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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: 4,970
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 18.94%
Wants: 302
Gots: 684 | 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.
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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: 4,970
Photo of J_Dub
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured a semi-opaque amber color. No matter how you pour this beer it will produce a generous white head. Tons of lacing as the head dies down.

The nose is the strongest part of this brew. Fruity smell I can't quite place. Reminds me of a hefeweizen actually. Spicy notes dominate with floral and malty hints throughout. There's also a grassy, earthy yeast smell that is very pleasing.

The taste is a slight let down after the wonderful smell. Malt and spiciness right up front with just hint of floral and malt. The overall taste is similar to the nose but doesn't have all the complex layers. The end of the sip brings some grassy flavors but it is too watered down for my tastes. If you could just boost the flavors that are present it would put this beer into a higher plane. As it is, it's very good but misses just slightly.

The mouthfeel is just as expected from a belgian pale. High levels of carbonation. Nice clean and crisp finish.

Fantastic overall beer. Very drinkable and a good representation of the style. My only letdown was that the flavor wasn't as good as the smell led on (but still fantastic overall).

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Photo of Phocion
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I originally reviewed this just over nine years ago, let's see how my tastes have changed. New review July 10, 2015. Bottle dated 11/14 and poured into an Orval chalice. Dark golden-brown and a big, frothy, and long-lasting off-white head that leaves thick sheets of lacing along the glass.

Aroma is a nice balance of hops and yeast. Bright fruity esters and a nice floral Continental hoppiness. Subtle biscuit malts and a touch of funk and crisp tartness. Citrus and tropical esters.

Flavor is very hop-forward despite its eight months of age. Grassy, floral, and peppery. Candi sugar and typical Belgian fruity yeast also adds to a caramel maltiness. What really makes this beer unique is the perfectly-implemented level of Brett funk, which is assertive but far from overpowering. Ever-so-subtle light acidic tartness on the finish. Excellent balance.

Medium bodied and with a quite creamy mouthfeel, but doesn't feel too full. Crisp and refreshing finish.

I haven't had this beer in years, and that's a damned shame. Even in today's over-saturated craft market, this thing is still a world-class beer. Even better than I remember from my first ancient review of it.

(Original review: 6/16/2006/Rated 4.03)
Bottle dated 10/05, so this is about 9 months old. Poured into an Orval chalice. Thick golden-brown with a huge foamy head and great retention.

Malty and fruity overtones, especially pear. Quite an alcohol scent as well, though we are approaching 7% (the site lists this at 6.2, but my bottle says 6.9).

Very dry and earthy taste. Alcohol content is evident as well, not as well hidden as most Belgians. The pears are coming through as an undertone, and it is neither as fruity or malty as the scent.

Medium-bodied. Very dry and crisp on the palate.

This is a good treat, but definitely not a session beer. Very dry and fairly high ABV. Overall I'd recommend it, but not more than one or two a night.

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Photo of Swuntly
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1st review!

Bottle dated 12/30/2009

A - Pours a hazy burnt orange with 3 fingers of clumpy beige head that sticks around forever. Nice sticky lacing all over the glass.

S - Green apple, barnyard funk, lemon zest, slight dry hop smell as well. Great smelling beer.

T - Follows the nose almost exactly with slightly tart green apple and just a hint of citrus up front followed by a touch of Bretty funk. Nice slight bitterness on the back end.

M - Medium body and ample carbonation leaves an amazing dryness.

O - Wow. I didn't expect to like this beer THIS much. I'd like to try a fresher bottle to compare this against, but this really is astounding.

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Photo of sprackops
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 11.2oz brown bottle with a best before date of 20.01.2009, a full five years after its bottled on date. Poured into a proper Orval chalice, leaving the majority of the yeast in the bottle.

Appearance: Slightly hazy amber with a wide column of bubbles feeding a dense off-white head. Beautiful.

Smell: Lemon, orange, pine, and funky barnyard yeast are just a few of the scents that come to mind. Quite a complex nose.

Taste: Very citric and drying at the start, like a dry white. Beyond this the taste expands to a particularly full balance of sweet malts and candy sugar to high alpha acid hops bitterness. Lurking in the periphery is the funky wild yeast character detected in the nose, bringing along with it an impressive gamut of earthy, rustic flavors similar to those found in complex cheeses that while not immediately appealing, are in my opinion integral to the uniquely satisfying nature of Orval. The experience is rounded out with a pleasant, mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with very lively carbonation. This perfectly accompanies and accentuates the flavor.

Drinkability: As I consider this the most subjective category for obvious reasons, I would normally state that I see no reason why anyone who appreciates this beer couldn't knock back a few more than other representatives of similar styles. However, considering the price that comes along with the Trappist name, it seems proper to deduct a point here.

Comments: This has been my favorite Belgian for nearly as long as I've been aware of the country's beers -- I've delayed reviewing it for so long out of fear of not doing it justice. I'd just like to add that I would love to taste more hoppy beers which utilise wild yeast strains. Oh Brettanomyces, what can't you do?

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Photo of sfz
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled 5/19/2010, with a best by date of 5/19/2015. Cool bottle. Huge hiss of carbonation as the cap pops off.

A - Pours a slightly cloudy, medium-dark golden hue with an absolutely monstrous head. Pour this one carefully.

S - Citrus with hints of grapes and other fruity yeasts. Very complex.

T - Citrus with noticeable alcohol. Crisp and refreshing.

M - Light/medium carbonation. Smooth, smooth, smooth.

D - Extremely easy to drink, but price and above average ABV make this one for more special occasions. Meant to be sipped slowly and enjoyed.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bring on the funk! If you like a beer with funk, this is the beer for you.

Pours with a thick head. Reminds me of root beer floats. Cloudy amber. Lots of lace that never goes away.

Smells funky.

Funkiness in taste which ends with a hops bitterness. Refreshing.

Drinkable, but again if this is your thing.

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Photo of dasenebler
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33cl, bottled on 8/17/10.

Cloudy, glowing orange-amber. Lots of clingy, thick foam even with a slow pour. Clumpy, craggy head sticks around forever.

Aroma is at first strongly estery, with some pear and banana bread, and then becomes decidedly earthy and Bretty.

What a wonderful beer. So dry, hoppy, bitter and complex. Lots of grapefruit, lemon and orange rind. Biscuity malts and wheaty flavors are there, but with no trace of sweetness. Then there's that wonderfully smooth Orval yeast, combined with an earthy, musty component. The finish is so bitter, dry and refreshing, just like eating a grapefruit. The mouthfeel is actively carbonated and fluffy, perhaps a little too aggressive.

This might be the driest Belgian Pale Ale or Saison (whatever it is!) out there. Nothing else like it. The perfect marriage of complexity, dryness and refreshment.

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Photo of phishgator
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into an Orval glass. The Light Golden hue with the heavy carbonation and big fluffy head make this a beautiful beer to behold. The aroma is of meadow grass and a hint of the farm. The taste is a drying bitterness with a clean earthy tone. There is a sense of tartness, but without being tart. The body is light and airy. A beer that you wish could be drank everyday. A very unique flavor and aroma that I can't say I've had anywhere else.

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Photo of Act25
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Retried this in tulip at cellar temp at home. Thrilling. I have to have one of these a month.
Upped my review. Out of heavy glass vase like bottle, mine stamped 7-2012 so 2.5 years old.
** re-review on 10-25-15 a 1 year old edition. Equally good.

O: Get ready for a wild, subtle, flowery experience....

A: Pours massive unstoppable head, on top of a very hazy apricot body. The head becomes the tallest set of floating rocks and leaves lots of lacing that make it look tough to wash the glass. One of the best looking beers ever. In a tulip, a .5 l glass, a nonic pint, a wine balloon, and in a Leffe Chalice.

Smell: Strong flower shop plus citrus nose; smells like a box of oranges sitting in a wet barn full of hay with jasmine and lavender flowers growing outside. And a beautiful woman lifting her skirt as she crosses a fresh stream while chewing violet gum.
**must let it warm. Do not drink cold or without cheese!

Taste: Complex. Starts with hops, and bitter fizz, and runs a long arc of flowers, grass, wet hay, barnyard, citrus flavors then a long, long, long dry finish, like good wine. Great with Cheese as Jason wrote. (Tonight French Comte) (cheese almost a must, in another case Irish cheddar with fresh baked bread, and another late harvest garden tomato with balsamic). Ultimate fine and creamy cheese beer pairing.
**As soon as I poured, I went back to the fridge for the cheddar. Cheese a must!

Mouthfeel: Interesting twist. A wee heavy, and long finish with dry bitterness. WIne-like, long long finish. I like it like I'd like a Jayer Cote de Nuit.

Drinkability: This is a great Trappist beer. I think it just rose above Chimay for me. Shimmy over Chimay, make room for Orval... You must try it. It's not for everyone. But it must have a following because it's been crafted since 1100.

Belgian fans must.

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Photo of Pahn
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Huge, pillowy white head despite a slow, careful pour. Head sticks around forever, ending up as a dollop of uneven foam with about a 1/4 inch thick head remaining around it. The extensive lacing clings to the glass forming a web. The beer is a deep, rather opaque amber with a few stray bubbles. One of the most beautiful and inviting looking beers I've ever seen.

Smell: Grassy, with a hint of lemon and a mild belgian yeasty funk. The smell exploded out of the bottle as soon as the bottle opener cracked the cap, and stayed nice and strong throughout.

Taste: So deep. Every sip yields an entirely new experience, and always unlike any other beer. I got grassy notes, black pepper, a nice hoppy bite, floral notes, leather. The finish is alternately soapy and tart, or big and bready, occasionally even sweet. Lots of musty tones, again reminding me of the smell of leather or even cologne. It's such a strange tasting beer, and the taste never mellows out or stops delivering new experiences.

Feel: Perfection. Creamy with just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Also excellent, primarily because of the exceptional mouthfeel, and also because the taste never stops growing. The alcohol is quite well masked as well, though it does occasionally provide some pleasant warmth.

Probably the most interesting beer I've ever tasted. There are many beers whose taste I prefer, but very few that get anywhere near the complexity of Orval (Trappistes Rochefort 10 is the only one I can think of, though I haven't been able to get my hands on any Westvleteren yet).

Note: absolutely do not drink this beer too cold. You may as well not drink it at all if you're not going to have it warm enough to unleash all its complexity. Definitely a beer that every beer drinker--regardless of preferred style--should try at least once.

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Photo of mgp80
4.69/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Really interesting beer, and challenging to rate, since comparing it to other Belgian pales is iffy. To my tastes its a meeting point somewhere between traditional abbey ales and a flanders red. I recommend it to any fan of either style.

Served out of a 12 oz bottle into an oversize wine glass. Pours dark and golden with a foamy head that shrinks fairly quickly into a foamy film. Aroma betrays the brett, with citrus, cranberry, ripe apple. Faint spice of the sort you'd expect from a trappist ale. Mild but nice. Flavor starts off with tart fruit, again cranberry comes to mind, followed by a rise of some peppery spice flavors with a little bit of a leathery taste. Tartness comes back in the aftertaste. High carbonation in the mouthfeel. This is very drinkable, as it strikes a balance between being interesting and going easy on the palate, and the alcohol is pretty well-hidden.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.69/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked this bottle up at Julio's kept in my fridge for a couple of months - bottled on 13/11/08 and best before 13/11/2013 accoreding to the label -I poured this chilled from the bowling pin style 11.2oz bottle into a chalice

A - When the pour was finished there was 3 fingers of whipped foam rising out of the glass - the beer started foaming out as the cap was pried off. About 2 fingers below the rim of the glass w/ bead like ball bearings in rows stacked upon each other. The color of the brew is sort of orange and caramel golden w/ cream on top of off white. The clarity is hazed w/ incredible head retention, the lace clings well

S - I was drawn to the aroma w/ brett apparent in the cherry, cedar, tobacco and oak-like nose immediately. The scent of pink peppercorn, pineapple and rose petals w/ light orance rind, and kumquat all intertwined w/ a mild, subtle vanilla spiced note. The nose is seriously tropical with a passionfruit and mild mango note but the sweet woody cherry-like aromas pervade w/ mild spice like tobacco and gentle apple

M - a mild weet feel and highly effervescent w/ a slight tannic essence w/ fruit and tart tinged texture. There is mild spice edges w/ lightly bitter notes and bits of dry fruit skin w/ an herbal accent. The ale finishes lightly tart and dry

T -the taste is wonderful with the brett flavor which is cherry-like and tropical tinged w/ light pineapple flavor and mild woody tinges w/ a light pepper and lemon quality. The gentle floral and tea-like herbal hop quality w/ a subtle toasted note w/ mild honey tip is very delectable w/ hints of lemongrass and cherry skin w/ a mellow twiggy hop and toasted malt taste.
The real standout is the brett which gives the dry yet full flavored fruit elemnent to the ale while I know it is a blend of Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces it is still great how balanced and light spice and brett is blended with tropical yeast flavor and spice/pine. The hop taste is hinted at and moves to a dry place which signals me to take another sip and start enjoying everything again w/ a lemony note w/ mild flavor of alcohol in the last sips as it nears cellar temp

D - The drinkability is sublime - stellar, inspirational brew - I have a lot of respect for the method and humble brilliance the monks exude in the style w/ plentle of subtlety and nuance, yet vibrant, intense flavor. The experience is a wonderful taste, words truly can't express it -something I wish I had on hand all the time

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Photo of Weli
4.69/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A-Light copper/amber with a rocky white head with great retention.

S-Really reminds me of spring in a hayfield! Kinda fruity maybe apples, a hint of spice

T-Smooth earthy bitterness up front with a hint of citrus and spice, hints of pilsner malt

M-Kinda tart, overall dry and very thirst quenching

O-A must try beer! Definitely a bench mark example of the Belgian Pale Ale

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.69/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled on April 22, 2010. Drank on January 29, 2011. Poured into a chalice. This is super carbonated. Nice Golden color with a bit of haze. There is a great white frothy head on this beer; two to three inches.

The smell is full of lemon and rhubarb aromas. This smells refreshing. Not much brett in the aroma at all.

The taste is mildly sweet in the front and finishes dry and bretty. A hint of band aid is in the finish. Nice balanced flavor.

The mouthfeel is right in the middle of light and heavy for the style; I guess I'd say perfect. Drinkability is off the charts; great "pale ale."

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Photo of brownbeer
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a brilliant yellowish orange, nice bubbles and a head that will be as big as you want it.

Absolutely wonderful nose; bretty funk, white pepper, a light woody note, white grapes.

Flavors are similar to the nose with brisk carbonation and finishing dry with great noble hop character.

Sensational in refreshment and drinkability. Classic and inspiring. Yes, please.

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Photo of hobojon
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had both fresh and aged. This review is based on a bottle that was brought back by a friend from belgium. 2 month old bottle.

Aroma- Funky (Brett), floral and fruity, fresh. bready. dry. some tart acid. great malt, bready. pungent spicy, herbal, noble hops.

App- very light haze. amber. creamy off white foam stays and laces.

Taste- sweet mouth coating tart and then dry and clean. fruity pucker, tart berry (cherry). bready and light caramel. crisp malt. hops are great, bitter and resinous. malt is incredible. not very funky compared to aged, I prefer it fresh.

Mouthfeel- high carb, clean, dry. full. alc is slightly noticeable in throat.

Overall- amazing when fresh. tartness is great. beers like this inspire my home brewing.

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Photo of TrueRates
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Roughly 18 months old. A golden copper color of a beer with a white frothy like head. Aromas of musty basement, barnyard, some spicy hops, and many other complex aromas. Full bodied beer with high carbonation. Flavors of spicy hops, white pepper, tons of Brett flavors. Fantastic beer.

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Photo of RuudJH
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is defenately the trappist that breathes cloisterlife the most. The experience of sniffing and sipping this ale is something Medieval. It reminds me of old churches and chapels in Europe I've visited.

(Meanwhile looking at the uniquely shaped bottle).

A: Great colour(between orange and brown), great head (beige, very thick and fluffy, and great lacing). Great to look at.
S: Defenately very pleasant. Fruit (cherry, strawberry), entertaining hops, something hard to define (pepperminty), plust the yeast, that gives it great dimension..
T: This beer is very intruiging with the Brettanomyces, topclass malts, but also it's spicy with pepper, plus a taste of both fresh and dried fruits, bread and good hops.
M: This drink is very dry, the taste stays in your mouth long.
D: Allthough it's not too high on alcohol (between 6 and 7% abv on the label, it seems to vary), I think it's a beer for sipping. It also goes well with crackers 'n old hard cheese.

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Photo of D-Rock
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Purchased in Japan and poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Look: Holy jeeze, a huge white foamy head gushes up when this beer is poured, taking up about half of my glass. The head keeps foaming up and looks very alive, dynamic course bubbles slowly walk up the sides of the glass, exquisite. The beer itself is a pale transparent deep amber gold-straw color with the barest hint of clouding. Healthy carbonation keeps bubbles streaming towards the top.

Smell: A very unique bouquet, dusty, barn-like, moldy and funky, incredibly complex. Spicy tones become more prominent with a peppery coriander and nutmeg hint. Zesty lemon is prominent as well. A lot going on here, I could spend all day picking out components in this beer.

Taste: A medium bitterness accompanies the taste throughout with a moldy-mildew presence. Sour and pungent. The malt character is there but plays second to the funk. The subtle malt body gives a nice underlying backbone and becomes sweet in the drawn out aftertaste. Complex, extremely complex.

Feel: Mouthfeel is light and smooth with a puckering feel from the sourness. Carbonation bubbles up in the mouth. A hint of astringency coats the tongue. Silky almost.

Overall: This beer is unique, novel, traditional, unexpected (for the uninitiated), and somehow it all just works. Everything melds together and works in harmony, from the barnyard funk to the moldy brie taste. A stupendous beer and delicious.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tasted at "Bistro des Bières Belges" on Montreal's south shore in a bottle labeled 6,9% rather than the 6.2% suggested here. While pouring the liquid, you come to understand what's with everyone talking about all the unique flowers in the aroma from this legendary trappist beer. Lilac is all over the place, your nose doesn't even have to be close to the nice graal-like glass. The numerous and regular bubbles escape relatively fast leaving just a perfect relatively small white head. The taste is very spicy with coriander, citrus and just so many I can't name. Bitterness steps in and dance in unity with those spices among the flowers. A nectar!

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Photo of MrIncognito
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a wine glass (I really need to get a chalice). Brewed-on date 15/3/07 best before 15/03/12.

Pours a golden yellow, slight haze with a great billowing head. Lacing all over the glass. Champaign-like bubbles.

Smell is definite lemon, lemon grass. Sweet with slight hops in the background.

Taste is dry and sweet, yet quenching. I really taste some lemon overtones with hop bitterness on the back of my tongue. Carbonation gives a very Champaign feel. Gets better and better as I drink it and as it warms up. Less carbonation midway through. The alcohol is not all too noticable but does have a warming effect midway through. Becomes less dry towards the end.

This is a great beer any time of year. I can't wait to drink this on a summer night out on the deck. I'd be curious to see what more aging will do to this beer... guess I gotta buy a few more.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've been saving this as a celebration beer for finishing the Vermont 50. Better late than never.

Even a delicate pour produces a runaway white head. Settles into a chunky head like a marshmallow dissolving into a sea of Fluff. Beautiful amber color. Delicate lace nestled down my glass. This is a pin-up girl of beers.

Smells strongly of botanicals, like Herbal Essences shampoo. I think I can pick out juniper and maybe even dome fuzzy hops? Sweet apricot and peach fuzz offsets dry, champagne-like graininess.

Taste is more juniper led botanicals and dry ginger ale and dried apricoty fruit. High carbonation boosts body but could be toned down a bit. Dry finishes cleanses the palette after each sip.

Unique from bottle to finish, this is one of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of TenHornsProud
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque dark orange with a huge, and I mean huge, white rocky head that lingers and laces. One of the best looking pours I've seen.

Smells of brett, apple, pear, sugar, bubble gum. Really great aroma, makes you want to take a sip.

Taste is up front hop and brett that fades into a fruity, sugar malt and hop character and ends with some yeast spice, hop bitterness, and fruit. Complex as all hell and refreshing.

Lighter to medium body with high carbonation work perfectly for the beer.

Hoppy (maybe a bit too astringent), fruity, spicy, sweet yet dry, just really interesting and complex. The brett is more subtle but present. What's not to love. Amazing beer.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orval is always wonderfully complex and hoppy, and it did not disappoint this time. This is a very unique beer brewed by some of those zany Belgian Trappist monks, and is loosely in the pale ale style; being pale, an ale and quite hoppy, including dry hopping. At this point it leaves the standard pale ale road, among possible others, it is made using Brettanomyces yeast which add a complexity of flavor which I typically say adds a musty note. At first thought this does not appear to be all that tasty (musty, horse blanket; I have some old leather shoes like that) but I feel that if done right over the correct amount of time it adds wonderful notes of complexity. This beer does it correctly, and I always love being able to sample this wonderful beer.

The beer pours a hazy copper-orange color, and is topped by a tan creamy head. As I pour this beer the Brett character is immediately noticeable; aromas of musty cellars, and leather. A sweet fruity aroma is here as well but the musty brett character dominates. The beer is well carbonated. It is lightly sweet up front, but only just as this is a dry beer. Has a certain sharp dryness in the finish that is coupled with a funky-woody-musty character. There is some residual hop character still here, though it is hard to separate it out.

This remains a challenging/ characterful brew on this side of the Atlantic. When fresh it is quite a bit different; still good but in a fresh hoppy sort of way. I love that the Belgians still embrace ornery "spoilage" organisms in their brews, it makes for a much more colorful world.

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Photo of tpd975
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice cloudy murky orange hue with a nice tall rocky head. Great retention and chunky lace left behind.

S: Nice floral aroma with hints of citrus. Some acidic crushed sweet tarts and a bit of apple. Unique aroma.

T: Yum! Nice bold sparkling citrus flavor which yields to crushed cherry sweet tarts. Hints of bitter hops and some sweet apple and pear. Nice balance between malt and hops, bitter and sweet. Great Beer.

M: Light in body very sparkling. This one dances on the tongue.

D: Very, this one can be pounded or sipped, its one of my favorites.

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