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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

4,412 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,412
Reviews: 2,119
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 214
Gots: 419 | FT: 10
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: 4,412 | Reviews: 2,119 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of uustal
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, murky orange with a big, bright white, thick head. Great retention. Aroma of yeast strains, hay, lemongrass, citrus and spicy notes. Taste starts off with a musky yeast, barnyard and hay flavors. Citrus notes and a thick, sweet malt add balance. More yeast and grassy notes bring it home as well as a touch of Belgian spices.

uustal, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of TheRealDBCooper
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

TheRealDBCooper, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of olympicgatorade
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Huge frothy head, nice burnt umber color, darker than expected for a Trappist.

S: Lighty bready with a really nice hit of brett funk. Great.

T: A very subtle beer. Faint hits of bitter hops, fruit, bread, booze. Funk hardly present at all, was hoping for more to come through. Really soft and enjoyable bitter aftertaste.

M: Nicely carbonated. Very delicate. A refreshing palate cleanse.

O: A very beautifully built beer, with nice restraint. Not my favorite Trappist, but a unique variation among its brethren.

olympicgatorade, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of drumrboy22
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into an Orval chalice. Beer was a light brown color, with a two-finger, foamy, off-white head. Moderate carbonation and tons of lacing around the glass. Glorious!

Aroma was funky brett, some floral notes and very faint citrus.

Taste was slightly hoppy, caramel, grass, citrus, and a touch of funk and yeast. Dry finish.

Bottle is 16 months old and has aged very well. Love the hints of Brett in the nose. Complex and flavorful beer. This is delish.

drumrboy22, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of Phocion
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 10/05, so this is about 9 months old. Poured into an Orval chalice. Thick golden-brown with a huge foamy head and great retention.

Malty and fruity overtones, especially pear. Quite an alcohol scent as well, though we are approaching 7% (the site lists this at 6.2, but my bottle says 6.9).

Very dry and earthy taste. Alcohol content is evident as well, not as well hidden as most Belgians. The pears are coming through as an undertone, and it is neither as fruity or malty as the scent.

Medium-bodied. Very dry and crisp on the palate.

This is a good treat, but definitely not a session beer. Very dry and fairly high ABV. Overall I'd recommend it, but not more than one or two a night.

Phocion, Jun 17, 2006
Photo of DioS
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

DioS, Aug 28, 2012
Photo of EdFed
4/5  rDev -4.8%

EdFed, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of redleg411
3/5  rDev -28.6%

redleg411, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of 2neardead
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

2neardead, Mar 04, 2012
Photo of NappyB
4/5  rDev -4.8%

NappyB, Jun 29, 2013
Photo of WckdVbz
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

WckdVbz, Aug 12, 2014
Photo of BeerBob
2.55/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orval Trappist Ale pours a hazy translucent nut brown from a 11.2 oz very dark brown glass bottle with a pry off cap. Head well over three fingers. Foam turns rocky and clings to everything in large clumps on the way down the sides of my glass to a massive broken reef of foam with a lagoon to one side.

Nose is a firm clove and sour banana, with just the slightest wisp of bubble gum. Palate is just a one-dimensional citrus sour with the bight of carbonation. That is it, just a foamy sour bubbly.

“The king has no clothes!”

Dates on bottle:
Bottled on: 29/08/2006
Best Before: 29/08/2011

BeerBob, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of trbergman
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance - The beer pours a hazy golden orange with three fingers of pillowy off-white head. The head recedes to about one finger but leaves spectacular lacing on the way down.

Smell - Belgian yeast, bubblegum, with earthy undertones.

Taste - At first very dry and somewhat bitter, the beer opens up and improves on warming. The palate is quite earthy, with other flavors I had trouble describing at first, but would call hay, apple, and pear. The finish is dry with grassy, herbal hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Highly carbonated, this beer dances on the tongue and has a full, round body.

Drinkability - Good. Alcohol is hidden better than other beers of similar strength. A pleasure to drink - I could have two or three.

trbergman, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of beertardis
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

beertardis, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of bulldogg915
4/5  rDev -4.8%

bulldogg915, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of JohnG190
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy orange with a huge white head that settles into a lacy cap. Complex aroma of yeast, caramel and funk. Earthy with a hint of hoppiness and some barnyard. Medium body with light carbonation starts and finishes bone dry. Super complex and superbly crafted, though I would expect nothing less from one of the worlds great beers!

JohnG190, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of Givemebeer
5/5  rDev +19%

Givemebeer, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of petewheeler
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

petewheeler, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of juju7
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a brew. Haven't had it or a while so it was great revisiting tonight. That complexity on the nose of brett, pine, potpourri, barnyard is quite unique. To then deliver something tart, slightly sour yet so palatable is pretty special. It looks great too, radiant orange with a billowing head. Fairly low carbonation and a finish that doesn't give up. This is top shelf stuff.

juju7, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of MisledTitan
4/5  rDev -4.8%

MisledTitan, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of MrNate
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

MrNate, Mar 29, 2013
Photo of CBFanWish
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I've never been a fan of any belgain beer all too much, but lately I've been digging them quite a bit. Yes, I would rather have a porter or an imperial stout, but these damned belgains are eating away at me. Don't get me wrong, I still think Chimay and Ommegang are gross, but I can't let them ruin it for the rest of them.

Orval Trappist Ale is a spectacular testament to Belgain trappist brewing. Brewed to the highest standards, it holds true to its rock solid reputation as one of the finest ales in the world.

Poured from a blue tear-drop bottle, it radiated with a beautiful orange amber colour with a hazy, unfiltered clarity. The head, thick and mountainous, released a wonderful aroma of fruits and grains. Enough to bring one back to moms kitchen.

After all the "work" examining the nectar, I had to taste it.

Apple cider, bananas, coreander, a touch of lemon. Fruity and tart with only the most mild bit of bitterness. A fantastic complexity with the most incredible simplicity rolled into one. Smooth and pleasing to the palate.

This is a wonderful beer in so many ways that one cannot put it all into words. This is the beer to convert any "wine snob" to the ways of the heathen. Orval is a beer that is enjoyed in the company of a casual chess game or a formal party. One which should be respected, is respected, and always will be respected.

CBFanWish, Apr 14, 2004
Photo of bbothen
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep hazt orange/rust like color with a beautiful 2+ finger head. The head billows up into a big fluffy pillow of goodness. Looks picture perfect. Liquid bubbles like champagne.

Smells yeasty, spicy, hoppy, & breadlike.

Somewhat sour, but with plenty of sweet character as well. Hops make their presence known. Sharp, crisp dry finish. Complex for sure.

Highly carbonated, effervescent, dry finish.

One bottle was enough for me.

There is alot going on here. I bet I'd find different aromas/flavors next time. A unique brew indeed. I can see both sides of the love/hate for this brew. I'm somewhere in the middle.

bbothen, Aug 09, 2008
Photo of jar2574
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Really zesty, spicy, hoppy smell with some funkiness - Brett(?). A giant 3-finger tan head. Looks pretty darn good.

The taste is sort of disappointing though, after that great smell/presentation. Some funky, barnyardy yeasts, which I like. Light and watery. Some sweetness, maybe from malts. Not an overly hoppy or overly malty beer, pretty balanced. Could use a little more spiciness - there was some here and I liked it but could have used more.

Started off looking and smelling fantastic but ultimately didn't live up to that initial impression.

jar2574, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of BeerNemesis
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orval Trappist Ale. 11.2oz. April 2009 vintage.

Appearance:
Semi-opaque orange/amber color with some light haze. 2.5 finger white head mushrooms up the glass and settles into a spongy, rocky landscape. Medium lacing.

Aroma:
Citrusy, some pine, flower

Taste:
It's smooth, crisp, and generally light. Slight tart-fruity flavor with a touch of lemon rind, and some medicinal phenols. The hop bite is not as intense as one would think, but this worked well in conjunction with other flavors.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability:
Orval surprisingly accomplishes a light body but a full mouthfeel. Very nice. Carbonation is good (slightly reduced when ages which was quite nice). I find Orval very drinkable (I could have 2-3 more happily). and venerable.

Notes:
Orval comes in a unique, vase-like brown bottle. It's unusual, but a pleasing shape nonetheless. Orval also has venerable historic origins -- I mean the monastary dates back to the Merovingian period (1100's).

BeerNemesis, Feb 19, 2010
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,412 ratings.