BartOwl wrote:Yes. I did notice the Orval was not as strong as I remembered it. Still a great beer, but being inconsistent isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Not as strong in what way? Taste, alcohol, funk? For me, it didn't have as much of the barnyard funk as I remembered. It was still a good beer, though I would not buy it as often as Rochefort 10 at nearly the same price.
Not as strong in overall taste. While my taste buds can identify a lot of subtle tastes in general, I have a very weird palate that doesn't always pick out things others notice. For example, funkiness can largely escape me, unless I am drinking something like Drie Fountanien or Orval and some other Belgians.
While most individuals can taste up to about 100 IBUs in bitterness before it begins to be the same level of bitterness, I reckon I top out at about 15 IBUs. Bitterness is largely binary to me: not bitter or slightly bitter. Every beer is a session beer to me.
Saltiness and sweetness are muted to me as well, and sourness probably is as well. Umami I have yet to identify.
Having said that, I can often distinguish the flavour of hops from different regions, and sometimes even varietals.
But I digress. The Orval I had may have been a one off thing (I still have two in the fridge), but I remember noticing that it didn't have as much overall flavour as usual. Beers of great complexity can tend to vary from batch to batch, so I wouldn't start to worry about it yet.