A Unique Experience … with Orval

This bottle of Orval is special for several reasons:

  1. It’s fresh from Belgium, having been bottled in July for its ideal seven(?) week conditioning.
  2. It was delivered to me from Belgium, by way of my brother who visited the Orval brewery a week ago.
  3. Instead of a proper serve, it was enjoyed at room temperature, straight from the bottle after traveling across country with my brother.

All this amounts to a rather unorthodox way of drinking his beer, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t fantastic. Since I didn’t pour out the beer, I can’t comment on its visuals, but I assume the mixing of the beer through multiple flights gave it some wonderful characteristics after flying from Belgium to Seattle to upstate New York, where my family recently gathered.

This beer contains: water, hops, barley, candi sugar and yeast. But it smelled like pepper and damn-near tasted like a pumpkin spice beer. It had a refreshing dryness to it. I have no idea why, but can only assume the aromas and flavor was a conglomeration of all the contextual variables that brought the bottle from Belgium to my hand. I’ve had Orval a long time ago, but I couldn’t comment on this bottle’s taste compared to one found at a beer store here in the States.

I can’t give detailed impressions because I didn’t take notes – just enjoying a beer with my brother – but it was a great beer that was wonderfully carbonated and offered a great spicy tingle on my tongue.

These are all odd descriptors, but added up to a great beer drinking experience I’ve never had before. I hope to have it again.


4 thoughts on “A Unique Experience … with Orval

  1. We’re going to Belgium in 4 weeks so I’ll have to make sure to try this one! Thanks for the write up! Cheers

    1. To state I’m jealous would be an understatement. My brother told me that Orval was the easiest brewery to reach for him and his wife, as most Trappist locations are out of the way. He said the brewery itself is on about seven acres of land and includes three monasteries, with the oldest dating back to 1132. So that’s pretty cool.

      Enjoy the trip and drink some amazing beer!


      1. Thanks for the tip about Orval. Maybe we’ll look into getting to that one too! Can’t have too many breweries/monasteries on the list of things to do!

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