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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
5,379 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:
5,379
Reviews:
2,343
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
359
Gots:
905
For Trade:
11
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,379 |  Reviews: 2,343
Photo of ttroha
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Stavage
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

 1,437 characters

Photo of frothy_80
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
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!

 682 characters

Photo of asherchase
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of UA8
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

 421 characters

Photo of Ngntjp
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Drinkerofales
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
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

 641 characters

Photo of elniko
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

 632 characters

Photo of markovlad
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
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,

 344 characters

Photo of wordemupg
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
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

 867 characters

Photo of WTKeene
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

 1,131 characters

Photo of bylerteck
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
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!

 1,113 characters

Photo of sirhc3034
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Dandub33
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Atron67
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

 423 characters

Photo of DPMomutant
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

 1,208 characters

Photo of bird_soul
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of meatmallet
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazy amber colored beer with one of the best heads around. Tons of lace and an amazing stream of carbonation rising from the bottom of the galss.

Smell: A very powerful smell that really stands out. Sweet and full of spice with notes of orange and lemon.

Taste: Tastes like it smells with lemon being the dominating flavor and spice. Bread and hopps and a slight banana taste also make an appearance but they are not as dominant as the lemon and spice.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Carbonation is great and the bitter aftertaste eases up as you drink it. Very crisp finish.

 584 characters

Photo of plfahey
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle (bottled 7/10/10) poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Vigorous carbonation bursts forth from the bottle-Beer is golden orange with a giant rocky head of off-white foam. Head retention is decent. Also moderately clear, but there seems to be a the slightest cast of haze.

Aroma-Holy god that smells good. Big Belgian yeast character with some notable Brett character as well. Spicy, slightly clove like phenolics, lemon peel, hay, horse blanket, and grassy/spicy hops. There is also some acidic tartness, and a faint mustiness. Malt is just slightly bready, and on the back end, the brett is a little bit floral.

Flavor-Slightly fruity/citrusy (lemon) up front before being dried out by high attenuation and moderate hop bitterness. Hop flavor is grassy/spicy, and there is a distinct lemon-drop tartness that carries through the entire flavor. Brett character is less pronounced than in aroma, but still contributes some slight hay and barnyard flavors. Aftertaste smacks of herbal hops, lemon peel, and Brett.

Mouthfeel-Medium body with very high, effervescent carbonation. Awesome tongue scrubbing action.

This is always an exciting beer, as I feel like every time i've ever had it, it's slightly different. This particular bottle was not quite as delicious as some that I've had (though still quite tasty), but smelled like heaven. A fantastic Belgian brew, endlessly intriguing and complex, and a favorite, for sure.

 1,443 characters

Photo of werehereforthebeer
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful golden Amber with good frothy head which slowly dissipitates. Smells are subtle. Black cherry, honey sweetness, and a spicy zing. A definite malty sweetness comes through at the back of the tongue. A very well balanced, yet highly carbonated beer leaves a dry mouthfeel. Fab!

 295 characters

Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a perfectly transparent copper-orange. Thick three-finger head supported by a rush of carbonation.

Smells of hard candies with just a hint of dusty yeast. Dried apricots and other fruity notes. I can't exactly pick them out, but it gives a sense of subdued or understated sweetness.

The taste carries a zesty orange peel/ tart bitterness of green apple. The big malty grain flavors balance nicely against the acidic fruity qualities. The nearly 7% alcohol is nearly undetectable, and makes the brew all the more pleasant, if not deceitful.

The Orval has a spot on middle of the road medium body, just right IMO and really compliments the gentle tastes. Carbonation is certainly vigorous, but just feels "right" with this particular beer.

Overall, the Orval is superbly drinkable, and only the price could stop me from consuming several in a night.

 858 characters

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2 year aged, a lot of Horse blanket in the smell. Very dry, smooth and tasty. Going to buy a few more to age longer.

118 characters

Photo of cuvtcuv
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Markken
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip, aged 6 months.

The pour took a while because it was all foam. Once this subsided, the beer had had some nice lacing and a beautiful brown, murkey appearance.

I spent more time smelling this beer than I did drinking it. Sour cherries, oranges and "funk" come from the yeast, and the hops give grapefruit rind and a grassy scent.

This has some hints of sourness. Very well balanced with the same fruity notes mentioned above. With age I bet this is exceptional.

This had a pretty good mouthfeel, but was a little undercarbonated (given the huge head).

 575 characters

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,379 ratings.
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