Orval Trappist Ale - Brasserie d'Orval S.A.

Not Rated.
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,178 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

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Reviews: 2,178
Hads: 4,867
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 283
Gots: 638 | 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: 2,178 | Hads: 4,867
Photo of jlmarshall
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer poured with a very tall, foamy head that took a little time to get into the glass. The head stuck around for a bit. Very lacey on the sides of the glass. It's a golden straw, not quite clear, not quite cloudy and fairly bubbley. The smell is warm with nice flowery hops and bit of pumpkin and a soft hint of malt. The mouthfeel is slightly bitter, slightly sweet, very easy with just the right amount of carbonation and very little warmnth of alcohol, full but not thick. The taste is fantastic with bread and grain, slightly sweet, a little banana. I could easily drink a lot of this. (595 characters)

Photo of LiquidPoem
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had always seen this beer on the shelf and never thought much of it. Small. Humble. (Expensive.) Sometimes dusty...

Well today I decided to pick one up.
Brewed 7/10/2010 [ BB 7/10/2015 ]

A: Pours a slightly cloudy orange amber with a huge light tan head that hangs out forever. Giant bubbles. I actually put my ear up to the head and the sound was amazing; snap! crackle! pop! at such intense levels. Wow...

S: A lot of banana and sweet cinnamon blended with tartness. Some pine.

T: Very bready but also extremely tart. Almost like a bitter apple pie but not nearly as sweet.

M: Very light and bubbly on the tongue. Smooths over leaving a light film of flavor. Not overly carbonated. Goes down making you want more.

This beer was amazing. I'm sitting here looking at my last sips wondering when I'll pick up another. I think because of the age of this beer it may be more sour making it all the more enjoyable. I'd certainly like to try a fresh one but for now I am ok with small, humble and sometimes dusty (but not expensive). (1,036 characters)

Photo of PHSCAPT
3.26/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay chalice. Pours an unclarified dark honey with a two inch creamy persistent head. Smell is a soury lemon that dissipates afer a few minutes. Predominant taste is that of hoppy bitterness. Mild carbonation that makes this ale go down easily. Pale ales not my thing and this reminds me of why. (311 characters)

Photo of kilo_005
4.66/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into standard Orval glass.

A) tan in color. Light head.
S) this beer has a wonderful aroma of sour fruit, like a tart cherry. This is the best aspect of the beer.
T) mild sour/funk upfront dissapating to a pleasant lingering bitterness. This is what makes Orval unique among traditional Belgians.
M) Strong carbonation feeling that is heightened by the upfront sourness.
O) obviously a legendary Belgian beer. Unless you dislike the bitterness for some reason, you will most likely enjoy this. (519 characters)

Photo of lenin2040
3.46/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First time having this legendary trappist ale...I'm trying to push my palate with more funky/sour beers, and this is one of the originals, so i was very excited.

A: absolutely gorgeous amber with a slight haze. huge, chunky head. bubbles streaming up from the bottom of my DFH signature glass.

S: delicious complex floral notes and a pronounced tange. lemon rind. hay.

T: i think i poured this too cold, as the taste definitely improved after i let it sit for a bit. starts slightly tangy (but not as sour as i'd expect from the nose) then strong medicinal/phenols take over, with just a touch of biscuity malt in the background. a quick hit of horse blanket, then finishes extremely bitter, bordering on astringent, and dries up almost entirely. with a touch more sweetness and/or acidity, this would have been great, but as it was the bitterness as the end took away the complexity in the middle for me...

M: love the intense effervescence.

D: this was certainly complex, but the finish was honestly too bitter for me that made me not crave another at all and give pause for going through the glass. not bitter in a citric/pine american IPDA/DIPA way, but this intense medicinal bitterness.

I will try this one out again in a year or two if/once my palate develops more around wild/brett/funky belgian style brews. but for now, while this was certainly a worthwhile taste, at the price it's not something i'll go back to until i think it's something i'd appreciate more... (1,481 characters)

Photo of tubaguy
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: I love the classic yet distinct looking bottle. I poured mine into a beautiful Orval goblet I purchased at the monastary

Appearance: a shade darker than honey and a shade lighter than caramel with a 3/4 inch creamy head, some sediment can be seen when held up to the light

Smell: subtle floral and fruit aroma at first, than yeast and something bitter I can't quite place

taste: complex! bitter (in a good way) at first and than a warming, but not overwhelming alcohol taste down the throat. Hints of lemon but not a fruity beer! Some really nice hoppy spiciness as well.

mouthfeel: a bit chewy but goes down smooth

drinkability: unlike other trappist beers that I love, I could have a few of these in a row. Compared to a Rochefort or a westveleteren the alcohol content is considerably lower at (6.2%). Not my favorite Belgian beer but in my top 10. Goes great with the Orval cheese!

note: I bought a case at the Orval monastary which I would highly recommend visiting. It is the most picturesque of the trappist monastaries and the ruins of the old church is worth the price of admission (5 euros) (1,120 characters)

Photo of isthatbeer
4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from an 11.2 oz bottle poured into tulip shaped glass.

A: Hazy amber with two fingers of a thick, rich cream colored head. The head leaves a nice lacing on the side of the glass as it dissipates.

S: Its got a pleasant sour smell to it with some orange and some malt sweetness lurking behind.

T: Starts out rather tart but then does this dry hoppy, phenolic thing. The finish is rather long and dry. You definitely could sit and ponder the finish for quite a while.

M: Medium to lite mouth feel. Very tightly carbonated. Dry.

O: A really nice well balanced beer. (574 characters)

Photo of hopheadtony1
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review is about a 8 years old orval i found in a family house.

I poured this treasure in his glass of course and with surprise, the beer reacted normally, the white head came and some banana flavors came to me. The color was more clear than usually.
The nose is amazing, notes of old yeast, banana, very fresh. The carbonation was still very good and the taste as well, very evolutive , complex, i now want all my orvals like this. minimum 8 years old. Hard to believe the a 6,2 % ABV amber beer can be aged like that.

Exceptional. (538 characters)

Photo of blakereik
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good Belgian Ale. Has the distinct charateristics you are looking for in a Belgian. Warning: Very thick head, so pour slowly. This is one of the beers that is always in my fridge, and one of the few I don't have to check myself due to the alcohol content. (260 characters)

Photo of cleolicious
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: A mustard colored and cloudy appearance with a enormous bright white head.

Smell: Tangerine, Lemon, floral. Not too potent but a light hint of each.

Taste: A classic belgian pale Ale taste but filled with orange and lemon. Crisp at first sip then very smooth thereafter. A tad bit art an a hint of cider. Very dry. To be honest, the taste is so complex that I'm certain everyone who reviews it will miss something. I know this beer is ancient and it tastes it.

This is a slow sipping beer, not as up beat as some the Belgians. It's pale ale with a dark and mysterious mood, if that makes sense. I think this beer would be best enjoy once you've sampled many other brands first. This is a classic badass. you just know monks made thus.. old ones. (763 characters)

Photo of mgp80
4.69/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Really interesting beer, and challenging to rate, since comparing it to other Belgian pales is iffy. To my tastes its a meeting point somewhere between traditional abbey ales and a flanders red. I recommend it to any fan of either style.

Served out of a 12 oz bottle into an oversize wine glass. Pours dark and golden with a foamy head that shrinks fairly quickly into a foamy film. Aroma betrays the brett, with citrus, cranberry, ripe apple. Faint spice of the sort you'd expect from a trappist ale. Mild but nice. Flavor starts off with tart fruit, again cranberry comes to mind, followed by a rise of some peppery spice flavors with a little bit of a leathery taste. Tartness comes back in the aftertaste. High carbonation in the mouthfeel. This is very drinkable, as it strikes a balance between being interesting and going easy on the palate, and the alcohol is pretty well-hidden. (888 characters)

Photo of phreak1983
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Even after a gentle pour into my goblet I got a huge head. It would have been best to let this one sit a little while after opening. Good carbonation and chunky lacing.

S- Sweet pears, floral scents, and I can actually smell the sourness.

T- Not as sweet or sour as it smelled. Very light and crisp.

M- Fizzy, dry, and finishes clean with no aftertaste at all.

D- Very easy to drink, the only thing that would stop me from drinking more is the price and a desire for a stronger tasting beer. (498 characters)

Photo of 71CrazyOtto
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Home Run.

Never had a beer with lacing and frothing head like it even remotely. Tiny bubbles run high up to upper sides of glass when poured trapped by thick cream colored head.
This "Authentic Trappist" brewer sets itself apart (far apart) from it's fellow monks at the other monastaries that brew the Belgium classics.

Orval I see now brew a 2nd beer but they will always be the best imo because they've been brewing only one for so long so I won't bother to try a cash grab second beer.

If I were to die someday on a porch or watching a game, this is the beer I would want in my hand. Crafted by pure souls/nature ingredients to send me to heaven...well hopefully to heaven hehe. (685 characters)

Photo of Swuntly
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1st review!

Bottle dated 12/30/2009

A - Pours a hazy burnt orange with 3 fingers of clumpy beige head that sticks around forever. Nice sticky lacing all over the glass.

S - Green apple, barnyard funk, lemon zest, slight dry hop smell as well. Great smelling beer.

T - Follows the nose almost exactly with slightly tart green apple and just a hint of citrus up front followed by a touch of Bretty funk. Nice slight bitterness on the back end.

M - Medium body and ample carbonation leaves an amazing dryness.

O - Wow. I didn't expect to like this beer THIS much. I'd like to try a fresher bottle to compare this against, but this really is astounding. (655 characters)

Photo of IPAlot
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

no idea of freshness. 11.2 fl oz bottle

appearance:
a wonderfully fizzy head that doesn't last very long. Deep orange color, the last light on the clouds after the sun has dipped below the horizon.

smell:
mild. smells mostly like CO2. citrus, mint.

taste:
mild, but well balanced. slight bitterness and an elusive malty feel.

Not my favorite trappist. I will continue trying to make sure I have had the best representative of the brew, but nothinng new and it's been done better. (494 characters)

Photo of GreatLeo
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came in a 33cl bottle with bottled date of 09/28/2004 and best before date of 09/28/2009 served in its traditional glass.

Its a very unique beer quite distinct from all the other belgian pale ales out there I've tried. The color was a dark coppery color with a very generous head when poured. Definately not one of the strongest pale ales (6.2%) but its got quite a strong taste to it.

The taste was quite bitter especially the aftertaste it left behind which makes this belgian classic a bit more difficult to consume large amounts of. But still overall its a great trappist beer which I would recommend to all especially those who like bitter beers. (659 characters)

Photo of grbennett
3.71/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-Pours a golden orange color with a big, fluffy white head. One of the most beautiful beers I've ever seen. Head stays with the entire beer, leaving lacing.
S- Fruity aroma with a little bit of a chemical smell.
T-Flavors of citrus, clove, and some dusty or musty smell. The same chemical aroma is in the taste. Some hoppy bitterness to balance the sweetness. Begins to taste better as it warms.
M- Smooth with a little bit of carbonation.
Notes- A good beer but a little pricey. I will definitely buy it again but I won't buy it all the time. (548 characters)

Photo of LestatSabastian
2.42/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer was weird tasting to me. light color with bubbles around it looked like a soda. head from hell on one poor next poor hardly any. when I said it looked like a soda. Well it tasted like a bottle of sparkling water with a hint of beer.
mouthfeel of water and baking soda. this beer is not strong but not very good tasting. I did not like it.
Beau of Bama (362 characters)

Photo of kinged8th
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was craving a Belgium and picked up this one. Nice orange color with a thick head. Smells wonderful and tastes very good. Its more fruity than spicey and the alcohol is very well hiding compared to some other Belgiums Ive had. I could drink several of these at one time. A little pricey though. (294 characters)

Photo of jfro
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The golden amber beer poured nicely into a small belgian stong beer glass. Nice white head that left lace as the glass was imbibed. There is nothing really like Orval. The fruit smells are nicely paired with the hop content. I let this one reach optimum temp. before drinking and it paid off. The flavors really compliment each other at the warmer end of the drinking temp. rec's. The mouthfeel on this is quite possibly the best I have ever imbibed. While I may personally prefer the more "standard" expectations of a Trappist bier; Orval is there to remind us that Trappist is a logo, not a style. (599 characters)

Photo of great7dividers
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orval pours a nice hazy golden color with hints of orange. The head is incredibly thick and frothy, and sustains longer than most brews. The aroma from this trappist ale is subtle and citrus-y with a bready undertone (rather yeast-like). The mash of sour and spicy aroma is both impressive and pleasing, without being overpowering. The taste is equally enjoyable being fruity and well balanced. The mouthfeel starts soft and sparkling, then finishes amazingly dry. Orval combines all the best features of belgian-trappist flavors with an immaculate dry finish that makes this ale superbly drinkable. (599 characters)

Photo of Joshre
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured this into a tulip glass from a bottle. Has a golden, yellow-brass color, the head is huge. Lots of carbonation.

S: Smell was somewhat sweet, grassy, dried hay. Light

T: Taste was less colorful than the smell, but good. Lots of funk, alcohol is barely there. Very dry, not very sweet. Not a hoppy taste

M: Very carbonated, but not too-carbonated in any way. Light and thin

O: Great beer, very unique and interesting (429 characters)

Photo of dogboy
2.17/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I love Belgian beer and especially the Trappist ales. I tried this a while ago and hated it, so time for another go.

Bottle looks beautiful as does the beer in the glass with its golden hue and huge fluffy white head. Unfortunataly for me that's where it stops. Overpowering perfume and medicinal smells on my nose (even furniture polish?). Fizzy, thin, funky and sour in the mouth.

I won't be back for a third try. (417 characters)

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

A: Gorgeous Orangish-Amber. Pours with a vigorously effervescent head that dissipates quickly to a thin, light tan, persistent layer with decent lacing.
S: Mouthwatering, I couldn't wait to have a sip. Fruity esters, maybe floral, and Belgian yeast, very well balanced, yeast is not overpowering. If I closed my eyes and somebody asked what it was, I'd say immediately, "Belgian Pale Ale" - the type section of the style as far as aroma is concerned. After 10 or so sips, I'm detecting much more spiciness - coriander and pepper.
T: Tart yeastiness, understated maltiness, I was expecting a little more up-front malt. Some hop bitterness.
M: Slightly dry, little or no alcoholic heat.
D: Very drinkable (703 characters)

Photo of essie
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice. Produced a large frothy white head (2-3 fingers) over a slightly hazy amber to golden-colored body

Aromas of lemon, yeast, and some hops

Starts off with a lemon and grass taste, then finishes with a dry hoppy bitterness. Good complexity.

Nice smooth body with a decent amount of carbonation

The smooth mouthfeel and dry finish makes this beer very drinkable for me.

Overall, another trappist beer that's definitely worth trying. I'm not usually crazy about pale ales, but I could definitely see myself getting this again. (549 characters)

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 2,178 ratings.