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

Not Rated.
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

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4,686 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,686
Reviews: 2,167
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 12.59%
Wants: 253
Gots: 546 | 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: 4,686 | Reviews: 2,167
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.38/5  rDev +4%
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 -1.4%
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 +2.6%
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 +12.4%
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 +7.4%
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 +7.6%
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 +2.1%
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 +2.6%
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 -39.9%
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 +0.2%
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 +7.4%
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 +6.9%
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 +14.7%
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 -5%
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 -5%
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 +5.5%
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 +6.9%
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 -5%
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 -4.3%
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 -10.7%
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 +1.9%
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 -0.7%
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 -13.1%
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%
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 +9.3%
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.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,686 ratings.