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

Not Rated.
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,835 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,835
Reviews: 2,211
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 12.59%
Wants: 275
Gots: 621 | FT: 13
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:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 09-18-2001

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,835 | Reviews: 2,211
Photo of e11iott
2.5/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: 11.2 oz bottle. This beer poured an uncontrolable amount of head, almost thinking I got a bad bottle. Another interesting tid-bit on the bottle was it had a made date of 05/08/2009, best before 05/08/2014. That seams like a long time to collect dust on the bottle and for a beer to settle.

S: Slight fruit, very yeast like, overpowerful yeast.

T/M: Interesting, very dry hop aftertaste and bite. Very high carbination.

D: Paid to much and was let down by this one, I might have to revisit it. Hoping my bottle was bad. Other option is this just isn't my style.

Photo of stof0048
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a Watou chalice. Pours a golden brown with a thin head that slowly disappears. Little lacing. Smell is light and a bit fruity with a copper tone and hops. Taste is mildly hoppy, not much of a malt taste, slightly fruity (citrus), a little wheaty, slight hint of alcohol but well balanced. Mouthfeel is good on this beer, very smooth over the palate. Drinkability is wonderful... goes down very easy, very tasty suds, could drink this all night and day.

Photo of godfathermg57
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice.

A: A fizzy copper. Well carbonated with a large head.

S: Funk and yeast. It smells like the far off land of Belgium.

T: Dry and refreshing. It's tart with a slight piney and hoppy taste. It's got a fairly subtle taste to it, nothing overpowering in any one direction.

M: Quite a fizzy mouthfeel, like a saison.

D: Quite drinkable and refreshing. A very fine beer, though its taste is not overpowering.

Photo of seabass87
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2 FL OZ. bottle into Chimay chalice.

A- Pours a very attractive glowing copper brown. A healthy but short-lived head that quickly dissipates into a creamy cap that retains throughout consumption. Leaves brilliant lacing.

S- Complex scent - picking up sweet lemon, rich orange, barnyard funk, grass, floral hops, and some spices.

T- Citrus fruit and yeast up front in a bitter bite, followed by a smooth hoppy aftertaste with some funky grass hanging around. A zesty beer with nice bitterness.

M- Medium body with slight carbonation - this beer is built well. Very smooth.

O- All in all, this beer was still impressive. It's not my favorite Belgian pale, or favorite Trappist ale, but you can tell this is a quality beer that has been made forever.

Photo of dsprainman
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First review here, so bear with me.
Bottled 29/3/11
Poured into a Chardonnay glass
A- 1-2 fingers off-white head with an amazing opaque amber body. The body truly catches the light of the room and shows a lighter amber and darker orange hue.
S- Scents of pears and light hoppyness give this beer a rather refreshing nose.
T- Flavors of light pears and mild hops give this beer a refreshing taste. Taste follows the nose very well.
M- This is what truly sets this beer apart from many other Belgian offerings. An almost Champagne like effervescence takes the delicate taste to the next level.
O- A great, refreshing summer sipper, with petite nuances that Trappist's are known for. Also, at 6.2% ABV, this one can be enjoyed without quite as much caution as some of the other Belgian heavy hitters. Defiantly a good choice, that I would buy again.

Photo of Raebies
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I really wish I had poured this into my chimay goblet, it pours a super fluffy head which settles back into a tightly compact layer.
Light coloured, peachy orange. Smells faintly of an acetone-like sweetness. There's a funky yeasty smell that reminds me of home made cider. It stings the nostrils a little, like smelling a solvent and it tastes... strange. Very dry and only slightly bitter. There are earthy flavours that remind me of hay or straw, it doesn't taste very malty at all.

Until I got to the end of the bottle, I thought this beer was fairly average. Then I poured in the last of the beer along with the yeast sediment on the bottom.. A nice, complex blue-cheese like flavour came through taking this beer to another level.

Photo of JamesBerry
2.26/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This came out with a blast of foamover and gunsmoke. It has a somewhat light aroma, and a muddy brown appearance completed by a thick, overwhelmingly soapy head. This has a weak, salty taste with a slightly slick mouthfeel to it, as if someone mixed beer with alkaseltzer. A little disappointing all in all. I'd expected more from this, it being a trappist ale and all.

Photo of cjohnson
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very cloudy, slightly dark orange with a nice 1.5 inch head that lasts for a little bit before it fades out. Nice lacing.

This isn't a particularly strong smelling beer, but there's definitely a bit of fruitiness in the nose, most noticeably oranges, apricots, and maybe just a touch of bananas.

A very interesting tasting brew with some a nice bit of sweetness and a lot of fruitiness. Apricots are the main fruit taste for me, and a little bit of malted sweetness.

Medium-bodied with some nice carbonation, but I thought it made this a little hard to drink too quickly (which may not be a bad thing, but it's something I have to nurse for a bit).

Photo of take_it_sleazy
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into 16 oz. good nature snifter. Holy hell, was this one active.

A: luxiourious 3 finger head. Slight off white colored head with plenty of carbonation consistently rising up the glass. Brownish red color. Beautiful beer, but could only manage to get about 12 oz in the glass on the initial pour.

S: funky brett coming through instantly, with a mild balence of malt and hops in the background. A sweet, almost straw like smell coming through as well.

T: a real mild flavor of malt and hops. A slight sharpness that is as crisp as it is refreshing. Tartness, but nothing overpowering. This is my first Trappist beer, and so far I'm impressed.

M: a medium bodied beer with high amount of carbonation. Extremely refreshing bite as previously mentioned.

O: I'm guessing this is a good introductory Trappist beer, but I enjoyed this one very much. It was a greatly balenced bled of hops and malt, and the wild yeast works very well with the medium body. Great brew for sure.

Photo of Chessmaster
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of northernbrews
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased 12 oz bottle from Merchant's in Dearborn. Bottled 1/24/06....best by 1/24/11.

Appearance: Nice brown body with hints of orange around the edges. Off-white three finger head that slowly fades to a fluffy mass on top of this beauty. Very nice lacing on my DFH snifter. I bet this looks even better in the Orval chalice.

Smell: Brett, slight funk, and nice hops followed by oranges and more hops. Even a touch of tropical fruits. Man, I forgot how good the aroma was on this.

Taste: Nice balanced taste of hops and malt. Rustic brett like flavors come through paving the way to slight tropical fruit and orange notes in the finish. Quite smooth.

Mouthfeel: Slight hops hit the tongue from the start. Brett and slight tartness covered the roof of my mouth for a bit.

Drinkability: This is a very drinkable beer. If this were cheaper, this would be one of my normal session beers.

Haven't had this in a few years. It won't be another few years before I have another one. This is a nice transition beer for newer "beer" drinkers either to IPA's, wild ales, or other belgians. I recommend trying this to anyone. Haven't had too many beers quite like this. To me, it's like a toned down JP Oro de Calabaza....which is a good thing.

Photo of sirpsycho
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Bottled on 24/01/2006, best before 24/01/2011. Pours an orange/amber, small white head, no real lacing to speak of. Aroma is flowery and spices, citrusy. Taste was rather mild, nothing really stood out to describe, I was surprised by how mild it was . Finish was slightly spicey and dry.

Photo of korndog
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For the life of me, I cannot understand the low rating by some top reviewers. Great amber appearance into a Chalice, with gorgeous white head. Floral smell with some spice and sour. I think the way this beer transforms in our mouth from start to finish is unreal. There is a subtle Brett sour theme throughout the taste, but the other facets seem to change. Jason said it best; fresh cut hay, citrus, hops. Truly like walking from the barn to the orchard. The dryness of the finish makes you want another sip right away, making this a very expensive habit. Complex and Sensational.

Photo of stageseven
3.16/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured into a Chimay Goblet. The beer poured a light brown color, with a 1 finger off white head. The head stuck around and left good lacing on the glass. It was on the cloudy side, but we poured the sediment from the bottle into the glass to allow the yeast to dissipate through.

The aroma was also a bit unexpected. It was grassy, with an underlying spice scent. Sweetness and a scent of banana came through as well

The taste was fairly mild. There was a muted citrus fruit flavor that was slightly tangy, along with a light bitterness. The aftertaste had a slightly metallic tinge to it. Some banana flavor comes through as well.

The mouthfeel was thick and smooth, with a light carbonation. It was however a bit on the dry side.

This was a very easy beer to drink. Because the flavor was so mild, and there was no trace of alcohol in the taste, it was not at all difficult to throw back. I wouldn't say it was the best tasting beer ever, but certainly worth trying.

Photo of jjazz
3.99/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Crazy cavernous head with great lacing. Pale orangey color.

Aromatic intensity is low/medium, with malty sweetness, and a bit of lemony hops. Urine is also present, but not in an offensive way.

Taste is all over the map, with hop notes accompanied by sour cherries, mild unripe banana, tobacco, and more. Snappy tartness in the finish. Highly complex with fairly low volume. Unique and impressive in its complexity, but not as appealing as what many Belgians have to offer.

Very light body with ample carbonation. A bit more body would be appreciated, and it wouldn't hurt the drinkability at all.

I don't quite know what to think. Unique and drinkable, but not down right delicious like my favorite Belgians/trappists. I would like to try it again, but it'll be tough to convince myself to spend the $5 when I could get so many other great Belgians that I already know I love.

Photo of boMD
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay glass. Appeared brilliant, a hazy copper with a frothy head that lasted through the whole time in the glass. Bubbles kept rising from the bottom to the head. Aroma was pleasant with faint hops that mesh with clove and tart citrus. Palate was wonderful, just enough thickness and carbonation for the realization of it being a beer, but smooth enough to go down easily. Most notable were the citrusy hop flavors that lent towards peppery spices, malt, and herbs. Some alcohol presence towards the finish.

Photo of stearns16
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber orange with massive white head that declines rather quick. This beer seemed like it could not wait to get out of the brown bowling pin-like bottle

S - Lemon and flowers ... very clean scent

T - Goes down smooth and easy. Taste lemon and even hint of tart apple, which makes me think of cider. Dry finish.

D - A throughly enjoy Belgian ale

Photo of Mako82
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a brandy snifter

A - Burnt orange color that was cloudy. Very foamy white head that lasted ridiculously long!

S - Nice smell of floral, hint of spice, mild malts in the background, slight hint of clove, and picked up some yeast

T - Mild floral type taste with traces of yeast (nothing overwhelming). Picking up a hint of wheat/grassy type taste with a hint of clove. Aftertaste didn't last too long.

M - Very dry, light feeling

Drinking the beer with a good amount of head will really help bring out the taste

Photo of 20ozmonkey
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank this as a victory beer after spending way too much time buildiing an Ikea bed. Poured into a Chimay goblet.

Hazy amber color. Tiny bubbles pillowing in the center.

Smells very floral with a honey sweetness that I'm having a hard time pinning down, but I'm liking it.

I've not had a Belgian quite like this. It's very light and refreshing with lots of copper on the middle of the palate. Bready and bitter on the finish. This isn't the Belgian yeast bomb that I'm used to. This has a very smooth mouthfeel. There is lots of carbonation but it only slightly tingles your mouth versus giving it a burning feeling.

I've been eyeing this beer for quite some time and I'm glad I finally picked one up. I'll probably get more in the future.

Photo of joesmithrealname
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Seven trillion Monks can't be wrong.

The humongous spongy foamy head, sprinkled ever-so-slightly with some extra yeasts...

The aroma of two hundred years ago.

The looks from people drinking an overly hopped battering ram in a glass, wondering what POSSibly was going on behind my Cheshire Cat grin.

Expensive but worth it, if you value your life, and the moments that remain.

Photo of GeoffW
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a copper color with a big head that lingered for a long time.

Smell was complex with a lot of fruit and spice aromas coming through.

Taste was somewhat spicy and a little bitter with a nice lingering after taste. The alcohol was very present in this beer. Mouthfeel was quite nice with again more fruitiness.

Not the most drinkable beer as far as my preferences are concerned, but good nonetheless.

Overall not quite my style of beer, but it was still good.

Photo of matt7215
4.97/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330 ml bottle from the LCBO

Pours beautiful hazy golden with a huge thick white head. Sediment stains the head when the last few drops enter the trappist glass.

The aroma varries from bottle to bottle with this one. Some time you get a funky brett forward farmhouse aroma and sometimes you get a big hop bomb over a belgian ale body. Either way you cant ask for more. I actually salivate just at the thought of smelling this brew.

The flavours are never quite the same with this one. You have a finely brewed hoppy Belgian Ale with the addition of brett. Depending on age you might not even notice the brett but with some age this really comes out and adds layers of complexity.

This is my favourite beer and if I could only drink one brew for the rest of my life it would be Orval.

Photo of bobjonesSD
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle from OTM in OB. Poured into a Maredsous chalice. Massive, beautiful lacey head from the pour, hangs around forever and leaves a lovely lace on the edge of the glass. As soon as I popped the top of the bottle I was met with the amazing sweet, sour yeasty aroma with lots of esters, one of the most appetizing smelling beers I've tried. The taste is complex and interesting with a lot of flavors from the brettanomyces coming through - leather, horsey on top of the blondey belgiany base. Really an enjoyable beer, definitely going to try again. This bottle was about 9 months from the bottling date.

Photo of ekempey
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a bottle (6/27/11 exp.) into a pint glass, a very nice dark golden color, with apples on the nose. Poured gently and created a huge off white head. At first it tastes very fruity, with distinct colors of apples, cider, and other fuits as well as a twinge of cinnamon. A very interesting after taste lingered after the first sip. The head eventually dissolved into a 1 finger constant, with lacing down the side of the glass. The beer is just carbonated enough, and not too overly done. Mouthfeel was great, the beer just rolled around, and did not want to go down. I would buy this beer again, I just hope the store I go to keeps carrying it.

Photo of jwheeler85
3.62/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I tried to be as objective as possible for this one since I wasn't personally a big fan of it. Higher scores are more based on uniqueness rather than like/dislike.

A- Poured a deep amber with some head retention

S- Slightly grassy and herbal. Also had a slight fruity note with a background smell sort of like musty leather. (very unique, but not personally a fan of this combo)

T- More astringent and bitter than it is sweet. I'm also getting a little bit of orange peel and coriander type flavors. Finishing with that odd sort of leathery note.

M- Medium carbonation, and medium mouthfeel.

D- For me, this had low drinkability... it was one of those beers that I can feel expand like crazy in my gut... makes me feel really bloated.

Overall, I would recommend that everybody try this one at least once... just due to the fact that it is so unique in it's flavor profile. I've never had anything else quite like it. Again, I didn't particularly like it, but it's uniqueness is something to be admired.

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,835 ratings.