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

2,179 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,179
Hads: 4,872
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 283
Gots: 638 | 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: 2,179 | Hads: 4,872
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)

Photo of bashiba
3.23/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into my Goblet it was a very creamy light red color with a huge infusion of head initially which subsided to about an inch thick of thick brown bubbles.

Scent is a very heavy complex mixture of sour yeast and several spices, also has a very earthy hop aroma going on.

Taste has a very fresh bread malty taste up front followed with a nice sour yeast hop taste with various flavors coming and going quickly in between, including some light citrus and various spices.

The mouthfeel is pretty good with a nice light creaminess about it.

Overall though not real impressive or something I would drink on a regular basis. (635 characters)

Photo of dreadnatty08
3.23/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle flown over from Paris by my lovely girfriend.
Bottled on 11/29/05, from 33cl bottle
Pours a dark amber with chunky, foamy lucious looking head. Aromas similiar to a heffe with some banana and clove, alcohol. Astringent on the tongue, has almost a soapy flavor. Alcohol also makes a strong presence in flavor, surprising for a lower ABV trappist. It's good to try another trappist, but I have to say this beer isn't doing much for me; much rather drink a NB Trippel or heffe. (484 characters)

Photo of philphilphil
3.23/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Orval appeals to the types who like floral beers. As in, not me. Too floral, appeareance was cloudy with nice head. Taste was Floral, deep floral,mouthfeel was good, drimkabilty was alright, restricted by price and floralnees.i tried to steal the glass but thre barowner asked where it was. (290 characters)

Photo of BlindPig
3.22/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Huge off white head on a cloudy dark orange body. Good head retention and leaves thick lacing.
S- Sour tart apples. Faint stale aroma. Light wood also comes through.
T- Light sour apple flavor. Not near as much as the smell hints at. Light bitterness. As soon as you swallow it is almost a soap flavor. Light yeast. Some sour fruits come out. Very different taste. Not sure if this bottle is skunked since it was bottled in 2004 and it was just left on the shelf in the store and light is usually on it.
M- High carbonation on a thin body.
D- It is kind of weird. Not to fond of it. To much carbonation. The only thing that I really like about it is the aroma. (670 characters)

Photo of NataLukas
3.21/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very effervescent, much like a Champagne, but with larger bubbles. Very bubbly with a rapidly disappearing white head. Light amber / deep golden in color with some haze.

Strong funky sweet orange floral nose.

Slightly sour, strong ester and phenol presence. A slight bit of metallic bitterness in the finish. Completely dry without any hint of malty sweetness. Very little in the way of lingering flavors other than a tanginess in the front of the mouth and a lasting bitterness on the tip of the tongue. All sensations are on the front of the tongue, on the front of the upper palate and in the nose, nothing for the back of the tongue or throat.

This beer lives in the nose and on the front of the tongue. Be sure to pour it in a proper glass and enjoy the nose.

Beer was bottled Jan 2013, so it is a little over 10 months out at this tasting. (853 characters)

Photo of mcmidc
3.21/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This trappist ale pours a nice frothy light tan head, with a hazy light copper color. Not a whole lot coming to the nose maybe some mild grains along with some citrus. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Taste is tart at the start and finishes a bit sour. Also some phenol notes in there. Drinkability is good for a 6.9% beer. Not one of my favorites but still enjoyable. (397 characters)

Photo of BMan1113VR
3.21/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle brewed June 20, 2007 with 6.9% ABV indicated. My least favorite brew labeled Trappist that I have tasted thus far. Aroma was pretty nice but did have a slight off scent of sour milk or something similar (maybe chalk). Pours a beautiful amber-orange with a hazy, but still obviously sparkling content. Head is average size, rock, and only just off white. Flavor of mine was just salty and bitter, no real depth or character. Went down dry and metallicy at the end. It would take a bit of convincing for me to buy this again. Maybe I got a bad bottle, but I do not see why this is such a highly rated brew. (611 characters)

Photo of Brewfan
3.2/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Pabst Blue Ribbon chalace (my Rapscallion and Ommegang chalaces have both been recently broken).

Bottled on date 24/10/02.
Cellar temperature. 2 inch off-white head with HUGE bubbles. Large blanket of lace eventually reduced to a thin sheet and stayed throughtout the life of the beer.
Hazy orange-amber in color with much carbonation apparent in the early stages of the beer, though not overly carbonated in the late stages.
Nose of cloves, citrus, hops and banana. Slight alcohol presence, but not all that strong.
Dry and tart, citrus and hops are prevelant, while a slight maltiness stays in the background.
Finishes dry and somewhat weak.

Haven't had many Trappists yet and this is my first to review, so my palate is not quite yet accustomed to this style of beer. May have to edit review once I delve deeper into the Trappist family. (870 characters)

Photo of capra12
3.2/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 9/01/09 with Ali @ BXL east served out of a wide mouth Orval Chalice.

Appearance: Light amber with 2 fingers of white head.

Smell: Freah green fruit and Belgian Yeast.

Taste: Opens withe a graininess which is slighty off putting. There is a green apple sourness from the middle to the end and just before the finish there is a bitterness which was quite un-enjoyable. There was a distinct bitter and earthy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and crisp with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: I first had this in a bottle and tasted much like rusty pipe water and was a drain pour. I figured I had a bad bottle considering the reviews on BA, so I thought I should give this another chance and to my surprise I did not find this to be enjoyable seeing that I personally started my craft beer journey with the Trappist selection and have enjoyed the majority of the 7 seven trappist breweries. This is definitely worth the try but I would not have another. (972 characters)

Photo of chilly460
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - This beer pours a very hazy orange amber color. It has a huge fluffy white head with very good retention.

S - The smell is predominant fruity/banana smells, yeast, and a bit of dry sour type aroma.

T - The taste is a little bit sweet, and the dry bitterness I picked up in the smell. Pretty bland really, mostly yeast.

M - It has a light to medium body and very high carbonation. The carbonation is very prickly, and tingles the mouth.

O - Decent beer, but won't come back for it again anytime soon. (510 characters)

Photo of beerwolf77
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Born on date: 29/07/09 So right where the brewers think it should be consumed. Six months after bottling.

Poured into my Duvel tulip the beer is orange amber. The light tan head is enormous. It fills at least two thirds of the glass. After a brief wait the glass is covered with globs of lace.

The aroma is musty dry citrus fruit. Hints of hops, wood and a nice amount of funk.

The flavor is a bit off putting. It basically full on dry funk. I like horse blanket and barnyard funk bu tnot in this concentrated form. I really can't pick out anything else.

The body is smooth and creamy. Moderate carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall the beer looks and smells fantastic. It falls way short on flavor and drinkibilty. (717 characters)

Photo of cyrenaica
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I tried this beer on July 23, 2007 at 'Smokeless Joe's' in Toronto. The beer was bottled on November 16, 2006 and was 6.9% ABV (as opposed to 6.2%). The beer poured a cloudy brownish gold with a head that lasted through the entire trappist glass. The carbonation was very evident in the glass. The aroma was spicy and fruity, not as yeasty as an Abbey Quadrupel. The mouthfeel was medium-bodied with medium carbonation. The taste was not to my liking. The upfront taste was alright, but there was a lime-like bitterness on the back of the tongue. A very good beer, but not a great beer for me. (593 characters)

Photo of Gehrig
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Having heard much about the mystical Orval, I decided to finally try it and judge its complexity for myself. The fifth of the seven Trappist beers I've tried, it isn't easy to decide whether this is a work of genius or painful sub-mediocrity at first and, given my penchant for enjoying beers cold, I poured and tried this chilled. [Disclaimer: there is no advised serving temperature on the side, as is often the case.] At first, this was obstreperous, but thankfully improved as it warmed.

The presentation is very good--two fingers of dense off-white foam capping a cloudy, dark orange body. At first glance, it appears to be a kick-ass DIPA. The nose emits plenty of yeast, some hops, and a pungent, sour fruit taste that is perplexing. The taste is distinctly sour, a lemon-pucker taste accompanied by ardent yeast and a very dry, almost metallic taste that's impossible to ignore, and somewhat off-putting. The mouthfeel is a bizarre amalgam of bold carbonation and sour mash texture, producing a bully beer that makes you think twice about grabbing again.

I'm more than willing to finish off this one, especially at a fin a bottle, but won't grab this, ever, ahead of Trappistes, any Westmalle or Chimay, or even La Trappe. I'm going to presume that this is an acquired taste. I'm also going to allow myself the latitude to acquire it at my own pace, which might come at the twelfth of never. Not my cup of trappistes, to be honest. While far different in style and taste, Chimay Grand Reserve, Westmalle Tripel, and Trappistes Rochefort 8 are far superior, as are a number of American Belgian-style offerings. (1,620 characters)

Photo of mm931c
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottled 7/10/10
Best before 7/10/15

Poured into snifter

A-beautiful but understated bottle conjures great expectations for this one. Huge 3.5 finger head that will not go away. Lacing ok but not as good as Duvel; too much dense foam. Medium copper brown slight cloudiness.

S- very nice and refined. Sophisticated. Meets the expecations of the visual presentation of the bottle and the pour. Bouquet had me siced up and ready to be blown away by taste.

T- a let down. balanced but boring.
Ok it's very refined and probably perfect, but you have to strain in oder to appreciate it. The well blended flavors are so weak, they have a hard time fighting the slight hint of chemical taste on the palate. The intensity of the flavors are too weak for a brew this price. Huge disappointment after such a great pour, head, and bouquet. Can get more taste from a brew at a sixth of the price.

M-actually good. Balanced.

O- Too pricey for me to buy this again. Not going to spend this much money just for 3 1/2 inches of foam and a nice smell. Duvel is nearly half the price with just sa good a bouquet and two times better/more taste. Duvel does not have as much lingering foam which is probably why it laces better than this stuff. (1,233 characters)

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 2,179 ratings.