Orval Trappist Ale - Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
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Ratings: 4,251 | Reviews: 2,104 | Display Reviews Only:
4.18/5 rDev -0.5%
My first Trappist in a few years. I let my wife pick this at random while vacationing. What a find!
The appearance was wonderful! It was very cloudy, hazy, and foamy. It had a lemon orange appearance which reminded me of a half and half. There were some really nice lacing.
The smell was quite good as well. Floral and citrusy. A slight hint of malts.
The taste was was very light all things considering. A very well balanced beer. It had a wonderful taste of yeastiness and citrus. I found it to be extremely refreshing and quite drinkable. Quite complex in terms of balance. I haven't had a lot of Trappists so I am unable to compare it to anything at the moment. But it's a style that I will be trying more of in the future.
05-25-2010 14:35:58 | More by skullsplitter
4.05/5 rDev -3.6%
Wonderful looking beer with a massive head and lacing and citrus sunburst color.A light and lemony aroma, with a bright straw character on the pallete, light crisp fruits like pear,apple. The souring from the Brett is very slight and mild. thinner and crisper mouthfeel, with a tight champaign like carbination, and a refreshing dry finish.
05-23-2010 07:33:26 | More by ChadQuest
4.15/5 rDev -1.2%
Bottled on 9/7/08, and best before same date in 2013. Poured in my chalice a great looking amber shade, very lively carbonation produce prodigious head that has no problem sticking around. It really is a treat to watch those crazy bubbles make way to the surface.
Smell is great malt, yeast, and a whole bouquet of herb like spiciness. One of the best smelling brews I have had in quite awhile.
Tastes bread like with citrus notes, great yeast flavors and perfect malt balance round out this wonderful brew.
Feel is super bubbly and full of carbonation. Very light and lively at the same time. Good drinkability right here, just wish I had some more to enjoy.
05-23-2010 03:12:02 | More by BabyBastard
4.63/5 rDev +10.2%
Poured into a Orval Chalice
Appears to be a dark earth tone color that retains a quarter inch head.
Smell reminiscent of hay with spices and herbs.
The taste begins with a little sour hop bitterness middle through the end has significant hay flavor mixed with herbs and spice.
Mouthfeel is very nice that swooshes across the tongue with carbanation then subsides.
Very drinkable trappist with alot of unique flavors that can be detected after the tempature warms.
05-23-2010 01:02:25 | More by Wolfhausen
4.05/5 rDev -3.6%
New Beer Friday!
Appearance - Wow, over a HAND of head pouring this down the side of the glass. Almost annoying because I am sitting here patiently waiting for it to go down and it is...but ever so slowly. Leaves chunky lacing on the sides of the glass. Pours a slight hazy deep golden color.
Smell - Banana, clove, slight barnyard funk (reminiscent of Jolly Pumpkin), bready yeast, and slight malt.
Taste - Immediate funky mouth puckering taste which gives way to a slight banana flavor. Massive amount of spices, slight hops, and grassy/hay flavor on the back end.
Mouthfeel - Medium to light bodied. Not as full as I would have expected but still good for what it is.
Drinkability - Relatively drinkable. This reminds me of a mix of delirium tremens and a really funk saison. An interesting beer and am glad to finally try it. Not in my top beer list but enjoyable nonetheless.
05-21-2010 22:24:42 | More by SpdKilz
3.85/5 rDev -8.3%
Poured from the bottle into a Bruery tulip
A - Pours a dark orange with hints of red. This beer has a massive amount of head. I poured semi-aggressively and had to wait to finish pouring because of the amount of head. The head took quite a bit of time to fade, and even as I drank it there remained a little bit of head along with a good looking lace.
S - This beer has a very interesting smell. It has that brett funk, along with fruit and yeast. Also has a light sour smell. I enjoyed the smell quite a bit.
T - Taste as usual is similar to the smell. There is a very light sour/funky characteristic to this beers taste. Has the flavor of some lighter fruits such as apple/pear. I can also taste a little bit of spice and yeast.
M - Mouthfeel was disappointing to me. I know this beer was not flat because of the head, but when I drank it, it felt flat in my mouth. The consistency was alright it felt very smooth with a light/medium body. It also leaves a residue in the mouth after taking a sip.
D - Drinkability is alright a little above average because of the ABV I could not drink to many of these. It also has some alcohol heat to it that makes it difficult to drink to many. Along with this beers mouthfeel lowers the drinkability for me.
Overall this is a beautiful beer with a good taste and smell, but the mouthfeel killed some part of it for me. It was hard drinking it at times when it felt like there was no carbonation. Maybe it was just the bottle I had, but I did get this beer from Hi Times Wines Cellar so I doubt quality control was the issue. I guess I will just have to revisit this beer some time.
05-19-2010 05:10:53 | More by Krevee
4.25/5 rDev +1.2%
Pours a GORGEOUS murky amber with HUGE foamy head. Absolutely GORGEOUS beer. Once the foam dies down a bit, the aroma has all the hallmarks of a traditional Belgian with notes of warm bread, caramel and malty goodness.
The flavor changes a lot as it warms up and it changes for the better - some sour notes even seem to come out. This is definitely one you want to let sit for a few minutes before drinking. Overall the palate is similar to the nose. There is a nice but not overwhelming bubbly carbonation that creates an interesting dry finish.
Very very nice interesting beer and something that I will DEFINITELY be drinking again soon.
05-19-2010 03:02:04 | More by thetomG
4.78/5 rDev +13.8%
Poured into a pint glass.
Appearance - Snow-white crown dominates this brew for the first five minutes after the pour. Beer has a dark honey color with a bit of cloud in the body.
Smell - Apple and honey in the scent, with a hint of peach. Fruity. A brief whiff of funk.
Taste - I haven't tasted enough into the triple digits to have any authority, I admit, but of what I've had so far, Orval's is definitely the most balanced beer I've had. Champagne hints for sure.
Feel - Fizzes perfectly and leaves just enough hint, like an expensive mineral water.
Drinkability - I wish I had a dozen of these. Not too thick, but not too bitter.
05-18-2010 06:16:50 | More by DarrinRasberry
4.47/5 rDev +6.4%
Bottled on 12/30/09
Poured into a chalice, it has a dark copper color with enough haze that you can't see much through it. The head foams up quickly, and leaves a massive, thick white head on top. A lot of carbonation bubbles are visible in the glass.
The aroma is a nice mix between lemony hops and a fruity, funky yeast character. The brettanomyces adds aromas of leather and rainfall. As I understand, this beer changes a ton with age, but I like where it is right now.
The mouthfeel is very dry with a lot of carbonation but with a firm substance. This beer leaves a drying, leathery feel on the finish. Malt flavor and sweetness seems to stay out of the way, but the funky brett flavors and bitter finish take over. It has a deep, earthy flavor to it with the flavor of dirt, wet leaves, and wild flowers. The finish has the combination of bitter hops and leathery dryness. There isn't much acidity, but the brett leaves a salty flavor throughout.
This beer is really interesting. I'd love to get this again for food pairing or age variations. I'm sure my review would be different each time I had it.
05-13-2010 00:31:28 | More by jeffthecheff
4.25/5 rDev +1.2%
Poured from a 330 ml bottle into my Orval snifter. Nothing is more beautiful beer than the proper beer in its proper glass. Great thanks to my friend Kurt for the glass.
A hazy caramel orange pumpkin is what I came up with for the color. Superior frothy head, slightly off white. Nice globby lacing after the first pour, I took 10 minutes to let that settle and finished off the pour. Nice and frothy.
Mellow yeast notes on the nose. Apples, citrus, apricots as well.
Maybe some brett? If so, very mild.
Mildly hoppy, nice yeast tastes and smooth maltiness. Bread, bananas, and some soft fruit flavors.
Incredibly light for the abv, so nice to drink.
If you're in the mood, trappists are hard to beat and this is a testament to that.
05-11-2010 07:08:57 | More by midnite2sixman
4.43/5 rDev +5.5%
A: slightly cloudy burnt orange with big soapy head and nice sticky head
S: nice big spice with a faint pepper note, some sweetness complemented by pear, raisin, and coriander flavors, bit of alcohol (more noticeable as the beer warms), some medicine/chalk
T: slight chalk/medicine that is most noticeable on the finish, pleasant orange and coriander up front, some fennel with complementary sweetness from malt
M: clean yet still slightly dense on the palate, very dry finish
D: very complex flavor profile that seemingly shifts throughout, definitely looking forward to aging a few of these and going back after a few fresh bottles
05-11-2010 01:30:01 | More by WOTO97
4.6/5 rDev +9.5%
11.2 oz bottle with a bottled on date of 22/01/2009. Pours a crazy 4:1 foam to beer ratio with the brew being a fairly hazed dark gold color. Head is off-white, airy and voluminous.
Leathery brettomyces and stinging CO2 aromas greet the nose along with a fair dose of honeyed malt. Simplistic yet appealing smell on this classic.
Wow, this is probably one of the easiest brett-forward beers to drink you could ever find. Sharp hops along with the brett provide a very dry, crisp and damn refreshing beer. Citrusy lemon flavors along with a spritzy carbonation accentuate the effect. Malts are there, lightly honeyed, but the main show is the brettomyces and solid hops. It has been a few years since my last Orval and like an old friend, I cant believe how much I missed it. I could drink this all summer long, but the price point is preventative of that. A very delicious beer and I cannot wait to taste the other couple in the cellar with some more brett coming to the forefront as time passes.
05-09-2010 23:22:25 | More by twiggamortis420
4.18/5 rDev -0.5%
View / Color: Amber or orange-yellowish shades and light fog, with plenty of large off-white head is a champagne-like bubbles with small bubbles was changed into a thick collar and after a while becomes a mountain and valley structure.
Aroma / Smell: Huge lot of fruit gets under the nose and intensely peppery, spicy with a bitter thirst quenching fruity, with a slightly acidic tart toetsje (a nickname, like rancid flavor) and also Slightly a wild acidity some say something, or some cider-like , and some light lemon flavor. But the bitter scent of his trump Orval. Especially young Orval 4 to 5 months old has illuminated buttons of unripe fruit like banana, pineapple, lemon and pear. (Softer and fruitier when he was young to drink). He is also nice malty (Beauce, Gratinais, Prisma and Unterfranken 85% and 15% Cara Vienne malt). But there is a little sweet brew 350kg. White candy landfill. The abundant supply of hops smell it at the hop pocket and say to some fresh getanneerd leather (hops: Bavarian Hallertau, Slovenian Styrian Golden East Kent Golding pellets and in the cones for dry hopping.)
Taste: First contact in the mouth dominates bitterness of a drought that comes up and hangs, but it is nice and a touch of bitter gooseberry, great taste and good maltiness, slightly rinse desserts come through on the palate, fruity keys, such as lemon but a little pepper in the beer despite the residual level residual sugar is very low to almost nothing. There is also a slight acidity in the mouth typical of wild yeast. This festival of hops still rests on a very convincing, juicy, malty body.
Finish / aftertaste: A very dry (Sec) and hop bitter aftertaste to and little or no residual sugar. It is a very good digestive.
Decision: For one, it is because of his meager beer bitterness and the other was full, but the bitter taste is in harmony with the soft and well
Brewing Information: Malts are: pale malt beers: as Beauce, Gratinais, Unterfranken and Prisma and caramel malt, Cara Vienne and hop varieties are Hallertau-Herzbrucker from Bavaria and Styria, Golding from Slovenia, and the Dry-hopping one uses Golding from East Kent UK The sugar is kind of candy. Brother / Brother: Lode is brewing manager, Jean-Marie Rock-Maitre Brasseur. His predecessor was Roger Schoonjans. For his great salvation in one hop bitterness searches, 700 to 750g. per hectolitre production and another for the dry-hopping 360gr each brew is 106 hl and they use 350kgr.kandijsuiker. The dry hops remain three weeks in lager beer. It used Orval 5.2% but its fermentation, he sometimes up 6.9% on the new label, therefore 6.2% and 6.9% for severe Americas. Tests have shown that the brewery in a Orval up to 7.2% alc. Vol can go. There is a wild yeast found in Orval that we encounter in the lambic yeast Brettanomyces the fact that a wild yeast. They also have a canteen beer for home consumption that is called green Orval and has 3.5% alc. vol. Orval is 0.08% residual sugar and some sweet beers go up 3% Acid pure old lambic has even less ie 0.02%
05-09-2010 13:39:41 | More by Abbeloos
3.23/5 rDev -23.1%
A - Orangy amber with hick full head. Big cloud of yeast sediment that fills the glass, rendering hazy.
S - Smells great. Bready belgian yeast character with banana, lemon, and some tropical fruit characteristics.
T - Mostly yeast, with lemon, banana, and a pretty good bit of hop bitterness for a Belgian. Very dry.
M - Light-medium body with plenty of carbonation.
D - It's actually making me a little gassy, but maybe I'm having an off night. The hop bitterness gets a little old after awhile. I think I might give the rest of the goblet to my wife, see if she likes it a little better.
05-09-2010 00:59:03 | More by jpittman80
4.38/5 rDev +4.3%
bottled on 7-29-09, poured into duvel tulip
A- Hazy, orange-amber appearance with a massive, cloud-like, fluffy white head. Great lacing. Gorgeous to behold!
S- Funky-brett notes are most pronounced. Sweet caramelized-banana, lemon rind citric sit in the background.
T- Lemon rind, light cherry notes, green grapeskin, granny smith apple, abrasive hay underlying, mild sweetness leaks through at points, leathery finish. Unreal complexity.
M- Lots of fine carbo lightens up the medium body, making this a great choice for a midday spring beer (like today!)
D- Very drinkable for 6.9%, however I think it would be hard to give a second one the appreciation it deserves, as it overwhelms the palate a bit in ways I'm not used to.
If you've never tried this beer, GO GET ONE and watch your life become significantly better.
05-07-2010 19:43:54 | More by anchordrinker
4.18/5 rDev -0.5%
Poured into a tulip glass from a 33cl bottle.
Incidentally my bottle states alcohol content as 6.2% rather than the 6.9% listed here...
A - Dark amber colour with a thick creamy head. Few carbonation bubbles. Lacing is ok.
S - Sweet wheat, with several fruit aromas and a hint of clove. Of the fruity aromas bananas is most prominent with a touch of cherry as well. Also some creamy cheese in the mix somewhere. Bubblegum becoming apparent later on too.
T - Strong on bitterness - the creamy head doesn't really come through. Carbonation more obvious when consumed. Main tastes are a mix of banana and some other burnt red berry flavours combined with heaps of herbs like pepper and cloves.
M - Quite bitter-sweet. Carbonation is powerful so has a kind of sugary soda/candy texture.
D - Not a bad drop but way too much fizz. Could stomach the beer in quantity but the gas would be a killer.
So for those who aren't aware this is quite a complex brew. The above represents my second attempt to review although it may not be my last. For some reason I keep coming back to this beer and as such have reflected that in my ratings.
05-07-2010 09:33:59 | More by xylophonica
4.05/5 rDev -3.6%
11.2 oz bottle into a snifter. bottled on 7/29/2009.
color is a hazy orange to amber shade and the head is outta control! a gentle pour gave me three fingers of thick, tan foam that calms to a pinky's worth and hangs around for quite a while. leaves big, cloud like puffs of sticky lace all over the glass too.
smells of banana with hints of clove, apple and a maybe a little freshly baked bread. taste is mostly toasted malts with a lot of spiciness and herbal hop bitterness. i can also just barely make out pale malts and some fruity notes. finish is long and a little malt sweetness comes back after the bitterness fades.
medium bodied with a lot of carbonation. feels oddly heavy in the stomach after drinking, i'm guessing from the co2.
very drinkable and very true to style, but i'd prefer a dubble or trippel over the pales. certainly worth seeking out, but given it's high import price, i probably won't be buying too many of these.
05-06-2010 22:58:36 | More by divineaudio
4.63/5 rDev +10.2%
This is my first Orval... So here goes--
I poured this into my Duvel tulip with the same method of pouring I always use... It filled up the entire glass with head. It literally rose all the way to the top and stopped just before cascading over the sides! It was as though I used the Jedi mind trick on it.
Anyway... the color is burnt orangey gold. The giant fluffy head reminds me of lemon meringue pie filling and leaves spotty chunks of lacing just from settling.
Smells of lemons and fresh herbal grassiness. Maybe a light spicy yeast note too. There seems to be a little fruitiness in here-- banana? plantain? even a slight scent of bubble gum. A slight funky earthiness blends in and fills the gap between each scent making it hard to fully distinguish them. That leads directly into the taste as well... There are certainly some herbal, grassy, and fruity notes, with hints of bananas. But just like in smell, there is a touch of funk that blends them all together. Very interesting. Very little hop presence, but it still works in terms of taste. Something here reminds me of apple juice...
Very dry finish. Actually between the finish and the mouthfeel, you could possibly convince some people that this was a new type of flavored champagne. The feel is very light and airy with lots and lots of fine bubbles fizzing around your mouth.
To rate this beer in terms of drinkability--- It's hard to believe this is 7% abv. It is deceptively smooth. I could certainly drink 3 or 4 of these before standing up and noticing my level of inebriation. And perhaps I'll pick up a few more and conduct such an experiment.
Overall impression-- I can see how many American versions attempt to recreate this particular beer. This is arguably the measuring bar by which the style is judged. As well it should be. Those monks know their stuff!
05-05-2010 02:20:33 | More by AleWatcher
4.28/5 rDev +1.9%
What a beautiful beer. The head forms immediately and the structure is such that I overpoured and thought I'd lose some of the head down the sides, but no! It stood up on its own a good two fingers above the rim of the glass. The color is amber and cloudy, more opaque than many in this style.
It smells of fragrant wood or cooking wheat bread with some spice and citrus in the background. The floral aspect tells you it's a Belgian.
Oh wow! I immediately got oranges. The sour and citrusy flavors combined to make it seem like this was a beer brewed with oranges, it was that strong of an impression on my tongue. Bolstering that flavor is a bread-like taste further back on the tongue...maybe one of those whole grain loafs.
I usually first sip a beer that I have not tried yet, but this one invited me to gulp, and gulp I did. Just two and then I started to taste. It doesn't attack the back of the mouth, but lingers on the tongue daring you to explain the complexities (and I felt I have done a poor job here).
For a beer this complex it is still refreshing and begs another, and another and another still. I wish I had bought more. Strike that...I WILL buy more.
05-05-2010 02:09:56 | More by Naugros
4.95/5 rDev +17.9%
Orval has become one of my absolute favorite beers. The Aroma and flavor are distinct and fantastic. The brett character is perfect. Slight mustiness. Nice lemony zing. Bright, crisp, dangerously drinkable. Puffy white head, a constant stream of bubbles from the center of a Duvel tulip. Beatiful beer. Legendary. One of the best beers on the face of the earth. I can't really think of anything to say about this beer that hasn't already been said. Seek out. Worth every penny.
05-04-2010 14:14:25 | More by Brew33
District of Columbia
4.48/5 rDev +6.7%
A: Hazy burnt orange color. The head is massive and has many different sized bubbles surrounding a meringue crest. Awesome lacing. Also, there is a notable effervescence that emanates from the bottom center of the glass and resembles an underwater volcano.
S: Belgian yeast and a slight funky that smells nice. Also getting a bit of an outdoor, grass, farm aroma.
T: Interesting to say the least. I don't think one could ever describe Orval as dull or uninteresting. Immediately upon tasting, I get a funky, dry tartness that remains prevalent throughout. It's not the type of funk found in a wild ale, lambic or gueuze. What a cool brew. There is a slight alcohol note in the finish, but it's subtle enough and fits in nicely.
M: Funky Belgian yeast, good carbonation, slight alcohol in the finish. Pretty good feel.
D: It's unique, tasty, and a beer to sniff, sip, and savor. A must try for any beer aficionado.
05-04-2010 03:19:12 | More by Huhzubendah
4.65/5 rDev +10.7%
Bottled 29/04/2009, so it's a few days over a year old now. The bottle says you can age this one all the way until 2014. Being able to age a beer of 6.9% for five years is pretty impressive.
Poured into my Chimay goblet, which looked to be the closest thing I had to the proper Orval glass. Orval pours with a copious, densely-foamy orange-tinged white head. Lacing could be better. The retention is amazing, with a raft of head hanging out like it's a pancake. The beer is opaque with suspended sediment and dull-copper in colour. Some mysterious black specs rest at the bottom of the glass.
Huge, delicious smell. Candied lemon, wheat, yeast, tart green apple, cherries, white wine, white pepper, light brett and a subtle spice blend. This beer smells fantastic! Super complex and seriously exceptional. Easily one of the best smelling beers I've had.
This beer is really complex. A solid amount of brett character, ginger ale, white wine vinegar, dust, sweet malt, green apple. Hops seem to get mostly buried in the flavour but come into play on the finish, where they impart an almost perfect balance. I feel like I might enjoy a little more of a malt base, if I was going to be picky. No alcohol present.
The feel is insanely good. This might be the best mouthfeel I've ever encountered; it's almost like a milkshake it's so thick and creamy. The foamy carbonation really works here. The finish is fairly drying; the kind that keeps you sipping.
I'm definitely stocking up on these next time I'm in Montreal. I could drink this stuff all the time. I really like how this is a little lighter than most other world-class Belgians; at 6.9% you could have a few at a time. It seems to pack the flavour of a much bigger beer into it's relatively low ABV. I'm glad I spent some time working up to this one, I feel like I can appreciate this beer now whereas a year-or-so ago I'm not sure I would have "got" it. Possibly an acquired taste but this beer is amazing.
05-03-2010 06:19:28 | More by eat
4.35/5 rDev +3.6%
Amber orange color with a ton of fluffy head. It was poured into a tulip and the head came all the way to the lip.
This has a very aromatic nose of funky yeast and tart fruits. Lemon, orange, and apple.
Exceptional taste, also. It mirrors the smell, plus the addition of banana and some herbal and spicy hops.
Mouthfeel is heavily carbonated and prickly on the tongue.
A very ejoyable Belgian Pale Ale that I'll definitely have again. It's very flavorful and has a complex variety.
05-01-2010 02:23:38 | More by Vonerichs
4.45/5 rDev +6%
Another tasty brew courtesy of a great trade with Adouble. I raise my glass to you, sir!
Appearance: Whoa, it appears we have ourselves a gusher! With what I thought was an easy pour, the beer nearly overflows clean out of my DFH Off-Centered pint glass. I barely got half the bottle in. I suppose carbonation isn't going to be an issue with this bad boy! Anyway, aside from the mountain of head (which is fading slowly, by the way), the beer is a cloudy, amber color that is surprisingly vibrant for a pale ale.
Smell: The smell is surprisingly strong for a pale ale. It reminds me more of what I'd expect from a tripel, or even a mild quad sans the sweet candied fruit. The smell is sweet, with a classic Belgian yeast characteristic. Outstanding.
Taste: In every aspect so far this beer has surprised me. The taste is no exception. For a Belgian Pale Ale, this beer packs some amazing flavor. There's a nice sweetness to the brew, with a bit of a grassy quality to it, all wrapped up with a nice Belgian-y finish. This is very very good.
Mouthfeel: If I had one grip about this beer, I would have to say that the mouthfeel is a bit thin. Maybe given the style it's what it should be, but with every other quality of this beer being so robust, the mouthfeel was a bit of a let down. Not necessarily bad, but not up to par with the rest of the beer.
Drinkability: I have to give this beer top marks. I've seen it on the shelf before, but I've always passed it by. I can safely say that that is a mistake I will not make again. This beer is fantastic, packing some immense flavor in a sessionable package. Coming close to 7% ABV, I don't think I could pack away too many in an evening, but I'd certainly give it a good shot. Definitely recommend.
05-01-2010 00:35:02 | More by krisandajt
4.3/5 rDev +2.4%
Poured into chalice
A: Cloudy dark butterscotch brew, topped with a light sandy head
S: Fruity aroma - hops, yeast, caramel, malt
T: Yeast and carbonation leads to bright floral hops, bitterness and a sweet hop and toasted malt aftertaste
M: Light, almost no body, wish it were a little more full bodied
04-30-2010 20:07:55 | More by Petrislav
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,251 ratings.