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

4,321 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,321
Reviews: 2,112
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 202
Gots: 390 | 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: 4,321 | Reviews: 2,112 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Soxfanmcgee
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Soxfanmcgee, Apr 16, 2012
Photo of yamar68
3.53/5  rDev -16%

Looks gorgeous - ruby/pear with frothy dollops of off-white goodness. The first thing that I notice on the nose is some kind of white wine character - grapes, bitter fruits, etc. Plenty of hop presence with some estery goodness in there. Certainly is a unique tasting beer. Not quite as vibrant as I was hoping. The notes that build the aroma just aren't here on the palate. This one has a year on it, so I guess this beer might just be in an awkward phase because the look and smell suggest something greater and more pronounced. Perhaps my least favorite of the Trappists, which isn't saying much at all.

yamar68, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of Caterwaul
5/5  rDev +19%

Caterwaul, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of Mattgruv
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Mattgruv, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of jaidenjb
3/5  rDev -28.6%

jaidenjb, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of dgeebs07
4/5  rDev -4.8%

dgeebs07, Apr 13, 2012
Photo of SiflandOlly
5/5  rDev +19%

SiflandOlly, Apr 13, 2012
Photo of decay_of_mind
4/5  rDev -4.8%

decay_of_mind, Apr 13, 2012
Photo of SeanNaugs
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

SeanNaugs, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of PierceMyers
4/5  rDev -4.8%

PierceMyers, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of ProudBeerSnob
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%

Poured from that funky bottle into a Unibroue tulip. Funky beer, funky bottle.

Marvelous appearance. Dark orange hazy color with that thick head that takes on the appearance of meringue in texture.

Smells of tart citrusy even lime. Can a beer smell dry.

Crisp, tart but not so much that it makes you pucker, just lick your lips and say yummy.

The most unique beer ever, simply a joy to behold and to drink.

ProudBeerSnob, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of macrosmatic
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%

Reviewed from notes. This particular bottle was cellared for three years post-bottling date. Poured from 11.2 oz. bottle into a Tampa Bay Brewing Company snifter.

A: Pours a nice bronze with a mild haziness. Half-finger white head forms with average visible carbonation.

S: Sweet malts, Belgian fruity yeast esters, some acetone and a bit of alcohol heat.

T: Sweet candied malt, caramel, fruity yeast esters (grapes and berries), a touch of funk, and finishes fairly dry.

M: Medium body, good carbonation sensation. The alcohol presence is certainly noticeable, though it doesn't seem "hot".

O: Truly a quality old standby. However, despite reports I've read to the contrary, I don't think the extended cellaring did the beer any favors.

macrosmatic, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of FosterJM
4.2/5  rDev 0%

1211th Review on BA
Bottle to Chimay Goblet
330ml

Bottled 6/10/2011

App- A very dark orange pour with a yellow bit around the edges and falls to the bottom. A gigantic two finger head that just stuck and didnt move.

Smell- Its a classic all right. Undeniable Belgian yeast with a good amount of musty cheesy funk but not overpowering. A bit earthy and damp as well.

Taste- Well its all over the place for me really but not clouded or muddled. Has a large damp citrus flavor and carries over a large chunk of yeasty grassy funk.

Mouth- A fairly medium body with a fairly wet and juicy medium carbonation. Residual funk, earthy, dampness.

Drink- Truly a classic. A well rounded beer with large and balanced flavors.

FosterJM, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of StaveHooks
4.93/5  rDev +17.4%

Bottled on 12/30/2009
Served in an Orval chalice.

A - Pours a golden honey copper, with an off-white head that never breaks up.

S - Sweet and sour orchard apples, musty basement, old church pews, spicy, banana, peach, earthy hops, grassy hops. Wonderful aroma.

T - Fruity tartness upfront, golden apples, green grassy hops, spicy lemon citrus, dusty yeast adds some woody mustiness while wicking away any wetness on the palate.

M - Moderate smooth carbonation, medium body, dry finish.

The aroma alone is intoxicating. The layers transform flawlessly. I waited until I got my hands on an Orval chalice before I reviewed this. It's a hard one to age because you just want to drink it. In a league of it's own.

StaveHooks, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -4.8%

smartassboiler, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of calmond72
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

calmond72, Apr 08, 2012
Photo of jmich24
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

jmich24, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of Element1290
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Element1290, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of JakeDebus
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

JakeDebus, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of seancake
5/5  rDev +19%

What can I possibly say about this beer that hasn't already been said? The most idiosyncratic beer ever made. Not like any other beer you will EVER drink -- unless it's specifically designed to mimic Orval. Even then, it won't quite manage it.

Orval is also incredible in how much it changes with age. I can't say that I prefer a bottle with age to a young bottle, they are entirely different beasts. Thanks to cafés serving different vintages here in Belgium (Kulminator in Antwerpen, Dubh-Linn in Langdorp for example), I have had them ranging from a very young, green two months all the way to 6 years' age. They are beautiful young or old. The young tends towards a fresh light hoppiness, and an aged bottle has a creamier quality with the bretts coming forth more.

A true classic, dry-finish and wonderful washing-powder aroma, gorgeous off-white head, mouthfeel that is creamy and light all at the same time, I can't really describe it fully. You can drink one, or you can drink five (though it's quite a bit stronger than, say, your average pilsner and you do so at your own risk). All I can say is that it's the only beer logo I am considering tattooing on my body -- that's how much I adore and revere this beer. My favorite Trappist, hands-down.

seancake, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of morallybankrupt
5/5  rDev +19%

morallybankrupt, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of fdig23
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

fdig23, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of mlazzaro
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%

11.2 oz. bottled Nov. 17 2011

Smells funky. A good funk. Tart fruity yeast character mixed with musky aromas. Ultra high carbonation. Amber and clear. Mountainous off white head with impressive retention. Lacing up the glass. Awesome looking beer.

At first almost abrasive with carbonation. I stirred the carbonation out and I like it much more. Lots of yeast flavors, fruity and acidic. Pleasant booze character. Brett flavor lingers on the back of the tongue. Aftertaste is great. Has some body to it considering the sour fermentation. Really unique beer, and surprisingly refreshing considering the ABV. This is my first orval. I like it.

mlazzaro, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

MarkyMOD, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of aztraz
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

aztraz, Apr 05, 2012
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,321 ratings.