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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

4,686 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,686
Reviews: 2,167
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 12.59%
Wants: 254
Gots: 548 | 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.
View: Beers (2) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,686 | Reviews: 2,167
Photo of zimm421
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%

Photo of joeysmokedporter
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow.

Poured a 11.2 oz bottle into a goblet.

A: pours an orange brown color, somewhat hazy, with a substantial slightly off-white head that forms a rocky surface as it dissipates. Lacing as it is consumed.

S: A little outdoor-like, sweet/sour fruit, earthy, grainy. Tough to get specific on the fruit flavor.

T: Begins with the earthy, slightly sour fruit flavor, which lingers for awhile before ending in a dry hoppy bitterness. Upon further reflection the fruit flavor reminds of sour cherries, and is combined with a woody-cherry-pit-like flavor. Somewhat like a geueze with muted characteristics.

M: good amount of carbonation, average body tending a little toward the lighter side.

D: A very drinkable beer among the Trappists, this beer is not as high in alcohol content and is very refreshing. Not as puckering as a geueze but just enough sourness to give it a subtle uniqueness vs other Trappists.

Photo of BayouBengal1537
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 30/12/2009
Pours an orangish copper with nice fluffy white head. keeps its retention for most of the beer. No lacing left on glass.
Smells mainly floral to me, orange, spice
Taste is belgian hops, belgian yeast, lemon, leathery, complex spice note
Mouthfeel was rather light, pretty high on the carbonation
Overall, a fantastic beer. These Belgian Ales I am really enjoying lately. World class

Photo of EigenBeer
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AlaYank
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%

Photo of stearns16
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber orange with massive white head that declines rather quick. This beer seemed like it could not wait to get out of the brown bowling pin-like bottle

S - Lemon and flowers ... very clean scent

T - Goes down smooth and easy. Taste lemon and even hint of tart apple, which makes me think of cider. Dry finish.

D - A throughly enjoy Belgian ale

Photo of Rifugium
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: bottle at Eulogy, Philly, PA

You can't go wrong with this trappist ale. Pours into a signature chalice, a golden brown with a nice finger or two of foamy white head. Retains well, with nice lacing. Tends to be a bit more on the fizzy side, but it's tolerable in that regard. Floral hops in the nose, and lots of fruit. Yeasty background flavor; up front is pears, bananas, allspice, white wine; grassy quality, with a bitter, dry finish. Medium mouthfeel, and very drinkable.

Photo of estereicher
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark Golden, slightly cloudy appearance. Nice head - quite effervescent. Yeasty Alcohol scent w/ various spices. Slightly sour taste but very well balanced. Overall lots of body with a refreshing flavor...

I drank at around 16 deg celcius, and was quite impressed with the balance of flavors and drinkability.

Photo of jrenihan
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-review. Didn't really know what to expect when I first had this beer, and found it surprising and not particularly enjoyable.

Bottled 08/06/2010. I assume that is DD/MM/YY, which makes this one almost 2.5 years old.

The beer has an insane amount of head. An enormous cream-white head sits atop the beer, despite a very slow pour. Beer is caramel in colour. The head recedes at a steady pace, but there is so much of it that it is there for a long time.

Smell is great, and noticeable even as the beer is being poured. The brett really sticks out, likely the result of the time this bottle has had to develop. Funk, lots of light fruits and berries, a bit of a medicinal spicy scent, and some bready malt.

Flavour wise, the beer is very dry. Has a powdery, medicinal flavour to it, which doesn't sound good but it works. The funk is prominent, giving a bit of a barnyard flavour. Cherry and some other fruit flavours. Some sweet malt, but the sweetness is overpowered. Complex. Finish is, again, bone dry.

Medium bodied, moderate to low carbonation. What activity there is is quite subtle, resulting in a beer that is active but not irritating. Dries the mouth somewhat.

Overall, just great. Wow, a real difference between having this now and for the first time almost two years ago, when I had never encountered brett and was expecting a typical Belgian pale. I'm glad I held onto this bottle since then, as I think the age has done it well. Unique among the Trappist beers and very good.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
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 micromaniac129
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As I was really too lazy at this point to go down and fetch my orval chalice I simply use my Chimay chalice instead. I don't think the beer will even Know!

Knew this beer was going to be aggressively carb'd right from cap pop. And it was. The color is a slightly hazy orange amber. The head is quite sizeable, and with the carbs being so aggressive, fades to just a half inch and persists to the end.

Aroma is malty lite hops yeast some funk from a hose stall.
Taste is quite good, tart and yeasty malty Beliqum style bready. Not much in hops, this is a Beligum pale ale and I wasn't expecting alot.

Spritzy and bright on the palette from the carbonation bubbles. Dry and thin but not in flavor.

A very good beer with great depth of flavor to go along with it visual appeal.

Photo of Jacobob10
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

With big American hoppy beers dominating tap lines in bars and taking over liquor store shelf space, I have been going in the opposite direction lately for some reason. I have found myself getting enjoyment from visiting some of the classics. Tonight's classic beer: Orval.

Right out of the bottle, this looks like a winner. Slightly hazy, orange color with a large, frothy white head. The head on the beer lasts forever and leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

Strong floral aroma mixed with orange, pear, and lemon. Biscuit malt, hay, musty yeast. The flavor seems to change with almost every sip. Medium-bodied and a chalky - almost metallic - finish. Overwhelmingly dry.

For reasons unknown, I chose to drink this beer on my 31st birthday and couldn't be happier. A total classic in every sense of the word.

Photo of utopiajane
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy orange with a billowing head of resilient foam that finally dwindled to a rocky cap with dense, sticky lacing. A spectacular pour into a tulip. Nose is complex and kept expanding as it warmed. Sweet Belgian yeast, apples, floral, banana, some medicinal alcohol, a little caramel malt poking through all that bright fruit and brett funk and ultimately finds some spice character. Taste is superb. Relaxed, smooth, full without heaviness, some lemon, some hay and horse blanket. No alcohol on the palate at all. Drinks very dry and leaves a long bitter finish that isn’t tart or sour. It’s earthy and hop bitter. Very impressive, indulgent, full of traditional character and easily approachable for a session.

Photo of Petrislav
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into chalice

A: Cloudy dark butterscotch brew, topped with a light sandy head

S: Fruity aroma - hops, yeast, caramel, malt

T: Yeast and carbonation leads to bright floral hops, bitterness and a sweet hop and toasted malt aftertaste

M: Light, almost no body, wish it were a little more full bodied

Photo of Shiredave
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

* Vintage Review
best before date 22-6-2010
Poured at cellar temp

This beer billowed a foamy head that the Duvel glass could barely contain as I gently poured down the side of the glass. Strong sour notes wafted to my nose - sharp rotting apples with hints of lemon zest, yeasty esters and candied grain. The head was fizzy with a clotted peak rising from the middle -effusive carbonation streaming from the bottom etch and visible the the hazy orange / gold liquid.

The sour brett aromas linger as I sip - some oxidation is evident but overshadowed by the malt flavor and tart bite from the carbonation. Sourish flavors Ive experienced with fresher bottles is only on the fringe - surprising hop flavors - stale and dry blend with the sugary grain taste - mellowed and balanced more than I remember.

Light medium body this is very drinkable and enjoyable - sharp sour flavors pleasantly coat my mouth and compliment the firm hop bittering at the finish. Abrupt finish to the liquid but the complex flavors and sour notes linger with lip smacking satisfaction .

A truly fine crafted Ale from those crazy Trappist dudes.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As I warm up the bottle from the fridge, let me tell you a story: I was inside an SAQ in Montréal. I didn't think I'd buy a beer I could easily get at home, but the price tag was attractive: $3.30! And that's with taxes! This goes for $2 more in my area. So what I have here is a double import. The label is a double as well; there's a bilingual label on this one (because it was bought in Québec). Well, now I think it's time to serve this up. On to the beer:

I can already smell the aroma as I slowly lifted the bottle cap. But let's not get ahead, let me pour in into a chalice first. Hot damn, that's a lot of foam on top. Let me go to the kitchen and chop off part of its head so i can pour the rest in...

Head retention is excellent on top of this deep golden colored brew. Okay, now I can smell the fruits of this beer. Candi sugar and peaches, mmm. A little spice as well. Oh boy, I'm getting excited...

I was expecting a sweet treat, and instead got something different. It's just a little sweet. I should note the balance is very nice, but the overall flavor is missing something. It's more of a grassy/hay taste, with aspirin echoing in the background. The alcohol, despite being at 6.9, is camouflaged. A little sourness in the back. Now I'm starting to get used to the taste, so now I can show some appeciation for this work. I'm turned on to it in a weird kind of way.

Okay, so it wasn't what I thought it would be. But it wasn't a dissapointment either. I still want more, though at its price in the US, it will have to settle as a beer to have once in a while.

Photo of mjgooner13
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Some good smoke upon opening the bottle... dirty copper color, fluffy cream colored head with lots of small bubbles...

S- red wine smell comes through immeadiately upon opening the bottle. After a minute or so, the scent become a mix of sweet raisins to start followed by grapefruit and alcohol

T- Get mostly fruit in the mouth. some malt sweetness, i was hoping for more, but still very a very good tasting beer. Alcohol comes through as the beer sits...

M- Med body beer that leaves the mouth a little dry, but in a good way. Carbonation is good, but nothing special in the mouthfeel.

O- Definitely a tasty beer. For me the raisins and grapefuit are the main flavors and they combine well with the alcohol especially as the beer sits for a bit. Good bit of dryness keeps me wanting more.

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 10/02/2011 and poured into chalice.

Pours a 1.5 finger white with a yellowish tint head. Lots and lots of bubbles work their way through the glass. Can’t see through the hazy orange/amber color of the body.

Earth, grass, and citrus in the nose. It is fairly aromatic as you can smell it as you pour.

Slightest hop bitterness with a citrus and grass flavor for the most part. More bready at the back end. There is a medicinal quality which I have never really noticed before this bottle. Lots of carbonation and dry.

This beer is flat out amazing. I love it. I’m biased. Whatever.

Photo of patm1986
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

.33L bottle into a wide wine glass

the head is beautiful: thick, richly foamy, retains itself well, and dissipates slowly but to a respectable lace while leaving some nice bubbles and residue on the side of my glass. honey-colored, an orange-brown. carb-bubbles visible on the bottom of my glass.

smells of yeast, fruity yest, like some sort of fruit-bread. a swish, and i'm getting stone fruits like peaches, very lightly, some golden-raisin, a little raspberry, and some citrus like a grapefruit or a lemon.

the first splash is a sour shot to the front of the palate followed by the citrus, more lemon in the taste, and an earthy, flowery middle. these fruit flavors don't follow completely through as the sour, wild yeast flavor returns with a slight alcohol tinge. still it is very refreshing and sharp.

smooth at first, then like a thirst-quencher, the carbonation and crispness smacks you around. goes down VERY EASILY. by the end of the glass, she's just sliding down the throat.

at 6.9, this is an ale stronger than one for a session, but it goes down like one. but at 6.9, it's also more punchy than you'd think. in that middle ground of abv, but with the flavors and aromas and body, this is something very special.

a bar-holder and a freak in the style and out of it. really, REALLY good.

Photo of Tucquan
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2010-06-25 in Columbia, PA

A - Orange-amber with a monstrous, pillowy, white head into a tulip glass

S - Fresh bread, lemon, orange, mild hop oils

T - Almost a wild ale taste with sourness from start to finish but well-modulated with sweet citrus, lightly roasted grain, grass and reasonable hop bitterness. All of the tastes are exceedingly balanced.

M - Light to medium body and medium-high carbonation. Explosive bubbles mellow to a tingly and mildly creamy feel.

O - A rich and refreshing experience. I shared this brew with my wife who isn't a fan of much bitterness but she really enjoyed it too since the hop bitterness is so well-integrated and balanced. I had to laugh when she said it reminded her of a really great Schlitz!

Notes: On 2011-06-17 I had this side-by-side with a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. It was fun to compare and contrast these two fine beers. For a day-to-day brew, I'd prefer the SNPA.

Photo of Dave1999
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer is a cloudy amber with a massive fluffy white head.

The smell is lemons, oranges and a bit of a sour vinegar smell.

The taste is sour, lemons, light malts and just a little bitterness.

The mouthfeel is light with high carbonation.

A classic, the sour flavours differentiate this from other Belgian pale ales. Well worth seeking out.

Photo of drxandy
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle dated : bottled - 27/12/2007 - best before 27/12/2012B - 2 days after last years christmas, yay

poured to goblet, hazy deep golden with slight brown, highly carbonated, white head fades to lacing - looks good

smells of apples! sweet and sour funk from the brett yeastiness, peppery spice, pineapple, slight lemon citrus

tastes tangy sweet creamy from carbonation, the carbonation is excellent kicking all the flavors around and lounging on the tongue, bitter, funky brett is sour and dry, very balanced, biscuity malt, bitter hops in the back, light alcohol, wow - complex!

mouthfeel is amazing, crisp dry finish, refreshingly creamy carbonation, very nice!!!

Photo of THECPJ
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: orange with a 2 finger white head

smell: spices, malts, citrus

taste: very sweet, spices

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body, smooth, dry finish

drinkability: goes down easy. wish it was a bit cheaper.

Cheers,

The CPJ

Photo of Jerzdevil1116
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz Bottle dated 7/5/07. Purchased at Joe Canals on Fire Road in Egg Harbor Twp., NJ.

A- Light amber body. Tall foamy white head. A lot of carbonation. Plenty of lacing left on the glass.

S- Smells of malt and yeast. A bit lemony also.

T- Fruity. Lemony and yeasty. A slightly bitter finish.

M- Medium bodied. Lively and tingly from the carbonation.

D- A very nicely balanced beer. Easy drinking.

Photo of codewarrior
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330mL singleton poured into a chalice

My beer guy at Argonaut has been recommending this to me for a while, it's also discussed regularly in the revered halls of the Beer Advocate forums, so I finally got around to picking this bad-boy up in stead of The Dissidant I went in for (as apparently their shipment is delayed!). I digress ...

Bottled on 5/19/2010, best by 5/19/2015

L: Apricot-hay colored, but the more dramatic portion of the look is the absurd amount of head. On first pour the head is at least 5-times as tall as the beer. My cup overfloweth, but damn if it doesn't look good.

S: Sweet and sour. Starts strong with a big front of brett-induced sour, transitions smoothly into a fading lingering sweetness that tails off into nothingness.

T: Brett character is not nearly as pronounced as in the nose, and it's in the back, not the front. Mostly this beer is a subdued dry sweetness. Really quite good, if entirely unexpected from the nose. Smooth into a sweet, then dry middle, then the brett kicks in to compliment with a subtle sourness in the finish. Based on the nose, and on American brews using brett, I expected this to be far more brett-heavy, but in fact the brett is really more an embellishment than the centerpiece.

F: Smoooth, and wicked dry. Really quite spectacular.

D: Pretty phenomenal. Seriously.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,686 ratings.