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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.

2,206 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,206
Hads: 4,944
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 12.71%
Wants: 295
Gots: 672 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,206 | Hads: 4,944
Photo of GiveEmilyBeer
4.87/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sour, funky, smooth, delicious. Can be drank cold, cool or at room temperature, and will reveal different complexities and aromas at different temps. Notes of cherries, fruit, citrus aroma. Should be served in a chalice or tulip glass. A world class trappist ale.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Used to drink this a lot and just thought it less satisfying than most Trappist ales I drink. But a couple years later, drank it at a craft beer bar in a nice oversized wine glass and liked it more than ever. Interesting but a good interesting.

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Photo of Cannybrew
4.39/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful golden Amber with good frothy head which slowly dissipitates. Smells are subtle. Black cherry, honey sweetness, and a spicy zing. A definite malty sweetness comes through at the back of the tongue. A very well balanced, yet highly carbonated beer leaves a dry mouthfeel. Fab!

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Photo of dukeandduke
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

3/26/15 (Bottle) - Very nice dark amber pour, solid carbonation and nice thick tan foam head. Aromas included citrus, raspberries, yeast and hops. Excellent taste matched the sweet aromas and included a nice dry finish. Smooth, strong and pleasant going down. Over all excellent beer.

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Photo of drmeto
3.91/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

-Very fruity,but hard to distinguish flavors hit first i made out citrus,orange,spices and bubble gum
-definitely a more malt and hop-heavy presence than the other trappists i had so far
-hops are esp. there in the finish,which seemed quite light and water-y to me
-nicely carbonated

very good one but i prefer the Rochefort 6

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Photo of randomNBGD
4.79/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer was bottled on 2014/04/29 in a 0.33l package. Pouring it into a tulip glass was a challenge, as the foam head grew rapidly. I had to be very careful and patient to pour the rest of the beer. Apart from the big fluffy head that took some time to fade, I also appreciated the bright orange/amber colour of the base.

The smell was something I did not expect - it was worth waiting for the head to stabilize. Lime, cherry, raspberry and even some elderberry came out there. Unusual, yet exciting notes.

The taste was along the same line, with more floral notes in the beginning, cherry/berry character all along, and the citrusy part becoming prominent as the beer was getting warmer.

Carbonation is zesty in the beggining, and the feel after the sip is quite dry, due to the dry-hopping process.

Although I had a (wrong) preconception that this is another fine classic Belgian ale, the funk this beer gives made it one of my favourite Belgians, and beyond that style.

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Photo of Stjimmy10_1
3.92/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Extremely carbonated and does a hell of an Old Faithful impression. I'm glad its on the lighter side and wont stain. Its got a strong tart flavor that mellows out later but its followed by a nice lingering, orange and bitter citrus finish. I'm not the biggest belgian fan out there but its worth the money.

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Photo of ajm5108
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very tart, musty nose followed by a grassy dry flavor with spikes of bitter citrus. Finishes clean. Heavy on the yeast but brings a lot of flavors to the mix.

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Photo of CTbrew32
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Hazy orange amber in color with a 4 finger head produced on the pour. Extremely carbonated so a slow pour is necessary.

Aroma- Funky aroma, citrus, and a little caramel sweetness. The funky/tart/barnyard aroma definitely dominates though.

Taste- Immediately noticing the funky from the brett which lends to a slightly dry and tart taste. In the middle some acidic fruits show up, especially lemon and orange. Some caramel malt rounds out the finish, along with some honey sweetness.

Feel- High carbonation upfront but a little more mellow in the finish. Medium bodied and very dry and crisp.

Overall- Honestly didn't know what to expect with this and definitely didn't anticipate the Brett aspect. Funky barnyard beers usually aren't up my alley, but this strikes a good balance with some funk upfront but fading to citrus and caramel combine for a crisp finish. Good beer in my book and worth trying again, but this would probably be more enjoyed by those who like Brett influenced beers.

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Photo of AlsaceSF
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 17/7/14
Drunk 26/2/15

Elite beer -- reminds me of a complex champagne

Beautiful orange amber pour.
4 in white head proceeding to lace on sides of glass

High carbonation very noticeable upfront
Initial bitterness on the tip of the tongue smooths over to intricate hints of farm / citrus throughout back of palate...

Not the easiest beer to drink. But well worth it. Tastes slightly different each sip. Wholesome ABV feel once consumed. Will definitely have again in the future.


Extremely pleasant beer with amazing evolution in tastes throughout...

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Photo of gillagorilla
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay goblet (Bottled on: 3/27/14)

A: That head is big and retention is long. Hazy copper body with some sweet lacing and a nice good layer of bubbles on top, so not just a collar.
S: Funky with a bit of tart/fruit to it, which is all from the Brett.
T: Deliciously funky with a touch of tart. Refreshing and easy-going. This might be my favorite Brett beer and possibly my favorite Trappist one so far. Just gets better as it warms up.
M: Nice even layer of carbonation that is foamy and with just a bit of roughness.
O: I really wonder what my 2011 bottle will taste like next year. This is just a brilliant beer and I really want to do a vertical of it now.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.67/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the LCBO for $3.30 for a 330ml bottle. Served at 8deg C in a tulip. Bottled on date of 22/8/13 so 1.5yrs old before I pulled it from the cellar.

A- Opens well and pours a ton of head. Watch out as if not careful it will overflow any glass. Rather dark gold almost brown. The head stays forever.

S- Oodles of yeast and hops here. Efflorescent

T- Brett yeast hits you in the face on the first sip. A bit sour. Low on the hops. Not what I was expecting after all the hoopla on this beer. No heat at all

M- Super carbonated. Dry and tart.

O- Not very good beer overall. Overhyped to the max. Will try one last time with a fresh one to see how it goes but don't expect a big change. This beer starts off like a house on fire then wimpers off into the distance.

Food Pairing

This ok beer went well with..... grilled mahi mahi. Nice meaty fish with this beer was fairly good


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Photo of JaimeLondon
3.69/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Belgian trappist ale of a dark orange color and a great whitey and creamy foam.
Smell and taste are characterized by the yeasty tones, really nice.
Aroma so becomes spicy, possible to feel a bit of black pepper.
The highlights on the taste are the malty tones, a bit disappointing.
Mouthfeel is interesting, somewhat light and efervescent.

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Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Orval pours brilliant copper to orange tinted amber under a moussey, finely bubbled 2” bone-white foam cap. It has a funky, wet horse blanket lemony nose with a hint of mustiness. It drinks tart, lemony with a hint of pineapple especially as it ages with a refreshing bitterness and a long lingering tart dry finish with soft leather notes. The texture is soft and effervescent, like drinking a mousse. This is excellent fresh and even better as it ages.

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Photo of geodonnokepyo
3.81/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

look - hazy golden amber, very frothy, excellent head retention and lacing

smell - hints of raisins and bubble gum along with other belgian yeast complexities, malty with some hop aromas sneaking through

taste - like cooper's sparkling ale (which i am not a huge fan of) bitter, musty, finishes slightly sweet

feel - very sticky, also sort of chalky and chewy. very carbonated

overall - the flavor was not what i expected. however, the craftsmanship of this beer is admirable. i might have to age one and try it again.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.82/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

BOD 2/7/13, BBD 2/7/18. Pours a clear medium amber (copper) with just a hint of garnet. World Class head volume, lacing and retention - the best I have ever seen. The final pour provides a mild cloudiness.

Complex nose of sweet fruit (grape, pineapple) coupled with tart lemon. Underneath there are notes of Belgian yeast, a slight spice, subtle sweetness and a bit of slightly sour earthiness (funk).

Medium body with a creamy texture. Normal carbonation with a bit of effervescence in the finish.

Unfortunately, the flavor profile isn't as impressive as the appearance or the aroma. It is intense, lacks complexity, and is poorly balanced. From the onset, phenols dominate and little else comes forward. In the middle, a bit of biscuit sweetness is underneath, but you really have to "look" for it. The finish is dry.

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Photo of cottonkoozie
4.86/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A - Pours a deep copper color with a monster off-white head that sticks around like many of this style.

S - Little bit of sweetness. Some citrus. Something else i'm not sure how to describe, assuming it is the yeast strain, a little musky. Somewhat of a sour smell. Picking up some fruits, banana. A lot going on here.

T - Wow. A lot going on here, like the smell. Citrus, light fruits up front. Slightly sour, almost lemony. Yeast strain lends an interesting complexity that is very nice. finishes a little bitter but dry.

F - Very carbonated, works nicely with the clean finish.

Very good beer. Unique, and in a good way. This one was bottled about 10 months ago, and can be cellared up to 5 years. Would like to see how it changes over time. Nice complexity of sweet, sour, bitter, citrus. Very good depth of flavors here. Great beer.

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Photo of arvidkoval
3.17/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark yellow-orange with a big foamy white head. Excellent smell of bubblegum! Tasted like candy with a mild bitter flavor. Very bubbly body. Not crazy about this one.

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Photo of hreb
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Distinctive 11.2 oz bottle served in my new Libbey Belgian ale glass. Bottled on 15/05/2014, best before 15/05/2019. Peer pours mid amber in color, very hazy, with an enormous white pillowy head. Aroma is classic Belgian golden ale, suggesting the distinctive yeasty note and caramelized sugar. But this beer is both more dry and more tart than others in its category (BPA). It has a really crisp, thin mouthfeel. Surprising for a beer as high OG as this. The bottle conditioning has left this beer highly carbonated, which works well with the subtle tartness. It's almost like a mild Gose, or even dry cider. This beer is unique, distinctive, and impeccably balanced. It reveals none of its alcohol (note: my label claims 6.9%, although that figure may assume a large amount of fermentation happening in the bottle), and doesn't tire the palate at all. However being so neutral I do find it a little bland for my taste.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.64/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Updated from a previous review: Pours beautifully amber with a keen, pillowy head. Less 'gush' than I anticipated, but still plenty of carbonation to be found.
Moderately funky in taste, with some peppery notes in there amongst the lemon/pear fruit layers that I am getting a feel for. This reminds me of boiled sweets (candies) enjoyed long ago back in Europe, the sugar sweetness is lively and zesty and brings to mind sugar cookies also. Some herbiness comes in on the back end here too.

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Photo of The_Mad_Capper
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The aroma is reminiscent of bubblegum and chewable vitamins (sweet, fruity, tart) with an undertone of doctor's office. The body is copper/light brown and mostly clear with a large, soapy, cream-colored head. The flavor includes spicy/herbaceous bitterness, latex, biscuity malt sweetness, some vaguely lemon-like citrus, and fairly rich malty sweetness in the finish. It's quite carbonated and fizzy, moderately crisp, and somewhat light in body.

This is a peculiar one, though I can't say I dislike it. It's certainly interesting—crisp, flavorful, tart, somewhat fruity and sweet. The Brett though just makes me think of latex; and while it adds a unique dimension to the beer, it's taking some getting used to.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
2.78/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Cloudy amber, gorgeous sexy coating with extra strong legs...stinks like rotten apples! (not finding it pleasing)

Rich flavors of dark fruits and burnt bitter hops with slightly sweet apples and lemon. Powerful coarse and dry after taste. Very strong vinous feel and a dry coarse mouth coat.

Overall : Looks can sometime be deceiving... Perfectly drinkable for trying a different taste, but way too spicy for me, or was my bottle too fresh? I will try this beer again after at least 2 years in the cellar, until then I don't see why this beer is so popular.

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Photo of pants678
3.92/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Transparent orange with big white head.

Sorta spicy.

Subtle spices, light on hop and a slightly tangy but very dry finish. Corriander? some. Brett? Some. Has a bready, rustic, mildly sour quality. I could stand a small punch up on the sour but that's knit-picking a fine beer.

Medium, not as heavy as say a tripel.

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Photo of Blueapollo420
4.94/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the beers that turned me on to good beer! A credit to the style.
Hazy appearance switch a huge lingering head. Tastes of hay and bubblegum. Very good cannot wait to drink again

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pinkish orange/amber, plenty of loose quick-moving streams of carbonation. Leaves a blanket of slowly retreating lace, decent head coverage that lasts for a while, even if it is thin.

S: A sourness that gets noticed more easily, but the funk is probably stronger. Saccharine fruits (strawberry and cherry), but not sweet, just juicy.

T: Outright funk, lightly herbacious and bready, hay, traces of lemon and cherry fruits. Belgian chalkiness/minerality in the middle but mild and appreciable as just another dimension of this complex work. Sour aspect is very mild here, but still around. Dry and even bitter, especially at the end. The first beer I've ever tried to be sour, bitter, and falsely sweet all at the same time.

M: Well carbonated, medium bodied. Lenient astringency.

O: Deserving of more samplings. This is my third tasting of it, and I can't quite nail what's going on exactly, possibly due to the widely ranging freshness of my bottles. Definitely a good quality brew, but I think the coolest aspect of it is bound to be the history, not the taste. Maybe it is my privileged 21st century palate or my over-worked/dulled 21st century palate, but as good as this beer is, I think the best in the world were first concocted within the past century.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 2,206 ratings.