Orval Trappist Review

Wow wow wow, what a treat.

The pour into a tulip resulted in a generous, everlasting head. Bubbles from the bottom of the glass, seemingly from the glass itself kept rising.

Appearance – Crystal clear straw. Brilliant, fine foam head. But the aroma quickly distracts me. A bit of chill haze in mine, and strangely almost no sediment in the bottle, which appears like a smoke.

Smell – Banana and clove, gives way to something sweeter like a subtle honey or subtle bubblegum. Warming the glass brings more subtle smells to the front. Dry hay, and even beyond that a lighter malt smell like a pils, almost like a lily or a floral smell. A bit of must stands between you and the flowers.

Taste – Really not what I expected out of a Belgian, there’s no WHAM, ALCOHOL like the American take on the style. It’s a subtle, malty taste. Darker, roastier than what I expected. Sort of like orange peel, with a long, well balanced finish. Where’s the hops? They’re in there somewhere and I suspect lend the floral note to it but it’s so subtle and so well blended. Spices on the sides of the tongue and just a light, sweet note on the front (honey). There’s oak way in the back of the taste when liberally swished.

Mouthfeel – like silk, but I can’t find a single note of oats in here, so it must all be carbonation. However this isn’t a nitro bottle, so I have no idea. Really, really smooth, and leaves just a bit on the tongue.

The more you drink, the sweeter it gets. By the second glass there’s definitely honey notes coming out of this. Whatever they used in hops is a really light dose. Bittering is done with an extremely small dose of something of moderate bitterness, and the nose is a delicious, subtle work.

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