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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

4,687 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,687
Reviews: 2,167
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 12.59%
Wants: 254
Gots: 549 | 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: 4,687 | Reviews: 2,167
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Orval chalice. Foams out of the bottle a bit on opening. Pours a hazy coppery amber with a three finger off-white head with good retention and lots of pillowy lacing. Aroma of citrus, green apple, Bretty yeast, vanilla; floral. Flavor is semi-dry, light apple family fruit, light stone fruit, mild citrus, vanilla, Brett style wild yeast funk, Finishes with fleeting fruit and fruit dessert flavors dominated by the wild yeast funk and bitterness; lightly tart and earthy. Medium bodied with sharp, peppery carbonation. A very distinctive Belgian pale ale with a unique wild yeast component. I did not like this when I first tried it many years ago, but now having grown to enjoy saison yeasts and a light touch of wild yeast, I can see its appeal. Although the flavor is dominated by the funky yeast, there are a lot of interesting light and subtle fruit and spice flavors in the background. A bit too dry and funky to be a frequent choice, it was a pleasure drinking this again and understanding why it is a classic.

Photo of daythree16
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a little goblet. Pours a cloudy golden color with lots of head.

Smells very spicy with touch of that Belgian yeasty goodness. Tastes like it smells. A little piney with a phenolic aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is very light, and almost reminiscent of a hefeweizen. It's not my the best tasting or my favorite Trappist, but it may be the lightest and easiest to drink.

Photo of brewtus
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. I've always passed this up due to its easy avilablitity.
A- woah pours with a huge fluffy white head, orange and pretty clear.
S- I get banana, sweet, bready, funk, hay,
T- nice and hoppy, dry, champaign like taste, straw, some citrus fruit, some funk
M- pretty carbonated
O- very good, I expected a lot more of the traditional coriander and banana. It is a very good, glad I finally tried it

Photo of superdedooperboy
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the ubiquitous 11.2 oz. bowling pin-shaped Orval bottle into a goblet. Bottled on 09/07/2008, with a Best Before date five years from bottling.

Pours a deep, hazy amber hue, giving rise to a humongous light tan head that fills half the vessel. The foam settles very slowly to a thick half-finger that sticks around for the remainder of the drink, leaving thick, broken sheets of lace behind on the walls of the glass.

A very earthy aroma fills the nose, with lemon zest combining with spicy yeast notes, damp earth and a slight mustiness.

A rather light, effervescent body holds within it a mildly spicy brew with a thick underlying base of toasted biscuit. Hops mingle with the yeasty spiciness, keeping in check what little malty sweetness is present. The finish is very dry, with a bit of a grassy aftertaste that lingers.

Nice, refreshing, highly distinctive and absolutely gorgeous to look at, this is one Trappist ale that is well worth its lofty praise and honorable status. Watch out for the 6.9% ABV, though, as it can sneak up just as easily as the beer goes down.

Photo of jneiswender
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bottle into a tasting glass. Served cool.

A-raspberry blonde body and a very, very thick white head

S-berry and horse blanket smell...roasted chestnut?

T-berry, fruit stone, celery

M-dry, light-medium and very highly carbonated.

D-okay at best. Unique for sure. Probably a good food pairing beer but not one I might go to first.

Photo of Buschyfor3
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle served into my Tripel Karmeleit tulip

A: Golden-orange body... slightly hazy but with a lot of shimmering highlights; HUGE rocky whipped head - 3 fingers thick on the initial pour. Sticky lacing leaves littles patterns like clouds along the insides of the glass

S: Kind of sharp at first - a bit of bitterness (from the hops perhaps?) and a funky barnyard kind of smell; getting peppery notes and a medicinal kind of scent; there is also a faint, sweet floral-like note that comes through occasionally, though its harder to pick up this note amongst the medicinal note and the bit of funk (I think those scents are getting stronger as the beer warms)

T: Very interesting and hard to describe - getting light fruit notes (pear), a touch of citrusy lemon, and alot of grassy flavors; a bit of funk that I really dont know how to describe. Some residual hop like bitterness on the finish that dries out very quickly and leaves a grainy/bready note competing with some peppery flavors.

M: Very fine carbonation - a lot of tingly little bubbles across the palate; lends a nice crispness to this beer

D: 6.9% ABV and this is a treat to drink; alcohol is present but the flavors (the peppery notes and the barnyard funk) meld well to disguise its sting.

An enjoyable Belgian Pale Ale. Heard a lot of good things about this beer and its readily available around me but I never tried it until now. Glad I did. Another solid Belgian... and the strong/pale ale styles are really starting to grow on me thanks to beers like this.

Photo of jonb5
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, poured into Leffe chalice. Dark brown colour, cloudy, 2 finger head. Had strong phenol smell, even got some hubba bubba. First mouthfull was very sweet but the bitterness increased with every sip. Tasted of roasted malts, some charcol. This beer didn't taste like other belgian beers I've sampled, I thought it was more like an ESB. Overall, looked like a hefeweizen, tasted like an english strong ale and smelled unlike any beer i've ever had. I bought a 4 pack and will lay down at least two before drinking again.

Photo of PEIBeerGuy
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After seeing the reviews on here, I think I was expecting more than I got. It's a good beer, but it didn't wow me.

Well, the head wowed me. As soon as I popped the cap, it foamed out of the bottle a bit, and I had to pour it in stages. So much head! A very firm, light, creamy head, like beaten egg whites. It does die down, but it takes a few moments. The colour is great. A nice, foggy amber / orange-brown.

Smell is good... pick up some citrus in there... maybe orange or even a little grapefruit... apple. Hint of spice.

The taste is akin to the smell. It's very understated & mellow. I like that, but at the same time, I was hoping for something a bit more distinct.

In the mouth, it's good. Carbonated just enough, smooth and creamy... dry finish.

For a Trappist ale, quite drinkable. It wouldn't be hard to put a few of these away if they were cheaper.

Photo of ryanobeirne
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Super high carbonation! I'm assuming that is due to the bottle conditioning. I actually have two pours from this bottle. The first is a quick pour into a pint glass that fills the glass but is about 80% foam. The head is bubbly and dense but only lasting about two minutes or so. The second pour is much slower and into a goblet with almost no head. The color is a bright golden color with a slight pale amber haze. Looks very delicious.

S - Smells slightly sour with a sweet undertone. I can almost feel the carbonation in my nose.

T - This beer is mostly about the malt, I think, the hops having a secondary role. The sourness doesn't come through as much in the taste as it does in the smell. The flavor has a bit of a sharpness to it, much like a sharp cheddar cheese, although it's definitely not cheesy. This beer is very complex and inviting, yet it still seems like something is missing. I don't know what's missing, but I think the monks are on to something over there at Orval!

M - Very carbonated, very tingly on the tongue. Even the last sip gets a bit of buzz from the bubbles. Incredibly smooth and almost creamy without being heavy.

D - Very drinkable: I don't want this beer to end! But, alas, it does, and I am left wanting more! I'll be sure to revisit this one in the future.

Photo of Ian_B
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of jera1350
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy deep golden brownish orange color with massive pale tan head of sudsyness. Lots of active carbonation moving about. Nice amount of lace on the glass. Halfway through the beer and there is still a tight, one-finger head hanging around.

Sweet, fruity and spicy smelling. Some yeast and a hard to describe except spiced up hop scent. Similar to a fruit scented soap or perfume.

Complex and boozy fruit. Apple cider, citrus zest, champagne, green tea and moderate hoppiness, but lacking in much sweetness. Very unique.

About medium bodied. Some harshness in the carbonation that gets better as it warms up. Nice and smooth on the palate with an extremely dry finish.

Nice drinkability. Probably the best BPA I've had, but not a beer I will rush out to have again.

Photo of BierReise
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is unlike any other beer I've ever had in my 17+ years of enjoying fine craft beer. The head on this beer is unbelievable. I poured this beer in it's dedicated Orval glass and drank it slowly which lasted about 20-30 minutes. The head stayed at a peak the entire duration and even after the last sip, it was still hanging on to the side of the chalice for it's dear life. The flavor was so unique and complex that it will most likely require several additional samplings to accurately define what I'm sensing. Burnt sugar, stale fruit, earthy malty taste. I don't know, perhaps my palate doesn't possess the sophistication for this one. What I do know is that It was a most enjoyable if not a religious experience and I look forward to the next. Hmmm, beer as a religion. What a concept.

Photo of mikecharley
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light, murky, amberish straw color. Huge pillowey, craggy head stays for well over 2 minutes. This looks amazing. The head actually sticks out well over the edge of the glass, but doesnt run over. Leaves a really nice lacing on the way down too. Lovely looking brew.

Nose is musty, malty, spicy. These are the main components, in this order. there is some slight bittering hops, but not much.

The taste is wonderful. Lots of spice. Some underlying hops. All this with a background of musty, funky yeast. Freakin fantastic.

Light airy carbo. Very soft in the mouth. Really nice

This is the best example of the style I've ever had. Hands down. This is also a style I typically do not like.

Photo of divineaudio
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle into a snifter. bottled on 7/29/2009.

color is a hazy orange to amber shade and the head is outta control! a gentle pour gave me three fingers of thick, tan foam that calms to a pinky's worth and hangs around for quite a while. leaves big, cloud like puffs of sticky lace all over the glass too.

smells of banana with hints of clove, apple and a maybe a little freshly baked bread. taste is mostly toasted malts with a lot of spiciness and herbal hop bitterness. i can also just barely make out pale malts and some fruity notes. finish is long and a little malt sweetness comes back after the bitterness fades.

medium bodied with a lot of carbonation. feels oddly heavy in the stomach after drinking, i'm guessing from the co2.

very drinkable and very true to style, but i'd prefer a dubble or trippel over the pales. certainly worth seeking out, but given it's high import price, i probably won't be buying too many of these.

Photo of ggaughan
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a hazy brown color with a thick creamy tan head into a tulip glass. The head lasted for quite a bit of time. The smell I got from this one is a bit of malts and some earthy notes. Interesting but not overly complex. The taste is a bit sour but also a bit of a hoppy bit. The taste is fairly complex with the sour and the bitter and some sweet. Overall I really enjoyed my Orval and will enjoy a few more in the near future.

Photo of Aml42000
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle into an Orval glass. Deep amber/copper color. The nose is slightly vegetal, but has layers of complexity which keep one sniffing. Fresh mouthfeel with layers of subtle meyer lemon and dried herbs. A touch of honey on the finish. A favorite.

Photo of jmz62565
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours a clear amber with a large white foamy head. The smell is pretty strong with what seems like winter spices,coriander,cinamon, and also floral scents, lemon, and pepper. The taste has a almost sour spicy flavor. Coriander. pepper, lemon, and malt are all present in this beer. The m/f is light and all the numerous flavors mix very well. A damn good beer that shouldn't be missed.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

New Beer Friday!

Appearance - Wow, over a HAND of head pouring this down the side of the glass. Almost annoying because I am sitting here patiently waiting for it to go down and it is...but ever so slowly. Leaves chunky lacing on the sides of the glass. Pours a slight hazy deep golden color.

Smell - Banana, clove, slight barnyard funk (reminiscent of Jolly Pumpkin), bready yeast, and slight malt.

Taste - Immediate funky mouth puckering taste which gives way to a slight banana flavor. Massive amount of spices, slight hops, and grassy/hay flavor on the back end.

Mouthfeel - Medium to light bodied. Not as full as I would have expected but still good for what it is.

Drinkability - Relatively drinkable. This reminds me of a mix of delirium tremens and a really funk saison. An interesting beer and am glad to finally try it. Not in my top beer list but enjoyable nonetheless.

Photo of dolzan
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden/reddish colour with an enormous head that stays there forever. The body is very cloudy, you can't really see through.

The smell is spicy and fruity.

The taste is something different. As complex as it possibly gets, with myriad tastes mixing up. Flowers, hay, grain, lemon, you name it.

It really is that complex.

In saying that, I'm not really that impressed by all the combinations. It's good, I would buy it again, but not one of the world's greatest beers, as some reviews might lead you to think.

Photo of boss302
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

US Orval bottle on 22/042009 BBD 02/04/2014 US label 6.9%, 330ml. This rating is for the US Orval. The European Orval is rated below this one. It was older and much more "Bretty."

A Color is golden to amber, a little darker than a tripel. Head is white and thick. 4

S There is a little Brettanomyces aroma and some fruit. 3.5-4

T Big CO2 fizziness then some bitterness. There is a definite Brett flavor with fruit backup. A complex and interesting beer . It is hard for me to pick out the different flavors with so much going on. 4 

M Thin to medium body, carbonation is high but manageable. 4.5

D This is a very interesting beer and I will have some in the frig for occasional samplings. 4

Europe Orval bott on 12/26/2008, 12/06/2013d European label. 6.2%, 330ml

A same as other Orvals. 4

S Similar to other Orvals, still bready. There is definitely more Brett aroma. 4

T more sour than other Orval's I've tried, not sure it is the European lavel at 6.2%abv or the age. 4

M Thinner, but will loads more carbonation. 3.5

D Similar to US Orval. 3.5

Photo of zoso493
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Chimay chalice...

Appearance: Pours a deep, murky orange with a massive three-finger head that takes its sweet time before allowing me to get a decent amount of liquid in the glass.

Smell: Smells of orange peel, spices, cloves, yeast and bananas. Pretty intriguing.

Taste: Tastes of spices, apples and yeast, with some cloves and bananas. Has a lot of a weissen feel to it, with a touch of funk.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp and dry with just the right amount of carbonation. Very good.

Drinkabillity: This is probably one of the lesser trappist ales in terms of alcohol content but I still wouldn't drink a lot of these in one sitting.

Overall, this is a pretty interesting beer. Not as complex as other trappists, but pretty unique, so it's definitely worth a try.

Photo of vkv822
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle into tulip snifter.
bottled on: 20/05/11

Pours a slightly hazy, copper color with a thick billowy, foamy off-white head that has great retention.

The aroma is subtle, yet fairly complex. Starts with notes of tart fruits, green apple and a light citrus. Some grassy/hay notes.The yeast adds a light funky twang to the finish.

The taste follows the nose, with subtle notes of tart apple, lemony citrus, and finish with some very light hay and funk from the yeast (Brett).

A light to medium body, with prickly, active carbonation.

A great beer and a true classic. The carbonation was just a tad bit higher then I would have liked, but was still enjoyable.

Photo of IPAlot
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

no idea of freshness. 11.2 fl oz bottle

appearance:
a wonderfully fizzy head that doesn't last very long. Deep orange color, the last light on the clouds after the sun has dipped below the horizon.

smell:
mild. smells mostly like CO2. citrus, mint.

taste:
mild, but well balanced. slight bitterness and an elusive malty feel.

Not my favorite trappist. I will continue trying to make sure I have had the best representative of the brew, but nothinng new and it's been done better.

Photo of womencantsail
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber orange in color with 2+ fingers of foam (that lasts forever).

S: The nose is yeasty and a little funky with some tart apple notes.

T: I pick up an ever so slight tartness, along with yeast and that subtle barnyard/wet hay funk. This is not necessarily bitter or sweet/malty in any way that I can tell.

M: The body is on the lighter side, with a high level of carbonation and a dry finish..

D: One of the more "interesting" Trappist beers

Photo of Bonis
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into my Unibroue tulip glass. Pours a cloudy amber color with a huge head that disippates somewhat quickly, but sticks around about a half finger for most of the drink. Leaves a fairly nice lacing as well. Way less sediment than I am used to in a trappist ale.

Nose - Spices such as coriander and other belgian ale spices dominate, belgian yeasts are definitely there. I also smell some metal-like earthy notes. This smells unlike any other Trappist ale I have tried.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Again, follows the nose in that this is far different from any Trappist ale I have tried. Tastes sour initially, with hints of cherries and some citrus. Belgian spices dominate. Carbonation is medium, but more apparent than others in this style.

Drinkability - Very very refreshing for a Belgian. If it didn't cost $5 for 11 oz, I could drink this stuff regularly. The ABV is pretty low for a trappist as well, which helps with downing it. So with price factored in, I don't find it drinkable, but if price doesn't matter for you, give this one a try for sure!

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,687 ratings.