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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,270 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,270
Ratings:
5,186
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
18.9%
 
 
Wants:
334
Gots:
810
For Trade:
12
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

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.

Added by Bierman9 on 09-18-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,270 | Ratings: 5,186
Photo of cedricwarner
4.43/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of Beauregard
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of badmoon
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of ajayma
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of t8s8l8
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

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Photo of sogrady
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of stoutmasterjames
4.92/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

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Photo of TrueRates
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

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Photo of Marc_V
4.85/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of KF_MSU
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of smc143
3.87/5  rDev -7.4%
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!

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Photo of Madigan
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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Photo of Brideshead
4.9/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful white head with fine, smooth texture. An orange/amber body, delicately hazy.

Scents of tangerine, citrus peel and botanicals float gently to the nose. Yeast is fairly noticeable on the palate, with a variety of light fruits and botanicals coming in mid-sip. A gentle, dry hop and citrus peel finish sits lightly but resiliently on the tongue.

This is one of those beers that exudes a relaxed confidence in its status as a world-class brew. Unassuming and subtle, it's both drinkable and refined.

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Photo of chrisgalvin
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Funky, sour, malty, fizzy, tasty and clearly should be in the Beer Hall of Fame... I've had many of these and each time I open a bottle I'm brought back to the time I had it when my wife and I were in Brussels at the Beer Circus.

btw, this is Vinnie Cilurzo (RRBC) favorite beer.

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Photo of MakenziMantey
3.43/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The color of this beer is a medium orange/brown. The aroma you get is a slightly fruity with a hint of spice smell. Tasting this beer it is sweet and spicy with a really bad aftertaste.

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Photo of KatieS5643
2.44/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

This was a caramel colored beer, it had lots of foam when it was poured. It has a nutty scent to it. It tastes very sweet and you can definitely taste the nutty hints. It made me want to brush my teeth after consuming because it felt so sweet.

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Photo of LaurenZ
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer had a large head and decent lacing. the colors are yellow, orange and tawny. Aromas are of malts and pasted, slightly harsh. On the palette there is hints of honey and licorice and fruit. Decent carbonation and a thin texture. Overall it isn't the most flavor forward beer out of ales that I've enjoyed but it is good.

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Photo of defilli2
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Unique bottle shape, had a caramel color when poured. I also noticed it was very foamy as well, I was guessing a lot of carbonation. This had a very different aroma, it was yeasty and fruity at the same time. More citrus fruits that berries. It had a strong floral taste, slightly bitter though. It was also sour on my tongue, definitely high in carbonation. I was not expecting this flavor at all, very different. Would possibly drink again.

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Photo of Angela1956
2.99/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Head is frothy, off-white, and lasting. Lacing is spare. Body is cloudy and murky. Amber orange coloring. Aroma has an average malt, toffee and buttery. Palate is light and kind of flat. The flavor was bland to me and didn't contain much excitement.

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Photo of hennin55
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: average creamy head, excellent lacing, amber in color
Aroma: nutty in aroma, notes of allspice and nutmeg
Palate: medium bodied, creamy texture
Flavor: average flavor but slightly bitter

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Photo of Beercub
2.86/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

The richness, color, lacing, mouthfeel, was what I'd expect from a belgian trappist... i also noticed the nice sweetness and spicy/raisiny flavors. But there was a flavor in there that absolutely did not agree with me. The closes I can come to describing it is a combination of tar and burnt plastic. I guess it's possible that I got a bad bottle, but if this is what this beer is supposed to taste like, it is an acquired taste that I shall not pursue. This was a huge surprise to me as St. Bernardus ABT 12 is probably my favorite beer in the world.

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Photo of mcmidc
3.21/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This trappist ale pours a nice frothy light tan head, with a hazy light copper color. Not a whole lot coming to the nose maybe some mild grains along with some citrus. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Taste is tart at the start and finishes a bit sour. Also some phenol notes in there. Drinkability is good for a 6.9% beer. Not one of my favorites but still enjoyable.

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Photo of whiteskittlz
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

bought at TotalWine Tustin, chilled, let unchill a bit, then poured into Chimay goblet

appearance: love its opaqueness. foam isn't on best behaviour: started out big, didn't hold too well

smell: hint of flavours to come

taste: nice, peppery, lemony,

mouthfeel: maybe a bit tinny

so drinkable, it's a shame they only sell these small bottles. also, quite expensive and not THAT outstanding to keep me coming back very often.

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Photo of dudelove7485
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, fluffy white head that lasts for some time. The color is a rich, cloudy amber. Very pleasant aroma of spice (cloves), orange, malts and yeast. The taste is very malty upfront, but gives way to a hoppy backbone with accents of fruit. Medium bodied with high carbonation. Surprisingly well-balanced. The uncommonly high ABV at 6.7% is masked well without any astringency. The dry, bitter finish ends on the roof of the mouth. This was the first time that I had tried this beer and I would highly recommend it. Extremely satisfying.

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Photo of S7R4nG3
4.95/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a nice generic snifter to gain full flavor. Poured a golden amber with an off white half finger or so of head. Some very nice lacing as I quaffed it down.

Smells where very evident of citrusy fruits with a definite hop character and a bit of malty sweetness to balance out perfectly.

Taste was just as rated, "Exceptional". The same citrusy flavors evident in the nose were present in taste as well as a complex malt and hop character. Carbonation was very nice, bubbly to keep it light, but not harsh and overpowering. Aftertaste had a very nice bitterness from the hops with a nice dry finish.

Mouthfeel was excellent. Carbonation gave a very light feel as it coats the inside of your mouth, the hops are very evident giving a nice bitterness and a very dry ending. Very nicely done.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and will definitely be having it much more often. Great way to enter into the Trappist's.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 2,270 ratings.