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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: 4,903
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 286
Gots: 655 | 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.
View: Beers (2) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Orval Trappist Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,193 | Hads: 4,903
Photo of BeerMarshall
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle, bottling date 2/2010. appearance is the color of caramel with good head. Very hoppy compared to other trappist ales. Very refreshing, highly carbed. I don't really get the brettanomyces funk that I was expecting, but not really overly familiar with this class of beers, so maybe I am just not sure what to look for. Overall very good beer, very refreshing and pleasant to drink. (398 characters)

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

I decided that I would review Orval tonight because I reviewed Delirium Nocturnum last night and wanted to finally determine which I enjoyed more. Delirium Nocturnum is my long time favorite but I tried an Orval for the first time a couple months ago and I remember thinking that it may rival the Nocturnum in overall enjoyment. So tonight I decided to find out for good.

Appearance- Beautiful burnt orange color with a rocky, off-white three finger head. Dissipates after a while leaving a heavy lacing along the glass. Settles into a solid quarter finger covering after a few minutes. Very good looking beer.

Smell- Tart apple and a floral/lemon/banana scent. Very wonderful smelling. Possibly my favorite aspect of this beer.

Taste- Very smooth and surprising flavor. Very tart, sour taste from the get go. Accompanying alcoholic burn, but an extremely pleasant and fitting one. The first taste is almost too overwhelming to separate any flavors, but on the subsequent samplings tart fruit flavors are extremely apparent. Banana and lemon make themselves known, as does a heavy hop bite on the tail end. Sour fruit is present as the dominant aftertaste. I sipped this over a half hour period and the flavors made themselves more apparent as it warmed.

Mouthfeel- Extremely crisp, smooth mouthfeel. If you let the Orval settle in your mouth the carbonation makes itself very apparent. Just ever so slightly too light. Almost perfect for the flavor but could use a little thickness.

Overall, this is indeed a fantastic beer. Although it has failed to overtake Nocturnum as my favorite beer, perhaps it is unfair to compare the two. The Orval is definitely my favorite Belgian Pale Ale but I'm a sucker for Belgian Strong Darks. Overall an excellent beer and one I would recommend to any fan of pale ales. (1,812 characters)

Photo of pijiu
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell: Heavy citrus, hint of coffee, molasses.

Taste: Dense flavour with a taste that is darker than its colour would suggest. Dark cider backbone. Has a bitter cut throughout. Healthy white head.

Notes of citrus, medicine and spice. Tart, dry and easily drinkable.

Serving type: 11.2 fl. oz. brown bottle. (310 characters)

Photo of aesopsgato
3.47/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer looks really nice, but the amounts of head I got from my pour (not overly vigorous) was a LOT. Copper in color, and very hazy. Lots of lacing after the ridiculous amounts of head settle down.

The smell is very nice. Slightly funky, which I was not expecting, but the horse blanket aromas I'm getting from this are very nice. Fresh, not really that musty in nature, more just slight funk. Crisp aroma, malty and the Belgian yeast sneaks in through the funky flavors. Some lemony and honey flavors there too.

Man, I was expecting so much more from this beer from the aroma. I was excited about this! The taste falls flat, some slight funk, very dry, not very satisfying. This is disappointing. It doesn't really taste like anything!

Mouthfeel is equally disappointing. Feels like water. Blah... I don't really want another. (834 characters)

Photo of apowar
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into an unfortunate pint glass.

Pours a beautiful rusty orange color that reminds me of my mom's sun tea. Slightly hazy. Very large, persistent, stiff and foamy pale yellow head.

The aroma strikes me as bubble gum, ripe banana, and tart apple.

Flavor is slightly toasty up front and becomes a bit tangy including typical hop flavors such as candied lemon peel. Finishes with slight hop bitterness, belgian brewers yeast, and some very nice banana and candied citrus flavors.

Mouthfeel is very interesting. Clearly present carbonation that completely fills the mouth. It's assertive but not too prickly or strong, but actually rather soft. Overall, very drinkable, refreshing brew with enthralling complexity and richness or flavor. I can definitely see why this is considered the quintessential belgian pale ale. (843 characters)

Photo of scottchesterhall
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-beautiful copper, full head that shrunk to 1/4 inch, bottled 2.5 years ago, May 19, 2010, 6.9 abv

S-wonderful: pears, ginger, banana, clove, fruity and spice

T-bright assault on front of tongue with fruity spice, but I was looking for way more flavor...very crisp and refreshing and then quickly disappears with a pleasant residue of fruity hop oil and sour yeast. It's clean and crisp--almost cider-like, but I wanted more layers. Am I drinking it too cold?

M-really effervescent, too much? Dances on the tongue, that's for sure.

O-everything was perfect...and then I was let down when the beer was actually in my mouth. Not bad...but I was disappointed. (661 characters)

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

I saw this beer earlier tonight on the shelf and have enjoyed Trappist ales before, so I thought I'd give it a go. The guy at the beer store also told me I should try it and I value his opinion.

I'm pouring at 50 degrees into an 11oz snifter.

It pours a light amber/dark peach color with a bit of cloudyness to it. It looks like a beer I would enjoy just from the color. I've got about a two finger head which is very frothy and thick.

It smells almost sweet, as I've come to expect from Trappist beers, but not so sweet as other beers I've tried (Lindemans). The smell has a lot of complexity, but I can't really pinpoint any one aspect that stands out. I do, however, notice a distinct absence of an alcohol smell, which I appreciate.

The taste is very light and refreshing with, as I said about the smell, a lot of complexity. There isn't an overpowering taste of anything but hops. It's mild, but almost fruity. Oranges or lemons, I can't tell.

I would buy this beer again, the taste and price are right for what I got. I am fully satisfied and would love to share this with friends. The only downside to this beer is the head is a little to much, in my opinion. (1,172 characters)

Photo of DarrinRasberry
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Snow-white crown dominates this brew for the first five minutes after the pour. Beer has a dark honey color with a bit of cloud in the body.

Smell - Apple and honey in the scent, with a hint of peach. Fruity. A brief whiff of funk.

Taste - I haven't tasted enough into the triple digits to have any authority, I admit, but of what I've had so far, Orval's is definitely the most balanced beer I've had. Champagne hints for sure.

Feel - Fizzes perfectly and leaves just enough hint, like an expensive mineral water.

Drinkability - I wish I had a dozen of these. Not too thick, but not too bitter. (644 characters)

Photo of BurgerJones
4.61/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.7oz bottle poured into an Affligem goblet.

Pours slightly cloudy orange with pillowy white head that outlasts the beer and laces the glass throughout.

Smell is pepper and clove, sweet fruits.

Taste is like no beer I've ever had...spices, unidentifiable fruits and flowers, yeasty tang at the finish and as the beer warms. Almost no identifiable alcohol.

Mouthfeel very fizzy, pleasing and refreshing, light body.

Overall, excellent, unique tastes that are definitely beer but not present in any other beers I know, if that makes any sense. (547 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 Hugues
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

often cited as the best trappist beer, I find this one a bit of a hit & miss from bottle to bottle. I've had some really excellent bottles, but others were downright poor, once poured. Just the look of it will tell you. if it's orangey, you'll love it. if it's a pale pils colours... don't even sip from the glass. That's why my rating are probably much lower than the average (376 characters)

Photo of drjones633
4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

bottle stamped 27/12/2007

A=pours out a orange/amber with medium head that goes down to a small layer.

S=oranges and apples. sweet smells of ancient yeasts.

T=crisp. orange, clove, cider like finish. Hoppy and bitter.

D= bubbly and delicious, if I didn't pay close to $10 for one bottle I would drink this all night. Although this is one to savor.

Glad I tried this one. A perfect example of a Belgian pale ale (418 characters)

Photo of superswing123
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aye... this is good one...

Appearance: Bold, full of wonderfully small bubbles drumming up from the whole-headed brew into a marvalous lace that lasted that whole way down the glass... never ending..

Smell: Plums, alcohol, fruits and treats, very nice,

Taste: Smooth, velvetly, very nice and so totally "Belgium."

Mouthfeel: Well it sort of takes over the moment.. not to be mistaken as an absolute "Ikon of brews".... that's all to be said.

Drinkalble: Oh yeah, Oh yeah, this is a fabulous beer that you just have to enjoy a few times in your beertasting career. A world-class number, in every regard. I agree with Jason on this...

Highly recommended by your buddy,

Willy from Wanaque, NJ. (698 characters)

Photo of Zeckster
4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of an 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Opaque copper/orange color with a massive frothy head.
Leaves a nice bit of lattice.

Smells of citrus

There was a little touch of tartness to the flavor, maybe some of the citrus. I shall definitely have to try this one again and again. (292 characters)

Photo of ReluctantScooper
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at the Nouvelle Hostellerie D'Orval.

Orval is a beer that's grown on me through the years. All leather and banana and cinnamon and grated lemon zest and fresh bread and dry spice and, and, and...

... and it turns a cheese sandwich into a banquet. And when Orval's commercial director, Francois de Harenne, insists on pouring it for you as he tells you about the region's political history, it becomes a marker of surreality.

There's beer. There's Belgian beer. And then, there's Orval. Worth falling in love with over and over again. (544 characters)

Photo of SmasNadroj
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass from a bottle labeled 09/07/2008.

Very intense head, like sea foam that just won't go away- I don't mind this, really, but it makes it a little challenging to pour the whole bottle.

Its a shadowy orange color, much lighter than I was expecting but once it opens up and the "sea foam" subsides, the smell is delicately spicy, like nuts roasted in butter and coriander.

Orval has a nice maltiness to it that gives it a refreshing, almost biscuity crispness. Hints of lemon, sweet yeast, and white grapes are hiding behind the malt. Very refreshing

In a white trash way, I wish they made this beer in "affordable" (I'm talkin $20-$25) 12 packs - even in cans- so us prestigious bastards could easily pick one up and take it to a party, bonfire, or camping because its so easy to drink. Mine was gone before I knew it- and yes, there is still sea foam down one side of my glass.

A great trappist, though not quite what I was expecting. Get you one! (976 characters)

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 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)

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