Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Orval

Top Craft Beers

Orval, one of GAYOT's Top 10 Craft Beers, brewed by monks

Orval
Belgian Pale Ale
Brasserie d'Orval/Abbaye Notre-Dame d'Orval, Belgium

Monks have occupied the site of Abbaye Notre-Dame d'Orval since 1070 and continue to brew there; it's one of only seven Trappist monasteries in the world which still brew beer today. First produced in 1931, this iconic ale with complex and distinct flavors is produced with three different malts, two types of hops, Belgian candi sugar and multiple semi-wild yeast strains. The yeast contains brettanomyces, which adds to its unique flavor and slightly sour finish. Sunset-orange in color and slightly cloudy, it pours a large, foamy head and offers up a fruity and somewhat acidic bouquet. Unlike most Belgian beers, Orval is dry-hopped and packs a good amount of hop flavor and bitterness. For the ultimate tasting experience, dispense into an Orval glass. Specially designed for Orval, it has a wide mouth rim, and drinking from it opens up the hoppy flavor of the beer. And, be sure not to drink it too cold. As this beer warms, the flavors keep getting better and better. As the beer is bottle-conditioned, its taste can change over the years with ageing, with a mature version exhibiting a more toned-down, gentler hop bitterness, as well as increased sourness from the still growing wild yeasts.

Price: $5 for 11.2 oz
6.9 percent ABV


Top 10 Craft Beers
More Top Craft Beers


PCM080612
USG082514

Craft breweries are a trend on the rise, with thousands opening worldwide. To help, we've compiled a list of our ten favorite brews you need to try.

Whether straight up or mixed into an Admiral Schley Punch, share a cheers to the American spirit by trying one of our top ten bourbons.