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

Not Rated.
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,214 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,214
Hads: 4,970
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 18.94%
Wants: 301
Gots: 684 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A. visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 09-18-2001

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.
View: Beers (2) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Orval Trappist Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,214 | Hads: 4,970
Photo of khmel
4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
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 +1.4%
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
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | 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 -17.5%
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.


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Photo of cjgiant
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
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 -0.5%
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 +1.4%
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 +3.1%
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 -15.8%
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 -16.1%
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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Photo of CanadianBacon
4.76/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation- Came in a very cool brown rounded bottle

Appearance- hazy amber, huge foamy head similar to duvel

Aroma- Tarty,Yeasty, Green Apple and bread

Taste- complex taste dominated by green apple and some spice

Mouthfeel- pretty light body crisp and carbonated

Overall- Another A++ trappist beer, Try it

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Photo of Mikus
4.36/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Highly carbonated, standard medium amber hue. Some interesting, horsey Brett aromas creeping from a nice background of subtle cherry. Great Brettanymyoces character on the palate. Nicely barnyard funky with a hint of tartness. Nice, super dry finish. What can I say, killer brew. Dregs went into the house bug blend.

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Photo of kbwalters
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured cold into a tapered pilsner glass. Bottled on 4/15/13 and consumed on 1/10/15.
Look = 3.75 Lots of carbonation on this one, should’ve been more careful on the pour. 4 fingers of off white head even with a slow pour. Thick and frothy head composed of big bubbles. Lots of streaming bubbles. Clear orange/gold/amber in color.
Aroma = 4.25 Sour, musky horse blanket smell common to Brett bears. Some yeasty notes.
Taste = 3.75 Candied malt sweetness up front, none of the sour comes through in the taste, a hint of tartness. A dry, bitterness in the aftertaste.
Feel = 4.0 Light to medium bodied with medium to high carbonation; thin and crisp, fizzy on the tongue.
Drinkability = 4.0 Pretty easy drinking.
Overall = 3.9375 Somewhat bland brett beer here, but solid all around. The sour smell doesn’t lead to a sour taste, which leaves the taste a little bland.

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Photo of Brew_42
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy Amber with a thick off-white head that leaves lacing and hangs around

Smell- Green apples

Taste-green apples and yeast with some spice. One warm booziness. Tastes like it should have a higher abv than it does. A little sweeter than the sme would have you believe. Sourness increases as the beer warms up a bit.

MF- lighter than I expected. Decent carbonation. Refreshing and drinkable.

Overall- good beer, not on the high end of trappist ales but that still puts it way ahead of most.

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Photo of bilbobrewer
4.84/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

33cl btl purchased at Brussels bottle shop (v hard to find in grocery stores..).
bottled June 30,2015; BB June 30, 2020. (More info is always better....thx)
Served chilled in a tulip. Bottle is unique....like miniature champagne.
Poured nice clear reddish-brown. Not much head.

I love the taste.. NOT syrupy sweet, and on the heels of tasting several local 'syrup bombs', this is extra-appreciated.
Remarkable mouthfeel on this one...some different flavours. Not sour, but more a more 'mature' malty profile than many highly regarded Belgian tripels and quads. A champagney, bubbly dryness on the throat.
Note this beer is tres fresh...but at only 6%abv, I'm not sure how much taste would change or improve with time.
This might be my Belgian co-favorite. ...a ying to Rochefort-8 yang. And this is much easier to see as a multi-serving beverage...there aren't very many quality beers that lend themselves to 'sessioning' in Belgium.
A last minute throw-in purchase, this is a great find and I highly recommend it.

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Photo of headlessparrot
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled October 2014. Beer pours an almost reddish, copper colour, fairly cloudy, topped by a tremendous amount of loose head that just keeps growing. Lots of small bubbles visible. Dense lacing that not only sticks to the side of the glass but actually visibly protrudes. Even after most of the head recedes, at leas one enormous island persists like an iceberg.

Smell is sour, yeasty, sweet, slightly metallic. A bit of Christmas spice (cinnamon? clove?). Smells a lot like a lambic, a faro, or maybe even a Flanders Red. Slight pine, caramelized sugars, brown sugars. Green apple, apple skins. Apricot or peach--stone fruits, at any rate. Sour cherries.

Given the intensity of the aroma, the taste is a lot lighter than I expected. More toasted and roasted malt-type flavours than I would have expected as well. Slight sourness, a lot of fruit: apple, apricot, peach. Maybe some pear? A faint metallic twang. Some baking spices and Christmas spices. Clove? Faint banana? Carbonation is high, but manageable and the body is dense without being overpowering.

Delicious. The taste doesn't quite live up to the smell, but delicious. This reminds me of a lot of my very favourite Belgian beers, of all different styles: Rodenbach Grand Cru, Lindeman's Faro. . . . And yet the difference is that this retains a drinkability that a lot of those favourites don't (I could drink three of these; I could never drink three Rodenbachs in a sitting). I don't know that it's a *better* beer than either of those I listed. But it's of a different style, and is more drinkable.

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Photo of GerryPendry
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy amber, gigantic dense head. Complex aroma and flavor. Mouthfeel is a tad bit thin, not too carbonated, with a dry finish. It's almost like it evaporates from your palate, the same way a well-made martini does. Incredibly flavorful for a beer his light and drinkable. Goes down way too easy for a beer this expensive. Very highly recommended.

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Photo of mjurney
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Amber-golden color, murky. Lots of small bubbles streaming. Thick frothy head.

Bananas, pears, hint of nutmeg, deep bready malts, a little tartness.

Strong fruity yeast, bananas, pears, green grape skin. Mild spice, nutmeg. Deep creamy malts, caramel. Hop bitterness towards the end. Finish is most tart, very dry. Body is full, crewy, refreshing, easy drinking.

It's a world class beer!

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.46/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was poured into a tulip.
The appearance was a hazy amber to orange color. There was a decently sized creamy rocky head that lasts for a super long time and then once it dissipates leaves some nice stringy lacing.
The smell starts off with tart apples, brings on a slight rustic funk and then slides into some nice Belgian spices.
The taste remains tart through the apples and then takes on a musty sort of farmhouse sweet funk. The apples take on a sweet persona in the aftertaste and slides into a semi-sweet to musty wet finish.
The mouthfeel is about a light to medium on the body with a pretty good sessionability about it. Carbonation ranges on a delicate soft side allowing the tartness to come back and be the focus of the harshness along my tongue.
Overall, its a classic because of its unique quality of the tartness. Its world class for a reason. And a stellar one to have with some NY strip steaks. I also personally love it with grilled halibut steaks.

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Photo of HopHunter19
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a - murkey amber orange, nice big creamy head on it that lasts forever and leaves great lacing
s - tart green apple, little bit of funk
t - very light tartness, green apple, lots of funk and mustiness, kind of like sleeping in your grandparent's basement
m - light - medium, alc completely covered, aftertaste is musty funkiness
o - would drink again for it's uniqueness, not my favorite by far though

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Photo of dd43
4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It will be sacrilege on this site, but I feel like I enjoyed Spencer Trappist more than this. That said Orval is a fantastic beer. Voluminous head requires a careful pour. Swirling the bottle before cracking it open, even gently, can cause a foam geyser if you aren't careful.

Somewhat darker in color than other Belgian pales, giving you the sense that the malt character is going to be a little more pronounced (and it is). Great yeast aromas, candied sugar in the flavor, and massively carbonated. Required drinking if you are trying to get a sense of what Belgian pale ales are, consider this a reference beer.

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Photo of tlema1
4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Orange/Amber, big billowing white head
S: little funk, little tart
T: lots going on here, I get tart green apple, some Belgian yeast sweetness, a little funk
F: good mouthfeel
O: great beer, first time I've ha one in years

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Photo of SkipZ
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled on 27/03/2014.
Look: Poured a huge pillowy white head with plenty of active bubbles streaming. This is a true joy to me. In the glass its a beautiful amber/orange that is light-light/medium body and mostly translucent with no large particles even after I swirled them from the bottom of the bottle. Some head foam remained in the bottle to finish off the top.

Nose: First aromatic blast is a mixture of bubble gum, tutti-frutti snow cone and Harbo red and black raspberry German gummies obviously from the "candied sugar" quickly followed with sweet malts, aromatic hops and a tiny bit of funk.

Taste/Mouth: Sharp carbonation on the tip of the tongue for eye popping refreshment with the sweet,dry,funky and aromatic complexities of this ale battling it out over the tongue to a superb, velvety,crisp and dry finish that left me wanting more. In fact, this is a bottle from the case I traveled about 75 miles to get after sampling a bottle a few days earlier.

Final Thoughts: This is a complex,heavily carbonated Trappist ale that is a crisp,funky and aromatic bliss.

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Photo of TheBlueWaffle
4.71/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

After dealing with the insane carbonation, I'm talking 30 minutes till the foam died down, this beer was ready. Worth the wait for sure. Intense banana yeast notes. Very drinkable!

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Photo of kevinlater
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle into goblet. "bottled on 15/01/2015, best before 15/01/2020B". 6.9% abv. consumed on june 30, 2015

a: light copper with two fingers of off-white head

s: ah brett beers. noticeably funky but miles from offensive. funk, strong bready malt, and sour lemon up front. underneath that are very mild backing notes of overripe bananas, sour apples, pears, and bubblegum

t: follows the nose but is a bit more fruity. a really solid chewy bready malt in the front mixed with those sour funky brett flavours. lots of complex but tame backing flavours throughout -- pear, lemon, banana, papaya, bubblegum, spices, melon, earthy hops, apricot, maybe even some mango? ends with a moderate hop bitterness and lingering subdued funky tastes

m: nice, modest medium-minus body with plenty of bubbly carbonation. very dry finish

o: a massively complex beer that offers so many different flavours upon each sip

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 2,214 ratings.