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The Auroch's Horn - Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Auroch's HornThe Auroch's Horn

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

165 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 165
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 27
Gots: 29 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jera1350 on 04-03-2011

The Auroch's Horn is a modern reinterpretation of ancient ale brewed throughout Europe more than two thousand years ago. Ale was a staple of the barbarian diet, with Roman historians documenting a beverage made with barley, wheat, and honey in Britannia, Gaul, and Germania. The ale was consumed from the horn of the auroch (or aurochs), a now extinct wild bull.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 165 | Reviews: 54
Photo of Chaz
2.92/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a dull golden in color topped with an off-white head of average duration. Hazy, as in there's somethin' in this here glass and it ain't kombucha, man. As the head falls there's minimal lacing, and my Boulevard Smokestack tulip is clean, baby, clean as a whistle.

Nose is all sorts of funky yeast and clover honey and bilious malt. Sweet and not necessarily enticing.

BAM! A big, sweet, glop of funky weirdness on the first sip. This bottle is presumably not infected and/or fresh? There's no date code anywhere on the "Belgian"-style 750 mL glass or label, although there is a QR code (how very 2008!), but man, I am still stuck in the stone age with my 3G cellular telephone (I may as well be using a Motorola 'Brick'.)

SUPER sweet, and yet, mildly funky/spicy fruity and interesting on the palate. This beer coulda been a contender, it coulda been a Duvel! And yet, it chose to co off in that corner over there and smoke some low grade shwag and listen to Nickelback, instead. Ah well...

Note: There's a little more sour than sweet on the nose, but only barely, with the Belgian yeast kickin like a deranged mule the whole-damned time...

My final ruling? An under-attenuated, wild yeast-fueled, crypto beast-inspired horse slop* of a beer, and yet (naturally) the beergeeks love it.

I am so, SO out of touch with Craft Beer hobbyists... oh well.

*Five it a year or two n a dark place, and maybe it matures into an erudite, Northern Lights smokin' King Crimson-listenin' confabulation of awesomeness? Time will tell, brothers and sisters!

Photo of robear
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Caged and corked bomber into a tasting glass. Fridge temp at service, cellar temp mid way.

Appearance: What a beautiful beer. Pours clear and golden at first, haze sets in about half way through the bottle. Looks like what it is- a big farmhouse ale.

Aroma- clove, banana, and hops all punch in this amplified Belgian nose. A bit of dankness hidden, especially on the first pour.

Taste: Everything you could ask for in a 10% farmhouse ale. Lots of clove, a tiny bit of banana, but mostly sweetness and tons of Lees give this beer a nice sharp cheddar bite. The hops are present but not distracting. Some citrus. Very juicy.

Feel: Slightly spicy at the finish, great sweet burst at the end. Smooth enough for it's gravity, one of the easier drinking Belgian strong ales I've had in a long time.

Overall: I can't really find any flaws in this beer that would prevent me from buying it regularly. Really well executed. One of the more rustic farmhouse ales I've had, so if clean, clear golden ales are your thing, stay away. This is a big, hazy, tasty beast of a beer.

Photo of chugalug06
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Kick-ass tangerine color with soft white foamy head. Minimal lacing.

Standard Belgian smack in the face. Clove, spice, almond, vanilla.

VERY sweet. Sugars are red apple high; like a Schmaltz. Dryness is zero. Heat is well faded. Lots of spicy stone fruits. Carbonation is knife like and delightful. Sweetness is sharp and apricot esque. Tons of ripe honey.

Has to be near prime. Heavy light smooth well blended Belgian.

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Auroch's horn pours a cloudy hazy golden color with a nice big lacing head. There is a very creamy, spicy aroma, very sweet with good hints of banana. The taste is very creamy, good spice note, with a subtle sweetness, and hints of dry fruits. Great flavors, good creamy aftertaste. Overall a very nice easy to drink and flavorful beer.

Photo of Huhzubendah
2.59/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Was considering opening this when I noticed I had already reviewed this on ratebeer. Yikes.

The beer is orange with minimal head. The imparts booze, hints of nail polish, odd. The flavor brings sweet nail polish and fruit. WTF? This beer is just weird and wrong. Rhubarb is there but doesn't fit in. Pass. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

Photo of hardy008
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy light orange with a 2 finger rocky white head with very nice retention and lots of lacing. The aroma has peaches, pears, Belgian yeast, pepper, and pale malts.

The taste is sweet with peaches, pears, Belgian yeast, apples, and pale malts, with bitterness for balance provided by pepper, and other spices. This tastes every bit as good as some of the best Belgian Strong Pale Ale's I have ever had.

Medium bodied with above average carbonation. Has a lightly sweet aftertaste, and the alcohol is well hidden for 10.00 % abv. Olvalde Farm continues to make fantastic beers. I can't wait to see what they come up with next.

Photo of Bighuge
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Crystal clear regal gold body. Caronbation is visible in the body. Slight white cap leaves sparse lace. Great melange of cakey yeastiness, pear esters, baked bread and light spiciness on the nose. Really strong and enjoyable aroma. Flavor is really top notch. First impression is it reminds me of St. Bernardus Tripel the first time I had it and I thought "WOW". Such nice yeastiness and doughiness, breadiness....liquid bread. Nice pear and apple accents. Sweet malt center, but quite delicate. Slight spice Body is light and the feel is effervescent. Alcohol, for a 10% beer, is barely detectable. This could be a dangerous beer. Very impressed.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

this is one of those beers that is of impressive quality, and deserves high marks on all categories, but I just somehow don't like that much. after having the rhubarb version first, which challenged me and inspired me, this one seemed lackluster somehow, although its quality is unmistakable. I always appreciate an estate brew as well. this pours a slightly hazy golden color with a cool whip thick white head that doesn't recede at all. the nose is saison yeast, honey, and something tart. the flavor is sweet from both the malt and the honey addition, and has a unique fruity element as well. the yeast is strong, but has definitely left some residual sugar. the alcohol becomes very intense as the beer warms up too. the body is really dense on this, slowing drinkability, but the carbonation is really happening. overall this is a well made bottle of beer, but one that requires only small doses, for me at least. the combination of the weight and strength with the sugars is a little more than I can handle a lot of, but still a beer of impressive quality.

Photo of kawilliams81
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml cork n cage bottle into a a Pipeworks snifter.

A- pours a light gold with a 2 finger white head. Big clumps and trails of lacing remain on the glass.

S- huge Belgian aromas, spices, honey, toast, and light pine.

T- sweet honey, pale malts, some citrus, spices and bitter pine.

M- medium body and carbonation. Very drinkable with a slightly dry finish.

O- good beer. Sweet with some spice and citrus.

Photo of mwilbur
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a clear golden hue with moderate carbonation producing a 2 inch bubbly white head. Good retention. (3.75)
S: Honey and floral notes up front. Crisp citrus and melon too. Nice bouquet...very inviting. (4)
T: Citrus and soft pine with quite a bit of honey to soften and sweeten. The amount of honey is nearly crossing the line into too much...nearly. Melon emerges with warming. (3.75)
M: Sweet and fairly soft feel. ABV is well hidden. Missing the heft/body/fullness of a typical belgian strong pale ale. (3.5)
D: An interesting brew and I do like the honey component. Can't say I love this one though. Needs to be tweaked and refined (better structure and more complexity) and it could be phenomenal. (3.75)

12/3/14
2014 vintage:
A: Pours a hazy yellow-orange hue with high carbonation producing a 2-3 inch bubbly white head. Decent retention and a hint of lacing. (3.75)
S: Honey and soft citrus. Hint of pine, minerals, and melon. (3.75)
T: Honey, softly sweet citrus, melon, and minerals. Better balance with this vintage. (4)
M: Medium body. ABV is well hidden. Sweet, soft, and creamy feel. Lingers nicely on the palate. Also better here that previous review. (3.75)
D: Definitely some improvements/tweaks compared to past vintage. A solid brew and one I come back to on a fairly regular basis. (4)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to drewone for sharing this one at his place.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, Belgian yeast, and spices. Taste is much the same with fruity apple flavor and alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some solid aromas and flavors.

Photo of garymuchow
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had but have never reviewed. Cold winter night during break between Christmas and New Years. Seems like a good time.
Poured into Chimay goblet after quite a tussle with the cork.
Fresh fruit right away (softer lighter fruit) with the mild yeast qualities following with bits of tartness noted. Light on the spice. Alcohol noted in perfume quality. Malt is more background.
Fizzy not dense white head. Very clear golden body.
Malt more apparent here in flavor. Sweet honey like nectar. Yeast flavors hold spice that blends nicely. Fruit appears at times. Dough like malt.
So nicely carbonated. High carbonation lightens up the drink and leads to explosion with ingestion. Alcohol is well hidden. Really soft and light feel. Dries out very nicely with soft bitterness leaving both satisfaction and a yearning for the next pull.
This is nice. Very complex and interesting in every drink. Light and lively. A real joy. So cool it's made right here in good ol' MN.

Photo of NilocRellim
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The ale poured from a bottle and had a pale yellow color, with almost a hint of amber to it, and had a normal amount of white head that slowly died. The smell was of sweet tartness with a latent hop aroma. There was taste was similar to the aromas; there was slight tart sweetness that shifted into a slight hop and dispersed quickly from the palate, leaving a clean, crisp finish. There weren't really any lingering tastes; was a nice lager.

Would I buy it again? Yes.

Photo of KBomb
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great, murky copper color capped by thick bright white head. Lacing remains as thick as the head. Exuberant carbonation combined with the color and head make it a sight to behold.

A great fruity bouquet greets the nose: pears, pineapple, and mandarin orange blend with a little doughy bread for a super happy fun time smell.

Sweet, citrusy fruit melds compliments a malty backbone. The label claims the ale is "lightly hopped", but there is very little to be tasted at all. This stuff is sweet and boozy, plain and simple. A bit of a sour aftertaste...

...and a bit of stickyness too. The abundant carbonation can't keep this ale from being a bit coying.

All in all, an awesome beer even if I wouldn't call it an awesome Belgian Pale Ale.

Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color of this beer, brewed with honey, is reminiscent of, well, honey. The lively rocky cap of foam billows from the glass. It is very aromatic with honey, yeast, Belgian malt, and earthiness. The beer has a light, nimble texture. The flavor profile begins malty with lots of raw honey. Through the center bitterness builds which culminates in an earthy, bitter ending. This beer is a little rough around the edges, but overall enjoyable.

Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Light Orange/Yellow with a moderate haze. Still clear enough to make out the light but not the objects through the glass. Thin filmy head that vanishes quickly and there's a good amount of carbonation going on.

Smell - Apples, Honey, Grapes, Pears, Yeasts and Malts. Pardon me for saying this but it almost smells like Sparkling Apple Cider. However the aroma is very crisp and pleasant to the senses, not in a sickly sweet sorta of way

Taste - Honey, Apples, Pears, Cider, Yeasts and Malts. This has an unbelievably strong malty backbone. The aftertaste is a malty/honey sweetness. This definitely starts resembling a cider, but it somehow manages to stay a beer at the same time. This is unlike any strong ale I have ever tasted before, thanks to it's unusual sweet taste and different flavor. Also there is no boozy flavor in here too, which is awesome

Mouthfeel - Light bodied with some moderate but bearable carbonation that adds to the flavor. For an Belgian Strong Ale, this is not only very easy to drink but also incredibly refreshing to drink. On a side note, even though there is no alcoholic flavor, I am getting flushed by drinking this

Overall - Some people may be turned off by how sweet this beer is, but others (like myself) will find a great tasting beer that manages to be something different than what is normally expected and pull it off quite well. Based on having Auroch's Horn, I cannot wait to try more beers from Olvalde!

Photo of irrgalaxy
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle with champagne-style cork and twist-cap.

A: Clear, gold-red beer with three fingers of head after first pouring. Needed to give it a few minutes to settle down.

S: Floral notes, reminding me of springtime

T: Very sweet - the honey is a strong counterpart to the malty flavors. Almost no hop taste discernable.

M: Heavy on the palate - it's like drinking a dessert beer.

O: Tasty beer from a small MN brewery. I would think heavily about food pairings with this - something maybe either sharper or more neutral to offset the sweetness.

Photo of BMoney575
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 2-26-12

Pours a lighter golden color, with an immense, billowy white head. The head sits as a thick layer, leaving behind huge, craggy lacing.

Smell is very light with subtle sweet fruit aromas. Rather simple, but still very enjoyable.

Taste is just like the smell, with very subtle fruit flavors and a very light malt character. There is not enough going on, however, to combat the strong abv. The finish is hot with alcohol, with a boozy and acidic aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good, thicker than you might expect, but seems to suit the beer.

Drinkability is poor, the alcohol really hurts things.

Overall, good potential, just way too hot. Maybe some cellar time would help to even things out.

Photo of Tilley4
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to thecoder for sending this jewel my way...

Glows golden in the Duvel tulip... Loads of carbonation to this one...

Huge yeasty aromas... Funky and barnyard-like... I'm getting the honey they used here as well... This is quite pungent... Almost like Duvel, except amped up some which is impressive... Very inviting... Excited about this...

Sweet and malty.... Sharp and yeasty.... The honey is prevalent for sure... Earthiness of the hops and yeast have this one on point... Absolutely delicious... The funk is back in the flavors and rolling thru like a star... I'm impressed with the quality of this beer... Extremely well done...

One was enough as the 10% caught up with me but I had no trouble at all finishing this... Wish this was available locally... A terrific brew...

Photo of zeledonia
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been meaning to try this one for a while, finally getting around to drinking my bottle. My first beer from this new little brewery, and I'm hoping for good things.

Pours a bright golden yellow, the color of sunshine in the cartoons. Perfectly clear, with a solid stream of bubbles rising up. About one finger of fluffy white head, fades fairly fast, leaves some decent lacing. The color is just really inviting.

Smell is yeast all the way. Potent, pungent, musty yeast, with a dash of pepper and a hint of sweetness. I like it.

Taste is more varied than the smell. Yeast is again quite obvious, but the honey comes through really nicely, as a light sticky sweetness that lends some balance to that dank yeasty funk. Great balance of strong flavors, with some faint notes giving it some complexity. Alcohol is there, but not in a way that damages the flavor - it comes on as a slight pinch in the finish.

Mouthfeel is good as well. Medium-bodied, but with a heaviness from the honey. Good level of carbonation that keeps it from bogging down.

At 10% and a 750, this is too big for one person. Not wanting to get hammered, I drank about half. But I really enjoyed it, and I'll be back for more.

With the powerful yeast presence, the residual sweetness, and the light peppery spice, I think this could age really well.

Photo of yamar68
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy pear gold with a towering mass of paper white head that laces like nothing else... tons of beading that doesn't show itself until the beer warms a bit.

Clove, smooth honeycomb, sweet corn, Belgian yeast bits, incredibly inviting... the honey accents the rest of the beer in a somehow unintrusive way, no discernible booze whatsoever. Classic.

More sweet honey flavors, bready malts, some yeast notes, just a touch of saison spice, very mellow and exceedingly balanced, you could tell me that this one is 6% abv and I'd be none the wiser. Super smooth.

Feel is smooth and sweet, medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation, ends dry. Admittedly, the feel varies quite a bit sometimes but 4 out of 5 bottles are spot on Belgian Pale status.

Overall, a really great beer from a really nice guy down there in the farm country

Photo of tempest
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bottle at the Ale Jail in St. Paul. The beer doesn't quite jump out of the glass, but it's an impressive US-made Belgian. For the strength, it seems a touch muted, but there's a wonderful mix of soft pale malt and spicy Belgian yeast. Hops add a mild citrus undertone and balance to sweet, toasty grains. Check this out, it's a great example of a subtle Belgian ale.

Photo of GilGarp
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle with cork and cage served cold into a goblet.

I picked this up at Wine Theif and Ale Jail when I was in Minnesota about a year ago. I was really excited that a homebrewer was selling bottles at the local bottle shops.

The Auroch's Horn is a pale golden yellow color with great clarity. I can see the lees in the bottle have basically lithified to the bottom. I'm not sure how old the bottle is since there is not a date stamp. The head is thick white foam that sticks to the sides as it settles.

Aroma is a little sweet and definately has hints of honey. The other component is the yeast which is a pleasant Belgian strain. So far, it's reminding me of a tripel / farmhouse blend.

The flavor is sweet up front with that honey coming through here as well. It leads into a peppery yeast character with a little bit of floral hop bitterness. Balance is very nice for such a strong beer. The alcohol is evident but it isn't overpowering. The year it spent maturing was probably worthwhile.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and nicely carbonated. The alcohol warms but isn't hot.

Overall a really excellent beer and well worth seeking out. Next time I'm back east, I'll be sure to pick up another bottle or two.

Photo of OleJohnnieAle
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A hazy golden straw the pour a huge head that reduced very slowly and leaves nice amounts of foamy lacing all down the sides.

S - Pop the cork and you smell the spicy clove scents of the yeast. Som sweet honey scents come through with slightly toasted malts.

T - Light beginning with some nice malts and quickly moves to sweetness which must come from the honey. The yeast is very present in the beer. Finished very clean with little left lingering.

M - Very well carbonated medium to full bodies beer.

O - WOW! Thanks to Mike at Liquor Barrel in Centerville, MN for turning me on to this. Very unique brew and very enjoyable. Not sure how this would age but wanting to pick up a couple more as this is a great beer. Great flavor profile and such a smooth beer!

Photo of plfahey
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a wine glass.

Appearance-Hazy golden orange in color with a tall, dense, fluffy, off-white head. Head shows nice lacing and good retention.

Aroma-Sweet, floral honey is the most prevalent aroma, and a bit of sweet, bready malt. Light pear and peach esters and a hint of peppery alcohol, though the alcohol is hardly perceptible.

Flavor-Smooth sweet white bread with honey and a touch of sugary syrup up front, with pear and apricot in the mid-palate. The finish is mostly dry, with lightly peppery alcohol carrying through the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel-Medium body with high, explosive, effervescent carbonation, which is also soft and gives the bear a rather creamy consistency. Moderate warmth on the palate gives an indication of the alcohol strength.

An impressive adaptation of a Belgian Golden Strong-the honey addition gives it some awesome notes in the aroma, while serving to hide the high alcohol extremely well. Dangerously drinkable, just like a true belgian. Bravo.

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The Auroch's Horn from Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 165 ratings.