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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.

4,271 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,271
Reviews: 2,107
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 197
Gots: 371 | FT: 9
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
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Ratings: 4,271 | Reviews: 2,107 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TenHornsProud


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
Photo of heddar33


3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

09-06-2012 21:47:00 | More by heddar33
Photo of Klebe


4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

11-21-2013 19:54:52 | More by Klebe
Photo of Sachsenfreude


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
Photo of Jesse13713


4.38/5  rDev +4.3%

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.

06-29-2012 01:44:48 | More by Jesse13713
Photo of Loki

North Carolina

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
Photo of thetomG


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
Photo of crownrl28


4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

12-30-2012 23:26:08 | More by crownrl28
Photo of TheLevi4000

New York

4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

03-20-2013 00:01:34 | More by TheLevi4000
Photo of CraftFan5

New York

3/5  rDev -28.6%

02-25-2014 13:28:59 | More by CraftFan5
Photo of LarryV


4.28/5  rDev +1.9%

Poured with a huge, dense tan head that slowly faded to an island of foam in the middle of the chalice. Nose is earthy, grassy, really quite hard to describe, but I didn't find any off putting aromas in the smell. Color is a murky amber not unlike a darker hefeweizen. Taste starts with a slightly sour note but then turns into a hoppy, dry finish. There are other Belgians I prefer, but this is a damn good beer. A bit expensive at $6 for a 11.2 oz bottle. Because of the price, I would probably not buy it very often if at all.

03-31-2006 06:12:22 | More by LarryV
Photo of lucas1801


4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

07-23-2013 10:00:25 | More by lucas1801
Photo of hermit990


4/5  rDev -4.8%

06-23-2014 03:21:30 | More by hermit990
Photo of timotao

New York

4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

06-23-2014 20:33:26 | More by timotao
Photo of AaronRed

New York

4.8/5  rDev +14.3%

Strong and wonderful.

09-18-2001 17:06:50 | More by AaronRed
Photo of TinusTime


4/5  rDev -4.8%

Poured from 33cl skittle shaped bottle with a bottling date of either October 2nd or February 10th 2003. ( I can never figure out the european dating) Pours a vibrant light orange with a huge barely off white head. The head doesnt seem to stick around as other belgians. The aroma is of Hops with a bit of candy and well that typical barn scent. This one has more horseblanket, barn scent than most, perhaps because it is so young. The taste is almost pale aleish. Very hoppy at first, then it gives way to a bit of candied fruit. Not very complex at this age. I will have to get a couple to see how they turn out. The carbonation is high, but the mouthfeel is still nice. I think the carbonation helps cleans the tongue and this would be good with some fatty foods esp with the high hops at this age. Drinkability is good, the alcohol is well hidden. I will have to get a couple of these to age as I feel once they round out some more of the character will come out of this beer.

03-04-2004 15:40:55 | More by TinusTime
Photo of rkhaze


4.05/5  rDev -3.6%

Poured a slightly hazy orange.Thick creamy head that left good lace.Smells of earthy sweet malt, citrus and spices. Oranges, tangerines and a bit of grapefruit sweetened with some clover honey. Hints of heather and lavender. Very perfumey.
I've seen beers described as barnyard before but never picked up on that until I tasted this. It's certainly that, with almost a leathery tinge. Gives way to the sour fruits and a mild hop bitterness. Finishes crisp, dry and long. Didn't quite deliver on the promise of the aroma but interesting nonetheless.
Seemed a little thin and overcarbonated. Decent drinkability.
Haven't made up my mind on whether I like that "barnyard" character yet. This is definitly an unique beer and certainly worth a try.

12-12-2003 01:19:01 | More by rkhaze
Photo of ScreamForMe


3.85/5  rDev -8.3%

One of the last Trappist ales for me to try, I thought the hops were going to be too much - thus the wait.

Poured into a tulip:

The head was strong and sustainable - beautiful creamy head.

Very aromatic - hits you right away as soon as you open up the bottle.

High carbonation and a medium body - hop taste was less than I feared (which is a good thing for this malt head).

Dare I say a session ale? Nah - too expensive and the abv is too much to be a session...but a fine brew nonetheless!

01-28-2009 06:02:15 | More by ScreamForMe
Photo of infi

New York

4.1/5  rDev -2.4%

2008 bottle - poured into a snifter.

Beautifully pours a hazy red-orange color with tons of bubbling action emerging throughout the glass. A thick, pillowy and foamy white head sits a top the ale and just stays stationary. No dissipation whatsoever after the initial pour. Reminds me of the Duvel, so lovely. The lacing is fantastic as well - huge clouds of bubbles sticking to the glass. The smell is Belgian yeast, lemon zest, green apple tartness and a touch of pear. Very fruity in scent with just a tad bit of sour funkiness.

Wow, the taste is full of fresh apples and subtle hints of lemon. Very light and refreshing actually. Great balance of sweet and sour. Not so much of a bready taste to the brew, which was a bit surprising, but not essential to its flavor. I can discern a slight Brett funk - not as potent as a gueuze or lambic - and a bit of dryness and tartness towards the aftertaste. This tastes more like a mini gueuze, rather than a pale ale, as there was no discernible hop bitterness.

Very light-bodied and generously carbonated. Crisp and clean the whole way through. Easily drinkable and quite tasty. A great refreshing Trappist brew.

11-19-2009 04:34:04 | More by infi
Photo of mtomlins

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev -1.2%

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a stemmed tulip glass

Pours a nice, crisp, clear copper in color with a massive, billowy, cloudy head that will not die and eventually leaves some nice lacing. The nose starts with some sweet malt, orange peel, tart lemon and musty yeast. On the palate, the beer opens up further and is much drier than the nose with lemon peel, and a slight tart funkiness to round it all out. The taste finishes with a pleasant floral hop bitterness. Orval is medium body with plenty of carbonation. Overall, this is a unique beer, very subtle and nuanced and stands apart from many/most of the other Trappists.

06-09-2014 18:39:21 | More by mtomlins
Photo of tln13


4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

04-20-2012 20:58:11 | More by tln13
Photo of CommanderOfAwesome


3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

09-28-2013 17:14:17 | More by CommanderOfAwesome
Photo of bloberglawp

Quebec (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +5.5%

What is there to be said?
Served in a chimay chalise, golden ale with nice fluffy head and sexy lacing. Brett and hop aroma some aromas of wild flowers seems to come about, same 2 elements (brett and hops) take the front row seat in flavor as well. Carbonation is prickly and makes you want to take another gulp... if this came in huge 3L, bombers I'd not work for I'd drink all day for shure.

Soooo... basicaly a very good trappist ale, more of these please!

11-22-2007 06:42:22 | More by bloberglawp
Photo of bs870621345

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -4.8%

After buying a TON of helios for a trade, I figured I'd revisit another 100% brett beer. Bottled on April 22, 2010

Pours a clear amber color with a beautiful off white head and tiny bubbles. Nice lacing as well.

Smells of a tinge of caramel sweetness, bread, some funk, spice, and herbs.

Taste opens with a bit of sweetness then moves into a funk and herbal taste. Finishes dry but lingering.

Mouthfeel is light and dry, just what I've been craving for some reason.

Overall, its really a good beer. I'm gonna age them more. This is a beer that shouldn't be taken for granted.

11-11-2011 03:36:00 | More by bs870621345
Photo of harrisjohnson


4/5  rDev -4.8%

08-05-2012 00:21:37 | More by harrisjohnson
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,271 ratings.