28 December 2008

Orval (BEL)

I'm a neophyte when it comes to sour beers, so Orval has to take one for the team here. This was bottled in February of this year, and what a bottle it is! I always liked the distinctive shape, but never knew it was of such skull-cracking heft.

The beer's head is world class, with its stiff peaks and longevity (it was still there after I finished drinking). Nice fruity smell and light-ish texture. The first sip is all tartness (green apple jolly rancher?), and it took me a bit to look past this and notice other flavors. It isn't an awful sourness to me, but I felt as though I was enduring it more than enjoying it. I think I'd appreciate it a bit more in warmer weather. I didn't really detect any horseblanket or leather or anything like that, although there was some fruitiness and a nice dry finish. 

Does the brett increase with age, or decrease? I've read both; maybe it peaks at some point. Either way, I'll give you another shot someday, Orval.


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