Orval is the only Trappist beer brewed at the Monastery of Orval. The beer has been brewed since 1931 and is characterized by a complex and unusual flavor and aroma produced by a unique strain of yeast. Orval has a color that is somewhere between blond and light amber, it is slightly hazy and has a large foamy head. The beer has a complex aroma, very rich in spices. Its flavor is hoppy with some distinctive hints of orange peel.
Orval beer is becoming more and more scarce because the monks have reached their maximum production capacity of 68,000 hectoliters per year, but nonetheless the demand for the beer continues to increase. Orval beer is bottled in a unique skittle shaped bottle. It has an alcohol content of 6.2%.
Serving temperature : 6-8 °C
Orval is really a unique beer. Not only because its flavor and color doesn’t really fit into an existing category, but also because of the use of a very unique yeast called ‘Brettanomyces’ which gives the beer its very particular characteristics. The flavor of Orval also changes over time. A young Orval beer tastes light and hoppy and should ideally be drunk at a temperature of 6-8 °C, while after 9-12 months in the cellar the beer gets a fuller and smoother flavor and can be drunk at a slightly higher temperature.
The Abbey Notre-Dame of Orval is located in the very South of Belgium, in the Gaume region, close to the French and the Luxemburg border. The history of the Abbey dates back to 1132, but the brewing only started in 1932, when the monks needed money to finance the rebuilding of the monastery that had been destroyed during the French revolution.