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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

4,324 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,324
Reviews: 2,112
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 203
Gots: 390 | FT: 8
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: 4,324 | Reviews: 2,112 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of badmoon
4.03/5  rDev -4%

Served in a tulip from a bottle.

A: Hazy orange...almost like looking at the sun! Gorgeous, deep tone.

S: Spice and citrus. Very complex and I love it! Reeks of a Belgian.

T: Very crisp. I didn't notice the hops at the beginning but they are VERY noticeable on the finish.

M: Carbonation is noticeable but not overwhelming. It's almost dry but the bitter hop finish balances that out.

D: I couldn't drink more than one of these...it's really big.

Overall: Great beer! I'll be picking up a couple more of these ASAP.

badmoon, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of PeterLemonjello
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%

A: a hazey rich honey or light orange color. Pours a hefty/rocky head with lots of CO2 bubbles

S: mildly sour apples and white grapes

T: very fruity and dry turning giving way to some malt/bready flavors as it reaches cellar temperature

M: nice, full and lots of delicate/soft carbonation

D: Very nice beer with plenty of flavors. Complex beer but very drinkable.

PeterLemonjello, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of goblet
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%

poured this one from a 33 cl unique looking ovalish bottle into my goblet .

Appearance:it`s a hazy,cloudy pale orange sun rising with beautiful slightly off white clouds in the sky that reduces but sticks around with early morning lite carbonation .

Smell: the aroma is haystacks on the farm ,even woodies with a mild friutiness ,like peaches and pears the malt and hops are hanging out on this farm though it was foggy and left a wet environment.

Taste:this particular farm is growing mild spices and grains that need an acquired taste to truly appreciate this brew the malt and dry hops are unique and pleasent .

Mouthfeel: a spiciness that is all over the place on this farm its picking hay and feeding the animals watering the grains on a dry day in june.

Drinkablilty:this is a great pale ale full of spices and dry grains ,i would think that some might not get it but try this beer more then once and you will..

goblet, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of BarrelO
4/5  rDev -4.8%

11.2oz bottle poured into a goblet. Bottled on November 13, 2008.

A: Dark orange with an enormous head that simply will not go away. The head's a bit too large, to be honest. I could barely get half the bottle in the glass on the first pour.

S: Tartness with a hint of brett funkiness.

T: Dry, tart, and bitter. Bready aftertaste with just enough brett to add character.

M: Light and carbonated, almost ephemeral.

D: This is definitely a unique brew that is completely unlike any other Trappist beer. If you like dry Belgian ales like Duvel and Saison Dupont, this will be right up your alley. The price keeps me from seeking it out too often, though.

BarrelO, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of jjanega08
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%

Bottled on date= 11/14/2006
A= ENORMOUS head on this one. Sticky lacing and great retention. Pours a golden amber color with bubbles rising to replenish the head the entire time.
S= Pungent funk coming from it. Yeasty and spicy are the only things that come to mind.
T= Funkiness and smooth belgian yeast taste. Spicy but not overly complex. Apples come through for sure. Very funky on the later sips as it warms. The alcohol is very very very well hidden.
M= High carbonation. Fluffy and light. Dry finish on the tip of my tongue
D= Pretty good. Not a bad beer at all. I was expecting a lot more just from what I've heard about it. I thought it was pretty basic. Good though.

jjanega08, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of Yesac
3.63/5  rDev -13.6%

Bottled 5/2007

A- Cloudy amber/orange with a medium sized bright white head.

S- Belgian yeast, some floral fruits such as orange peel.

T- Crisp. Lemon zest. Dry. Tart. I've heard people describe this as 'horse blanket' and I understand now. My review is fairly biased, this is not a style I prefer much.

M- Very highly carbonated. Thin bodied, almost nothing left on the palate.

D- Tart, dry and highly carbonated makes this one a task to drink.

Yesac, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of youngblood
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%

Poured into Duvel glass. Had a very lively white head. Disappated unevenly, showing just how alive this brew is. Leaves heavy lace. The brew itself is a rusty brown. Very cool color.

Smelled very citric with a nice biscuity undertone. Bits of flowers in there also. Slight leather and tobacco scents.

Very nice taste here, heavier hop profile than most other trappists that I've had. Nice sweetness providing some lovely fruit flavors and butterscotch/caramel sweetness. Excellent depth here. Leaves the mouth quite dry, but still satisfied. Has a very creamy body to it/ definitely medium to full bodied beer here. Would love to drink a few of these.

youngblood, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of cadenwhitaker
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

I feel odd... I really didn't fall head-over-heels on this beer... and I love belgians..

I'm getting some honey in the nose, a mild carbonation, sweet malts and a bit of bitterness at the end.

For 6.9% I'm getting a bit of alcohol in the taste... more then I expected for something that is only 7%.

Overall I enjoyed the beer, there is quite a bit of complexity to it, maybe I need to revisit this when I'm more experienced with reviewing belgians - but for now I'm glad to just have had only a single bottle.

cadenwhitaker, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of JonMich13
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%

A = Enormous 3 finger white head. Billowy on top. Lasted forever. Still had a bit left at the end. Strong lacing throughout. Challenges the most beautiful of beers - Duvel - but falls a tad short.

S = Typical Belgian funky yeast. Not much else.

T = Some nice sweet malt up front quickly giving way to a surprising bitterness. Maybe a bit of a hop character.

M = Light and crisp. A bit prickly on the tongue. Finishes dry. Not bad.

D = The light crispness and relatively low ABV make this a pretty good drinker.

All in all, a very good belgian ale, but IMO not in the same class with Duvel and Tremens.

JonMich13, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of greg202stewart
4.83/5  rDev +15%

Definitely one of a kind. This is one of the light trappists, golden yellow. The smell I've pinpointed as new sneaker. I know that sounds gross, but there is an undeniable funk to Oval. But it is one of the most crisp and refreshing beers I've come to enjoy.

greg202stewart, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of nms1987
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Poured from bottle into Duvel tulip glass.
Brownish orange color. Kind of clay colored. Completely opaque.
Massive foamy white/cream head. More head than Duvel.

Smells Belgian. Funky yeast notes and a slight bit of hoppy notes coming through there.

Wow, thats a dry beer. Definately a sipper despite the low (for a Belgian) ABV. More hoppy than most Belgians but not what I'd call a "hoppy" beer compared to many American beers. The brett adds a fun dimension though, the moderate brett and moderate hopping synergize nicely to add up to more than the sum of their parts.
The combination almost gives it a west-coast citrus/pine vibe although the beer is much more moderate, complex and understated than that.

I like it, I just don't know how often I'd seek it out.

nms1987, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of stingrayvr6
4.78/5  rDev +13.8%

Had at Local 44 in Philly. Poured a reddish/brown amber into a chalice with a frothy, sticky cream colored head that stayed until the last drop. Smell was fairly average, a bit yeasty and bitter, earthy as well. The taste was a thing of beauty. It started out a very full, rounded mellow sweetness with medium/heavy carbonation and then turned to a dry, crisp, mellow Belgian-hoppy flavor. Truly excellent complexity. I could drink these all night, fantastic beer, lives up to its hype, will not disappoint.

stingrayvr6, Apr 06, 2009
Photo of siradmiralnelson
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%

Poured from bottle into chalice.

A- Very carbonated beer. Pours a light/pale amber color. Massive head.

S- A sour, perfumy, spicy aroma. Somewhat of a musty smell, the "barn smell".

T- Dry slightly bitter flavor. The sourness comes out the more I drink.

M- Lots of carbonation. Light and creamy mouthfeel.

D. All in all not one of my favorit Belgians. Although it did tend to grow on me towards the end. This is my first tasting, but not my last.

siradmiralnelson, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of GRPunk
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%

Bottle (bottled on 5/6/08 and best by 5/6/13) poured into a tulip glass.

A- A conservative pour still left a huge (3+ finger), fluffy, off-white head that was topped with a touch of yeast and never really completely fell, leaving huge sticky patches on the glass. The body was a combination of a deep red-brown with peach and pink accents with medium to heavy carbonation. It was all fairly clean considering the yeast pour.

S- It had a great aroma. It started as some spicy cloves and vanilla. Later on the yeasty qualities came through as green apple that became more pronounced with time and warmth.

T- It had an interesting flavor. It was more highly hopped than I'd expected, making for a dryish quality. There was a little granny smith apple from the funky yeast, and, maybe, a little lemon, citrus flair.

M- It was fairly heavily carbonated as I drank through the fluffy head. There was a definite hop and slight alcohol bite Overall, it was pretty dry on the palate.

D- The great attributes make me want more. Its alcohol was well masked making it an easy drinker and it's a wonderful example of the style. The fairly heavy price tag is the only thing stopping me from making this a regular purchase.

GRPunk, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of UA8
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

A- Pours a cloudy copper color with a huge 4 plus finger cream colored head.

S- Wet hay, mineral notes, smoke, and grassy earth. Reminds me a lot of a big Italian red wine.

T- Grassy earth, hay, leather. Reminiscent of Italian red wine.

M- Clingy, flavors linger, smooth carbonation.

D- This is quite the complex beer. There's a ton going on in the nose and palate. This is the type of beer that broadens your palate.

UA8, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of Murchmac
3.35/5  rDev -20.2%

Seen this forever, finally decided to pick up one.

Big frothy white head like a white beard. Golden Graham caramel brown with yellow highlights.

Fruity, sweetness, dry, earthy, I didn't get all those other smells people did, cuz i'm dumb.

Sour, sweet, too sour.

I don't know if I like this beer, so I guess it means it's ok. It's like those slices of pizza you dont really like, at least it's still pizza though.

Murchmac, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of PEBKAC
2.78/5  rDev -33.8%

Orval Appreciation Day.

Ommegang anniversary glass. Bottled on 20/02/2008. Hiding in the basement since late September.

Glass fills with suds on my first attempt. Stiff, cream peaks, orange amber body. Successfully decanted. Patchy lace.

Smell is first off, intense bitter melon rind & grapefruit zest. Then, soured sauvignon blanc & straw. Touch of sulfur. Lemon/lime acidity. Peppery yeast.

Carbonation is light, almost microbeaded.

Taste is grassy & just barely soured. Very dry & mild, acidic hops upfront. Medicinal, plastic-y, & lacking the ripe fruit flavors I get in fresh or exceedingly old bottles. Just a lot of acid. Alcohol is too big. Saltine, cottonmouth finish.

This one took a bad turn. Usually one of my favorites. Destined to be reviewed again.

PEBKAC, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of ottovon
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%

A: a dark straw color with a thin white head. can see carbonation coming up the glass.

S: a belgian yeast, estery smell. some citrus.

T: a belgian yeast, estery taste. fruity. some citrus. a nice banana taste, with a hint of clove. some alcohol on the finish, with a nice dry finish. some bitterness in the end. i do get some tartness as it warms.

M: light and carbonated. crisp.

D: very drinkable. a very good beer.

bottled on: 05.06.08

ottovon, Apr 02, 2009
Photo of WakeandBake
4.2/5  rDev 0%

Bottle, bottled on date 24/04/2007 best before 24/04/2012. A hazy light amber pour ,loads of carbonation bubbles,and a huge fluffy off white head, wonderful lacing and lasted till the very end.
Aroma is a wonderful scent of spices,sugar and lemon,lighter notes of orange and a nice finish of yeast and hops.The flavor is a blend of spices & lemon, Light banana notes and fruity esters form the yeast, nice bready notes, a crisp refreshing mouthfeel with a very dry finish of hops and alcohol. Very complex and balanced.A very fun try .

WakeandBake, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of ArrogantB
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%

Funny shaped bottle with no visible date anywhere. Massive white head and a dark cloudy orange color, looks cool. Smells like brett and tastes like it too, funky, dusty pineapple and malty biscuity flavor. This is an interesting beer and unlike any other trappist beer I've tasted thus far.

ArrogantB, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of jwhawkins81
4.03/5  rDev -4%

Aroma - Awesome brett horse blanket barn aroma with a hint of sweet fruitiness

Appearance - Crazy carbonation huge head otherwise cloudy light orange

Taste - Dry with a slight sour funkiness to it. Very unique. A little bitter bit but no real detectable level of sweet maltiness. This beer screams to be tasted again.

Mouthfeel - Very carbonated thin to medium body

Drinkability - Drinkable? Yes. So dry through that I don't know how many I could drink in a session. Probably not more than three.

jwhawkins81, Mar 27, 2009
Photo of bobsy
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

This is a bizarre beer, full of character, complexity and curiosity.

It pours a cloudy orange with a cumulonimbus of white head, that leaves huge gobs of foam on the side of the glass. Holy shit...its a beast of a beer to look at, but then when you get your nose in there its just mindblowing. The aroma is pure brett - cider, stable and leather. I've heard people say horseblanket, and though I've never been that close, I can agree that Orval probably does smell a bit like Mr. Ed's comforter. The taste is really funky, with spicy, fruity and herbal hints popping up. Lots of leather, cider and hay. Oh, and did I say funk? Later on it transitions to a lemon soapiness. What a complex and confusing beer this is!The mouthfeel and carbonation is remarkably soft and smooth for a lighter bodied beer. Wow, is it ever drying. More so than any other beer I've had.

A strange brew for sure, and stylistically leagues apart from its Trappist brethren. I didn't 'get' this beer in the past - it seemed like a strange goose and on the knife edge between love and hate. Over time, taste changes and the palate develops. Orval is a beast of a beer, and a classic. Everyone should try it.

bobsy, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of errantnight
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%

Simply a great beer, a classic, one of my favorites. Thanks to the brett and the widely varying storage conditions here in the states, each bottle is a little different.

This pours a notably orange hazy hue, a bit darker than I think of pale ales (or the saison I sometimes associate this with thanks to the funk), but it's an attractive pale color with a rich, creamy, mountainous head of craggy silky smooth foam with incredible retention and lacing. Just perfect. Exemplary.

Aroma is insanely complex, there's that ever present background of brett funk in there, not the sour twang, but the earthy barnyard and deep hints of citrus fruit. This compliments an earthy stew of pale malt with mild alcohol esters and phenols, a bit of banana and just faintest hints of warm spice, particularly nutmeg.

The taste is incredibly subtle and delicate, so perhaps for something I love so much so impeccably formulated it's a bit of a crime to knock this all the way down to 4.5, but I find that while there is a masterful retention of body here, the flavor thins out a bit towards the end. It's bone dry, but it's also just a tad watery on the back half of the palate, allowing the intense carbonation to come across very mineraly. What's there, though, builds in layers with each subsequent sip. There's a mild bready sweetness that pulls in the spice and fruit notes, bring out an impression of fresh flowers and springtime.

Having a beer this dry and still retaining a moderately full body is an astonishing accomplishment. There's really not much more to say. I know the high carbonation gives it its great looks, and probably greatly contributes to the early body I appreciate so much, but it sometimes feels a bit spritzier on the back palate than I would like. It's quibbling, and I could just as easily give this a 5 as a 4.5 and feel good about it.

I love this beer. It's pricey, and I don't drink it that often, but I never go too long between bottles, either. A classic, essentially perfect brew to be admired, and to influence others. A beer to try, then try again, then try again as your palate develops.

errantnight, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of Japerrault
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%

A: Cloudy golden color with a coarse-bubbled head.

S: Flowery, spicy, lemony

T: Hops give the most flavor to this beer. Tartness noticed first with flowery citrus flavors dominating throughout. Candy sugar coming through slightly in the finish with a mild bitterness.

M: light bodied and a bit over-carbonated.

D: For me this is a beer to be savored and enjoyed. Many complex flavors involved make this a slow drinker.

Japerrault, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of EatsTacos
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%

Pours a cloudy amber/brown with a thick, pillowy, white head which remained at about half a finger.

The smell is of candied apples, caramel malt, a lot of pecan pie. Some slight dark fruits like figs, or dates.

Taste begins with a sweet, buttery caramel malt. Crispy pie crust comes to mind. Hops are decently spicy and add a lot to the bitter finish which is extremely dry. Complex to say the least and alcohol is well hidden.

Creamy, medium bodied with a sharp, biting carbonation.

EatsTacos, Mar 23, 2009
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,324 ratings.