White Birch Hooksett Ale
White Birch Brewing

White Birch Hooksett AleWhite Birch Hooksett Ale
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Belgian IPA
Ranked #71
Ranked #16,123
3.89 | pDev: 13.37%
White Birch Brewing
New Hampshire, United States
Very Good
White Birch Hooksett AleWhite Birch Hooksett Ale
Notes: Inspired by our love of Belgian ales and hoppy West Coast ales. We bring Cascade and Columbus hops together with our house yeast for a smooth Belgian style hopfest. Best when fresh, this beer is not intended for aging.
Reviews: 63 | Ratings: 160 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance had a hazy golden orange brown colored body with a light one finger white head that appeared for less than thirty seconds. Some slight lacing appears and trickles down the sides of the chalice. It was too hazy for any carbonation to be seen rising. The smell was balanced between the hops and citrus. Some caramel comes out but it is mostly faint along with the alcohol tones. The taste was dominated by the hops yet some citrus came out trying to match up to the hops. The caramel is way more subdued in the taste than how it was on the smell. The palate was about a medium on the body with a slight silkiness - possibly creamy, with a light carbonation felt. Overall, I thought it was a good beer.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. L: Hazy peach colored amber with a 1” persistent foam cap, offwhite with hints of tan, very fine uniform bubbles. S: Nose is not huge but there is some Belgian yeast, spice, faint hop, large pitted fruit T: The flavors are fruit, citrus, peach, faint bubble gum to candi sugar with a light bitter accent for balance. F: medium body to a little above, medium high carbonation O: A very easy to drink Belgian IPA with an American hop bill.

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Photo of 31Sam13
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No complaints from me. A very solid IPA, though not really in the Belgian style so much as I'd hoped. Still, a very good offering from a small outfit and not overly expensive. It is quie carbonated, so be careful...great with smoked Gouda.

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Photo of CTHomer
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: clear; bronze colored; less than a 1 finger off white head that receded quickly to a thin collar;

S: over ripe dark fruit; maybe a little yeast in the background;

T: caramel malt up front; from mid-palate to the finish, tart pineapple; moderate bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: darker than I expected for a Belgian IPA with less fruit and yeast in the flavor than I expected;

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Photo of merzbeer
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at Bert's Better Beers in Hooksett. Bert himself recommended this fine ale to me when I asked him which regional beers he prefers (read: beers I couldn't get on the west coast.)

The head on this thing was out of control - majorly frothy, flowing out of the glass. Head was an off-white color, and the body of the beer is a cloudy amber.

Taste-wise, this beer is very balanced. More floral than malty, more piney than caramel. I can taste hints of cinnamon and allspice. On the nose I'm getting a sort of pumpkin.

I sense more IPA than Belgian in this one, but nevertheless, this interesting spicy floral beer reminds me of fall in the best possible way.

My only complaint is that this beer seemed a little over carbonated based on the head activity when I first poured it.

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Photo of mynie
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

From March of 2013. Been refrigerated that entire time, at least.

Pours a thick orange with a nice wheat head, very carbonated and pleasantly frothy.

Smells peppry with nodes of citrus and spice. The spice gets more pronounced as the beer warms.

Tastes quite spicy. Moves into a dry barley middle and ends with a combination of mild citrusy hops and your grandmother's spice rack. The fizz really tames out the back end, flavorwise, which is weird because it also makes it messy. It's like the flavor profile was very close to being a wreck but then age and overcarbonation made it merely uneven.

All in all, not that great.

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Photo of DAllspaw
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep, thick orange with solid white lacing that clings to the tulip glass for the full duration. Smell is not overpowering or juicy by any stretch, more piney and resinous with heavy malt, bready smell.

The strength of this beer is the malt, vey chewy with fairy heavy body. I prefer to sip here styles of IPA over the standard versions. I would certainly buy again, but the Belgian tag is lost one me, more an American or perhaps English yeast strain to me.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-slightly hazy red amber color with a nice off-white head and good lacing

S-citrus, dark fruit, caramel, bready malt

T-bready malt, caramel, citrus, pepper, little dark fruit, moderate bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-this beer has nice flavor, nice hoppy character

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, bottled March 2013 (8.5% ABV stated on label). Served in a DFH Signature glass, the beer pours a hazy reddish/copper color with about an inch light tan head that stayed around a little while. There's also a lot of lacing. The brew smells like citrusy and pine hops, bready malt, dark fruit, and a bit of peppery spice. It tastes like citrusy and herbal hops, bready malt/dark bread, dark fruit, and some caramel malt. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and has moderate carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew. I'd buy it again at $6.99 a bomber.

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Photo of Durge
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This Belgian IPA has a deep aamber-copper color with a huge mound of oatmeal colored foam on top that collapses to a solid avalanched of head with oodles of chunky lacing. Perhaps a bit much. The aroma brings a nice blend of light fruit and clove with yeasty edges and dusty spice/bread. The flavor follows with a more serious backbone of malt and pineapple, maple and licorice yeast. Great combinations in a pretty substantially constituted brew that hints at it's 7.7 ABV. Clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and some grassy hop bitterness all make a contribution in this near full-bodied brew. It offers plenty of tasteful carbonation for a foamy, fairly luscious feel. A bit more of a mouthful than I typically look forward to in this style, but it's hard to complain. a class brew that will satisfy the tastebuds and complement the finaest cheese or pate, when you run out of pizza. Very nice.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on March 2011 (batch 3), but it says on the side "this beer is not intended for cellaring" in bold letters. Also this is my first Belgian IPA. So uh . . . here goes:

Into a chalice:

A: hazy golden orange brown colored body with a light one finger white head that appeared for less than thirty seconds. Some slight lacing appears and trickles down the sides of the chalice. It was too hazy for any carbonation to be seen rising.

S: balanced between the hops and citrus. Some caramel comes out but it is mostly faint along with the alcohol tones

T: dominated by the hops yet some citrus came out trying to match up to the hops. The caramel is way more subdued in the taste than how it was on the smell.

M: medium, slight silkiness - possibly creamy, with a light carbonation felt

O: ok, so this may have not been a fresh batch, but interestingly enough, I thought it was still a good beer. Also, since this is my first Belgian IPA, I still can't really beat on this or rave about it. Well, I would have it again and hope that I would have a fresher batch.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, dark, golden amber that shimmers in the light. A scant, rocky, ecru head leaves little lacing on a tulip glass.

There are lots of aromatic hops here with a big presence of lemon-lime citrus and some alcohol fumes.

The flavor is dominated by the hops, yet bitterness is well balanced. It is refreshing to find a hop-forward beer that leaves the enamel on one’s teeth. Caramel comes out with warming as does some sweetness.

A medium to full body with silky texture and light carbonation. Slightly warming alcohol with a light, sticky residue left on the lips.

The bottle reads “Batch 1, February 2011”. This is a disturbingly easy beer to consume, either with food or contemplation.

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Photo of Gavage
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours an orange color with a 3" meringue like head. Thick lace sticks to the glass.

Smell: caramel and Belgian yeast aroma is easy to detect.

Taste: caramel, bready malt, apples, some pepper spices, and a belgian yeast flavor is well balanced. Bitterness is moderate.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp from start to finish with some slight dryness late.

Overall: an easy to drink ale. Nice flavors, but not overwhelming. Solid beer with decent flavors.

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Photo of u2carew
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber
A) Pours with a finger thick beige head with great retention. Tight and sticky lacing on the drink down. Murky copper-amber in color. Some sediment.
S) Bright floral notes. Sweet citrus notes - apricot, hints of peach.
T) Malty sweet up front then a bold and bitter hop finish. Toasty. Subtle nuttiness. Grassy and leafy in the finish. Lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.
M) Fizzy, yet creamy. Medium body. Strong tannins and dry in the finish.
O) A delicious IPA. Didn't pick up on any Belgian characteristics but the "Belgian" could also be in the un-obvious characteristics.
I'd definitely would drink another one.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
2.8/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into tulip glass, color is opaque amber with light tan head. The hed presents nicely, lasts long and laces well.

Smell is somwhat sweet, light caramel, quickly followed by the hop bitterness in the form of some citrus and line pine.

Taste is underwhelming, very sweet and bitter, followed by some astringency. Flavors are caramel and overly sweet, hop notes are citrus; i don't really pick up any off or belgian type phenolic flavors, the astrigency seems to have covered it up.

Mouthfeel is very cloying and bitter on the tongue, the bitterness does clean up some of this.

Overall, note really much of a belgian IPA, overly sweet and bitter.

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Photo of NardiByNature
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm excited to drink this - (what else is there to do over winter break) - I've only had a couple Belgian IPAs before, and this is the first time I've tried anything from White Birch, a brewery from the great state of NH.

Poured this bomber into an oversized wine glass. Rich cloudy auburn with a nice, off white head that settles down to an uneven covering. Retention around the rim at first, turns into a bit of spotty lacing. Go ahead and pour this guy aggressively if you like a nice plume.

This smells really good: fig/apricot/plum (that sort of fruit)-like; yeasty, a little citric but sweet in the way that the inside of an orange juice carton would smell. The end of my first glass betrays Fig Newtons and alcohol.

A little less fruity than it smells, a little more bitter. Still plums, though. The bitterness is balanced well with the sweetness. The "Belgian" shines through in the backbone. The alcohol makes an appearance. Goes well with what I'm snacking on: some Danish blue and crackers. Finishes dry, leaves a nice aftertaste.

I really liked this beer. A solid change of pace from my go-to East Coast IPA. Not something I would go with on the regular, it's a little boozey-tasting, but it's a really good cheese-and-crackers type brew if you're in the mood.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Murky bright apricot, near white small head, leaves fast to disk. Small gathering of cling lace.

S - Sweet, somewhat spicy, piney and delicious.

T - Nice malt center, surrounded by flowers, pine and some citrus.

M - Nice med body, good carb and balance.

D - Deceptively drinkable for the ABV.

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Photo of trlittle
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up after driving through hooksett for the past few years, and having heard some interesting things about White Birch.

A - Quite murky orange-copper color. Very little head.

S - Nice hop aroma, quite citrusy. A few malty notes.

T - Where was the beer I just smelt? Not nearly as flavorful as anticipated. Malts took over here. Still more of a hop flavor, but definitely not as much as I was expecting. After all, the label calls it a "hopfest".

M - hangs around for a bit. not as much carbonation as I usually like, but it really doesn't hurt the beer. Not much to say here.

O - Did not live up to my expectations, though now I'm wondering why I had them in the first place. Not a bad beer, just not a great one either.

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Photo of MrELovesBeer
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The wife and I have finally made the move to Vermont and we're diving into the world of New England beer that's a LOT easier to get here than ye ol' Brooklyn, starting with White Birch Brewing which has been up there on my list of tries since hearing Bill Herlicka talk on Beer Sessions Radio. I snagged a 22oz of Hooksett and cracked it open along with a dinner of pan fried tilapia, kale, and roasted sweet potatoes. This is a beauty out of the bottle, hazy orange and a lovely pillowy head. Got a lot of toffee and orange pith in the scent. Big hop wallop on the tongue with a serious lingering bitterness that gets more aggressive as the beer warms up. This paired quite nicely with my dinner, bringing out the spices in the breading and the sweetness of the fish while at the same time cleansing the palate after big bites of garlic in the roasted potatoes and the kale. A nice intro to White Birch; I'd keep this one in mind for similar dishes but probably not one I'll have without food.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Extra from AshleyMiller - someone actually reads me profile! Served in a Glunz taster. Batch #6, April 2011.

A - Murky dark orange body. A half-finger of tan foam settles to a thin cap, leaving fingers of lace.

S - Citrus, tropical fruits, toffee malt, lightly phenolic yeast spice, and a hint of alcohol. Smells largely as promised - a Belgian beer with (faded) American hops.

T - Unfortunately, this tastes like a mediocre homebrew. Cardboard, apples, toffee, and a soda water finish with moderate astringency. Was this dry-hopped for six months or something? In any case, not horrible - it's actually in my Top 5 White Birch offerings.

M - Fairly dry texture, chewy medium-full body, lower carbonation, and White Birch's usual immaculately hidden (if not excessive) alcohol.

D - Started out promising, but the taste took a serious left turn. I'd actually consider trying this again if it was fresh, but probably not at White Birch's typical prices.

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Photo of Sean9689
2.91/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Opposite of thanks to Alex for this one. Poured into plastic cup as to not taint the Narke tulip.

A - Pours a mirky orange color, thin collar, wisps.

S - Hops, yeast, sugary sweetness. Too sweet for a Belgian IPA...not really sure what they were going for here. That said, this is White Birch, so who knows what they're thinking.

T - Bitter hops, light citrus, funky yeasty malts. The sweetness isn't as bad as it is on the nose, but it's still too sweet. The bitterness is nice, and I would prefer less sweetness and more yeast and hops.

M - Too much body, good carbonation, creamy bitter finish.

O - I didn't really like this one at all. My pour was enough to let me know I won't be trying this again. I don't think I'd call this a Belgian IPA, but who knows what this beer could have originally been styled after. No thanks!

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Photo of AgentZero
2.86/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

As usual, thanks to Alex for this.

A - Golden amber colored beer with a small white head and not much stick on the sides.

S - Some citrus with a bit of yeast with some caramel sugar. Yeast is slightly harsh and phenolic. Hops are more of the earth variety and not particularly sweet.

T - This may be the best White Birch beer I've had, or if nothing else, the best one I can remember having. belgian IPAs are usually not great, an this is not great. Kind of herbal, bitter, generic malts, phenolic yeast, and gritty. That said I don't want to spit it out, so I'd say it's a winner for WB.

M - Gritty, medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

O - This was passable, which is amazing considering the source. Yeah, it's not good, but still better than expected.

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Photo of smcolw
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4, March 2011, 6.5% ABV for this bottle

Starts with a four-finger head. Leaves a dome as it recedes, leaving some larger spots. The brew is cloudy with orange-hued amber color

Beautiful combination of malt and hop. Lighter pale malt predominates, but there is an excellent floral, but mildly spicy, aroma hop. Smells delicious.

Creamy malt that leads to the beginning of a mildly bitter flavor. But when you swallow, wow, it becomes very, very bitter with a peppery punch. In a word: complex. Each sip brings out new flavors of stronger spices. There is no apparent alcohol flavor and I do not detect any of the typical Belgian yeast. (There is a slight yeast, raw bread flavor.)

This is an exceptional IPA--excellent in every attribute.

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Photo of gestyr
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 7 Bottled June 2011 ABV 7.7%
Poured into tulip glass

A: Pours a hazy orange-amber with a long lasting head that leaves lacing

S: Wow! Citrus hops. Very nice hops aroma followed by caramel and malt. Some hints of fruit

T:Very tasty. Hops Cascade hops flavor with a strong malt backbone with a minty, almost candycane like sweetness.

M: Medium bodied. A satisfying mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation.

O: I liked this very much. It is complex without being complicated, refreshing and will fill the need for American Hops in anyone.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Poured a slightly hazy amber color with a huge puff of off-white head...took a few minutes to settle before the bartender could actually serve me a full glass. Active and fizzy with carbonation. Citrusy hops in the nose, and plenty of fruit notes. Good taste, citrusy, piney, lots of hops, overlaid on a sweet malt base; fruit salad and a touch of spice detectable. Medium-bodied and quite enjoyable.

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White Birch Hooksett Ale from White Birch Brewing
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 160 ratings