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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.

4,160 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,160
Reviews: 2,102
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 181
Gots: 321 | FT: 10
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)
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Ratings: 4,160 | Reviews: 2,102 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vendetta

New Jersey

4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Original Rating Date:
September 4, 2008

Bottled 12/27/2007. Pop the cap. Super sweet, flowery, perfume smell. Fantastic nose, excellent, excellent. Doughy head. Light, cloudy hue with a very faint bit of plum coloring. A ton of malt, light fruits. Smooth, a little bit of bitter in there. Tingly, natural carbonation that isn't overdone. More sips- this beer is balanced. More bitter now as opposed to overly malty during the first sip. This is an incredibly complex beer. A bit of a bready yeastiness. Trying to pin down the fruit taste but I can't. Some light grapes... peach? Ah, lots of apple and pear here also. It's like a good movie, you notice something new with each time you experience it. This comes highly, highly recommended from me. Absolutely fabulous, one of the best single beers I've ever had.

EDIT- Just noticed that this was a milestone for me... Nice beer to have for my 100th rating. :)

Beeradvocate note: This was the 100th beer that I have rated -- numbering my be different on this website.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 23:53:42 | More by Vendetta
Photo of magictrokini


4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Darker amber pour with a huge head. Malt and yeast dominate the aroma with some clove, spice, and yeasty funk. Soapy malt, peppery hops, spice, fruit, and earthy tastes. Lovely brown sugar/molasses-like sweetness that blends well with the yeast esters. Dry finish. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2008 18:57:21 | More by magictrokini
Photo of thekevlarkid


4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Out of bottle dragged across the nation from Phoenix this beer was a cloudy orange color with an expansive three finger head of golden Labrador-colored foam. The retention was impressive as the head turned rocky after a while and the lacing was equally respectable. The aroma was complex, ripened fruit, slightly sour yeast, sweet malt and spices. The flavors were unique and challenging. At first it was malty and slightly sweet, then it went bluntly sour and tangy with wheat and yeast. Further developments included musty grain, citrus as it warmed and a long hoppy finish that stuck to my tongue. For a Belgian Pale Ale I found myself perplexed; was it a bad representation of the style or so advanced that I was flabbergasted? The mouthfeel was good, the carbonation a little on the fizzy side and the body medium. After pondering I finally concluded I had to tip my fedora to this one; like my favorite type of woman it was wild and demanding but well worth taking home.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2008 17:02:16 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of DoctorDog


3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 11.2 oz bottle into an oversized wine glass.

A- Pours a hazy rich amber with a fluffy white, 2+ finger head. Head fades gradually to a thin covering that remains throughout.

S- A moderately funky green-apple-esque bouquet, with a slight metallic hint.

T- A bit of a hoppy/citrusy crispness on the front, which is surprisingly dry. Sweetness is there, but not overwhelming in the least. The finish is moderately bitter. Bit of a funky, yeasty aftertaste, but not unpleasantly so.

M- Moderately carbonated and fairly creamy.

D- Pretty decent. This one can be savored as a solitary sipper, though - especially considering the moderate ABV- multiples could be consumed without difficulty.

Future outlook: I'm sure we'll meet again someday!

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2008 04:30:00 | More by DoctorDog
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 8/16/08. Bottle, bottled 2/20/08. Pours a cloudy dark orange with a huge thick light head that leaves nice lacing. Aroma of Belgian yeast, lots of light fruits, light sourness, slight hop bitterness, and spices. Wow, does this smell good! Flavor is equally as complex, perhaps even more so. Spices, Belgian yeast, dark, light and tropical fruits--but not as fruity as aroma-- rather malty, vegetables, lemon, and tartness. Closes with a bitter, dry finish. I love Belgian ales and this was a good one! Awesome.
9/4/9/4/17 (4.3/5)

Update 12/3/08: Tried some of the 9/7/08 batch. Aroma of lemon, sour fruits, and a slight hoppy bitterness. Ah, heaven. Flavor is dry with lots of bitter hops. Not as fruity as the aroma nor the aged Orval. But always a fun treat!

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2008 00:31:37 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of HeavyG


5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

P: 11.2 oz. bottle. Brewed and best by date on the label.

A: Poured a very nice amber color with a good 2 finger head. The lacing on this beer was great.

S: The smell was light and alomst flowery.

T: The taste was a bit strong at first. After you have a few sips of it, it opens up to a really good and smooth beer.

M: It was very soft on the tongue.

D: By far one of the most drinkable beers out there.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 22:54:10 | More by HeavyG
Photo of Fatduck


4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 4/24/07

Poured into my Duvel goblet. Produces a massive fluffy head with a pale golden color. Smells faintly sour/tart. I must say, I cant pick much out of this beer. I can feel the alcohol heat, and taste a touch of funk, but what strikes me is that this beer is GREAT! I'll have to re-review this beer again in a year or more, when I can do a better job.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 23:16:12 | More by Fatduck
Photo of aerozeppl

New York

4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally got around to reviewing this. Have not had it in a number of years. All the talk of the bret in it made the decision for me.

A: Pours a deep amber color with 3 fingers of fluffy cloud like head. Great lacing.

S There is the bret right up front.A nice musty barnyard note. A little bit of pepper in the back. White pepper. Reminds me of a more subtle version of Avery 15.

T: Starts off with a sharp tart/citrus note. Really nice amount of funk in it. The pepper is there in the taste as well.

m: Has that nice dry wild ale mouthfeel. This beer finishes bone dry. Nice amount of carbonation.

D: I really enjoyed this beer. The price is a factor but it is not insanely overpriced so I will grab one every once in a while. The tartness and funk might bother some but I say the monks did not take it far enough. They have been it for a while now so I will allow it. Great precursor to American Wild Ales.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 21:09:32 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of aforbes10


4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I realized recently that despite owning several Orval chalices, and having a lot of experience with the other U.S.-distributed Trappist beers, my only experience with this beer has been a horribly oxidized bottle in a shitty bar in Post-Katrina Baton Rouge. ...so...i decided to buy a bottle. Pours an orange-y brown, bright and cloudy. Big puffy white head that becomes creamier as it settles. Laces oddly, head slides around the sides of the glass along with the beer and doesn't stick to the glass at all. Weird. Smells tart, clove-like, withe notes of oranges, coriander. Flavor is similar to the aroma, though with a distinct malt base that's got a bit of caramel and the barest hint of chocolate. Small alcohol evident on the finish. Quite smooth, almost creamy, which is impressive considering the relatively low ABV. Drinks very well and interesting qualities. Yeah, i'd buy it again, glad i decided to finally try it properly.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2008 23:45:21 | More by aforbes10
Photo of sccala

Rhode Island

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

Poured out of a bowling pin shaped brown bottle. The bottle was, or at least seemed a bit heavier than the average 11.2 oz bottle. Poured into a dry, room temperature pint glass.

A- Ooo baby! A light gingerbread color with an incredible head...4 finger collar...1 finger of which rose above the rim of the glass. Consistency of the head is that of home made whipped cream. It didn't completely vanish until I was over half way done drinking the beer. Slightly above average lacing.

S- Good, wholesome, feel-good smells here. Pine trees, a bouquet of flowers, herbs...not much hops though.

T- Wheat, lemon, more hops here than in the smell. Nice and crisp and refreshing, yet dry, not sweet.

M- Perfectlly balanced tastes, perfect carbonation, medium body. In my opinion, the after taste reminds me of the after taste you get from Chimay grand reserve.

D- This beer is surprisingly easy on the palate and stomach. Doesn't fill you up instantly...which is actually unlike most trappist style ales. And with a modest 6.9% ABV, you actually can drink and appreciate each one.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2008 02:31:24 | More by sccala
Photo of Clubchat

Quebec (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I kept this beer in my personnal cellar from 3 years now, can't wait anymore

Appearance - Orange to copper color, more darker that the younger ones, nice carbonnation

Smell - Fruit, wood, vineous with the warming alcohol adding a nice layer of complexity

Taste - Oak, alcohol, serious sweet and vineous taste

Mouthfeel - Light and smooth

Drinkability - Very nice light-aged beer, very easy to drink, delicious

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2008 15:53:05 | More by Clubchat
Photo of krunchie


3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a redbrown to orange colour, bronze, quite cloudy. The head is thick and....big....I had to wait a while to let it set.

S: Lovely! Some hop aroma. Dry cider and herbs.

T: Dry cider and grapefruit. More of the hop aroma, but pretty smooth finish. Light-medium bitterness

M: Semi-full body, Covers the mouth with a bitter aftertaste

D: One is enough. This is a quite nice beer, but the good flavours of it won't last for long. Maybe a good appetizer beer

Will I buy it again? Probably

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 16:32:59 | More by krunchie
Photo of darklordlager


3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden-sunset colour with a good 1 inch head that sits like a rock.

Smells kind of plasitc-y...with some heavy cider notes..

Tastes very cidery with a fading grapefruit flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is kept in check.

Drinkability: I think this cider flavour would get to me after a while....

Not as good as I remember it....

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2008 21:50:09 | More by darklordlager
Photo of tai4ji2x


4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

direct from the importer here in beijing.

330ml, bottled on 20/05/2008, best by 2013. poured into tulip.

dull orangey amber, with gold and brown hues. slightly hazy. great head, slowly recedes to a persistent thin layer. a couple distinct rings of frothy lacing.

whiffs of funky brett in the nose, but give way to floral and herbal tones, and hints of ripe apple and peach. whiffs of malt vinegar and cider, leather and barnhouse along with grassy hop. note of possible buttery diacetyl? some phenols in the backend.

juicy grapefruit in the flavor, both in fruitiness and bitterness. then back to the funkiness of brett, with leathery notes and horse funk, and that acidic twang. hints of yeast bread and faint sweet malt note, but the focus is on the characteristics of brettanomyces. grassy hop bitterness again reminiscent of grapefruit, albeit not citrusy like american hops. dry, moderately bitter finish with slight acidic pucker.

fluffy carbonation, with some prickliness. acidic texture and a decent substantialness in the feel.

i don't know why garrett oliver thinks this beer can win over beginners. this requires a large amount of acclimation. i can appreciate it quite nicely, but i don't see how a typical macro or even crossover craft drinker can be attracted to this at all. certainly not on first taste, and especially not without being educated about the beer.

(NOTE: an even more positive re-review is forthcoming - i love brett now, and this early review does not do the beer justice)

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2008 14:06:36 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of mj001jk


4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orange/amber color with some haze.

Thick persistent foam and lots of carbonation. Aromas jump out of the glass, it is almost like a soda, bursting with bubbles and sour cherry fruit leading the way, followed by orange peel, tiny hints of nutmeg and light hops.

Body is light and dry with sour dried fruits such as apricot, orange and cherries. It is very vibrant and crisp, no underlying sweetness or lingering funkiness on the palate. Finish is short and leave you with some red apple flavors. A very tasty and refreshing beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2008 02:34:26 | More by mj001jk
Photo of Jordan1985rec


3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this at Monk's Cellar in Brookline, MA and was blown away. The taste was far more dry than many of the other Belgian pales and I really enjoyed it all the way through. There was a clear sour and fruity smell and this sour taste carried over into the taste in a good way. Overall this was a very enjoyable beer that seems like it would pair well with roasted chicken or lamb. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2008 01:39:32 | More by Jordan1985rec
Photo of OtherShoe2


4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange with an incredibly dense haed with lots of sticky lace rings. I swirled the bottle and got a couple of floaters as well.

Sweet wheat scents with that musty straw/hay element, as well as some citrus and mild spice.

This is a real funky one, but in a good way. Lots of different flavors that pop out in waves. Sweet grain, a little spice, citrus rind, and a fruit tartness like something that has gone past its prime. Tart and dry in the finish. Hop bite is there, as is the alcohol.

This is moderately carbonated, which keeps these flavors in check enough for you to sip or slug. I gave this a drinkability rating much lower than taste. I love Belgian beer, all styles, and have had it in country. This is one that is absolutely terrific, but after 2 I'd want to stop and move on to something else. You almost need a change (it is like gorging on Belgian chocolate -- delicious and complex, but you need to set limits). It is special beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2008 01:40:59 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of EPseja

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After having this beer thrice before, and not liking it very much on any of the three occasions, I have finally decided to give Orval a proper review with a much more mature palette.

Served from the unmistakably-shaped 33cl Orval bottle in a Chimay goblet at cellar temperature.

A - Very active and audible pour resulting in a dense, meringuey off white head about 1.5 inches high above the translucent rusty orange beer below. Head retention is unbelievable, and lacing is sticky and thick. Amazing.

S - Grainy sweet and sour maltiness. Apple cider vinegar. Green fermenting hay. Also a note of "sterility" that I can't put my finger on that reminds me of the smell of a doctor's office. Unqiue.

T - Malts are so pulled back that there is no initial hit of sweetness at all in the front. In the middle comes some citrusy tartness and a warming alcohol presence, followed by a yeastiness that pushes the alcohol back. Finish is medium dry with a crisp hoppiness and very long. Deep and full of character; much of which I can't pinpoint in the short time it takes me to do this review.

M - Lively and active in the mouth, puffing up to a round, cream of Belgiany goodness. Swallow is voluminous and large.

D - Much better than I remember it, and a pleasure to drink now that I "understand" it better. This is a trappist ale that is not to be missed, and a legend in its own right both in taste and presence.

Afterthought... Make sure to swirl in all the yeast you can coax off the bottom of the bottle. It adds to the depth of flavor and helps quell the alcohol a bit.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2008 02:39:51 | More by EPseja
Photo of flipper2gv

Quebec (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours in a very nice dark orange color that is a little hazy because of the yeast. It has a very generous and strong off-white head.

S: Sweet butterscotch aroma. A little bit of spices (cloves) coming from the yeast. Some tart and wheat scents too.

T: Tart comes up front, which is rapidly subdued by the caramel sweetness. Then it's all about spices and wheat. Some phenols and lemon peel are also present. It leaves a very dry aftertaste that is ok.

M: Mid to high carbonation which is pretty standard for the genre. Medium body with creamy feeling to it. Very nice.

D: Mid to high. It's the aftertaste that kills a bit the drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2008 21:51:51 | More by flipper2gv
Photo of rtepiak


4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

amber IPA color with quite a bit of murk that has a chestnut quality. medium head, very lightly off white light brown phlegm yellow. lace. smell is flemish funk??? strangely. pineapple musky wonderfulness. taste is every pale ale i've ever had. some butteriness, soft citrus fruit, pineapple, lemon grassy with a light dough in the murk. truly a beer that respects beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2008 01:11:12 | More by rtepiak
Photo of rye726


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

Not sure why I never tried this, but here it goes. Pours a hazy cedar color with a nice beige head. Nose has citrus fruits, floral hops, musty oak and sour yeasts. The tart and peppery yeast strain come out in the flavor as well in addition to the sugary malts and fruity hops. Clean crisp body with delicate carbonation. A fantastic brew, glad I gave this a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2008 00:32:59 | More by rye726
Photo of jujubeast6000


3.4/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed 1/9/2006 (330mL bottle):

Pours a cloudy medium brown/red color body. Big white head, with good sized bubbles. Aroma of dark fruit(maybe plum?) , hops, and some sweetness. Fizzy, with a floral taste, slightly alcoholic tasting. Smooth taste. Slight bitter aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2008 00:48:48 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of matt7215

Ontario (Canada)

4.97/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330 ml bottle from the LCBO

Pours beautiful hazy golden with a huge thick white head. Sediment stains the head when the last few drops enter the trappist glass.

The aroma varries from bottle to bottle with this one. Some time you get a funky brett forward farmhouse aroma and sometimes you get a big hop bomb over a belgian ale body. Either way you cant ask for more. I actually salivate just at the thought of smelling this brew.

The flavours are never quite the same with this one. You have a finely brewed hoppy Belgian Ale with the addition of brett. Depending on age you might not even notice the brett but with some age this really comes out and adds layers of complexity.

This is my favourite beer and if I could only drink one brew for the rest of my life it would be Orval.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2008 18:18:07 | More by matt7215
Photo of Cyberkedi


2.93/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma is rich and mainly fruity, almost more like a cider or brandy than a beer, except there is a little maltiness. Color is a hazy honey golden with a very thick and persistent head. Flavor is malty and has a strong apple overtone, plus some bitterness that doesn't seem like hoppy bitterness and is a bit unpleasant. Texture is smooth and just a little on the thin side.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2008 03:25:57 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of positiverpr


4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a:copper/orange with high leve of carbonation. finely beaded pure white head of 2" that fades to 1/2" slowly. significant lacing.

aroma: subtle barnyard hits me first from the brett. dry hopping(or flowering) is obvious. i dont pick up much malt and some light fruit aroma is there

taste: bitterness is noticeable but not harsh. again- for me the brett grabs my attention. its difficult to dissect the malts(possibly from the dryness). as it warms it gets much more complex and i pick up more spiciness and some subtle clove. goldings hops earthiness fleeting at the end.

mouthfeel: fairly dry. interesting water source i think.

o: fairly drinkable. very unique. i cant think of a direct comparison. for me this reminds me more of a bier de garde style. not like any other trappist that i've had, but again the brett flavor and dryness is in the driver seat.
a wonderful beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2008 11:36:59 | More by positiverpr
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,160 ratings.