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The Auroch's Horn | Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company

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The Auroch's HornThe Auroch's Horn

Brewed by:
Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by jera1350 on 04-03-2011

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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 179
Photo of Huhzubendah
2.59/5  rDev -36.2%
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

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Photo of Chaz
2.92/5  rDev -28.1%
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!

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Photo of crossovert
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle.

It pours a brilliant gold color with a foamy white head that leaves some lacing.

The scent is mostly spices with some orange peel.

The flavor is big and malty. There are some nice fruit flavors and some spices, pretty basic and blunt.

Not bad.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of joefuzz
3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sent as an extra in a trade with tytoandersno...thanks tyler!
Split with a co-worker poured into a globe

Pours a hazy gold with a fairly large head. Smells of yeast and tropical fruit, tastes kind of a sweet fruity with a slight honey and large bread-y presence very belgian. Kind of light on the carbonation for the style and fairly light drinking. Overall good solid beer but not mind blowing.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jason for this top buzzed tick... milky murky honey gold with a nice white head... nose is very Belgian, Belgian yeast, cloves, and lots of herbs, not bad... the taste is honey, herbs and cloves, a honey gruit beer... not bad, just not my thing

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Photo of kbutler1
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. I had heard about this beer and brewery but this is my first time having this beer. C&C bottle. Poured into a tulip glass a slightly hazed medium copper yellow color with a 1/2 finger white head that settles to leave a slight coaster. Banana, vanilla, and bubblegum in the nose. Distinctly belgian in aroma, that’s for sure. Medium mouthfeel. Sweet, caramel, vanilla, honey like, banana, some spice, and hints of the alcohol round out the experience. Also get some apple and pear flavors. Overall, I like the flavors, but it’s a tad sweet and the bubblegum notes, at least for me, semi domintate this. The 10% also warms and lets you know it there.

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Photo of irrgalaxy
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to LaCoursiere for hooking me up with this bottle:

A: Pours a nice translucent gold. There is a thin white head, but very little lacing.

S: I'm picking up some definite Belgian yeast, some honey and some mild fruits. I also notice some apple juice notes. There is a noticeable alcohol aroma as well.

T: The taste is slight malt, honey, and alcohol. The Belgian yest is unmistakable in this one, and the alcohol is pronounced throughout. At 10%, I'm not exactly surprised either.

M: Nice carbonation up front that quickly fades. The flavors of this beer coat the palate and linger for some time. This is definitely a sipping beer.

O: I'm glad to have tried it, but I wouldn't seek it out the next time I visit Minnesota. It's a good beer and one that might be enjoyed more by someone who loves Belgian Ales.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of PerHops
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S- Large bottle corked and caged

A- Looks beautiful once the head has receded . Gorgeous golden orange with a little white head.

S- Call me crazy but cilantro leaves seems to dominate! Also a lot of minerals and a little musk.

T- Very sweet at first, but then develops with some spice including coriander and black pepper and finishes slightly dry

M- Honey is definitely present here as it almost coats your mouth. But the carbonation is very nice.

O- I would love to try something else from this brewery. It was an interesting beer and I love seeing my home state brewin good things

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Photo of mwilbur
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
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)

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)

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bought this yesterday and before I got it home the cork blew off the top. Luckily I was just a few feet away from my place and was able to get home and quickly put on a champagne stopper. This is actually the first time I've used my champagne stopper so it should be an interesting review. No freshness dating on it.

A= Pours a hazy golden color with a huge head on it! I guess the stopper works. The head is much larger than I anticipated and rises several fingers and falls very very slowly. Super thick and tons of lacing. Not a bad looking beer.

S= This is one of the first beers I've ever had that had a really strong honey smell to it. Yeasty, clovey, hoppy. Quite a bit of complexity here. For sure honey however.

T= The taste again has a lot of honey in it. Nice doughy character as well. The aftertaste reminds me of a popsicle stick. The hops don't come through in the flavor much but there is still a big honey sweetness to it. Rather unique. Not bad but like nothing I've ever had. Very sweet tasting.

M= A little spritzy on the carbonation for my taste but I would say pretty good for a Belgian style beer.

O= Besides the cork this is a quality brew. Worth checking out and I will most likely buy more. Hopefully this brewery can stick around and have some fun. Good Luck guys.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to both joshuaseresse and brew3crew for hooking me up with this beer. I actually think this is a gruit/traditional ale made with honey. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A - A finger of creamy white foam slowly settles to a thick cap, leaving some lacy splotches. Hazy peach flesh body.

S - Belgian yeast, white pepper, stone fruits, cloves, some grain character, and not a ton of overt honey sweetness which is appreciated.

T - Bread, Belgian yeast, some clove and spice bitterness in the finish, and surprisingly little alcohol. Again, not anywhere near as sweet as I expected for a honey gruit.

M - Medium bodied, pleasant moderate carbonation, and perhaps a little bit of warming alcohol in the finish. Somewhat dry as well.

D - This was surprisingly enjoyable. I was expecting something overly saccharine, but this was a nice dry Belgian Strong Pale Ale. I wouldn't actively seek it out again, but I'll definitely keep my other bottle to share with friends.

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Photo of mothman
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a white head. Decent retention with some splattered lacing. Color is a lightly hazed golden orange.

Aroma: Huge honey. Very sweet. Wheat, bananas, cloves, esters, spice, and yeast.

Taste: More sweet honey flavors, bready malts, some yeast flavors, bananas, cloves, spice, and alcohol. Fairly complex.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and sweet. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, a really solid beer for their first offering. I am definitely looking to more that they come out with. Maybe a saison?

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Photo of tempest
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to SupboenaDeuces for bringing this over for an impromptu tasting. A brewery about which I was not familiar.

Pours orange amber with a short white head.

Nose is full on Belgian esters - banana, cloves, pear. Big floral tones add to the nose. Nice if you like the real assertive Belgian esters.

Mouthfeel is rich, full, bold and creamy. It's inviting and wel balanced.

Flavors are all Belgian malty ale. Big yeasty, white bread with good malty balance. There are big sweet honey tones which brings out all the more the banana/clove/pear characteristics.

Finish follows flavors with a big yeasty/malty lingering light bitter character. Nice beer. I'd guess Belgian for sure in a blind tasting.

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22oz. bottle.

A: Pours a deep hazy golden orange with two fingers of off white head. Excellent retention eventually fades to beautiful soapy looking lacing.

S: Sweet malts, wheat, citrus, banana, clove, honey, and some barnyard style funk.

T: Wow. Honey, sweet malts, banana, and clove hit you up front, then citrus, lees, earthy hops and an ever so slight tartness.

M: Mid to light in body, a moderately high level of carbonation is present, goes down smooth and juicy. Very pleasant to drink.

O: This is a great brew. It is something I can say is truly unique. It has everything you could want in a Belgian Strong/Farmhouse style ale while having it's own distinct tastes and charm.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the Olvalde website:

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.

Pours kind of a murky golden orange with a thick fluffy head that is dirty white in color and leaves lots of lacing on the glass. Nice retention of the head here as well.

Getting lots of honey in the nose along with some belgian yeast. Some sweet bread notes and caramel popcorn as well from the malt. Smells sweet and lightly fruity. Maybe a touch of citrus from the hops?

Holy mother of sweetness! To say this is sweet is a bit of an understatement. Extremely sweet and I am a guy who likes sweet beers. There has to be a boatload of honey in this. Along with the honey comes caramel sweetness, a little toffee and some pound cake undertones. Getting some light fruitiness from the belgian yeast that takes a backseat to the honey. Getting some spice as well as I continue to drink. Some noticeable alcohol as well.

Carbonation is quite nice and slightly creamy. Has a medium-full body and is mostly smooth. Lightly dry and somewhat sticky finish.

This is pretty different from anything out there that I've had. Not sure what style, if any, that this falls under. It's almost a braggot/belgian strong pale/quad. This is a sipper for sure due to the alcohol and sweetness. I do like it however and think that the uniqueness will help make it stand out from other beers. I would say job well done to Olvalde for their opening beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.02/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of morimech
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Golden color with a slight haze. A massive head forms and has good retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left on the glass.

The Belgian yeast adds a spice aroma that is complimented by fruity esters and mead. Also has a touch of floral. Definately a lot of honey was thrown into the brewing process.

A lot of Belgian charactor in the flavor. Fruity esters and pale malt gives the beer a Belgian Strong Pale Ale slant but there also is a boatload of honey flavor as well. Just wish it was a little drier as the sweetness is a bit much. Alcohol is not detected.

Robust body and nicely carbonated. The bottle conditioning is very well done.

Very well executed and impressive beer for an initial release. I expect other great things from this brewer.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml. bottle, corked and caged, poured into a tulip glass.

A: Hazy, deep golden hue with a fluffy white head that seems to be going nowhere anytime soon. Excellent retention with great lacing. Carbonation seems subtle.

S: Very yeasty on the nose, with banana and clove, along with distinct fruity notes. Some bready malt and grassy hints linger in the background.

T: Much like the smell. A tsunami of banana and clove, along with some fruitiness. Sweetness from honey is definitely apparent, with some toasty malt intermingled in. Finish is dry, and floral.

Notes: This is a big, full-bodied brew with complex flavor and creamy mouthfeel. At 10% ABV, the alcohol is hardly even noticeable. An incredibly smooth, drinkable delight. I'm anxious to see what this brewery has to offer in the future.

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Photo of maximum12
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this recently, a brewery that seemingly came out of nowhere to land on store shelves not long ago. Here's to hoping it's another good local option! 750ML big bottle split into a pair of snifters.

Pour is an unfiltered, brittle fall-weed kind of orange-yellow; big hotel-chain pillowy head, even on a gentle pour. Big yeast in the nose, banana, clove, Scottish highland grasses left out in the sun too long. OK, but nothing too out of the ordinary.

The Auroch's Horn satisfies. That's a good word for it. Up front is a barrage of honey, warm & a touch spicy/smoky, almost like the fireweed honey in Alaska's Perseverance Ale. Fresh bananas follow, along with the inevitable cloves. Peppery. Spare bittering along the sides of the tongue (weird!). One is left with indistinct fruit & a nice dry touch, very clean, aside from the fruit the beer just vanishes down the throat. 10% ABV? Whoa, crapper. Me & my cavity-filled sweet teeth could take a 750 of this down any day.

Interesting beer, like nothing else that's being brewed on the Minnesota scene today. I'll warrant I didn't know what to expect, but this came out well on the high side of my expectations. Great start, great first beer. Excellent. I'll be waiting whatever comes next eagerly.

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The Auroch's Horn from Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 179 ratings.
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