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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

4,495 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,495
Reviews: 2,128
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 218
Gots: 443 | FT: 12
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: 4,495 | Reviews: 2,128 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zuccard
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Loved this one...Tremendous head on this beer...great color, slightly amber in color, very frothy and hung in there throughout the entire bottle.

Taste was nice, fruity, with a bit of an almost smoky aftertaste. Color was a hazy orange. With %alc at 6.9, the mouthfeel and apparent alcohol was very well done. Did not seem that high, and no solvent-like taste.

Just a great beer. Loved it and will go back for more

zuccard, Jan 12, 2007
Photo of Bendurgin
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is actually the first time I've had this beer. For some reason I just never grabbed it so here goes. Bottled on 17/11/2010. Poured into a chalice. Pours a hazy straw color with three fingers of bubbly off white head. Real nice retention on this. Settles down with some soapy lace.

A little bit of white grape juice on the aroma. Kind of reminds me of an ice wine. A little bit of spicy floral hops. A little bit of sweet candied orange in the aroma. Dry flavors here. A little peppery with a little bit of fruit juice to the flavor. The flavors are a little bit two dimenional but on point and refreshing.

Light body with soft carbonation on this one. Overall one of the better Belgian Pales around. Great that this one is readily available. I'll be drinking more here.

Bendurgin, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of Grundle20
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
Pours copper in color with a fair amount of sedimentary haze. There is a massive pillowy white head that laces the glass with swards of foam.

Smell:
There's an apparent banana scent that is paired well with a Belgian yeast character. The smell is mildly obvious and pleasant overall.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Tropical fruit notes and minor banana hints build up the majority of this beer's flavor. It drinks light and crisp which works well with how effervescent the beer is. The beer finishes dry with an exit of fruit punch and leaves you with little aftertaste.

Drinkability:
This beer is damn tasty and pretty low ABV for a Belgian beer. I could easily supplant my american hefeweizen for this beer on any day. One of the more drinkable Belgian beers I've ever had.

Bottom Line:
A beer, that to me, lives up to it's reputation. I think it would have been even better had it aged a little because this bottle was a little on the "green" side. A must for any Belgian fan or somebody looking to get in to Belgian beer.

Grundle20, Nov 28, 2006
Photo of vdubmatt
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle of this poured into a Duvel glass last night at the Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ. If there is one way I can describe this beer, it is very similar to champagne in some aspects. The high carbonation and light body lend themselves to this description. It has a delicate flavor that goes with the light, ultra carbonated mouthfeel. All in all, I really enjoyed this beer. I should mention I am not a huge belgian fan, but I really enjoyed this beer.

vdubmatt, Jan 09, 2008
Photo of BeerNemesis
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orval Trappist Ale. 11.2oz. April 2009 vintage.

Appearance:
Semi-opaque orange/amber color with some light haze. 2.5 finger white head mushrooms up the glass and settles into a spongy, rocky landscape. Medium lacing.

Aroma:
Citrusy, some pine, flower

Taste:
It's smooth, crisp, and generally light. Slight tart-fruity flavor with a touch of lemon rind, and some medicinal phenols. The hop bite is not as intense as one would think, but this worked well in conjunction with other flavors.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability:
Orval surprisingly accomplishes a light body but a full mouthfeel. Very nice. Carbonation is good (slightly reduced when ages which was quite nice). I find Orval very drinkable (I could have 2-3 more happily). and venerable.

Notes:
Orval comes in a unique, vase-like brown bottle. It's unusual, but a pleasing shape nonetheless. Orval also has venerable historic origins -- I mean the monastary dates back to the Merovingian period (1100's).

BeerNemesis, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of cswhitehorse
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Orval poured a hazy dark straw color with a overwhelming 3 finger foam head when poured slow. It has a freshness date of 2006 and a drink by date of 2011. It left some nice lacing.

The aroma was yeasty with some floral smells. Slight smell of bananas and peaches.

The taste was right away spicy and held the way through. It was crisp and clean and had nice bitterness on the finish. Overall a pretty solid beer and will have to try again and not have the bottle shoot up at me like a champagne bottle.

cswhitehorse, May 07, 2008
Photo of BeerAngel
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very pale tea-like color with a massive dense off-white head with alot of carbonation. The smell is outstanding. I rarely get waves of smell from brew, but this one has it. It reveals a sweet fruit, coriander?, clove?, light hops, a musty yeast aroma, and some that I can't even explain. It smells complex and it made me antsy to sample this one. The taste is slightly less exciting than the aroma, but still one solid brew! It starts with the carb bite that slides into a light spicey fruit and yeast that tapers into a dry seltzer like taste. This is a light bodied beer that again has dryness that is in the entire second half of each swallow. A very nice Ale that is definitely unique! Op uw gezonheid!

BeerAngel, Mar 11, 2004
Photo of soulgrowl
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Body ranges from chestnut brown to iced tea orange depending on the light. The head on this thing is really interesting; after I poured it, I set it down and responded to an e-mail. When I looked back at it, the head had expanded to about an inch higher than it was before! Currently, the head is collapsing along the perimeter of the class, leaving this funny little nipple-like mesa in the middle. Very unusual, very cool.

Smell: Oh yum. This smells great, really, truly, great. It has a very toasty malt character with piney hops, mild phenols, alcohol and some zippy yeast. An odor of old homes. Kind of like a kicked-up American red.

Taste: Wow, great malt profile; buscuity, toasty, and nice and nutty. Woodsy hops, tangy yeast, and alcohol add a little spice. Tart apple cider and a flash of sweet cherry flavor comes out as you swallow. Finish has a bit of Scotch whisky-ish alcohol sweetness, followed by a dry, wheaty tang.

Mouthfeel: Nice and creamy, very frothy and chewy, but also kind of abrasive due to the alcohol.

Drinkability: This is quite drinkable, but obviously no session beer. Drink late and drink slowly... it is exceptionally savorable.

soulgrowl, Apr 04, 2006
Photo of Arithmeticus
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured chilled in tulip glass at Pizza Paradiso

A: slightly reddish copper color; huge head; great carb action; good lacing
S: light, spritzy, rather nondescript
T: wild ale, Belgian style; not sweet; yeast, dry, bitter; slightly sour, more of a dubbel than I expected; complex

Overall, a very fine beer

Arithmeticus, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of flannelman808
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This one pours a somewhat hazy amber color and is topped with a billowy bone white head. Pancake batter head which has nice lacing to boot. Fairly large bubbles throughout the foam.

S: This stuff smells so good! Lots going on; Spice, Lemon zest, ginger, grass, and a bit of a sour dried tangerine quality.

T: Tons of complexity and yet easy to drink. I get spice in the back of my palate, and some nice fruity esters in the front. There is some aloe like qualities going on as well. This is a very dry finishing beer. There is a mild hop quality coming through in the dryness as well.. not overbearing but present.

M: prickly and mouthfilling.

D: very easy to drink (but not fast)... the alcohol is completely hidden.

flannelman808, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of aerozeppl
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally got around to reviewing this. Have not had it in a number of years. All the talk of the bret in it made the decision for me.

A: Pours a deep amber color with 3 fingers of fluffy cloud like head. Great lacing.

S There is the bret right up front.A nice musty barnyard note. A little bit of pepper in the back. White pepper. Reminds me of a more subtle version of Avery 15.

T: Starts off with a sharp tart/citrus note. Really nice amount of funk in it. The pepper is there in the taste as well.

m: Has that nice dry wild ale mouthfeel. This beer finishes bone dry. Nice amount of carbonation.

D: I really enjoyed this beer. The price is a factor but it is not insanely overpriced so I will grab one every once in a while. The tartness and funk might bother some but I say the monks did not take it far enough. They have been it for a while now so I will allow it. Great precursor to American Wild Ales.

aerozeppl, Nov 29, 2008
Photo of Reagan1984
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated with "bottled on 12/27/2007"

Other than the color, this really looked like a champagne. The head was a very light and active at first. Really looked like a champagne head, but then started to act differently and showed some structure. The beer is a bright orange amber color and was crystal clear with some nice visible carbonation. Again, appearing in this manner a bit like champagne. Some tiny splotches of lace, but not much.

The aroma was sharp and fruity with a nice amount of earthiness. I smell some pear. You can also detect the yeast.

The flavor helped me continue my champagne these here. Very tart, light and delicate. Light fruits, a decidedly light sour flavor that again reminds me of nice champagne. I get some more pear notes and also tart green apple. The difference is towards the end where some nice hop character comes through. This is where I like the flavor as the distinctive Belgian yeast flavors meld nicely with the hop bitterness. My fridge is set for 46 degrees, so I believe I started drinking this at the proper temp. Having said that, I still enjoyed it as it warmed slightly. It really opened up nicely and you could really get a better sense of the malt flavors.

The mouth feel is very light and effervescent. Dry and crisp at the finish. Definitely a delicate brew and one to be treated as such. One I think I would enjoy in the summer.

I am happy that my taste has matured enough to really enjoy this. Several years ago I would not have enjoyed this as much.

Reagan1984, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of jeffjfindley
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rockin' Ry Cooder & Getz/Gilberto on the playlist. Poured a rusty-colored Orval into my tastin' glass and watched it take it's precious form. Great color, wonderful head, visible carbonation, and a swirling yeasty presence that reminded me of The Fog. Smell is simple, and sweet. A touch of watermelon and fine malt. Taste is conservative compared to some of the more over-the-top offerings found in the motherland, but refined and delicious. Subdued esters and a nice hop presence. Mouthfeel is perfect, leathery and substantial while maintaining is soft side. Leather and lace. I just realized that aside from the formidable price tag that would be involved, this is a session Trappist.

jeffjfindley, May 20, 2007
Photo of Tim2000
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

330 mL brown bottle.

Pours a murky golden orange with a huge white head.

Aroma is tart and full of fruit - raspberries come to mind.

Starts off grainy and earthy, with sour apple notes. A hint of pepper follows and faint phenols are present. Hops are grassy and pull the beer into a dry, slightly astringent finish. Mouthfeel is a bit watery with very high carbonation. I prefer it once it's died down a bit.

Orval definitely stands out from the other Trappist beers with style all its own and a lambic-like character. Highly recommended.

Tim2000, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of bennetj17
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Red-Copper color, huge tan head, excellent retention, semi-hazy.

S: Tart and funky fruit aroma, very lemony/citrusy. Definitely some awesome sweaty goodness.

T: Dry and musty, decently tart with a lingering sharpness on the tongue. Lemon fruit dominates

M: Not heavy in body, the carbnation is strong, almost too foamy on the tongue, but decent.

D: It took me awhile to get used to this beer, but now I can definitely enjoy the tart brett flavor it presents.

bennetj17, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of JayNH
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy amber color with a monster rocky, frothy head.

S- Wonderful! Sweet, slightly tart and acidic. Slightly citric, notes of orange/lemon and spice.

T- A very dry sweetness, a subtle tart acidity, apple and orange peels. Simple but complex at the same time...

M- Very dry, light bodied and lightly carbonated.

D- Excellent, well worth a try.

JayNH, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of dgilks
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy orange colour. White head with large bubbles dissapates quickly to a small island of head. Decent lacing.

S - Brett funk is very evident with a nice underlying fruit note. Possibly cherries and peaches. Very nice.

T - More bitter than most Trappist ales I've had with a subtle hoppiness. Plenty of Brett funk is evident and the peaches and cherries from the nose are evident. It is nice but could be a bit punchier.

M - Rich, slightly more than medium body. Below average carbonation. This is very nice and silky.

D - Very drinkable.

dgilks, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of madvermin
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage: Bottled in May 2010

Pours a crystal clear deep sap orange, with some of the most whipped, pillowy soft looking lacy head I have ever seen. It almost looks like soft-serve, and is definitely just as inviting. Combination of large and tiny bubbles is gorgeous.

From the nose I get just some green apple/citrus to go with a Brett barnyard scent. A bit of spice, perhaps coriander, comes from the Belgian yeast I believe, which adds to the back end of the aroma.

Taste is oh so light, which is not to be confused with bland, as the beer skips from citrus tones to very subtle belgian spice, in this case coriander plus a little bit of something else, something just a bit peppery. From there it goes to the Brett funk, and gives you nothing but that til the end. All flavors are delicate and would be tough to distinguish if this was my 4th or 5th beer of the night, so have this one when your palate is fresh, and you don't have a cold or anything like that. It really is a very dainty and light footed beer. Tartness could be a little better, but that may have interfered with some of the other flavors, so I trust they know what they are doing over there.

Mouthfeel is dominated by the carbonation, which never seems to stop. This lends it a nice creamy texture, but also does get in the way of enjoying each individual taste, as you kind of have to cut through the foam and bubbles the entire time. It is a very pleasantly weighted beer though. Drinkability is good too, as I wouldn't have known the abv was 6.9% if I didn't check the bottle. Finish is funky, which may be off-putting to some, but I enjoyed restarting the cycle of flavors each time. Very relaxing beer - this is the beer you want while relaxing in front of the TV after work.

madvermin, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of SFLpunk
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz brown glass proprietary brown bottle. Bottled 05/08/09. Poured into my Orval chalice.

Appearance: Hazy amber brown with a good amount of chunky sediment and thick creamy khaki head that won't recede. It looks like a cappuccino really: tan head with some dark streaks from the sediment passing through.

Nose: Brett! Woohoo. Apricot and white oak. Tarragon, ginger and the aroma of Campari (or SanBitter).

Palate: Crisp with some acidity and hop bitterness. Flavors of oak, licorice and herbs/botanicals. I've never noticed the similarities between Campari and Orval, but it's super obvious today. Herbs, bitter orange peel, blood orange and botanicals plus wood. As the beer warms, more floral characters come out, like clover honey.

Notes: Never seems to disappoint. A tasty beer. Really want to try the Petite Orval!

SFLpunk, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of trancefishy
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a tarnished amber, large carbonation bubbles, and a giant rocky offwhite head.

smells like bubblegum, cherries, and bread. there is also a wine smell, like what you would smell if you left a red wine bottle open for a few weeks with just a little bit in the bottom, kind of like wine yeast, i guess.

wow, that taste is all about that weird wine flavour. sweet, lingering aftertaste of double-bubble bubblegum. wow, that upfront wacky flavour is really right there. it reminds me of the weird flavour in three floyds gumballhead.

mouthfeel is alright, a bit overcarbonated for my liking, but it does well to reinforce the wine/champagne aspects of this beer.

this beer speaks for itself, if you like this style, you are going to get it, as it's a bit of a classic.

trancefishy, Dec 25, 2004
Photo of mverity
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an orange amber with an inch of perfectly even bubbled light tan head. Good lacing, head has staying power, thick collar at the edges. Aroma is of aged hops, earthy funk, citrus, and some dark cherry. Very effervescent and bubbly on the tongue. High carbonation, light to medium body. Fun to drink. Taste is grassy and earthy in a dry funky kind of way, with some floral and earthy hops.

mverity, Apr 03, 2014
Photo of ehammond1
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2010)

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

(Aged for 2+ years)

Dark orange and amber in color with a huge, incredibly persistent off-white head that eventually leaves messy lines and rings and webs of lacing down the glass. Superb.

Incredibly fresh, pungent, hoppy, and funky aroma, even after 2+ years of aging in my cellar. There's lots of citrus, white fruits like apples and pears, mild funk, earth, hay, and grass. This is what I look for in a Belgian pale.

The flavor is more bitter and funk-forward than I would have imagined after experiencing the aroma. There's still good amounts of white fruit, earthiness, and grass flavors, but the bitterness and funk are dominant. Mind you, I'm not complaining.

Medium bodied with high carbonation.

I wouldn't say "No" to another, that's for sure. This is delightful.

ehammond1, May 29, 2012
Photo of DCon
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 11.2 FL.OZ. Bottle of this @ The Royale in St. Louis, MO for $8. Poured from the oddly shaped bottle w/ a small Purple/Gold label into a 12oz Gold Rimmed Tulip Glass. Has BOTTLED ON 10/02/2011 & BEST BEFORE 10/02/2016 on the front label.

Aroma- A nicely planned aroma including fruity, bready, and funk attributes throughout. Sweet to the nose as well.

DCon, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of CA_Infidel2o9
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2oz to a Tulip
Bottled 6/10/11

A- hazy golden orange, 1 1/2" fluffy long lasting white head

S- apple cider, caramel, citrus, grape, wine, banana, earthy, belgian yeast

T- apple cider, caramrl, tart, spices, pils malts, lingering metallic grapefruit bitterness

M- low to medium body, crisp carbonation

O- a very nice brew. If i had to chose one beer to drink through out the summer. This would be it.

CA_Infidel2o9, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of Labeorphile
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet. Amazing fluffy head with good lacing. A beautiful looking beer.

Citrus and funk in the nose. I am guessing Brett yeast. Interesting smell that is very enticing.

Unfortunately, it doesn't show up much in the flavor. Not much happening. Tastes Belgian, but no refundable character. Lots of carbonation and alcohol.

A good beer. Glad I experienced it, but probably wont buy it again, especially for the price.

Labeorphile, Nov 17, 2013
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,495 ratings.