OrvalMarch 1, 2015
Orval Trappist Brewery
Villiers Devant Orval, Belgium
Orval was founded in 1070 and the current brewery was completed in 1929. The Trappist ale is dry-hopped and fermented and bottle-conditioned with an ale yeast and Brettanomyces.
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1055
Oh, Orval, we meet again! It’s been too long, and you haven’t changed a bit. Your handsome burnt amber body still elegantly supports that frothy crown you wear so proudly. Hints of lemon zest, oranges, spice, leather and hay still swirl around in your presence as your yeasty goodness shines in both aroma and flavor. Even today, you are effervescent in character, although your demeanor seems a less sour than it did long ago. Perhaps life has altered us both a bit? Nonetheless, I always enjoy your signature crisp, clean finish, an unusual attribute for a world-class Belgian like yourself.
- Lisa Morrison
The cap pops off the iconic bottle, and foam makes a run toward the light, stopping just short of the rim. As the deep golden beer hits the glass, a voluminous head rises. Nose to the glass and BOOM, there it is, in all its funk-tastic glory. At 14 months since bottling, the hops are in their waning phase, but the Brett is in very fine fettle. The attack is dry and sharp, stopping just short of astringency. This is a beer that almost single-handedly inspired a whole new wing of American craft brewing, and it’s nice to see that it’s still the bomb. “You seem to be unbeatable, Mr. Orval.” (Bows, removes hat.)
- Garrett Oliver
Lisa Morrison, aka the Beer Goddess, talks beer every day at her beer store and taproom, Belmont Station, and on a weekly radio show in her hometown of Portland, OR.
Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, the Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Companion to Beer, the author of The Brewmaster’s Table, and the veteran host of more than 900 beer dinners in 15 countries.