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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

4,683 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,683
Reviews: 2,166
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.62%
Wants: 253
Gots: 542 | 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: 4,683 | Reviews: 2,166
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.

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

11.2 oz bottle poured slowly into my DFH signature glass. The head is so lively and rocky that it took three pours to empty the bottle. I successfully avoided pouring a significant amount of sediment/yeast into my glass.

A: Orval pours as a lively, rocky, but soft-looking head that hangs on until my glass is empty. Once the head subsides a bit, a clear, pale gold beer is revealed.

S: Lemon, grape skins and an undercurrent of horsey funkiness tease the nose.

T: Subtle, but complicated. Lemon, again, but joined with a tartness of green apples. Hint of black pepper, too. Brettanomyces reveals itself in the finish, which is horsey and earthy and very long and dry.

M: Light and well carbonated. Appropriate.

D: Orval is light enough and very interesting, so drinkability rates very well.

Photo of Brez07
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing from last night's notes. 11.2oz pour into a Orval chalice

A: Pours light orange with a 1 finger ivory head. Lots of visible carbonation

S: Sweet fruit, like kiwi, but not over the top. Definitely a floral presence as well

T: Light tasting sour apple. Toasted wheat accompanies this with some bitterness and maybe even a little pepper. There's lots of flavor here, some of which I can't quite get at

M: Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation (as the appearance would suggest). Dry, slightly tart finish

D: Very easy to drink. Clearly a complex beer, but it doesn't overwhelm you, which is good. Will be having another one of these hopefully soon

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

First ever Ba review

Enjoyed in an Orval Chalice

Full thick head that quickly diminished to a thin,solid head that lasted until the last sip. Cloudy dark orange color. Faint citrus aroma. Taste was crisp, dry with no aftertaste what so ever. Not as hoppy as I had read it would be. Very refreshing taste. I enjoyed this beer with some Cotswold cheese. Match made in heaven.

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

A: Poured a orangish amber color with great carbonation leaving a nice fluffy white cap

S: A light mix of light and dark fruits, bubblegum, spice

T: Candy sugar, light toastiness, finshes with pepper, spices,light booze

M: Light to medium body

O: Very good

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

Bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a beautiful yellowish-orange. An inviting sight, especially with the visible carbonation.

S: This beer smells great, with floral and lemon overtones, although not over powering. Very pleasant. Reminds me of spring.

T: Immediately noted the tartness from the start, which never lets up, followed by a biting hoppiness. Also, it has a fruity character in the flavor. Very complex.

M: The tartness and hops have a biting effect on the tongue, with a pretty dry finish.

D: Super enjoyable and delicious, highly drinkable, highly recommended.

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

A bottle I picked up from Green's in ATL. This was bottled on 9-07-08, not too bad. I was told to let it age, but I figure what the hell. Served up in a tulip.

A: Pours a really nice and mild orangish/brown color. Held to the light you get more of a lighter orange glow. The head is off white and a good three fingers. The head is seriously rocky and huge foam. The head has great retention thanks to the constant carbonation activity that is feeding the head and moving around in here. Lace is very soapy and sticky. Lots of rocky foam remains on the glass. This is a great looking brew for sure.

S: Smell is solid. Getting some nice Belgian yeasty quality. Nice bready malt character coming through here and it really works with the fruit goodness that lies within. Getting some really nice and crisp apple skin and some nice pear. There is a touch of banana in here which is a pleasant suprise. There is a little bit of dirty funk going on in here. Its very light but its just a nice earthy hay and dusty, wet wood.

T: Taste is very nice indeed. Yet again a really nice bready and crackery malt mixes wonderfully with the Belgian yeast coming out here. That fruit is very present. Lots of apple and ome sweet pear are on display in a big way. The banana is not as big time as I was hoping but a very nice addition to the flavors. Getting a little bit of lemon lime coming out that really reminds me of a light and sparkly lemon lime soda I used to have in europe. The hops are light and floral. All together, beautiful.

M: Light side of medium in body with a really huge and crisp carbonation presence that works oh so well here. This beer has a touch of a tart feel going on in here. This beer is slightly dry. ABV is no where to be found. Aftertaste is mostly some slightly tart apple and fruity goodness. This all works and very nice.

D: This beer is incredibly drinkable thanks to is light wieght and big time carbonation. Overall, this beer works on every level. The flavors are complex but still remain light and delicate. I think that is the best way to describe this beer. It has some much going on but it still remains delicate. Just a beautifully crafted brew. Glad I followed the advice of whoever it was who told me to get a bottle of this to give a go. Just great.

Photo of Flounder57
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle was poured into a large mouth tulip glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a crazy two finger puffy head that has reduced to a thin layer and left some nice lacing on the glass. It is a pale orange color with great clarity. There are signs of carbonation coming up through the glass too.

Smell: tart aromas, yeasty esters, bready and grainy notes, some sweetness, and spiciness.

Taste: All of the above plus some banana, apple, and pear. Vanilla and some nice lingering bitterness too.

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, smooth, a little dry, medium bodied, a little bitterness, and very enjoyable.

Overall: man this beer seems to get better every time I have a bottle. Many more will be enjoyed in the future too. All around solid beer.

Photo of bala747
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this beer at Brauhaus, Singapore a few times. It's one of my favourite trappists, though I prefer Rochefort or Westmalle myself, this is still an outstanding example of Trappist brewing.

A: A beautiful amber brown pour with a thick head that dissipates quickly leaving some lace.

S: Smells heady, some yeast, some bread and biscuits, and candy.

T: Almost no bitter taste at all, again it tastes of bread (like the kind they serve in fancy restaurants), some hint of candy and spearmint. Really complex and lots of fruity flavours that I couldn't quite tease out.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation. This was the weakest part of the beer in my view. I was expecting a bit more rounded fullness of body.

D: Very drinkable, but a tad expensive. I would love to drink a few of these with a good book.

Photo of nickshep7
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours w/ 2-2.5 fingers of shaving cream like head. This may be the densest head I've seen on a beer. The base of the beer is a coludy, deep honey brown/orange color. Smell is musky, almost like an old wine cellar. Solid dose of Belgian yeast and bready notes. Honey cloves are also fairly prominent on the smell. So far, very impressed with this brew. Now only if the head would die down, so I can jump in. Very dry and herbaceous on the mouth. A healthy amount of hops, much more than I was expecting. Clove seems to come through quite a bit on the taste as well. Overall, a great experience worth trying especially if you are into Belgian style brews.

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

Quite the funky classic. Rich in range, yet nicely delicate.

Presentation: 11.2 oz vase shaped, brown, capped bottle. Small label with the fish icon design of Orval, and Trappist seal. Shows bottling date (30/12/2009), best before (30/12/2014), and Alc. by Vol. (6.9%)

A - Lightly hazed, medium amber pour. Towering foamy head, medium retention, nice surface memory and good lacing.

S - Tart nose with a citrusy sense, touch of spices.

T - Nice funky sense, the Brettanomyces yeast of the bottle fermentation is beautifully evident, hoppy citrus sense, grassy touch. It is not overwhelmingly funky, not at all, in fact, if anything it is the subtlety alongside a saison-like memory that makes it rather rich.

M - Light-medium body with generous carbonation and a nice long dry finish.

D - Works like a charm, the subtle range is very nicely woven into a very desirable brew. If one is keen on funky brews, that is...

Notes: Quite the classic. Quite balanced and subtle on this incarnation, a classic reference not only for Trappist offerings but for Brett tasting. The least unexpected of Trappist ales, which always reminds that it is a denomination and not a style.

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

I was excited to try one of the more rarefied trappists, but was a bit confused by this one.

Appearance: A thick, burnt-golden color with a firm and very durable head that just did not quit. It definitely had the appearance of tradition, and that was very appealing.

Smell: Strangely, it did not have a very powerful aroma; champagne grape and grapefruit were the predominant fruit tones, with a faint lingering of pine.

Taste: This sense can't be discussed without including the mouthfeel. A huge amount of gas makes all of the flavors explode in the mouth, which definitely accented all of the sensations. Primarily champagne flavors resulting from a delicate balance of hops and pale malts made for a sweet, delicate experience.

Drinkability: With the higher weight it's a good thing this beer is so expensive. The large amount of gas made it very easy to drink, which could have bad results. Fortunately, it's got a built-in mechanism in being expensive, which prevents it from being drunk in excess.

Photo of grynder33
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy amberish color with visible floating setiment.Nice head that doesn't disappear quickly. An exquisite musty hoppy aroma, with just a hint of citrus. Nice classic complex hop taste which lingers nicely in the mouth. Way it coats the mouth may not mix well with many foods, but to savor by itself is great. Glob of head lasted till end. Glass smelled wonderful afterwards

Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours murky orange with a large white head. The aroma is lemon with some brett-funk. The flavor is quite a bit of citrus as well as some funk. The finish is quite a bit of hop bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and high carbonation. This is a very unique beer that everyone that is into craft beer should seek out and try.

Photo of ChopperSmith
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a thick and heavy brown bottle into a chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy deep amber/golden color. A nice creamy one and a half finger foam head retained well, and slowly receded to a frothy off white cap. Left nice sticky lacing as it receded.

Smell: Sweet and yeasty with phenols of clove, apricot and banana. Some slight floral hops underneath.

Taste: A great yeasty profile with the perfect amount of malts and hops to balance. Sweet and fruity, but just a hint of hops bitters and malt richness to balance it all out. A really fantastic tasting Belgian Pale Ale.

Mouth feel: Slick and creamy with just the right carbonation for the style.

Overall: An excellent Belgian Pale ale for sessions. I could easily drink several of these in a sitting and would enjoy every drop. Another outstanding trappist ale! A new favorite!

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,683 ratings.