Trappist Pale Ale | McKenzie Brew House

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Trappist Pale AleTrappist Pale Ale
12 Ratings
Trappist Pale AleTrappist Pale Ale

Brewed by:
McKenzie Brew House
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-08-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 12 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by PopeDX:
Photo of PopeDX
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Coming out of beer review avoidance just to review this beer, as it's been "kicked in the sack" recently, as, um, BA compatriot Stonecrusher would like to say.

Right on the label it reads "This beer is a tribute to the brothers at the Trappist brewery of Orval".

Pours a beautiful amber color with a quickly dissipating head, par for the course in a brett-infused beer. Smells earthy and funky.

The taste is incredible, just a perfect mix of malt, hops and funk. Most people think of balance of just malt vs. hops, but this achieves balance between 3 factors, which is really amazing. A slightly sweet malt backbone carries a mixed flavor of earthy hops and Belgian yeast/bacteria funk. Not as dry as last year, nor as funky. Though this was much greener than the bottle I had from last year's batch, it may age out to be about the same. Either way it will age beautifully. Just an amazing beer, one 750 sipped slowly makes a great companion for an evening.

A fitting tribute, indeed...even better than the beer it was intended to pay homage to. Which is the best kind of tribute.

 1,093 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of shapudding
3.96/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Light orangey-lemon, with a light and fluffy white head that went away quick, just leaving only a dusting a ring. Spicey scents and a bit phenolic. Bit horse blankety and barnyardy, but kinda a good thing. Bit of fruit in there, maybe apricot and some citrus. Interesting. Light bodied. Dry and a bit hoppy, some malts and little bit sweet-not much. Decent and good drinkability, easy going down.
Ok, first time was during a tasting party, this time was just w/the idiot, so could play a bit more! (numbers are going from this one since the palate was not as killed)
Some carbination seen rising up through the Scaldis glass to the huge pile of frothy beaten eggwhites. Insane amount of head! Slight gueuze scents coming out. I asked about that and was told it is the wild yeast strain (Brett) that gives it the lambic quality. Nicely woured and wine cellar scented. Bit of red grapes and maybe some sasafrass. Another perfect McK's carbination, smooth and tight, with a silky feel. Nice and dry with a bit of flavor left in your mouth afterwards. Fresh nutmeggy dry flavors. Slight bit of confectioners sugar in there, but not sweet really. Black peppery hoppiness and bit of black tea. Very smooth with well blended flavors, very nice!

 1,250 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
3.43/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(note - after reading the other reviews I'm not sure if we had a bad bottle or what but this was not the same beer as others reviewed)

Pours orange, yellow and amber with a tan, dull white head that manages to throw some spotty lace.
Aroma of sour apple, bread, pale malt and a buttery diacetyl hit.
Flavor of buttered bread, pale malt. Very diacetyl with a little bit of citrus fruits. Somewhat sour on the finish.
Mouthfeel is light-bodied. Fruity and funky. Again is this bottle bad ?
Drinkability is average. Too much diecaetyl and buttery notes. Sour aroma just doesn't work.

 587 characters

Photo of meathookjones
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from a capped 750ml bottle bought at the brewpub with a bottled date of August 04. Clear light orange body with a tall foamy white head being fed from a constant bubbling. Streaks of lace were left around the glass as the head stayed strong. Strong lemony scents with a good bit of spiciness catch you first. Some yeast and doughy malt scents as well. Other fruits intermingle to round out a great nose. Flavor has a fruity tartness upfront with a dash of lemon really standing out. Yeasty notes over a solid malt backdrop. Apples and pears come to mind as well as sweet caramel. A bit of fruity tartness finishes this one off. Very clean crisp and dry flavor. Refreshing, a bit light and bubbly on the tongue. Ridiculously drinkable. Scott can do no wrong it seems after trying 6 or so of his beers all being outstanding.

 831 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Shared at the excellent 5-star Beer Tasting held on Friday night over at fellow So. Cal. BA, xlperro’s house. It had arrived courtesy of BA, NeroFiddled. Nicely chilled, the 750ml bottle was eagerly shared out amongst the gathered mass.

Appearance: It looked like a misty gold at first, but closer inspection revealed a light amber character to the pale gold color. The head was big at first but soon settled down; in fact it collapsed quite quickly, leaving some excellent lacing but only a thin collar covering.

Nose: Very citric, zesty acidic lemon juice aromas. If you concentrate hard enough and can forget the lemons for a while, there is some yeast and freshly baked bread smells in there as well. Quite awesome!!

Taste: Wow, a total surprise given the Pale Ale moniker. Bitter hops soaked in an acidic lemon juice rush to cover the palate. This initial rush does subside to reveal some light toffee & caramel in the middle, but the astringency and biting lemons add a very cool puckering tartness to the feel right through to the end. The finish had a little funkiness to it, but it struggled to raise its head above the very dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Acidic, Astringent and Aromatic. Quite a strange feeling at first, probably because I was expecting a “Pale Ale”. Once over the shock though, this has a very satisfying bubbly tingle and a nice dry-puckering feel that lingers somewhat. Somehow this belies its above average mouthfeel, fills the mouth and has a massive presence.

Drinkability: Damn, we only had one bottle. I would certainly not have objected to having my glass filled with more of this for the rest of the night. It begs you to take another drink.

Overall: I am sure that “Trappist Pale Ale” is somewhat of an Oxymoron. Not sure why the word “Trappist” is used – why not just call it a Belgium Pale Ale, or even Abbey Pale Ale. Aaarr, who gives a shit? I am certainly not too bothered about it. “Never let style appreciation or names get in the way of a good beer”, the Brewer at De Dolle Brouwers once memorably said during a tour of the Brewery. I agree, this is a very good offering from McKenzie, my second thus far, and at this point I was quickly realizing that I need to keep an eye out for more beers from these guys in the future!

 2,308 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.87/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Light slightly tea like and cloudy haze in me glass. Quite bubbly, especially from a big ole bottle that was filled fresh from McKenzie's.

Let's talk aroma. Whew! Horse blanket? How about the whole barn, barnyard and horse blanket. This is a delight in the olfactory department alone. Virtually a perfumed perfection.

First swigs: Bitter big sour lemon rind with other fruits holding down the acidic attack. Yeastiness and outdoorsy meadow. What a blend of characteristics. Almost seems like some Juniper or wild flower hints thrown in the kettle.

A light to medium bodied sipper that did exactly what I like about good beer: Went down easy without a struggle.

Last swigs: A local rare treat. BIG thanks to fellow BA PopeDX for the chance to check out this local treasure.

Beer is good. Happy local beering.

 823 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy peach with a nice head of white foam that leaves excellent lacing. Aromas are of lemony hops and orvalian funk galore. I also smell medicinal, floral, nearly green hops in the mix as well as brett and wine-like phenols. Sharp and funky up front, totally orval-like in nature. Funky, but subdued at first, and very vinous as well. Sweet first, and than bitter. Intriguing. As the brew sits out and warms up a bit more. The subtle balance of the funk, malt, and hops, really starts to shine. Dry malts and fruity hops balance it out with the brett funk serving as ringmaster. Medium bodied and carbonatred nicely with a creamy, sprizty feel to it. Drinkability is off-the-hook as well. I never got "orval", but I get this stuff. Now I like orval as well. The best tribute a beer can get as far as I am concerned. Sublime.

 824 characters

Photo of Crosling
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light orange with a gigantic and lasting head of frothy foam. Herbal aroma accented by hints of papaya, passion fruits, salty cheese, mold, mint and brett. Dry, spicy, hop flavor with a lovely fruit filled tartness and acidity. A very good tribute beer.

 253 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a big Alka-Seltzer fizz noise.

Hazy light orange body with bubbles scurrying this way and that. Topped by a finger of tight white foam, which breaks down quick, but leaves good lace.

Fruity,sweet nose, like a punch. Some oranges and apples, with a slice of apricot.

A nice malt base, sweet but not syrupy, rolls across the tongue. The hops dance along, rising and falling like the foam on a wave. There is a lot of fruitiness at play here, again apple, orange, and apricot come to mind. The fruitness even lives on into the aftertaste, tingling nicely as the swallow becomes memory.

Good carbonation gives a nice light tingly mouthfeel, and contributes to it's easy drinkability.

Good work from the Dude. Grab a bottle to take home.

 760 characters

Photo of egajdzis
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aged for anywhere from 8 mos. to 2 years in the cabinet of the entrance to the brewpub. Poured a hazy, orange, gold with a small white head and alittle lacing. Musty aroma of brett, citrus fruit, and mild hops. Spicy, citrus, brett taste, finished hoppy, also rather dry and earthy.

 282 characters

Photo of nomad
4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy typical orangey-amber, showing a clumpy and wet lace and stain. Smelled of leather, brettanomyces, sweet malt, sour esters, a sure lemon scent, chalky yeast, and grapefruit scents when the yeast was poured in. In other words, the full gamut for a trappist ale of this sort. Impressive, to say the least.

Tasted of lemon, a good yeasty flavor, and an almost gueuze-like sour. An amber malt flavor is the backbone, and is complemented by a real nice bitter - the hops had a subtle texture and light floral tone to them, allowing them to mixe well with the Orval-like flavor profile. Spicy yeast once its poured in, this beer had a thin and disapperaing mouthfeel that, to me, was excellent, completing the style of beer well.

Not too hard to see how it won a gold at GABF 2003, this is a pretty good approximation of the beer it was dedicated to, Orval. A fully complex brew.

 895 characters

Trappist Pale Ale from McKenzie Brew House
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 12 ratings