Thursday, October 4, 2012

White Birch Wild Ale

Type: Wild Ale
Origin: Hooksett, NH
Price: ?
ABV: 9.5%
NSP: ?

Alex brought this one out from the east coast, so we decided to do a collaborative review.  Alex is far more of a sour kind of fellow (beer-wise, not personality-wise) than I am- I don't tend to like sours at all, and this is my first sour review- so we're bringing two levels of expertise to the review.

The color is downright weird.  The closest thing I can think of is when you've got the spins, and you hurl a few times and think you feel better.  But then, just when you're about to fall asleep, you feel one more lap around the porcelain coming on.  But when you get there and start praying, all you manage is some bile and shame.  And that's what this looks like.  A late-stage vomit mixed with toilet water.

Alex: The color reminds me of the hopped up lemonade we made, but maybe a bit milkier or siltier.

Smell-wise, I'd describe it as spoiled grapefruit juice. The grapefruit is promising, the spoiled is not.  There's a bit of woodsy smell in there too, and some lemony citrus in addition to the grapefruit.  The initial shot of the flavor is promising too- plenty of citrus, and not a lot of over-the-top sourness.  But the finish is pretty rough.  There's a strong, weird toasted marshmallow/rotten walnut finish, and it's not good.  It fades a bit as you make your way through the glass, but it never turns into anything pleasurable.  It's pretty nasty, and it's certainly not going to make me hurry and enjoy sours.

Alex: I couldn't really position the after flavor beyond 'toasted' but Chris nailed it with rotten walnut. The toast pretty much kills it, sort of like: I threw up in my mouth and am now tasting half digested mouth remnants. This beats the Pamola XPA by a solid margin just on body, but losing the toasted brett fest would have put it even better off.  Compared to the Night Falls, this is garbage.  The more you drink it, the more it tastes like throw-up-in-your-mouth.

So, to sum up: yuck.

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