Category Archives: Belgian Pale Ale

Orval

Brewery: Brasserie D’Orval S.A.
Country: Belgium
ABV: 6.2%
Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Brewer Description: (from website) The distinctive fruity and bitter taste of Orval beer means it has become a genuine reference in the exclusive world of authentic Trappist beers. Orval beer is a high fermentation beer. The ageing process adds a fruity note, which strikes a subtle balance between the beer’s full-bodied yet complex flavour and bitterness. The beer was first brewed in 1931 and owes its unparalleled taste to the quality of the water, the hops and the yeast used. The brewery has selected very aromatic and unique hop varieties, which hark back to the first brewmaster of Orval, who hailed from Bavaria. The beer’s aromas are very pronounced while maintaining the right level of bitterness thanks to the English method of dry hopping. The various stages of fermentation – combined fermentation with the original yeast and with wild yeast, followed by fermentation in the bottle – mean the beer must age for some time and requires numerous quality controls.

My rating: 5
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.56
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.3

Intro: A 330ml bottle, bottled on 3rd February 2016, best before 3rd February 2021, and poured into a Chimay goblet.
Appearance: A clear copper colour with an almost two finger white head that had great retention and left nice sticky lacing.
Aroma: Very fruity berries, grape, apple and pear with hints of coriander and brett.
Taste: Nice gentle fruitiness, berries, grape, bubblegum and plum with a light tartness, light peppery spice, brett, funk and a hint of banana.
Mouthfeel: Dry-ish, medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: Very nice and very well balanced beer, and a must buy beer in my book.

Mikkeller Årh Hvad?!

Brewery: Mikkeller ApS
Country: Denmark
ABV: 6.8%
Style: Belgian Pale Ale
Other Notes: Brewed & bottled by Mikkeller at De Proef Brouwerij

Brewer Description: (from Mikkeller blog) Originally created as a tribute to one of Mikkeller’s favourite beers, Årh Hvad is a great accompaniment to cheeses. A Belgian Ale with cloudy amber colour and white head. The taste is a combination of pepper, malt and hops. Årh Hvad finishes with notes of strawberries and nutty malt and a light hopped grapefruit finish.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.62
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.5

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before date of 23rd October 2023. Poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass.
Appearance: A hazy dark orange, copper, amber colour with a huge two finger fluffy off white head that kept growing out the glass with great retention and lots of sticky lacing.
Aroma: Tart berries, brett, funky, grape with hints of white wine and citrusy mandarin, orange on the back end.
Taste: Lightly sour to start with berries, plum, orange, pine, pepper spice and florally with a lightly bitter finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied with low to moderate carbonation.
Overall: This was interesting as it was created as a tribute to Orval, and while there are some similarities, I still preferred Orval (which I had side by side) and which I felt had a smoother and better flavour profile.

Spencer Trappist Ale

Brewery: Spencer Brewery
Country: USA
ABV: 6.5%
Style: Belgian Pale Ale
Other Notes: Hops – including Willamette and Nugget. Malts – including 2-row, 6-row and Munich.

Brewer Description: (from website) Our recipe was inspired by the traditional refectory ales known as patersbier (“fathers’ beer” in Flemish) in Belgium. These sessionable beers are brewed by the monks for their dinner table and are typically only available at the monastery. Spencer is a full-bodied, golden-hued ale with fruity accents, a dry finish and light hop bitterness. The beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized, preserving live yeast that naturally carbonates the beer in the bottle and keg and contributes to the beer flavor and aroma.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.61
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.5

Intro: A 750ml corked and caged bottle with a best before end date of AG 217 meaning 5th August 2017. Poured into a d’Achouffe tulip glass.
Appearance: It poured a slightly hazy amber orange colour with a two finger off white head that had good retention and left nice lacing.
Aroma: Banana bread, overripe banana, clove with a touch of caramel and mandarin.
Taste: Quite similar to the aroma with banana, clove and bready malt along with hints of mandarin, citrus peel, spice and nuttiness.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation and a dry finish.
Overall: This was quite good but perhaps also a bit normal. Not quite as complex as other Trappist Belgian Pale Ales.

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Artisanale du Luberon B.A.L La Babe Ale

Brewery: Brasserie Artisanale du Luberon
Country: France
ABV: 6%
Style: Belgian Pale Ale
Other Notes: Malts – Barley, Pilsen, Melano, Munich, Cara and Wheat. Hops – Magnum, Nugget, Sovereign and Strisselspalt. Other – Vanilla Pod

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Abbey Ale.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.88
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.7

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before date of December 2017 and poured into a plastic cup (it was all they had at the hotel).
Appearance: It poured a hazy copper, brown, orange colour with a half finger white head that dissipated almost immediately, leaving almost no lacing.
Aroma: Plum, dark fruits, slight sweetness and butterscotch.
Taste: Dark fruits, plum, prunes, grape and caramel.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with high carbonation.
Overall: Smells great and tastes pretty good, but carbonation was way too high. Other than that, I was quite satisfied.

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Bière du Comté La Blonde Bio du Mercantour

Brewery: Brasserie du Comté
Country: France
ABV: 5%
Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Brewer Description: (from website) (in French) Bière blonde de fermentation haute. La Blonde du Mercantour dégage un arôme frais et une odeur de céréales. En bouche, elle débute par des notes dominantes de noisette et une douce amertume se construit progressivement, équilibrant l’ensemble. Sa fraicheur et sa légèreté conviendront parfaitement aux palais délicats. La Blonde du Mercantour est rafraîchissante et douce, avec une amertume délicate. Bière artisanale et régionale de Saint-Martin Vésubie, fabriquée avec de l’eau de source pure. Un dépôt de levure riche en vitamines et gage de qualité se forme naturellement dans la bouteille.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.13
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.1

Intro: A 750ml bottle with a best before date of 15th June 2018, poured into a small plastic cup (all that was available at the hotel).
Appearance: It poured a hazy straw gold colour with a one finger white head that dissipated fairly quickly and left nice lacing.
Aroma: Bready, banana, clove, honey, lemon with a hint of 7-up.
Taste: Quite similar to the aroma with bread, banana, clove, coriander and pear.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: It’s pretty good. Light and easy to drink. Good and refreshing on a hot day.

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