1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

4,530 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,530
Reviews: 2,133
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 225
Gots: 457 | FT: 11
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)
View: Beers (2) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Orval Trappist Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,530 | Reviews: 2,133 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SaltyLime
3.3/5  rDev -21.4%
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

Photo of Quaffer
3.3/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

Photo of slackattack
3.3/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

Photo of Bookseeb
3.3/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

Photo of kingjames1
3.28/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.28/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

Photo of mrnobody
3.28/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

Photo of BirdFlu
3.28/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

Photo of harryhops
3.28/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of 1fastz28
3.28/5  rDev -21.9%
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

Photo of heddar33
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of mctizzz
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of amstokesdb9
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of Tomblerone
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of mikeburd1128
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of Psychmusic
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of Jdevoss
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of vinicole
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

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.

Photo of Rusty_Pabst
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of PHSCAPT
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%
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.

Photo of skiit13
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of Hallertau
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of AnotherBeerGeek
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of zapahoppa
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of RoyFokker
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,530 ratings.