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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,270 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,270
Ratings:
5,186
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
334
Gots:
812
For Trade:
12
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

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.

Added by Bierman9 on 09-18-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,270 | Ratings: 5,186
Photo of ckornmannn
4.84/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a bottle, into a wine glass: golden amber color, slightly hazy. 2 inch head of velvety foam with great retention. Wonderful aroma, grassy and herbal. Complex flavor, grassy and herbal. Champagne. Maybe the best beer I have tried!

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The bottle of Orval that I tried may have been a bit overprimed which I believe effects the scent, taste and mouthfeel. The beer poured a hazy copper with big white head that left some lace. The scent was tru to most trappist....Belgianny. The taste also follow most Trappist ales. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with huge carbonation. Overall it was decent....would like to try this beer on tap....probably wouldn't search out a bottle of it.

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Photo of Hanglow
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 24/03/2015

Drunk on 14/12/2015

Pours with a vast pillowy head

Aroma is sweet cider, some leather. Sort of 50/50 as it warms a tad in the glass.

Prickly carbonation, some bitterness accentuated by the dryness. more leather in the flavour, the sweet cider drops way back and it becomes more beery


some warming alcohol, lingering dryness

What can you say, it's Orval. Buy lots from the same bottling date and enjoy them over time as it changes so much.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours a hazy amber, orange color with a white head that did not last, not much carbonation, not much lacing, looks pretty solid.

A: White wine, white grapes, vinegar, sour, funk, lots of aroma coming off this beer, pears, green apples, very pungent, no alcohol on the nose, smells really good.

T: Big hit of sour funkiness, tartness, sour cherries, there's a touch of oak even though it's not barrel aged, moderate amount of bitterness in the middle, finishes dry, lemon, spice, oak lingering in the aftertaste, very complex, has some depth, getting tons of flavors, very interesting.

M: I did not see much carbonation, it pops with carbonation in the mouthfeel, medium body, dry citrus like finish.

O: This is definitely interesting, tons of flavors, citrus, spice, oak, sour, funk, tartness, sour cherries, pears, green apples, white wine, white grapes, all these flavors come through as I enjoyed the beer, very complex, has lost of depth, going to pick up some more bottles to see how different dates have aged, worth a try, cheers.

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Photo of mac31
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fluffy, lingering egg white head

Dry, tart lemon, touch of orange, restrained yeast, spiciness and esters present from the yeast. A funky, musty, earthiness takes over about mid palate to the finish, which is the most enjoyable part for me (huge saison fan). The alcohol is present and noticeable but covered nicely. A dry, thin bodied brew that is crisp in nature. Has spritzy carbonation, on the high side of appropriate for the style. Haven't had this beer in a while. Nice to go back to an old faithful.

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Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Drank at a year and two months.

Look is very light with a huge amount of head that billows like a cloud and does not die quickly. Great lacing.

Smell - Yeast, apple, lemon, little bit of funk in this beer.

Taste - Oaky, surprisingly complex for the color of the beer. Cherry, lemon, and orange are all present as well as the lasting taste of yeast and some pine.

Feel - Pretty high carbonation that you experience the second the liquid hits your tongue. Light in body so it goes down easily.

Overall - Don't know much about the style so not anything to compare it to... But coming from an American this was a different/weird beer that was quite delicious. Very unique in my neck of the woods. Fun brew.

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Photo of edward_boumil
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: Original fluffy and bubbly tan head, subsides down to a thin film on top of the beer. Color is an opaque burnt orange color.
S: Predominant smells are citrus and dried dark fruit, with hints of alcohol. Also a bit of sour apple.
T: Reminds me of a bitter sparkling cider. Sour taste, like that of a green apple, also some dried fruit. A touch of sweetness as well.
F: Definately a bit astringent. Doesn't go back easy, more of a sipper. Body is smooth and full, carbonation is on the higher end.
O: Not my first with this beer. Haven't had it in a while and honestly wasn't blown away. Its a good beer with complex notes but just kind of felt it was lacking something, maybe in the body or as a base taste.

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Photo of OlaB
4.93/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: a gold amber color , a huge top of foam when i por it in the glass
S: citrus fruits , spices ,yeast
T: Incredible taste, hint of vanilla,citrus .slight bitterness in this beer,taste that stays in the mouth for a while after first sip.is quite a unique taste on this beer
F: Low carbonation,medium bodied, feel of the sourness in the beer, the alchol contest very noticable.A very fresh mouthfeel.
O: This one of the best beers out there and one of the resons i fell in love with beligian beers , the beer is unique in my wiev . highly recommended

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Photo of BranfordBound
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Surprised it took me this long to try it, recently saw an article about Orval pop up in a magazine and I was reminded that I haven't had this classic. Pours a rust color, hints of copper, very hazy, and a thick head easily forms and leaves lacing. Smell is sweet with and back bone of funk, very "Belgian". Nice sweetness in the flavor first, some fruit in the middle, slightly bitter. Finishes with that strong yeast note, very barnyard and funky, slightly tart. Mouthfeel is very prickly, too much so, but otherwise medium bodied. Overall a great example of a beer that doesn't really fit into one style. Very easy to drink with lots of flavor.

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Photo of EMH73
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The flavor of this beer is unlike anything I have ever tasted. The best way I could describe it is funky tasting almost moldy or mildewy with strong lemon notes.

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Photo of beersnobraven
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Poured a hazy yellow with an enormous bubbly white head that almost bubbled over the top of the glass.

S: Funk, wet hay.

T: Follows the nose pretty well, with a sweet, almost vanilla-like aftertaste.

F: Medium, with tons of bubbles. Could almost be a little too bubbly.

O: I see why people like this beer. It's not a style I typically gravitate to, but the mood struck me today and it didn't disappoint!

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Photo of D-Rock
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Purchased in Japan and poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Look: Holy jeeze, a huge white foamy head gushes up when this beer is poured, taking up about half of my glass. The head keeps foaming up and looks very alive, dynamic course bubbles slowly walk up the sides of the glass, exquisite. The beer itself is a pale transparent deep amber gold-straw color with the barest hint of clouding. Healthy carbonation keeps bubbles streaming towards the top.

Smell: A very unique bouquet, dusty, barn-like, moldy and funky, incredibly complex. Spicy tones become more prominent with a peppery coriander and nutmeg hint. Zesty lemon is prominent as well. A lot going on here, I could spend all day picking out components in this beer.

Taste: A medium bitterness accompanies the taste throughout with a moldy-mildew presence. Sour and pungent. The malt character is there but plays second to the funk. The subtle malt body gives a nice underlying backbone and becomes sweet in the drawn out aftertaste. Complex, extremely complex.

Feel: Mouthfeel is light and smooth with a puckering feel from the sourness. Carbonation bubbles up in the mouth. A hint of astringency coats the tongue. Silky almost.

Overall: This beer is unique, novel, traditional, unexpected (for the uninitiated), and somehow it all just works. Everything melds together and works in harmony, from the barnyard funk to the moldy brie taste. A stupendous beer and delicious.

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Photo of Ninjakillzu
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L: Poured into a Chimay chalice. Three finger width head which took forever to go down. The body was dark orange.

S: Sour green apple, a musty funk like an old attic, and grapefruit.

T: Taste followed the nose, also included spices and vanilla.

F: Creamy, foamy, full bodied with a slight warmth.

O: Quite a unique taste and smell, in a good way.

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Photo of jooler
3.4/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Look is good with a ton of head. Smell is alright. Taste is sort of funky. It feels like a sour ale is mixed with a dark ale. This beer is sort of confusing to me

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled last night on 10/7/15. Had this one before a few years back before I started my reviews. Sold only by a single bottle for in the $5 to $6 range. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a snifter glass.

Brew pours a hazy burnt-orange in color with a good 2-3 foamy/creamy off-white head that leaves a good amount of lacing that sticks to the sides of the glass with each sip. Aroma is of yeast, grains and spices. More going on with the taste as their is a hint of vanilla, nutmeg, lemon, biscuit and some dark fruit. Lots going on but it is a really good and slow sipping brew. Goes down easy and is smooth. No harsh or bitter aftertaste at all. A highly rated beer. Medium-bodied with perfect carbonation. A must try!

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Photo of khmel
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours with a massive head and long retention. A dark straw or light amber color with low carbonation trails. A bit hazy. The nose is hints of lemon and candy sugar, with some floral hop and even ginger notes. The taste is smooth but complex. Lemony hops and some light maltiness with notes of honey. Dry hoppy finish. The mouth is very smooth and full bodied, but manages to keep a light and dry finish. This is really almost a Belgian IPA with all the hop flavors going on. Really excellent!

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Photo of neurobot01
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Having somehow missed the mass online tasting last week, I treated myself to a mini-vertical yesterday. Reviews of both below.

33 cl bottle dated 1/21/15 into a Duvel tulip at cellar temp.

Look: translucent burnt orange with a monster foam head, great lacing. (4.25)

Smell: spices, hay, lemon tart. (4.25)

Taste: lemon pepper, nutmeg, banana custard, vanilla, alcohol; an orangey, grassy note comes to prominence as it approaches room temp. Also comes to leave a bewitching aftertaste. (4.25)

Feel: pretty spry, with a light/medium body; very dry, woody finish. (4)

Overall: lots of different elements to this beer. I'd like to see everything integrated a bit more cohesively. (4.25)

33 cl bottle dated 10/06/11 into a Duvel tulip at cellar temp.

Look: translucent burnt orange with a monster foam head, great lacing. (4.25)

Smell: wildflowers, lemongrass, bubblegum. (4.25)

Taste: wallop of funk up front; leather, bubblegum, mild brown sugar. (4.25)

Feel: almost cotton-candy, it's so airy; very dry, woody finish. (4)

Overall: compared to the fresher version, this does seem a lot more reined in and focused. Despite the identical scores, I prefer this to fresher. (4.25)

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Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 4/15/2013. Pours slightly hazy orange/amber color with a 2-3 finger foamy and fluffy off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big lemon, pineapple, cherry, pear, apple, white grape, hay, straw, pepper, grass, toasted biscuit, musty funk, light leather, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and moderate bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big lemon, pineapple, cherry, pear, apple, white grape, hay, straw, pepper, grass, toasted biscuit, musty funk, light leather, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Good amount of yeast spiciness and earthy hop bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, pineapple, cherry, pear, apple, white grape, hay, straw, pepper, toasted biscuit, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Moderate dryness after the finish from the carbonation. High carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, fairly creamy/bready, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible Belgian Trappist ale. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and moderate bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink for the ABV. A highly amazing offering all around. I feel this is at it’s best right around the 3 year mark, and this one was getting near to that age.

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
3.44/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 9-25-2014. Poured into a snifter

Poured clear light amber, super fizzy and bubbly, but as it sat, the head subsided into a nice frothy layer on top.

Smells Brett-funky, woody, grainy, very light citrus zest.

Tastes like thin malt sugars and herbal, muted cola vibe. Grass and hay notes, hints of spices and cider

Feels soft and creamy with some fizz.

Pretty average beer overall. I was hoping for more flavor as it warmed, but it didn't round out. Lots of subtle flavors, but nothing really sticks out and grabs the palate. Did have a "belgian" flavor from the spice notes and yeasty funk. A good suggestion for someone looking to get into Belgian beers.

Cheers!

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Photo of cjgiant
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 3/27/2014 (BB 2019), 1.5 years:
Pours a little dirty golden, translucent to hazy, with billowing pillow-like head that is slow to recede. The head rolled slowly, but continued to build a couple seconds after I stopped pouring. Lacing is overall fairly decent in volume, but spotty and soapy.

Nose is mildly tart and slightly yeasty. I actually think it smells a slight bit like a grapefruit soda, one that isn't all sugared up. Maybe I can also see it being lightly wine-like. Some herbal notes come through with warmth, and the yeast scent peaks at me here and there, but never comes through very strong. A warm beer opens some flower-like scents.

Feel actually comes into play with strong carbonation - biting into my tongue just a bit. I do this first because the beer is so carbonated it actually affects the taste, I think. It takes a good 15 minutes in the glass to subside.

Taste starts out almost a little lemon-herb in nature behind the prickly carbonation. Even when the carbonation subsides a bit, there is still a peppery spice bite from somewhere. Warmth also opens up a little bit of a more fleshy fruit note, but one that is muted by the earthy notes that pervade the beer.

I have had this beer before and recall not being a big fan. I've gained a little more appreciation for it after analyzing it, but it still just doesn't quite do it for me.

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Photo of jtaylord
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled Nov 2014. Very thick frothy head on this one. A orange amber color. Very fragrant. Yeasty. Taste doesn't quite live up to smell. But very good beer overall.

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Photo of Buck89
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My bottle was packaged on 3/12/15. Poured into a snifter. a fiery amber-orange with a faint haze. A voluminous and somewhat coarse light tan head that lingered, then slowly receded with delicate tracks. The nose had pineapple, lemon, yeast and floral estery notes. The taste was not surprisingly complex, with a grapefruit bitterness out of the gate followed by a funky barnyard sensation. This then morphed into herbal/floral flavors followed by a return of a lemony/citrus bitterness and a faint spice. Dry, phenolic finish. Medium-bodied. I liked it better as it warmed slightly - could drink this all day. Would love to get more and compare as it ages.

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Photo of Sorphus
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1 1/2 year old - Light orange amber and rather opaque with a huge frothy off white head. Aromas of orange zest, funky farmhouse, ginger, some toasted white bread with spices and herbs develop. Softly effervescent with a slick texture and sweet caramelised spicey bitter notes and well balanced acidity. Lasting finish with a nice orangey-ginger action.

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.51/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I'll have to revisit this. I might have had a bad one. I typically love this style, but tried this deep into a tasting night, so my palette may have been tainted.

Pours dark amber with huge big-bubbled head which quickly fades. Aroma is some candy and funk. Flavor has some agreeable malt character, but also a sour skunkiness. I really wanted to just dump this down the drain. Dry and tart finish did not have me craving more.

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Photo of Hugues
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

often cited as the best trappist beer, I find this one a bit of a hit & miss from bottle to bottle. I've had some really excellent bottles, but others were downright poor, once poured. Just the look of it will tell you. if it's orangey, you'll love it. if it's a pale pils colours... don't even sip from the glass. That's why my rating are probably much lower than the average

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 2,270 ratings.