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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,311 Reviews
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Belgium
orval.be

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,311
Ratings:
5,302
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
350
Gots:
877
For Trade:
11
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Reviews: 2,311 | Ratings: 5,302
Photo of thebeers
3.79/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark orange, highly effervescent, with an overly massive airy white head that leaves thick, lumpy lacing.

Nice fruity, sour, dry aroma, with plum skins most prevalent. Maybe a hint of sour apple and pear as well. Smells delicious.

Unfortunately, it's very yeasty, dry and flat tasting. The sourness I loved in the aroma sort of lurks in the background, and there's just a little of the fruitiness (plum, Apple, and now maybe lemon) behind that. I understand this beer changes considerably with age. This seven-month old bottle doesn't seem at its prime. Clearly there is something special underneath here, but it's masked.

For a beer that required me waiting a very good while for the head to die down, it also has a surprisingly still mouthfeel. Dryness is the dominant quality.

In a world before sours became ubiquitous, I could see this being a cult favorite, but the dry yeastiness cuts into the enjoyment for me. I do see a lot of potential in it, though, and expect I will try it again.

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Photo of Ri0
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured 375ml bottle into tulip. Bottled July 2014. It is a light cloudy golden apricot with a sea foam white 3 finger head. Retention is very nice and there is plenty of lacing. A nice tart funk with yeast, grass, and some floral hops and clove. More citrusy scents and some spice mixed in as well. It has a funky flavor with just a slight tartness about it. A nice citrus, lemon and floral hops with a wet straw/grass funk. Good amount of yeast, banana, clove and some light spice to finish it off. Light bodied with nice carbonation. Dry and clean with an easy drinking quality. Found this 2014 sitting on the shelf and decided to finally try it after all these years.

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Photo of souvenirs
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle, bottled 06/01/2016, purchased at Broadway Liquor Store.

A: Cloudy amber with lots of fluffy head.
S: Funky. I'm also picking up that familiar banana / bubble gum combo and maybe a little bit of cloves.
T: A bit tart and bitter. Boozy finish.
F: Fizzy.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled and possibly bottle conditioned
Pours a slightly hazy golden body with huge foaming thick white head that pretty much sticks
Citrus gummy aroma
Tart white wine vinegar glamour with bitter esthers
Solid mf
Awesome

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Photo of TerryMills
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One of my favorite trappist beers..

Not sure if its the yeast strain or if it also has Brett added but this beer has a nice funk to it..

Big Belgian yeast smell and taste .

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Photo of AustinWadkins
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011!
Pours a dark hazy Amber color with a froathy off white/ opaque 2 finger head that soon falls, leaving a blanket over the surface

Snifer picks up banana, clove, hint of bubblegum, spice, bread

Taste follows the nose

Overall a fantastic beer! Doesn't get much better than this! Aging deffinetly shows!

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Photo of Jliscin
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I had this a year after the bottle date, its a nice simple belgiun ale with a dark amber color by this point and a great strong smell and a nice fruity taste with some bitterness. It has a very deep head on it with lots of froth upon pouring.

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Photo of acmurphy696
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer reinforces my love of the Belgian style. It looks, smells and tastes great. I can see how this type of ale has influenced many craft breweries.

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Photo of frasergrove
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drinking a pretty fresh bottle - bottled in September of this year (so not expecting much Brett). Pours a hazy amber orange, with a HUGE frothy Brett induced head that leaves tons of lacing and diffuses into strange shapes. Aroma has very light funkiness, mainly a clean biscuit malt tone with hints of lemon. Refreshing and full taste/mouthfeel, lemon bitterness from noble hops. Tart finish but smooth throughout. A delicious Belgian pale.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

**
03/14/15

Bottle to glass, at Parc, Philadelphia.

AROMA: Excellent bready yeasty aroma.
LOOK: Dark yellow (light Orange) color. Bubbly head.
TASTE: Tasty. Yeast, but not too much wang. Dark fruits, raisin and such.
FEEL: Bubbly and good drinking.

Great peripherals, and a well crafted ale, but the taste is not as amazing as I remember from years ago. Still very good.

**

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.55/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lots of head. Blonde amber color. 20% opaque.

Belgian yeast , clove, spices, bubble tape, rotted banana.

Quite a bit of water and hop out front followed with bubble gum and clove. Mostly tasteless after that.

Fizzy and carbonated.

It's okay. Just really surprised that this beer underwhelmed me so much. Meh.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a transparent golden amber color with a massive, rocky white head that sticks around for the entirety of the beer and leaves lots of chunky lacing in it's wake.

Smell is complex. I get barnyard funk, tart lemon, peppery spice, and a sour apple scent reminiscent of cider.

Taste is similar with the addition of banana. Slightly tart. Flavors are more muted in the taste than the smell.

Feel is too light with a dry finish. Very carbonated, but almost too much so.

Overall a solid beer. I can appreciate why it is looked so highly upon, but it is probably not a beer that I would revisit.

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Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A fantastically dry and refreshing beer with a hint of malty sweetness that ends with a tweak of bitterness at the end. Grassy. The carbonation is high and provides a wonderful dry finish, and the head is rich and full. Strongly recommended. For me, at least, this ale should be listed as a Tripel.

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Photo of hgw605
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Orange, reddish amber. Huge white head that sticks around and leaves some nice lacing. Totally transparent.
S: Belgian sweet fruity aroma. Tart with notes of apples, citrus, funk and peppery notes. Slight sweet floral aroma.
T: Similar to nose. A bit bitter and some moderate caramel malt coming through.
F: Feels like it is popping off in your mouth, releasing all of its complexity.
O: A classic, incredible beer.

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Photo of descobar
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

bottled 4/2012. the aroma is mostly catty (in a pleasant way), earthy, grassy with some dark fruit and spices. estery Belgian ale yeast. pours medium amber with a full-on head with large white bubbles. head has great retention. its def hazy. med body with slightly oily texture and more than moderate astringency. flavors of raisins and candy sugars. fruity esters and slight funkyness. significant bitterness that lasts long through in the aftertaste but smooths out over time. this is great Belgian ale drinking very close to its peak. label says it should cellar well into 2017. A CLASSIC!

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Photo of Dinglehacker
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Poured into tulip. Ferocious crackling head that continues to grow, nearly two inches. Tan orange.

Nose is grape, grass, citrus, and soap.

Similar taste, more citrus, clove, banana.

Mouth is not as bubbly as one might expect, medium dry.

A delicious beer with a needlessly overactive head, but Belgian brews are typically super-carbonated, and the flavor is excellent whatever my gripes. Yet another world class offering from the greatest of beer nations.

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

The best beer in the world.

Look: you can't poor this beer cleanly. It's impossible. The head is massive, the hugest I've. It stays the whole time, literally filling half the glass like a protective shield. Beautiful copper color to the brew.

Smell: I work in the wine industry. I Would rather smell this beer all day and never drink it, then spend all day smelling, tasting, spitting and analyzing wine. Nothing pretentious here, just a beer that smells so beer-y it's like getting some kind of contact high, dying and going to beer heaven.

Taste: beer. Malts, banana, all kinds of spices. Bitter finish.

Feel: nearly perfect, just a little too much of a bitter aftertaste, but it's really not even a bad thing by the end of the bottle because of the sheer quality of the hops and water used.

Overall: the best beer in the world.

 835 characters

Photo of Martin194
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Dark tan-orange, cloudy, big white head (pour gently, this one has a lot of head)

Smell: Apple, citrus, banana, plum, molasses, bread, very sweet overall

Taste: Lots of green apple and citrus, hoppy, bready aftertaste, spice throughout

Feel: Very bubbly, leaves a cool refreshing aftertaste immediately followed by dry

Overall: A fantastic beer all around!

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.79/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the classic single-serve dark brown uniquely-shaped bottle. Full disclosure--this is not a first try, just a first review, so I may be a wee bit biased.

Look--Pours a hazy, not cloudy copper. But enough about that. What head! I always forget how much head this Belgian has compared to many. Pours a fabulous three-inch rocky head, even with a gentle pour almost like a wit. The head holds then dissipates to a single finger for much of the drink.

Smell--Sweet malty banana and floral notes blended with present but not overpowering funk and musty aromas and a touch of breadiness.

Taste--One of the most complex Belgian Pales ever. Bready, bretty-funky, notes, with citrus, sour apple, and spice.

Feel--The carbonation provides excellent lift and balance, like a dry champagne. Fabulous crisp finish.

Overall--I cannot say it as well as others have so I will simply say--one of the best.

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Photo of weareallfalafel
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a funny shaped 11.2 oz bottle into (sorry) a wine glass. I don't have an Orval chalice, but perhaps I'll get me one now! Pours a copper color. Hazy, lively bubbles, and a thick two or three white head that shrinks fast, but stays about a finger thick and leaves plenty of lacing. Absolutely beautiful in the glass! Smell is earthy, slightly funky, and a touch of grassy hops, not what I expected from a Trappist pale, but wonderful, for sure. Taste follows suit with the earthy yeast more at the center, transitioning well to a slight touch of sweetness and then a touch of bitter grassy hops and a wonderfully dry finish. Feel is smooth and fluffy, medium body, lively but not distracting carbonation. Overall, great in many ways, but especially in its uniqueness. Pairs perfectly with a night in and Jacques Brel and a cigarette. Highly recommend it!

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Photo of Frazz
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

What a delicious, beautiful beer. I love drier, funkier beers and this one is lovely. The smell is intoxicating and the taste is complex with plenty of different flavor notes. Definitely a sipping beer, seems like it would go well with cheese or something of that nature. A new favorite for me.

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Photo of SargeMcCluck
4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent, nutty caramel with a monstrous, sudsy head and a few sporadic bubbles clinging to the edge of the glass. Holding it up to the light reveals a dust devil of violent carbonation in the centre. Quite a bit of sediment lines the bottom of the bottle.

Let this one sit for a good few minutes to enjoy the distinct aroma - green apple, pear, white wine, fruit vinegars and wet hay mingling on a backbone of sweet, bready malt. The taste follows, bringing musk, boozy esters and punches of bitter lemon rind. This one really shows the variety of Belgian beers, and how futile it is to shepherd them into distinct categories. Definitely a palette-tester.

The mouthfeel is akin to champagne - high, tight carbonation with one of the driest finishes of any beer that I've yet had. I wouldn't recommend drinking this when out and about, as people may well ask why you're chewing on your tongue.

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Photo of 911CROFT
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle into the appropriate Orval branded chalice. Paid £2.49 for a single.
Bottled: 18/08/15

Pours a hazy, but translucent, brassy-copper coloured body with only a few solitary microscopic carbonation bubbles visible. A two-finger in height, thick, creamy, off-white head with excellent retention, slowly sinks to a dense cap, leaving solid bands of sticky lace.

The complex nose is led initially by delicate fruity and spicy esters. Banana, lemon, green apple and coriander are noticeable above a sweet, crisp and bready pale malt background. After warming, tart and funky Brett characteristics become much more prominent, evolving towards a wilder profile and relegating both fruit and malt to supporting roles. Towards the back end, floral hops provide a modest but perceptible bitterness, with grassy, herbal and musty profiles also noticeable but to a lesser extent. Taste roughly follows suit, leading briefly with hints of sweet, grainy pale malts, lemony citrus, apple, white grape, cherry and stone fruits, quickly transitioning towards tarter and funkier profiles. Apple cider vinegar, wet hay and hints of medicinal phenolic spices comprise the majority of the mid palate, before hop bitterness begins to build. In the mouth a light body and abundance of lively, expansive carbonation give a smooth and full feel. Towards the back end, assertive floral, grassy and spicy hops provide a lengthy bitter finish, drying the palate with mild astringency.

Overall this is an excellent beer. Infinitely complex and undoubtedly unique, it’s a classic for good reason. Cellared for 14 months, the flavours imparted by brettanomyces in this bottle were funkier and tarter than I honestly prefer. To my taste it is best drunk reasonably fresh; the flavours are sweeter, brighter and less musty, but each to their own. I’ll certainly look to re-review next time I am able to pick up a fresh bottle.

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Photo of OldSwampy
4.61/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Amazing tall cream-colored head over a hazy to murky amber / gold ale. Head is huge, stiff, and leaves ample lacing. Balanced spicy, floral nose. Taste with clove and other dark spices dominating, with an interesting funky element, balanced, complex, and not exactly like any other beer I've had. Taste develops long and slowly. Not a hint of an off-balanced mouthfeel, with smooth feel that never distracts from the flavor. Could perhaps have a stronger nose and a stronger finish, but nevertheless a superb beer. This one was bottled on 04/06/2015 per the label.

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Photo of MaineBeerDinner
3.82/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

L: light amber, copper, biggest head of any beer. Bubbles for days, pourer beware.
S: Floral, even through all the bubbles. Not particularly strong, not particularly inviting
T: Sparkling bubbles, giving way to raisins and fruit, medium body
F: Carbonation for days, crisp giving way to slight sour, bitter finish
Definitely not to be drunk from the bottle, then again definitely not easily poured into a glass, definitely worth letting it open

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,302 ratings.
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