White Birch Indulgence Ale | White Birch Brewing

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81
good
77 Ratings
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White Birch Indulgence AleWhite Birch Indulgence Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
White Birch Brewing
New Hampshire, United States
whitebirchbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
77
Reviews:
45
Avg:
3.5
pDev:
19.43%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
5
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 77 |  Reviews: 45
Photo of genovm
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
1.5/5  rDev -57.1%

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.

 1,283 characters

Photo of M27
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of philerman
3.5/5  rDev 0%

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.

 491 characters

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.

 739 characters

Photo of andyschaps
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of InspectorBob
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of far333
3.24/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

 1,294 characters

Photo of jophish17
2.5/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of mdaschaf
2.33/5  rDev -33.4%
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.

 617 characters

Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of Amalak
4.5/5  rDev +28.6%

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of angrybabboon
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

 1,112 characters

Photo of womencantsail
2.73/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Finally, an end to the White Birch beers. Shared by Bobby.

A: The pour is black in color with a huge tan head.

S: Like so many other white birch beers, just an unpleasant aroma. It's quite acidic with excessive roasted malt aromas. A bit of coffee and spoiled cocoa, maybe some char.

T: Lightly sweet, but fairly watery and acidic. Like the nose, there is some old cocoa and chocolate flavor. A bit of paper and cardboard as well.

M: Light bodied with medium to high carbonation.

O: Just unfortunate.

 505 characters

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.

 963 characters

Photo of John_M
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Listed on this site and on the bottle as a strong ale... this beer looks and smells for all the world like a stout to me.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with pretty good head retention and light lacing. The nose is interesting, consisting of considerable licorise and roasted malt, with a hint of chocolate and vanilla in the background. The flavor profile is a bit more enjoyable, as the licorice blends in better with the chocolate, vanillla and moderately sweet malt. The beer dries out a bit on the finish, and the mouthfeel is fairly full, with a long, soft finish. Alcohol is pretty well integrated into the flavor profile in this beer, and I get no heat from alcohol in the finish.

Nothing extraordinairy here, but a solid beer nonentheless.

 757 characters

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.

 924 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.23/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

 415 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

 595 characters

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.

 620 characters

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