The top Trappist


In the brewing niche occupied by Trappist beers, there is none so fine as Orval.

You can have your Rochefort, your La Trappe and your Chimay (though if you could leave me a few bottles of the Cinq Cents, that’d be tops), I’ll stick with Orval (and those Chimay bottles you left behind).

There’s so much to like about Orval. And it starts on the shelf. That art deco style bottle with the fat middle and small diamond-shaped label is a thing of beauty. I’m sure bottle shop employees have a hell of a time trying to fit them on the shelf because of that fat middle, but that’s not my problem. I love that bottle.

I love that label too, with the fish and the ring. Especially now that I understand what the hell it means. If you want to know that story, you can check out the O is for Orval post from the ABC of Beer.

But obviously it’s what’s inside the bottle that’s most important. And what’s inside is a beer that tastes like no other – likely a result of those crafty monks using a unique strain of yeast. The beer pours with a lovely, thick off-white head and, underneath it’s a light apricot colour. Take a whiff and I get that apricot and other stonefruit as well as cloves and assorted spices.

The taste? Well, that’s a delectable mix of bubble gum and spice, with a slight alcohol burn at the end. I reckon part of the reason I like this beer so much is that it’s less overtly alcoholic that most of the other Trappist beers. I’d almost call it a Trappist session beer, but that’d be stupid because it’s 6.2 per cent. So a few of these will knock you over – but you’ll have fun doing it.

Categories: brewery

Tagged as: , , , ,

4 replies »

  1. Last year my brother brought me back a bottle of Orval straight from the brewery. We drank it lukewarm because it traveled a far distance and we were kind of excited … and it was delicious. An amazing beer, for sure!

  2. Never had an issue finding Orval in the us, Most non beer focused places just have Chimay but any place else you can get all of the Trappist breweries we get in the US with no issues.

    • Such is the story of craft beer in Australia. International beers can be much harder to find here, most likely because we’re so far away from Europe and the US. American beers – aside from the big guys like Sierra Nevada and Sam Adams – can be hard to find too.

It's your shout

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s