195. Orval Trappist Ale

195. Orval Trappist Ale

I purchased a bottle of Orval a month or so ago at none other than Downtown Wine & Spirits. I let this warm and served it in my Westvleteren chalice. Orval is a Belgian Pale Ale. BJCP Style Guide.

I think the packaging of this beer is very attractive. The bottle has an elegant shape, and the logo consists of a trout carrying a gold ring in its mouth. The story behind the logo is summed up well on Wikipedia:

There is a legend of the abbey's foundation, purporting to explain the name '"Orval" and the coat of arms. According to this, the widowed Mathilda of Tuscany was visiting the site, when she lost her wedding ring in a spring, to her great distress. After praying for the return of the ring, a trout appeared on the surface of the water with the ring in its mouth. She exclaimed "Truly this place is a Val d'Or", from which the name "Orval" is derived, and in gratitude made available the funds for the foundation of the monastery here. The abbey arms show the trout and ring. The spring still supplies water to the monastery and its brewery.

Appearance (4.0): Pours a very lightly hazy copper color with a fluffy white head that thins to a persistent thin layer.

Smell (5.0): Wonderfully fruity with notes of citrus and a hint of berries. Additionally floral hops and medicinal phenols are also present.

Taste (4.5): Toasty malts with very little residual sweetness. Lemon is evident in the center. The finish has a nice pronounced bitterness with the characteristic Goût d'Orval from the wild Brettanomyces yeasts used.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Tingly carbonation, light-bodied with a slight oiliness. The finish is very dry.

Drinkability (4.5): Very tasty and easy to drink. The dryness is very refreshing.

Overall (4.5): Well balanced, flavorful and complex.

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