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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.

4,487 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,487
Reviews: 2,127
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 218
Gots: 438 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A. visit their website

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: 4,487 | Reviews: 2,127 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chris1919
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

chris1919, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of jkermitj
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

jkermitj, Aug 09, 2012
Photo of BWH999
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

BWH999, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of JDM44
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

JDM44, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of GRUUMSH
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

GRUUMSH, Jun 07, 2014
Photo of NappyB
4/5  rDev -4.8%

NappyB, Jun 29, 2013
Photo of beb86
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

beb86, Sep 29, 2014
Photo of Neorebel
4.9/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As I pour into my goblet Orval appears as a beautiful shade of clear copper, topped with a very puffy 1" white head. The aroma is very rich and complex. I'm picking up spices, a yeasty 'farmhouse' funk, sugary malt, and various fruits- including green/sour apple, lemon and banana. What's nice about experiencing this beer is that the initial flavor and feel is crisp and peppery, with a subtle hint of hops, and the finish is a nice 'banana bread' aftertaste. Absolutely delicious and drinkable anytime. One of my favorite beers.

Neorebel, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of jeffthecheff
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 12/30/09

Poured into a chalice, it has a dark copper color with enough haze that you can't see much through it. The head foams up quickly, and leaves a massive, thick white head on top. A lot of carbonation bubbles are visible in the glass.

The aroma is a nice mix between lemony hops and a fruity, funky yeast character. The brettanomyces adds aromas of leather and rainfall. As I understand, this beer changes a ton with age, but I like where it is right now.

The mouthfeel is very dry with a lot of carbonation but with a firm substance. This beer leaves a drying, leathery feel on the finish. Malt flavor and sweetness seems to stay out of the way, but the funky brett flavors and bitter finish take over. It has a deep, earthy flavor to it with the flavor of dirt, wet leaves, and wild flowers. The finish has the combination of bitter hops and leathery dryness. There isn't much acidity, but the brett leaves a salty flavor throughout.

This beer is really interesting. I'd love to get this again for food pairing or age variations. I'm sure my review would be different each time I had it.

jeffthecheff, May 13, 2010
Photo of grayburn
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a love or hate beer, I compare it best to the Dallas Cowboys. The only difference, I love this beer.

The pour is this massively alive frothy cauldron explosion. Not explosion to the point of losing ambrosia, just some heady bubbles. Amazing retention and lacing.

The smell and taste are both amazingly complex. I could write different details about every singly sip, but let me say that some light pepper-citrus notes blend with some citrus-funk to amaze the senses. Changes all the time, sour to sweet to hoppy to malty to wtf...stop changing you crazy beast....

The mouthfeel is incredibly dry without being even slightly offensive, nice..very nice.

I could drink a few of these, great beer.

grayburn, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of hotsudge
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

hotsudge, Mar 05, 2013
Photo of let8it8grow
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

let8it8grow, May 18, 2012
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 T-34-85
4.61/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a balloon glass.

A: Pours an amber color. Good light tan/off-white head with a healthy 1 to 2 finger head that maintains nicely throughout the consumption of the beer.

S: Has a sour yeasty aroma with a hint of sweetness.

T: Great flavor with a nice mild sourness.

M: Good mouthfeel with a nice level of carbonation.

Overall: Great beer with nice balance of flavor and carbonation.

T-34-85, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of bulletrain76
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Re-rerate: Four and a half month old bottle. Stunning. The last few bottles have proven this to be a truly perfect beer. There is so much variety depending on age, but that makes me love it even more as it can be multiple beers for multiple moods while still being outstanding in every iteration. The hops and fruity esters are phenomenal in younger examples, with brett and dry elegance taking over as time progresses. This truly is a perfect five, and it is a tragedy that it's not appreciated enough to land in the top 100 when it makes the vast majority of the beers on the list look sloppy and poor.

Re-rate, 11/26/07. I've finally come around to re-rating this almost three months later, and Systemblaget still has bottles bottled on the same day, so I'm getting a sample with 9 months of age instead of 6. It may be that the beer has evolved considerably in those three months, or it may be that I have evolved as well since one of my first ratings, but this rating experience is very different from the original. The pour is a clear orange/amber with an absolutely massive lasting head. Bubbles stream from everywhere to sustain the mountainous foam for quite some time, until you wear it into a creamy layer that laces all the way to the bottom. Beautiful to say the least. The aroma is a little different than I remember: dryer and much more complex. Yeast, sour fruit, hops, bubble-gum ,and cloves hit you to start. Very spicy cloves. As the beer warms, more sugar comes out, with some caramel and a good helping of sweet cherries with a lingering acidity. The flavor is dryer than I recall; much dryer than the aroma would lead you to believe. Hop resin scrapes your tongue with a lasting bitter finish, and a slight citrus acidity rides over it all. The body is light and heavily but smoothly carbonated, with a long bitter and lean finish. the alcohol taste that was present before is completely absent now. I'm awe-struck at the complexity of this beer. I didn't know that you could smell so many amazing things in one glass. It's like a whole table of spiced christmas confections, and I'm loving it. It's leanness and dryness also make it supremely drinkable, which is more than I can say for any other Trappist ale that I've had.

(original rating) From a bottle in Lund, Sweden on 8-28-07. Pours a murky golden orange amber with a substatial head that stays for quite awhile in a tulip glass. The aroma is probably one of the best-sweet apricots linger with tangy lemon and spicy cinnamon. I was expecting a better flavor out of this, but something was lacking. There was a good mouthfeel with heavy carbonation, but an intrusiveness of alcohol lingered over it and ruined the flavor. The bitterness in the finish was definitely refreshing, but for a beer bottled at only 6.2% ABV, there shouldn't have been this prevalent of an alcohol taste. I'll definitely give it another try.

bulletrain76, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of Givemebeer
5/5  rDev +19%

Givemebeer, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of C_S
4/5  rDev -4.8%

C_S, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of Bsetz
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Bsetz, Nov 07, 2013
Photo of xgrigorix
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown bottle, 33 cl size, bottling date & best by date printed on label. This sample was just over 1 year old.

Medium gold, somewhat amber in colour. Slightly cloudy, with fast moving carbonation moving through the golden liquid. What a head! Just slightly off white - and incredibly huge. It slowly settles, very slowly, leaving lace all over the glass. Some puffy clouds are left floating on top.

An intense aroma - hops, herbs, a hint of something sour, & wet wool. Incredibly complex.

It passes the lips and leads off with a playful touch of sour wet leather. It continues with fresh herbs, spring flowers, and fresh cut grass. All of this is brought home with some acidity and then goes very dry. Very dry.

Medium bodied, brisk carbonation, very smooth.

Some of the sour / acidic flavours begin to take a toll on the tongue long before its finished. But overall, I'm very impressed.

When I poured the yeast, the smell was of manure. I'm not sure why I decided to drink it, but I'm thankful that the taste was nothing like the aroma. The yeast was somewhat tart, with a bit of pepper.

xgrigorix, Nov 06, 2003
Photo of depechemode1983
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Serving type - 11.2oz stubby brown bottle with best before date printed on back. the site says 6.20% by volume but my bottle says 6.90% by volume

Apperance - light orange/brown amber color outstanding head plenty of lace to go around. very impressive

Smell - sour-citric smell. acidy fruit comes to mind such as lemons limes. floral smells linger. slight sweet smell

Taste - tart spicy taste up front. crisp finish with a definite hop presence thats excellent. floral and plant tartness that really sticks Mouth feel is decent with good carbonation and a little watery feel.

Note: this is one fine ale. loved it from start to finish..just too bad its so high priced and very hard to find in my area.

depechemode1983, Sep 06, 2006
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.38/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled on April 22, 2009. This is a relatively young bottle of Orval.

A: Pours a cloudy orange-amber with a massive off-white head that rockets towards the top of the glass. Thick sheets of lace remain on the sides of the glass and a heavy disc of foam remains atop throughout.

S: There's some noticeable apple and pear fruitiness, a floral component, a hint of peppery alcohol, and a faint musty horse-blanket like aroma. I'd say the predominant component is the fruitiness, but overall the aroma isn't too intense.

T&M: First bottle I had of Orval I really disliked. This bottle I disliked initially, but now about 1/2 way into it, it's growing on me a bit. Pale malt, a dry fruitiness, some leather/horse blanket/funk flavor are all upfront. A metallic and aggressive bitterness comes in late--this is rather hoppy for a Belgian! I'm thinking that some age would settle down those hops (this bottle is quite young) and hopefully reveal some additional complexity on the finish. Body is light to medium with an aggressive carbonation that works well with the bitterness.

D: Well, it's been a bit difficult to get down this glass, mainly because of the intense metallic flavor on the back end.

BamaBeerBuff, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of EdFed
4/5  rDev -4.8%

EdFed, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of YobroitsJoe
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

YobroitsJoe, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of KevinL
4/5  rDev -4.8%

KevinL, Jul 06, 2014
Photo of jkd03c
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

jkd03c, Feb 05, 2014
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,487 ratings.