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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 3829   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 1/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Brisbane (24) - SWEDEN - DEC 16, 2002
This beer reminds me of springtime when the ground thaws and the dog droppings from winter begin to thaw. This beer, like the spring ground, wafts a thick, peaty smell of crap. Mulchy and fecal. This beer is dry and bitter. However, it looks very sweet and inviting. The head is very bulky and the color is auburn. It smells sweet, yet hides a pungent secret. On the palate itís very raw and flat...reminds me of liqour. The aftertaste is like amonia. Drinking this beer was like drinking venom. Therefore, I could not finish the glass I had poured. Due to the beerís strange character Iíll probably be buying another soon. Afterall, itís only $2 per bottle. It would be impossible to forget the taste of this beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
loweredsixth (946) - Clovis, California, USA - DEC 14, 2002
UPDATED: OCT 2, 2003 First rating: Dec 14, 2002
Odd doggy pooh aroma. The aroma is very complex with nice floral, musky, bitter tones to it, but there was still an overwhelming stench of pooh. The flavor was very similar to the aroma...floral, musky, orange peel, spicy. Again, the overwhelming flavor of pooh. I really wanted to enjoy this beer. I've been looking forward to tasting it for months. Maybe I'm not mature enough as a beer rater for this beer.

Oct 2, 2003
I'm getting it now. Very much like a geueze...extremely lemony, grassy, sour. I'm enjoying this much more than last time. The numbers reflect my experience this time.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
eczematic (1320) - Adelaide, AUSTRALIA - DEC 13, 2002
UPDATED: OCT 19, 2003 i've learnt to like olives lately, and now i really like orval. totally unique. incredibly dry, salty and flowery, and full of bizarre flavours you never would have expected to pop up in your beer glass, like capers and olives. also uncompromisingly hoppy. and possesses the greatest head among all beerkind. like a cocktail of gueuze and landlord. woahhh this is nearly my favourite beer now. i'm gunner follow dallasbryan's suggestion and brew with the weirdarse yeast and see how it goes. yeast update: for the brewers amongst you, this turns out beautiful for the first couple of months, full, malty, with a beautiful orval head, and brett character, then the brett starts to TAKE OVER and progressively turns it into a gutchurning bacteria concoction. the actual saccharomyces in there is first rate though, just gets out-eaten by the brettanomyces.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 13, 2002
Oh! Itís so dry! and quite bitter too. Yet it does smell quite sweet and flowery.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
notalush (4910) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 13, 2002
UPDATED: MAR 26, 2009 {Iíve been revisiting this beer a lot lately, and I find it to be deliciously dry and crisp, and probably one of my favorite belgian ales, if not beers in general] This beer has an excellent head that looks almost like whipped cream (which has already been pointed out), and an inviting, sweet, fruity aroma. This aroma, however, is misleading, because this taste is very dry, with a bitter, citrus flavor that I, at first, found unenjoyable. But, when I finally let the flavors settle into my palate, set aside my expectations, and tasted this beer for what it was, it was actually quite good. I will probably buy it again, but at 4.99 for an 11.2 oz. bottle, it probably wonít be very often.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
TheTsunami (162) - Arizona, USA - DEC 12, 2002
Wow. What a dichotomy. Easily one of the most "active" beers Iíve ever had. Popped the cap and sat the bottle down. When I looked at it a few minutes later a meringue-like foam had creeped up over the lip of the bottle. After pouringan incredible head arose, creamy and light. Leaving a thick lacing on the glass. The aroma was amazing. Fruity, sweet and full. Then I tasted it. Ooh fa. Hops. Hops hops and more hops. A fruity start gave way to a quick bitterness followed by a lingering, dry metallic flavor. A great beer if you are into the left coast style over over-hopping beer. However not so great if you like the malty-er beers.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Catadobe (112) - AUSTRALIA - DEC 9, 2002
Interesting considering itís a trappist beer, would have to be at the bottom of the heap. After tasting Westvletren...well what can i say.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
DallasBryan (111) - Dallas, Texas, USA - DEC 7, 2002
If you get it fresh this is one of the best Belgians out there. Blows away Chimay Red. Orange marzipan and maybe THE BEST YEAST CULTURE in the ale industry. Unbelievable if it is not damaged by heat. Dont pour the yeast in the glass, thats for bottle fermentation. Check it out in the Spring or get a Fall shipment if you drink it stateside. The brewery date code is on the neck (11 02 2005) means it came out of the brewery Nov. 2 2000. If it has a bitter taste or uneven its because its been exposed to heat. At the brewery this stuff taste like orange blossom honey, but like Belhaven delicate tastes dont travel well. OUTSTANDING, probably the best ale from Belgium. WILD YEAST STRAIN is the secret!!! Where have you ever seen a head that looks like whip cream? MERRY MONKINí!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
P-tor44 (886) - Anchorage, Alaska, USA - DEC 6, 2002
how did I ever call this over hyped before. Buttery cream aroma, mellow spice. lots of fruit, so many. It smells like the produce isle of a good grocery store. Absolutely killer nose. Smells like a farm. Golden with a big rocky head. Iím content to just sit here and snif this. Very yeasty, high carbonation, good hop bitterness.. So fruity, strong strong orange taste, very complex, one bottle was not nearly enough.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
drismyhero (815) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - DEC 5, 2002
UPDATED: MAY 8, 2005 Itís finally time I opened this bottle. I had a bad experience with this beer a while ago and knew something was amiss so I tried another one and hey, it comes as no surprise it is indeed a good beer. Very musky yeast bursting with sharp yeast and dried fruit. The finish lingers as long as any beer Iíve had and there is only a hint of tinniness lingering in the background. Very unique beer, and tasty. 12/05/02 - This IS intensely dry and aromatic. The bitterest Belgian beer Iíve had to date. Whereís that distinctive Trappist malt I love so much? Great presentation but this is falling way flat on the flavor scale here. Citrus hops, thin body and bitter finish. Iím wondering if this is part of a bad batch. Just no depth and this finish is getting more and more bitter the more I drink. Iíll sign off now before it gets worse.

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