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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 4158   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
BeanDip (117) - Florida, USA - OCT 4, 2003
UPDATED: SEP 26, 2004 Looks like apple cider with a bubbly, fluffy off white head. Aroma of sour fruit - again almost ciderish. As it warms a touch of tropical fuit appears along with spicy, floral hops notes. I get this wonderful almost powdery scent. Hints, I mean faint hints of caramel and cotton candy. Upon further warming comes the citrus - orange and lemon and fresh grass.If you take the time to enjoy the aroma of this one you won't be disappointed. Flavor is sour fruit and spice. Light maltiness. Very carbonated and big hops. Very dry and spicy. Hops lingers on the tongue with a tart apple residue. This beer defies typical classification for me. It acts like a triple, a flanders, a saison, a pale and it's a trappist to boot. Can't say I would sit down and drink one every day, but it's a treat to savor.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
beerledgend (1196) - Waterloo, Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - OCT 3, 2003
Cloudy dark gold colour, smell like champas, very fruity/grapy. Banana flaovours.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
jeffin7 (613) - Silver Spring, Maryland, USA - SEP 30, 2003
Very nice murky look. Taste of cider with a slight astringent undertone. Goes down very easily. Slight leather (good as an accent) taste. I am a rooky with belgians so this was a nice introduction

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
bu11zeye (12367) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - SEP 29, 2003
UPDATED: FEB 27, 2008 Based on bottled version: Pours a lightly hazy amber body with a thick white head. Flavor of light brett sourness, mild hops, citrus, caramel, and spices.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
desurfer (1262) - Melbourne, Florida, USA - SEP 27, 2003
Cool bottle. Amber body, huge, rocky white head and lots of rising carbonation. Tropical fruits and orange peel abound in the nose, although not too strong. Hoppy, fruity flavor, very dry, and a dry bitter finish. A bit thinner than I expected. The lace clinging to my glass is a quarter inch thick in some places. Really enjoyable beer.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
OKBeer (1171) - Halifax, Nova Scotia, CANADA - SEP 25, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 15, 2004 Slightly hazy orange/amber in colour. Mountains of lasting rocky, frothy, and creamy beige coloured head. Very lively with lots of tiny bubbles. The aroma starts to permeate the air the second that satisfying "pffft" from opening the cap happens. Persimmon, orange blossom, minty, yeasty, and bandaid (I never understood what that meant until now) aroma, with a hint of homemade brown bread. Slightly candyish sweet, dry cereal, and slight salty initial flavour, building to a mediciny, perfumed, floral, dry hoppy bitter finish. Medium to full body, dry, refreshing, numbing (in a good way) mouthfeel. Fantastic. Brilliant. I had incredibly high expectations for this. Most of the time, that spells disappointment. But this was every bit as good as I expected and beyond. (10/5/9/5/19)

Re-rate, Dec. 14, 2004: After the first bottle (rated above) I was tempted to give it my first perfect 5, but something in the flavour held me back. Second bottle a few months later, seemed to have a little alcohol kick that made me think that 9/10 for flavour was about right. Third bottle another few months later I was tempted to up the rating but since bottle #2 wasnít quite there I hesitated. One small sample almost a year later and thereís no doubt. If I was told I had to choose only one beer I could drink for the rest of my life, this would be it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
kindestcut (30) - Addison, Texas, USA - SEP 25, 2003
I continue my hike tthrough Belgium. Let me start by saying that the Orval trappist is a fine beer. However, it's not my favorites of the Belgian pale ales/blondes. OK, let me also say that I appreciate the complexity of this beer. It's is an incredibly well-crafted brew that had be wondering how I was going to describe it. Let's move on to the appearance and get to the flavor in a moment. the Orval poured a dark gold, darker than I was expecting. The head was massive in it's mass...rising slowly above the lrim of my glass. The head had a very long life, with the appearance of clouds as seen from above. The head melted like ice cream. The aroma was full of citrus and floral. OK, now to the flavor. More than any other Belgian I've had, the Orval reminded me the most of a dry white wine. I was struck by the similarity. However, it is far more complex than to call it wine-like. The combination of lemon plus bitter and floral hops results in an interesting flavor. All in all, not my favorite Belgian, which surprised me given its reputation.

   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 (4641) - 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.

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