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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.

4,324 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,324
Reviews: 2,112
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 203
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: 4,324 | Reviews: 2,112 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jesse13713
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 10/02/2011

Appearance - An extremely rich pour that boasts a luscious soapy head. The foam dissipates quickly, leaving behind a half finger of creamy residue. Drowned in opaqueness, this caramelized brown and yellow Trappist ale appears fresh and sweet. Poured into a Hoppin' Frog Snifter, carbonation hugs the waist of the glass and curls upwards rapidly. Perhaps some of the strongest lacing I've ever seen; like honey coating a honeycomb.

Smell - A bit of a Belgian yeast funk to the nose. A string of fruity chords; primarily cherries, melons, and faint raspberries. Light and pleasing to the senses, but nothing extravagant.

Taste - Exceptionally smooth. Light cherries and strawberries reward the swallow. Fuzzy, appropriate, under-powered ethanol coats over the tongue like a warm cotton blanket. A bit of a sweet candy taste linger on the roof of the mouth; almost like de-soured Smarties. There is a lot of complexity in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability - Delightful as it coats the palate. Smooth, balanced, refreshing; everything this ale should be. Spritzes the tongue with fresh fruits and a drop of ethanol. Medium-bodied. One really feels classy drinking this ale. Cheers.

Jesse13713, Jun 29, 2012
Photo of Realale
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Slightly hazy orangish tan. Huge rocky beige head settles slowly to a rocky cap leaving chunks of foam on the side of the glass.

Slightly sour malty nose. Bit of the old barnyard. Some orange, and forest floor. Touch of pine as well. Just wonderful to smell.

Plenty of malt on the palate, which serves as a launching pad for a vast array of spice and herb flavors. I always get sage and clove as the predominant elements, but there's a good dose of thyme in this one as well. Strong chalkiness particularly in the finish, which is very long.

Mouthfeel is soft and lovely, and really lets the complexity shine through. Very drinkable and a real treat on its own or with dinner. I love Orval for its uniqueness. There really is nothing else like it. A classic.

Bottled on October 24, 2002, best before October 24, 2007.

Realale, Dec 05, 2003
Photo of StoicBeast
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

StoicBeast, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of SammyJaxxxx
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

SammyJaxxxx, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of groleau
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

groleau, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of jbdpsu82
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

jbdpsu82, Nov 14, 2013
Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Time to cross off another one of the trappist ales. First I wanted to point out how attractive the rotund bottle shape is. The beer pours tons of beautiful white creamy head with a nice murky amber/red color. The beer smells sweet of pears and banana with just a hint of alcohol. The tastes follows suit with first hints of pear followed by some maltiness and alcohol and then finishing with a little bitter hoppy kick. The mouthfeel is really creamy and smooth with very little carbonation. This beer is really well balanced which is exactly what I expect of a trappist.

hoegaardenhero, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of rodenbach99
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bouteille classique orval brune de forme bizarre de 330ml.

cette bière blonde passablement trouble, elle est doté d'une belle mousse blanche et épaisse, elle a un nez des plus épicé, ses bons houblons se font sentir, elle a un gout très houblonnée. piquant, elle se termine avec une belle longueur exemplaire.

rodenbach99, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of Bjlps
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Bjlps, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of lightindarkness
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle best-by dated 23/03/2012, poured into a trappist goblet.

Pours a nice deep caramel color with lasting mounds of cream colored froth on top. Very nice coating lace.

Nose has a nice presentation of belgian style, with a sour funk over fainter grains in the back with a notable crisp green grape fruit balance.

Taste sits lightly on the palate at first, then increasing in sour and bitter character to the finish. Overall flavor is somewhat light, with mild grains and slight spicy notes in the middle, washing out, then finishing with an acidic bitterness and very faint alcohol fume. Leaves a bitter/sour flavor on the lips.

Lighter medium bodied, with full soft carbonation. Rather dry finish.

Acidic bitterness is making this one somewhat hard to love. Overall character is good, but much sharper than I expected. the flavor is growing on me a little.

lightindarkness, Jul 14, 2008
Photo of Oboogie
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Oboogie, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of 6demonbag
5/5  rDev +19%

6demonbag, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of GatorLCA
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

GatorLCA, Jul 27, 2014
Photo of blakelive784
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 fl oz bottle served in a goblet, reviewed live:

A - Pours a somewhat murky orange/pink color with a just off-white, rocky head of three fingers. Retention is remarkable (as in 5 - 10 minutes, and it hasn't moved).

S - Incredibly complex. Sweet pale malt, awesome yeast, citrus, banana, floral notes, sour funk, and spice all come to mind. I'm even more excited to taste it.

T - Citrus and sweet fruit over a lovely subdued caramel pale malt foundation. The yeast begin to take over midway, with bready and funky sour notes. Floral hops notes throughout. Wonderfully complex and balanced. Masterfully built.

M - Medium bodied, smooth, and perfectly dry on the finish. Tailored exactly to the flavors.

D - A remarkable and complex beer thats highly drinkable. From my limited experience with Trappist offerings, it's certainly unique. I'd love to age this one.

blakelive784, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of flayedandskinned
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

flayedandskinned, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of zapahoppa
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

zapahoppa, Jun 07, 2014
Photo of danipp
4/5  rDev -4.8%

danipp, May 14, 2013
Photo of jkd03c
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

jkd03c, Feb 05, 2014
Photo of wo87810
4/5  rDev -4.8%

wo87810, Jan 24, 2013
Photo of bigbeerfan
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

bigbeerfan, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of Amerikon
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Amerikon, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of krisandajt
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another tasty brew courtesy of a great trade with Adouble. I raise my glass to you, sir!

Appearance: Whoa, it appears we have ourselves a gusher! With what I thought was an easy pour, the beer nearly overflows clean out of my DFH Off-Centered pint glass. I barely got half the bottle in. I suppose carbonation isn't going to be an issue with this bad boy! Anyway, aside from the mountain of head (which is fading slowly, by the way), the beer is a cloudy, amber color that is surprisingly vibrant for a pale ale.

Smell: The smell is surprisingly strong for a pale ale. It reminds me more of what I'd expect from a tripel, or even a mild quad sans the sweet candied fruit. The smell is sweet, with a classic Belgian yeast characteristic. Outstanding.

Taste: In every aspect so far this beer has surprised me. The taste is no exception. For a Belgian Pale Ale, this beer packs some amazing flavor. There's a nice sweetness to the brew, with a bit of a grassy quality to it, all wrapped up with a nice Belgian-y finish. This is very very good.

Mouthfeel: If I had one grip about this beer, I would have to say that the mouthfeel is a bit thin. Maybe given the style it's what it should be, but with every other quality of this beer being so robust, the mouthfeel was a bit of a let down. Not necessarily bad, but not up to par with the rest of the beer.

Drinkability: I have to give this beer top marks. I've seen it on the shelf before, but I've always passed it by. I can safely say that that is a mistake I will not make again. This beer is fantastic, packing some immense flavor in a sessionable package. Coming close to 7% ABV, I don't think I could pack away too many in an evening, but I'd certainly give it a good shot. Definitely recommend.

krisandajt, May 01, 2010
Photo of Dweedlebug
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Dweedlebug, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of n2pux
5/5  rDev +19%

n2pux, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After pouring my Orval, I found a foamy, pitted head with fairly large bubbles sitting atop a fragrant, glowing orange-red brew. I'm pretty excited about this beer, as I didn't get a chance to try it while I was in Belgium last summer, and was thrilled to find it at Ashe's last month in Knoxville.

Smells nice and Belgian, with an indescribable roundness and distinct, fruit-sour appeal. Upon further review, I think what I'm trying to get at in the roundness is the "hay" character that others have described.

Sourness (somewhat reminiscent of the gueuze I had a week or two ago, though in taste only) is the first taste to dance across my tongue, followed by a mellow wheat tone and a crisp, dry finish. This beer fills the mouth nicely, and is very, very drinkable, so long as you enjoy the sour notes (and I do).

I didn't really know what to expect with Orval beyond very, very general thoughts (like TheJoj's "Orval is my favorite Belgian beer"), but it's definitely made a good impression as my first Trappist, despite the fact that I think I expected something closer to a Belgian Pale Ale. Either way, it looks like I'll be taking regular pilgrimages to Ashe's on my trips home from college for this one.

Spoils of the 10/11/03 Knoxville Raid.

RockyTopHeel, Nov 23, 2003
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,324 ratings.