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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 4252   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.92/5   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
Jayb0 (1135) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA - NOV 11, 2006
Perhaps the best looking bottle on the shelf, I had very high expectations. In the bottle for just under one year I found that perhaps this is too young for the Orval. Nice rocky head dies down to a pleasant spotty film. Very inviting nose with citrus and autumn spices. clean, red amber. The taste, a bit muted, I thought. Good hop and spice, very dry, a bit astringent. Perhaps best to pair with food as it would stand up well. Iíd like to try a 3-5 year old bottle, I think a bit of mingling and mellowing could send this beer into the upper echelon. For now, just good.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
2late2brew (14) - the woodlands, Texas, USA - NOV 10, 2006
One of the worlds most fragrant bierís, citrus abounds (dry hopping) plus spice produced from Brettanomyces wrapped together like a work of art. The Appearence is clean & more clear than I remember (additional filtering I suppose) a radient orange amber with excellent head retention....perfect. The flavour has a fine Pilsner like base with carmel undertones. Has aggressive lactic bite, but mellow in the finish, dry yet sweet character of candi sugar. I love to pair this with stinky extra extra sharp cheese but for most palates would overwhelm the dish. Overall outstanding example of a Belgian Specialty beer produced to satisfy even the most descriminating beerlover.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jonno (2405) - JAPAN - NOV 10, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 14, 2015 drunk from my tulip glass, an enjoyable drink...quite bitter and hoppy, but enjoyable non the less...a bit over rated, but hey, what isnít? RERATE oh the brett funk is awesome - a Belgian IPA and better than all the recent interpretations. Just gets better and better. Great with or without age. Initially it is quite hoppy. With a year or two the malt is more prevalent and the lovely brett kiss is more appealing. My favourite lambic :). The head on this is a monster - it just wonít die. Foamy at the top and bubbly at the bottom, clinging to the beer with every twirl and parry of the glass. Truly a beer for the ages.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Muggus69 (1866) - Yarram, Vic, AUSTRALIA - NOV 7, 2006
Served at cellar temperature in goblet. Been a long time since iíve had one of these but iíve been looking forward to it. Aroma is intense; spice, cirtus (orange, lemon, possibly even grapefruit?), sherbert, subdued roasted malts and floral hops. Pours a opaque copper body with a fluffy sort of head. Body isnít a thick as I imagined. Flavour reminds me almost of an IPA of sorts; quite dry, cirtus hop and spice notes, long lingering bitterness, with a lemon peel sort of finish. Almost medicinal at times. Unique, certainly, seems to take on a style of its own, particularly at this temperature; perhaps thatís why I donít feel it was as good as I remembered.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
holdenn (2101) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 7, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 6, 2009 11/7/06 Bottled: pours a hazy lihgt amber with a thick fluffy off-white head. Yeasty fruity aroma - pear, green apple, spices, corriander. A really wonderful nose. Lots of carbonation on the tongue, with the thick feeling chewy head. dark candied, apple and pear fruit flavors that are sour but surrounded by a mellow earthiness. Finishes rather sweet and earthy. An excellent beer.

5/6/09 Pours a golden amber with a huge beige head that collapses to a rocky landscape eventually settling into the flat lands but not without leaving a patchwork of lace. Complex nose of yeast, bubblegum, lemons, pears, and dough with herbal hops. The herbal/earthy hops dominate this fresh beer but underneath the malt, citrus, and pear peak out from the leather earthiness of the hops. Long bitter earthy finish drying out. 8/5/8/4/17 = 4.2

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
OleR (4804) - Oslo, NORWAY - NOV 7, 2006
Rating # 100. Bottle, stored in my cellar for six months. Massive rocky off-white head. Color is slightly hazed pale golden orange. Initial aroma of acidic fruits and spices, then candysugar, yeast, berries, perfume, applesÖ along with grassy and flowery hops. First impression of taste is dry and slight tart; pine, dried fruits and orange peel. Followed by a delicate hopbitterness and lots of spices and herbs that Iím unfortunately not able to define. Lingering fruity and dry finish with a hoppy bite. This is a real world classic, and a style in itís own. Outstanding.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
imdownthepub (12585) - Banbury, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - NOV 7, 2006
Bottle conditioned, 330 ml, aged 4 yrs. Gold amber with big white head, sl haze. The initial aroma is terrific, if not particularly beery. There is vanilla and cloves and lots of herbs. The aging was deliberate to attemt to get a smoother beer and it works, I like the young beer but love the older, there is a herby floral mixture of flavours with juicy citric fruits. The body of the beer fills out with a viny richness. A terrific beer and worth the wait.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
OldMrCrow (2304) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 5, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 20, 2010 Bottle (fresh). Pours a gorgeous golden amber with a rich full fluffy - even foamy - head. The aroma is complex and fascinating: mild vinegar notes and dusty barnyard, honey and mint,spicy yeasts. The flavor is equally complex: very dry, some mouth-puckering sourness around the sides but this comes on late, lemon peel, just a hint of funk, a long dusty hop finish. The mouthfeel is the weakest of the lot; it seems rather thin to me, and rather hollow. But that is a minor concern; this beer deserves its reputation.

Mini-vertical, Spring 2009:
1 year -- mint, herbal.
2 years -- the classic Orval taste that I remember. Juicy through middle with spice on the front and so brett-dry on the close. Perfection.
4 years -- wine-like, acid notes bring out the wood, considerable loss of carbonation

Sept í09 - straight from Whole Foods. I definitely like it with a bit more age.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
frizzzzle (76) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - NOV 3, 2006
Pours a slightly hazy, bland brownish color with a very tall, almost white head. Nose is malty, with alcohol and dark fruits. Grape, maybe? There are hops in the background, lending to a freshness in the smell. The flavor is slightly sour, with more grape, and maybe a melon-ness toward the finish. The beer has an overall dry character, an interesting contrast to the mildly tart fruitiness. Mouthfeel is just right -- I love the carbonation in Belgians. This beer is very different from what I remember (this was one of my first micros), but itís as tasty as ever.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
JB175 (1665) - Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 2, 2006
UPDATED: MAR 22, 2009 This one deserves a re-rate from me as my first couple of tries with Orval were from my Cherry-ass days of only appreciating heavily hopped stuff. I now appreciate Bretty and more complex Belgian brews, so its nice to have another one at this point. Nice cloudy rose-amber pour with a substantial head (poured into an Orval glass). Pleasant sour aroma with some yeast, dough, grape, citrus, and floral hops detectable. Flavor is bready, yeasty, and tart - incredibly smooth with some vinous fruit and citrus in there for good measure. Smooth and complex - Iím glad I have several more aging a bit.

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