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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)
View: Beers (2) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Orval Trappist Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,886 | Reviews: 2,078 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jfro
jfro

New York

4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The golden amber beer poured nicely into a small belgian stong beer glass. Nice white head that left lace as the glass was imbibed. There is nothing really like Orval. The fruit smells are nicely paired with the hop content. I let this one reach optimum temp. before drinking and it paid off. The flavors really compliment each other at the warmer end of the drinking temp. rec's. The mouthfeel on this is quite possibly the best I have ever imbibed. While I may personally prefer the more "standard" expectations of a Trappist bier; Orval is there to remind us that Trappist is a logo, not a style.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2010 23:56:58 | More by jfro
Photo of great7dividers
great7dividers

Florida

4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orval pours a nice hazy golden color with hints of orange. The head is incredibly thick and frothy, and sustains longer than most brews. The aroma from this trappist ale is subtle and citrus-y with a bready undertone (rather yeast-like). The mash of sour and spicy aroma is both impressive and pleasing, without being overpowering. The taste is equally enjoyable being fruity and well balanced. The mouthfeel starts soft and sparkling, then finishes amazingly dry. Orval combines all the best features of belgian-trappist flavors with an immaculate dry finish that makes this ale superbly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2011 19:23:13 | More by great7dividers
Photo of jIsh
jIsh

Colorado

4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

The original brett beer!

Awesome label/bottle design. When the cap is popped and the beer is poured into my glass a beautiful aroma fills the empty space around my glass. I could smell this beer indefinitely and never get tired of the smell. In fact, I don't even feel the urge to drink it, rather I just want to stick my nose in the glass!

When I finally get around to drinking this Trappist ale, I was brought to another place and time. A citrus-like, refreshing taste transports me to the Belgian countryside during a sunny summer afternoon under a shady tree. It ends quickly with crisp and tart finish. Incredible!

With the exception of Westy 12 and Rochefort 10, this might just be the best Trappist product on the market!

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 02:21:15 | More by jIsh
Photo of lonewolfcry
lonewolfcry

Minnesota

2.18/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

2010 bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

A ~ I was impressed with how much of that amazing head I got from the significantly slow pour. A good 4 fingers. Cloudy light orange, lots of lace as the head dissipated.
S ~ Some barnyard funk, wild berries...actually not too much else that I could pick up on.
T ~ The funk is stealing the show here. I'm getting a peppery taste as well, and a slight touch of medicine. Very dry and no sweetness whatsoever.
M ~ Light, and very carbonated
O ~ I was very excited to post my first review; and thought this would be a great start with the #2 ranked BPA!
Either a got a bad/poorly stored bottle, or I'm simply not a fan of Belgian Pales.
I love most other Belgian styles - but this was my first BPA. It may take awhile before I pick up another, but I'm sure I'll give it one more try...someday.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2012 23:55:42 | More by lonewolfcry
Photo of IrishKevin
IrishKevin

Massachusetts

4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled on 10/24/12 best by 10/24/17.
Not super fresh, but good enough.

Extremly huge rocky head.

S: Spicey pepper aromas.

T: this is an extremly complex beer. Spicyness is ver promininent, the aftertaste is dry and slightly tart. Subtle maltiness through out.

O: haven't had this one in a long time and it didn't disappoint. There is a lot going on in this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2013 02:34:48 | More by IrishKevin
Photo of erok
erok

New York

4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Gorgeous Orangish-Amber. Pours with a vigorously effervescent head that dissipates quickly to a thin, light tan, persistent layer with decent lacing.
S: Mouthwatering, I couldn't wait to have a sip. Fruity esters, maybe floral, and Belgian yeast, very well balanced, yeast is not overpowering. If I closed my eyes and somebody asked what it was, I'd say immediately, "Belgian Pale Ale" - the type section of the style as far as aroma is concerned. After 10 or so sips, I'm detecting much more spiciness - coriander and pepper.
T: Tart yeastiness, understated maltiness, I was expecting a little more up-front malt. Some hop bitterness.
M: Slightly dry, little or no alcoholic heat.
D: Very drinkable

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2008 01:24:29 | More by erok
Photo of dogboy
dogboy

Alberta (Canada)

2.13/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I love Belgian beer and especially the Trappist ales. I tried this a while ago and hated it, so time for another go.

Bottle looks beautiful as does the beer in the glass with its golden hue and huge fluffy white head. Unfortunataly for me that's where it stops. Overpowering perfume and medicinal smells on my nose (even furniture polish?). Fizzy, thin, funky and sour in the mouth.

I won't be back for a third try.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2008 23:16:18 | More by dogboy
Photo of Sleepisforthewik
Sleepisforthewik

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: A HUGE RIDICULOUS HEAD! It poured what I would call a cloudy amber.

S: Smells to me of fruit, herbs, and flowers. Smells absolutely delicious.

T: Light, subtle fruit flavor with a hint of cider at times. A mild peppery taste is present with a slight salt aftertaste.

M: This beer is VERY carbonated. It has a smooth mouthfeel that I would translate into being very digestible.

D: I would personally enjoy this beer if I could as part of a weekly rotation.

As a final note, while drinking this, I would have killed to pair it with some warm Brie cheese spread on top of watercress crackers.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2009 03:08:37 | More by Sleepisforthewik
Photo of cld253
cld253

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass. First thing I notice is the incredible, billowing head. Half the glass with all different size bubbles. Pale to medium amber, somewhere in that 7-9 SRM area. Lace everywhere. Some hazing, but I may have poured a little heavy near the end. Still, a 5.

S- Tart and cider like, like an old barn with fresh hay upstairs (modified the brother there talking of a horse blanket, but it's almost spot on for me as well) some citrus and a bit of alcohol present.

T- cider again, tart and some citric bite, changing throughout the mouth-full and swallow, slightly sweet malt comes through, but just for a moment. Dry, earthy finish that lingers.

F- Bit of a carbonation bite upfront that accentuates how dry and crisp this beer really is.

D- I feel like if I had the privilege of more than one of these, they could all disappear very quickly if it were not for wanting to savor them.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2010 21:12:22 | More by cld253
Photo of blakereik
blakereik

Nebraska

4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good Belgian Ale. Has the distinct charateristics you are looking for in a Belgian. Warning: Very thick head, so pour slowly. This is one of the beers that is always in my fridge, and one of the few I don't have to check myself due to the alcohol content.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2010 21:20:59 | More by blakereik
Photo of kinged8th
kinged8th

South Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was craving a Belgium and picked up this one. Nice orange color with a thick head. Smells wonderful and tastes very good. Its more fruity than spicey and the alcohol is very well hiding compared to some other Belgiums Ive had. I could drink several of these at one time. A little pricey though.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 16:10:15 | More by kinged8th
Photo of orz
orz

Netherlands

4.78/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Unusual Cloudy, dark amber/honey tempting color with big off-white head, which could hold for bit longer.

S: Raisins, bananas, cloves and yeast. Just after pouring into glass it was bit unpleasant. Impression disappeared quickly.

T: Bananas, cloves and yeast again, sweetness plus delicate spiciness and barely noticeable salty aftertaste. Great balance!

M: Carbonation is bit too strong.

D: I could drink it the whole night! ;-)

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2011 21:53:23 | More by orz
Photo of baldben
baldben

Texas

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

10 month old bottle served in a glass chalice. Poured carefully to leave majority of the sediment in the bottle.

Pours with a thick fluffy off-white head that leaves thick lace down the glass. Head retention is very good, slowly reducing to a thin layer. The beer itself is tawny or copper with some haze.

The scent of this Orval is musty and faintly reminiscent of citrus fruit. I think if you put an orange into a baseball mitt it might have the same aroma.

The taste is as unique as the scent. Some musty and citrus notes. Bitter with dominant hop flavor. The malts become more evident as the beer warms. The after taste is dry, hoppy and lingers long on the tongue.

Complex but easy to drink, I give this beer high marks.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2011 19:23:21 | More by baldben
Photo of Bmuncy
Bmuncy

West Virginia

4.78/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Murky hazelnut, large off-white head appears fluffy and dense, alcohol sticks to sides very well. One finger head remains throughout

Smell: Light fruits, yeast, spice (perhaps cinnamon) and a somewhat earthy smell. Very nice on the nose and is a joy to pick out the separate aromas.

Smell: Flavorful apples, very very slight banana undertones, some yeast and malt. Notes of dryness, fresh grass and an earthy connotation finish out the brew. Very complex and very balanced.

Mouthfeel: Rich, full and creamy. The carbonation is perfect. Orval goes down exceptionally smoothly.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 03:21:24 | More by Bmuncy
Photo of tilopud_rye
tilopud_rye


4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am opening a bottle dated November 2011. Almost foams over when opened but it sticks to the mouth of the bottle without spilling. Pours nice violin-resin color with foamy head that falls to a thin layer at the top. Big sour and fruitty smell- a bit of herb but mostly light sour raspberry candy on the nose. Taste starts totally different with the malts bubbling on my tongue with the yeast and fruit coming at the roof and candie with sour dry aftertaste. The sour notes stick lightly to the roof of the mouth and sides of the tongue after but it's relaxing. That's a damn good one!

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 00:36:25 | More by tilopud_rye
Photo of darky
darky

South Dakota

3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 11-17-2011, poured into chalice. Reviewed 3-16-13

A: pours a brilliant light orange capped with a persistent 1/2" white head.

S: Orange and grapefruit are primary with that characteristic hint of banana so many Belgians have.

T: This is, I believe, the third time I've tried this brew, but the first time really 'tasting' it. I didn't pay any attention to vintage until now, and I would wager those bottles were significantly fresher than this one. I distinctly recall this beer being far dryer (to the point that I struggled with it) with a more pronounced hop character the previous two times. This pour is definitely mellower with muted orange at the start and middle, and then the trademark Orval grapefruit-y (again, mellowed) dry bite on the finish.

M: Soft and creamy, ample carbonation. Quite good really.

O: I really wish I had a younger version to compare this bottle to right now. I don't think this particular bottle is representative of what this beer is like fresh. I am enjoying it, but it's not at all what I remember it to be, or how others have described it here on BA. I will revisit this one with a fresher specimen when I find one.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 04:08:35 | More by darky
Photo of JorisP
JorisP

Belgium

4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very thick white head, collapsing but stable.Beer typical orangey colour. Nose is bitter as in vegetable, spicey, flowery. Taste starts immediately quite bitter, combination of hops, flowers, and vegetable. There IS a balance by malt, hinting at sweetness withour ever becoming so. Retronasal aromas of mandarine-zest, hop shoots and olives, without the oil.
Carbonation just perfect: the beer has a milder form of 'Champenoise'-pearl forming, as made with naturally mildly crabonated springwater. Mouthfeel neither chewy, neither watery. No new aftertaste, bitterness lingers on. Drinkablility is second bar none: this is the ultimate Belgian session beer: it gives richness, depth and easy drinking, just as you prefer at the moment given. Unparallelled.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2003 12:57:54 | More by JorisP
Photo of IPAlot
IPAlot

New York

4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

no idea of freshness. 11.2 fl oz bottle

appearance:
a wonderfully fizzy head that doesn't last very long. Deep orange color, the last light on the clouds after the sun has dipped below the horizon.

smell:
mild. smells mostly like CO2. citrus, mint.

taste:
mild, but well balanced. slight bitterness and an elusive malty feel.

Not my favorite trappist. I will continue trying to make sure I have had the best representative of the brew, but nothinng new and it's been done better.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2003 16:02:12 | More by IPAlot
Photo of lastauss
lastauss

Washington

5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2004 04:22:58 | More by lastauss
Photo of essie
essie

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice. Produced a large frothy white head (2-3 fingers) over a slightly hazy amber to golden-colored body

Aromas of lemon, yeast, and some hops

Starts off with a lemon and grass taste, then finishes with a dry hoppy bitterness. Good complexity.

Nice smooth body with a decent amount of carbonation

The smooth mouthfeel and dry finish makes this beer very drinkable for me.

Overall, another trappist beer that's definitely worth trying. I'm not usually crazy about pale ales, but I could definitely see myself getting this again.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 00:28:45 | More by essie
Photo of rustrose
rustrose

North Carolina

3.35/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Orval Trappist Ale Bottled June 5 2008
Sampled July 24, 2009

Big hiss on opening but no foaming up in bottle. Pours a cloudy deep amber, kind of pale brown in low light, with three fingers of soft fine foam like meringue. Yellowish amber when held to light. Foam lingers like mad and sticks firmly to the side of the glass.

Big fruit salad nose. Apricot. Tropical fruits: pineapple, among others. A little bit of banana phenol as it starts to warm. A good dose of funk, with slight leather notes and that musty thing. Candied orange and lemon with some spice. Quite tangy overall. Faint hint of medicinal phenol, perhaps eucalyptus. A definite dash of pepper. Kind of like a saison, but different.

Flavor is not at all what I expected. It's exceptionally dry and subdued--actually hard to pick out what the predominant flavor is before the swallow, because it seemed like not much was happening. Quite bitter though. This is one of the hoppiest Belgians I've ever had, especially considering it's over a year old--there is a firmly bracing bitterness in the aftertaste. This lingers with a kind of horehound, old-fashioned candy flavor, just without any sugar. Perhaps this is a touch of something roasted. It's just so dry I can't place the flavors. My accompanying pretzels leave a sweeter taste in the mouth than this. Still, this isn't tart at all... just not sweet at all. This is just underwhelming me--it doesn't have the funky excitement of the Jolly Pumpkin La Roja that I had last night, nor the richness of a Belgian Pale, nor the zest of a saison. I guess it has some funk going on, but it seems to happen over a lackluster backdrop that would be much better with some tang to it. There is some orange citrus to the flavor as it warms. The bitterness seems to override some of the other things going on, in my opinion, and whatever is going on needs to be more going on.

Mouthfeel: a bit of tingling and astringency on the tongue. Overall, light, fluffy and soft feeling texture, though perhaps a bit harsher at first with the strong carbonation.

Overall impression: the nose is quite an artistic achievement, the appearance is fine, the lacing is beautiful, the mouthfeel is delightful, but the flavor is quite lackluster. Rarely have I enjoyed my pretzels more than my beer. Not worth seeking again, though it would be nice to compare a fresh bottle. $6 is so much better spent on some other beer. Disappointing.

I'd give this a B or B- overall.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2009 01:40:32 | More by rustrose
Photo of 71CrazyOtto
71CrazyOtto

Michigan

5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Home Run.

Never had a beer with lacing and frothing head like it even remotely. Tiny bubbles run high up to upper sides of glass when poured trapped by thick cream colored head.
This "Authentic Trappist" brewer sets itself apart (far apart) from it's fellow monks at the other monastaries that brew the Belgium classics.

Orval I see now brew a 2nd beer but they will always be the best imo because they've been brewing only one for so long so I won't bother to try a cash grab second beer.

If I were to die someday on a porch or watching a game, this is the beer I would want in my hand. Crafted by pure souls/nature ingredients to send me to heaven...well hopefully to heaven hehe.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2013 13:54:42 | More by 71CrazyOtto
Photo of BastardFromABasket
BastardFromABasket

Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Prohibition Pig tulip. A deep golden ale that leaves a big bubbly head that fades after a minute or two. No lacing. Smell is earthy and funky. Tastes of pepper, blue cheese. It's dry and bitter like citrus rind with a bit of brett funkiness. Light, effervescent mouthfeel. Overall very nice.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 02:52:32 | More by BastardFromABasket
Photo of ILhophead
ILhophead

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cL bottle poured gently into a Chouffe tulip glass to keep out the dregs (1yr., 10mo. past bottled on date)

A: Pours with a nice looking two finger head. Bright light amber color. Lots of carbonation bubbling up.

S: Smells of Belgian funk and fruit, can't tell what kind of fruit though. I like it.

T: Tastes mildly funky and fruity up front with a bit of hops in the finish. Funk is not overpowering but blends nicely with the other flavors. Very nice.

M: Effervescent, medium body, lingering bitter funk on the back of the tongue.

D: I'd say it's quite drinkable. Tastes very good and is pretty easy drinking. I could drink a few of these if I could afford it.

I'd like to try some fresh Orval sometime. I've read that they add the Brettanomyces at bottling so it's hoppier and less funky fresh and the Brett becomes stronger over time. The brewer said he likes it fresh.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2007 23:38:26 | More by ILhophead
Photo of ChuckMartel
ChuckMartel

South Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a huge head that looks like whipped cream w/ an orangish color. Smells like perfume. Tastes a lot like perfume -- prettier than it needs to be. Tastes a little thin for a Trappist ale. After you have one, you really don't look forward to another.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2007 23:05:24 | More by ChuckMartel
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 3,886 ratings.