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 seedyone
2.21/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

07/27/11 Company blurb says: "a blend of west coast hops for a balanced, bitter effect. We close the session out by dry hopping the beer for a nice resiny mouth feel."

Not my kind of thing. I prefer clean and crisp. The "resiny mouth feel" made me feel I had kissed a tree...hugs maybe, but never a kiss on the mouth, thank you very much.

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Photo of SierraFlight
2.21/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Bottled in February 2014 tasted at the end of October. This one’s going to be stale. Bomber into nonic pint. Copper body with off-white finger high head. Some patches of lace. Aroma is dim caramel malt, some citrus, and earth. Taste is muted bready sweetness and muted floral bitterness. Medium body, a notch in the direction of thick texture, average carbonation, astringent finish.

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Photo of NJM
2.67/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

From a can, not dated.

Pours murky dark orange, bordering on brown. Not a good look. Settles into a hazy dark orange in the glass, decent foamy head.

From there I'm not sure what happened with this one. Oxidized? Strange choice of yeast? I'm picking up primarily saison-like phenolics. Mouthfeel is rough, leaving a very undesirable astringency to finish.

I just started seeing this one around in cans, some I'm presuming it's only 2-3 months old.

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Photo of billab914
2.71/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle poured into a glass. The whole glass immediately filled with foam. After pouring and letting it settle for the next 20 minutes I finally get a glass of amber colored beer with an active, rocky white head. It looked great eventually, but getting to that point wasn't easy.

The aroma has a herbal, earthy hoppiness to it with some tart, crisp fruits coming through. I get some notes of pepper and grapes to it. It has a dry, bready like presence to it as well.

The taste also shows some tart, crisp fruits to it with some notes of pear and grape in the finish. Again, I get more of a dry, bready presence in it as well. The hops do come through and give it some herbal, earthy qualities as well as some bitter citrus rind in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being explosive. Overall, the explosive carbonation was a pain in the ass to deal with and it wasn't that great of a beer to make it worth all the fuss. Something didn't seem right in it, I almost wonder if the high carbonation and slight tartness is the beginning of something developing unintended. Once it settled it was drinkable, but average at best.

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Photo of BMFR1811
2.72/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Purchased a single bomber style bottle on 03/29/14 in CT. Bottle said that it was bottled march of 2013. Served at 58 degrees.

The pour initially showed a high level of carbonation as it was almost completely foam. It took a long time to pour the bottle into my glass because I had to allow the foam to drop.

Appearance: Amber beneath a thick head and thick lacing on the sides of the glass

Smell: No hop aroma, just malt.

Taste: Initial taste is malt. I don't taste any discernible hops, there is a a lingering bitterness. There is a faint citrus that is barely noticeable. Not bad, not great just okay

Mouthfeel: over carbonated for an ipa, the carbonation would be more suited for a hefe or a cream ale. That's being said it still had good body.

Overall: not a good example of an ipa. I would like to try a fresh one but I think the one I bought might have been stale since I didn't get any of the hop flavors and aroma that I expect from an ipa. I would classify this as an amber ale and not as an ipa

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Photo of icepik
2.8/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Review caveat: This beer was bottled during Aug.2011 and I’m tasting it during Jan. 2012. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice the bottle date in the store when I purchased it. This beer was about ready to explode from over carbonation. It was a massive gusher (when chilled to 45 deg. no less), but in the breweries defense, they probably didn’t mean for it to sit on the shelf for 6 months. Bottle shop should have pulled it, but that’s another story. Anyway, take this review with this caveat AND check the bottle date if you purchase this beer!!!

A: amber color, cloudy/chill haze, good head and lacing.

S: Decent hop aroma (given its age), somewhat citrus, bit of tea aroma, with a lot of malt in the background.

T: A very nice balance of malt and hops, even with its age. This beer was probably great when fresh. Hops provide nice balance against the malt with a very nice bite of bitterness on the finish. Taste is nice, seems a bit like an English IPA.

M: Over carbonated, dominates mouth feel

O: Tough to give an objective opinion. I’m betting this beer was pretty good when fresh, but it’s way past its prime now. I’ll try it again if I can find a fresh bottle.

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Photo of brunop
2.84/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

i found this an acceptable in a pinch session ale. most all session IPA's seem to me to be pretty much indistinguishable. i'll just stick with notch and founder's for all-day imbibing though.
edit--the last one in the six, i had to drain pour.
maybe i got a bad six. . .

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Photo of tone77
2.96/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A thanks goes out to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, light hops. Taste is also mild. Light malts, some lemon, hints of pine, damn near no bitterness. Feels light bodied in the mouth and overall is mediocre at best.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass, color is copper to light amber with a solid head that dissipates and then clings.

Smell is fairly hoppy with a very light biscuity malt flavor.

Taste is a little too bitter upfront, but there are notes of some biscuit malt, light caramel and maybe a touch of roast.

Mouthfeel is a little to harsh, very biting on the tongue for an amber and a beer of this strength.

Overall, another average brew from white birch, with some off flavors for the style.

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Photo of far333
3.11/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Horribly overcarbonated bottle. This sat on the counter for 20 minutes because it was initially too cold, so there's no way it was shaken up. Even a slow pour kicks up two thirds of a glass of foam. Beyond that, it's a hazy apricot color with a rocky head of off-white meringue.

Inviting aroma of citrus hops, grainy and pithy, a bit of a rough-edged aroma. Flavor seems less hoppy, but the flavor may be masked by carbonic acid coming off the foam and carbonation as it is a bit harsh. Mild honey malt rides beneath a nearly acrid hop presence punctuated with mint and grapefruit rind. Some yeastiness in the finish, perhaps not a clean or complete fermentation. Rough mouthfeel, acidic and sharp.

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Photo of dheacck11
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

March 2013 batch.

Pour is a muted orange amber with a finger of creamy soft white head.

Nose is pretty muted as well, not much to speak of. Some hints of malt and grain, no real notice of hops.

Taste is surprisingly malty with lots of barley and rye to the front. Follows with medium strength dry and bitter hop.

Feel is pretty thin, with the hops leaving a rather bitter and baking soda-esque after taste.

Not what I was hoping for at all. It did grow on me with time, but really, there are so many better beers to be had, this one really left me wanting more. Too bad.

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Photo of mverity
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle share at Proof. Hazy orangey gold in color with thin off white head and same thin collar. Aroma is muted malt, some faded indistinct hop character. Taste is about the same, with some hop citrus, and somehow vaguely peppery. Thin body with medium carbonation.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.29/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass, bottled February 2013. Hope this goes a lot better than my last White Birch beer.

A good solid orange amber body, a bit hazy with some fast rising cola bubbles. Head is a nice off white creamy and foamy consistency though, and makes easily three fingers nicely. Lots of staying power and creamy cap on it as well, but most of the head bubbles are also quite large as well.

A surprising simple and solid nose. Biscuity malts with hints of caramel like sweetness, and soft chewy grain. Hop action is downplayed but a noticeable citrus and possible floral aromas comes out. Nice hint of toast and sweetness matching as well. Pretty good.

Palate comes off a bit watery unfortunately. Grainy mouthfeel with an astringent grainy finish also. Hop angle doesn't bring the flavor, but there is a light medicinal quality finish to the brew also. Not much depth to this beer, a little bit of piney grapefruit sense in the mid palate that doesn't last that long.

It's a drinkable beer, but it certainly not a memorable pale ale, and there's much better out there than this.

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Photo of slentz
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of this at Bert Better Beers while vacationing in NH. Bottled May 2011 Batch 5. Served at 50 degree into duvel tulip glass.

A: Moderate pour down the center of the glass leads to 5 finger head! Wow this head is not going anywhere, sticks around forever. Lots of carbonation in this one. Beer is a golden color and somewhat hazy. Looks like it could be unfiltered. 4.5

S: Smell is lacking. However the hops may have faded a bit since I am reviewing this about 2.5-3 months after bottling. Really sticking my nose in this one and getting nothing. 2.5

T: Taste is really not that bad. Tasted like a pale ale without the bitterness. Really wish there were hops present here but overall not all that bad. More on the malty side. 3.5

M: Mouthfeel is light and prickly tons of carbonation as show in the pour. Glad I split this bomber with my wife because I really would not have wanted to finish this myself. 3.5

O: A decent beer perhaps a bit past its prime. Would be interesting to try it super fresh. I may look for this one around here. I have a few other White Birch offerings and looking forward to those.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: rust orange/unfiltered body, finger white head
fine lacing

S: mild orange/peel, hint of biscuit malt

T: sweet biscuit, hint of citrus, green veg/grassy bitter finish

M: med/light body, semi-dry/crisp mouth

O: 1st White Birch beer, not bad, can't
put my finger on the chalky/green veg aftertaste.
Would try more of their beers.
Seems like many Mid-Atlantic/New England
beers have that quality. Lots of flavor
for session brew, goes down quite easy.


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Photo of Lonborgski
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz can to tulip glass
Unfiltered, cloudy light caramel color
Smell of sour hops
Taste follows nose. Slightly sour, funky, hoppy, IPA
Feel is unremarkable
Overall, the sourness is not to my taste. I generally look for lower alcohol beers, but this one is too funky for me.

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Photo of ghostwalker
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy amber body. Ridiculously huge head. Pretty sure this is a sign of infection.

Nose is sharp and hoppy, but also a bit acetic. Still wondering if it's infected...

Flavor is pretty good. Hops and slightly astringent malt. It's not truly infected, but may just have a brush of brett.

Mouthfeel is tingly and highly, highly carbonated.

Overall, It's a decent brew. Kind of reminds me of Orval. Maybe it would have been better when fresher. Still not bad, just not entirely what I expected.

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Photo of Sammy
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Americo’s bottle, fresh from Rhode Island. Bottled in November. No aroma. Looks are good, cloudy with a significant white head and lacey. A melange of hops. That's about what I can say, as its mouthfeel is limp and its not that drinkable. Maybe their brews are better on tap.

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Photo of Ian_B
3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Maybe I got a bad batch. Smells phenolic and slightly acidic like a saison. Taste is pleasantly soft but lackluster and somewhat muddled, with a strange tart/piney combo on the finish which just doesn't really hit the mark.

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Photo of chefdave37
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer I had out of a can poured into a pint glass a murky golden color. It has a yeasty smell and taste losing any hops flavors. Light to medium feel. Overall it is ok session but lost the hops.

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Photo of metter98
3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that died down, leaving a patchwork of bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of Belgian yeast are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of Belgian yeast. No bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes a lot more like a saison then it does an IPA. Both the smell and taste are dominated by aromas and flavors of yeast—not hops.

Serving type: can

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Photo of Cavanaghty
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Reddish brown amber color, with a thin white head, mild lacing on the glass.

Smell: Mild citrus and hops, some sweet aroma as well.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Bitter hops and pine with a mild hint of citrus.

Overall: Not quite what I expected, but a good easy to drink brew.

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Photo of risendragon
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am a huge fan of White Birch and this one I have surprisingly not tried, until now. Poured from a bomber into a standard dining glass with no refrigeration.

A- Hazy orange, very bubbly. Head is extremely prominent even with my pouring style and that detracts quite a bit from the beer.

S- Citrus, big time. Grapefruit stands out the most with lemon and pine taking a backseat. Beautiful aroma.

T- Taste does not really follow through with the nose. Bitter up front with malty caramel finishing. The citrus is there but mainly lemon and even some blood orange in there, grapefruit flavor comes through towards the end. I was expecting more though based on the aroma.

M- Resiny finish, not really cloying but very misleading given the amount of carbonation. I do think it's over-carbonated for the style, but that's a personal preference I think.

O- Not a bad IPA but really nothing to write home about either. I think it's a bit to sudsy for the style but the flavor profiles are nice and fit the style well. Definitely a good "starter" IPA.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can. Opaque orange pour, thin head fades quickly to nothing. Belgian funk yeast and pine in the aroma. Taste is similar with strong piney grassy hops and saison funk. Medium slick mouthfeel. Not my favorite style IPA but not bad tasting at all.

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Photo of smcolw
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

First pour is all foam that settles slowly, leaving some spotty, but chunky lace. Very cloudy, but the broth is amber-orange.

Floral hop smell. Mild alcohol nose and nearly no malt.

First impression is of a superb home brew, that is to say there is plenty of yeast to the taste. The predominant flavor is the hop, particularly in the swallow and aftertaste. The body is notably thin and the high carbonation exacerbates this.

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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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