1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.

4,321 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,321
Reviews: 2,112
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 202
Gots: 390 | FT: 8
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.

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: 4,321 | Reviews: 2,112 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerthulhu
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%

A: Poured a moderate, dark golden-peach color with a huge pillowy white head that was mostly lasting leaving a sticky lacing behind. The body was very hazy with a soft visible carbonation.

S: yeasty, and very fruity (peaches, tangy apricots) with a touch of sour bread.

T: The initial flavor was yeasty with a burst of fresh fruitiness (peaches), & fresh bread, bananas. There was a nice soft, velvety sourness of oranges that coated the tongue. The beer finished with a big sour fruitiness of oranges, apricots and a big breadiness.

M: creamy with some warm oranges and a sour yeasty citrus bite in the swallow.

D: Overall a beautifully crafted trappist with a great yeasty attribute.

beerthulhu, Jun 16, 2008
Photo of tdm168
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

tdm168, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Kelp, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of Viggo
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%

Pours a very cloudy orange/brown, big off white head forms, laces well and the lace refuses to go away. Smell is orange peel, yeast, sweet and sour, spices. Taste is orange, lots of sweet malt, yeast, and a spicy bitter finish. Medium mouthfeel, high rough carbonation, tart sour aftertaste. Good beer although not my favourite trappist, although interesting.

Viggo, Aug 23, 2005
Photo of sendbeer
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

sendbeer, May 20, 2013
Photo of billab914
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

billab914, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%

young (5 month old) bottle served in small glass. {Review revised after tasting on 1 Oct. 2011 -- exactly 1 year later!}

A. clear ample with an ample creamy head. Head is exceptionally long lasting!

M - effervescent; thin & bubbly but not quite watery; nice dry finish.

S - A complex nose that is yeasty, floral, fruity but a tad musty.

T - markedly sour; hoppy; malty

O - a unique and interesting dry-hopped Trappist ale.

chinchill, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of Bighuge
4/5  rDev -4.8%

The first thing I notice about this brew is the high amount of carbonation present. Need to pour this one carefully. The second thing I notice is a very strong aroma. Pretty nice. Somewhat fruity and phenolic. Some leather. And sweet candy. This beer is a chill hazed amber and shows an incredible amount of carbonation in the body of the beer as well. CO2 bubbles rising to the surface faster than I can remember in a beer for a long time. A huge sticky and rocky white head tops this brew. The taste is very forthcoming. Raw leather. Musty attic. Some bubblegum esters. Subdued fruitiness. Earthy, herbal and spicy. And fairly bitter to boot. This may not be my favorite Belgian beer so far, but I do like the character that this one shows. A light bodied beer that doesn't feel as carbonated in the mouth as it looks to be on sight. This is no La Fin du Monde, but it's nice in its own way.

Bighuge, Aug 19, 2002
Photo of DrJay
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%

Appearance: Hazy orange colour topped by a GIGANTIC head of dense, cream-coloured foam. Excellent lacing down the sides of the glass and great head retention.

Smell: Lemony citrus, some pine resin, juniper berries, some earthiness

Taste: Bitterness is prominent right from the start and becomes more piney and resinous at the finish. Citrus acidity is present throughout as well as some well-balanced phenolic spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light body and high carbonation. The texture is very light and smooth -- the beer feels very light on the palate without being watery and thin. Very nice job.

Drinkability: The light body, great complexity, and dry finish all help make this beer highly drinkable. The only thing keeping this from being a good session is the elevated abv.

330mL brown bottle with bottled on and best before dates clearly stamped on the label.

DrJay, Jan 08, 2005
Photo of dmorgan310
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

dmorgan310, Mar 27, 2014
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%

Standard Orval teardrop bottle from the Coop for about $5.50 carefully poured into my New Belgium goblet leaving the yeast sediment behind.

4 finger rocky head that left behind ribbons of thin lace.. brew is slightly hazy orange.

Aroma is complex spicy.. earthy.. some citrus.. perfumy

Flavor is jam-packed.. good bitterness .. very dry finish.. slightly sour with earthy hoppiness abound.. This beer is very complex.. probably too complex for my palate to appreciate.. all I can really say for sure is it is fantastic. Huge carbonation with a light/medium body.

I've had Orval probably 8-10 times over the years and always tell myself I must cellar some... this time I will.. I hope.

JohnGalt1, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of PEIhop
5/5  rDev +19%

PEIhop, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of liamt07
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%

Bottle purchased at the SAQ from a recent journey home through Quebec from Maine. 33cl bottle into my Duvel tulip.

Pours a murky, golden brown with some shades of plum and orange around the edges. Fantastic billowing head, soapy and sudsy with fat chunks of lace and supreme retention. Aroma is sweet, getting some light fruity notes (some plum) and a very, dry vinous feel to it as well. Taste is fairly similar, I'm getting a very dry vinous feel to it (although very, very muted in the vinous sense) with some relatively darker stone fruits (again, plum primarily) and some raisin as well. Still maintains a bit of sweetness amongst the dry nature of this. Slightest hint of alcohol. Mouthfeel is relatively watery, drying. Good drinkability, but not something I'd reach for on a regular basis. A definite sipper. Very muted, simple and subtle in all aspects.

liamt07, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of Tone
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%

Pours a cloudy, maize color. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of tart fruit, yeast, hint of hop, slight sugar, and slight sweet malt. Fits the style of a Belgian Pale Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. The feel is also dry and tart. Tastes of slight sweet malt, slight pale malt, slight hop, slight yeast, hint of alcohol, and slight tartness. Overall, good appearance, aroma, and blend.

Tone, Oct 04, 2012
Photo of glid02
4.2/5  rDev 0%

Got this from Green's in Atlanta.

Pours a cloudy copper color with a large (2-3 finger) frothy white head. The head sticks around for quite a while, very good retention, looks like a cloud. The head moves with the beer, doesn't hold onto the glass very well.

Smells a lot like a Tripel - a lot of fruit along with some sweet malt. There's not the tinge of alcohol though, probably because it's weaker than a normal Tripel.

Tastes great, fruity with a good bit of sweetness. Not quite crisp enough to be considered amazing.

The mouthfeel is pretty good. The carbonation is a bit intense, and otherwise it feels a little too thin.

This is a pretty drinkable beer. There's nothing that makes it hard to drink it, but there's also nothing that makes it outstanding.

I would recommend this beer, just because it's an interesting melding of a Tripel and a Blonde. There are characteristics of both in this beer, and it's certainly worth trying.

glid02, Jul 31, 2008
Photo of rolltide8425
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

rolltide8425, Jul 13, 2012
Photo of ShanePB
4/5  rDev -4.8%

ShanePB, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of beertunes
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%

Bottled on 9/13/07. Poured into Chalice (gotta get a tuilp!). Poured a deep, dark yellow, almost orange. Slightly hazy, this beer is darker than most Pales. A big fluffy head of tight bubbles that dissipated quickly leaving no lacing. A noticeable apple aroma with some spice tones, no apparent yeast scent. The dry, apple flavor follows the aroma without the acidity of cider. The spiciness is reminiscent of apple pie to a small degree. A full, smooth, balanced body. Very drinkable, I could have several of these in row with no trouble. A wonderful beer that is slightly different than most of the style.

beertunes, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of Derek
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%

I've been saving this for almost a year.

Bottled on 12.08.2004
Best before 12.08.2009

A: Caramel in colour, with tons of fluffy, slightly off-white head! Lots of retention and incredible lacing! (Enough to make some stouts jealous)! Exceptional. Perfect.

S: Some nice bready malt and caramelized sugar, along with a little solvent-like aroma of fresh hops. Only a hint of fruit (appricot?).

T: The balance is slightly bitter, but it's crisp, and not at all harsh. There's a little chewy, bready malt. Hints of fruit, a little citrousy, smooth hop flavour, with a crisp, slightly tart aftertaste (with that horse/leather quality). The alcohol is very subdued, not assertive at all. Brilliantly unique.

M: Light to moderate body, moderately high carbonation.

D: Awesome. Nothing is overwhelming, so it's easily approachable, but there's enough complexity to keep the taste buds amused. Very digestible (in the Belgian tradition).
March 8, 2006: I've just had an Aug 29, 2005 bottle and subsequently increased the taste from a 4.5 to a 5.

Derek, Dec 14, 2005
Photo of harpus
4/5  rDev -4.8%

harpus, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.61/5  rDev +9.8%

Poured from a bottle into a chalice, the beer is a muddled, hazy, amber-brown coloring with a tall, dense, chunky, off-white head that coats the glass and has a very decent retention. Aromas of coriander, all spice, plum, banana, cotton candy, and a bready backbone. More and more aromas come off as the beer warms. Flavors are spice forward, with a great blend of nutmeg, coriander, all spice, and hints of clove, with an old world fruit backbone both rich and sweet. Smooth, light body with a slight effervescence that keeps the sweet and rich flavors blended and drinkable. The aftertaste is a sugary sweet undertone with the spice blend still holding court overall. Lingering finish, with spices left dancing on your taste buds, waiting for another sip. This beer is a classic!

GarthDanielson, Sep 17, 2013
Photo of Gusler
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%

The beer pours a magnificent hazy deep orange, the head monstrous in size, creamy in its consistency and as it evanesces, leaves behind a satiny sheet of fine lace. The aroma of ripe bananas, yeast, sweet brown sugar with the malt underpinning it all makes this a real sniffers delight. Start malt and lightly sweet, the top slim in feel on the palate, biting in its acidity, the hops perky in their spicy bite, the aftertaste quite dry and long lasting. A real treat in all aspects and I prefer it to “Duvel”, and many other Belgians for that fact.

Gusler, Jan 27, 2003
Photo of johnnnniee
3.99/5  rDev -5%

I've passed over this peculiar looking bottle for years now, I guess today will be the day to try it.
Pours into the glass a lightly hazy deep golden color with a frothy meringue head that persists forever. The label is correct about the fruitiness I get that in spades as soon as I pop the cap off the top of the bottle. Pepper, spice, yeast, and a bit of golden syrup round out the nose. The flavor is sugary sweet with a lot of orange and sweet dark fruits along with some pepper, a hint of hop and a touch of alcohol. Medium to thin body with a spirited level of carbonation and a bubbly sweet mouthfeel. This is a really nice beer that's easy to drink, I can't believe it took so many years to try this.

johnnnniee, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

iL0VEbeer, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of tobelerone
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%

2 year old bottle still has plenty of carbonation. Huge fluffy slowly settling head on a hazy orange colored body; a few floaties here and there; lovely curtains of creamy lace.

Great aromas of pepper, citrus, yeast. Delicious flavor with Brett funk at appealing but not overpowering levels; peppery notes and the lemony flavors are in there too. Really well rounded and appealing. Slightly bitter.

Clean finish, crisp and refreshing. Flavors are really sharply defined and just excellent. I'd prefer this over the many saisons and other brett beers on the scene today. Does the trick in terms of taste and refreshment. A classic for a reason!

tobelerone, Oct 08, 2011
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,321 ratings.