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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
5,428 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:
#981
Reviews:
2,351
Ratings:
5,428
pDev:
12.35%
Bros Score:
4.92
 
 
Wants:
360
Gots:
930
Trade:
11
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,428 |  Reviews: 2,351
Photo of atlbravsrno1
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of womencantsail
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber orange in color with 2+ fingers of foam (that lasts forever).

S: The nose is yeasty and a little funky with some tart apple notes.

T: I pick up an ever so slight tartness, along with yeast and that subtle barnyard/wet hay funk. This is not necessarily bitter or sweet/malty in any way that I can tell.

M: The body is on the lighter side, with a high level of carbonation and a dry finish..

D: One of the more "interesting" Trappist beers

 450 characters

Photo of BEER88
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of WoodBrew
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The bottle of Orval that I tried may have been a bit overprimed which I believe effects the scent, taste and mouthfeel. The beer poured a hazy copper with big white head that left some lace. The scent was tru to most trappist....Belgianny. The taste also follow most Trappist ales. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with huge carbonation. Overall it was decent....would like to try this beer on tap....probably wouldn't search out a bottle of it.

 451 characters

Photo of PA-Michigander
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 05/08/2009

A: Hazy burnt orange color. The head is massive and has many different sized bubbles surrounding a meringue crest. Awesome lacing. Also, there is a notable effervescence that emanates from the bottom center of the glass and resembles an underwater volcano.

S: Belgian yeast and a slight funky that smells nice. Also getting a bit of an outdoor, grass, farm aroma.

T: Interesting to say the least. I don't think one could ever describe Orval as dull or uninteresting. Immediately upon tasting, I get a funky, dry tartness that remains prevalent throughout. It's not the type of funk found in a wild ale, lambic or gueuze. What a cool brew. There is a slight alcohol note in the finish, but it's subtle enough and fits in nicely.

M: Funky Belgian yeast, good carbonation, slight alcohol in the finish. Pretty good feel.

D: It's unique, tasty, and a beer to sniff, sip, and savor. A must try for any beer aficionado.

 937 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Light honey colored amber beer. A nice bubbly head when poured moderately. Some fizzy carbonation.

S - Dry and funky, with some farmhouse aromas. Old linens, old musky wood, hay/straw all whirl about. Sight tartness and acidity present in the nose.

T - Pretty mild flavors in comparison to the nose. Tart and some funk. Definitely fairly earthy and dry flavored. A mellow acidity here. Quite drinkable.

M - Fizzy and tingling carbonation. Drying.

O - Solid drinking brew.

 479 characters

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

Photo of johnnnniee
3.99/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I've passed over this peculiar looking bottle for years now, I guess today will be the day to try it.
Pours into the glass a lightly hazy deep golden color with a frothy meringue head that persists forever. The label is correct about the fruitiness I get that in spades as soon as I pop the cap off the top of the bottle. Pepper, spice, yeast, and a bit of golden syrup round out the nose. The flavor is sugary sweet with a lot of orange and sweet dark fruits along with some pepper, a hint of hop and a touch of alcohol. Medium to thin body with a spirited level of carbonation and a bubbly sweet mouthfeel. This is a really nice beer that's easy to drink, I can't believe it took so many years to try this.

 709 characters

Photo of thatoneguymike
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of stakem
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A ~7 month old bottle poured into a goblet. This brew appears a lightly hazy copper color with a monstrous amount of slightly yellowish off-white head that is 4+ fingers thick and composed of large bubbles. The cap slowly fades back to a finger's worth of thick froth leaving an abundant amount of lace clinging to the glass. Carbonation endlessly erupts out of this brew from some etching on the bottom of the glass supporting the head.

The aroma of this brew is seriously all over the place. Right when the cap was removed, it smelled of fruity hops and light amounts of citrus hops. As it gets poured, it opens up in the glass and starts to showcase sour indications that are reminiscent of lacto and some very light brett'd character fills the back of the nose. A light indication of plastic is noted. Throughout the middle are lemony scents present as well as some other light fruitiness like pear, orange and more lemon. My overall feeling of this brew is that it smells somewhat medicinal and like a solvent type of house cleaner.

The taste of this brew upfront is lightly fruity with a taste somewhat similar to apple and pear skins. Through the body are the sour indications of lacto and brett notes that are drying. It has a light funk quality about it that suggests barnyard without actually going there. It is earthy and somewhat herbal without going right into the typical wet leather brett character. It finishes mostly dry with a long lingering bitter herbal hoppiness mixed with notes of plastic. There is significantly more bitter herbal hop character in the finish of this brew that I would have ever guessed based on the smell and initial taste.

This is a light bodied brew with a bursting amount of carbonation that is both visual and prickly on the tongue. It gets more enjoyable as it sits and is swirled calming the carbonation level down to an acceptable level. I dont have all that much experience with drinking this brew a lot, but I could forsee this brew being something that could be aged and really develop into something completely different from this relatively "young" offering. With a best by year of 2015, I wouldn't mind securing a few more bottles of this and start trying to push that best by dating to see what older bottles are like. Throughout the entire experience, I never once felt like this was a brew that was close to 7% abv. Well done.

 2,386 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of WVbeergeek
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The bottle alone makes this beer piece of art, along with the brewing tradition of the trappist ales this beer still being brewed by the monks of the Orval Abbey. Appears a slightly hazy amber brownish orange with a creamy crown of off white foaming head. A good friend of mine describes the aroma of this beer as a barnyard minus all of the cow shit smell. What I think he is referring to is the wild herbal spices that added to this beer, just amazing. The wild spices contain lemongrass, peppery orgegano like herbs, and the ultimate combination of malt and hop bitterness. The taste is a major wow, a grainy herbal spiritual experince exists in every sip mising spices and flavor galore. I love this beer and I must say I'm not worthy of it so complex, I feel that everytime I try it will contain another experience. Mouthfeel is smooth with a medium to light body, let's just say if you have the opportunity to try this one you have been blessed. Very drinkable, but best enjoyed one at a time to savor and enjoy all of the complexities this beer has to offer.

5-22-10 vintage date- 7/29/2009 best by 7/29/2014

This beer has an angelic experience about it, the slightly hazed glowing amber body just lets the beer gods sing down on you. The head forms chunky like clouds in the heavans. Lacing is fine intricate Belgian style all day. Aromatics bring out the barnyard funkiness that makes this a new experience everytime I've come across it, again more zestiness sharp citrus appeal from the hops with a spicy pepper kick that just works so nicely here. Acidic nature waves in as well bringing out lactic acid notes and cider like comparisons in my brain. The more yeast that makes it into the glass the funkier it gets. Drinkability and mouthfeel are great, definitely a brew I will always cherish. Effervescent and drinkable but definitely needs to be enjoyed with a good meal.

 1,886 characters

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
2/5  rDev -52.5%

Photo of chippo33
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of 22Blue
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to tulip, the appearance was a fairly murky red to brown sort of color with a two finger's worth of rocky foamy head that glistened and slid off at a good pace. Lace was somewhat thick and foamy and sticky.
The aroma had a swift sweet to funky barnyard hay/grassy whiff. Roamed nicely into some basement stiffness and had some floral particles coming out to play with a little bit of a brisk earthiness.
The flavor was odd, well, it had that vinous quality that seemed to want to pummel the funk, but in reality, it didn't. So in turn, the earthiness, basement, and floral hop quality played a good part in and all around. Aftertaste seemed to cherish the funk and embrace the wine quality.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied, maybe a touch under with a good sipping quality to it due to the wine harshness. Carbonation felt fine, maybe a bit high, but I gave it a "restrained pour" to assist in the containment. ABV felt good.
Overall, pretty nice Belgian pale ale, not one for the faint of heart but definitely nothing else like it.

 1,044 characters

Photo of rab53
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of rolltide8425
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of SadMachine
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

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

Poured into what else, an official Orval chalice glass.. and that my friends.. makes a difference. Bottle is one year from date bottled upon tasting.

Let's talk about how this beer looks in this glass. It is flat out exceptional, just amazing. Not sure the "perfect" way to pour it in, but if you create a simple two finger head it works. Let's start from the top. This head is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Rock solid cap.. nowhere to go, swirl the glass and this thing dances. It's like a giant hockey puck on your glass, yellow off white. There is even some lacing stick on this very tapered glass. The color of this beer through this glass is litteraly multi-colored. From top these honey hues, at top taper it is brown going down to caramel and then gold towards the bottom.. It's almost completely opaque but not quite, you can just.. JUST barely see through it. This glass shows off this beer unlike anything I have ever seen, it looks like a million bucks. Throw some more brown dots of yeast from the bottle on the top of it later too!

Bouquet... WOW. This is unreal, at first a sweet confusing spice, strangely creamy and dry, almost like bananas. In reality it's like sweet-tarts and bottle cap cola candy, this incredible powdery sweetness. On top of that, through in some classic barnyard mustyness. FUNKY!!

Taste is challenging. This is almost like a saison but at least a tolerable one. Quick quinine tonic water tingles and bitterness. Extremely herbal, big pungency bitterness, after a few more tastes the sweetness of candy comes out more often but not totally. Almost but not totally metallic sharp palate slicing feel. Very impressive.

Drinkability for me this is a blast, but I can see others having a lot of trouble with this beer and getting past it. Also this beer is not exactly inexpensive either which is too bad cause it is flat out fantastic.

 1,894 characters

Photo of VeganUndead
4.26/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 5,428 ratings
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