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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
93
outstanding

2,193 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,193
Hads: 4,902
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 285
Gots: 653 | FT: 12
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,193 | Hads: 4,902
Photo of Atch
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark honey gold color,light carbonation, 2 finger head + retention. poured from an 11.2oz bottle to a tulip glass.

Smell: sweet and spicy

Taste: I taste graham crackers? This is the hardest one for me. I can't put a finger on it.

Mouthfeel: Feels chewy but smmoth and carbonated perfectly.

Drinkability: One more? Lets go! (338 characters)

Photo of RRoeb1123
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tried this beer with one of my friends, who is also my partner in crime in tasting beers.

Appearance: Absolutely beautiful, cloudy amber-yellow, with a very nice head that is almost fluffy, that stays for a LONG time. Leaves wonderful lacing on the glass as you enjoy it too. There is also some nice visible carbonation.

Smell: Heavenly to say the least. There are distinctive aromas that I picked up, which was a very earthy smell, which I really liked. There was also a gentle scent of lemon, spice, and clove, along with apples, and almost a peachy scent. Very very inviting to the nose, and makes you just want to bury your nose in the beer.

Taste: Absolutely great, the scents merely hint what underlies this awesome beer, the flavors come at you in a way that you know they are there, but they don't shout at you. Lemon peel, cloves, apples, and even an earthiness taste, that this yeast imparts is absolutely astonishing. The finish is nice and dry, which makes you long for another sip. As the beer warms, it imparts more of a spiciness, which is very pleasant.

The mouthfeel of this beer is great, because of the carbonation. There is a bit of carbonation, which is perfect because it allows the beer to really hang on your palate, but not allowing it to become too heavy on you.

Drinkability: I find this to be a very enjoyable beer, and I would absolutely drink this again. The complexity within the beer on other tastings may be different, and I'm curious to find what else may be hidden within it.

Verdict: An absolutely heavenly beer (literally!) (1,569 characters)

Photo of sniper061
4.94/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was poured into a pint glass and I found it wonderfully enchanting. This is one of those beers that you know you are going to love just from the way it pours into the glass. I asked the bartender at Brazil craft beer what his favorite was and this is what he gave me. At first I thought he had picked it to boost up my bar tab but after the first glance knew it was going to be special. (396 characters)

Photo of fizzgig
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Came in the classic Orval bottle, served in a tulip glass.

A: Medium amber, aggressive carbonation did not allow the whole bottle to be poured into the glass at once. 2-3 finger spongy head reduced to a half finger head that stuck around almost to the end.

S: Pilsner like smell, with either fig or date. Faded somewhat.

T: Strong malt with late bitterness. Date flavors.

M: Very malty with bursting carbonation.

O: This seems like a fairly strong pale ale to me, nice and malty with the best appearance I've ever seen to date. There is just some character missing that I expected from a malty trappist. Good, but pricey. (626 characters)

Photo of ellman
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smell: Defiantly a Belgian beer it had a fruity musty smell with hint of the alcohol present.

Appearance: Medium orange brew with a long lasting full whit head.

Taste: Quite complex but I would expect no less. Malty but on the dry side. Also slightly sour

Of the Trappist I have tried this is not high on the list but not bad at all. (343 characters)

Photo of noclue
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: 11.2 ounce bottle. Bottled on 12/12/03

Appearance: Highly carbonated. Golden-Amber murky haze. Tall rocky, frothy white head. Decent lacing. Not very long lasting, but my glass wasn't incredibly clean.

Smell: Strong floral aroma. Fruity. Spicy. Leather. I could smell it sitting two feet away from me.

Taste: Tart, sweet, bitter, phenolic, fruity, hay.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied... Crisp, dry finish.

Drinkability/Overall: Crisp and refreshing. Not my favorite Trappist, but still very good. Easy and rewarding to drink. (547 characters)

Photo of positiverpr
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a:copper/orange with high leve of carbonation. finely beaded pure white head of 2" that fades to 1/2" slowly. significant lacing.

aroma: subtle barnyard hits me first from the brett. dry hopping(or flowering) is obvious. i dont pick up much malt and some light fruit aroma is there

taste: bitterness is noticeable but not harsh. again- for me the brett grabs my attention. its difficult to dissect the malts(possibly from the dryness). as it warms it gets much more complex and i pick up more spiciness and some subtle clove. goldings hops earthiness fleeting at the end.

mouthfeel: fairly dry. interesting water source i think.

o: fairly drinkable. very unique. i cant think of a direct comparison. for me this reminds me more of a bier de garde style. not like any other trappist that i've had, but again the brett flavor and dryness is in the driver seat.
a wonderful beer. (881 characters)

Photo of Orangevango
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Honey-colored and cloudy, Orval produces a healthy off-white creamy head that sticks around. It is a sight for sore after a day out in the sun; it looks thirst quenching (if something can). I swirl the glass to take the first wiff and am presented with a delicate malt aroma accented very nicely by strong and earthy Brett. The lacing after my swirl is impressive. The hop aroma is earthy as well, and it mingles with the Brett so nicely that it is difficult to say where one stops and the other begins. The flavor is odd. My first thought was tart, but upon a second sip, it was no longer tart, thats when the DMS hit me, not overbearing but certainly present. Bitterness is far more assertive than the hops were in the nose. This beer is quite refreshing. The hop flavor is spicy, and the bitterness lingers. Add a little bit of funk from the brett and you've got Orval. The flavor is pleasent, but nothing to write home about, and certainly no peer of the aroma.
The carbonation is quite high and the body quite light. (1,022 characters)

Photo of BabySnakes
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa. Poured it staright down the center and almost the entire glass was a tannish color head instantly. Incredible lacing that ends in thick clumpy gobs.

Mostly Copper with some orange hue. Very solid and dense/cloudy.

Faint maltyness with an orange accent aroma. Slight barn/horse/belgian wafts. Not too much overall aroma, maybe inhibited from the pour?

Nice orange flavor comes thru, solid malt base. Barnish/earthy flavors in the finish along with a spiciness.

Excellent mouthfeel. More carbonated than your average beer. Starts medium heavy bodied from the malt but the dry finish helps to keep it a solid medium. Spicy flavor finish is felt in the mouth also. An excellent earthy BPA as opposed to a more dry, hoppy fruity offering like Ommegang's. (759 characters)

Photo of tyjudd
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Pours a hazy orange. The head is intense. Previous reviews of a stout head is understated. Tried to control the pour to limit head but to no avail. 4/5s of the glass was full of a thick, slow eroding head. The nose was of orange and lemon candy. Smelled delicious. Btw, the head still remains with impressive lacing on the glass. The taste was not what I was expecting. Not sure how to describe it. Malty and boozy. The finish was super dry, like a bourbon. Very good. Only wish I had another one. (498 characters)

Photo of LVituri
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sinto dificuldade em analisar esse rótulo, por se tratar de algo único e de difícil comparação. A Orval é a cerveja mais original do universo trapista belga, ela é única e joga com suas próprias regras. O que posso dizer é que senti falta de complexidade e seu amargor intenso pode ter sido mal interpretado por mim. Espero revisitá-la um dia para rever minhas conclusões. (384 characters)

Photo of LeDirtyPanda
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

This is one of my favorite beers of all time. When you poor the beer into it's glass it's an orange-esque hue, yet it's first tastes are one of a darker beer, but as you exhale you can taste the hops. Man. Its one of those beers you have to try in your life time. love it! (273 characters)

Photo of CanadianBacon
4.76/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation- Came in a very cool brown rounded bottle

Appearance- hazy amber, huge foamy head similar to duvel

Aroma- Tarty,Yeasty, Green Apple and bread

Taste- complex taste dominated by green apple and some spice

Mouthfeel- pretty light body crisp and carbonated

Overall- Another A++ trappist beer, Try it (315 characters)

Photo of cedricwarner
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The head pours billowy clouds of foam without effort. The aroma is lactic sour, peaches and cream. The flavor... quite subtle actually. Sourness and hop bitterness are initially strong, giving way to a smooth spiciness and mild malt presence. There are things going on here I can't account for with the usual malt, hops and yeast formulas... something magical.

This beer has an entirely unique flavor, my personal favorite of the Trappist Breweries, and perhaps my favorite Belgian beer overall. (496 characters)

Photo of Beauregard
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant color that is somewhere between dark gold and orange. High carbonation, decent lacing. The aroma is incredible, sweet, sour, citrus, barnyard, with hop earthiness coming through in the constant effervescence. The first taste is dry but bursting with flavor. Great attenuation lets everything hit the palate: a dry, grainy malt backbone, sweet crystal malts, bitter styrian goldings, refreshing sourness, and pronounced but not overwhelming brett flavors of horse, leather, and even slight (but not innapropriate) band-aid. A fantastic beer. (558 characters)

Photo of badmoon
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a tulip from a bottle.

A: Hazy orange...almost like looking at the sun! Gorgeous, deep tone.

S: Spice and citrus. Very complex and I love it! Reeks of a Belgian.

T: Very crisp. I didn't notice the hops at the beginning but they are VERY noticeable on the finish.

M: Carbonation is noticeable but not overwhelming. It's almost dry but the bitter hop finish balances that out.

D: I couldn't drink more than one of these...it's really big.

Overall: Great beer! I'll be picking up a couple more of these ASAP. (524 characters)

Photo of ajayma
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

LOOK.
Dark honey with a gentle cloudiness. Bottled On: 9/23/2008

AROMA.
I get leather, citrus peel, and hay.

BODY.
Light with a firm carbonation.

FLAVOR.
Starts off with a wash of hay and lemon rind. In the middle, a grassy hop character mingles with a mild pepperiness. In the finish, bitterness becomes more medicinal, with notes of ginger and lemon (and anise too?) in a long, drying finish. Dry through and through. (422 characters)

Photo of t8s8l8
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look- a darkish amber orange, reminds me of pretzels. a huge head the thing looks like fresh snow. big bubbles incase the glass as the head starts to fall leaving the lacing in its course.

Aroma- perfume aroma that jumps out of the glass even as i poured it. A sweet maltyness plays nicely in this complex bouquet, but still this floral perfume like cleanliness inoculates the senses, like trail running in the spring. woodsy and spicy and sweet all combined. second pour was slightly more fruity a low fruit (pear with some orange) presence played into the already complex aroma.

Taste- a smooth malt character hangs with this fruit front beer that the yeast has put into play so well. the fruitiness is reminiscent of the aroma. slight hop bitterness, and a great dryness finishes this brew out.

Overall Experience- This is an awesome beer and I will be bringing it to all social gathering. I'm sorry but if this doesn't make you want to drop that commercial beer and make the switch I don't know what will. The cloud like head, the overflowing floral aroma, the complexity, its all amazing. (1,099 characters)

Photo of sogrady
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The one, the only. Chimay may be better recognized, Orval has more complexity to it. I would kill for access to their yeast, because the flavors it yields are complex, mercurial and just perfect. The nose merely hints at the taste, offering snatches of citrus and spice, but the taste is incomparable.

As a Trappist ale, it's got a little more juice than a standard pale at near 7%, but you'd never know it to drink it. The alcohol is completely subsumed in the flavors of this darkened gold ale.

Just an amazing beer. (522 characters)

Photo of stoutmasterjames
4.92/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: semi-deep amber, decent retention, good lacing, looks like a masterpiece

S: semi-sweet spices, complex, profound smell, fragrant

T: Oak, flower notes. At the front there is the suggestion of sweetness that never comes to fruition as the dry tone of the tasting experience comes to dominate before the finish evaporates all of the dryness leaving you to contemplate the lightness of the body. Very complex. Every sip encourages you to study the nuances of the flavors involved.

M: light body, perfect ally to taste

I have been chugging craft beer for about four years now and this is THE BEST that I have found.... yet. Spectacular in every way, Orval is what good craft beer is all about. Good complex taste, phenomenal drinking experience. They cost a pretty penny, so if I am having a bad day, or have cause for a mini-celebration... I'll grab one of these. (866 characters)

Photo of TrueRates
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Roughly 18 months old. A golden copper color of a beer with a white frothy like head. Aromas of musty basement, barnyard, some spicy hops, and many other complex aromas. Full bodied beer with high carbonation. Flavors of spicy hops, white pepper, tons of Brett flavors. Fantastic beer. (285 characters)

Photo of Marc_V
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle from Belgian Beer Shop.com. I drank this one cooled. This gives the beer a lot more freshness. It's a wonderful thirst quencher. The color is hazy amber with a nice off-white head that leaves lots of lacing.
The aroma is very hoppy, fresh with a touch of fruitiness (citrus). The taste is perfectly balanced between the hop bitterness and the fruity sweetness. The beer is also yeasty. This is by far my all time favorite. A true classic that can be drunk on every occasion. (481 characters)

Photo of KF_MSU
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Lasting foam, cloudy and golden. Interesting smell-- like melons and somewhat salty. It tasted smooth and slightly savory. I also got hints of citrus/orange. Definitely unique. (180 characters)

Photo of smc143
3.87/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When I popped off the cap, it immediately starting foaming out of the bottle, so you can imagine what the glass looked like - half beer, half thick foamy whitecap. It took a while to get it all into the glass. I tried to leave the yeast in the bottom of the bottle, and not in my glass. It is a deep golden color and slightly cloudy, reminding me of cider in the fall. I smelled a mix of fruity, malty, nutty tang, like citrus and berries and brown sugar with a kick. And maybe just because it looked like cider, I thought I got a hint of apple. At 6.9% ABV, there was a bit of the alcohol sting in the scent as well.

The first sip seems tart, and then warms into a more sweeter flavor, almost a sticky consistency, but finished quite dry. I loved it, but I don't know if I would have many more than one at a time. It is quite a beer! (835 characters)

Photo of Madigan
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tend to steer clear of Trappist ales because although I recognise their craft and quality I generally prefer beers under 6 abv but Orval at 6.2 is pretty light. The colour was interesting, paler than I expected, sort of orange, and the mouthfeel was great - a good strong taste but not too much alcohol. It's a very clean, dry beer and goes down exceptionally well. I imagine it would go very well with some decent cheese.

A nice, accessible Belgian ale and one I'll definitely be trying again. (498 characters)

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 2,193 ratings.