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

Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,890 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3890
Reviews: 2078
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.62%

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A. visit their website

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.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 09-18-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,890 | Reviews: 2,078 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of KDawg


4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this from draft and in a chalice type glass. Had a good head to it along with a really good dark orange color

nicely aromatic with tones of oranges, pears, some malts, and a slight touch of citrus hops. very well balanced and aromatic

the aromas are backed up by a real smooth and delicious medium/full body. good depth on the flavors as well with the flavors mostly being more oranges and bits of citrus hops+malts

its been a while since I've had an orval. This reminded me quickly that my next one should be a lot sooner

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2011 22:56:34 | More by KDawg
Photo of GPHarris


4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a four-fingers thick dense and billowy white head into a tulip glass. the body was a bright and bubbly amber.
s - fruity with a light citrus aroma with hints of flowers.
t - bread, yeast, a slight dirty funkiness.
m - medium and slick.
d - great sipper and a classic BPA.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2010 01:23:18 | More by GPHarris
Photo of elNopalero


5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle dated 8/18/2011, enjoyed 1/19/2013

Split this bottle. The beer itself pours a cloudy hazy orange-tan. One glass had impressive foaming and long head retention, while the other glass had only a thin tight layer of bubbles. (I have both a rinse with cold water prior to pouring.)

The aroma has an earthy, lemony character to it. There’s a light funk which emerges, like wet hay, along with some tangerine peel and something that reminds me of a good sweat from a tough workout.

The flavor is earthy with a mild spice that runs into a funky finish. It’s peppery and earthy with a long, long finish. I found layers of flavor—wet hay, tangerine and orange preserves, leather, and tobacco—that just are a delight to enjoy. Great effervescent, fantastic body. I love how this beer changes over time.

Dated 10/02/2011 but purchased before then. Does it mean February 10, 2011?

First time drinking this iconic beer. This is a moment for the record books! Or, at the least, Beer Advocate.

Poured into a tulip. It’s cloudy, sandy-colored, with a big layer of foam sitting atop. I smell coriander, orange peel, apricot must on the edges. Just a wonderful, wonderfully complex aroma.

First sip is an eye opener. Sharp, concentrated flavor with a dry finish that goes for a victory lap on the palate. Lots of yeasty esters and an effervescence that coats your mouth. There’s some slight sour and funky notes that hang around and become more pronounced as the beer warms. Incredibly complex. I see why this beer has such a reputation and aura around it.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2014 18:26:22 | More by elNopalero
Photo of gueuzedreg


4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Review #200 for me; I figure do this timeless brew

A- Amber colored, tons of head; and I don't think I did a crappy pour; but I will be very very happy to drink this brew as soon as it settles down. Large lacing, ivory in color.

S- Belgian funk, yeast, malt and then the belgian fruits profile. Very nice proportions of everything. World class brew.

T- Such a spectacular blend of belgian dark fruits, brett and malt backbone; very light on its own right.

M- More carb than I would want, but who am I to say this Orval has any imperfections. Nice numbing on the tip of the tongue.

O- Fantastic brew. I have been looking forward to drinking this for a loooong time! I will buy more if/when I see it!

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2014 00:33:02 | More by gueuzedreg
Photo of itsscience


4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orval is a beer that, more than any other I know, varies from bottle to bottle. Despite this, it remains a favorite and has never let me down. This review covers a beer bottled on 7 Feb 2013 and consumed more than a year later in Apr 2014.

Forceful carbonation almost popped the cap off when I went to open it. It pours murky orange with a huge four-finger head of white foam and there's still carbonation streaming up the glass. The nose is bready, tangy, and full of brett yeast, bringing barnyard funk and a woodsy characteristic. It smells unlike any other Trappist ale I know of, coming across like a high-quality sour. In past tastings I got a lot of spice from the yeast, but I get none of that here. There's a slight sourness and a seriously oaky, earthy quality with more of that barnyard flavor. It finishes dry and vinous, like a white wine. The body on it is pretty light.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 06:25:09 | More by itsscience
Photo of facundoCNB

New Jersey

4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Review of a 1 year old bottle.
Appears much foamier than I recall, a dark golden color with 3 fingers of foamy off white head.
Smells of Brett?? I definitely didn't pick up on this when it was fresh. A bit vinous, oaky, funky.. With lots of malt in the background. The flavor is on par, the Brett is subtle at first but once your palate picks up on the oaky barrel flavor, the barnyard door opens wide!
Medium in body with high carbonation.
This is fantastic aged, but I was bit impressed with it fresh... I honestly had written it off as a standard Belgian ale.. Don't make the same mistake.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 16:11:25 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of JMScowcroft


4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Brasserie d'Orval S.A. - Orval Trappist Ale, poured into a Lawson's tulip.

Look - Pours a cloudy straw amber with a frisky foamy head that hangs around. Tons of sticky lacing.

Smell - Some woody sour brett funk. Pears, white grape, apples, banana, clove, etc.

Taste - Nice sour brett pucker with malt coming in strong behind and fruity, picking up light banana and moderate clove at first, others as it warms.

Mouthfeel - Light-medium bodied with zesty carb. If I had to fault one thing it would be a tad overcarbed, but I didn't mind. Slight malt warmth is pleasant. Great drinkability.

Overall - Terrific brew, a real masterpiece. This certainly earns its ranking as the yardstick by which all Trappist Ales are measured. Brett bottle conditioning, an excellent idea.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 14:16:23 | More by JMScowcroft
Photo of dcmchew


4.96/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Been meaning to review this one properly.
Hazy golden pour (light copper tinges) in my Westy glass, one - two fingers bubbly head. The thin lacing later on is extremely sticky, leaving blankets of foam on the side of the glass, popping away to random smaller traces.
The smell is really unique, as i remember it, with sweet apricots, acidic apples and pears, strawberries, low citrus, honey, lots of flowers and a nice green saison-like funk. You could just smell this for hours.
Really complex taste. It doesn't start off with the fruitiness as expected, but with the barnyard funk and the herbs, the candi sugar (just mildly sweet, mind you) and prickly peppercorn. Fruitiness follows, crisp and acidic, with clear green apple (with a tiny bit of tartness) and yellow pears, mixed up with some grains. The green funk never leaves the palate, all till the (rather) bitter finish.
A bit too much carbonation, especially considering the crispness of the beer. Refreshing, yes. Alcohol is very subtle, aftertaste consists of, you guessed it, funk.
No wonder i rated this 5 at first, it's absolutely amazing. Minus the bit of extra carbonation, but still up to its renown.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 15:20:54 | More by dcmchew
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2014 03:00:55 | More by mverity
Photo of polloenfuego

Ontario (Canada)

3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 330 ml bottle to a tulip.

A: a nice amber with some cloudiness and lots of effervescence present. There is a huge frothy head tthat won't quit. Even as the beer volume goes down the head sticks around.

S: funky yeasts and tart fruit such as crab apple perhaps or cherry.

T: funk, fruit pits, hops and a touch of yeast.

M: there is very high carbonation and a dry finish on this beer. Very light on the feel.

O: this is my third time having Orval and I have yet to truly enjoy it to the level that I have other trappist beers. That isn't to say it is bad, far from it, but rather it is so different from what one might expect from a trappist beer. This bottle had a year of age on it, I would like to wait and try the next in another year.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 21:49:06 | More by polloenfuego
Photo of Abra


3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My first official authentic Trappist beer.

Pours a beautiful hazy amber color with a MASSIVE frothy, lacy head...my glass of choice could have benefited from a few extra inches at least!
Very high carbonation...there is a constant steady stream of bubbles running up the center.

Aroma is very yeasty, with subtle spice and apricot/sugary fruity undertones...I actually can't stop smelling it-so wonderfully complex and interesting.

Taste unfortunately doesn't expand on the aroma. It's clean, crisp with almost a hint of sour...not unpleasant at all. It befits a Belgian Pale Ale perfectly.

I am very glad I tried it.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2014 21:04:05 | More by Abra
Photo of Zetcha7x


3.41/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

single purchased at Wegman's in Mechanicsburg, PA for $9.00 I believe, consumed on 3/14/14

A-hazy amber/brownish with a massive off white head and a ton of lacing.

S-yeast, dark fruits, some banana, floral notes, alcohol. Definitely pick up the "funk" that others mentioned.

T-very complex. there is a lot going on here. earthly taste, some sour, spice, more bitterness comes out as it warms.

M-strong carbonation, creamy, light-medium bodied

O- probably my least favorite Trappist to this point. a beer that tastes better as it warms, and very different from other Belgian ales. however, very expensive so I'm not sure I will have too many more of these.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 00:16:05 | More by Zetcha7x
Photo of msquared36


4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Light copper with a little haze. Thick, billowing foam, slightly off white head.

Aroma is yeasty with a bit of barnyard funk.

Funk is very upfront in the first few sips. Becomes more crisp as it warms and settles. By the end there are lemony citrus hints.

Lively carbonation. Mouthfeel is a little thin in comparison to the strong flavor.

I really like the complexity in the taste of this beer. Taste is unique but still recognizable.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2014 20:24:12 | More by msquared36
Photo of dacrza1

New Jersey

4.81/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

DATE TASTED: February 21, 2014... GLASSWARE: Chimay 125th Anniversary chalice... OCCASION: prepping for Will's 7th birthday party... APPEARANCE: dark cumulonimbus, Everest-like white climbing head--three-fingers edge out of the glass; medium amber body; hazy lacing continues throughout the drinking experience... AROMA: bright, sugary yeast wafts with slightly pungent, earthy grass and raison; grapefruit and pear are present...PALATE: light to medium-bodied; easily drinkable and lengthy aftertaste--one that is desirable...TASTE: sweet candied sweet hops pucker the mouth; pear and apple make for a perfumed blend, supported by a surprisingly hearty malt base--balanced and pleasing... OVERALL: alcohol adequately masked,, this Trappist deftly hits the bliss point---malty/hoppy/yeasty/fruity in equal turns; only regret is waiting nearly a decade to revisit and review the "pearl in the fish" labeled brew...

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 16:25:53 | More by dacrza1
Photo of Dave1999

North Carolina

4.29/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 04:02:25 | More by Dave1999
Photo of kilo_005


4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into standard Orval glass.

A) tan in color. Light head.
S) this beer has a wonderful aroma of sour fruit, like a tart cherry. This is the best aspect of the beer.
T) mild sour/funk upfront dissapating to a pleasant lingering bitterness. This is what makes Orval unique among traditional Belgians.
M) Strong carbonation feeling that is heightened by the upfront sourness.
O) obviously a legendary Belgian beer. Unless you dislike the bitterness for some reason, you will most likely enjoy this.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2014 23:07:47 | More by kilo_005
Photo of JuicesFlowing


3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a balloon glass.

Look: Hazy, murky faded amber orange. Fluffy light cream colored head that hardly recedes. Random blobs of foamy lacing.

Aroma: Faint banana, musty cardboard, and a trace of bubblegum.

Taste: Really strong carbonation overpowers everything. Gassy. Some bubblegum sweetness, very slight florals and banana.

Mouthfeel: Really carbonated, harsh.

Overall: I'm going to assume this isn't normal. The beer tasted wrong from the start, and too metallic and carbonated.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 23:35:16 | More by JuicesFlowing
Photo of PeterParker

New Jersey

2.85/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Drinking this fresh, only a week old. Bottle erupted upon opening.

Pours deep golden brown, maybe a dark amber/copper color. Big white head with large bubbles and lots of lacing.

Banana, yeast, dark dried fruits, plums, very sweet. Not much by way of bready malt however. Bit of orange perhaps.

Mild, at first overwrought with bubbles, a little sourness. Sourness would be nice if it wasn't so lonely. Followed by some yeast, but not a lot. Very mild and mellow. Sourness is not big but it lingers.

High carbonation, feels like a shaken bottle of soda.

Pedestrian in my opinion. It doesn't really have the Belgian characteristics like malt that I'm used to. I think I'll stick to Dark's and Quad's. Maybe it's the low ABV but this one was lacking to me.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2014 19:42:39 | More by PeterParker
Photo of Stevedore


4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2ml bottle, bottled on 2/29/2012, poured into a wine glass today, 2/12/2014. Almost 2 years old at this point.

App- Hazy dark orange-brown body, nice 2 finger tan head with fantastic retention, leaves a thick tan collar that doesn't go away. Nice sticky lacing that's part of the collar as it goes down.

Smell- Orange peel, faint green apple tartness, a bit vinous on the white side of the spectrum, a bit of bread and honey. Complex.

Flavour- Less complex- quite bready and dry with a bit of the white vinous backend. Some oak on the finish though I don't know if this is made with any oak. Not as much of the citrus peel or the apple tartness to be honest, which would have added a lot more to this beer.

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, well carbonated, very dry. Which makes sense as the Brett has had two years to work its magic. Aftertaste of a dry oaky white vinous flavour.

Overall- Interesting trappist ale that showcases the effects of Brettanomyces quite well. Dry, a bit funky and bready. Nice one to sip on both a cold winter night or a warm summer evening.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 04:50:37 | More by Stevedore
Photo of Act25

New Jersey

4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Retried this in tulip at cellar temp at home. Thrilling. I have to have one of these a month.
Upped my review. Out of heavy glass vase like bottle, mine stamped 7-2012 so 2.5 years old.

O: Get ready for a wild, subtle, flowery experience....

A: Pours massive unstoppable head, on top of a very hazy apricot body. The head becomes the tallest set of floating rocks and leaves lots of lacing that make it look tough to wash the glass. One of the best looking beers ever. In a tulip, a .5 l glass and in a Leffe Chalice.

Smell: Strong flower shop plus citrus nose; smells like a box of oranges sitting in a wet barn full of hay with jasmine and lavender flowers growing outside. And a beautiful woman lifting her skirt as she crosses a fresh stream while chewing violet gum.

Taste: Complex. Starts with hops, and bitter fizz, and runs a long arc of flowers, grass, wet hay, barnyard, citrus flavors then a long, long, long dry finish, like good wine. Great with Cheese as Jason wrote. (Tonight French Comte) (cheese almost a must, in another case Irish cheddar with fresh baked bread, and another late harvest garden tomato with balsamic). Ultimate fine and creamy cheese beer pairing.

Mouthfeel: Interesting twist. A wee heavy, and long finish with dry bitterness. WIne-like, long long finish. I like it like I'd like a Jayer Cote de Nuit.

Drinkability: This is a great Trappist beer. I think it just rose above Chimay for me. Shimmy over Chimay, make room for Orval... You must try it. It's not for everyone. But it must have a following because it's been crafted since 1100.

Belgian fans must.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 02:44:53 | More by Act25
Photo of Chessmaster


4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Pours a golden, orange-brown with 1-2 inches of dense white head that slowly dissipates to about 1/4 inch that lingers and lingers. Nice lacing

S: Light, floral

T: Floral bitterness, finishing with a touch of fresh hop notes. Refreshing, somewhat complex.

M: Pleasant

O: A nice beer although I like Chimay or Westmalle better.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2014 17:07:41 | More by Chessmaster
Photo of BastardFromABasket


4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Prohibition Pig tulip. A deep golden ale that leaves a big bubbly head that fades after a minute or two. No lacing. Smell is earthy and funky. Tastes of pepper, blue cheese. It's dry and bitter like citrus rind with a bit of brett funkiness. Light, effervescent mouthfeel. Overall very nice.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 02:52:32 | More by BastardFromABasket
Photo of BillBabbitt


2.41/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I enjoy Belgian ales, but I was very disappointed with Orval. It was overly carbonated. I was only able to get about 3 oz of beer in a 16 oz tulip glass, due to the heavy foam. Once I was able to try the Orval, I found it to have a very unusual industrial aroma. I did not finish the beer. The 'brewed on' date indicated that this bottle was nearly 13 months old, so it is possible it had turned.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 23:08:54 | More by BillBabbitt
Photo of ONovoMexicano

New Mexico

4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Popped the top off the bottle and was greeted by a lot of carbonation.

This resulted in a ton of head on the pour, meaning I had to set the beer aside for a while to let the head reside. It was persistent as hell, foamy and full of big carbonation bubbles. The liquid was a cloudy copper with visible carbonation. Not bad, but seemed to be a bit overcarbed.

It's fruity, earthy and yeasty on the nose, like a saison. Some hint of citrus and even some pepper. It smells summery and light.

It's lighter than I expected, body-wise and of course has a carbonated feel. I continue to get citrusy notes on the palate, some dark fruit notes, earthiness, and pepper. There's something floral about the beer as well. I appreciate that the yeast isn't overbearing in taste or on the tongue.

Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 04:21:50 | More by ONovoMexicano
Photo of brureview


4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of most unusual Belgians I have tasted. The beer was brewed in January '13.

Poured in an Orval Trappist glass: a beautiful light tea color with bubbling from the bottom of the glass.

Aroma: At first, unusual clove, and light fruit, which is stronger with warming. The clove is different than any other Belgian beer I have tasted.

The mouth feel is very carbonated and works well with the style. The beer is unusually dry.

The taste develops with warming. At first clove and then stronger fruit. Barnyard funk begins to come into the taste with warming. Reminiscent of a Saison Brett funk.

The finish is peppery and bitter. The consistency is champagne-like. This beer drinks like a champagne.

Overall- unique. No other Belgian tastes like this. It's a sipper for a 6.9ABV. Warming brings out different aroma/taste qualities.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 03:14:07 | More by brureview
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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 3,890 ratings.