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General Category => Commercial Beer Reviews => Topic started by: euge on December 10, 2010, 06:55:54 AM

Title: Orval
Post by: euge on December 10, 2010, 06:55:54 AM
My third in three years. Now I'm like wow since my sinuses have cleared it's been beer heaven. Orval brings me close. I'm getting a nice bitter and lightly soured beer with a hint of bubblegum. Juicy fruit. Light astringency and faint sweet caramel malt tones followe dby  a faint tropical nose.

Effervescent it's held a nice head all the way down the goblet.  :D

I like the dating on the label:
Code: [Select]
bottled on
25/03/2010
25/03/2015
best by

This is going into regular rotation.
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: uthristy on December 10, 2010, 11:25:42 AM
Orval is God`s homebrew  :D
Few wks old its good,  3-4 months its better and after 1yr its heaven in a glass.
 Second trip to Orval> ;)
(http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/th_Img_0545.jpg) (http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz138/UknowWho2u/Img_0545.jpg)
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: MDixon on December 10, 2010, 01:23:49 PM
I remember having it from a Del Haize (Food Lion) in Belgium and the freshness dating indicated it was like 3 weeks from having been bottled. Fantastic stuff...FWIW - I seem to recall Stan H saying something in a talk once about the bottling and 6 weeks, but I'm pretty sure it was young and fantastic. Oh and cheap...
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: phillamb168 on December 10, 2010, 01:45:51 PM
I have to say, I haven't found Orval that enticing. My favorite Belgian so far has been Kwak... Not sure what it is about Orval I don't like. Last time I poured some I had wayyyyy too much foam, and there was a super strong bite to it. Too young maybe? Not treated properly?
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: MDixon on December 10, 2010, 01:51:11 PM
If you got it in the US it was definitely not too young. It could be you don't like the Brett character which can be anywhere from subdued to strong depending upon age and handling.
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: phillamb168 on December 10, 2010, 02:46:45 PM
Nope, got it from Intermarche in France.
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: narvin on December 10, 2010, 04:18:32 PM
I have to say, I haven't found Orval that enticing. My favorite Belgian so far has been Kwak... Not sure what it is about Orval I don't like. Last time I poured some I had wayyyyy too much foam, and there was a super strong bite to it. Too young maybe? Not treated properly?

Orval is highly carbonated, yes.  Pour it more gently : )

It is also dry hopped, and brewed with high bicarbonate water like many of the Wallonian and French farmhouse ales.  This definitely gives it a rustic, grainy, somewhat harsher bitterness, and depending on how young the beer is, it may not be to your palate.
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: glitterbug on December 10, 2010, 07:39:54 PM
I have to say, I haven't found Orval that enticing. My favorite Belgian so far has been Kwak... Not sure what it is about Orval I don't like. Last time I poured some I had wayyyyy too much foam, and there was a super strong bite to it. Too young maybe? Not treated properly?

I am with you. Not a fan of "horse blanket" beer  :o
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: euge on December 10, 2010, 08:36:05 PM
I didn't get any farmyard funk out of this bottle. Actually I would have been hard pressed to say it had much of what I call "bugged character." Just a faint hint, and if I hadn't been looking for it wouldn't have noticed.

Very nice. I might have to try and replicate this. Looking at the other clone thread I'm impressed with the high bicarbonate water. It's a little high for the apparent SRM (loosely) so the astringency factor probably won't be that much of a stretch with my local water.
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: corkybstewart on December 11, 2010, 02:23:02 AM
Orval is indeed the nectar of the Gods.  I try to keep 10 or so on hand of varying ages, right now I think my oldest is about 2 years old.
I always have a beer on tap that I partially ferment with Orval dregs.  Right now it's a big saison, around 1.090 OG with dregs from 2 Orval bottles.  I've never tried a true Orval clone, but I don't think it would be that comlicated.
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: theoman on December 11, 2010, 09:42:05 AM
Every bottle I drink seems to be different, but I always like it. My most recent must've been very fresh. I was surprised by the maltiness and didn't detect any brett character at all.
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: majorvices on December 12, 2010, 01:10:22 PM
Orval is one of my favorite beers. I've had it fresh and aged. Love them both. I wouldn't call it a "soured" beer, since brett doesn't produce very much acidity. The brett character in Orval is certainly pronounced, especially once it ages. But it is mellow. To me the brett adds subtle hints of cherry pie, especially once it ages.
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: glitterbug on December 13, 2010, 07:17:05 PM
Orval is one of my favorite beers. I've had it fresh and aged. Love them both. I wouldn't call it a "soured" beer, since brett doesn't produce very much acidity. The brett character in Orval is certainly pronounced, especially once it ages. But it is mellow. To me the brett adds subtle hints of cherry pie, especially once it ages.

Mine tasted like barn water runoff. The only reason I finished it was because it was $6 for a little bottle  ;D

I may need to try it again, seems like I got a bad bottle?
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: majorvices on December 14, 2010, 12:33:32 AM
Orval is one of my favorite beers. I've had it fresh and aged. Love them both. I wouldn't call it a "soured" beer, since brett doesn't produce very much acidity. The brett character in Orval is certainly pronounced, especially once it ages. But it is mellow. To me the brett adds subtle hints of cherry pie, especially once it ages.

Mine tasted like barn water runoff. The only reason I finished it was because it was $6 for a little bottle  ;D

I may need to try it again, seems like I got a bad bottle?

You may just need to refine your palette.  ;) Seriously, some people just aren't a fan of brettanomyces. Its understandable. It is a very complex flavor.
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: nicneufeld on December 18, 2010, 12:56:13 AM
Only beer I've ever tried that I dumped out was Hanssens Oude Kriek.  Ye gods, man.  Awful stuff, at least according to my memory.  I tried Orval and I remember being a bit underwhelmed, but I was trying a lot of beers back then and I probably didn't really focus on it enough.  One of my favorite trappist brews is actually one of the underdogs, koningshoeven.  I remember their tripel had a winey, borderline grapey vinuous note that I loved.  But its probably been five years since I've tasted it!
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: MDixon on December 18, 2010, 01:02:37 AM
Only ever dumped one? You need to try more beers...I cannot even begin to count the number of commercial beers which have become drain cleaner in my home...
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: majorvices on December 19, 2010, 12:11:45 PM
Underwhelmed by Orval .... that's just mind boggling to me. Its certainly one of the most unique and original beers out there and by far the most unique Trappist experience you will find. FWIW in a lot of ways Orval is more like a Saison. If you were expecting to find a dubbel or a tripel when you poured the glass I recommend looking again.

I started a Christmas tradition a few years back where I have one or two Orvals Christmas morning after the kids have opened their presents. Followed by an hour or two nap.  ;)
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: phillamb168 on December 20, 2010, 12:22:54 PM
Just got back from Brussels, and can now say I've had a great Orval experience. Nuetnigenough (restaurant near Manneken-pis) had a veal and bacon meatloaf served with an Orval sauce, that was pretty tasty!
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: nicneufeld on December 21, 2010, 09:08:21 PM
Only ever dumped one? You need to try more beers...I cannot even begin to count the number of commercial beers which have become drain cleaner in my home...

Oh, I've tried probably somewhere between 500-1000 from all over the globe.  Had mostly good luck!

I guess there was a gusher from Dogfish Head that I threw away but I don't really count beers like that because they are obviously "broken".  The kriek on the other hand was, I'm reasonably sure, the way it is supposed to be.
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: Joe Sr. on December 21, 2010, 09:52:46 PM
I haven't had an Orval in ages, but think I may pick up Keith's Christmas tradition.  It sounds like a good one.

If Orval came in 750ml bottles, I'd probably buy it more often.
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: MDixon on December 21, 2010, 10:16:26 PM
nic - try more beers ;)

It doesn't take long to try more. 3 beers a day, 365 days in a year  ;D
Title: Re: Orval
Post by: nicneufeld on December 22, 2010, 08:38:48 PM
Time was never the problem.  But since I've been brewing, I find I'd rather buy a pound of hops or a bag of grain!

It takes a very, very special beer to motivate me to buy commercial any more.