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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.

4,646 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,646
Reviews: 2,157
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.62%
Wants: 251
Gots: 520 | 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: 4,646 | Reviews: 2,157 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tpd975
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice cloudy murky orange hue with a nice tall rocky head. Great retention and chunky lace left behind.

S: Nice floral aroma with hints of citrus. Some acidic crushed sweet tarts and a bit of apple. Unique aroma.

T: Yum! Nice bold sparkling citrus flavor which yields to crushed cherry sweet tarts. Hints of bitter hops and some sweet apple and pear. Nice balance between malt and hops, bitter and sweet. Great Beer.

M: Light in body very sparkling. This one dances on the tongue.

D: Very, this one can be pounded or sipped, its one of my favorites.

Photo of NHGrafx
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2oz brown bottle.

Pours a nice cloudy dark orange color with a big foamy head that lasts quite a while. There is some nice sediment on the bottom of the bottle too which takes some swirling to loosen up. It leaves nice foamy lacing on the glass as well.

Aroma is wonderfully complex. Mainly floral aromas with lemony and fruity smells, some yeast as well. Many others too that I can't really name, as they all blend together nicely.

The taste is excellent as well. Has some citrus flavors, can taste the malts in there too. Nice hoppiness on the finish. There are also some fruity flavors too, sort of like a combination of pears and apples. Other spices, too much too name. Very complex. Has excellent mouthfeel and very drinkable.

Overall this was a fantastic beer, another fine Trappist offering. Would definitely have this again.

Photo of jkanavel
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a wonderful treat that I found in an unexpected place.
It poured dark golden and hazy after I stirred the yeast a bit, with a nice fluffy off-white head.

The first thing I noticed was the smell that came bursting from the bottle when I opened it. I got a rush of ethanol which dissipated quickly and left behind strong banana notes.

The taste was a wonderful combination of sweetness offset by clean hops with alcoholic and yeasty back notes. Maybe some herbal/floral action going on too.

The mouthfeel is the kicker with this one, it is crisp and sharp, you almost get the impression you're drinking a citrus beverage. Its quite refreshing and enhances the flavor a great deal.

Pretty drinkable stuff I dare say, were it not so expensive that is.

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

I fear I am about to commit beer heresy by admitting to not really enjoying this one all that much. The beer was bottled on the 31 May 2007 and as such was 14 months old when I drank it.

It poured a very nice copper colour, and was of course cloudy - as a personaly opinion this is a good thing, as I like beer unfiltered and unpastuerised. There was a fluffy head which dissipated slowly, and was gone within five minutes.

On the nose were distinctly citrus notes. The first taste was a shock to be honest. This will sound odd, but it tasted fizzy, rather tart and almost like popping candy on the tongue.

It wasn't awful, just not what I was expecting - so I will of course have another one to further hone my opinion.

Photo of SirSketch
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've heard so much about this beer I finally had to try it. Poured into a tulip glass. Mountain of cream colored, soapy textured head arises and sticks around for awhile. Murky golden copper color with shades of light red as well. Column of carbonation bubbles rise from the center. Very potent aroma! Smells of biscuity yeast, banana, citrus, rum-like alcohol. Very complex.

This is easily one of the top five beers I've ever had. Kind of acidic at first, then turns to a sweet and tangy taste that ends dry. The finish is so good. Phenols present, complex esters as well. So many other tastes I can't describe thoroughly. Bubbly in mouthfeel, medium in body. Simply pleasurable.

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

Bottled on 2/20/08

A - Poured into my wicked St Feuillien balloon/goblet/wine glass awesomeness. Looks truly killer. Orange/brown body with an ample, frothy, unreceding offwhite head. Just an absolutely remarkable looking beer.

S - Apples, slight brett funk, light fruits, belgian yeast. Light acidity.

T - This may very well be my favorite trappist offering yet. Westies are one thing, but when it comes to a BPA, this pup takes the cake. Slightly tart in the front, mineral notes in the middle, and a rather malty back end. Spice notes. Extremely complex for a rather "light" brew.

M - Medium body and rather huge carbonation, but the lasting head adds a bit of creaminess to the mix.

D - Fantastic drinkability. Just... fantastic.

Notes: I think this may have knocked Westies off the top of my "Best Belgian Brew" list. Plus, it's available in the USA to boot.

Photo of Ljunkan
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An all-time favourite.

Pours an hazy orange color with a large foamy head. Extremely nice head actually.

Smell is nice; sour/acid fruits, citrus and stable-like aromas.

Taste is even better; sour apples, grapefruit, citrus, some stable, slight notes of herbs. This beer has a interesting mix of sourness/acidness together with a dry hopped character and a very good bitterness.

Highly recommended!

Photo of itcomesnpints
3.26/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light golden color with a massive head. Bouquet of different, glucose-free scents including: lemon peel, pepper and herbs. The taste follows the aroma and ends up producing a taste similar to Perrier mixed with tart lemons. Mouthfeel is very fizzy and the alcohol is well-hidden, yet the finish is desert arid. Orval is unlike anything I have ever tasted, but to be honest, it just was not enjoyable. It's possible that I may try it again someday, but only to experience its profound uniqueness. I am a relatively new beer connoisseur, so I may be changing this rating as my palate continues its education in the world of beer.

Photo of usmittymc
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle (best before 8/8/12)into an Orval chalice.

A: Hazy deep amber color. Pours an incredibly tight two finger head that just sits there and calls you out.

S: Spice, clove, bubble gum all from the yeast.

T: Surprisigly clean on the front. The spiciness/ fruitiness doesn't really hit you until after the swallow.

M: Highly carbonated. This beer is almost alive when you drink it. Medium mouthfeel.

D: You could easily throw back a couple of these during a long session, but this one is meant to sip and enjoy. The complexity increases as it warms, so let it sit for a while in the glass. I probably should ahve let this one sit in the bottle for a while and get some age under it's belt, but it was too tempting.

Photo of changeup45
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 8/8/07. Pours a bright orange color, slightly carbonated, with a thick pillowy off-white head. Aroma is amazing; quite flowery, tangy, fruity, with some yeast and a perfume presence. Not quite as strong or balanced as the aroma would indicate. Tangy fruits, hard cider, fragrance, some yeast but not as much as I expected. Quite acidic as well with a dry and sour finish. Light numbing on the tongue. Very complex as it seems I pick something different up with each taste. An interesting and unique brew.

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

A. Cloudy, orange, nice soapy head and grand retention. Cool bottles.

S. Bready malts, some light fruit. I know I am getting into something good.

T. Malty, fruity. Vague hints of apricot and apple. Some wheat elements. Slightly sour that fades to bitterness from the hops.

M. Crisp, light to medium bodied, nice dry finish, almost like champagne.

D. Real nice beverage here. Great for sessions. Tasty. Drinks slow, a sipper.

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

Picked up a bottle today from Bevmo. Bottled on date of: 20/02/2008 Good thing I checked because the first one I picked up was bottled in early 2007 and I wanted a fresher bottle.

Wow what a massive head! Easily three fingers worth of foam, the beer itself is dark golden and amber. The head takes forever to settle and leaves some thick lacing on the glass.

The aroma is darn good. Yeasty on the nose with tropical sour fruits like peaches, apricots, peaches, sour orange, and a bit of pineapple. Oh, some crisp green apples too. Some toasted malts and quite bready too. Spices and wild flowers open up as the beer settles. Pretty interesting aroma.

Tastes a little funky, like stale bread and bitter orange, apples and lemons in the back. The flavor is almost a shock, not nearly as close to the aroma. A lot more malt oriented than the sour fruits and spices you get on the nose. I also get an initial bitterness but it doesn't last too long. There are some apple and pears in the aftertaste. The subsequent sips have more fruit flavors; the apple and pear is pushed closer to the beginning and you get some orange and grapefruit rind, and also a little lemon. Stale bread and multi-grain bread holds near the end but the sour fruit cleans it up in the aftertaste. Again, very interesting.

Very good mouthfeel with some lively carbonation.

Photo of scray24
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from CLO poured into pint glass (yes, heathen!).

Nice clear gold/orange in first pour with significant white head. Head was nice and dense good retention and nice lacing left behind. Second pour little more hazy (to be expected)

Yeasty, spicy, lightly hoppy citrus smell. Finishes nice and dry, no off flavors, very effervescent....

Crisp clean and smooth. Before the flavor is even picked up i am noticing the crispy cleany smoothness. Hops and malt mesh well. Citric zest kicks in, very nice job here.

Photo of mshallah
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orange color. Large fluffy head. Nose is very perfumey. A floral bouquet. Citrus aroma of tangerine. Wonderful sweet, tart, fruity and hoppy flavors. Very hoppy for a Belgian brew. Mild metallic flavor. Fruit flavor is tropical. There is alcohol in the nose but only a warming effect remains in the taste. Complex mix of flavors and aromas. Overall flavor profile is mesmerizing. Each sip brings more nuances. Becomes more bitter as it warms. My fave of the Belgians.

Photo of Bananaman
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Great Trappist beer from Orval! The only commercial beer from Brasserie d'Orval, and I think that's enough (because it's so good!).

Hazy orange-golden colour with a nice white-off head.

Smells amazing with lots of hops and some dryness. I think the smell is mostly really nice hops, and some yeast tones.

The taste really lives up to the smell and it's full on hops,light sourness. You can really tell that this one is Dry-hopped.

Lovely beer, great that it's pretty easy to get to. You can order them at any Systembolag in Sweden.

Photo of kzoobrew
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to snifter, bottled 04/24/07.

Pours orange and hazy. Massive three finger white head. Very dense. Great retention, as head subsides nice lacing left along side of glass.

Yeast and spice are hitting the nose first. Sweet aroma some banana clove and the usual Belgian funk. Good Stuff.

Crisp clean and smooth. Before the flavor is even picked up i am noticing the crispy cleany smoothness. Hops and malt mesh well. Citric zest kicks in, very nice job here.

As stated before, crisp clean and smooth. Finishes dry. While above the sessionable abv, this is a very sessionable brew. Excellent.

Photo of drxandy
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle dated : bottled - 27/12/2007 - best before 27/12/2012B - 2 days after last years christmas, yay

poured to goblet, hazy deep golden with slight brown, highly carbonated, white head fades to lacing - looks good

smells of apples! sweet and sour funk from the brett yeastiness, peppery spice, pineapple, slight lemon citrus

tastes tangy sweet creamy from carbonation, the carbonation is excellent kicking all the flavors around and lounging on the tongue, bitter, funky brett is sour and dry, very balanced, biscuity malt, bitter hops in the back, light alcohol, wow - complex!

mouthfeel is amazing, crisp dry finish, refreshingly creamy carbonation, very nice!!!

Photo of PatrickJR
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into red wine glass.

A - Hazy, orangish brown with about a finger of head. Pretty good retention with some lace.

S - Fruity esters like apple, banana, and pineapple shine through first, with a mingled peppery phenol and musty yeast aroma.

T - Fruits pull through first, though less distinct than the nose. The bulk of the brew's taste rests on an overwhelming yeast component, marking its entrance with the most prominant musty/powdery taste I've ever experienced. A moderate sourness coupled with mild bitterness dominates late palate with a slight citric element. Finish is slightly bitter and lemon/orange.

M - Light bodied with huge carbonation.

D - I'm usually not too fond of these pale, phenolic, super-fizzy pale Belgians, but this is some great stuff. Expensive, but highly unique and not quite extreme enough to push it out of the realm of decent drinkability.

Photo of jeffmonarch
2.53/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz. bottle in a snifter glass.

A - Cloudy orange color with a thick white head that stays for a while.

S - Sweet fruity smell. It's almost like orange or lemon pledge.

T - Very bitter and almost medicine like flavor. Alcohol flavor is also present.

M - Light bodied with high carbonation.

D - Not a fan.

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

Bottled on 7/5/07 best before 7/5/12. I have had this one in the staging area for quite some time.

A- Hazy orange/gold color with 1" of soft fluffy head. Lacing is all over the place.

S- Oranges, lemons, cotton candy, figs and vanilla. Totally sweet and fruity; zingy. Very welcoming.

T- Same citrusy tastes, but a lot more dry than the nose was. The smells were sweet and the taste are more sour. Lemons, candi sugar, and little bit of hops round it out for me.

M- Light in the mouth and high carbonation.

D- Definitely a most drinkable Belgain. I will have a few more of these on hand in the near future for immediate consumption.

Photo of Nipitato
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle at Julio's Liquors located in Westborough, MA.

A: Kick ass looking bottle and logo. Pours with one inch of solid moussy white head. Excellent stand. Opaque/cloudy amber hue. Belgian lacing develops as beer is quaffed.

S: Horse blanket and other farm aromas like cut hay and grass are prominent. Citrus lemon aroma adds an acidic snap. Alcohols are perfume like. Soft malt aroma lingers in the background. As others have notes an incredibly complex and well balanced aroma.

T: Perfume like alcohol flavors trail seamlessly into horse blanket. Soft and only just sweet malt flavor is also noticeable. Leather and minerals and other earthy tastes. Very complex. Hop flavor is low but I think it adds to earthiness.

MF: Moderate mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. The beer is quite dry. Slight alcohol warmth.

D, notes: A great beer with a great history. This is essentially what beer geeks live for. Quite drinkable. This beer is a style unto itself.

Photo of Chinon01
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Bronze-Gold metallic color with big sloppy soapy head.

Smell - Phenolics are all over the nose. Bubble gum, band aid, the whole nine yards.

Taste - Brett twang in there with spice, bubble gum and green apple. Very dry finish with mild hop sizzle.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability - Very well balanced between fruit, hops and dryness. Quite drinkable with good mouthfeel.

Hated it in my twenties, find it impressive now. You're never to old to learn I guess.

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

Holy Sh!t.

Purchased from "By the Bottle" in Vancouver WA.

Poured into a chalice and marveled at the persistent bountiful head. Outstanding aroma - the standard for Trappist Ales. Holy Sh!t, because this beer tastes phenomenal and needs no complicated review. Definitely give this a try.

Photo of IBUnit63
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served up into Ommegang chalice...

Mahogany body with thin yet firm yeasty head with a nice seam. Ample carbonation.

Very mild scent of cinnamon, coriander and clove at first with a decent malt backbone. Sourness emerges with warmth- showing off a little brett.

Surprisingly rustic and sour-slight horse blanket feel with some citrus pucker, but very clean. Not quite what's expected but till enjoyable.

Very austere mouthfeel -bitterness with sour horse blanket and a little citrus tangy pucker work well together. Decent yeast/malt backbone gives some depth but still very crisp.

Drinks cleaner than I thought it would at first impression. Maybe not sessionable but very drinkable nonetheless.

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

label says it was bottled 08/08/07, so looks like this one is aged a year. looking forward to it. had it before but never rated it.

this beer pours a clear golden amber with about an inch of nice off white frothy head. bubbles stick to the side of the glass as i swill it around.

the smell is of banana, clove, hops and a good bit of funk. this one is on brett, right? smells damn delicious.

the taste is consistant with the smell, again, fantastic. very earthy and yeasty. nice balance. i wish i could describe this better, but it's been a long day. i'll come back next time i drink another and try to get my head around it.

the mouthfeel is a bit slick leaning toward medium feel.

overall, this beer was a joy to drink. i appreciated it more this time around than i did the first time i had it. can't wait to pick up another!

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,646 ratings.