I wrote: "Orval. It smells like orange with perhaps... raisins? It's quite a sweet smell. On my first sip I couldn't get much of a taste, until I burped. It's quite easy to drink. Ah, I was able to detect more of a taste on my second sip. In addition, I start detecting a bitterness and the bitterness begins to linger. This beer seems to focus on the bitter aftertaste. Yes, the experience of drinking this beer is like enjoying the sweetness of a grapefruit and then encountering a bitter aftertaste. It doesn't have the complexity of a tripel. Yes, grapefruit. :)"

I suppose, though I'm not entirely sure, that the grapefruit analogy would only hold if you eat the membrane in addition to the flesh. I think its solely the grapefruit membrane that supplies the bitterness to the grapefruit eating experience. I'll have to double-check this one day, because I honestly haven't eaten a grapefruit in a while. My fruit of choice would be a nectarine/peach (apparently they are the same species: Peach (Wikipedia.org)).



Relevant Links:
Orval (RateBeer.com)
Orval Brewery (Wikipedia.org)
Orval Website
Orval Trappist Ale (BeerAdvocate.com)

Website Information:
The RAW MATERIALS for Orval beer are spring water, two-row malting spring barley, aromatic hops and liquid candy sugar.


After grinding and what is known as “infusion” brewing and filtering, the wort is sent to the wort boiler where it is boiled for one and a half hours; it is then that the hops are added. The wort is then cooled.


Specific Orval “top fermentation” yeasts are microscopic fungi that turn sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The first fermentation in conical-cylindrical tanks takes four to five days at a temperature of 15 to 23°C.


A second strain of yeast is added to continue the fermentation. Bags containing hop cones are macerated in the beer for two to three weeks to improve the aromas of the beer – a process known as dry hopping.


After centrifugation, new yeast and sugar are added to trigger re-fermentation in bottles, and the beer is then stored. Orval Brewery produces only one bottled beer. Optimum quality is ensured through continuous inspections.


Once stored, the beer will continue to ferment slowly in maturiing cellars for three to five weeks at a constant temperature of 15°C. The temperature at which the beer will be enjoyed will depend on this re-fermentation temperature.

The skittle-shaped bottle was designed specially to delight the eye of the consumer with a superb beer, by retaining the yeast sediment when the beer is served. This sediment is teeming with vitamin B, and can be drunk afterwards.

EXCERPT TAKEN FROM NEAR THE END OF "How Orval beer is made..."
The gustative sensations will gain in nuance depending on the age of the beer. Young beer is characterised by a bouquet of fresh hops, with a fruity note and pronounced bitterness, light on the palate and a less firm collar than a beer of six months. The latter will feature a bouquet consisting of a blend of fragrances of yeast and old-fashioned hop. The bitterness is more diffuse and the taste has moved to a slight touch of acidity accompanying yeast and caramel flavours. Served without its sediments, a beer of six months or more, has a particularly bright appearance. It will be less so, if it is served at a temperature below 7°C to 8°C (44° - 45°C).

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