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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

4,249 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,249
Reviews: 2,104
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 195
Gots: 358 | FT: 9
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
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Ratings: 4,249 | Reviews: 2,104 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bobhits
bobhits

Kentucky

2.58/5  rDev -38.6%

Poured in a La Trappe glass. A HUGE massive over the top head forms this is amazing and the body that comes with the head, pretty darn impressive. The body does remind one of a thick unfiltered IPA though on the golden side.

The aromas brings out sour notes, cider, apples, maybe pears?, and some lemon notes. Very dry and there isn't much sugar in this one and with that there isn't a lot of sour. It's very subtle.

Complex? Definitely. It reminds me of a cider with brett sour notes. The problem is it isn't good. Those flavors are ok but they could use more brett or more sugar from malts. There's some herbal bitterness perhaps from hops. It's subtle. There's a lingering sour/hop blended finish the lasts a while. I'm just not liking this beer.

Given it is a sour I didn't expect much body and there isn't much. The head was amazing but the carbonation in the body was below average for a beer...somewhat expected for the style.

Look, I know this one has a huge amount of lovers. Maybe this bottle is between ideal age? About 10 months old maybe another year makes it more sour or a bit fresher it is a bit more something? I don't know. Either way there's nothing really wrong. I have no idea what style you'd call this, it isn't a belgian pale ale as I've come to know them. So I'm not sure how to really judge it....a sour but not sour pale ale? Sorry I'll pass.

06-19-2013 00:58:30 | More by bobhits
Photo of mshanecrowe
mshanecrowe

Mississippi

2.6/5  rDev -38.1%

08-18-2014 22:09:46 | More by mshanecrowe
Photo of bowersdm
bowersdm

Ohio

2.6/5  rDev -38.1%

I reviewed this a while ago and I decided to revisit tonight. My first review gave this beer a 'C'.

33cL bottle poured into my St. Bernardus goblet;

A - cloudy amber almost brown color. Because of the extreme carbonation, it took about five minutes to get this beer into the glass. There was a stiff 2.5cm tall off-white head that disintegrated into pillowy lumps that looked like a scale model of a group of sand dunes

S - yeast, spice, cherries, apples, oranges, lemons, and grass. There was also a funkiness going on too. I can't figure out what it is.

T - spicy fruitiness, a slight funky taste that, though it was slight, make the beer not that great because it's really about the only thing going on. There was also some spicy/citrusy hops at the end.

M - way, way too much carbonation.

D - I still do not enjoy the taste of this beer.

01-17-2009 08:32:09 | More by bowersdm
Photo of dvb
dvb

Washington

2.6/5  rDev -38.1%

A - A nice light amber. Abundant white head that dies quickly.

S - Banana. Very pleasant and enticing.

T - The attack is nice, but gives way almost immediately to a unpleasant soapy bitterness from heavy hopping that is not typical of the style.

M - There is mouth-puckering astringency present that is way too prominent to be ignored.

O - Uncharacteristic bitterness and solvent-like mouthfeel made Orval a bad experience for me. I would try it again, but only because I wonder if I somehow got a bad bottle.

05-05-2011 04:04:59 | More by dvb
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

2.6/5  rDev -38.1%

Nice bottle.
Pours a cloudy reddish-orange with a smallish creamy head.
Smell is malt, green apple, oak, hops & yeast.
Taste is hops, hops, hops and malt. Not at all what I expected.
Mouthfeel: high carbonation, a bit rougher/hoppier than expected although I was forewarned about that. A very dry finish, by far the driest of any ale I've ever had, drier than almost any lager for that matter..
Drinkability: Not your typical trappist ale, too much like an IPA for my tastes.

06-29-2005 02:12:23 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of TrickKnee
TrickKnee

Connecticut

2.63/5  rDev -37.4%

After hearing nothing but raves about the orval I decided to give it a go. I heard so many suggest ways to drink i.e. 50 degrees in a glass to bring out the flavors and many others. All i can say is that I was extremely unimpressed for the hype. The head looked almost like that froth that churns up on the sea shore and just stuck to the glass. Taste was not overly great either. For $5 a beer i would say spend a couple extra bucks and get a decent 6 pack, you will be much happier.

03-29-2006 17:45:01 | More by TrickKnee
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

2.65/5  rDev -36.9%

Stunned at the love this beer receives. It's a jack of all trades, master of none.

Pours a ginger ale looking light brown. Huge carbonation issues. Just crazy frothing. Why does it take 5 minutes to pour an 11 oz. bottle?

Smells medicinally, soapy, of grass hops, and faintly of spices. Taste is a muddled mess. I actually like the slightly sour taste and lemony bite, but it doesn't meld well with the bit of horse blanket, fresh hay/grass hops, and medicinal herbiness.

Just really strange. It's almost like they took two decent beers and blended them, with bad results.

The carbonation did result in a very nice mouthfeel, once it settled down.

02-11-2009 06:49:22 | More by Overlord
Photo of Higravity
Higravity

Michigan

2.68/5  rDev -36.2%

I got a bottle that was 3 years old and I must say not held in the best conditions. I poured beautifully amber golden with a large puff of a head that became chunky a left the best lace I have ever seen. It smelled of sweet and spicey flavor be it hops or corn syrup and yeast I think a mix of all three. It is a little citrusy and horsey but pretty bland dashed with spice. Awful thin too. I will have to find some fresher stock and re-review later.

12-17-2004 15:04:50 | More by Higravity
Photo of Osiris9588
Osiris9588

Ohio

2.7/5  rDev -35.7%

This is my first reveiw of an Orval Trappist Ale, but the second bottle I have tried. I disliked the first bottle so much that I figured the bottle had been mishandled, subject to improper conditions. I also think I drank it too cold.

I made sure that this second bottle was down to a proper temperature, but I found it as equally unpleasant--though I did purchase it from the same shop. Also, the beer did progressively improve somewhat from the fist sip to the last. My palate needed to be conditioned to it.

I don't think that it is a completely horrible beer, much of my dislike has to do with personal preference. Both the bottles I have drunk have been capped, 11.2 bottles. The color is a murky amber with traces of sediment. There is ample carbonation, with a torrent of bubbles racing to the surface. The head is thick, leaving considerable, big-bubbled lacing.

The aroma offers strong citrus and yeast, a formidable floral quality, and a hint of cinnamon. The taste offers plenty of citrus and spice, strong yeast and hoppy bitterness. The characteristic that ruins this ale for me is the phenolic aspect--it is so intense and overbearing. A glass full of dirty band-aids. That sums it up. The mouthfeel is crisp and bright, and the drinkability would be fine, except for the extremly unbalanced, phenolic finish, and resulting aftertaste.

A glass full of dirty band-aids. And I love Trappist ales, but not this one. My tongue feels as if I've been been eating pennies all day, and then maybe licked a dead bloated otter.

Maybe the poor quality has something to do in the way the shop handled this particular shipment--but lightning has stuck twice.

08-31-2006 20:14:28 | More by Osiris9588
Photo of beerceller99
beerceller99

Louisiana

2.7/5  rDev -35.7%

33 cl. with a 5- 14- 2003 bottled on date.

Amber colored with a white head that fades quickly to a sheen. Has a strong witch hazel oil smell with a whiff of mild spices and orange peel. A thin to medium body carries a rather bland grain and yeast flavor with a strong, and very off setting medicinal taste. Finishes with a mildly bitter orange peel taste.

For five bucks a bottle there are far better trappist brews.

09-30-2004 05:07:57 | More by beerceller99
Photo of slk22
slk22

Maryland

2.73/5  rDev -35%

Appearance is a golden/amber similar to honey. Cloudy with a huge off-white head that seems to last forever. Aroma is very mild malt with some sweetness, much less complex than I expected. Taste was also very mild, mainly corn, having no aftertaste. Mouthfeel is very smooth with a light body and high carbonation, not unlike seltzer water. This is an easy beer to drink, but not very arousing in my opinion. Not sure if I just got a bad bottle as I expected a lot more from this offering.

04-22-2009 02:30:13 | More by slk22
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

2.73/5  rDev -35%

This beer pours a cloudy orange color with a tall head that dies off fast and leaves very little lacing on the glass. The aroma is odd - maybe some fruits in the back and a bready aroma, but I don't like this much. The flavor was quite odd too. Not to my liking. Some fruit is there, but it is very dry and the taste isn't something for me. I feel bad giving a Belgian a bad rating because it's my favorite style, but this one just doesn't do it for me.

11-15-2004 18:53:49 | More by clvand0
Photo of MuddyFeet
MuddyFeet

North Carolina

2.73/5  rDev -35%

Another beer that does not live up to the hype. Poured a pale copper. The head was thick and faomy, but oddly unappealling to me. Incredibly sticky and stubborn lace. there was nothing distinctive either positive or negative about the aroma. The malts were very mild, and the other flavor rearing its head was dried apples that came across as sour "cider." On the positive side, the overall mouthfeel was crisp. Overall, I was not very interested in this beer and found it kind of a turnoff.

04-03-2005 02:37:36 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

2.75/5  rDev -34.5%

Appearance – Very deep, cloudy, orange body with a tinge of brown underneath a beautiful, volcanic head that went down slowly and laced the glass. Yep, it’s a BSPA.

Smell – Classic, spicy, BSPA aroma. This one has a nice light malt base filled with clove, coriander, pepper, paprika, and maybe even a little cinnamon. The fruits seem more on the sour side, though, which would be off-style.

Taste – This has a deep, rich flavor, but again it’s heavy on the lemons. Anyway, that said, this is actually dry from the hop balance. The spices are heavy on the tongue as well.

Mouthfeel – Full carbonation and a sour profile makes this medium-bodied BSPA a real sipper.

Drinkability – I was disappointed by this offering. I felt it was off style and lacked the fruity character that I’ve come to enjoy from strong Belgian ales.

Comments – Sorry, not my idea of the style. Pop a Pranqster or La Fin Du Monde to see what I prefer. Or, better yet, read TheLongBeachBum’s review of the Avec Les Bons Voeux.

09-17-2003 01:26:03 | More by RoyalT
Photo of Tjvan2
Tjvan2

Iowa

2.75/5  rDev -34.5%

05-24-2013 12:31:30 | More by Tjvan2
Photo of blkcld
blkcld

New Jersey

2.75/5  rDev -34.5%

06-04-2013 04:22:53 | More by blkcld
Photo of Gaddabble
Gaddabble

Ohio

2.75/5  rDev -34.5%

04-13-2014 17:53:38 | More by Gaddabble
Photo of DerBayer
DerBayer

Germany

2.75/5  rDev -34.5%

This beer pours a murky amber with a chestnut tinge and frothy white head. I like cloudy beers but this is not one of my favourites. The smell is fresh and fruity with a sour grapey touch and some bitter hops - very pleasant

The taste however falls way short of my expectations. It is grainy bitter and sour and only the smooth mouthfeel can save it a bit.

10-31-2009 17:29:49 | More by DerBayer
Photo of mquartuccio87
mquartuccio87

New York

2.75/5  rDev -34.5%

10-03-2013 01:56:36 | More by mquartuccio87
Photo of TastyAdventure
TastyAdventure

Kentucky

2.75/5  rDev -34.5%

07-02-2014 23:57:05 | More by TastyAdventure
Photo of PEBKAC
PEBKAC

New York

2.78/5  rDev -33.8%

Orval Appreciation Day.

Ommegang anniversary glass. Bottled on 20/02/2008. Hiding in the basement since late September.

Glass fills with suds on my first attempt. Stiff, cream peaks, orange amber body. Successfully decanted. Patchy lace.

Smell is first off, intense bitter melon rind & grapefruit zest. Then, soured sauvignon blanc & straw. Touch of sulfur. Lemon/lime acidity. Peppery yeast.

Carbonation is light, almost microbeaded.

Taste is grassy & just barely soured. Very dry & mild, acidic hops upfront. Medicinal, plastic-y, & lacking the ripe fruit flavors I get in fresh or exceedingly old bottles. Just a lot of acid. Alcohol is too big. Saltine, cottonmouth finish.

This one took a bad turn. Usually one of my favorites. Destined to be reviewed again.

04-03-2009 04:40:17 | More by PEBKAC
Photo of Beercub
Beercub

Massachusetts

2.78/5  rDev -33.8%

The richness, color, lacing, mouthfeel, was what I'd expect from a belgian trappist... i also noticed the nice sweetness and spicy/raisiny flavors. But there was a flavor in there that absolutely did not agree with me. The closes I can come to describing it is a combination of tar and burnt plastic. I guess it's possible that I got a bad bottle, but if this is what this beer is supposed to taste like, it is an acquired taste that I shall not pursue. This was a huge surprise to me as St. Bernardus ABT 12 is probably my favorite beer in the world.

10-11-2007 18:21:33 | More by Beercub
Photo of perrymarcus
perrymarcus

Massachusetts

2.8/5  rDev -33.3%

11.2oz bottle served in a tulip.
bottled 01/06/2010 (best before 01/06/2015)

pours a cloudy dark amber tone while yielding a massive 3"+ of foamy, off-white head that quickly recedes into a collar around the glass.

nose is of average strength and lead by fruit (apples or maybe pear, some citrus), belgian yeast, and a touch of spice. there's also a little funk, the suggestion that there's some tartness to it.

to me, the flavor disappoints. elements of the nose are present - the fruit, yeast, and some pepper, maybe coriander, but i get a strong astringency to it.

medium-light bodied mouthfeel with very high carbonation.

overall this is my least favorite offering of the trappists to date. surprising, as i had high hopes for this classic. not drainpour territory, and i can see where some would enjoy it, but alas it's just not for me.

06-13-2011 03:22:26 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of DaveUK
DaveUK

United Kingdom (England)

2.83/5  rDev -32.6%

Appearance - Cloudy, brown-orange with a large frothy head that persisted all the way down the glass.

Aroma - Sweet fruit, spicy hops and a hint of yeast soon after pouring.

Taste - Tart, bitter fruit with a citrusy flavour. Alcohol and light malt present in the long bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium and persistant. Almost unpleasant acidic bite perhaps due to a high level of carbonation.

Drinkability - Powerful bitter taste and potent, unconcealed alcohol make this a beer for sipping at the best of times.

Not one I would be consuming regularly, however I would give it another shot, if only to see if the bottle I had was off/skunked in some way.

08-17-2007 14:06:54 | More by DaveUK
Photo of Graham21
Graham21

Iowa

2.83/5  rDev -32.6%

The appearance was bad but I did not have a good glass at the time... The color is a lite amber(orangish brown) and the head was very high and dissipated to a nice lacing shortly. The smell is flowery with a hint of cinnamon and citrus. Fumes of alcohol can be noticed as well. Tastes of lemon, spices, alcohol, a little malty. lacking in taste. mouth feel is descent and the carbonation is very good. drinkablitly is alright, this beer would be easy to drink because of no real flavors presented either good nor bad. Not one of my favorite Trappists, thats for sure.

03-07-2006 04:00:41 | More by Graham21
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,249 ratings.