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

4,837 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,837
Reviews: 2,213
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.62%
Wants: 277
Gots: 621 | FT: 13
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: 4,837 | Reviews: 2,213
Photo of Philousa
3.55/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

Photo of Rezzin
3.54/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

Photo of JasonA
3.53/5  rDev -16%
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.

Photo of RandyV
3.53/5  rDev -16%
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.

Photo of mikeg67
3.53/5  rDev -16%
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.

Photo of Vixie
3.53/5  rDev -16%
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.

Photo of jdubjacket
3.53/5  rDev -16%
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.

Photo of bjohnson
3.53/5  rDev -16%
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.

Photo of acoatley
3.53/5  rDev -16%
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.

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.53/5  rDev -16%
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.

Photo of brendan13
3.53/5  rDev -16%
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.

Photo of mmahut
3.53/5  rDev -16%
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.

Photo of jeranbrews
3.52/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

Photo of John_M
3.51/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

Photo of SethB2
3.51/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

Photo of drzig
3.51/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 11.2 oz bottle into a wine glass.
A- golden color with very thick head. The head was impressive
S- Not much to smell but hints of fruit
T- autumn fruit flavored
M- Crisp, carbonated taste, not as smooth as I like most belgians with a little too much carbonation.
O- I typically like Trappist Ales, especially Pale Ales, but this one didn't make me want to order another. Still better than the average beer.

Photo of spoony
3.51/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip.

A-Nice golden honey color with a thick, off-white head. The head is quite impressive...it really sticks around.

S-Floral notes dominate for me. I also picked up a few subtle notes of apple and some funk. Not a strong nose.

T- Some hay and floral flavors. A touch of apple and cracker. Not much funk.

M-Crisp with a lighter body and pleasant carbonation.

O-I wanted to like this beer, but I was not blown away. I found it rather simple. Perhaps I have ruined my palate by drinking too many crazy IPAs recently, but this one was underwhelming. It drinks easily, but I expected more intrigue for the $5 per 11.2 oz I paid for my two bottles recently.

Photo of ivanwatling
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:  Clear orange hue, several inches of froffy head, moderate retention

Smell: A rather unpleasnt aroma akina to stale urine.  I asked for a  second opinion from my wife, she said it smelled of beer and was slightly sweet.

Taste: Citrusy, lively, initially very bitter. But then the bitterness blends in with other flavours to produce a well balanced experience.

My wife said the initial taste was sweet, then some sourness came in.  Intruiging how we can be so different.

Mouthfeel: Above average carbonation that seems to work for this beer.  Aftertaste is mellow and pleasant.  

Drinkability: A very pleasant experience.

Photo of surfadelic23
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This tasty beer (which comes in a relly distinctive bottle) pours a
copper/brownish color that looks great in my chalice.
At first, the taste is sweet, but that doesn't last long at all. A nice bittery hoppy flavor that quickly gets replaced by acidity that must be the result of the yeasties or mebbe bretts?? This one's also pretty carbonated. The first bottle I opened foamed big time! I liked the carbonation on it and found that it imrpoved the drinkability to a certain extent. I did not find this to be a very big alcohol bomb although that may be because We spent the whole weekend trying different Belgian style ales so we may have been used to it. All in all, a pretty nice ale and I'm glad I tried it. While it's not going to knock off othe Belgians that I prefer, this was a nice change from the norm

Photo of scooter231
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Maple syrup. Is what this looks like. With fantastic head you can draw in. At first smell, I wanted to say, La Fin? Tremens? Very, very similar scents. Baaarely metalic.

Taste is medicinal and metalic. Some earthy/woodsy things goin on, kinda herbaly, but mostly a sour, metal thing. Light sweetness balances out things enough to make it a bit more drinkable. But I feel like I'm drinking a spoon. Too young, this bottle may be...

Mouthfeel is sudsy, very soapy. Full of bubblyness. Fairly drinkable, but... I don't know. The nose and certain flavors make me feel like I could really like this, but the metalic thing is turning me off. I'll have to hunt down an older bottle and compare.

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a huge head with excellent retention and a nice cloudy ornage color.

Smell is of sour apple and citrus. The brett funk really comes through.

I was hoping for a nice funky beer, but there is an off bitterness from some dry tannins or yeast autolysis. and overtakes the funk of the brett. It just doesn't go well together. In addition there are a bit of clovey spicy undertones.

Crisp mouthfeel.

I wanted to like this beer after smelling it, but it just has an off bitterness and some tannins that make it less than desirable. I don't know if there are autolysis issues with the beer that lead to the off flavors, but this beer is only 1 1/2 years old and well before it's best by date.

Photo of Andreji
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It is certainly a pale ale, this one, but a nice decent trappist product.

Pours an orange kinda tainted tone which reminds me of the sorta pale ale that sierra nevada has. And the product itself is very similar: a tough, bitter sweetness both in nose and taste that while being good is not all that great for my taste (les goûts et les couleurs ne se discutent pas!), But still is a nice refreshing malty-hoppy blend that works always. The trappistes at orval have passed the test.

Photo of BeerNutta
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep golden yellow. You could smell a fruitty floral aroma.
The taste is the dissapointing part. I was expecting an explosion of flavour, however, all that was presented was spicy dry bitterness.

Some might like it but it wasnt my kind of beer.

Not really my kind of beer.

Photo of CTbrew32
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

Photo of Popsinc
3.49/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: an cloudy amber/brown pour with an enormous and foamy head accompanied with a very lively body. the glass makes for excellent presentation. it LOOKS like a great beer.

Smell: a dull woody nose, different from what i remember sampling in Canada. earthy notes are very prominent although the nose seems subtle and held back.

Taste: rich and creamy, again, more so then i remember. more woodiness is present in the body along with slight herbal characteristics.

Mouthfeel: very rich and very lively. lots of activity in this beer.

Drinkability: to me this is the most different from all the other trappists. obviously much mess sweet. decent drinkability alothough it is not nearly my favorite trappist. i'm suprised it ranks so highly. i wonder if this is b/c it is labelled a "trappist"?

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,837 ratings.