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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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Petite Orval Alström Bros
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Ratings: 37 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of shuckit
3/5  rDev -29.1%

shuckit, Aug 29, 2013
Photo of stcules
3.1/5  rDev -26.7%

Light amber. Quite creamy head.
In the smell yeast, bread crust, even if light (less intense than the "normal" Orval).
In the tasteis again a light copy of the bigger sister. Bt in minor. Less sharp, less resolute, lighter, and watery.
In the aftertaste some bitterness, and the classic "Orval taste". Light body.

Tasted in parallel with the "classic" at the Ange Gardien, in front of the abbey.
Not bad, but, after all, the bigger sister is still better.

stcules, Jun 15, 2007
Photo of CStrife187
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%

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 Rastacouere
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%

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
Photo of DaveFL1976
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%

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 roblowther
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%

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 Absumaster
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%

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 paulaner
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%

After reading all the hype about this beer I could not help but hunt it down and give it a try. I had been planning to go to the cafe near the abdij but found out I did not have to. This last weekend I went to a small beer festival in Hasselt, Belgium. While reviewing the list I saw Petit Orval and it was the first one I tried. Like the bigger brother the color was very similiar a cloudy orange tint to it. The smell was when I new it could'nt really compete with the regular one it was just week. The taste was like a weak maybe watered down Orval. The feel and drinkability need to be ranked high due to the low alcohol content (3.5%) you could drink many of these in a night and not get that overpowering taste which is in the other one. The only problem is finding this one, "good luck". I would recommend this to anyone who thinks Orval is a strong bitter beer, but if you are like me and love Orval stick with the big boy.

paulaner, Nov 14, 2004
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -5.4%

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 zestar
4/5  rDev -5.4%

zestar, Yesterday at 10:57 AM
Photo of WOLFGANG
4/5  rDev -5.4%

WOLFGANG, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%

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
Photo of Thorpe429
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

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 BeerResearcher
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

This deep amber Trappist Ale is full of rich malt. A wild yeasty flavor and a mild sweetness underlie a grapefruit-like bitterness with a hint of orange peel. It’s a complex ale with some noticeable alcohol kick, though not overpowering like some Trappist Ales. You’ve got to admire the amber/orange color and pleasant aroma!

BeerResearcher, Mar 09, 2003
Photo of godfathermg57
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

Enjoyed on site at Orval, the version I had was called Orval Vert ('green' or 'young' Orval) and was listed at 4.5% alcohol. Very enjoyable session beer, that went well in a nice day. Not as impressive as its big brother obviously, but still enjoyable. Wish I could get bottles of it.

godfathermg57, Sep 22, 2012
Photo of SFLpunk
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

A big thanks to Paul for bringing this back from Belgium for me! 11.2oz brown glass proprietary bottle with no label nor date. I'm told this bottle is about two months old.

Pours a hazy orange amber with thin crackling white head. Nose has a banana note right up front and then some earthy spice-like aromas.

The palate is radically crisp and very dry. The flavor profile is moderately citrusy with very little malt flavor. Very pale grains it would seem. There seems to be a lot brett character in terms of flavor, but I'm not sure if this actually has brett in it. As the beer warms, the palate is a little less rigid in mouthfeel which is good. The finish is something along the lines of citrus zest with a pleasant astringency, but I can't pinpoint which citrus.

Notes: All told, this is a tasty little beer. I think I prefer it to Orval, but Orval has never been my favorite so that's not really a surprise to me. Happy and grateful to try it!

SFLpunk, May 18, 2012
Photo of Yetiman420
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

It's been half a year since we made the trek from Brussels to Orval.

It's worth mentioning that Abbey Notre-Dame d'Orval deserves it's listing in the "1,000 places to See Before You Die" book.

The monks brew this petitie version (with lower alcohol) for their consumption and it is only served at the small cafe outside the Abbey.

The wife and I ordered a petite and a place of Orval cheese and soaked in the experience.

The appearance of the beer was very much like standard Orval. I didn't miss the fact that it was lighter in alcohol and it was actually appreciated as we were making a long(er) scenic drive back to Brussels.

Frankly, it's difficult to be objective when you drink a beer like this in a place like this. When asked to rate drinkability it's impossible to say anything less than exceptional.

Yetiman420, Mar 28, 2008
Photo of DOCRW
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

DOCRW, May 15, 2014
Photo of muskiesman
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

muskiesman, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of lastauss
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%

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 dstc
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%

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 cpetrone84
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%

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 rvdoorn
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%

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 Jason
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%

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 WillCarrera
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

WillCarrera, Jun 08, 2014
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Petite Orval from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.