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

Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,899 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3899
Reviews: 2078
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.62%

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.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 09-18-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,899 | Reviews: 2,078 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of msquared36


4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Light copper with a little haze. Thick, billowing foam, slightly off white head.

Aroma is yeasty with a bit of barnyard funk.

Funk is very upfront in the first few sips. Becomes more crisp as it warms and settles. By the end there are lemony citrus hints.

Lively carbonation. Mouthfeel is a little thin in comparison to the strong flavor.

I really like the complexity in the taste of this beer. Taste is unique but still recognizable.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2014 20:24:12 | More by msquared36
Photo of dacrza1

New Jersey

4.81/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

DATE TASTED: February 21, 2014... GLASSWARE: Chimay 125th Anniversary chalice... OCCASION: prepping for Will's 7th birthday party... APPEARANCE: dark cumulonimbus, Everest-like white climbing head--three-fingers edge out of the glass; medium amber body; hazy lacing continues throughout the drinking experience... AROMA: bright, sugary yeast wafts with slightly pungent, earthy grass and raison; grapefruit and pear are present...PALATE: light to medium-bodied; easily drinkable and lengthy aftertaste--one that is desirable...TASTE: sweet candied sweet hops pucker the mouth; pear and apple make for a perfumed blend, supported by a surprisingly hearty malt base--balanced and pleasing... OVERALL: alcohol adequately masked,, this Trappist deftly hits the bliss point---malty/hoppy/yeasty/fruity in equal turns; only regret is waiting nearly a decade to revisit and review the "pearl in the fish" labeled brew...

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 16:25:53 | More by dacrza1
Photo of Dave1999

North Carolina

4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer is a cloudy amber with a massive fluffy white head.

The smell is lemons, oranges and a bit of a sour vinegar smell.

The taste is sour, lemons, light malts and just a little bitterness.

The mouthfeel is light with high carbonation.

A classic, the sour flavours differentiate this from other Belgian pale ales. Well worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 04:02:25 | More by Dave1999
Photo of kilo_005


4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into standard Orval glass.

A) tan in color. Light head.
S) this beer has a wonderful aroma of sour fruit, like a tart cherry. This is the best aspect of the beer.
T) mild sour/funk upfront dissapating to a pleasant lingering bitterness. This is what makes Orval unique among traditional Belgians.
M) Strong carbonation feeling that is heightened by the upfront sourness.
O) obviously a legendary Belgian beer. Unless you dislike the bitterness for some reason, you will most likely enjoy this.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2014 23:07:47 | More by kilo_005
Photo of JuicesFlowing


3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a balloon glass.

Look: Hazy, murky faded amber orange. Fluffy light cream colored head that hardly recedes. Random blobs of foamy lacing.

Aroma: Faint banana, musty cardboard, and a trace of bubblegum.

Taste: Really strong carbonation overpowers everything. Gassy. Some bubblegum sweetness, very slight florals and banana.

Mouthfeel: Really carbonated, harsh.

Overall: I'm going to assume this isn't normal. The beer tasted wrong from the start, and too metallic and carbonated.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 23:35:16 | More by JuicesFlowing
Photo of PeterParker

New Jersey

2.85/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Drinking this fresh, only a week old. Bottle erupted upon opening.

Pours deep golden brown, maybe a dark amber/copper color. Big white head with large bubbles and lots of lacing.

Banana, yeast, dark dried fruits, plums, very sweet. Not much by way of bready malt however. Bit of orange perhaps.

Mild, at first overwrought with bubbles, a little sourness. Sourness would be nice if it wasn't so lonely. Followed by some yeast, but not a lot. Very mild and mellow. Sourness is not big but it lingers.

High carbonation, feels like a shaken bottle of soda.

Pedestrian in my opinion. It doesn't really have the Belgian characteristics like malt that I'm used to. I think I'll stick to Dark's and Quad's. Maybe it's the low ABV but this one was lacking to me.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2014 19:42:39 | More by PeterParker
Photo of Stevedore


4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2ml bottle, bottled on 2/29/2012, poured into a wine glass today, 2/12/2014. Almost 2 years old at this point.

App- Hazy dark orange-brown body, nice 2 finger tan head with fantastic retention, leaves a thick tan collar that doesn't go away. Nice sticky lacing that's part of the collar as it goes down.

Smell- Orange peel, faint green apple tartness, a bit vinous on the white side of the spectrum, a bit of bread and honey. Complex.

Flavour- Less complex- quite bready and dry with a bit of the white vinous backend. Some oak on the finish though I don't know if this is made with any oak. Not as much of the citrus peel or the apple tartness to be honest, which would have added a lot more to this beer.

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, well carbonated, very dry. Which makes sense as the Brett has had two years to work its magic. Aftertaste of a dry oaky white vinous flavour.

Overall- Interesting trappist ale that showcases the effects of Brettanomyces quite well. Dry, a bit funky and bready. Nice one to sip on both a cold winter night or a warm summer evening.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 04:50:37 | More by Stevedore
Photo of Act25

New Jersey

4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Retried this in tulip at cellar temp at home. Thrilling. I have to have one of these a month.
Upped my review. Out of heavy glass vase like bottle, mine stamped 7-2012 so 2.5 years old.

O: Get ready for a wild, subtle, flowery experience....

A: Pours massive unstoppable head, on top of a very hazy apricot body. The head becomes the tallest set of floating rocks and leaves lots of lacing that make it look tough to wash the glass. One of the best looking beers ever. In a tulip, a .5 l glass and in a Leffe Chalice.

Smell: Strong flower shop plus citrus nose; smells like a box of oranges sitting in a wet barn full of hay with jasmine and lavender flowers growing outside. And a beautiful woman lifting her skirt as she crosses a fresh stream while chewing violet gum.

Taste: Complex. Starts with hops, and bitter fizz, and runs a long arc of flowers, grass, wet hay, barnyard, citrus flavors then a long, long, long dry finish, like good wine. Great with Cheese as Jason wrote. (Tonight French Comte) (cheese almost a must, in another case Irish cheddar with fresh baked bread, and another late harvest garden tomato with balsamic). Ultimate fine and creamy cheese beer pairing.

Mouthfeel: Interesting twist. A wee heavy, and long finish with dry bitterness. WIne-like, long long finish. I like it like I'd like a Jayer Cote de Nuit.

Drinkability: This is a great Trappist beer. I think it just rose above Chimay for me. Shimmy over Chimay, make room for Orval... You must try it. It's not for everyone. But it must have a following because it's been crafted since 1100.

Belgian fans must.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 02:44:53 | More by Act25
Photo of Chessmaster


4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Pours a golden, orange-brown with 1-2 inches of dense white head that slowly dissipates to about 1/4 inch that lingers and lingers. Nice lacing

S: Light, floral

T: Floral bitterness, finishing with a touch of fresh hop notes. Refreshing, somewhat complex.

M: Pleasant

O: A nice beer although I like Chimay or Westmalle better.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2014 17:07:41 | More by Chessmaster
Photo of BastardFromABasket


4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Prohibition Pig tulip. A deep golden ale that leaves a big bubbly head that fades after a minute or two. No lacing. Smell is earthy and funky. Tastes of pepper, blue cheese. It's dry and bitter like citrus rind with a bit of brett funkiness. Light, effervescent mouthfeel. Overall very nice.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 02:52:32 | More by BastardFromABasket
Photo of BillBabbitt


2.41/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I enjoy Belgian ales, but I was very disappointed with Orval. It was overly carbonated. I was only able to get about 3 oz of beer in a 16 oz tulip glass, due to the heavy foam. Once I was able to try the Orval, I found it to have a very unusual industrial aroma. I did not finish the beer. The 'brewed on' date indicated that this bottle was nearly 13 months old, so it is possible it had turned.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 23:08:54 | More by BillBabbitt
Photo of ONovoMexicano

New Mexico

4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Popped the top off the bottle and was greeted by a lot of carbonation.

This resulted in a ton of head on the pour, meaning I had to set the beer aside for a while to let the head reside. It was persistent as hell, foamy and full of big carbonation bubbles. The liquid was a cloudy copper with visible carbonation. Not bad, but seemed to be a bit overcarbed.

It's fruity, earthy and yeasty on the nose, like a saison. Some hint of citrus and even some pepper. It smells summery and light.

It's lighter than I expected, body-wise and of course has a carbonated feel. I continue to get citrusy notes on the palate, some dark fruit notes, earthiness, and pepper. There's something floral about the beer as well. I appreciate that the yeast isn't overbearing in taste or on the tongue.

Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 04:21:50 | More by ONovoMexicano
Photo of brureview


4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of most unusual Belgians I have tasted. The beer was brewed in January '13.

Poured in an Orval Trappist glass: a beautiful light tea color with bubbling from the bottom of the glass.

Aroma: At first, unusual clove, and light fruit, which is stronger with warming. The clove is different than any other Belgian beer I have tasted.

The mouth feel is very carbonated and works well with the style. The beer is unusually dry.

The taste develops with warming. At first clove and then stronger fruit. Barnyard funk begins to come into the taste with warming. Reminiscent of a Saison Brett funk.

The finish is peppery and bitter. The consistency is champagne-like. This beer drinks like a champagne.

Overall- unique. No other Belgian tastes like this. It's a sipper for a 6.9ABV. Warming brings out different aroma/taste qualities.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 03:14:07 | More by brureview
Photo of RaphaelSC


5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330mL bottle to Snifter.

A: Big tar head with good retention, and a smoked orange body.

S: Dryed Lemon and wood smell. The smell is unique as the beer itself.

T: Citric and dry, with mild sweetness and bitterness, this beer is quite refreshing unlikely its kin trappistes beers, can't feel the alcohol at all, just that fruit unique flavor that I can't barely describe.

M: A mild and dry bitterness that resembles wine to me. A superb mouthfeel in my opinion, that makes you want to contemplate every sip you take of this beer.

O: Unique, this trappist beer is unique between its pars and between every other beer you find out there, I strongly recommend this beer to every one that appreciates a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2014 21:04:52 | More by RaphaelSC
Photo of T-34-85

New York

4.61/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a balloon glass.

A: Pours an amber color. Good light tan/off-white head with a healthy 1 to 2 finger head that maintains nicely throughout the consumption of the beer.

S: Has a sour yeasty aroma with a hint of sweetness.

T: Great flavor with a nice mild sourness.

M: Good mouthfeel with a nice level of carbonation.

Overall: Great beer with nice balance of flavor and carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2014 22:49:27 | More by T-34-85
Photo of LVituri


4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sinto dificuldade em analisar esse rótulo, por se tratar de algo único e de difícil comparação. A Orval é a cerveja mais original do universo trapista belga, ela é única e joga com suas próprias regras. O que posso dizer é que senti falta de complexidade e seu amargor intenso pode ter sido mal interpretado por mim. Espero revisitá-la um dia para rever minhas conclusões.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 13:33:42 | More by LVituri
Photo of StoutItOutLoud


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330mL bottle to tulip. Bottled 1-23-2013. Consumed 1-9-2014.

whoa. with one pry of the cap, this one starts to gush. the yeast's been working for the last year. after taking a few seconds to clean up my counter, i start the pour, slowly. gigantic light tan head, orange rust body, very hazy. the head takes a while to recede

the aroma's solid. lemon funk, overripe banana. very bretty, which makes this one stand out from other bpas.

very pleasant mix of spice and fruit, all thanks to the brett. vinous as well, alcohol and hop bitterness with warming

dry, not as much carbonation as expected. quite drinkable

this is a great example of the style, made unique by the brettanomyces

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2014 02:45:32 | More by StoutItOutLoud
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 330ml bottle, bottled 22/08/2013 - best before 22/08/2018.

A dark honey body, almost like a light apple cider. Very voluminous head, long retention and mountainous foam on top. Good funk in aroma with classic Belgian influences including cloves, strawberry (thank you Brett!) and pineapple (?). Flavor is again a nice mix of Brett and traditional Belgian flavors. Spicy cloves, herbal bitterness (not too much). IMO, this is a notch above most Belgian ales and sets itself apart.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 16:01:41 | More by papat444
Photo of anarchia


5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hazy dark orange with a massive head that won't go away before you finish drinking it--beautiful. Aroma is sour apples, barnyard, sour funk, noble hops. Velvety, spicy, and bubbly in the mouth. Carbonation really enhances the diverse flavors. Spicy, fruity hop bitterness. Tart and funky. Fruity and spicy (hints of black pepper). Orange and lemon. I could keep rambling but... a zillion contrasting flavors balanced perfectly. Perfect--yep, that's the word I'm looking for. Perfect.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 05:58:55 | More by anarchia
Photo of a0lbudman


4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Amber color with a large tan head that leaves a lace
S-dark fruits, raisins and figs. Has a wine or farmhouse like aroma with spice in every smell
T- caramel sweetness with spice and wine like taste that goes to a spice kick aftertaste that has some sour taste and also some warming in the finish
M-creamy high carbonation with medium body
O-great malty flavor that starts this beer off right. It has good balance.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2013 02:54:43 | More by a0lbudman
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a tulip. Bottled on 04/10/2012.

A: Pours a hazy amber with a gigantic dense white head. Going to take a couple pours to get this one into the glass. Leaves some chunks of lacing on the glass. Loads of visible carbonation in the glass.

S: The brett in this one is starting to pull through giving it a bit of a funkiness or lambic quality. A little bit of spiciness pulls through the backend.

T: As with the aroma, this one is showing its age with the Brett yeast flavors. Hops are still solid, proving its a Belgian pale ale.

M: Light to medium body with bubbly carbonation. Dry on the tongue from the Brett and hop combination.

Overall as Michael Jackson has said this is a great aperitif. It is light and very easy drinking with a crisp and refreshing character. Interesting to see how this has developed.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 02:28:23 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of tmzl


4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

One year round bottle.

Look: Pours with big bubbly, billowy off-white foam, very sparkly (you can hear it). Slow retention, thick layer stays on top for the whole ride. Leaves some lacing. Cloudy dirty orange/brown with huge amounts of carbonation. A few yeast float around. Why not.

Smell: It fills the room. Dried dark fruit - raisins, figs, slightly brandy-ish. Lots of funk, brett notes. Spice, cloves and sour. Fattening and complex.

Taste: Complex. Heavy farmhouse brett funk, leather but not off-putting. Spicy. Caramel sweetness, but hard to appreciate with all that excessive carbonation. Some metallic aftertaste, but not too much - comes and goes. Also moderate sour and hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Complex and interesting as fuck - not sure it's my cup of tea - but it does get better every sip.

Mouthfeel: Lots of crisp, aggressive carbonation - kinda hinders the overall taste. Medium body, leaves some coating.

Overall: A tough one. I do like the progressive complexity, the not too in-your-face brett character with sour notes, but the carbonation is silly and gets in the way. Still a massive beer, definitely a must try - some old-school shit.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 23:20:17 | More by tmzl
Photo of HoppyBastard


4.01/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 ounce bottle into a shaker pint glass.

APPEARANCE: copper and hazy with a three finger head, even when carefully poured. Excellent retention and considerable lacing, very high amount of carbonation.

SMELL: a little funky with bread, yeast and fruit, not overpowering.

TASTE: the taste follows the nose. funky bread, caramel, apples. The hop profile is somewhat subdued, a balanced beer. The alcohol is well hidden.

PALATE: creamy with a high amount of carbonation,

OVERALL: this is a very good beer but Duvel Belgian Pale Ale sets the standard. For the price I will probably not buy this beer again as there are better, more affordable options available to me.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 04:50:37 | More by HoppyBastard
Photo of scotorum


3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Hazy dark gold with an enormous fluffy white head which receded to rocky surface foam and extensive lacing. The foam generated by this on pouring was incredible, requiring numerous subsequent pours to prevent overflow, and time for the head to settle.

s: Fruit cup.

t: Very mild fruit. Dry finish.

m: Light to medium. Considerable carbonation tingle.

o: A fine Belgian with restrained fruity yeast flavor. Extremely easy drinking and enjoyable. However unless and until the price comes way down from $6 to $2-3, I probably will not be repurchasing. Too many American versions which are nearly as good, if not a little better.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2013 02:45:59 | More by scotorum
Photo of Baron_of_Suds


4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Chimay goblet at about 55-60 degrees. Bottled 08/30/12

Appearance: Dense golden orange. Creamy, pillowy head w/ tiny bubbles which recedes slowly.

Smell: Fresh straw, dandelions, citrus, and a bit peppery.

Taste: Dry, spicy, long finish where the notes from nosing can be revisited

Mouthfeel: Dry and initially a slight bit creamy even; then creates a small amount of "cottonmouth," but not in a negative way.

Overall: An absolute classic and truly unique experience. I always look forward to this beer, and it has yet to disappoint. This beer to me is greater than the sum of its parts. I would love to try this when it is super fresh someday.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2013 00:13:27 | More by Baron_of_Suds
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 3,899 ratings.