Wednesday, July 15, 2015

White Birch Hop Session Ale

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1400) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 15, 2015
If I were drinking this beer blind I’m not sure I would identify it as a Session IPA. White Birch Hop Session Ale is closer to a standard American Pale Ale due to the fact it’s not especially bitter or hop-tasting. It might actually be a little too well balanced for its own good. 

I poured a 12oz can into a flared goblet. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.60 ($0.22 per ounce).

Appearance: Extremely hazy shade of copper/brown; translucent with no visible carbonation. Pours to a fairly large, white, frothy head which laces and retains rather well.

Smell: Clean floral scent with some minor pine and citrus notes. Rather mild, though.

Taste: Plenty of amber maltiness up front which creates for a light sweetness. I also detect a bit of a twangy earthy character as well. Piney hops seem to accentuate that. They’re plenty flavorful and woodsy, but not especially bitter. There’s an underlying tea character as well, which is interesting at least. Pine needles seem to emerge on the finish and create for slight bitter bite, but it’s fairly mild. There’s a bit of an orange sherbet flavor in here, too. Overall, it’s a tasty combination of flavors, but not hop-forward enough to really work as a SIPA.

Drinkability: White Birch Hop Session Ale has a very interesting mouthfeel in that it’s actually kind of creamy and remarkably smooth and calm whereas most tend to be thin and crisp. That makes this beer easy to drink, even more so considering the relatively clean aftertaste with just a bit of a resiny flavor. It doesn’t seem to take full advantage of its 5% ABV weight, though. It drinks like a session beer, but will it work as such? That’s for you to decide.

Score: 7/10

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