White Birch Indulgence Ale | White Birch Brewing

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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

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Ratings: 77 |  Reviews: 45
Photo of theandyday
4.94/5  rDev +41.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rich dark chocolate, hints of dark fruit and a thick chewy mouth feel. This is a perfect example of a well executed Belgian Stout.

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Photo of Amalak
4.5/5  rDev +28.6%

Photo of MattTastrophee
4.5/5  rDev +28.6%

Photo of jdhilt
4.45/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a two finger light tan head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights, ton of yeast left in bottle. medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Chocolate nose and flavor is sweet chocolate, no soy sauce, smooth chocolate/coffee finish. High (10%) ABV is hidden. $10.99 for a 22oz bottle from Bert's Better Beers Hooksett, NH

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Photo of Brad007
4.3/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first White Birch beer. I'm shocked they haven't made it up my way yet, picked up this bottle at Bauer Wines & Spirits in Boston.

Pours a pitch black color with a one-finger stout. I notice the style says American Strong Ale. I don't think so.

Roasted coffee and chocolate are apparent in the nose. Feels more like a stout than the listed style.

Rich and full of dark fruit, coffee and chocolate notes. I can see where it would confuse the person who first added it. I'm guessing they aren't familiar with stouts.

Coffee bean and cream hang around at the back of the the throat. Very pleased to have their company.

I don't understand how this beer could possibly get a low score. Perhaps earlier batches lack consistency? I will never know but by reading some of the other reviews, I believe the people doing those reviews seem to be missing a lot of positive things here. Sure as hell isn't any DMS here.

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Photo of M27
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of badgustav
4.23/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

May be White Birch's best beer

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.17/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black with a thinnish tan head that exudes almost soda like dissipation of the bubbles. There's a steady carb stream coming up the middle leaving a tan ring on the outside edge of my glass. Smells of milk chocolate and fudge right up front. Slightly earthy with a spice in the background kind of reminds me of rye. Taste is earthy and spicy as the smell suggests with a slight mineral water type taste in there as well. Oh yeah there's a crap load of chocolate in the taste as well. The aroma suggested milk chocolate, but the taste is darker bitter chocolate. There's a long lingering chocolate/coffee bite in the finish. Medium level of carbonation, medium to full body, thick sticky syrupy mouthfeel. Wow that's a great chocolate shake, er uhm I mean beer. I am enjoying the hell out of this one. I guess the subtlety fairy that usually finds Bill's beer is on vacation this week. :)

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.12/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Pours oily black with a thin, brown head of foam. The dense froth clears the surface fairly quick with a partial skim coat for the duration of the glass. Dotted lacing with a few strings as the glass goes.

Aromatics lead off with a blast of rich chocolate. Hints of espresso and roasted malts way in the back but the lush, dark chocolate aroma is very pronounced.

Full bodied with an oily chew. Crisp and a bit creamy.

The palate starts with bitter bakers chocolate, roasted malts, and shaved char. Shades of tart fruit step forward as well as plenty of drying bitterness.

Finishes with lingering bakers chocolate, tart cherries, and espresso grounds.

Unlike any chocolate beer I've ever had. The nose promises rich, sweet chocolate but the palate delivers dry, bitter chocolate with citric, tart undertones.

The dryness and perplexing character just seems to make one sip invite another. Nice.

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Photo of mactrail
4.08/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Dark black" in the big wine glass. Nice brownish head that bubbles out of a very foam-filled beer. Almost nitro-fueled, but with coarser bubbles. The carbonation, the deep flavors, and the syrupy texture give this beer a big, rich mouth feel. As black as it is, I don't taste much of the sourness that burnt malt can give, and the sweetness helps balance that. But this ale is so full of dark flavors that it is deeply explores the many ways of roast, toast, and barbecue malt. Fruit with the sweet part, a hint of cherries. Lots of cocoa flavors without the old coffee taste of some stouts.

Interesting that there is such wide variation in the way reviewers taste and score this beer. And the brewers don't identify it with a specific style, which is maybe the American way, long may it wave. But I think it's closer to an Imperial Stout than anything. And I think it's great. Label says February 2011, Batch 2, 9.0% ABV.

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Photo of Gmann
4.05/5  rDev +15.7%
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 Auror
4.04/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of akorsak
4.02/5  rDev +14.9%
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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Photo of david18
4/5  rDev +14.3%
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 projektyle
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Photo of b1ackdeath
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Photo of abuliarose
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a wide-mouthed snifter to reveal a thick, rich-looking head with uneven bubbling over dark black body. Very attractive pour, some lacing. Smells like rich, roasty malts with notes of licorice, vanilla and a hint of mace.

Tastes very roasted (very, very roasted) from the malts, but with surprisingly light body and smooth texture. A little nutty in the finish. Not sweet. Ever so slightly drying. I can see this pairing well with your main course-type meal. Slight spicy character from the yeast. Carbonation is big and gentle. The flavor is bold, but because of the texture and lightness it's pretty drinkable. Alcohol is well-hidden.

Overall, this is one of the better strong ales I've had and certainly one of a kind. I'm glad to have tried it.

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Photo of ScottP
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Photo of Aisha
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of younger35
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received yet another White Birch brew from my main man out in the Conn. I was a bit disappointed in my first White Birch sampling but I expect this to be much better. Drank from my spanking new Ithaca nonic pint glass.

Bottle 75 of 204

Appearance- Pours a midnight black with a half finger dark brown creamy head. A spotty cap and collar remains along with maybe a fleck or two of lacing.
Smell- Pretty rich and roasted with a big charred maltiness and a bit of sweet chocolate. The char on the malts are full throttle as they give an almost bitter roasted nose. Plenty of chocolate and coffee notes that you'd expect and a really almost 'dry' smell. Maybe a tinge of vanilla or cream as well.
Taste- Very interesting. Starts with a very dry bite of straight up grainy, raw 2-row. It's doughy and damn prevalent until a light touch of roast sneaks in along with an almost chalky bit of chocolate. A bit of caramel (not sweet in the least though) sneaks in along with a super light touch of vanilla. The finish is dry and lightly bitter and chocolaty.
Mouthfeel- on the light side of medium with a nice frisky zip of carbonation.
Drinkability- Overall the beer is s bit different from anything I've ever had but in a enjoyable way. It's chocolaty and grainy and the 8.5% is nowhere to be found. Interesting and tasty, thanks Adam!

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dahk. Black. Medium brown head that is effervescent to varying degrees.

S: A little funky, kind of like a quad or dubbel, and every some tart yeast. Like.

T: Definitely a little phenolic and funky character but it works very well with the effervescent quality and dark malt flavors of chocolate, roasted oats, and some fig.

M: Smooth, medium to slightly high carbonation which accentuates modest tart flavors.

O: I like this a lot. I could drink a whole pint but 3-5oz is perfect.

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Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On this bottle, the apv is 9% (batch #2, February 2011)

90% head on the initial pour. It takes a couple of minutes to recede. Surprisingly little lace on the glass. The liquid is near where no light shines through.

Strong semi-sweet chocolate aroma--this smells like a freshly opened bag of Nestle Toll House Chips. There's also a touch of whole milk and alcohol, like a White Russian cocktail.

The flavor reminds me of a Russian Imperial Stout: Strong black coffee is the initial flavor. Absolutely no creaminess. The swallow is bitter, mostly from the abundant black patent malt but there's also a bit of dry hop. The aftertaste has a Kahlua element to it--long lasting coffee and the warming presence of alcohol. A near extreme beer.

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Photo of sisuspeed
3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled March 19th, 2010
Batch 2
Bottle 74 of 204

Poured into a Portsmouth tulip glass. This is one dark beer. Essentially black in color with a thin tan head on top. No lacing left behind.

The aroma is strong with darkly roasted malts and dark chocolate. Very roasty and slightly earthy. Hints of fruit in the background. Possibly a byproduct of the house yeast?

The flavor is not what you would expect based on the appearance and aroma. As I tipped back the glass I was expecting a thick, roasty chocolate flavor and was instead greeted by a strong wave of black malt and fruit. Exploring the flavor further I can pick out bits of cherry, bittersweet chocolate and sharp cheddar cheese notes at times. Berries and a touch of smokiness/peaty. Very interesting, yet hard to pull apart.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the watery side. Smooth, ample carbonation and slightly warming. The mouthfeel is a bit of surprise based on the appearance.

Drinkability is good. For an 8.5% strong ale, the alcohol is well masked. The flavor is quite unique and keeps pulling you back in for another sip. I could see this beer pairing well with BBQ or steak. One bottle is about the right size.

Overall, this is another tasty brew from White Birch. I'll have to say that I'm still a bit confused by the flavor, but I guess this isn't a stout, even though it looks like one. Strong Black Ale would probably be the correct definition. With that definition in mind I actually quite like this brew and am looking forward to trying another bottle or two down the road. Worth checking out.

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White Birch Indulgence Ale from White Birch Brewing
3.5 out of 5 based on 77 ratings.
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