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Orval Trappist Ale - Brasserie d'Orval S.A.

Not Rated.
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,322 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,322
Reviews: 2,112
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 202
Gots: 391 | FT: 8
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:
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.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 09-18-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Orval Trappist Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,322 | Reviews: 2,112 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of glinnebur
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

glinnebur, May 11, 2014
Photo of GarthT
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

GarthT, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of MAB
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

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...

MAB, Oct 17, 2002
Photo of Jah_Json
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Jah_Json, Feb 05, 2014
Photo of OldsmarTap
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

OldsmarTap, May 18, 2013
Photo of joedon
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

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.

joedon, Sep 25, 2005
Photo of jrjordao
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

jrjordao, May 09, 2012
Photo of jsisko01
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

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.

jsisko01, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of kevrice88
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

kevrice88, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of jgippe
3.24/5  rDev -22.9%

jgippe, Aug 26, 2014
Photo of philbe311
3.23/5  rDev -23.1%

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...

philbe311, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.23/5  rDev -23.1%

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.

MrMcGibblets, Sep 03, 2007
Photo of jamesdergen
3.23/5  rDev -23.1%

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.

jamesdergen, Oct 08, 2005
Photo of jpittman80
3.23/5  rDev -23.1%

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.

jpittman80, May 09, 2010
Photo of arfenhouse
3.23/5  rDev -23.1%

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.

arfenhouse, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of itcomesnpints
3.23/5  rDev -23.1%

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.

itcomesnpints, Aug 31, 2008
Photo of bashiba
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%

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.

bashiba, Oct 30, 2004
Photo of Chubby
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%

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.

Chubby, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of MisterClean
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%

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.

MisterClean, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of bonsreeb85
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%

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.

bonsreeb85, May 28, 2010
Photo of WhiteOak
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%

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.

WhiteOak, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of dreadnatty08
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%

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.

dreadnatty08, Mar 13, 2006
Photo of mcmidc
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%

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.

mcmidc, Jul 15, 2008
Photo of philphilphil
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%

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.

philphilphil, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of BeerMasterD
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%

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.

BeerMasterD, Sep 27, 2010
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,322 ratings.