White Birch Oak Senex Torva Saison
White Birch Brewing

White Birch Oak Senex Torva SaisonWhite Birch Oak Senex Torva Saison
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Belgian Saison
Ranked #1,560
Ranked #29,948
3.76 | pDev: 13.3%
White Birch Brewing
New Hampshire, United States
Very Good
White Birch Oak Senex Torva SaisonWhite Birch Oak Senex Torva Saison
Notes: With this batch we aged our Saison for an extended period of time on oak chips with a special brettanomyces strain. The result is spicy and tart, with mild fruit notes and a crisp dry wild finish.
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 38 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of cbutova
2.82/5  rDev -25%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

December 2014 bottle.

A- Pours out with a medium golden body and a frothy white cap, which forms only for moments. Tiny ring remains but lace is a no go.

S- Started out as mostly cheek puckering sour notes but quickly turned. Massive tart cherries, buttered popcorn, apples and spice.

T- Starts out on the palate well off with tart cherries, green apple and red wine vinegar but eventually it is completely taken over by popcorn and buttery notes. Funky musty grapes.

MF- Slick, oily body that is right around medium thickness. Carbonation on the low end and a fairly sour finish.

Starts off with a nice sour cherry and funky flavor profile but ends unfortunately with slick buttery popcorn taking over the entire experience.

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Photo of theandyday
4.84/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing this beer from the most recent (2014) batch. The ABV was closer to 7% I believe on this batch, so it was hardly notable at all. Definitely tart, caramel, some complex fruitiness... very enjoyable and not for the faint of heart.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours hazy amber under a quickly dissipating white foam cap.
S: Has a big lemony tart barnyard wet horse blanket nose.
T: Lemony tart palate with traces of caramel, dry with some mineral and salt.
F: Light, tart and effervescent.
O: A very nicely made tart wild ale – a little salty for a Saison.

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Photo of oceanman907
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into an oversized wine glass at around 40 degrees.

A- A little too dark for the style, more of a faded umber color w some haziness.

S-Green Apple, faint barnyard, Grassy

T- Very pungent and tart at first sip, much more like a wild ale than a saison, fades almost to a dark fruitwood flavor, a little oakiness but no smoky spiciness that I typically expect form a good oak farmhouse ale.

M- Quite pungent and full of Brett feel, tingles the tongue, and is really quite prickly overall.

O- This is not a bad beer but the brett has a way of taking the sweet/spicy characteristics of the Saison away and rendering the beer off kilter, still an interesting beer but not really balanced enough for my taste. Maybe if I was expecting a little more of a American Wild ale, but for a Saison it doesn't really work.

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Photo of Brewsephus
3.05/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bomber into a Duvel tulip glass.

A- Slightly hazy yellow corn color, head sticks to sides of glass and never really forms aggressively, and dissipates quickly. Small/medium carbonation bubbles.

S- Green apple, fresh cut grass, light biscuit.

T-Unripe apple, tart fruit, very faint saison yeast character, a little horse-blanket but not a lot; you really have to search for it. Finishes with a little vinegar and nail polish.

M-Slightly flat, thin.

O- I really wanted this beer to be great. I love White Birch's Berliner Weiss and hoped it would have some of the same qualities. It seems to lose much of it's Saison flavor in lieu of the brett, which is unfortunate. It's not a bad beer by any means, but I would see this as one of the beginning steps on the way to developing a great Wild Saison. It has the right flavors to be glorious on a hot summer day, and is very refreshing. I am dissapointed because my hopes were so high, but this beer is very solidly average. It's JUST good.

EDIT: I just realized this beer is 11% ABV. There is not a hint of alcohol, in fact, it feels like a very low ABV beer. Kudos to the brewer.

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Photo of Pinknuggets
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle (spring 2013) to fantome tulip

A: orange honey like color with no head or lacing and little carbonation. It is pretty much opaque and cloudy but you can see a little bit standard for being aged though.

S: there is a funky smell that definitely reminds me of Brett but is less farmhouse like and much more fruit like a peach or something like that. There is also some grain and bread like smells but the fruit juice is over powering.

T: it is tart upfront but not super strong. From there similar to the nose there is a very fruity juicy flavor, but I can't quite place it peach or mango is as close as I can get but it's neither of those maybe cantaloupe. There is definitely some funk in there too not quite full on horse blanket but it is noticeably Brett as you can tell its not normal.

M: first off there is basically no carbonation in this beer which basically kills the feel for me. That being said it has a juicy feel that is smooth and goes down pretty easily. Though because of the lack of carbonation the funk gives almost an off putting feel.

O: overall this beer really isn't that bad but the mouthfeel kills it for me the lack of carbonation muddles everything and is unpleasant to drink. It does not totally ruin the beer as there are some good flavors but nothing special it might be worth a try but for $16 I won't be back for more.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled July 5 2010 Batch One
An oak age wild saison at 11.2% abv, sure why not! Ten minutes wrestling with the cork and we can finally get to enjoying this brew. Pours a crystal clear golden orange color with a decent sized bone white head that slowly dissipates to a cap on top. I can smell the fruity funkiness as soon as I pop the cork. Plums, apples, lemons, wet cardboard, horsey, funky, there's a lot of aromas coming at me here. Taste is very tart with flavors of lemons and tart cherries mostly. Slightly sweet malt, but not nearly as funky as the nose suggested. Medium body with a healthy dose of carbonation with a sweet tart kind of mouthfeel going on. Not to shabby for a sour ale that no longer resembles a saison. Abv is not evident at all.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

CooperEllis hit me with this one in a trade a while back... shared with the boys at a tasting a long while ago... reviewed from paper notes. #3/102

Pours a clear deep golden... good white head and lacing.

Nose is dirty brett with oak and a nice lemon punch.

Flavor mirrors the nose with a light maltiness... good lemon and barnyard brett... the oak is more tannic than anything else.. some mild fruity phenols make me think apricot and white peaches.... underripe pears.

Body is light/medium with a good carbonation.

No hints of the ABV... seriously +10%, I don't buy it.. but I am not complaining.... This is probably my favorite White Birch beer thus far... and I've had quite a few of them.

John is an awesome trader... I always appreciate his business :-)


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Photo of cpetrone84
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a cloudy pale yellow with a cremy thick white head.

S-the nose has a strong bit of brett up front with notes of lemon and a light funk. not quite integrated and seems a little young.

T-again strong brett, notes of leather and some barnyard funkiness behind. there is some typical lemon and citrusy flavors but all muddled and hard to decipher.

M-light body, somewhat oily with lighter carbonation and a semi dry finish.

D-this has a big brett presence and I do enjoy brett but the beer itself doesn't seem to integrate well with the brett as the hops and saison yeast play strange roles.

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Photo of GbVDave
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into three snifters. Special thanks to joe1510 and wilfu for the assist! Extra special thanks to vanillamike for this from a recent trade!

Bottled: July 5, 2010
Batch: Two
Bottle: 67 of 98
Alc: 11.2% by vol.

A: Pours a murky/cloudy pear nectar color. Sitting on top is a rocky layer of foam that reaches about two fingers thick and then quickly disappears leaving not a trace of lace behind. Lots of suspended sediment.

S: Very mild aroma. Some lightly bready/toasty malt, light citrus, earthy oak, funk, and some mild notes of orchard fruit (apple, pear, and a touch of peach).

T: See above. Would've liked more of any type of hop profile. Fruit is there, but so mild. No trace of its' supposed 11.2%.

M: Quite smooth and slick which I think did a lot to further hide the alcohol contained within.

D: We were shocked that the advertised abv is 11.2%. We polished this off quickly and felt no ill effects. This drank more like a beer sporting 6%. A decent flavor experiment, but is anyone else wondering why it seems that most White Birch beers are north of 10%?

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Photo of jlindros
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | 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.

Very light golden wheat color with light head.

Nose of golden Belgian malts, light toasty malts, light spices and citrus fruits, a very hint of oak, and some light barnyard dry funk.

Taste has light Belgian golden malts, light spicy tripel like flavors, light citrus fruits, some herbal hops, and pretty effervescent. A bit of sweetness but mostly dry, some warming booze. A hint of oak, and the Brett isn't very strong yet, just a bit of dryness and light barnyard funk.

Mouth is med to lighter bodied with tons of carbonation.

Drink is decent, pretty light, a bit of booze, light bitterness, and pretty dry, and the wild funk is fairly light.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.2/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a one finger off-white head that fades quickly, leaving some lace. Hazy amber color. Light carbonation and light bodied. Tart nose. Flavor is tart, hints of spice, high ABV is totally hidden, I can't believe this is 11.2%. There are better saisons like Brasserie Dupont's Saison Belgian Farmhouse Ale. Not worth $15.25 for a 750ml bottle from Chase Street Market & Deli Plymouth, NH. Bottled 7/5/2010, bottle 66/102.

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Photo of JAXSON
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour a fairly deep gold with a medium white head and thick lacing. Nose is musty and minerally, with maybe a little stone fruit presence. Not terribly expressive. Flavor is very dry and slightly woody, but seems a bit young. Kind of hard to pick individual flavors from this right now. It probably needs some time to bloom and become more expressive. Reminds me of a young Jolly Pumpkin beer at this point.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Pours clear gold with a trace of chill haze. A thin foam cap dissapated to a placid surface with zero lacing.

Aromatics lead off with a blend of lemon and lime, traces of pineapple, cut grass, and oaky tannins.

Light bodied with a thinnish mouthfeel. Extremely light carbonation.

Lime leaves and lemon oils lead off the palate, with a trace of funk running underneath. A bit tart and spicey with hints of peppercorns and grainy malt.

Finishes with a lemon tartness, warming alcohol, and a nod of barnyard.

A pretty interesting brew, but I think the low carbonation doesn't allow the character of this beer to shine as it could.

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Photo of eggplantwiz
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A lightly carbonated appearance for a saison with minimal lacing. A ruddy orange color throughout.

S: Smells like brett, really. Light hints of wood and banana in the nose, but not overpowering -- mostly that subtle funky farmhouse scent.

T: Crisp and dry initially, with some astringency a wetter finish. Some hints of berries in the aftertase. Minor minor "burnt rubber" notes that I think are pleasing in a sour.

M: Feels smooth and interesting, medium body with very fine microcarbonation that tickles the tongue.

D: Exceedingly drinkable for its ABV. This is a smooth and enjoyable beer to drink on a hot summer day.

Overall, this is a solid beer, but I think it needed a little bit more carbonation, and perhaps a little more time to bring the sour flavors forward more. (Time might solve both, in fact). Solid right now, but probably amazing in 2-3 years.

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White Birch Oak Senex Torva Saison from White Birch Brewing
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 38 ratings