Orval Trappist Ale
Brasserie d'Orval S.A.

Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
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Style:
Belgian Pale Ale
Ranked #1
ABV:
6.9%
Score:
94
Ranked #1,136
Avg:
4.24 | pDev: 12.26%
Reviews:
2,407
Ratings:
5,619
From:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
 
Belgium
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  370
Gots
  1,008
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
Notes: Orval beer is a high fermentation beer. The ageing process adds a fruity note, which strikes a subtle balance between the beer’s full-bodied yet complex flavour and bitterness.

The beer was first brewed in 1931 and owes its unparalleled taste to the quality of the water, the hops and the yeast used. The brewery has selected very aromatic and unique hop varieties, which hark back to the first brewmaster of Orval, who hailed from Bavaria. The beer’s aromas are very pronounced while maintaining the right level of bitterness thanks to the English method of dry hopping.

The various stages of fermentation – combined fermentation with the original yeast and with wild yeast, followed by fermentation in the bottle – mean the beer must age for some time and requires numerous quality controls.
Reviews: 2,407 | Ratings: 5,619 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mothmanscott
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes 6/9/12: Pours a hazy orange amber with a very tall, dense, persistent, white head that leaves only hints of patchy lacing. Aroma is bready pale malt with fruity esters of banana, pear and white grape. Taste is a little odd in that it exhibits a saison like sourness, bitter finish and a lingering bitter aftertaste unlike other Belgian pale ales I've experienced. These are wrapped around a much thinner version of the nose with the addition of Belgian candy sugar. Good enough to get a 4 rating but a little odd since this beer receives too many high ratings and has long been recognized for its quality. My example was almost a year old (June 2011) to the day with a "best by"date of 2016 so unless the bottle was mishandled the flavor should be true. I had this a year or two ago and remember it being better than this. I'll need to give it another try and update my review depending on the experience.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A huge, off-white head. Pours a reddish-orange with good carbonation.
Smell of banana, clove, spice, sweet caramel and hop.
Wonderful funk. Taste follows nose. Lots of different tastes coming together. Spice and hop make unique combination of sweet, sour and bitter hop. Apricot, dates. Carmel malt detectable.
Dry fine sh.

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Photo of JCJones66
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Orval. Another of my old favourites. If you do not store this correctly (leave in fridge for at least a day, and not too cool) it will explode/pour cloudy/have some floaty yeasty bits in it. But, if you follow the rules it remains one of the all time classics. Dry, hoppy, undertones of sage, spot of yeast, clear, rocky 'crunchy' head. It's utterly unique. One of THE best beers you can get - nothing compares. Pork eater - I shouldn't promote this, but THE perfect accompaniment to piggy wiggy. Oink for Orval. Pigs, quick, hide.

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Photo of JonnoWillsteed
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It's bottle-conditioned, and I suggest pouring with great care. The 330ml bottle had been in the fridge resting for a couple of days, and despite carefully pouring down the side of a pint glass, by the time I had 1Cm in the bottom, the glass full on top with foam. It took 3+ minutes of very slow pouring and not putting the bottle down to fully decant it!
L- Dark amber, slightly cloudy (some final sediment lifted very easily at the end) with a vast pillowy cream coloured head that's gradually receding.
S- There is a little spiciness to this, coriander for one thing.
T- It's flavour-packed, and dryer in the finish than I'm used to from a Trappist ale.
M- I've rechecked the lable twice now, 'Yep, just 6.2%!' It's quite surprising that it manages to pack such a hefty punch from 'just 6.2%'. That it manages it without faking body via rich/sweetness is doubly so.
O- Could this be one of the few (?) Trappist ales that you could almost session? a) it's not a wildly high ABV% b) it's dry finish means the palate doesn't get too worn out with richness. Though C) Well maybe over in Belgium at their more reasonable local prices. Here in the UK it ain't cheap. Bought from Harvey Nichols (dept store) £3.50/330ml. Prod: 23/01/22019 BB: 23/01/2024

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Photo of Lanas
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was very rare beer in my country but somehow i find it despite is one of the best out there.. I believe these beers must be everywhere..
Anyway i was exciting to drink this beer and don't disappointed me at the end..
First of all has one of the best appearance i have seen and also one of the greater aroma.. The aroma give you the smell of tropical fruits and apricot.. The taste was very rich and fill your mouth with some sour/sweet fruity taste that also you get very well apricots and there.. But the most greater thing of this beer is the aftertaste and perhaps is the best i have get from any beer.. The aftertaste is endless and has three steps.. First you feel very rich fruity taste in your mouth after the ordinary malty "Belgian" taste and third one sour dry great last taste.. Really that blow my mind..
Overall a great and unique beer to drink.. Very complex and good all around.. If you find it get it without thoughts..

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Photo of ptarmigan98
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

We got one of the gushers . . . . all over the counter until I get it into the glass. Bottled in 2018; to be consumed by 2023. The floral yet yeasty smell was obvious from the very beginning. The taste took a little getting used to after drinking blondes all summer. The funky brett vibe was prominent.

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Photo of CaptainHate
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I know I've had this before and, for whatever reason, didn't rate or review it, which with my big mouth is highly unusual. Anyway I saw one of these 330 ml earlier and figured it would be a good summer beer. It was bottled on 12/20/2018 with a best by date of that in 2023; ordinarily I'd include this in the cellaring forum but I'll save that for when I try one around the best by date.

Poured into a long stemmed Lost Abbey tulip the prodigious head required multiple small pours even of the 330. The body color was a dark more brownish amber. The smell was a complex citrusy grassy and earthy combination giving me a heads up that something special lies ahead. The taste just describes description because there's so much going on between the malts, hops and yeasts that as soon as you think you have it nailed down you taste something else. Mouthfeel was fine for the style.

For a relatively low alcohol ale this is extremely interesting.

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Photo of mike22ne
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle, dated 17/10/2018.

Looks ok, slightly cloudy copper brown with a coarse tan head that fades to leave only a few scattered bubbles.

Smell and taste are nice, sweet bread and caramel malt, candy sugar, and interesting tones from the yeast and hops. A bit of Brettanomyces or other wild yeasts in the mix, plum and cherry and citrus peel and some spicy/earthy qualities.

Feels well balanced, medium bodied with lively carbonation and a dry finish. Complex and subtle flavors and feel develop as I sip.

Overall a very nice and unique beer! Glad I finally got to review it. Bottle says 'Best by 2023' - I'd be curious to try an aged bottle to see how it evolves.

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Photo of beergoot
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear amber hued body sporting a thick head; dense and lasting foam with sticky and clinging fingers of foam. A nice citrus aroma; lemon; some brett; spicy; anise. The taste is a unique blend of gentle malt sweetness, fruity esters, and a touch of phenolic wild yeast; some decent hop bitterness to offset the semi-wild and pit fruit flavors. Medium body; rather dry overall with some hop bitterness and phenol bite.

This beer brings some intriguing sensory qualities to the palate. On top of that, all its quirky and unique qualities magically blend together into an appealing taste treat. The beer balances otherwise independently strong qualities of dryness, fruitiness and sweetness, and a subtle yeast wildness into a unified and very approachable beer product. Words can't do justice to the character of this beer, so my best suggestion is to just try it. Chances are you'll be glad you did.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml brown bottle. Label has 'BOTTLED ON 17/05/2018' and 'BEST BEFORE 17/05/2023'.
Cloudy, orange amber colored body. Takes a few pours to fill the glass, because of the tall eggshell colored head that forms. The big bubbles dissipate quickly, and leave a pillowy, fine bubble cap and a ring that climbs up the sides of the glass. Not much lacing is left behind from each sip.
Aroma is big on Belgian yeast and spices, with a orange/lemon citrus contribution. Some bready malts also.
Taste is a combination of the funky yeast (dry grassy barnyard), orange/lemon citrus, and the thick bready malts. Rather dry at the end, and the yeast funk and the malts trail off in the aftertaste.
Medium plus mouthfeel, with lots of effervescence on the tongue and in the mouth. The texture is a little chewy, and the trail off is dry.
Quite an enjoyable drinking experience, from the dramatic billowy head appearance and color in the glass, to the yeast led aroma and taste, which is tempered a little by the citrus. The malts form a solid foundation. The hops are subtle in expression and contributes to a mellow bitterness. After each sip the beer fades away with a dry yeast/malt tone. The mouth feels an active beer when sipping.

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Photo of Alexc11
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bitterness is strong but somehow delicate so it doesn't overpowering if that's possible. Carbonation is medium to high as soon as you take a sip but fizzles out nicely.

Strong white head accompanied with cloudy golden color. Aroma gives off fruity (apricot, peach I detect) smell with malt/bread overtones.

Well I for one loved this one.

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Photo of shambeano
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. Bottled on date 28/06/2018. Poured into a Tulip.
Look: A gentle pour gives about 5cm of fluffy white head. It subsides to about 2cm and then just stays there. The beer itself is a dark gold, a little murky. Looks good.
Smell: a little bit of citrus peel, clove, yeast, touch of bready malt. I like it.
Taste: like the smell, a little more clove up front, orange a citrus peel, a little bit of yeast. Bitterness comes through at the end, it rounds it out nicely.
Feel: its good, but a little thinner than I would hope for. Bitterness hits on the mid palate and stays around for a while.
Overall: nice drop. great smell. Couldn't have more than a couple though.

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Photo of mikeinportc
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 1/03/2017 Best by : 1/03/2022

Oooooo!!!!! Gusher.(On to my headphones , in part. :O) Lost about 2 oz. Back in a few, after cleaning up .

OK, pours about 2/3 foam, that dissipates in about a minute. Orangey-light caramel, with orangey-white head.

Smell is estery, of dried fruit, raisin & date , mostly, with some grainy/bread crust aroma. Slightly sweet.

Taste is mostly the bread crust hinted at in the aroma, but less sweet. Some dried orange rind, and leather . Some slight tang, finishing with moderate bitterness, that lingers awhile.

Medium feel, with light oilyness. Moderate, fine carbonation.

Overall , quite good , & I like it. Judging by descriptions in other reviews, I'm guessing that some of the flavors have faded & blended in the two years since bottling. I'd recommend it, but fresher.

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Photo of WickedBeer
3.71/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 22/09/2016, Best By 22/09/2021.

Pours a light-ish caramel brown color, with a nice finger of frothy white foam that settles slowly into the body of the beer. Poured cold, but no patterns of lace stick to the inside of the glass.

The aromas are a subtly complex array of citrus and Belgian spice, with hints of tart cherry, raisin, and caramel. As it warms a subtle nuttiness emerges along with a stronger nose of dark fruit.

That signature Trappist yeast is present along with a subtle astringency that is present but not overwhelming.. a light acidity from the citrus peel flavors works to balance everything well. A lighter beer than expected, with a surprising minerality and grassiness in the finish. Finishes with some grain, caramel notes.

A little on the thinner side, dry with a lightly astringent mouthfeel. Surprising level of carbonation, but it has a smooth, warming finish to it that I enjoyed.

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Photo of officerbill
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color of clear honey. The tall thick head is the color of dried straw, it develops large bubbles along the sides, but stays firm on the top, and reduces fairly quickly.
An aroma of yeast, citrus peel, and spices comes across in the taste. A hint of sweetness in the beginning, with nice thin carbonation, and finishing with cleansing dryness.
This ale is a little too astringent for my tastes, but that's just because I prefer it's darker brethren.
Overall this is a very good example of a Belgian pale ale and I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again.

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Photo of elnachooo
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tiene un color ambar claro y una enorme cabeza espumosa. Es de cuerpo medio y con una carbonatación media/alta. Aroma es dulce, herbáceo y con unas notas cítricas. En boca tiene un sabor agradable, dulce, con notas cítricas y frutales. Al final tiene una sequedad muy propia de la cerveza.

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Photo of CTHomer
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: crystal clear; copper in color; a ton of bubbles rising; 1+ finger finely pored, pillowy light tan head that receded slowly to a thin cap; very nice lacing;

S: Trappist yeast, lemon, and orange;

T: Trappist yeast with orange and lemon to the middle, then orange and lemon with a little yeast through the finish; moderate bitterness at the end;

M: light to medium bodied; high, prickly carbonation; dry finish;

O: really nicely done; a pleasure to drink;

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Photo of Reef
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle, with prominent bottled on date of May 17, 2018. Thanks to Brasserie D’Orval and Merchant Du Vin for clear bottling and best by information.

Copper amber color, I poured gently and did not raise much head. Spotty lacing. Head residue ringing the glass was large bubbles.
Light aroma with apricot,funky yeast, floral scents, citrus.
Understated Brett, citrus, mineral, grassy flavor notes.
Prickly effervescence, light mouthfeel l dry finish.
Pleasant and refreshing. The lack of carbonation Makes me wonder whether this bottle was mishandled, or requires further aging. I’ll try some more to resolve this.

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Photo of Snowcrash000
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a slightly cloudy deep amber coloration with a huge, foamy head and slightly visible carbonation. Smell is a lovely mix of sweet, biscuity malt, herbal, citrus hops and fruity and slightly funky yeast aromas. Taste follows the nose, with a great balance of sweet, biscuity malt herbal, citrus hops and complex yeast notes. The sweet malts are at the forefront, but are quickly overshadowed by zesty and herbal hoppy notes of citrus peel, grass and alpine herbs, with the fruity, mildly spicy and slightly funky yeast character developing as you swallow with notes of tart green apple/pear, clove, black pepper, hay and just a hint of blue cheese. Finishes with light bitterness and some fruity and funky yeast notes lingering in the aftertaste. Soft, effervescent mouthfeel with a medium body and carbonation.

This almost seems like a cross between a Belgian Pale and Saison with it's refreshing, easy-drinking character and complex yeast pofile and it manages that balancing act with absolute ease and a perfect balance. What a beer!

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Photo of hopsputin
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a: orange/amber color and clear. huge. 3-4 finger rocky off-white head. awesome looking head

s: awesome brett funk, lemon peel, pears, green apple skin, grass, grains, pepper spice, and a nice Belgian yeast spice

t: barnyardy, band aid, Bretty funk. green apple skin and ripe green pears. sweet lemon and grassy grains. lemongrass and mild peppery spice. a hint of clove as well. the finish is biscuity and like dry crackers

m: medium mouthfeel with high carbonation

o: fantastic Belgian Pale Ale. there is everything in here you want. funk, malts, Belgian spicy yeast, and nice earthy flavors

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Photo of RockHop
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Might as well drink this from a champagne flute. Effervescent, dry, with a soapy soda head. Peach cobbler aroma. Amber color. Some interesting flavor, a bit of licorice but mostly light apricot, but all pretty subtle. Has a mineral feel that leans toward champagne rather than beer, and gives it some funk.

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Photo of Fuzzycuffs
2.45/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

This is a brew that smells interesting, but disappoints in taste.

The look is cloudy and golden. The head is white and fluffy. Fine bubbles that don't linger.

The smell is Earthy, Citrusy, and slightly spicy. No surprises here. It's a Trappist ale, and it's going to smell like citrus and spice.

The taste reminds me of wet sand, and is where this brew begins to disappoint. A nice dry finish with hints of fruit, but after the dirty up-front taste, it was too late to redeem the flavour.

Mouthfeel is remarkably like champagne, just slightly more gritty. A boozy evaporating sensation follows.

Overall, I found Orval to be overrated. Maybe what I had wasn't stored properly, as I bought it in a store that exposes the beer display to a lot of light. It's hard to be charitable, though. Orval tastes like sand.

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Photo of papposilenus
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

From a 330ml bottle, dated 06/06/18. Served in a tulip.

Pours a clear copper-amber with a big, bubbly head. Retention is excellent, leaving a thick, foamy cap and spotty lacing.

Clean, sharp aroma of brett yeast and lemon soda.

Tastes of pain de champagne, mushrooms and lemon soda. Funky, earthy yeastiness, mildly tangy with baking soda-like dryness.

Feel is feathery, tongue-drying, light bodied with bright, tingly carbonation.

Overall, a bright and cheerful, light and refreshing treat. Near-perfect for what it is.

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Photo of IkelovesDeb
4.79/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

personal favorite.

look is beautiful poured into an Orval challis.
smell of malty fresh bread is amazing
taste starts with malt and yeast then gives way to subtle hops
feel is slightly carbonated, smooth
a fabulous beer. a beer that makes me happy to be a beer drinker.

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Photo of HuskerTornado
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on May 15th, 2018

Pours a very appealing, glowing, hazy amber with a tall, fluffy white head.

Floral and fruity in the nose, tart apple, pear, and citrus. Some yeasty breadiness balances that, a bit like sourdough bread.

Taste is complex and flavor packed. You get the fruit as in the smell, tart, crisp apples and pear sweetness. Dry chardonnay grapes and a combination the yeast funk and cloves come through after that, A nice bitterness from the hops remains throughout, but does not overpower at any point, just accentuates the brew at each stage.

Mouthfeel is effervescent, yet smooth, medium-light bodied and pleasant.

Overall, a great example of a Trappist ale.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 5619 ratings