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

Not Rated.
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,838 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,838
Reviews: 2,213
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.62%
Wants: 278
Gots: 622 | FT: 13
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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,838 | Reviews: 2,213
Photo of Srkolodn
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Serving: Bottle
Glassware: Tulip
Appearance: This one looks like an IIPA to me, Hazy, Dark orange in color
Aroma: a clear Farmhouse aroma, slight citrus undertones
Taste: A nice complex array of flavors, I pull from this mostly earthy notes. Similar to a funky saison.
Mouthfeel: Medium.
Overall: Really enjoyed this, feel like its a staple for the belgian style pales.

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 Roxie_B
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Serving: Bottle
Glassware: Pint
Appearance: Hazy and a dark honey with amber highlights
Aroma: Citrusy
Taste: Sourdough, vegetables (is that…asparagus?!), damp earth, pears, grape leaf and lots of hay. Oh and brettanomyces expressed mostly as earthy and grassy tastes. This is a whole world of stuff going on.
Mouthfeel: All around medium.
Overall: I love this one. I taste something different with every sip.
Caveat Emptor: Dirty pear burps will haunt you later.

Photo of tyjudd
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Pours a hazy orange. The head is intense. Previous reviews of a stout head is understated. Tried to control the pour to limit head but to no avail. 4/5s of the glass was full of a thick, slow eroding head. The nose was of orange and lemon candy. Smelled delicious. Btw, the head still remains with impressive lacing on the glass. The taste was not what I was expecting. Not sure how to describe it. Malty and boozy. The finish was super dry, like a bourbon. Very good. Only wish I had another one.

Photo of Wobbly
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%

The best example of a mild Belgian pale that I have ever tried. No other attempts come close. Expensive, so I only have a few a year. But so good.

Photo of MonkeyDunk
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour:
Foam filled 4/5ths of glass
Slowly falls down into seafoam peaks
Significant lacing stuck to glass

Aroma:
sour
metallic
horse manure
road apples
alcohol

Appearance:
cloudy
apricot
golden amber
bright orange

Taste:
oranges and orange peel
dirt
grass
can taste the vat it was brewed in
rusty oxidation

Overall:
Incredibly unique, a style unto itself. You can taste the grains, the brew equipment and environment, the thousand year old tradition. Would buy this again to treat myself or to open someone's eyes to one of the world's most revered beers.

Photo of HuskyHawk
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

How do you rate a beer in a style you don't care for? This is very well made, very balanced, not funky or offensive. The head is massive and sticks to the glass impressively. It's cloudy, medium amber in color. Nutmeg and wet earth on the nose with a yeasty bread behind it. The taste has more nutmeg, some cinnamon and a light overripe fruit taste. Finishes rather dry, not at all sweet. Medium bodied with strong carbonation. A great example of a style I don't love.

Photo of larryarms847
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber brown with a head that literally foams forever, it's like a beer from a cartoon.

Smells of sweet malt, bread, and some Belgian yeast funk.

Tart, sourdough bread like malt backbone with a funky dankness to it.

Mouthfeel is soft and well carbonated.

Overall this is a perfect classic.

Photo of JLSIV
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass, first impression on pour was the small diameter bubbles and rich two finger head that lasted forever, lacing all around, darker hazy orange brown color

Aroma of musty yeast is the big nose impression, a little fruitiness, Pleasant,but mostly a yeast aroma, very distinctive and unlike any other aroma. Different from any of the other Trappist Ales, even to my less than perfect nose (I often don't smell the same things that appear in many reviews)

Taste of muscadines, sweet at first, develops over time into something even more pleasant. Reminded me of sweeter local vineyard wines than any other beer before.

One of the best mouth feels I have tried. Dry, and smooth, with a very rich full body. Nothing harsh, and only the afterglow lets you know there is more than the usual alcohol here. American Extreme brewers could take a lesson here. Doesn't smack you around.

Overall: I purchased this Trappist Ale expecting to be impressed and I was. I would love to try this one a little closure to its origin. Two of these and I could see myself considering the monastic life….

Photo of Jacobob10
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

With big American hoppy beers dominating tap lines in bars and taking over liquor store shelf space, I have been going in the opposite direction lately for some reason. I have found myself getting enjoyment from visiting some of the classics. Tonight's classic beer: Orval.

Right out of the bottle, this looks like a winner. Slightly hazy, orange color with a large, frothy white head. The head on the beer lasts forever and leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

Strong floral aroma mixed with orange, pear, and lemon. Biscuit malt, hay, musty yeast. The flavor seems to change with almost every sip. Medium-bodied and a chalky - almost metallic - finish. Overwhelmingly dry.

For reasons unknown, I chose to drink this beer on my 31st birthday and couldn't be happier. A total classic in every sense of the word.

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

$ 5.99/11.2 oz bottle at Lager Mill
Bottled 18/09/2013 Best by 18/09/2018
Aroma faint – yeast phenolics and fruit
Head large (> 8 cm), off white, frothy, slowly diminishing to irregular frothy layer
Lacing ok – few large islands of mostly large bubbles
Body medium yellow, clear
Flavor very light and fruity with some fruity hop bitterness present at the end. No malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate light to medium, watery, lively carbonation

Ho hum – another unexciting Belgium pale ale. At least it meets the criteria well.

Photo of ElegantRose
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: (in a glass chalice) semi-translucent, cloudy, amber/pumpkin/ deepening into pinkish red color. The head is strong, and dissipates within one minute.

Smell: Strong canned-pumpkin-candy esters; deep undertones of alcohol floating to the surface, bubbling into atmosphere (ABV is 6.9).

Taste: Contrasting with the sweet smell, the taste is sour with brettanomyces. A little research reveals that the sourness is also due to dry-hopping.

Overall, sipping on it and considering it over the time frame of ten minutes or so, I find it to be quite refreshing, though my particular taste palate tends to harken to a sweeter, more approachable style. Malheur Tripel is my current ultimate example of a Belgian Tripel, and Rodenbach is my current favorite as far as a sour Flemish red beer; these are but a few of my favorites, which tend to give an example of what my palate savors.

15 or twenty minutes in, I find myself enjoying it, though I would like that hint of sweetness, which I find adds a different measure of complexity, as opposed to the sour, yawning complexity of this unusual, different animal.

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ha. Wow. Raul is giving himself fits on what he's trying to make of this one. At first, like Natalie Portman in sweatpants, it was a bit disappointing (because so much hype was there). But as Raul chilled out as he let Nick Cave serenade him, he warmed to Orval as Orval warmed for him.

First and foremost, the thang is just plum gorgeous. It has an orangish glow/hue like Emily Didinato carving a pumpkin. Then, with the taste (which let Raul down at first) is a very respectable - yet a bit sedated - funk, Belgian yeasts and grass. It's very nice, simplistic, but extremely pleasant like a girl offering to pay on the third date.

So, yes, like after said floozy that offered to pay for dinner, Raul wouldn't mind seeing this one again and again!

Photo of RiverCityBeerGuy
4.76/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from Sweet T's in Duck, NC. Bottled on 2/29/12, best before 3/1/17. Pours a gorgeous clear dark amber with 3 fingers of light khaki colored head.

Aroma is funk, lemon, funk, raisin, funk and funk.

Flavor is very clean, a little sour. Taste lime, green grapes and flavor that my uninitiated tongue still only knows as Brett. Caramel flavors on the back end.

This is a journey of a beer.

Photo of Guden
2.93/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A- poured into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip it has a large white head that slowly fades to a half inch layer. Golden copper color with a slight haze.

S- must, basement, funk, some hoppiness despite being almost a year old bottle.

T/M- funk, bitterness, light esters (banana) and phenols (clove, medicinal). Light on the tongue with high carbonation and low body. Finishes fairly bitter and dry

O- not really anything great about this beer. It's a bit of a disappointment with the Brett coming more as stale basement funk than anything exciting and interesting. Between light oxidation, faded hops and the yeast derived flavors the overwhelming characteristic is "stale".

Photo of slackattack
3.32/5  rDev -21%
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 SebD
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has beautiful hazy golden/orange color to it. It has a nice thick bubbly off-white head that dies down moderately slow and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of tart fruit (lemon, white grapes), some grassiness, floral notes and some funk.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a light tartness, white grapes, lemon, floral notes, a slight grassiness and some definite funk.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooths drinkable beer accompanied by good flavors and aromas.

Photo of Bonsall_Phil
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Year-old bottle poured into a chalice, amber color with an off white head. Bubbles are large, carbonation minimal. Head retains well, and is still covers the surface 90% or so after 5 minutes. Beer was too cold, so I'm letting it sit.

Malt and grain on the nose, no too strong and little else. Clean. First sip is malt forward and extra bubbly. Grain and malt flavor holds through to a dry finish. Warming on the tongue, though not a high abv. Exceptionally bubbly through entire taste.

A good beer for the purist, very simple flavor and enjoyable. I may try again from a different source as my experience is clearly not in line with many others. Though very good, I fail to see this beer as being anything tremendously special.

Photo of Joshre
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured this into a tulip glass from a bottle. Has a golden, yellow-brass color, the head is huge. Lots of carbonation.

S: Smell was somewhat sweet, grassy, dried hay. Light

T: Taste was less colorful than the smell, but good. Lots of funk, alcohol is barely there. Very dry, not very sweet. Not a hoppy taste

M: Very carbonated, but not too-carbonated in any way. Light and thin

O: Great beer, very unique and interesting

Photo of tomordonez
1.5/5  rDev -64.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Over carbonated. I took the cap off and heard a noisy champagne-like blop. The head is a big all-over-the-place cloud. Smells like a cigar butt that has been floating in a beer. It has other strong flowery aroma but not a good one. Flavor is very bitter with a really dry aftertaste. I got my first review straight from a Belgian store shipped from Belgium. I got my 2nd one from a local liquor store in Miami. The bottle is awesome but there is something wrong with this beer.

Photo of Tele
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: 4.25 Cloudy, brownish orange with a massive light tan head.

S: 4.25 Belgian yeast and funk are up front on the nose. Grass, herbs, wheat, and malt follow closely behind. There’s also a dry, oak smell lingering in the background that goes with the funk.

T: 4.25 More funk and less yeast than the nose. A lot more unique than most of the other trappist ales. Dry funk dominates without fruity, spicy esters like other Belgian ales. There’s a little sweetness with some grass, green apple, and breadiness at the end.

M: 4.5 Carbonation is great. It makes the beer feel alive which matches the funk very well. There’s also a very pleasant dry finish.

O: 4.25 I wasn’t sure I liked this beer very much at first, but I came to really enjoy the funk and dryness. It is very well balanced with a very unique and enjoyable character.

Photo of mtomlins
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a stemmed tulip glass

Pours a nice, crisp, clear copper in color with a massive, billowy, cloudy head that will not die and eventually leaves some nice lacing. The nose starts with some sweet malt, orange peel, tart lemon and musty yeast. On the palate, the beer opens up further and is much drier than the nose with lemon peel, and a slight tart funkiness to round it all out. The taste finishes with a pleasant floral hop bitterness. Orval is medium body with plenty of carbonation. Overall, this is a unique beer, very subtle and nuanced and stands apart from many/most of the other Trappists.

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.81/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay chalice.
This one was bottled in Oct., 2012.

The bottle opened with a nice, resounding "pop." An aggressive center pour produces a big, foamy root beer head that compacts but lasts to the end of the beer. The color is a very hazy, even cloudy brownish-orange.

The aroma is my favorite part of this beer. First off for me, an odor of yeasty bread rising. then some fruit; raisin, maybe orange and lemon. There is also a little farmyard funk underneath.

The first taste is candy at first, then some dried fruits, then a light bitterness as it warms. I get raisin, dates, some yeastiness and even bitter chocolate. As it warms, some biscuit and even a little caramel come through. Love the slight yeasty funk. Amazingly complex.

This beer is well carbonated, and it feels a little sticky and tongue-coating. It's even got a little creaminess thanks to the never-fading foam.

Just a great beer.

Photo of MartzMimic
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy amber with a root beer float head that lasts for days. Tons of carbonation. Nice aroma of fruit, hay and a touch of funk. Tastes of grapes, apples and yeast. The brett adds a lot. Medium light mouth with some crispness. Just a very flavorful and well-balanced beer.

Photo of MrBoz21
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Served from 11.2 oz bottle. Bottled Sept 18, 2013. 8 months old.

Poured with thick and foamy white head. Very slow to settle with patches of foam sticking to glass. Heavily carbonated. Color is murky golden orange.

Aroma: Pear, banana and coriander. Balanced, smooth and subtle with some nice brett funk (sour grape and must).

Taste: Tart fruit and citrus with a spicy bitter backbone. Tannin notes. Finishes smooth and clean with some dank astringency. Brett horsiness is there and it is pleasant.

Moutfeel: substantive but well attenuated. Dry-ish. Not bubbly.

Overall: Extremely balanced, complex and drinkable. This is a delicious beer that shows that a beer can have lots of flavor without being hops dominant.

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,838 ratings.