Continuing in the great tradition of winter ales and Trappist beers, we now proceed to another great and venerable Belgian vintage. Much like its peers, this beer is a certified Trappist product, crafted by monks, that is in keeping with the centuries-long tradition of Monastery brewing!
Founded in 1931 as a way to finance the massive reconstruction project for the town of Orval. In keeping with monastic principles, all profits generated by the sale of the beer go to social welfare works and the maintenance of the monastic buildings. So when you drink this beer, your partaking in charitable works as well as enjoying an authentic beer!
But alas, the beer itself is the subject of my concern here. After learning of its existence over a decade ago in the fine cellars of Vineyards Bistro, Ottawa, it fast became one of my favorites. Originally, I enjoyed it as a dessert beer given its compatibility with sweet and fruity foods, but have since come to appreciate it for its food-pairing and all-around appeal.
Appearance: Orange, cloudy, good foam retention
Nose: Yeast, notes of sour cherry and oak
Taste: Light malt, giving way to robust oak and sour cherry
Aftertaste: Slight bitterness, tart fruit, red wine-like finish
As I said, the hints of cherry and oak make it well suited to desert fare, much like a nice dry red wine. However, it is also well at home when it comes to pastas, pizzas, or mussels and frites, the good Belgian fare you can expect to find in a Euro-pub! And now that I have a line on where to get some (thank you again Cook St. Liquor), I plan to enjoy it often and test its versatility.