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

2,316 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: 2,316 | Ratings: 5,314
Photo of matcris
4.69/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

APPEARANCE: A burnt orange, hazy almost to rust. Foamy off white head for days, and it lingers forever. Carbonation is hard to see even with a flashlight up to the glass. Thick lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Almost white wine like. Green grapes, funky, floral...almost smells like hand lotion! Definitely get the yeast in spades.
TASTE: A pleasant sourness, lots of white grapes, the yeastiness you'd expect. There are some really nice, unusual flavors in here that I really can't describe or equate to any other beer I've had. This is unique!
FEEL: Creamy right off the bat, then the nice amount of carbonation really begins to move the flavor around the mouth. You get a nice drying quality a few seconds in and then that goes away and it returns to that creamy vibe.
OVERALL: Probably the most unique beer I've had so far. Hard to describe but I love what i'm getting from it. It's kind of a mystery in some ways.

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Photo of Dravin
4.57/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a duvel tulip. Bottled on date of 17/07/14 with a best by date 5 years past that.

Look -- Pours a deep gold with mountains of fluffy white head that laces the glass beautifully. It generated so much head it took a fair amount of time to pour.

Smell -- Clove, bubblegum, banana, in a word fruity. There is also some barnyard funk coming through on the nose.

Taste -- As the nose it taste fruity and the funk comes through more prominently with a slight addition of band aid. It has a fair amount of bitterness that lingers. There isn't much in the way in sweetness coming through for me. Possibly a consequence of the brett and being bottled in 2014.

Feel -- Lively carbonation and medium body keeps it light on the palate. It's fairly dry, and it would be crisp except for the bitterness.

Overall -- It's a beautiful beer to behold with that deep gold body and pillows of creamy white head. The brett character comes through, my first experience with it, and it's quite interesting. It's a shame it's more expensive or I'd probably see this gracing my fridge in the near future but that's probably a lament for any trappist ale.

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Photo of amano_h
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

<1yr old 37.5cl at Dulle Griet (Gent, Belgium)

Wonderful lemony zest and honey jump straight out along with loads and loads of carbonation. Mild grassy hops with a faint hint of yeast and funk also join the party after you give it some time.

A harmonious blend of lemon, honey, and earthy flavors first comes to mind on the palate, followed by some unforeseen fruit in the form of melons, white grapes and some pear. (shoutout to all the pear!) Faint flavors of caramel and pine are also present on the back end.

Medium-light body with explosive carbonation comparable to mineral water. Mostly dry finish with the fruit bouquet and hops tenaciously holding on to the bitter finish (pun intended)

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Photo of mjpoole
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - Giant head, really got to take your time pouring this. Head retains throughout, with some residual lacing. the beer itself is a hazy orange.

S - Real fruity smell, like raisins and plums.

T - Upfront tastes are those raisins and plums that you got on the nose. A great sugary start that slowly transforms into a slight sour finish, kind of like a Flanders Red. There's also some toasty malt characteristics. A seriously delicious beer.

F - Smooth. Just...smooth

O - This was my introduction into Trappist Ales and it was a goddamn heavenly experience. This beer made me understand the concept of a balanced, complex beer. If I could have this beer every day, I would.

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Photo of HappyGuy12345
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass
Appearance: Orange/brown with huge amount of head
Smell: Fruity aroma, specifically apples
Taste: Complex array of flavors, including citrus, apples, and hops. There is a subtle, but noticeable, bitter aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Moderate-to-heavy carbonation. Feels almost like a soda or champagne on the tongue. Goes down easy.
Overall: Like many other highly-rated Belgium Trappist Ales, this is a very tasty beer with complex flavors. You will not be disappointed after trying this one.

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Photo of nbbyrd
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330 mL bottle poured into a tulip glass. Bottled on 25/09/2014, and best before 25/09/2019. My first trappist ale! 1 year and 4.5 months old from bottling date.
Look: Absolutely stunning. A glowing and crystal clear amber with three fingers of rocky fluffy white head with tons of little champagne-like bubbles streaming up to the top. The head fades to one finger rather quickly, leaving sticky soapy bubbly lacing around the top of the glass.
Smell: Tart citrus, like lemon and lime zest, light and funky wet hay, light colored caramel and candy sugar sweetness, some subtle breadiness.
Taste: Funky and fruity, tart and crisp green apples, lemon zest and fresh squeezed lemon juice, sweet and distinctively Brett with the hay flavor, so very floral like fresh cut flowers in the garden, juicy while still dry, no hint of the 6.9% alcohol. The subtle soft breadiness tip-toes ever so lightly with the sweet floral and zesty hops chasing it across my palate. An absolute joy.
Feel: Thin and bubbly, like champagne, dry and soft bitterness that plays with the funky Brett and sweet floral hops so nicely.
Overall: Wow. So complex yet easy to drink and so fun to review and dissect the flavors. Unique and tasty, did not disappoint. Will definitely grab a few more to see how it develops even more with time.

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Photo of BergBeer
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Orange-Copper with a thick white head. Very active.

Smell: Green apple, white grapes, farmhouse funk, slight ginger, and warm honey. Bright and sweet.

Taste: Honey covered apples, juicy green figs, green grassy hops, Belgian sugar, earthy bitter hops, and just a hint of grapefruit citrus zest. Beautiful.

Feel: Bright. Flavors dance with a peppery lightness on the palate. As the flavors play out the beer dries out earthy. No hint of alcohol.

Overall: Deceptively light with depth of flavor and complexity. Fruity, funky, juicy, earthy all these flavors dance on the palate and leave just a kiss of flavor as it departs leaving you wanting more.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle, pours a slight brown/orange hazey with quite a large head that laces quite well. Aroma lemon, apricots, orange, Apple, pear, grapes fruityness. Taste very fruity, pretty much follows the nose. Very nice.

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Photo of ljdrinksbeer
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BB 12/03/2020
Pours with a generous, billowy head that takes awhile to dissipate. Deep dark and hazy gold.
This is beer folks, smells like beer, grainy malty goodness and a touch of hops
Hops are the first flavor, bitterness with a little lemon, but there is an undeniably earthy aftertaste
medium body with a dry finish
Overall the most striking thing is the finish, very complex and it lingers for quite some time.

BB 27/03/2019
head is a little calmer, smaller bubbles body is clear golden, amber
smell is fruity, vinous
the taste is incredibly different, very fruity, much less bitter
medium body
hard to compare the two that's how different the beer is, both great though

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Photo of Malt_Man
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at cellar temperature from 330ml bottle into Saison Regal glass.

L) Massive off-white foamy head, takes an age to pour. Pale chestnut body, very hazy.

S) Boozy odour, akin to red wine. Strong yeasty odour. Very unique.

T) Slight bitter yeast flavour, again with the red wine and tannins. Very slight hints of lemon or orange. Long but subtle bitter aftertaste. Very definite hints of bourbon or scotch.

F) Smooth. Light carbonation. The subtle but long lasting bitterness so nicely done.

O) Superb. I need to get to know Belgian beer better.

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Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

330ml bottle poured into tulip.

Pours a hazy deep copper with an overflowing tan head of pillowy bubbles that leave puffy clouds of lace as they take their sweet time to recede.

Smells wonderful. Lemon zest, honeyed fruit salad, wildflowers and pleasant grassy hops.

Tastes of lemon juice, honeyed melon and juicy stone fruit, white table grapes, faint caramel malt and soft pine needles.

Feels soft and bouncy. Medium-light bodied with springy carbonation. Finishes off-sweet, the fruit banquet playing with the piney hops.

Verdict: Vigorously recommended. A Belgian ale masterclass.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This review has been updated for the Oud version I enjoyed on 3/4/17, bottled 4/5/15, poured into a large Orval chalice, with the bottom fifth of the contents then poured into a small Orval chalice.

Gold amber with a soft white blanket that is permanent, and leaves a soft cling on the glass.

This has a fruitier smell than expected, and than I remember the fresher version having, starting with green apple, pear, and bread. The yeast is nicely subdued, with just a hint of spice.

Taste is apple, pear, and closely reminiscent of a fancy soda bread made by my favorite local fine dining establishment. I also get corn, and delicate floral flavors I've not had before and am having a hard time pinpointing. Needless to say its subtly complex, with a little hay and barn coming in as it warms.

Orval-Oud is really exceptionally pillowy, smooth, with good carbonation, and a middle-ground finish that begins leaning semi-dry as it warms.

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Photo of PorterPro125
4.91/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type: 330 mL Bottle (Bottled on March 26, 2015)

A- Pours a Hazy Copper topped by an endless white head. Got half of the 330 mL Bottle into a 500 mL Tulip before the head was threatening to jump out of the glass. Annoying enough but the fascinating part it that it took around 5 minutes for the head to die down enough that I could pour the rest of the bottle into the glass; there was one clump that lasted the entire 15-20 minutes it took me to drink the glassful! Lots of thick lacing on the glass.

S- Grapefruit, Apple, pear, peach, grapes. A lot of fruit flavours that I did not expect with this Ale! Slight funk mixed in. Absolutely beautiful. A Masterpiece for the nose...

T- The perfect amount of grassy/earthy bitterness followed by the beautiful fruit found in the nose.

M- Moderate yet very active carbonation and a Medium dry body. Excellent drinkability.

O- I'll start by saying that this beer is a one-of-a-kind; an absolute masterpiece. The unexpected hoppy and fruity flavours are exceptional an according to what i've heard, this beer ages wonderfully. I can't wait to try an aged bottle (I have one in my cellar now)!

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Photo of CraigP83
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Amber Orange color with HUGE fluffy white head. Complex smell, cherry/Orange alka seltzer, pez candy. Taste is floral, a bit dry, layered and complex, boozy for its abv. Interesting brew

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-review of a bottle dated 12/3/15 (!) Time to see what this beer is like fresh!

Pours a clearish copper color. The head is about a bazillion fingers high, with a bubbly, fluffy texture and an eggshell shade. Annoyingly, the retention is pretty damn good. Huge amounts of lacing sticks to the glass, as well.

I expected this beer to be hoppy, but I expected a grassy bitterness from the aroma - not the cornucopia of fresh fruits I'm picking up! I pick up lots of peach, apricot, apples, and white grapes. The brett is young, but is already bringing some subtle earth and funk. This more or less smells like what the archetypal Belgian beer should be.

The flavor is a bit more bitter than the nose suggested, but nothing to ruin the beer. It opens up with a decent grassy bitterness, before transitioning into mid-taste flavors of peach, pear, and apricot. I can just feel this beer's flavor profile transforming every few seconds. I get mild flavors of vanilla cream and caramel on the finish - maltiness in Orval? Say it isn't so! However, due to its 'age', its brett characteristics are buried beneath the hops. Still, the beer is perfectly balanced yet all comes together to form a cohesive whole. Even when the dregs are poured in it still remains endlessly tasty.

Wow, this beer really fills the mouth with its carbonation. It doesn't have a harsh carbonic sting, though. Despite the full feel, it finishes bone dry. Drinkability levels are perfect, simply because it's absolutely wonderful to savor.

This beer is a legend for a very good reason - it's one of the most insanely complex beers ever. Yet fresh, it has a surprising hoppiness to it. Of course, everything remains perfectly balanced. I'd wager this 12/3/15 batch turned out fantastically. If some American brewer hyped this beer up, made it a one-day-brewery-only release, I would still go batshit over it. But it's available in many stores around the country. Methinks I should have bought more than 3 bottles...

4.49/5: Simply put, a masterpiece

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Photo of frothy_80
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Bottle Date 1/4/2015

Pours a nice orange copper hue. Huge white head with tight knit bubbles that is quite long lasting. The smell is of barnyard and wet hay. Fruit is plentiful with lemon, pear, and orange with a little earthy undertones. Taste is deep and complex with malt graininess, earth (almost an umami quality), grass/herbal and lemon peel rounding out the finish. Subtle funk washes throughout the taste. Good dry finish with a good amount of carbonation. Still feels fuller in body than what was anticipated with the amount of carbonation, but still on the lighter side. A very complex beer that makes you want to keep drinking to search for even more. Need more to age!

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Photo of enrique_m
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

poured this brew into a tulip and it gave me a very nice head that was roughly 4 inches. the bubbles were foamy and it is very fragant. i am getting a funky and tart aroma that is like rotten lemon peel in a good way. the taste is mellow but very complex... its very earthy and you gets tastes of grains like poppy and sesame seeds. after each drink it finishes off with dry tongue with lemon peel aftertaste. overall this goes well with cheese and crackers and i would not have it any other way.

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Photo of ckornmannn
4.84/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a bottle, into a wine glass: golden amber color, slightly hazy. 2 inch head of velvety foam with great retention. Wonderful aroma, grassy and herbal. Complex flavor, grassy and herbal. Champagne. Maybe the best beer I have tried!

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The bottle of Orval that I tried may have been a bit overprimed which I believe effects the scent, taste and mouthfeel. The beer poured a hazy copper with big white head that left some lace. The scent was tru to most trappist....Belgianny. The taste also follow most Trappist ales. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with huge carbonation. Overall it was decent....would like to try this beer on tap....probably wouldn't search out a bottle of it.

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Photo of Hanglow
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 24/03/2015

Drunk on 14/12/2015

Pours with a vast pillowy head

Aroma is sweet cider, some leather. Sort of 50/50 as it warms a tad in the glass.

Prickly carbonation, some bitterness accentuated by the dryness. more leather in the flavour, the sweet cider drops way back and it becomes more beery

some warming alcohol, lingering dryness

What can you say, it's Orval. Buy lots from the same bottling date and enjoy them over time as it changes so much.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours a hazy amber, orange color with a white head that did not last, not much carbonation, not much lacing, looks pretty solid.

A: White wine, white grapes, vinegar, sour, funk, lots of aroma coming off this beer, pears, green apples, very pungent, no alcohol on the nose, smells really good.

T: Big hit of sour funkiness, tartness, sour cherries, there's a touch of oak even though it's not barrel aged, moderate amount of bitterness in the middle, finishes dry, lemon, spice, oak lingering in the aftertaste, very complex, has some depth, getting tons of flavors, very interesting.

M: I did not see much carbonation, it pops with carbonation in the mouthfeel, medium body, dry citrus like finish.

O: This is definitely interesting, tons of flavors, citrus, spice, oak, sour, funk, tartness, sour cherries, pears, green apples, white wine, white grapes, all these flavors come through as I enjoyed the beer, very complex, has lost of depth, going to pick up some more bottles to see how different dates have aged, worth a try, cheers.

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Photo of mac31
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fluffy, lingering egg white head

Dry, tart lemon, touch of orange, restrained yeast, spiciness and esters present from the yeast. A funky, musty, earthiness takes over about mid palate to the finish, which is the most enjoyable part for me (huge saison fan). The alcohol is present and noticeable but covered nicely. A dry, thin bodied brew that is crisp in nature. Has spritzy carbonation, on the high side of appropriate for the style. Haven't had this beer in a while. Nice to go back to an old faithful.

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Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Drank at a year and two months.

Look is very light with a huge amount of head that billows like a cloud and does not die quickly. Great lacing.

Smell - Yeast, apple, lemon, little bit of funk in this beer.

Taste - Oaky, surprisingly complex for the color of the beer. Cherry, lemon, and orange are all present as well as the lasting taste of yeast and some pine.

Feel - Pretty high carbonation that you experience the second the liquid hits your tongue. Light in body so it goes down easily.

Overall - Don't know much about the style so not anything to compare it to... But coming from an American this was a different/weird beer that was quite delicious. Very unique in my neck of the woods. Fun brew.

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Photo of edward_boumil
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: Original fluffy and bubbly tan head, subsides down to a thin film on top of the beer. Color is an opaque burnt orange color.
S: Predominant smells are citrus and dried dark fruit, with hints of alcohol. Also a bit of sour apple.
T: Reminds me of a bitter sparkling cider. Sour taste, like that of a green apple, also some dried fruit. A touch of sweetness as well.
F: Definately a bit astringent. Doesn't go back easy, more of a sipper. Body is smooth and full, carbonation is on the higher end.
O: Not my first with this beer. Haven't had it in a while and honestly wasn't blown away. Its a good beer with complex notes but just kind of felt it was lacking something, maybe in the body or as a base taste.

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Photo of OlaB
4.93/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: a gold amber color , a huge top of foam when i por it in the glass
S: citrus fruits , spices ,yeast
T: Incredible taste, hint of vanilla,citrus .slight bitterness in this beer,taste that stays in the mouth for a while after first sip.is quite a unique taste on this beer
F: Low carbonation,medium bodied, feel of the sourness in the beer, the alchol contest very noticable.A very fresh mouthfeel.
O: This one of the best beers out there and one of the resons i fell in love with beligian beers , the beer is unique in my wiev . highly recommended

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,314 ratings.
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