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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

4,113 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,113
Reviews: 2,098
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 174
Gots: 309 | FT: 10
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.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 09-18-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Orval Trappist Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,113 | Reviews: 2,098 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three-finger white head that takes forever to fade leaving a good lace. Hazy amber color. Strong carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is tart and woody, flavor is tart fruit with a lingering tart aftertaste, only an OK Trappist ale. Pricey at $5.99 for a 330ml bottle from Kappy's Fine Wine & Spirits Peabody, Ma. Bottled on 4/22/2010.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2011 22:35:47 | More by jdhilt
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 10/03/2011 and best by 10/03/2016.

A: Slightly hazy golden amber in color with a two finger tall foamy white head. This beer exhibited excellent head retention properties and significant lacing is observed.

S: Aromas of green apples, lemon zest, barnyard funk, and spices/pepper. Quite complex and enticing.

T: Flavors of green apple with some brown sugar sweetness, followed by lemon zest and spices/pepper, and finish with a pleasant bitterness. A little of the funk is present as well and the flavors are complex.

M: Medium bodied with moderation to high amounts of carbonation. Mild acidity is present and the beer is crisp.

O: Great beer - a very well done Trappist beer. I'm really glad this is available at the local bottleshop because I have and will continue to enjoy this beer. Nice complexity in the aroma and flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2012 01:51:07 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As I warm up the bottle from the fridge, let me tell you a story: I was inside an SAQ in Montréal. I didn't think I'd buy a beer I could easily get at home, but the price tag was attractive: $3.30! And that's with taxes! This goes for $2 more in my area. So what I have here is a double import. The label is a double as well; there's a bilingual label on this one (because it was bought in Québec). Well, now I think it's time to serve this up. On to the beer:

I can already smell the aroma as I slowly lifted the bottle cap. But let's not get ahead, let me pour in into a chalice first. Hot damn, that's a lot of foam on top. Let me go to the kitchen and chop off part of its head so i can pour the rest in...

Head retention is excellent on top of this deep golden colored brew. Okay, now I can smell the fruits of this beer. Candi sugar and peaches, mmm. A little spice as well. Oh boy, I'm getting excited...

I was expecting a sweet treat, and instead got something different. It's just a little sweet. I should note the balance is very nice, but the overall flavor is missing something. It's more of a grassy/hay taste, with aspirin echoing in the background. The alcohol, despite being at 6.9, is camouflaged. A little sourness in the back. Now I'm starting to get used to the taste, so now I can show some appeciation for this work. I'm turned on to it in a weird kind of way.

Okay, so it wasn't what I thought it would be. But it wasn't a dissapointment either. I still want more, though at its price in the US, it will have to settle as a beer to have once in a while.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2008 00:36:25 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of DrunkinYogi
DrunkinYogi

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

02-21-2014 03:08:22 | More by DrunkinYogi
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For my 800th review I thought I'd review a beer from the one Trappist brewery I'd somehow missed reviewing before. I've had this brew many times, and I've found that it is extremely changeable over time- the older it is the more Brett comes out and the funkier and more sour it is and more Saison-like. The younger it is the spicier and cleaner and hoppier it is- but still with Saison elements. I like it both ways and at every point inbetween, but the bottle I'm reviewing is of the younger variety.

It pours a hazy golden with a fine white head that sticks around and leaves some spotty lacing. The aroma is slightly sour, a bit grassy and herbal, and has a touch of lemon and pepper in it as well. The taste is a complex mixture of light lemon, herbal hops, black and white pepper, and a dry, light astringency. Very nice. Smooth and slightly peppery mouthfeel make this a delight to drink on this hot day on my back porch. If it were a bit older and more sour, I'd probably edge the flavor score up to a five. Any way you find it, its worth drinking.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2008 20:02:10 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle, dated 17/09/2004, best before 17/09/2009, ABV is 6.9%. Pours a cloudy orange/yellow color, nice carbonation, huge foamy head, tons of lacing throughout the drink. Scents of hops, malts, somekind of citrus, floral. The taste is alittle bitter, and sourery, hard to describe really. Medium body. This is a very nice brew, my first Belgian Pale Ale I believe, so really nothing to compare to, but it's totally different than other Belgian's I've had. Would recommend for sure.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2005 00:31:56 | More by Wasatch
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from a beer exchange with a friend at the holidays.

Poured into a Rapscallion tulip glass, barely got the whole bottle in with a 2"+ head that snow-coned over the top of the glass. The head is thick and foamy, sort of looks like that foam you see at the ocean when a big storm is coming, or at the edge of a fast moving stream. Anyways, to continue on, the aroma is somewhat effervescent and fruity, raspberry, perhaps? Lacing over the honey hued brew is incredible as the head begins to join it's liquid brethren. Slightly sour flavor where the fruits come into play, and then rounds out a bit with the malt and slight alochol warming. An interesting Belgian, as most are.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2004 22:14:46 | More by ppoitras
Photo of duceswild
duceswild

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

08-29-2012 02:20:51 | More by duceswild
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter. Pours a finger of white head. Fades down but then has a decent retention. Color is a hazed golden amber.

Aroma: Floral hops with some herbal notes. Lemon zest and brett shows. A barnyard funk is present. A little bit medicinal.

Taste: Brett funkiness is up front. Hay, lemon zest, citrus, herbal flavors, and floral hops. A fairly large floral profile. A bit amount of brett with light oak.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and smooth. Lighter bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and funky.

Overall, a decent beer. It is fairly bretty which makes it a bit harder to drink, but the light body makes up for that. I could drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2010 04:35:49 | More by mothman
Photo of ejimhof
ejimhof

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

12-25-2012 17:30:26 | More by ejimhof
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single bottle purchased at Joe Canal's in Jersey. Poured into a St. Bernardus glass on a cold night.

A- Orval pours out a hazy yellow to bright golden color with bubbles seen rising. These bubbles produce a sturdy foamy off white head with staying power. Huge sheets of lace were left on the glass.

S- This one is on the wild side with an apparent brett addition giving off a slight tart twang. Also alot of Belgian yeast on top of some hops and malt additions as well. Maybe some sweetness or candy like essence.

T- I really enjoy the brett addition which makes this not over the top sour but pleasently tart. This is followed by a belgian yeast variety with a very faint hop bite, which is common in most Belgian's I've had of not being hop dominate. Some candi sweetness ensues leaving a nice aftertaste.

M- This BPA is well carbonated and it is felt on the tounge, maybe a bit too much. This leads to a very crisp mouthfeel but that fades as this one warms up. Thin to semi medium bodied with no alcohol in the mouth, just great flavor.

D- I could drink this all night at the alcohol level without ever getting bored. I love brett infused beers and this is one of the leading examples. I had this once in my early drinking days and hated it. Now, I'm glad I revisited it, as this is a near perfect beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 19:02:26 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Cloudy, orange, nice soapy head and grand retention. Cool bottles.

S. Bready malts, some light fruit. I know I am getting into something good.

T. Malty, fruity. Vague hints of apricot and apple. Some wheat elements. Slightly sour that fades to bitterness from the hops.

M. Crisp, light to medium bodied, nice dry finish, almost like champagne.

D. Real nice beverage here. Great for sessions. Tasty. Drinks slow, a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2008 18:26:36 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

11-29-2013 18:51:36 | More by BillRoth
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.95/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

If there is ever one beer that it should be considered absolute blasphemy to drink straight out of the bottle, truly, Orval is it. Not only would that waste the illustrious chalice (designed by the abbey's architect) but you'd be missing out on what is surely the poster-boy for Belgian beers. The name Orval is derived from 'Val d'Or' (Golden Valley) and indeed, a beautiful and clear, glistening amber, the beer lives up to that billing.

The Inuits have so many words for snow, as many Asian cultures do for rice; I wish beer reviewers had the same for head. Orval's deserves its own word; its an unfailing ultra-lush marshmallow that climbs a mile high over the beer. It looks like the clouds themselves. They say a picture paints a thousand words, this one paints just one: gorgeous.

Just because a beer is brewed by monks doesn't necessarily mean it's holy - in Orval's case, however, it is. Heaven, I imagine, probably smells something like this - the beer does, after all, smell like God's feet. Every bottle is a religious experience. It is the distilled super-essence of acres of fruit orchards and flower gardens. Sweet bread and tart berries marry. Much of this magic is owed to the 'hocus pocus' of a wild yeast known as Brettanomyces.

Orval has the complexity of a beer its strength, yet the 6.9% alcohol has been completely deferred; I've never encountered a boozy bottle. If you look through most beer books - or at least all the ones that I have - you'll find plenty of information on the history of the abbey and its romantic legend, but you won't find much detailed description about the actual beer itself. Indeed, it's an intricate beer so unique that it's tough to describe...

Pressed, I'd say it tastes like a combination of pungent soft cheese, fresh warm bread and tart berry fruits. (Yeast is truly one of the world's last areas of magic!) It is perhaps the longest taste ever and is dry as a mid-summer breeze. Its carbonation is bubbly and brisk. Hops are a drop in the bucket but a fleeting taste of their earthy, leafy bitterness is readily noted. Such a treat to drink, and so balanced, Orval is true harmony in a bottle.

Orval is a drink that can turn savages into civilized men. Although as a rule I avoid making dramatic and subjective statements, I have no hesitation in saying this is the most perfectly crafted beer ever. And I know for a fact that some of the world's best brewers wouldn't hesitate to agree. Drink it once, remember it forever. If ever I had to chose a perfect beer...

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2011 22:22:25 | More by biegaman
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 05/08/2009

A: Hazy burnt orange color. The head is massive and has many different sized bubbles surrounding a meringue crest. Awesome lacing. Also, there is a notable effervescence that emanates from the bottom center of the glass and resembles an underwater volcano.

S: Belgian yeast and a slight funky that smells nice. Also getting a bit of an outdoor, grass, farm aroma.

T: Interesting to say the least. I don't think one could ever describe Orval as dull or uninteresting. Immediately upon tasting, I get a funky, dry tartness that remains prevalent throughout. It's not the type of funk found in a wild ale, lambic or gueuze. What a cool brew. There is a slight alcohol note in the finish, but it's subtle enough and fits in nicely.

M: Funky Belgian yeast, good carbonation, slight alcohol in the finish. Pretty good feel.

D: It's unique, tasty, and a beer to sniff, sip, and savor. A must try for any beer aficionado.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2010 03:19:12 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had not had this beer in some time and now I recall why I've never been a big fan. I'll be sure not to make the mistake of ordering this one again. Nothing wrong with it, but with so many other outstanding Belgium's out there, no reason to buy this one again.

The beer pours a brownish orange color. There is some head retention, but almost no lacing to speak of. On the nose I get very little, maybe a hint of lemon... not really sure. There just isn't much there. On the palate the beer is very tart and very dry at the same time. I guess this beer is trying to be some type of Belgium pale ale, but it really doesn't work for me. The beer tastes fairly light for a Belgium, and I guess with the abv. you could probably drink a few of these, were price not an obstacle. The mouthfeel is OK, and the beer comes across as fairly refreshing. The finish is rather short and crisp, but there are no off flavors.

An OK beer, but nothing special. I more then likely will not be ordering this again any time soon.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2007 14:11:42 | More by John_M
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

11-30-2011 22:29:04 | More by brandoman63
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

01-28-2013 16:58:07 | More by drewone
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 ounce bottle into tulip, bottled 11/13/2008, best by 2013. Pours hazy deep orange color with a huge foamy khaki head with great retention that reduces to a nice cap. Some spotty lacing on the glass, with plenty of carbonation. Aromas of big brett character: tart apple, wet hay, funk, cherry, pepper, lemon, grass, bread, and yeast spices. Awesome aromas here, the brett did a nice job over 3+ years. Great complexity. Taste of big biscuit, pepper, grass, citrus, lightly tart apple, light cherry, and yeast spices. Fairly dry finish; but some lingering notes of biscuit, pepper, light fruit, and yeast spices on the finish for a bit. Fantastic flavor balance and complexity. Medium-high carbonation and medium boded; with a very crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Very drinkable at 6.9% with no alcohol other than a slight warming after the finish. Overall this is an incredible Belgian pale. Incredibly complex and balanced after 3 years of age. I will definitely pick up a fresh bottling of this to compare how the Brett transforms it.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 04:29:09 | More by superspak
Photo of rab53
rab53

Washington

4/5  rDev -4.8%

12-02-2011 05:21:53 | More by rab53
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a moderate, dark golden-peach color with a huge pillowy white head that was mostly lasting leaving a sticky lacing behind. The body was very hazy with a soft visible carbonation.

S: yeasty, and very fruity (peaches, tangy apricots) with a touch of sour bread.

T: The initial flavor was yeasty with a burst of fresh fruitiness (peaches), & fresh bread, bananas. There was a nice soft, velvety sourness of oranges that coated the tongue. The beer finished with a big sour fruitiness of oranges, apricots and a big breadiness.

M: creamy with some warm oranges and a sour yeasty citrus bite in the swallow.

D: Overall a beautifully crafted trappist with a great yeasty attribute.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2008 22:36:40 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very cloudy orange/brown, big off white head forms, laces well and the lace refuses to go away. Smell is orange peel, yeast, sweet and sour, spices. Taste is orange, lots of sweet malt, yeast, and a spicy bitter finish. Medium mouthfeel, high rough carbonation, tart sour aftertaste. Good beer although not my favourite trappist, although interesting.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2005 23:13:40 | More by Viggo
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Wow, Pours a very nice orange with a massive 3-4 finger head, extremely foamy. I had to pour the beer over the course of a few minutes to allow for space in the glass. Great retention and left tons of foamy lace on the sides.

S: Very nice fruity aroma. I get apples immediately and some grapes, almost reminds of a white wine in a way. There is a nice floral/grassy aroma as well.

T: Again, light fruit flavors. The apples and grapes return, there is also some banana and a little bit of apricot. The flavor profile seems a bit weak compared to the strong aromas though.

M: Very smooth, medium bodied with nice carbonation.

O: The pour and aroma were amazing, and while the flavor was good, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. A very solid beer and I did enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2011 00:28:00 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The first thing I notice about this brew is the high amount of carbonation present. Need to pour this one carefully. The second thing I notice is a very strong aroma. Pretty nice. Somewhat fruity and phenolic. Some leather. And sweet candy. This beer is a chill hazed amber and shows an incredible amount of carbonation in the body of the beer as well. CO2 bubbles rising to the surface faster than I can remember in a beer for a long time. A huge sticky and rocky white head tops this brew. The taste is very forthcoming. Raw leather. Musty attic. Some bubblegum esters. Subdued fruitiness. Earthy, herbal and spicy. And fairly bitter to boot. This may not be my favorite Belgian beer so far, but I do like the character that this one shows. A light bodied beer that doesn't feel as carbonated in the mouth as it looks to be on sight. This is no La Fin du Monde, but it's nice in its own way.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2002 20:36:01 | More by Bighuge
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into what else, an official Orval chalice glass.. and that my friends.. makes a difference. Bottle is one year from date bottled upon tasting.

Let's talk about how this beer looks in this glass. It is flat out exceptional, just amazing. Not sure the "perfect" way to pour it in, but if you create a simple two finger head it works. Let's start from the top. This head is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Rock solid cap.. nowhere to go, swirl the glass and this thing dances. It's like a giant hockey puck on your glass, yellow off white. There is even some lacing stick on this very tapered glass. The color of this beer through this glass is litteraly multi-colored. From top these honey hues, at top taper it is brown going down to caramel and then gold towards the bottom.. It's almost completely opaque but not quite, you can just.. JUST barely see through it. This glass shows off this beer unlike anything I have ever seen, it looks like a million bucks. Throw some more brown dots of yeast from the bottle on the top of it later too!

Bouquet... WOW. This is unreal, at first a sweet confusing spice, strangely creamy and dry, almost like bananas. In reality it's like sweet-tarts and bottle cap cola candy, this incredible powdery sweetness. On top of that, through in some classic barnyard mustyness. FUNKY!!

Taste is challenging. This is almost like a saison but at least a tolerable one. Quick quinine tonic water tingles and bitterness. Extremely herbal, big pungency bitterness, after a few more tastes the sweetness of candy comes out more often but not totally. Almost but not totally metallic sharp palate slicing feel. Very impressive.

Drinkability for me this is a blast, but I can see others having a lot of trouble with this beer and getting past it. Also this beer is not exactly inexpensive either which is too bad cause it is flat out fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2011 04:01:08 | More by smakawhat
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,113 ratings.