A little over a year since its bottling/packaged on date and it’s time for bottle number three in The Brux Project Orval edition! Years in the making, I’m finally getting to properly cellar and trace the develop of one of my favorite beers thanks to my friend Kevin Desmet of Belgian Beer Geek. Orval, when the question is asked, is often sited as people’s favorite Trappist beer. Years ahead of its time, it can be considered the first modern “wild ale.” The kiss of Brett set it apart from its contemporaries and allowed it to become a category of one in the Trappist world. The addition of brett, a happy accident at the time of the beers creation in the interwar years in Belgium, allows the beer to be aged over time and develop interesting new flavors. What starts out as a nice hoppy pale ale becomes a funky and yeasty creature of an entirely new nature over time.
This bottle was packaged on March 28th of 2017 before going in for approximately 6 weeks of bottle conditioning in a warm room prior to release.
Appearance: Hazy orange/amber, beige head, great retention.
Aroma: Woodsy, fruity, grassy, light funk
Taste: Light caramel notes, grassy, herbal, fruity, Peppery finish
Overall Impression: At a little over a year past the packing date, the Orval has entered into a early balanced and mild phase where the brettanomyces hops are fairly in tune with each other. The hops have faded a bit more since the last time and the brett is starting to tune up and get just a bit funky. The beer is also starting to get quite dry while still maintaining a good level of body with a nice peppery finish.
Availability: All the time, around the world.
You can read more about the history of the Trappist brewers and Orval here.
If you’d like to look at some pictures and read about my trip to Orval, click here.