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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: 12.62%
Wants: 248
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 jophish17
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle

Aroma: Nice lemony, peppery smell with the impending tart flavor flashing its sign

Appearance: Orval pours nicely into the glass, producing a big, fluffy white head and a dark orange body. Lovely lacing sticks to the glass and the head retention is remarkable.

Taste: The tartness first noticed in the nose comes out fairly delicately in the taste. Not a strong tart, but rather a mild bite that sticks on the tongue well into the aftertaste. Hops come out a lot moreso than in any other trappist ale, and it leaves you thirsting for more.

Feel: A little bit of a grainy feel. Medium-bodied with carbonation that sticks around for a while.. pretty smooth overall

Drinkability: Very drinkable, and with a fairly moderate ABV, its not too much to handle. Another nice trappist beer

Photo of Douglas14
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out an awesome hazy, pale orange color with an incredible, fluffy, dense head that leaves a layer of lace on the glass and stays intact the whole way down. The smell is heavily of smoky light wood, lightly roasted malt and possibly some banana. Fruit, spices and malt overwhelm the palate, in a good way. Slight hops are very noticeable towards the end, and your mouth is left very dry. As for mouthfeel, the heavy carbonation gives it a nice, light quality that plays with the senses (b/c of how complex it really is). Awesome beer. For some reason I had avoided this beer and I don't know why (I'm guessing because of its easy popularity and my prejudgments against it). I am glad I finally decided to try it. Incredible Belgian Pale Ale!

Photo of robbyc1
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle dated Jan 30, 2007, obtained recently from local retailer.

Huge fluffy head, deep amber, orange yellow, can't see through it, lovely looking pale ale.

Fruity nose, yeasty esters, just as it should. Apple and lime in the nose.

Tartness with offsetting sweetness, just nicely balanced, the malt character is subtle, very easy to enjoy. Nothing stands out, in a good way.

Very drinkable and quafable, nice full mouthfeel, an excellent choice with food or not!

Photo of daythree16
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a little goblet. Pours a cloudy golden color with lots of head.

Smells very spicy with touch of that Belgian yeasty goodness. Tastes like it smells. A little piney with a phenolic aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is very light, and almost reminiscent of a hefeweizen. It's not my the best tasting or my favorite Trappist, but it may be the lightest and easiest to drink.

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

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay chalice yields a hazy honey body with active carbonation topped by a fat finger of fine-bubbled white head that retains at thick, creamy sheet.

Smells citrusy, sprucey, and rich. Hint of fresh bread and magnolia blossoms.

Thick-medium body meets with with fine carbonation and explodes into light-bodied tangy, yeasty, earthy, fruity, bready, bitter, dry perfection. Lemon rind dry finish.

Wow.

Photo of ckeegan04
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy orange color. Unbelieveable off white head. Filled up half the glass with the most gentle pour I could muster. Think chunky head that leaves entire chunks of foam on the glass. Not sure how conducive it is to drinking, but it sure looks good.

S - Funky yeast smell. Little bit of banana.

T - Very tart taste with hints of banana and lemon. Little bit of barnyard funk mixed in as well.

M/D - Full bodied and super carbonated. Very easy drinking.

Photo of ledemie
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving: Chalice
Temp: 52
date of birth:9/25/07

A: nice garnet color, huge head that desapear after a couple of minutes.

S: fruity, a little alcohol, oranges, cloves ( a hint)

T: Yeasty,Clove, Champagne like background , raisin.

D: that is a respectable beer, I do not think it was worth the $5.50 for the 11 OZ, but I had to try it, it is a complex beer a little disappointing because I though it could have a little more character, it reminded my of an American cousin the the "fat tire ale by New Belgium Brewery" this is not my type of beer I still have to respect the Orval name.

Photo of Cresant
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this 11.2 oz. dark brown bottle into a Duvel glass. Bottled on 14/11/06. Huge head developed and left clumpy lacing. The body was murky and honey colored.

Smell was fruity with a Belgian yeasty aroma. Not chalky smelling. Seven-Up!. Earthy. Floral. Woody. Wild, Lambic-like funkiness (in a very good way).

Taste was tangy and fruity. Complex. Bitterness and sweetness. Peppery. Yeast breadiness. There was a long, subtle finish of hops flavors and graininess. Baked fruits. Alcohol peaked as it warmed, but it was never too strong. Pretty dry.

Mouthfeel was medium to full with medium to mild carbonation.

This one had aged longer than I prefer. I like the fresh, hoppy Orval, however, this one was great too.

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

Poured a deep amber color with medium head lasting till finish. Smelled of citrus. It had a bitter/tart taste that was everlasting. Its strong presence was masked by its appeal.

After learning about Belgium beers I was told that this was a must try and I found out why. Although this not my favorite of the Belgium's I have tasted it certainly is a remarkable beer. I can now see why people of this site are such fans. Definately a must have again.

Photo of USCTrojanBrian
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle dated 8/1/2008

A - Poured an off-colored cloudy amber, some mahogany to it. Massive billowy off-white head like a root beer float, more little bubbles than big bubbles.

S - Magnificent. Sour cherry burst. Later mellows, a bit like some fruit jam/preserves wafting from hot toast.

T - Interesting mix of bittersweet/sour and mild funk. Hoping for a bit of that cherry even though it isn't the intended flavor, not finding it. Something fruity though, like a red apple.

M/D - Classic bitey front of tongue kick I find with most trappist beers, abbeys, tripels, etc. Nothing too puckery after a few sips, really mellows out. Incredibly easy to drink.

Worth the hype, but a bit on the mild (if drinkable) side. Lots of flavor things going on that I'm still chasing. Consistency of flavor is notable, doesn't change too much from the cold pour to being warm over a period of time. Wonderful aromatics. Not the prettiest beer I've ever seen (not by a mile), but complex and worthy of repeat visits.

Update: 2nd tasting, and I've been drinking a lot more Belgians lately. This deserves a modest bump in rating.

Photo of aubuc1
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle date 07/05/07 into goblet. Pours hazy orange with significant, but diminishing head. Smells of sugars and bananas,and maybe cloves. Very tart and dry. Taste is hard to explain for me. Very nice carbonation feel in the mouth. Light taste that cuts sharply. This was my first Orval.

Photo of Offa
4.46/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderful light, refreshingly crisp, yet tasty and interesting beer.

Light amber, it has a huge, light tan had that is shrinks only slowly, leaving pretty good lace.

The aroma is mostly sweet grain and fruit, with hints of lemon, honey, caramel, yeast, alcohol, and a light meatiness.

The taste at first mostly is sweet with an interesting blend of pine sap, juice, fruity wine, and a light herbal bitterness. It has a crisp, lightly sweet-tart finish with grain, toast, herbs and pine sap.

Photo of woemad
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle purchased in March at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $6.29. According to the label, it was bottled March 27, 2007.

Poured a honey-copper color, with a big two-finger (I have thick fingers), off-white head. Said head took a while to drop, leaving thin sheets of lace in my St. Bernardus goblet.

The nose is of fruit, candy sweetness and cloves, with a tiny hop touch providing a scent of new-mown hay.

A bit more bitter and spicy in the taste than in the smell. Tart, sour apples compete with cloves and pepper, with a touch of herbal bitterness and dryness at the swallow.

Light-bodied, with a mouthfeel that was prickly, effervescent and slightly oily.

A tasty Belgian pale ale that would probably taste even better were it a hot day. I could see it being quite refreshing on such a day. It's not half-bad on a cool, blustery afternoon, either. I'd buy this again.

Photo of Big78CJ
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2006: Cellared 1.5 years

This is the picture perfect Orval. Beautiful orangey blonde beer with saison-like carbonation and a royal looking head of slightly off-white foam.

The smell is amazing on this glass. Light fruity notes and a touch of candy sweetness. Very mild hop character peaking through the fruit.

All of the fruit from the nose is there in flavor but in spirit only. I can't identify a specific flavor but they all are muted as the hop character of the orval and slight yeasty taste (it was decanted perfectly so this was not the result of a bad pour or agitated bottle). I taste bits of fresh cut grass and hay, almost as if this was a trappist saison.

The mouthfeel is light, bright, and refreshing.

This is the perfect summer trappist!

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

The Orval poured a hazy dark straw color with a overwhelming 3 finger foam head when poured slow. It has a freshness date of 2006 and a drink by date of 2011. It left some nice lacing.

The aroma was yeasty with some floral smells. Slight smell of bananas and peaches.

The taste was right away spicy and held the way through. It was crisp and clean and had nice bitterness on the finish. Overall a pretty solid beer and will have to try again and not have the bottle shoot up at me like a champagne bottle.

Photo of akogrady
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Rich golden amber color, with a very pale golden head. And lots of it. I'm not sure what caused it, but there was far too much carbonation and the head was massive.

S - Smelled very nice. rich in the hoppy notes with a floral rounding and some spice background. Maybe a hint of apple.

T - Very rich and hoppy with a nice sweetness to complete the rounding out of floral notes. A dry finish that lingers in an enjoyable manner.

M - Again, maybe it was the bottle, but the smoothness of the beer was interrupted by too much carbonation.

D - Definitely drinkable, if only it would fit into my glass.

Photo of csmiley
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours light copper in color. In the right light there is some orange that shows up. Head was massive at just under two inches. Retention was excellent. Lacing was also excellent.

S - Some sour apple comes through on the nose first. There is some spiciness but it is mostly mild spices. Midway the yeast shows up. Some sweetness is on the end but it is light (honey and maybe some caramel).

T - More sour apple in the flavor. The spice that is present in the flavor is much sharper than the aroma lets on. Almost peppery in taste. Caramel and sugars show midway. Alcohol and more sour fruit round things out. There is a slight hint of metallic flavor throughout but it is very, very hard to pick out

M - Medium bodied with excellent carbonation. Finish starts out smooth but has a dryness that lingers for a while.

D - Drinkability is good. The fruity flavors in the Orval are great. Everything in this beer achieves a balance that is quite nice. This is one that I would have again, and again, and again...

Photo of Dodo2step
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

P- Market Cross Pub in Carlisle.

A- 330ml bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a very foamy and frothy head. I cant fit the whole beer in my glass it is that great! White frothy mtns reach out of the glass. an opaque pale golden amber color. I can also see traces of brown tint.

S- the nice strong belgian smell hits my nose. A very nice hoppy floral spice hits the nose as well. A nice alcoholic malt also finishes off the aroma. I can also get a hint of an unknown citrus.

T- A strong yet mild alcohol taste cleanses the palate. The floral spice is very strong, maybe a dark fruit such as an apple that is spicy.

M- Warm and smooth in the mouth. Not as dry as one would expect from the belgian pale ale.

D- this is an expensive beer and should be enjoyed once an awhile. This beer would be greatwith a surf and turf meal. Goes down with traces of warmth alcohol left behind.

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

From an 11.2oz bottle with a bottled on date of 25/9/2007 and a drink by date of 25/9/2012. Pours a dark hazy orange with a small head and no apparent lacing.

Smell is citrus and a whiff of alcohol.

Taste is surprising. Fizzy and warm with the alcohol. A hint of banana and citrus. To me, very like a saisson.

Mouthfeel is great - to me the best part of the beer.

Drinkability is outstanding, with a 6.9% ABV a couple of these in an evening of conversation with friends would be just about perfect. An outstanding beer - worthy of it's reputation.

Photo of gmfessen
3.81/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a slightly cloudy, orange topaz color with a frothy, white head. The smell is spicy and slightly fruity and a whiff of alcohol. The taste is interesting; the alcohol is apparent and creates a warming sensation. The flavor is spicy and of dark fruit. The mouthfeel is light in body with a sparkling carbonation and a dry, alcohol finish. Drinkability is decent, not my favorite Belgian by any means but a decent beer overall.

Photo of Redwood21
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a little disappointed, i think it looks gorgeous but something about the aroma and taste is a bit off for me. it is by no means a bad beer though

there is almost an overly yeasty aroma and taste taht i keep picking up on. i am not too sure. i wish i could be more insightful, but i feel the way i do...

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

Perfect appearance - orange and cloudy with an inch thick creamy lasting head and since I`m having it in it`s own glass it looks even better.The aroma is slightly sour and the tase is zesty and citrussy and instantly recognisable. Great Beer, I feel privaliged to drink it,wonderful!!

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

For my 800th review I thought I'd review a beer from the one Trappist brewery I'd somehow missed reviewing before. I've had this brew many times, and I've found that it is extremely changeable over time- the older it is the more Brett comes out and the funkier and more sour it is and more Saison-like. The younger it is the spicier and cleaner and hoppier it is- but still with Saison elements. I like it both ways and at every point inbetween, but the bottle I'm reviewing is of the younger variety.

It pours a hazy golden with a fine white head that sticks around and leaves some spotty lacing. The aroma is slightly sour, a bit grassy and herbal, and has a touch of lemon and pepper in it as well. The taste is a complex mixture of light lemon, herbal hops, black and white pepper, and a dry, light astringency. Very nice. Smooth and slightly peppery mouthfeel make this a delight to drink on this hot day on my back porch. If it were a bit older and more sour, I'd probably edge the flavor score up to a five. Any way you find it, its worth drinking.

Photo of mltobin
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Orval Trappist Ale is without a a doubt quite delicous.

Served in a bottle from a local spirit shopee. this beer is dark amber in color with a two finger head.

The smell is semi-carmel, semi-spicy, good all around.

The taste is kinda rich and sweet, but very nice.

Mouthfeel is kinda complex, but not very much so. very nice brew indeed.

Drinkability is high, great beer all around.

Photo of jeonseh
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this in a GI Reserve Glass and from a bottle. Thanks to Unholy 2 for throwing this in as an extra on a trade.

A - A very nice looking beer as I would call it a light amber color. It has traces of orange and lemon throughout of it. A bit hazy as only a trace of light gets through and can see a ton of carbonation trailing up through it. A nice creamy, one finger head sits on top and is rather strong there.

S - smells lemony fresh mixed in with a bready, yeasty odor. There is also a lint hint of pepper as well.

T - Now, here is where this beer is rather unique. First, it has a hint of orange and lemon that come on first. After that, there is that legendary Orval funkiness which reminds me a bit of the taste of blue cheese. Also has an earthen almost grassy taste and also get a hint of the yeasty, bread flavors as well. There is also a hint of sweet malt that comes on first before the funk comes through and gives the beer a bit of a sweet flavor. Have to say that the aftertaste does a good job of reflecting the beer's flavors as I get a mixture of lemon spiciness and funk just hanging out.

MF - A full mouth feel as this is one bready beer that just hangs out. Plus have to say that this one has a ton of carbonation but somehow manages to make it not overpowering at all, which is sometimes a problem with this style in my opinion.

D - Overall, a very tasty and complex beer that has a surprising note to it with its funk. This would be a beer that I would bust out with a cheese platter whenever I'm not in a mood for a Belgian Dark Ale. I would definitely reach for one of these again and really for the uniqueness that I haven't found in many other beers that I have had before.

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