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

Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

3,886 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3886
Reviews: 2078
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.62%


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.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 09-18-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,886 | Reviews: 2,078 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Zeckster
Zeckster

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of an 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Opaque copper/orange color with a massive frothy head.
Leaves a nice bit of lattice.

Smells of citrus

There was a little touch of tartness to the flavor, maybe some of the citrus. I shall definitely have to try this one again and again.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2008 01:27:15 | More by Zeckster
Photo of scray24
scray24

Colorado

4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from CLO poured into pint glass (yes, heathen!).

Nice clear gold/orange in first pour with significant white head. Head was nice and dense good retention and nice lacing left behind. Second pour little more hazy (to be expected)

Yeasty, spicy, lightly hoppy citrus smell. Finishes nice and dry, no off flavors, very effervescent....

Crisp clean and smooth. Before the flavor is even picked up i am noticing the crispy cleany smoothness. Hops and malt mesh well. Citric zest kicks in, very nice job here.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2008 00:37:34 | More by scray24
Photo of drjones633
drjones633

New Hampshire

4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

bottle stamped 27/12/2007

A=pours out a orange/amber with medium head that goes down to a small layer.

S=oranges and apples. sweet smells of ancient yeasts.

T=crisp. orange, clove, cider like finish. Hoppy and bitter.

D= bubbly and delicious, if I didn't pay close to $10 for one bottle I would drink this all night. Although this is one to savor.

Glad I tried this one. A perfect example of a Belgian pale ale

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2008 00:32:59 | More by drjones633
Photo of SmasNadroj
SmasNadroj

Tennessee

4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass from a bottle labeled 09/07/2008.

Very intense head, like sea foam that just won't go away- I don't mind this, really, but it makes it a little challenging to pour the whole bottle.

Its a shadowy orange color, much lighter than I was expecting but once it opens up and the "sea foam" subsides, the smell is delicately spicy, like nuts roasted in butter and coriander.

Orval has a nice maltiness to it that gives it a refreshing, almost biscuity crispness. Hints of lemon, sweet yeast, and white grapes are hiding behind the malt. Very refreshing

In a white trash way, I wish they made this beer in "affordable" (I'm talkin $20-$25) 12 packs - even in cans- so us prestigious bastards could easily pick one up and take it to a party, bonfire, or camping because its so easy to drink. Mine was gone before I knew it- and yes, there is still sea foam down one side of my glass.

A great trappist, though not quite what I was expecting. Get you one!

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2010 22:14:34 | More by SmasNadroj
Photo of jlmarshall
jlmarshall

Mississippi

4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer poured with a very tall, foamy head that took a little time to get into the glass. The head stuck around for a bit. Very lacey on the sides of the glass. It's a golden straw, not quite clear, not quite cloudy and fairly bubbley. The smell is warm with nice flowery hops and bit of pumpkin and a soft hint of malt. The mouthfeel is slightly bitter, slightly sweet, very easy with just the right amount of carbonation and very little warmnth of alcohol, full but not thick. The taste is fantastic with bread and grain, slightly sweet, a little banana. I could easily drink a lot of this.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2010 19:32:44 | More by jlmarshall
Photo of ReluctantScooper
ReluctantScooper

United Kingdom (England)

4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at the Nouvelle Hostellerie D'Orval.

Orval is a beer that's grown on me through the years. All leather and banana and cinnamon and grated lemon zest and fresh bread and dry spice and, and, and...

... and it turns a cheese sandwich into a banquet. And when Orval's commercial director, Francois de Harenne, insists on pouring it for you as he tells you about the region's political history, it becomes a marker of surreality.

There's beer. There's Belgian beer. And then, there's Orval. Worth falling in love with over and over again.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2011 14:18:53 | More by ReluctantScooper
Photo of amart79
amart79

California

4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - very big frothy head on a golden brown cloudy body

S - dark fruits, very complex smell

T - The dark fruits and funky complex flavors are right there and stick with you.

M - light carbonation with a smooth feel with a small bite right in the middle

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 04:42:52 | More by amart79
Photo of tubaguy
tubaguy

Germany

4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: I love the classic yet distinct looking bottle. I poured mine into a beautiful Orval goblet I purchased at the monastary

Appearance: a shade darker than honey and a shade lighter than caramel with a 3/4 inch creamy head, some sediment can be seen when held up to the light

Smell: subtle floral and fruit aroma at first, than yeast and something bitter I can't quite place

taste: complex! bitter (in a good way) at first and than a warming, but not overwhelming alcohol taste down the throat. Hints of lemon but not a fruity beer! Some really nice hoppy spiciness as well.

mouthfeel: a bit chewy but goes down smooth

drinkability: unlike other trappist beers that I love, I could have a few of these in a row. Compared to a Rochefort or a westveleteren the alcohol content is considerably lower at (6.2%). Not my favorite Belgian beer but in my top 10. Goes great with the Orval cheese!

note: I bought a case at the Orval monastary which I would highly recommend visiting. It is the most picturesque of the trappist monastaries and the ruins of the old church is worth the price of admission (5 euros)

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2008 16:13:34 | More by tubaguy
Photo of cleolicious
cleolicious

California

4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: A mustard colored and cloudy appearance with a enormous bright white head.

Smell: Tangerine, Lemon, floral. Not too potent but a light hint of each.

Taste: A classic belgian pale Ale taste but filled with orange and lemon. Crisp at first sip then very smooth thereafter. A tad bit art an a hint of cider. Very dry. To be honest, the taste is so complex that I'm certain everyone who reviews it will miss something. I know this beer is ancient and it tastes it.

This is a slow sipping beer, not as up beat as some the Belgians. It's pale ale with a dark and mysterious mood, if that makes sense. I think this beer would be best enjoy once you've sampled many other brands first. This is a classic badass. you just know monks made thus.. old ones.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2010 02:11:01 | More by cleolicious
Photo of marchoftheclouds
marchoftheclouds

Illinois

1.83/5  rDev -56.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

When I pay $4.99 for a 11.2 oz "treat" I expect the trifecta of different, unusual and really exceptional (as in tasty). I'm finding I can't always get the trifecta ... and it's probably due to my preferences. After drinking the Orval, I read an A+ review by Jason Alström. I read other reviews, too, and noticed one beer advocate thought he got a bad bottle. That was the first thought I had after my first mouthful. I don't like beer that has a grapefruit taste in it. I've tried extremely hoppy beers, but they aren't my thing. I think I'll keep trying new things, but I'm leaning more and more to, "If you can see through it, you might not like it!"

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2010 02:16:48 | More by marchoftheclouds
Photo of lenin2040
lenin2040

District of Columbia

3.4/5  rDev -19%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First time having this legendary trappist ale...I'm trying to push my palate with more funky/sour beers, and this is one of the originals, so i was very excited.

A: absolutely gorgeous amber with a slight haze. huge, chunky head. bubbles streaming up from the bottom of my DFH signature glass.

S: delicious complex floral notes and a pronounced tange. lemon rind. hay.

T: i think i poured this too cold, as the taste definitely improved after i let it sit for a bit. starts slightly tangy (but not as sour as i'd expect from the nose) then strong medicinal/phenols take over, with just a touch of biscuity malt in the background. a quick hit of horse blanket, then finishes extremely bitter, bordering on astringent, and dries up almost entirely. with a touch more sweetness and/or acidity, this would have been great, but as it was the bitterness as the end took away the complexity in the middle for me...

M: love the intense effervescence.

D: this was certainly complex, but the finish was honestly too bitter for me that made me not crave another at all and give pause for going through the glass. not bitter in a citric/pine american IPDA/DIPA way, but this intense medicinal bitterness.

I will try this one out again in a year or two if/once my palate develops more around wild/brett/funky belgian style brews. but for now, while this was certainly a worthwhile taste, at the price it's not something i'll go back to until i think it's something i'd appreciate more...

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2011 15:23:58 | More by lenin2040
Photo of hopheadtony1
hopheadtony1

Belgium

4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review is about a 8 years old orval i found in a family house.

I poured this treasure in his glass of course and with surprise, the beer reacted normally, the white head came and some banana flavors came to me. The color was more clear than usually.
The nose is amazing, notes of old yeast, banana, very fresh. The carbonation was still very good and the taste as well, very evolutive , complex, i now want all my orvals like this. minimum 8 years old. Hard to believe the a 6,2 % ABV amber beer can be aged like that.

Exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2011 20:05:49 | More by hopheadtony1
Photo of isthatbeer
isthatbeer

District of Columbia

4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from an 11.2 oz bottle poured into tulip shaped glass.

A: Hazy amber with two fingers of a thick, rich cream colored head. The head leaves a nice lacing on the side of the glass as it dissipates.

S: Its got a pleasant sour smell to it with some orange and some malt sweetness lurking behind.

T: Starts out rather tart but then does this dry hoppy, phenolic thing. The finish is rather long and dry. You definitely could sit and ponder the finish for quite a while.

M: Medium to lite mouth feel. Very tightly carbonated. Dry.

O: A really nice well balanced beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2011 01:57:48 | More by isthatbeer
Photo of BurgerJones
BurgerJones

Oregon

4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.7oz bottle poured into an Affligem goblet.

Pours slightly cloudy orange with pillowy white head that outlasts the beer and laces the glass throughout.

Smell is pepper and clove, sweet fruits.

Taste is like no beer I've ever had...spices, unidentifiable fruits and flowers, yeasty tang at the finish and as the beer warms. Almost no identifiable alcohol.

Mouthfeel very fizzy, pleasing and refreshing, light body.

Overall, excellent, unique tastes that are definitely beer but not present in any other beers I know, if that makes any sense.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2011 02:04:41 | More by BurgerJones
Photo of PHSCAPT
PHSCAPT

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2012 02:35:44 | More by PHSCAPT
Photo of mgp80
mgp80

Virginia

4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2008 22:21:52 | More by mgp80
Photo of phreak1983
phreak1983

Iowa

4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Even after a gentle pour into my goblet I got a huge head. It would have been best to let this one sit a little while after opening. Good carbonation and chunky lacing.

S- Sweet pears, floral scents, and I can actually smell the sourness.

T- Not as sweet or sour as it smelled. Very light and crisp.

M- Fizzy, dry, and finishes clean with no aftertaste at all.

D- Very easy to drink, the only thing that would stop me from drinking more is the price and a desire for a stronger tasting beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2010 04:15:53 | More by phreak1983
Photo of pgaveau
pgaveau

New York

4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First ever Ba review

Enjoyed in an Orval Chalice

Full thick head that quickly diminished to a thin,solid head that lasted until the last sip. Cloudy dark orange color. Faint citrus aroma. Taste was crisp, dry with no aftertaste what so ever. Not as hoppy as I had read it would be. Very refreshing taste. I enjoyed this beer with some Cotswold cheese. Match made in heaven.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 01:53:09 | More by pgaveau
Photo of DeadGuyRyan
DeadGuyRyan

Ohio

4.9/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle which contained bottled and best by date.

Appearance: Poured a great Oranger copper with hints of amber as well. Thick white head that stays around with lacing that never stops. A slightly cloudy beer as well.

Smell: A welcoming smell hints of fruits and flowers along with spices.

Taste: This beer is insane very complex. A very crisp beer that has great zesty notes along with hops as well. Its a bitter beer that has Champagne like carbonation A very dry beer. That kicks the whole way.

Great mouth feel its super complex and its slightly different every time but its always great.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 19:36:55 | More by DeadGuyRyan
Photo of EA728
EA728

Texas

3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: hazy orange/amber with a very nice head that remains.

S: smell is quite bland in my opinion, mostly malty

T: a pleasant malty flavor with the touch of belgium yeast, nice bitterness that I'm not used to in Trappist beers

M: very nice mouthfeel, goes down easy and feels refreshing

O: not my favorite Trappist beer, although it's almost its own style. very refreshing, not too heavy, but it lacks a bold flavor. nice availability in my area, so I will probably pick it up again.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2011 19:57:16 | More by EA728
Photo of randallpink
randallpink

Ontario (Canada)

4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

poured into a tulip glass

A - has a beautiful hazy copper colour that passes medium light and a big fluffy head that lasts forever! there is tonnes of lacing on the glass by the time im finished with it. great looking beer overall.

S - for me, this is the strong point of the beer. i am absolutely drawn in by the smell on this one. its hard to even put my finger on what im smelling because its all seems to mix so well together into its own smell. has a nice citrusy and floral hint off the top but its prime character is almost that of fresh wood. it smells sweet and savoury at the same time. definitely pineapple and fresh bread coming through. maybe some banana, cloves or coriander as well? all my favourites ;)

T -the taste leaves a bit to be desired after the incredible smell off the top, and also for a beer thats rated so highly in the belgian pale ale category. with that being said i did enjoy the taste of this beer as it seemed to have a good balance of hops and malt and didn't have any overpowering alcohol taste like ive found from a few other belgian pale ales. it is definitely a unique beer.

M - i was dissapointed with the amount of carbonation in this beer. i feel like if they toned that down slightly the flavours would come out a lot more (maybe why the head was so long lasting). however, the carbonation did make me burp quite a bit :p bringing out some flavours i may have missed (hopefully not yesterdays lunch) at the same time it goes down pretty easy once the carbonation dies down a bit

O - well i finally got to try the trappist beer ive been waiting so long for. i feel like the anticipation of trying it may have ruined it a little for me, but i still enjoyed the beer a lot. i picked up a few bottles so ill be getting a couple more tries at this one. not my favourite trappist, but hey, its better than a lot of whats available in my area so i won't complain. a trip to the monastery in belgium might help me enjoy this one a little more ;) great beer!

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 02:49:08 | More by randallpink
Photo of GreatLeo
GreatLeo

British Columbia (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came in a 33cl bottle with bottled date of 09/28/2004 and best before date of 09/28/2009 served in its traditional glass.

Its a very unique beer quite distinct from all the other belgian pale ales out there I've tried. The color was a dark coppery color with a very generous head when poured. Definately not one of the strongest pale ales (6.2%) but its got quite a strong taste to it.

The taste was quite bitter especially the aftertaste it left behind which makes this belgian classic a bit more difficult to consume large amounts of. But still overall its a great trappist beer which I would recommend to all especially those who like bitter beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2005 23:49:33 | More by GreatLeo
Photo of grbennett
grbennett

Ohio

3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-Pours a golden orange color with a big, fluffy white head. One of the most beautiful beers I've ever seen. Head stays with the entire beer, leaving lacing.
S- Fruity aroma with a little bit of a chemical smell.
T-Flavors of citrus, clove, and some dusty or musty smell. The same chemical aroma is in the taste. Some hoppy bitterness to balance the sweetness. Begins to taste better as it warms.
M- Smooth with a little bit of carbonation.
Notes- A good beer but a little pricey. I will definitely buy it again but I won't buy it all the time.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2007 02:04:43 | More by grbennett
Photo of guild337
guild337

Virginia

4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have wanted to try one for a long time, and was in the mood for a good trappist when I saw this bottle at my local grocery store (ok it's a slightly higher end grocery store).

A - What you would expect from a Trappist bottle aged ale. Deep golden color, and cloudy with sediment (mmm...sediment). A nice thick off white head.

S - Not overly fragrant, but what little there is, is fresh and clean. Smell is a little bit citrusey.

T- Taste, on the other hand, is quite complex and has a range of different flavors. My pallet is not the most acute, but I was able to enjoy some pear and apple flavors which were both subtle and poignant.

M - A nice light mouthfeel, with quite a bit of carbonation.

D - Very drinkable, and enjoyable ale. Right up there with my favorite Belgian beers.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2008 18:41:05 | More by guild337
Photo of LestatSabastian
LestatSabastian

Alabama

2.38/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer was weird tasting to me. light color with bubbles around it looked like a soda. head from hell on one poor next poor hardly any. when I said it looked like a soda. Well it tasted like a bottle of sparkling water with a hint of beer.
mouthfeel of water and baking soda. this beer is not strong but not very good tasting. I did not like it.
Beau of Bama

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2009 23:15:55 | More by LestatSabastian
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 3,886 ratings.