Orval Trappist Ale - Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
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Ratings: 4,262 | Reviews: 2,105 | Display Reviews Only:
5/5 rDev +19%
Finally reviewing an all-time favorite. Feb, 02 2012 bottle side by side with March 07, 2013.
A- Massive foamy white head builds to at least three fingers high atop a slightly hazy, medium amber body. Head retention is supreme and it never dies down staying about a centimeter thick and leaving a blizzard of thick lace.
S- Surprised to notice so much aged feel here. I guess it is only 6.2% or so but it has a reputation since it contains live bugs. Aged caramel and grape/raisin fruit sweetness feel and some Belgian yeast spices.
T- Follows the nose with some added yeast feel. Vinous grapes, raisin, earthy must and Belgian yeast spice. Has a strong feel of age, almost overshadowing the rest of the beer. With warmth some dry, horsey Brett but just a hint. Some strange tartness, like grapes again.
MF- Foamy and fulfilling texture. Carbonation super high and it bites the palate. Slight spicy bitterness.
A bit too vinous and just has that general old dusty raisin caramel feel. Perhaps it varies bottle by bottle or takes longer to develop but looking forward to the fresh one.
03/07/2013 (for review, I believe in fresh beer)
A- Noticeably louder hiss when popping the cap instantly has me excited. Perhaps the 2012 bottle just wasn't up to the Orval standard (it was perfect for appearance). Even tilting the glass almost flat, it foams up out of the glass and I have to rescue it from getting to wild. One HAND head with infinite retention it seems as bubbles shoot up the glass like machine guns. The head is over an inch out of the chalice. Five minutes later the head has seemed to grow more, what to do... drink through the shield!
S- Brett is on another scale compared to the 2012 bottle, it doesn't even smell similar. Pungent, classic Belgian Brett character with funk, cherries and plenty of horsey barnyard. Sour lemon juice notes makes me anticipate some tartness. Earthy, spicy and funky Brett beast. With some warmth, more Trappist yeast spice comes out and balances the wildness to perfection.
T- Taking a sip and getting a face full of foam reveals something a bit milder but more rounded out than the nose. The earthy and funky Brett dries this out completely with some barnyard, cherry pie, dried fruit and horse blanket notes. Some cracker malts and Belgian Trappist yeast spice provides a nice compliment to the wild bugs. Slight lemon peel but somehow less than the nose.
MF- Foamy and intensely carbonated but somehow it all goes down super smooth, thanks in part to a creamy texture. Finishes with some funky spice feel. Drier than desert sand.
This is more like it! This is the beer I remember having so many times. Not sure if I just got a random off bottle that I ended up aging but the Brett and Trappist yeast balance here is something of beauty. Perhaps the greatest overall beer on the planet. Always available and outstanding... All hail the trout and the golden ring. So many moral problems with perfect fives nowadays but I have a hard time justifying not doing it. This beer is as close as it gets.
11-22-2013 03:14:34 | More by cbutova
5/5 rDev +19%
I´d noticed this one in my local store for a rather long time, but I never tried it until recently. I was pretty bored with the old stuff, so I decided to try something new. And man - this is an excellent beer! Smell is fantastic - spicy (sage? thyme?), a bit sour; black currants, apples, somekind of candy (bubblegum?), sweet malt. In the taste, the spices come forward even more, together with different fruits (currants, apples, some sweeter tropical ones too), grass and some sweet malt, plus a really nice, balanced bitterness, and a dry finish. Excellent mix of sour, bitter and sweet notes.
Perhaps my favorite beer.
09-30-2008 00:33:37 | More by simonjohansson
5/5 rDev +19%
Another delicious Belgian. This is my first Belgian Pale, though. It is actually quite a pleasant change from the intense sweetness of other trappist dubbels, tripels, and quadrupels, and strong ales. Very, very delicious, and if the drinkability could go any higher than 5, I would be sure to give it that. I believe this beer is well deserving of my second ever 5 star rating on BA.
The beer erupted into a large frothy white head regardless of the careful pour. The foam refused to subdue itself, but created little dimples in the surface. The smell was the first thing that hit me as I popped open the cap. It smelled and sounded like a sparkling champagne, even tasted a bit like one. Also in the smell was something that seems to be lacking altogether in many Belgians... hops! It is by no means a hop monster, though, as the malt character clearly shows through in both the smell and taste as well. This beer is perfectly balanced between maltiness and hoppiness, in my opinion. The mouthfeel is so incredibly smooth I can't wait to take another drink. The finish is slightly dry and reveals a bit of alcohol even though is not a very huge beer at 6.9% (according to the label). As I said before, drinkability is off the charts. If you ever get a chance, buy some. I can't believe this is one of the last trappist ales I've tried. If Westy 8 and 12 can live up to their hype, I think I will have reached beer nirvana if they are better than this.
02-06-2005 05:15:29 | More by neonbrown82
5/5 rDev +19%
I'm embarrassed to say that it has taken 8 years since I first tried this beer to get my thoughts (and feelings!) posted on the "inter-web." I must start by saying that it is my all-time-favorite commerially available beer.
There is no food I have met that it doesn't pair well with. I have cooked with it (I've got the Orval Cookbook- in French), served it in place of champagne, drunk it while gardening, given spoonfuls to a teething child (Oh, don't be such a prude! I had the parents' consent!). I have converted International-Style-Light-Lager-Only-Drinkers with it (after filling their minds with tearful accounts of my trip to the brewery). And yes, I buy it by the case.
What else can I say? It is the worlds' perfect drink.
09-24-2004 04:22:58 | More by lastauss
5/5 rDev +19%
This is my favorit Trapist beer to date; it, in my view is better than Chimey- but very different. Having triied in Chinese "cafe" for $4 out of a wine glass, of which I spent a few miniuites trying to explane why I wonted a glass and particularly that glass, It is by far one of the best beers I have triied. I wont lie, the Chinese air killed my nose and so I can just tell by every thing else that the beer smelled like heaven. The taste was very different, very oylde fashined and very not sweat and not bitter. It was light and crispy but also heavy and wonderful. I could sit and drink these for years.
06-20-2010 16:19:50 | More by Eisen
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,262 ratings.