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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

4,651 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,651
Reviews: 2,157
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.62%
Wants: 252
Gots: 523 | 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: 4,651 | Reviews: 2,157 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bigkahunas4
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured form the Orval bottle into a tulip.

This was one of the more carbonated beers I've ever seen. Huge white, creamy head - amazing lacing. Body is an orange amber, really looks majestic. Nose is quite full, lots of grass, brett, and a honey-lemon.

Beer keeps its carbonation during the sip, big bubble feeling. Feel is quite light and crisp. Flavor is light, with a grass hop finish.

Very tastey, and obviously well constructed. ABV isn't absurd for this Belgian, so it makes a decent session.

Photo of majorlance
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BitteBier
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a beautiful, active pour. Golden amber with a monstrous head reminiscent of a (root) beer float. Active carbonation on the way up and swirls of sediment on the way down. Subtle, clean grain smell with spiciness on the fringes. Eminently smooth texture with a complex palate that ranges from a sweet, malty start to a very crisp middle and dry, warm finish. A very pleasant find.

Photo of mj001jk
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orange/amber color with some haze.

Thick persistent foam and lots of carbonation. Aromas jump out of the glass, it is almost like a soda, bursting with bubbles and sour cherry fruit leading the way, followed by orange peel, tiny hints of nutmeg and light hops.

Body is light and dry with sour dried fruits such as apricot, orange and cherries. It is very vibrant and crisp, no underlying sweetness or lingering funkiness on the palate. Finish is short and leave you with some red apple flavors. A very tasty and refreshing beer.

Photo of ianjsullivan
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

ST: 11.2 oz poured into a Duvel chalice. The bottle lists the ABV, the bottled on date, and a drink by date,

A: Cloudy burnished gold and orange with a very thick, white head that looks like a milkshake.

S: Grapefruit, lemon, funky yeast, and sugar.

T: Delicious toasty malt backed by a strong yet elegant back bone of hoppy grapefruit and pine (there is also a slight bubblegum). The finish has nice hops, but it does not overdue it.

M: Medium and dry with a nice zing of carbonation.

O: Sometimes I feel like people in America assume that since a beer is from Belgium it must be good. There is no mistaking Orval; it is very good. The beer is balanced and elegant, and it easy blends a higher alcohol percentage. Lovely flavors continue to develop as the beer warms. It truly is a a winner.

Photo of Stigs
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle, served in an Ommegang chalice

A - the gentlest of pours yields close to two fingers of intensely light and frothy, light grey colored foam. the beer is clear until the sediment from the bottom of the bottle falls into the glass. very dark gold/amber in color.

S - light and airy, yet pungent live yeasts bring a myriad of scents: sourdough bread, grains, grassy hops, lemon zest, orange, and a subtle sour/tartness.

T - very dry, grassy and earthy hop bitterness...hints of lemon and pear, bread, lightly sweetened biscuits, and funky brett yeast.

M - insanely light body with a very characteristic tight and punchy carbonation...this one dances around and almost dissolves in your mouth. very dry and prickly finish.

D - one of the beers that really opened my eyes to what yeast is capable of. truly unique and one of my favorites to pair a light but flavorful breakfast with.

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After pouring my Orval, I found a foamy, pitted head with fairly large bubbles sitting atop a fragrant, glowing orange-red brew. I'm pretty excited about this beer, as I didn't get a chance to try it while I was in Belgium last summer, and was thrilled to find it at Ashe's last month in Knoxville.

Smells nice and Belgian, with an indescribable roundness and distinct, fruit-sour appeal. Upon further review, I think what I'm trying to get at in the roundness is the "hay" character that others have described.

Sourness (somewhat reminiscent of the gueuze I had a week or two ago, though in taste only) is the first taste to dance across my tongue, followed by a mellow wheat tone and a crisp, dry finish. This beer fills the mouth nicely, and is very, very drinkable, so long as you enjoy the sour notes (and I do).

I didn't really know what to expect with Orval beyond very, very general thoughts (like TheJoj's "Orval is my favorite Belgian beer"), but it's definitely made a good impression as my first Trappist, despite the fact that I think I expected something closer to a Belgian Pale Ale. Either way, it looks like I'll be taking regular pilgrimages to Ashe's on my trips home from college for this one.

Spoils of the 10/11/03 Knoxville Raid.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good looking beer. Pours a dark golden amber color. Very nice head and nice bubbles. Lacing coats the whole glass.

Aroma is tart and funky. Lemons and barn yard funk. Smells awesome.

The aroma suggests more taste but it's mostly funk taste. Not alot going on. Mostly just funk in the flavor. Little tart. Could use a little more malt.

Mouthfeel is really dry. High carb

overall I love funky beers so this was good. Just wish it could be a little better.

Photo of zimm421
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of joeysmokedporter
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow.

Poured a 11.2 oz bottle into a goblet.

A: pours an orange brown color, somewhat hazy, with a substantial slightly off-white head that forms a rocky surface as it dissipates. Lacing as it is consumed.

S: A little outdoor-like, sweet/sour fruit, earthy, grainy. Tough to get specific on the fruit flavor.

T: Begins with the earthy, slightly sour fruit flavor, which lingers for awhile before ending in a dry hoppy bitterness. Upon further reflection the fruit flavor reminds of sour cherries, and is combined with a woody-cherry-pit-like flavor. Somewhat like a geueze with muted characteristics.

M: good amount of carbonation, average body tending a little toward the lighter side.

D: A very drinkable beer among the Trappists, this beer is not as high in alcohol content and is very refreshing. Not as puckering as a geueze but just enough sourness to give it a subtle uniqueness vs other Trappists.

Photo of BayouBengal1537
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 30/12/2009
Pours an orangish copper with nice fluffy white head. keeps its retention for most of the beer. No lacing left on glass.
Smells mainly floral to me, orange, spice
Taste is belgian hops, belgian yeast, lemon, leathery, complex spice note
Mouthfeel was rather light, pretty high on the carbonation
Overall, a fantastic beer. These Belgian Ales I am really enjoying lately. World class

Photo of EigenBeer
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AlaYank
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of stearns16
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber orange with massive white head that declines rather quick. This beer seemed like it could not wait to get out of the brown bowling pin-like bottle

S - Lemon and flowers ... very clean scent

T - Goes down smooth and easy. Taste lemon and even hint of tart apple, which makes me think of cider. Dry finish.

D - A throughly enjoy Belgian ale

Photo of Rifugium
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: bottle at Eulogy, Philly, PA

You can't go wrong with this trappist ale. Pours into a signature chalice, a golden brown with a nice finger or two of foamy white head. Retains well, with nice lacing. Tends to be a bit more on the fizzy side, but it's tolerable in that regard. Floral hops in the nose, and lots of fruit. Yeasty background flavor; up front is pears, bananas, allspice, white wine; grassy quality, with a bitter, dry finish. Medium mouthfeel, and very drinkable.

Photo of estereicher
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark Golden, slightly cloudy appearance. Nice head - quite effervescent. Yeasty Alcohol scent w/ various spices. Slightly sour taste but very well balanced. Overall lots of body with a refreshing flavor...

I drank at around 16 deg celcius, and was quite impressed with the balance of flavors and drinkability.

Photo of jrenihan
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-review. Didn't really know what to expect when I first had this beer, and found it surprising and not particularly enjoyable.

Bottled 08/06/2010. I assume that is DD/MM/YY, which makes this one almost 2.5 years old.

The beer has an insane amount of head. An enormous cream-white head sits atop the beer, despite a very slow pour. Beer is caramel in colour. The head recedes at a steady pace, but there is so much of it that it is there for a long time.

Smell is great, and noticeable even as the beer is being poured. The brett really sticks out, likely the result of the time this bottle has had to develop. Funk, lots of light fruits and berries, a bit of a medicinal spicy scent, and some bready malt.

Flavour wise, the beer is very dry. Has a powdery, medicinal flavour to it, which doesn't sound good but it works. The funk is prominent, giving a bit of a barnyard flavour. Cherry and some other fruit flavours. Some sweet malt, but the sweetness is overpowered. Complex. Finish is, again, bone dry.

Medium bodied, moderate to low carbonation. What activity there is is quite subtle, resulting in a beer that is active but not irritating. Dries the mouth somewhat.

Overall, just great. Wow, a real difference between having this now and for the first time almost two years ago, when I had never encountered brett and was expecting a typical Belgian pale. I'm glad I held onto this bottle since then, as I think the age has done it well. Unique among the Trappist beers and very good.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle (bottled on 5/8/09 best before 5/8/2014) into unibroue tulip. Opened with a gunshot pop.

A - WHOA...like 4 fingers of head...HUGE and foamy. Not sure if this was due to the age or potential shaken-ness/pressure of the bottle (the pop from opening it was the loudest thing I ever heard). Subsequent pours showed just as much head...but this glass really brings out the head in any beer. SUPER frothy. Lacing clung to the glass and might take some work to get off the glass (it's THAT clingy). Color was a soft amber honey color. Nice lively carbonation.

S - Banana, clove, some spices, bubblegum, candy, sugar. Smells awesome!

T - Taste follows the nose. Bubblegum and clove. SPICEY and sweet.

M - Surprisingly bitter mouthfeel and aftertaste. Beyond the bitterness, very smooth.

D - This one is pretty good. I was expecting a bit more based on the rave reviews. Very drinkable and extremely tasty. Was pretty surprised by the bitterness, but really enjoyed this brew. Glad I tried it, not sure if I'll be looking for it on a regular basis though.

Photo of micromaniac129
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As I was really too lazy at this point to go down and fetch my orval chalice I simply use my Chimay chalice instead. I don't think the beer will even Know!

Knew this beer was going to be aggressively carb'd right from cap pop. And it was. The color is a slightly hazy orange amber. The head is quite sizeable, and with the carbs being so aggressive, fades to just a half inch and persists to the end.

Aroma is malty lite hops yeast some funk from a hose stall.
Taste is quite good, tart and yeasty malty Beliqum style bready. Not much in hops, this is a Beligum pale ale and I wasn't expecting alot.

Spritzy and bright on the palette from the carbonation bubbles. Dry and thin but not in flavor.

A very good beer with great depth of flavor to go along with it visual appeal.

Photo of Jacobob10
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

With big American hoppy beers dominating tap lines in bars and taking over liquor store shelf space, I have been going in the opposite direction lately for some reason. I have found myself getting enjoyment from visiting some of the classics. Tonight's classic beer: Orval.

Right out of the bottle, this looks like a winner. Slightly hazy, orange color with a large, frothy white head. The head on the beer lasts forever and leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

Strong floral aroma mixed with orange, pear, and lemon. Biscuit malt, hay, musty yeast. The flavor seems to change with almost every sip. Medium-bodied and a chalky - almost metallic - finish. Overwhelmingly dry.

For reasons unknown, I chose to drink this beer on my 31st birthday and couldn't be happier. A total classic in every sense of the word.

Photo of utopiajane
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy orange with a billowing head of resilient foam that finally dwindled to a rocky cap with dense, sticky lacing. A spectacular pour into a tulip. Nose is complex and kept expanding as it warmed. Sweet Belgian yeast, apples, floral, banana, some medicinal alcohol, a little caramel malt poking through all that bright fruit and brett funk and ultimately finds some spice character. Taste is superb. Relaxed, smooth, full without heaviness, some lemon, some hay and horse blanket. No alcohol on the palate at all. Drinks very dry and leaves a long bitter finish that isn’t tart or sour. It’s earthy and hop bitter. Very impressive, indulgent, full of traditional character and easily approachable for a session.

Photo of Petrislav
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into chalice

A: Cloudy dark butterscotch brew, topped with a light sandy head

S: Fruity aroma - hops, yeast, caramel, malt

T: Yeast and carbonation leads to bright floral hops, bitterness and a sweet hop and toasted malt aftertaste

M: Light, almost no body, wish it were a little more full bodied

Photo of Shiredave
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

* Vintage Review
best before date 22-6-2010
Poured at cellar temp

This beer billowed a foamy head that the Duvel glass could barely contain as I gently poured down the side of the glass. Strong sour notes wafted to my nose - sharp rotting apples with hints of lemon zest, yeasty esters and candied grain. The head was fizzy with a clotted peak rising from the middle -effusive carbonation streaming from the bottom etch and visible the the hazy orange / gold liquid.

The sour brett aromas linger as I sip - some oxidation is evident but overshadowed by the malt flavor and tart bite from the carbonation. Sourish flavors Ive experienced with fresher bottles is only on the fringe - surprising hop flavors - stale and dry blend with the sugary grain taste - mellowed and balanced more than I remember.

Light medium body this is very drinkable and enjoyable - sharp sour flavors pleasantly coat my mouth and compliment the firm hop bittering at the finish. Abrupt finish to the liquid but the complex flavors and sour notes linger with lip smacking satisfaction .

A truly fine crafted Ale from those crazy Trappist dudes.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As I warm up the bottle from the fridge, let me tell you a story: I was inside an SAQ in Montréal. I didn't think I'd buy a beer I could easily get at home, but the price tag was attractive: $3.30! And that's with taxes! This goes for $2 more in my area. So what I have here is a double import. The label is a double as well; there's a bilingual label on this one (because it was bought in Québec). Well, now I think it's time to serve this up. On to the beer:

I can already smell the aroma as I slowly lifted the bottle cap. But let's not get ahead, let me pour in into a chalice first. Hot damn, that's a lot of foam on top. Let me go to the kitchen and chop off part of its head so i can pour the rest in...

Head retention is excellent on top of this deep golden colored brew. Okay, now I can smell the fruits of this beer. Candi sugar and peaches, mmm. A little spice as well. Oh boy, I'm getting excited...

I was expecting a sweet treat, and instead got something different. It's just a little sweet. I should note the balance is very nice, but the overall flavor is missing something. It's more of a grassy/hay taste, with aspirin echoing in the background. The alcohol, despite being at 6.9, is camouflaged. A little sourness in the back. Now I'm starting to get used to the taste, so now I can show some appeciation for this work. I'm turned on to it in a weird kind of way.

Okay, so it wasn't what I thought it would be. But it wasn't a dissapointment either. I still want more, though at its price in the US, it will have to settle as a beer to have once in a while.

Photo of mjgooner13
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Some good smoke upon opening the bottle... dirty copper color, fluffy cream colored head with lots of small bubbles...

S- red wine smell comes through immeadiately upon opening the bottle. After a minute or so, the scent become a mix of sweet raisins to start followed by grapefruit and alcohol

T- Get mostly fruit in the mouth. some malt sweetness, i was hoping for more, but still very a very good tasting beer. Alcohol comes through as the beer sits...

M- Med body beer that leaves the mouth a little dry, but in a good way. Carbonation is good, but nothing special in the mouthfeel.

O- Definitely a tasty beer. For me the raisins and grapefuit are the main flavors and they combine well with the alcohol especially as the beer sits for a bit. Good bit of dryness keeps me wanting more.

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,651 ratings.