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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,271 Reviews
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Bierman9 on 09-18-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,271
Ratings:
5,188
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
18.9%
 
 
Wants:
335
Gots:
811
For Trade:
12
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,271 | Ratings: 5,188
Photo of cheers2beers
3.47/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a wide mouth mug:

Appearance: Poured a apple cider colored liquid with slightly off white pillowy head.I can't see through this beer due to the cloudiness.A little laceing can be found.

Smell: The aromas of bananas,cinnamon, maybe some clove and raison bread. No alcohol noted.

Taste: The flavors are sour fruits ,probably from the semi-wild yeasts that Orval uses, followed by an apricot dominance.Doesnt have that typical Belgian taste,but could be classified as a bad fruit beer.Seems a little tart in the finish.No alcohol to be detected.

Mouthfeel: This is very plain to me,a little sour in the front with a tart and bubbley finish.Medium carbonation,smooth,and easy to drink. But not memorable

Drinkability: I am very disappionted,I guess I expected this beer to be a superstar Belgian beer and yet was more like a fruit or hefewiezen gone wrong.Sorry Orval, just not my cup of tea. My money will be going to other breweries.

Cheers2Beers

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Photo of acoatley
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep copper, fairly clear with ever so slight red tint. Moderate head dissipates quickly. Where is the lace?
Aroma: Moderate fruity esters of plum, light malty sweetness no alcohol.
Flavor: Raisins and plum, average malty sweetness, pleasant bitterness with a crisp finish.
Mouthfeel: Light body with moderate carbonation, watery the palate, warm alcohol good for a cold winter night.
Overall: Not my favorite dubbel but a good selection.

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Photo of Graham21
2.85/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The appearance was bad but I did not have a good glass at the time... The color is a lite amber(orangish brown) and the head was very high and dissipated to a nice lacing shortly. The smell is flowery with a hint of cinnamon and citrus. Fumes of alcohol can be noticed as well. Tastes of lemon, spices, alcohol, a little malty. lacking in taste. mouth feel is descent and the carbonation is very good. drinkablitly is alright, this beer would be easy to drink because of no real flavors presented either good nor bad. Not one of my favorite Trappists, thats for sure.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After not having one of these since I've become a better beer taster, I figured it was worth another shot. I am more impressed now than I was before. Of course, I've become a big Belgian Sour Beer fan in the meantime. Pours a prune juice color with a rocky foamstand that varies between eggshell white and amber-tan, sprinkled with spices. Aromatics of sourness, tartness, muskiness, woodsy, metalic, and oysters. Flavors boarder closely on the characters in the aroma. Low levels of barley (maybe too low) lends an overly sour flavor and astringency. Not enough sweetness remains to balance out the tartness. Some DMS qualities come through that reminds me of an ocean muskiness or oyster flavor. Fascinating, but very raw. The beer is well matured and complex. I enjoyed it although there are characteristics within that I did not prefer.

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Photo of bodybyadam
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is definitely a controlled environment server. My first was at SIB 05 off of the tap into those darn shot glass samplers. So my more recent was at a trappist tasting which I was able to enjoy with some excellent Chimay cheese. The appearance is amber in color in my goblet with 1/4" head short lasting. The nose is a distinct floral bouquet. My palette noticed a diverse yeast flavoring including a hint of banana. Smooth finish. Second time around is great. Looking forward to future tastings.
- Adam

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Photo of dogfooddog
3.31/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled Jan 03, this bottle is just over 3 years old. It has been kept in my 50F refrigerator for at least 2 years. Label does not have the various warnings and mandates for US bottles so I assume i ordered this from belgium.

Poured in chimay glass, head just over 50% of height, well over half of volume of glass. Pours reddish-golden color, clear. Smells floral, strong hop presence.

Taste is very dry, just a hint of floral notes after a very dry start. Not at all what I expected from the nose. Malty middle and finish. I can taste some spices or almost peppery notes towards the end

I remember I have never loved this beer but at 3 years old this is a very presentable beer and an enjoyable bottle on its own merits.

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Photo of quasimoto
2.4/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Its a slightly cloudy deep goolden amber color. It has a nice head that doesnt do much lacing.

S - It has a strong banana aromanad some paper in there. Its definitley fruity, and has some paper towel in there. Not the greatest.

T - this beer has to be old or something. It has a strong aroma of a bus station bathroom. I mean no disrespect but that was the first aroma that came to mind. There are some dry malts that bring up ther rear. this has to be oxidized,

M - Carbination wraps the tongue and has a dry finish.

D - If it is always like this, then it needs to be choked down. Not the beast thing I've ever had.

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Photo of kosmoraios
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Snagged one at Central Market in Ft. Worth.

Pours a slightly murky golden colour with a small white head that leaves moderate lace. The aroma is somewhat complex, with ripe fruit (peach, plum, pear) blended with a distincly walnut aroma of the yeast.

The taste grows complex as the ale warms. The bready, nutty yeast flavors begin to dominate the fruit, and the alcohol begins to become evident. This is all complimented by a very phenolic - almost buttery - mouthfeel, with ample carbonation to offset the phenols. Moderately drinkable, though the cost is prohibitive.

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Photo of shbobdb
3.62/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd been pinching pennies for a while so I could try this beer . . . and I have to say I was rather let down.
It pours a murky yellow brown. It reminds me of Degobah, you know, where Yoda lives. The head is impressively thick though.
The odour is intense. Citrus and barnyard. Ohhhh, how exciting!
The taste follows the nose . . . but it is simply nowhere near the level of funkiness I was expecting. This is a nice, drinkable beer. I was looking for an over-the-top crazy beer. It sorta leaves me hanging, because I really like easily drinkable beers . . . but not at the price this guy is charging!
Overall, it's just not hit-me-over-the-head wierd enough. If I wanted an easy drinkin' beer, I'd grab a nice Deutsches Bier.

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Photo of Chubby
3.26/5  rDev -22%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in bottle, made 13/10/2005, best before 13/10/2010

Aroma: Sweet, rosey and floral aroma. A little lavender. Inviting, smells like a shampoo fragrance. A little breadiness and lemony.

Appearance: Hazy, golden, orange with a white medium head with good retention. Appears very effervescent. A little hazy.

Flavor: Very bready malt flavor that gives way to a dry almost citrus rind flavor that lingers in the aftertaste. Some spiciness from what could be a resiny American hop. A little floral and rose petals.

Mouthfeel: A fine carbonic bite but the lemon rindish astringency detracts from what could be a smoother ale.

Overall: Nice aroma, but so much pithiness on the flavor. could age to become dry and citrusy. This is less than a year old so the best thing to do is wait.

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Photo of mhillard
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served in a tulip glass poured from a bottle. An enthusiastic head greets you initially and stays throughout the drinking experience. It has a medium orange/red color and has a slight sediment that settles quickly. The smell only hints at the complex flavor that is hidden within. Each time I raise the glass to my nose, I get something new, lots of hay and other funky barnyard smells. The taste is dry with a flowery hop flavor that dominates the musty and yeasty undertones. Overall, this is one of my favorite beers, but its price and availability in my location make it something that I have to save for special occasions.

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Photo of GreenWBush
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the beer that turned me onto Belgian beers, quite some time ago at Quinn's in Camden town outside of London.

This particular example was bottled 3/10/04, and has been kept refrigerated ever since.

Orval comes out of the bottle a creamy, light red/bronze with an insane gushing head. The beer reaches a full 4" above the glass rim with major cling and an odd set of yeast lips. Phenomenal in presentation.

Nose is strongly Brett-funked out; wood pulp, pepper, spices, rotting apples. Boozey pepper gets ground over tart, over-ripe cherries that are something akin to my conception of hops. Also slightly medicinal (band-aids).

Taste is initially peppery with barnyard funk that gets slowly filled in with the most delicious and soothing malts i've experienced; grainy bread and soaking biscuits in cider. Dry-hopping adds to already wicked dryness and drinkability.

I'd drink this by the gallon...if it didn't work out to be like $50 a gallon. I wish I could get this fresh too, as this isn't particularly fair as a stand-alone review.

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Photo of texashammer
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I don't like this beer much in the US but was told to try it fresh in Belgium so I did, and I agree that this is a good tactic. I found it better, more complex. orangeish color with big thick rocky head. smells of characteristic Belgian hops, dry and a little austere, also with some yeast. juicier and more complex flavors. good hops.

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Photo of doctorjoeyboey
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is auburn with lots of head, however less head than many other Belgian beers. The aroma is vivacious and suggests grain. The mouthfeel is full bodied and the taste is very enjoyable. Wheat is evident on the mid palatte and the aftertaste is mild. There isn't any evidence of yeast after pouring the bottom of the bottle into the glass... I was a little surprised. This is a good beer and is fairly complex.

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Photo of Fugazme
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark ruby in color... large bubbles with some excellent stick. Nice head.

Some tiny bit of floaties in the beer... otherwise, cloudy.

Smells malty, yeasty, grassy, bannana, manure-like at times...

Malty and fruity tastes.. yeasty with lemony citrus tones... very bread-like.

Absolutely Excellent.

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Photo of rustymoore
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale pours with with a very thick and creamy head and is dark amber in color toward the top and fades lighter at the bottom of the glass . Very hop-driven, fruity, spicy and the alcohol is very present. The taste is nothing that I have ever experienced from a Trappist ale. Good but not the best I have had. The mouthfeel has an acidic feel to it but overall this is a solid ale.

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Photo of ColForbin
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My bottle of Orval has a bottled on date of 24/06/2005 (dd/mm/yy) and a best before date of 24/06/2005. Pours a cloudy orange red with a voluminous white head. That has fairly good staying power that leaves an island of foam in the middle of the glass. Aroma has some sour gueze-like notes with some spiciness and mustiness as well. Taste is bone dry and I mean bone dry - think of the driest champagne you've had, and multiply it by ten. Not sour tasting at all, but with a peppery finish. As it warms up I get some more fruitiness. Now I'm thinking that I've served this a bit too cold. Very highly carbonated. A one-of-a-kind beer.

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Photo of maddamish
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought at the Acme on Market street in Akron Ohio. On sale for $4.50 a bottle.

This is truely the champ -pagan (For you Futurerama fans out there) of beers. Because that is what it smells and tastes like. A thick creamy head was overfilling my glass before I even got to the half way mark. (And yes I was properly pouring it.) After letting it settle a bit I poured the rest of the bottle in my glass and took a look.

It had the color and consistancy of grapefruit juice. Just a beautiful looking beer. There were grape, sugar, and a champagne notes in the nose. I knew this was going to be a very complex beer and I had not even taken the first sip.

Taste: Champagne, grapefruit mixed in with a bit of spice and tartness that provided the beer with a slight kick. I said it before but this is not beer. It cannot be beer. But here it was. What a great experience.

Notes: Creamy, consistent and just a pleasure to drink. I am sorry that there wasn't more when I was finished with the bottle. But every good beer is like that. Hopefully I will get to experience this great brew again.

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Photo of geetlord
3.6/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer poured a light amber color with a thick and foamy head. It had a good strong bitter aroma. The flavor supprised me, it as very complex, with hints of fruits and spices, over everything there was a very bitter and earthy taste that I found overpowering and which hurt this beer's drinkability significantly, not waht I expected at all. maybe I should try this one again on the chance that I got an odd bottle. im not certain what to make of this beer in general.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.51/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a cloudy light brown withan off white head. The head is very thick and fluffy. It fades slowly, leaving thick laces.

This beer has a very spicy aroma. It is also quite yeasty and earthy. It has a pleasent lemon aroma also.

This beer has a spicy flavor. Coriander, and pepper. It has a citrus tart flavor to it. It has a slight hoppy flavor. It is slightly sour.

This beer is very crisp and refreshing. It goes down smooth leaving a citrusy spicy aftertaste. This beer is highly caebonated, going good with the style.

I think this beer would make an excelent session beer. The mild, great flavor wont get old any time soon. Also, the alcohol content is low enough so you should be able to enjoy a few. Great beer. I will definately get it again.

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Photo of wingnutter
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice coudy golden amber with a tight, lingering head. Nice lacing. Smells fruity, yeasty. Tastes great. Sweet/Sour, orange zest, biscuity, slight apple notes. Smooth and creamy/buttery. This is good beer. As good if not better than any trappist ale Ive tried. Great bitter fruity aftertaste. Alcohol didn't show itself in the taste.

World class.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Red-Copper color, huge tan head, excellent retention, semi-hazy.

S: Tart and funky fruit aroma, very lemony/citrusy. Definitely some awesome sweaty goodness.

T: Dry and musty, decently tart with a lingering sharpness on the tongue. Lemon fruit dominates

M: Not heavy in body, the carbnation is strong, almost too foamy on the tongue, but decent.

D: It took me awhile to get used to this beer, but now I can definitely enjoy the tart brett flavor it presents.

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Photo of rodrot
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear orange/amber color with a fluffy one inch head. A stream of tiny bubbles rise to the surface of my glass, which looks very inviting. The flavor is spicy and peppery with notes of lemon zest and hops. There was also a sour note to this beer that was not overwhelming at all, but that balanced the sweetness of the malt. I had this beer several years ago and I don't remember it being this tasty and complex. Maybe my tastes have changed. It's an original and is completely different from any other Trappist beer.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.43/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours an off-white, two finger head that decreases to a thin film with plenty of lacing sticking to the sides of the glass. The beer is light copper-orange in color with vigorous carbonation and some murkiness.
S: The scent is somewhat difficult to characterize, along the lines of acidic, ripe pears and apples attached to a sweaty-saltiness that brings to mind beef jerky or tanned leather.
T: Orval boasts an upfront burst of peppery and salty flavors (that I'm not terribly fond of) that cascades into a light, flowery hoppiness, eventually fading out with some mild malt sweetness and robust hop bitterness in the finish. The hops are not citrus-like, as in some other beers with noticeable hop presence. Aftertaste is somewhat malty and fruity, faintly like old berries on hot cereal.
M: Light body with active carbonation leads to a 'fluffy' feel on the tongue. Dry, tart finish that is far from puckering, though. The dry finish does not necessarily lead one to desire another swig: the spicy-salty taste combination is somewhat off-putting.
D: A solid example of the style, with its unique hop characteristics and multi-faceted malt tastes leading to something I have not experienced before.

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Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours rich amber with massive head. Did not require an aggressive pour to create a thick blanket of foam. The aroma is amazing very spicy and kind of floral. The taste is drier than I would expect from the aroma but very pleasant. Inhaling the aroma while sipping maximizes the effect of the sweet spiciness. The taste is also kind of sour with a lot of carbonation. This is a drinkable beer but the cost will prohibit most people from drinking a lot of them.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 2,271 ratings.