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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
5,360 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:
5,360
Reviews:
2,335
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
358
Gots:
900
For Trade:
11
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,360 |  Reviews: 2,335
Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of trbergman
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance - The beer pours a hazy golden orange with three fingers of pillowy off-white head. The head recedes to about one finger but leaves spectacular lacing on the way down.

Smell - Belgian yeast, bubblegum, with earthy undertones.

Taste - At first very dry and somewhat bitter, the beer opens up and improves on warming. The palate is quite earthy, with other flavors I had trouble describing at first, but would call hay, apple, and pear. The finish is dry with grassy, herbal hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Highly carbonated, this beer dances on the tongue and has a full, round body.

Drinkability - Good. Alcohol is hidden better than other beers of similar strength. A pleasure to drink - I could have two or three.

 768 characters

Photo of Brewery_Decimal_System
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of StuMonkey
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Omniwar
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PUbeer
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dbossman
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A very murky orange/amber color with a thick fast-forming head with pretty good retention; good lacing

S: a nice banana/yeasty smell upfront; the alcohol is fairly evident but there is a fruity/citrusy smell as well

T: the banana flavors still persist; there is a nice fruity and slightly sour quality that is present as well; the alcohol is well masked--more so than in the scent

F: Creamy in the front; it does dissipate rather quickly

D: This is a very drinkable Belgian; it goes down easily but also can be sipped on for quite a while. My kind of beer.

 563 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle poured into a goblet. Fresh bottle. Bottled 10/3/2011.

Appearance - Frothy white head atop a hazy and even murky deep golden body. Everlasting retention and some sticky lacing down the glass.

Smell - Floral, fruity, slightly yeasty. Hoppy as well, but not a ton. Really fresh and bright flavor. Not as funky as I would have expected, but it's there.

Taste - Not quite as bright as the aroma, but nice. Hops are significantly more dominant and they drown out the fruitiness. It's got a lot of bretty flavors to it, also. I like those, but miss the fruit brightness. Strong bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Extremely dry. I find that it accentuates the bitterness too much. Still, light and refreshing.

Overall - Very fascinating beer. I have two. One to age and one to drink now. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes of the other bottle.

 864 characters

Photo of Orrshow
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – The look of Orval is great. It pours a cloudy deep orange into my Orval glass and produces a phenomenal amount of whitish meringue head. The head has good staying power and leaves lots of lacing.

Smell – The first aromas I get from this beer are those of apple and coriander. There is some citrus for sure with lemon and orange coming to mind first. There seems to by a slight sweetness with a little pepper as well. Very nice and strong.

Taste – The flavor of this beer is a little different than I expected after smelling it. It has a reasonable amount of citrus but also some sourness. I can detect a little yeast and some spiciness as well. There is a little melon too. There is a slight sweet hay flavor as well as I get to the end of the beer.

Mouthfeel – The body is decent. It feels a little oily and thin. The carbonation is high but doesn’t make itself known as much as it could.

Drinkability – Orval is easy to drink in every way. I preferred savoring this though.

A fairly complex and interesting beer. It have always enjoyed Orval and would never turn one down.

 1,109 characters

Photo of bmurray10
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Trapiste389
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orval is the real king of beers. Nothing in the world even comes close.

Appearance: A monstrous, rocky and vigorous head full of lace sits atop a beautiful pale straw beer.

Smell: Immediately a powerful hop aroma forces it's way into your nostrils. There is very little malt, just enough for you to know it's there.

Taste: In a word: epic! Like the aroma there is very little malt flavor and you are instantly confronted with the powerful flavor brought on by dry hoping. Very dry, with an extremely pleasant herbal aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Rich and satisfying but not so heavy that it knocks your head back. An excellent medium bodied ale.

Drinkability: Here lies the only problem: you cannot drink this beer all the time. It is powerful and moody and is not a weak beer, so be careful.

As far as I am concerned this the ultimate beer experience, it is a pale ale that is both crisp and moody. as I said before there is no beverage an earth like it.

 954 characters

Photo of goldbot
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 13 Nov. 2008. Best by 13 Nov. 2010.

Pale copper with loads of silky white head. Tons of carbonation; nice clarity and great head retention.

Aroma has plenty of Belgian yeast spice notes, some clove and definitely spicy coriander. Lemony citrus aromas and some other fruity notes. Underlying this is a definite nice earthy funk aroma.

More spicy yeast notes, the definitive Belgian trappist flavor. Paired with very musty, earthy and funky Brett notes. The flavor is brightened nicely with a lemony acidity.

Crisp and well carbonated, silky. The earthy Brett characteristics make for a very heavy body that is somewhat fatiguing to the palate.

A lovely brew all around. Great yeast and spicy notes; and the Brett pairs quite nicely with the brighter acidic and fruity notes.

 789 characters

Photo of BeerSox
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml tapered thin-neck bottle into snifter. Bottled on November 14, 2006. Best by November 14, 2011.

Slightly hazy honey hue with an off white thick bubbly head that slowly settles to a thin cap, leaving plenty of lacing behind. The lacing continues to build with each sip.

Light pale malts along with a distinctive spicy aroma that I haven't smelled in other Belgian Pale Ales.

Cracker like malts are the dominant characteristic, with very few of the estery characteristics normally found. A creaminess sneaks in behind the light spice. Mild fruit flavors are spread across the entire experience. The finish is grainy with a little spice.

The first time I had this brew it seemed like I was drinking battery acid. The bottle must have been infected or poorly handled. This time around it was a much better experience. This BPA is a little more malt oriented than others, with esters being only a light addition to the background. The fruity esters are kicked up a notch with the addition of the yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Recommended.

 1,067 characters

Photo of rlee1390
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Cloudy blood orange, one finger fluffy white head.

S-Wheat, orange, slight clove and banana.

T-Clove, banana, wheat, orange and grass. Started off bland-ish but then started to grow on me.

M-Light, highly carbonated, smooth and dry.

O-It was good beer, I'll have to try it again sometime but did not blow me away.

 320 characters

Photo of BdM
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of NeoClassicist
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of irishguybeer86
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of JimBerry
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ThirdCoast
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving Type: 11.2 floz Bottle

A:Murky Orange color with a nice head with plenty of lace.

S:Oranges, lemons, citrus.

T: Sharp taste, hard to pinpoint....Earthy

M:Stings the tounge, much like a cola.

D:Overall a good drinkable beer. Great for a summer afternoon.

 277 characters

Photo of CrazyP
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle with a bottled on date of 5/20/2011, and drank on 1/28/2012. Best by date was 5/20/2016.

A - Orangish-brown, clear. Pours with a huge white head due to the heavy carbonation.

S - Yeast, fruit. Not as much aroma as I expected from a Belgian with Brett.

T - This beer has a complex flavor. It begins with classic Belgian yeast and fruit flavors, then peppery spices. Finishes very dry with some bitterness that lingers. A touch of alcohol comes through. I don't really perceive much brett funkiness.

M - Very dry. High carbonation level gives it a crisp feel, despite being fairly high alcohol.

O - A very good Belgian beer. I would like to try different ages of this beer to explore the flavors develop over time. My beer was fairly young so I think it could definitely get more interesting.

 817 characters

Photo of windypete
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured a golden copper with a creamy head & lots of bubbles.

aroma was not as strong as other trappist ales, but there was yeasty & malty notes in there.

taste was yeasty with a piney background, this is a complex beer & needs time on the taste buds to be enjoyed to its full.

overall a very nice beer & at 6.9abv makes it a easy going beer to drink more than a few in a sitting. will buy again in future.

CHEERS

 416 characters

Photo of 585
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Friday night's bottle; Orval.

Not the first time I've tasted this one, not by a long shot, but my first review here and a pretty good place to start.

Taken up from the cellar and given half an hour in the fridge to cool, then drunk from my standard pinot noir glass. Very young, brewed just a few months ago.

First impression is a fantastic rich colour, warm burnt orange verging on gold and a tight off-white head which persists. The appearance is very impressive; Orval looks just as it tastes, complex and challenging.

The aroma is powerful, as usual with this beer my first thought is of the heady yeast which envelopes a cinnamon undertone. Organic, aged notes are also in the background; an inviting experience, this is a drink that rewards the nose.

Time to taste; the nose gave away some of the story, light spiced and an ever so delicate medicinal feel. Incredibly complex, and incredibly dry. Not a hint of sweetness to be found, the strength is hidden and the feeling is decked in character.

Always a pleasure, a beer I come back to and look forward to, undeniably classy.

 1,090 characters

Photo of infi
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle - poured into a snifter.

Beautifully pours a hazy red-orange color with tons of bubbling action emerging throughout the glass. A thick, pillowy and foamy white head sits a top the ale and just stays stationary. No dissipation whatsoever after the initial pour. Reminds me of the Duvel, so lovely. The lacing is fantastic as well - huge clouds of bubbles sticking to the glass. The smell is Belgian yeast, lemon zest, green apple tartness and a touch of pear. Very fruity in scent with just a tad bit of sour funkiness.

Wow, the taste is full of fresh apples and subtle hints of lemon. Very light and refreshing actually. Great balance of sweet and sour. Not so much of a bready taste to the brew, which was a bit surprising, but not essential to its flavor. I can discern a slight Brett funk - not as potent as a gueuze or lambic - and a bit of dryness and tartness towards the aftertaste. This tastes more like a mini gueuze, rather than a pale ale, as there was no discernible hop bitterness.

Very light-bodied and generously carbonated. Crisp and clean the whole way through. Easily drinkable and quite tasty. A great refreshing Trappist brew.

 1,164 characters

Photo of yasky
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of russwbeck
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 1/6/2010, poured into an Orval Chalice.

A: Pour is a hazy, yellowish brown color with a small white head. Head sticks around and laces nicely.

S: Smells floral, almost like straw up front. Perhaps a bit of alcohol underneath with some banana.

T: Sweet taste up front, Belgian yeasts, some banana. Definitely some hops detected, along with a warming alcohol sensation as you drink.

MF: Dry and light, a lot of carbonation on this one.

D: Extremely drinkable. Really goes down smooth. Would be my preferred Pale Ale...but it isn't as readily available as some other, quality pales.

 595 characters

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,360 ratings.
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