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

5,377 Ratings
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A.

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

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Ratings: 5,377 |  Reviews: 2,342
Photo of NorthCoastPranqster
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of beveritt
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from the classically shaped 11.2 oz Orval bottle into a Duvel tulip. Bottle clearly states Bottled On: 05/06/2008 and Best Before: 05/06/2013A. Not sure what the A is for, but come on. How hard is it to put this stuff on labels? Thank you Orval.

Appearance: Pours with an amazingly dense 4 fingered head of nearly white foam. This settles very slowly and hardly at all, still retaining most of its original height. Where it has dropped, the lacing is thick and sticky. Amazing. The beer itself is cloudy and orange.

Smell: Fairly forward hop aroma, with hints of oranges and cloves. Citrus aromas become more prevalent as the drink warms.

Taste: Mild spicy, piney hops upfront. Hop bitterness lingers well after each sip. Very bready/yeasty flavor. Slight sourness as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Higher than average carbonation level. Body is good.

Drinkability: Well, what can I say? Supposedly the classic example of the style, and while it displayed numerous subtle flavors, they were just too subtle for my taste. I can appreciate it for what it represents, but can't see myself hitting it up again.

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Photo of souvenirs
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle, bottled 06/01/2016, purchased at Broadway Liquor Store.

A: Cloudy amber with lots of fluffy head.
S: Funky. I'm also picking up that familiar banana / bubble gum combo and maybe a little bit of cloves.
T: A bit tart and bitter. Boozy finish.
F: Fizzy.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Orval chalice. Foams out of the bottle a bit on opening. Pours a hazy coppery amber with a three finger off-white head with good retention and lots of pillowy lacing. Aroma of citrus, green apple, Bretty yeast, vanilla; floral. Flavor is semi-dry, light apple family fruit, light stone fruit, mild citrus, vanilla, Brett style wild yeast funk, Finishes with fleeting fruit and fruit dessert flavors dominated by the wild yeast funk and bitterness; lightly tart and earthy. Medium bodied with sharp, peppery carbonation. A very distinctive Belgian pale ale with a unique wild yeast component. I did not like this when I first tried it many years ago, but now having grown to enjoy saison yeasts and a light touch of wild yeast, I can see its appeal. Although the flavor is dominated by the funky yeast, there are a lot of interesting light and subtle fruit and spice flavors in the background. A bit too dry and funky to be a frequent choice, it was a pleasure drinking this again and understanding why it is a classic.

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Photo of akolb
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of daythree16
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a little goblet. Pours a cloudy golden color with lots of head.

Smells very spicy with touch of that Belgian yeasty goodness. Tastes like it smells. A little piney with a phenolic aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is very light, and almost reminiscent of a hefeweizen. It's not my the best tasting or my favorite Trappist, but it may be the lightest and easiest to drink.

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Photo of brewtus
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. I've always passed this up due to its easy avilablitity.
A- woah pours with a huge fluffy white head, orange and pretty clear.
S- I get banana, sweet, bready, funk, hay,
T- nice and hoppy, dry, champaign like taste, straw, some citrus fruit, some funk
M- pretty carbonated
O- very good, I expected a lot more of the traditional coriander and banana. It is a very good, glad I finally tried it

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Photo of superdedooperboy
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the ubiquitous 11.2 oz. bowling pin-shaped Orval bottle into a goblet. Bottled on 09/07/2008, with a Best Before date five years from bottling.

Pours a deep, hazy amber hue, giving rise to a humongous light tan head that fills half the vessel. The foam settles very slowly to a thick half-finger that sticks around for the remainder of the drink, leaving thick, broken sheets of lace behind on the walls of the glass.

A very earthy aroma fills the nose, with lemon zest combining with spicy yeast notes, damp earth and a slight mustiness.

A rather light, effervescent body holds within it a mildly spicy brew with a thick underlying base of toasted biscuit. Hops mingle with the yeasty spiciness, keeping in check what little malty sweetness is present. The finish is very dry, with a bit of a grassy aftertaste that lingers.

Nice, refreshing, highly distinctive and absolutely gorgeous to look at, this is one Trappist ale that is well worth its lofty praise and honorable status. Watch out for the 6.9% ABV, though, as it can sneak up just as easily as the beer goes down.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bottle into a tasting glass. Served cool.

A-raspberry blonde body and a very, very thick white head

S-berry and horse blanket smell...roasted chestnut?

T-berry, fruit stone, celery

M-dry, light-medium and very highly carbonated.

D-okay at best. Unique for sure. Probably a good food pairing beer but not one I might go to first.

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Photo of iRun2Beer
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a c.oudy burnt orange with a large three-finger foamy white head. The head dissapates quickly leaving tons of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is green apple, white grape, pear, and brett.

T - The taste follows the aroma. Pear, white grape, green apple, spices, and lots of brett funkiness.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation. The mouthfeel is very crisp with a dry finish.

O - A classic trappist ale.

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Photo of Buschyfor3
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle served into my Tripel Karmeleit tulip

A: Golden-orange body... slightly hazy but with a lot of shimmering highlights; HUGE rocky whipped head - 3 fingers thick on the initial pour. Sticky lacing leaves littles patterns like clouds along the insides of the glass

S: Kind of sharp at first - a bit of bitterness (from the hops perhaps?) and a funky barnyard kind of smell; getting peppery notes and a medicinal kind of scent; there is also a faint, sweet floral-like note that comes through occasionally, though its harder to pick up this note amongst the medicinal note and the bit of funk (I think those scents are getting stronger as the beer warms)

T: Very interesting and hard to describe - getting light fruit notes (pear), a touch of citrusy lemon, and alot of grassy flavors; a bit of funk that I really dont know how to describe. Some residual hop like bitterness on the finish that dries out very quickly and leaves a grainy/bready note competing with some peppery flavors.

M: Very fine carbonation - a lot of tingly little bubbles across the palate; lends a nice crispness to this beer

D: 6.9% ABV and this is a treat to drink; alcohol is present but the flavors (the peppery notes and the barnyard funk) meld well to disguise its sting.

An enjoyable Belgian Pale Ale. Heard a lot of good things about this beer and its readily available around me but I never tried it until now. Glad I did. Another solid Belgian... and the strong/pale ale styles are really starting to grow on me thanks to beers like this.

 1,537 characters

Photo of jonb5
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, poured into Leffe chalice. Dark brown colour, cloudy, 2 finger head. Had strong phenol smell, even got some hubba bubba. First mouthfull was very sweet but the bitterness increased with every sip. Tasted of roasted malts, some charcol. This beer didn't taste like other belgian beers I've sampled, I thought it was more like an ESB. Overall, looked like a hefeweizen, tasted like an english strong ale and smelled unlike any beer i've ever had. I bought a 4 pack and will lay down at least two before drinking again.

 530 characters

Photo of dbauer
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PEIBeerGuy
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After seeing the reviews on here, I think I was expecting more than I got. It's a good beer, but it didn't wow me.

Well, the head wowed me. As soon as I popped the cap, it foamed out of the bottle a bit, and I had to pour it in stages. So much head! A very firm, light, creamy head, like beaten egg whites. It does die down, but it takes a few moments. The colour is great. A nice, foggy amber / orange-brown.

Smell is good... pick up some citrus in there... maybe orange or even a little grapefruit... apple. Hint of spice.

The taste is akin to the smell. It's very understated & mellow. I like that, but at the same time, I was hoping for something a bit more distinct.

In the mouth, it's good. Carbonated just enough, smooth and creamy... dry finish.

For a Trappist ale, quite drinkable. It wouldn't be hard to put a few of these away if they were cheaper.

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Photo of donspublic
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Going to keep it under 150, looking for one older than 1 year that has more personality

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Photo of Pro_Magnon
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of ryanobeirne
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Super high carbonation! I'm assuming that is due to the bottle conditioning. I actually have two pours from this bottle. The first is a quick pour into a pint glass that fills the glass but is about 80% foam. The head is bubbly and dense but only lasting about two minutes or so. The second pour is much slower and into a goblet with almost no head. The color is a bright golden color with a slight pale amber haze. Looks very delicious.

S - Smells slightly sour with a sweet undertone. I can almost feel the carbonation in my nose.

T - This beer is mostly about the malt, I think, the hops having a secondary role. The sourness doesn't come through as much in the taste as it does in the smell. The flavor has a bit of a sharpness to it, much like a sharp cheddar cheese, although it's definitely not cheesy. This beer is very complex and inviting, yet it still seems like something is missing. I don't know what's missing, but I think the monks are on to something over there at Orval!

M - Very carbonated, very tingly on the tongue. Even the last sip gets a bit of buzz from the bubbles. Incredibly smooth and almost creamy without being heavy.

D - Very drinkable: I don't want this beer to end! But, alas, it does, and I am left wanting more! I'll be sure to revisit this one in the future.

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Photo of madelf66
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Ian_B
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of jera1350
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy deep golden brownish orange color with massive pale tan head of sudsyness. Lots of active carbonation moving about. Nice amount of lace on the glass. Halfway through the beer and there is still a tight, one-finger head hanging around.

Sweet, fruity and spicy smelling. Some yeast and a hard to describe except spiced up hop scent. Similar to a fruit scented soap or perfume.

Complex and boozy fruit. Apple cider, citrus zest, champagne, green tea and moderate hoppiness, but lacking in much sweetness. Very unique.

About medium bodied. Some harshness in the carbonation that gets better as it warms up. Nice and smooth on the palate with an extremely dry finish.

Nice drinkability. Probably the best BPA I've had, but not a beer I will rush out to have again.

 788 characters

Photo of BierReise
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is unlike any other beer I've ever had in my 17+ years of enjoying fine craft beer. The head on this beer is unbelievable. I poured this beer in it's dedicated Orval glass and drank it slowly which lasted about 20-30 minutes. The head stayed at a peak the entire duration and even after the last sip, it was still hanging on to the side of the chalice for it's dear life. The flavor was so unique and complex that it will most likely require several additional samplings to accurately define what I'm sensing. Burnt sugar, stale fruit, earthy malty taste. I don't know, perhaps my palate doesn't possess the sophistication for this one. What I do know is that It was a most enjoyable if not a religious experience and I look forward to the next. Hmmm, beer as a religion. What a concept.

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Photo of mikecharley
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light, murky, amberish straw color. Huge pillowey, craggy head stays for well over 2 minutes. This looks amazing. The head actually sticks out well over the edge of the glass, but doesnt run over. Leaves a really nice lacing on the way down too. Lovely looking brew.

Nose is musty, malty, spicy. These are the main components, in this order. there is some slight bittering hops, but not much.

The taste is wonderful. Lots of spice. Some underlying hops. All this with a background of musty, funky yeast. Freakin fantastic.

Light airy carbo. Very soft in the mouth. Really nice

This is the best example of the style I've ever had. Hands down. This is also a style I typically do not like.

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Photo of divineaudio
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle into a snifter. bottled on 7/29/2009.

color is a hazy orange to amber shade and the head is outta control! a gentle pour gave me three fingers of thick, tan foam that calms to a pinky's worth and hangs around for quite a while. leaves big, cloud like puffs of sticky lace all over the glass too.

smells of banana with hints of clove, apple and a maybe a little freshly baked bread. taste is mostly toasted malts with a lot of spiciness and herbal hop bitterness. i can also just barely make out pale malts and some fruity notes. finish is long and a little malt sweetness comes back after the bitterness fades.

medium bodied with a lot of carbonation. feels oddly heavy in the stomach after drinking, i'm guessing from the co2.

very drinkable and very true to style, but i'd prefer a dubble or trippel over the pales. certainly worth seeking out, but given it's high import price, i probably won't be buying too many of these.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden-brown with lots of foam. Yeasty.

Smell: Tons of pepper and dark fruit. Very yeast too and surprisinly sweet.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Tastes mostly of pepper and yeast. Mouthfeel is not nearly as full-bodied as I'd like and I wish there was more complexity in the flavor.

Overall Drinkability: It's very rare that I find a beer disappointing but still think it's one of the better beers out there. This is worth a go.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,377 ratings.
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