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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.

3,897 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3897
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)
View: Beers (2) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,897 | Reviews: 2,078 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Weli


4.66/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A-Light copper/amber with a rocky white head with great retention.

S-Really reminds me of spring in a hayfield! Kinda fruity maybe apples, a hint of spice

T-Smooth earthy bitterness up front with a hint of citrus and spice, hints of pilsner malt

M-Kinda tart, overall dry and very thirst quenching

O-A must try beer! Definitely a bench mark example of the Belgian Pale Ale

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2013 22:37:29 | More by Weli
Photo of MarioM


4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz poured into a Russian River stemmed glass.

A: Nice almost cloudy light orange color with a huge head made from medium to small bubbles. Almost sticky looking foam, very common to brett beers. Ok lacing, head is lingering but is not sticking to the glass but is definitely standing its ground.

S: Light funk from the brett, a bit malty and tropical fruit like. Good phenolic character from the wild bacteria.

T: A lot o brett character, dry crisp and nice phenols. It definitely lets you know your drinking a beer with wild yeast. The Brett character is not as overpowering in the taste as it is in the aroma but still refreshing and fruity enough to be very enjoyable and tasty. Style calls for a Belgian Pale but I've also read and heard of it referenced as a Tripel. Regardless of its classification to a style, Orval is a unique beer and don't really know how to classify it. All I know is its a refreshing Brett Beer that is not a Belgian Pale nor a Tripel, yet far from a saison to confuse and cause much controversy when trying to fit this beer into a style. Which I wouldn't try, Orval is Orval and that's just how it is.

M: Medium bodied with a nice lingering brett funk that differs depending on the age of the bottle. I get a lot of tropical fruit from this one but can also be a bit simplistic and dry when young. High carbonation adds a tiny bit of crisp tartness but not sour at all. Just simply clean Brett character with a good carbonated backbone to balance and make for a refreshing and delicious unique beer. The one and only Orval.

O: Simple yet complicated at the same time. Refreshing and crisp while wanting to be tart and complex without being sour. A must have in my book and one damn unique Trappist brew that can be easily found and decently priced. Highly recommended to anyone.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2013 15:25:41 | More by MarioM
Photo of John_Henry


1.81/5  rDev -56.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: Looks pretty good, as one would expect. Enormous amount of head, leaving good lacing. The head is so big it is actually too much.

S: The first thing that hits, and unfortunately a little off-putting. I racked my mind for a few minutes as it reminded me of something, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Best way I can describe it is Parma ham.

T: Pretty horrific. Lite, dry to the point of sourness. Quite bitter, but overall really rather unpleasant. Awfully disappointing.

M: Seems pretty good, but the taste is so unpleasent that it overpowers, what would potentially be a great mouth feel. I really can't even begin to process whats going o in my mouth.

O: I assumed I had a bad bottle until reading some of the other reviews. I still find it hard to believe that this isn't a bad bottle, and this is how this highly acclaimed beer is meant to taste, am I so pore of a judge? Having been an avid beer enthusiast for the last 20 years, I have to assume this just isn't for me. Strange having enjoyed pretty much every other Belgium beer I've had.

I will give this another try as this was purchased in Japan, so may well be a bad example, but unfortunately I think it may be how this beer is intended.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2013 12:08:54 | More by John_Henry
Photo of BuzzLitebier


4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured chilled a pint glass (hey, I'm all about class!)

A: poured a golden/orange honey color with a HUGE head and nice lacing after it subsided, clearly unfiltered, and had nice carbonation with a mix of big and largish bubbles
S: crisp nose; reminded me of a pilsner
T: It had a bitterness that was nice and didn't linger with a bit of apple vinegar.- very nice balance.
M: medium body with a nice carb.

Would I have it again? HELL YES! This was a treat.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2013 00:46:13 | More by BuzzLitebier
Photo of arfenhouse


3.23/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Cloudy dark orange with a very large off-white head. Good retention and good lacing.

S: Lemon and herbal. A fair amount of maltiness. Toasted bread. Some spice and a bit of funk.

T: Lemon and a bit of toasted bread. A bit of grass and herb/spice (some clove among other spices). Lemon and a bit of bitter grain in the aftertaste.

M: Light mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Finishes a bit dry.

O: Not impressed but a decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2013 08:36:37 | More by arfenhouse
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured in to tulip.

A - Slightly cloudy medium orange with an amber hue towards the centre. A lot of head from the pour that settled off-white and very thick.

S - Funk up front with some bready malts, some lemon zest and Belgian yeast.

T - Funk up front that immediately gives way to Belgian yeast and clove flavours. Mid-palate has a grassy hop profile with lighter lemon zest and herbal notes. Finish is dry with some bitterness and funk.

M - Light to medium body with moderate to high carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2013 19:17:27 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of Treyliff

West Virginia

4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- poured into a snifter. Pours golden with great clarity, massive pillowy white head with long retention leaving thick patches of lace around the glass, textbook appearance

S- sharp Belgian yeast with notes of banana and clove, the yeast also gives a slightly floral aroma. Grassy with some bready malt, a slightly musty finish. Very complex bouquet

T- very smooth with crisp notes of hay and fresh cut grass. Slight medicinal notes with a but if cider tartness. Yeast is slightly tart and earthy and provides a clean, dry finish that seems to linger forever.

M- medium body with light carbonation, creamy and foamy mouthfeel, dry finish

O- the prototype of a Belgian pale ale. So easy to drink, yet usually enjoyed sip by sip to enjoy the abundance of flavors coming from this classic.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2013 05:18:00 | More by Treyliff
Photo of karengarys


3.04/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured nice, nice fluffy head, and it retained while it warmed (in my Stella glass - sorry)...

Nice Trappist nose, as expected...

Taste is disappointing to me. Bottled Date on bottle is end of Feb 2012, well within the many year recommended consumption date (2017, did I get that right?).... I'm getting a seltzery and bitter flavor I just don't think matches what I would expect of a beer of this style.

Mouthfeel is watery but somewhat creamy... Did I say watery? ...maybe the taste skewed this perception.

Finish is just... beer. sorry. Slightly bitter like.... aspirin?

overall I'm a bit disappointed. I expected a world class beverage, and ended up with a bottle of stuff to drink.

I will probably re-try this in the future because I question if this bottle or batch was representative of the product.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2013 03:35:53 | More by karengarys
Photo of hopsolutely

Ontario (Canada)

4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A quintessential trappist ale that fully lives up to its reputation. Bottle from the LCBO pours a hazy dark golden colour with amber highlights. It has an impressive large-bubbled and off-white head that leaves lacing down the glass. Aroma is Belgian yeast-forward, with the spices that implies, and a nice caramelized malt backbone. Flavours range from caramel and toffee sweetness, to hopped bitterness and coriander lemon rind. As that portfolio changes and gains depth as the beer warms, it is definitely a bottle to sip and savour.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2013 22:05:07 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of ProblyAboutBeer


4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to a standard beer chalace.

Color was a deep blonde, almost amber. White, almost fluffy 2-finger head.

Immediately, I noticed the spice of the hops. Very present above the malty base flavor. The background sweetness has a constant presence in a savory mix of acidity and bitterness.

Yeast. You know it's there and it really adds to the texture of the beer when you swirl that sediment into your glass.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 16:30:30 | More by ProblyAboutBeer
Photo of smcnulty1981

Rhode Island

4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: pours a slightly hazy straw color with three fingers of bright white rocky head that sticks around with a lot of lacing

S: lots of malt some caramel sugar with a touch of barnyard funk

T: the yeast phenolics dominate mostly but it has a good malt bone and a slight sour note however there is a slight hint of alcohol while drinking it

M: the beer finished dry with a medium body

O: great Trappist beer simple straight forward label design which has an interesting story behind it

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 05:56:16 | More by smcnulty1981
Photo of scratch69


4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I poured a bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance- Cloudy golden-brown color with two fingers worth of foamy head. Lots of sticky lacing.

Smell- Pineapple-like fruity aroma with a hint of pepper and floral hops.

Taste- Sweet malt flavor at first that fades into a yeasty, slightly peppery finish. There is also some hints of floral hops.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with an average amount of carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall- This is my first Trappist ale and it's not bad. It's a little different than what I normally enjoy but I like it.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 01:40:14 | More by scratch69
Photo of Jsteez


4.84/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip beer glass from a bottle. Bottled a year ago in Feb. 2012.

A-Deep orange and a cloudy brown. Poured a 2.5 inch bubbly head. Minimal lacing on the glass. The head stuck around for a few minutes and then dissipated into a thin bubbly edge around the sides of the glass.

S-Fruity, pineapple, hints of pepper and spice. Quite a dry smell. Hints of sweet malt as well.

T-Pineapple and citrus fruit; hints of clove, but not too much. There was a spicy dry and peppery taste in the aftertaste. Quite a complex array of flavors. The aftertaste left a slight dry and bitter feeling as well. I like Belgium beers and their complex character. However there are some Belgium beers out there that take a while to get use to. This was much different than I was expecting.

M-Full body with a lighter feel. Very refreshing and crisp to some degree! This is one of the first Belgium brews that, in my opinion, is actually sessionable. Light on the carbonation, but very refreshing.

Overall, this beer deserves hight honors and it is one the highest rated beers in my profile. This beer has been sitting in my cupboard for a year, which really made it taste so good. It is a higher 6.9%, but it felt like a lower 4-5 %. I was quite pleased with the non-alcohol taste. I have a couple more in my cupboard that I will open next year, perhaps the year after. The date says they are good until 2017! Maybe I'll just wait until then to crack these babies open, eh!? The older the better! Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2013 15:59:39 | More by Jsteez
Photo of Danno48

West Virginia

4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is very different from what I expected. All these Trappist ales have been very on the sweet side. This beer on the other hand is very dry. Subtle hop and pine notes. Light apricot flavors and a very dry finish. The head on this beer is a soft, egg white, pillow like texture which is very similar to how it feels in the mouth. Smells much sweeter than it tastes though. You would expect a sweet, dark fruit flavor but one would be met by the opposite.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2013 05:02:57 | More by Danno48
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'm just ticking through the "Beers of Fame" list. Almost there!

This is presently the #3 ranked Belgian PA here on BA.

Served in a Delirium Tremens glass because my Orval goblets haven't come in the mail yet.

A: Poured a deep, ruby red color, with a slight tomato juice quality. The slightly off white, whipped cream-like head boasted about 3+ fingers and didn't go away for a while.

S: Tart and lively, yet overall, it read more like a red wine to me just based on the nose. Sorta reminded me of the same type of funkiness I commonly get from Unibroue.

T: Much different than I was expecting. I was expecting a very sweet, fruit presence, but I good something akin to biting into an unsweetened baker's chocolate bar, then realizing the error. After I got used to it, I REALLY dug it, especially the peppery, bitter finish. Not something I normally see in a Belgian brew.

M: Spritzy and champagne-like, very bitter, somewhat boozy, but not too. The lacing was ridiculous.

O: Very good beer, but not as amazing as I was hoping. Still, I respect it and then some.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2013 00:23:25 | More by Chaney
Photo of Tomhet


4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a rich, cloudy brown with an amber hue when held up to light. A giant three-finger off-white head sits atop the robust body, making the prospect of tearing into this even more enticing. Talk about a complex nose. First thing that hits you is a boozy hybrid of spiced cherries, banana, sharp grapefruit, and the general Belgian yeast. The yeast logically flows into the bready malts that provide the nose's solid foundation and wonderful balance. A slight grassy/floral hop presence is notable deep in the aroma.

Taste: Very, very relaxed. Sweetness permeates the entire brew, and absolutely none of the alcohol from the nose is apparent. Those floral hops play a much larger role in the taste than the nose would indicate, and it's entirely refreshing when enjoyed under the slick, wet mouthfeel that the brew supplies. Somewhat distinctive, if not generic yeast notes are omnipresent throughout the sip, but I'm not picking up the fruit notes that the aroma indicated nearly as much as I anticipated. Carbonation is medium and crisp. Pepper rings out strong throughout. I saw a review that mentioned a “fresh-cut hay quality”, and it's right on the money. The finish is a really sweet, organic banana note that makes itself known even after you've finished taking a sip. Overall, this is perhaps the most refreshing of the Trappist ales but certainly doesn't compromise in complexity.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2013 07:08:30 | More by Tomhet
Photo of tjsdomer2


4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden-brown with lots of foam. Yeasty.

Smell: Tons of pepper and dark fruit. Very yeast too and surprisinly sweet.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Tastes mostly of pepper and yeast. Mouthfeel is not nearly as full-bodied as I'd like and I wish there was more complexity in the flavor.

Overall Drinkability: It's very rare that I find a beer disappointing but still think it's one of the better beers out there. This is worth a go.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 01:07:31 | More by tjsdomer2
Photo of hungarianwax

3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Apricot, clear pour. Sticky lacing. Wispy head.

S: Fruity with noticeable hops. Subtle and sweet

T: A little sour. Lacking spice. Fruit evident. Appears to be lacking in the malt department, hops are pleasant and not overwhelming.

M: Sticky, mildly viscous. Steady carbonation.

Overall 4.25
In Style 4.25

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 00:10:44 | More by hungarianwax
Photo of SmashPants


3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: interesting 330mL bottle with a simple (and a bit dodgy) label.

Appearance: poured into an open-mouth glass to suit the style. Pours an orange-copper colour with plenty of fluffy head that drops to a rocky cap. Glad I used the open-mouth considering the amount of head. Impressive all told.

Aroma: powerful Belgian yeasts lead the way, funnily enough. Some citric hops behind, with a touch of perhaps floral or grass also.

Taste: a touch of sweet biscuit malts and alcohol, still overpowered by the Belgian yeasts however.

Aftertaste: follows through nicely - it is definitely a good Belgian sipping ale.

Mouth feel: light to medium in body with a bubbling carbonation that carries the flavour across.

Overall: after all the massive hype surrounding this beer, I actually thought it fell short a bit. It is certainly fairly unique and quite decent, but I still reckon I could get a better beer - and far better bang for my buck - by going to something like a St Feuillien Tripel.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 08:07:08 | More by SmashPants
Photo of artdob


4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has head. Mega monster head. Frothy sea-foam like after high tide here. Underneath, an orange brownish brew. Thick and massive lacing.

Nose is powerful from a distance. Yeast, light citrus notes. Also getting notes here that remind me of the sea of all things.

On the palate, a rich full-bodied entrance. Modest carbonation, but a different type than in most beers. Some notes here that I've sensed in certain Italian red wines. Almost as if the bubbles are smaller but more concentrated. Different.

I could see this with seafood. Octopus, mussels, or squid would be my choices.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 04:00:32 | More by artdob
Photo of Muhly

Alberta (Canada)

4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a snifter. Warmed bottle 20 minutes after removing from the refrigerator.

Bottled in September 2011 with a best before date of September 2016.

A-Pours with a good deal of foamy head. Head it is quite fluffy with one large bubbles foaming. Retains the head nicely. No lacing when I tip the glass, but the head seems to retain its form very well. As I drink it down the lacing becomes much more apparent. Colour is a red-copper and very clear.

S-A fair bit of sweet malt with and a little yeasty. Some floral hops that are more summer time field than citrusy.

T-Hit with a bit of the sweet maltiness right away, which fades to a mildly funky yeast and then finally a bit of tartness. Mild grassy/citrusy hops. I think I'm also detecting a slight spicy note as well, but it doesn't pop out on every sip it seems.

M-Light in body and it kind of just dances on your tongue. Very dry finish that lingers on the mouth. Maybe a touch of alcohol, but not really noticeable.

O-It seems that all of the flavours in this beer come to play in equal quantity. Nothing takes the lead and everything comes together at the right moment. Thoroughly enjoyable and well made beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 02:40:45 | More by Muhly
Photo of StonedTrippin


4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

one of the best out there, and possibly my favorite of all the trappist brews. pours a sort of copper red color, brassy and thin looking, with a tall white head comprised of fairly large bubbles. the nose is a little bretty, kind of funky and wild, with some malt sweetness and a really robust Belgian yeast. the flavor is quite similar to the nose, rich in taste but not in feel, yeasty, with some brown sugar notes and quite spiced, more than the other trappists anyways. i had an infected bottle of this recently as well, and the brett notes of that were downright overwhelming, like a wild ale. i almost actually preferred this funked out version to the normal offering, and am wondering how i might obtain another. even the standard product has quite a bit of interesting yeasty stuff happening. carbonation is vigorous, and the body is pretty light. this beer has its reputation for a reason, and is the product of top craftsmanship. one of my favorite beers with a nice dinner too, very versatile and palate cleansing with its mild acidity. yum.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2013 20:48:18 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of BlackBelt5112203

South Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into an Orval chalice at cellar temperature.

L – Medium amber color with a 2.5-finger frothy, white head. Awesome retention and great lacing. Clear with lots of bubbles.

S – It took about 10 minutes of constant sniffing to figure out what was going on here. There are lots of fruity esters with apple, orange, and grape notes along with some grainy malt and a touch of barnyard funk. Complex in a very good way.

T – Sweet biscuity and grainy malt with apple, grape, and orange esters. Some peppery and funky yeast flavors come through toward the finish. Again, it took me a while to figure this out, too.

F – Light-to-medium-bodied with terrific carbonation, a crisp and zesty mouthfeel, and a sweet, spicy, and very dry finish. A wonderful conglomerate of flavors lingers including sweet grapes, peppery yeast, and funky Brett.

O – This is a fantastic beer. It is beautifully complex, yet easily approachable and very drinkable. The combination of aromas and flavors is so unique and well-crafted that I had a tough time deciphering the individual elements of each. These Trappist monks know what they’re doing. Their beers are phenomenal.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 04:12:46 | More by BlackBelt5112203
Photo of HabiMendes

Rhode Island

4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In the tulip, you see a hazy, slightly dark orange, with a high, consistent, and white neck. The aroma of apples is very strong, coupled with floral ideas, which complements the spectacle.

The taste, even with a slim body, but still displaying the apple theme, shows a very interesting interaction between some sourness and the hop bitter, which I thought to be fantastic. At the end, this interaction between the sour and the bitter grows on the palate, which again impresses.

This beer is fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 00:36:40 | More by HabiMendes
Photo of Seanniek91

Rhode Island

4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2011 vintage 12oz bottle into a Grimbergen goblet.

Appearance- Hazy red with beautiful fluffy off white head. Looks like a flanders red.

Smell-Citrus, yeast, fruity hops, earthy floralness. Musty funkiness. Beautiful.

Taste- Dry hoppiness. Yeasty must. Citrus. Very earthy flavors that I can't put a finger on. Different.

Mouthfeel- Very carbonated. Dry.

Overall- Different than I'd though it would be. Nice though.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2013 03:46:16 | More by Seanniek91
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 3,897 ratings.