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

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Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
BA SCORE
4.2/5
Exceptional
5,490 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:
#1,128
Reviews:
2,367
Ratings:
5,490
pDev:
12.38%
Bros Score:
4.92
 
 
Wants:
360
Gots:
958
Trade:
11
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,490 |  Reviews: 2,367
Photo of joshuadlight
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

If you've never had an Orval, this is one very unique beer. Not many look, smell, or taste anything like it.
Even at a slow pour it produces a swelling head that is very chunky. I mean, this leaves big chunks of lacing on the glass. Unique yeast flavors and aromas coupled with some sweet fruits. There is a slight bite at the end with some yeast/hop bitterness that sticks around in your throat for a while. At first I thought the aftertaste was unpleasant, but after a couple sips I came to enjoy the flavor very much.
As attested to by the large head, this is a very carbonated beer, detracting only slightly from the mouthfeel. I also had to account for the large pricetag when I took away from the drinkability. If it didn't run $6 per 11.2 oz, it would be perfectly drinkable.

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Photo of Jeremy7
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Grackos
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of wisegreensoul
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of trbergman
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of Brewery_Decimal_System
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of StuMonkey
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Omniwar
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HopsForBrains
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PUbeer
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dbossman
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of Orrshow
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to tulip, the appearance was a fairly murky red to brown sort of color with a two finger's worth of rocky foamy head that glistened and slid off at a good pace. Lace was somewhat thick and foamy and sticky.
The aroma had a swift sweet to funky barnyard hay/grassy whiff. Roamed nicely into some basement stiffness and had some floral particles coming out to play with a little bit of a brisk earthiness.
The flavor was odd, well, it had that vinous quality that seemed to want to pummel the funk, but in reality, it didn't. So in turn, the earthiness, basement, and floral hop quality played a good part in and all around. Aftertaste seemed to cherish the funk and embrace the wine quality.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied, maybe a touch under with a good sipping quality to it due to the wine harshness. Carbonation felt fine, maybe a bit high, but I gave it a "restrained pour" to assist in the containment. ABV felt good.
Overall, pretty nice Belgian pale ale, not one for the faint of heart but definitely nothing else like it.

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Photo of bmurray10
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Trapiste389
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of goldbot
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of BdM
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of NeoClassicist
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of irishguybeer86
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of JimBerry
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ThirdCoast
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 5,490 ratings