White Birch First Sparrow | White Birch Brewing

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White Birch First SparrowWhite Birch First Sparrow
44 Ratings
White Birch First SparrowWhite Birch First Sparrow

Brewed by:
White Birch Brewing
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Smoke Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.80%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by johnnnniee on 02-23-2013

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 44 |  Reviews: 12
Reviews by Maxwell:
Photo of Maxwell
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a murky, caramel orange with a fizzy head on top that sizzles away to nothing but a scrim. In body the beer is dark and murky, but clean of particles, giving the beer a cloudy amber hue. On the nose, this beer is all about the smoked malts. Big, woodsy and sweet with notes of wood smoked bacon and pork. There is a creaminess to the smell that blends beautifully with the smoke and accentuates it, suggesting light butter and very light caramel malt. The smell is rich and smoky, and though it is a little one-noted with the smoke, there is ample complexity within the smoke. On the tongue, the beer tastes richly smoky sweet with a light acidic pop. Meaty salt notes also swim over the tongue. In flavor, the beer begins with a huge burst of smoky beechwood, bacon, and smoked pork. This beer then takes towards bright citrus, almost like lemon juice. Caramel malts, like what you would find in a malty amber ale, do appear on the tongue in the middle of the sip, but are then blended with spicy hop note and then the smoke returns in the finish, giving lovely woody notes alongside the richer, meaty notes. The end of the finish is a little weak and watery, finally showing the beer’s 3.8%, but up until that point I could not have guessed the beer’s weak ABV. The aftertaste is slightly chary, and metallic, but is mostly the nice smoked malt. In the mouth, the beer feels light in body, yet slightly chewy in mouthfeel. Carbonation is fierce and scrubbing, which makes it easy to drink lots of the beer, but is a little too fierce for my taste. Overall, this is a weird and unique beer. The smoked malts are rich and tasty, and pack a ton of flavor into this little beer, and the caramel malt provides a light secondary flavor. The finish is watery, however, which might be due to the style, and definitely makes this beer drinkable in large quantities, but leaves me wanting a little more weight in my mouth. This is a great beer and I am excited to see the style revived.

 1,997 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: It pours cloudy light gold under a thin fizzy rapidly dissipating foam collar. S: The smoky tart wheat aromas rising from the glass evoke a wurst. T: The brewer uses a light hand on the smoke and does not overpower the wheat or tartness. There is also a light dose of salt and a light lemon character. F: Very sparkly and light. O: this is a Grodziskie and it is very nice to see brewers bring back this style. This is very well done, refreshing and much appreciated.

 470 characters

Photo of tabascosigned
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured into a mug. The appearance was a nice looking hazy dark brown with ruddy amber hues along the sides of the glass. A thin layer of white to off white foamy head dissipated within less than thirty seconds leaving some light stringy lacing sliding down the glass. The smell starts off with a light smokey to semi-sweet to semi-rustic grainy maltiness. Light roasty coffee and cocoa blends into the mix of things. The taste was moderately sweet to roasty and carrying a nice smokey flavor wrapping around the coffee and cocoa. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it. Carbonation felt right for a (Polish) gose. Overall, yeah, I used that word. Pretty sure White Birch was going for the Polish version of a gose which is the dark side which means that the "saltiness" should be barely there and more "smoked" to "meaty" like flavors are supposed to be there. With this one, eh, not bad. They did a good job taking away the "saltiness" of the "gose" and adding the qualities of the Polish styled gose of the dark side. Probably could have again.

 1,125 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Ale pours a light cloudy amber tinged yellow with light white bubbles on the head that
pool to thin white ponds and light lacing. VERY light smoke on the nose, light citrus notes
of lemon zest and white pepper. Taste is rather unique. This quaffable ale has lightly slick
mildly sweet malts up front and on the back that fade to a smoky profile that mingles nicely
with lemon and bitter orange flavors in the background. The more it warms the better the
flavor profile becomes. Smooth mouthfeel with decent carbonation. This is not what I
expected at all. Very nice session brew.

 589 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the Spring 2013 batch. Sampled on March 16, 2013.

It pours a slightly cloudy pale yellow/olive to copper with a humongous puffy white head that lingers and lingers.

The smoke and wheat welcome the nose to enjoy the beer in a polite sort of way with a slight earthy hop feel as well.

The body is medium and smooth.

The taste is a bit more forward that the invitational aroma with a much more full wheat and smoke flavor and a low but mellow bitterness at the end. I could drink this style a hundred times and White Birch really pulls it off wonderfully. It's a 3.8% ABV beer but it feels heavier than that.

 615 characters

Photo of Sanchezrox23
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of dcisco44
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of Amalak
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

Photo of smanson56
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of bostonryan
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of melitameister
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I am giving this beer some advantage because I think it is outstanding to find a beer with so much going on, with such lovely and unique characteristics, and a very low 3.8% ABV.

Appearance - dark golden/tan with fine carbonation, a slight haze and a cream colored head with nice lacing.

Smell - gentle sweet cheesy smoke, meyer lemon and maybe a hint of berry.

Taste - a lovely creamy smoky gouda-ish intro with some tangerine and butter. Nice balance of meyer lemonyness and bitter in the middle. Then comes a nice long trail of mild malty sweet and complex tasty hops bitterness.

Mouthfeel - medium body with a nice resinous light density.

Overall - this has been sitting in the cellar for a while because a smoked wheat 3.8% beer without crackling reviews just seemed a long shot. Very happy with this beer and I will have it again. With rich live goodies in the bottle bottom, unique, delicious and fun.

 915 characters

Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of mklisz
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of the_beerist
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of freshcarl
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of johnnnniee
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy medium to deep golden color with a small but long lasting fluffy white head. Smells of smoky campfire with a spicy edge to it and sweet lightly fruity malt backbone hidden deep under the smoldering embers. The flavor is smoked meat up front with a solid shot of earthy hop bite to it. Sweet and spicy malts play together midway through before leaving a smokey almost tart fruit finish. The charred wood lingers on my salivating palette long after each sip. Light to medium body with a moderate to high level of carbonation and a smokey sticky phenolic mouthfeel. This is definitely different, but I enjoyed the hell of this beer. Light and smokey with light fruitiness, it works for me.

 699 characters

Photo of tobelerone
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of kaelingirl
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of sendbeer
2.5/5  rDev -32.1%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of DonFrap
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of YeastInception
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of brewandbbq
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Pours hazy dark gold with an inch-plus head of white. A partial skim coat remains for the duration with no lacing.

A hefty whiff of smoke, bananas, and earthy malt starts the palate. A hint of cooked meat and smoldering bark follows through.

Light bodied with a slightly crisp but thinnish mouthfeel.

Tart wheat runs under a smokeshow of slow-burning malt and earth-dusted ham and beef on the palate. A hint of lime and salt follows through.

Finishes with a mouthful of smoked meats and barnfire billows.

Loads of smoke and a very big flavored beer for such a small abv. Recommended if you like a really smokey beer.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a cloudy orange body with fluffy head and a smokey and spicy aroma that gives off some citric/lemon and pepper bite and a little bit of meatiness that one expects with a smoke beer. Thin bodied and smooth, easy to drink, the sharp wit notes of citric bitterness and spice come through as does a very noticeable smoked edge and the two flavor profiles balance with each other to create a good beer without one dominant personality. However, the charateristics of the beer do not stand out too much and there really isn't anything to this beer that I could say is great or would recommend to someone. Not a bad beer and a worty effort but not my favorite.

 660 characters

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White Birch First Sparrow from White Birch Brewing
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 44 ratings