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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

4,602 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,602
Reviews: 2,146
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.62%
Wants: 249
Gots: 496 | 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: 4,602 | Reviews: 2,146 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

Poured a copper color with a big head that lingered for a long time.

Smell was complex with a lot of fruit and spice aromas coming through.

Taste was somewhat spicy and a little bitter with a nice lingering after taste. The alcohol was very present in this beer. Mouthfeel was quite nice with again more fruitiness.

Not the most drinkable beer as far as my preferences are concerned, but good nonetheless.

Overall not quite my style of beer, but it was still good.

Photo of rkinsella
3.32/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Medium yellow / light amber, slightly cloudy. Beautiful head stayed through most of the glass. Decent amount of lacing.

Smell - Actually caught me by surprise. A tad strange. Balanced malt and hop, but with strong notes of a fresh water stream? Dare I say, fresh laundry??? Almost a puzzling smell.

Taste - Right away you can taste the complexity. Fine notes of citrus, spice, tartness, all inside of a big crisp taste. Nice dry finish which faded evenly.

Mouthfeel. Round, velvet, good carbonation.

This beer is beautifully crafted with lots of care I'm sure. Although I don't know how often I would buy it, but I'm very glad I tried it.

Photo of MisterClean
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

330 from the Shack.

A - Poured a dark golden color, little head, dissipated moderately quickly.

S - Malty, earthy hops, honey, and figs.

T - Bready, with earthy hops, and honey.

M - Moderately chewy/bready, and earthy. Lacked sweetness typical of most belgians.

D - Not a bad beer, but I didn't care for it. Little-no estery taste and overdone on the Saaz.

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

Pours a burnished gold, but quickly turns a very hazy amber. Big foamy, rocky head. Lacings just don't quit, spiderweb the glass.

Even from about two feet away I pick up a big hoppy pear and lemon aroma.

Orval has such an American hop character for me. Resiny bitterness takes over almost immediately, pine certainly, but much more complex than that, I can't do it justice. I get alot of pear off of this beer along with sour apples. Once it has warmed a bit, the hops really mellow out.

What can you say about the mouthfeel? Perfect carbonation and deserved of its reputation as one of the driest beers on the planet.

Classic.

Photo of BMoney575
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 4-16-08
Bottled on 11-14-06
Best before 11-14-11

Pours a very cool neon orange color, with an immense white head that settles to about two inches, and stops. Looks awesome in a Duvel tulip.

Smell is funky and Belgian, spicy and sour, with lots of pine and ripe fruit. There's an off, fermented quality that I can't quite place.

Taste is surprisingly light, a little sour at first, a little bready in the middle, and a nice hop bitterness to balance out the end. A fruity and very dry white wine flavor lasts in the finish.

Mouthfeel is outstanding, super carbonated and light to add to the sharp flavors.

Drinkability is very good, this a hugely easy to drink and refreshing brew.

Overall, impressive. Very light, but flavorful in all the right places. I don't know how age would effect it, but it seems fresh even after 1.5 years.

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

Appearance - 4.0
Poured a finger of rocky off-white head over a cloudy amber-peach body.

Smell - 4.5
Strengthens as it warms. Sweet stone fruit, mandarin, grapefruit, honey, sweet malt. Lots of yeast character to achieve this fruitiness.

Taste - 4.5
What a weird beer! It is more sour than bitter, very yeasty, fruity sweet and dry in the finish. Sweetness is not immediately apparent, flavours of bitter apricot, grapefruit, lemon-like sourness and hoppy bitterness in the very dry finish. All in all, masses of flavour, maybe a little too much for me!

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Slightly rough, more carbonated than expected for the style. Moderate to heavy weight in the mouth, carbonation has a sharp bite to it.

Drinkability - 4.0
Despite the relatively moderate 6.2%ABV, I would rarely want a second of these in a sitting. However, I will definitely be drinking this again, because the "wow" factor is surely there.

OVERALL - 4.35
Part of me feels that I should have scored this higher as I reminisce of the powerful flavours. However, I feel this is a beer that needs food to be really drinkable, as the power and complexity are simply staggering for the tastebuds. Not a beer for the newly initiated, or for drinking quickly, but I know I will be coming back for another taste.

Edit: The more I drink this, the better I like it, hence the increased score (I started by giving it a 4.1!).

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

Pours a darkish brown-tinged amber, very good-looking head but no real retention. Lacing is dense and divine, clawing at the sides of the glass waiting to explode with flavour - or something similarly anthropomorphic.

Nose is excellent, lots of fruity malt with a hint of peppery spice. Very complex but could be stronger, it's necessary to burrow your nose right into the glass to get the full effect. Not to take anything away from it though - it could be called subtle, and it really is an excellent aromatic beer.

Taste is next to Godliness with a rich complex palate of malty cinnamon-spiced apple characters with a long finish of burgeoning hop flavours. It's not really a bitter finish, just a robust hop flavour that makes you look back on the long, winding journey of deliciousness you were just taken on and smile. This is a truly great brew, with pleasant flavours, a velvety smooth and soft mouthfeel and a delightfully complex character. Highly recommended.

Photo of Hujak22
4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into snifter glass. Best before 8/8/2012.

A: Excellent presentation. Poured a clear, deep red amber with a beautiful two finger, foamy white head. Moderate carbonation and it leaves nice sticky lacing. Looks incredibly inviting.

S: Light and hoppy, with some citrus highlights. I'm picking up mainly lemon. Has a slight alcohol smell akin to a dry white wine.

T: A hint of fizzy carbonation on the front, with a nice hoppy duration. Finished off the back with a bit of roasted nut, leaving a wonderful balance.

M: Very smooth, and has a lot of body. A little slick, and leaves a small drying feeling, but in a good way.

D: Very good, balanced representation of the trappist. I wouldn't drink more than one or two in a sitting, but it's a great beer for relaxing and openning up with friends. I'll come back to this beer.

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

This one is a stands out from the other trappist beers that I have had. It pours a hazy orange/brown with a thick creamy head. Nice floral aroma with a funky yeast and citrus in the bouquet. The brettanomyces yeast imparts a wild and funky flavor. Sour and tart with a citrusy and floral hops. Unique and complex, refreshing and effervescent. Medium body and a smooth mouth feel. Tart dry finish that leaves you wanting more. Great beer with a big price tag [5 bucks +deposit] for a 11.2 oz bottle that I could drink a lot of.

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

Pours a very cloudy, slightly dark orange with a nice 1.5 inch head that lasts for a little bit before it fades out. Nice lacing.

This isn't a particularly strong smelling beer, but there's definitely a bit of fruitiness in the nose, most noticeably oranges, apricots, and maybe just a touch of bananas.

A very interesting tasting brew with some a nice bit of sweetness and a lot of fruitiness. Apricots are the main fruit taste for me, and a little bit of malted sweetness.

Medium-bodied with some nice carbonation, but I thought it made this a little hard to drink too quickly (which may not be a bad thing, but it's something I have to nurse for a bit).

Photo of Evan87
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S - Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into Chimay goblet.

A - Lush, creamy head dissolves rather quickly. Pours a hazy orange with nice lacing.

S - I love the smell of this beer. Oranges and appricots comes to mind.

T - Tastes likes it smells, delicious. Paired wonderfully with a platefull of cheese and crackers.

D - The carbonation of these beer is the only thing stopping me from having another. It makes me crave a beer with a more fullness.

While I liked this beer, I prefer a Chimay.

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

Brettanomyces. Pours darker yellow color with a amber hue throughout. Poured a fluffy head with mid sized bubbles. Great retention though but limited lacing overall.

Then nose is funk. Some lighter malty undertones with more of a biscuit aroma. There is stronger yeast notes. Horse and barnyard esters. Some lighter fruity esters citrus and bananas. A touch of spice as well, mostly pepper.

The taste is similar. Lighter malt flavors with more of a bready and sweet flavor, but finishes very dry. Fruit notes come out more with citrus and pears. A touch of white wine tastes as well as some herbal hints. Some spice, coriander and pepper. Some yeasty characteristics, mostly Brett flavors, but definite funk.

The body is light with a very dry finish. Some sticky, yeasty finishes. Overall this is just a fun beer and does change over time. Hard to clone, gush city.

Photo of Pencible
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured a hazy light orange-brown with fluffy off-white head. It had a wild yeast and potpourri scent with some hops added in. Its flavor mixed the citrus of oranges with the bitterness of hops and a slight aftertaste of bitterness, but had no malt. It had moderate carbonation, and had slightly thick body. This was pretty good overall, and tasted more like a real ale than any of the Chimays.

Photo of jaz58
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the strongest tasting beer I've had to date. Clear russet brown in the glass with a creamy head which dissipated slowly leaving lots of lace. The nose had sweet malt and black pepper. A distinct effervescent mouthfeel which the tast was a strong hops bitter throughout with a flint flavour.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bowling pin shaped bottle > Chimay Goblet update on 12/4/10 bottled 12/30/09

This is a burnt-orange amber color with gyser-like carbonation from the middle of the glass which creates this massive four inch high fluffy, lively, cream colored head that only dissipates about three inches in all, leaving at least a full inch of foam covering and a bit of sticky lace.

Sweet, spicey and herbal maltiness greets the nose at first with sour banana's fruity tangy yeast scent that blends pretty well together. Lemmons and corriander with spicey apples and honey. not an overwhelming aroma, but very pleasant. wild yeast all over, tangy and a brett style sharpness.

A semi-sweet pale malt flavor with warm cinnemon and a hot, bitter heat, wild, brett-like yeast sharpness, not metallic but very wild! all hit the palate hard at first. Sweet tarts, orange peels, lemmon and an overall tangy fruitiness adds depth and further balance. The balance is divine with each flavor riding a strong wave to make maximum impact. The finish is of bitter herbals and spices. Dry and airy wheat and spring water in the end, fresh and strong flavor's...mostly the complex, weird and wild yeast strain!

The feel is classic, crisp but creamy, refreshing and smooth...very light overall. Champagne-like lightness but much smoother going down. finishes dry but refreshing. amazing feel.

This is a nice warm and fuzzy hot-weather brew that is complex and easy.

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

i love those ATP's

Pours a pale orange yellow color with a big rocky off white head sporting enormous swiss cheese like holes. Nice belgian yeasty aroma, some hops, some malts, some lemon, very nice. My tongue loves Orval, bone dry, with hints of a green tea like bitterness upon the finish, and rather good hop/malt balance. It is definitely the strangest trappist bier i have encountered. Extremely effervescent, and very refreshing makes the Orval very drinkable.

This review is from a bottle with an 8/08/07 bottling date

They also say that Orval has been rumored to have some certain medicinal qualities? Can anyone confirm or deny this?

Photo of dmamiano
3.36/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, golden straw color with a big, rocky head..almost too be. Kind of "gushed" as it hit the glass.
Smells of hint og bubble gum, yeasty and estery. Cooked apples and pears come to mind.
Taste is rather bland if I can say that. Mouthfeel is good. Fruity and full. Yeast characteristics tasted.
Drink by 8/8/2012 is noted on the bottle. Perhaps I should have aged it more.

Photo of dnichols
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My BA buddy rdunham shared a couple of bottles with me. The 330 ml capped bottle was poured into a stemless wine glass.

A: I poured a hazy washed out orange body with a robust white head of about two fingers and dense lacing.

S: It smelled most directly of creamy lightly tasted malts and bready white yeast with a large splash of orange and spices. There was also a touch of grassy aroma that seemed out of place.

T: It began with a blast of creamy and smooth sweet malts with a zing of spices and carbonation that was peppery and refreshing. There were light undertones of sweet oranges. It finished clean and warm with little aftertaste.

M: It was medium to full bodied with lots of carbonation. It finished clean and warm with little aftertaste.

D: It is a bit full bodied and has a high ABV making this brew a poor candidate for a session beer. However, it is a pleasant enough BPA to enjoy with dinner or an occasional treat.

Photo of churchillps
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11oz bottle into a broad mouthed glass. Freshness date up til 2011.

A: Amber/bronzed honey color. Nice frothy head. No retention but head lingers.

S/T: Both so complex I hardly know what to pinpoint. Floral, herbs, a bunch of lemon. Super dry all over. Incredibly complex and delicious

Photo of Lukie
4.88/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured out honey like with a vibrant thick and fluffy head that stuck to the top of the liquid, barely dissipitating at all.

Very floral smell, with hints of flowery pot purre, and citrus fruits, lemon and bitter orange.

Quite a crisp beer, with citrus and floral notes, much like a typical Pale Ale. Lemon rind and bitterness from the hops rounds this out quite well. Hints of fermented apple in the finish, with incredible dryness.

Incredibly complex through the different yeasts they use, this is one to sit down and really think about. Fantastic beer that is truley amazing. Best of all, VERY drinkable, and for a Belgian, isn't too high in alcohol.

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

Poured into my Orval chalice which was generously given to me at Julio's Liquors.

A: cloudy, dark orange with a one + finger rocky white head. high carbonation is visible thru the haze

S: floral, earthy, grass, apple and faint lemon

T: same as aroma for the most part. citrusy, apple, a little spiciness. the earthiness comes thru in taste as well.

M: crisp, tart, dry finishing with high carbonation. very refreshing

D: Quite the ale. Why did I buy just one?

Photo of SaltyLime
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 2 to 3 finger rocky head, a bit hazy orange in color
Smell - fruity citrus smell along with a slight sourness
Taste - the complex Belgian flavors weren't there...tasted weak and bland
Mouthfeel - low carbonation, lightest bodied Belgian I have tried so far
Drinkability - I think the monks feel asleep during this one, would rather drink a generic homebrew extract kit

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

Aggressive pour into a large goblet yielded an enormous cloud looking head about 2" tall. Buried beneath the bubbles the beer looked an opaque golden amber color with very little if any carbonation. Unique sort of lemon citrus smell to it at first, later on detected a flowery sweetness and a grassy spice. Tasted a mild grape and apple sweetness with a little citrus bitterness and finished very crisp and clean. I would try another just to see the huge head form that was awesome!

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,602 ratings.