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

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Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
5,449 Ratings
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A.

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,449 |  Reviews: 2,353
Photo of Haydn-Juby
2.92/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

served from a 330ml bottle

A: Hazy copper color partially due to the yeast in it. A bubbly, white two finger head. Looked pretty tasty.

S: Very phenol heavy aroma. Clove like. I found it almost band-aid like.

T: There was a little bit of honey, clove, and bubblegum. Hop bitterness was mild. The aftertaste was very displeasing to me. It tasted very grainy and metallic like. Really it was this gross aftertaste that killed it for me.

M: This was a pretty decent aspect of the beer. It finished pretty crisp and bubbly

O: There seems to be a group of people who loves this beer and those who hate it. Personally I'm the latter. I just don't like it. Not that other people shouldn't its just not what floats my boat. I wish I could like this and it really seemed like something that I would. I'm typically a pretty big fan of anything with a Belgian yeast strain in it but this just didn't do it for me. I feel like I'm going to have to give this another go in the future.

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Photo of RoyFokker
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of gmcfarre
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into St. Bernardus chalice

A - Pours a slightly cloudy amber color with a massive, soapy head (even with a careful pour). Lacing is distinct and well-represented as the head fades.

S - Scent is grassy with a good dose of the funky "horse blanket" smell. Presents some slightly sweet caramel malt flavor as well.

T - Starts with a bit of caramel sweetness, then quickly dries and becomes pleasantly funky. A great balance of horse blanket funk and traditional sweet malt with some bitterness at the finish. A bit of scotch-esque alcohol near the finish rounds out this classic beer.

M - Medium bodied, starts smooth but becomes tacky and chalky over the course of a sip. Finish remains chalky with some dryness.

D - Flavor stays interesting and tasty throughout, with a not too intimidating amount of alcohol. A classic Belgian ale for a reason, as well as a great entry into funky, wild-yeast beers. A beer everyone needs to check off their list at some point.

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Photo of doppelmeup
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle of this at the Rathskeller in Indianapolis.

Poured into a snifter glass, this beer was dark amber and had a nice creamy layer of foam which floated on top of the beer and refreshed itself everytime I swirled the glass.

Slight bubblegum, slight yeast aroma. Not as strong as other Belgian ales I've had, but definitely a Belgian aroma.

Taste was surprisingly dry, with a bit of bubblegum flavor in the background. This beer was quite unique, somewhere between a saison and a Duval, but defitely unique. Slightly bitter.

Moderate carbonation with a clean, crisp finish.

Overall, a unique brew but not my favorite Belgian ale. And at $6-7 per bottle in the store and $10 at the restaurant, it is quite pricey. I won't buy this again.

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Photo of sjccmd
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pears, herbs, apple, wood, damp earth in the nose. Mushrooms and tropical fruit. White pepper. Farmy brett comes out more and more with each whiff. Spicy herbal hops. Wet stone, mineral water. Juicy fruit and chamomile. Something new comes out with each whiff.

Hazy golden amber/orange with large frothy off-white head. Good retention and lacing. Tons of bubbles.

Rush of sweet fruits, apricots, and mango followed quickly with bitter spicy hops, and graham cracker malt and honey coming up as well. Bitter orange peel, perhaps even the pith. Grapefruit and pomelo. White pepper and grains of paradise. Sweet impression upfront finishing bone dry.

Medium light body with the highest carbonation. Stinging fine bubbles. Bright and snappy.

I seem to have this more often with more age on it. The balance of hop character and funk is quite nice in this one.

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Photo of adrian21
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of barbellsNbeers
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of JMD
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from an 11.2oz bottle. Amber color with orange tints, active carbonation. A huge fluffy head, that lasted through the entire beer. Beautiful lacing down the glass.

S: Bananas, ripe fruit, some yeast. There was a funky smell with this beer that I couldn't quite distinguish.

T: This is a tough one for me to describe. Fruity, yeasty, with a touch of carmel. Finishes with a bit of alcohol.

M & D: Tingly carbonation but goes down smooth. I was somewhat underwhelmed by this beer. At first I thought everyone made this out to be more complex than it really is, but its mostly likely my palate cannot distinquish its complexities. Overall, still a great beer.

 672 characters

Photo of MarkFy
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of lhwjanssen
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of lanedlr
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jessealmlie
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of okono
3.74/5  rDev -11%

Photo of toscanoigor
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sephiroth
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best before August of 2009. Pours with lots of foam, some lacing. The body is orange. Nose contains barnyard characteristics, along with some dry fruitiness. Hop aroma is complex.

Taste is dry, light, and complex. Initial fruit becomes extremely dry, giving way to dirty barnyard flavors. Some lemon. Fruit returns intermittently. Some hops are noted in the dry, clean finish. Mouthfeel is full while it lasts, sterile slightly bitter finish. Plenty drinkable, I must cellar some of these for several years.

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Photo of crnipeter
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The production date says 15.09. 2009 so the beer is quite fresh one.
Hazy light amber-orange. Thick solid ivory head leaving patches and bands of thick lace on the glass walls as the crown retreats. In its own brand glass Orval looks imperial and the crown never fades completely, leaving a solid cap.

Floral with traces of honey, fresh cut hay, lemony esters and juniper.

Herbal one with evident juniper and lemon rind touch. A constant search of balance between bitter and sour is always leaning on a bitter side till it ends with hoppy bitterness accompanied by dry finish. I wonder how this biter-sour game will evolve with aging.

High carbonation produces bubbly sensation yet the beer remains somewhat creamy. Light medium bodied.

A particular brew that you'll never get tired of.

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Photo of jaltland
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of towlea25
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of BGDrock
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured 1 year after bottling.
Body is beautiful clear copper, highly effervescent, producing a huge, dense, white head that lasts for days.
Spice on the nose - nutmeg and cinnamon - as well as some caramel malt, and banana, but mild the latter.
Flavour falls flat. Mineral and metallic, with a very dry, long finish. Hints of the malts and spice, but quite subtle. Champagne-like carbonation, and a medium body. Alcohol heat lingers.
This is actually a well crafted beer, with a great mouthfeel and magnificent appeal in the glass - too bad the flavour doesn't follow suit. It's like licking a tin can. Might try another to see if it was a bad batch, or fresher is better.

 672 characters

Photo of thefluker
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Brewer1980
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of BrickOneal
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of DreamDeath
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of BSiegs
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber reddish in color, fairly opaque. Massive, sticky off white head that retains and laces beautifully. Aromas are fruity, slightly spicy, and loads of brett. The taste follows, slightly tart with the slight spice lingering on the aftertaste. Medium light body, high carbonation. Slight tingling sensation on the finish. An interesting belgian with very unique character.

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Photo of cbarrett4
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Karmeleit tulip (man chalice):

Pours a dusky, hazy orange with an insane amount of head with fantastic retention. Smells of funky citrus and flowers, lots of yeast backing it up. Seriously elegant and floral.

Taste centers on malts with a good kick of bready yeast, orange blossom, and dried nectarines. A tad sour but only faintly so.

Texture is rich and layered without being heavy or overly alcoholic. Fine balance of astringency with the sweetness, though light on both. Really well delineated.

Overall one of the best trappist ales out there. And my personal favorite trappist brew.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 5,449 ratings
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