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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

2,193 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,193
Hads: 4,901
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 285
Gots: 653 | 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
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Reviews: 2,193 | Hads: 4,901
Photo of Brabander
3.3/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank this beer in my Westvleteren chalice.

Pouring the beer in the glass it all looks very promissing. A nice white couloured head and an orangelike cloured beer. Nice carbonation.

The beer smells allright, citruslike, but the taste is not so good as the looks. I was a bit dissapointed after the first taste. The beers is a bit too (how can i say this?)hoppy. It is not as refreshing as one of the other abbey beers. I gives a strange aftertaste which i can't describe very well in English. It was the same taste like i had with some USA ipa beers.

That makes the review as it is. I see and smell a good beer, the rest is average which is not good enough when you are an abbey product. (691 characters)

Photo of cbl2
3.3/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance:

Best before 2/23/2006 Stamped on bottle. Pours a nice orange brown that is clear but for the intense carbonation leading to 2 inches of head that laces nicely as it settles.

Smell:

A uniquely fruity quality to this one. Tart odor of strawberry and cherry, almost kriek like.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

So carbonated, it expands in the mouth. Cherry flavor is still present, and lingers throughout. Finish is very bitter, almost sour. This is disappointing, and not worth the $5.49/bottle I paid. (512 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
3.29/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured this into a small, Belgian-style goblet and got a huge (I mean huge!) dollop of whipped cream-like head! It just will NOT go away, and the Belgian lace is top-shelf! The bier itself is a dark-golden, orangey color, with some cloudiness (a smidge of yeast may have crept into the goblet...). The predominant aroma I pick up is of grapes, with little else making its way to my nostrils. The body was not quite medium, more on the thin side, yet it was relatively smooth on the tongue. The taste, like the aroma, was heavily grape-accented, much to my dismay. There were other fruity, sourish flavors as well, and it had a distinctly dry finish. I didn't find any spicy qualities to it at all. All-in-all, I was rather let-down by this bier.

overall: 3.55
appearance: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3

418 (840 characters)

Photo of joedon
3.29/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep orange color with cloudy haze. Poured with a nice tan off-white head but that quickly disippated. Pleasing aroma with yeast, bread and maltiness present. Also a little hop aroma.

Has quite a bite on first taste; sort of astringent tang that mellows after a few sips. Spicy bitterness but not much malty flavor. Definite citrus-acid in the taste and after-taste.

I hadn't tried an Orval in a while but decided it was time. Seems to me it is a bit of an acquired taste. Could use a lilttle more sweetness to balance the sour. (534 characters)

Photo of philbe311
3.28/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Mammoth rocky light tan colored head comprised of varying sized bubbles with numerous craters throughout... Very impressive retention... Clings to the glass as the head recedes... Hazy... Deep copperish orange color...

S - Pear... Apple... Clove and other unidentified spices... A strong earthiness... A subdued yeast presence... A hint of lemon zest... Some pale malts... Very complex and smells tad bit different with each pass...

T - Lots of funkiness... Apple... Pear... Faint lemon... Tart orange... A strong herbalness... Metallic... An ever so slight tartness permeates each sip...

M - Pringly sophisticated carbonation on the tongue... Dry throughout... Medium bodied... Slightly bitter finish...

D - A truly unique creation that is vastly different from all other beers that I've tried... Sometimes unfamiliarity can be fun and exciting, but in this case it is slightly off putting... (905 characters)

Photo of timtheenchanta
3.28/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Darker golden color with large white head that doesn't hold too well. Nice lacing down the glass. Steady stream of carbonation rising up.

Belgian yeast, alcohol, and a barnyardish/horse smell funking it up make up the nose.

A little sour at first. Some alcohol and expected yeast flavor.

Little alcohol in the finish despite being in other parts of the drinking.

Overall a little disappointing. Probably my least favorite belgian pale to date. (455 characters)

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.28/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A quaffable trappist ale. Poured out to a hazed orange golden hue with a nice white foam head and rigns of lace in the tulip glass. Higher level of carbonation. Aromas of herbs and spices, with some malt in the background. Taste was decent, but far from what I've come to expect from a Belgian Pale Ale. Flavors of hay, bitter malt and hops, grain and alcohol fill the palate. Somewhat of a bland character as well... can't put my finger on it. Mouthfeel was smooth and rather creamy. Overall drinkability is good enough. Nothing special here. There are better Trappist ales to be had. (585 characters)

Photo of jpittman80
3.27/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Orangy amber with hick full head. Big cloud of yeast sediment that fills the glass, rendering hazy.

S - Smells great. Bready belgian yeast character with banana, lemon, and some tropical fruit characteristics.

T - Mostly yeast, with lemon, banana, and a pretty good bit of hop bitterness for a Belgian. Very dry.

M - Light-medium body with plenty of carbonation.

D - It's actually making me a little gassy, but maybe I'm having an off night. The hop bitterness gets a little old after awhile. I think I might give the rest of the goblet to my wife, see if she likes it a little better.

Meh. (599 characters)

Photo of Chubby
3.26/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in bottle, made 13/10/2005, best before 13/10/2010

Aroma: Sweet, rosey and floral aroma. A little lavender. Inviting, smells like a shampoo fragrance. A little breadiness and lemony.

Appearance: Hazy, golden, orange with a white medium head with good retention. Appears very effervescent. A little hazy.

Flavor: Very bready malt flavor that gives way to a dry almost citrus rind flavor that lingers in the aftertaste. Some spiciness from what could be a resiny American hop. A little floral and rose petals.

Mouthfeel: A fine carbonic bite but the lemon rindish astringency detracts from what could be a smoother ale.

Overall: Nice aroma, but so much pithiness on the flavor. could age to become dry and citrusy. This is less than a year old so the best thing to do is wait. (796 characters)

Photo of Lupin
3.26/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I just don't get it, I guess.

I may or may not have had this at tRotBBF. If I did, it was towards the end of the session, and I actually went out after 40+ samples and kept drinking at a bar, then another bar, and then a house party, so let's just say that this was my first time, mmk?

I really, really, really, wanted to like this beer. The no-nonsense label, the erotic bottle, and the fluffiest head I have ever seen. Pours with just the tiniest bit of yeast in suspension. So inviting, but then I actually give it a taste.

All I can say is that there is an earthiness to this beer that obtains and maintains the focal point throughout the quaff. I started drinking it cold, out of that ommegang flute with the silly scribbled guy on it. That nagging taste was there. I finished drinking it just above cellar temperature.. no change.

There was just something eminently one-dimensional about this beer. I could only taste that one thing, and it wasn't a fresh spiciness or 'complex malt character' or anything like that. It was just, well.. boring, and almost incomparable to anything else. First and possibly last tasting for this beer. (1,152 characters)

Photo of PHSCAPT
3.26/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay chalice. Pours an unclarified dark honey with a two inch creamy persistent head. Smell is a soury lemon that dissipates afer a few minutes. Predominant taste is that of hoppy bitterness. Mild carbonation that makes this ale go down easily. Pale ales not my thing and this reminds me of why. (311 characters)

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.26/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

the bottle is quite cool, if a bit pricey, and interestingly sports a bottled on date and a consume by date of 5 years after...i had this particular one almost a year after the bottle date after storing in the fridge. poured into a goblet, this was a clear amber at first that got murkier as i got towards the end of a slow pour...i left most of the large amount of sediment in the bottle. huge, rocky white head that lasted quite some time as bubbles arose in a fountain from the bottom center of the chalice. thick, thick lacing. not surprisingly, this had a very complex nose of caramel, toffee, alcohol, stone fruits...and a lot of general funkiness. taste is mostly sour throughout...somewhat of a disappointment in this all-important area. just a tinge of hop bitterness. light to medium in body and effervescent in mouthfeel. this is definitely not a session beer, but a complex sipper. (893 characters)

Photo of BirdFlu
3.26/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a deep amber with thin head. Slight hints of apple and citrus in aroma, though very faint.Some taste of apple, but more apple juice than cider, and also dry champagne with a bit of a spicey, tart finish. Very carbonated mouthfeel with about a medium body. Drinkability is fairly average, not a lot of weight to it, though not light either. Its good, but nothing to write home about. (388 characters)

Photo of arfenhouse
3.26/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Cloudy dark orange with a very large off-white head. Good retention and good lacing.

S: Lemon and herbal. A fair amount of maltiness. Toasted bread. Some spice and a bit of funk.

T: Lemon and a bit of toasted bread. A bit of grass and herb/spice (some clove among other spices). Lemon and a bit of bitter grain in the aftertaste.

M: Light mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Finishes a bit dry.

O: Not impressed but a decent beer. (438 characters)

Photo of itcomesnpints
3.26/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light golden color with a massive head. Bouquet of different, glucose-free scents including: lemon peel, pepper and herbs. The taste follows the aroma and ends up producing a taste similar to Perrier mixed with tart lemons. Mouthfeel is very fizzy and the alcohol is well-hidden, yet the finish is desert arid. Orval is unlike anything I have ever tasted, but to be honest, it just was not enjoyable. It's possible that I may try it again someday, but only to experience its profound uniqueness. I am a relatively new beer connoisseur, so I may be changing this rating as my palate continues its education in the world of beer. (627 characters)

Photo of MAB
3.26/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought this beer with great expectations and was sadly let down. That might have influenced my verdict somewhat. I found it to be excessively foamy, slightly sour, and watery, despite the alcohol level.
It was unlike anything I've had before, and I've tried a dozen Belgian beers, so there is that going for it.
And even a bad Belgian beer is usually better than Molson's or Coors, so it wasn't a total waste of time.
I will probably try it again later, and with lower expectations this time, so I might see something I missed first time round... (551 characters)

Photo of vinicole
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

My third Belgian Pale Ale and I've decided it just isn't "my thing". Another underscore to the mean.

Cloudy orange.
Yeast and fruit to the nose.
An initial sweetness led to sour and then musty yeast followed by a hit of bitter.
Good to moderate density. Very boozy.

I took far too long to finish this one. (310 characters)

Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Orangish, cloudy with big head

Aroma: Peppery, tart fruit

Taste: Fruit (gooseberry I guess, based on other reviews), bitter, herbal

Remarks: This is my least favorite of the Trappist Ales that I've had. It's not bad overall, but it clearly doesn't compete with, say, Rochefort, Chimay or Westvleteren. The Abbey is a very interesting place to visit, BTW.

Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores (435 characters)

Photo of MisterClean
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

330 from the Shack.

A - Poured a dark golden color, little head, dissipated moderately quickly.

S - Malty, earthy hops, honey, and figs.

T - Bready, with earthy hops, and honey.

M - Moderately chewy/bready, and earthy. Lacked sweetness typical of most belgians.

D - Not a bad beer, but I didn't care for it. Little-no estery taste and overdone on the Saaz. (361 characters)

Photo of jamesdergen
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy iced tea with a small, fizzy white head that dissipates quickly. Somewhat disappointing.

Smell: Hints of vanilla and maybe caramel and definitely some sour apple aromas. One of very few beers where I can really smell the alcohol.

Taste: Some sour notes, similar to green apples. The Belgian yeast flavors really come through in the middle and lead into a fizzy alcohol/white grape finish.

Mouthfeel: Very fizzy, which really bothered me initially, but wasn't as distracting towards the end. Very light bodied and doesn't really leave an aftertaste.

Drinkability: I wouldn't go past one bottle of Orval. It's isn't very heavy, but it's a sipper for me and the fizziness is a bit much.

Overall, a good-tasting beer, but probably not something I will buy again. If I am ever in the mood for this style again, I would probably go with Duvel. (878 characters)

Photo of BeerMasterD
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled on 05/08/2009, poured into wine glass in 2010.

A- Pours lively amber color with a huge bubbly foam head that hangs around for a while.
S- Spicey and dank funk aromas, Apple and nutmeg, wintergreen.
T- A bit sour, but not bitter or hoppy. A spicey sour taste that im not used too.
M- Crisp and dry, light-medium body.
D- Not highly drinkable.
O- Im not completely sure how i feel about this beer, it was very interesting though and I'd like to explore the style further. (481 characters)

Photo of Damian
3.24/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a hazy, dark, copper-amber with a dense foamy head. Tons of bubbly lacing which fell nicely along the glass.

Smell consisted of intense yeast, hops and alcohol.

Taste was sharp. Very sour on the front end. Hoppy with hints of citrus and mild spices. Alcohol flavor was overwhelming and unexpected (seeing as this beer was - according to the bottle - only 6.9% ABV). Huge, hoppy, bitter aftertaste.

Dry mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation. (444 characters)

Photo of bonsreeb85
3.24/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

What a great looking beer! Possibly one of the largest heads, rocky and climbing out of the glass. Big soapy bubbles rest over a dirty copper body.

The nose has lots of tart peach(and other stone fruit??) lime juice, lemon, grassy, musty and earthy hops. A good deal of barnyard is also present. Peppery spice and possibly some lavender also as to the overall aroma.

The taste is a bit less tart than the nose suggests.Dry as a bone with lemony and other citrus flavors. VERY earthy and musty hops are used in abundance. I am not really sure I am digging this barnyard thing though. I must also not this brew is very yeasty.

Highly carbonated, ligher bodied and a crisp texture.

Again, this brew is complex as hell and has a very refreshing quality to it thanks to the mouthfeel. However i am not sure that I really enjoyed the barnyard/hay/funky taste. It was sort of off putting. Honestly this just wasn't my thing. I had to force myself to finish the bottle. (965 characters)

Photo of WhiteOak
3.24/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Hazy copper color with a big, expansive, rocky, lacy head.

S- An alluring, seductive aroma of juicy fruit gum, tropicals, sweet fruits, banana.

T- Nice malt, but the tart bitterness dominates. A touch flat in flavor - a let-down compared to the lovely aroma. Sour grassy finish.

M, D- Medium/light in feel, the drinkability is good if you enjoy your brews with this degree of tartness. Probably best with a careful food pairing. (434 characters)

Photo of 1fastz28
3.24/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours a really pretty cloudy amber color, with a big white head, now i may be absolutely crazy, but it smells like the crazy cat ladies house. everyone had one in their neighborhood, the lady who would keep cats all day long, it smells like her house, i could be crazy but thats what it reminds me of. taste luckily is different yeast and alcohol warmness are accompanied by malt and fruit flavor. mouthfeel is full and yummy, drink ability is average. maybe it was the delirium i had before this one that outshines this beer but its still decent (546 characters)

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 2,193 ratings.