Orval Trappist Ale by Brasserie d’Orval S.A.

1383346_10102129191874380_8618643622402853108_nRating: 4.75/5

Orval Trappist Ale by Brasserie d’Orval S.A. is a (6.2% ABV EU & 6.9% ABV USA) World Class Belgian Pale Ale.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
In contrast to all the others, the Orval Trappist brewery makes only one beer for the general public. It has an intensely aromatic and dry character. Between the first and second fermentations there is also an additional dry-hopping process. Through this the beer acquires its pronounced hoppy aroma and extra dry taste.
Bottled at 5.2% abv – can go up as high as 7.2%
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Of the many Trappist beers that I have tried, this one I have overlooked may times until I just decided one day, screw it, I’m reviewing it! This along with the other 9 Trappist breweries are some of the best Belgium and other countries have to offer. Centuries of brewing and perfecting the arts have brought these beers out and they still stand strong and delicious among the growing list of craft beers. So here it is, the Orval Trappist review.

Aromas:
Tart dark cherry, dark fruit raisin hints, wine grapes, earthy hop notes, floral hop hints, peppercorns, smokey oak, leather notes, citrus, biscuit bread, brown sugar, farmhouse hay, mushroom hints and brettanomyces.

Flavors:
Dark fruit raisin hints, dark cherry, grapes, mushroom hints, floral and earthy hops, Musty Oak, peppercorn hints, brettanomyces funk, citrus, vanilla, lemon hints, apples, hints of peach, leather notes, smokey notes, biscuit bread and brown sugar.

Aftertaste:
Definitely ending dry with dark fruit, caramel and oaky funk dissipating. No alcohol in the taste, medium to sipping drinkability, medium mouthfeel with a cloudy full golden brown body.

Overall:
A very good beer if you are into the funky wild yeast type of Belgian Pale Ales. Definitely a representative of the evil tart and funky beers of Belgian. While this is not sour it leans more toward a farmhouse ale. This is very reminiscent of the Fantome series but unique in the sense that it seems like they use open air fermentation but still get a beer that is a Belgian Pale but treading into oaky and dark fruit territory. Hard to explain how this is but it works and is most likely why this one is very unique. Definitely recommend it once if you love farmhouse or saisons that lean toward a nice tart and funky zone.

Anime Corner:
Suigintou from Rozen Maiden was used in this pairing to represent the colors, flavors and the evil tart aspect that this beer brings but yet under control of the Holy. Basically, as you can see the Trappist Monastery is here and everything looks sweet but once you taste the beer, you see there is a much stronger and darker side to this (as seen by the dragon). Almost like the beer has been tainted but the fact that it is not sour and balanced, it seems to work fine. It represents light and dark twilight which is well controlled.

Sources:
http://konachan.com/post/show/154755

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Forgotten Island by Cigar City brewing

1374901_10101457321912170_1203501524_nRating: 6/5

Forgotten Island by Cigar City brewing is a 15% ABV Belgian Quadruple aged in Jamaican Rum Barrels

Label: 
This dark complex style of ale originated in the Trappist monasteries of Belgium. It was sipped by monks during fasting and winter months. Forgotten Island adds a tropical twist via aging in Jamaican rum barrels. The barrel lends notes of vanilla, molasses, orange peel, cocoa, brown sugar, nutmeg, hazelnut, apricot and peach. This plethora of flavors and aromas from the rum barrel intermingles with banana, clove, cinnamon,fig, plum and brown sugar aromatics and flavors from the quadruple, creating a contemplative ale perfect for introspective moments far from the cares of the world beyond. 
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Released exclusively for the Cigar City Catador club. A hard to get beer unless you know some one who is in the club or can trade/buy from someone online. This is the first time I try a rum barrel aged quad. I have tried a good number of Bourbon barrel ones but never a rum one. Good luck in getting this one

Aromas are very sweet. Velvety dark fruits, currants, plums, raisins, chocolate notes, dulce de leche caramel, figs, raisin bread pudding, oak, rum, rich coconut, vanilla, pecans, bananas, cloves, cherries, blackberries, boysenberries, blackberry marmalade, brown sugar, cinnamon, hazelnut, oranges, apricot, peach, piña colada, tropical fruits like papaya, melon, dragon fruit and other fruit and spices

The flavors are freaking amazing! This would be a great response to the Bruery’s Cacaonut, except it is rum and quad and has more dark fruits than Cacaonut. Yet each is freaking amazing and I can tell you this beer has already exceeded my expectations once again. Rich plums, rich curtants, figs, cotton candy, raisin bread pudding, pecans, peaches and cream, apricot, boysenberry marmalade, toasted coconut, oranges, dragon fruit, melon, papaya, piña colada, nutmeg, hazelnut, brown sugar, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, oak, blackberries, bananas, clove spice, cherries, molasses and other complex flavors. Diabetes in a bottle!

The aftertaste leaves with very nice caramel, dark fruit and tropical fruit flavors with oak rum and spices lingering. Good Luck finding the alcohol. Even at 15% ABV, it is one dangerously smooth and tempting Siren. Does not drink like a 15% ABV, holy crap. Take it easy with this one. Even if you want more, save some for later and share.

Overall, it is exceptionally wonderful and delicious. Think of a Quad that is tropical with rum flavors, coconut and piña colada. Let me put this in comparison with Cacaonut from the Bruery. Cacaonut from the Bruery is liquid Almond Joy with tropical fruits. This is a Dark Fruit Coconut Rum Piña Colada raisin bread pudding. Combining the fact that it is barrel aged, chocolate, quad and exotic is what make this one qualify for the top score which I give to either my best favorite beers or beers that have met the eligibility to be my favorites, even if rare. If I could, I would probably drink this everyday. That would be good, but would not be good for me, but would definitely be good. Cigar City is definitely the East Coast’s Bruery. As far as recommendation, HELL YES!! If you happen to find this parable paradise of an ale, set sail!! You will not regret this one.

Grand Gru by Abbaye-Abbey du Val-Dieu

1239642_10101353312512840_1852664825_n 1234101_10101353312562740_447530807_n 1011629_10101353309933010_684180145_nRating: 5.15/5

Grand Gru by Abbaye-Abbey du Val-Dieu is a 10.5% Belgian Strong Dark Ale/Quadruple

Label: 
This authentic Abbey ale is based on the recipe perfected centuries ago by the monks of Abbey du Val-Dieu.

Anno 1216
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While browsing for grand crews at the store near my house, I was looking for a grand cru beer to try as this type of beer has become a favorite of mine (like Belgian quad or strong dark weren’t already lol) The person at the tells me to try this one as it is lower in prices than even Alesmith Grand Cru. So I go with it as it is authentic Belgian stuff. Hell yeah!! Now the interesting thing is, many site cannot compare this as a quad or a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, I’ll say it is both. Grand cru is already kind of borderline anyway in terms of beer styles.

Aromas were rich in dark fruits like plums, raisins, figs, dulce de leche caramel, chocolate notes, grapes, pears, oak, earthy spices and blackberry preserves

The flavors are much better than the aroma. Very rich raisins covered in dulce de leche caramel, raisin bread pudding, plums, pears, dates, figs, sweet bread, butterscotch, flan, cinnamon, grapes, cherries, blackberry preserves, peppery notes, loads of candi sugar, pilloncillo sugar cone, brown sugar and rye bread. As the beer warms up, you get more complex flavors of pecan pie, hazelnut and banana which is definitely awesome.

The aftertaste continues with raisin and caramel sweetness and leaves an nice dark fruit and pecan taste in the palate. Full to medium body yet, the flavors cover up the alcohol a lot to the point where it is quite drinkable. I almost want to finish the whole bottle as it is is damn good. 

Over all, to me knowing it is an Abbey Ale (I love authentic Abbey and Trappist ales) and the fact that it hits it home with the caramel and the raisins, it is a phenomenal beer. May not be to the Alesmith in terms of complexity or even as buttery raspberry preserve on toast as the Avery beast, but it still hits those Belgian lover spots in my heart reminding me of the St. Bernardus. In fact, I may actually get this over other grand crus. Especially since it is cheaper in price and easier to find. The best part is that it is a complex Belgian so this actually starts to transform in flavors as it warms up, this is why I gave it a higher rating.