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 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 GilGarp
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of OleJohnnieAle
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
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!

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Photo of plfahey
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
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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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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Photo of Mdog
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy yellow-gold, nice carbonation, big head.

Smell: Yeasty, dry, light grass, cloves.

Taste: Nice sweetness, fruit, bubblegum, honey. Not cloying. Some breadiness and yeast too.

Drinkability: Alcohol is well hidden, very tasty.

Finally got to try this new beer from Minnesota. It's a very good Belgian pale or Tripel. Nicely sweet without being cloying. I hope Olvalde puts out some more great beers like this one!

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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 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 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 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 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 dirtylou
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, split

purchased in St Paul, on a whim suggestion from the Wine Thief and Ale Jail

appearance: really lovely - served in my ale asylum goblet, hazy straw-orange body, big fluffy white head with terrific retention

smell: clean and fresh, light citrus hops, honey, loads of yeast, floral

taste: just a really nice interpretation - brings the whole farmhouse brewery concept to life. Zesty yeast, honey, belgian sugars, citrus hops, bready malts, clove and spice.

mouthfeel: great - refreshing with high carbonation and a dry spiced finish with a touch of alcohol

overall: really impressed.

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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 ZAP
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Hazy/cloudy golden...light whisp of white head.

S-Very yeasty...spicy black pepper and overripe bananas...bready malts....sweet/sticky impression (honey)

T-Not nearly has yeast forward on the fact the honey notes emerge stronger...Store clerk described it as almost a mead...I wouldn't go that far....nice rich honey profile...milder black pepper spiciness...just a little hint of banana as well.

M-You know for as sweet as this is it is not at all cloying....the spiciness really kicks it down a notch and blends nicely. Low side of full bodied....not much harsh booziness, more of a rummy sweeter feel. I'll be happy to finish this bottle but this is definitely a sipper and a treat beer.

O-Pretty unique offering...the 30% honey from fermentable sugars is are the yeasty Belgian qualities....10% ABV is very hidden....I'm impressed. Will be curious to see what else they come up with as nothing else has been announced...could this be the MN version of Ommegang? Paid 9.99 for a Bomber....a bit steep but it is quality...

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Photo of brew3crew
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opened during the first annual malt liquor tasting!

A-Hazy orange body with white lacing

S-Little bit of honey and some herbs

T-Alot like it tastes. Bready and herby. Can pick up a little honey

M-medium body and very smooth

O-Very surprised with this beer. If this is what barbarians drank then they were way ahead of their times...

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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 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 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 siradmiralnelson
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml corked and caged into Globe glass.

A. Poured 3 fingers of fluffy white head. Thick lacing. Good retention. Color is rich golden yellow. Continuous stream of bubbles rising from bottom of glass.

S. Big smell of yeast. Some spices lay beneath. Almost smells more like a Saison to me. Has an earthy aroma. Some citrus aroma. Heavy on the yeast, musk, funk. Maybe just a little faint aroma of honey.

T. Taste is pretty impressive. Interesting cross between a BSPA, Tripel and Saison with honey thrown in, means lots of things going on in the flavor of this beer. Yeast, sweet malt, honey, spices, some light fruit, banana and clove for a bit of BSPA taste. Not a lot of hop flavor. Honey plays more of an accent like it does in most beers brewed with it.

M. Medium bodied. Full carbonation. Lingering sweetness.

O. Overall I have to say that if this is what Barbarians were drinking two thousand years ago than I am impressed. This is a pretty tasty brew. You wouldn't know it was 10% unless it was printed on the label, or until you feel the effects of drinking the whole bottle. Kind of hard to pin down a style to classify this beer as, but it is good nonetheless.

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Photo of bsp77
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Mostly clear honey with bubbly, foamy head and great, sticky lacing.

Smell: Extremely dry, slightly musty, with clove, pepper and light banana. Slightly metallic. Just a touch of mead.

Taste: Strongly mead-like, but remains more dry than sweet. The Belgian yeast plays a strong role, with a nice mustiness, complimented by clove and banana. Some other fleshy fruits, such as peach, are also evident, with a finish that is a touch peppery and spicy. Subtle but quite complex.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, body is slightly syrupy but still light and refreshing considering the abv. Fairly dry finish and nicely warming.

Overall: This is a very distinct beer, blurring the lines between a Belgian Strong Pale Ale and a Braggot. Love to see a new Minnesota brewer hit the scene with something utterly unique. Can't wait to see what else they do.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Bruery tulip.
10% ABV, no date, "Ale brewed with honey, lightly hopped, unfiltered, refermented in the bottle."

A big thanks to my friend Pete for bringing this one back from Minnesota for me. Close to his hometown, he should be proud of the great brew!

A - Completely hazed goldenrod amber in color with a dense off-white head. Great retention keeps it afloat while thin, patchy lace clings to the glass.

S - Strong Belgian aroma rich with esters that overlap candied sugar and sweet honey. Clay and white pepper spice it up with earthy tones as do the Saaz hops. Pale and Belgian Special B malts provide a hearty base and low notes of solvent alcohol pull through the back.

T - Sweet honey and Belgian candi sugar give the flavor and body a boost while yeast esters spice it up with nice hops on the finish. Mellow honey is reminiscent of a Braggot. Smooth, solvent alcohol warms through the finish subtly showing you it's power.

M - Medium-bodied and sweet with a nicely balanced spicy hop finish with low bitterness. A little too sweet for my liking, this brew isn't really drinkable beyond one glass. Good mild solvent alcohol notes and soft, un-intrusive carbonation.

O - What a great new beer to come out of Minnesota! It's a very nice Belgian-style tripel beer that's nuanced through and through. I'm excited to see what else this Farm & Brewing Co. releases!

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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 emerge077
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks Ted & Jeff for making this review possible... cool 750 from a brewery not on the radar. Review from written notes.

Described as a Tripel using 30% honey for fermentable sugars.

Into a small tulip it pours a clear gold with a light haze of yeast and rising trails of visible carbonation. Tight cap of white foam that settles to a ring at the edge eventually.

Banana creme, cloves, Belgian yeast on display here.

Creamy texture, softly floral with notes of Belgian yeast, banana, honey, spicy clove and nutmeg. Utterly smooth and creamy, melllow and not overly sweet. Really a textbook example of the style, and a great first effort from Olvade Farm. Hope to hear more about them in the future...

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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 KeefD
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all, I did not know this was listed as a Braggot on the BA database. The owner of this brewery was kind enough enough drop off a sample bottle at my store, and I was told by co-workers who were present at the time that it was a saison/farmhouse style, which I can understand given the yeast profile of this beer. That being said, it does have a large honey presence, and I guess I can see the it being listed as a braggot, but the yeast profile makes this one unique:

Pours a hazy golden orange color with a large white head that fell slowly, leaving decent amount of lace on the glass. Aroma of grainy malts, honey, lemon, hay, grass, orange blossom, and a light mustiness from what seems to be a Belgian saison strain. Very nice. Oh yeah, honey is much more prevelant in the taste than in the nose. Starts out grainy, with a lemon twist, sweet and full of honey in the middle, which slowly fades into orange again, and finishes slightly dry with a chalky Belgian yeast character. Very interesting and very unique. If this were strictly reviewed as a saison, I'd say it's too sweet, but since it's listed as a braggot, it makes total sense. Mouthfeel is a little too full for a saison, as there's a lot of sweetness for that particular style, but I would classify this a hybrid between the two, and it's done a damn good job bringing forth the best of both styles.

Overall this was a pleasant surprise. The bottle was dropped off out of nowhere and I wasn't expecting much out of a small, upstart "nanobrewery" but this things doesn't fail to impress. The 10% is barely felt and is quite drinkable. I'll be taking note of this brewery and look forward to any future creations that come from them. Until then, this is certainly a SOLID new release and I will definitely be informing others of this in the weeks to come, and will most likely send some to regular trading partners for them to try!

EDIT: I see it's been changed to a Belgian Pale Ale now. This beer is an enigma. One of those that defies all style definitions.

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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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