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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,274 Reviews
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Belgium | website

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:
2,274
Ratings:
5,199
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
18.9%
 
 
Wants:
334
Gots:
820
For Trade:
12
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,274 | Ratings: 5,199
Photo of Mako82
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a brandy snifter

A - Burnt orange color that was cloudy. Very foamy white head that lasted ridiculously long!

S - Nice smell of floral, hint of spice, mild malts in the background, slight hint of clove, and picked up some yeast

T - Mild floral type taste with traces of yeast (nothing overwhelming). Picking up a hint of wheat/grassy type taste with a hint of clove. Aftertaste didn't last too long.

M - Very dry, light feeling

Drinking the beer with a good amount of head will really help bring out the taste

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Photo of 20ozmonkey
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank this as a victory beer after spending way too much time buildiing an Ikea bed. Poured into a Chimay goblet.

Hazy amber color. Tiny bubbles pillowing in the center.

Smells very floral with a honey sweetness that I'm having a hard time pinning down, but I'm liking it.

I've not had a Belgian quite like this. It's very light and refreshing with lots of copper on the middle of the palate. Bready and bitter on the finish. This isn't the Belgian yeast bomb that I'm used to. This has a very smooth mouthfeel. There is lots of carbonation but it only slightly tingles your mouth versus giving it a burning feeling.

I've been eyeing this beer for quite some time and I'm glad I finally picked one up. I'll probably get more in the future.

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Photo of tyjudd
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Pours a hazy orange. The head is intense. Previous reviews of a stout head is understated. Tried to control the pour to limit head but to no avail. 4/5s of the glass was full of a thick, slow eroding head. The nose was of orange and lemon candy. Smelled delicious. Btw, the head still remains with impressive lacing on the glass. The taste was not what I was expecting. Not sure how to describe it. Malty and boozy. The finish was super dry, like a bourbon. Very good. Only wish I had another one.

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Photo of sejorules
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

L: Amber cloudy with white thick head

S: Very strong smell. Yeast, sweet banana, plums, slight alcoholic like fermented fruit. Spicy.

T: Very well defined smell. Plums, yeast, Slight tartness, slight bread, a little spicy.

F: Warming and medium fizzy.

O: This was amazing. Superb beer, I will buy again.

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Photo of GeoffW
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a copper color with a big head that lingered for a long time.

Smell was complex with a lot of fruit and spice aromas coming through.

Taste was somewhat spicy and a little bitter with a nice lingering after taste. The alcohol was very present in this beer. Mouthfeel was quite nice with again more fruitiness.

Not the most drinkable beer as far as my preferences are concerned, but good nonetheless.

Overall not quite my style of beer, but it was still good.

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Photo of matt7215
4.97/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330 ml bottle from the LCBO

Pours beautiful hazy golden with a huge thick white head. Sediment stains the head when the last few drops enter the trappist glass.

The aroma varries from bottle to bottle with this one. Some time you get a funky brett forward farmhouse aroma and sometimes you get a big hop bomb over a belgian ale body. Either way you cant ask for more. I actually salivate just at the thought of smelling this brew.

The flavours are never quite the same with this one. You have a finely brewed hoppy Belgian Ale with the addition of brett. Depending on age you might not even notice the brett but with some age this really comes out and adds layers of complexity.

This is my favourite beer and if I could only drink one brew for the rest of my life it would be Orval.

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Photo of bobjonesSD
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle from OTM in OB. Poured into a Maredsous chalice. Massive, beautiful lacey head from the pour, hangs around forever and leaves a lovely lace on the edge of the glass. As soon as I popped the top of the bottle I was met with the amazing sweet, sour yeasty aroma with lots of esters, one of the most appetizing smelling beers I've tried. The taste is complex and interesting with a lot of flavors from the brettanomyces coming through - leather, horsey on top of the blondey belgiany base. Really an enjoyable beer, definitely going to try again. This bottle was about 9 months from the bottling date.

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

Served from a bottle (6/27/11 exp.) into a pint glass, a very nice dark golden color, with apples on the nose. Poured gently and created a huge off white head. At first it tastes very fruity, with distinct colors of apples, cider, and other fuits as well as a twinge of cinnamon. A very interesting after taste lingered after the first sip. The head eventually dissolved into a 1 finger constant, with lacing down the side of the glass. The beer is just carbonated enough, and not too overly done. Mouthfeel was great, the beer just rolled around, and did not want to go down. I would buy this beer again, I just hope the store I go to keeps carrying it.

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Photo of jwheeler85
3.62/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I tried to be as objective as possible for this one since I wasn't personally a big fan of it. Higher scores are more based on uniqueness rather than like/dislike.

A- Poured a deep amber with some head retention

S- Slightly grassy and herbal. Also had a slight fruity note with a background smell sort of like musty leather. (very unique, but not personally a fan of this combo)

T- More astringent and bitter than it is sweet. I'm also getting a little bit of orange peel and coriander type flavors. Finishing with that odd sort of leathery note.

M- Medium carbonation, and medium mouthfeel.

D- For me, this had low drinkability... it was one of those beers that I can feel expand like crazy in my gut... makes me feel really bloated.

Overall, I would recommend that everybody try this one at least once... just due to the fact that it is so unique in it's flavor profile. I've never had anything else quite like it. Again, I didn't particularly like it, but it's uniqueness is something to be admired.

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Photo of Blueapollo420
4.94/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the beers that turned me on to good beer! A credit to the style.
Hazy appearance switch a huge lingering head. Tastes of hay and bubblegum. Very good cannot wait to drink again

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Photo of bigreduw64
3.86/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark gold color with a very nice head. At first had a light flavor with a taste of a slight banana yeast flavor. It had a moderate finish that hung around in my mouth for about 20 seconds. The mouthfel was good and had a decent carbonation that seemed to fit the beer.

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Photo of RobertDwight
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my lovely Orval challis. It has a deep orange and light reddish/brown color to it. The head is outstanding, it looks so creamy. The head almost reminds me of soft peak egg whites, kind of like meringue. I smell a lot of citrus, and it also reminds me of the smell of a lambic. Tastes of toffee and fresh bread at first, then quickly moves to the citrus & spicy bitterness of the hops which lingers on the tounge a while after taking a drink. This beer reminds me of a lemon meringue pie. I am a huge fan of this beer and think people should drink more of it.

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Photo of mnfinnkidd
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Served in Orval Chalice

Nose: Slightly Sweet with sour notes. Pear. Light Aroma

Apperance: Cloudly reddish orange with white head about 1/4" thick: Long Lasting head.

Mouthfeel: Heavy on the tongue with full carbonation in the back

Taste: Sourness is medium with apple characteristics. Sourness lingers on the tongue for a while after each sip. Maybe burnt tones.

Overall: I've been waiting to try this trappist beer for a while now ever since I bought the glass to match it. The sourness is a little too tart for my tastes at the moment. This is a very subtle beer for a trappist but it's also quite different.

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Photo of saztheorybook
3.48/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

There was almost a marble in its golden and amber blend in the glass with a white brown creamy head. It smelled citrusy and a little rosy, with some hints of maltiness. The first taste was outstandingly bitter and overpowering, with an acrid aftertaste. As I kept drinking, it became fruitier and more enjoyable, but I don't see myself getting this one again for a while.

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Photo of buzzworthy
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle is dated 7/5/07, making it four months old at drinking (couldn't wait). The beer pours a slightly hazy amber with a huge, billowy head, leaving remnants of lace. The aroma has a freshness to it that reminds me of the ocean, with malt fruitiness underpinning it. Orval's taste is of mellow black cherries and plums, not as intense as the American brewed Belgian-style Ommegang that I am more familiar with, but seemingly more balanced. The hops add some bite and the finish is quite dry.The intense carbonation does not bother me and Orval seems surprisingly drinkable.

 579 characters

Photo of scray24
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from CLO poured into pint glass (yes, heathen!).

Nice clear gold/orange in first pour with significant white head. Head was nice and dense good retention and nice lacing left behind. Second pour little more hazy (to be expected)

Yeasty, spicy, lightly hoppy citrus smell. Finishes nice and dry, no off flavors, very effervescent....

Crisp clean and smooth. Before the flavor is even picked up i am noticing the crispy cleany smoothness. Hops and malt mesh well. Citric zest kicks in, very nice job here.

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Photo of Petrislav
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into chalice

A: Cloudy dark butterscotch brew, topped with a light sandy head

S: Fruity aroma - hops, yeast, caramel, malt

T: Yeast and carbonation leads to bright floral hops, bitterness and a sweet hop and toasted malt aftertaste

M: Light, almost no body, wish it were a little more full bodied

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

What can I possibly say about this beer that hasn't already been said? The most idiosyncratic beer ever made. Not like any other beer you will EVER drink -- unless it's specifically designed to mimic Orval. Even then, it won't quite manage it.

Orval is also incredible in how much it changes with age. I can't say that I prefer a bottle with age to a young bottle, they are entirely different beasts. Thanks to cafés serving different vintages here in Belgium (Kulminator in Antwerpen, Dubh-Linn in Langdorp for example), I have had them ranging from a very young, green two months all the way to 6 years' age. They are beautiful young or old. The young tends towards a fresh light hoppiness, and an aged bottle has a creamier quality with the bretts coming forth more.

A true classic, dry-finish and wonderful washing-powder aroma, gorgeous off-white head, mouthfeel that is creamy and light all at the same time, I can't really describe it fully. You can drink one, or you can drink five (though it's quite a bit stronger than, say, your average pilsner and you do so at your own risk). All I can say is that it's the only beer logo I am considering tattooing on my body -- that's how much I adore and revere this beer. My favorite Trappist, hands-down.

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Photo of arthurspoor
4.81/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

At first I didn't like this beer. Neither did I like the other Trappisten. But as with the best things in life, you have to learn to love it.

This is my favorite beer. There is nothing like it. It is low in alcohol, but it is so heavily flavoured.

The smell is wonderful. So fresh and misterious.

For me there is nothing that beats it.

You must try it!

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Photo of Pstanek
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic beer but maybe because it suits my narrow tastes. Very volitale. Produced a thick heavy head even with a gentle pour from the bottle. Violent bubbling (tornado like) continued from bottom of glass. It made me wonder if something was wrong. After tasting I was pretty sure nothing was wrong. The taste is unique but wonderful. Hard to compare because not like any other.

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Photo of mtrentm
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a snifter.

A: A pale-orange color wit ha nice 3-4 finger pillowy whit head.

S: Sweet candied lemon nose with some floral hints.

T: Very crisp sweet lemon flavors up front with a slight hop bitterness. Finishes somewhat tart & very dry.

M: Light-bodied with a clean dry finish.

D: A very drinkable brew, each drink seems to be better than the one before.

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Photo of heavy216
1.86/5  rDev -55.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: 11.2 oz bottle. huge head, lasted several minutes, apple cider like color when poured.

S: strong fruit/yeast aroma....possibly banana

T/M: strong carbonation....very strong afterbite

D: Not very impressed especially for large price tag, was hoping this one would have been better

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Photo of mjgooner13
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Some good smoke upon opening the bottle... dirty copper color, fluffy cream colored head with lots of small bubbles...

S- red wine smell comes through immeadiately upon opening the bottle. After a minute or so, the scent become a mix of sweet raisins to start followed by grapefruit and alcohol

T- Get mostly fruit in the mouth. some malt sweetness, i was hoping for more, but still very a very good tasting beer. Alcohol comes through as the beer sits...

M- Med body beer that leaves the mouth a little dry, but in a good way. Carbonation is good, but nothing special in the mouthfeel.

O- Definitely a tasty beer. For me the raisins and grapefuit are the main flavors and they combine well with the alcohol especially as the beer sits for a bit. Good bit of dryness keeps me wanting more.

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Photo of jbramley
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a nice amber with a good thick, fluffy offwhite head. Nice lacing as the beer went done. Smelled floral, sweet, with a handful of straw thrown in. A sharp carbonation on the tongue that mellowed out a bit as the beer warmed up. There was some bitterness and some hop characteristics, but a typical sweetness to it. A little sharp in the mouth, but otherwise easy to drink.

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Photo of OutlawJoseyWales
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

App: Brownish/caramel color, with two fingers of creamy foam

Smell: apples, cinnamon, spice, banana

Taste: cider, juicy hops, clean and crisp, orange peel, there's some strange hint that i guess i'll agree with others and call it horseblanket. adds to the originality of this beer.

while not on par with other trappists beers, this beer is set apart from other beers of the style by the complex taste and originality.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 2,274 ratings.
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