White Birch Barrel Aged Indomitus (Batch 1) | White Birch Brewing

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White Birch Barrel Aged Indomitus (Batch 1)White Birch Barrel Aged Indomitus (Batch 1)
41 Ratings
White Birch Barrel Aged Indomitus (Batch 1)White Birch Barrel Aged Indomitus (Batch 1)

Brewed by:
White Birch Brewing
New Hampshire, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Barrel fermented, untamable, fierce; Indomitus. This Wild Ale is fermented in oak with our house yeast, a blend of brettanomyces and aged hops. It’s brought to you unblended and uncut, creating a sharp, tart flavor with fascinating fruit notes.

Added by barleywinebrewer on 06-22-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 41 |  Reviews: 29
Reviews by puboflyons:
Photo of puboflyons
3.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the Black batch bottled August 16, 2011 no. 156. Sampled on December 25, 2011. The pour is more like a stout than anything else with its pitch black color and thick foamy head. The aroma is full of dark grains, malts, wood, and earthy hops. The body falls into the medium to heavy range. The taste is wild and hoppy with a pucker-up sourness. The yeast seems to come out more as it gets to the end of glass.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of largadeer
1.03/5  rDev -67.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks for sharing this one, Nanoslug(s). Amber hued, pretty hazy and murky with no head, only a thin collar.

Smells pretty terrible. Cork, mold, oak, sweaty socks, urinal cake, papery oxidation. Really heavy on the wet paper.

Oxidized and stale palate, wet dog, mold, astringent tannins. Only slightly sour, more funky and stale. I can't extrapolate much on this one because it's really bad. It finishes oaky, slightly nutty, very drying. Not a fan, the funk has an awful mold character to it that reminds me of a soggy gym towel or something. Had this after a few excellent Cantillon beers and the difference was staggering.

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Photo of Arbitrator
1.81/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

After being led to believe this was one of the worst beers ever made by larga "I can only communicate in hyperbole" deer, I approached this beer with trepidation and excitement at the last big Peninsula tasting.

A: Pours a hazy goldenrod body capped with a small wisp of off-white head.

S: This changes as it warms, going from earthen / dirty notes to more expression of brett (must, funk) and lemons. I really want to hate this, considering everything I've heard about it, but at best it's just sub-par.

T: It's not super flavorful, but it combines flavors of lemons, must (reminding me of an attic), slight funk, and a noticeable metallicity in the finish. Again, I want to hate this, and I'm annoyed that this wasn't the dirty pond water it was hyperbolically claimed to be.

M: Oddly unsettled and uneven in flavor, resulting in some sips that are earthy / funk and others that are more metallic, without a general sense of integration. There may be a good beer here waiting to get out.

O: On hand, were 4 people who had had Indomitus before (3 whose tastes I trust, and largadeer), and the former 3 all agreed: the beer had improved substantially since its amazing trainwreck showing in their last encounter with it. I, having no prior experience, am left disappointingly undisappointed. White Birch, you are somehow... improving?

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Photo of Overlord
1.99/5  rDev -38%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I know that Bill can brew world class beers. I've had them from him. This isn't a world class beer. Then again, it isn't quite as awful as other reviews make it out to be.

I will say this: if you have this beer at a temperature below a comfortable 70 or so fahrenheit, you will find it undrinkable. The person who was kind enough to send me a bottle indicated I should let it warm up. Chilled, it's a bracing, curdled ball of oaked dirt, urinal caked dirt, and dank slightly funky dirt with some scorched plastic dirt.

With some heat, the aroma and flavor opened up, and some bracing lemons, a bit of dancing ... I don't know ... cobwebs of metallic zestiness ... and different nuances of soured dirt appeared.

It's a bad beer. Couldn't finish the bottle. Not really sour, though there are hints. It's mostly striated earth/dirt funk with heaping bits of randomness.

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Photo of MasterSki
1.85/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Thanks to Adam & Anna for sharing this one. I'd been looking forward to trying it. Batch 1, Bottle 53 of 154. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Pours with a big off-white foam that eventually settles to a thin collar and some hazy film, leaving behind spotty lace. The body is a murky orange-brown color.

S - Algae, pond water, seaweed, mold, and urinal pucks. Wow, this is pretty awful. The only positive is that the 8.8% is well-hidden in there.

T - Taste is surprisingly bland - I suppose that's an improvement? Maybe a bit of sourness and tart green apple among the standing water and gym bag flavors. Finish was slight bacon and smoke - very odd and incongruous.

M - Feel is gritty and a touch slimy. Light-medium body that seems a bit thin for the ABV. The carbonation was pleasant.

D - Just awful - I'm not sure what the intent here was, but this is epic fail territory. I felt bad for Chris' drain.

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Photo of Mora2000
2.46/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle. Bottled May 27, 2010. Bottle number 31 of 154.

The beer pours a golden orange color with a white head. The aroma is bread and citrus, with a little bit of cardboard. The flavor is not good at all. I get a ton of cork and cardboard, as well as a little bit of brett, grass, grain and some nasty fruit notes. Not sure what went wrong, but the beer cannot taste like the brewer intended. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Gross.

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Photo of glid02
4.32/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle via trade with sisuspeed - thanks!

Pours a hazy golden-red color with a two-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of must, funk and fruit. The musty notes are similar to an old basement, or as Jeremy put it, an old bookstore. The funk parts are more wet hay than anything else and the fruits are slightly tart raspberries and cherries.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the emphasis is more on the funk and fruit aspects. Light malt and hints of wheat twang kick things off and are quickly overtaken by solid amounts of tart fruit flavors - raspberries and cherries as in the aroma. Midway through the moderate amounts of funk work their way into things, carrying through to a crisp ending.

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

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass and would have no problems having another.

Overall this has to be the mustiest smelling beer I remember having. After cataloguing a myriad of issues with WB I think I finally found a winner, whether or not the musty notes were 100% intentional is another matter entirely. A very, very interesting beer that's well worth a shot.

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Photo of Photekut
2.5/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of nickd717
1.76/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

750ml bottle generously shared by Nanoslug. A hype machine this is, but is it good or is it just rare and barrel aged? 150-odd bottles were made in total I hear.

Pours hazy golden with a one-finger white head that leaves white foam.

The aroma is that of an old stagnant pond, overgrown with algae and toads ribbiting along the edges. Some cellophane notes as well, something that reminds me of the Fruit Roll-Ups wrapper.

The flavor is not so good. Pond water is big as in the aroma, but there is a little urine as well. Funky in a bad way, with a plasticky note and lots of wild yeast.

Medium-light body with very high carbonation.

Just not too good overall. Not sure why the hype is so big on these beers. These beers are not so good.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.52/5  rDev +40.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had at Hobo Tasting #2 with mikesgroove. Big thanks to Mike for bringing this one out to share with me. Bottle #153/154, bottle on May 27, 2010. Served from bottle into a Duvel tulip. Poured yellow-orange with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount very quickly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, tart, oak, and big funk. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, tart, big oak, and skunky funk. It had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a very nice brew. Definitely had a big skunky funk going on here. Excellent flavor and aroma though. Really glad Mike shared this one with me. A must try!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

hobo tasting number two at the main street pub. shared with calton as always. bottle 153/154

i really dont get what is going on with the reviewing of this beer. it seems east of the mississippi its a great beer, west its worst then natty light, i just dont get it. maybe some people dont know a good sour? ii think the real reason is some people are all hyped up on the fruity sours an lambics and this is not that. this is just deep horse funk and in your face sour without that fresh fruit. its a love it or hate it i guess but i loved it.

poured out a nice amber color with minimal cloudiness and a small white head that would soon fade. aroma is just downright sour. so much critters in here. lacto like i have never seen. reminds me of the early batches of the rr sours when they were fresh. just raw vinegar and straight funk, gorgeous. carried right over into the flavor which again was no holds barred and just deep sour and funk that was incredibly vibrant and tongue lashing. dry finish is an understatement as all sense of flavor is zapped from the mouth and cotton mouth is what you are left with.

overall loved it, its nit a fruit or lambic sour people. this is pushing the envelope of the style and done very, very well.

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Photo of Patrickbrusil
4.79/5  rDev +49.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is from an August 2011 bottling not to be confused with the may 2010 bottling.

This beer is AMAZING.

Pours a deep dark mahogany color that borders on black with a 1 finger mocha head.

Smell is heavenly combination of freshly picked wild raspberries, dark chocolate, coffee, and some Brett.

The taste is sublime, complex, and smooth. It has wild ale all over it but never becomes abrasive. The coffee and chocolate rule the day with deep subtle fruit notes and dew drops from fresh cut hay coming to the party.

Bought direct from Bill at the new store in Hooksett.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.47/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a White Birch flute. Special thenks to vanillamike for this from our recent trade!

Bottled: May 27, 2010
Batch: One
Bottle: 81 of 154
ABV: Alc. 8.8% by Vol.

A: Pours a hazy, slightly tarnished copper color with about one finger of creamy, eggshell-colored foam on top. The head quickly disappears and leaves no trace of lace in the glass.

S: A fair amount of cork at first. This was followed by what Heather described as a tobacco shop and/or stationary store aroma. In addition to that there was a bunch of tart berry, bright citrus, new oak, leaf pile, and dusty hay loft.

T: Pretty much just as above with a nice emphasis on mild vinegar, tart fruit, buttery oak, cobwebbed rafters, and old sweaty leather belt.

M: Bright fruit and tart vinegar with astringent yeast notes. Finishes almost dusty feeling.

D: Tart, tangy, and sour without being SOUR. Another winner from White Birch!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.05/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from VanillaMike so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a chalice glass. Bottled on date of 5/27/2010, #99 of 154.

A: The beer is a dark gold color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains esters, apples, caramelized malts, Belgian yeast and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out with burst of sourness that remains dominant with flavors of apples wild Belgian yeast and citrus. Then some mild sweetness comes in along with a complementary hops presence. The malt character is on the thin side and provides a decent balance. I didn’t pick up much of the oak aging. The after-taste is tart.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid sour beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of phingdong
3.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of rpstevens
4.4/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle number 71 of 154 into my White Birch glass. The beer pours a hazy cloudy orange with a deep copper center. There is a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades down to a tight cap on top of the beer, leaving generous amounts of sticky lacing. This beer is an interesting color for a Wild Ale, looks more like an IPA with a thick head, interesting.

The smell is a blast of sweet grape skins up front before anything sour even approaches the nose. The subtle grape skin sweetness gives way to green apples, orange peels and some acidic lemon notes underneath. All the sour and sweet fruit is balanced by some musty earth tones and oaky barrel characteristics. This is a very interesting, unique smelling beer.

The citrus notes come to the front on the flavor, much more so than the smell. The flavors of lemon and oranges are first, but they are both tart and sweet at the same time. The citrus is followed by green apples and sweet grape skins as well as hints of rhubarb tartness. The finish is tart acidic lemon. Throughout the taste the musty, earthy, oaky flavors are present. They are never overbearing, but provide a nice balance.

The beer is light bodied, well carbonated and the flavors balance nicely between tart and sweet fruits and earthy and oaky barrel. The alcohol is never present aside from a slight warming about half way through the bottle, as with most of White Birch's brews, the high ABV is just excellently hidden. The flavors and balance of this beer made it very easy for me to drink the whole thing by myself.

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Photo of Bobbydigi
1.5/5  rDev -53.3%

Photo of jlindros
4.15/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been waiting for this one for a loooong time, thanks to Tim for bringing this down for me, which I shared with the Central New England BA Meetup. I still remember Bill sampling a small bit from the barrel with his thief for me, long before it was ready. It was not as wild at the time, but now it is, and I have to admit that I don't think I've had a better wild since Supplication.

A: Fizzy 1 finger head fades quickly over super clear copper orange color. I'm surprised at how clear it is for a wile, but once it gets stirred a bit it's cloudy as Los Angeles on a smoggy day.

N: Barnyard funk hits right away. A little musty old shelf like aromas, that brings me back to sitting in a rickhouse picking dusty bourbon barrels from the shelves for samplings. I get that warehouse like aroma with lots of wood, old dank wood with fresh woody esters, and a touch of oak. A slight bourbon aroma wafts out at first, and starts to get stronger as it warms. A little sour tangy fruit hides in there too, with more Brett like funk aromas that just take over.

T: This one starts with sour fruit! It makes my glands balk at the hit of the flavor, which was not expected from the nose. I think it's just the initial hit as it's not really that sour on the rest of the taste. Some tangy fruit flavors with that and sour mash. There is some metallic flavors that often come from the wild yeast. More juicy fruit flavors make my mouth water, which helps as it's very dry. More of that old wooden shelf taste that was apparent in the nose, with old funky wood, a very slight horse hair, barnyard funk, and a little tart sour wild yeast funk. More sour fruit comes again in waves, this time with some bourbon flavors. The bourbon is there, but not really strong, it just kinda sits there, and pokes it head out a little more as it warms. The Brett really shines on this one, and I can see why Bill was waiting so long to release it, until it was just the way he wanted it.

M: Medium to lighter body with good carbonation.

F: A nice dry finish, with a little barnyard funk lingering, with more old dusty wood from a farmhouse that also lingers. A little lingering tangy sour fruit, but it seems to have dulled a bit on the finish. The subtle oak and aged wood adds a nice touch to the finish. Actually, it's getting really dry now, wow. My mouth is begging for the next sip, wanting more of that sour delicious fruit and for some reason dank dusty old wood. It also has a strange bitter aftertaste that seems to come from the wild yeast rather than hops. The Brett shows itself on the finish as well.

If you like wild ales, especially barrel aged ones, you have to try this. More delicious than any other wild I can remember since Supplication. I can only imagine what this will taste like in a few years too.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.25/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks to both Jared and Ryan for sending me bottles of this beer. I've been wanting to try it for quite some time. Shared at Stone Sour Fest.

A: The cork was rather difficult to get out as it was pushed too far into the bottle. We had to use a corkscrew to get it out. The beer itself is a golden/yellow/orange color with a big white head on it.

S: The nose initially has quite a bit of cork to it, which subdues but never quite goes away. Underneath is some lemon (almost lemon-lime Gatorade like), leather, earthy funk, and only a hint of sourness.

T: The flavor is nicely tart with some under-ripened melon, lemons, and a bit of green apple. The funk is leathery, earthy, slightly dusty, and quite dry. A decent tannin component to the beer as well.

M: The body is light to medium with a nice tingly carbonation to it and a moderately dry finish.

D: One of the best White Birch beers I've had. I figured this one would either be a nice success or a spectacular failure and I'm happy to say it's not the latter. Can't wait to see what happens with the other bottle I have.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.12/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was quite a surprise, got it via the tickers BIF from womencantsail, thanks!

Wonderful pour, kind of orange colored with a nice head and some lace, but overall a really nice looking beer.

Tasted and smelled downright sour, in a wonderful way. Sour crabapples brought forth a pungent tart fruitiness that comes right out and stays in your face the whole time. Funk and vinegar accent this great beer creation all the way. Finish was sour and dry.

Body was pretty light but right on par for the style.

This was a really tasty beer. I'd very happily have this one again anytime, and don't really understand the wild swings in the reviews so far. Its clearly a wild ale and has all the features that I look for in this style. As far as I'm concerned this one is "Great job White Birch!"

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Photo of portia99
3.9/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle received in trade with calsbeek - Thanks! Poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - After removing one of the most difficult to remove corks ever, pours a dirty, yeasty brownish amber color with a thin finger of loose white foam with nice staying power. Dies down to a thin layer and a thick collar of foamy head.

S - Horseblankets, horse manure, a bit cardboardy, some phenols, wet hay, wet basement, lactic tartness/sourness, a couple of additional aromas I can't place. Very different than most wilds I've had...quite interesting overall.

T - Very barnyardy, wet hay, tart, dirty bitterness, yeasty, tart, bretty bitterness. Seems very earthy, but hard to place. This has some things in common with most other wilds, but the flavor goes off in a different direction somewhere...and sadly, I'm having difficulty characterizing it.

M - Thin in body with medium carbonation level. There is an overall dirtiness to the flavors and feel to this beer. Lactic sourness and brettiness dominate.

D - Interesting beer, fairly unique, but seems to be lacking some of the finer qualities of the best wilds out there. There are a number of flavors/aromas in here that I really can't place or characterize. Not my favorite wild out there, but glad to give this one a try.

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Photo of DefenCorps
1.7/5  rDev -47%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to Nanoslug(s) for this beer. What the fuck is this atrocity?

Pours clear orange dense white head good retention and lace. Smells like cork, TCA and oak. Fucking awful. Overly tannic, there's too much oak. Smells like the chesapeake bay on a bad day. Tastes almost as bad. Butter, cork tannins, and a little vanilla are present, all rather terribly out of balance. Medium in body with moderate carbonation, the finish is disgustingly tannic and corked. Awful.

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Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +24.6%

Photo of abuliarose
3.55/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle 29. Poured into a snifter, revealing clear amber brown body with flecks of gold under a thick, dense off-white head. Very pretty. Smells sharply funky with some stone fruit and a nice barrel presence. Lots of bright sour notes, but also kind of like being out in a tall dry field in the heat of summer smelling all the grassy floral funkiness. Very cool smells.

Tastes very sharp and funky, with stinky cheese flavors and an undeniable sharp sourness up front followed by a weird, lemon rind-like bitterness that mellows out a bit at the end. The aftertaste is hard to describe and very unlike what the fresh beer brought forth... sort of like licking river rocks. That part is not so much my thing, but the rest of the tastes are good and go very well with the gjetost cheese on toast with fresh blackberries that I happen to be pairing it with. Not sure if the extra flavors are due to the aged hops. Mouthfeel is as smooth as you'd expect this astringent a beer to be, slight carbonation adds a little volume to the otherwise light body. The fresh version of this I remember being extremely drinkable, but for this slightly aged bottle the aftertaste gets a little off-putting in the end. Overall it's still a decent beer, but I would die for another fresh bottle.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.28/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing Mike. Bottled 5/27/10, Batch 1.

A: Pours a glowing pumpkin color with a thin white head.
S: I get a bit of cucumber and melon on the nose. Strange.
T: Notes of melon, brett, and a grapefruit pith sourness to the finish. It’s also a bit solventy and rough. I also get note of oak and some else more sinister that I’m not a fan of but cannot put my finger on.
M: A clean mouthfeel with fluffy carbonation and a pleasant sourness to the finish. The alcohol and acidic make it a bit uncomfortable to drink though.
O: Odd, but not as bad as some make out. I was content with just one pour. I could not drink a whole bottle of this.

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White Birch Barrel Aged Indomitus (Batch 1) from White Birch Brewing
Beer rating: 3.21 out of 5 with 41 ratings