Gouden Vallei | Alpine Beer Company

very good
21 Reviews
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Gouden ValleiGouden Vallei

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.29%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rand on 04-08-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 57
Photo of DeanMoriarty
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 16oz bottle from Alpine Brewery during SDBW as part of their limited bottle re-release of rarities from the brewery each day. Poured into a Brouwerij 't Ij branded tulip glass.

A: Pours a hazed straw-like hue with a thick fluffy white head that lingers, giving way to massive amounts of thick lacing in my glass from start to finish.

S: Sweet malt, slightly grassy, noticeable traditional Belgian pale yeast. Classic smelling Belgian pale....but on the lighter side of things...and not much more going on to be honest - where's those peppercorns ???

T: Sweet (possibly candy sugar) up front, big time pepper corns that balance nicely with the sweetness of the malt and possible candy sugar. Hop presence is noticeable and very grassy, slightly herbal. Peppercorns are present throughout which is nice, finishes with a hint of alcohol at the very end. Really well balanced flavors!

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied - not what you would expect from the style. Light carbonation, creamy and smooth finish.

Overall decent for the style - nothing mind blowing (although the peppercorns were a fun little twist on a classic) - pretty average paired up against what most monasteries have to offer in the same style. Flavor is bomb but not sure about the other aspects of this one...& what gives with the small bottle (???) - a 22oz for the same price seems more fair to be honest. New Belgium did their same collab (Super IPA) in a 22oz for the same price - just sayin.

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Photo of Florida9
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy golden-amber in color. Forms a hug, big bubbled, but very stable white head. Excellent retention and some chunky lacing.

S: Nose is very Bretty. Floral, hay, mild barnyard, and a bit spicy.

T: Mildly sweet, but yet not sweet at all. Notes of green apple, patchouli, mild black pepper, straw, lemon, and spice.

M: Lighter side of medium in body. Heavy carbonation. Dry.

O: Can say I didn't care for this one much on the first few sips. Seemed out of balance and out of place. But it grew on me as I drank it, opening up nicely, and resulting in a rather enjoyable beer.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pour is a hazy light amber with a fairly dense off white head and thick lace. Nose is hop forward, fleshy orange, with a pale malt underneath and a sticky caramel up front. Taste is even more orange forward, so citrusy and hoppy with a faint pale malt and biscuity bite balancing. Body is light and crisp, highly carbonated with a subtle bitterness lingering.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 fl. oz. bottle (won this in the raffle at FredFest 2012), poured to a couple half-pints and shared with my wife on a gorgeous, summery Saturday afternoon.

A collaboration with New Belgium Brewing: 'A Monastic Inspired Belgian Pale Ale, Dry Hopped & Spiced with Pink Peppercorns'. Label photo features a motley foursome of brewing bearded-ness...

A: Golden-butterscotch orange, lovely translucency. Deeply hazy, without any sediment, but dense enough that carbonation is scarcely visible. Crowned with a finger of tight, white foam - it drops pretty quickly, but the sheen remains and creeps up the sides as a long-lasting lace.

S: Interesting aroma, the earthy sting of the peppercorns really comes through as it warms. The 'Belgian Pale' part is less defined, a simpler citrus - orange rind and pulp - and spiced hoppiness.

T: First sip or two were a little confounding, then it got good. I mean REALLY good. Grassy dry-hopping, mildly tart grapefruit and orange citrus then a steady peppery finish. Just bready enough, more or less a 'sourdough' flavor. Nothing overpowers, all meld beautifully.

M: Somewhat soft, silky but a little vapid. I like the finish best, a dry and lightly mineral/chalky extension. Carbonation is minimal, feel is creamy. 7%+ ABV is pretty well hidden.

O: Very likable... the twin 8 oz. pours (truth be told, my wife got a little more and finished hers MUCH faster) disappeared too quickly. As a one-time offering that I don't think was officially distributed to Oregon (again, mine came as a prize in a drawing...), it's really too bad that this may be the first and last time we get to enjoy this. Well done Alpine/New Belgium - good stuff!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to queens1130 for sharing this one at AndrewK’s tasting.

Pours a slightly murky honey orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, spice, and pepper. Taste is much the same and finishes with a hoppy and spice bitterness. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but it smells better than it tastes in my opinion.

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Photo of cavedave
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to bdige for this touch of California in a bottle.

Just a touch of fine yeast clouds a truly golden brew. It is topped by a couple fingers of white lather, and finally nice cap is ringed with lasting lace mounds along the snifter.

Lemony citrus, candy, and tangy yeast head the aroma lineup of a light strength bouquet. Nice grain and biscuit behind it, even lighter hints of floral and orange peel.

A med. strength taste starts with some rooty herbal bitter and candi sweet, gains some orange/lemon and tart yeast tang, some floral hop, and ends with these flavors joining into a juicy conclusion. Not crazy delicious or complex, but a nice breezy delight. The peppercorns are MIA unless they are the rooty herbal I taste.

A bit of a mediciny feel to this, but nicely low carb. and appropriately clean and viscous.

Happy to have tried this tasty and refreshing beer, and wish there was another in fridge to open later.

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Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, Alex!

A - Pours golden orange color, off-white head, spotty lace.

S - Floral, fruity, and spicy (to say the least). A really different (yet cool) nose...I guess this is what peppercorns smell like in a Belgian Pale. Interesting. Some citrus, yeast, and melon in there too.

T - A mix of sweet fruits, spices, and citrus. There's an added herbal quality that I attribute to the peppercorns and yeast. Really interesting beer and I can't say I can compare it to anything else I've ever had. Alcohol is hidden well. Finish is citrus/mango, and floral notes.

M - Light toward medium body, good carbonation, creamy finish.

O - I really enjoyed this beer but I could see others thinking the opposite. I'm hoping I'll get to try this one down the road to see how it's changed. Very complex, different, and cool. Would drink again.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to FosterJM for this one!

A: Slightly hazy orange color with a two finger white foamy cap on top. Great retention with thick lacing all around.

S: Didn't know exactly what to expect, but I like the aroma quite a bit. Fresh grapefruit, grassy hops, some mint and basil almost as well. Right at the end there is a little green melon too. The melon aroma intensifies as it warms.

T: Unfortunately, the aroma does not quite translate to the flavor profile. Some grassy/herbal hops, with hints of the mint and basil, but there isn't any of the strong melon flavor from the aroma that I was looking forward to.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

O: The aroma is amazing, but the flavor profile didn't quite live up to it. Still a pretty interesting beer that gets a bump up for being a little outside the box.

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

1308th Review on BA
Bottle to NB Globe

Thanks to BdubleEdubleRUN and Ehammond1

App- Looks a lot like a pale with more
color blending. Thicker orb of Orange in center with yellow peachy outside. Nice 1-1/2 finger head. Small cling

Smell- Had a ton of aromatics behind it but not feeling it. A thicker nose of malts with a bit of thick fruit and only trace amounts of the peppercorns.

Taste- Way more NB than Alpine. It uses that CO yeasty flavor well with a thick malt backbone and maybe a touch of bitter. The peppercorns add a nice depth of flavor and do a nice job of semi-keeping this on track

Mouth- Solid medium body with a thicker medium carbonation. Very malty damp fruit residual flavors.

Drink- Its more NB than Alpine but still tasty. Nice well rounded flavors with a unique platform of peppercorns, malts and fruits.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16oz bottle opened on 5.13.12.

A - Cloudy medium orange with a thin off-white head with good retention.

S - Hoppy, sweet honey, and peppercorns.

T - Sweet peppercorn, and that is it.

D - Good carbonation and a great body.

O - Weird flavors, but I like it. Spicy and sweet. Hard to place, but I keep going for more.

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Photo of Treebs
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Alex (Masterski). 16 oz. bottle served in a Portsmouth tulip.

A: Pours a light amber color with a fluffy white head. It recedes to an airy collar and leaves some splotchy lace.

S: This is definitely one of the most interesting beers I've ever smelt. Cactus fruit and sweet melon make some nice portion and there is a very herbal side to it as well. Basil and light mint, it smells slightly like a mojito. There is some oaty malt sweetness on the finish.

T: Light herbal qualities up are up front with a healthy combination of basil and mint, but I don't really pick up an of the sweet fruit flavors I did in the nose. The malty sweetness is there with some grassy hops as well and some yeasty notes on the finish. The taste is a little disjointed.

M: Light to medium bodied with nice carbonation and some nice herbal qualities on the finish.

O: I wish the taste was as interesting as the nose, but it seemed slightly restrained and a little more malty. It was kind of weird, but I enjoyed that quality about it.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jimmy2282 for this new offering. Served in a Kuhnhenn goblet.

A - White foam settles to a thin, near-complete cap, thick collar, and spotty lace. Hazy golden body.

S - The aroma is very unique. The pink peppercorns give this a mohito-esque aroma, with a mint leaf note. There's also some basil, grapefruit, fresh-cut grass, and an undercurrent of melon. Minimal malt presence underneath all that. Delightfully wacky.

T - The taste is a little less exciting, with less overt peppercorn and more earthiness, leather, and pale malts. There's some definite herbal hop bitterness in the finish. Not very 'Belgian' as far as I can tell.

M - Medium bodied with lower carbonation. Mildly dry finish. Somewhat indistinct.

D - The aroma is incredible and unlike almost anything I've encountered in a beer. However, once you get past it the beer is a tad boring. Perhaps it will develop over time thanks to the brett.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Saru96--
Served in a nonic pint.

Light fruity esters and a hint of bubblegum mingle their way into the pack while a mild biscuity malt note provides some balance. No hop presence to be discerned in the nose as the yeast has stolen the ball and ran with it.
The body is a hazy, cheerful, happy little golden color, as though Bob Ross was making a color to use for "happy little apricots basking in the afternoon sun." Small white head settled prematurely to a collar of soapy suds and left only the ittiest of bittiest lace rings.
The flavor is pretty much what the nose had me expecting, but adds in a pithy grapefruit and a little citrusy bitterness. The peppercorns are there and surprisingly well-integrated into the overall profile.
Feels medium-full and oily. This is a touch undercarbonated for the style.

Overall-- two breweries I like got together to brew a beer... It came out pretty nice, though for my money, I'd have wished for them to make an American Pale Ale instead!

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to rawfish for this. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a light golden with a finger of fluffy white head. Decent retention and some lacing.

S: Very aromatic citrus, intense herbal pink grapefruit (I guess the pink peppercorn), and white pepper. Good and really interesting.

T: Dry but fruity and juicy citrus and grapfruit, pretty lengthy on the palate but it drops off leaving just bready pale malt on the back end. It reminds me somewhat of drinking juice.

M: Medium body and light carbonation, a bit undercarbonated.

O: Really interesting interpretation of a Belgian pale ale. The pink peppercorns go well with the citrusy hops. This is very easy drinking. A little more hop presence would go a long way in improving this, though.

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Photo of rawfish
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stirring up the yeast on the bottom of the bottle makes this one pour a very hazy dark peach with a tight cap of finger high lacing. Average retention that leaves a pretty lacing on the glass.

Tropical and acidic fruit aroma, white guava and a bit of coriander that must all be from the pink pepper corns with a good dose of white grapes, light orange citrus and pine. Slight whiff of alcohol when you get your nose into it. Malt character is bready almost doughy.

Malt with a cookie dough sweetness, slightly bready, some tropical and Belgian notes in the middle of the drink with guava, rosemary, pine and ruby grapefruit. Nicely complex with a notable bitter finish, and phenolic in the finish.

Creamy mouthfeel but that has enough carbonation to cut through all the yeast. Dries nicely leaving the palate ready for more.

A nice complex Belgian pale that shines with the best qualities of both New Belgium and Alpine, tropical notes from both the hops and the spices. Aroma is great as is the mouthfeel. Worth a try if you can get it.

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Photo of quirkzoo
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

extra'd by ehammond1, as always, thanks.

Belgian Pale Ale with no bottle date which is a little scary but ehammond1 picked it up from the brewery and it was just released so I wasn't too worried.

Pours a very nice, bright, hazy orange with 2 fingers of very tight white head that forms a thick cap on top of the beer.

Smell is pungent even while pouring, lots of bright acidic fruits, Peaches, grapefruit, lemon, with just a touch of piney hops. Just a touch of spice, could be the hops, could be the pink peppercorns the bottle lists. Some bready malts in the background (reminiscent of Fat Tire as this is a New Belgium collab). As it warms up slightly that spice comes out a bit more and definitely asserts itself as pink peppercorns

Taste is equally strong, perfectly balanced and complex. A fair amount of bitterness which cleanses the palate to make room for all of the hoppy flavors. I get a bit of a vegetal aftertaste that is pleasant and holds the flavors of the beer in my mouth.

Really smooth, creamy mouthfeel, just enough body to be full bodied but light enough to keep me wanting more.

Overall if you are a fan of IPA's and have an adventurous palate I definitely recommend seeking this one out. It satisfies the hop forward IPA's that I know and love from Alpine and adds to that a (New) Belgian spin. Probably my favorite beer from Alpine so far.

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

A: Pours a glowing golden color with a touch of haze and a thin tan head.

S: Big tropical fruit sweetness with guava coming to mind. Something that smells like a Christmas tree crossed with gin too, which I'm guessing is the pink peppercorns. Really unique smell.

T: Get a bit of that gin flavor (pink peppercorns) and a nice dose of mango sweetness. A touch of piny hops and then some super smooth caramel malts round it out. Not getting a ton of the "Belgian" here, but it's pretty tasty.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Thanks for sharing! Pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy golden yellow with a huge frothy white head. Excellent retention and lacing.

S: Huge pink peppercorn aroma with light tropical fruit notes. I get a little white grape with some floral and grassy aromatics. Citrus is restrained. The pink peppercorn smells really good.

T: The hoppiness is very mild in the flavor. Faint tropical notes blend with grass, earth, and a dominating pink peppercorn presence. I detect a little orange, as well a hint of leather. The dry finish leaves pink peppercorn lingering on the palate.

M: Medium in body with medium carbonation.

Overall: The pink peppercorn struck me as the most unique and memorable aspect of this beer. Not really like anything else I've had from Alpine. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Alpine Beer Company Pub
Alpine, CA

Cloudy, hazed dark orange with an inch-high off-white head that sticks around for quite some time. This leaves the glass covered in webbed lacing. This beer looks somewhat heavy and thick as I agitate it in the glass.

Very floral and citrus-forward aroma, with some mild hay and grass character. There's a distinct Nelson hop presence, though it's mild. There's some earth and a hint of grapefruit.

The flavor is nice, with lots floral and citrus character pushing it's way forward first, with earth, hay and grass, and a very slight hint of Brett funk, and pepper. I was hoping for more Brett.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation. I think this is where the beer suffers. It seems a bit heavy and tough to drink in large quantities.

Interesting, floral, and citrus-forward Belgian, though I couldn't drink a lot of this due to it's significant heft.

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Photo of OTB
4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 16 oz bottle into my tulip. Really great smoggy sunset orange color, the head is an inch and dissipates rather quickly but sticks to my bowl leaving intricate weaves of lacing as I drink it down. The nose is amazing, though we know it's dry hopped with pink peppercorns I am just amazed from my initial whiff. It's like I'm an inch away from my pepper grinder ! It's not unpleasant at all and with the orange and grapefruit sneaking a peak it's a very appealing scent. What follows though is what blew me out of the water. A massive hit of super ripe red grapefruit, the tell tale signs of the Nelson Sauvin hop with the grapey white wine undertones, tangerine, bitter lemon rind all enrobed with the essence of pink peppercorns, it's wonderfully weird, it should not make sense, and it just shouldn't taste so deliciously amazing....but it does ! It just screams to be quaffed, there is zero detection of 7.3 abv so this could get you in trouble really fast because it reads as a session beer. As if I need to say it again, but kudos to Pat and his team and the folks at NB for creating onebof the huge surprises of the year with this stunner.

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

Poured into a pint glass at the pub

A: Mud-orange in appearance, opaque, the pour forms a sudsy, one-inch head that recedes fairly reluctantly.

S: Earthy, grainy malts and orange zest make up the bouquet. Touch of herbs in the background, some bay leaves and sage. Surprisingly little esters given the style, but the brew has a fresh, clean bouquet.

T: Much more layered than the nose, the flavors start with the orange zest and a general taste of citrus. Phenolic tones follow, combined with an array of spice and herb notes, peppercorn and sage essence prominent (pink peppercorns were added to the brew). Hops add a floral aspect that kicks in toward the finish, leaving a clean and zesty aftertaste.

M: Relatively heavy bodied, chewy, but not overly oily. Moderate carbonation. I'd guess this would seem seem foamy without carbonation.

Gouden Vallei is an unexpected beer, more New Belgium than Alpine, and definitely not a traditional Belgian pale. But it works, and quaffs pretty easily. After finishing the review and thinking about the brew's subtleties I actually enjoyed it more.

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Gouden Vallei from Alpine Beer Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 57 ratings.
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