Dirty Blonde Ale

It’s been two whole years since I last tasted Orval. I don’t know why. It’s great. The most idiosyncratic of the trappist ales, Orval is a blonde ale bottled with wild yeast. That yeast makes for an extra fluffy body and distinct funkiness. 

I opened a bottle last night that was brewed about ten months ago. It still has hints of hops and a crisp, crackery malt flavor, but the real star is the brettanomyces. Hay, old shoes, dirt – these are some classic wild yeast flavors. And hiding beneath is a very solid blonde ale. Even without that layer of Brett, Orval would be a mighty fine beer.