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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.

4,110 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,110
Reviews: 2,098
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 174
Gots: 309 | 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)
View: Beers (2) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Orval Trappist Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,110 | Reviews: 2,098 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wagenvolks


4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11.2 fl oz. bottle into a chalice.

Pours a full-bodied head, tan in color atop a light golden-brown body. The aroma was spicy, with coriander and plenty of earthen hops.

Sour, fruity notes in the first taste pair with peppery spice, hops, and black liquorice. Not a full-bodied flavor by any means, but that's okay The body is of medium thickness, overly carbonated, and doesn't have much of a finish. I can't say this beer is worth the price or the hype, but it does go down easily enough and it posesses a decent amount of complexity.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2007 01:22:50 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of rodenbach99

Quebec (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bouteille classique orval brune de forme bizarre de 330ml.

cette bière blonde passablement trouble, elle est doté d'une belle mousse blanche et épaisse, elle a un nez des plus épicé, ses bons houblons se font sentir, elle a un gout très houblonnée. piquant, elle se termine avec une belle longueur exemplaire.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2007 16:21:59 | More by rodenbach99
Photo of boelker62


1.8/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I was extremely excited at getting my hands on a couple of botles. It all ended there. Pours a craggy, rocky head that simplifies to frothy after it dissipates a bit. Then, I smell some odd combination of soap and apple. "Damn, I hope it doesn't aste like this..." I thought. It did. I didn't finish it.

It was considerably hazy, and maybe I didn't decant it well enough, or it was bad. I'll try another later on and update, if need be...

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2007 14:04:09 | More by boelker62
Photo of allboutbierge


3.45/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ive had Orval quite a few times but never got around to writing a review until now.

This bottle was an '06 purchased from Juilus Meinl in Vienna.

Appearance is light brown with a slight golden hue topped by a gob of white fluffiness. Upon pouring it's a bit murky but yet transparent. However, all cloudiness quickly dissipates away. Scent is soft and sour. I detected some graininess to the smell as well...the smell isn't a high point of this beer.

Taste is pleasant. A mixture of sour fruit flavors accented with a slight hoppiness. Beer is well carbonated and the carbonation may be hiding the depth of the hop favors. Malt background is equally slight. This isn't a taste monster but rather refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2007 13:13:40 | More by allboutbierge
Photo of Quej

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

A - Into it's proper chalice it pours a light brown with lots of thick white head, much for the visible carbonation. The head lasts until the very end of glass.
S - Smells strongly of Belgian yeasts and sour fruits.
T - Lots of strong yeasty tastes, and smooth maltiness. But accompanied by an almost overpowering medicinal taste. It is quite a sour beer, with lots of grapefruit and other citrus, pears, apples and plums. There is a slight hop taste and bitterness at the finish.
M - Perfect feel to this beer, neither too tingly or thick.
D - Only so-so, the beer is too complex to enjoy very much of, and the medicine taste starts to get to me after a short while.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2007 23:32:30 | More by Quej
Photo of AKBelgianBeast


4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I would have given this beer a higher rating, but I did a vertical tasting of it and was not so impressed with the younger vintage. I had an 04 and an 06 in december 07. The 04 pours significantly clearer ( as expected ) than the 06. The 06 was fairly cloudy, decent head and malty and hoppy nose. But the O4 was much better. very vinous nose, with flemish tones, but not to strong. the sips proved hoppy and vinous as well. a pleasant sourness, yet a sweet finish with citrusy flavor. Store this one for two years or more for a noticable improvement. unique abbey ale unlike any other authentic trappist ales.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2007 04:41:57 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of PittBeerGirl


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

A- This is one beautiful beer. Cloudy translucent pale yellow body that pours with giant 3+ finger white head that slowly settles to 1 1/2 finger and with great retention. Plenty of lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Floral hops are noticed first followed by Belgian yeast and a peppery spice-somewhat of a funky ale yeast strain.

T- Initial taste is dominated by carbonation but lots of Belgian yeast and hints of peppery spice can be detected. The finish is a kick of bitter hops and peppery spice that was surprising to me considering the style. Lingering is a mild hop bitterness and hints of yeast and peppery spice.

M- High carbonation and medium weight body heavy in yeast and alcohol. Not as smooth as I expected on the swallow.

D- I am probably harsh since this is a style that I like and it just didn't live as far up to my expectations. It is actually good and easy to drink overall but it doesn't stand out to me. I would it buy it much more often if it were more affordable.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2007 05:42:15 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of 1fastz28


3.28/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours a really pretty cloudy amber color, with a big white head, now i may be absolutely crazy, but it smells like the crazy cat ladies house. everyone had one in their neighborhood, the lady who would keep cats all day long, it smells like her house, i could be crazy but thats what it reminds me of. taste luckily is different yeast and alcohol warmness are accompanied by malt and fruit flavor. mouthfeel is full and yummy, drink ability is average. maybe it was the delirium i had before this one that outshines this beer but its still decent

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2007 03:35:16 | More by 1fastz28
Photo of Patrick999


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

I didn't know what I wanted to drink, then noticed a lone Orval in the fridge. Score!

Poured into an Ommegang chalice. Lumpy head sticks around forever. Cloudy amber, visibly active carbonation. The head did not once quit on me, hanging tough until the very end.

Nose is of sweet black cherry, and a good bit of sour, cidery funk. Not lacking at all - very nice beer to sniff.

Slight brett sourness upfront, with lots of medicinal hop and peppery clove drying things out on the back end. Seems ultra-dry; not much residual sweetness at all. It's a bit of a gob-smacking taste that newcomers to this beer may not necessarily enjoy. However, the combination of hoppy, sour and dry makes for a refreshing beer.

Like other Trappist beers, this feels wispy yet crisp, as if taking a ride on a band of high cirrus. Such a delicate, careful touch. Exceptional.

(Relatively) low ABV helps this along the drinkability road, but the dry, herbal complexities might be a bit much after a while. I love this, but I tend to want only one at a time.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2007 23:52:24 | More by Patrick999
Photo of twbrewer


4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 04/04/2006 Opened 11/29/2007-couldn't wait any longer!

A-poured into Orval goblet a dark orange/light brown color.Huge bed of thick off white foam,took awhile to pour entire bottle.

S-Smells of yeast,pepper,light malt and a touch of hops,also smell a fruit,maybe plum and a old apple smell,that is slighty tart.

T-Tastes exactly like the smell only every sip is a different flavor.Very very complex beer.

M-Light/medium bodied,great carbonation.Very smooth yet crisp feel.

D-This is a very drinkable beer, I would consider this as a staple beer if it wasn't so expensive,so it is a great special occasion beer instead.I would love to visit this brewery and the country.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2007 22:44:57 | More by twbrewer
Photo of dickieb

Rhode Island

4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This Bottle is about a year old, i dont know how i have sat on it for so long. Pours a hazy copper with a huge white head, that leaves all kind of lacing. The smell is slightly bread like, with hints of belgian yeast and alcohol. Taste is complex and extremely dry, starting malty but not sweet with a definite hop crisp to it, and some spices and warming alcohol to finish it off. Mouthfeel is a bit metallic, and the drinkability is good, but a sipper do to the complexity.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2007 03:08:17 | More by dickieb
Photo of hwwty4


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

Poured a bottle into a Chimay Chalice. Poured a cloudy, hazy, golden color with a huge billowing white head. Left lacing all the way down the glass. Aroma is yeasty with a little hops and a citrus background. Taste is hoppy and yeasty, coating your mouth with the taste. Also there is a slight metallic taste at the back. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with lots of carbonation. Definitely a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2007 22:06:54 | More by hwwty4
Photo of SargeC


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

Bottled 21 Jan 2006

Appearance: Hazy orange-brown with a big off white head that hangs around.

Smell: Sweetish bread, citrus, touch of bubblegum, alcohol.

Taste: Straightforward, yet complex. The yeast and hop flavors evolve with each sip. Spicy, citrus flavors finish with an acidic quality. The alcohol is evident but not overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light. This made this brew go down extremely smoothly. I want to try a fresher bottle to see if aging has made a difference in this area.

Drinkability: This brew provides a challenging spectrum of flavors to the drinker. It was enjoyable to attempt to sense everything this beer has to offer.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2007 20:51:31 | More by SargeC
Photo of bloberglawp

Quebec (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

What is there to be said?
Served in a chimay chalise, golden ale with nice fluffy head and sexy lacing. Brett and hop aroma some aromas of wild flowers seems to come about, same 2 elements (brett and hops) take the front row seat in flavor as well. Carbonation is prickly and makes you want to take another gulp... if this came in huge 3L, bombers I'd not work for I'd drink all day for shure.

Soooo... basicaly a very good trappist ale, more of these please!

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2007 06:42:22 | More by bloberglawp
Photo of Rudgers73

New York

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

Poured into my Duvel tulip very slowly. There is a huge plume of head that fills a full 2/3 of the glass while the amber beer sites underneath. The beer is amber/orange color and incredibly clear for having been bottle conditioned. The carbonation billows from the etched Duvel "D". The head sticks with great lacing as it settles down after a few long minutes. I smell the head as it begins to fall and I smell a hop aroma (maybe Saaz) and metallic brett funk. As the head clears more I can faintly smell pale malt and peppery yeast. The taste is much more funky and bitter than I had anticipated. The sweet pale malt is almost entirely covered up with a literal blanket or warm, soft brett. The finish is then dry and metallic. This aftertaste and mouthfeel effect make the beer quite a unique offering, and although it has a seemingly one-sided flavor profile there is adjustment that can be made based on temperatures that the beer is served at. Very complex in that aspect. As far as drinkability, it is great. As far as affordability, it is not so great. I'll call this a special occasion beer; maybe to serve at a birthday or for New Years.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2007 02:44:41 | More by Rudgers73
Photo of buzzworthy

New York

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

The bottle is dated 7/5/07, making it four months old at drinking (couldn't wait). The beer pours a slightly hazy amber with a huge, billowy head, leaving remnants of lace. The aroma has a freshness to it that reminds me of the ocean, with malt fruitiness underpinning it. Orval's taste is of mellow black cherries and plums, not as intense as the American brewed Belgian-style Ommegang that I am more familiar with, but seemingly more balanced. The hops add some bite and the finish is quite dry.The intense carbonation does not bother me and Orval seems surprisingly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2007 04:24:07 | More by buzzworthy
Photo of Rzzzzz


3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As you look at these overall scores for Orval, you might be interested to know that there was once a Major League pitcher named Orval Overall. In fact, he was the winning pitcher for the Cubs the day they won their last World Series. You can look it up.

Flash forward 99 years to my first taste of Oval Trappist Ale. I'd heard nice things about this beer, and it did not let me down.

Poured into a wine glass. Hazy yellow/orange. Nice frothy head and good lacework. Aroma a mixed bag--can't put my finger on anything specific other than maybe apples and of course beer--but there's clearly a lot going on here. Fruity taste gives way to a slightly sour aftertaste that lingers for a while then tugs at you for another refreshing sip. Goes down smooth.

First time I've seen the stuff and now I'm kicking myself for only coming home with one. I could drink a lot of Orval, overall. Speaking of pitchers.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2007 02:53:34 | More by Rzzzzz
Photo of Strix


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

Bottled on 3/15/2007

I can't quite place the smell. Pear, alcohol and kind of an earthy dampness. But in a vaguely pleasant sort of way.

Taste is slow to develop, and gradually fades into a sour taste with a long lingering hoppy? dryness. As it warmed, sour tastes came out with more of a cider feel to it, with an earthy aftertaste.

Taste is smooth and light, a lot of tingly carbonation.

It's more of a sipper for me, drinkability-wise.

I guess I'm in the minority, but this didn't really do it for me. Some complexity to the taste, but the taste itself kind of rubs me the wrong way.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 05:21:50 | More by Strix
Photo of JustinOSU99


3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a light amber color with a huge foamy head that sticks aruond for quite some time
S: All sorts of great smells come out of this beer such as apple, orange rind, fig, slight pear hints, and an undertone of caramel.
T: Up front I tend to notice the alcohol even though this beer doesnt have a huge ABV. It is quite tart, with the apple taste coming through. Lingers a bit on the palate with its tartness.
M: Perfectly balanced in carbonation and doesnt seem too heavy.
D: I didn't enjoy the beer as much as I thought I would, but will give it a second try down the road.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 01:32:19 | More by JustinOSU99
Photo of rallison


4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Haven't had this since drinking a fair share of these in Belgium a year ago, so I decided it was time for a revisit.

Pours a cloudy amber with a touch of brown with a big, fluffy white head that stays around for the full session.

Smells wonderfully tart and barnyard-y. Love that smell! You just know you are in for a treat. Maybe a touch of apple in the smell as well I'd say.

Taste. Oh the taste. Wonderful horse blanket funkiness with a nice, mellow tartness. Apple cider. Earthy, slightly sweet malts. There is a wonderful complexity here - especially given the relatively low ABV. I really need to age some bottles of this...

Mouthfeel is well carbonated but appropriate for this beer. Both rich and light at the same time. Nice dry finish.

Drinkability, for me, is quite high.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2007 08:44:28 | More by rallison
Photo of largadeer


4.78/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Bright, hazy amber - not entirely opaque, but not overly clear. Head retention is very good. Served in the Orval chalice, it's pretty impressive. Probably one of the better beer presentations I've seen.

Smell: Lemon, freshly cut grass, oily hops with a big bright citrus character, still-developing barnyard funk and just a hint of sweet, fruity malt.

Taste/mouthfeel: Very dry in the mouth, exhibiting both bitter and tart flavors. It's fruity, but not sweet at all - it has more of a sour, acidic fruit character. Ample hopping lends a pine-like flavor. Slick and oily on the tongue, with a long-lasting dry finish. This stuff is incredibly easy to drink, and by far one of the best Belgian beers out there.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2007 02:34:20 | More by largadeer
Photo of smc143


3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When I popped off the cap, it immediately starting foaming out of the bottle, so you can imagine what the glass looked like - half beer, half thick foamy whitecap. It took a while to get it all into the glass. I tried to leave the yeast in the bottom of the bottle, and not in my glass. It is a deep golden color and slightly cloudy, reminding me of cider in the fall. I smelled a mix of fruity, malty, nutty tang, like citrus and berries and brown sugar with a kick. And maybe just because it looked like cider, I thought I got a hint of apple. At 6.9% ABV, there was a bit of the alcohol sting in the scent as well.

The first sip seems tart, and then warms into a more sweeter flavor, almost a sticky consistency, but finished quite dry. I loved it, but I don't know if I would have many more than one at a time. It is quite a beer!

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2007 18:38:44 | More by smc143
Photo of ZimZamZoom

West Virginia

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

Poured into a tulip glass. Bottled 4/1/2005, best before 4/1/2010. Yeah, like I had a chance of waiting that long.

Hazy orange in color with a massive fluffy white head. I mean thick and white and looking like an arctic glacier as is slooowly fades. Lacing is phenomenal.

Aroma of ripe pears, some peppery hops and clove. Real nice. Taste reveals a sourness that it not evident in the aroma. Finishes dry and sour, and not at all unpleasant.

Fairly light bodied, and dries the mouth out a bit. A pretty good sipper. I'll be nursing this one for sure.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2007 19:46:56 | More by ZimZamZoom
Photo of thierrynantes


4.93/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beer bottle (33 cl.), tasted in 1999.

Appearance : golden-orange color (troubled), with abundant white creamy foam head, somewhat saturated.
Smell : complex nose, rich in hops, floral
Taste & mouthfeel : extraordinary flavors of yeast and hops, dry and intense bitterness, ample body, velvety, light acidity.
Drinkability : A Must ! (drink at cellar t°).

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2007 19:01:48 | More by thierrynantes
Photo of mnfinnkidd


3.63/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Served in Orval Chalice

Nose: Slightly Sweet with sour notes. Pear. Light Aroma

Apperance: Cloudly reddish orange with white head about 1/4" thick: Long Lasting head.

Mouthfeel: Heavy on the tongue with full carbonation in the back

Taste: Sourness is medium with apple characteristics. Sourness lingers on the tongue for a while after each sip. Maybe burnt tones.

Overall: I've been waiting to try this trappist beer for a while now ever since I bought the glass to match it. The sourness is a little too tart for my tastes at the moment. This is a very subtle beer for a trappist but it's also quite different.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2007 00:55:14 | More by mnfinnkidd
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,110 ratings.