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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

4,606 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,606
Reviews: 2,147
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.62%
Wants: 248
Gots: 498 | 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: 4,606 | Reviews: 2,147 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of becktone
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Eye: Looks great. Excellent head retention and lacing with a large, sticky, rocky dirty white head. Color is light brownish copper orange and is very clear. One of the best I've ever seen of this type of style that I've sampled.

Nose: Very potent aroma to start with. As soon as the cap is popped Co2 is visible leaking out from under the cap where it is no longer airtight, as the snake of visible white gas slithers out from under the cap a strong aroma is immediately present. The aroma here is a sweet very strong malt smell. Some spiciness is present as well, mayhaps from the alcohol. Also a bit of fruit and earth type aromas in there...a little sour maybe some brett? reminds me of the mulchy aroma I got from Jolly Pumpkin's Bam Noire.

Tongue: Sweet malt flavor mingles with the brett flavor(at least what I am perceiving to be brett..that is an earthy character, wood mulch) and ultimately seems that the brett wins out, but wait then the sweet malt comes back at the end to give a nice balance to the earthiness of the brew. Not as complex or as sweet as I thought it'd be but still a good brew nonetheless.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: The beer has a very fluffy and light mouthfeel, exactly what the rocky head suggests. It is also high in carbonation and finishes dry. The beer is easy to drink, something that is definitely a sipper, but I don't think that I'll buy it again all that soon. I don't believe that it is worth the $4-5 per 11.2 oz bottle. This beer just doesn't speak to me, good but not something I'd regularly drink.

Photo of janubio
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted in its own glass. This is the most singular of the blegina trappist beers, completely different to the other ones. I'd say it's a very difficult beer for the non-initiated.
It has an orange peachy cloudy colour. Strong creamy head, that leaves a great lace. Aroma is very acid, spicy, oranges, apples and leather or horseblanket. Strong body and heavy sour flavor. Taste is very acid, cloves, orange, apples, spicy, dry and again the leather or horseblanket.
I really disliked it first time I tried, guess I'm more used to those extremes aromas and tastes now.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Standard Orval teardrop bottle from the Coop for about $5.50 carefully poured into my New Belgium goblet leaving the yeast sediment behind.

4 finger rocky head that left behind ribbons of thin lace.. brew is slightly hazy orange.

Aroma is complex spicy.. earthy.. some citrus.. perfumy

Flavor is jam-packed.. good bitterness .. very dry finish.. slightly sour with earthy hoppiness abound.. This beer is very complex.. probably too complex for my palate to appreciate.. all I can really say for sure is it is fantastic. Huge carbonation with a light/medium body.

I've had Orval probably 8-10 times over the years and always tell myself I must cellar some... this time I will.. I hope.

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

My first go at a Belgian Pale Ale. The bottle was absolutely phenomenal. 9 more and we're bowling in the basement!!

A - Poured a rich amber with an orange hue into a chalice. Millions of little white bubbles jump for joy!!

S - The smell of the Belgian yeast is very nice. Fruits such as cherries are abound. The clash of earthiness and subtle fruit makes this a very appetizing aroma.

T - Fruity upfront, just like the smell. After that there is a very light and distinct hop finish. This is a very complex array of flavors let me assure you.

M - Very bubbly and bursting kinda like champagne. Quickly fades to a smooth follow with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D - Very drinkable but a little $$$ at the same time. Despite the price I could see this in my fridge a lot.

Photo of Mudpuppet
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Ommegang chalice. Pours a cloudy orange with no head.

S- Very light fruity aroma. Did not pick out any specific aromas. Of course this was my 8th trappist of the night so my nose may not have been that great.

T- Yeasty and bready in a very good way. Definite Brett on the after about 30 seconds into the aftertaste. Some orange and citrus flavors.

M- Medium carbonation. Very good amount for this beer.

D- This in an incredible beer. One of my new faves. I will be updating this review when I have many more of these beers.

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

poured a nice orange color. 12 oz glass was half head but was a light smooth head. excellent carbonation. it smelled fruity. wonderful on the palate. excellent lace!

a fruitier beer than i prefer but this is an excellent example of Belgian Ale. worth a try.

suckem up and movem out!

giblet

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

Poured from 11.2oz. bottle to chalice at home. Aged one year.

Pours brilliant orange/amber, clear. Good-sized head, 2 fingers thick, lots of retention, tons of lace. Aroma is fruity sweet, caramel and apples present, some earthy malt as well. The flavors are huge and really jump out at you. No hops traceable in the nose from what I could detect. Taste reflects aroma, lots of fruit, apples, raisins, and some vanilla. So much going on here, it taste like a good Cabarnet. Hint of lemon. Finishes very dry with an alcohol that warms the stomach. Very, very dry. Mouthfeel is very fizzy and carbonated. Very drinkable, but so complex, one is fine just to take it all in. Excellent ale.

Photo of pijiu
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell: Heavy citrus, hint of coffee, molasses.

Taste: Dense flavour with a taste that is darker than its colour would suggest. Dark cider backbone. Has a bitter cut throughout. Healthy white head.

Notes of citrus, medicine and spice. Tart, dry and easily drinkable.

Serving type: 11.2 fl. oz. brown bottle.

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a cloudy apricot color with a meringue-like head that stayed for quite a while. Lacing was plentiful and thick.

Aroma of citrus, bananas, Belgian yeast, and pepper.

Tastes of citrus, bananas, malts, and peppery tartness. Steers away from the over-sweetness of many Belgian pales and gives you an explosion of flavors.

Medium mouthfeel, very drying, with a nice sharp carbonation.

This is a top-of-the-line Belgian pale. Enjoy.

Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Time to cross off another one of the trappist ales. First I wanted to point out how attractive the rotund bottle shape is. The beer pours tons of beautiful white creamy head with a nice murky amber/red color. The beer smells sweet of pears and banana with just a hint of alcohol. The tastes follows suit with first hints of pear followed by some maltiness and alcohol and then finishing with a little bitter hoppy kick. The mouthfeel is really creamy and smooth with very little carbonation. This beer is really well balanced which is exactly what I expect of a trappist.

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

Had a bottle of this poured into a Duvel glass last night at the Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ. If there is one way I can describe this beer, it is very similar to champagne in some aspects. The high carbonation and light body lend themselves to this description. It has a delicate flavor that goes with the light, ultra carbonated mouthfeel. All in all, I really enjoyed this beer. I should mention I am not a huge belgian fan, but I really enjoyed this beer.

Photo of RedBeerHead
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours light and cloudy. Very heady. Good fruity smell and flavor and light on the tongue. Excellent drinkability.
This beer is well balanced in both weight and flavor. The yeast gives it good body but it is offset well by the head and carbonation. I am typically a fan of lagers and darker beers but this is definitely one of my favorites.

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

12/27/08
Had for the second time, this time at Rosemary's Restaurant in Las Vegas. Beer was served in an Orval goblet. This time around I thought the smell and taste were even better. It just seemed a little more musty/earthy and rustic overall, which really gives this beer character.

___
1/5/08
Poured into a Chimay glass, pours a dark golden orange with a really big airy bright white head, almost resembling whipped egg whites. The aroma I get is only a mild brett sourness. The taste is very hard to describe. The flavor is light. There is a little bit of tartness, definitely some other Belgian yeast earthiness, and even some white wine-like alcohol taste. The mouthfeel is light, effervescent and finishes pretty dry.

Overall I think this is a nice, easy-drinking yet complex enough beer.
4.5/4/4/4.5/4

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

Finally getting around to reviewing a true classic that I haven't enjoyed in a while.

A - amber, cloudy, nice white head which dissipated rather quickly and looked really good doing so

S - fruity, citrus, definitely fruity, some spice

T - fruity, others note plum notes and that seems to come across, a bit peppery/spicey as well, finishes with a bitter aftertaste

M - medium bodied, nice carbonation, finishes a bit dry

D - woo. Of course this is a great beer. Look at the other reviews or the fact that it is apparently the fabled Michael Jackson "firing squad" beer. If you haven't had it do so, and if you haven't caught up with this old friend in a while (like me), give him a call

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

As I warm up the bottle from the fridge, let me tell you a story: I was inside an SAQ in Montréal. I didn't think I'd buy a beer I could easily get at home, but the price tag was attractive: $3.30! And that's with taxes! This goes for $2 more in my area. So what I have here is a double import. The label is a double as well; there's a bilingual label on this one (because it was bought in Québec). Well, now I think it's time to serve this up. On to the beer:

I can already smell the aroma as I slowly lifted the bottle cap. But let's not get ahead, let me pour in into a chalice first. Hot damn, that's a lot of foam on top. Let me go to the kitchen and chop off part of its head so i can pour the rest in...

Head retention is excellent on top of this deep golden colored brew. Okay, now I can smell the fruits of this beer. Candi sugar and peaches, mmm. A little spice as well. Oh boy, I'm getting excited...

I was expecting a sweet treat, and instead got something different. It's just a little sweet. I should note the balance is very nice, but the overall flavor is missing something. It's more of a grassy/hay taste, with aspirin echoing in the background. The alcohol, despite being at 6.9, is camouflaged. A little sourness in the back. Now I'm starting to get used to the taste, so now I can show some appeciation for this work. I'm turned on to it in a weird kind of way.

Okay, so it wasn't what I thought it would be. But it wasn't a dissapointment either. I still want more, though at its price in the US, it will have to settle as a beer to have once in a while.

Photo of champ103
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Orange/yellow color with a massive white head that is rocky, foamy, bubbly, and sticks around. Great lace as well. Man this looks great.
S: A wonderfully aromatic beer. Lots of fruity aromas going on. Citrus, banana, and some other fruits. Lots of peppery spices. Earthy, funky, some leather. There is a lot going on in the nose.
T: Very similar to the nose. The phenolic spices are a bit more prevalent, but there are still plenty of fruit flavors as noted above. Big barnyard funk and earthy yeast. Leathery, biscuit malts. Just awesome.
M/D: A medium body that is just a bit under carbonated. Very dry and smooth. I can drink this all day. So easy to drink.

An amazing beer. There is so much going on in the nose and flavor that it is hard to describe. I highly recommend this beer.

Photo of dsa7783
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From an 11.2 oz bottle copped singly from wine and more in west orange for about $4.50, this well-known trappist ale certainly lives up to its reputation as a world-class brew... pours ruby-reddish with a golden tint and an intense frothy head with staying power... smell is caramel, malty, bready with a lingering aroma... taste is wonderful... very rich and thick with full honey flavors that warm the palate... caramel and bready overtones with a distinct honey flavor... crisp, clear, clean finish.. easy drinkability with no bitterness or alcohol detected... excellent brew... slight banana flavor... definitely recommended...

Photo of superswing123
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aye... this is good one...

Appearance: Bold, full of wonderfully small bubbles drumming up from the whole-headed brew into a marvalous lace that lasted that whole way down the glass... never ending..

Smell: Plums, alcohol, fruits and treats, very nice,

Taste: Smooth, velvetly, very nice and so totally "Belgium."

Mouthfeel: Well it sort of takes over the moment.. not to be mistaken as an absolute "Ikon of brews".... that's all to be said.

Drinkalble: Oh yeah, Oh yeah, this is a fabulous beer that you just have to enjoy a few times in your beertasting career. A world-class number, in every regard. I agree with Jason on this...

Highly recommended by your buddy,

Willy from Wanaque, NJ.

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

Love me some Orval. This beer has grown on me quite a bit over time. Probably along the same way that wild ales have. Nice earthy and mildly funky tones on there. Robust and fairly thick. I always wish there was more of this beer when I finish off the bottle.

Photo of hustlesworth
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

michael jackson calls it one of the world's best. they took a trip to the brewery on the thirsty traveler. intrigued, i took the trip to canton to find the prestigious orval trappist ale.

A- huge 3in puffy biscuit of aerated off white foam into my goblet atop an opaque hazy golden apricot fuzzy peach of a brew. deep color, and shiny rising bubbles cast rainbows like miniature diamonds. lots of sticky clumps of lace everywhere. head becomes chunky and rocky as it recedes and never goes away.

S- alcohol, sour yeast has a powdery aroma (nose feel?) like a delicate white truffle, or a chinese mushroom, floral potpourri, horse feed, and soft apple cider. and that just the fungus talking. hops come out with an apple skin pear white grape aroma and soft incense type wood and flowery herbs in the back. some malt aromas also, as cereal grains and fresh french bread. cotton candy smells come from the use of candied sugar in the wort.

T- sweet & sour apple cider, well water, apple skin, pear, chardonnay, crisp citrus hops dry up and sweetness in the middle with a spicy herbal bitter kick like white pepper. orange, lemon. burps are like grapefruit. yeast comes out in the finish, bready this time, with pale malts once again taking backstage. fresh barley hits some strings in the end with the yeast in the super dry finish.

MF- medium carbonation, soft, velvety, and creamy, like carbonated milk. very dry and somewhat powdery.

D- too complex for a sitter but it ain't no quitter. belgium here i come.

Photo of Lupe
4.36/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy orange-amber with an awesome white head -rocky and dense. Lace is left all over the glass and the head never dips below 2 fingers. An array of different sized bubbles flow to the top. Beautiful.

Earthy citrus aroma with lemon, flowers, and sour fruit. Very different

Start malty, more bready than sweet. Next comes lemon rind and hay. Hop bitterness add floral flavors and a snappy bite. Throw in some funk, clove, pepper, and tart fruit. Finishes dry. Unique and complex.

Deceptive mouthfeel - light yet seems fuller. Smooth and creamy, but not heavy. Great drinkabilty - lots of flavor and complexity, but not overwhelming or heavy. Very nice.

Photo of wagenvolks
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11.2 fl oz. bottle into a chalice.

Pours a full-bodied head, tan in color atop a light golden-brown body. The aroma was spicy, with coriander and plenty of earthen hops.

Sour, fruity notes in the first taste pair with peppery spice, hops, and black liquorice. Not a full-bodied flavor by any means, but that's okay The body is of medium thickness, overly carbonated, and doesn't have much of a finish. I can't say this beer is worth the price or the hype, but it does go down easily enough and it posesses a decent amount of complexity.

Photo of rodenbach99
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bouteille classique orval brune de forme bizarre de 330ml.

cette bière blonde passablement trouble, elle est doté d'une belle mousse blanche et épaisse, elle a un nez des plus épicé, ses bons houblons se font sentir, elle a un gout très houblonnée. piquant, elle se termine avec une belle longueur exemplaire.

Photo of boelker62
1.85/5  rDev -56%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I was extremely excited at getting my hands on a couple of botles. It all ended there. Pours a craggy, rocky head that simplifies to frothy after it dissipates a bit. Then, I smell some odd combination of soap and apple. "Damn, I hope it doesn't aste like this..." I thought. It did. I didn't finish it.

It was considerably hazy, and maybe I didn't decant it well enough, or it was bad. I'll try another later on and update, if need be...

Photo of allboutbierge
3.37/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ive had Orval quite a few times but never got around to writing a review until now.

This bottle was an '06 purchased from Juilus Meinl in Vienna.

Appearance is light brown with a slight golden hue topped by a gob of white fluffiness. Upon pouring it's a bit murky but yet transparent. However, all cloudiness quickly dissipates away. Scent is soft and sour. I detected some graininess to the smell as well...the smell isn't a high point of this beer.

Taste is pleasant. A mixture of sour fruit flavors accented with a slight hoppiness. Beer is well carbonated and the carbonation may be hiding the depth of the hop favors. Malt background is equally slight. This isn't a taste monster but rather refreshing.

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,606 ratings.