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

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Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
BA SCORE
4.21/5
Exceptional
5,435 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
Ranking:
#986
Reviews:
2,353
Ratings:
5,435
pDev:
12.35%
Bros Score:
4.92
 
 
Wants:
361
Gots:
935
Trade:
11
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,435 |  Reviews: 2,353
Photo of seanyfo
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

0.33cl bottle, which was bottled on 19/1/06, so a year and a bit old.
Poured into a kasteel chalice.


Appearance: foam explosion!! head is four fingers, solid off white, very creamy and produces wonderful lace. Body is hazy amber in colour.

Smell: lots of citrus really hits me here, especially lime, with some fresh grass and a slight manure-esque hint. note* as the beer warms this manure flavour transforms into something resembling a cognac

Taste: Very limey citrus taste up front. This develops quickly into a more sweeter flavour and slightly sticky texture, however finishes very dry and pilsner-like. The lime is always there, but notes of a spice such as nutmeg, coriander maybe, come through to give a sweetness aswell.

M- very spritzy and highly carbonated, firm body, no watery aftertaste here.

D- I dont think i could drink more than 2, the citrus flavours really make this a sipper for me, and not something i could go a session on. A nice one for a summers evening where you just want one or two.

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Photo of mattyrubes
3/5  rDev -28.7%

Photo of Sspeer1
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of barefootbrewer
2.91/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First of all...what a classy looking bottle this came in (this beer was produced on 6/30/2005). It poured a cloudy light brown/tan color with a decent head and some lacing. Even though I poured carefully, yeast was noticeable floating in large clumps. The smell was floral and slightly spicy - very inviting. Where this beer took a downturn was the taste. It was bitter and floral, almost tasted like drinking potpourri. The mouth feel was thin and left a bitter coat on the tongue. I wouldn't consider this a highly drinkable beer, but worth a try as it might appeal to some taste buds.

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Photo of leedorham
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of vickersspitfire
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of TheBeeraholic
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of Caudalie
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of DeFaz
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Is Michael Jordan the best basketball player? It's probably not fair to say since there may be some undiscovered guy out there. And that's how I feel about this beer--in my humble opinion, it seems doubtful that there will ever be a better trappist ale, and yet who knows? What I do know though is that I enjoy the heck out of this--its amazing appearance (a huge foamy head that while receding quickly leaves great lacing) and a smell with complex floral notes and candy-like sweetness that is balanced by something (or everything) and keeps the smell so inviting. The taste is amazing--sweet, delicate, floral, balanced, intense, thoughtful, and beautiful. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy, making it a beer to swirl around in the mouth for several seconds before swallowing, allowing the opportunity to absorb all of the flavors. And yet, even the mouthfeel somehow manages to seek balance with its crispness. Overall, in my opinion this beer is absolutely one of the best out there even considering its relatively high cost (about $4.25 per 11.2 ounce bottle). Some may fail to appreciate the beer because it doesn't have the high ABV of some Belgians or the bitter hop taste of some of their favorite IPAs, but for what it is, it's just about perfect, and I use that word as sparingly as I can.

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Photo of RMentair
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of WholeLottaTricks
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of kbnooshay
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour this super slow, its gonna grow on you. Poured a gloriously hazy golden amber with a huge super frothy-foamy off white head. Lots of carbonation rising to the top. Creamy and very complete coating in terms of lacing. Head looks like a root beer float head floating around on a melting cream base.

Aroma is spectacular. Full of pepperiness, clove, fruit(orange lemon) and honey! The light sour twang of brett yeast is always welcome.

More of the same awesomeness as described above. Super yeasty, musty and lightly sour. Peppery and only slightly drying. Citric.

Feel is creamy and slick but tingly from the carbonation. I would gladly drink more than one of these bowling pin shaped brews but i would almost feel guilty. So damn good.

 743 characters

Photo of cj8311
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of Googs
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 06/14/2012. When I opened it up, it shot out of the bottle. Poured into Duvel tulip.

A: Poured with a huge froathy white head. Lacing coating the glass. Golden orange body. Carbonation is very apparent.

S: This smells incredible. Both sweet and funky from the mix of the fruity Orval yeast and the funky brett but neither is overpowering. Slight aroma from the hops. Just what I was hoping for.

T: Mix of bit sweet bread from the cara and pale malts, spiciness, tart, funk from the yeast and bitterness from the hops. Great - Complex and unique but I think this could better.

M: Low-medium body. Would prefer a little more body actually. Crispy and very carbonated. Maybe a bit too much for my liking. But smooth as fuck, and refreshing.

O: This brew stands out from the other Trappist beers in a number of ways. Like I said, it's complex and unique and certainly drinkable but there's room for improvement. I'll be drinking this again.

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Photo of mverity
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an orange amber with an inch of perfectly even bubbled light tan head. Good lacing, head has staying power, thick collar at the edges. Aroma is of aged hops, earthy funk, citrus, and some dark cherry. Very effervescent and bubbly on the tongue. High carbonation, light to medium body. Fun to drink. Taste is grassy and earthy in a dry funky kind of way, with some floral and earthy hops.

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Photo of rvdoorn
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orval, the trappist you either love or don’t like at all….
Look: pours a orange amber color with a large, long lasting white head.
Smell: Sweet malts, fruits (lemon), flowers, earth, grass and crisp hops. Some hints of sour apples as well.
Taste: Beautiful sourness, horse blanket, crisp, earth and grass/hay all over the place. Clove and lemon up front as well. Tartness all over with a very dry finish. Perfect balance.
Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, medium body.
Overall: Because of the wild fermentation process, I always call this beer the geuze beer under the trappist beers. This beer is so unique, so perfectly balanced, on of the best trappist beers out there. I love it! For most regular trappist beer drinkers out of their style, which maybe explains the IMO the low average score this beers has.

 812 characters

Photo of tewaris
4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Orval Trappist Ale
Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Belgian Specialty/Pale Ale
6.9% ABV
OG?
IBUs?
330 ml bottled April 29, 2009 with a freshness date of April 20, 2014 poured into a Gouden Carolus chalice on September 15, 2010.

Appearance 5/5
Pours slightly hazy, amber-orange colored, with a huge, thick, creamy off-white head that lasted forever. Excellent lacing on the glass. Very inviting.

Aroma 4/5
Fruity and spicy, as expected. The fruit character is of fresh fruit, not dry/dark. Not much funk here though; could be because of the relatively young bottle.

Taste 4/5
Very spicy and fruity with some fruity tartness, and possibly, pepper. Flavorful, yet very light on palate. Another very unique taste that I can't quite place, but is not to my personal liking; hate to say this but it reminds me of detergent at some points. Warmth brings out the hop bitterness at the back of the tongue. Also, the balance of the beer shifts from fruit to spice as the temperature increases. Extremely dry finish; although some remnant maltiness and bitter aftertaste is felt overall.

Mouthfeel 5/5
Light and crisp. Generously carbonated and very refreshing. Initially brewed to compete locally against pilsners, and I can see why.

Drinkability 5/5
If only this one was cheaper!

 1,265 characters

Photo of gr0g
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Five month old bottle. Dirty orange in color, quite hazy. Plenty of carbonation leads to an epic head that lasts for ages. For a young bottle, the Brett qualities are very apparent on the nose. Lots of musty, earthy, leathery notes, but then there's also a good amount of ripe fruit - apple, apricot, peach.

Just about bone dry flavor profile with an earthy/funky vibe. Apple and pear skin. Yeasty and leathery. A lot of hard to pin down flavors intermingled. Very carbonated but not punishingly so - the bubbles soften considerably after a few minutes.

Orval has a storied history but it doesn't quite live up to the hype. Has a lot of complexities, but they're muddled and the flavors don't "pop." Hard to recommend over, say, Matilda.

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Photo of freshcarl
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HipCzech
4.29/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 11.2 oz bottle ("bottled on 09/10/2015") poured into a Spiegelau beer tulip.

Appearance: Slightly hazy pale copper with a fluffy, bubbly head of nearly white bubbles. A good cap of foam persists with sparse lace.

Smell: Deep and complex; musty cellar and barnyard straw fill the nose along with

Taste: Clean and dry; tart citrus, minerals, grass and herbal hop bitterness. Crisp and funky like Fino sherry, almost medicinal.

Mouthfeel: Creamy smooth, medium body and lively soft carbonation.

Overall: Dry, complex and funky - an ideal aperitif.

 559 characters

Photo of ElGuapo
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The pour is very nice. It is a chocolatey brown color and very murky. The head is massive, and chunky. It sits around for a while. Aroma is pretty good with a lot of dark fruits. There are nice spices and big whiffs of alcohol. Some sour hints are in there as well.

A bottle of '04 was very mild, with no real spiciness to it. It had a nice sweet malt backbone with some kicks of alcohol, but not a lot of complexity. I thought that if it mellowed, it would taste like nothing, but the '03 was much better. It had a nice spicy bite, and a big warming alcohol blast that was a bit too much at times, but didn't really hurt it. The carbonation is pretty big, but it smoothes out. This one didn't really do it for me as compared to others in the style.

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Photo of proc
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good beer. Pours out to a cloudy, amber in the glass with a generous head. The aroma is the strong point of this beer. It combines essences of a fine liqueur with that of yeast and fruit. Taste is slightly spicy in the Belgium sort of way. Fairly high in carbonation. Finish is quite easy and invites another sip. Rather expensive, but a nice treat.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle date 07/05/07 into goblet. Pours hazy orange with significant, but diminishing head. Smells of sugars and bananas,and maybe cloves. Very tart and dry. Taste is hard to explain for me. Very nice carbonation feel in the mouth. Light taste that cuts sharply. This was my first Orval.

 295 characters

Photo of everetends
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bottle I picked up from Green's in ATL. This was bottled on 9-07-08, not too bad. I was told to let it age, but I figure what the hell. Served up in a tulip.

A: Pours a really nice and mild orangish/brown color. Held to the light you get more of a lighter orange glow. The head is off white and a good three fingers. The head is seriously rocky and huge foam. The head has great retention thanks to the constant carbonation activity that is feeding the head and moving around in here. Lace is very soapy and sticky. Lots of rocky foam remains on the glass. This is a great looking brew for sure.

S: Smell is solid. Getting some nice Belgian yeasty quality. Nice bready malt character coming through here and it really works with the fruit goodness that lies within. Getting some really nice and crisp apple skin and some nice pear. There is a touch of banana in here which is a pleasant suprise. There is a little bit of dirty funk going on in here. Its very light but its just a nice earthy hay and dusty, wet wood.

T: Taste is very nice indeed. Yet again a really nice bready and crackery malt mixes wonderfully with the Belgian yeast coming out here. That fruit is very present. Lots of apple and ome sweet pear are on display in a big way. The banana is not as big time as I was hoping but a very nice addition to the flavors. Getting a little bit of lemon lime coming out that really reminds me of a light and sparkly lemon lime soda I used to have in europe. The hops are light and floral. All together, beautiful.

M: Light side of medium in body with a really huge and crisp carbonation presence that works oh so well here. This beer has a touch of a tart feel going on in here. This beer is slightly dry. ABV is no where to be found. Aftertaste is mostly some slightly tart apple and fruity goodness. This all works and very nice.

D: This beer is incredibly drinkable thanks to is light wieght and big time carbonation. Overall, this beer works on every level. The flavors are complex but still remain light and delicate. I think that is the best way to describe this beer. It has some much going on but it still remains delicate. Just a beautifully crafted brew. Glad I followed the advice of whoever it was who told me to get a bottle of this to give a go. Just great.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 5,435 ratings
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