1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Orval Trappist Ale - Brasserie d'Orval S.A.

Not Rated.
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,324 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,324
Reviews: 2,112
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 203
Gots: 390 | FT: 8
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:
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.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 09-18-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Orval Trappist Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,324 | Reviews: 2,112 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sharkophile
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a goblet. Appears a gorgeous, murky dark orange with some shades of brown. Crowned with an big, dense white head with excellent retention. Looks excellent.

S: Smells very fruity, with some apple, strawberry and banana flavors thrown around. Also some earthy funk, grain and booze evident.

T: Oh boy... initially grainy and fruity, with apple-y and subtle banana flavors. Then comes the funk, with a big, earthy, peppery spiciness with some vanilla and bitter flavors. Finishes dry with some grainy sweetness and some residual peppery flavors. Very different. I like.

M: Medium body with a smooth, creamy carbonation which suits the beer perfectly.

O: A terrific beer with a completely unique flavor profile. The earthiness of from the yeast, hops and brett make for a terrific, in-your-face drinking experience.

Sharkophile, May 11, 2012
Photo of ZethOfTheNorth
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

ZethOfTheNorth, May 10, 2012
Photo of Duff27
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Fluffy white three inch head on a slightly murky ruby-red beer. Tons of effervescence going on within the tulip. Clumptastic lacing and great head retention.

S- Undeniable Belgian yeast strain peppery spiciness. It's like a candied funk, hard to describe (albeit undeniable..yeah!).

T- Pale malts, "grape skin", some funk, bubble gum. So much going on. Tasty. Subtle sweet aftertaste. Hard to detect any alcohol, just want to keep drinking.

M- Creamy medium mouthfeel with prickly carbonation bubbles.

D/O- The first sip of this beer is like a kick in the gonads but in your mouth. "What is this!?" Subsequent imbibing produces a flurry of happy chemical release in my brain. Really like nothing I've had before. This is classic. Highly recommended for Belgian beer fans.

Duff27, May 10, 2012
Photo of guezarka
5/5  rDev +19%

guezarka, May 10, 2012
Photo of jrjordao
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

jrjordao, May 09, 2012
Photo of schwee
5/5  rDev +19%

schwee, May 08, 2012
Photo of whino
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

whino, May 08, 2012
Photo of Bobhoya
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Bobhoya, May 08, 2012
Photo of KBennall
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

KBennall, May 07, 2012
Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

orangesol, May 07, 2012
Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33 cl bottle into a tulip- pours a slightly hazy golden orange color with a 3-finger head, pretty decent retention, nice lacing. Fine looking Belgian.

Smell is nice- that patent Belgian yeast smell; earthy. Plus a little malt sweetness.

Tastes a little less exciting than I was imaging but you can really taste lots of different flavors- very well balanced. A little funk, a little earthiness, some nice pale malt sweetness, with a little hop bitterness as well. Great that you can actually taste the hops. A little stale though.

Mouthfeel is great- light to medium body with full carbonation. Not my favorite golden belgian but certainly worth trying for the complexity of flavor. And an excellent beer.

Update: As I continue to drink it (it's been about an hour now), the yeast REALLY dominates the flavor; almost as if it's totally consumed the malt. Still some hops.

Hopdaemon39, May 07, 2012
Photo of siege06nd
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Pours a very cloudy brown orange color with a beautiful, consistent, pillowy two and a half finger cream colored head. Huge clumps of lacing are left behind on the sides of the glass. Some light sediment resting at the bottom. Looks good.

S. Apple, pear, banana, clove, grape skin, and some hints of brown sugar.

T. Grape skin, apple, pie crust, some light hop bitterness. Very fruity and juicy.

M. Light bodied, highly carbonated, crisp mouthfeel, some lingering bitterness from fruit rinds and hops.

O. A very solid Belgian pale. Sweetness and bitterness and balanced very nicely here and this is definitely a refreshing beer.

siege06nd, May 06, 2012
Photo of antoines15
5/5  rDev +19%

antoines15, May 06, 2012
Photo of brewskifan55
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A: light amber with an off-white one finger head that lingers. thick lacing.

S: citrus abounds. Belgian yeast and malts

T: A citrus-y, orange and lemon mix. Smooth, with a hoppy backbite. Resin-y. Light malts. Floral. Refreshing. Complex, yet oh, so simple.

M: medium; creamy, frothy. Heavy carbonation. A dry finish.

O: Duvel with hops. A primo brew. A bit pricey, but worth a try. A great celebration sipper. Fill out your Belgian dance card with this old school flavor-ite.

brewskifan55, May 06, 2012
Photo of Snowrs
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Snowrs, May 06, 2012
Photo of Hanzo
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Hanzo, May 06, 2012
Photo of duracell
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a bright golden color with copper hue and a very active apparent carbonation. The super creamy, white head has an excellent retention and leaves a beautiful lacing on the glass. The appearance of this beer is simply from heaven!

S - Smell is very complex. Dominated by yeast (clove, pepper and spices), it's also very flowery with a nice touch of sweetness besides some hop. I also pick out some dark fruits. A delight for the noze!

T - Taste is rather acid, quite lemony, mineral. I'm a bit disappointed since it doesn't feature all the complexity of the smell.

M - Medium-light body with very active carbonation on the tongue. It's a bit over-carbonated to my taste. The finish is quite dry.

O - Featuring an old school character, an amazing appearance and a great taste, this beer is such an experience. Unfortunately, the mineral and acid flavors are not my cup of tea...

duracell, May 06, 2012
Photo of vegasmac99
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

vegasmac99, May 05, 2012
Photo of Bibendum
3/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orval has changed. It no longer has it's trademark peppery nose, and a head too big to contain that leaves frothy tracings around the edge of the goblet all the way to the bottom.
I have known Orval since 1979, when I worked for Merchant du Vin. It is a favorite beer that I rarely drink for reasons of cost.
However I received 6 bottles as a gift recently that were dated 20-5-11. And to my surprise there was no peppery nose, instead the smell of bubblegum. I did not have to pour with great care to contain the head, in fact I could and did pour it down the center. Something I could not have done 3 years ago.
So today I had one from another batch, this one dated 18-08-11. This one did not smell of bubblegum, but neither did it have it's trademark peppery nose or irrepressible head.
Orval either has a recent quality control problem, or they have intentionally changed their brew. In either case I'm unhappy. Bring back the old Orval, please.

Bibendum, May 03, 2012
Photo of rjpetrizzo
4/5  rDev -4.8%

rjpetrizzo, May 02, 2012
Photo of ixodus
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

ixodus, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of BillyTWilliams
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

BillyTWilliams, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of fostachild
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

fostachild, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of martyl1000
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

martyl1000, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of astrickland
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

astrickland, Apr 29, 2012
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,324 ratings.