Orval Trappist Ale
Brasserie d'Orval S.A.

Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
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From:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
 
Belgium
Style:
Pale Ale - Belgian
Ranked #1
ABV:
6.9%
Score:
93
Ranked #2,889
Avg:
4.2 | pDev: 12.38%
Ratings:
5,786
Status:
Active
Rated:
Sunday at 01:57 AM
Added:
Sep 18, 2001
Wants:
  376
Gots:
  1,036
SCORE
93
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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
 
3.77 by Dave2234 from Minnesota on Sunday at 01:57 AM
Photo of MikeWard
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by MikeWard from Pennsylvania

Bottle at Sabatinis in Exeter pa earlier this evening. 2020 release. Orval Day 2022.

Looks splendid in the chunky Orval goblet. Hazy orange yellow body. Generous white head persists throughout leaving layers of lacing.

Some fruit notes on the nose, and the abv is apparent.

On tasting, strong and full flavored. Quite bitter, some light fruit wafts in and out. Abv seems higher than the 6.9 listed. A little sweetness here and there.

Mouth very full. Finish bitter and a little drying.

Overall, enjoyable drink once the palate adjusts to the bitterness level and can enjoy the nuances. Wouldn't say no to another.

Sunday at 12:16 AM
 
3.55 by Mikexw from New York on Saturday at 09:53 PM
Photo of defunksta
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by defunksta from North Dakota

Appearance: Pours a completely clear, deep amber color with a massive off-white head that lingers like root beer float. (4.50)

Aroma: Moderate aromas of citrus upfront. Followed by grapefruit, juicyfruit, bubblegum, and bread spice esters. (4.00)

Flavor: Strong and funky flavors here. There's grapefruit and tart pear fruit. Then a strong funky yeast in the middle. A semi-sweet pale malt finish. The funk lingers. (3.75)

Feel: Medium-bodied. Strong carbonation. A full mouthfeel with a lingering funk. (3.75)

Compared to Saison Dupont 5/21/22: Pours a darker color, larger head. Stronger aromas. More funky yeast. Less juicyfruit and bread spice. A larger body, and sweeter.

Overall: A lot more barnyard funk on this one that I had expected. Almost overpowering. Granted, this one is about 3-5 years in age. Maybe more than usual wild yeast formed. Hard to get a whole lot of other flavors here because the funk and tart fruit overpower a bit. Not sure if this is normal for this one. I think this one may have been spoiled. Maybe I'll have to try it fresh sometime. (Rating: 3.86)

Saturday at 09:08 PM
Photo of Perioddicals
3.32/5  rDev -21%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75
by Perioddicals from Texas

L - Poured from a bottle into a Dogfish Head Signature Glass at around 55 - 60 degrees. (Bottled on 08/07/2021, poured on 05/10/2022.) Humongous off-white/bone white head on a not very aggressive pour. Head does not dissipate quickly. It’s frothy and foamy to no end. Lacing stays for the whole drink. It’s a light copper clear color. Incredibly appealing look.

S - Deep malt characteristics up front. Warm baked bread. A little yeast sweetness as well.

T - Taste is lighter than scent. More of a cracker or biscuit malt, with some sourness paired with sweetness. Light fruits come through as well. Maybe a citrus zest. Some earthy tones appear in there. Finish has some mild bitterness and pepperiness. The hoppy bitterness and pepper is more present as it warms up. These dry bitter flavors really overpower the second half of the drink.

F - Medium-to-heavy carbonation, but medium-to-light mouthfeel. Surprisingly dry finish. Almost like a brut champaign. The more I drink it, there’s a lot of dry aftertaste. Which is not appealing.

O - Overall, I love the complexity and mixture of this beer at the start. It begins as a great blend of malts, yeast, and light hops, with none of them overpowering the other. Each taste brings something a little different. Then, as you drink, the bitterness, dryness, and pepper starts to overpower. So much so, that my appreciation diminished by the end. I didn’t even want to take the last two gulps to finish it. Unfortunately, I will not add it to my rotation, and would not recommend in favor of other offerings.

May 14, 2022
 
4.44 by CRObighit2 from Canada (ON) on Apr 30, 2022
Photo of AlexandraDen
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by AlexandraDen from Canada (ON)

Bottled Dec 21, 2021. Pours a hazy penny-copper colour with two fingers of thick, white head. It slowly collapses, sticking around a decent amount, into a millimetre (or two) thick dense foam cap.

Spicy and doughy aromas typical of Belgian yeast swirl with a little bit of floral, spicy hop notes. Caramel malt is present in good amount. Slight funky earthy spin, with good leanings towards some lightly musty but fruity affect — grape, apple, and citrus.

Feels like I’ve been waiting my whole life to try a beer like this, fusing my love of crisp pale ales and doughy Belgian ales. Spicy and fruity up front, biscuity and doughy on the back end, medium-low presence of bittering hops throughout that are primarily earthy and floral in quality. The spicy, peppery phenolic character is quite nice, and a little nutty as well, a mix between almond slices and cloves, white peppercorn and coriander. Citrus zest and peel is noticeable on the back half of each sip, and adds both a fresh quality and adds to the bittering presence of the hops. A beer that lets each note rise before melding into the next one before melding into the next one, which gives this beer a remarkably balanced taste profile. Grassy, zesty, earthy, mildly funky. The funk is stronger on the nose than palate.

Light-medium bodied with higher carbonation, fairly effervescent. Long, doughy and yeasty finish that leaves impressions of bitter hop and lemon peel on the edges of your tongue and hints of phenolic spice. Finishes dry.

A Belgian Pale Ale… Finally! I love PAs, and I absolutely adore Trappist ales. Combining the two, amazing! When the LCBO finally got a new batch in I could have it for the first time! This is a very fresh batch that I need to grab about 5 so I can cellar them and come back to this review every couple of months. Great fusion of flavours. I can see this mellowing and evolving over the years, though I imagine there’s likely a Goldilocks zone before it gets too aged it mellows out the great yeasty phenols as well as the grassy, fresh hops that are present in higher amounts than almost any other Trappist ale and most Belgians in particular. Lovely ale

Apr 25, 2022
Photo of kaiser_a
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by kaiser_a from Wisconsin

I've read the previous review by illtexzona , and agree that freshness has to do a bunch with quality. the Whole Foods in my neighborhood started carrying Belgian & Trappist things & most recently Orval. I bought 2 almost immediately- probably the freshest Orval Ive had, & it's a completely different animal than the ones at the other most reputable liquor store- totally worth the (recently inflated) price.

Apr 17, 2022
Photo of TooManyGlasses
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

Bottled April 8/21.
Pours a clear orange amber colour with teaming fluffy off white head. a bit of haze as got some dregs at last of pour.
Fruity funky aroma - earthy hops, definite Brett effect - grape, lime, ripe apple - fruity esters, bubblegum and a touch of band aid.
Taste follows with a funky fruity sweetness, that somehow manages to be tart and a bit spicy; notes of lemon, bubblegum, and at the back an aggressive bitterness that mixes with an herbal sweet-tart flavour.
Exceptionally effervescent carbonation, boldly bittersweet and funky with a dry finish. Have had before and frankly enjoyed more - I feel I did not hit the sweet spot of age for me.

Apr 14, 2022
Photo of LeRose
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by LeRose from Massachusetts

I'd call it a deep honey color liquid with marshmallow fluff filling the glass. It is a little hazy but you can still see thru it. The head stubbornly falls to a dollop, but is leaving huge residue on the glass.

The aroma is fruity banana esters, slightly sweet, a bit of bubble gum. White grape, some extremely mild funk, some earthy brett. A bready note supports all of the aromatics. Maybe a little lemony citrus to cut through the rest and liven it up some.

The taste is intriguing. Not at all what I expected from the nose. It is really soft. I get the esters and bubblegum notes first with a lovely malty sweetness, but with further sips the aromatic notes recede a bit and it lays even more more malty and spicy. It strikes me more like a wild ale, quite yeasty but with more than enough malt to tie everything together. If it is funky at all, it is very laid back. There is spiciness that seems like a bit of coriander and a hint of anise. It's fairly phenolic giving it a nice peppery sensation. Noticeable amount of bitterness on the finish, and there is a lemon note that lingers and helps reset the taste buds.

I'd call the body medium, lively carbonation, pretty dry. The bitterness, while evident, is pleasantly mellow.

It's unique - and somehow everything that is going on plays nicely in the sandbox to deliver a highly enjoyable drinking experience that I really can't put into words. This is certainly a case where the gestalt matters. It's fun, makes me happy.

Apr 11, 2022
 
4.19 by Cdips from North Carolina on Mar 26, 2022
Photo of davidward
3/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by davidward from Florida

Overrated.

Mar 24, 2022
Photo of ivanbrew
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by ivanbrew

Orval it’s a classic and Unique Trappist beer. With golden brown color, high carbonation, and amazing head retention! Aroma Wiest sweetness and Wood and a flavor of Slight malt yeast and have a woody bitterness that comes through. Cheers!

Mar 24, 2022
 
4.24 by Dgman8053 from New York on Mar 14, 2022
 
4.27 by irishevans from California on Mar 11, 2022
Photo of TMoney2591
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Served from the bottle in a Boulevard tall tulip.

Pours a partly hazy sunrise auburn topped by over a finger of bone foam. The nose comprises sharp hay, dry biscuit, grass, sweet flowers, and funky wheat. The taste brings in more of the same, a touch of mild clove and black pepper swirling around in there as well. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a Death Valley level of dryness in the finish. An enjoyable Trappist treat that gets even more interesting with more age on it (4 and 5 years seem to be damn solid right now).

Mar 05, 2022
 
4.53 by DarrellK from Florida on Feb 19, 2022
Photo of HarlotBronte
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by HarlotBronte from District of Columbia

Bottled 2/9/2021

L: Amber body with a massive frothy head

S: Barnyard, Belgian yeast, earthy, hay, vinegar, slight bubblegum and clove

T: Medium bitterness, barnyard funk, bready, spice

F: High carbonation, medium bodied, clean and slightly dry finish

O: Unique and complex drinking experience

Feb 19, 2022
 
4.36 by Shatik from California on Feb 02, 2022
Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by Tsar_Riga from Indiana

Bottle bought in 2016, finally opened 1/3/2022.

A - Pours copper orange, mostly transparent but some haze with the yeast, short white head, persistent cap, some lacing but not much.

S - Brett up front, bandaids and acidity, apple and white wine, grape highlights. As it warms, the Brett recedes and a powerful bubble gum sweetness comes forward.

T - Follows the nose, but with the acidity, fruit and a touch of bitter pith front, and the Brett coming in beneath. The plastic and barnyard notes are there but they work as a part of the whole.

M - Bright brisk carbonation, light weight, slick feel, clean finish.

O - A rock solid drinking experience, 5+ years in the making. Quite happy I opened this one up.

Jan 30, 2022
Photo of illtexzona
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by illtexzona from Illinois

Bottle dated 8/7/21, drank 1/1/22

This is the probably the freshest Orval I've ever drank. I'd compare it to drinking a young lambic, and how it mellows out and flavors change over time. Young Orval pours with a ton white foam in the middle and whispy head around the edges. Tons effervescent carbonation and grassy hops. The belgian yeast hasn't had a lot of time to take over yet. I've had this beer several times and now I want to do some side by sides with aging after having this fresh one.

Jan 04, 2022
Photo of kbrokhoff
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
by kbrokhoff from Illinois

This is probably the best beer on the planet. No two Orvals taste the same; every bottle offers a unique experience. You can drink it fresh or aged. I am currently imbibing an Orval bottled in April of 2020 and it is out of this world. These Brewers from Brasserie d'Orval only need this single offering and its humble labeling to show what true Masters they are.

Jan 01, 2022
Photo of KT3418
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4
by KT3418 from Colorado

This was stupid carbonated to me but I was forced to drink it out of the bottle at the time. That said it heavily reminded me of champagne and I look forward to putting this in a glass next time

Dec 17, 2021
Photo of Chocolatefreak
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Chocolatefreak from Tennessee

Pour is highly effervescent with a lot of white foam. Very smooth & medium heft on the palate. Tastes of brown sour dough bread with slight hops from beginning to end. The 6.9 ABV is hidden well. Overall, complex & smooth; I like it!

Dec 10, 2021
 
3.79 by Bierbaum from Massachusetts on Nov 27, 2021
 
4.26 by Humanusfermentum from Virginia on Nov 22, 2021
 
4.35 by TWStandley from Massachusetts on Nov 17, 2021
Photo of ATL6245
4.56/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by ATL6245 from Georgia

Appearance: Cloudy, muddy copper. Pours to a massive frothy off white head with excellent retention.

Aroma: Lots of funky, yeasty aromas.

Flavor: Moderate bitterness. Spicy & earthy.

Mouth-Feel: Light to medium bodied, a little creamy. Pours highly effervescent, but releases the carbonation nicely. Drying, moderate length finish with a mild trailing bitterness.

Overall: This would be consider a "young" beer. Bottled in May 2021, drank in November. It still has the yeasty, hoppy character that mellows with age. Curious how this will taste about a year or two down the road. Pours super carbonated, producing a huge, fluffy off-white head, but seems to release the carbonation better than other Belgians. Makes it a little more drinkable. Very nice.

Nov 05, 2021
 
4.29 by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota on Oct 25, 2021
 
4.46 by jcoleMA66 from Massachusetts on Oct 16, 2021
 
4.25 by nelsonracite from New Jersey on Oct 16, 2021
 
4.24 by morrowd3 from Vermont on Sep 04, 2021
 
4.13 by blissfulNemo from Michigan on Sep 03, 2021
 
4.13 by cabsandking from Ohio on Aug 30, 2021
Photo of NEBeerGoddess
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by NEBeerGoddess from Connecticut

Revisited an old favorite. Funky pale ale. Hints of sage on the palate. Pairs well with most cheeses (Vermont sharp cheddar on this occasion). A classic that never disappoints.

Aug 29, 2021
Photo of ChipChaight
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by ChipChaight from New York

12/11/20 bottle from Pioneer Supermarket on the UWS. Pours a clear medium amber with a finger of off white head that sticks around, nice lacing, smell is crusty brown bread, brown sugar, molasses, hints of clove and banana, taste is brown sourdough bread crust, grassy hops, hint of molasses, banana bread, and grassy funk, feel is light bodied, medium carbonation, mild carbonic bite. Funky grassy brown bread crust for days.

Aug 29, 2021
Photo of DanfromVan
3.61/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by DanfromVan from Canada (BC)

Date on bottle is 17months ago, so not sure if i have an oldy mouldy or not. Stored in my fridge for the last year, saving it as treat for myself.
Poured into a chalice. Nice strong tall head that lasts. Great straw/orange colour.
Taste is quite bitter to me, including a long aftertaste that i just cant shake. I'll have to try this one again from a different batch because I see a lot of beerheads saying lots of good things about it. It's also a Trappist beer, one I have not tried before today, and I'm more than willing to take a 2nd chance.

Aug 01, 2021
 
4 by mcbraxt from Michigan on Aug 01, 2021
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 5786 ratings