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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,491 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,491
Reviews: 2,128
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 219
Gots: 441 | FT: 12
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:
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: 4,491 | Reviews: 2,128 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hyuga
4.95/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours into my Orval chalice, where it is beautifully presented, an orange brew with a huge white head that retains very well. Wonderful complex aroma, consisting mainly of ripe banana and clove. It's like I just got a bunch of fresh bananas and peeled one! Also detectable are fresh sliced green apple, dried fruit (maybe raisin or plum), and spicy hops. Can't say how great that aroma is, it's just overwhelmingly good! I feel like I'm in a fruit market. One of the most aromatically pleasing Belgian beers I've ever had. Cracked pepper jumps in with the first taste, then more of that fresh fruit that was in the aroma. Clove also floats around sporadically. Spicy hops are next, along with dried fruit. Malt is most noticeable with retro-olfaction. Very "carbonated" mouthfeel. Sharp melon rind-like hop twang in the finish. A medium body, but very fruity, spicy, and complex! This beer is so very good! It's well worth the $4.99 or so for the 11.2 oz. bottle in my opinion. Trappist monks certainly know how to brew. And I'm sure they get to drink this wonderful brew every day at the Abbaye Orval. They even make cheese to pair this with. I want to be a monk there now, where do I sign up?

hyuga, Nov 10, 2002
Photo of AudioGilz
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, amber/orange.....enormous white head that slowly reduces to a coating that leaves lots of lace.
The aroma is pungent lemon and flowers that gave me goosebumps. One of the best smelling beers I have tried.
The mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, medium bodied, and crisp.
I really enjoy the tartness in this beer, lemony, spicy hops, then a slightly bitter and crisp finish. This beer is different than other Belgian's I have tried in that it's more tart and pungent. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and will definitely purchase it regularly.

AudioGilz, Feb 14, 2003
Photo of drxandy
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle dated : bottled - 27/12/2007 - best before 27/12/2012B - 2 days after last years christmas, yay

poured to goblet, hazy deep golden with slight brown, highly carbonated, white head fades to lacing - looks good

smells of apples! sweet and sour funk from the brett yeastiness, peppery spice, pineapple, slight lemon citrus

tastes tangy sweet creamy from carbonation, the carbonation is excellent kicking all the flavors around and lounging on the tongue, bitter, funky brett is sour and dry, very balanced, biscuity malt, bitter hops in the back, light alcohol, wow - complex!

mouthfeel is amazing, crisp dry finish, refreshingly creamy carbonation, very nice!!!

drxandy, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of Phocion
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 10/05, so this is about 9 months old. Poured into an Orval chalice. Thick golden-brown with a huge foamy head and great retention.

Malty and fruity overtones, especially pear. Quite an alcohol scent as well, though we are approaching 7% (the site lists this at 6.2, but my bottle says 6.9).

Very dry and earthy taste. Alcohol content is evident as well, not as well hidden as most Belgians. The pears are coming through as an undertone, and it is neither as fruity or malty as the scent.

Medium-bodied. Very dry and crisp on the palate.

This is a good treat, but definitely not a session beer. Very dry and fairly high ABV. Overall I'd recommend it, but not more than one or two a night.

Phocion, Jun 17, 2006
Photo of Converge
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a 16oz tulip.

A - Pours with a big head of light tan bubbles, although it's rather short-lived. The color is a murky rusty-copper, with ample yeasty cloudiness. Not much head retention or lacing to speak of.

S - Smells complex and nothing like I had expected. Lots of dark fruits, a touch a anise, and some sour acetaldehyde notes. Some sweet bready malt and grassy hops come through as well, but this is overall much more dark and heavy feeling than I had anticipated. I'm picking up some molasses, figs, and some caramel malt. It's got a slightly herbal, or medicinal quality that turns me off a little, sort of reminds me of a barley wine in this regard. Butterscotch, brown sugar, and a distinct spicy character also come through.

T - Sort of strange, lots of sweet malt presence, kind of butterscotch like. Quite bready and yeasty through the middle, with lots of dark fruits complimenting this. Finishes with a dry, earthy hop feel with a pronounced spiciness. Lots of odd buttery-sweet malt flavors throughout. The dark fruits don't really work well with this malty sweetness, and the strange acetaldehyde funkiness really feels off. I get a touch of oak-like cherry flavor and herbal notes after it warms a bit, furthering the similarities between this and a barley wine. Overall this flavor profile feels a bit disjointed and peculiar to me; it's a decent tasting beer and undeniably complex, but far from other Belgian ales I've enjoyed.

M - Medium bodied feel, with nice smooth carbonation, just like I would expect a Trappist ale feel like, but at the same time the body feels a touch slick and oily. Kind of syrupy even.

D - Definitely feeling a little underwhelmed by Orval. While I'm a big fan of Belgian ales, this one wasn't really my cup of tea - or beer I suppose. It was certainly worth trying once, and maybe I'll even revisit it again with a re-review down the road, but until then Orval will sit comfortably behind the likes of finer Belgian ales out there for me.

Converge, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of cclark67789
5/5  rDev +19%

cclark67789, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of markaberrant
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a clear orange with fluffy white head. Looks great. Some lacing.

S - fruity apricot with some light pepper. Very pleasing nose.

T - Fruit right off the start, but it is quickly washed away. Mmm... yummy funkiness creeps in. Earthy goodness through to the end, and the hop bitterness compliments it all the more. I'm having trouble describing these flavours, but the finish and aftertaste are just wonderful.

M - Generous carbonation creates a light fullness.

D - Refreshing as can be for a sturdy beer, this is my kinda drink.

I only tried an Orval once before at a beer bar. I enjoyed it immensely at the time, but it's even better now where I can concentrate and fully appreciate everything it has to offer. One of my all time favourites.

markaberrant, Aug 08, 2007
Photo of uustal
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, murky orange with a big, bright white, thick head. Great retention. Aroma of yeast strains, hay, lemongrass, citrus and spicy notes. Taste starts off with a musky yeast, barnyard and hay flavors. Citrus notes and a thick, sweet malt add balance. More yeast and grassy notes bring it home as well as a touch of Belgian spices.

uustal, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of TheRealDBCooper
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

TheRealDBCooper, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of olympicgatorade
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Huge frothy head, nice burnt umber color, darker than expected for a Trappist.

S: Lighty bready with a really nice hit of brett funk. Great.

T: A very subtle beer. Faint hits of bitter hops, fruit, bread, booze. Funk hardly present at all, was hoping for more to come through. Really soft and enjoyable bitter aftertaste.

M: Nicely carbonated. Very delicate. A refreshing palate cleanse.

O: A very beautifully built beer, with nice restraint. Not my favorite Trappist, but a unique variation among its brethren.

olympicgatorade, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of bigbeerfan
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

bigbeerfan, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of amstokesdb9
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

amstokesdb9, Mar 28, 2014
Photo of SStein
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

SStein, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of BeerBob
2.55/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orval Trappist Ale pours a hazy translucent nut brown from a 11.2 oz very dark brown glass bottle with a pry off cap. Head well over three fingers. Foam turns rocky and clings to everything in large clumps on the way down the sides of my glass to a massive broken reef of foam with a lagoon to one side.

Nose is a firm clove and sour banana, with just the slightest wisp of bubble gum. Palate is just a one-dimensional citrus sour with the bight of carbonation. That is it, just a foamy sour bubbly.

“The king has no clothes!”

Dates on bottle:
Bottled on: 29/08/2006
Best Before: 29/08/2011

BeerBob, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of drumrboy22
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into an Orval chalice. Beer was a light brown color, with a two-finger, foamy, off-white head. Moderate carbonation and tons of lacing around the glass. Glorious!

Aroma was funky brett, some floral notes and very faint citrus.

Taste was slightly hoppy, caramel, grass, citrus, and a touch of funk and yeast. Dry finish.

Bottle is 16 months old and has aged very well. Love the hints of Brett in the nose. Complex and flavorful beer. This is delish.

drumrboy22, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of DioS
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

DioS, Aug 28, 2012
Photo of redleg411
3/5  rDev -28.6%

redleg411, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of 2neardead
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

2neardead, Mar 04, 2012
Photo of mcrawford
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

mcrawford, Mar 18, 2014
Photo of lmaduells
5/5  rDev +19%

lmaduells, Oct 21, 2014
Photo of factoide
4/5  rDev -4.8%

factoide, Oct 28, 2014
Photo of trbergman
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance - The beer pours a hazy golden orange with three fingers of pillowy off-white head. The head recedes to about one finger but leaves spectacular lacing on the way down.

Smell - Belgian yeast, bubblegum, with earthy undertones.

Taste - At first very dry and somewhat bitter, the beer opens up and improves on warming. The palate is quite earthy, with other flavors I had trouble describing at first, but would call hay, apple, and pear. The finish is dry with grassy, herbal hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Highly carbonated, this beer dances on the tongue and has a full, round body.

Drinkability - Good. Alcohol is hidden better than other beers of similar strength. A pleasure to drink - I could have two or three.

trbergman, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of cambabeer
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

cambabeer, Jun 06, 2013
Photo of mattyrubes
3/5  rDev -28.6%

mattyrubes, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of Stumpy29er
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

Stumpy29er, May 13, 2012
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,491 ratings.