January 5, 2010

Orval

Orval is one of the 7 authentic Trappist ales (yes, there are only 7, but more on that later). Unlike some of the other Trappist breweries such as Chimay, who makes 3 varieties, Orval makes only one for distribution. Orval pours a deep amber/orange color with a thick, bubbly head. It is very earthy, grassy, like hay in a stable, and has a fruity, light hop flavor, though not bitter. The aroma is of orange, cinnamon, and honey. The mouthfeel is what I'd call perfect, not too heavy, not too light, not syrupy or viscous, with a good amount of carbonation but not too much. This bottle was almost 9 months old. I'm not sure how age affects this beer but I may buy 2 more bottles and find out. I've had all 3 Chimay beers and now the Orval. I will try the Rochefort next as it seems to be the second most readily available (Chimay being first, Orval being third). Great beer!

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