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

Not Rated.
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,177 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

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Reviews: 2,177
Hads: 4,865
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.41%
Wants: 283
Gots: 638 | 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:
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,177 | Hads: 4,865
Photo of facundoCNB
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Review of a 1 year old bottle.
Appears much foamier than I recall, a dark golden color with 3 fingers of foamy off white head.
Smells of Brett?? I definitely didn't pick up on this when it was fresh. A bit vinous, oaky, funky.. With lots of malt in the background. The flavor is on par, the Brett is subtle at first but once your palate picks up on the oaky barrel flavor, the barnyard door opens wide!
Medium in body with high carbonation.
This is fantastic aged, but I was bit impressed with it fresh... I honestly had written it off as a standard Belgian ale.. Don't make the same mistake. (592 characters)

Photo of JMScowcroft
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Brasserie d'Orval S.A. - Orval Trappist Ale, poured into a Lawson's tulip.

Look - Pours a cloudy straw amber with a frisky foamy head that hangs around. Tons of sticky lacing.

Smell - Some woody sour brett funk. Pears, white grape, apples, banana, clove, etc.

Taste - Nice sour brett pucker with malt coming in strong behind and fruity, picking up light banana and moderate clove at first, others as it warms.

Mouthfeel - Light-medium bodied with zesty carb. If I had to fault one thing it would be a tad overcarbed, but I didn't mind. Slight malt warmth is pleasant. Great drinkability.

Overall - Terrific brew, a real masterpiece. This certainly earns its ranking as the yardstick by which all Trappist Ales are measured. Brett bottle conditioning, an excellent idea. (774 characters)

Photo of dcmchew
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Been meaning to review this one properly.
Hazy golden pour (light copper tinges) in my Westy glass, one - two fingers bubbly head. The thin lacing later on is extremely sticky, leaving blankets of foam on the side of the glass, popping away to random smaller traces.
The smell is really unique, as i remember it, with sweet apricots, acidic apples and pears, strawberries, low citrus, honey, lots of flowers and a nice green saison-like funk. You could just smell this for hours.
Really complex taste. It doesn't start off with the fruitiness as expected, but with the barnyard funk and the herbs, the candi sugar (just mildly sweet, mind you) and prickly peppercorn. Fruitiness follows, crisp and acidic, with clear green apple (with a tiny bit of tartness) and yellow pears, mixed up with some grains. The green funk never leaves the palate, all till the (rather) bitter finish.
A bit too much carbonation, especially considering the crispness of the beer. Refreshing, yes. Alcohol is very subtle, aftertaste consists of, you guessed it, funk.
No wonder i rated this 5 at first, it's absolutely amazing. Minus the bit of extra carbonation, but still up to its renown. (1,170 characters)

Photo of mverity
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an orange amber with an inch of perfectly even bubbled light tan head. Good lacing, head has staying power, thick collar at the edges. Aroma is of aged hops, earthy funk, citrus, and some dark cherry. Very effervescent and bubbly on the tongue. High carbonation, light to medium body. Fun to drink. Taste is grassy and earthy in a dry funky kind of way, with some floral and earthy hops. (393 characters)

Photo of polloenfuego
3.99/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 330 ml bottle to a tulip.

A: a nice amber with some cloudiness and lots of effervescence present. There is a huge frothy head tthat won't quit. Even as the beer volume goes down the head sticks around.

S: funky yeasts and tart fruit such as crab apple perhaps or cherry.

T: funk, fruit pits, hops and a touch of yeast.

M: there is very high carbonation and a dry finish on this beer. Very light on the feel.

O: this is my third time having Orval and I have yet to truly enjoy it to the level that I have other trappist beers. That isn't to say it is bad, far from it, but rather it is so different from what one might expect from a trappist beer. This bottle had a year of age on it, I would like to wait and try the next in another year. (755 characters)

Photo of Abra
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My first official authentic Trappist beer.

Pours a beautiful hazy amber color with a MASSIVE frothy, lacy head...my glass of choice could have benefited from a few extra inches at least!
Very high carbonation...there is a constant steady stream of bubbles running up the center.

Aroma is very yeasty, with subtle spice and apricot/sugary fruity undertones...I actually can't stop smelling it-so wonderfully complex and interesting.

Taste unfortunately doesn't expand on the aroma. It's clean, crisp with almost a hint of sour...not unpleasant at all. It befits a Belgian Pale Ale perfectly.

I am very glad I tried it. (622 characters)

Photo of Zetcha7x
3.44/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

single purchased at Wegman's in Mechanicsburg, PA for $9.00 I believe, consumed on 3/14/14

A-hazy amber/brownish with a massive off white head and a ton of lacing.

S-yeast, dark fruits, some banana, floral notes, alcohol. Definitely pick up the "funk" that others mentioned.

T-very complex. there is a lot going on here. earthly taste, some sour, spice, more bitterness comes out as it warms.

M-strong carbonation, creamy, light-medium bodied

O- probably my least favorite Trappist to this point. a beer that tastes better as it warms, and very different from other Belgian ales. however, very expensive so I'm not sure I will have too many more of these. (660 characters)

Photo of msquared36
4.69/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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. (438 characters)

Photo of dacrza1
4.79/5  rDev +15.1%
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... (913 characters)

Photo of Dave1999
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
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. (346 characters)

Photo of kilo_005
4.66/5  rDev +12%
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. (519 characters)

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
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. (495 characters)

Photo of PeterParker
2.91/5  rDev -30%
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. (758 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
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. (1,071 characters)

Photo of Act25
4.84/5  rDev +16.3%
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. (1,605 characters)

Photo of Chessmaster
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (376 characters)

Photo of BastardFromABasket
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

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 and blue cheese. It's dry and bitter like citrus rind with a bit of brett funkiness. Light, effervescent mouthfeel. Overall very nice. (271 characters)

Photo of BillBabbitt
2.46/5  rDev -40.9%
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. (396 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.16/5  rDev 0%
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. (798 characters)

Photo of brureview
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
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. (842 characters)

Photo of RaphaelSC
5/5  rDev +20.2%
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: Dried Lemon and wood smell. The smell is unique as the beer itself because the brettanomyces yeast that gives this beer its characteristic aroma.

T: Citric and dry, with mild sweetness and good bitterness, this beer is quite refreshing unlikely its kin trappistes beers that are normally more strong and "hotter" 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. (844 characters)

Photo of T-34-85
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
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. (408 characters)

Photo of LVituri
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (384 characters)

Photo of StoutItOutLoud
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
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 (686 characters)

Photo of papat444
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (494 characters)

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 2,177 ratings.