Brewed by Brasserie dOrval
Style: Belgian Ale
Florenville - Villers-d.-Orval, Belgium


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 4157   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.91/5   EST. CALORIES: 186   ABV: 6.2%
In contrast to all the others, the Orval Trappist brewery makes only one beer for the general public. It has an intensely aromatic and dry character. Between the first and second fermentations there is also an additional dry-hopping process. Through this the beer acquires its pronounced hoppy aroma and extra dry taste.
Bottled at 5.2% abv - can go up as high as 7.2%

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
shigadeyo (3388) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - SEP 29, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 1, 2006 Tasted on 9/29/2006 from bottle (2006 vintage) at River’s Bend - Thanks Matt! Cloudy deep gold color. Very lively carbonation with a big and dense white head. Aroma is damp, earthy, and a little hoppy. Flavor is quite complex and very dry. Starts malty and dry, becomes a little more fruity and yeasty, and finishes slightly sour with a hint of alcohol. This is a challenging beer and truly unique. I definitely need to grab another bottle or three to really explore this beer. Also, the one I sampled is very young, so I think an older vintage might be even better. I’m sure my rating will go up once I get a chance to immerse myself in this intriguing beer again in the future...

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
dkoonce (911) - People’s Republic of Athens, Ohio, USA - SEP 29, 2006
Dark amber, with a massive off-white head. The aroma is flowery, wheaty and a bit sweet. A bit flat in the flavor, with a lot of flavors subtle flavors. Nothing jumps out. A bit sour in the finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
thomat (2820) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - SEP 27, 2006
Amber color with a firm head that does not last very long. Malt, fruit and spices in the nose. Medium to full body with some bitterness in the aftertaste. A very complex Trappist beer !

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Grovlam (4187) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - SEP 27, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 15, 2007 Trappist beer with a sweet, citrussy and yeasty smell and tast. Could it also be that some orange peel is in there. Nice complex flavor. Smooth and round beer, compared to other Trappist beers. 29-09-2006 Second time I have tasted this beer. And it really grows on you. It was a bit cold when it was served, and it clearly got better as temperature raised in the glass. Nice complex aroma and flavor, it is a very drinkable beer and defiantly a top beer!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
BigBen2120 (688) - Derry, New Hampshire, USA - SEP 23, 2006
Murky orange body with 5 or 6 fingers of head, typical of an abbey or trappist ale. Tons of lacing too. Smells sweet, citrussy, and yeasty. Rather complex flavor, tastes citrusy, spicy, piney, slightly sour, but in a good way. I like this beer. It definitely worth the hype!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Kpfeifle (25) - Patchogue, New York, USA - SEP 23, 2006
Nice cloudy amber color. A hint of hopps on the nose. Taste was very refined, a nice mix of different flavors. Quite a bit of yeast taste. Really liked this.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
brewgirlca (57) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - SEP 22, 2006
6.2%. Best before 19-09-2009. Pours a massive frothy head, medium orange color. Highly carbonated with geyser like rush of bubbles from base of snifter. Aroma is wonderful and inviting. Orange citrus nose with cloves; light toast and spicy. Spicyness quickly evident in flavor, with some cloves. Not as much malt as expected from nose and this made the presentation seem unbalanced. I know Belgians are defined as being crisp and dry but this was thin and light and this was complicated by the big alcohol warmth, which without body to back it was off-putting. I hate to say it but this was almost like a malt liquor in misbalance between alcohol and body. I have to admit that after I stopped thinking about how disappointed I was and just started drinking it as a beer I found it to be more pleasant and quite drinkable. But I’ll take a Chimay anyday over Orval.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
unclemattie (4358) - Georgia, USA - SEP 21, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 23, 2007 #300!!! I don’t know why it has taken me so long to try this trappist. Not a very appealing bottle/label. What an amazing aroma. Spicy malt aroma, and slightly yeasty. Very herbal. Extremely unique aroma! What a beautiful pour. Deep amber orange color and slightly cloudy. Wow. Flavor is malty and a bit tart. very dry. Very herbal taste. slightly tart and not very sweet. Very dry! There must be an extremely unique yeast strain that they use, I just can’t place a finger on the all of the flavors. Fresh green apples, honey, slight citrus. A very well rounded glass.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Stine (1713) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - SEP 20, 2006
UPDATED: AUG 18, 2008 September 2006. Cloudy shade of mahogany and amber. Very malty aroma, heavy on yeast, with some lemon pepper, spiced rum, and honey. Truly unique flavor incorporating tart red apples, or cider, brown sugar, and pear skins. Generally more sour than bitter or sweet, combining tannic dryness with fruity acidity. Tastes like a wilderness spring or a melted Siberian glacier. Immense and satisfying.

July 2008. Several bottles consumed in early this month, bottled on 6/20/07. Frothy golden hues. Herbal, musky, perfume-like aroma of flowers and ground soft spices, with a lemongrass sprightliness. Deep fruit flavors hidden in a dusty funk so magical and unnameable that it must come from some distant fairyland world. Nuttiness of malts keeping it safely earthbound in the boundaries of beer. A fulsome texture with a soft diamond cut edge. Completely enchanting. Every time I drink an Orval I feel like I’ve resigned my imagination to be captured and manipulated, and what a feeling of surrender it is.

August 2008. Bottled on 4/24/07. A sunny marigold haze. Herbal and sweet lemon curd and white tea aroma. Cantaloupe. Apricots in cinnamon. It’s really dried out, but the sweet-sour punch of fruit couldn’t be more frolicking and fresh. Deep honey dipped dough of perfect pale malt. The delicate beauty of its floral character is simple and entirely breathtaking. This is inhaling the Garden of Eden. Flavor is dusky and dry, and beginning to develop the cheesy kind of wooden funk that’s so arrestingly endearing in wildly fermented beer; again the liveliness of tropical and temperate stone fruits and herbal sensations from the bountiful dry hops joyfully complements the natural mineral texture of the yeast. AND IT IS MAGICAL! Cold, herbal and dry after a velvet cream of vanilla in a swirl of complicated, refined textures; finishes strong and soft on lemon pepper, flowers, and minerals, distantly. It’s certainly for a particular kind of taste, I think. And to mine it’s perfect.

August 2008. Bottled on 10/11/05. It’s really dried out, and the malts have driven in deep. Still fancifully lacquered in perfume and basement must, but warmer and burlier, generally. The floral and white/stone fruit flavors are not merely muscled away by the malt progression but still dance brightly at the surface; the malts have slowly carved out a dark ocean of thicker, more commanding flavors beneath the endearingly sparkly tart-herbal starlight of the beer in its earlier lives. And while that’s such a stunning feature after three years in the bottle, what’s most apparent is how utterly dry it’s become, even amidst so much depth of flavor and richness of palate. This is the best bottle I’ve had.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Diogène (1069) - Mirabel, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 17, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 5, 2008 The Orval is a style on its own. Poured in my Orval glass, hazy amber-orange colour with its thick and everlasting creamy white head. The aroma is spicy, with notes of herbs, flowers, citrus, malt, yeast and other wonders which I couldn’t put a name tag on.The mouthfeel is creamy, taste is spicy, malty, well hopped, but not that bitter, herbal notes, flower, horse blanket.... The wild yeast give s a very special character to the Orval. There is nothing like it. One of my favourite.

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