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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.

2,214 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,214
Hads: 4,970
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 18.94%
Wants: 302
Gots: 684 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A. visit their website

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.
View: Beers (2) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Orval Trappist Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,214 | Hads: 4,970
Photo of mortarit
3.56/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Well us North Carolina tasters are experiencing a new frontier with the bar lifted.
I saw this bottle at total wine on my way from work so I grab it. The shape of the bottle grab me.
The pour was manageable without to much head retention, about an inch and a half I say.
I notice that the pour was murky and looking at it after the pour that is cloudy. It darken at the widen spaces that the class gives it. It does have lacing forming around the edges.
The taste isn't over powering which I like.
For begin the first trappist ale, I would say not to bad.

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Photo of robbrandes
3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours slightly cloudy, almost like clover honey. ridiculously big, billowing head. forget lacing, by the end of things, my glass had a 2" wide strip of lacing the entire circumference.
aroma - what's there is nice - floral notes, fruity esters. but as it warmed, i kept waiting for it to really open up...never quite gets there.
taste - fairly smooth drinking, big yeasty twang, a bit of earthy/mustiness. well-rounded hop profile. i am getting quite a bit of metallic twang as well, not horrible, but distracting from the overall profile. very good mouthfeel, not as scary as the initial pour.
not a bad belgian, but there are better fish in the sea.

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Photo of goindownsouth
3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A very good Belgian brew. I came across this one on a recomendation from the barkeep at the Steelgarden, within the Bethlehem Brew Works. It is not a restaurant, it is an experience. Pretty much what a basic Belgian brew should be. It offers a balanced nose with a full-bodied, spicey, yet not too spicey bier. A very flexible bier to go along with just about any kind of bar food, even the really spicey stuff. Prost!

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Photo of ElGuapo
3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The pour is very nice. It is a chocolatey brown color and very murky. The head is massive, and chunky. It sits around for a while. Aroma is pretty good with a lot of dark fruits. There are nice spices and big whiffs of alcohol. Some sour hints are in there as well.

A bottle of '04 was very mild, with no real spiciness to it. It had a nice sweet malt backbone with some kicks of alcohol, but not a lot of complexity. I thought that if it mellowed, it would taste like nothing, but the '03 was much better. It had a nice spicy bite, and a big warming alcohol blast that was a bit too much at times, but didn't really hurt it. The carbonation is pretty big, but it smoothes out. This one didn't really do it for me as compared to others in the style.

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Photo of unklesyd
3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After all I'd heard about this beer, I was pretty disappointed, especially at the price.

Poured like a typical Belg. Pale, big head, lots of retention. Interesting color change when the last 1/3 of the bottle was swirled and yeast added.

Subdued fruity, earthy nose.

The taste was very earthy as well. Very low hop flavor, but great balance and bitterness. Very woody. Before sediment was added, the woodiness was crisper and snappier; after, it became more subtle in its character and brought out a hint of licorice.

After finishing this bottle, I didn't want another. The weight of the beer combined with its flavor profile was too heavy, although the balance was excellent.

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Photo of doerickson
3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Golden coloring with a fine-bubbled pure white head--pleasantly thick and persistent. Active carbonation. Complex nose--barnyard, bubblegum, and Band-Aid aromas; quite sour-smelling. Effervescent in the mouth; light body. Band-Aid in the aroma, as I mentioned; and I don't profess to know what Band-Aids taste like, but if the smell is any indication, this definitely tastes like a Band-Aid would taste. There's a hard-to-define tonic-watery sort of hoppy bitterness present throughout. It has grown on me somewhat as it warmed, but to be honest I expected more from this brew.

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Photo of Philousa
3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy dark tan with a thick three finger head. Takes a while to settle down, but it's not out of control. Belgian yeast is the showcase for the nose. Banana, allspice, some beligan pale malt aroma and some sweet caramel. Lighter than I was expecting. The taste is thoroughly bitter with a light body. Most spices come through well in taste, allspice and pepper mostly, but it's mild. Tart lemon zest lingers with the bitterness. Medium moutfheel, well balanced. Dry finish.

This was very mild. I can tell that there are complexities in here, but it's hard to coax out of the glass. I get more malt aroma with a good swirl, which showcases the grains well, but the yeast really doesn't stand out as much as I think it should. I feel pretentious saying how this beer should be brewed, one that has been brewed for hundreds of years, but hey, it's how I feel. I'm thinking this was built up too much for me and I wanted more complexity. It's a great Belgian Pale, but nothing spectacular.

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Photo of Rezzin
3.54/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 30/06/2005 best by 30/06/2010 consumed 9/20/2006.

A - Pours a hazy honey orange with a 2" thick head that leaves nice lacing on it's way down.

S - Sweet oranges, somewhat bready, citrus and maybe even a little sour. Smells great.

T - The first sip foams in the mouth. Starts off tart and maybe even a little sour then fades into a flavor much like a hoppy pale ale. Somewhat of a metallic twang to the flavor. As I let it warm it pretty much follows the same taste pattern... lambic, a hoppy ale, then metallic.

M - Highly carbonated and finished dry. Light and refreshing even with the massive carbonation.

D - I'm wondering if I got a light struck bottle. The aroma is wonderful but the flavor is just not I was hoping for. I'll re-review this beer later when I pick up another bottle. The place by my house sells these 11.2oz bottles for $4.

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Photo of JasonA
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first Belgian Pale. Im not sure Im a good reviewer for it, so you may want to disregard my review.

This bottle was purchased at the Chesapeake Gourmet in Queenstown, MD. Poured from as picture bottle.

Looks opaque light brown, with some orange tine. Large and thick head. I dont get much from the smell, was expecting more of a bite from it.

As my first belgian pale, I am not impressed. I picked up this beer simply because it had 'Trappist' in the title. There is no mention of the type on the bottle. Shame on me.

I will say that it tastes very fresh, no real alcohol byte. Little hop after the swallow. Overall tastes dry to me. I was expecting more flavor.

Hopefully after I have tried more Begian pales, I can make my way back to this one.

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Photo of RandyV
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy amber color with nice head and lacing. The smell is to me somewhat champagne like with a mild yeast note.

The taste is slightly fruity, maybe apple or pear, with a musty quality. Mouthfeel was a bit thin. It finishes dry with a hop bitterness that lingers.

Gotta be honest, this beer underwhelmed me and was not worth the elevated price.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle dated 02/29/12. Pours hazy amber with tall, foamy, long lasting white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of sourdough, Belgian yeast, candy sugar and earthy hops. Body is full and creamy. Taste is Belgian yeast, caramel malt, ripe fruit, peppery hops. Finish is long, peppery. I don’t think this bottle have aged well.

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Photo of Vixie
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours manly yellow with a hint of orange. Has a nice large white head.

The smell was mainly of malt and yeast, with a bit of spice tossed in.

The flavor was very much on the hoppy side. The hops are more floral, which to me was more pleasing than other highly hopped beers. Once the beer starts to warm a bit, the malt flavor starts kicking in a bit.

The feel was solid, with a decent amount of carbonation.

Definitely a nice beer, although a bit more hops flavor than I prefer. They floral taste of the hops actually made it nicer to drink than other beers that are high on the hops. No doubt this is a Belgian ale, has that Belgian character I really enjoy in a beer.

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Photo of jdubjacket
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had higher expections for this beer.

Poured an amber color from the bottle. The head starts off strong and dissipates fairly quickly.

The smell and taste are somewhat citrusy. Unfortunately the smell is better than the taste. For a trappist ale, this beer is lacking in the taste & mouthfeel. Overall, I prefer the other trappist ales.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a murky rusty straw color with a puffy marshmellow like cream colored head. Nice retention. Sticky lacing.
S: Spicy with lemon zest and orange rind. Tangy aromas also. Fresh with floral notes.
T/M: Lemon zest, orange peel, spices, and a grassy hop presence. Flower petal aroma a bold flavor that's present. Almost champagne like carbonation that's spritzy on the tongue. Bready wheat notes hang on the palate well into the finish. Tarty fruit sweetness hangs into the aftertaste from the initial introduction. Also a tad sour. Dry finish. A bit thin imo.
D: Not bad, but not one I'd go out of my way for, especially considering the price. it just didn't do it for me.

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Photo of acoatley
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep copper, fairly clear with ever so slight red tint. Moderate head dissipates quickly. Where is the lace?
Aroma: Moderate fruity esters of plum, light malty sweetness no alcohol.
Flavor: Raisins and plum, average malty sweetness, pleasant bitterness with a crisp finish.
Mouthfeel: Light body with moderate carbonation, watery the palate, warm alcohol good for a cold winter night.
Overall: Not my favorite dubbel but a good selection.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orval Trappist Ale pours a bit of a dark golden color, with not much of a lacy head. The smell is a bit sweet and has come candy aromas, on a strawery backbone. The taste is much the same sweet candy flavors on a strawery backbone. I thought it was a bit too sweet, but had a nice flavor. Overall i found it an above average beer, a bit too sweet and overrated in my opinion.

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Photo of brendan13
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a chalice a orange amber colour with a huge rocky head that just won't go away.
S - Lemon & spice notes with a faint sourness.
T - Along the same lines as the smell but with a earthy, dry grass sort of flavour thrown in.
M - Quite a full mouthfeel, medium carbonation. A pretty dry finish.
D - An interesting beer that is worth trying. Good every now and then but I can certainly see why it wouldn't appeal to some.

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Photo of mmahut
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One year old.

Appearance (3.5): Very active head, well carbonated.

Smell (3): Citrus aroma with light tone of dark fruits.

Taste (4): Associative with the smell, light citrus aroma with sweet malt.

Mouthfee (3): Medium body with higher carbonation I would expected from the smell/appearance.

Drinkability (3.5): Refreshing but heavy.

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Photo of jeranbrews
3.52/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hmm did I get the same beer? Mine may have needed to sit a few months.

A - Fizzy murky marmalade color. Fluffy bone white head.  

S - Blueberry and a touch of black bean vinegar in the yeast. Lovely. Smells Dance along in the bubbles up into your nose giving hopes of syrupy candied delights. Only slightly malty.

T - More bitter than I initially imagined.
Slightly dry. Before adding all the yeast from the bottle it was sour after adding it all it was much more wholesome and rounded. Just a touch of vegimite. Spices were there and I'll give this beer points for uniqueness but not for flavor.

M - Loose like white wine or cooking sherry

D - Overall good appearance and enticing smell but flavor left something to be desired average but not worth premium Belgian prices. Wondering if mine was too young or too old.

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.51/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I'll have to revisit this. I might have had a bad one. I typically love this style, but tried this deep into a tasting night, so my palette may have been tainted.

Pours dark amber with huge big-bubbled head which quickly fades. Aroma is some candy and funk. Flavor has some agreeable malt character, but also a sour skunkiness. I really wanted to just dump this down the drain. Dry and tart finish did not have me craving more.

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Photo of John_M
3.51/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had not had this beer in some time and now I recall why I've never been a big fan. I'll be sure not to make the mistake of ordering this one again. Nothing wrong with it, but with so many other outstanding Belgium's out there, no reason to buy this one again.

The beer pours a brownish orange color. There is some head retention, but almost no lacing to speak of. On the nose I get very little, maybe a hint of lemon... not really sure. There just isn't much there. On the palate the beer is very tart and very dry at the same time. I guess this beer is trying to be some type of Belgium pale ale, but it really doesn't work for me. The beer tastes fairly light for a Belgium, and I guess with the abv. you could probably drink a few of these, were price not an obstacle. The mouthfeel is OK, and the beer comes across as fairly refreshing. The finish is rather short and crisp, but there are no off flavors.

An OK beer, but nothing special. I more then likely will not be ordering this again any time soon.

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Photo of SethB2
3.51/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at Nuggett Market in Woodland, Ca.

Poured from bottle into a Duvel tulip. Pours a deep amber color with a hint of orange. Beer is non transparent and begins with a pillowy head that disipates down to thin layer, leaving a small amount of lacing. Smells OK. Some melon and grape tones coming through, but a little bitter. A little more and I would say the beer was skunky. Taste is better than the smell. Full of fruitiness with some clove. A little metallic flavor is happenning as well. Mouthfeel is full with a good amount of carbonation and finishes a tad dry. Drinkablilty is also good.

All in all a decent Belgian, but for a Trappist beer, I was expecting a little more.

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Photo of drzig
3.51/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 11.2 oz bottle into a wine glass.
A- golden color with very thick head. The head was impressive
S- Not much to smell but hints of fruit
T- autumn fruit flavored
M- Crisp, carbonated taste, not as smooth as I like most belgians with a little too much carbonation.
O- I typically like Trappist Ales, especially Pale Ales, but this one didn't make me want to order another. Still better than the average beer.

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Photo of spoony
3.51/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip.

A-Nice golden honey color with a thick, off-white head. The head is quite impressive...it really sticks around.

S-Floral notes dominate for me. I also picked up a few subtle notes of apple and some funk. Not a strong nose.

T- Some hay and floral flavors. A touch of apple and cracker. Not much funk.

M-Crisp with a lighter body and pleasant carbonation.

O-I wanted to like this beer, but I was not blown away. I found it rather simple. Perhaps I have ruined my palate by drinking too many crazy IPAs recently, but this one was underwhelming. It drinks easily, but I expected more intrigue for the $5 per 11.2 oz I paid for my two bottles recently.

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Photo of ivanwatling
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:  Clear orange hue, several inches of froffy head, moderate retention

Smell: A rather unpleasnt aroma akina to stale urine.  I asked for a  second opinion from my wife, she said it smelled of beer and was slightly sweet.

Taste: Citrusy, lively, initially very bitter. But then the bitterness blends in with other flavours to produce a well balanced experience.

My wife said the initial taste was sweet, then some sourness came in.  Intruiging how we can be so different.

Mouthfeel: Above average carbonation that seems to work for this beer.  Aftertaste is mellow and pleasant.  

Drinkability: A very pleasant experience.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 2,214 ratings.