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 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 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 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 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 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 chinchill
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz can.

A: Deep amber-copper body is a shade darker and more hazy than expected (i.e., than typical). The creamy off-white head has very good retention and leaves exceptional lacing.

S: This is the weak trait of this otherwise fine IPA. Hoppy, but a bit too dank and earthy

Taste: Does not follow the nose, instead having a nice mix of herbal, floral, citrus and evergreen hop notes with enough caramel and other(?) malt to give an appropriate bitter-sweet balance. Moderately complex.

Feel: Medium body and medium+ but soft carbonation.

Overall: an excellent session IPA, although at 5% ABV this a the upper bounds of "session".

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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 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 mdaschaf
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Gallows in Boston. Review from notes.

A: Served in a pint glass, Hop Session was orange/copper in color with a small off white head that had decent retention. Sporadic lacing.

S: Light floral hops with a hints of citrus. There is a bit of bready malt and a little caramel too.

T: Nice combination of caramel and bread a nice hoppy bite to it. Some floral/grassy hops with a little bit of citrus fruit.

M: Light to medium bodied, very crisp and easy drinking.

O: A nice beer, easy to sit back with this one all day.

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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 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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Photo of johnnnniee
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep orange/amber color with a huge fluffy white head that sticks mad lace to the sides of my glass. Smells of hops, pine citrus and earth in front of a backbone of bread, biscuit, and caramel. Caramel and bread carry over to the taste and are the dominant force but are in constant battle with citrus, pine and a slight mineral element. Lingering hop bitterness and sweet bready malt on the finish. Medium to high level of carbonation, medium body with a sticky mouthfeel. This is a nice balanced easy drinking, dare I say it, session ale. I may have to invest in more of these.

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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 Billolick
3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can, w/ not dating info that I can find

Pours lightly hazed medium amber, frothy and loose light khaki head that stays and leaves quality looking low sheeting and nice relaxed fields of lace on the glass.

Leafy hop nose.

At 5% this is on the more robust side of the "session " IPA world.

Well hopped, fresh tasting and quite enjoyable. Light grapefruit, some resiny notes. All in all a real nice beer and in a can...win win ... go get some

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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 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 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 TheSevenDuffs
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled March 2013, consumed July 4, 2013.

A - Hazy medium orange with a huge amount of cream coloued head.

S - Spice and a light to moderate bitterness. Some pine, citrus and herbal aromas are present along with a bready sweetness.

T - Moderate dry bitterness with pine and lemony flavours and lighter herbal notes. Some caramel malt sweetness in the background.

M - Light body. Some hop resin. Moderate carbonation.

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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 Georgiabeer
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Fairly standard IPA, a little citrusy, a little grainy, and a little light. The advertised hops are lightly present, but don't lend any distinct character. This is basically a serviceable IPA, or perhaps just simply a pale ale. Not offensive in any way, but I'd like more.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle - September 2013 batch. Sampled on October 12, 2013.

It pours an unfiltered looking hazy pale yellow with a foamy, lingering head that leaves lacing in its wake as it diminishes.

The nose is greeted with floral and earthy hops in a vibrant fashion and a kind of meaty fruit-like character as well as the White Birch house yeast.

The body is about medium with a kind of resin-like texture.

The floral notes continue into the taste along with a citrus-like tartness and a lingering, moderately bitter finish.

This is one of White Birch's flagship brews and with good reason.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 12/11. Consumed 5/12. Batch #11. Bottle count 1152.

A: A 2 finger foamy sea-shell white head is generous atop. The coloring is autumn orange, bright and neat, with a mixture of quick release macro bubbles and slow moving micro bubbles. Head retention is fair on the hold leaving speckled patches of foamwork behind of modest coverage.

S: The aroma is decent at first but quickly fades. Get your wiff early on this one, of light fresh pine and flowery orange notes.

T: The flavor is sweet citrusy pine with a nice level of hop bitterness, dry tangerines and some Amarillo? Lemony hop notes. A small bit of tropical pineapple and grassiness blends nicely together. Bright flavor, and good hop presence even after 5 months after bottling. The hopping is clean and well defined with some sweet toasted grain juice and pine lingering afterwards.

M: Frothy around the tongues edges. Bitter orange and pine flower hopping stays nicely behind.

O: Overall crisp flavor, smooth hoppiness is bitter yet smooth and tasty enough to satisfy ones quench as a summer time session hop ale. Easy drinkability, hops hold up nice and well balanced. Defines session material and one I would drink more off. Drinks more like a crisp pale rather a American amber red (body is a bit light on the speciality grains and malt backbone for an amber) but is a non factor and is crisp for a hot summer drink.

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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 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 lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled February 2011
Batch One
Bottle Count 1356
A hazy amber color with a thick, off-white head. A lot of lace.
Very hoppy aroma. Mostly citrus but also a lot of herbal notes. Some sweet malt.
Predominantly grapefruit taste. Late earthy hops. The malt hung in there.
Pretty nice beer, just a little on the timid side.
Would drink it again.

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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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