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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

4,251 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,251
Reviews: 2,104
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 195
Gots: 358 | FT: 9
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
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Ratings: 4,251 | Reviews: 2,104 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jlisuk
jlisuk

California

4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

06-27-2013 00:24:58 | More by jlisuk
Photo of 99bottles
99bottles

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -2.4%

I can't believe I missed reviewing this. I've had this quite a few times, but when I found it in Milan for the equivalent of $1.85 a bottle I stocked up.

Ok, so Orval is a deep orange brown color, slighty cloudy with a clumpy yellowish off white head and above average carbonation. The smell is really unique; strong citrus rind, some wildflowers, and some sharp medicinal cuts. The taste is much of the same, only more complex. When young, as all these bottles are, it has a real biting astringency of phenols, phenols, and more phenols. The hops add good bitterness to the finish, and the malt seems lost in a sea of fighting flavors. The lemon and orange of the smell is in there, as is some funk, almost akin to a lambic. But, really...it's all phenols at first.

I've had quite a few that were left to age, and that made the voyage across the Atlantic and found them to be much more sweet and aromatic. The sweetness of honey, wild grasses, and jasmine all come out as the medicinal taste subsides over time. I like that the "drink before" date is a full 5 years after the"bottled on" date. A really excellent choice, but try to catch one on the back end of those 5 years.

07-06-2005 09:22:29 | More by 99bottles
Photo of beerceller99
beerceller99

Louisiana

2.7/5  rDev -35.7%

33 cl. with a 5- 14- 2003 bottled on date.

Amber colored with a white head that fades quickly to a sheen. Has a strong witch hazel oil smell with a whiff of mild spices and orange peel. A thin to medium body carries a rather bland grain and yeast flavor with a strong, and very off setting medicinal taste. Finishes with a mildly bitter orange peel taste.

For five bucks a bottle there are far better trappist brews.

09-30-2004 05:07:57 | More by beerceller99
Photo of Yesac
Yesac

Georgia

3.63/5  rDev -13.6%

Bottled 5/2007

A- Cloudy amber/orange with a medium sized bright white head.

S- Belgian yeast, some floral fruits such as orange peel.

T- Crisp. Lemon zest. Dry. Tart. I've heard people describe this as 'horse blanket' and I understand now. My review is fairly biased, this is not a style I prefer much.

M- Very highly carbonated. Thin bodied, almost nothing left on the palate.

D- Tart, dry and highly carbonated makes this one a task to drink.

04-12-2009 21:42:45 | More by Yesac
Photo of TrappistJohnMD
TrappistJohnMD

Mississippi

4.05/5  rDev -3.6%

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A - Nice amber color with a huge head that I thought might spill out of my tulip. Tons of lacing.

S - Slight lemony citrus. Lots of ripe plum and clove.

T - Lots of ripe banana and plum. Very sweet malt. Slight hoppiness. Hides alcohol well.

M - Mild carbonation and medium body.

O - Very drinkable.

12-08-2011 01:51:56 | More by TrappistJohnMD
Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
CommanderOfAwesome

California

3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

09-28-2013 17:14:17 | More by CommanderOfAwesome
Photo of CraftFan5
CraftFan5

New York

3/5  rDev -28.6%

02-25-2014 13:28:59 | More by CraftFan5
Photo of Ieatlambfries
Ieatlambfries

New Jersey

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.

02-08-2004 02:29:41 | More by Ieatlambfries
Photo of chickencoop
chickencoop

California

4.05/5  rDev -3.6%

Talk about hype, this seems to be the goto belgian beer that guys that don't drink a lot, love saying it's one of their fav's. I've had this before, but never reviewed it, so this is what I got.
A: Deep amber color, thick off white head.
S: Big tart and tangy, with some funky notes on the end.
T: Big bitterness, balanced with some dank musty flavors in the mix.
M: Big bubbly carbonation, i guess typical of the style.
D: Style benchmark, and this is a very good beer, but overall not an everyday belgian pale.

08-27-2010 04:44:05 | More by chickencoop
Photo of DerBayer
DerBayer

Germany

2.75/5  rDev -34.5%

This beer pours a murky amber with a chestnut tinge and frothy white head. I like cloudy beers but this is not one of my favourites. The smell is fresh and fruity with a sour grapey touch and some bitter hops - very pleasant

The taste however falls way short of my expectations. It is grainy bitter and sour and only the smooth mouthfeel can save it a bit.

10-31-2009 17:29:49 | More by DerBayer
Photo of kustard
kustard

Illinois

4/5  rDev -4.8%

09-28-2013 18:30:06 | More by kustard
Photo of AtrumAnimus
AtrumAnimus

Texas

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.

01-02-2003 07:55:50 | More by AtrumAnimus
Photo of gmcfarre
gmcfarre

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

11.2 oz bottle poured into St. Bernardus chalice

A - Pours a slightly cloudy amber color with a massive, soapy head (even with a careful pour). Lacing is distinct and well-represented as the head fades.

S - Scent is grassy with a good dose of the funky "horse blanket" smell. Presents some slightly sweet caramel malt flavor as well.

T - Starts with a bit of caramel sweetness, then quickly dries and becomes pleasantly funky. A great balance of horse blanket funk and traditional sweet malt with some bitterness at the finish. A bit of scotch-esque alcohol near the finish rounds out this classic beer.

M - Medium bodied, starts smooth but becomes tacky and chalky over the course of a sip. Finish remains chalky with some dryness.

D - Flavor stays interesting and tasty throughout, with a not too intimidating amount of alcohol. A classic Belgian ale for a reason, as well as a great entry into funky, wild-yeast beers. A beer everyone needs to check off their list at some point.

01-31-2009 02:33:37 | More by gmcfarre
Photo of ChopperSmith
ChopperSmith

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +3.1%

Poured from a thick and heavy brown bottle into a chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy deep amber/golden color. A nice creamy one and a half finger foam head retained well, and slowly receded to a frothy off white cap. Left nice sticky lacing as it receded.

Smell: Sweet and yeasty with phenols of clove, apricot and banana. Some slight floral hops underneath.

Taste: A great yeasty profile with the perfect amount of malts and hops to balance. Sweet and fruity, but just a hint of hops bitters and malt richness to balance it all out. A really fantastic tasting Belgian Pale Ale.

Mouth feel: Slick and creamy with just the right carbonation for the style.

Overall: An excellent Belgian Pale ale for sessions. I could easily drink several of these in a sitting and would enjoy every drop. Another outstanding trappist ale! A new favorite!

02-01-2012 00:24:17 | More by ChopperSmith
Photo of afrokaze
afrokaze

California

4.28/5  rDev +1.9%

Bottled on 8/18/2011, poured into a dessert wine glass because it's the most suitable choice my parents have around the house.

Pours a pale cloudy gold/orange with crazy carbonation swirling in the glass and a huge rocky dense head that sticks around forever with good lacing.

Aroma is interesting, tons of straight brett funk that's clean and not too musty, slight peach/green apple citrus, flowers, metallic notes, clove, peppercorns, some banana.

Green apple tart up front leads to clean soft malt, clove, light citrus/green apple, ripe pears, hay, some spicy hops and a pronounced dry mineral finish. So complex I can't even really describe, you just sip and peel away layers of flavor. Alcohol is almost nonexistant

Mouthfeel is tight and prickly, but smooths out in the finish. Dry but has just enough sweetness in the end to keep it from being overly tannic. Sits on the palate for a long time but isn't cloying, lets you really sift through the flavors.

A beautiful and crazy beer, I can see why so many rave about it. Really nothing else like it, super complex and light enough to be refreshing but really satisfying to sip and admire. This is gonna be an obsession!

09-22-2012 04:41:39 | More by afrokaze
Photo of aslamm75
aslamm75

Indiana

3/5  rDev -28.6%

05-20-2013 23:44:43 | More by aslamm75
Photo of adrian21
adrian21

Virginia

5/5  rDev +19%

11-15-2011 21:15:37 | More by adrian21
Photo of jono0101
jono0101

Missouri

4/5  rDev -4.8%

12-24-2013 17:37:47 | More by jono0101
Photo of mmmaaattt
mmmaaattt

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

08-31-2013 03:08:10 | More by mmmaaattt
Photo of barryjg
barryjg

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

06-20-2014 21:00:05 | More by barryjg
Photo of chefbigjon
chefbigjon

Arizona

3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

03-09-2014 22:07:10 | More by chefbigjon
Photo of palma
palma

New York

2.93/5  rDev -30.2%

Light copper body with a large rocky off-white head.
Aroma is sweet malt. Spicy with clove and cinnamon standing out. A phenolic band-aid like aroma cannot be missed.
Taste is tart and bitter upfront. Phenolic flavors are present throughout. A rubber-like flavor which is not enticing. A nice peppery spiciness towards the end. Finishes dry and clean.
Light bubbly carbonation.
Medicine-like phenols were very persistent in the aroma and taste of this brew. A little too much for my liking. I could barely finish the bottle.

04-25-2005 02:44:34 | More by palma
Photo of Sephiroth
Sephiroth

Indiana

4.28/5  rDev +1.9%

Best before August of 2009. Pours with lots of foam, some lacing. The body is orange. Nose contains barnyard characteristics, along with some dry fruitiness. Hop aroma is complex.

Taste is dry, light, and complex. Initial fruit becomes extremely dry, giving way to dirty barnyard flavors. Some lemon. Fruit returns intermittently. Some hops are noted in the dry, clean finish. Mouthfeel is full while it lasts, sterile slightly bitter finish. Plenty drinkable, I must cellar some of these for several years.

05-09-2006 06:08:14 | More by Sephiroth
Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
Bowdoinbeerboy

Maine

4.45/5  rDev +6%

Appearance- Pours with a huge off white head that just sticks around forever. Beer is a hazy brown color.

Smell- Spicy and sweet smelling, this beer has a great deal going on in the nose!

Taste- Really complex flavor profile, beer is light but with lots of potent flavor profiles. Not terribly sweet, but with some hoppy bitterness and just a touch of tartness.

Mouthfeel- Really fills out the mouth, leaves a great taste on the mouth but a bit grainy.

Drinkability- This beer would be so good with some cheese and a meal, one of the better beers for pairing.

06-14-2008 01:48:58 | More by Bowdoinbeerboy
Photo of crnipeter
crnipeter

Slovenia

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

The production date says 15.09. 2009 so the beer is quite fresh one.
Hazy light amber-orange. Thick solid ivory head leaving patches and bands of thick lace on the glass walls as the crown retreats. In its own brand glass Orval looks imperial and the crown never fades completely, leaving a solid cap.

Floral with traces of honey, fresh cut hay, lemony esters and juniper.

Herbal one with evident juniper and lemon rind touch. A constant search of balance between bitter and sour is always leaning on a bitter side till it ends with hoppy bitterness accompanied by dry finish. I wonder how this biter-sour game will evolve with aging.

High carbonation produces bubbly sensation yet the beer remains somewhat creamy. Light medium bodied.

A particular brew that you'll never get tired of.

11-17-2009 20:10:19 | More by crnipeter
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,251 ratings.