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

Not Rated.
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,600 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,600
Reviews: 2,145
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 247
Gots: 494 | FT: 11
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:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 09-18-2001

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,600 | Reviews: 2,145 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bulletrain76
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Re-rerate: Four and a half month old bottle. Stunning. The last few bottles have proven this to be a truly perfect beer. There is so much variety depending on age, but that makes me love it even more as it can be multiple beers for multiple moods while still being outstanding in every iteration. The hops and fruity esters are phenomenal in younger examples, with brett and dry elegance taking over as time progresses. This truly is a perfect five, and it is a tragedy that it's not appreciated enough to land in the top 100 when it makes the vast majority of the beers on the list look sloppy and poor.

Re-rate, 11/26/07. I've finally come around to re-rating this almost three months later, and Systemblaget still has bottles bottled on the same day, so I'm getting a sample with 9 months of age instead of 6. It may be that the beer has evolved considerably in those three months, or it may be that I have evolved as well since one of my first ratings, but this rating experience is very different from the original. The pour is a clear orange/amber with an absolutely massive lasting head. Bubbles stream from everywhere to sustain the mountainous foam for quite some time, until you wear it into a creamy layer that laces all the way to the bottom. Beautiful to say the least. The aroma is a little different than I remember: dryer and much more complex. Yeast, sour fruit, hops, bubble-gum ,and cloves hit you to start. Very spicy cloves. As the beer warms, more sugar comes out, with some caramel and a good helping of sweet cherries with a lingering acidity. The flavor is dryer than I recall; much dryer than the aroma would lead you to believe. Hop resin scrapes your tongue with a lasting bitter finish, and a slight citrus acidity rides over it all. The body is light and heavily but smoothly carbonated, with a long bitter and lean finish. the alcohol taste that was present before is completely absent now. I'm awe-struck at the complexity of this beer. I didn't know that you could smell so many amazing things in one glass. It's like a whole table of spiced christmas confections, and I'm loving it. It's leanness and dryness also make it supremely drinkable, which is more than I can say for any other Trappist ale that I've had.

(original rating) From a bottle in Lund, Sweden on 8-28-07. Pours a murky golden orange amber with a substatial head that stays for quite awhile in a tulip glass. The aroma is probably one of the best-sweet apricots linger with tangy lemon and spicy cinnamon. I was expecting a better flavor out of this, but something was lacking. There was a good mouthfeel with heavy carbonation, but an intrusiveness of alcohol lingered over it and ruined the flavor. The bitterness in the finish was definitely refreshing, but for a beer bottled at only 6.2% ABV, there shouldn't have been this prevalent of an alcohol taste. I'll definitely give it another try.

Photo of Goldfish19
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

~ Purchased this bottle at Shoreline Beverage in Huntington, NY. Pours a hazy orange color with a huge frothy head. There is a ton of bubbles in this brew. Hints of fruits and spices graze the nose quite well. The taste is complex, and the finish is bitter. Orval is definitely a superior beer when compared to most, but I am sorry to say it is my least favorite of the Trappist offerings. ~

PS- it is worthy to note, this was bottled on 04/22/09, so I will let my other bottles age for while, then revisit this one at a later date.

Photo of popery
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An exceptional, unique beer. The beer pours a beautiful shade of burnt orange-amber, medium, with a slight haze. The head is white and rocky and dissipates at a medium pace. The aroma is exquisite. The sour barnyard funk is just precisely right and blends wonderfully with the underlying Belgian ale notes. One of my favorite aspects of Orval is the perfect dryness. This nature even comes through in the aroma. There are fruit notes, apricots, grapes, lemons, figs, and earthy complexity. The flavor is just wonderful. I'm a bit of a sucker for a dry, delicious beer, and Orval pulls this off this combination better than nearly any other. The flavor is somewhere between a gueuze and a Belgian ale. Orval makes me imagine how good Belgian-style ales must have tasted before modernity imposed sanitary conditions and end of the sour beer as the norm. Orval is a world classic and everyone should try it. I will be buying some bottles for the cellar soon and look forward to witnessing this beer's maturation.

Photo of WoogityBoogity
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Super thick creamy head. Slow dissipation. Body is a hazy dark amber, with swirls of dark residue.

S - Super complex smell of malt, hops, banana, clove, maybe cider, and other spicey phenols.

T - Great balanced taste. Very mild sweetness at first, then progesses towards a nice warming of spices complimenting hop finish. Very toasty biscuit flavor from the malts. Almost a pear-like fruitiness and peppery spice.

M - Medium mouthfeel. Not much warming at all, and high carbonation.

D - The palate is so complex I can't even begin to describe it. Taste after taste will leave you discovering more.

Perhaps the best example of a Belgian PA.

Photo of wahhmaster
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Wow!! Cloudy light brown color (kind of honey-hued). Thick, glorious head that dissipates slowly coating the glass in lacing.

Smell: Definitely fruity. Apples come through the strongest. A little grape and grapefruit also comes through.

Taste: Very light in taste. The alcohol comes through a little bit in this one. The fruity notes from the smell come out in the taste as well. It has an almost wine-like flavor.

Mouthfeel: Smooth as can be.

Drinkability: A great beer. Get whenever you can. One of the most complex and tasty beers I've had.

Photo of jbone78
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my final Trappist! After this one, I have tasted all of the Trappist Breweries. Not all of their beers, just their breweries. I am excited.

A- Poured slightly hazy into my Chimay gobblet. large head that I scraped with a butter knife like a traditional Belgian person would to open the nose.
S- If you read through my reviews, I am not a big smeller. I get more aroma from the actual drink than I do sticking my nose in there.
T- Great carbonated lemon zesty flavor that is great. Did I mention it was great? Very well balanced and not at all too sweet like any of the other Trappist.
M- Smooth, slight yeast aftertaste that goes with the territory.
D- One of the best Trappist I have had. And different because not all Trappist breweries make a Belgian Pale.


-Bye

Photo of Riccymon
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 05/06/08

Pours from the bottle a purple-orange color with mountains of pillowy white head; just beautiful looking. Under all that head, smell is pungeant with notes of apple, bruised pear, dried leaves, and grass.

Taste is cider-like with notes of apple, vinegar, mint, and a grassy, grapefruit-juice bitterness in the finish. I'm impressed with the slightly wild but very refined flavors. Mouthfeel is well-carbonated and appropriately thin without being watery. Just a tremendous beer, well worth the price.

Photo of zdk9
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- This one foams like the ocean out of the bottle; takes me a while to pour. The color is a dark cloudy orange, though it's brown out of the light. Lacing is a little hard to tell through all the foam but it looks like there's some.

S- Delicious cider notes. Touches of lighter malt. And perhaps some yeast spiciness- pepper? The smell doesn't smack you in the face, but the cider is pleasant enough.

T- A stronger taste than the smell definitely. And more complex too. Spices- sort of pepper and cardamom. Bitterness on the outsides of the tongue. Nice cider vinegar bordering on malt vinegar too.

M- This beer reminds me a lot of JP stuff, particularly the Bam Noire (gee I wonder why), but here's the big difference. This one is thinner on the palate and with more lingering bitterness, that makes it taste more like beers I'm used to.

D- Very good. Complex taste, but could've used more aroma.

Photo of MunchkinDrinker
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Deep hazy orange with a large foamy rocky cream colored head. Leaves lacing all over the place. Head stays around forever as a thick foamy layer.

S - Lemon, some other citrusy sweetness I can't quite place. Caramely sweetness underneath. There's alot of little scents I can't place, but it's so nice to smell. Vague spice, very slight grassiness. Some orange rind.

T/M - Very light, frothy feel with a flavor that creeps up on you. Dry earthy hops flavor hits first, but it dissolves into a bitter fruit flavor. Has a quality not unlike a good white wine on the back end. I want to say there's a white grape flavor in there as well. It's tremendously complex, but too wine-like for my liking.

D - Very wine-like. This might be right up some people's alleys, but I was disappointed actually.

Photo of vishneda
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

33 cl bottle poured into a goblet.

Stands out as one of the nicest looking beers I've had in a while. Nice rocky three finger layer of foam on top of a dark peach colored beer. Tremendous action in the glass and moderate lacing as tbe beer goes down.

The aroma is also fantastic, a wonderful bouquet of fruits and grains. I smell green apple, blueberries and grapes mixed with the grassy Belgian style yeast. Very strong aroma.

This has one of the best flavors I've experienced in a dry beer. Tiny bit of sweetness mixed with grape and blueberry flavors. Lots of grass and earth flavor in and good balance with the bittering in the finish. Sharp almost to the point of being salty.

Huge carbonation on this one; I thought it was high enough to detract from the mouth feel and drinkability. It was very spicy, sharp, and filling. The air settled down some toward the end of the glass.

Photo of capra12
3.13/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 9/01/09 with Ali @ BXL east served out of a wide mouth Orval Chalice.

Appearance: Light amber with 2 fingers of white head.

Smell: Freah green fruit and Belgian Yeast.

Taste: Opens withe a graininess which is slighty off putting. There is a green apple sourness from the middle to the end and just before the finish there is a bitterness which was quite un-enjoyable. There was a distinct bitter and earthy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and crisp with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: I first had this in a bottle and tasted much like rusty pipe water and was a drain pour. I figured I had a bad bottle considering the reviews on BA, so I thought I should give this another chance and to my surprise I did not find this to be enjoyable seeing that I personally started my craft beer journey with the Trappist selection and have enjoyed the majority of the 7 seven trappist breweries. This is definitely worth the try but I would not have another.

Photo of crossovert
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orval, my 4th Trappist brewery tasted (5th if you count St. Bernardus), comes in a 11.2 fluid ounce brown, mini 750ml Belgian/French styled/shaped bottle with a trout holding a ring in its mouth on the label. Bottled on 22/01/2009, best before 22/2014. Definitely when I find this a little cheaper at Discount Liquor in Milwaukee I will buy a few to cellar. This bottle is lightly chilled.

This is a fizzer, pours (sediment and all) unlimited off-white head with large bubbles into my Duvel glass. The head recedes fairly quickly leaving huge lumps of lacing behind. not the best looking Trappist ale. The beer itself is a hazy oranginsh brown, caramel colored almost. I've heard with a sediment free pour this is actually a very clear brew.

Smell is the best I've encountered with a Trappist ale. It has a potent farmhouse saison style scent with some fruity sourness, a nice dose of yeast twang, some tropical fruit, white raisin, lemons, and a hint of spice. A very exotic smell, and a good one indeed.

Taste carries over with all the above scents as flavors, and more. It seems even fruitier and more saison-like, tart with a tad bit of cloying bittersweetness in the finish, the cloying taste lasts only the first sip. The spices and yeast are a bit more pronounced in the taste as well. It has a slightly bitter aftertaste with a hint of sour green apple and a bit of hops. It is smooth drinking with the right amount of carbonation, a bit of wateriness mid-drink, and a dry finish. It is whole heartedly complex in taste, scent, and mouthfeel; the appearance seems to be the least flashy/unique attribute to this beer.

The alcohol is hidden pretty well, you get hints of it here and there but nothing overpowering. It warms slightly as it goes. Nothing that would prevent me form at least having another despite the 6.9%abv.

Overall this is a fine Trappist ale, not the pinnacle but on the upper tier. It is the most unique and possibly the most complex one I have had so far. This is also beer #250 tasted for me, hoorah.

Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into an Ommegang chalice.

A--Pillowy white two finger head that holds maybe a quarter-inch for the entire tasting. Screw Belgian curtains--my glass has Belgian DRAPES when I was done! Unbelievable retention. Body was a light amber, with orange undertones but mostly a ruddy auburn.

S--Spicy, with highlights of clove and cinnamon, backed by a hint of mustiness and rounded out by liquor splashed orange rind. Total yeast/ester masterpiece here, as the monks have teased out an incredibly complicated mixture of aromas. Very tempting to get rhapsodic with this brew. But I will resist.

T--Mystifies in its complexity--got a brandy/armagnac thing going on without the cloying booziness. Just a wet dark fruit skin pungency. There's also a taste I can only describe as the contents of the cheesecloth you use to make hot apple cider. All those heavier flavors, though, are buoyed by the bright, tight spinning bitter flourish of the hop finish--reminiscent of a pilsner in its crisp bowing out. Super snappy, super refreshing given the brick heaviness of the opening flavors. Whole spectrum of beer possibility is represented here.

M&D--Effervescent, champagne-like. Very bright and bubbly. Thinnish, but in a welcome way that makes you want another sip. Not a sipping beer, though, I don't think. I actually drink a few of those happily due to the welcome final hoppiness.

This beer just tastes like an accomplishment. Incredible. So glad Trader Joe's was selling them at 2 bucks a bottle in the middle of Brooklyn.

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

Pours a clear copper color with a large thick white head. Tons of carbonation bubbles in the glass. Smells very breadlike with some rich funky wood aromas and some spice. The funkiness is apparent in the flavor also. It's not a bad flavor, just a little twang. This beer really does have a great unique flavor. Some bready flavor, some spice, a little cork/wood (which is weird since there is no cork) and some fruitiness. The alcohol flavor is there too, but doesn't take away from any flavors. Mouthfeel is tingly and spicy and finishes dry. Awesome beer, I would never pass this up if it was available.

Photo of tedsox31
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into my St. Bernardus goblet. The head is a rocky off-white color, while the beer itself is a hazy orange-red. There is no lace, but the head sticks around as I drink it.

The smell right-off is very strongly of citrus, clove, and some banana. A bit of hops at the end. As it warms, the clove becomes stronger and the hops are a bit more noticeable as well.

The taste is spicy, and almost peppery. There is a definite presence of pepper. There is a bitterness on the back of the tongue but everything seems to smooth out as it warms. Spices become more present but are also more mellow.

The mouthfeel is creamy and carbonated. This does not stick around in my mouth and is very refreshing.

A very good beer. I like the bitterness that it has. The alcoholic content is not so much that I wouldn't be able to enjoy 2 or 3 glasses. Very refreshing and tasty.

Photo of lpayette
3.35/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Details- Bottled on 1/31/06, Enjoy by 1/31/11. Enjoyed on 10/05/06. 11.2 oz bottle.

5- Appearance- served in a tulip. Unfiltered apple cider color. Huge rocky head with lots of brussels lace. Very very nice.

3- Smell- Subtley tart apple notes, heavy yeast smells- a bit earthy. Faint cloves. smell isn't too impressive to me- just average.

2.5- Taste- I'm sorry to say that I found this a bit bland. Tried with and without yeast and not much changed. Some fruityness... I guess this just isn't for me.

2.5- Mouthfeel- Good initial texture, but aftertaste is long and overly dry in my opinion.

2.5- Drinkablity- A very good looking beer that I had high hopes for, but it let me down. I'll try revisiting this beer some day, but I won't go out of my way to buy it anytime soon.

Revisit Time
Details- Bottled 11/13/2008, Served on 8/26/2009

5- Appearance- This time served in a chalice. Appearance is still right on que with initial impressions.

4.5- Smell- Tart apples, horse/barnyard smells, cloves, medicinal notes, lemon, very floral.

3- Taste- Oddly enough my first few sips of this did not seem very flavorfull, just as I thought before. After that however, the beer seemed to come to life for me. It is slightly tart and has a lemon-rind like bitterness going at the same time. Flavor of hay vies for alot of attention. Seems a bit salty, and finishes very dry with a rubberband-like quality which is more tolerable than I thought it could be. This is certainly a complex beer- there is no denying that. The flavor profile isn't completely for me, but I liked it a lot more this time around than the 1st time.

2.5- Mouthfeel- Dry, dry, dry with ample carbonation.

3- Drinkability- I don't think that this is for most beer drinkers. This one definitely takes some time to get used to and to learn to appreciate it. I'd like to have a bunch more of this to see if I really like it or not after some more time with it. Even if I didn't, at least I'd be left with a bunch of cool bottles to put homebrew in.

Photo of sweemzander
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. Bottled on 13/09/2007 printed on the bottle, PLUS the best by date of 13/09/2012A !!
Nobody I have seen so far has both printed on the label **

(A)- Pours a hazy copper color with a large foamy 3+ finger off-white to light yellow head that has superb retention. Lots of sticky lace all the way down the glass.

(S)- Tons of clay and hay funk with a biscuity pineapple. Light mineral nuances.

(T)- Surprising hop bite with drying pale pineapple fruits. Ample yeast and clay characteristics followed by light honeyed cream and mineral finish.

(M)- Creamy yet slight bitter mouthfeel with ample carbonation that fits/compliments the beer very well. Balanced and complex. Rather delicate; layered flavors.

(D)- More hop presence than I was expecting, but a pleasant surprise nonetheless. A trappist beer that I would gladly return to over and over again due to its relatively lower abv (6.9%) than most trappist brews, not to mention the slightly cheaper price as well. I am sure this could age for even longer, but was absolutely fantastic right now.

Photo of jsh420
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

bottled on 1/30/2007
drink by 1/30/2012

pours clear copper orange with a big 3 finger head that left some lacing

smell - oh boy that brett funk!! with sour sour friut pear apples - reminds me of the candy spree's???

taste is a great balance of sweet/sour/funk fruit with a good amount of bitterness - this beer is to hard for me to put into words

mouthfeel is light and highly carbonated but does not have the bite - it remains mighty smooth

drinkability is very good but you want to take your time with this and that can be hard to do

Photo of robertjohnson
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange body with a rocky white head. Even the lacing is foamy.

In the nose I get pear mostly, with some apples and maybe a touch of nectarines.

Immediately I perceive pears in the taste, I think partly from the strong nose. This quickly developed into more tropical fruit-type flavors of pineapple or P.O.G. juice. There's definitely citrus (lemon-rinds?) and spice (cardamom? cloves?) with a firm hop bitterness in the background, maybe some medicinal phenols. I reeally like the dryness of the finish and the way these flavors lingered.

Very effervescent.

This beer blew my mind-hole. Me and my partner both thought this was the most stand-out beer we'd ever had.

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

Sample from bottle; bottled on 1/22/09

A- Poured carefully from bottle to yield a huge foamy, well-retained, cream colored head. As I refilled the glass throughout the sampling, the head became less foamy and a lot more rocky (proteinaceous). Lovely lacing throughout. The body was a hazy copper color, with lots of active carbonation visible from the sides and top of the glass.

S- HORSEBLANKET! Horseblankety caramel malt combines with some spicy vinous notes on the nose. The spiciness reminds me a bit of chai tea. Further examination reveals subtle hints of lemongrass, stale hops and sour cherries on the nose.

T- Earthy, leathery tobacco and horseblanket dominate the palate (pediococcus and brett)... these characteristic almost completely mask the underlying crackerlike malt flavors and stale hops bitterness. The finish is exceptionally long/lingering... dry, earthy, horseblankety and somewhat medicinal. An exceptionally complex taste!!

M- Medium body... somewhat viscous, but not what I would call 'oily' or 'creamy'... very well attenuated and surprisingly less carbonation than anticipated. I feel like the mouthfeel is the only relatively weak area of this beer.

D- I would definitely take a second bottle if one were available... don't know if I would consume more than two in a sitting though... ultimately I'd say this is very drinkable for a beer of this strength and complexity.

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

Pours a large head with a very nice dark honey/amber color to it. Wonderful shimmering lacing all the way down the glass.

Smells sweet with a notable vanilla and caramel scent. As you get down further you can begin to smell an almost herbal tea like aroma.

Taste is fruity with a baked bread like aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is dry and heavily carbonated. Very little alcohol presence.

This is very drinkable but I don't think I would want more than one and I'm not sure why?

Photo of Jmoore50
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just because I was extremely curious.

What a good looking beer. It has a great golden color, and pours a nice two finger head. The head retention on this is ridiculous! Just fat fat gobs of lacing on the sides, the head just is a gelatin.

The smell is very good also. Orange citrus is a great characteristic in the smell, as well as a mellow hop aroma. A 'Trappist Yeast' aroma is present as well. This is my way of describing the bread malt smell is this mirrored in the flavor.

The taste is just so so. It has a very very light pale ale flavor. Nothing really stands out. Good carbonation and mouthfeel, the orange tangerine sweetness coming from the hops is nice. Just a slight hint of bread malt, something I usually do not care for. This is super drinkable, just a session beer at its best. I just drank the whole glass in the review. I think the drinkability is so high is because of the flavors are mellow, not offensive. I hate the term but 'well balanced' would be a term used to describe this.

Overall good, did not impress, however can understand the love that people have for this beer.

J

Photo of Evocatus
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Looks like a cider with a slightly light orange hue; the lead was a light beige and foamy. Smelled like a bunch of sweet apples. Taste was a good mix of sweet and bitter. The apple taste from the aroma was there as well as hints of bread and citrus. Going down you could taste something earthy, can't really think of another description. Mouthfeel was pretty good; right amount of thickness and carbonation, and the head just added to that. Goes down pretty easily. Overall a good combination of flavors, smell, and alcohol level, easily drinkable on any occasion.

Photo of BeanBone
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A hazy, honey-orange body underneath a mountain of creamy, off-white head. The head eventually starts to fade and leaves good lacing on the way down.

Aroma: In my mind, I had constructed an idea of what people were talking about when they said Brett beers have barnyardy and goaty character, but the reality is a whole different story. The reality is much more literal than I had ever imagined; this really does smell like a goat barn. Truly bizarre, and yet deeply intriguing. It's not all livestock though, as there are lemony, grassy, and earthy notes to accompany everything.

Taste: A completely unique mix of spicy (fennel and licorice perhaps), musty, sour, bitter, funky, savory, and earthy tones. There's still plenty of barnyard here, but it's morphed a bit, becoming much more mellow in the process. The aftertaste is full of grassy bitterness and a dash of assorted spice. Wow, I've never even dreamed of a beer like this.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and perhaps a little over-carbonated for my tastes. A dry finish.

Drinkability: The glass went back slowly, but much of that could be due to how utterly different this bee is, it simply demands your attention.

Verdict: Orval is a thoroughly unique experience, and one I'm to glad to have finally experienced. I've heard people refer to this beer as a challenge, and I can certainly see why, but it's a challenge worth taking (at least once).

Photo of thepeter
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- beautiful orange bit of haze and the most wonderful frothy pillowy head that you can imagine that VERY SLOWLY turns to some really nice lacing.

S - Brett, sweet sour fruit, funk and a small shovel full of dirt.

T - Very well balanced tart and hoppy to begin with. Gets down to EARTH towards the end. Musty, earthy with a hint of funk and a clean aftertaste.

M -good carbonation, goes down smooth but not exceptionally.

D - I could drink this all night. the bitterness and funk and Earthiness all, remarkably, leave the palate fresh and clean for the next taste of what ever you are having.
FANTASTIC!

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,600 ratings.