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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.

4,682 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,682
Reviews: 2,166
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.62%
Wants: 252
Gots: 541 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A. visit their website

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: 4,682 | Reviews: 2,166
Photo of webbcreative
3.45/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Feb 22, 2009
Cloudy golden yellow color, Huge head lasted throughout the entire drink. Med Mouthfell. aroma was citrus, tasted of citrus and sour, tart apples, and some other fruit. This was a very flavorful brew, that was all over my pallet! i think ever crevice of my mouth tasted something unique. But that being said, it just wasnt really a favor im too fond of. To me this beer was just okay, after trying a few differnt ones, I guess im just not a fan of this particular style.

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

Review comes from my notes on this beer.

Poured from the unique bowling pin shaped bottle. Looks a cloudy amber color with a 2 finger head that dissipates slowly.

I smell some fruity aromas, Raisins and figs along with some citrusy aromas.

Tastes somewhat like it smells, a bit fruity, low carbonation.

Feels very smooth. Creamy going down.

Very drinkable. Went down extremely easily.

Photo of superdedooperboy
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the ubiquitous 11.2 oz. bowling pin-shaped Orval bottle into a goblet. Bottled on 09/07/2008, with a Best Before date five years from bottling.

Pours a deep, hazy amber hue, giving rise to a humongous light tan head that fills half the vessel. The foam settles very slowly to a thick half-finger that sticks around for the remainder of the drink, leaving thick, broken sheets of lace behind on the walls of the glass.

A very earthy aroma fills the nose, with lemon zest combining with spicy yeast notes, damp earth and a slight mustiness.

A rather light, effervescent body holds within it a mildly spicy brew with a thick underlying base of toasted biscuit. Hops mingle with the yeasty spiciness, keeping in check what little malty sweetness is present. The finish is very dry, with a bit of a grassy aftertaste that lingers.

Nice, refreshing, highly distinctive and absolutely gorgeous to look at, this is one Trappist ale that is well worth its lofty praise and honorable status. Watch out for the 6.9% ABV, though, as it can sneak up just as easily as the beer goes down.

Photo of Madigan
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tend to steer clear of Trappist ales because although I recognise their craft and quality I generally prefer beers under 6 abv but Orval at 6.2 is pretty light. The colour was interesting, paler than I expected, sort of orange, and the mouthfeel was great - a good strong taste but not too much alcohol. It's a very clean, dry beer and goes down exceptionally well. I imagine it would go very well with some decent cheese.

A nice, accessible Belgian ale and one I'll definitely be trying again.

Photo of beertunes
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 9/13/07. Poured into Chalice (gotta get a tuilp!). Poured a deep, dark yellow, almost orange. Slightly hazy, this beer is darker than most Pales. A big fluffy head of tight bubbles that dissipated quickly leaving no lacing. A noticeable apple aroma with some spice tones, no apparent yeast scent. The dry, apple flavor follows the aroma without the acidity of cider. The spiciness is reminiscent of apple pie to a small degree. A full, smooth, balanced body. Very drinkable, I could have several of these in row with no trouble. A wonderful beer that is slightly different than most of the style.

Photo of drtth
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 27 Dec., 2007. Chilled and poured into Duvel glass and allowed to warm before tasting. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: Deep dark golden orange color with a faint haziness. Very thick white fluffy/pillowy white head that takes a very long time to recede, leaving lacing and patches of foam around the glass

Smell: The immediate smell is of fresh fruits or flowers, with a hint of lemon. In the background there is a hint of a faint musty or leather character that I'm told becomes more pronounced with bottle age.

Taste: The flavors are initially slightly sweet, fruity, and crisp. The crisp dryness continues as other flavors come into play and remind me a bit of tart cider. One of the flavors that emerges midway through definitely reminds me of leather. The presence of hops is hard to detect except through their dry bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and crisp with prickly carbonation. The finish is long with a dry, lightly bitter character that begins midway and lasts until its is hard to say when it ends.

Drinkability: The operative word for this beer is "complexity." While the price might give me second thoughts I could drink more than one of these, but this is such a complex brew more than one might be excess. This is a beer one should revisit periodically both to increase one's appreciation and to refresh one's memory.

Photo of flexabull
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I can't believe I have never reviewed this. I am not even sure if I have ever even had this!

Pours a bright hazy gold color with a huge rocky white head.

Aromas are of light brett funk, some vinegar, spices, and orange citrus.

Taste is light on the mouth, but quite flavorful. Some very slightly sweet creamy malts, dusty, flour, dough, and light funk. Finish is smooth, with some crispness, a dry feel, lemon zest and light mineral hops.

Mouthfeel is kind of thin, and a little watery. Not bad though.

Drinkability is really good. Very complex and tasty Belgian Pale. I could drink a few of these, but the price is a little steep for a small bottle.

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

Pours an orangish-brown with a big head that fades quickly to a solid, consistent ring. The fruit is the first thing noticed off the bat with a bit of malt and hops playing around the edges.

The taste is dry and spicy. Definitely wine-like and there's no trouble seeing the champagne comparisons with such a crisp mouthfeel. It jumps out at you.

This is a very enjoyable, unique beer, but I doubt I'd want more than one in any given evening.

Photo of jjazz
3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Crazy cavernous head with great lacing. Pale orangey color.

Aromatic intensity is low/medium, with malty sweetness, and a bit of lemony hops. Urine is also present, but not in an offensive way.

Taste is all over the map, with hop notes accompanied by sour cherries, mild unripe banana, tobacco, and more. Snappy tartness in the finish. Highly complex with fairly low volume. Unique and impressive in its complexity, but not as appealing as what many Belgians have to offer.

Very light body with ample carbonation. A bit more body would be appreciated, and it wouldn't hurt the drinkability at all.

I don't quite know what to think. Unique and drinkable, but not down right delicious like my favorite Belgians/trappists. I would like to try it again, but it'll be tough to convince myself to spend the $5 when I could get so many other great Belgians that I already know I love.

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

Pours hazy amber with a good head that dissipates at first, but then leaves a thin layer of foam and lace.

A little citrusy smell, then spices--clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Bitter green hops at first, then spicecake taste in the finish.

Overall, quite dry with some mild notes of sweet. At first it is creamy, as the carbonation works its magic, then finishes light and dry.

This is one of the most drinkable of the Trappist ales and should be a favorite with hopheads; it's lightness makes it a nice thirst quencher and at only 6.9% ABV, you can enjoy a few.

Photo of aletales
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Orval pours a cloudy golden yellow with a beautiful white foamy head that lingers and clings nicely to the glass. It smells of citrus and malt. The flavor of this beer is complex and refreshing at the same time. The carbonation never overpowers the citrus and malt flavors, which leave room for a nice hoppy bitter finish very late.

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this at Isaac Newton's in Newtown PA.Poured from a bottle into a snifter.Pours a cloudy light amberish color with ridiculous white frothy heading that stays bubbly to the very end.Smell is very faint light hops light malt nothing to get nutty about.Taste is very sweet like a soda I took a sip and ended up with a mouthful of foam. I would have guessed this was a light beer but with 6.9% alcohol(stated on bottle) this kind of a heavy hitter. A very enjoyable beer if you like the champagne type.

Photo of sirpsycho
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Bottled on 24/01/2006, best before 24/01/2011. Pours an orange/amber, small white head, no real lacing to speak of. Aroma is flowery and spices, citrusy. Taste was rather mild, nothing really stood out to describe, I was surprised by how mild it was . Finish was slightly spicey and dry.

Photo of Overlord
2.65/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Stunned at the love this beer receives. It's a jack of all trades, master of none.

Pours a ginger ale looking light brown. Huge carbonation issues. Just crazy frothing. Why does it take 5 minutes to pour an 11 oz. bottle?

Smells medicinally, soapy, of grass hops, and faintly of spices. Taste is a muddled mess. I actually like the slightly sour taste and lemony bite, but it doesn't meld well with the bit of horse blanket, fresh hay/grass hops, and medicinal herbiness.

Just really strange. It's almost like they took two decent beers and blended them, with bad results.

The carbonation did result in a very nice mouthfeel, once it settled down.

Photo of hosehead83
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine goblet

Big, fluffy, rocky head-golden orange in color

Aroma is almost champagne-like,flowery

Taste is also somewhat like champagne; very dry,cidery, with subtle, flowery hop notes in a clean, dry finish. Very complex flavors perfectly balanced with a "tingly" mouthfeel that left me wanting another, immediate taste.
-Would be great with appetizers or a main course of just about anything.

Overall, delicious and delightfully complex-

Dig them monks!!

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

A- Pours a nice creamy orange body with a bit of cloudiness. Big fluffy off white head that leaves lots of clinging lace.

S- Aroma begets lemon zest, orange peel, a bit of fresh cut hay. Lots of tannic notes and a bit flowery.

T- Lots of tannins and phenols all the way through. Hops are biting but subtle enough and balanced by a soft, bread-like, graininess. Lots of tart fruit, coriander and a soft spiciness.

M- Very interesting mouthfeel. Light, yet fairly textured; almost prickling the palate.

D- A very interesting beer. Lots of stuff going on and very different from most of the other Trappist ventures. Quite hoppy for a Trappist brew, but very nice. Quite a nice Belgian pale.

Photo of Jimbo87
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled march 15 2007 - about two years ago

a- nice amber, pretty clear, tons of little ascending bubbles. huge fluffy head. Head was forming even when I slowly and carefully poured down the glass at 45 degrees; great head retention and nice lacing.

Smell was a bit subtle. I smell the grain, but I don't really smell what I normally recognize as the smell of hops. I'm actually having trouble putting my finger on any smell I can compare this to.

Taste: slight banana, slightly sweet grain, wine-like note (tannins?), a bit acidic. Some other fruit?

Mouthfeel: very carbonated, not what I'd call a smooth moutfeel

High drinkability.

I liked it, but I'd be interested in trying a fresh bottle. I didn't actually know this one was so old. It's cool that it was essentially pre-aged 2 years for me, but I bet all that time affected the taste. I don't consider my taste developed enough to appreciate this beer completely. But for now I say B+.

Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Abe's Cold Beer for $4.50, not cheap, but not bad for a Trappist. The label says it was bottled 2/20/08, so this is about a year old. Upon pouring I can tell the Brett has taken over, but at first sip I see that it's also not fully developed. When this beer is fresh, it's a relatively hoppy Belgian, but thanks to the addition of wild brettanomyces it turns into a lambic. After a year, however, the tangy lemon sour aren't strong and rich enough to complete the beer. I feel like the malts and hops should come out a little more, but I'm left with a thin taste of sugar-covered bread.

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

Bottled 5/6/2008
Best before 5/6/2013

Pours from the classic bowling pin shaped bottle into a tulip glass. It has a hazy orange color with huge fluffy head. It slowly settles leaving thick lacing on the glass.

Aroma is heavenly - sweet, fruity, and spicy yeast. It's truly something special before I even taste it.

The taste is unique as well. It's full of classic Belgian fruit esters and spicy yeast. The most surprising thing for me is strong bitterness and the super dry finish. It has a champagne quality to it which leads me to mouthfeel.

This is where Orval beer suffers a little for me. The body is fine but the carbonation is over the top. It feels like it's foaming up in my mouth.

Drinkability is good and it's not too strong compared with most Belgians we get here in the states. If it weren't for the massive effervescence and high price, I could make an evening of it.

Overall, I enjoy this beer very much. A beauty to look at, a wonder for the nose, and a treat for the tastebuds.

Photo of gdfan47
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- pours a nice light yellow with soo much white head and lacing (poured into my Duvel glass!)
S- bretty, yeasty, malt, sugar but not too sweet, hops
T- the brett and the yeast taste are front and center then the malt, and a punch of hops, goes down dry and refreshing
M- great carbonation, it was hard to keep in my mouth because i wanted to drink it so bad
D- amazing , couldnt wait to have another, a pretty low abv, an amazing and unique beer havent had anything else quite like this

blurring the lines of a BPA and a wlld beer... very unique a homerun

found a clone recipe, gonna start brewing this one really soon

Photo of cedricwarner
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The head pours billowy clouds of foam without effort. The aroma is lactic sour, peaches and cream. The flavor... quite subtle actually. Sourness and hop bitterness are initially strong, giving way to a smooth spiciness and mild malt presence. There are things going on here I can't account for with the usual malt, hops and yeast formulas... something magical.

This beer has an entirely unique flavor, my personal favorite of the Trappist Breweries, and perhaps my favorite Belgian beer overall.

Photo of gmcfarre
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into St. Bernardus chalice

A - Pours a slightly cloudy amber color with a massive, soapy head (even with a careful pour). Lacing is distinct and well-represented as the head fades.

S - Scent is grassy with a good dose of the funky "horse blanket" smell. Presents some slightly sweet caramel malt flavor as well.

T - Starts with a bit of caramel sweetness, then quickly dries and becomes pleasantly funky. A great balance of horse blanket funk and traditional sweet malt with some bitterness at the finish. A bit of scotch-esque alcohol near the finish rounds out this classic beer.

M - Medium bodied, starts smooth but becomes tacky and chalky over the course of a sip. Finish remains chalky with some dryness.

D - Flavor stays interesting and tasty throughout, with a not too intimidating amount of alcohol. A classic Belgian ale for a reason, as well as a great entry into funky, wild-yeast beers. A beer everyone needs to check off their list at some point.

Photo of KTCamm
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 9/08 bottle (good until 9/13).

Light amber color with beautiful thick, long lasting foam.

Yeasty/bready aroma, with some hints of floral.

Classic trappist taste - very complex, difficult to pinpoint. Carbonation holds in the mouth for an eternity. Great finish, taste lingers long afterwards, but not in a bitter aftertaste kind of way.

I only had one on me, but could have had several more. Great drinkability.

Photo of ScreamForMe
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the last Trappist ales for me to try, I thought the hops were going to be too much - thus the wait.

Poured into a tulip:

The head was strong and sustainable - beautiful creamy head.

Very aromatic - hits you right away as soon as you open up the bottle.

High carbonation and a medium body - hop taste was less than I feared (which is a good thing for this malt head).

Dare I say a session ale? Nah - too expensive and the abv is too much to be a session...but a fine brew nonetheless!

Photo of cpn920
3.03/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled in September of 2008 with a best by of 2013. It poured a dark brownish color with not much head which little bit disappeared immediately. Smelled different than I expected but not something I can put my finger on other than light hops and some malt. Not a real great aroma for me. Taste to me was underwhelming and disappointing. Had a bit of sourness and some hop. Carbonation was ok although it didn't show in the head. Drinkability...not very to me. Maybe it needed more aging? Most likely won't try again. Very disappointing based on all the hype.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,682 ratings.