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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.

4,324 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,324
Reviews: 2,112
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 203
Gots: 390 | FT: 8
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
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Ratings: 4,324 | Reviews: 2,112 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mttdls
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

mttdls, Sep 21, 2012
Photo of mcrawford
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

mcrawford, Mar 18, 2014
Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.2/5  rDev 0%

The appearance of this strong pale ale was excellent. Hazy dark gold with an immense fluffy head. The smell was not really to my liking however, not horrible, just not my style. It hit me with musty yeast at first followed by something reminiscent of horse manure. I see one of the bro's used the term horse blanket in their review (as part of taste) and that's a pretty good description also. The taste however was leaps and bounds above the smell. Still very musty, but with a citrus hop bitterness. Defiantly yeasty, with some herby graininess. Mouthfeel was excellent as well, medium bodied and crisp. I found it to be very carbonated. Drinkability was good although, I really could not get over the darn horse manure smell, enough to say it was better than "good," but to some the smell may be to their liking. Just a matter of preference. All and all though an excellent beer, and one of the legendary 6 true Trappist ales. Give it a go if you like Belgian beer and haven't already. You won't be sorry. Oops, almost forgot, my bottle said 6.9% abv., not 6.2%. Go figure.

Ieatlambfries, Feb 08, 2004
Photo of dbalsock
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%

So I finally decided to try this one, after hearing the name occasionally enough to be interested. I found the appearance to be pretty nice, especially due to the beautiful white head. The amber color was nice, but standard, so the head really did the job of making it a beautiful sight. The aroma was great as well; very fruity and sweet. I picked up a good deal of banana, and maybe some brown sugar plum notes. However, the taste was way different; consisting of some light malts, overly intensive vegetable like hops and the occasional addition from the nose. The mouthfeel was overly bitter for my taste, but the consistency was nice and thin/smooth. I am not interested in trying this beer again, considering I expected much more and am fairly disappointed.

dbalsock, Nov 23, 2006
Photo of MusicaleMike
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

I poured this 11.2 oz. bottle into my patented Orval glass. Bottled on 25/09/2007 and best before 25/09/2012. I am impressed that this brew could last that long. I wonder if it would need to be stored in a fridge or just in a cool cellar? The strength doesn't seem high enough to "age" for that long. This is the first Trappist ale I have reviewed.

A: It pours a beautiful, clear amber color. There is a thick, off-white head which sits about a finger and a half deep. There is lots of carbonation in this brew. The head tried to cling to the side of the glass at first, but ultimately failed.

S: It gives off the classic Belgian beer aroma. Not much hop aroma, though it is faintly present. There are some very fruity esters in the smell...I say banana and peach are two smells I get out of this one.

T: I am surprised by the taste. I was expecting something more sweet. Really, there is alcohol up front, and the fruity esters make you think that the beer will be sweet, but I guess the attenuation rate is very high in this beer. There is a peppery aspect to this beer, which I assume comes from the yeast and/or malt. Very low hop flavor in the aftertaste. When held in the mouth, there is some sweetness present, with fruit esters (banana/clove).

M: Smooth, light bodied and I think a little dry. The carbonation is not fizzy, just very smooth.

D: This is a great beer to have a few of in the course of a night. The drinkability factor is high for this one. It would be fun to have a few with a monk or two. The 7% alcohol doesn't make much of an impression, so that is good.

MusicaleMike, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of TenHornsProud
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%

Pours an opaque dark orange with a huge, and I mean huge, white rocky head that lingers and laces. One of the best looking pours I've seen.

Smells of brett, apple, pear, sugar, bubble gum. Really great aroma, makes you want to take a sip.

Taste is up front hop and brett that fades into a fruity, sugar malt and hop character and ends with some yeast spice, hop bitterness, and fruit. Complex as all hell and refreshing.

Lighter to medium body with high carbonation work perfectly for the beer.

Hoppy (maybe a bit too astringent), fruity, spicy, sweet yet dry, just really interesting and complex. The brett is more subtle but present. What's not to love. Amazing beer.

TenHornsProud, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of MisledTitan
4/5  rDev -4.8%

MisledTitan, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of Sachsenfreude
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

appearance; hazy orange with no sediment. Light pillowy white head. Excellent retention and chunky lacing.

smell; sour and tart with herbal hops and an apple-like maltyness. Some sweet caramelized sugars. Nectarines and apricots come to mind as well.

taste; upfront a rustic lambic-like tart and sour flavor tries to come through but is too weak to poke through the hop bitterness that soon takes control and carries with a Herbes de Provence-like complexity, to the finish. Some yeasty flavors dance with the alcohol and snuggle the hops into the finish and aftertaste. Very good but from the smell, more tart flavors are to be expected.

mouthfeel; rich and creamy carbonation, slick and smooth finish...a tiny bit chewy.

drinkability; superb and tasty, easy to drink with well blended flavors and smooth alcohol.

Sachsenfreude, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of Svendozen
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Svendozen, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of Loki
3.13/5  rDev -25.5%

Sampled from 33cl bottle with a Best Before date of 04 2007. Should I have let this age more?

I will try this again, but I was very disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe it was a bad bottle. Maybe I don't like the style, but I doubt the last one.

Poured a hazy amber color with a big white, frothy head that faded some what quickly to a thin, bumby covering. A quick swirl at anytime during the sampling brought back a 1/4 foam head that had a eye like the center of a hurricane.

The aromas were very fruity. Smells of pear, apricot, peach, and bananas with hints of malt and some hops hidden way in the back and I could only catch a glimpse of occationally. Like that hot girl in a crowded, smokey bar that you can only see when the crowd moves just right and your not really sure through the cloudy haze if it was her.

The taste help more fruit than the nose. Flavors of pear, apricot, bananas, and leather. Yes leather and more banana than I expected or was prepared for. Very unbalanced. The body was medium, but the finish was very sticky. I couldn't get it off the sides of my mouth, teeth, and tongue.

My wife thought it was aweful. Said, "This tastes like fruit and old shoe leather. If this was a wine I would say it was corked."

It didn't think it was that bad, but I was very disappointed. Especially considering the lengths I'll have to go through to get another to try.

Loki, Sep 12, 2003
Photo of aslamm75
3/5  rDev -28.6%

aslamm75, May 20, 2013
Photo of thetomG
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Pours a GORGEOUS murky amber with HUGE foamy head. Absolutely GORGEOUS beer. Once the foam dies down a bit, the aroma has all the hallmarks of a traditional Belgian with notes of warm bread, caramel and malty goodness.

The flavor changes a lot as it warms up and it changes for the better - some sour notes even seem to come out. This is definitely one you want to let sit for a few minutes before drinking. Overall the palate is similar to the nose. There is a nice but not overwhelming bubbly carbonation that creates an interesting dry finish.

Very very nice interesting beer and something that I will DEFINITELY be drinking again soon.

thetomG, May 19, 2010
Photo of TheLevi4000
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

TheLevi4000, Mar 20, 2013
Photo of LarryV
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%

Poured with a huge, dense tan head that slowly faded to an island of foam in the middle of the chalice. Nose is earthy, grassy, really quite hard to describe, but I didn't find any off putting aromas in the smell. Color is a murky amber not unlike a darker hefeweizen. Taste starts with a slightly sour note but then turns into a hoppy, dry finish. There are other Belgians I prefer, but this is a damn good beer. A bit expensive at $6 for a 11.2 oz bottle. Because of the price, I would probably not buy it very often if at all.

LarryV, Mar 31, 2006
Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.45/5  rDev +6%

This Trappist style ale is good - IT is not great but it is very good. Similar in character to the Chimay White. But I don't think is to be as good. Still a fine example of one of the few Trappist style Belgian ales left on earth though. This is a must try for the true Belgian fan. I would love to try it on tap someday.

Technical Info:
This brew gains its unusual orangey color from the use of three malts produced to its own specification. Its character has some acidity and spicy sage notes comes from its own single cell yeast in its bottle fermentation.

AtrumAnimus, Jan 02, 2003
Photo of harrisjohnson
4/5  rDev -4.8%

harrisjohnson, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of Quafftastic
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Quafftastic, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of lucas1801
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

lucas1801, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of d5001986
3/5  rDev -28.6%

d5001986, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of j0hnc2468
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

j0hnc2468, Jun 05, 2014
Photo of WckdVbz
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

WckdVbz, Aug 12, 2014
Photo of AaronRed
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%

Strong and wonderful.

AaronRed, Sep 18, 2001
Photo of TinusTime
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Poured from 33cl skittle shaped bottle with a bottling date of either October 2nd or February 10th 2003. ( I can never figure out the european dating) Pours a vibrant light orange with a huge barely off white head. The head doesnt seem to stick around as other belgians. The aroma is of Hops with a bit of candy and well that typical barn scent. This one has more horseblanket, barn scent than most, perhaps because it is so young. The taste is almost pale aleish. Very hoppy at first, then it gives way to a bit of candied fruit. Not very complex at this age. I will have to get a couple to see how they turn out. The carbonation is high, but the mouthfeel is still nice. I think the carbonation helps cleans the tongue and this would be good with some fatty foods esp with the high hops at this age. Drinkability is good, the alcohol is well hidden. I will have to get a couple of these to age as I feel once they round out some more of the character will come out of this beer.

TinusTime, Mar 04, 2004
Photo of rkhaze
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%

Poured a slightly hazy orange.Thick creamy head that left good lace.Smells of earthy sweet malt, citrus and spices. Oranges, tangerines and a bit of grapefruit sweetened with some clover honey. Hints of heather and lavender. Very perfumey.
I've seen beers described as barnyard before but never picked up on that until I tasted this. It's certainly that, with almost a leathery tinge. Gives way to the sour fruits and a mild hop bitterness. Finishes crisp, dry and long. Didn't quite deliver on the promise of the aroma but interesting nonetheless.
Seemed a little thin and overcarbonated. Decent drinkability.
Haven't made up my mind on whether I like that "barnyard" character yet. This is definitly an unique beer and certainly worth a try.

rkhaze, Dec 12, 2003
Photo of ScreamForMe
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%

One of the last Trappist ales for me to try, I thought the hops were going to be too much - thus the wait.

Poured into a tulip:

The head was strong and sustainable - beautiful creamy head.

Very aromatic - hits you right away as soon as you open up the bottle.

High carbonation and a medium body - hop taste was less than I feared (which is a good thing for this malt head).

Dare I say a session ale? Nah - too expensive and the abv is too much to be a session...but a fine brew nonetheless!

ScreamForMe, Jan 28, 2009
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,324 ratings.