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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 3984   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.92   EST. CALORIES: 186   ABV: 6.2%
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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 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
schuimkroaat (424) - Leuven, BELGIUM - JUL 9, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 28, 2006 Dark orange with a golden hue, a little misty. A solid and well-sized off-white head that laces wonderfully. Hops, in all their fullness, take over in the nose, which also detects geuze-like rancidity, lemon and wood along with just a hint of metal. Dry and bitter from head to toe (though mellower and juicier if young), bearing also some ‘wild’ sourness. This hop festival does rest on a very convincing, juicy, malty body. The following is a rating for a very old bottle, produced probably in the 1970s, or even earlier (according to the brewery in their reply to my e-mail). Obtained as a gift from friends: aroma 8, app. 4, flavour 8, palate 3, overall impression 16, total score 3.9 . The bottle went ‘psssssst’ when I opened it. Pours dark orange amber, slightly darker than young Orval, with a strong haze and a lot of tiny, dispersed yeast particles (I had kept the bottle in the horizontal position in the fridge for several days). Initially several millimetres of volatile, lacy, large bubbled head, which disappears within seconds giving it a quite lambiek-like appearance. The aroma is also rather lambiek-like, dry and lactic acidic but softer, without the typical oude geuze rottenness and the oak wood notes. Also a rich flowery bouquet. The resemblance to lambiek is at its strongest in the mouth: dry, acidic, light citrus touch, even the bitterness is like that weak one of aged hop flowers, only really expressed in the aftertaste (and this one is gentle, but sharp and long) as found there (rather than the typical Orval ‘hop power’). Only that heavy, old oak wood pungency is missing. Light to medium body with a gentle, cuddly prickling sensation. When the bottom 2 cm or so are poured, the potion becomes very turbid and the colour turns much darker - light brown, like milk chocolate (or chocolate milk ); but still with a strong orange hue to it, without affecting the taste much - it just becomes somewhat (more) yeasty (surprise, surprise). All in all, still very drinkable. And very special.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
1FastSTi (3341) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 8, 2005
UPDATED: APR 22, 2006 Pours to a huge foamy, rocky, fully lasting white head with awesome lacing. The body is a hazy copper color. The aroma is sour, fruity, spicy, wonderful. MMMMMM.... The flavor is good. Very spicy, earthy, cigar tobacco, esters. Good minerally aftertaste. The palate is rich, creamy, lively carbonation. I highly recommend picking this up. Very tasty. I suspect this is a love it or hate it beer.

Resampled a bottle on 4/22/2006. The bottle vintage is 4/1/2005. Listed at 6.9%. Still as great as ever.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 7/20
vanvenlo (1362) - Glen Iris, AUSTRALIA - JUL 7, 2005
22 Dec 2004 - The aroma has a fruity, full earth complexity. Deep cloudy orange/brown and a good head and lacing. Very steely fruit complexity, that is not to my liking. Big bitter and barnyard/metallic aftertaste.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
paul9639 (116) - New Hampshire, USA - JUL 6, 2005
poured a cloudy amber with a nice head. Aroma is hops, citrus, and apples. Flavor is a dry, fermented grape flavor. Good beer, but my least favorite Trappist, so far.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
nycbronchart (6) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 6, 2005 does not count
caramel, nuts, amber, clear, medium sweetness, lightly bitter, lightly sour, medium body, thin feel, average carbonation,

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
fluids (364) - Massachusetts, USA - JUL 2, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 18, 2006 Rerated. I actually like this beer better then Westmalle but not as much as Rochefort and Westvleteren. It’s in it’s own class really. Available at Downtown Wine & Spirits in Somerville, MA

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
TomT (18) - BELGIUM - JUL 2, 2005
The most "exotic" trappist ale and very different from the others. Orval’s legendary bitterness is disliked by some, but is integral part of this beer from one of Belgium’s oldest abbeys (history dating back to early 11th century). It is recommended to keep the beer a few months in the cellar before consumption for a smoother and more mellow taste. Unlike most other Belgian beers.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
bridge (659) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - JUN 30, 2005
UPDATED: JUL 3, 2006 Bottled - best before 14 July 09. Thick foamy head, almost like pouring champagne. Head was present for ages, and laced generously down the sides of the glass. Quite a peppery aroma, but I found it hard to distinguish much else apart from that and olives. Fairly medium bodied complex flavour that is reminiscent of drinking wine. Quite bitter, with a pleasant smoky aftertaste. I like it, but I think I need to compare it to a few others and maybe re-visit. (6 4 8 4 14) Re-visit: This time I can easily pick out the hops in the dry, peppery aroma. In fact, they come across as very musky - quite unique (that’s the yeast you dumb ass). With a best before date of 18 May 2009, this is a llittle further advanced than the last one I had, but it still seems a bit raw. I think I’ll have to acquire some to cellar, and try them gradually in the coming years.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
DonMagi (5595) - bantervile, Bedfordshire, ENGLAND - JUN 26, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2009 Re-rating this fellow, id had a few bad experiances of this, but now my palate seems to be up for anythign these days. Aroma is outstanding, a beer you could nose for hours, floural and very well balanced. Taste is great too though the sourness gives it an edge keeping it not as good as the aroma for me. Still a world class beer and should be in the top 50. REARTE: Up from 4.8-5. Acht its just the best thing thats ever happened to the beer world. Its utterly outstanding, it just keeps you guessing and completly basts my tits off every time.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
joergen (22274) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - JUN 26, 2005
Bottled. Cloudy orange coloured with a huge off white head. Fruity aroma with some sweetness and notes of spices, hops and alcohol. Fruity flavour of spices and hops. Dry bitter finish.

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