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White Birch Tavern Ale | White Birch Brewing

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White Birch Tavern AleWhite Birch Tavern Ale
BA SCORE
3.77/5
Very Good
84 Ratings
White Birch Tavern AleWhite Birch Tavern Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Butter’s Tavern was a fixture of Concord, NH in the eighteenth century. Inspired by their loggerhead ale, we’ve created a Smoked Imperial Brown Ale. Hearty malts, with a nuanced smokiness and smooth finish create our interpretation of this historic ale. We hope you enjoy this slice of New Hampshire history.

Added by womencantsail on 02-11-2011

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#21,525
Reviews:
38
Ratings:
84
pDev:
15.38%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
6
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 84 |  Reviews: 38
Photo of BCFrog
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of jneiswender
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a pint and a half bottle into a medium sized tasting glass. Very dark garnet color with a dark tan head. Chocolate and faint campfire smoke. First sip is a bit coarse. Second sip reveals an elusive smoke flavor here. Just when you want to say "there it is", it leaves you. Its kind of like a smoke and chocolate punching match. One hits you and before you can realize it, the other flavor hits you. After awhile of drinking you taste pizza crust and some alcohol. Slick and full mouthfeel. Very different take on the old Rauchbier. If you like smoked beer you should give this a try. Nice.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a mini pint glass, color is dark brown with light tan head that presents bout 1/2 inch thick then laces nicely.

Smell is lightly sweet, some rosted malt and hints of chocolate with a nice light smokiness.

Taste is a sweet malt that smoothes to a roasted flavor followed by a mild smokiness, more beachwood type smoke.

Mouthfeel is a little strong on the tongue, sitting on the tongue strongly, a touch cloying.

Overall, an ok smoked ale, flavors are not too out of sync, but a little sweet and not quite enough smokiness is the right places (nose).

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Photo of BigCheese
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of larryi86
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you Cstromberg57 for this
22 oz bomber, 12/2011 batch 4, poured into a tulip

A- Dark brown, almost black, with a small dark brown head that fades quickly.

S- Roasted malts, caramel, cocoa, smokey.

T- Richer than the nose, getting more smoke, chocolate malts, caramel malts, roasted malts. Good, not overpowering.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- A nice smoked beer that I enjoyed, definitely a nice extra. I feel this would be worth trading for again.

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Photo of erlenmeyer
1/5  rDev -73.5%

Photo of far333
4.19/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark mahogany with a light brown head of foam that sizzles down fairly quickly leaving no lace. Rich aroma of molasses and brown sugar, some espresso and cocoa.

Rich and pungent flavors of roasty malt, cocoa, espresso, root beer, leather, charred oak, dark bread, slight cherry twang. Lots of flavors moving in an out, nothing overpowering, well balanced. Moderate bitterness offsets the malt, no hop flavors detected.

Full and creamy mouthfeel, finishes with a carbonation bite. Cocoa, smoke and leather lingers. Great beer.

 527 characters

Photo of ChrisPro
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of FrankLloydMike
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of tpauer
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of BierBliss
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Lawnboy33
5/5  rDev +32.6%

Photo of billab914
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. 22oz bottle shared at a recent tasting. It poured a dark brown color with a decent sized, off-white head to it. Pretty nice retention.

The aroma shows a lighter smokiness to it with more of a woody, slightly burnt flavor to it. I get some nice malty sweetness coming through with some caramel and brown sugar notes to it. The smokiness is really nice in it, it's not overpowering but adds some very nice depth to it for me.

The taste also has some very nice smokiness to it throughout the flavor. It blends very well into the malty, sweeter flavors of the brown ale. A little bit of a burnt, bitter flavor comes through in the finish. Very nice flavor overall, I loved the smokiness to it.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was a very good beer. I really loved the smokiness and how well it blended into the base beer flavors. The smokiness wasn't overwhelming either, typically I love smoke but the milder smokiness really worked well for this one. Very enjoyable beer overall

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Photo of armock
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hiphop1 for hooking this bottle up in the 666 BIF.

A - Poured a brown color with a tan head that leaves some lacing behind

S - Is of light roasted malt and a good bit of smoked malt

T - Like the nose theres some roastyness but mostly good a smokey flavor

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

O - I enjoyed this beer quite a bit as I love smoked beer so to me this one was very easy to drink with its good taste worth trying if you see it around

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Photo of AgentZero
3.06/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle share by ChrisPro who called this the "second best White Birch beer he's ever had." That could mean anything.

A - Dark brown beer with a khaki head that left some spots and other stuff on the side of the glass.

S - This smells almost exactly like a Tootsie Roll. It has a little smoke in there as well, so I guess it's a smoked Tootsie Roll.

T - Tastes like a Tootsie Roll, with a little more smoke and roast than the nose had. The taste is really heavy and gets fatiguing fast, but unlike a lot of White Birch beers I didn't have to spit it out or supress my gag reflex.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The big taste makes it seem heavier than it really is.

O - Well it wasn't a complete disaster like I'm used to from White Birch. I didn't really like it as there was just too much Tootsie Roll flavor but it wasn't horrible. Wouldn't likely drink again.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by ChrisPro - thanks man! This is from Batch 2, but there is no bottle number. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

A - A tan foam settles to a thick collar, leaving spotty lace and wisps on top. Dark brown body.

S - Tootsie roll, caramel, molasses, and chocolate malt mingle with smoke and meat.

T - Taste is smokier, with some char and dark chocolate bitterness. There's some mild astringency and plastic in the finish as well. Otherwise it smells much like it tastes.

M - Moderate carbonation, medium-thin body, and well-hidden alcohol like all White Birch beers. Solid, but unexceptional.

D - A passable smoked beer. It's in the top tier of White Birch beers I've had, which renders it tolerable.

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Photo of greenmonstah
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottled Feb 2011. Poured into large snifter

A - Pours a very dark brown with a finger of light tan head.

S - Smokey, but subtley so. Surprising amount of chocolate. A bit sweet. Some dark fruit.

T - Smokier in the flavor, for sure. Smoked meat and malt flavors come in, along with a roast characteristic and a bit of chocolate. Finish is a strong char flavor. No alcohol flavor

M - Medium body with average carbonation and a slightly dry flavor. A bit shapeless in feel, it is somewhat hard to place.

O - Overall I enjoy how the smoked flavor isn't too overwhelming. I think it does a great job of complementing the other flavors without drowning them out. The smoke goes well with the roast, chocolate, and sweet malt flavors, making for a real treat. I couldn't justify higher category scores, but overall I really enjoy this beer. I'd love to have it on a cold night in late Autumn by a camp fire, or perhaps in a ski lodge next to a roaring fireplace.

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Photo of rudzud
2.86/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Picked up when this first came out at Julio's Liquors batch 1 bottled in February 2011.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a deep dark muddy brown with a creamy two finger head that fades slowly to leave nice side lacing and good residual head.

S - This has a slightly smokey aroma but somehow drowns out all other scents. There's a light hop note on the back but mostly smoke.

T - Similar to the nose in that there is a smoky note that masks most if what makes a good brown ale. Lacking sweet malts with just a hint of hops. Rather average.

M - Easily the worst part of this beer. Super thin with not much carbonation. Watery and the higher abv really shines through due to that.

O - Overall I find this beer to be quite mediocre. There are so many better brown ales that aren't overpowered by smoke or as thin as a glass of water. Worst White Birch I've had to date by far.

 876 characters

Photo of sethmeister
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Batch 3, bottled March 2011.

Pours very dark brown with a fizzy khaki colored head. Held to the light a glimmer of red at the edges. Minimal lacing, head drops to a ring.

Scent is first caramel and molasses and then woodsmoke and charred, peat like notes underneath

Taste is sweet with dense dark chocolate and molasses. Sweet like bacon drizzled with maple syrup. Dark fruit, plums? The smoke is very subtle and not at all overpowering. (I actually would welcome stronger smoke flavors. See what Islay scotch does to you?) Builds gently in the background. A hint of black licorice.

Mouth is a bit disappointing. Starts a little too fizzy and ends a little too watery. Would like to see this with a creamier fuller body. Mild alcohol warming in the throat.

I love smoked beers so I was intrigued and had to try this. A solid brew.

 835 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 3 Bottled 3/2011
Pours a deep shade of brown that barely lets any light through except faint ruby highlights when light is shined through it. Fluffy tan head shows some promise but is almost gone after the first sip. Smoky the bear would be proud to drink this, smells like smoked wood and a hint of ash. There's a spicy component that I can't quite put my finger on. Chocolate and caramel and some dark fruits lie deep in the background but are present. Quite a complex nose here. Taste is smokey up front but leads into a rich milk chocolate, caramel, and toffee flavor. There's a slight astringent bite that I can't distinguish as smokey phenols or hops. Finishes with an earthy almost herbal character and a smokey chocolatey finish. Smooth creamy mouthfeel, light to medium level of carbonation, medium to full bodied. Wow this is good! The smoke is a nice addition to a thick creamy chocolatey imperial brown ale. Great Job White Birch

 948 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A new one from a brewery I have always had great luck with, I jumped at the chance to try this one. Pours out a nice dark brown with a head of tan that reaches a height of around an inch or so before settling back down and leaving some nice lacing along the sides.

Aroma is full of campfire smoke right off the bat. I had been expecting it but it really came off quite strong and full. Really nicely done here I have to admit. Nice notes of light chocolate and big roasted malts are always a welcome treat. Flavor carries this over quite well as the chocolate and earthy notes lay underneath that wonderful smoky campfire like flavor that leaves a long finish with rich development across the tongue.

Overall a very fine example of the style

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Photo of jbertsch
4.21/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Darn brown in color. Head is tan in color but isn't hefty and fades easily. Little to no lacing.

Smokiness is very prevalent in aroma. It takes the form of smoked prosciutto or bacon. Some sweet malt is there a well.

The taste offers the proper amount of smokiness that I expect after smelling this. Notes of hickory, wood, and brown sugar are all there. Faint note of chocolate malt. Alcohol taste is completely hidden.

Mouthfeel is ok. Medium body with an oily feel and lower carbonation.

Overall, I think this would go so well with BBQ or smoked meats, or anything with a sweet BBQ sauce. Might also go well with cigars.

I'd buy this again.

 651 characters

Photo of Jeffo
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Doopie's mate Steve brought this over from MA. Thanks a bunch for sharing man!

Described as a Smoked Imperial Brown Ale
Bottled Feb 2011
Batch #1
Bottle count 1032

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium looking, tan head with good retention. Head fades to a decent wisp. Dark brown, bistre perhaps, and minimal carbonation evident. Ring and slight wisp remain leaving dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Milder nose on this one. Roasted malts, mild dark chocolate notes, and some dark fruits, raisins perhaps. A touch of smokiness, but not much at all. More roasted malts and dark fruits in the nose. Milder but quite nice.

TASTE: Roasted malts, dark baker’s chocolate, and a good dose of smoky malt. Some more roasted and smoky malts and a good dose of bitterness after the swallow. Some spiciness in there as well in the milder yet lingering aftertaste. Medium strength but quite interesting. Very enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation, and a little lighter on the palate. Creamy enough, goes down fine with a bit of a surprising burn after the swallow, and finishes somewhat dry. Could be a little heavier and smoother as well.

OVERALL: Quite a tasty and enjoyable brew. The other four categories were nothing to write home about, as the nose could have been bolder for an “imperial” and the palate a little heavier and creamier, but the flavor was wonderful. We all really enjoyed this one. Thanks again Doopie!

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled February 2011
Batch 2
Bottle Count 1008
ABV 8.0%

Pours a dark brown color with a fizzy light brown head, sticks around longer than I though but doesn't leave any lacing on the glass, bubbles form a small cap that sticks around for awhile.

Smell has just the right amount of smoke in my opinion, I've had other smoked beers where it smells like cigarettes and is off-putting, whereas this beer has a nice balance of roasted malt, smokiness, a bit of dark cocoa in the nose, as well as a charcoal aspect.

Taste is roasted malt up front, the smokiness is blended in with the malt so as not to be overwhelming although it does linger a tad too long, a decent burnt bitterness follows in the aftertaste, carbonation is spot-on and the body is thick enough to be creamy but not cloying.

I'm not a huge fan of smoked beers (or rauchbier's either) but this one treads a fine line and makes it work, it's certainly better than I expect it to be.

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White Birch Tavern Ale from White Birch Brewing
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 84 ratings
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