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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.

2,204 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,204
Hads: 4,939
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 18.94%
Wants: 296
Gots: 669 | 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: 2,204 | Hads: 4,939
Photo of LeDirtyPanda
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

This is one of my favorite beers of all time. When you poor the beer into it's glass it's an orange-esque hue, yet it's first tastes are one of a darker beer, but as you exhale you can taste the hops. Man. Its one of those beers you have to try in your life time. love it!

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Photo of Flashy
1.25/5  rDev -70%

Purchased in Vermont for $5.99. Have not had this beer since 1980 and now I know why.

Appearance: Looks like a standard solid beer, nice head.
Mouthfeel: A bit over carbonated, but not the problem.
Body: Not watery, but not the problem.
Smell: I am not a fan of sours and this smells bitter and sour.
Taste: Bitter, sour and very dry.

Overall: Just don't get this one, and I get a lot of things. Will wait another 35 years before trying again- or maybe not. If I was on a beach, on a hot summer day and this choice was warm Orval or warm Bud- I would take the Orval, but under no other circumstances.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A: frothy persistent head, deep copper color, magnificent to look at
S: a hint of lavender, a little fruit and a little funk
T: bitter and sharp, zesty, the hint of lavender comes through here as well but it is very subdued, clean and crisp, bears some interesting similarities to lindemans cuvée Renee
M: the bitterness lingers but not for long, the effervescence really takes over
O: a delicious beer and a unique offering as far as Trappist beer is concerned, not so easy to describe in detail for me but absolutely worth your time

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Photo of charlzm
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on November 4th, 2014 from an 11.2 ounce bottle labeled:
"bottled on 14/01/2014 - best before 14/01/2019"
Poured into a DeKonnick chalice.

Beer pours a hazy medium yellow. Very effervescent, a two finger head springs up instantly. Had to wait for it to die down to finish pouring the bottle. Head settles after a while to a thick, clingy, meringue-like head: beautiful.

Aroma: this is as close to a genre-defining Belgian pale ale as I have ever had. Peppery, estery (bananas and cherry), sweet, floral, ever-so-slightly tart: this is a really awesome nose.

Flavor: a little bit of a letdown after the awesome nose, it's still solid and well-sorted. Bitterness hits first, followed by a lightly grassy note with a clean, refreshing finish. Some residual bitterness and a yeasty note wrap it up. Ever-so-subtle funk lurks in the wings but never asserts itself.

Mouthfeel: very well-carbonated. Tingly and a little prickly if held in the mouth a moment before swallowing. Medium-bodied and a bit smooth.

I don't know why, despite being into craft beer for over 14 years, I never tried Orval. I am so glad I finally got around to it. Doesn't dethrone Duvel as my favorite Belgian pale ale, but it is a worthy brew in any estimation.

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Photo of aleigator
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Has a deep orange color, and a perfect white head, which doens’t want to vanish at all.

Strong refreshing aroma of vanilla, some lime, yeast and spices.

Tastes bitter, has a refreshing touch, yeast, with a sweeter finish. Carbonation is pretty high, but not too present. Has a warm pleasant finish, gets into balance in the end (less bitterness). Smells much sweeter than it actually tastes. Bitterness is very present at the beginning, sweet yeast and spices add complexity which results in a very adorable mouthfeel.

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Photo of e_dawg
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Pours a cloudy light orange. Some foamy, frothy head which slowly dissipates. A small amount stubbornly lingers. Aroma is candied apples, light citrus notes, cranberries, earthy tones, and graham crackers. Taste is a balanced and enjoyable mix that's initially sour but the sourness quickly mutes, allowing full enjoyment of the flavor. I'm getting some floral notes overlayed with more citrus, bread, and rust. Feel is light and poppy, almost like a champagne. An extremely enjoyable beer that's one of my favorites.

This is based on a 5 month old bottle, but try it aged by a few years for an even more unique Orval experience.

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Photo of tobi_wan_72
5/5  rDev +19.9%

I tried this one on a whim, and ended up loving it. Unlike almost any ale I've had. Smooth, flavorful, well balanced, not too heavy but substantial all the same. I do recommend, as the Brothers do, that you cellar this one for at least a couple weeks before opening. Enjoy chilled and in a frosty glass.

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Photo of 312HopBomb
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Huge foamy pour nets 5 fingers of fluffy white head. Head falls slowly to a skimcoat without leaving any lacing. A rusty golden hue is slightly cloudy. The aroma is distinctive with sour apple, medicinal, spicy Belgian funk, fruity, and some lemony notes. The taste follows with the Belgian funk and medicinal, fruit, bandaid, also tart then ending with a surprising bitterness. Not sure if it's from lots of hops though. Maybe the yeast? Very unique taste. Effervescent, crisp, light and refreshing. I was surprised by the drinkability. This went down the gullet quickly. I tried this beer in the 1980's and poured it. I liked Chimay but thought the Orval went bad. Nowadays I fully appreciate unique Belgian flavors. This reminds me of Rayon Vert which is good!

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

October 18, 2014

11.2 oz bottle (bottled June 2013), tulip glass

A – Huge, rocky, frothy, white to slightly of-white head, at least three inches, with most of it sticking around for several minutes. Medium amber with high clarity, slight red tinge.

S – Very strong bubble gum aroma, sourdough bread. Some mild estery fruit follows, red apples and light citrus. Mild Brett character.

T – Yeasty, spicy notes with again some fruity esters and a spritz of citrus. The Brett is evident, but not prominent. Some slight malty sweetness and just the barest hint of some floral hop flavors.

M – Foamy from the carbonation, carries all the way through to the finish. Pretty juicy up front with a champagne-like dryness on the swallow.

O – This is a very fresh, bright, spritzy, spring time in the hills type beer. I really love the aromas, but the rest is not at the same level. A true Trappist beer, so it meets expectations and is very well crafted, but I don’t think it’s the best of that group. Still a fantastic beer. It’s all relative.

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Photo of JackieKu
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle. Bottled on 2015-02-19. Best before 2020-02-19.

Poured into tulip.
A: amber, hazy, much foam and long retention.
S: Fig, floral, slightly pineapple. Somewhat honey.
T: Fig, plum, pineapple. Mildly sourness. Slightly malty. Moderate bitterness. Dry.
M: Light bodied. High carbonation.
O: Drank it so many times. Each time it gave different feedback. Complex and interesting. Just excellent.

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Photo of PacNWDad
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

11.2 oz. bottle from Bottleworks poured into an Orval chalice. Solid amount of head, thick, which lasts a long time. Golden hue, slightly cloudy. Fruity aroma, some leather and mustiness from the Brett yeast. Spice, apple and a little citrus. Hits with tartness and some sweet in the front, with some hops bitterness, then finishes with sweet malt still with a little bitterness. Light to medium on the tongue, medium carbonation, finishes fairly medium and fairly dry. I am going to try cellaring a couple of these bottles for a few years and see what changes.

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Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

A – A Foggy orange amber colour that starts with a big rocky head which then dies down to a modest fingernail head leaving mild spotty lace as you drink.

S – Sour orange and citrus smells hit me straight off. There are also bready yeast aromas and deep malty smells along with some vinegary alcoholic notes.

T – Sort of sweet sour combination with coriander and mint combined with bread. This beer is odd and complex the main factor in the taste is the sour flavour which leans towards the cider vinegar edge of things.

MF – Dry and I do mean DRY finish. This beer has light body and crisp nippy bite but it finishes like a mouthful of sloe berries.

O – This is very good ale for its type and will be a winner with those who like Belgian Pale ales. I must confess to not being a massive fan of this one myself but it is doing what it set out to do and it is doing it well therefore I have to give it a mark to reflect that.

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Photo of MisterGone
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Pour from 330 into tulip. Bronze-caramel with a massive beige head. Had to let it sit a bit before smelling-tasting, which was OK since it was from the fridge. Aroma was of dried fruits, light phenolic banana, and a yeasty brown bread. Flavor was quite complex. Dried fruits were replaced by stone fruits up front with barnyard (I get it now...), finishing with some spice. Very enjoyable, complex Abbey Ale.

Caveat: I drank this while reading about the Abbey and the legend of Matilda of Tuscany, so my experience may have been artificially enhanced by the power of suggestion.

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Photo of TimZebGir
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%

A: Caramel with light haze, really fluffy, creamy head, high carbonation (3/3)
S: Earthy malt with a (barnyardy citrus?) to balance it out (9/12)
T: Crisp caramel malty flavor fades to banana and raisin with a little bitterness at the end (16/20)
M: Starts wet and bubbly but finishes dry(5/5)
O: There’s a lot going on here. The flavor profile is quite complex, and keeps me coming back for more to decipher everything it has to offer. Would definitely drink again. (8/10)

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Photo of wiscokid920
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Amazing. Never have I experienced something so complex. I seem to pick up something different each and every time I take a sniff and sip. As the beer warms up different flavor profiles are unmasked. Nose welcomes with a pungent bouquet of flowers, lemon zest, juniper spice, yeasty/musk. The flavor profile is just as complex and inviting. Overall, its very dry and tart from start to finish, but the lingering dryness further enhances the flavor profiles. Welcomes you in with a nice sweet caramel and then you get consumed by a unique yeasty musk which later fades into a cider like tartness.

Unbelievably complex. At first the musk might seem abrasive...leading you to question if things can turn around...and oh yes it does! The seemingly abrasive nature sets the stage allowing the flavorful subtle qualities of the yeasty phenols and citrus zest to shine. Very unique. Truly exceptional.


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Photo of offthelevel_bytheplumb
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber with a huge, foamy, white head that kept me from
pouring any more than 1/3 of my bottle on the first attempt. The head dissipated into a cap
that left behind a moderate amount of lacing.

Aroma: Wild yeast dominates the nose, followed by some lemon zest and a touch of
earthy/grassy notes.

Taste: There's a nice combination of big, musty tartness and light, citrusy sweetness all the
way down, with a decent amount of bitterness rounding everything out in harmony.

Palate: This is a medium bodied beer with a healthy amount of carbonation. The aftertaste
was musty, earthy, and lightly bitter. The aftertaste isn't intense, but it lingers for a good
amount of time.

Overall: I love this beer! The flavors aren't intense, but they all balance each other out well.
This is a must try beer, but I think that it's worth pointing out that Orval is definitely an acquired

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Photo of Bluesman2383
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Banana on the nose and then malty goodness. The only thing about this beer I did not like was the massive head foam I got from the bottle like Triple Karmelliet. Otherwise, a great beer all the way around.

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Photo of Nightwing
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Poured from bottle. Aroma of citrus with a hint of herbs. Appearance is cloudy amber with significant white head. Light bitter taste. Medium to light body, with a texture that is hard to pin down, and a dry finish. A very complex beer.

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Photo of Srkolodn
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Serving: Bottle
Glassware: Tulip
Appearance: This one looks like an IIPA to me, Hazy, Dark orange in color
Aroma: a clear Farmhouse aroma, slight citrus undertones
Taste: A nice complex array of flavors, I pull from this mostly earthy notes. Similar to a funky saison.
Mouthfeel: Medium.
Overall: Really enjoyed this, feel like its a staple for the belgian style pales.

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Photo of vinicole
3.25/5  rDev -22.1%

My third Belgian Pale Ale and I've decided it just isn't "my thing". Another underscore to the mean.

Cloudy orange.
Yeast and fruit to the nose.
An initial sweetness led to sour and then musty yeast followed by a hit of bitter.
Good to moderate density. Very boozy.

I took far too long to finish this one.

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Photo of Roxie_B
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Serving: Bottle
Glassware: Pint
Appearance: Hazy and a dark honey with amber highlights
Aroma: Citrusy
Taste: Sourdough, vegetables (is that…asparagus?!), damp earth, pears, grape leaf and lots of hay. Oh and brettanomyces expressed mostly as earthy and grassy tastes. This is a whole world of stuff going on.
Mouthfeel: All around medium.
Overall: I love this one. I taste something different with every sip.
Caveat Emptor: Dirty pear burps will haunt you later.

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Photo of tyjudd
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Pours a hazy orange. The head is intense. Previous reviews of a stout head is understated. Tried to control the pour to limit head but to no avail. 4/5s of the glass was full of a thick, slow eroding head. The nose was of orange and lemon candy. Smelled delicious. Btw, the head still remains with impressive lacing on the glass. The taste was not what I was expecting. Not sure how to describe it. Malty and boozy. The finish was super dry, like a bourbon. Very good. Only wish I had another one.

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Photo of MonkeyDunk
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Foam filled 4/5ths of glass
Slowly falls down into seafoam peaks
Significant lacing stuck to glass

horse manure
road apples

golden amber
bright orange

oranges and orange peel
can taste the vat it was brewed in
rusty oxidation

Incredibly unique, a style unto itself. You can taste the grains, the brew equipment and environment, the thousand year old tradition. Would buy this again to treat myself or to open someone's eyes to one of the world's most revered beers.

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Photo of HuskyHawk
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

How do you rate a beer in a style you don't care for? This is very well made, very balanced, not funky or offensive. The head is massive and sticks to the glass impressively. It's cloudy, medium amber in color. Nutmeg and wet earth on the nose with a yeasty bread behind it. The taste has more nutmeg, some cinnamon and a light overripe fruit taste. Finishes rather dry, not at all sweet. Medium bodied with strong carbonation. A great example of a style I don't love.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber brown with a head that literally foams forever, it's like a beer from a cartoon.

Smells of sweet malt, bread, and some Belgian yeast funk.

Tart, sourdough bread like malt backbone with a funky dankness to it.

Mouthfeel is soft and well carbonated.

Overall this is a perfect classic.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 2,204 ratings.