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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

4,599 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,599
Reviews: 2,145
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 247
Gots: 495 | 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: 4,599 | Reviews: 2,145 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jdense
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bowling Pin bottle enjoyed at The Beer Mongers, PDX, 8.8.11

Two fingers billowing white head, slow dissipation with significant lacing on top of medium gold clear body with multiple streams of carbonation rising quickly to surface. Damn hoppy for the style, just what I expected and a lot more, noble hops with some floral notes for good measure, pretty dry malt aromas. Taste is tres hoppy, a revelation for a trappist beer, absolutely unique, hops up front, a bit of malty sweetness in the middle, bready malts to dry out palate towards end, and a mild hoppy back end. Mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, happy mouth effervescence. I imagine aging will tame the hoppiness a bit, but relatively fresh, well, this is one world class beer. Exceptional.

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

I have been waiting a long time to get my hands on one of these again. (Thanks to bennybrew for suggesting Tully's for the Belgians!)

Pours a hazy golden brown with a big foamy head. Smells bitter and yeasty. Floral. Hints of light malt with spice.

Tough to describe the taste as I have had nothing like it. Alternately sweet and bitter up front fading to a sour apple flavor. Yeasty but more than that it tastes bready like sourdough. Strong alcohol finish at times, warming in the throat. Full bodied but with light aftertastes.

This brew fits no specific style. It is truly a one of a kind experience.

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

Poured from bottle into a Stella Artois glass.
Beautiful hazy deep golden amber color with three fingers of dense, frothy tan head which sticks and leaves a nice, healthy lace.

Nose hints of hops and citrus, namely lemon, also a bit of sweetness you'd get from honeysuckle? Maybe one other thing I can't quite put my finger on, but it's very nice. I'd keep my nose in it all day!

Crispness of the carbonation fizzes right on the tongue, and then with a wisp of that lemony, lightly hoppy flavor. There are also light notes of honey and tart. It has a nice smooth, crisp, dry finish which would pair well with some sharp cheese.

Notes: Pale ale is just another style that the Belgians seem to get exactly right. It's not too hoppy or too bitter, or too dry. It's everything you want in a pale ale in all the perfect proportions. It is also very refreshing, and it reminds me of Spring. This is the perfect time to have one!

Photo of DrWhoever
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of JLSIV
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass, first impression on pour was the small diameter bubbles and rich two finger head that lasted forever, lacing all around, darker hazy orange brown color

Aroma of musty yeast is the big nose impression, a little fruitiness, Pleasant,but mostly a yeast aroma, very distinctive and unlike any other aroma. Different from any of the other Trappist Ales, even to my less than perfect nose (I often don't smell the same things that appear in many reviews)

Taste of muscadines, sweet at first, develops over time into something even more pleasant. Reminded me of sweeter local vineyard wines than any other beer before.

One of the best mouth feels I have tried. Dry, and smooth, with a very rich full body. Nothing harsh, and only the afterglow lets you know there is more than the usual alcohol here. American Extreme brewers could take a lesson here. Doesn't smack you around.

Overall: I purchased this Trappist Ale expecting to be impressed and I was. I would love to try this one a little closure to its origin. Two of these and I could see myself considering the monastic life….

Photo of jsparrow34
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of siemer
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of JasonMcLellan
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of emeyer
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of watermelonman
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured to a dark shade of almost orange and bronze. The head was enormous; it eventually died down but never went away. It's leaving a think and luxurious lace behind.

Alcohol comes through in the smell, just behind all that fruit and banana that one should expect. The taste has the banana flavor as well, with a great hop profile in the finish.

This is a really good beer, and well worth a try if nothing else.

Photo of ojclark
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

7 months old when tasted. Orangey hoppy aroma with notes of sourness/vinegar aroma. Cloudy orange/amber color with a frothy off-white head with a lot of carbonation and light lacing. Flavor a complex mix of bitter, sour, hops with a noticable lambic-type (Brettanomyces) character and some slightly vinegary sourness. Slight sweetness noticable along with the other flavor components in the aftertaste. Effervescent mouthfeel, medium body with a medium length finish with a fairly long aftertaste. Very complex and very good.

Photo of StoutItOutLoud
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330mL bottle to tulip. Bottled 1-23-2013. Consumed 1-9-2014.

whoa. with one pry of the cap, this one starts to gush. the yeast's been working for the last year. after taking a few seconds to clean up my counter, i start the pour, slowly. gigantic light tan head, orange rust body, very hazy. the head takes a while to recede

the aroma's solid. lemon funk, overripe banana. very bretty, which makes this one stand out from other bpas.

very pleasant mix of spice and fruit, all thanks to the brett. vinous as well, alcohol and hop bitterness with warming

dry, not as much carbonation as expected. quite drinkable

this is a great example of the style, made unique by the brettanomyces

Photo of zimm421
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of corcoranjc
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
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 CyR
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber color, or bronze

S: Citrus and hops

T: full, good performance of mouth, pure hops with a touch on due to Brettanomyces.

M: Aftertaste strong fresh hop

D: So much to drink to cool off than to taste

---

A beer whose taste changes easily with the maturation and redefining each time a special experience. Unique in its kind.
ÉcouterLire phonétiquement

Photo of Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy tan and orange colored brew.

Smell is intensely fruity, apple and lemon smells dominate, almost smells like a wine.

Taste is spicy with plum and apple flavors dominating. Not a sweet brew finishes dry.

Mouthfeel is intense, strong fine bubbles swarm you tongue like good champagne.

Another beer that must be sipped not chugged.

Photo of AlaYank
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of JMad
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a bottle to a snifter...
Pours a murky yellow-brown, with a bubbly off white head.
Smells of lemon lime, salt and pepper, hint of alcohol and banana.
Tastes of lemon zest, yeast and bread.
Has lots of good carbonation, light-medium, very soft and bubbly, leaves the mouth dry.
World class brew, wish it wasn't so expensive.

Photo of MartzMimic
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy amber with a root beer float head that lasts for days. Tons of carbonation. Nice aroma of fruit, hay and a touch of funk. Tastes of grapes, apples and yeast. The brett adds a lot. Medium light mouth with some crispness. Just a very flavorful and well-balanced beer.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
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 garymuchow
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another Super Bowl Belgian. Purchased at a good price too at Zipps.
Surprised on how sweet the initial aroma is that is then followed by the more traditional yeasty, phenolic with a unique funkiness with this one. This has a rather fresh quality - it was bottled in 4/10. Nice fruit intermixed. Nice.
Big full white head. Cloudy brownish amber.
Flavor is tamer than the aroma. Resembles the aroma quite a bit. A bit of bitterness up front. Mild malt, yeasty flavor, but lacking the great fruitiness of the aroma. Even though the flavor is not the level of aroma, it's still very fine tasting. Slight stale, oxidized taste.
Smooth feel even with full on carbonation.
Drinks very easily. No excessive richness. More than one would be not problem.
I'll give this beer another try later to see if the flavor is more robust.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle (bottled on 5/8/09 best before 5/8/2014) into unibroue tulip. Opened with a gunshot pop.

A - WHOA...like 4 fingers of head...HUGE and foamy. Not sure if this was due to the age or potential shaken-ness/pressure of the bottle (the pop from opening it was the loudest thing I ever heard). Subsequent pours showed just as much head...but this glass really brings out the head in any beer. SUPER frothy. Lacing clung to the glass and might take some work to get off the glass (it's THAT clingy). Color was a soft amber honey color. Nice lively carbonation.

S - Banana, clove, some spices, bubblegum, candy, sugar. Smells awesome!

T - Taste follows the nose. Bubblegum and clove. SPICEY and sweet.

M - Surprisingly bitter mouthfeel and aftertaste. Beyond the bitterness, very smooth.

D - This one is pretty good. I was expecting a bit more based on the rave reviews. Very drinkable and extremely tasty. Was pretty surprised by the bitterness, but really enjoyed this brew. Glad I tried it, not sure if I'll be looking for it on a regular basis though.

Photo of theformula
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The ratings are high, and for good reason. When I'm so used to the traditional English and American Pale Ale, this adds a brilliant complexity to the style. And it's my first taste of Orval.

Great looking beer, light amber color. The head just grew and grew to a billow-y, fluffy cloud that doesn't every dissapear. Nice lacing throughout.

Mouthfeel is light, with a bite of carbonation and almost a fine, powder-y texture on the roof of the mouth.

Smells of hops, clove, green banana/fruit, sugar and a little phenolic goodness to make things interesting. Fruit and flowers.

Tastes much hoppier than the aroma lets on. Delicious hop bitterness is subtle, along with "that" yeast strain and some citrus that gives it a tart bite. Sugar cane, wet hay and light honey give this so much complexity.

This is the best pale ale I've had the pleasure to taste, and drinkability is way up there b/c of the bone-dry finish. It's thin, but I guess it's accurate for the style. Awesome.

Photo of cnally
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up with about three other brews I had never tried before. This one lasted till the end, since I was so stoked, I wanted to save what I guessed would be the best for the last. We will see.

A monsterous head, fluffy and barely off-white, is a defining characteristic, with a glowing orange color in the body. Hazy and majestic.

The aroma is underutilized here, a foggy floral bouquet and little additional hop or malt character to it. Pleasant yet forgettable.

The flavor...oh, the flavor. A wildly successful blast of bitterness and sweetness, with a multi-layered fruity taste of grapefruit, apple and red grape. Great balance in the amount of hop character, a good dose of bitter.

High carbonation levels in the mouthfeel. A boisterous brew.

Magnificent effort, a subdued aroma meets a crushing flavor, and grand all around. Easy to pop down a few of these...if you can afford it!

Photo of jayhawk73
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orange color w/ a perfect 2 finger off-white head. This beer has a ton of carbonation! The smell is very interesting- citrus, fruit, and hops all make their presence known. The taste is an acquired taste, but I love it. It's very unique. A lot of hops, some citrus, spice and a slight hint of alcohol. Very dry finish, and a dry beer in general. Mouthfeel is good. You can feel the carbonation in your mouth, but it's not bothersome. Aftertaste lingers for a while as well. I probably wouldn't drink more than one of these at a time, but it's pretty easy to drink. Definitely a great beer, and one I will continue to buy from time to time. Not for everyone, but that's more for me...

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,599 ratings.