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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
93
outstanding

2,189 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,189
Hads: 4,895
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 284
Gots: 652 | FT: 12
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Orval Trappist Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,189 | Hads: 4,895
Photo of Brunite
3.56/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Crazy insane carbonation billowing from the etching on the glass bottom. Murky brown-orange with a mountain of foaming off-white head.

S - Lemon and some floral. Thinking of a white wine here.

T - Spicey and wine-like. Lemon/citrus tones. Bitterness adds a nice kick. Extremely dry.

M - Carbonated. Bitterness is not overdone.

D - Drinkable, but not my favorite. I'd drink this when offered but would not shell out the bucks for it specifically. An enjoyable beer. (505 characters)

Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
3.56/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a huge off-white fluffy head that dissipates slowly leaving a moderate amount of lacing clinging to the sides. Head lasts through entire experience. Pours a beautiful copper color with just a bit of chill haze.

There is a lot of spice to the nose especially clove and pepper. Just the faintest bit of medicine in the aroma.

The flavor is full of clove and pepper also with a nice little malt backbone. Finishes very dry with just a bit of bittering hops in the end.

Good carbonation and light to medium body. I would have liked a little more body to this one. (579 characters)

Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.56/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into Orval beer chalice. Bottled on May 20, 2011. Best by the same day in 2016.

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden orange color. The dense, bright white head is two fingers and lasts for the duration. Beautiful lacing. I am having a hard time finding any reason not to give this a 5, so I will.

S - Lemon peel, pepper, clove, and a tiny bit of vinegar-like funk. Some bready malt rounds out the smell and gives it a a little bit of richness.

T - The taste is spicy and earth-like with some lemon zest and Belgian yeast. The flavor is crisp and refreshing, but it leaves a strong astringent aftertaste that I am not enjoying. It improves as I drink more, but I am very sensitive to the chemical-astringent taste that is left behind.

M - Aggressive carbonation and a light feel. Leaves my mouth dry, yet refreshed.

O - I was impressed by the appearance, smell, and mouthfeel of this beer. The flavor had all of the elements I was looking for, but there was an additional astringent aftertaste I was not pleased with. I was a little bit disappointed with this beer, especially at $5.99 for an 11 oz. bottle. I may try it again at some point to see if the aftertaste is typical or not. (1,209 characters)

Photo of BreworFerment
3.56/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was really excited to try this beer because I had read how great it was in Michael Jackson's books and also all the reviews here.
Poured into a tulip glass the beer was a beautiful clear orange blonde color with noticeable effervescence. Nice off white head that dissipated quickly with no lacing. Slight hop aroma on the nose but that was about all I got. On first taste I got, beer, decent beer, but nothing near the complexities others have talked about. The beer wasn't, bad, just not as good as I was expecting. Maybe a product of over hyping? Don't get me wrong if someone offered me one I would drink it happily but I don't see what all the fuss is about. I've had other trappist beers that were better. (712 characters)

Photo of mortarit
3.56/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Well us North Carolina tasters are experiencing a new frontier with the bar lifted.
I saw this bottle at total wine on my way from work so I grab it. The shape of the bottle grab me.
The pour was manageable without to much head retention, about an inch and a half I say.
I notice that the pour was murky and looking at it after the pour that is cloudy. It darken at the widen spaces that the class gives it. It does have lacing forming around the edges.
The taste isn't over powering which I like.
For begin the first trappist ale, I would say not to bad. (565 characters)

Photo of robbrandes
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours slightly cloudy, almost like clover honey. ridiculously big, billowing head. forget lacing, by the end of things, my glass had a 2" wide strip of lacing the entire circumference.
aroma - what's there is nice - floral notes, fruity esters. but as it warmed, i kept waiting for it to really open up...never quite gets there.
taste - fairly smooth drinking, big yeasty twang, a bit of earthy/mustiness. well-rounded hop profile. i am getting quite a bit of metallic twang as well, not horrible, but distracting from the overall profile. very good mouthfeel, not as scary as the initial pour.
not a bad belgian, but there are better fish in the sea. (652 characters)

Photo of goindownsouth
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A very good Belgian brew. I came across this one on a recomendation from the barkeep at the Steelgarden, within the Bethlehem Brew Works. It is not a restaurant, it is an experience. Pretty much what a basic Belgian brew should be. It offers a balanced nose with a full-bodied, spicey, yet not too spicey bier. A very flexible bier to go along with just about any kind of bar food, even the really spicey stuff. Prost! (418 characters)

Photo of ElGuapo
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The pour is very nice. It is a chocolatey brown color and very murky. The head is massive, and chunky. It sits around for a while. Aroma is pretty good with a lot of dark fruits. There are nice spices and big whiffs of alcohol. Some sour hints are in there as well.

A bottle of '04 was very mild, with no real spiciness to it. It had a nice sweet malt backbone with some kicks of alcohol, but not a lot of complexity. I thought that if it mellowed, it would taste like nothing, but the '03 was much better. It had a nice spicy bite, and a big warming alcohol blast that was a bit too much at times, but didn't really hurt it. The carbonation is pretty big, but it smoothes out. This one didn't really do it for me as compared to others in the style. (754 characters)

Photo of unklesyd
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After all I'd heard about this beer, I was pretty disappointed, especially at the price.

Poured like a typical Belg. Pale, big head, lots of retention. Interesting color change when the last 1/3 of the bottle was swirled and yeast added.

Subdued fruity, earthy nose.

The taste was very earthy as well. Very low hop flavor, but great balance and bitterness. Very woody. Before sediment was added, the woodiness was crisper and snappier; after, it became more subtle in its character and brought out a hint of licorice.

After finishing this bottle, I didn't want another. The weight of the beer combined with its flavor profile was too heavy, although the balance was excellent. (688 characters)

Photo of doerickson
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Golden coloring with a fine-bubbled pure white head--pleasantly thick and persistent. Active carbonation. Complex nose--barnyard, bubblegum, and Band-Aid aromas; quite sour-smelling. Effervescent in the mouth; light body. Band-Aid in the aroma, as I mentioned; and I don't profess to know what Band-Aids taste like, but if the smell is any indication, this definitely tastes like a Band-Aid would taste. There's a hard-to-define tonic-watery sort of hoppy bitterness present throughout. It has grown on me somewhat as it warmed, but to be honest I expected more from this brew. (577 characters)

Photo of Philousa
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy dark tan with a thick three finger head. Takes a while to settle down, but it's not out of control. Belgian yeast is the showcase for the nose. Banana, allspice, some beligan pale malt aroma and some sweet caramel. Lighter than I was expecting. The taste is thoroughly bitter with a light body. Most spices come through well in taste, allspice and pepper mostly, but it's mild. Tart lemon zest lingers with the bitterness. Medium moutfheel, well balanced. Dry finish.

This was very mild. I can tell that there are complexities in here, but it's hard to coax out of the glass. I get more malt aroma with a good swirl, which showcases the grains well, but the yeast really doesn't stand out as much as I think it should. I feel pretentious saying how this beer should be brewed, one that has been brewed for hundreds of years, but hey, it's how I feel. I'm thinking this was built up too much for me and I wanted more complexity. It's a great Belgian Pale, but nothing spectacular. (996 characters)

Photo of Rezzin
3.54/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 30/06/2005 best by 30/06/2010 consumed 9/20/2006.

A - Pours a hazy honey orange with a 2" thick head that leaves nice lacing on it's way down.

S - Sweet oranges, somewhat bready, citrus and maybe even a little sour. Smells great.

T - The first sip foams in the mouth. Starts off tart and maybe even a little sour then fades into a flavor much like a hoppy pale ale. Somewhat of a metallic twang to the flavor. As I let it warm it pretty much follows the same taste pattern... lambic, a hoppy ale, then metallic.

M - Highly carbonated and finished dry. Light and refreshing even with the massive carbonation.

D - I'm wondering if I got a light struck bottle. The aroma is wonderful but the flavor is just not I was hoping for. I'll re-review this beer later when I pick up another bottle. The place by my house sells these 11.2oz bottles for $4. (871 characters)

Photo of JasonA
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first Belgian Pale. Im not sure Im a good reviewer for it, so you may want to disregard my review.

This bottle was purchased at the Chesapeake Gourmet in Queenstown, MD. Poured from as picture bottle.

Looks opaque light brown, with some orange tine. Large and thick head. I dont get much from the smell, was expecting more of a bite from it.

As my first belgian pale, I am not impressed. I picked up this beer simply because it had 'Trappist' in the title. There is no mention of the type on the bottle. Shame on me.

I will say that it tastes very fresh, no real alcohol byte. Little hop after the swallow. Overall tastes dry to me. I was expecting more flavor.

Hopefully after I have tried more Begian pales, I can make my way back to this one. (771 characters)

Photo of RandyV
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy amber color with nice head and lacing. The smell is to me somewhat champagne like with a mild yeast note.

The taste is slightly fruity, maybe apple or pear, with a musty quality. Mouthfeel was a bit thin. It finishes dry with a hop bitterness that lingers.

Gotta be honest, this beer underwhelmed me and was not worth the elevated price. (347 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle dated 02/29/12. Pours hazy amber with tall, foamy, long lasting white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of sourdough, Belgian yeast, candy sugar and earthy hops. Body is full and creamy. Taste is Belgian yeast, caramel malt, ripe fruit, peppery hops. Finish is long, peppery. I don’t think this bottle have aged well. (331 characters)

Photo of Vixie
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours manly yellow with a hint of orange. Has a nice large white head.

The smell was mainly of malt and yeast, with a bit of spice tossed in.

The flavor was very much on the hoppy side. The hops are more floral, which to me was more pleasing than other highly hopped beers. Once the beer starts to warm a bit, the malt flavor starts kicking in a bit.

The feel was solid, with a decent amount of carbonation.

Definitely a nice beer, although a bit more hops flavor than I prefer. They floral taste of the hops actually made it nicer to drink than other beers that are high on the hops. No doubt this is a Belgian ale, has that Belgian character I really enjoy in a beer. (673 characters)

Photo of jdubjacket
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had higher expections for this beer.

Poured an amber color from the bottle. The head starts off strong and dissipates fairly quickly.

The smell and taste are somewhat citrusy. Unfortunately the smell is better than the taste. For a trappist ale, this beer is lacking in the taste & mouthfeel. Overall, I prefer the other trappist ales. (340 characters)

Photo of bjohnson
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a murky rusty straw color with a puffy marshmellow like cream colored head. Nice retention. Sticky lacing.
S: Spicy with lemon zest and orange rind. Tangy aromas also. Fresh with floral notes.
T/M: Lemon zest, orange peel, spices, and a grassy hop presence. Flower petal aroma a bold flavor that's present. Almost champagne like carbonation that's spritzy on the tongue. Bready wheat notes hang on the palate well into the finish. Tarty fruit sweetness hangs into the aftertaste from the initial introduction. Also a tad sour. Dry finish. A bit thin imo.
D: Not bad, but not one I'd go out of my way for, especially considering the price. it just didn't do it for me. (680 characters)

Photo of acoatley
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep copper, fairly clear with ever so slight red tint. Moderate head dissipates quickly. Where is the lace?
Aroma: Moderate fruity esters of plum, light malty sweetness no alcohol.
Flavor: Raisins and plum, average malty sweetness, pleasant bitterness with a crisp finish.
Mouthfeel: Light body with moderate carbonation, watery the palate, warm alcohol good for a cold winter night.
Overall: Not my favorite dubbel but a good selection. (455 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orval Trappist Ale pours a bit of a dark golden color, with not much of a lacy head. The smell is a bit sweet and has come candy aromas, on a strawery backbone. The taste is much the same sweet candy flavors on a strawery backbone. I thought it was a bit too sweet, but had a nice flavor. Overall i found it an above average beer, a bit too sweet and overrated in my opinion. (375 characters)

Photo of brendan13
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a chalice a orange amber colour with a huge rocky head that just won't go away.
S - Lemon & spice notes with a faint sourness.
T - Along the same lines as the smell but with a earthy, dry grass sort of flavour thrown in.
M - Quite a full mouthfeel, medium carbonation. A pretty dry finish.
D - An interesting beer that is worth trying. Good every now and then but I can certainly see why it wouldn't appeal to some. (435 characters)

Photo of mmahut
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One year old.

Appearance (3.5): Very active head, well carbonated.

Smell (3): Citrus aroma with light tone of dark fruits.

Taste (4): Associative with the smell, light citrus aroma with sweet malt.

Mouthfee (3): Medium body with higher carbonation I would expected from the smell/appearance.

Drinkability (3.5): Refreshing but heavy. (338 characters)

Photo of jeranbrews
3.52/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hmm did I get the same beer? Mine may have needed to sit a few months.

A - Fizzy murky marmalade color. Fluffy bone white head.  

S - Blueberry and a touch of black bean vinegar in the yeast. Lovely. Smells Dance along in the bubbles up into your nose giving hopes of syrupy candied delights. Only slightly malty.

T - More bitter than I initially imagined.
Slightly dry. Before adding all the yeast from the bottle it was sour after adding it all it was much more wholesome and rounded. Just a touch of vegimite. Spices were there and I'll give this beer points for uniqueness but not for flavor.

M - Loose like white wine or cooking sherry

D - Overall good appearance and enticing smell but flavor left something to be desired average but not worth premium Belgian prices. Wondering if mine was too young or too old. (826 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.51/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had not had this beer in some time and now I recall why I've never been a big fan. I'll be sure not to make the mistake of ordering this one again. Nothing wrong with it, but with so many other outstanding Belgium's out there, no reason to buy this one again.

The beer pours a brownish orange color. There is some head retention, but almost no lacing to speak of. On the nose I get very little, maybe a hint of lemon... not really sure. There just isn't much there. On the palate the beer is very tart and very dry at the same time. I guess this beer is trying to be some type of Belgium pale ale, but it really doesn't work for me. The beer tastes fairly light for a Belgium, and I guess with the abv. you could probably drink a few of these, were price not an obstacle. The mouthfeel is OK, and the beer comes across as fairly refreshing. The finish is rather short and crisp, but there are no off flavors.

An OK beer, but nothing special. I more then likely will not be ordering this again any time soon. (1,013 characters)

Photo of SethB2
3.51/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at Nuggett Market in Woodland, Ca.

Poured from bottle into a Duvel tulip. Pours a deep amber color with a hint of orange. Beer is non transparent and begins with a pillowy head that disipates down to thin layer, leaving a small amount of lacing. Smells OK. Some melon and grape tones coming through, but a little bitter. A little more and I would say the beer was skunky. Taste is better than the smell. Full of fruitiness with some clove. A little metallic flavor is happenning as well. Mouthfeel is full with a good amount of carbonation and finishes a tad dry. Drinkablilty is also good.

All in all a decent Belgian, but for a Trappist beer, I was expecting a little more. (691 characters)

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 2,189 ratings.