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

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,301 Reviews
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
Reviews:
2,301
Ratings:
5,266
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
18.9%
 
 
Wants:
336
Gots:
856
For Trade:
11
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,301 | Ratings: 5,266
Photo of jenitivecase
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours with a ridiculously huge head - took me a total of four pours to get it all into my Karmeliet chalice (although it is, admittedly, a touch small). Nice, dark tan, with orange overtones. Head pours off-white and leaves crazy lacing. Ends up with a textured, multi-layered head after multiple pours.

S: Malty, yeasty, with lots of spices - cloves, sage, pepper, maybe even some ginger - apples, and dried apricots. A bit of soap and medicinal scent, as well.

T: Complex and brooding. The fruits and spices of the nose are still present, just dark. Sharp peppery zing upon hitting the palate; fades into some soapy flavors in the mid-regions before leaving an aftertaste reminiscent of peat, smoke, and spent charcoal briquettes.

M: Glides along the tongue. Smooth, yet coats the mouth ever so slightly. Medium-bodied, but very well developed. Super carbonated.

D: Pretty drinkable, despite its ridiculous character. Gets better as it warms.

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Photo of AmishT
3.66/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep hazy gold with a huge head that utterly dominates my wide body snifter. Leaves a wake of lacing behind as it recedes. Great retention, as the head settles into a foamy cap.

S - A good mix of yeast and dark fruit aromas make up the nose. The yeast does not overwhelm the fruit notes. Overall, the aromas could be a bit stronger, but it's pleasant, nonetheless

T&M - The flavor is yeasty with a tart, lemony-like kick. Pretty spicy. Initially, I found the flavor unpleasant, but it became more drinkable as I continued drinking. The mouth is smooth and medium bodies. Flavors endure decently.

D - Once I got past the flavor, I found this Belgian to be fairly drinkable. Maybe a tad heavy and a little on the heavy side, but nothing too overwhelming.

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Photo of soultrain
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an Orval chalice.

A-Orange beer, beige head, murky with small yeast chunks. Looks pretty damn good sitting in the old Orval chalice, yup. 1/2" head settles to 1/4" in a minute. No lacing.
S-Enticing sourness in the aroma. Some alcohol, too. Kinda like a cologne made with dried orange peels.
T-Well hopped, nice bitterness, earthy, a bit sour, but most of all dry. Dryyy in a real good way. The yeast has a peppery spicy flavor to it, and the drying alchohol finish and the "Orval burps" that result make this one of the most unique brews to ever cross my path, lips, palette, etc.... This beer blooms as it warms, of course, and in my experience with this beer, no two sips are the same, and no two bottles are identical. What a chameleon! I find this beer hard to describe, actually, as words like "dust" and "dirt" and "Musty like an old mansion" keep entering my skull as I'm drinking....
Final yeast pour turned the last inch of beer to mud; a tasty mud, though.
M-This particular bottle had an over-ample, fizzy, champagne-like carbonation that I hadn't noticed before in previous bottles. Light body.
D-Unusual beer to say the least. When I have it with dinner, I tend to forget what I'm eating and dwell on this perplexing beer...is this good? Healthy?

CRUX: UNIQUE AND FASCINATING BELGIAN BREW HERE. Each bottle is an aesthetic experience: well worth the sample. I can remember having better bottles of this brew in the past, so I'm looking forward to my next encounter with this brew already.

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Photo of Weli
4.69/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A-Light copper/amber with a rocky white head with great retention.

S-Really reminds me of spring in a hayfield! Kinda fruity maybe apples, a hint of spice

T-Smooth earthy bitterness up front with a hint of citrus and spice, hints of pilsner malt

M-Kinda tart, overall dry and very thirst quenching

O-A must try beer! Definitely a bench mark example of the Belgian Pale Ale

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Photo of Cannybrew
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful golden Amber with good frothy head which slowly dissipitates. Smells are subtle. Black cherry, honey sweetness, and a spicy zing. A definite malty sweetness comes through at the back of the tongue. A very well balanced, yet highly carbonated beer leaves a dry mouthfeel. Fab!

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Photo of jkanavel
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a wonderful treat that I found in an unexpected place.
It poured dark golden and hazy after I stirred the yeast a bit, with a nice fluffy off-white head.

The first thing I noticed was the smell that came bursting from the bottle when I opened it. I got a rush of ethanol which dissipated quickly and left behind strong banana notes.

The taste was a wonderful combination of sweetness offset by clean hops with alcoholic and yeasty back notes. Maybe some herbal/floral action going on too.

The mouthfeel is the kicker with this one, it is crisp and sharp, you almost get the impression you're drinking a citrus beverage. Its quite refreshing and enhances the flavor a great deal.

Pretty drinkable stuff I dare say, were it not so expensive that is.

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Photo of MP72
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Beautiful orangish color with a thick white head ,,very dense bubbles.

S-Citrus and alcohol

T-yeasty , bitter ,sweet and citrusy all at the same time.

M- tingly and crisp

D- to me average couldnt do more than 2

All in all a very good Belgian Pale Ale,, I would buy this again. The taste hides the high 6.9 ABV very well.

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Photo of nms1987
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Duvel tulip glass.
Brownish orange color. Kind of clay colored. Completely opaque.
Massive foamy white/cream head. More head than Duvel.

Smells Belgian. Funky yeast notes and a slight bit of hoppy notes coming through there.

Wow, thats a dry beer. Definately a sipper despite the low (for a Belgian) ABV. More hoppy than most Belgians but not what I'd call a "hoppy" beer compared to many American beers. The brett adds a fun dimension though, the moderate brett and moderate hopping synergize nicely to add up to more than the sum of their parts.
The combination almost gives it a west-coast citrus/pine vibe although the beer is much more moderate, complex and understated than that.

I like it, I just don't know how often I'd seek it out.

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Photo of jpittman80
3.27/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Orangy amber with hick full head. Big cloud of yeast sediment that fills the glass, rendering hazy.

S - Smells great. Bready belgian yeast character with banana, lemon, and some tropical fruit characteristics.

T - Mostly yeast, with lemon, banana, and a pretty good bit of hop bitterness for a Belgian. Very dry.

M - Light-medium body with plenty of carbonation.

D - It's actually making me a little gassy, but maybe I'm having an off night. The hop bitterness gets a little old after awhile. I think I might give the rest of the goblet to my wife, see if she likes it a little better.

Meh.

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Photo of Aethien
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 21 dec 2011, best before 21 dec 2016.

Poured into a chalice, a hazy almost copper colour with a good off white head. Great retention and plenty of lacing.

Smell: Flowery, grapes, a little tart and some citrus.

Taste & mouthfeel: Prickling carbonation and some citrus flavours followed by hoppy bitterness, yeast, grassy notes and ends spicy, a little tart and very dry. The beer gets smoother near the end as well.

Overall: It's a very well balanced and good beer. It's not spectacular it's just very good.
I may try aging one or more of my 4 pack to see how it changes.

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Photo of jamesroses
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 21/4/2016, drank on 18/8/2016

Appearance: hazy copper orange with a big head every time it's poured, like 5 finger head. Great lacing and retention.

Aroma: reminded me of good sparkling wine, fruity and floral, red apple skin and perfume. Not strong, but delicate.

Taste: similar to the aroma, tasted like white sparkling wine, sour golden raisins and something similar to a fruity minty flavour.

Mouthfeel: crisp carbonation that makes for a medium bodied mouthfeel with a champagne-like bitter aftertaste.

Overall: I liked it and would drink it again, maybe was a bit more sour or bitter than I'd expected. This bottle was pretty fresh, so I'm looking forward to get another one and cellar it for a couple of years to see what it's like in that condition.

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Photo of barrelman
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very bubbly into the glass. Bubbles coat the glass giving an indirect view of the color which is a beautiful, light amber. Head retreats to light layer with no lacing.

The aroma is extremely pleasant. Fruity with the mild horse-blanket tones being the quiet feature of the nose.

Taste is pretty dry with the wild yeast taking the spotlight in both the fore and after tastes. The after taste lasts a little too long for me with a high, thin flavor.

Mouthfeel started off over-carbonated for me but after a brief warmup and sit, settles down nicely.

The drinkability is pretty good, With most of my pleasure coming from what the small proportion of wild yeast brings to it in both the nose and taste. A thoroughly enjoyable brew.

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Photo of rkinsella
3.32/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Medium yellow / light amber, slightly cloudy. Beautiful head stayed through most of the glass. Decent amount of lacing.

Smell - Actually caught me by surprise. A tad strange. Balanced malt and hop, but with strong notes of a fresh water stream? Dare I say, fresh laundry??? Almost a puzzling smell.

Taste - Right away you can taste the complexity. Fine notes of citrus, spice, tartness, all inside of a big crisp taste. Nice dry finish which faded evenly.

Mouthfeel. Round, velvet, good carbonation.

This beer is beautifully crafted with lots of care I'm sure. Although I don't know how often I would buy it, but I'm very glad I tried it.

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Photo of rdespain
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the most original and funkiest beers ever made! Drinking it makes me feel like I am walking through a hay field during the early harvest. Lots of cows grazing around in the fields, freshly pollinated flowers, and funky fresh smells all on the wind. Love the beer, have had it fresh (less than three months old) and aged (3+ years in bottle), and I love it every time. Every bottle is different but the funk and the pure farm freshness remains each time.

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Photo of BlackHoleBrew42
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Golden amber Nectar, huge head, beautifully and highly carbonated

S- oooh, theres the brettanomyces... noble hops, i think Styrian Goldings. getting goosebumps.

T- Good lord. I dont know why, this beer just makes sense. Not to sout, beautiful hoppiness, but not bitter. perfectly balanced sour sweet bitter. Good lord.

M- As before, high carbonation, delicious lingering sourness, a tear comes to my eye as the flavor fades...

D- For me, my desert island beer.

Theres a store here in Colorado that sells bottles for $2.49 a piece... might need to go buy a case, although i might drink it all in a few days. Seriously. Amazing stuff. I love these Cistercian monks, got to make it to the brewery some day. Soon.

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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 Muhly
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a snifter. Warmed bottle 20 minutes after removing from the refrigerator.

Bottled in September 2011 with a best before date of September 2016.

A-Pours with a good deal of foamy head. Head it is quite fluffy with one large bubbles foaming. Retains the head nicely. No lacing when I tip the glass, but the head seems to retain its form very well. As I drink it down the lacing becomes much more apparent. Colour is a red-copper and very clear.

S-A fair bit of sweet malt with and a little yeasty. Some floral hops that are more summer time field than citrusy.

T-Hit with a bit of the sweet maltiness right away, which fades to a mildly funky yeast and then finally a bit of tartness. Mild grassy/citrusy hops. I think I'm also detecting a slight spicy note as well, but it doesn't pop out on every sip it seems.

M-Light in body and it kind of just dances on your tongue. Very dry finish that lingers on the mouth. Maybe a touch of alcohol, but not really noticeable.

O-It seems that all of the flavours in this beer come to play in equal quantity. Nothing takes the lead and everything comes together at the right moment. Thoroughly enjoyable and well made beer.

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Photo of Bluesman2383
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Banana on the nose and then malty goodness. The only thing about this beer I did not like was the massive head foam I got from the bottle like Triple Karmelliet. Otherwise, a great beer all the way around.

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Photo of heidelbeerg
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a copper orange color with a fluffy white large head. Carbonation was very evident upon pouring. The smell was crisp and citrus like. The taste was very interesing and different from anything else I've had. Very zingy yet light citron flavor along with a high amount of carbonation. Acidic and lively. Hops evident in the finish. The mouthfeel was a little odd to me. The carbonation seemed almost too high. I had the feeling off pop rocks going off in the mouth. It wasn't bad, just different. The drinkability was good but not great. The bitey nature would keep me from drinking too many of these.

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Photo of brushpig
4.82/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Slim the bartender at the Hopleaf suggested this fine brew. Served in a tulip glass.

Amber orange appearance with a huge frothy head.

The aroma of flowers citrus light spices.

The taste is something special, smooth, but very complex with lemons, hops, tart, bitter, flowers. All this with a perfect balence that makes this a joy to drink. Not a overwhelming ABV (6.20)
which makes this very drinkable.

This is one of the traditional belgiums that is a must try.

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Photo of simonjohansson
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I´d noticed this one in my local store for a rather long time, but I never tried it until recently. I was pretty bored with the old stuff, so I decided to try something new. And man - this is an excellent beer! Smell is fantastic - spicy (sage? thyme?), a bit sour; black currants, apples, somekind of candy (bubblegum?), sweet malt. In the taste, the spices come forward even more, together with different fruits (currants, apples, some sweeter tropical ones too), grass and some sweet malt, plus a really nice, balanced bitterness, and a dry finish. Excellent mix of sour, bitter and sweet notes.

Perhaps my favorite beer.

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Photo of krunchie
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a redbrown to orange colour, bronze, quite cloudy. The head is thick and....big....I had to wait a while to let it set.

S: Lovely! Some hop aroma. Dry cider and herbs.

T: Dry cider and grapefruit. More of the hop aroma, but pretty smooth finish. Light-medium bitterness

M: Semi-full body, Covers the mouth with a bitter aftertaste

D: One is enough. This is a quite nice beer, but the good flavours of it won't last for long. Maybe a good appetizer beer

Will I buy it again? Probably

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Photo of llllDrGONZOllll
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2floz bottle poured into a chalice.

The pop of the cap let out a rather loud hiss. This baby is highly carbonated, and poured gently into my chalice. The head is white and rocky with an assortment of bubbles small and large. The inside of the glass has beautiful lacing. Lacing that is only present due to the imbibing and not the fading of the head. The body of the ale is a beautiful copper and gold. My nose is being filled with floral hops, lemon, dark fruit and a yeasty warm bread. The high amount of carbonation tickles my nasal cavity and leaves me smelling lemon and flowers. The first sip is non aggressive and dry. The body is thin and inviting. Very low bitterness meets biscuit and dark fruit. Champagne like body and mouthfeel pave the way for this complex ale. Dry from start to finish. Orval has a very floral aftertaste with a dry fruit balance. In winter cold or summer sun this ale will fit the bill.

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Photo of DrewKid4
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a bottle with a chalice glass at Rattle N Hum on 33rd Street in Manhattan.

A: Pours a thick glowing orange with a fluffy white head with nice lacing on the glass.

S: Smells like a strong cider more than a strong ale. Very fruity and some hops but very unique.

T: Bitter sweetness of sour fruits - grapes, apples, and ... cranberries? A very bitter Trappist.

M: Crisp, dry feel like a cider but thick like many Belgians.

D: A good Belgian for all tastes. Uncommon at most bars, so when you find a place that has it, definitely try it out.

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Photo of GregoryVII
4.95/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is a delight. The aroma is very earthy and evokes a drive through the countryside. You inhale the hops from the dry hopping greedily as it blends beautifully with the bouquet the yeast imparts. The color is a light sunset and the beer is slightly cloudy, with a good foamy head. The taste is slightly acidic, with invigorating hop notes that work as well with the spice of the yeast in taste as they do in the aroma--a beautiful marriage. Orval finishes dry as you bring the glass up to your mouth for another sip. It's been said before, I think by Randy Mosher, but this...this is beer.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,266 ratings.
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