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

Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
BA SCORE
87.5%
Liked This Beer
4.21 w/ 5,412 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
Ranking:
#961
Reviews:
2,349
Ratings:
5,412
Liked:
4,736
Avg:
4.21/5
pDev:
12.35%
Alströms:
4.92
 
 
Wants:
359
Gots:
924
Trade:
11
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,412 |  Reviews: 2,349
Photo of MiScusi
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12/27/08
Had for the second time, this time at Rosemary's Restaurant in Las Vegas. Beer was served in an Orval goblet. This time around I thought the smell and taste were even better. It just seemed a little more musty/earthy and rustic overall, which really gives this beer character.

___
1/5/08
Poured into a Chimay glass, pours a dark golden orange with a really big airy bright white head, almost resembling whipped egg whites. The aroma I get is only a mild brett sourness. The taste is very hard to describe. The flavor is light. There is a little bit of tartness, definitely some other Belgian yeast earthiness, and even some white wine-like alcohol taste. The mouthfeel is light, effervescent and finishes pretty dry.

Overall I think this is a nice, easy-drinking yet complex enough beer.
4.5/4/4/4.5/4

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Photo of mdunman
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Cloudy amber color with a thick off-white long lasting head.

S: Many lighter aromas take over, most notably some rose petals and a bit of background hops.

T: Starts out with a citrus sweetness that finishes with a rosy, slightly hoppy, dryness.

M: Light body loaded with carbonation that crisply moves throughout.

Refreshing beer that pleasantly hits every sense in every stage. Very enjoyable beer that works well in all seasons of the year and kept me wanting more. I would hurry back to get more of this.

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Photo of Bogie1966
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of Amalak
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%

I had an aged, three-year old version of this and it was so complex and delicious. Very smooth and yeasty. Earthy. A hint of tart.

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Photo of jhubeifc
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was the third of my Trappist tastings this week and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
It had a beautiful, thick and incredibly long lasting head. The color was a beautiful light brown/caramel, nice and cloudy.
It smelled hoppy and full of yeast, a definite sourdough bread.
It tasted of spice, grass and hops, with an pleasant even carbonation that made the beer feel like it was a blanket across ,y palate. A mild bitter dry finish.
I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and will certainly add it to my regular rotation whenever I am able to find it. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

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Photo of mjaskula
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 20/2/08, just over a year old. Also picked up an 07 to cellar.

Served in a pint glass. Pours a light, cloudy amber color with a thick rocky head that climbs the glass.

The aroma is very interesting, fresh, bright, and fruity and sweet. There's a strange quality to it that must be the brett. The taste is more of the same, a bit of a sour tartness to it, some grass flavors and some citrus. It's a bit over carbonated, but overall easy drinking.

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Photo of Globetrotter
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, we meet at last... Found this in a grocery store in a part of Moscow I don't usually frequent. Pounced on the opportunity, of course. Brown bowling pin like 33cl bottle with a small green and white neck label featuring a fish jumping behind the name, and "Trappist Ale" in five language. Ingredients comply with the purity law. Best before 9/24/04, I opened it on 2/15/04, in honor of my father's birthday.

The Russian import label calls this simply: "pale beer". My goodness, what an understatement! Pours a lovely cloudy deep gold with hints of amber under a fluffy white head that starts thick, but settles to substantial film. There are only some spots of lace on my glass, but I'm tempted to blame the glass. The nose is magnificent: Cotton candy and flowers, and lots more sensations I can't quite describe. Sorting all this complexity out is one major nasal challenge! The mouth is heavily carbonated and surprisingly light. The taste? Lord have mercy! Candy, sugar, spices, lemon peel, and a thousand other things to confront the tongue, jowels, palate and every other part of the mouth. Then, the hops emerge. Rare for a Belgian, this beer is very well hopped. Good crisp, flowery hops that dominate the finish and leave a very tart bitterness in the aftertaste. Oh, yeah, I'll have another.

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Photo of drtth
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 27 Dec., 2007. Chilled and poured into Duvel glass and allowed to warm before tasting. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: Deep dark golden orange color with a faint haziness. Very thick white fluffy/pillowy white head that takes a very long time to recede, leaving lacing and patches of foam around the glass

Smell: The immediate smell is of fresh fruits or flowers, with a hint of lemon. In the background there is a hint of a faint musty or leather character that I'm told becomes more pronounced with bottle age.

Taste: The flavors are initially slightly sweet, fruity, and crisp. The crisp dryness continues as other flavors come into play and remind me a bit of tart cider. One of the flavors that emerges midway through definitely reminds me of leather. The presence of hops is hard to detect except through their dry bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and crisp with prickly carbonation. The finish is long with a dry, lightly bitter character that begins midway and lasts until its is hard to say when it ends.

Drinkability: The operative word for this beer is "complexity." While the price might give me second thoughts I could drink more than one of these, but this is such a complex brew more than one might be excess. This is a beer one should revisit periodically both to increase one's appreciation and to refresh one's memory.

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Photo of jwc215
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best before Oct. 13, 2010 (exactly five years after bottling date, which is also listed).

Poured into an Orval chalice.

Pours cloudy orange with a thick, creamy off-white head that thins to a very well-retained rocky covering. Some lacing clings to the sides of the glass.

The smell is of lemon peel, tartness, and spicy sourdough.

The taste is unique and complex. Tart lemon, spiced dough and a wine-like vinegar are all present throughout. A sharp hop bitterness peeks through. Only slight hints of alcohol are present. The medicinal finish has a fresh, acidic character.

The feel is creamy and light. Somewhat drying. The body stays firm and the fresh feeling lingers on the tongue.

It's a wonderful sipping brew that I enjoy as an occassional treat. A true world classic!

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Photo of ttroha
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of Stavage
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into the correct Orval glassware, a nice slightly hazed orange amber colour with a big rocky frothy white head. Nice and thick, lasted long and left a decent lacing.

Smell was refreshing, you can tell you're in for a dry beer. Grassy, citrus, and a kind of sharp herbal scent.

Taste was very crisp, very dry, very refreshing yet complex. This is my first Belgian pale but I've had many an English and American Pale ale and I've never had one that manages to be this full of flavour AND have complexity AND be highly refreshing. Had a citric malt bite which eases into that refreshing grassiness whilst maintaining its sourness. Sour like sourdough tartness not like lemons. Just a good mix of very subtle citric fruitiness with grassy malty goodness. Ends in a sharp bitter hops high note which lingers leaving a nice dryness.

Mouthfeel is light, well carbonated, crisp and dry. And it may be too drinkable for it's own good. In a barbaric moment I could see myself slamming this down to quench a ferocious thirst. Which would be horrible considering the complexities in this brew. I really did have to hold myself back from drinking this too fast though.

Damn...this is hard to find here and expensive when I do see it...generally I prefer forking out for the darks and dubbels and tripels and quads. I'm content with Australian pale ales. But damn this was really really nice. Just wish it was more common and affordable.

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Photo of frothy_80
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Bottle Date 1/4/2015

Pours a nice orange copper hue. Huge white head with tight knit bubbles that is quite long lasting. The smell is of barnyard and wet hay. Fruit is plentiful with lemon, pear, and orange with a little earthy undertones. Taste is deep and complex with malt graininess, earth (almost an umami quality), grass/herbal and lemon peel rounding out the finish. Subtle funk washes throughout the taste. Good dry finish with a good amount of carbonation. Still feels fuller in body than what was anticipated with the amount of carbonation, but still on the lighter side. A very complex beer that makes you want to keep drinking to search for even more. Need more to age!

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Photo of asherchase
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of UA8
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a cloudy copper color with a huge 4 plus finger cream colored head.

S- Wet hay, mineral notes, smoke, and grassy earth. Reminds me a lot of a big Italian red wine.

T- Grassy earth, hay, leather. Reminiscent of Italian red wine.

M- Clingy, flavors linger, smooth carbonation.

D- This is quite the complex beer. There's a ton going on in the nose and palate. This is the type of beer that broadens your palate.

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Photo of Ngntjp
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of Drinkerofales
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A murky dark copper/brown beer that has some gold in the light. A fluffy vanilla ice cream colored head doesn't leave much lacing, covered the beer until the final sip.

Smell is Belgian yeast, and as it warms up, a rich fruity green apple scent.

Taste is different. A strangely strong, yet mellow tart bitter hop flavor builds until the middle, dry malt on the finish, and that Belgian yeast is present throughout.

Beer with a bite, lively, and very drinkable.

I am always looking for something different, and this flavor has it. I have yet to have something so strong, yet mellow and nice. A great beer I will enjoy and recommend.

DOA

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Photo of elniko
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into snifter

A: Rich amber color, huge head that stuck around and dissipated to half finger. Lots of lacing. Beautiful looking brew.

S: The first smell on the nose was of bananas. Very fruity and flowery nose. Very pleasant to smell and definitely whetted my appetite for tasting.

T & M: Taste goes with the smell for the most part. Definite hint of fruitiness. Lots of flavors that I can't quite put my finger on. Very slight sourness on the aftertaste.

D: This is definitely a drinkable beer. A little lighter than some other Trappist ales that I've had which would go towards having multiples in a sitting.

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Photo of markovlad
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-purred it from a bottle, rich tick foam, small bubbles, enjoyed it very much
S-smell is wonderful: fruity and spicy, it really gets to you when you open it and than you have big expectations.
T- light, fruity and spicy even sour, but it smells better than it tastes. No aftertaste. Weird.
M-sharp, spicy, bites you for tongue somewhere back,

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Photo of wordemupg
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into wine glass oct6 2010

A a gusher that's a very hazy brownish orange, very carbonated with a large soapy head that has great retention and leaves plenty of lace

S quite funky with spicy hops some yeast and a little booze

T again nice level of funk with a spicy complexity and some fruit I can't quite place, a fair bit going on here hard to wrap my head around

M medium bodied with almost too much carbonation, it turns too foam in your mouth, nothing unpleasant just very active

D very complex beer that leaves you thinking, before I figured it out my glass was empty

found this one in a hole in the wall liquor store in PEI, a little surprised I'd never reviewed this before I've had it several times. I like the funk and would recommend this to anyone, would love to try a vertical of this beer it seams different every time I try it

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Photo of WTKeene
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle dated 8/30/2012 into a snifter. Second time I've tried this, first was a drain pour. My tastes weren't as sophisticated when I last tried it, so I figured I'd try it again.

Appearance: Huge, persistent, thick creamy off-white head. Really persistent, this thing isn't going anywhere. Dark amber liquid, lots of lacing.

Smell: Lots of brett, a bit of sour, perhaps a bit of balsamic, some alcoholic heat in the nose too. This is beautiful.

Taste: Note: Don't lick up the head. It's bracingly bitter without any redeeming flavors. Actual Taste: Brett, a hint of lemon sour. The alcohol comes through a bit, but not overwhelming. Reminds me more of a saison than a Belgian Pale, probably because of the lightly sour brett. A barely bitter after taste, a crisp malt on the finish too. Much tastier than I remember it being. Head is still present halfway through drinking the beer, ridiculous.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy texture. Not a whole lot in the way of carbonation, this is very drinkable.

Overall: Much better than I remember. When I can't get any Saison Brett, I'll probably turn to this for my Brett fix.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330mL bottle into a Leffe chalice. Bottled 26/01/2010.

A - Solid two finger head of frothy, pillowy lucious beauty. Huge bubbles cling to the glass but it fades quickly. Still looks great though. Very effervescent, darkish amber, organgey colour with strong carbonation. A lovely beer.

S - Good amount of hops in the aroma. Smells yeasty too with what I can only assume is what Americans always call 'funk'. Smells what I would describe and fresh and lively with some citrus. The aroma is really complex and intriguing.

T - Woah. Funk is definately evident. Hops aren't as present as they are in the aroma. My entire mouth is working hard to figure this beer out. I now understand the funkiness described. There is some definate sweetness to it too.

M - Taste lingers for a LONG time and carbonation is obvious as it moves around in the mouth.

D - This baby is great. Really complex flavour with lower abv for a trappist brew.

The famous Orval! I've had t his a few times and never really took the time to appreciate it. I would have liked more hops but this has just the right amount of balance. Delicious!

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Photo of sirhc3034
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of Dandub33
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Atron67
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

just solid all around, another tasty beer from the trappist 'family' . very delicious. light pale ale character all around with a very delicious light brett character that leaves you thirsting for more after each sip. mildly hoopy but really just a balanced 'blonde' that has enough complexity in the malt and hops to really let the outstanding yeast and malt to shine.

definitely a staple of the belgian style all around.

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Photo of DPMomutant
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first Belgian from 'Old' Belgium as opposed to New Belgium, found at my 'fallback' package store when I don't have time to drive to the better one.

Body pours a cloudy orange. The last two inches are clearer than the rest. The head is absoutely HUGE, the glass barely contained it, who knows how the bottle did?

A heavy fruit smell to this brew. I haven't had wine much but it smells much like I would think a fine wine would. I could almost swear there are flowers in here too. The smell hints at more than the 6.9 ABV that's in here.

I'm giving this a few more minutes to warm a bit, will probably need it...the taste is like a dry wine but a very good one, as I am not usually a fan of dry wines.

The mouthfeel is not as active as I expected when I saw that huge head. As described in the taste, it does go down pretty dry but is smooth and warming as well. Would go with a cool winter night.

That said, while this one is plenty drinkable, it isn't in the way that you could have several of these. Would be good with dinner but then you'd want something darker.

This is my first in this style. It's good and I'd have it again but overall I may not pursue this style as much as others.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 87.5% out of 100 with 5,412 ratings
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