Drinking my first Orval in celebration of my first all grain brews

So I got enough widgets and pieces together this weekend to do some all grain brewing. Yesterday I made a Belgian golden which is happily bubbling away, and today I’m doing a witbeer (Belgian wheat with orange/coriander).

Somewhat in celebration of the whole gig, but more so because I was in the area, I went to Beltramos and got some beer:
Leffe Blonde
Grimbergen Blonde
Blanche de Bruxelles
Gouden Carolus Cuuve Van de Keitzer (red not blue)
Delerium Tremens
Rodenbach Grand Cru
St Bernardus Trippel

Yesterday making my Belgian golden I had a Boont Amber Ale, a Duvel, and one of the last bottles of my prior batch of extract beer (not surprisingly it really suffered in comparison, but still not too bad overall).

I started this afternoon off with a Grimbergen but have upgraded to an Orval while my Witbeer is mashing.

So, my first Orval… it is fun to taste this for the first time. It is very aromatic, and hoppier than I anticipated, but in a very complex floral way, nothing sharp. It is also more delicate and dry on the palate than I had anticipate with a hoppy finish again. The mousse on it is pretty stellar, lots of mouthfeel but still with so much delicacy. Not sure of an overall opinion but it is very different, very good, and good to finally taste it!

I usually like Orval when I can find it, I’m not a big fan of really hoppy beers (usually too tangy/bitter for me somehow - I think I just don’t like the taste of it) but here it works well because of all the floral aromas.

I know quite a few fans of Grimbergen (very well distributed in France), including my father, but I just find it rather boring, the basic Leffe too actually (of course when we move to the blue label I start getting interested :slight_smile:. My fav on your list is by far Duvel (actually I think it’s my fav, period). Have you ever had the Rodenbach before? That’s another weird style for sure.

The Rodenbach will be a first for me. It is a 750, I’ll wait until Michelle is back home to try it. My three favorite styles are probably Belgian Golden, Witbeer and Trippel. Leffe and Grimbergen might not be the most complex, but they are easy drinking and always make me smile. Staples in my fridge are usually Leffe, Hoegaarden, Allagash white, Delerium and Franziskaner.

I love Orval.
I age it.
I usually drink it with about a year to 18 mos of age.
Terrific stuff.
Thanks for the note.

To me, Rodenbach is a an acquired taste.
I need some more education before I can understand it.

My fav Tripels right now are St Bernardus, Westmalle and Fin du Monde (Canada)

I am not sure Orval is really in my wheelhouse but I’m sure I’ll try it again down the road. I generally prefer sweeter / richer wheats, blondes and red/ambers. The only things I don’t really go for are Porters / Stouts, generally speaking.

Nice little project. I tried Orval once a couple years ago and was left wanting. Should probably give it another whirl to see if I get the fuss yet. I does likes me some Boont Amber Ale though. It’s a fixture in my fridge.