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

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2,290 Reviews
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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Reviews: 2,290 | Ratings: 5,243
Photo of Nesued
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Orange hazy color. A big white head forms upon pour. Fine carbonation feeds this head that resolves to a one-finger presence that remains throughout consumption.

Smell - What a pleasure. Flowery, lemon aroma. Some have said juniper, after having to pause and think about the aroma of juniper, I'll have to agree yes! Very light-hearted aroma with a bright clean presence.

Taste - First word from my mouth: crisp. The carbonation makes it's appearance during the "hold" on the palate. I did notice a light smokey body form towards the end of the sip. Nice crisp and clean finish with a bit of a bite ending.

Mouthfeel - Very mouth-filling. The carbonation transports the bulk of the body around the mouth to make for a very full feel. After the swallow, you are left with a clean slate waiting for more.

Drinkability - This was plain and simple a joy to drink. An outstanding depth and crisp finish may this a wonderful "no nonsense" offering. As the last of the trappists for me to try, this indeed holds a place in the pantheon on great beers. One of my top 20 all time.

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Photo of JordanEllwanger
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a sniffer, really should have used a goblet. Thick fast rising head. I could only pour half of the bottle at a time. Dark rich opaque amber hues. A strong and full coffee cream caramel colored head.

Smells fruity and malty roasts with deep spices that remind me of Christmas dinners.

Taste is so smooth and enjoyable. Differing slightly than the smell, it is a bit more mellow yet still bursting with flavors. As it gets warmer the other tastes come out of hiding.

Feels on the lighter side of medium. Like It rolls up the back of my throat instead of down.

Extremely drinkable. One of my all time favorite Belgians.


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Photo of BorntoLate86
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in Gulden Draak fluted glass.

A - Very large, extremely foamy head. Orange/amber faintly yellow color, light carbonation. Nice lacing left the entire way through the beer. Slightly hazy appearance.

S - Somewhat catty, yeasty smelling. Light fruit notes accompanied by traditional belgian spice scent. Aroma enchanced greatly in fluted glass, goblet allowed for too many volatiles to be released.

T - Acidic, tart and fruity. Unique flavor with a dry finish. Alkaline up front, soft sourness in the middle with a smooth belgian-corriander finish.

M - Puckering, smooth and light, coats tongue quickly but flavor lingers.

D - Excellent drinkability, if it weren't for the price it would make an exceptionl session beer. Light, flavorful, well-balanced.

Orval is one of my favorite beers. Unique, one-off flavor that is unmatched. A true trappist that blows the top off of the traditional Belgian style. Worth the Money.

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Photo of illidurit
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle dated Sep 13 2007. Poured into a Chimay goblet (closest thing I have to an Orval goblet). Pumpkin pie color with a light tan head that foams up to two fingers' height and manages to maintain itself at a solid half centimeter for most of the duration of the beer. Huge chunky lacing.

Tart bretty nose, almost like an unblended lambic but not as sour. Some distinct phenolic notes with a touch of golden apple and banana. Sort of somewhere between saison, geuze, and tripel. As it breathes it takes on a more sweet and floral character. Wonderful.

Flavor is lightly fruity with unripe pears. Lots of spices, white pepper, orange peel. Funky grassy brett influence. Dry bitter noble hop finish.

Body is a bit chalky (I poured the yeast in) and medium in viscosity. Highly carbonated but somehow it isn't distracting like in some Belgians.

Remarkable complexity, so multifarious that I'm afraid I can't fully describe/appreciate this beer. Phenomenal.

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Photo of adamhdg
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I tried to pour this into a glass but the carbonation was insane. Had to wait a while. Nice caramel color with a rich tan head. Smells of biscuits and caramel. Taste of the same with some fruity notes of very mild citrus and bananas. Overall a delicious brew at a premium price.

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Photo of johannasclimacus
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Nice, slightly hazy deep copper.
S: A bit of bread, yeasty with some fruit.
T: Tart fruit, especially right in the middle. There is a very nice sweetness that is balanced in the finish.
M: Medium, very easy drinking.
D: No alcohol taste at all for me, and the beer is very easy to drink. I'm not sure if my tastes are evolving, but I'm moving through this a lot quicker than I have through other beers of the and similar styles. I can definitely feel the alcohol, but I wish I had more than one of these.

Overall, this lives up to the hype, and it's a great way to cap off my spring break. I'm raising my glass to all of my fellow collegiates who have consumed a huge quantity of terrible beer this week.

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Photo of johnd513
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a hazy amber color with a nice head with nice retention and decent lacing. The aroma is spicy and funky. The taste is floral spices, lemon, bubbly Great mouthfeel and nice carbonation with a dry finish. One of my favorite Belgians but really pricey which makes this a special occasion beer. I can't say enough good things about this beer.

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Photo of mudbug
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the curvy 12 oz. dated bottle (19 5 2010) into a large wine goblet results in a hazy copper body under what must be one of the most impressive heads in beerdom, hugh craggy clouds of white foam that oh so slowly recedes leaving sticky chunks and lace sliding down the side of the glass.
Aroma is strong, Lemon zest, wet hay,orange peelings, clove a slightly astringent note.
This tastes great,tartness, slight funk,a sweet middle then a dry finish, the whole concerto of complexity, some flavors get stronger as it warms keeping every sip a new experience. Wow, just incredible.
There is no doubt that this is a perfected beer, Bravo!

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Photo of tatterdash
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was very pleasently surprised to see this at the LCBO, so picked up a couple. This Trappist Ale is one of the oldest apparently, and looks very good. It pours a coppery-orange with a fluffy, pillowy white head that laces and lingers and clings and clumps. Smell was very earthy and peaty, farm-like, with a hint of dark fruit. What appears to be an off-smell (horse blanket), becomes something I truly look forward with repeated sittings. Taste was a nice hoppy bitterness, dry, very earthy and peaty. It is pretty much exactly what I would picture medival monks drinking in a dank monastary. Nice creamy mouthfeel, almost a crispness to it. It would make a nice start to a night of Trappist Ales, and is slowly becoming my favourite of the bunch.

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Photo of stingrayvr6
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had at Local 44 in Philly. Poured a reddish/brown amber into a chalice with a frothy, sticky cream colored head that stayed until the last drop. Smell was fairly average, a bit yeasty and bitter, earthy as well. The taste was a thing of beauty. It started out a very full, rounded mellow sweetness with medium/heavy carbonation and then turned to a dry, crisp, mellow Belgian-hoppy flavor. Truly excellent complexity. I could drink these all night, fantastic beer, lives up to its hype, will not disappoint.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

330 mL bottle from the LCBO; bottled Jan 15 2015, listed at 6.9% and served at cellar temperature. I totally did not expect to see this one show up locally - the beer selection has really improved in this town over the past couple of years.

Pours a muddy orange-amber colour, topped off with a copious volume of fluffy white head. It's one of those froths that quite literally slowly grows before your very eyes - it looks like some sort of whipped topping, wilting down over an agonizingly long period that exceeds ten minutes. Looks absolutely beautiful. The nose is similarly attractive, boasting a fluid mix of funky, spicy, intensely yeasty aromas; fruity notes such as apple, apricot and lemony citrus; and doughy malt with a touch of caramelized sugar.

I usually find myself to be a little disappointed when it comes to heavily hyped beers, such as Orval, but this one has really lived up to the expectations - it's goddamn delicious, with a lovely mixture of tart and astringent flavours. Some light, grainy malts, caramelized sugar and doughy bread are easily missed, as the funky, leathery barnyard notes from the Brett are what really grab your attention. Not particularly fruity - I am getting a bit of lemon pith and maybe some apricot, banana, and vinous grape, but it finishes with a phenolic, spicy kick and some bitter, leafy hop notes. The aftertaste is totally dry, making it hard to stop yourself from sipping this one quickly. Medium-bodied, with assertive carbonation levels that give this unique pale ale a crisp, prickly mouthfeel. It feels smooth and frothy on the palate; unbelievably refreshing, too.

Final Grade: 4.73, an A+. Orval is a fantastic beer, and certainly one of the best Belgian imports I have had to date. It is undeniably unique-tasting, with a flavour profile that is both mesmerizing, and annoyingly difficult to describe with much accuracy. The Brettanomyces make this one an acquired taste, but if you go into the glass with an open mind, you can safely expect to be blown away. I'm glad I grabbed a couple of extra bottles, but given this one's history of spotty availability (in Ontario) I might need to snatch a few more while I have the opportunity.

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Photo of berley31
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a nice, creamy, off-white head that is absolutely huge - and continues to rise after sitting. Body is amber-orange and hazy. Excellent lacing...this is a perfect-looking beer! Great aroma as well; quite yeasty, with citrus tones. The first sip is excellent - lightly sweet and acidic, with a medium, creamy body. Fizzy carbonation. At 6.9%, you can taste the alcohol but it's hardly overwhelming... perfectly balanced. The head is fully lasting throughout drinking, and the finish is long as well. Excellent beer - one of my new favorites - and great that you can actually find in many places outside of Belgium.

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Photo of JLSIV
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass, first impression on pour was the small diameter bubbles and rich two finger head that lasted forever, lacing all around, darker hazy orange brown color

Aroma of musty yeast is the big nose impression, a little fruitiness, Pleasant,but mostly a yeast aroma, very distinctive and unlike any other aroma. Different from any of the other Trappist Ales, even to my less than perfect nose (I often don't smell the same things that appear in many reviews)

Taste of muscadines, sweet at first, develops over time into something even more pleasant. Reminded me of sweeter local vineyard wines than any other beer before.

One of the best mouth feels I have tried. Dry, and smooth, with a very rich full body. Nothing harsh, and only the afterglow lets you know there is more than the usual alcohol here. American Extreme brewers could take a lesson here. Doesn't smack you around.

Overall: I purchased this Trappist Ale expecting to be impressed and I was. I would love to try this one a little closure to its origin. Two of these and I could see myself considering the monastic life….

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Photo of diemilio
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 21/01/2015. Cool hazy dark amber color.
Smell, picking up mostly dark fruit notes, a teeny-tiny bit of raisin, a hint of sweet red wine, and definitely what grape NERDS smell like; a little bit of breadyness and spiciness too.
Taste, again, sweetness of the dark fruit (especially as it warms up), bitterness in the back, and definitely getting the alcohol.
Feel, mmmmhh, medium body I guess? Decent carbonation.

Overall, pretty goooood!

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Photo of mshallah
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orange color. Large fluffy head. Nose is very perfumey. A floral bouquet. Citrus aroma of tangerine. Wonderful sweet, tart, fruity and hoppy flavors. Very hoppy for a Belgian brew. Mild metallic flavor. Fruit flavor is tropical. There is alcohol in the nose but only a warming effect remains in the taste. Complex mix of flavors and aromas. Overall flavor profile is mesmerizing. Each sip brings more nuances. Becomes more bitter as it warms. My fave of the Belgians.

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Photo of deskim
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark amber, fairly cloudy, huge head that seems to stay around

S: sour and orange

T: absolutely amazing. a little sour yet sweet at the same time. tastes similar to an orangy pale ale, not boozy at all, very complex

M: incredibly pleasant, light to moderate carbonation

D: if it wasn't for the price and ABV i could drink this all day. best trappist ale i've had so far.

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Photo of ccrida
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured in my vintage Westmalle chalice, Orval is a hazy golden orange with a thick, rocky, white head with medium bubbles that is very slow to recede, leaving moderate lace.
The aroma is moderate, musty yet bright, earthy flowers and yeast, distinctly belgian and very appetizing.
The taste really nice, incredible depth yet fairly subtle. It is beyond my ability to break it down to specifically, but theres a bit of sourness, salt, yeast (which I swirled off the bottom), leathery, bitterness, straw, only the slightest sweet pale and caramel malts, minerals, bread, honey and flowers, and probably more stuff that I just can't break down. The finish is very bitter dry and clean, but for a nice pucker on the tongue. There is a slight bit of alcohol as the beer warms, but it is clean and good, no solvents or anything. I love any beer with brett, and this is as fine as example as there is - it's tough too beat Gout d'Oraval. I normally prefer more robust flavors, but the subtly here speaks volumes.
The mouthfeel is pretty spritzy and light bodied, very nice and really opens this beer up. Being that it was bottled 15 months ago says alot.
The drinkability for this is as high as it gets (aside from perhaps the cost). The taste is great without being overwhelming, and complex enough that it will take me a lifetime to figure out. Wow.

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Photo of bigdaddymick
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Served at room temperature in a moderately chilled thermos.

Wow. Just Wow. An elaborate assault on the senses not usually seen in beers of this caliber. Detailed carbonation akin to the sea floor methane plumes with strong herbaceous undertones. Feels stronger than 6.9%

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Photo of isthatbeer
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from an 11.2 oz bottle poured into tulip shaped glass.

A: Hazy amber with two fingers of a thick, rich cream colored head. The head leaves a nice lacing on the side of the glass as it dissipates.

S: Its got a pleasant sour smell to it with some orange and some malt sweetness lurking behind.

T: Starts out rather tart but then does this dry hoppy, phenolic thing. The finish is rather long and dry. You definitely could sit and ponder the finish for quite a while.

M: Medium to lite mouth feel. Very tightly carbonated. Dry.

O: A really nice well balanced beer.

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Photo of carpezytha
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into tulip glass at 46 F.

A: Unfiltered honey with aggressive cream colored head that settles with a very stubborn, intricate lacing.
S: Yeast bomb wrapped in damp wool. Cat pee and tanbark (in a good way).
T: Musty, spicy, lots of citrus peel (cumquat, key lime). Barnyard,
M: Prickly, but balanced.
D: One of the top beers, could drink daily.

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Photo of ablaze
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am very impressed with this one. Bottle looks a bit unique but it is appealing.

I was under the assumption that this beer would be more straw-coloured like Duvel, but upon pour it is a mellow orange with some cloudiness. What impressed me was the head. A creamy light beige that sticks around to the end. This beer just looks delicious from the get-go.

Smell is light, but reminds me of something. Took me a few sniffs but yes! Cotton candy. It's faint, but it's there and reminds me of warm summer evenings at the fair. A bit of cinnamon and biscuits, too.

The taste is remarkable and makes this one of my favourite Belgians already. The malt/hops combination is mild and stays with you for quite a while and is quite flowery, which I like. A very nice pale ale. There's nothing overpowering and the complexity and evolution from taste to finish is astounding. A+++, I'm very impressed. Alcohol taste is nonexistant.

Smooth and creamy with a bit of an effervescence from the alcohol that quickly dissipates. Silky and clings to your mouth, leaving you wanting more. Very appealing quality.

This is something I would drink again and again. There's several cheese, fish and poultry pairings I am going to love to try with this, and I could see myself stocking a few of these for personal pleasure and special guests.

Overall, I'm very satisfied with this Orval.

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Photo of thartman
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from fancy-cool bottle into a stemmed Belgian Chinmay beer drinking vessel. Monster head with whip cream-like peaks. Nice apricot color. Strong musty-fruity-spicy smell. Wild yeast and fruit-like taste, peppery and with a little hop bitterness. Nicely carbonated mouthfeel with a slight bitter aftertaste. Excellent Belgian brew!

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Photo of Ninjakillzu
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Original Rating: 4.5, S: 4, T: 4, F: 5, OA: 4.5, 10/15/15
L: Poured into a Chimay chalice. Three finger width head which took forever to go down. The body was dark orange.
S: Sour green apple, a musty funk like an old attic, and grapefruit.
T: Taste followed the nose, also included spices and vanilla.
F: Creamy, foamy, full bodied with a slight warmth.
O: Quite a unique taste and smell, in a good way.

Updated Review 6/28/16.
The body is a cloudy amber, with a huge several finger head. Even after awhile, a creamy half finger head remains. Aromas consist of strong brett funk followed by fresh green apples. Flavors consist of the same, and is quite dry with a hint of bitterness. The feel is medium bodied, creamy, and smooth. I haven't had this since I first got into craft beer, and the rating improvement shows my acquired appreciation and liking for funky beer.

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Photo of Ljunkan
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An all-time favourite.

Pours an hazy orange color with a large foamy head. Extremely nice head actually.

Smell is nice; sour/acid fruits, citrus and stable-like aromas.

Taste is even better; sour apples, grapefruit, citrus, some stable, slight notes of herbs. This beer has a interesting mix of sourness/acidness together with a dry hopped character and a very good bitterness.

Highly recommended!

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Photo of bigaltemple
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz. Bottled on 5/20/2011

A - Hazy, burnt orange. Big, rocky head quickly and continuously builds even with gentle pour. Slowly settles to a 1/2 finger width that remains thanks to a steady stream of bubbles. Leaves some sticky rings of lacing.

S - Citrus acidity. A bit of Belgian yeast provides just the mildest amount of funk. Pick up some green apple as well.

T/M - Awesome! Lemon and orange zest. More green apple in the taste. Finishes with a spicy/peppery dry finish that just makes me want to take another drink. Great level of carbonation.

O - Easily a top example of the style. Always amazing, and worth trying.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,243 ratings.
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