White Birch Apprentice Series Deviant Monk | White Birch Brewing

18 Ratings
no score
Send samples
White Birch Apprentice Series Deviant MonkWhite Birch Apprentice Series Deviant Monk

Brewed by:
White Birch Brewing
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
With this release by David Sakolsky, our fifth brewer apprentice, we bring you an inspired ale. Complex, malty, dark, nuanced by oak, and fermented using his favorite Belgian yeast strain. This is a beer you can enjoy today as well as age for years to come.

As David moves on, we raise a toast and hope you enjoy this beer as much as we do.

Added by Jason on 08-12-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 10
Reviews by Mess:
Photo of Mess
4/5  rDev +13.3%

More User Reviews:
Photo of mdaschaf
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of gdkersey
5/5  rDev +41.6%

Photo of hoppymcgee
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of Patrickbrusil
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I like this beer.

The taste is solid but major carbonation issues. With more bubbles this beer would stack up against a Rochefort 10. I truly believe it has the backbone.

However, it came out more like flat coca cola. I think the recepie should be attempted again and hopefully with a better outcome.

 304 characters

Photo of jneiswender
3.06/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this beer at the Belgian Beer Festival in Boston. Served from the bottle into a two ounce tasting glass.

A.murky dark brown body and an off white head.

S. Chocolate front and not much else

t.chocolate ...some floral hop but subtle.

M. Medium to full

D. Dark ale or stout? ??? Seems stout-like more than a belgian strong ale-like. I'm good with this.

 358 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a fizzy 1 finger head that fades semi quickly at first before slowing, bit of lacing, over super dark molasses brown colored beer, with hints of ruby light sneaking through.

Nose is interesting, some darker malts, caramel malts, molasses, and light toasty. Then herbal, vegetative like earthy aroma that also explodes with phenols and a light boozy estery aroma. The phenolic aroma just seems to overpower everything. I do get hints of cocoa and oak as well, bit of cola like syrupy sweet additive as well.

Taste starts with dark fruity flavors, light fig and raisin. Then the phenols take over again, booze warming and tingly bringing some phenols and almost fusel alcohols. Sweet flavors kick in, with cola syrup, molasses, and syrupy sweetness, as well as some toasty darker malts. It's fairly rich, with light cocoa, and hints of reddish malts and caramel. A bit of esters make their way in from the yeast I believe, as well as hint of oak and a light almost hazelnut like flavor. it finishes still semi sweet but drier,some spicy earthy hops kick in as well, with a long syrupy sticky feel, light oxidation even, and more of the fusel alcohol flavor.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, lighter but decent enough carb, plenty of warming and tingly booze.

Overall not impressed. This is one of the not so great White Birch beers. Too boozy, fusel alcohols, phenols, esters, syrupy sweet, not a ton of malt or fruits, mostly a mess. Sorry Bill, this just wasn't my style.

 1,481 characters

Photo of DCon
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared a 1 PINT 6 FL OZ bottle of this w/ STLWIll & Friends @ The Royale. Poured from the White Labeled bottle w/ Black/White Birch Trees Above the "Facts of the Beer" in a Chart into a 12oz Shaker Glass. Has BOTTLED July 2011, BATCH One, & BOTTLE COUNT 1100 listed in the Chart on the front of the bottle.

Aroma- The aroma is very roasty and has chocolate that hits the nose also... Can't say these both should be in here... Very strong and clear also. Can't mistake these two attributes for anything else.

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger head that has weak head retention. Has a dark brown body that this deep. Leaves light suds behind.

Flavor- Completely different from the aroma... Is very dark with spices, malt, and sweetness. Well blended and smooth with all of these characters. Finishes with a medium-high bitterness level.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, Medium Carbonation, Smooth, and can tell this is a Belgian Strong ale with its strength and light alcohol warming.

Overall Impression- A nicely brewed beer by White Birch. I'm not sure what was going on with the aroma but the beer seemed fine. I would definitely recommend enjoying this one and see if you agree with my notes on the aroma... Strange.

 1,221 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid dark brown with beautiful ruby highlights when held to light and a thinnish beige head that slowly dissipates to a cap on top. Smells of caramel and brown sugar predominantly, hints of raisin, dark cherries, and chalk. Taste is sweet with a Belgian yeasty edge. Caramel and brown sugar mix with dark pitted fruit quite nicely. Hints of vanilla molasses and tannic oak with just a hint of warming alcohol round out a dry finish quite nicely. Medium body with a light carbonation level and a sweet almost sticky mouthfeel. Wow, this is not half bad, in fact this is pretty damn good! The chalk went away shorty after opening and opened up to a great brew, good job apprentice David!

 694 characters

Photo of LambicKing
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of rudzud
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review taken from notes.

A - Pours a clear mahogany with a nice one finger head that fades to leave a thin cloud. Not too much left for side lacing though.

S - Eh, average at best here. Lots of ABV on the nose with some light belgian spices and oak. Some soft carmel malts too.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. More pronounced oak barrel earth tones as well as sweet carmel malts. Some dark fruits (raisins and such) along with that potent ABV.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty good, nice crisp carbonation. Even with a nice feel the strong ABC is still far too noticeable.

O - This isnt a bad beer, but just another mediocre offering from White Birch. Really, their stuff is so hit or miss. A shame.

 697 characters

Photo of xnicknj
3.2/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into tulip

Pours a deep blackened caramel color with a toasted beige head. Fades into a cloud of film with some spotty film left on the glass.

Hints of dark fruit in the nose with raisin, dates and figs. A little sweet with a hint of smoky char. Some oak tones and caramel with bread crust. Slight smack of heat.

Rich, full dark fruit flavor right up front. Touches of raisin and date with some candied notes. Oaky smoothness delivers a faint char on the tongue with a soft current of smoke. Bready malts with lingering sweetness and a touch of molasses. Finishes with another touch of dark fruit and some alcohol warmth.

Fuller medium body, decent carbonation, sticky and a bit oily on the tongue. This was pretty decent - although I think the oaking gave a slightly unpleasant oaky char that seems to linger on the back end.

 853 characters

Photo of gestyr
4.32/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22Oz bomber into a tulip glass

A: Pours a deep red rich color with a thin off-white head that lasts

S: Molasses, malt, sweet caramel, oak

T: Very rich. Nice mixture of tastes. The malt, molasses and caramel are present along with the oak which is subtle. It is followed by an alcohol warmth.

M: Medium bodied with a feel of carbonation but no sting.

O: A very good beer. Too bad this is a limited run as it is a winner.

 439 characters

Photo of MasterSki
3.04/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of AshleyMiller. Served in a Surly Darkness glass. Batch #1, with 1100 total bottles produced in July 2011.

A - A half-finger of light tan foam settles to some wisps and a thick collar, leaving behind a few splotches of lace. Dark brown body that is pretty much opaque.

S - Sweet baby Jesus! Alcohol, phenolic yeast, black malt, more alcohol, light oak, bready malts, and dark chocolate. The booze is harsh, and develops a solvent character as the beer warms up, with perhaps a touch of glue and tar.

T - Taste is an improvement, with dark candi sugar, dark chocolate, cherry cordials, anise, and some obvious alcohol in the finish. Oak character is pretty minimal in this beer - I was surprised when I took a look at the label.

M - Other than the unpleasant and obvious alcohol there feel is actually quite nice. Smooth texture, medium-low carbonation, medium-full body, and just the right balance between sticky and dry for the style.

D - This is one of the better White Birch offerings I've had - it's mostly devoid of off flavors and doesn't suffer from the over-oaked and watery feel that plagues some of their other oaked offerings. Approaching the six month mark the alcohol is still pretty potent, so I wouldn't expect drastic improvement. The only beer of the night that Nate and I couldn't finish.

 1,328 characters

Photo of zgunder
2/5  rDev -43.3%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -15%

Photo of rab53
3.21/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark and inviting shade of brown. Minimal head which fades quickly to nothing.

Smells of burnt sugar and perhaps dark fruit.

Overly sweet with no hop presence.

Carbonation rapidly fades, leaving a sweet flat base.

Tasty for the first few sips, then transitions to a heavy flat malty soup with no Belgian characteristics.

 332 characters

Photo of beertardis
4.25/5  rDev +20.4%

White Birch Apprentice Series Deviant Monk from White Birch Brewing
3.53 out of 5 based on 18 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.