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Orval Trappist Ale - Brasserie d'Orval S.A.

Not Rated.
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,600 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,600
Reviews: 2,145
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.62%
Wants: 248
Gots: 494 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 09-18-2001

This beer is 6.2% when released in Europe, US labels say 6.9% due to labeling laws.

Many agree that the somewhat unpractical addition of this sometimes undesired yeast strain is what grants Orval its age worthiness, not to mention unique aroma, making it a one of the few beers worth cellaring.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,600 | Reviews: 2,145 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AdamBear
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-dark honey colored with a thin light cream colored head

S-smells like bubble gum and caramel...really sweet smelling.
Though, every time i take a whiff, i pick up something new...its a good scent

T-comes in with a bitter taste of bananas, apples, and caramel sugars. it lasts awhile and in come dark belgian malts. the after-taste is slightly fruity with some slightly roasted belgian sugars. these are extremely quality and complex. i'm getting some grape skin taste as well.

M-good medium carbonation that fills the mouth with a crisp finish

O-okay, so while i was drinking this, i didn't realize its was a BPA. in fact, it reminds me of no other BPA i've had...its much better than the rest. this is just an amazing beer. it drinks so much quicker than any other belgian i've ever had. it also is so beautifully complex and the flavors are just great. i really love this beer.

Photo of Sludgeman
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Bottled on 4/12/12. Best before 4/10/17.

Belgian Pale Ales are somewhat of a mystery to me – hard to nail down the style characteristics in my head. I always expect more than I actually get. That said, this is a very good and somewhat unique beer that I will always drink.

A – Pours a golden orange, cloudy (-), well carbonated, with a 4-finger dense off-white head. A very long lasting head with wonderful Belgian lacing.

S – Bready with a hint of funk, lemon/orange, hint of herbal spiciness.

T – Crisp, clean, hint of sweetness in the middle, moderate bitterness into the finish.

MF – Medium bodied. A champagne bite from the carbonation. Dry start and finish.

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Review #200 for me; I figure do this timeless brew

A- Amber colored, tons of head; and I don't think I did a crappy pour; but I will be very very happy to drink this brew as soon as it settles down. Large lacing, ivory in color.

S- Belgian funk, yeast, malt and then the belgian fruits profile. Very nice proportions of everything. World class brew.

T- Such a spectacular blend of belgian dark fruits, brett and malt backbone; very light on its own right.

M- More carb than I would want, but who am I to say this Orval has any imperfections. Nice numbing on the tip of the tongue.

O- Fantastic brew. I have been looking forward to drinking this for a loooong time! I will buy more if/when I see it!

Photo of appenzeller
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wow, can't believe this is my first Orval. What was I thinking? This is superb! Pours a massive head, this beer has a beautiful reddish hue. Aroma is distinctly fruity, pear and apple are evident and this is also true in the taste. This is a beautifully balanced beer with sufficient bitterness to offset the great savory flavors--something that I appreciate greatly. It also really has its own footprint, I've tasted nothing else exactly like this. The mouthfeel? What can you say, I want to swirl this around for a while. This beer is just plain decadent.

Photo of cokes
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just a perfect looking beer. Sparkling deep golden (muddy peach after the yeast pour). Head is massive and unmoving. Like styrofoam.
Intriguing nose full of white grapes, rosemary, fresh hay and perfumey hops. Very botanical.
Taste is quite similar. Begins with a rosemary draped white grape sweet/sourness. Subdued flourishes of spice. Candy fruit sweetness (kiwi perhaps). Yeast pour adds doughiness and some farmhouse qualities, mostly in a grassy, hay-like sense. Recedes with a hefty blast of floral hops. Bitter, dry finish.
Light medium bodied with loads of spastic large bubbles. On the thin side prior to the introduction of the dregs.
Worthy of the praise. This is a very nice one.

Photo of corcoranjc
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from bottle into Chimay goblet (goblet bought for 25 cents at a garage sale last summer...just had to throw that in there).

appearance: exceptional. rocky, chunky, everlasting, snow white head.

smell: tart, ciderish, sour apple candy....wonderful

taste: funky, earthy, mushrooms, the brett comes through here with the leather and barnyard. however, the taste is very deep and layered.

mouthfeel: full, perfect.

overall: this is a beer for a special occasion. deep, interesting, and ever so complex. i would love to have a ton and chug it and i would love to have just one and savor it for a couple hours which is what i'm doing now. a wonderful beer.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a moderate, dark golden-peach color with a huge pillowy white head that was mostly lasting leaving a sticky lacing behind. The body was very hazy with a soft visible carbonation.

S: yeasty, and very fruity (peaches, tangy apricots) with a touch of sour bread.

T: The initial flavor was yeasty with a burst of fresh fruitiness (peaches), & fresh bread, bananas. There was a nice soft, velvety sourness of oranges that coated the tongue. The beer finished with a big sour fruitiness of oranges, apricots and a big breadiness.

M: creamy with some warm oranges and a sour yeasty citrus bite in the swallow.

D: Overall a beautifully crafted trappist with a great yeasty attribute.

Photo of anchordrinker
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottled on 7-29-09, poured into duvel tulip

A- Hazy, orange-amber appearance with a massive, cloud-like, fluffy white head. Great lacing. Gorgeous to behold!

S- Funky-brett notes are most pronounced. Sweet caramelized-banana, lemon rind citric sit in the background.

T- Lemon rind, light cherry notes, green grapeskin, granny smith apple, abrasive hay underlying, mild sweetness leaks through at points, leathery finish. Unreal complexity.

M- Lots of fine carbo lightens up the medium body, making this a great choice for a midday spring beer (like today!)

D- Very drinkable for 6.9%, however I think it would be hard to give a second one the appreciation it deserves, as it overwhelms the palate a bit in ways I'm not used to.

If you've never tried this beer, GO GET ONE and watch your life become significantly better.

Photo of yapi
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Has a nice golden color.
Smell & taste is of lemon, hoppy character, floral.
I like the hop here.
Although a bit sharp & dry.
Granny smith apple.
Grassy as well.
Very good beer, but - as a personal preference - I don't really like a dry finish.

edit: really became 1 of my favorites, drinkability is great, so I upped the score

Photo of llllDrGONZOllll
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2floz bottle poured into a chalice.

The pop of the cap let out a rather loud hiss. This baby is highly carbonated, and poured gently into my chalice. The head is white and rocky with an assortment of bubbles small and large. The inside of the glass has beautiful lacing. Lacing that is only present due to the imbibing and not the fading of the head. The body of the ale is a beautiful copper and gold. My nose is being filled with floral hops, lemon, dark fruit and a yeasty warm bread. The high amount of carbonation tickles my nasal cavity and leaves me smelling lemon and flowers. The first sip is non aggressive and dry. The body is thin and inviting. Very low bitterness meets biscuit and dark fruit. Champagne like body and mouthfeel pave the way for this complex ale. Dry from start to finish. Orval has a very floral aftertaste with a dry fruit balance. In winter cold or summer sun this ale will fit the bill.

Photo of t420o
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DefenCorps
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle, bottled on 27th Dec 2007 consumed 6th July 2008. Poured into my Chimay chalice

A: Mildly hazy orange with a dense two-finger off-white head. Fantastic carbonation. Excellent retention. Possibly the prettiest beer I've ever seen.

S: Mildly fruity with hints of orange, mildly floral with a little bit of rose, mildly spicy with a hint of pepper, clove, mildly funky with a little bit of a leathery note. Complex.

T: This 7 month old Orval starts off mildly funky and is followed by a mild tangy sweetness, like orange mousse before finishing a moderately dry

M: Light with great carbonation, excellent feel.

D: Very drinkable. I need to get more of this

**Edit 13 Oct 2013**
Bottled 20 Feb 2008, this bottle is now 5 years and 8 months old. The nose is dominated by the Brett characteristics. A blend of clove, pepper, a touch of damp hay, fennel, this is one complex beast. The palate is similarly Bretty, earthy, spicy and complex, but with a touch of honey sweetness as well. Crisp and highly carbonated, a touch of acidity (clove like bitterness, carbonic acid) is present. A touch dull due to age, the delicate brightness of the citrusy hops that fresher bottles have is missing. Still, this is really good. 4.25/4/4.25

**Edit 05 Apr 2014**
Bottled 15 Jul 2003. Thank you, Peter.

Wonderfully funky with a blend of melon, earth, fruit and fennel, this smells great! Some citrus, almost a whiff of cola, there isn't much clove present. The palate opens soft, fruity, mellow with honey, fennel, citrus and melons. A shade watery, the fennel note is particularly noticeable here. A touch smoky as well. Awesome stuff, this.4/4/4

Photo of jhtipton
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Took me a while to find one in Spain but I am closing in on all the trappistes. Pours an orangish clout into my chalice with nice lacing and long lasting head of a light golden color. Smells somewhat cider like and not too overpowering. Taste is very good, some bitterness and tartness like a pear or apple cider and some phenol and medicinal qualities. Very quaffable. Body is medium with continuous carbonation but in a good way. I will definitely stock up next time I find this at Al Campo. Salud!

Photo of Chessmaster
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Pours a golden, orange-brown with 1-2 inches of dense white head that slowly dissipates to about 1/4 inch that lingers and lingers. Nice lacing

S: Light, floral

T: Floral bitterness, finishing with a touch of fresh hop notes. Refreshing, somewhat complex.

M: Pleasant

O: A nice beer although I like Chimay or Westmalle better.

Photo of cypressbob
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle, served in an Orval challice, slightly chilled

Pours with a dirty, cloudy pale yellow, almost dirty amber. Creamy, fizzy off white head with a hint of yellow

Smell, fresh grass, farmyard hints. Fresh belgian spritzy yeast, gueuze-esque brett character, some fresh mixed spice.

Taste, some warming alcohol, crisp and sour tartness from the hops, sticky but not cloying malt character. Very unripe apples and pears, a touch of raw lambic sourness and bit of mild puckering. Lasting grainy hop bitterness on the finish, quite tart, dry alcohol finish

A really different belgian pale ale, one of the quintessential if you get a fresh bottle then you're in for a treat

---

Had a much fresher bottle in amsterdam, was like a totally different beer. So much more flavour, tasted so fresh, was only bottled a month or so. I have heard of people aging this for 5-10years but I don't see the point to be honest, the bottle I had on my first encounter was pretty bland and a bit dull but the second (any many there after) was superb.

Photo of LVituri
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sinto dificuldade em analisar esse rótulo, por se tratar de algo único e de difícil comparação. A Orval é a cerveja mais original do universo trapista belga, ela é única e joga com suas próprias regras. O que posso dizer é que senti falta de complexidade e seu amargor intenso pode ter sido mal interpretado por mim. Espero revisitá-la um dia para rever minhas conclusões.

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A slightly hazy copper to rust colored body. Huge, rocky, lumpy, off-white head. Great retention as the head settles into a thick lumpy ring on top of the beer. Lively carbonation bubbles move throughout the body. Honestly, this looks a little bit like an IPA.

The smell is really tart. Not a really stong sour aroma, just a slightly musty type of sour from a moderate does of brettanomyces. The kind that people refer to as "horse blanket" or "barnyard." I don't like either of these descriptions because they don't sound appealing at all, but I feel people will understand me when I use them. A noticeable hop aroma that is floral and grassy is there too.

The tartness I noticed in the nose is definitely the main flavor in this beer. Most noticeable up front, the tart flavor continues throughout the entire body of the beer. Next a good, really hay or grassy tasting hop profile comes through. The tartness and this hop profile work great together. Underneath these two dominant flavors comes some sweet belgian malt to round it out. From start to finish Orval is tasty, complex and interesting.

This probably has the liveliest mouthfeel I have ever encountered. The carbonation is huge; I'd say more highly carbonated than a soda. Fairly light body. It is a little strange, but I do think this mouthfeel works.

Interesting flavors combine with an extremely light feeling body to make a really drinkable beer. I can't believe I had not tried orval until now, definitely a great beer.

Photo of Arbitrator
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-review. I first had this in Belgium in fall 09 and thought it was awful. I'd go back in time and smack myself if I could.

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Pours a lightly hazy amber color with copper highlights. The head is stunning; off-white, refreshed by generous effervescence up the glass, and retention that is nothing short of 10, probably 15 minutes. I pretty much had to let this sit and settle while I went off to do something else. I returned to find a mild cap on the film with thick lacing deposited by the receding head.

S: Pretty funky: it has that musty, hay / barnyard aroma that is characteristic of a bretty beer. Noble comes come through, giving this a perfumey, lemony aroma with hints of grass and spice.

T: That perfumey aroma translates to a distinct hoppy bitterness, accentuating the flavors of lemon to produce a lemon-rind combination. The brett adds a little funk to the end in the form of hay and leather. The finish is rounded out by flavors of grass and light spice. There's a metallic flavor to it that I don't enjoy, but that was the whole reason I revisited this beer: Russian River Sanctification (batch 4) has the same thing, and it reminded me off-hand of Orval. I wanted to try it again and see.

M: Light-medium bodied. Ample carbonation. It finishes dry.

D: An incredibly tasty beer. It's a shame this took me two tries to appreciate, but it's a good demonstration of how quickly a palate can evolve in 8 or 9 months. I have a bone to pick with the metallic flavor I get out of this thing, but otherwise I really enjoy it. Outstanding beer.

Photo of stof0048
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a Watou chalice. Pours a golden brown with a thin head that slowly disappears. Little lacing. Smell is light and a bit fruity with a copper tone and hops. Taste is mildly hoppy, not much of a malt taste, slightly fruity (citrus), a little wheaty, slight hint of alcohol but well balanced. Mouthfeel is good on this beer, very smooth over the palate. Drinkability is wonderful... goes down very easy, very tasty suds, could drink this all night and day.

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a tulip

A: pours a very hazy deep amber color with a slight orange hue and a nice amount of carbonation bubbles, pours with three fingers of very fine and creamy off white head that lingers beautifully and leaves a nice amount of very fluffy lacing around the glass
S: very nice hops notes, simply smells fresh, has a nice earthy undertone
T: smoooth, hits with the nice hop notes first then kicks in with a bit of earthy depth and a very slight what note then it finishes with dark fruit notes which linger on the palate for a long time afterwards
M: aggressive carbonation tingle, leaves the mouth feeling dry but still smooth, drinks thin
O: a pretty obviously high quality brew, apparently these "trappist" folks know what the hell theyre doing haha, not the best ive had for the style but its definitly top three, highly recommended

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Definitely the lightest (in body and in flavor) of the trappist beers I've tried. Almost perfumy, flowery aroma and taste. Smells kind of like a liquor. Spicy, sweet and tangy. Quite unique and enjoyable, but a little too light for a Belgian. 6.9% ABV. Absolutely worth trying, and I can see why some people love this beer. But for $4.50 a bottle, it's not much of a bargain (when I can get Duvel, Westmalle, Unibroue, etc. for less). Note; This beer is terrific with food, my favorite time to drink Orval.

Photo of goblet
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured this one from a 33 cl unique looking ovalish bottle into my goblet .

Appearance:it`s a hazy,cloudy pale orange sun rising with beautiful slightly off white clouds in the sky that reduces but sticks around with early morning lite carbonation .

Smell: the aroma is haystacks on the farm ,even woodies with a mild friutiness ,like peaches and pears the malt and hops are hanging out on this farm though it was foggy and left a wet environment.

Taste:this particular farm is growing mild spices and grains that need an acquired taste to truly appreciate this brew the malt and dry hops are unique and pleasent .

Mouthfeel: a spiciness that is all over the place on this farm its picking hay and feeding the animals watering the grains on a dry day in june.

Drinkablilty:this is a great pale ale full of spices and dry grains ,i would think that some might not get it but try this beer more then once and you will..

Photo of Danno48
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is very different from what I expected. All these Trappist ales have been very on the sweet side. This beer on the other hand is very dry. Subtle hop and pine notes. Light apricot flavors and a very dry finish. The head on this beer is a soft, egg white, pillow like texture which is very similar to how it feels in the mouth. Smells much sweeter than it tastes though. You would expect a sweet, dark fruit flavor but one would be met by the opposite.

Photo of Trizzle
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very cloudy straw body topped with a thick quilt of very dense off White head that settles to 5mm and clings to the Orval goblet beautifully.

Subtle nose of straw, interesting yeast and pear.

Taste is dry and complex. Very short hit of Buddhist malt, followed quickly by loads of straw dryness. Gentle apples and pears, some interesting yeasty notes.

Body is medium and helped with good carb levels.

Hugely drinkable.

Not the best Orval I've had. But most of them aren't. Still a great beer.

Photo of kevo237
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a Chimay goblet. Head retention was great throughout. Very nice looking beer. The head almost looked like whip cream.

Smell was sweet and floral. I continued to get the image of baby blue skittles in my head when I was drinking this beer. It definitely has a candied taste that is hard to describe while having a spicy characteristic. Mouthfeel was excellent as with most trappiste brews. Sizzled on my tongue and went down smoothly with no carbonation build up in my throat. Definitely one of my favorite trappiste beers.

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,600 ratings.