White Birch Hop Session Ale | White Birch Brewing

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White Birch Hop Session AleWhite Birch Hop Session Ale

Brewed by:
White Birch Brewing
New Hampshire, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Hop Session is in. Starting with a blend of west coast hops for a balanced, bitter effect. We close the session out by late hopping the beer for a nice resiny mouth feel.

Added by johnnnniee on 03-26-2011

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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 269
Photo of Czequershuus
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an opaque brownish orange with a sizeable head. The aromas of pine, spruce, lemongrass, wet hay, and white pepper. The flavor leads with a mild hint of pine, followed by a barnyard funk mingled with lemongrass and cilantro, ending with resiny pine on the swallow. The mouthfeel is buoyant but chewy from the highly unfiltered broth. Overall this is an awesome and different IPA with a huge whack of herbal and farm funk.

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Photo of slammo
4.45/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I am very impressed as I drink this Hop Session Ale. The firm foam head stayed around as I admire the orange hue. Notes of citrus and grapefruit waft towards my nose and the mouthfeel is lovely. The real thing I like is the hoppy quality and the quaffable session style. You can drink a few of these and not overwhelmed with high alcohol. Balanced and smooth I think I'll have another.

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Photo of FrankLloydMike
4.43/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this from the bottle several times, but I've been enjoying it on-tap at Atwood's in Cambridge lately.

A: Arrives in a full pint glass, with a nice, pillowy head retreating into a sticky lacing. The color is an orange-amber with lots of red, like a good mix of golden and red beets; hazy and glows in the dim tavern-light.

S: Malty with little hint of the hops; clean but dank; smells like a bready English bitter; earthy and slightly faint.

T: Taste resembles a good English-style pale ale with a much more pronounced, but delicate hop bite to balance it. The malts are bready-sweet, but clean and crisp, with the hops--pine, grass and a hint of pineapple--lending a grassy earthiness and a pleasantly bitter finish. Really a wonderful balance, and just about perfect taste-wise for what I look for in an everyday beer.

M: Just about perfect: full, juicy, not quite chewy; very smooth; lower end of carbonation, but still spot on for me.

D/O: The lower ABV, smooth feel, and fresh taste make this an easy beer for a session. Like the balance of hops and malt, this is a wonderful balance of complexity and approachability; it's a beer that impresses while retaining a laid-back, everyday style. If it was available in a six-pack, this would probably always be in stock in my fridge. As it stands now, it's in regular rotation on the bomber shelf, and I really hope to see it pop up more on-tap so it can be something of a go-to when I'm out. This is easily one of my favorite White Birch offerings, and one of my favorite local beers period at the moment.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled: December 2011
Batch: 11

Into a pint glass:

A: hazy golden colored body and yielded a two finger fluffy off white head. This impressive head lasted a good two minutes before dissipating ever so slowly. Light slowly moving carbonated bubbles were seen rising. Barely any lacing was seen left on the glass.

S: coffee combined ever so nicely with pine and floral tones. There were some hops slightly in the background.

T: bittersweet through the coffee but a bit more subdued with the pine and floral tones coming up front.

M: medium, dry and bitter with a bit of a metallic feel christening my tongue with some lashes, slightly sessionable

O: a decent beer other than the mouthfeel. I know it is a red, and these don't age well, so I won't knock the brewer for a not so great mouthfeel. If anything, I'll look for a fresher batch next time I see this somewhere.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a White Birch tulip glass.

The color is a hazy orange/amber with some rust colored highlights, a finger of foamy white head the leaves a thick lacing on the glass.

The smell has a strong orange rind aroma with some bitter hop aroma and a little malt finish in the background.

The taste is malty at first with some mellow biscuit flavor like an English muffin. There is a nice fruity flavor toward the middle with orange coming out and sweet jelly flavor. There is a good bitterness that comes out at the end and stays for a short while in the aftertaste.

The feel of this beer is a light to medium bodied with a really nice feel going down. A good drinker with a drinkable feel.

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Photo of Overlord
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

What? Only 5.1% alcohol? I assume the label is lying. An ABV that low can't contain flavor molecules of this magnitude. Thanks to a generous BA.

Pours a hazy, slightly murky orange-ish gold. Listed as an amber/red ale, but there's nothing red about it that I can see. Big gushy white foam head.

Smells like fresh cut grass, some hay, a bit of orange rinds with a tiny, very tiny lemon-y citrus zest. The brew it reminds me of right off the bat is daisy cutter.

Taste is also daisy cutter-ish. The hop profile is splendid with grass, hay, some light citrus notes, orange/pineapple rind ... just really quite nice and very .... wait for it ... keep waitiing ... sessionable. Mouthfeel is bubbly and lively.

Very drinkable, very pleasant.

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Photo of farrago
4.24/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Moderate pour yields a half glass full of an off-white head, virtually all dense foam with a slowly dimpling surface, the foam oddly pulls away from the glass sides as it dissolves even as the overall retention is excellent, the lacing is thin but super-sticky. Light orange copper highlights to the golden hued base, thick cloud of bubbles rise steadily, definitely hazy and mostly opaque, noticeably unfiltered. Firm nose of black pepper, pretzel dough, coriander and cumin spices, dried orange peels, trace earthiness, mild apricot to peach fuzz, burnt mocha powder, at times something like tobacco ash, excellent complexity without striving too hard, holds its fullness for an extended period of time, deepens as it warms. Full-bodied, has some give but not close to soft in texture, the carbonation provides a steady churn but nowhere near the high level you’d expect from the way it virtually foams over the glass. Has a sort of Belgian feel to it with clove, coriander, cinnamon spice flowing through, strong dose of salt and pepper. Not much citrus but decent amount of apricot, yellow apple, peach fruit. Baked sourdough and some rye as well. Herbaceous finish without too much bitter bite. Agreeably challenging even as the texture dries and gets semi-gritty. (Bottled January 2012)

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 12/4/2011 at Pour Farm in New Bedford, MA served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, citrus and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of citrus and caramel. Then a good hops presence comes in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easy, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice beer to pound down for a long time.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

deep dark red, lots of ruby tones mixed in with a thick brown base. Really nice color here. Great clarity that you could see right though to the carbonation that was rippling up toward the service. A very nice head of foam formed on the top of this one, maybe a height of two inches would be about right, and this kinda of sat there for a little while before dropping down to a nice thin pillow that covered the rest of the top of it. Great side glass presentation capped it off nicely and what you have here is a fine looking red ale.

The aroma was as malty as I was expecting. Deep tones of bready malts coming through almost immediately, with a deep underlying earthy and grainy taste to it, kind of musky and very nice and typical of the style. Lots of caramelized sugar here sweeten it up and I started to detect just the slightest bit of hoppiness in the finish. Everything pointing to a very nice experience here. The flavor was spot on for the style. Rich medium bodied ale that was more then well carbonated, and had a good bit of life in it as well. Great malt flavor coming though here, very bready with a good amount of a hop kick in the finish. Lots of sweet caramel and sugar flavors and a nice touch of fresh grass ringing through on the finish. Very nice example here. The finish was great, super smooth and a touch dry, just enough to make you come back and get a bit more from it. This was a classic for me and exactly what I was looking for at the time.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a foggy burnt orange hue. The body glows. Head is a thicker cap of dense, stiff, doughy fluff. Head retains but leaves rather light lacing for its size. Looks awesome.

S-The nose is pretty legitimate as well. Hops present themselves as candied citrus and soap along with unique notes of mint, aspirin and eucalyptus. Solid malt base rounds out the beer and adds balance.

T-The taste is balanced has plentiful amounts of hops. Starts off with sudsy hops, then you get a brief hint of the mint, eucalyptus and medicinal hops. The comes a solid rush of fresh citrus and bitter pine. Finally it recedes into a very tasty muffin/biscuit malt finish. The bitterness lingers pleasantly. It reminds me a lot of Maine Beer's Peeper Ale (mostly because of its delectable malt profile).

M-Fuller than the 'session' word denotes. High bitterness. Still, very drinkable. Carbonation nearing intense.

O/D-Almost didn't buy this because my last White Birch encounter (Oude Timey) was an absolute horror-story. I am happy I tried this. I think the agreeable $4.50 price tag is what facilitated my purchase. Only the second White Birch brew I have tried. This one was a success as much as the first was a failure. This is about a month old and its great. But don't even think of trying this after another 2 months.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$5 for a big boy glass @ Atwoods, Somerville MA

Translucent honey color with a sticky white head. Ample lace and retention.

Sweet and very bready. Hop character is a mix of fresh morning dew grass and sweet tobacco leaf twang.

Tastes like it smells: bready with with fresh grass and tobacco hop spice. Raw, fresh and grassy earthyness. Perfectly balanced. Big and creamy mouthfeel that you'd expect to find on a beer twice the abv.

This was a standout at the ACBF for me and it's even better in a less distracting enviroment. Far and above my favorite White Birch.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber at Burrito Me in Laconia, NH. Bottled May 2011, Batch 5. I poured the beer into a weizen glass, and it shows a bright orange-gold coloring, opaque and hazy, with a huge, foamy, off-white head. Big bubbled, the head slowly settles from about four inches down to around two. Great lacing along the glass. Aromas of spicy and green hops, with fruit and citrus sweetness. Sugary sweet notes are present, also. Very balanced, and slightly light bodied. The aftertaste is tart citrus, with a grapefruit pucker, kind of like citrus candy, with some smoke, and a dash of dry, peppery hops. The finish is dry, but smooth. Very good brew.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. 1/12

Pours blackish copper with a layer of white foam. Layer has some body to it. Light pine nose, a little grassy. Minor malt. Light flavorful taste. Backing hopo. Subtle bitter which builds. Resiny mouthfeel, chewy, sappy. Really good IPA. Much enjoyed.

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Photo of nickfl
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with two fingers of white foam on top of a hazy, golden-copper body. The head settles slowly and leaves thick lace on the glass.

S - Fruity, spicy hop aromas with lots of grapefruit character. Caramel and toasted malt in the background.

T - Lots of thick, fruity malt up front with notes of caramel and some spicy hop notes. More hops show up in the middle with some pine and sweaty hop character. Finishes with notes of mustard and other spicy hop flavors as well as sweet caramel and toffee.

M - Medium-thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Despite being obviously a bit past its prime at 8 months old, this is a very enjoyable beer. The hop character is nice and balances well with the thick, sweet malt. It is surprisingly robust and thick for a beer of its relatively modest strength and it has held up remarkably well, though I really wish I could have tried it when it was fresh.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Brown and cloudy, pretty good head that dissipated into a good sheen and left nice lacing.

Smells nice, malty and piney, plenty of grapefruit, lots of aromatic hops.

It's hoppy, with a nice piney grapefruit background and a smooth, easy malt finish, much like the smell. Very tasty stuff!

Feel is pretty rich for the style, although it's medium body it's almost full really, with such a rich, smooth feel. Excellent.

Honestly, it's not very typical of the style at all, but I'm not letting that change my rating. This is good stuff.

Very drinkable. As the fourth person to review this beer, I'm giving it two thumbs up!

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Photo of Brad007
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After spending a lot of time on the extreme beer side of the equation, I'm more than happy to look for beer lower in alcohol with lots of flavor.

Pours a light amber color with a thick, frothy head into my glass. Notice the lacing that's left on the glass after a minute or two.

Hop forward with a great dose of buttery malt. Grassiness from hops is the most apparent. More like a pale ale.

Bitterness is pronounced with a small amount of grassy citrus. Buttery malt kicks in the middle.

Unfortunately, the bitterness becomes unpleasant towards the back of the mouth. Wish there was more of the malt to go around.

A decent stab at a session ale. Of course, there could be a bigger focus on the malt. Still, you cannot go wrong with this session ale. Pick it up before you try their other, stronger offerings.

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Photo of jimmah120
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bomber at about 2 months old

look is a deep gold with amber highlights. smell is pine, pineapple, pepper, spice, rye. taste follows with grassy hops and subdued malt. feel is simultaneously dry and juicy.

great session ipa, now I want to try it fresher.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

batch 5, bottled May 2011, into fantome tulip. 5.4%

A- Gusher! Lost a few oz here. 5 fingers of head, sticky and nice. Hazy orange with a bit of brownish yellow hue.

S- Potent hops, sweet, powdered sugar and birch syrup. White Birch, birch syrup? go figure.

T- Outstandingly hoppy- and this bottle's a few months old. This one's a lip-smacker. Very bitter, a bit herbal and piney. Malt is pale and lightly toasted, very nice. A hop session indeed.

M- Very bitter, crisp, and full. Good composition.

O- Amber/red ale? I think it's an American pale/IPA. Scored as such. Good stuff. Surprised me.

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Photo of AngryPenguinBrewCo
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Served on tap in a pilsner glass. Pale golden color, nice clarity. Good carbonation with medium white head. Good hop presence, with pine/ resin the dominant flavors. Overall a good session ale.

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Tap and Barrel, Smithtown, NY.

Poured a hazy brassy hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a clean citric dry hop and light bready malt.

The taste was hop forward with clean notes of pine, pepper and grapefruit. A soft round psle malt supported the hops.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style with a pleasant carbonation and residual hop spice.

Overall a tasty hop forward sessioner.

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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice bubbly 2 finger head that fades at a medium pace with a no lacing over bubbly semi clear amber reddish orange color.

Nose brings some fresh hops, light citrus and tropical fruits, very light resinous, a bit of orange peel, and just a hint of malt backbone.

Taste starts crisp and light, with more hops, light citrus and orange peel, very light tropical fruits, some aromatic hops, fairly bitter, a bit juicy, just a hint of resinous hops, fairly smooth, very light malty backbone, a slight creamy pilsner-esque toasty malt hidden in there that comes out once my mouth is acclimated to the hops a bit more, and hints of a reddish malt flavor too. Finishes fairly bitter but doesn't really ramp or get heavy, a slight sticky mouth feel, pretty dry, some lingering citrus and fruit hop flavors.

Mouth is medium to a bit lighter bodied decent carbonation.

Overall pretty good, a light hoppy session ale as advertised, decent hops, a decent malty toasty addition hidden behind the hops, very drinkable.

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Photo of Gavage
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours an orange color with a 2" head that lingers a while. Spotty lace develops.

Smell: caramel, orange, and a floral bitterness is nice on the nose.

Taste: follows the nose as caramel, pears, orange, and a floral bitterness creates a flavorful beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout. Refreshing. Short aftertaste.

Overall: as the name implies this is a definite session ale. Nice flavor profile and a decent refreshing aspect makes this a good beer.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled in 2/2014. Pours lightly hazy bright orange color with a 2 finger dense and rocky white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big mango, tangerine, peach, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, caramel, light biscuit, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt balance; with good strength. Taste of mango, tangerine, peach, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, floral, grass, caramel, light biscuit, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of mango, tangerine, peach, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, pine, caramel, light biscuit, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and robustness of juicy citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected of 5%. Overall this is a damn nice session IPA. All around good complexity and robustness of juicy citrus/tropical hops with moderate malt balance; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of gestyr
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 22oz bottle into a 24 oz glass. Bottled Feb 2011, batch number 2.

A: Pours a red-gold color. Head is big, fluffy and long lasting with lacing.

S: Hops. Citrus. some malty aroma

T: Malt sweetness very quickly gives way to hops. Lots and lots of hops flavor with a lingering bitterness.

M: Meduim to full bodied. A bit on the full side for an Amber but not too extreme. Light carbonation.

O: I liked it. It is a good session beer and would go great with steamed shrimp or a sharp cheddar cheese. Next time I am up in New Hampshire I will be looking for more.

Batch 9 Bottled Aug 2011.

Freshness makes a big difference More of the hops aroma and flavor comes through. Also, there is a caramel aroma in this batch that wasn't there in Batch 2.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured all head, cream colored, and it lasted and lasted with a merengue floater. Hazy light burnt orange color. Smells like an IPA. Taste is medium IPA hoppy and has a fruity aspect I settled on describing as grapefruit. Medium rich body with a pretty long finish. The best
White Birch I've tried so far.

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White Birch Hop Session Ale from White Birch Brewing
3.7 out of 5 based on 269 ratings.
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