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
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Ratings: 5,397 |  Reviews: 2,347
Photo of tobelerone
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2 year old bottle still has plenty of carbonation. Huge fluffy slowly settling head on a hazy orange colored body; a few floaties here and there; lovely curtains of creamy lace.

Great aromas of pepper, citrus, yeast. Delicious flavor with Brett funk at appealing but not overpowering levels; peppery notes and the lemony flavors are in there too. Really well rounded and appealing. Slightly bitter.

Clean finish, crisp and refreshing. Flavors are really sharply defined and just excellent. I'd prefer this over the many saisons and other brett beers on the scene today. Does the trick in terms of taste and refreshment. A classic for a reason!

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Photo of ndekke39
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared a bottle of this with some good friends. Bottled on 1/24/06 and best-by 1/24/11. Poured a cloudy honey color with a bright white head and lots of lacing. Smells of so many things... apple, honey, banana, peach, yeast. Wonderful to stick your nose in. Taste was dry, fruit, and hoppy. Overall flavors ran the gamut from sweet to bitter to sour. Each sip brought something new out. Mouthfeel was bright and fizzy. Overall, excellent beer. Great to sip. Highly recommended.

Tried another bottle in September 2007. Bottled on 1/24/06 and best-by 1/24/11. Poured like a very cloudy cider. Small, white head, with little bits of lacing. Smells again of apple, plus some champagne. A little bitterness like an apple peel. Needs to warm up a bit. Very effervescent, like a champagne! This must be one result of the aging. Again, it's wonderful to drink, especially with good friends. Looking forward to trying another bottle next Labor Day!

And we shared yet another bottle in September 2008. Bottled 1/24/06, best by 1/24/11. Poured like clear-ish apple juice, nice thick white head, lots of lacing, great retention. Smells of apples and champagne. Taste is starting to flatten out. Very dry. Taste of apples, bitter at the end, like old coffee. Very effervescent mouthfeel. It's getting less nuanced, but we have 2 more bottles and will see it through to Labor Day 2010!

Opened our fourth bottle in September 2009. Like the rest, bottled 1/24/06 and best by 1/24/11. Poured a clear deep yellow. Lots of foam, very fizzy and rocky. Lots of lacing on the glass. Aromas of yeast, fermented apple cider, pears, white wine like a Riesling. Tastes of white wine, champagne, apples. Taste begins well, but ends with a flat burn. Almost tastes old. Mouthfeel is a bit flat, despite all the foam. Still interesting, but the beer is mellowing out. One more bottle for next year!

Opened our fifth and final bottle in September 2010. Like every one of them, bottled 1/24/06 and good until 1/24/11, although it doesn't seem to be holding up too well. Very foamy on the pour, with a consistent fluffy white head. Color looks darker and cloudier this year. Smells like apple cider vinegar. Tastes a little flat, like cardboard or wood; it's like a very weak wine. Mouthfeel is still fizzy and bright. This beer has about three months left in its life, but already it seems to be turning into nothing.

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

This is a fantastic beer but maybe because it suits my narrow tastes. Very volitale. Produced a thick heavy head even with a gentle pour from the bottle. Violent bubbling (tornado like) continued from bottom of glass. It made me wonder if something was wrong. After tasting I was pretty sure nothing was wrong. The taste is unique but wonderful. Hard to compare because not like any other.

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

Bottle poured into tulip.

A: Cloudy, deep amber body topped off by dense, rocky white head. It took a while to pour the whole beer due to very actice carbonation.

S: Lots of lemon right of the bat followed by yeast, hay and bread.

T: There's some nice funk and sour that hits you. The lemon is still there with some green apple and banana and the finish is earthy and bitter. Lots going on here.

M: Very, very dry with just the right amount of crispness.

D: Very high! I wanr one of these on a hot summer day. It's very refreshing.

This is my fourth Orval. The first two times I had it, my palate wasn't quite 'there' yet. The third one tasted pretty good but tonight...this one was great!

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

A unique Trappist with a clear orange and amber color, small white head with nice lacing. Aroma of coriander, orange peel, black pepper and faint vanilla. Tastes of citrus, orange and coriander. Medium mouth. Good bitter finish. Mellows slightly with age if kept well. Very nice.

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Photo of mjohn27603
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost clear in appearance. Leaving a high foamy head. 4 fingers worth in the glass with big bubbles of carbonation. ARoma of grape juice and fruityness with clean crisp smell. Second pours reveals a more golden apperance but stiill with transperancy. A slight hint of orange and grape flavor. Kind of like champagne beer. A very light and crisp taste. Flavor is like a knife to the palate. Extremely drinkable.

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

Love me some Orval. This beer has grown on me quite a bit over time. Probably along the same way that wild ales have. Nice earthy and mildly funky tones on there. Robust and fairly thick. I always wish there was more of this beer when I finish off the bottle.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew is a sunset orange color, quite a sizable cream head on the top. Fair amount of lace. Sweet bubblegum on nose, bananas, hints of lemon. Fairly light bodied, sweet light malt front dusted with lemon, plently of a nice mix of spiciness and sweetness. Big hop presence. Quite a complex brew, certainly worth trying.

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

Hazy golden with foamy, over the top head.

Complex and rich aroma. Sour bread and white wine scent in it.

Wonderfully complex taste as well. Bready, spiced pears, flowers. Sharp edge from the carbonation and maybe an herbal hop. Wonderful. Refreshing and fulfilling.

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

The Orval Trappist Ale is without a a doubt quite delicous.

Served in a bottle from a local spirit shopee. this beer is dark amber in color with a two finger head.

The smell is semi-carmel, semi-spicy, good all around.

The taste is kinda rich and sweet, but very nice.

Mouthfeel is kinda complex, but not very much so. very nice brew indeed.

Drinkability is high, great beer all around.

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Photo of Ratman197
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 4 1996 poured a clear golden amber with a small lasting light amber head.

The nose was fullof tropical fruits, citrus and cookie. there were also some light vanilla notes and a hint of leather.

The mouthfeel was light bodied and crisp with some dryness and lighty tart.

The flavor was fruity with some straw and cookie, light leather and a bit of carmel. It was even more complex but hard to find words for all the flavors going on . It finishes crisp dry and a bit tart.

This beer was very drikable and aged amazingly well with no hints of oxidation.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought locally (Grapevine refrigerated shelves), a couple of weeks in my fridge, reviewed 45F-70F.

The head is huge, off-white and dense. The color is a slight hazy orange-amber. Some swirly sediment. The lacing is thick sticky clumpy.

The nose is slightly sweet, yeasty and a little fruity. Alcohol and spice give it almost a rum-like smell. The front is peppery, with some grapes giving it a dry wine-like flavor. Interesting. The middle goes slightly sour, with hints of apples. The tang is almost a little tonic-watery. The finish is a fantastic fresh, dry, bready experience with noticeable alcohol. There's almost a red wine aftertaste. Very dry. This is one of my favorites. A great, complex, original beer.

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Photo of jono311
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

light brown orange hued amber.

nose is lightly honeyed with just a few hints of herbal hops and floral notes.

taste is honeyed sweetness with lemon fruitiness, followed by an herbaceous hop presence that is mellow and perfectly suited to the style.

Mouthfeel nice full carbonation indicative of a bottle conditioned Belgian ale and a long enjoyable finish.

Not much presence of the brett yeast except for a faint pucker in the middle of the sip that adds to the dry refreshing character of the ale.

Overall- A great beer and a great example of a Belgian pale. Definitely one I will seek out again.

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

Poured into a goblet. A very thick, rocky head formed. There's an effervescence about this beer that is very pretty in the pour. The beer pours a pale orange amber. I did my best to get a clean pour but it came out pretty hazy. It's an interesting, complex looking beer.

Aroma was great. i got some lemon & herbs right away followed quickly by a bit of the barnyard aroma that folks talk about as wet horse blanket. Again, this is just such a complex aroma profile.

Taste is complex too, though I didn't find that it held up quite as well as the aroma (but it was close). More of the barnyard in my taste profile, not as much bitterness as I thought there might be. Good bit of sourness, too. Quite tart.

Rich mouthfeel. The carbonation lends a fullness to this beer that is otherwise greater than the body. Quite nice.

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

Hazy, amber/orange.....enormous white head that slowly reduces to a coating that leaves lots of lace.
The aroma is pungent lemon and flowers that gave me goosebumps. One of the best smelling beers I have tried.
The mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, medium bodied, and crisp.
I really enjoy the tartness in this beer, lemony, spicy hops, then a slightly bitter and crisp finish. This beer is different than other Belgian's I have tried in that it's more tart and pungent. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and will definitely purchase it regularly.

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Photo of scott451
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

revised on Nov 14, 2010

Bottled 2010 best before 2015. Poured into a Duvel tulip after letting it warm up from fridge temperature for about an hour. The unique bottle shape does a good job in keeping sediment out of the pour. A slightly hazy reddish amber. The toweing rocky head head sticks around. Lots of bubbly lacing.

Strongly carbonated. Fruity smell. There is a lot to the taste. It is very smooth but "deep". One taste I can pick out is leather although there is much more there. The brett gives it a nice twang, not sour at all, but a bit of a bitter finish.

Medium light body. Complex and very drinkable. A top shelf brew.

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Photo of gonzo138
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- nice coppery color, frothy head that was slow to dissapate, good lacing
S - Fruity aroma, light hoppy smell as well
T - sweet, a little hoppy, the fruity taste reiminded me a little of apples
M - nice carbonation, with dry nice feel
D- Very drinkable, smoother than some of the stronger belgian ales, which can really be viewed as a plus or a minus I felt it complemented the taste, goes down lightly

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Photo of dogger6253
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark brown color with a huge, bubbly head. Banana and cloves in the nose with corriander and hops, some plums, some raisins, and some pears. The taste is fruity up front with dates, plums, pears, grapes and bananas taking the center stage. The finish is more bitter, a little more than you'd think to expect, yet so crisp and delightful: sour grapes, hops, and spice at the end.

A major carbonation buzz going on in this one, medium body - crisp and refreshing. Great taste, this was incredibly unque and very welcomed.

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Photo of Vengeance526
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy light orange color and a HUGE white head that very slowly settles down leaving some nice lacing on the side.

Smells strongly of lemon, strong floral hops and a lot of spices. Very inviting and you can really feel the spices hit the back of your nose so I can tell I'm in for an interesting taste.

Taste hits right off with strong notes of citrus, mostly lemon with a little bit of orange. A floral burst of hop flavor lies underneath with a lot of spice present. Some faint notes of yeast can also be detected.

This one starts and finishes very dry. Overall a pretty amazing beer that can truly be savored.

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

Serving type: 11.2 ounce bottle. Bottled on 12/12/03

Appearance: Highly carbonated. Golden-Amber murky haze. Tall rocky, frothy white head. Decent lacing. Not very long lasting, but my glass wasn't incredibly clean.

Smell: Strong floral aroma. Fruity. Spicy. Leather. I could smell it sitting two feet away from me.

Taste: Tart, sweet, bitter, phenolic, fruity, hay.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied... Crisp, dry finish.

Drinkability/Overall: Crisp and refreshing. Not my favorite Trappist, but still very good. Easy and rewarding to drink.

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Photo of gingerbread
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of hagbergl
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cL bottle of Orval into my Chimay goblet.

Appearance (4/5): Big two and a half finger head of of white over a cloudy orange body. Beautiful. Tight bubbles tell me this is a well-carbonated beer. Extraordinary head retention.

Smell (4.25/5): Yeasty and bretty smell. Lots of sweet bread and light tart funkiness, spice, herbal and medicinal notes, grassy notes from the hops.

Taste (4.5/5): Spicier and yeastier in the taste. Not very sweet. Plenty of brett, though it's pretty light compared to some other beers with brettanomyces that I've had. At the front of the tongue, get some nice effervescence, middle of the tongue transition from bretty funk to a wheat bread and spicy yeasty clove-y flavor that's slightly bitter and lingers for a while. Very interesting and totally unique.

Mouthfeel (4.5/5): Excellent carbonation level. Brett adds some effervescence. Very smooth and goes down easy. The lower alcohol level on this beer means you don't have to exercise too much caution with it. A very nice summertime beer.

Overall (4.5/5): Orval is legendary for a reason. It's a totally awesome beer and a great intro to Brett-infused beer. While it's not a particularly intense beer, it's very refreshing and certainly a unique take on the Belgian Pale Ale. One of the rare Trappist ales that isn't thick and heavy. It also features more obvious hop character than those beers. Great stuff that's certainly worth buying if you see it hanging out on the shelf. And fear not–Orval has quite a good shelf life. Dust off that bottle from 2010 and enjoy some vintage beer!

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Photo of BergBeer
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Orange-Copper with a thick white head. Very active.

Smell: Green apple, white grapes, farmhouse funk, slight ginger, and warm honey. Bright and sweet.

Taste: Honey covered apples, juicy green figs, green grassy hops, Belgian sugar, earthy bitter hops, and just a hint of grapefruit citrus zest. Beautiful.

Feel: Bright. Flavors dance with a peppery lightness on the palate. As the flavors play out the beer dries out earthy. No hint of alcohol.

Overall: Deceptively light with depth of flavor and complexity. Fruity, funky, juicy, earthy all these flavors dance on the palate and leave just a kiss of flavor as it departs leaving you wanting more.

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Photo of techdiver
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy burnt orange with a nice two finger head that dissipates slowly.

Malt and hops present a balanced aroma, with a touch of undetermined fruit.

Taste echoes the nose, a well balanced brew with the hops coming through in the finish.

Carbonation is excellent making it a pleasure to drink.

Drinkability is good too, considering the lower ABV with the great other qualities exhibited.

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Photo of frank4sail
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06 12 2006 (batch)
Big alcohol nose with some pale malt sweetness. Huge off-white head with big airy bubbles. Classic hazy pale ale look with lots og bubble action in the goblet (center). The rocky head and lace is lasting. This brew starts out on a good footing, because its look is almost flawless. The initial taste is one of smooth malt sweetness then strong warm alcohol notes leads your tongue to a bitter hop/fruit finish. The fruit most resembles bitter peach. Quite a complex and bold brew. Medium to full mouth with a nice creamy feel and coating left in the mouth. A truly crafted Belgian Ale!

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