Orval, often referred to as the “Queen of the Trappists” is the newest of the Trappist monasteries. This beer is brewed and bottled at the Abbey of Orval which is located near Florenville, Belgium in the province of Luxembourg. Still brewing at its present site since 1929. The taste and quality of this beer stands out from the crowd.
The Orval glass, specially designed for Orval came out in the 30’s and its wide mouth rim really opens up the hoppy flavor of the beer. This beer really improves with age. A nice young bottle greets you with a wallop of hops and a bitterness, where a more mature bottle the tones are more rounded and a yeasty. I had the pleasure of drinking an older bottle at Delirium Cafe’ in Brussels and it was pure heaven, so yes, age is good to this beer!
I love drinking this beer, not just because the bottle looks like a piece of art and the Orval glass that holds this beer looks equally brilliant! It’s just because the beer is “good”!
The pour develops into a nice foamy white head that almost overtakes my glass. It’s pretty dam thick and the aroma this thing puts out is citrus, earth and bread. As it warms, the smell intensifies leaning more with the yeast.
The taste is fruity and slightly acidic. Nice firm body with a bitter hop aftertaste. I’m enjoying this beer! Finish is quite dry and clean.
In summary, I would highly recommend this beer just for the quality that’s put into making it. Also remember, as this beer warms, the flavors just keep getting better and better. A drink “slowly” type of beer, like savoring a nice glass of wine. Also, this beer pairs extremely well with food, especially with soft cheese, calamari and salmon.
Orval Trappist Ale | ABV 6.9% | $5.49/Bottle at Whole Food Market
Abbey Notre-Dame d’Orval
B-6823 Villers-devant-Orval, Belgium