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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: 4,975
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 18.94%
Wants: 303
Gots: 683 | 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: 4,975
Photo of Cramshawbar
3.37/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Out of all of the trappist beer I had, this has to be the weakest. Compared to St. Bernardus or Maredsous, this seems like an amateurish attempt.
Too much carbonation, an awkward mouth-feel and a taste that verges into an area of something bittersweet - this beer is a major trappist disappointment.

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Photo of allboutbierge
3.37/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ive had Orval quite a few times but never got around to writing a review until now.

This bottle was an '06 purchased from Juilus Meinl in Vienna.

Appearance is light brown with a slight golden hue topped by a gob of white fluffiness. Upon pouring it's a bit murky but yet transparent. However, all cloudiness quickly dissipates away. Scent is soft and sour. I detected some graininess to the smell as well...the smell isn't a high point of this beer.

Taste is pleasant. A mixture of sour fruit flavors accented with a slight hoppiness. Beer is well carbonated and the carbonation may be hiding the depth of the hop favors. Malt background is equally slight. This isn't a taste monster but rather refreshing.

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Photo of jhu1995
3.36/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle.

Loved the color and appearance of this beer. Nice orange color with plenty of head retention. Lots of tiny bubbles exploding to the surface. Very fruity smell, almost like a chardonnay. Couldn't wait to taste it. Taste was okay, but was expecting more based on appearance and smell. Not very complex and nothing that really makes you stand up and take notice. Mouthfeel was interesting. Felt very foamy, almost like it was forming a head in my mouth. Overall, a decent beer.

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Photo of Quaffer
3.36/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: This was an orange brew with an incredible sustained bead. The head was thick and fluffy and just wouldn't go away, being fueled by all the rising bubles. It coated the sides of the goblet with lace, sometimes in solid sheets.

Smell: There were aromas of citrus fruit, spice, and alcohol. A slight malt smell was present, but it was not prevalent

Mouthfeel: Kind of rough and thin bodied. It improved somewhat as it sat.

Taste: There was hardly any flavor up front. On the finish there was a spicy sweetness and a grapefruit like bitterness. After a few drinks, I started to notice a slight malt flavor. A little bit of alcohol came through, but there was no warming effect to speak of.

This beer was just as I remembered it: very dry. I think that I enjoyed it more this time, but it is not one my favorites by any means. It is definitely my least favorite of all the Trappist brews that I have had.

It's awful perty, though.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.36/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, golden straw color with a big, rocky head..almost too be. Kind of "gushed" as it hit the glass.
Smells of hint og bubble gum, yeasty and estery. Cooked apples and pears come to mind.
Taste is rather bland if I can say that. Mouthfeel is good. Fruity and full. Yeast characteristics tasted.
Drink by 8/8/2012 is noted on the bottle. Perhaps I should have aged it more.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.36/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

When I was first told about a hoppy belgian brew i was very excited until i thought about how belgians like to use old hops in Lambics, and that got me to be a little worried. Still I bought one and tried it and it poured a huge effervescent head that subsided moderateky leaving some lace. The aroma was slighty fruity and had a malty dryness. The flavor was very strange as it had a strong flavor of hops but not like anything I have ever tried before. The hops were almost like juniper or some other astringent herb but stil retaining the smoothness of quality hops with no cheesiness or weird bitterness. The malt flavor was light and dry making sure that the hops were the highlight of the beer. The body was light and the carbonation led to a champagne like character as it fizzed all over your tongue during the first few drinks. An alright beer it seems pretty extreme to have one after another but if something interesting is needed this brew will certainly come through.

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Photo of hero27
3.36/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle

Appearance: Pours with a billowing, white, fluffy head. Hazy, golden amber color. Bubbles stream from the bottom, reminiscent of champagne.

Smell: Can pick up spices and grassy, herbal hop aromas. Hints of fruit and maybe a slight alcohol smell that lingers as well. Nothing too spectacular here.

Taste: More citrousy in the taste than I would have expected after smelling it. Somewhat complex flavors, but all very subtle. I even let this puppy warm up to nearly room temp. after I had finished half the bottle, and it didn't help much. Doesn't taste bad, I've just come to expect more from Trappists (and beer in general).

Mouthfeel: Little too carbonated for my taste. Lively in the mouth due to the carbonation, which carries the flavors well.

Drinkability: Personally, if I spend nearly $5 on a trappist, I want a higher abv..this "tame" trappist pale ale at 6.2% is a lightweight compared to it's relatives. Overall, nice to try, but nothing I'll be running back to the store to buy again.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.35/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Seen this forever, finally decided to pick up one.

Big frothy white head like a white beard. Golden Graham caramel brown with yellow highlights.

Fruity, sweetness, dry, earthy, I didn't get all those other smells people did, cuz i'm dumb.

Sour, sweet, too sour.

I don't know if I like this beer, so I guess it means it's ok. It's like those slices of pizza you dont really like, at least it's still pizza though.

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Photo of alabamagolf
3.35/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy blonde color. Large fluffy head - which lasts a really long time and leaves a thick film of lacing. Reminded me of a Hefeweizen, just with a lot more head and carbonation.

S: Mild Belgian yeast aroma.

T: Well-balanced ale. Alcohol is very hard to detect. The finish is tart and slightly bitter. Medium body.

M: Nicely carbonated.

D: Easy ale to drink.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.35/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled on 29/08/2006, it will be almost a year since bottling when cracked. Appearance has a hazy dirty orange with a real thick fluffy head. Smell has a dry citrus aroma along with some sweet spice. Taste is dry, slightly harsh,earthy and citrusy with a bit of hop and carbonation having a good mouthfeel, but nothing that really stands out. Not what I expected it to be in a $6.00 11.2oz bottle, but I'm willing to give it another try in a well aged bottle.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
3.33/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was not overly impressed by this offering, in fact a little dissappointed. It poured ok, the classic light color cloudy yellow I have come to exspect from the Belgiums. But after that, it just fell apart. The ABV was not balanced, IMHO, properly. Too much alcohol taste. The hops weren't very impressive, yes they were there, but showing up is only half the work. I felt they didn't blen well. It went down in a forceful way, each sip anticipating it's taste, not in a good way. I'll refrain from this beer in the future.

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Photo of SaltyLime
3.33/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 2 to 3 finger rocky head, a bit hazy orange in color
Smell - fruity citrus smell along with a slight sourness
Taste - the complex Belgian flavors weren't there...tasted weak and bland
Mouthfeel - low carbonation, lightest bodied Belgian I have tried so far
Drinkability - I think the monks feel asleep during this one, would rather drink a generic homebrew extract kit

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Photo of ChugginOil
3.33/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A- When poured, the bubbly head dominates. It sits lazy atop the brew for over 10 minutes. From the center of the snifter you can see a carbonation tunnel running up to the surface. Wow. Still waiting to drink this and becoming impatient as the relentless head remains. The color of the brew is an opaue golden orange color.

S- The nose is not offering much at first. Some citrus and port scents come through with a bit of honey mixed with some Belgium style yeast.

T- First I taste a glass/metallic taste, followed by a light nothingness, almost flavorless along side the overpowering carbonation and acidity. Overrated so far. A bit of citrus and yeast make this an okay sipper. Not a big fan but its pretty balanced.

M- Very crisp and light with an ample amount of carbonation.

D- If you like watered down Belgium pale ales, this one's for you. You could chug it with a well fat budget.

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Photo of rkinsella
3.32/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Medium yellow / light amber, slightly cloudy. Beautiful head stayed through most of the glass. Decent amount of lacing.

Smell - Actually caught me by surprise. A tad strange. Balanced malt and hop, but with strong notes of a fresh water stream? Dare I say, fresh laundry??? Almost a puzzling smell.

Taste - Right away you can taste the complexity. Fine notes of citrus, spice, tartness, all inside of a big crisp taste. Nice dry finish which faded evenly.

Mouthfeel. Round, velvet, good carbonation.

This beer is beautifully crafted with lots of care I'm sure. Although I don't know how often I would buy it, but I'm very glad I tried it.

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Photo of slackattack
3.32/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled November 2013, best before November 2018.

Pours beautiful golden brown, pillowy 3 fingers of head that is persistent and leaves a spotty lace on the drink down. Nose is not overly assertive, bready notes, Belgian yeast prevalent. My first thought was that it was pretty boozy for a 6.9% beer, but I think the extremely dry finish contributed to that. Really clean taste, but not a lot of flavor if that makes sense. Bitterness throughout the drink makes it enjoyable. After it warmed a few degrees I'm starting to think that I wish this wasn't so expensive because it could be session material. Easy to drink, lots of carbonation, good summer front porcher.

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Photo of kingjames1
3.31/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Popped the cap, and foam literally erupted down the side. Never had that happen with a belgium bottle-capped beer before. As a result, it poured with a massive, thick tan head. Looks great, and the head lasts and lasts on this one. Smells complex, with lemony citrus, coriander, pepper, and something funky ('wet horse blanket', I once heard suggested, but I wouldn't know). Taste - interesting! Weird. I've had an Orval once before, but stupidly smoked a cigar with it (and as a result, tasted nothing). Now my palate is quite clear. I don't think I've ever tasted a beer quite like it. It has that infamous funk of a farmhouse-style. But it is sour, and really dry. Oh! A fruit fly just got caught in the head - sucker's doomed in this froth-swamp. Fly's are attracted to funk.

The sour-dry finish is reminiscent of a dry red wine, like a cheap merlot ('sideways' comes to mind). Hops are definitely present, and yeast to be sure, but where's the malts? Its there, just under the sour layer of yeast and astringent hops. This is definitely a sipping beer. It kind of grows on you as you sip it - and the fruitiness (from the yeasts) becomes more noticeable to me. But over all, just doesn't agree with me very well (and I like Saisons - at least the few I've had). Good mouthfeel, light, but not terribly drinkable for the style, imo. One is enough, thanks.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.31/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presented in an 11.2 oz. bottle with a bottled on date of 17.09.2004 and a best before date of 17.09.2009 on the rear of the label. Poured gently (I highly recommend a gentle pour!) into my beloved Duvel tulip glass.
Murky brassy color over which blossomed a massively frothy light cream colored head. Very slowly the head dissapated, leaving wads of lace behind.
The smell had elements of lambic and Flanders red to it. Brett yeast is evident in the musty, earthy, old-cat-piss-in-the-litterbox aroma. Definitely gives the nose a tweak. Also has some sour cherry and Band-Aid phenolics. Some doughy malt and lemon peel aroma, too. Light alcohol scent.
Candy sugar sweetness welded to sour cherry up front. Lemon cough drops and an earthy malt taste. Definite brett influence as a slightly puckery leathery stale wet hay flavor becomes prominent. Bitterness of lemon zest and peppery spice complete the taste parade. Rather highly acidic. The feel was light, big-time spritzy, and drying.
Not sure I really care for Orval. Definitely an acquired taste, IMO, and I like the sharp tartness of a lambic or Flanders red or the sharp bite of Brettanomyces. It just doesn't seem to work well with this beer. Maybe I'll age one a couple years and see what happens. But for now, I'm ambivalent at best about Orval.

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Photo of mrnobody
3.31/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

330 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a cloudy orange/amber with a massive 4 finger fluffy offwhite head; insane retention. Looks like an ice cream float!

S: Smells floral, yeasty. White wine aromas.

T: Tastes of sour apples, hops. Very dry and crisp. However, there is something vaguely medicinal in the finish that's offputting.

M: Has a light-medium body with lively carbonation.

D: If not for the unpleasant finish, the drinkability would be pretty good.

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Photo of dogfooddog
3.31/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled Jan 03, this bottle is just over 3 years old. It has been kept in my 50F refrigerator for at least 2 years. Label does not have the various warnings and mandates for US bottles so I assume i ordered this from belgium.

Poured in chimay glass, head just over 50% of height, well over half of volume of glass. Pours reddish-golden color, clear. Smells floral, strong hop presence.

Taste is very dry, just a hint of floral notes after a very dry start. Not at all what I expected from the nose. Malty middle and finish. I can taste some spices or almost peppery notes towards the end

I remember I have never loved this beer but at 3 years old this is a very presentable beer and an enjoyable bottle on its own merits.

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Photo of jsisko01
3.31/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled on 12-30-2009 and best before 12-30-2014.

Appearance - Poured only half the bottle and it foamed over the top.. 2 inches of soapy looking foam, dissipating very slowly. The color is copper.

Smell - Dark fruits and bitterness is most dominant. Also earthy and has a little funky/musty aroma. I think I smell some clove too.

Taste - Very bitter.. with floral hops. Citrus, tartiness, clove, and some other spices.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with high carbonation.

Overall - Not really what I was expecting. I'd like it better without the spices.

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Photo of ChuckMartel
3.3/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a huge head that looks like whipped cream w/ an orangish color. Smells like perfume. Tastes a lot like perfume -- prettier than it needs to be. Tastes a little thin for a Trappist ale. After you have one, you really don't look forward to another.

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Photo of Brabander
3.3/5  rDev -20.9%
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.

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Photo of cbl2
3.3/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


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.


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


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.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.29/5  rDev -21.1%
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


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Photo of joedon
3.29/5  rDev -21.1%
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.

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