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Petite Orval - Brasserie d'Orval S.A.

Not Rated.
Petite OrvalPetite Orval

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

37 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 37
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 10.17%
Wants: 66
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  3.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-28-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 37 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Rastacouere:
Photo of Rastacouere
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had forgotten Jeppe could likely find that kind of rarity, so looking at the labelless bottle and seeing a 2 digit date-like numbers, I just assumed Jeppe had sent me an 11 yr-old Orval which, as I love the regular stuff deeply, would have made sense. Of course you don’t drink what you think is a very old Orval without a younger one to compare, so I went on. The petit Orval looked pretty much the same as the regular Orval, perhaps a little cloudier somehow and if it’s possible, the head is even more lasting and rocky. Deep lavender smell, very perfumey "dry-styrianned" notes strike up front and beg for a sip. The palate comes off a bit disappointing. First off, the lively Orval mouthfeel is absent, the blending have killed that verve, vim and vigour of the original through a far smaller carbonation that feels a bit oldish and stale. Still an interesting medium body for a less than 4% beer, but it’s no fireworks. Palate is very dry, long, with dusty funky yeast playing around the floral and herbal hop characteristics. Appealing product by itself I imagine, but ultimately, I’d rather have half a real Orval than a Petit Orval.

Rastacouere, Sep 13, 2005
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A few shades lighter in color from the regular Orval, crystal clear with an intense rush of carbonation that keeps the bubbly lace alive. Smell of herbal hops and a thin malt. Crisp and light bodied with a dry and bitter palate just likes its counterpart. Very clean with a quick brush of phenols and a ghost like soapiness. Hands down the best lunch time brew I have ever had. I enjoyed this with a ¼ chicken that was cooked in Orval at the café down the street from the abbey … what a perfect day that was.

Jason, Sep 21, 2004
Photo of DOCRW
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

DOCRW, May 15, 2014
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dirty beige color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light barnyard notes with dry hops and some light tart notes also noticeable. Taste is also a very nice mix between some barnyard notes with some tart notes and a dry lightly hoppy finish. Body is more watery then the regular version with great carbonation. Still very much good though I can feel that this is a watered down version of the original.

Phyl21ca, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of shuckit
3/5  rDev -29.1%

shuckit, Aug 29, 2013
Photo of dstc
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a burnt orange with light tan head. Head falls to a minimal one with thin lace.

Smells like Orval. Nice herbal hop nose.

Taste is wonderful, like the full blown Orval. Strong, full herbal hop flavor. Bitter finish.

Rather full in the mouth.

Nice, just like regular Orval. Made all the more special while sitting outside looking down the street at the abbey lit up by the late afternoon sun. Wonderful day.

dstc, Oct 10, 2009
Photo of patre_tim
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Medium brown, like the hide of a deer. On top stands 2 fingers of cappuccino like head holding great retention. Its cloudy and the carbonation is not visible.

S: Apple sauce, apple candy, creamy.

T: Fresh, so fresh. The taste of apple candy, with almost no sweetness, a slight breadiness, a little sour, hops are fresh and bright almost citrus like as in a much milder version of a west coast ipa’s.

M: Thick body, slight jam and bread (syrupy and bready) medium low carbonation.

O: Drank Dec 6th, 2013 at L’Ange Gardien outside Orval Abbey on site in Belgium. Had with a croquette made of Orval's cheese. Incredibly fresh bready, great balance of sweet and sour, bready and bitter. The last of my Trappist Abbeys in Benelux to visit. Celebrating now having visited all 7 abbeys, 3 of them today! Had on tap.

patre_tim, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of DaveFL1976
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

While visiting the brewery/monestary, I had a bottle of the full strength Orval and my wife (she was driving) had a 3.5% version. The beers weren't drastically different. They differed only in intensity. The petite is a hair lighter than the reguar Orval, and comes in almost the color of a red ale, I thought. But with that patented foamy, bright white Belgium head. The smell was sweet and slightly spicy, and the taste - for a 3.5% beer, was excellent.
Don't go out of your way to get this brew -- it won't be the most memorable thing you've ever drank, but it's a unique experience to drink what the monks drink.

DaveFL1976, Aug 24, 2006
Photo of Absumaster
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this beer at the café next to the abbey. A nice place where they have been able to create a rustic atmosphere by giving the beer a church-like appearance.

The beer comes in a blanc bottle, the same bottle as the normal Orval, but without the label.

Appearance is very much like it's bigger brother, a brown amber beer with a fine head that settles into a fine lacing. A fine mist of yeast when I poured the beer a bit too far from the bottle.

Smell is very much like a normal Orval, hoppy with horseblanket, Bretta and a grainy maltiness. Maybe a little less grainy.

The bottle was a fresh one, because the hoppiness was a little raw and a tad sharp and the Bretta taste was not very pronounced. It's body is a little thin, and this can be tasted, but it does not take the beer completely out of balance. Because of the 3,5% alcohol this beer is very drinkable, although the beers hoppiness and Bretta taste will break up.
I had the pleasure of drinking this beer and I am glad I did.

Absumaster, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of roblowther
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this one at the cafe just outside the Abbey. It's been a bit so I'll dust off the memory cells & do my best. The unlabeled bottle makes you feel that either you're having a homebrew session with the monks or you've acquired something of dubious legal status. Nothing nearly so exotic, though. Poured very similar to the normal Orval, golden with a hint of red and a bit of cloud. It seems more carbonated, though, with larger, more insistent bubbles. Smell was also similar, sharp and spicy, cloves and nutmeg. Taste was a bit dissapointing but probably only because of my expectations. It tastes (again) similar to the standard offering but the flavors are more muted. Pepper and cloves with a very dry, hoppy, slightly acidic finish. Really, it tastes for all the world like you diluted an Orval with water. Drinkability is good b/c of the lower alcohol content and because of the beer's light, delicate quality. All in all, an experience not to be missed if you're in Southern Belgium or you know someone who will mule for you.

roblowther, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of Thorpe429
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the abbey cafe during last week's trip to Belgium. I was surprised by this; maybe they switched this over to tap during the cafe's renovations. Beautiful place, by the way. Reviewed from notes.

Served in an Orval chalice with Orval written in GREEN on the front with the cafe logo -- instead of the fish -- on the back.

Pours a lightly-hazed moderate golden-amber color with great lacing and a thin cap throughout. The nose brings a bit floral hop character. Very, very fresh. Almost tastes like a fresh-hopped Belgian Pale Ale. Big on the floral character. Seems like Styrian to me, but I'm not expert. Light and crisp body with a dry finish and light bitterness. No noticeable Brett presence. Really delicious.

Thorpe429, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of lastauss
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Highest marks for drinkability, since the only place you can actually drink it (unless you have a very good -and sneaky- friend) is in about the most picturesque place on earth...

I found the beer to be very much in the tradition of a Pacific Northwest IPA (perhaps from the addition of WA (chinook?) hops??? Francois, who took us though the brewery, would neither confirm nor deny...)

Light malt and body with an incredible hop kick. Lingering bitterness, with a whiff of, hmmm, I want to say minty-ness as well. It is difficult to separate the drinking of this beer with the magical visit to the brewery. Exceptional.

lastauss, Sep 24, 2004
Photo of weissjoh
5/5  rDev +18.2%

weissjoh, Jan 07, 2014
Photo of WillCarrera
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

WillCarrera, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of WynnO
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

WynnO, May 25, 2012
Photo of CStrife187
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Had this on tap at the cafe yesterday. What a wonderful day.

This was a nice warm-up for the real thing. Thin mouthfeel and somewhat watery in the taste department, it was still very crisp and fresh. The balance leaned heavily towards bittering hops and didn't have the spice or complexity of its big brother to keep things interesting. I can't help but wonder if the mouthfeel issue could have been solved with a less aggressive pour.

On the plus side it had a beautiful light copper color that just looked fantastic in the light coming in through the window. A two finger head stuck around to the bitter end and left really nice lacing. The presentation and setting were fantastic. You can't beat getting a beer straight from the source.

Definitely glad I got the chance to taste it, but I may skip this one on future trips and have an aged bottle of its big brother instead.

CStrife187, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of Paisan
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Paisan, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I visited Orval Brewery at Easter 1997. At that time, Little Orval - is a beer that, as far as I am aware and told by the Guide who showed us around the beautiful Abbey and spotlessly clean Brewery, is actually only "regularly" available at the nearby Cafe, with very strong links to, but not owned by, the Abbey. The Ange Gardien (Guardian Angel) is about a 3 minute walk from the Brewery, but on arrival it did not advertise the Petite Orval as being on sale - when asked though, it was served. Still a well kept secret, and one of those beers that is still shrouded in mis-infomation, but highly recommended and well worth the trouble seeking out. Drink it before its stronger Brother (if you pardon the Pun)

TheLongBeachBum, Aug 17, 2002
Photo of BuzzLitebier
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

BuzzLitebier, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of prisdefer
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

prisdefer, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of cpetrone84
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a bright golden orange with a creamy pillowy off white head. Wonderful orval yeast, plastic and medicinal note, faint spice, juicy lemon and light lime note. Some citrusy orange hops in back. The taste has that somehow pleasant medicinal/plastic orval yeast, extremely unique, light spice to it and a well integrated citrus melody behind. Juicy lemon and light citrus with a touch of bitterness in the finish. Light body and very airy, very dry and gentle carbonation. Very complexy and extremely drinkable, awesome balance and so well integrated. Could drink 10!

cpetrone84, Apr 16, 2012
Photo of Quafftastic
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%

Quafftastic, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -5.4%

zestar, Sep 17, 2014
Photo of rvdoorn
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The petit Orval is the table beer of the Orval monks. Got this one from a very nice Belgium guy.
Look: pours an orange amber color with a large, long lasting white head, which was thinner than the regular Orval.
Smell: Sweet malts, citrus, flowers, barnyard and grassy hops. A bit lighter than the regular Orval.
Taste: Beautiful sourness, horse blanket, barnyard, crisp, earth, citrus and grass. Finish is less dry than the regular Orval.
Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, light body.
Overall: A nice beer, it seems a bit the watered down version of the regular Orval, so less tart and less dry. Easy to drink

rvdoorn, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage; Sampled July 2010 at De Heeren van Liedekercke
The beer pours with a long lasting, creamy textured, pale tan colored head that is larger bubbled than a regular Orval. The beer is brilliantly clear and shows a copper hue in the Orval glass. This smells fairly hoppy smelling up front, but has a nice pale and lightly toasted malt character that follows this up. A deeper reflection of the nose reveals some musky notes, a touch of phenolics and some light plastic notes that clearly are derived from the Brettanomyces influence.

The beer feels very fizzy and bubbly as it hits my mouth, much of this is because this is on the warm side, and the finish has a huge bitterness to it, especially considering the light body and fizzy texture. A touch of grassy pale malt character is noticeable up front and the beer finishes with a nice biscuit like note. This is really quite hoppy too with a solid herbal character, the really nicely biting bitterness and even a touch of lemon-zest character being noticeable. I am quite enjoying how light bodied and refreshing this is.

In the end it is the refreshing balance that this beer achieves that makes this enjoyable; it has a nice mix of herbal hop character, a balanced bitter hop character, mixing with the pale malt character and all tied together by the creamy, yet fizzy texture.

Gueuzedude, Oct 15, 2010
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Petite Orval from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.