Now you’ll have to bear with me this morning. Concentrate. I know it’s early but you need to follow me. Those cheeky Danish chappies have done it again. This is called Årh Hvad?! Which is Danish for “say what?” but, apparently, when pronounced correctly it sounds like “Orval”. Yes, the famous Belgian Trappist beer. And it’s no coincidence, as this is Mikkeller’s take on that beer. It just so happens to be Mikkeller’s founder, Mikkel Bergsjot’s, favourite beer. It is hopped four times with Styrian Goldings and the fermentation is done with two yeast strains, one of which is brettanomyces. Ooh, sounds rather good, doesn’t it but it’s got a lot to live up to.
It’s a 330ml bottle and boasts a respectable 6.8% which is actually stronger than Orval. It poured deep copper in colour with a very large three-finger off-white head. The pungent aroma gets you straight away. Breaded Belgian yeast tones with some grape and peppery undertones. Definitely fruity and classic farmhouse twang: no doubt as to the presence of brett. This profile continues into the taste with the brett dominating more but there is still plenty of grape, some caramel at the back and maybe a hint of leather. Carbonation is good and it’s surprisingly fresh and crisp. The finish is a good dose of spiced bitterness that lingers on the palate.