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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:
#987
Reviews:
2,353
Ratings:
5,435
pDev:
12.35%
Bros Score:
4.92
 
 
Wants:
361
Gots:
935
Trade:
11
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,435 |  Reviews: 2,353
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.83/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pourred an orangy brew with what I consider to be the most beautiful beige head. Head retention for Orval is what other brewers should aspire to since it is the longest lasting I have ever experience. Taste is of complex spice with great fruit aroma. Also, great wheat taste with a strong body. One of the best trappist in my opinion.

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Photo of zeff80
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a copper/orange color with a huge white head. It left very nice lacing.

S - It smelled of dried fruits, yeast and alcohol.

T - It had a spicy flavor. There was also a citrusy (orange) taste. Good sour notes.

M - It was crisp and dry. It is medium to heavy-bodied.

D - This is a great Belgian ale. I love the sour kick with is traditional Belgian ale taste.

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Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 4/15/2013. Pours slightly hazy orange/amber color with a 2-3 finger foamy and fluffy off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big lemon, pineapple, cherry, pear, apple, white grape, hay, straw, pepper, grass, toasted biscuit, musty funk, light leather, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and moderate bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big lemon, pineapple, cherry, pear, apple, white grape, hay, straw, pepper, grass, toasted biscuit, musty funk, light leather, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Good amount of yeast spiciness and earthy hop bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, pineapple, cherry, pear, apple, white grape, hay, straw, pepper, toasted biscuit, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Moderate dryness after the finish from the carbonation. High carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, fairly creamy/bready, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible Belgian Trappist ale. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and moderate bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink for the ABV. A highly amazing offering all around. I feel this is at it’s best right around the 3 year mark, and this one was getting near to that age.

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Photo of Boone757
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of largadeer
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Bright, hazy amber - not entirely opaque, but not overly clear. Head retention is very good. Served in the Orval chalice, it's pretty impressive. Probably one of the better beer presentations I've seen.

Smell: Lemon, freshly cut grass, oily hops with a big bright citrus character, still-developing barnyard funk and just a hint of sweet, fruity malt.

Taste/mouthfeel: Very dry in the mouth, exhibiting both bitter and tart flavors. It's fruity, but not sweet at all - it has more of a sour, acidic fruit character. Ample hopping lends a pine-like flavor. Slick and oily on the tongue, with a long-lasting dry finish. This stuff is incredibly easy to drink, and by far one of the best Belgian beers out there.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of mothman
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter. Pours a finger of white head. Fades down but then has a decent retention. Color is a hazed golden amber.

Aroma: Floral hops with some herbal notes. Lemon zest and brett shows. A barnyard funk is present. A little bit medicinal.

Taste: Brett funkiness is up front. Hay, lemon zest, citrus, herbal flavors, and floral hops. A fairly large floral profile. A bit amount of brett with light oak.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and smooth. Lighter bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and funky.

Overall, a decent beer. It is fairly bretty which makes it a bit harder to drink, but the light body makes up for that. I could drink this again.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Of all the Trappist beers, I feel that the Orval is the most distinctive and unique - and probably the most misunderstood (or disliked) of the group. It can be a challenging beer at first, but it has great character if given a chance. It pours a lightly hazy pale orange-amber with a dense rocky head that lasts; eventually dropping to a thin creamy covering and leaving a beautiful Belgian-lace throughout the goblet. The tiny bubbles rising quickly through the beer make for a delightful little floor show! The high level of carbonation that produces the strong head, also helps it to give off it's very perfumy aroma. Clearly, there are some earthy British hops involved, Goldings and possibly Fuggles, amongst other noble varieties. In fact, I think this is the only Trappist beer that is dry-hopped (w/ Goldings)! It's fermented with 2 strains of yeast giving it enticingly complex aromas of leather, mineral, and wood. Again, the carbonation gives the beer a spritzy mouthfeel, making the body seem a little bigger than it is. The flavor follows the aroma with lots of dried fruit, and a sometimes "metallic" and intense dryness, leading into a somewhat acidic finish that leaves you with a memory of the beer that is more refreshing than mouth-coating.

 1,259 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 10/03/2011 and best by 10/03/2016.

A: Slightly hazy golden amber in color with a two finger tall foamy white head. This beer exhibited excellent head retention properties and significant lacing is observed.

S: Aromas of green apples, lemon zest, barnyard funk, and spices/pepper. Quite complex and enticing.

T: Flavors of green apple with some brown sugar sweetness, followed by lemon zest and spices/pepper, and finish with a pleasant bitterness. A little of the funk is present as well and the flavors are complex.

M: Medium bodied with moderation to high amounts of carbonation. Mild acidity is present and the beer is crisp.

O: Great beer - a very well done Trappist beer. I'm really glad this is available at the local bottleshop because I have and will continue to enjoy this beer. Nice complexity in the aroma and flavors.

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Photo of chinchill
3.74/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

young (5 month old) bottle served in small glass. {Review revised after tasting on 1 Oct. 2011 -- exactly 1 year later!}

A. clear with an ample creamy head. Head is exceptionally long lasting!

M - effervescent; thin & bubbly but not quite watery; nice dry finish.

S - A complex nose that is yeasty, floral, fruity but a tad musty.

T - markedly sour; hoppy; malty

O - a unique and interesting dry-hopped Trappist ale.

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Photo of jlindros
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 08/30/12, almost a year old... I love how they actually date the beer and give a best by date, for a famous Trappist Belgian beer.

Even a gentle pour yields a 3 finger huge head and forces me to stop pouring, it fades at a decent rate with big bubbles popping and leaving a nice soap bubbled lacing everywhere like a mess of it, hazy amber color.

Nose is great, a great Belgian with nice wild funk, nice Belgian blond malts, little sweetness and perhaps hint of candi sugar, then grassy aromas, lemony, nice Brett like funk on the lighter side, floral, a little fruity as well, just a touch of a light bready malt, a bit of a sweet candy aroma on the back end as well.

Taste brings sweet malts at first, a nice Belgian golden blond like malt, with some sweetness and a light candi sugar, and general candy like flavor with hint of fruits even. Then into some wild funk, not a ton of funk but a nice Brett like funk, bit chewy and yeasty, with some bready malts. It also brings an interesting bitterness, a light spicy hop character. Funk gets stronger the more I go but never super funky. Finish is dry but a bit sticky, sweet candy malts lingering slightly, a bit more funk, bit more spicy like hops, and light bready malt character.

Mouth is med bodied, lots of fluffy carb.

Overall a really interesting beer, nice Belgian characters blended with nice Brett like funk. This is not even a year old so the wild character is barely there, but I've had some quite aged ones and they are a lot funkier and awesome. Maybe I should re-review an old bottle sometime, but still a great Belgian beer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 0.33L bottle into an over-sized wine glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color, with a large foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is robust with mostly yeast and fruit, along with some spice.

T: The taste is very sweet and fruity with flavors of lemon, orange, banana & pineapple. There’s some yeast presence and a mild hops character, but hardly any bitterness. I wasn’t expecting this beer to be so sweet, but it’s definitely a unique and pleasant surprise.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, high carbonation, very clean finish for such a sweet beer.

D: This one is very tasty and goes down ridiculously easy with no hint of alcohol. I could certainly stay with this beer for quite a while.

 779 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -28.7%

Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very nice orange color with huge rocky head (I have yet to purchase a nice trappist ale glass),the aroma was slightly peppery and a little tart.Taste is pretty dry with a slight peppery tinge to it.I liked this more than what I thought I would not as sour as what I thought it might be,very well done.

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Photo of nickfl
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy copper color with a large and tenacious head that is one of the few I have seen that deservs to be called rocky; it really reminds me of a rootbeer float.

S - Lemony, sour and funky. Very nice rustic aroma with some ginger and cinnamon notes.

T - Tart and earthy, with a hoppy, leathery finish. Not all that complex, but very nice.

M - Bone dry and highly carbonated.

D - For me this is a beautifully drinkable beer, the dryness and the tart, earthy flavors make it a wonderfully refreshing beer.

 517 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours yellow-gold with a nice white head and a good deal of lacing. Initial whiff is earthy funk, hay, green apples, and lemon rind. Slightly hoppy. Taste brings the funk forward really well; nice balance with the hops. Mouthfeel is dry and well carbonated. Very nice and dry finish with a bit of bitterness. Overall, a really fantastic beer.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

1 year old bottle. Hazy orange color with creamy beige head with very good persistence. Aroma has really nice floral notes, hay and some light barnyard funk. Taste follows, really floral with nice yeast notes but it doesn't get cloying at all, really easy drinking and somehow fresh in spite of the medium body. Smooth mouthfeel, no alcohol. Finishes with a good amount of earthy bitterness. Overall it's a really well made and somehow unique beer which deserves its praise.

 474 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Been meaning to review this one properly.
Hazy golden pour (light copper tinges) in my Westy glass, one - two fingers bubbly head. The thin lacing later on is extremely sticky, leaving blankets of foam on the side of the glass, popping away to random smaller traces.
The smell is really unique, as i remember it, with sweet apricots, acidic apples and pears, strawberries, low citrus, honey, lots of flowers and a nice green saison-like funk. You could just smell this for hours.
Really complex taste. It doesn't start off with the fruitiness as expected, but with the barnyard funk and the herbs, the candi sugar (just mildly sweet, mind you) and prickly peppercorn. Fruitiness follows, crisp and acidic, with clear green apple (with a tiny bit of tartness) and yellow pears, mixed up with some grains. The green funk never leaves the palate, all till the (rather) bitter finish.
A bit too much carbonation, especially considering the crispness of the beer. Refreshing, yes. Alcohol is very subtle, aftertaste consists of, you guessed it, funk.
No wonder i rated this 5 at first, it's absolutely amazing. Minus the bit of extra carbonation, but still up to its renown.

 1,170 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Attractive slightly hazy amber in the glass. Perfect cap of foam that lasts through a long sipping session. The fine bubbles last forever in the glass. Lovely creamy mouthfeel.

Quite dry from start to finish. An odd murky flavor, a touch of the barnyard and a hint of plastic. Thin mouthfeel, but the bubbly carbonation gives it some body. Rather austere and certainly no coddling with sweet malt. Grows on you as you sip. Totally distinctive and really intriguing with the yeasty bitterness and barely a hint of hops. Bitter aftertaste stays with you. Reminiscent of the hard-water English beers with the mineral taste. A real pleasure for the purist.

In the 0.33 litre bottle served in the big wide-mouthed chalice at River Hotel in Gent. This bottle says 6.2%.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy, amber honey.

S - Honey, honeysuckle, golden raisins, moscato cider

T - Bitter/sour bite, yeast, and alcohol all hit early in the profile. Granny smith apples in the middle and cedary hops at the top of your palate. Mild barn-yard aftertaste.

M - Crisp, light body

D - Complex and worth taking your time with. Once you get used to the profile it's fairly drinkable.

 378 characters

Photo of billab914
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

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