Orval Trappist Ale
The gustative sensations will gain in nuance depending on the age of the beer. Young beer is characterised by a bouquet of fresh hops, with a fruity note and pronounced bitterness, light on the palate and a less firm collar than a beer of six months. The latter will feature a bouquet consisting of a blend of fragrances of yeast and old-fashioned hop. The bitterness is more diffuse and the taste has moved to a slight touch of acidity accompanying yeast and caramel flavours. Served without its sediments, a beer of six months or more, has a particularly bright appearance. It will be less so, if it is served at a temperature below 7°C to 8°C (44° – 45°C).
Orval Trappist Ale – Purchased from Dawson’s Liquors in Severna Park, MD. Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass. 6.9% ABV.
Appearance: Rust with a slight haze. POUR SLOWLY!!!! This head will run away and overflow your glass if you pour too quickly. Regardless of how you pour, though, you’ll be left with a thin layer of frothy, off-white head that licks up the sides a bit.
Aroma: Gummi Bears, Juicyfruit gum and challah bread.
Taste: Very delicate and not as sweet as the nose would suggest. A nice, gentle bitterness on the finish… very indicative of European hops.
Mouthfeel: Slightly thick at the initial sip, fizzes quite a bit on the tongue, yet finishes clean.
Overall: If you’re not a fan of the sourdough flavors imparted by Belgian yeast strains (I can’t stand them), then this is the Belgian for you. It’s a very good beer to sip and enjoy as “something a little different.” Not really a session beer, though.