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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 4091   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.92   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 3/5   TASTE 1/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 3/20
bob32256 (171) - Jacksonville, Florida, USA - SEP 22, 2003
UPDATED: SEP 23, 2003 After the initial taste, I had to go back and re-rate this beer. Maybe there was something wrong with this bottle, but there was a very unpleasantly bitter aftertaste that lasted a long time - one of the very few that I've poured out.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
ClarkVV (4223) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - SEP 18, 2003
UPDATED: OCT 8, 2007 2003 bottle Pours a hazy apricot/orange. Plenty of off-white foamy head. Smells of straw, light orange peel, a little bit of baked brown bread. Begins slightly muted. Hmmm, was expecting more of an explosion, this is certainly subtle, to say the least. Dry flavor of hops and a touch of lemon and sugar. Alcohol presents itself in a balanced way. Finish is quite tart, but not overly acidic. Has some vanilla liqueur notes in the middle and is medium to full bodied with no wateriness, though the flavor does thin out somewhat. This is a super dry beer. If thatís what they are looking to make, they did a damned fine job. Perfect for what it is. If I was in a relaxed, philosophical mood, I would drink this. However, this beer needs something more to really make me want to go out of my way to drink it often. Will definitely try again however to see if I can pick up some more flavors/nuances. Rerate WOW! Itís not even that I appreciate it more this time, the bottle I got simply tastes better. Wonderful spice with a slight orange zing to it. Perfect balance and a nice slightly sour yeast finish. Not nearly as dry as I remember, or perhaps, I just taste more flavor to counteract the dryness. Hard to put words on it, just a true true beer flavor that is just right. Oh ya, incredible aroma.
2 year old bottle sampled July 2004. Everything to balance and perfection, just about. Not much to complain about here. Lovely grainy, yeasty and lightly fruity flavors, lots of it. Palate is elegantly simple, yet has just enough texture to take in all of the nuances of this beer. Aroma is still incredible. Everyone I poured this for remarked how good it was, and all of them were swill drinkers who havent seen the light.
Have been drinking this alot in Summer 2005. Iíve had it cold, chilled, warm, next day, straight from the bottle and all I can think of is how great it is and how deliciously quenching. The tart brett and dry but substantial maltiness work excellently together and the wonderful farmy hops seal the deal. Yep, itís definitely one of the best beers being made right now.

The more I have it I think two things: This stuff really does smell and taste perfect, BUT, the mouthfeel really is a little lacking on account of the filtration (despite being bottle conditioned afterwards). I just donít think perfection in the beer world involves filtration. Gotta stick to my beliefs!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
hayden1215 (321) - Ohio, USA - SEP 17, 2003
Orange in color with a large head. Aroma is perfume, spice, cloves, friut. Flavor is sweet and bitter.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
jercraigs (8514) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 17, 2003
UPDATED: APR 7, 2013 2013-04-05. Hazy amber orange giant white and lace. 4+ Modest funk with a subtlety and nuance that I lack the vocabulary to adequately describe. Modest pale malt, musty fruit. 7++ Flavour is similar, musty funky bretty character modest malt, moderate bitterness throughout. Average palate is softly carbonated. 3++ Overall impression is greater than the sum of its parts. Good stuff, apparently a bit of an aquired taste based on my previous ratings!. 7/4/8/3/17 Bottle from the LCBO, Toronto

2005-12-XX. Hazy orange amber with a big fluffy off white head. (3+) Floral yeasty aroma with a mild funk. Barnyard, horse blanket and hops. Flavour is funky with a mild sourness throughout, slight hoppy bite. Effervescent palate. Still not really for me. 6-7/3+/5-6/3/13 Bottle from NSLC in Halifax.

2004-11-XX. Golden body, white head. Interesting hoppy aroma. Pleasant bitterness with a mildly tart finish and some underlying sourness. Nice enough beer, but I just donít find that much in there. Meh. 6/3-4/7/3/15 Bottle at BeerBistro.
OKBeer Quote of the night: "I canít think of an occasion when I wouldnít drink an Orval."

2003-09-XX Pours hazy golden with a good-sized head. Aroma was strongly of bubblegum, and the flavour was a slightly spicey bitterness. Much better than I remember it being - I will have to pick this up more often! 6/4/6/3/13 Bottle at Joey_Capps tasting.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
steview (1036) - Petaluma, California, USA - SEP 16, 2003
UPDATED: OCT 23, 2008 UPDATE June 17, 2004: adjusted/different... UPDATE July 1, 2004: dry, bittersweet, gueze-like, citrus, barnyard; complex and unique... UPDATE October 10, 2004 (downrated): trappist glass; case of orval--good... dry, floral, yeasty, sugary, citrus, tartness (like lemonade/sour patch kids)... mild geuze... UPDATE March 15, 2005: trappist glass; 17/09/2004, 17/09/2009; downrated... UPDATE October 23, 2008: 20/02/2008, 20/02/2013b; there is something downright fresh and different about the aroma especially in comparison to the other dimensions of this beer; sparkling and rocky off-white head, translucent and copper-orange body, light copper-orange highlight; smooth, somewhat spritzy; bittersweet then quickly dry, somewhat tart although sweet--lemon, orange, straw, cereal, cream; delicious.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
invalid (302) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - SEP 9, 2003
I found the smell to be a lot more reserved than most trappist ales. It was very balanced with all its spices and hops, but I was expecting more character from this beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
thehoff (596) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - SEP 6, 2003
Smells of banana and apple, maybe some citrus. After warming maybe 5 minutes smells of cinnamon & nutmeg. You can tell this has extra yeasts added for a second fermentation. The brown yeast clouds up the wonderful murky orange beer. The flavor has many different levels. It seems to taste of apples or apple peels and leads into a type of bitter licorice finish. Very dry beer. Intense. You really need some time to enjoy this beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DavidP (1747) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 2, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 20, 2008 12192008. I think I have finally seen the light on this one. Dry and earthy held together by tangy brettanomyces, this beer is a crisp work of art. Previous rating. Cloudy orange-amber body, tightly-bubbled yet short-lived head. The nose features raspberries, followed by apricot and a warm spicy yeastiness. The flavor is quite contrary to the aroma in that it is light and dry. Starts with vinegar, dried wood, musty hops and finishes with some pale malt sweetness. I found the dryness in the flavor to be sort of a tease - I enjoy that component of the flavor, but I would like more fuller sweetness elsewhere.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Wiseblood (700) - Clarksville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 2, 2003
Cloudy amber with a yeasty, fruity aroma and a large bumpy and permanent head. A musty quality is also present. Somewhat light tasting for a Trappist, it has an intense hoppy bitterness, with an overwhelming orange flavor but also some grapefruit, lemon, and a hint of cinnamon or nutmeg. There is no sweetness anywhere in the beer, which is why this was not of my favorite Belgians. Some malt flavor comes through, but not enough to provide a balance. The aftertaste was very pronounced- dry,tart, with a bitter, grapefruity, long-lasting flavor.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
MaBeer1972 (1442) - Taunton, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 21, 2003
Bottled 10.2002. What a beautiful big beer! The aroma is pretty intense. Something like a horse barn and a grassy field. The flavor hits from several different angles at once. Chew, chew, chew! As intense as this is to drink, it's amazingly "drinkable". Where have you been all of my life?

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