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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 4290   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 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Bajahobo (30) - USA - OCT 29, 2006
Bottle. Pours like a murky pilsner with a rather large white head. Aroma is that of dates, citrus fruit, and alcohol. The texture is smooth and the flavor is piney with hints of lemon. Unfortunately, my Orval was also a bit soapy. There is a decent syrupy sweetness in the finish. This beer reminds me of a bigger, more bitter American wheat. Smooth, solid, and drinkable, but kinda blah.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
vyvvy (5534) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - OCT 28, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 2, 2008 Rating done on a four year old bottle and one year old bottle. Both poured copper with a rich white head. The younger one had a noticably larger head. The on the older bottle was spicy and brett-like with earthy and yeasty notes. Very clean for the age. The younger beer’s aroma was spicy with a nectar fruit aspect instead of the brett. There was some earth and yeast, but not as much as the four year old bottle. The mouthfeel for the older bottle was medium / thin and crisp with very light soft carbonation. The younger bottle had a heavier body with carbonation that started out soft, but got more sharp on the finish. For the taste the older bottle had a lot of the brett qualities from the aroma along with lots of spice, coriander and dry earthy traits. The finish has lots of spice and tart lemon. Very dry finish. The year old bottle also has lots of spice and has a taste between brett and dry nectar fruits. The bottle is semi-dry, not as dry as the older bottle. The finish has some fruits and lots of dry spices. Both bottles are crisp and refreshing for a Trappist ale. Both of the bottles show a respectable amount of hops as well adding to the crispness - they are more prominant in the young bottle. Overall an excellent beer coming from both young and old bottles.
Rerate just to bump up numbers. The more I have this beer the more impressive it is. Amazing complexity, works for any season, dry, refreshing and unique. There are some that put out something that is their version of this beer & nothing comes remotely close.
Another numbers bump. This is probably the best beer of the lot of I’ve had. At some point I need to buy a couple cases and try them a few months from each other to see the complexity that comes with age of this. Fantastic beer that is somewhat different (or reveals itself differently) each time, yet is always distinctly and unmistakeably Orval each time.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
beerbill (3605) - Laurel, New York, USA - OCT 28, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 12, 2007 11.2 oz. bottle - Bottled on 31/01/2006. Very sensuous shaped bottle. Pours a cloudy copper orange with a thick, long-lasting creamy off white head not unlike the head on top of a root beer float. A very slow pour is required for this beer. Excellent lacing down to the bottom of the glass. Pleasant yeasty aroma with floral notes as well. It was in the flavor that this beer disappointed me. While the aromas were rather pronounced, I found the flavors to be very subdued. I sat with this beer for a long while allowing it to warm, but I just did not find this beer all that flavorful. Dry, bitter finish. I’ve been told this beer can vary from bottle to bottle, so I will leave myself a note to re-try this brew in a few months and come back to re-rate if necessary.

Sampled again 5/11/2007. No changes to my original review.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
jhumphries69 (1034) - Tyrone, Georgia, USA - OCT 27, 2006
Pours deep orange, light amber, with white head. The aroma is lush and floral - a sweet fragrance, literally floral, formed from hop aroma, malts, and some fruity notes (peaches, apples, grapes). The flavor is peculiar - very light body, not very sweet or floral taste. It tastes hoppy with a touch of acidity (maybe some grapefruit or other bitter fruit). The flavor of old, stale hops overpowers the malts and fruitiness in the taste department. The finish is very dry with a very long astringent after-taste. The finish also includes some yeast in the flavor.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
pnista (1007) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - OCT 26, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 14, 2008 App: 4, Aroma: 8, Palate 4, Flav: 8, Overall: 17. Pours a slightly hazed orange (becoming more hazed towards the bottle’s bottom) with a big white head with some staying power. Looks a bit overcarbonated, maybe. The nose seemed at first run of the mill belgian. Subsequent efforts revealed richer malt, deeper fruit (figgy rather than apple-y), and some herbage, maybe peppermint? I can even smell hops subtly. The palate is smooth and creamy, not overcarbonated as I had first guessed. The flavor is really very nice with big ass malt. Not too sweet, a bit of wheat though. The Belgian sourness is subdued, but there’s discernable herbal flavors like peppermint that also supply balance to malt... and dare I say it, there’s some hops! A piney little taste lingers a bit longer than most of the other flavors. Really complex, yet really easy to drink. I can’t think of any beers with this much going on at such a low ABV. I’d buy/drink more if it weren’t 5 bucks a bottle. Glad I finally bought a bottle after having this at a tasting. Rerate, 8.1.14: App: 4, Aroma: 8, Palate 4, Flav: 8, Overall: 17. Bottled 6.1.24 Wow, I was a bit off the mark way back when, but this is still a lovely beer. Appearance spot on, other than the head retention, thins to a decent film more quickly. Now, the herbs seem to come out a TON more. A very very light sweetness. Hops? Bandaids? I might be crazy, but this reminds me a bit of Luciernaga in the nose Some alcohol, but not much. A bit of straw. The mouth is about spot on what I said. Perhaps a little slick. The flavors are sharp. A bit of that tartness that I’m starting to think of as Brett. A very light sweetness, perhaps in the tropical fruit mold, but reminding me of Luciernaga very much still. A good shot of those hops, despite the bottle being two years old. VERY herbal. I think minty is fair. A lingering acidic bitterness, but clean and dry, like champagne in a way. I’m going to have to pick up three bottles and try to age them to different degrees. current ratings reflect most resent tasting.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
tcruicks (282) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - OCT 26, 2006
This is a nice well rounded beer, my favorite in the style so far. It is a cloudy yellow orange color with a huge fluffy white head. In the aroma there is some peppermint, some sourness, apple/fruit, very malty, sugary cotton candy. The flavor is similar with more hops, spice, and bitterness. Its very drinkable, with a nice smooth palate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TheGrandMaster (2335) - Auckland, NEW ZEALAND - OCT 25, 2006
Bottle at Ange Gardien, the Abbey’s tavern, where it is supposed to be cellered for longer. Amber colour with carbonation, a slight haze and an off-white foamy head. A rich fruity aroma with a malty presense. A little carbonation in the mouth, an initial hit of malty characters with more bitter fruit and vinuous notes in the finish. It certainly is unique and different to other Trappist beers.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
theisti (3806) - Kansas, USA - OCT 25, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 18, 2009
++++ Re Rate 10 Feb 2008 ++++
11.2 fl oz bottle at The Dish pizza in Liberty, MO. Bottled May 2007, though served in a shaker pint, and a bit too cold, this beer was just incredible with pizza. Even more beautiful rocky head this time, and the perfect Brett dryness. I just love this beer more each time I have it. (10,5,9,5,19 - 4.8)

++++ Re Rate 16 Nov 2007 ++++
11.2 fl oz bottle purchased at Lukas KCMO. Bottled on 14/11/2006 enjoyed on 16-Nov-07. Pour is a clear gold with some red undertones. A bunch of carbonation bubbles and a big, rocky white head. Aroma is Brett funk, wet earth and some hay. Just a gorgeous nose. Taste is really nice, initially a bit of citrus and yeastiness, the middle gives way to the Brett big time and the sour and funk continues to a very dry finish. Amazingly unique. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this beer. Side note, I was tempted to delete my original rating, since it was useless, but have decided instead to leave it as a memorial to how very little I knew about beer when I first started on Ratebeer. Granted, I am still a novice. (9,4,9,4,19 - 4.5)

++++ Original Rating 25 Oct 2006 ++++
Solid trappist, dry and hoppy throughout. Strength of this one can really sneak up on you! (8,4,9,4,17 - 4.2)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
tomthompson89 (1976) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 22, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 4, 2007 one of my definate fav Trappists. all year beer, hoppy dryness that is as enjoyable in winter as in summer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
UselessGdTaste (365) - Long Beach, California, USA - OCT 21, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 26, 2007 I loved the smell of this beer. Tasting was different though. I found it very very dry. Too dry even. The flavor of the hops was present and very unique. This is about as clean tasting as a beer can be.

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