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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
5,377 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
Ratings:
5,377
Reviews:
2,342
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
358
Gots:
905
For Trade:
11
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Ratings: 5,377 |  Reviews: 2,342
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Photo of angrybabboon
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 7/29/12

Appearance: Slightly hazy, burnt orange with some amber - starts with a big, fluffy, creamy head - leaves sheets of lacing, simply pretty to observe - keeps a great cap until the end

Smell: In a word, unique - Belgian yeast, with some spiciness - flower petals and some herbal notes - some light citrus, and some light fruits - dry white wine and some phenols

Taste: Weird, in a good way - flowers, white wine, pale malts, Belgian yeast, pepper, and some clean funk - remarkably dry - moderately bitter, in an oddly phenolic way - some light, fruity esters in here as well

Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth, nicely carbonated, unbelievably dry - epic-level dryness

Overall: I don't know what I'm drinking, but I like it

I drank Orval roughly 4 years ago, and it stuck in my mind as being particularly interesting. Now, I am reaching the realization that this is even more complex than I once thought. This does not really taste like a Belgian Pale Ale. Yes, it has pale ale malts, but it's also very flowery, had some sour/funk notes, and kind of tastes like a white wine. Bonus points for uniqueness.

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.92/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drawn to this bottle for some reason. Bready boozy smell at outset. Cider-like color with thick lacing. The best part of this brew for me is the complexity. At first taste I do sense the yeast, the astringency is there as others will agree here. I may seem off a bit in this but vinegar comes to mind as a mouth sensation, if you can somehow picture that in a good way. I guess there is an odd abrasiveness that somehow "works". Yes it is quite dry, however I can't help, and can hardly believe, that I also detect fruit or fig in the taste. As I mentioned, this is all about complexity. The mouthfeel for me is most abrasive up front, but it is up front where i also smell the fruit-like bouquet as I am tasting it. For some reason and I can't pinpoint exactly how, but this is very drinkable for a beer with such a distinct character. Spices are picked up too. Unusual. I guess the reason i think Orval is so good despite some unusual characteristics is due to the expertise in the brewery of using their "brettanomyces" yeasts the way they do. Apparently in most beers these yeasts are considered contaminants. With that it's no wonder I also favor saisons. All good here.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,377 ratings.
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