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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.

2,214 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,214
Hads: 4,970
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 18.94%
Wants: 302
Gots: 684 | FT: 12
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.
View: Beers (2) | Events
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: 2,214 | Hads: 4,970
Photo of surfadelic23
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
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

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Photo of scooter231
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

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Photo of Andreji
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

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Photo of BeerNutta
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

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Photo of CTbrew32
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

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Photo of Hugues
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

often cited as the best trappist beer, I find this one a bit of a hit & miss from bottle to bottle. I've had some really excellent bottles, but others were downright poor, once poured. Just the look of it will tell you. if it's orangey, you'll love it. if it's a pale pils colours... don't even sip from the glass. That's why my rating are probably much lower than the average

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Photo of Popsinc
3.49/5  rDev -16.3%
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"?

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Photo of Reedbrew
3.49/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

Just not my thing. Compared to the taste of other Belgian Trappist beers this just doesn't impress me as much. Well-made but the flavor profile was a bit disappointing. Positives: excellent carbonation (maybe a bit too much though) and interesting bottle.

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Photo of raynmoon
3.49/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: light gold, orange with a huge foamy head, No lacing.

s: big, big, big grannysmith apples, saison breadiness.

t: dry, dry funky brett flavors and some sweet caramel malt. The Brett is supplying a lot of bitterness, no fruity, sweet tartness, just bitter yeast, not great.

Not as a great as some would say, maybe it's an old bottle, but I was expecting this to be bright and flavorful, but it is rather dry and bitter, the bitterness does not add anything to the beer.

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Photo of basica
3.48/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is my second Orval and it was a better experience as this time round it was served in my
very own Orval trappist chalice and also maybe because I was able to better appreciate this
controversial taste. It pours out into my Orval chalice a slightly dark and murky golden color
with a big bubbly head. It smells of yeasts and malts and the signature orval smell; the taste
itself malty and with the strong signature orval taste which I believe is owing to a certain
style of fermentation or something manipulation of the malts. I am not sure how to describe the
taste except a wierd bready fermentation somewhat which gives the taste strength and character
despite the low ABV of 6.2. Some people found this taste pungent; I felt that it was pretty ok
but does not impress me. Some dashes of citrus and spices included in the taste packet.
The slightly bitter finish was pretty nicely blended in and the after taste is richly malty,
yeasty and spicey with a bready touch which increases as the after taste lingers. In terms of
mouthfeel, the Orval should be around medium body with a pretty high level of carbonation. It
was fairly smooth but not really. Generally OK on the drinkability but could work better on
the mouthfeel and drinkability. Not as smooth as I would like it to be. Nonetheless quite a
unique beer on the whole and worth the experience. I may do some aged Orvals in future.

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Photo of mechamifune
3.48/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Been looking forward to trying this one for a long time. I've heard a lot of others say that this beer defies simple classification and after drinking it I can see why.

Pours with an immense amount of slightly tan head into a chimay glass. Obvious carbonation and the smell is more subdued that i'm expecting. If I had to pick something out it would be some slight citrus, but i come away with a sense of dryness more than anything.

Upon tasting its somewhat hard to describe.... some subdued hops, but mostly a little fruit and a lingering perfume-ish taste. The mouthfeel is continuously foamy, dry, but somehow still relatively light.

While this drinks relatively light, this is not a beer to drink quickly. There is a lot going on and you really have to sip it to get through it enjoyably. As i progress through the glass the perfume aftertaste subsides a little and some hints of sourness come through.

In the end I'm not really sure what to think. This is obviously a beer with a lot going on and one that a lot of effort has gone into. In the world of beer I would classify this as a pretty unique experience... but still I'm not sure there's anything to bring me back to it. Still, its certainly worth a try for any beer lover.

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Photo of saztheorybook
3.48/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

There was almost a marble in its golden and amber blend in the glass with a white brown creamy head. It smelled citrusy and a little rosy, with some hints of maltiness. The first taste was outstandingly bitter and overpowering, with an acrid aftertaste. As I kept drinking, it became fruitier and more enjoyable, but I don't see myself getting this one again for a while.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.48/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tangy lemon aroma, a bit of grassy hops. Foamy yellowish tan colored head left a solid layer of lace as it faded. Hazy, cider colored beer. Light wheat flavors, a pinch of lemon and bitter grapefruit, Light body, lots of carbonation, barely bitter finish that warms the stomach. Too much carbonation keeps the light flavor from reaching the tongue. I let it sit for 15 minutes before I opened and I think it needs even more time to warm. Overall a fairly crisp and clean beer, but I was expecting more. I'll give it another try, but not in the immediate future.

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Photo of Hautacam
3.48/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle freshness date 6/05.
Light, cloudy amber-brown....very lively, foamy head....rises up the chalice...looks great. Head slowly drops to 1/8 in and stays.
Smells of barnyard, yeast and overripe apple, musty....kind of gueuze-like, but not as intense.
Tastes surprizingly light..subtle yeast, horse blanket, malt....cidery; sour...not bitter, with some alcohol coming through. Dry and lighter in mouthfeel than I expected.Carbonation medium.
This was good, but for the price, I think I'll stick to the other abbeys. I would have liked a heavier mouthfeel and a little more malt. My girl friend thought this ale was fantastic...I gave her the rest of mine.

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Photo of wmtxbb
3.47/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a chalice. Bottled on 12-30-11, so it's just over a year old.

Appearance: Thick finger-sized head on top of a golden brew.

Smell: Very clean aroma. Hints of tea and hops.

Taste: Very dry, chalk-like. Some pepper and spice flavors...other than that, it's an extremely boring beer. It's also pretty bland.

Drinkability: Bland and boring... I'd like to try a younger version of this. This has been a real disappointment.

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Photo of oracle
3.47/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served in an Orval chalice style glass

Beer was light amber, with a thin low density head. No discernable lacing.

Flavor was very mild for a belgian, with a predominance of fruits, mostly plum. Mild hops and a very faintly sour finish that lingers. Way too much carbonation for my liking.

I still haven't decided if I will order this one again.

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Photo of cheers2beers
3.47/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a wide mouth mug:

Appearance: Poured a apple cider colored liquid with slightly off white pillowy head.I can't see through this beer due to the cloudiness.A little laceing can be found.

Smell: The aromas of bananas,cinnamon, maybe some clove and raison bread. No alcohol noted.

Taste: The flavors are sour fruits ,probably from the semi-wild yeasts that Orval uses, followed by an apricot dominance.Doesnt have that typical Belgian taste,but could be classified as a bad fruit beer.Seems a little tart in the finish.No alcohol to be detected.

Mouthfeel: This is very plain to me,a little sour in the front with a tart and bubbley finish.Medium carbonation,smooth,and easy to drink. But not memorable

Drinkability: I am very disappionted,I guess I expected this beer to be a superstar Belgian beer and yet was more like a fruit or hefewiezen gone wrong.Sorry Orval, just not my cup of tea. My money will be going to other breweries.


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Photo of aesopsgato
3.47/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer looks really nice, but the amounts of head I got from my pour (not overly vigorous) was a LOT. Copper in color, and very hazy. Lots of lacing after the ridiculous amounts of head settle down.

The smell is very nice. Slightly funky, which I was not expecting, but the horse blanket aromas I'm getting from this are very nice. Fresh, not really that musty in nature, more just slight funk. Crisp aroma, malty and the Belgian yeast sneaks in through the funky flavors. Some lemony and honey flavors there too.

Man, I was expecting so much more from this beer from the aroma. I was excited about this! The taste falls flat, some slight funk, very dry, not very satisfying. This is disappointing. It doesn't really taste like anything!

Mouthfeel is equally disappointing. Feels like water. Blah... I don't really want another.

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Photo of Reneejane
3.47/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It came out of the bottle a dark amber color with quite an impressive foamy off-white head that laced down the side of the glass but diminished greatly pretty quickly. The aroma was of a noticeable banana ester with a general floral hop smell to complement it. It tastes spicey, banana-y, and somewhat bitter. It isn't an overwhelming flavor, fairly mild. I really thought it was excessively carbonated, it really fills your mouth (and more) up with gas pretty quickly. "burp!" Overall not bad, not great, but a little overcarbonated.

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Photo of Indybeer
3.46/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle. Poured a dark amber/orange color with a massive cratered head that seemed to last forever. Aroma is that of citrus and floral. Kind of odd for a beer to smell like a flower garden. Taste is tart, and very acidic, with its medium carbonation, it finishes very dry. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, it doesn't really leave any aftertaste behind. Different to say the least. Will have to try this one again, just to see.

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Photo of lenin2040
3.46/5  rDev -17%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First time having this legendary trappist ale...I'm trying to push my palate with more funky/sour beers, and this is one of the originals, so i was very excited.

A: absolutely gorgeous amber with a slight haze. huge, chunky head. bubbles streaming up from the bottom of my DFH signature glass.

S: delicious complex floral notes and a pronounced tange. lemon rind. hay.

T: i think i poured this too cold, as the taste definitely improved after i let it sit for a bit. starts slightly tangy (but not as sour as i'd expect from the nose) then strong medicinal/phenols take over, with just a touch of biscuity malt in the background. a quick hit of horse blanket, then finishes extremely bitter, bordering on astringent, and dries up almost entirely. with a touch more sweetness and/or acidity, this would have been great, but as it was the bitterness as the end took away the complexity in the middle for me...

M: love the intense effervescence.

D: this was certainly complex, but the finish was honestly too bitter for me that made me not crave another at all and give pause for going through the glass. not bitter in a citric/pine american IPDA/DIPA way, but this intense medicinal bitterness.

I will try this one out again in a year or two if/once my palate develops more around wild/brett/funky belgian style brews. but for now, while this was certainly a worthwhile taste, at the price it's not something i'll go back to until i think it's something i'd appreciate more...

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Photo of dqrull
3.46/5  rDev -17%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy amber with an airy head that lasts quite a while, visible champagne-like carbonation.

Smell is first and foremost reminiscent of a biere de garde, a very fresh, lemon-ish aroma. Beneath the lemon (and possibly lime) there are some other, rather full fruits hiding, green grapes and green apples along with a certain spicyness. Very fresh.

Taste is fresh, and very dry, with lighter than expected hints of citrus and green fruits, with a very light tartness to it all. Finishes up dry and with a slighty tartness and a biterness that fits well, but I'm not too excited about the whole thing, it surely has character, but not really my thing this.

A very crisp and dry mouthfeell.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.46/5  rDev -17%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

poured into a tulip glass, the appearance is cloudy dark amber color, with a mountain of off-white head that reaches above the rim. looks great. the smell is somewhat fruity, tart. the taste is heavy on yeast, a little funky, and finishes extremely dry. I'm not really a huge fan of the flavor. body is somewhat thin and carbonation is high. not hard to drink, but probably won't seek out again. .

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.46/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bowling pin bottle dated 22/4/10.

Even a slow deliberate pour yields a nearly three finger chunky fluff atop a clear pale orange pour with sharp yellow highlights. Fizzy carbonation makes itself known from the popping and hissing emitted from the glass. Looks quite appealing.

Initial scent is of sharp tartness. This is quickly overpowered by dusty lemon, some menthol like spiciness, and a healthy dose of funk. I wish the hops and sharp tartness carried more of a star role than that of second fiddle. Eh.

Ditto the smell remarks here. In general, I enjoy sharp acidity over barnyard and I despite the term horse blanket, but can see how it applies here. I want to punch myself for using it however. There....well deserved. The lemon and apple are really cleaved into by the very dry finish, which, in my opinion, inhibits some of the possible stand out flavors. Alot of dust and must. I know this is a cult classic, and it's enjoyable. But it's not a beer that I'd go out of my way to drink on a regular basis. It's got the potential, but falls short for me.

Carbonation is big bubbles and quite high. For the first few post-pour minutes, there a veritable angry swarm of bubbleage than only mildly subsides with time.

Drinkability is fine, but a one-and-done for me, and most likely not a beer I'll seek out again with regularity.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 2,214 ratings.