White Birch Indulgence Ale | White Birch Brewing

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White Birch Indulgence AleWhite Birch Indulgence Ale
78 Ratings
White Birch Indulgence AleWhite Birch Indulgence Ale

Brewed by:
White Birch Brewing
New Hampshire, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Permit us to indulge our creative side. Made with copious amounts of chocolate malts. Highlights include sweet chocolate aromas and dark chocolate and coffee notes in the finish. Smooth, deceptive and decadent. Not a stout, not a porter, pitch black and just plain fun. The chocolate malt and our grain mill disagree vigorously so we only make this from time to time.

Added by Bierman9 on 04-22-2010

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 78 |  Reviews: 45
Reviews by akorsak:
Photo of akorsak
4.02/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A wax-capped bomber, personalized from my brother and sister-in-law.

A: The ale is pitch black, absolute darkness in all of its murky depth. The viscous brew is a sight to behold. A dark tan head, a cordoban leather color, leaves a few patches of lace from a rather vigourous pour.

S: The nose is roasted, burnt malts and coffee, cut with the sweet by-products of Belgian yeast. Nuts and toffee along with spicy fruits drive home the Belgian stout hybrid.

T: Mmmm, roasty. The stout is formidable, dark and burnt. Toffee, nuts and chocolate are prevalent, each adding depth to the stout's body. Belgian yeast makes a strong impression, sweetening up the dark body with fruits and spices. I detect some cinnamon along with pale fleshy fruits. The Belgian flavors are strongest in the last third of the bomber. Generally though, the stout rules the day in a very warming way, much stronger than the label's 7.1% would indicate. This is a beer that I can get behind (and my name is on the label).

M: The mouthfeel is big, much larger than the label suggests. A warming stout, the sweeter flavors are a welcome diversion.

D: The ale feels much, much bigger than it actually is. That limits the drinkability of the stout. Too bad because the richness of the flavors is very nice.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.82/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled March 19,2010
Batch 1
Bottle 165 of 204
This beer was a black color with a really thick orange/brown head that disappeared quickly.
Nice aroma: chocolate, yeast, roasted malt, and licorice.
Tasted more of coffee, still some chocolate. Cereal.
Fairly good mouthfeel, a little too carbonated for me.

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Photo of MrUse
3.92/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of far333
3.24/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Inky dark blackish brown with ruddy highlights and a HUGE head of rocky foam that rises up way too high almost overflowing the glass even with a careful and controlled pour. The foam slowly sizzles down to a low fine cap.

Inviting aroma of roasty malt and cocoa, some bitter coffee and subtle smoke. Rich flavors of darkly roasted malt, cocoa, espresso, licorice, leather and smoke. Very malty, very chocolately.

Mouthfeel is where this beer falls apart. It is seriously overcarbonated. Even after the enormous head recedes, the beer is difficult to drink because it's so gassy. A big burp punctuates every other mouthful. There's a burning sensation in my mouth as physics takes over and the beer tries to degas itself on contact with the tongue and cheeks. I actually feel my cheeks expanding as it sizzles and bubbles. In all of that I can sense that the body is thin, could be more viscous. And to add insult to injury the last few sips have to fight with chunky sediment left in the bottom of the glass.

Overall this beer has potential, but the interesting flavors are overshadowed by the unpleasant experience of actually trying to drink it. This is the second beer from White Birch that has been way overcarbonated. The biggest "Indulgence" was that I paid $11 for this bomber. Ouch.

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Photo of glid02
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle via trade with sisuspeed - thanks!

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of heavily roasted malts with good amounts of dark chocolate and lighter amounts of char. Also present are mild amounts of roasted coffee.

Tastes alright. Heavy roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by good amounts of dark chocolate flavors. Midway through the sip the malt flavors turn slightly off with mild amounts of bruised and mildly tart dark fruits. The off-flavors fade out into roasted coffee flavors that carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this is one of the better beers I've had from WB however I've still yet to have one that really hit on all facets of a good beer.

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Photo of mdaschaf
2.33/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Found this one in the back of the cellar and decided it was time to drink it.

A: Pours thin and black in color. A small head forms upon pouring but is gone quickly and leaves behind no lacing at all.

S: A very strange combination of vinegar/sour, maple, chocolate, and smoked malt.

T: Again, has a sourness up front. Very grainy, can almost feel the malt on my tongue. Some roasted malt and chocolate round it out.

M: Medium bodied, not much carbonation. Has a vinegary twang to it.

O: Not a fan at all, difficult to drink as well. Not sure if the sourness was on purpose or something happened along the way.

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Photo of genovm
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of nickd717
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber thanks to jleblanc. American Strong Ale? I'd call this a stout, straight up.

Pours just about black with a small tan head and good foam on top.

Aroma is very roasty and coffeeish with just a little vegetal note.

Flavor is not bad but a little tart. Very roasty with cold espresso and a little charcoal. Not terribly balanced but not bad.

Dry on the palate with medium body and medium-low carbonation.

A fairly well-done stout, but like many White Birch beers, a little off in a way.

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Photo of Gmann
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black color with a rapidly raising airy brown head that just as quickly settles into a solid cap. Very fizzy at first but has some holding strength.

The aroma has a nice subtle roast aroma with some scorched caramel, some brown bread and a hint of wet bark. Reminds me of a porter or brown ale aroma. Perhaps a slight sour berry scent.

The taste is of a nice toasted brown bread, pumpernickle, wet wood and light toast & roast. Perhaps a hint of chocolate. The beer has a nice caramel under-current to it. Has a really delicious brown ale flavor.

The feel is light to moderate with extremely fizzy carbonation. Way way way way too fizzy. It takes away from the lovely flavor. The body feels light but it is hard to tell from the carbonation burn. Finishes nice and earthy.

I really like this beer but way too fizzy, especially for the style and malt body. Its like champagne yeast in a brown ale. Cut back on the carb and this is a top notch brew.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a pitch black color stout with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma consists of chocolate malt with light grainy notes. Taste is a somewhat weird mix between chocolate and grainy unrefined cereal. Body is slightly fuller then average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. First time I’ve had something form this brewer and this is leaving me perplexes.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received this one a while back from Jrae2424... Thanks for the brews Jason!! #148/204.

Good looking tan head... nice retention and lacing.. the brew is the expected black.

Nose shows plenty of cocoa... along with a whole bunch of dark malt char.... okay... doesn't really smell "indulgent".

Flavor has some sweetness that helps bring out the chocolate a bit... but the roasted malt blackness seems pretty out of whack.. finishes dry and chalky.

Body is surprisingly thin... carbonation also was a touch too high. Glad I got a chance to try this one, but I was a little disappointed... Thanks Jason for another nice trade.


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Photo of mikesgroove
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got the chance to try two of the new offerings last night. This one was broken out for the finish at the end of the night. Served chilled and poured into a snifter, this one was consume on 06/25/2010.

The pour was dark, very dark with light garnet hints around the sides of the glass and a nice little tight head of light brown that just barely covers the entire top of the glass.

Aroma is deep smoked malts, hints of dark german chocolate an touches of coffee. Warming brings out a light prune or lum note, slight tartness and hint of light sour in here now. Hmm, not sure where this is going. It had me initially with the dark chocolate and smokey notes, but the fruit/sour taste just does not seem to work here. Distracts more then blends. Carbonation seemed a little low for me if it was going to go in that direction.

Overall it was a good beer, but this is just a touch off for me. The fruit note seems to be pulling me away. Still solid though.

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Photo of Amalak
4.5/5  rDev +27.5%

Photo of largadeer
2.06/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Nickd717 shared this one. Thanks, Nick.

Black in the glass with a collar of tan foam, this looks solid. Big roasted malt aroma, oatmeal and chocolate and a strange cooked vegetable aroma that makes me think of cauliflower. Taste is a bit tart up front, berry-like. Coffee and roasted malt follows, along with a strange vegetable flavor that grows increasingly detracting the more I drink this. Finishes thin and roasty with lingering coffee, chocolate cookie and vegetables. What a wonderful combination. Pretty bad stuff, we indulged the drain with most of the bottle.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 10/9/11

Appearance: Jet black with a little brown around the edges when held up to the light - a huge tan head thanks to a borderline ridiculous amount of carbonation

Smell: Somewhat one-dimensional, with a ton of chocolate, but nice - burnt, roasted, charred malts - dark baker's chocolate, cocoa - some tartness with some dark fruits

Taste: A little odd, but good - tons and tons of chocolate malts - excessively burnt - other than the burnt bitterness, there are some interesting flavors here, mainly baker's chocolate - some dark fruits, some tartness - alcohol is quite obvious

Mouthfeel: Absurdly carbonated - not in a nice, bottle-conditioned foamy way, either - very fizzy, very bubbly - otherwise, smooth, light body

Overall: Strange, but worth a try

I guess this really fits into the American Strong Ale category because it certainly doesn't fit anywhere else. It's as burnt as an imperial stout, but it's really light in body. It's very bitter, without a chewy malt backbone. It would probably be a lot better with less carbonation and perhaps something like oatmeal to add to the body.

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Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin beige head that has good retention properties.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of coffee in the nose.
T: The taste is very rich and has complex flavors of chocolate, coffee and hints of roasted malts. A light amount of bitterness is present in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and thick on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The alcohol is well hidden, which makes this beer very easy to drink considering tis strength.

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Photo of david18
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whenever I see beers on cask that I haven't had that way before I always order a taste and I'm often a little disappointed. Not in this case. The flavor was so complex and interesting that I ordered a couple of pints.

Poured very dark with not too much head, which isn't surprising considering it was cask ale. Enough to make it appetizing.

The aroma was of complex dark fruit as well as chocolate and dark roast.

The flavor was similar to the aroma and did not disappoint. Very complex and very good.

Overall, I like this beer a lot and can't wait to find it on CO2 draft or in bottles. Get it if you can find it.

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Photo of andyschaps
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Rhettroactive
2.75/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of GbVDave
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a White Birch glass. Special thanks to Vanillamike for both the beer and the glass from our latest trade!

Bottled March 19, 2010
Batch One
Bottle 122 of 204
ABV Alc. 8.0% by Vol.

A: Gorgeous black pour. Totally dark. Immediately, a full 2 1/2 fingers of immensely dark tan foam (that looked to have been sprinkled with rust) sprung up to the rim of the glass before quickly receding to a creamy collar that left no lace.

S: Heavily roasted chocolate malt, bittersweet and/or bakers chocolate, cherry, and bright, sour berries. The unripe berry tang is a bit odd, but not off putting.

T: Just like above. Loads of bitter, burnt, and earthy chocolate flavors break during the middle and give way to that sour and tangy berry flavor.

M: Right out of the fridge, this was a bit too thin and dry. Warming to cellar temp thickens it a bit, but the sour berry reintroduces a thinness back into it.

D: Reading the label and checking out the color of the pour had me expecting something a little different. The sour facet of this detracted slightly from the other stuff going on in here. Certainly not bad, just not what I had hoped for.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle purchased as a single at Formaggion Kitchen, Cambridge, MA.

Poured into a Chimay chalice, formed a 3/4" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head holds well, literlly sizzling with small bubbles bursting and being replenished, with thick coating lace. Aroma is rich dark maltiness, with coffee notes.

Taste is dark sweetness to start, a peek of fruitiness in the middle, and lingering alcohol close that seems to increase in intensity as time passes. Mouthfeel is too bubbly, and lacking in body, and with okay drinkability. For $12, I want to be more impressed.

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Photo of rpstevens
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Portsmouth tulip. The beer pours a very inviting pitch black with a thick frothy mocha head. The head quickly fades, leaving behind some oily lacing.

The smell is great. A blast of dark chocolate introduces the flavor, followed by rich roasted coffee and hints of sweet milk chocolate. Underneath all the rich roasted elements there is a hint of floral hops and some light candied sugar sweetness.

The taste is not as good as the smell or the appearance, but it's still nice. The chocolate takes a back seat to the mild coffee flavors and the over-roasted malts. This one has a burnt malt quality, almost too much before the sweet milk chocolate brings it back from the edge.

The beer is well carbonated and light bodied, making it easy to drink. The alcohol, as with all White Birch brews, is completely hidden. This will be probably be my only bottle of Indulgence, as it's already gone in my area. A good, but not great beer.

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Photo of projektyle
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this as part of the infamous White Birch tasting at the Holistic Dramming Institute, thanks to Tim. Notes will probably be short since there were so many different beers to note, and drink.

Batch two, March 2010.

Essentially pitch black beer with a dark small head covering.

Nose has some light roast, some malts, coffee, and a little malty.

Taste brings more roast, dark malts, coffee, a bit of dark fruits, light chocolate, a little smooth, but still somewhat bland and seems like it's missing something. Light burnt roasted malts, some earthy hops, a bit of smoke as well.

Mouth is lighter, a little watery as well, decent carbonation.

Drink is decent, lighter overall, some bitterness but not a lot, light booze.

Again, this was a terrible followup to 80+35=20, also somewhat disappointing.

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White Birch Indulgence Ale from White Birch Brewing
Beer rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 78 ratings