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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,604 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,604
Reviews: 2,147
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.62%
Wants: 248
Gots: 497 | FT: 11
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: 4,604 | Reviews: 2,147 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrNate
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of knicks19947
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of allboutbierge
3.37/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ive had Orval quite a few times but never got around to writing a review until now.

This bottle was an '06 purchased from Juilus Meinl in Vienna.

Appearance is light brown with a slight golden hue topped by a gob of white fluffiness. Upon pouring it's a bit murky but yet transparent. However, all cloudiness quickly dissipates away. Scent is soft and sour. I detected some graininess to the smell as well...the smell isn't a high point of this beer.

Taste is pleasant. A mixture of sour fruit flavors accented with a slight hoppiness. Beer is well carbonated and the carbonation may be hiding the depth of the hop favors. Malt background is equally slight. This isn't a taste monster but rather refreshing.

Photo of SupaCelt
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew presented itself at nearly a year old as a hazed copper orange with a monstrous chunky head. It is extremely bubbly and the head holds strong and produces sheets of lacing with some true substance.

The smell is very nice to the nose. Banana comes through as dominant to my detectors. A bit of ground spice and pepper and other fruity impressions linger as well.

The taste is light and subtle. The banana that was evident in the nose is noticeable as well as a pear impression and the tastefully administered spicery. There is a degree of bitterness here that shows up in the final throes along with a sourness. It has quite a bit of yeast inspired flavor character. The aftertaste comes off too peppery and yeasty for my personal preferences.

The mouthfeel is light. Massive carbonation achieves this effect quite handily.

Drinkability is only as good as taste here. I was truly optimistic about this, but overall I am a bit disappointed in the end. I was expecting more out of this one.

Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.81/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bought a bottle at wirkd market in lansing, michigan. ($4.99)
pours a cloudy copper with a pillowy off white head, it looked like it does in the ads, perfect head;two fingers thick.
the aroma is dry slight bit of floral, maybe corriander.
the flavor is subitle, bit of malt, some herbal flavors, corriander, very dry.
the mouthfeel is light, maybe watery.

Photo of DaveFL1976
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd had this beer before in the US, and I wasn't particularly impressed with it. I found it a bit harsh and astringent.

But then I went to Belgium.

Specifically, to a little town called Orval.

After poking around the courtyard of the monestary and meeting a monk, my wife and I went down the road 100 meters to the cafe. I had the full strength, my wife had the green bottle.

It poured a lovely deep reddish/cherry color with a frothy off-white head. Smell was sweet and spicy. The taste...so much better than how I'd remembered it. This was a damn fine beer. Sweet up front, but balanced out with a certain spicyness that balances things out nicely. A nice beer.

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

Not my first Trappist Ale to drink, but my first to review.

A: Poured into official Orval goblet. Beer pours an extremely hazy brownish orange with an inch of orange/off-white head. Head retention is good, with decent lacing. No carbonation visible except in head.

S: The scent is that of dried orange rind, coriander, honey, clove and lemon zest with hints of candied sugar and bubble gum.

T: The forefront is the same citrus zest. However, it is interwoven with mild soap-like phenols at the beginning of the mid-palate. The citrus and soap notes carry into the mid palate, with the citrus notes dying about halfway through the mid-palate. The soap notes are picked up and accentuated by hop bitterness, which both transition beautifully into the finish, which is (finally) hit by the sugar and spice-box. A tinge of hop bitterness mixed in ensure a long finish on this beer.

M: A crisper front and drier finish than what would be expected from an ale of such flavor. Kinda throws ya off.

D: Easier to drink than a lot of Trappists, sure. The flavor intensity can throw some people off. (Along with the price).

This is the first beer I've reviewed on here in which I did not particularly care for the beer, but could not deny the quality it exhibited. This is a fine Trappist Ale (is there any other?) that most would be happy to drink. It's just not my cup.

Photo of dannymo24
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

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

One of the nicest looking beers ever! Pours a ridiculously foamy head that never seems wants to die down, looks like fluffy clouds.

Smells like pixie sticks, candy sugar, bready yeast, hay and flowers. Very flowery, almost smells like a funeral home, in a good way.

Malty sweet and sugary upfront, lots of different spices, lots of brett yeast, and nice and hoppy. Tastes like liquid bread, definitely complex and changes over time.

Wonderfully drinkable with a velvety smooth mouthfeel. Overall one of the best beers money can buy!

Photo of djmichaelk
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle into a perfect pint. Bottled 2/20/08.

A - Slightly hazy yellow, almost amber. Huge, rocky, off-white head that almost overflows the glass. Slight lacing, but not really sticking to the glass. Subsequent pours just stir it right back up. Great legs.

S - Well, this is a really pleasant surprise. While I was expecting a typical trappist pale, this has all of the aromas of an American wild ale. Citrusy, funky notes from the brett, plus some yeastiness in the background. Maybe a little clove and spice. This is just fantastic.

T - A lot going on here -- funkiness at first, less citrus than the nose, plenty of spice: clove and anise, with maybe some allspice. A bit of banana. Little to no alcohol in the finish, although it is somewhat dry.

M - Full and sticky. Just the way I'd like a wild ale to be.

D - This is a really unexpected treat. There's a great combination of a wild and belgian flavors here. Lowish alcohol for a belgian just makes it even more drinkable.

O - I'm heading to the store tomorrow to buy at least another handful of these. Need to have some around the house for everyday drinking. Highly recommended.

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

Bottle Date: 12/02/2011
Tasting Date: 1/5/2013

Beer pours crystal clear. A light amber color. Strong 2 finger head that is rocky and sticky.

Aroma is a little funky. Sweet, phenolic, a little bit of spice and pineapple. Nice Belgian yeast aromas.

Beer is crisp, slight funk at the finish with a little bit of tartness. A little bit of hops peaks through as the beer warms, as does some more funky flavors, nothing too harsh though.

Medium body, good carbonation.

A unique beer, crisp, light on hops, some complexity.

Photo of jsisko01
3.31/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled on 12-30-2009 and best before 12-30-2014.

Appearance - Poured only half the bottle and it foamed over the top.. 2 inches of soapy looking foam, dissipating very slowly. The color is copper.

Smell - Dark fruits and bitterness is most dominant. Also earthy and has a little funky/musty aroma. I think I smell some clove too.

Taste - Very bitter.. with floral hops. Citrus, tartiness, clove, and some other spices.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with high carbonation.

Overall - Not really what I was expecting. I'd like it better without the spices.

Photo of d5001986
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of Honus1
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of hermit990
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Jackal
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of drizzam
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a cloudy orange/amber in color. A fairly aggressive pour yielded a monster three finger white foamy head. Good head retention with moderate lacing.

S - This is a seriously aromatic brew! As soon as I cracked open the bottle, my living room was flooded with fruity odors...seems like predominantly pear. Also a very dominant spice aroma to go with the pear. This beer almost smells like a champagne to me.

T & M - Tastes mainly like a ripe pear with a peppery finish. There is an earthy hop presence that seems to peek in and say "Hi", but it is just a ghost and seems to disappear just as quickly as it appeared. There is a strange complexity at work here. Mouthfeel is on the thin side and it finishes pretty crisp...just a bit of that pepper for an aftertaste.

D - This is certainly a fine brew, but the drinkability is hampered by the cost. I'm not one that could quaff this all night even if cost was not a factor, as the spiciness would prohibit it. Certainly worth a try...this is a perfect example of the style.

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

Poured from bottle into snifter

A: Rich amber color, huge head that stuck around and dissipated to half finger. Lots of lacing. Beautiful looking brew.

S: The first smell on the nose was of bananas. Very fruity and flowery nose. Very pleasant to smell and definitely whetted my appetite for tasting.

T & M: Taste goes with the smell for the most part. Definite hint of fruitiness. Lots of flavors that I can't quite put my finger on. Very slight sourness on the aftertaste.

D: This is definitely a drinkable beer. A little lighter than some other Trappist ales that I've had which would go towards having multiples in a sitting.

Photo of Glibber
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of hotsudge
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Buttermilk
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Los1324
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of leaversuch
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of LMH88
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of surlytheduff
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,604 ratings.