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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
5,397 Ratings
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
Ratings:
5,397
Reviews:
2,347
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
359
Gots:
919
For Trade:
11
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,397 |  Reviews: 2,347
Photo of cld253
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass. First thing I notice is the incredible, billowing head. Half the glass with all different size bubbles. Pale to medium amber, somewhere in that 7-9 SRM area. Lace everywhere. Some hazing, but I may have poured a little heavy near the end. Still, a 5.

S- Tart and cider like, like an old barn with fresh hay upstairs (modified the brother there talking of a horse blanket, but it's almost spot on for me as well) some citrus and a bit of alcohol present.

T- cider again, tart and some citric bite, changing throughout the mouth-full and swallow, slightly sweet malt comes through, but just for a moment. Dry, earthy finish that lingers.

F- Bit of a carbonation bite upfront that accentuates how dry and crisp this beer really is.

D- I feel like if I had the privilege of more than one of these, they could all disappear very quickly if it were not for wanting to savor them.

 928 characters

Photo of impending
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A

33cl into a tulip. Pours a hazy deep amber. The prodigious head is often cited and for good reason. I carefully poured to minimize the head yet it was a massive three fingers and the nucleation of the tulip caused a dense inner core held in place by a half inch very large bubble outer support - haven't seen this before. Ridiculous lacing as well !

Complicated nose, somewhat difficult to identify - yeast, hay, mild unknown fruit and a whiff of stale musty budweiser.

Taste surprises with the noticeable hops in the dry finish. No fruit sweetness, tiny bit sour. Both the yeast and hay are restrained. Not the easiest brew to describe. I think I would enjoy this more if I was eating a sharp cheese alongside.
cheers
jd

 727 characters

Photo of RyanTheLion13
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of readbaron
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml Bottle poured into a rochfort chalice. Bottled 7/2010.

Pours out a lightly hazy, crisp light brown with 4 fingers of billowy off white head that laces the glass and lingers.

I hadnt read any reviews prior to cracking this one - i was surprised to find that the smell is dominated by the Brett - lightly sour and peppery, with bready malt underneath.

Taste is complex, yet light. Initially it's peppery and mildly tart (lemon), with a bit of spice before fading into some bready malts. Finish is very smooth and refreshing.

Feel is delightful. Light, crisp, somewhat creamy, prickly carbonation that still manages to feel soft.

Overall - a great beer. Not what I was expecting, but delicious. It will definitely be showing up in the fridge again.

 762 characters

Photo of TheGipper
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the beer I buy for myself and keep to myself as a special treat, because of its distinctive flavor, and the wallop it packs in alcohol content. Orval has a rich, thick head that you could almost recognize just by looking at it, without seeing the label. The flavor is dry, with extremely strong, somewhat fruity maltiness that borders on chalky (in a good way!)

 369 characters

Photo of trevorjn06
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours orange/copper with a massive head that very slowly recedes into meringue-like shapes and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is bright, up front I get fruit and a bit of tartness. I can smell lemon, peaches, apples and a slight peppery/yeasty note. There are more subtle notes of earthy hops and sweet malt.

Taste is smooth up front with prickly carbonation on the tongue. There are mouth-coating flavors of almost creamy, light caramel flavors along with fruit such as peaches and lemons. The beer exiting brings a nice balancing hop bitterness along with a tartness that combine for a very dry finish. This beer improves immensely as it warms, near room temperature is probably my favorite.

Mouthfeel is medium, leaning towards thin with fairly high carbonation. The flavors coat the mouth well.

Overall this beer is quite refreshing and dry with a wonderful complexity. The flavors of this ale are very unique and some of them are hard for me to place, however very enjoyable.

 1,001 characters

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip.

Appearance: While pouring this, I moved from pouring slowly down the side to dropping the beer in the center, and the head simply exploded, Duvel style. The carbonation keeps replenishing while there is still beer in the glass as well. This is a nice dark orange and copper color, with a monster head that leaves all kinds of sticky lacing on the glass. Very nice.

Smell: A little bit light in the smell department. Some citrus and apple aromas, along with a variety of spices.

Taste: By far the best aspect of this beer. I get some strong tart flavor with the malt up front, mostly apple and maybe some grape. A nice blend of nutmeg and even a little cinnamon is present throughout the sip. The hops are fairly light and citrusy in nature, leaving me with more of a tart than a true bitter taste on my palate. Quite tasty and definitely unique.

Mouthfeel: Actually a little bit light, which I would not have expected from the darker color. A nuanced breadiness stays on my tongue, giving it a little bit of texture.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink. After what seemed like just a sip, I looked down and I was almost done with the glass. Very smooth, propped up by a nice level of carbonation and a crisp, balanced flavor.

After my first try, I think that I will have to sample a few more of these, in order to accustom myself to the different taste. I did not feel it was "dirty" or "funky" as a few other reviewers thought, but maybe I will get those senses next time I drink it.

 1,509 characters

Photo of lhwjanssen
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of briandaube
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Wow what head on this one! It just never left. Talk about lacing as well. The beer itself pours a light to medium brown with some cloudiness.

Smell: I smell spices and a bit of banana and apples.

Taste: Taste those fruit and spices! It has a very bready yeast but still manages to contain a nice tartness that continues into the mouthfeel. There is a subtle hop taste but it's masked by the fruits.

Mouthfeel: Rather thin and acidic but with lasting flavors that just continue to develop.

Drinkability: This beer is definitely an acquired taste but it's incredibly drinkable if you like it. I definitely could go for a couple more of these at the moment.

 679 characters

Photo of tux_alin
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of secondtooth
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my review of a 6-year old bottle! Feared it would be skunked, but alas, I am lucky to have enjoyed this one.

Cloudy amber, with fair bubbles and slight lace. A little sediment.

Tempting citrus spice nose. Maybe some honey and yeast, too.

Taste is delicious! I get some tart orange, some flowery sweetness, and a light wheat-bubblegum-clove finish. A unique and wonderful experience. A great beer!

 407 characters

Photo of WOTO97
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: slightly cloudy burnt orange with big soapy head and nice sticky head

S: nice big spice with a faint pepper note, some sweetness complemented by pear, raisin, and coriander flavors, bit of alcohol (more noticeable as the beer warms), some medicine/chalk

T: slight chalk/medicine that is most noticeable on the finish, pleasant orange and coriander up front, some fennel with complementary sweetness from malt

M: clean yet still slightly dense on the palate, very dry finish

D: very complex flavor profile that seemingly shifts throughout, definitely looking forward to aging a few of these and going back after a few fresh bottles

 637 characters

Photo of output01x
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330 mL. bottle (Best Before 05/19/2015) into a tulip glass.

A slow pour let's loose a giant 3-finger cream-colored head. The body is an orange amber with jets of carbonation bubbles practically racing to the surface. The head recedes after quite some time to a thick, clumpy covering and thin foam ring. Thick lacing clings to the sides of the glass in large clumps.

Belgian yeast gives this beer a truly delicious smell. Aromas of green apples and white grape juice really make this beer mouth-watering. Floral hops in the background lend a little character to this beer.

Green grapes and pears lend a light flavor at first sip. A light floral and somewhat grassy hops flavor settles in that goes quite nicely with the fruit flavors. A slight spiciness sets in at the end of each sip. The flavors here are not bold by any means, but are elegant and playful.

Medium bodied with strong carbonation, this beer is as drinkable as it is delicious (which can be quite dangerous). Without being watery, this beer is easily sipped and gulped. The carbonation seems to be just right as it does not get in the way of the flavor but really helps to move this beer along.

 1,178 characters

Photo of zp6167a
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bloberglawp
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

What is there to be said?
.
Served in a chimay chalise, golden ale with nice fluffy head and sexy lacing. Brett and hop aroma some aromas of wild flowers seems to come about, same 2 elements (brett and hops) take the front row seat in flavor as well. Carbonation is prickly and makes you want to take another gulp... if this came in huge 3L, bombers I'd not work for I'd drink all day for shure.

Soooo... basicaly a very good trappist ale, more of these please!

 462 characters

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No surprise, there's a ton of reviews on this beer already. I've found that from memory, I didn't enjoy this beer much a few years ago. I took a flyer on it again after having been exposed to a lot more styles of beers through BA.

This time around, quite enjoyable. I like it as a summer / warm fall day beer. Adventurous, wide ranging and truly a belgian treat. Enjoy!

 373 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 0.33L bottle into an over-sized wine glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color, with a large foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is robust with mostly yeast and fruit, along with some spice.

T: The taste is very sweet and fruity with flavors of lemon, orange, banana & pineapple. There’s some yeast presence and a mild hops character, but hardly any bitterness. I wasn’t expecting this beer to be so sweet, but it’s definitely a unique and pleasant surprise.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, high carbonation, very clean finish for such a sweet beer.

D: This one is very tasty and goes down ridiculously easy with no hint of alcohol. I could certainly stay with this beer for quite a while.

 779 characters

Photo of Lunruj
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Darker pale to amber color, hazy. Huge head. Be careful pouring it into glass. Totally characteristic smell. I've heard the beer tastes like rotten strawberries. And I have to agree. The smell is fruity and it really reminds me strawberries, maybe cherries and possibly wine. The taste is actually quite bitter. Other than that is reminds fermented fruit. One can feel the alcohol quite well considering it only has 6.2 % ABV. However, it mixes well with the aroma and overall feel. The foam tastes disgusting though. (Which is pretty surprising and unusual.) Pretty different from anything I've had so far. A beer you will remember, definitely worth trying!

 658 characters

Photo of djhowell
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Saviour
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of core42
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of climax
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in December of 2007, sampled May 2009. Bottle erupted when I popped the top. Needless to say, it was eager to give some wicked head, one which never really faded. Color was an entirely cloudy burnt orange.

Excellent nose, very invigorating and complex. Great balance of sweet, sour, and bitter. Flavors include, but not entirely entail; green apple, sour grapes, hay, spice and grassy hops.

Flavor was equally as enjoyable. The malt seemed to shine through a bit more in taste as opposed to nose. The malt and hops were in perfect harmony. Dark sugars, spice, cranberry, apple, wood, and maybe licorice are some discernible flavors among several others of which I cannot put my finger on.

The body was very light-hearted given the flavor explosion. However, it was never watery and the ample carbonation left a nice sharpness on the tongue through a somewhat dry long finish.

This one went down quite smooth and was really a joy to break down and review... as well as drink. Really my first honest example of this style (other than perhaps Leffe and some others that I didn't think were anything to write home about), it turned me on and hopefully more are in my (immediate) future.

 1,197 characters

Photo of DavidST
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into an Orval Goblet, bottled on 7/10/2010.

This pours a hazy dull orange with a large foamy white head with large bubbles and a long retention. Smell is nice and fruity, some spices, maybe some flowers. Medium light feel with lots of carbonation. The taste is different from the way it smells, there is very little sweetness up front, maybe a little citrus fruit and malted wheat, a little peppery and lemon hints but its mostly dry / bitter on the way down with a little alcohol burn, very tasty. Overall an excellent beer, more bitter and drier than the few other Trappist beers I've had tastes like I love, its very good.

 653 characters

Photo of WalkingStickMan
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Caught some nail polish at the end of the smell...weird.

Always love this, I like this beer to warm a little while drinking for sure, but but also think that it benefits from a colder temperature in the beginning. Love this monkfood fresh and aged, this one's sort of middle of the road because it's sort of in between the best ages.

 335 characters

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,397 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.