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

5,411 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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,411 |  Reviews: 2,349
Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this was a fine 08 vintage bottle...
falls delightfully into my glass like a perfumed fat kid into a pit of balls, spewing forth odors and kicking balls up from the deep in a futile effort to right himself. the carbonation continues to flow up, bringing the smells. the sharpness of lemon, a little funk, a touch of malty sweetness, a twinge of earthy hops. the flavor profile is similar, a bit sharp and bitter, and delectable, but it feels a bit overcarbonated in my glass. i wait to let it warm up but some asshole finishes my glass so we can taste some homebrew. what a hard life.

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

Photo of Carmack
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

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

I poured this beer into a glass chalice and it is a nice copper, hazy color. It also has a very nice creamy, slightly off white head. The head lasted through the entire beer. The beer appears very carbonated. The smell is yeasty with hints of lemon and hops.

The taste is refreshing with hints of the yeast, lemon, and nice bitterness. The mouthfeel is light, dry, and carbonated. I could imagine drinking more than one of these in a sitting. The aftertaste is quite mild with a small amount of bitterness. This is a very drinkable beer if you are craving something refreshing.

At the end of the beer the lacing still very heavy on the sides of the glass. This would be one of my favorite Trappist beers if I were in the mood for something light and refreshing.

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Photo of godfathermg57
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice.

A: A fizzy copper. Well carbonated with a large head.

S: Funk and yeast. It smells like the far off land of Belgium.

T: Dry and refreshing. It's tart with a slight piney and hoppy taste. It's got a fairly subtle taste to it, nothing overpowering in any one direction.

M: Quite a fizzy mouthfeel, like a saison.

D: Quite drinkable and refreshing. A very fine beer, though its taste is not overpowering.

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

Poured from the bottle a hazy orange color with a large head and good lacing, Nose of yeast and fruits. Sour taste and some citrus. Sour, dry and bitter finish. Very nice to drink and gets better as it warms u a bit, I enjoyed this one and will buy it again.

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Photo of Brew_42
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy Amber with a thick off-white head that leaves lacing and hangs around

Smell- Green apples

Taste-green apples and yeast with some spice. One warm booziness. Tastes like it should have a higher abv than it does. A little sweeter than the sme would have you believe. Sourness increases as the beer warms up a bit.

MF- lighter than I expected. Decent carbonation. Refreshing and drinkable.

Overall- good beer, not on the high end of trappist ales but that still puts it way ahead of most.

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Photo of snpub540
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy golden straw color with a very high clingy foam head. Left some nice clingy lacing on the glass.

Smelled very floral and earthy. The floral smell was very strong and inviting.

A very balanced taste at first sip with a floral and spicy flavor being the most dominate at first. Sweetness was rounded out by a clove flavor that was very nice.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and very pleasing on the palate. Drinkability was great and alcohol was not noticeable at all.

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Photo of silks636
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle.

Cloudy orange amber with a huge fluffy ivory head. Excellent retention and lacing. Strong earthy floral nose... banana, lemon, hay, and spice are also present. Taste begins light and tart then turns to a heavy musty earthy flavor with complex hints of spice, lemon, cider, and tangy berry. Curiously strong hop bite. Finishes extremely dry. Mouthfeel is medium and very warming with strong carbonation.

An absolutely stunning ale. Very complex and wonderful.

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Photo of potion
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

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

11.2oz bottle dated 29/2/2012 & best Before 2017 poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Darker gold in color with a bit of haze (tried to be careful with any yeast) and a huge creamy off white head.

S: Big fruity and musty aromas; floral in a really pleasant way. Orange peel, lemon peel, funk, earthy Brett, even some faint tropical fruit, pear, a good amount of white grape skins, and hints of raisins. Pretty similar to muscat white wine.

T: Same as the nose, fruity and funky; citrus rind, musty and earthy Brett. Definite lemon and even lime (reminiscent of Sprite actually as this beer seems to be heartily carbonated initially). White wine...a bit of barnyard begins to take hold as it warms. There is some hop bitterness, so this beer isn't overly sweet or tart.

MF: Fairly light to medium bodied, with some nice carbonation. Finishes with a Bretty dryness and notes of hop bitterness.

O: Really unique and diverse, and at the end of the night I liked it. Definitely a sipper and something to enjoy as it warms and different flavors emerge. This bottle is around 10 months old, and I'm sure older bottles taste vastly different because of the Brett. Not something I would seek out again, but a good beer.

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

Pours out light yellow and sits light orange in the glass with a good light fluffy head on top.

Smells of cherries, apples, figs in a red-wine like aroma. Light traces of alcohol and bits of yeast in between. A very nice, fruity aroma.

Tastes mildly bitter up front with cidery apples and grapes coming out in the front. Good spiciness along with some more yeasty flavors move into a nice bitter finish with some light hoppiness.

Fairly light in the mouth with heavy carbonation, much like a sparkiling wine. Dry and abrasive. Decent taste and a great nose. A good after dinner drink; nice and light, but still refreshing.

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Photo of TimZebGir
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

A: Caramel with light haze, really fluffy, creamy head, high carbonation (3/3)
S: Earthy malt with a (barnyardy citrus?) to balance it out (9/12)
T: Crisp caramel malty flavor fades to banana and raisin with a little bitterness at the end (16/20)
M: Starts wet and bubbly but finishes dry(5/5)
O: There’s a lot going on here. The flavor profile is quite complex, and keeps me coming back for more to decipher everything it has to offer. Would definitely drink again. (8/10)

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Photo of Hootie159
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of nickd717
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review transcribed from notes dated February 2009.

Great hazy copper color with a really lacy white head.

Strong aroma of Belgian yeast and brett, candi sugar, sweet malt, and a little spice.

Flavor is more of the same with some fruity flavors, very yeasty, with brett very noticeable.

Smooth mouthfeel, with a good crispness and fairly lively carbonation.

Nice trappist ale, if a bit overhyped by some. Refreshing.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a small bottle dated 5/20/2011 into a Chimay chalice. The beer has a beautiful clear copper-orange color with a large frothy head and nice effervescence. The nose is somewhat subdued, yeasty, and slightly fruity. I'm getting pears, apples, and some flowery hop notes. I don't get any Brett notes on the nose.

The taste is quite dry and appetizing and the mouthfeel is firm and lively from the carbonation, especially at the back of the mouth. There is a mild biscuity malt flavor in the front of the palate. This is followed by a nice soft champagne-like dryness at mid-palate. There is a very faint, almost lemony, Brett sourness in the back of the mouth. The finish is mild and a bit disappointing. For me, those sour notes just don't linger very well.

This beer has an interesting combination of appetizing dryness and slight, acidic sourness. The sourness is not biting, but rather just a bit of a pinch to add to the finish and let you know it's there. This is far from my favorite beer, but it is a world classic and something for beer lovers to revisit from time to time.

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Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked me up a four pack at the local supermarket. Paired it with some aged Gouda cheese.

Poured into my Westvleteren glass.

It's one of the most wonderfull looking beers among the trappist's. A little hazy. Nice orange amber brown. Almost one inch of very lively foam.

Has that typical Belgian smell. Citrus, fruits, malt, hops and ofcourse some yeast.

Some sweet malts bits of the fruits and a nice bitter finish.

A medium bodied beer full of carbonation but a very smooth drink.

Pairing this beer with some aged cheese really helps this beer and the cheese. This is a classic and one of my go to beers when in doubt. If you never had it I suggest you try it when you have the chance and admire the beautifull appearance of this wonderfull drink. Recomended.

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Photo of oline73
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a goblet. Amazingly, this is the first time I've ever had this one.

Appearance: Pours a mildly cloudy amber with two fingers of fluffy off white head and great retention.

Smell: Sweet malt with some citrus notes, fruity notes, and yeast spice.

Taste: Very smooth with Belgian spice, fruity notes, and a mild hop bitterness. The finish is spicy with some bitterness in there as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a very good Belgian Pale. The yeast spice was strong, but balanced well with all the other flavors. Very well done.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Date of bottling 5/09

A: Poured into chalice a hazy copper to light amber color with a tall fluffy white head that was quite impressive. It remained a good size all the way down with great lacing on the glass too.

S: Roasted malt, fresh grains, some banana bread, apricots and a sweaty funk. Hops were flowery and herbal.

T: Roasted malt, toffee, apricot and a tart funkiness that was not too strong but curious. Hops were bitter, herbal and floral. Some spice from yeast and very little heat from alcohol.

M: Medium body and bubbly carbonation yet a smooth texture.

D: I was happy with this beer but it did not totally impress me and I was looking for some more complexity but very drinkable and I would try this again and age some also.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark orange/bronze with a big pillowy beige head. Lots of carbonation with an active bubble stream in the middle from the bottom to the top. Leaves decent lace. Sour lactic aroma (brettanomyces) dominates. Soft dry malt flavor and sour as it smells. Light soft airy mouthfeel with a dry finish.

Good Belgain that's worth trying but not sure it's worth the price to buy again.

Label States: "Authentic Trappist Product"

Best By: 12/06/06 (on bottle as 06/12/06)
Tasted: 05/02/03

($3.99 / 11.2 oz./.33L bottle)

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Photo of z_taylor
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jsprain1
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a copper color with a 2 finger had that retains itself in a very rocky formation. Lots of carbonation bubbles and plenty of webbed lacing. Hard to imagine a beer looking better in this style.
S- Smell was very yeasty, very earthy. Grain, slight floral and lemon hop aromas, a bit of spice.
T- Very herbal and earthy. A bit biscuity with fruit flavors playing subtley in. A bit of that brett yeast flavor as well.
M- Ridiculously light body but substantiated by a snappy carbonation. Very much a dry finish.
D- A tasty beer and very drinkable. The alcohol content seemed to weigh pretty solidly for a 6.9% beer, but as light as it is in the body and as tasty as it is, it surely is a drinkable brew.

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Photo of Snamnoum
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - gorgeous hazy nut brown with FOUR!!! fingers of outrageously thick off white head. Incredible retention and the most sticky lace I have ever seen.

Smell - light hop profile, doughy yeast, pale malt, aggressive phenols

Taste - surprisingly strong hop presence, very IPA-like, sweet malt, champagne esque like tartness, strong bitter finish. Water tasted a bit heavy, a little tinny

Mouthfeel - light/medium bodied, very effervescent, thin feeling

Drinkability - very light and drinkable, one could easily have several of these. I would have liked to have had more of a malt presence and some more yeast as well. I was so excited to try this brew and while excellent I'm still left a little disappointed.

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Photo of bryantan
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of aforbes10
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I realized recently that despite owning several Orval chalices, and having a lot of experience with the other U.S.-distributed Trappist beers, my only experience with this beer has been a horribly oxidized bottle in a shitty bar in Post-Katrina Baton Rouge. ...so...i decided to buy a bottle. Pours an orange-y brown, bright and cloudy. Big puffy white head that becomes creamier as it settles. Laces oddly, head slides around the sides of the glass along with the beer and doesn't stick to the glass at all. Weird. Smells tart, clove-like, withe notes of oranges, coriander. Flavor is similar to the aroma, though with a distinct malt base that's got a bit of caramel and the barest hint of chocolate. Small alcohol evident on the finish. Quite smooth, almost creamy, which is impressive considering the relatively low ABV. Drinks very well and interesting qualities. Yeah, i'd buy it again, glad i decided to finally try it properly.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,411 ratings.
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