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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

4,600 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,600
Reviews: 2,145
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.62%
Wants: 248
Gots: 494 | 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: 4,600 | Reviews: 2,145 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Wadsey
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured slowly into my DFH signature glass. The head is so lively and rocky that it took three pours to empty the bottle. I successfully avoided pouring a significant amount of sediment/yeast into my glass.

A: Orval pours as a lively, rocky, but soft-looking head that hangs on until my glass is empty. Once the head subsides a bit, a clear, pale gold beer is revealed.

S: Lemon, grape skins and an undercurrent of horsey funkiness tease the nose.

T: Subtle, but complicated. Lemon, again, but joined with a tartness of green apples. Hint of black pepper, too. Brettanomyces reveals itself in the finish, which is horsey and earthy and very long and dry.

M: Light and well carbonated. Appropriate.

D: Orval is light enough and very interesting, so drinkability rates very well.

Photo of Brez07
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing from last night's notes. 11.2oz pour into a Orval chalice

A: Pours light orange with a 1 finger ivory head. Lots of visible carbonation

S: Sweet fruit, like kiwi, but not over the top. Definitely a floral presence as well

T: Light tasting sour apple. Toasted wheat accompanies this with some bitterness and maybe even a little pepper. There's lots of flavor here, some of which I can't quite get at

M: Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation (as the appearance would suggest). Dry, slightly tart finish

D: Very easy to drink. Clearly a complex beer, but it doesn't overwhelm you, which is good. Will be having another one of these hopefully soon

Photo of pgaveau
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First ever Ba review

Enjoyed in an Orval Chalice

Full thick head that quickly diminished to a thin,solid head that lasted until the last sip. Cloudy dark orange color. Faint citrus aroma. Taste was crisp, dry with no aftertaste what so ever. Not as hoppy as I had read it would be. Very refreshing taste. I enjoyed this beer with some Cotswold cheese. Match made in heaven.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a orangish amber color with great carbonation leaving a nice fluffy white cap

S: A light mix of light and dark fruits, bubblegum, spice

T: Candy sugar, light toastiness, finshes with pepper, spices,light booze

M: Light to medium body

O: Very good

Photo of cpmichael
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a beautiful yellowish-orange. An inviting sight, especially with the visible carbonation.

S: This beer smells great, with floral and lemon overtones, although not over powering. Very pleasant. Reminds me of spring.

T: Immediately noted the tartness from the start, which never lets up, followed by a biting hoppiness. Also, it has a fruity character in the flavor. Very complex.

M: The tartness and hops have a biting effect on the tongue, with a pretty dry finish.

D: Super enjoyable and delicious, highly drinkable, highly recommended.

Photo of everetends
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bottle I picked up from Green's in ATL. This was bottled on 9-07-08, not too bad. I was told to let it age, but I figure what the hell. Served up in a tulip.

A: Pours a really nice and mild orangish/brown color. Held to the light you get more of a lighter orange glow. The head is off white and a good three fingers. The head is seriously rocky and huge foam. The head has great retention thanks to the constant carbonation activity that is feeding the head and moving around in here. Lace is very soapy and sticky. Lots of rocky foam remains on the glass. This is a great looking brew for sure.

S: Smell is solid. Getting some nice Belgian yeasty quality. Nice bready malt character coming through here and it really works with the fruit goodness that lies within. Getting some really nice and crisp apple skin and some nice pear. There is a touch of banana in here which is a pleasant suprise. There is a little bit of dirty funk going on in here. Its very light but its just a nice earthy hay and dusty, wet wood.

T: Taste is very nice indeed. Yet again a really nice bready and crackery malt mixes wonderfully with the Belgian yeast coming out here. That fruit is very present. Lots of apple and ome sweet pear are on display in a big way. The banana is not as big time as I was hoping but a very nice addition to the flavors. Getting a little bit of lemon lime coming out that really reminds me of a light and sparkly lemon lime soda I used to have in europe. The hops are light and floral. All together, beautiful.

M: Light side of medium in body with a really huge and crisp carbonation presence that works oh so well here. This beer has a touch of a tart feel going on in here. This beer is slightly dry. ABV is no where to be found. Aftertaste is mostly some slightly tart apple and fruity goodness. This all works and very nice.

D: This beer is incredibly drinkable thanks to is light wieght and big time carbonation. Overall, this beer works on every level. The flavors are complex but still remain light and delicate. I think that is the best way to describe this beer. It has some much going on but it still remains delicate. Just a beautifully crafted brew. Glad I followed the advice of whoever it was who told me to get a bottle of this to give a go. Just great.

Photo of Flounder57
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle was poured into a large mouth tulip glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a crazy two finger puffy head that has reduced to a thin layer and left some nice lacing on the glass. It is a pale orange color with great clarity. There are signs of carbonation coming up through the glass too.

Smell: tart aromas, yeasty esters, bready and grainy notes, some sweetness, and spiciness.

Taste: All of the above plus some banana, apple, and pear. Vanilla and some nice lingering bitterness too.

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, smooth, a little dry, medium bodied, a little bitterness, and very enjoyable.

Overall: man this beer seems to get better every time I have a bottle. Many more will be enjoyed in the future too. All around solid beer.

Photo of bala747
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this beer at Brauhaus, Singapore a few times. It's one of my favourite trappists, though I prefer Rochefort or Westmalle myself, this is still an outstanding example of Trappist brewing.

A: A beautiful amber brown pour with a thick head that dissipates quickly leaving some lace.

S: Smells heady, some yeast, some bread and biscuits, and candy.

T: Almost no bitter taste at all, again it tastes of bread (like the kind they serve in fancy restaurants), some hint of candy and spearmint. Really complex and lots of fruity flavours that I couldn't quite tease out.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation. This was the weakest part of the beer in my view. I was expecting a bit more rounded fullness of body.

D: Very drinkable, but a tad expensive. I would love to drink a few of these with a good book.

Photo of nickshep7
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours w/ 2-2.5 fingers of shaving cream like head. This may be the densest head I've seen on a beer. The base of the beer is a coludy, deep honey brown/orange color. Smell is musky, almost like an old wine cellar. Solid dose of Belgian yeast and bready notes. Honey cloves are also fairly prominent on the smell. So far, very impressed with this brew. Now only if the head would die down, so I can jump in. Very dry and herbaceous on the mouth. A healthy amount of hops, much more than I was expecting. Clove seems to come through quite a bit on the taste as well. Overall, a great experience worth trying especially if you are into Belgian style brews.

Photo of Daniellobo
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quite the funky classic. Rich in range, yet nicely delicate.

Presentation: 11.2 oz vase shaped, brown, capped bottle. Small label with the fish icon design of Orval, and Trappist seal. Shows bottling date (30/12/2009), best before (30/12/2014), and Alc. by Vol. (6.9%)

A - Lightly hazed, medium amber pour. Towering foamy head, medium retention, nice surface memory and good lacing.

S - Tart nose with a citrusy sense, touch of spices.

T - Nice funky sense, the Brettanomyces yeast of the bottle fermentation is beautifully evident, hoppy citrus sense, grassy touch. It is not overwhelmingly funky, not at all, in fact, if anything it is the subtlety alongside a saison-like memory that makes it rather rich.

M - Light-medium body with generous carbonation and a nice long dry finish.

D - Works like a charm, the subtle range is very nicely woven into a very desirable brew. If one is keen on funky brews, that is...

Notes: Quite the classic. Quite balanced and subtle on this incarnation, a classic reference not only for Trappist offerings but for Brett tasting. The least unexpected of Trappist ales, which always reminds that it is a denomination and not a style.

Photo of beeristhefuture
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was excited to try one of the more rarefied trappists, but was a bit confused by this one.

Appearance: A thick, burnt-golden color with a firm and very durable head that just did not quit. It definitely had the appearance of tradition, and that was very appealing.

Smell: Strangely, it did not have a very powerful aroma; champagne grape and grapefruit were the predominant fruit tones, with a faint lingering of pine.

Taste: This sense can't be discussed without including the mouthfeel. A huge amount of gas makes all of the flavors explode in the mouth, which definitely accented all of the sensations. Primarily champagne flavors resulting from a delicate balance of hops and pale malts made for a sweet, delicate experience.

Drinkability: With the higher weight it's a good thing this beer is so expensive. The large amount of gas made it very easy to drink, which could have bad results. Fortunately, it's got a built-in mechanism in being expensive, which prevents it from being drunk in excess.

Photo of grynder33
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy amberish color with visible floating setiment.Nice head that doesn't disappear quickly. An exquisite musty hoppy aroma, with just a hint of citrus. Nice classic complex hop taste which lingers nicely in the mouth. Way it coats the mouth may not mix well with many foods, but to savor by itself is great. Glob of head lasted till end. Glass smelled wonderful afterwards

Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours murky orange with a large white head. The aroma is lemon with some brett-funk. The flavor is quite a bit of citrus as well as some funk. The finish is quite a bit of hop bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and high carbonation. This is a very unique beer that everyone that is into craft beer should seek out and try.

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

Poured from a thick and heavy brown bottle into a chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy deep amber/golden color. A nice creamy one and a half finger foam head retained well, and slowly receded to a frothy off white cap. Left nice sticky lacing as it receded.

Smell: Sweet and yeasty with phenols of clove, apricot and banana. Some slight floral hops underneath.

Taste: A great yeasty profile with the perfect amount of malts and hops to balance. Sweet and fruity, but just a hint of hops bitters and malt richness to balance it all out. A really fantastic tasting Belgian Pale Ale.

Mouth feel: Slick and creamy with just the right carbonation for the style.

Overall: An excellent Belgian Pale ale for sessions. I could easily drink several of these in a sitting and would enjoy every drop. Another outstanding trappist ale! A new favorite!

Photo of StoutItOutLoud
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330mL bottle to tulip. Bottled 1-23-2013. Consumed 1-9-2014.

whoa. with one pry of the cap, this one starts to gush. the yeast's been working for the last year. after taking a few seconds to clean up my counter, i start the pour, slowly. gigantic light tan head, orange rust body, very hazy. the head takes a while to recede

the aroma's solid. lemon funk, overripe banana. very bretty, which makes this one stand out from other bpas.

very pleasant mix of spice and fruit, all thanks to the brett. vinous as well, alcohol and hop bitterness with warming

dry, not as much carbonation as expected. quite drinkable

this is a great example of the style, made unique by the brettanomyces

Photo of metter98
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured cloudy golden yellow into a goblet with a white, one finger head. There's a moderate-to high level of carbonation and good head retention.
S: There is a definitive sour smell (reminiscent of a gueuze) with aromas of wild yeasts and floral hops.
T: The taste is very flowery and acidic with some sourness; the finish is of dry hops with citrus and spicy notes.
M: It feels bubbly, crisp and earthy on the palate. The amount of carbonation makes this taste lighter than I had expected it would.
D: It's easy to drink and rather refreshing, which is surprising for the level of complexity in the taste.

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

The bottle is dated 7/5/07, making it four months old at drinking (couldn't wait). The beer pours a slightly hazy amber with a huge, billowy head, leaving remnants of lace. The aroma has a freshness to it that reminds me of the ocean, with malt fruitiness underpinning it. Orval's taste is of mellow black cherries and plums, not as intense as the American brewed Belgian-style Ommegang that I am more familiar with, but seemingly more balanced. The hops add some bite and the finish is quite dry.The intense carbonation does not bother me and Orval seems surprisingly drinkable.

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

Pours a cloudy tan and orange colored brew.

Smell is intensely fruity, apple and lemon smells dominate, almost smells like a wine.

Taste is spicy with plum and apple flavors dominating. Not a sweet brew finishes dry.

Mouthfeel is intense, strong fine bubbles swarm you tongue like good champagne.

Another beer that must be sipped not chugged.

Photo of PatrickJR
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
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 DrWhoever
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of scray24
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
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 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 csiewert
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the Tigin Irish Pub in DFW airport. Pours a hazy orange golden color with a finger of off white foamy head that has good retention and a slight amount of lacing. The aroma is strong with banana, pear and orange notes. The flavor has hints of banana, clove, pear, orange peel and a slight amount of alcohol. The mouthfeel is nice and bubbly, but not too overboard on the carbonation. Overall a great beer and I'm amazed I found it in an airport bar.

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

A - Poured from a bottle into a chalice. Pours hazy amber with golden highlights and a towering off-white head.

S - fleeting aroma of some faint bretty yeast, though I don't even know if that's exactly what it is.

T - Crisp tart apple flavor that slides into a dry alcoholic taste like a sweet white wine. The finish is more green apple citrus.

M - Just under medium bodied, decent carbonation.

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

Edit: 24 January 2007

A few Orval's and one year later. When in the mood, an Orval is fantastic.

5 December 2005, Best Before Feb 08

Appears a murky orange brown colour with a foamy head and large bubbles. Aroma of cooked vegetables and spices, particularly nutmeg, some medicinal type aromas there too. Rather strange flavour, celery possibly, very complex. The vegetables, nutmeg and also five spice come to mind. But it's also fresh, hoppy, perfumy and a little salty. Fairly high carbonation, but not too much at this alcohol level and temperature. Overall quite an unusual taste, one is enough for me. I'm afraid to say I didn't particularly enjoy it but I'll still rate it reasonably well for its complexity and originality.

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,600 ratings.