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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.

3,900 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3900
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: 3,900 | Reviews: 2,078 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BEERMILER12


4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on leap day 2012 (29/02/2012). Best Before 01/03/2017 (March 1, 2017). Consumed January 19, 2013, at nearly 11 months old

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with 2 fingers of head that retains very well and leaves some nice lacing

S: Huge amount of Brett funk right off the bat, along with a very pleasant fruitiness and alcohol/malt combination. Nice and complex

T: Follows the nose, but a bit toned down with the funk. This allows for the malt and fruitiness to really shine. Some hops also come through to really even things out. Again, fairly complex

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth

O: A nice and complex Trappist pale, with a good showing of what Brett can do for a beer. Definitely worth a shot if you like Belgians and Trappist beers

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2013 04:12:54 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of BMMillsy


3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours orange with just a bit of quickly receding head. Smell of yeast funk, pepper, banana, and a hint of grapefruit. Light to medium mouthfeel. Effervescent. The flavor follows with a very dry yeasty spice, some sweet sugars, and hay. Simple and yet well done. Yay Belgium. Overall I liked this beer, but I think it is vastly overrated among my fellow beer advocates. Perhaps the simplicity is its charm.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 16:44:31 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of trxxpaxxs

New York

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

A: Pours a deep dark gold, verging on copper and brown, with about two full fingers of pure white head. The foam takes forever to settle, and there is nice lacing left on the glass.

S: The nose is big caramel sweetness, big sour, and big all around funk. It reminds me of raisin bread soaked in a water and lemon juice solution. Kind of like a bready gueuze.

T: This beer starts off with a big bitters and sour. The carbonation hits the palate hard, and it takes awhile for the malt notes to shine in the middle of the beer. As it moves off the palate, some funk and dryness begin to take hold.

M: Medium bodied beer. It's bitter, sour, and drying to start. Highly carbed. The middle is sweet, but that doesn't last long. The finish is super dry, slightly funky, and bitter.

O: I have mixed feelings about this beer. I like it's bitter and funk, but it's almost way too over the top. I really with this beer were a more balanced.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2013 19:50:01 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of EnkiduBrew


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

2011 Bottle, poured into Belgian style tulip goblet.

Appearance: Slightly hazy, golden-orange when held to the light. 2.5 finger, fluffy head that lasts until the end, leaving a nice lacing. Color is reminiscent of maple leaves in early fall.

Smell: Superb Belgian yeasty goodness. Slightly phenolic with ripe citrus (mostly lemon but some pear as well) dominating (wonderfully tart). Some funky, brett-like character comes through but it does not dominate. Sessionable but extremely complex. I could drink this for days.

Taste: Lots of citrus peel comes through. Some peppery character comes through to make this not all about the citrus yeast character. Initial citrus peel flavor fades into a slight malt sweetness before a firm (but not overwhelming) hop driven bitterness ends the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Prickly. Very dry. Leaves me looking forward to take another sip.

Overall: Excellent, excellent beer. This will just be one more review of praise for Orval but it deserves it. This could easily become my favorite warm weather beers. Much different that other Belgian Pales like DeKonick (less malt driven).

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 05:55:52 | More by EnkiduBrew
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I've passed over this peculiar looking bottle for years now, I guess today will be the day to try it.
Pours into the glass a lightly hazy deep golden color with a frothy meringue head that persists forever. The label is correct about the fruitiness I get that in spades as soon as I pop the cap off the top of the bottle. Pepper, spice, yeast, and a bit of golden syrup round out the nose. The flavor is sugary sweet with a lot of orange and sweet dark fruits along with some pepper, a hint of hop and a touch of alcohol. Medium to thin body with a spirited level of carbonation and a bubbly sweet mouthfeel. This is a really nice beer that's easy to drink, I can't believe it took so many years to try this.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2013 01:59:18 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of tilopud_rye

4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am opening a bottle dated November 2011. Almost foams over when opened but it sticks to the mouth of the bottle without spilling. Pours nice violin-resin color with foamy head that falls to a thin layer at the top. Big sour and fruitty smell- a bit of herb but mostly light sour raspberry candy on the nose. Taste starts totally different with the malts bubbling on my tongue with the yeast and fruit coming at the roof and candie with sour dry aftertaste. The sour notes stick lightly to the roof of the mouth and sides of the tongue after but it's relaxing. That's a damn good one!

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 00:36:25 | More by tilopud_rye
Photo of 1Nrwyscotch


4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle(bottled 11/17/11) poured into a chalice

A. A nice cloudy amber color with a thick solid head that faded with no lacing.

S. I get sweet fruit with some lemon followed by some Belgian yeast, very nice.

T. A touch of bitterness to begin with and then some sweet malt. I get some spiciness on the finish

M. It has a light body with some decent carbonation.

O. A very enjoyable Belgian pale ale that is very well balanced.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 01:33:44 | More by 1Nrwyscotch
Photo of mikeg67

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle dated 02/29/12. Pours hazy amber with tall, foamy, long lasting white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of sourdough, Belgian yeast, candy sugar and earthy hops. Body is full and creamy. Taste is Belgian yeast, caramel malt, ripe fruit, peppery hops. Finish is long, peppery. I don’t think this bottle have aged well.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 00:02:13 | More by mikeg67
Photo of tone77


4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is fruity, yeast, alive with flavor. Taste is also big on fruits, some malts and yeast, lots of flavor here. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a beer worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 02:43:39 | More by tone77
Photo of Lolli1315


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

A- Golden orange with a billowing egg shell white head. The head is pillowy and resilient as about a half finger sticks around. It is slightly hazy and leaves behind a sticky lacing.

S- Tart fruits with a reasonable amount of lemon. Some medicinal and phenolic smells with little underlying malt sweetness. Some earthy musty character as well.

T- The lemon and citrus flavors are not as pronounced in the taste although they can be tasted lingering in the background. Medicinal and other phenolic flavors are apparent throughout the beer. The earthy, musty, slightly barnyard characteristic starts in the middle of the beer and carries through the finish. Slightly tart, but certainly not mouth puckering and it is not off putting. Slight hop bitterness in the finish.

M- Medium, maybe medium light body. Carbonation is slightly prickly on the tongue at first, but it has become more smooth as the beer has settled. Finish is dry as well.

O- A great belgian pale ale and the earthy character makes this both different from others in the same style as well as providing it with a little more character. As a person who edges towards the funky/sour end, this is my type of beer, but likely not offensive to others who do not prefer funk all that much.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 23:03:42 | More by Lolli1315
Photo of Scotchboy


4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle dated 29/2/2012 & best Before 2017 poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Darker gold in color with a bit of haze (tried to be careful with any yeast) and a huge creamy off white head.

S: Big fruity and musty aromas; floral in a really pleasant way. Orange peel, lemon peel, funk, earthy Brett, even some faint tropical fruit, pear, a good amount of white grape skins, and hints of raisins. Pretty similar to muscat white wine.

T: Same as the nose, fruity and funky; citrus rind, musty and earthy Brett. Definite lemon and even lime (reminiscent of Sprite actually as this beer seems to be heartily carbonated initially). White wine...a bit of barnyard begins to take hold as it warms. There is some hop bitterness, so this beer isn't overly sweet or tart.

MF: Fairly light to medium bodied, with some nice carbonation. Finishes with a Bretty dryness and notes of hop bitterness.

O: Really unique and diverse, and at the end of the night I liked it. Definitely a sipper and something to enjoy as it warms and different flavors emerge. This bottle is around 10 months old, and I'm sure older bottles taste vastly different because of the Brett. Not something I would seek out again, but a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 15:40:55 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of PeterIngemi


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

Poured from bottle into a dfh snifter bottle date 20/05/2011 best by 2016

A: pours a hazy brownish amber with a fat finger of very creamy lookin, very very slightly khaki colored head, excellent retention and lacing...'great looking beer.

S: light sweet citrus, kiss of caramel,a bit of lemon peel and earthy Brett funk, the more this beer warms the less I like the aroma, a very stanky horse hair note starts to come out. Apple, pear.

T: very nice apple and pear flavor with a touch of sweetness, into a bitter orange/lemon citrus rind. Some light floral notes in there as well. The finish reminds me of tart green apple skins. Very tasty and complex, the bitterness caught me a bit of gaurd.

M: very lush and very very dry, nice moderate creamy carbonation...

O: this is a very unique and very tasty brew, really enjoyed this.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 03:11:02 | More by PeterIngemi
Photo of Hoppsbabo

United Kingdom (England)

4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

EDIT: Sat on this for at least six months and I think it had aged considerably. Had some Orvals since this review and they were sublime, far better than my aged version.

A: Dulled copper. Some strings of champagne bubbles barely visable. Large off white head, typical of quality Belgian pale ale. Looks great.

S: Whiffing from the bottle I get a most beautiful scent of fruity hops which is strong but refined and delicate. From the glass it's a different story. The hops are overwhelmed by a second vinegary pong which is very pungent. Is this what people mean by horse blanket? Absolutely foul!

T: Very dry and bitter. Pleasant bath watery hops with delicate earthiness. A perfumey citrus fragrance breezes across the tongue and pervades in the finish with a not so prominent bread flavour. It has that kind of English hop profile that I associate with bathwater but it's a refined one. Again, very bitter. Reminds me of when I have trouble swallowing a paracetamol and the bitterness lingers.

O: A real quality beer, no doubt about that, but I found it too dry and bitter. Wouldn't be a problem if it were balanced accordingly but from my experience bitter hops in Belgians tend to stick out like a sore thumb. It's definitely an interesting beer however and I'll have it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 06:29:37 | More by Hoppsbabo
Photo of Danny1217


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

Hazy orange amber with a fluffy white head. Lots of nice lacing and excellent retention. The head lasts forever.
Smells a bit floral, and somewhat funky. Some lemon zest.
Taste is slightly fruity. A bit of tartness and a brett funk. A nice hop bite gives some slight citrus flavors. Lots of tart fruit tastes. Extraordinarily smooth and crisp feel. Highly sessionable, yet incredibly complex. A balance that is hard to find.

This is one incredible beer. The only downside is that they are a bit pricey, being sold only as single bottles for over $5 each. If not for the price, I could drink quite a few of these in one evening.

After having had it a couple times relatively fresh in the states, I drank an aged Orval while in Belgium. It was possibly the best beer I ever drank. The brett takes over and leaves the fruit and hop flavors in the background. It is funky perfection.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2012 05:33:53 | More by Danny1217
Photo of lonewolfcry


2.18/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

2010 bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

A ~ I was impressed with how much of that amazing head I got from the significantly slow pour. A good 4 fingers. Cloudy light orange, lots of lace as the head dissipated.
S ~ Some barnyard funk, wild berries...actually not too much else that I could pick up on.
T ~ The funk is stealing the show here. I'm getting a peppery taste as well, and a slight touch of medicine. Very dry and no sweetness whatsoever.
M ~ Light, and very carbonated
O ~ I was very excited to post my first review; and thought this would be a great start with the #2 ranked BPA!
Either a got a bad/poorly stored bottle, or I'm simply not a fan of Belgian Pales.
I love most other Belgian styles - but this was my first BPA. It may take awhile before I pick up another, but I'm sure I'll give it one more try...someday.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2012 23:55:42 | More by lonewolfcry
Photo of Googs

New York

4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 06/14/2012. When I opened it up, it shot out of the bottle. Poured into Duvel tulip.

A: Poured with a huge froathy white head. Lacing coating the glass. Golden orange body. Carbonation is very apparent.

S: This smells incredible. Both sweet and funky from the mix of the fruity Orval yeast and the funky brett but neither is overpowering. Slight aroma from the hops. Just what I was hoping for.

T: Mix of bit sweet bread from the cara and pale malts, spiciness, tart, funk from the yeast and bitterness from the hops. Great - Complex and unique but I think this could better.

M: Low-medium body. Would prefer a little more body actually. Crispy and very carbonated. Maybe a bit too much for my liking. But smooth as fuck, and refreshing.

O: This brew stands out from the other Trappist beers in a number of ways. Like I said, it's complex and unique and certainly drinkable but there's room for improvement. I'll be drinking this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2012 00:03:06 | More by Googs
Photo of CA_Infidel2o9

4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2oz to a Tulip
Bottled 6/10/11

A- hazy golden orange, 1 1/2" fluffy long lasting white head

S- apple cider, caramel, citrus, grape, wine, banana, earthy, belgian yeast

T- apple cider, caramrl, tart, spices, pils malts, lingering metallic grapefruit bitterness

M- low to medium body, crisp carbonation

O- a very nice brew. If i had to chose one beer to drink through out the summer. This would be it.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2012 21:08:49 | More by CA_Infidel2o9
Photo of cfrances33


4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2010 bottle, poured into an oversized Tired Hands wine glass.

Pour: Burnt orange, mostly clear body, with a billowing offwhite head. I mean gigantic and puffy. The biggest head I've ever seen by a mile. Nice lacing as it finally subsides, but most of the head hangs around.

Smell: Woah this is quite pleasant. Nice fruity esters, with lemon pith, a light mango, and some pear. A light white pepper and some biscuity yeast. Was hoping for a Bretty funk, but there is none.

Taste: Follows the nose, but is subdued. Less fruit and more of an earthiness. Some grass. A light funk. Some sweet biscuits close.

Mouthfeel: Pretty watery, surprisingly. A light bitterness. Prickly carb, but not to the extent the head might make you believe.

Overall: Finally went for this classic, and it did not disappoint! Would love to see what a bottle is like near the 'enjoy by' date.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2012 03:50:45 | More by cfrances33
Photo of Maakun


4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted quite cold in an Orval glass. Pours a nice light copper, with off-white head that shrinks to a small layer and really clings to the glass. Slighty havy. Looks very inviting.

Smell is not very present at first. Some slight spices and hops. Later some caramel, cloves, malts, citrus, and a very slight burt smell. It smells fantastic, but still a bit faint.

Taste has notes of yeast and mats, before the big hops kick in. Lots of fruit, green apples, lemon, grapefruit. A nice bitterness, but not overprowering at all, it's balanced very nicely by some light malt and a hint of sweetness. Then some spices, but not as much as on the nose. Aftertase is more grapefruit. After it has warmed up a,ittle the yeast comes through more. This is really balanced and complex.

Mouth is light, and full of carbonation, It pricks even a bit. I love big carbonation.

I love this beer. The smell and taste are really good, and it has a nice carbonation that I like. It's nowhere near any other trappist beer though, it's closer to an IPA even, which is why I don't score the overall a 5. But wow this is a really really good beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2012 21:20:50 | More by Maakun
Photo of pkalix


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

ive had this many times before, but i'm not sure i remember it smelling this way....
poured a golden, hazy nectar with a light topping of foam.
smell was citric, vinegar-y, apple cider-ish.... <-- the part i dont remember so much....
taste.... is very nice. light fruit, floral, hoppy. perfect balance, but a little bubbly.
i like this but i remember it tasting a little different. almost bubble-gum-my, in the past editions. but i am grading it from a perspective of knowing this is one of my all time favorites. i rate this with the duvel and chimay, up at the very top. these brews can be very rich, but when in the mood, excellent. the only dings in this would be the small bubbly, champagne sensation on the lips and the unexpected vinegar-y smell i got from the start. although i do love those sours, also.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2012 23:12:08 | More by pkalix
Photo of Marc_V

4.88/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle from Belgian Beer Shop.com. I drank this one cooled. This gives the beer a lot more freshness. It's a wonderful thirst quencher. The color is hazy amber with a nice off-white head that leaves lots of lacing.
The aroma is very hoppy, fresh with a touch of fruitiness (citrus). The taste is perfectly balanced between the hop bitterness and the fruity sweetness. The beer is also yeasty. This is by far my all time favorite. A true classic that can be drunk on every occasion.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2012 18:29:56 | More by Marc_V
Photo of Twincrasher

4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Good head retention. Nice deep copper color. Very clear for this type.

S: Floral and fruity.

T: A little bit of a comedown from the appearance and smell. Balance of acidity and malt is not what I'm used to in Trappist. Less yeasty flavor than what I expected.

M: More carbonation than expected.

O: Very good. Not the great ale I was expecting from reputation. Will try again though.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2012 04:44:01 | More by Twincrasher
Photo of IPA35


4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange with a whitish head.

Nice smell or citrus, flowers and a hint of brett. A crazy yeasty fruitiness, tart.

Taste is very complex.
Malt, tart, quite sour actually, spice and some interesting hops in the back. Bready aftertaste. Very different but nice.

Mouthfeel is medium with quite alot of carbonation.
The bottle is 5 months old.
A recommended beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2012 15:45:52 | More by IPA35
Photo of tectactoe


4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this quite a while ago - figured it was time to do a re-review and see how it went this time around. Orval pours a rustic amber color; opaque for the most part, though some light passes through at the edges of the glass without much trouble. The huge, cream-colored cap is something to marvel at; it remains thick and lasts seemingly for days, leaving huge sheets of lace along the sides of the glass.

The aroma contains a quick, sharp tartness that hints at a combination of orange and lemon zest. Bigger inhales reveal a nice tropical-like fruitiness, highly akin to pineapple - this is most likely from the Brett, which also brings a swift bit of funk to the plate; like a slightly musty, mostly sweaty barnyard. Juicy green hops in the finish show signs of grass, leaves, and light citrus. The nose on this is really unique, and fantastic in it's own right.

The first sip starts off like a carbon copy of the first whiff - a surly tartness hits your palate right away, followed by some calming waves of orange peels and lemon zest. The pineapple is apparent as well, though in more of of a stinging, bitter pith fashion than a juicy, sweet kind. Hops are plentiful; leafy, grassy, dry, citrusy, and quite bitter for a Belgian ale. Again, very discernible and quite complex.

Brettanomyces abound in the latter half of each sip, bringing some musty cellar, mellow barnyard, and stale cork flavors to the table. The finish contains a subtle amount of citrus zest and yeasty funk with a lasting bitterness from the dry hopping. This stuff is carbonated to the brim, giving it a sharp, crisp mouth feel; effervescent and light, despite the medium stature of the body.

Orval is a pretty awesome trappist ale. I guess when you only brew one beer, you have more time to test, tweak, and perfect it, and it seems like the monks at Brasserie d'Orval have done just that. On most days I'd say that this is not my favorite trappist ale, although it always stands out to me as the most unique. The Brett and the dry-hopping really set it apart from the others and always keep me coming back to this funny, oblong bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2012 01:21:11 | More by tectactoe
Photo of burnstar


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

Appearance is clear light copper with big rocky head. Smell is complex with notes of honey, light fruit, floral and herbal notes, a bit of citrus, and slight earthy and phenolic yeasty smells. Taste is bitter at first and then herbal with a touch of fruit and bit of wild yeast funk. Unlike anything I've ever had, although some American wild ales are the closest. Dry with a some bite in the finish and a nice lingering bitterness. Very well carbonated with a great mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Not one to gulp down, but take a sip and then you will quickly take another and another. Overall this is one of the big classic Belgians you pretty much have to try. (I can't believe it's taken me this long.) Unique and very good.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2012 19:18:52 | More by burnstar
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 3,900 ratings.