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

Not Rated.
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,246 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,246
Reviews: 2,104
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 195
Gots: 355 | FT: 9
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:
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.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 09-18-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,246 | Reviews: 2,104 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of klikger
klikger

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Bottle poured into a Westvleteren chalice

A - Golden-amber and very cloudy - looks like apple cider; huge white head & great lacing

S - Brettanomyces, lemon & raspberry essences, robust fresh malts

T - Pungent wild yeast and floral hops --> fresh grains - wheat and rye?, earthy hops --> lemon peel --> finishes bitter and sour, yet still malty

M - Medium-bodied, excellent carbonation, great to swish back and forth due to complexity of flavors

D - Very drinkable for the style - I want more as soon as the bottle is gone, every time

D -

Overall, this is a fantastic beer - funky, yet amazingly well-balanced and super drinkable. I'll never refuse a pour of Orval.

11-06-2010 14:07:59 | More by klikger
Photo of nhindian
nhindian

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -4.8%

An interesting beer as it is only one of 7 Trappist beers in the world, and the only one to purposely use Brett to sour the beer.

A - The beer itself comes in a wide, unique bottle with the label strewn around the neck. Pours a light, goldenrod color with a deep amber middle. Builds a beautiful 3-fingered head that last for ages, and what doesn't stick around forms a nice, foamy cap. Intermittent lacing the glass.

S - The Brett really adds a ton of funk to this beer. The nose is all sour, barnyard, grassy funk with just a hint of the traditional Belgian yeast qualities. Fruity and spicy, this beer really mixes the senses keeps the nose guessing. Smells light and refreshing.

T - Taste is fruity, floral, and sour. The tart fruits shock the mouth, but the spice and orange bitterness cleanse the mouth and overall its moderately dry. Heavily flavored in a lemon, grass, herbal context and overall it has a pretty dense flavor profile. Unique and complex.

M - Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied and ample carbonation. Lots of tiny bubbles rise to the surface to replenish the head and you can really feel it in the mouth.

D - Drinkability is moderate. The taste is light, dry, and crisp, with a relatively low ABV, but I can see the sour and fruitiness keeping this one from being night-long drink.

Overall I'm a bit torn on this one. I really appreciate the uniqueness of this, but I expected a bit more from a Trappist ale. It's not as complex as some of the darker Trappists, and if given at a blind tasting, I'd probably assume this to be an American take on the Wild style. I'm glad to have tried it but not sure if I'd seek it out in the future.

11-05-2010 23:54:15 | More by nhindian
Photo of Swedes21
Swedes21

Ontario (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

Special thanks to spinrsx on this 50th beer for getting me hooked on craft beers and BA!

Served in a chilled glass..

Appearance - The beer pours with a tremendous amount of head, over 3/4 of my glass. The beer is a gorgeous pale golden and a decent amount of carbonation is present. The head is a foamy white with some decent lacing. Looks amazing!

Smell - First smell is a grassy base, kind of earthy with some citrus base. The hops are present and delightful.

Taste - very unique taste, the beer taste as it smells, true to its form. I can taste like an orange peel citrus upfront followed by the grassy earth tones. Some decent spice taste as well added to the end. The bitterness is almost none.

Mouthfeel - There is a good amount of carbonation added that i found brought the hops fwd. The beer has a little bit more after taste, from the spices during the mouthfeel. As the carbonation is added, the beer maintains a light mouthfeel, not too creamy.

Drinkability - This is a beer i have had for awhile and wanted to give it a special spot. It is well deserving of the 50th spot in my beer adventures. I will want to stock this beer and share with friends. Such a good beer!

11-05-2010 01:47:34 | More by Swedes21
Photo of briggssteel
briggssteel

Ohio

4.7/5  rDev +11.9%

Light brown to orange flavor with tons of head on it. I waited about 10 minutes and it didn't really dissipate. Smells very sweet but not a ton on the nose. Tastes citrusy and very crisp but what I'm really noticing is that great brett flavor that trails. Mouthfeel is pretty light and smooth.

This is a lot different from other trappist ales I've tried. Others were all very malty but this is much smoother, crisp and I love the brett flavor. Definitely worth a try.

11-04-2010 02:32:22 | More by briggssteel
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev -8.3%

Bottled on 22/04/2010, best before 22/04/2015. Let bottle warm slightly before pouring, Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into oversized red wine glass. Still waiting on my orval goblet. Huge off white bubbly head formed almost overflowing the glass, as I let it sit it stuck to the glass and fell slowly on the sides leaving a large head in the middle, almost like a an egg. Dark orangey brown color. Very spicy aroma. Tastes exceptional, I detect some orange. Tart and dry. Not as strong as the smell might indicate. I've been told the beer should be at its peak right now, it tastes like it could use a little more time to mellow to me. Very light on the tongue but I can feel it starting to kick in. I wouldn't be able to drink too many of these, it is more of a treat or an after dinner drink.

11-04-2010 00:57:32 | More by acurtis
Photo of nataku00
nataku00

California

4.18/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. A hazy brownish orange beer with a big initial three finger head. Head is mostly small bubbles and khaki colored that laces lightly as the head recedes.

Nose is slightly hoppy with a bit of dried citrus peel and spice. A little sweetness from malt as well.

Taste is really interesting. Bitter citrusy hops upfront, with a little bit of the spice (coriander primarily) midtongue. A bit of lingering bitterness on the tongue.

Plenty of good carbonation in the mouth to help make it roughly medium bodied. Lots of aroma release as well when you hold it in your mouth.

Easy to drink, that's really unique for a Belgian beer.

11-03-2010 23:43:56 | More by nataku00
Photo of philphilphil
philphilphil

Australia

3.2/5  rDev -23.8%

Orval appeals to the types who like floral beers. As in, not me. Too floral, appeareance was cloudy with nice head. Taste was Floral, deep floral,mouthfeel was good, drimkabilty was alright, restricted by price and floralnees.i tried to steal the glass but thre barowner asked where it was.

11-03-2010 10:29:47 | More by philphilphil
Photo of kwjd
kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev -1.2%

Pours a bright orange colour with huge cloudy white head with some mild lacing. Smells of sour grape with Belgian yeast. Flavour is both a mild sourness to go with bigger sweetness. Very complex and I'm sure I'm not doing the description justice. Big carbonation level. I'm glad the Control Board in Ontario finally got this back. I already bought 6 because it was all I could carry. I hope more is at the store in the next couple days when I go back.

11-02-2010 21:58:02 | More by kwjd
Photo of dacull
dacull

Arizona

4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

My first review on here, and as luck would have it I picked a very good beer to start off with.

Poured from bottle into a large wine glass. Honey-like orange color with a thick and persistent white head that left lots of dense lacing all the way up the glass..

Smell is sweet with some fruity notes of citrus and peach and hints of spice.

Taste is sweet, fruity peach up front quickly followed by pronounced flavors of spices, corriander and nutmeg. Slight pine or juniper hint in the aftertaste, along with a persistent corriander-like spice. Several waves of complex flavors over the course of a sip.

Mouthfeel is good, perhapse a bit too much carbonation for my taste, but certainly not unreasonable or out of range for the style.

Very drinkable, I could definitely enjoy one or two more of these in a sitting. Overall an exceptionally well crafted beer and possibly my favorite Belgian pale ale to date. I'll definitely be drinking it again.

11-02-2010 06:18:35 | More by dacull
Photo of deskim
deskim

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

A: dark amber, fairly cloudy, huge head that seems to stay around

S: sour and orange

T: absolutely amazing. a little sour yet sweet at the same time. tastes similar to an orangy pale ale, not boozy at all, very complex

M: incredibly pleasant, light to moderate carbonation

D: if it wasn't for the price and ABV i could drink this all day. best trappist ale i've had so far.

11-02-2010 02:52:30 | More by deskim
Photo of bucklemyshoe
bucklemyshoe

Georgia

4.18/5  rDev -0.5%

330 ml bottle at 42* into a chalice.

A: This pours a cloudy burnt orange color with ruby colored hues. The head billows out to a full finger and it laces the sides very well.

S: It has aromas of apricot, apple, berries, and funky, tart yeast.

T: The taste is of sweet berries, grapefruit, cherry, apricot, hay, and a bit of biscuit flavor.

M: It shows the heavy carbonation, a medium body, and lasting funky yeast flavors.

D: This is a lovely brew. Thanks monks!

10-29-2010 04:13:28 | More by bucklemyshoe
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.93/5  rDev -6.4%

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into my Portsmouth tulip. Bottled on 22/04/2010, best before 22/04/2015.

a - Pours a murky yellow amber color with two fingers of fluffy white head and moderate to high carbonation evident. Great retention and lacing.

s - Smells of lemon/citrus, floral notes, yeast, brett, and some alcohol. Some sour fruit as well.

t - Tastes of lemon, citrus, floral hops, smooth malts, and very light brett. No where near as funky as the smell.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy, and easy to drink.

d - I thought this was a pretty good pale ale that was very easy to drink. I enjoyed the brett and sour fruits in the smell a lot, but wish there was more in the taste. It was definitely a step down. That being said, the taste is still above average, and I would certainly try this one again.

10-28-2010 23:44:51 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Trapiste389
Trapiste389

Kansas

4.13/5  rDev -1.7%

Orval is the real king of beers. Nothing in the world even comes close.

Appearance: A monstrous, rocky and vigorous head full of lace sits atop a beautiful pale straw beer.

Smell: Immediately a powerful hop aroma forces it's way into your nostrils. There is very little malt, just enough for you to know it's there.

Taste: In a word: epic! Like the aroma there is very little malt flavor and you are instantly confronted with the powerful flavor brought on by dry hoping. Very dry, with an extremely pleasant herbal aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Rich and satisfying but not so heavy that it knocks your head back. An excellent medium bodied ale.

Drinkability: Here lies the only problem: you cannot drink this beer all the time. It is powerful and moody and is not a weak beer, so be careful.

As far as I am concerned this the ultimate beer experience, it is a pale ale that is both crisp and moody. as I said before there is no beverage an earth like it.

10-28-2010 21:53:28 | More by Trapiste389
Photo of tronester
tronester

Oklahoma

4.03/5  rDev -4%

Pours a clear dark amber with a careful pour. Massive rocky off-white head that slowly recedes and never fully fades. Lacing abundant. Smell is a hint of mustiness and bubblegum. Taste is a hint of sweetness up front, followed by a massive herbal and bubblegum flavor. finish is dry, bready, and acidic. The aftertaste is quite tart and clinging. Mouthfeel is smooth, massively high carbonation from the bottle conditioning. Drinkability is good. I was quite pleased with this beer. I had not had it in a LONG time, and never properly reviewed it. The only downside is its expensive price, which means I wont be getting it too often.

10-28-2010 00:32:14 | More by tronester
Photo of cleolicious
cleolicious

California

4.6/5  rDev +9.5%

Appearance: A mustard colored and cloudy appearance with a enormous bright white head.

Smell: Tangerine, Lemon, floral. Not too potent but a light hint of each.

Taste: A classic belgian pale Ale taste but filled with orange and lemon. Crisp at first sip then very smooth thereafter. A tad bit art an a hint of cider. Very dry. To be honest, the taste is so complex that I'm certain everyone who reviews it will miss something. I know this beer is ancient and it tastes it.

This is a slow sipping beer, not as up beat as some the Belgians. It's pale ale with a dark and mysterious mood, if that makes sense. I think this beer would be best enjoy once you've sampled many other brands first. This is a classic badass. you just know monks made thus.. old ones.

10-27-2010 02:11:01 | More by cleolicious
Photo of haazer
haazer

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Poured into my Tulip glass. Bottled on 22/4/10, about 6 months ago, which I heard is the best time for Orval.

A- Offwhite, tan head. Big bubbles throughout. Leaves a little bit of lacing on sides of glass. Head explodes up the glass as you pour. Probably shouldn't have chose a Tulip. Head eventually settles onto a orange, tea colored brew. Cloudy, hard to see through.

S- Very different smell to this beer. Not used to it, but I'm guessing that might be the brett? Has an outdoor, inside of a barn type smell, with hay. Underneath that character is some fruits, and hints of yeast.

T- Sweet, kind of reminds me of an orange or tangerine jolly rancher candy. Aftertaste becomes sweet, and then sour. A taste that I can't define at all, I guess would be the brett.

M- Incredibly smooth. Tangy. This beer kind of leaves a funny feeling in the back of my throat, not uncomfortable though.

D- Good mouthfeel, very smooth brew, can't really taste the alcohol. I let this beer warm a little, but I think its actually better colder IMO. Although I do have to say I like it more as I drink it.

10-26-2010 03:45:58 | More by haazer
Photo of grittybrews
grittybrews

Washington

4.3/5  rDev +2.4%

Poured a glowing orange-amber into a tulip with a massive off-white head and lots of lacing. Aroma dominated by peppery spice with soft notes of lemon, banana, and slight funk.

Moderate carbonation and a light, very dry mouthfeel. Citrus and floral notes up front followed by juniper, slight honey sweetness, mild biscuit malt, and a subtle sourness on the finish.

Subtle, balanced, and refreshing. Bought a couple extra for the cellar and am anxious to see what a couple years will bring.

Update: previous review was for an Orval bottled 4/09/09. Just sampled another from 4/29/09 -- with around 18 months on it, the honey faded to almost nothing and the peppery and spicy notes emerged even more. The pucker on the finish wasn't exactly stronger; it was mostly the impression of dryness that increased. All in all, I preferred the balance of flavors in the year-old Orval over the 18-month version.

10-25-2010 04:17:24 | More by grittybrews
Photo of brewerburgundy
brewerburgundy

California

4.28/5  rDev +1.9%

11.2oz bottle, New Belgium glass, bottled on 3/25/10.

Wow! I've viewed this beer as a bit of a challenge since it is the only brett beer available to me where I now spend most of my time. This stuff is gorgeous, absolute amber. The head pretty much exploded on the pour into a yellowed mountain of meringue. It really is that thick.

Easter smells. I couldn't have told anybody what Easter smells like if they'd asked, but Easter egg hunt in a fragrant garden sums it up well. Massive floral, lemon, juniper, other green plant matter, and pastel peach. Now I'm finding what I've seen described that brett "bandaid" and ghosts of moderately thick crackers.

This beer is tightly focused around a few flavors that are easily detectable and branches out subtly but expansively. Those core flavors are lemon, juniper, and floral, all dry. Many of those aspects are flora and fauna. A heavy bitterness comes late, as does a sourness. There's even some biscuit malt.

If this New Belgium glass's laser etching didn't knock all the bubbles out of beer quickly this would have an active, spritzing carbonation. The body is moderate and dry.

I have been more than pleasantly surprised, I have been wowed by this beer. Now I'm not in awe, I've gained a respect for trappist beer. I'm slowly going down that Belgian road.

10-25-2010 02:49:14 | More by brewerburgundy
Photo of SmokinSmyth
SmokinSmyth

Belgium

4.15/5  rDev -1.2%

I had this with a steak dinner, a very nice beer. On the low end of the ABV for Belgium and Trappist beers, which is probably part of the reason is tastes so good.

Pours with a tall foamy head, nice amber color and a fine lace along the glass (Leffe glass - sorry).

Hoppy flavor with a good feeling in the mouth. Taste starts out a little bitter but ends on a note heading towards spicy. Keeps the taste buds entertained. Very good.

10-24-2010 12:03:24 | More by SmokinSmyth
Photo of Brideshead
Brideshead

Massachusetts

4.9/5  rDev +16.7%

A beautiful white head with fine, smooth texture. An orange/amber body, delicately hazy.

Scents of tangerine, citrus peel and botanicals float gently to the nose. Yeast is fairly noticeable on the palate, with a variety of light fruits and botanicals coming in mid-sip. A gentle, dry hop and citrus peel finish sits lightly but resiliently on the tongue.

This is one of those beers that exudes a relaxed confidence in its status as a world-class brew. Unassuming and subtle, it's both drinkable and refined.

10-24-2010 01:52:49 | More by Brideshead
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.78/5  rDev -10%

Poured into snifter. Pours a finger of white head. Fades down but then has a decent retention. Color is a hazed golden amber.

Aroma: Floral hops with some herbal notes. Lemon zest and brett shows. A barnyard funk is present. A little bit medicinal.

Taste: Brett funkiness is up front. Hay, lemon zest, citrus, herbal flavors, and floral hops. A fairly large floral profile. A bit amount of brett with light oak.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and smooth. Lighter bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and funky.

Overall, a decent beer. It is fairly bretty which makes it a bit harder to drink, but the light body makes up for that. I could drink this again.

10-22-2010 04:35:49 | More by mothman
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

4.68/5  rDev +11.4%

I've been saving this as a celebration beer for finishing the Vermont 50. Better late than never.

Even a delicate pour produces a runaway white head. Settles into a chunky head like a marshmallow dissolving into a sea of Fluff. Beautiful amber color. Delicate lace nestled down my glass. This is a pin-up girl of beers.

Smells strongly of botanicals, like Herbal Essences shampoo. I think I can pick out juniper and maybe even dome fuzzy hops? Sweet apricot and peach fuzz offsets dry, champagne-like graininess.

Taste is more juniper led botanicals and dry ginger ale and dried apricoty fruit. High carbonation boosts body but could be toned down a bit. Dry finishes cleanses the palette after each sip.

Unique from bottle to finish, this is one of the best beers I've ever had.

10-21-2010 00:14:17 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of jlmarshall
jlmarshall

Mississippi

4.53/5  rDev +7.9%

This beer poured with a very tall, foamy head that took a little time to get into the glass. The head stuck around for a bit. Very lacey on the sides of the glass. It's a golden straw, not quite clear, not quite cloudy and fairly bubbley. The smell is warm with nice flowery hops and bit of pumpkin and a soft hint of malt. The mouthfeel is slightly bitter, slightly sweet, very easy with just the right amount of carbonation and very little warmnth of alcohol, full but not thick. The taste is fantastic with bread and grain, slightly sweet, a little banana. I could easily drink a lot of this.

10-20-2010 19:32:44 | More by jlmarshall
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

330ml bottle poured into wine glass oct6 2010

A a gusher that's a very hazy brownish orange, very carbonated with a large soapy head that has great retention and leaves plenty of lace

S quite funky with spicy hops some yeast and a little booze

T again nice level of funk with a spicy complexity and some fruit I can't quite place, a fair bit going on here hard to wrap my head around

M medium bodied with almost too much carbonation, it turns too foam in your mouth, nothing unpleasant just very active

D very complex beer that leaves you thinking, before I figured it out my glass was empty

found this one in a hole in the wall liquor store in PEI, a little surprised I'd never reviewed this before I've had it several times. I like the funk and would recommend this to anyone, would love to try a vertical of this beer it seams different every time I try it

10-19-2010 18:16:36 | More by wordemupg
Photo of boMD
boMD

Oregon

4.45/5  rDev +6%

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay glass. Appeared brilliant, a hazy copper with a frothy head that lasted through the whole time in the glass. Bubbles kept rising from the bottom to the head. Aroma was pleasant with faint hops that mesh with clove and tart citrus. Palate was wonderful, just enough thickness and carbonation for the realization of it being a beer, but smooth enough to go down easily. Most notable were the citrusy hop flavors that lent towards peppery spices, malt, and herbs. Some alcohol presence towards the finish.

10-19-2010 15:52:05 | More by boMD
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,246 ratings.