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

Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
BA SCORE
87.5%
Liked This Beer
4.21 w/ 5,413 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:
5,413
Liked:
4,737
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: 5,413 |  Reviews: 2,349
Photo of jbaker67
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dgilks
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy orange colour. White head with large bubbles dissapates quickly to a small island of head. Decent lacing.

S - Brett funk is very evident with a nice underlying fruit note. Possibly cherries and peaches. Very nice.

T - More bitter than most Trappist ales I've had with a subtle hoppiness. Plenty of Brett funk is evident and the peaches and cherries from the nose are evident. It is nice but could be a bit punchier.

M - Rich, slightly more than medium body. Below average carbonation. This is very nice and silky.

D - Very drinkable.

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Photo of asabreed
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33 cl. bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Light brown color, with huge champagne-like bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Huge head like ice cream that forms craters inside the glass as it dissipates, and huge clumps of lacing stick crazily.

Smell: Malt and and candy sugar, some peppery spice, citrus zest, flowers, big Belgian yeast, vinegar, fruitiness, and vanilla. Lots of stuff going on, and it gets better, of course, as it warms.

Taste: Not as balanced as I wanted it to be. The bitterness seems to be at the forefront way too much. It's yeasty, spicy, a bit fruity, but by the end it remains pretty hoppy or bitter for some reason. How much hops could be used here? Kind of weird to me in a way. But as it warms the complexity shows itself, as it gets moderately sweeter and fruity and lingers on the tongue. I just wish some of the aromas came out more in the taste better.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy, moderately medium in body, with a nice carbonation punch toward the end of the swallow to balance everything out.

Drinkability: I guess maybe I expected much more, considering it's a Trappist, and also that it's around $5 a bottle. Still really good, but I don't know if I'm going to be in a huge hurry to buy it again. Give it a shot, though. I'm glad I finally got to try it.

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Photo of Jon
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Orval's appearance is one of the most outstanding I've seen. Pours a deep apricot-colored liquid with a commanding, bubbly white head. Head retention is ridiculously good. Nose is of various fruit, brettanomyces yeast, and substantial clove. Taste is rather sour and dry, but not overly so. The acidic yet well-carbonated mouthfeel is appropriate. Drinkability is fairly strong for a challenging brew like this. Orval is certainly a unique Trappist ale, and one whose attention is well-deserved.

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Photo of TheDTrain
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this one at Sendiks in Wauwatosa. Bottled on 3-5-10. Poured into a tulip.

This is my second attempt at Trappist Orval. This one MUST be drank at room temp. I made the mistake the first time. With all the action-packed foam, the light orange Belgian Pale ale took 20 minutes just to pour! Crisp uplifting aroma of earthy tones, orange, lemon.. Taste is mild yeast with citrus and mikd funk which is a bit challenging to the tastebuds. Very dry champagne-like finish.

Excellent high quality brew. To be consumed slowly and enjoy!

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Photo of wescj
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a chalice.

Looks great. Deep orange and quite cloudy, with a thick and rocky white head. Man, I love big, billowing heads with good retention.

Smells fresh, grassy, a bit citrusy.

Tastes very refreshing, featuring the same notes as the nose along with a good mustyness. A bit light, which fits perfectly with the grassy notes. Good 'n hoppy.

Great mouthfeel, not too light for the style. Everything about this beer comes together very well. My only complaint is the price, but that's not a factor in this review.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Amber Orange color with HUGE fluffy white head. Complex smell, cherry/Orange alka seltzer, pez candy. Taste is floral, a bit dry, layered and complex, boozy for its abv. Interesting brew

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Photo of dbtoe
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bowling pin bottle into a Duvel tulip

Looks good, a light brown color with a very active white head.
Smell is pretty faint, a little yeast and some lemon.
Taste a lot going on here. Very complex a little sour, bitter and something I can't put my finger on. Every drink I pick up something a little different and all drinks finish with a very slight grapefruit bite.
Feel all that carbonation is wonderful and every drink is smooth and finishes clean.
Drink I could drink a lot of these and often.
Comment I liked Orval a lot. It is a very unique beer that is full of surprises.

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Photo of mntlover
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful hazy dark peach color some bubbles rising to feed a creamy fluffy massive head restin on top of this baby. Looks oh so tasty.

Aroma is fruity pear, grapes, tangerines and bananas mixed with spice on a bready malt background, soothing soft aroma.

Taste is wow big not soft like the smell. Lots of carbonation from the start gives the malt and fruit a kick in the pants so to speak. Nice and fruity malt finishes with some good peppery spice, clove and some herbal hops lend some bitterness and the yeast add some earthy dirt like flavors in the finish also. This is a nice Belgian Pale Ale one of the better ones that I have had.

Mouthfeel is good almost medium, almost creamy, the nice zesty carbonation gives the flavors an added boost.

Drinkability is good enjoyed this one more then normal.

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Photo of psuKinger
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into my Chimay chalice. This will be my first experience with Orval.

A: Pours a hazy orange color, darker than most Belgian Pales I've personallyu come across, with a huge (2+ finger) lively white head on top. 4.5

S: Yeasty, spicy, and lemon-zest shine through. 4.0.

T: Smooth at first, with notes of yeast and earthiness. Hops add some bitterness in the middle, and the taste finishes with a lingering lemon-zest that accompanies the hops nicely.

This is particularly well-balanced. Not quite as *bright* as Bruery Mischief with it's hops, but has a stronger earthy/lemony presence throughout. 4.5

M: Light and smooth, with lively carbonation levels. The finish? It almost disappears, leaving just a hint of earth and lemon zest on the tongue. Rather pleasing. 4.0

D/O: I can see why this beer gets such good reviews. It's very well balanced, full of flavor, and easy to enjoy. It didn't hold up quite as well as I would have hoped as it warmed, but I could follow this up with another and be happy. I will be repeating. 4.5

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Photo of ppoitras
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from a beer exchange with a friend at the holidays.

Poured into a Rapscallion tulip glass, barely got the whole bottle in with a 2"+ head that snow-coned over the top of the glass. The head is thick and foamy, sort of looks like that foam you see at the ocean when a big storm is coming, or at the edge of a fast moving stream. Anyways, to continue on, the aroma is somewhat effervescent and fruity, raspberry, perhaps? Lacing over the honey hued brew is incredible as the head begins to join it's liquid brethren. Slightly sour flavor where the fruits come into play, and then rounds out a bit with the malt and slight alochol warming. An interesting Belgian, as most are.

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Photo of pijiu
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell: Heavy citrus, hint of coffee, molasses.

Taste: Dense flavour with a taste that is darker than its colour would suggest. Dark cider backbone. Has a bitter cut throughout. Healthy white head.

Notes of citrus, medicine and spice. Tart, dry and easily drinkable.

Serving type: 11.2 fl. oz. brown bottle.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 10/03/2011 and best by 10/03/2016.

A: Slightly hazy golden amber in color with a two finger tall foamy white head. This beer exhibited excellent head retention properties and significant lacing is observed.

S: Aromas of green apples, lemon zest, barnyard funk, and spices/pepper. Quite complex and enticing.

T: Flavors of green apple with some brown sugar sweetness, followed by lemon zest and spices/pepper, and finish with a pleasant bitterness. A little of the funk is present as well and the flavors are complex.

M: Medium bodied with moderation to high amounts of carbonation. Mild acidity is present and the beer is crisp.

O: Great beer - a very well done Trappist beer. I'm really glad this is available at the local bottleshop because I have and will continue to enjoy this beer. Nice complexity in the aroma and flavors.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a cloudy apricot color with a meringue-like head that stayed for quite a while. Lacing was plentiful and thick.

Aroma of citrus, bananas, Belgian yeast, and pepper.

Tastes of citrus, bananas, malts, and peppery tartness. Steers away from the over-sweetness of many Belgian pales and gives you an explosion of flavors.

Medium mouthfeel, very drying, with a nice sharp carbonation.

This is a top-of-the-line Belgian pale. Enjoy.

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Photo of Asgeirr
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orval Trappists pours a amber-to-ochre colour along with a massive cream white crown which diminishes quite slowly and leaves plenty of lacing on the side.

Smell: Sweet and flowery, like a peach bubble-gum on a virgins butt. Some yeast can be hinted in the background.

Taste: Yeasty fruitiness along with a sour finish, greatly mellifluous to the smell.

Mouthfeel: Medium full and rather rough to the palate, the carbonation brings a fresh sensation, without being blatantly upfront.

Drinkability: I surely enjoyed this one, and it deserves recommendation due to the flavour-to-scent resonance and overall high character- On a side note worth mentioning is the fact that it's very similar to a Biere de Garde, (or is it vice versa?)

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Photo of Estarrio
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured semi-translucent copper brown with slightly red tones. Big, slightly off-white long lasting head. Frothy chunks of foam seemed to last indefinitely on the sides of the glass.

Smells of flowers, pine, sweet fruit and esters.

Medium/light bodied, fizzy and very drinkable.

Very slight warmth from a subtle hint of alcohol. The pungent, earthy hop taste is immediately balanced by a hint of sweet malt. The hops are strong but not overpowering or lingering.

This is an excellent beer.

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Photo of jmasher85
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

God, I hope to G-d I got a bad bottle of this one. It's really well rated, but neither I nor the rest of my Beer Club were particularly impressed. Again, could have been the bottle, and I'll have to try another soon to compare, but of all the Trappist Beers we sampled during our meeting that night (almost all of them), this was one of the worst.

To be fair, it probably had the most interesting and dynamic flavor profile. Stone fruits on the nose, mainly peach and apricot, but kinda moldy smelling. The taste wasn't much different. A lot of slightly rotton and fermented fruit smells in this one. Most peculiar was the metallic aftertaste that only hits you about 5 seconds after you swallow. So bonus points for being a strange and confusing beer that kept us all guessing, but negative points for being a little too odd and possibly off. I may have to revisit this one with a fresher bottle.

EDIT: Okay, that first bottle was clearly a bad one, so my reivew has been updated today after trying this beer again or Orval Day, 3/25/17. To start off, big bubbles, medium body, and an almost crunchy foamy head. Basically, this beer comes off as a combination between a wheat saison and a Belgian blonde. The yeast plays a big part, giving off a lightly horse blanket Brettanomyces scent, with just a touch of lemony, grassy hops. The flavor is milder, but equally delightful with hefeweizen-like aromatic spice and slightly sweet grainy malt flavor, which soon gives way to a dry, champagne-like finish. I wish the dry-hopping had more of an impact, considering how fresh this beer is, but all else in mind, this is a beer worthy of its classic status.

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Photo of flexabull
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I can't believe I have never reviewed this. I am not even sure if I have ever even had this!

Pours a bright hazy gold color with a huge rocky white head.

Aromas are of light brett funk, some vinegar, spices, and orange citrus.

Taste is light on the mouth, but quite flavorful. Some very slightly sweet creamy malts, dusty, flour, dough, and light funk. Finish is smooth, with some crispness, a dry feel, lemon zest and light mineral hops.

Mouthfeel is kind of thin, and a little watery. Not bad though.

Drinkability is really good. Very complex and tasty Belgian Pale. I could drink a few of these, but the price is a little steep for a small bottle.

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Photo of Warren2621
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Child_Pugh
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Buck89
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My bottle was packaged on 3/12/15. Poured into a snifter. a fiery amber-orange with a faint haze. A voluminous and somewhat coarse light tan head that lingered, then slowly receded with delicate tracks. The nose had pineapple, lemon, yeast and floral estery notes. The taste was not surprisingly complex, with a grapefruit bitterness out of the gate followed by a funky barnyard sensation. This then morphed into herbal/floral flavors followed by a return of a lemony/citrus bitterness and a faint spice. Dry, phenolic finish. Medium-bodied. I liked it better as it warmed slightly - could drink this all day. Would love to get more and compare as it ages.

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Photo of Boone757
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GClarkage
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/31/05- Purchased at Weimax Liquors in Burlingame, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz funky and cool shaped bottle. Bottled on and best by date on the neck of the label. Poured into my Duchesse chalice.

Appearance- Golden in color with a cloudy haze. Larger spritzy off white, maybe yellow in color looking full 3/4 inch head. Great lacing left behind as I drink the last drop in the glass.

Smell- Lots of sweet and sour spices with a barnyard type scent. A tad musky. Maybe some citrus notes such as lemon rind noted.

Taste- More sour than sweet. A really hefty amount of citrus with lemon rind being the foremost. White pepper and other spices fill the void with some powdered sugar to round out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Well carbonated...very Duvel-esque. Almost like a kind of champagne. Very puckering and drying.

Drinkability- Because of the carbonation level it's a tad less drinkable for me, but not because the flavor was bad. Orval brings back nice memories as it was the first Belgian beer I ever had back in 2002. I remember liking it then, but I don't remember it tasting like this. Guess my pallete has really grown from 3 years ago.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this world class ale into my recently acquired tulip glass.

A - Pours a murky caramel colour with two solid fingers of big bubbled off-white head, solid retention and some nice chunky lacing.

S - Quite sweet with some dark fruit notes, touch of booze, caramel and toffee, bananas and cloves.

T - Unique flavours indeed, surprisingly peppery with some sour citrus notes and earthy hops. The caramel notes come through on the finish alongside some bready flavours. A quality Belgian infused pale ale indeed.

M - Quite light, with big bubbles exploding on the tongue, goes down smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness.

O - Overall a very tasty Belgian Pale ale and certainly a quality example of the style. I can understand why this is so highly rated. Some unique flavours and certainly worth a try.

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Photo of dsprainman
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First review here, so bear with me.
Bottled 29/3/11
Poured into a Chardonnay glass
A- 1-2 fingers off-white head with an amazing opaque amber body. The body truly catches the light of the room and shows a lighter amber and darker orange hue.
S- Scents of pears and light hoppyness give this beer a rather refreshing nose.
T- Flavors of light pears and mild hops give this beer a refreshing taste. Taste follows the nose very well.
M- This is what truly sets this beer apart from many other Belgian offerings. An almost Champagne like effervescence takes the delicate taste to the next level.
O- A great, refreshing summer sipper, with petite nuances that Trappist's are known for. Also, at 6.2% ABV, this one can be enjoyed without quite as much caution as some of the other Belgian heavy hitters. Defiantly a good choice, that I would buy again.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 87.5% out of 100 with 5,413 ratings
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