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

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Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
5,467 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,467 |  Reviews: 2,358
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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Photo of CrazyP
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of windypete
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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.


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Photo of 585
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of infi
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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

Photo of russwbeck
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange with an incredibly dense haed with lots of sticky lace rings. I swirled the bottle and got a couple of floaters as well.

Sweet wheat scents with that musty straw/hay element, as well as some citrus and mild spice.

This is a real funky one, but in a good way. Lots of different flavors that pop out in waves. Sweet grain, a little spice, citrus rind, and a fruit tartness like something that has gone past its prime. Tart and dry in the finish. Hop bite is there, as is the alcohol.

This is moderately carbonated, which keeps these flavors in check enough for you to sip or slug. I gave this a drinkability rating much lower than taste. I love Belgian beer, all styles, and have had it in country. This is one that is absolutely terrific, but after 2 I'd want to stop and move on to something else. You almost need a change (it is like gorging on Belgian chocolate -- delicious and complex, but you need to set limits). It is special beer.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was disapposinted. It was way to carbonated and disappered in your mouth once I drank it. Slightly bland and weak. But, I had high expectations. Still an excellent choice

appearance: dark copper, tons of lacing

smell: pleasant, light hops

taste: too light flavor

mouthfeel: too high carbonation

drinkability: very easy and smooth

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Photo of ShadyRigglesbee
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%

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

Photo of Carmack
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of ddarden
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 5,467 ratings