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

Not Rated.
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

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4,647 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,647
Reviews: 2,157
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.62%
Wants: 251
Gots: 522 | 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: 4,647 | Reviews: 2,157 | Display Reviews Only:
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!

Photo of Squelch
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: slightly cloudy. Pale in color. Huge lasting finely bubbled head that lasts and leaves a nice lace.

Smell: Smells of champagne. No hop aroma. Wonderful.

Taste: Slightly sweet, moderately bitter. Some tartness and sourness. Little to no hop flavor. Lingering sweetness towards the end.

Mouthfeel: Much dryer and lighter than I expected. Very nice.

Drinkability: Belgians are not usually my style but I enjoyed this one alot. Will buy it again.

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

Re-reviewed with a fresh (month-old) bottle. Pours copper/orange with a substantial, clingy head. Nearly opaque, but without sediment. Smells of noble hops, but with significant fruity yeast character. Somewhat sweet and very floral. Flavors of earthy, floral, bitter hops are apparent along with yeasty spices. Crisp, dry finish. Medium body with plenty of carbonation. Fantastic.

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

Poured almost and apple cider haziness with a thin head lining the chalice. No lacing to speak of.

Almost smells of fruit and cider as well. Various pepper and spices also shine through. Smells very sweet.

Taste is a little withdrawn from the smell. Very mild fruits and a small mix of light malts and hops.

Mouthfeel is nice. Has a spritzy feel on the palate. Feels really light and fluffy on the tongue.

Very good, personally speaking not as good as some others but still very drinkable. Easily sessionable for a trappist because of the quality taste and low ABV.

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

I'm drinking a bottle of Orval in an Orval chalice, and I just realized that I've never reviewed this beer. Despite having stopped at the monastery 2 years ago, despite having had it in many restaurants over the last few years, despite loving Matilda, etc. Well, here goes: Orval is possibly my least favorite of the Trappist beers, but it also has to be the most unique. The beer is copper colored and clear, maybe slightly hazed, with a thick dry-looking head. The smell is very complex, some grass, leather, barnyard funk, and hops (Belgian-style). The taste is everything from the aroma plus a little sour. The body is medium and the mouthfeel is a little thin, maybe due to a dry acidic after-taste. I think the drinkability is very good, as I'm interested in the complexity of the flavors. A great beer but maybe difficult to appreciate at first.

Photo of bbothen
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep hazt orange/rust like color with a beautiful 2+ finger head. The head billows up into a big fluffy pillow of goodness. Looks picture perfect. Liquid bubbles like champagne.

Smells yeasty, spicy, hoppy, & breadlike.

Somewhat sour, but with plenty of sweet character as well. Hops make their presence known. Sharp, crisp dry finish. Complex for sure.

Highly carbonated, effervescent, dry finish.

One bottle was enough for me.

There is alot going on here. I bet I'd find different aromas/flavors next time. A unique brew indeed. I can see both sides of the love/hate for this brew. I'm somewhere in the middle.

Photo of Haybeerman
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Slightly hazy orange color. Pours with a dense two inch off-white head; holds throughout. Laces all the way down. One of, if not the, best looking beer I've ever seen.

S: Soft complex light-colored fruits up front; hints of orange. Very mild floral hop aroma. Mildly spicy with a bit of clove and pepper

T: Starts off with a very unique fruit/spice combination; mild tangy sweetness finishing fairly dry.

M: Full yet not heavy; quite a feat. Great balance. Perfectly carbonated.

D: I could pretty much drink and a lot - and think I will more regularly.

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

Well...If it was all about head retention and nothing else.Left for 1/2 hr and it still has 1/4" of head/cap..this would be a 5.ok..it's a 5 ..couldn't fit the entire contents of the bottle into my calice..had a very hazy/cloudy burnt amber look to it.

To my nose, it smelled like citrus rose...yes...I said citrus rose...

Quite the roller-coaster ride. Strong citrus hop @ the beginning. Slightly oily. Smooth malt in the middle before citrus-like bitterness takes over the finish. Slight alcohol bite on the tongue.

Smooth and quite full mouthfeel.

Compared to most Yank Pale ales this one is very good and complex.

Photo of AmishT
3.66/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep hazy gold with a huge head that utterly dominates my wide body snifter. Leaves a wake of lacing behind as it recedes. Great retention, as the head settles into a foamy cap.

S - A good mix of yeast and dark fruit aromas make up the nose. The yeast does not overwhelm the fruit notes. Overall, the aromas could be a bit stronger, but it's pleasant, nonetheless

T&M - The flavor is yeasty with a tart, lemony-like kick. Pretty spicy. Initially, I found the flavor unpleasant, but it became more drinkable as I continued drinking. The mouth is smooth and medium bodies. Flavors endure decently.

D - Once I got past the flavor, I found this Belgian to be fairly drinkable. Maybe a tad heavy and a little on the heavy side, but nothing too overwhelming.

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

Bottle from Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA. Poured into a Watou chalice.

Appearance: A deep, slightly-hazed orange-bodied, ruddy amber beer. A good one-finger head rises and stays around for a great long time, considering the "head-killing" nature of the glass. Great sticky lacing. Sparse and fine, pinprick lacing rises slowly towards the surface.

Aroma: Hints of earthy yeast funk, simple candy sugar, tart citrus, and plenty of good, spicy hop notes.

Taste: Never what you expect from looking at it. Sure, there's a solid, grainy, earthy, bready backbone, lightly roasted with hints of caramel, as well as some lighter, sweeter, simpler candy sugar notes. But the real unique aspect of this beer is, obviously, the hops - tons of tart, dry lemon zest, apricot, and spicy, earthy, vegetal dry hop notes which follow you through to the finish. Earthy, spicy funk - definitely imparted by the Brett - close this one out. Truly unique.

Mouthfeel: Big bodied and fluffy, medium-sized bubbles that are consistently even, not thin, but not thick either - a few hints of hop oils make things nice and slick.

Drinkability: Wonderfully complex and unique, low in alcohol, not sweet or cloying - what's not to love about this historical beer?

Photo of Biggness
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer pours beautifully! A very cloudy amber with a white head. This beer has very strong smells of spices and malts! YUM! The taste was incredibly smooth with flavors of malts and tons of spices, the followthrough of the flavor didn't knock my socks off but it was close to a 5. The mouthfeel was amazing, kind of like having a icecream soda in your mouth, it fizzed and was creamy! Not something I would drink all night due to a high carbonation level but a wonderful all around beer.

Photo of Atron67
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

just solid all around, another tasty beer from the trappist 'family' . very delicious. light pale ale character all around with a very delicious light brett character that leaves you thirsting for more after each sip. mildly hoopy but really just a balanced 'blonde' that has enough complexity in the malt and hops to really let the outstanding yeast and malt to shine.

definitely a staple of the belgian style all around.

Photo of mgp80
4.69/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Really interesting beer, and challenging to rate, since comparing it to other Belgian pales is iffy. To my tastes its a meeting point somewhere between traditional abbey ales and a flanders red. I recommend it to any fan of either style.

Served out of a 12 oz bottle into an oversize wine glass. Pours dark and golden with a foamy head that shrinks fairly quickly into a foamy film. Aroma betrays the brett, with citrus, cranberry, ripe apple. Faint spice of the sort you'd expect from a trappist ale. Mild but nice. Flavor starts off with tart fruit, again cranberry comes to mind, followed by a rise of some peppery spice flavors with a little bit of a leathery taste. Tartness comes back in the aftertaste. High carbonation in the mouthfeel. This is very drinkable, as it strikes a balance between being interesting and going easy on the palate, and the alcohol is pretty well-hidden.

Photo of glid02
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this from Green's in Atlanta.

Pours a cloudy copper color with a large (2-3 finger) frothy white head. The head sticks around for quite a while, very good retention, looks like a cloud. The head moves with the beer, doesn't hold onto the glass very well.

Smells a lot like a Tripel - a lot of fruit along with some sweet malt. There's not the tinge of alcohol though, probably because it's weaker than a normal Tripel.

Tastes great, fruity with a good bit of sweetness. Not quite crisp enough to be considered amazing.

The mouthfeel is pretty good. The carbonation is a bit intense, and otherwise it feels a little too thin.

This is a pretty drinkable beer. There's nothing that makes it hard to drink it, but there's also nothing that makes it outstanding.

I would recommend this beer, just because it's an interesting melding of a Tripel and a Blonde. There are characteristics of both in this beer, and it's certainly worth trying.

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

Poured into a Belgian-style goblet; orange-copper with an off-white head that filled nearly half the glass. What a unique aroma! I'm not even sure how to describe it - fruity, floral, malty, damp - quite different than other beers I've had. I know there is Brett in this brew, my first, so perhaps I'm trying to figure out what that bug causes in the drink.

Taste is great. Again, very unique to my palate as I have not had a lot of Belgian beers. A sour, puckering in the swallow and a slight hint of alcohol warmth wrapped up in malty, fruity overtones. I've let the brew warm a bit here and the aroma and flavor are really shining through now. Mouthfeel is medium, with a finish more dry than sweet.

Overall, I'll look for this again for sure. A very pleasing brew that I really enjoyed.

Photo of boston2bburg
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 24/06/2005, enjoyed on 30/07/2008. Two fingers of foamy white head cover a hazy, pale amber body in my snifter. The head retention is remarkable, settling at 1/4" and leaving a layer of lacing like snow coating frost on a window as the liquid below disappears.

The first whiff is mainly of sweet banana, with some residual clove as well. The banana is almost exclusive as the beer warms and is very rich, like banana pudding.

There is more clove than banana to the taste, although both are still present. The initial sour acidity yields to a sweeter bubbly foam as I roll it over my tongue. There's plenty of carbonation and a spiciness from the hops which is more prevalent at lower temperatures.

The quality of this beer is evident across the board, although I'd prefer the banana carry over more to the flavor to override the sourness of the yeast.

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

Good sweet-smelling malt with ample zesty, wildly medicinal yeast odors. So wild!

Buttery apricot color, too translucent to be clear. A great head quickly shrunk down to a mild head and stayed mild on through.

Incredibly tart, lemon grass / lemon rind. Powerful, dry, powdery, medicinal, mineral, dull yeastiness that seems to contribute more to feel than taste. Of the naturally pleasant flavors the most prominent to my palate are sundry exotic fruit flavors like mango and perhaps kiwi. It really feels like it has both a light and medium-thick body simultaneously. I guess the yeasty dullness makes the mouthfeel feel flat and slipper, less viscous than water, but then the retained malt body works with the carbonation to thicken it back up. It's quite a tactile experience.

This is definitely a strange brew to my American Micro palate. I couldn't have said it tasted good when I started, but it really grew on me. Regardless, is for sure worth the cost and the anguish just to live in a world of sensory confusion for a while.

Photo of pinotboy007
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Wegmans grocer in Sterling, VA.

A - Beautiful raw honey/burnt orange color with no visibile carbonation. Sports a whipped, rocky head that slowly settles; modest lacing and some floaties.

S - Light citrus, malt.

T/M - Uniquely dry tasting with nice citrus overtones, dry biscuit, maybe even a touch of clove and some hops. Light and a bit creamy. Challenges the palate, but delicious!

D - Probably too drinkable but would complement food nicely, especially pork tenderloin.

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

A- Pours a nice rocky fluffy head into a la fin du monde glass. The body is a nice slightly cloudy copper color with not to much sediment. After the head recedes a nice clinging lace remains.

S- Right off the bat I get a large hoppy grasiness, along with some big pepper, and a mineral inspired floral note. I detect a light bit of phenols as well. Nice.

T- On the palette this beer has an almost medicinal taste to start reminiscent of cough syrup with almost the same mentholated finish on the back of the throat. I would even say I taste suggestions of a very dry cider. The same light faint mineral finish is a bit dry leaving the palette coated with almost a graphite note. Unique to say the least.

M- mouthfeel is medium which is nice with the style, and the odd notes coating the palate on the tail end is pretty unique.

D- 6.9% makes this a belgian I can partake in without getting overly tipsy. As odd as this beer was for me, I look forward to pairing it with some food. Chops?

Photo of joshwlt
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lemon-iced tea color, low level of clarity, with an off white head that rose to a couple inches and dropped to half an inch within a minute. Smells lightly of yeast, clovey, and banana. Fairly interesting for a belgian pale ale, has a lemony/citrusy, slightly minerally, hop bitterness accompanying the fruityness and lightly bready malt..

Edit: Had to lower the taste score on this because after it warmed a bit it had an overpowering and offensive resemblance to nail polish remover; prominent in the smell as well

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

The beer went into the bottle with a rich, thick head that would not dissipate while I drank it. The color was like honey. A nice fruity flavor and taste, and I picked up a little hop flavor as well. The beer felt nice and fizzy on my tongue. I never noticed an alcohol flavor.

Photo of Norse23
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fuzzy, amber appearance. Excellent foamy head.
Fruity, yeasty smell.
This is a great tasting beer. Has some fruitiness or tartness, but just the right amount. It really suits the level of carbonation. Very drinkable and very smooth. Not a "one and done" beer. I could drink it all night.
Overall, it is a fantastic and unique beer. One of my absolute favorites.

Photo of marcpal
4.36/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2oz bottle poured into Mad Elf chalice. Love the style of this bottle- pure class.

Presentation: I love the classic yet distinct looking bottle. I poured mine into a beautiful Orval goblet I purchased at the monastary

A: Orange with a huge meringue head. Some sediment in the bottom. Darker than most and considerably cloudy.

N: Spices and dark fruits. Smell is very good, the floral elements break through like wildfire when the foam head drops off.

T: Hate when people simply list a beer as balanced but this one is well, balanced. Here are the hops when it is warmed down and the floral elements are tasty. The spices tie this one in a nice tight package. Warming alcohol.

M: Substantially spicy on the tongue and chewy. Considerable carbonation but incredibly smooth. Unique for the trappist styles. Absolutely love the chewiness.

D: Much like the other trappist beers, delicious. This one is even more drinkable given the strength and would love to sit down with several of these several nights a week.

A must try.

Photo of BirdFlu
3.26/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a deep amber with thin head. Slight hints of apple and citrus in aroma, though very faint.Some taste of apple, but more apple juice than cider, and also dry champagne with a bit of a spicey, tart finish. Very carbonated mouthfeel with about a medium body. Drinkability is fairly average, not a lot of weight to it, though not light either. Its good, but nothing to write home about.

Photo of mcmidc
3.21/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This trappist ale pours a nice frothy light tan head, with a hazy light copper color. Not a whole lot coming to the nose maybe some mild grains along with some citrus. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Taste is tart at the start and finishes a bit sour. Also some phenol notes in there. Drinkability is good for a 6.9% beer. Not one of my favorites but still enjoyable.

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,647 ratings.