Orval Trappist Ale
Brasserie d'Orval S.A.

Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
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Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Belgian Pale Ale
Ranked #1
Ranked #2,928
4.2 | pDev: 12.38%
Nov 26, 2023
Sep 18, 2001
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.
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Rated: 4.25 by Nyoder

Nov 26, 2023
Rated: 4.51 by nunienun from Illinois

Nov 22, 2023
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Reviewed by tenbeersbold from Germany

2.84/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3
This is one I've gone back to over the last decade several times a year.
Various bottles at various ages.
I get that the yeast strain is rare and the taste is unique amongst Trappist beers
But I just don't get the adulation for it.
High carbonation and a metallic bitterness that's different but it just doesn't make me want to have another one.
I've really tried to love this beer but this is an outlier for me,probably the only Trappist I don't like
Oct 19, 2023
Rated: 4 by TheIPAHunter from California

Oct 13, 2023
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Reviewed by rapayn01 from Kentucky

4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
I finally had a bottle of this in May 2022. It's good -- a balanced ale with lots of carbonation. I didn't find it to have an especially "Belgiany" yeast flavor. I'd drink it again. The cool heavy bottle says 6.9% abv, which is apparently standard for US distribution.
Sep 26, 2023
Rated: 4.08 by Mr_Rocca from Canada (QC)

Sep 10, 2023
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Reviewed by robwired from Kansas

4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
Bottled 07/09/2022, best by 07/09/2027.
It poured a snifter full of cloud-white foam, but gave off a spice aroma as I practiced that virtue called patience. As the foam went down and I could finally pour at least to the second pour line, the scent was tart sour.
The taste was subtle with finessed flavors: a sweetness, back notes of pepper. And hops! All in a light mouthfeel. The aftertaste was of ground cinnamon.
Aug 30, 2023
Rated: 4.3 by QueenSac from Colorado

Aug 20, 2023
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Reviewed by Weisenbeer from Ohio

4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
It appears that this may be the highest rated brew of its style on beer advocate ... The rating is well deserved as this is quite delicious .... I'll have to look back at other beers I've reviewed of the style to compare ... I'm admittedly not blown away, but darn it is good
Aug 06, 2023
Rated: 4.08 by Bhubbard34 from Pennsylvania

Aug 05, 2023
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Reviewed by Grax

4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Smell is frankly almost nonexistent -- not very aromatic. Some malt, honey, florals. The body, however, is extremely tangy, almost like drinking a sparkling water, with a closely following body of heavy spice, florals, and honey. It's lightning in a bottle, followed by ambrosia. Very unique, very delicious.
Jul 19, 2023
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Reviewed by journey-of-beer

4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25
11.2 oz bottle poured into an appropriate glass. Bottled on 7/7/2022 and consumed on 7/16/2023, so this has a year on it. Unknown aging conditions (it was a recent find at a store). Started fridge temperature and slowly warmed to room temperature while drinking.

Look: Incredible head! The beer is a hazy golden color, with one of the thickest off-white heads I’ve ever seen. Pouring this thing is a risky adventure, with overflow a real possibility! The head sticks around for a long time, with tiny bubbles rising through the beer to keep it going long after you’d expect it to fade. Minor-to-moderate lacing.

Smell: Exceptionally unique, so much so that it’s hard to find appropriate words. There is a definite medicinal aroma, but oddly it’s not off-putting. A dry fruity character is present, somewhat (but not exactly) reminiscent of cider. A bit of lemon zest. There’s more, but appropriate words are not coming to me. Many reviews mention band-aids in the aroma, and while I understand where they are coming from I don’t think this is quite an accurate description of the Brett funk in this beer.

Taste: So very dry! As this first hits my mouth the dry, medicinal quality is very up-front. Peppery spice (without heat) is also noticeable. The cider-like aroma shows up in the taste as well, although there’s none of the fruity sweetness you find in a cider. There’s a bitterness that reminds me of citrus fruit rinds. The Brett funk is present in a way that may or may not be enjoyable (I change my mind on every sip!), but is hard to otherwise describe with mere words.

Feel: Exceptionally well-carbonated. I don’t always like high amounts of carbonation, but it works extremely well in this instance.

Overall: As of my writing of this review, this is the #1 ranked Belgian Pale Ale. It’s an exceptionally unique ale, with one of the most interesting and complex flavor and aroma profiles I’ve ever encountered outside of barrel-aged adjunct stouts. The taste is so exceptionally dry I’m honestly not sure if I love or hate this. I do know I’m going to pick up a few more bottles while they are still available in my area, and probably run an aging experiment.
Jul 17, 2023
Rated: 3.94 by BillyNoonan from Ireland

Jul 09, 2023
Rated: 3.93 by Phoodcritic from Michigan

Jul 07, 2023
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Reviewed by Bluerabbitbell from Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
7/2/23, enjoying at home, single bottle purchased at Pig and Fire.

Highly carbonated, so poured a very airy, foamy light head which dissipated rather quickly. Only slightly hazy, golden in color.

Aromas of bubble gum, mead, floral, and a slight root beer aroma that's coming through.

Very effervescent in the mouth. Ends with a slight bitterness. Flavors of banana, bubble gum, banana bread, and vanilla. Ends with a lemony bitter finish. And low and behold, the taste of a fresh Band-Aid, as noted by @tsar_riga! Weird, but it's good! Not a super fan of the finish, but really good overall.
Jul 02, 2023
Rated: 4.81 by amp112 from California

Jun 11, 2023
Rated: 3.99 by Dethark from England

May 20, 2023
Rated: 4.21 by sweetbrew82 from California

May 13, 2023
Rated: 4.57 by EfecanP

May 06, 2023
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 5863 ratings