apples. Little bit of cloves and cinnamon. But the rye is hidden.

T: Lots of breadiness to this one. None of the citrus in the flavor that I picked up in the aroma. However, I do pick up some rye here. Bitter hops in the finish. Sounds strange, but this lacks a flavor. Sort of bland. I was expecting better after the nice aroma.

M: Body is on the thin side with low carbonation. Leaves the mouth dry.

D: Went down easy for 10%. Good summer time beer, but wish it had a better flavor profile.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased at Table & Vine, West Springfield, MA. Batch Four, Bottled December 10, 2010, Bottle Count 768.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head over the cloudy red brew. Head fades slowly, with leggy, but fleeting lacing. Aroma is fruity, with rich depth of spicing.

Taste starts lightly sweet, middle finds a mouthful of spicing, from probably both rye and yeast. Close is citrus and lightly bitter. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, and drinkability is good as well. Could use a bit more depth/chewiness, but flavors are interesting and enjoyable.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
2/5  rDev -47.5%

Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch #3.

A: Pours a semi thick rich head that fades somewhat quickly, and then stops at a lighter head covering. A dark beer with a brown sugar raisin color, and hints of light barely getting through.

N: Lots of sweet malts, some dark malts and pale malts alike. Dark rich fruits, raisin, plum, even a very slight pumpkin, and more. Then a slight spice aroma that would come with pumpkin beers but extremely light, and some rye with all that. A slightly spicy but mostly fruity rye aroma.

T: Starts with a lot of fruit, tons of it. It has some rye malt flavors, mostly fruity rye and not a lot of spicy rye. Lots of malts, dark and pale, and pretty sweet. It has some toasty sugars, molasses, and a touch of yeast. Slight booze with that too. The fruits are all over the board, it's hard to label which ones, and there's definitely some sour fruits in there too. It also has some honey and sweet braggot like flavors, that are not as much my cup of tea. The booze adds a slight warming and tingly feel.

M: Medium body with good carbonation, and then some warming tingly booze.

F: Finishes still pretty sweet but dries quite a bit. It then gets more of that fruit flavor that I can't label, with more rye, again fruity rye and not so much spicy. A little malt flavors too, with some syrupy sticky sweet flavors also lingering.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger white head that fades quickly leaving traces of lace. Ugly murky brown color, with some yeast left in bottle. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Fruity nose and flavor is fruit that is neither tart nor sweet. Good but not a Belgian strong ale. Higher ABV (label has 7.0%) is hidden. Bottled Dec 10, 2010, batch 4. $9.49 for a 22oz bottle, from Concord Cooperative Concord, NH.

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

Batch 2, March 2011, 6.3% ABV

Very large, slowly fading head. LOTS of chunky lace on the glass. Orange-amber color with a moderate amount of cloudiness.

My initial impression is Root Beer, but completely dry. On second smell, I detect what reminds me of freshly peeled bark--something I've never smelled before in a beer. It's appealing and unusual.

The first notable taste is the classic taste of Belgian yeast. Very smooth, rich body with a good amount of carbonation. While the beer is in the mouth, it's completely malty (and yeasty). The swallow brings out the bittering hop. More of a balancing touch than a kick in the throat.

Batch 3 from May 2011 (7.0% abv)

This batch smells of deep, sweet caramel. The taste is similar with warming alcohol in the background. Based on my previous notes, this seems to be quite different.

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Photo of portia99
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle (batch 2, #66 of 288, bottled on 3/4/2010) received as a gift from my sister, poured into a Duvel tulip. This bottle is labeled as 10.4% alcohol.

A - Pours a deep golden amber color with just a touch of haze and two fingers of long lasting, fluffy white head. The foam just doesn't wanna give it up - I keep waiting for it to fall, but it just isn't happening very fast. When it falls, no lacing left behind.

S - Overall, light in aroma intensity. I get some Belgian yeasty aromas of cloves and some cinnamon to go along with some fruitiness - I'm getting mainly apples up front. Bready malt remains in the background giving just a light aroma presence.

T - Spicy up front - cinnamon, cloves, some black pepper. Followed by a good hit of alcohol flavor, but not much for warmth, some phenols, higher alcohols. Fruity flavors join the club with apples, some light lemony notes. Malt is a bit on the sweet side, but not overpowering - also gives a bit of breadiness, but largely sits in the background quietly.

M - A bit too light to be called medium bodied...perhaps a bit too light for ideal for me too. Carbonation is plentiful and tingles with prickly bubbles on the tongue. No real alcohol warmth despite the very high level here.

D - Enjoying this one. Good flavors and aromas, but not an especially easy drinker. Alcohol is quite high. Drinking this bottle on my own, seems to be just right, but I may feel otherwise in the morning. Glad to try this one - definitely worth a shot.

M -

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Photo of Schmaltzy
4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Given to me as an extra from Dave, Thanks.
Bottle #147 of 228

A- Pours a ridiculously cloudy apricot color with 1 finger white head that was reduced to slight patches not leaving much lacing.

S- Wow pretty interesting here, some nice sweet rye and malt with like a lemon zest and apple or pear juice finishes with a nice rye bread smell.

T- I get a lot of orange on the tounge at fist followed by the apple/pear juice, some nice sweet malts with sweet bready yeast flavors followed by some nice spicy rye.

M- nice and light which is strange for the very well hidden 10.1 % alcohol content. Low fluffy carbontation that is nice and refreshing.

D- Really easy to drink for the 10%, too easy infact. Really light and refreshing, I enjoyed it greatly.

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

Batch 1 3/3/2010
Pours a slightly hazy deep golden straw kind of color with an impish bubbly white head that dissipates quickly to a ring and leaves some lace on the way down. The aroma fills my nostrils with a spicy rye bread character, some clove phenols, hints of lemon and apples or pears. Taste is a little sweet with honey and brown sugar mixed up with some rye bread and spice. I get some pomaceous fruit especially as she warms. Lingering pepper and rye in a moderately dry finish. Moderate carbonation, medium body, light, slick mouthfeel. I rather enjoyed this one. Bill's beer's seem to follow a subtle/light and extremely drinkable pattern and this one is no exception. 10% alcohol is virtually impossible to find. Great brew!

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Photo of jski
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

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White Birch Wrigian from White Birch Brewing
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 53 ratings