Orval Trappist Ale - Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
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Ratings: 4,259 | Reviews: 2,105 | Display Reviews Only:
4.22/5 rDev +0.5%
11.2 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.
Pours a clear, light copper, very lively, topped by a huge fluffy white head that lasts. Loud hiss upon uncapping. Fair lacing.
Nose is bright and funky, telltale Brett. Bright lemon-lime up front, herbal, cracked pepper, hay, barnyard. Mouthwatering and inviting.
Lacks much of the brightness on the palate, replaced by a dry earthiness. Prickly and light, almost fluffy. Still funky, but not in a mouthwatering acidic way. A bit of the lemon-lime persists, but plays a small supporting role; adds enough zip and brightness to steer this beer away from being dreary. A touch of dry baking spice adds complexity.
Dry, frothy, and light-feeling. Light to medium bodied, firm-ish. Very pleasant, contemplative but not fussy.
04-11-2011 23:02:09 | More by wnh
4.58/5 rDev +9%
The pour into my Chimay chalice brings forth a voluminous head, 3/4 of an inch high. It is just a little tan, and quite rocky. The beer's color is a bright copper, nit the least bit hazy. The fleur-de-lis at the glass's bottom produces a marvelous carbonation column. Head retention in particular is astonsihing, so much that I'm forced to wait ten minutes for my first non-frothy sip. I certainly can't fault it for this .though.
The nose is full of sugar, bubblegum, caramel, bananas, pears, green grapes, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, and a plethora of other scents I can't pin down. A symphony of scent!
Taste begins with vinous fruit, hits a lemon note, hop bitterness, and ends with biscuity grain. Rich, spicy, and complex, and somewhat alcoholic. Pouring in the dregs restrains the flavor a bit, so I would recommend a careful decanting.
Mouthfeel is approaching thick, and the carbonation is enough to be tingly. Surely coats the mouth.
Overall, a great beer, that, despite its low ABV, ages with grace.
Notes: "BOTTLED ON 07.10.2004
BEST BEFORE 07.10.2009"
I wonder how this would taste closer to the "expiration date." I bought this bottle in the summer of '04, along with another, and drank one immediately. I thought the beer at the time too strong, so I cellared this one until now. It is a wonderful drinker, and I'm glad I waited!
08-15-2006 03:53:30 | More by mjc410
3.9/5 rDev -7.1%
A - Pours up a cloudy orange/amber with a rocky tan head
S - Citrus aromas hints of spice.
T - Some malt sweetness, accented by ripe apple or banana like flavor, finishes a bit astringent.
M - Strong carbonation on my tongue
D - The bitterness/tartness lingers. Still a drinkable beer.
12-24-2009 03:35:18 | More by hiikeeba
United Kingdom (England)
4.03/5 rDev -4%
Obviously a classic and respected Trappist ale, I've had this a number of times in the past, and figured it was time to offer my opinion.
Appearance: Reddish amber going on auburn, with a mountainous foamy head with superb retention. Lots and lots of carbonation.
Aroma: Sharp, sour and acidic. Lots of citric fruit in there, lemons, oranges, limes, incredibly zesty. There is a hint of ginger, pepper, and yeast. Some cinnamon, and a light underlying caramel. There is more with every sniff.
Taste: Plenty of sourness, and yeasty acid. Lemons, orange peel, and sour cherries. There is a distinctive pepperiness about the flavours, which adds to the powerful dryness. There is a base sweetness there that all everything is built on, caramel, aged honey, and a mild toffee.
Mouthfeel: Very lively in the mouth, dry, and rough.
Drinkability: Orval's taste is unique, the original and unreplicated. It's another one of those beers that you really have to have tried at least once in your life.
09-28-2009 19:29:06 | More by PartyBear
4.03/5 rDev -4%
Judging from the awesome reviews, it may be that I purchased a lackluster bottle. I will try it again and see if it kicks my ass the way it seems to have others. Anyway, the head on this fellow was a virtual monster!! massive and foamy the head stays and stays! The beer pours a good copper blonde with some orange highlites. Aromas are ripe and fruit driven with flavors of grapefruit, citrus peel and fruitcake. The beer is medium in body with soft carbonation and a creamy feel. The taste is at once bitter citrus hopiness-veryredolent of citrus zest or oil. The whole emphasis in flavor seems to center on bright twangy citrus, and I, betting this is a fantastic food wine. I'll try it with some whitefish and potato and report back. I think I score the drinkability a bit low as this seems most certainly made for food vs simply sipping. I will try again and re review as needed.
09-10-2003 17:23:09 | More by moulefrite
4.08/5 rDev -2.9%
this was a fine 08 vintage bottle...
falls delightfully into my glass like a perfumed fat kid into a pit of balls, spewing forth odors and kicking balls up from the deep in a futile effort to right himself. the carbonation continues to flow up, bringing the smells. the sharpness of lemon, a little funk, a touch of malty sweetness, a twinge of earthy hops. the flavor profile is similar, a bit sharp and bitter, and delectable, but it feels a bit overcarbonated in my glass. i wait to let it warm up but some asshole finishes my glass so we can taste some homebrew. what a hard life.
03-04-2010 07:00:21 | More by olympuszymurgus
4.38/5 rDev +4.3%
ive never drank a beer that divides opinion more than this one. while i personally think its up in the top 20, others dont rate it at all.
i dont think there can be any question there are few more complex beers being brewed today. i think this is what makes it so sensational. everything about orval to me represents the ultimate in craftsmanship, where as some of my fellow beer connosieurs feel theres too much going on and its all a bit overwhelming. as far as im concerned tho, i love being overwhelmed by this beer. it's brewed in a abbey. and drinking it is a religious experience!
the head has to been seen to be believed! its like meringue and it just never quits. this is due to the chipped candy sugar they put in the kettle. the rich, cloudy golden orange color matches the head perfectly, and the smell and taste are almost indescribable. you can draw something new from this brew every time you drink it. one day it can be fruity, apple and orange come to mind, whereas others it can be very sugary sweet. ive had this beer taste peppery, and at various times there have been hints of clove, anise, cinnamon even nutmeg. all the while never forgetting the essential backbone of maltiness and noble hops. these give this beer that classic breadiness, somewhat reminicent of brioche, and a magnificent finish bordering on dry.(with a beer of this texture, its pretty hard to finish THAT dry) depending on the time and mood, a different facet jumps out at you. its just so perfectly constructed and balanced!
i do find when its very young it can have the tendency to be a bit astringent. but if youve got the patience to lay it down for a bit(a year or even two), or pick one up from your bottleo thats been around for a while, you will be well rewarded. orval is proof that a beer can get better with age. its always syrupy in the mouth, but as it gets older, it really rounds out and comes right into its own.
after a session of several top quality beers, its awesome to finish the night with one of these just to put it all in perspective. its almost enuff to make me want to join a monastery.
10-13-2003 14:30:48 | More by diablo14
3.58/5 rDev -14.8%
So I finally decided to try this one, after hearing the name occasionally enough to be interested. I found the appearance to be pretty nice, especially due to the beautiful white head. The amber color was nice, but standard, so the head really did the job of making it a beautiful sight. The aroma was great as well; very fruity and sweet. I picked up a good deal of banana, and maybe some brown sugar plum notes. However, the taste was way different; consisting of some light malts, overly intensive vegetable like hops and the occasional addition from the nose. The mouthfeel was overly bitter for my taste, but the consistency was nice and thin/smooth. I am not interested in trying this beer again, considering I expected much more and am fairly disappointed.
11-23-2006 05:32:05 | More by dbalsock
4.5/5 rDev +7.1%
I poured this 11.2 oz. bottle into my patented Orval glass. Bottled on 25/09/2007 and best before 25/09/2012. I am impressed that this brew could last that long. I wonder if it would need to be stored in a fridge or just in a cool cellar? The strength doesn't seem high enough to "age" for that long. This is the first Trappist ale I have reviewed.
A: It pours a beautiful, clear amber color. There is a thick, off-white head which sits about a finger and a half deep. There is lots of carbonation in this brew. The head tried to cling to the side of the glass at first, but ultimately failed.
S: It gives off the classic Belgian beer aroma. Not much hop aroma, though it is faintly present. There are some very fruity esters in the smell...I say banana and peach are two smells I get out of this one.
T: I am surprised by the taste. I was expecting something more sweet. Really, there is alcohol up front, and the fruity esters make you think that the beer will be sweet, but I guess the attenuation rate is very high in this beer. There is a peppery aspect to this beer, which I assume comes from the yeast and/or malt. Very low hop flavor in the aftertaste. When held in the mouth, there is some sweetness present, with fruit esters (banana/clove).
M: Smooth, light bodied and I think a little dry. The carbonation is not fizzy, just very smooth.
D: This is a great beer to have a few of in the course of a night. The drinkability factor is high for this one. It would be fun to have a few with a monk or two. The 7% alcohol doesn't make much of an impression, so that is good.
06-13-2008 04:49:04 | More by MusicaleMike
4.72/5 rDev +12.4%
Pours an opaque dark orange with a huge, and I mean huge, white rocky head that lingers and laces. One of the best looking pours I've seen.
Smells of brett, apple, pear, sugar, bubble gum. Really great aroma, makes you want to take a sip.
Taste is up front hop and brett that fades into a fruity, sugar malt and hop character and ends with some yeast spice, hop bitterness, and fruit. Complex as all hell and refreshing.
Lighter to medium body with high carbonation work perfectly for the beer.
Hoppy (maybe a bit too astringent), fruity, spicy, sweet yet dry, just really interesting and complex. The brett is more subtle but present. What's not to love. Amazing beer.
12-16-2011 22:51:12 | More by TenHornsProud
4.5/5 rDev +7.1%
appearance; hazy orange with no sediment. Light pillowy white head. Excellent retention and chunky lacing.
smell; sour and tart with herbal hops and an apple-like maltyness. Some sweet caramelized sugars. Nectarines and apricots come to mind as well.
taste; upfront a rustic lambic-like tart and sour flavor tries to come through but is too weak to poke through the hop bitterness that soon takes control and carries with a Herbes de Provence-like complexity, to the finish. Some yeasty flavors dance with the alcohol and snuggle the hops into the finish and aftertaste. Very good but from the smell, more tart flavors are to be expected.
mouthfeel; rich and creamy carbonation, slick and smooth finish...a tiny bit chewy.
drinkability; superb and tasty, easy to drink with well blended flavors and smooth alcohol.
02-16-2011 02:58:33 | More by Sachsenfreude
3.13/5 rDev -25.5%
Sampled from 33cl bottle with a Best Before date of 04 2007. Should I have let this age more?
I will try this again, but I was very disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe it was a bad bottle. Maybe I don't like the style, but I doubt the last one.
Poured a hazy amber color with a big white, frothy head that faded some what quickly to a thin, bumby covering. A quick swirl at anytime during the sampling brought back a 1/4 foam head that had a eye like the center of a hurricane.
The aromas were very fruity. Smells of pear, apricot, peach, and bananas with hints of malt and some hops hidden way in the back and I could only catch a glimpse of occationally. Like that hot girl in a crowded, smokey bar that you can only see when the crowd moves just right and your not really sure through the cloudy haze if it was her.
The taste help more fruit than the nose. Flavors of pear, apricot, bananas, and leather. Yes leather and more banana than I expected or was prepared for. Very unbalanced. The body was medium, but the finish was very sticky. I couldn't get it off the sides of my mouth, teeth, and tongue.
My wife thought it was aweful. Said, "This tastes like fruit and old shoe leather. If this was a wine I would say it was corked."
It didn't think it was that bad, but I was very disappointed. Especially considering the lengths I'll have to go through to get another to try.
09-12-2003 12:27:30 | More by Loki
4.95/5 rDev +17.9%
Pours a murky brown color with a booming 3 finger white head. The smell is a light earthy aroma with an authentic Belgian spice. My first sip of this started with a fantastic tart and spiciness upfront hat literally explodes on the tongue with the fantastic carbonation. There are some funky notes in there also but every note plays off each other so well it leaves me wanting another sip. Halfway through the head is still a good cm and resembles construction foam, the taste becomes increasingly spicy and funky. Notes of fresh grass, lemon, and spicy banana. What an incredible beer, I get it now.
05-05-2014 00:08:26 | More by FatBoyGotSwagger
4.25/5 rDev +1.2%
Pours a GORGEOUS murky amber with HUGE foamy head. Absolutely GORGEOUS beer. Once the foam dies down a bit, the aroma has all the hallmarks of a traditional Belgian with notes of warm bread, caramel and malty goodness.
The flavor changes a lot as it warms up and it changes for the better - some sour notes even seem to come out. This is definitely one you want to let sit for a few minutes before drinking. Overall the palate is similar to the nose. There is a nice but not overwhelming bubbly carbonation that creates an interesting dry finish.
Very very nice interesting beer and something that I will DEFINITELY be drinking again soon.
05-19-2010 03:02:04 | More by thetomG
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,259 ratings.