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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
5,551 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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 5,551 |  Reviews: 2,387
Photo of pmarlowe
3.64/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 29/02/12. Tulip glass.

A: Pours copper-tinted medium gold, with two fingers of wispy light beige head. Loads of lacing and excellent retention.

S: This just smells dry. Complex malt, minerally chalk, lemon and Brett

T: Again chalk (wtf?), slight tartness, citrus (orange and lemon), malt, and finishing with an off moderate bitterness.

M: Light carbonation, fluffy creamy texture, and medium body.

O: Decent enough but the chalkiness is off-putting. I'll take Rayon Vert over this any day.

 503 characters

Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a c.oudy burnt orange with a large three-finger foamy white head. The head dissapates quickly leaving tons of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is green apple, white grape, pear, and brett.

T - The taste follows the aroma. Pear, white grape, green apple, spices, and lots of brett funkiness.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation. The mouthfeel is very crisp with a dry finish.

O - A classic trappist ale.

 411 characters

Photo of elkinbrown
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of MattMorin
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Maillard
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Smarty_Pints
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of angrybabboon
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 7/29/12

Appearance: Slightly hazy, burnt orange with some amber - starts with a big, fluffy, creamy head - leaves sheets of lacing, simply pretty to observe - keeps a great cap until the end

Smell: In a word, unique - Belgian yeast, with some spiciness - flower petals and some herbal notes - some light citrus, and some light fruits - dry white wine and some phenols

Taste: Weird, in a good way - flowers, white wine, pale malts, Belgian yeast, pepper, and some clean funk - remarkably dry - moderately bitter, in an oddly phenolic way - some light, fruity esters in here as well

Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth, nicely carbonated, unbelievably dry - epic-level dryness

Overall: I don't know what I'm drinking, but I like it

I drank Orval roughly 4 years ago, and it stuck in my mind as being particularly interesting. Now, I am reaching the realization that this is even more complex than I once thought. This does not really taste like a Belgian Pale Ale. Yes, it has pale ale malts, but it's also very flowery, had some sour/funk notes, and kind of tastes like a white wine. Bonus points for uniqueness.

 1,126 characters

Photo of logicalparadox
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of TrojanRB
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bigbeers84
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of OregonGrown7
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of DeutschesBier
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of GOBLIN
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A classic sure. No one disputes that but still a severely underrated authentic Belgian beer.

92 characters

Photo of Cramerican
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of bump8628
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At 9 months in the bottle Orval pours amber into a chalice with a voluminous airy head that clumps in patches on the edges of the glass. It opens with grainy malt, sweet and perfumy hops, citrus, and sea air. Further on, spicy pepper, tartness, hard mineral water, freshly cut hay, and notes of leather emerge. Hops and the mineral character leave a trace of bitterness at the end. On the palate Orval is extraordinarily dry, yet the ample carbonation gives a full sensation. A timeless beer that's unlike any other.

 516 characters

Photo of portia99
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle (bottled 5/10/09 -best by 5/10/14)poured into an Orval goblet.

A - Pours a hazy light amber color with lots of yeast suspended throughout (I did not attempt to keep the yeast in the bottle). A finger of dense, whipped creamy, and long lasting head sits forever. No sign of this going away.

S - Ahh, the funky sweet smell of brett...you can smell that from a mile away. Plenty of funk, spices, cloves, horse blankets. Great smelling beer.

T - Funky brett is really up front and in the face - very dry, yeasty and bitter. Horseblanket is high and the bitterness seems more brett derived than hops. Malt character is very light - just a slight hint of bread.

M - Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. Bitterness and funk fill the mouth entirely. Feel is very dry and crisp, but not quite a refreshing taste.

D - An excellent overall beer, but I think it is this beers weakest aspect. Flavors are intense and very good, but tends more towards a sipper for me. Always glad to revisit this one, though I don't do it often enough. Excellent beer - one bottle in a sitting is perfect for me though.

 1,119 characters

Photo of Wisconsin_IPA_Lover
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of HalfFull
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle(best by Jan. 2014) into a large wine glass. Pours hazy and deep golden in color. A light two finger head sits atop the beer as a champagne like carbonation emanated from the bottom of the pour. Frothy lacing clung as the head settled.

Not a whole lot on the nose. Warms up to offer some light berries and just a hint of yeast intermingled with the malty effervescence.

Tastes is fruity and carries forward that champagne like carbonation from the pour. Actually reminds me of drinking some Moët & Chandon with a dash of Chambord in it. Otherwise a touch bittersweet on the finish. Pleasant malt backdrop.

Offers a decent feel with a lingering finish from the combination of fruit and carbonation. Drinkability is held in check by both the carbonation and the price. Glad I sampled this beer but will I do so again? I doubt it, though there are certainly friends I could recommend it to.

 913 characters

Photo of zeledonia
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle dated April 2010.

A: Amber-golden, the color of late-summer wheat, and translucent, with a massive white head (had to pour very gently) that never went away.

S: Grain, grain, and some yeast.

T: Very interesting, but difficult to describe. Again, very grain-y, light malt flavor, with some spice in the middle, and a smooth gentle hop finish.

M: Lovely - buoyant and mouth-filling, with medium body and substantial carbonation that really carries the flavors around the mouth.

D: Very drinkable. Nice flavors, interesting without being odd, and a good balance of satisfying and refreshing.

 600 characters

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

Pours a beautiful hazy dark peach color some bubbles rising to feed a creamy fluffy massive head restin on top of this baby. Looks oh so tasty.

Aroma is fruity pear, grapes, tangerines and bananas mixed with spice on a bready malt background, soothing soft aroma.

Taste is wow big not soft like the smell. Lots of carbonation from the start gives the malt and fruit a kick in the pants so to speak. Nice and fruity malt finishes with some good peppery spice, clove and some herbal hops lend some bitterness and the yeast add some earthy dirt like flavors in the finish also. This is a nice Belgian Pale Ale one of the better ones that I have had.

Mouthfeel is good almost medium, almost creamy, the nice zesty carbonation gives the flavors an added boost.

Drinkability is good enjoyed this one more then normal.

 823 characters

Photo of Amalak
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

I had an aged, three-year old version of this and it was so complex and delicious. Very smooth and yeasty. Earthy. A hint of tart.

130 characters

Photo of tfsimpkins
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of AdmiralOzone
2.9/5  rDev -31%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a slightly cloudy orangish amber with a massive pillow of white head that lingered and left a nice amount of lacing. Aroma is spicy floral hops, grapes and orange rind. Flavor is vinegary up front with some yeasty bread, spicy hops. Feel is light and crisp, well carbonated. Overall not what I expected, would not drink again. I know this is fresh with a bottle date of 7 2 18 and a best by date of 7 2 23.

 412 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange with an incredibly dense haed with lots of sticky lace rings. I swirled the bottle and got a couple of floaters as well.

Sweet wheat scents with that musty straw/hay element, as well as some citrus and mild spice.

This is a real funky one, but in a good way. Lots of different flavors that pop out in waves. Sweet grain, a little spice, citrus rind, and a fruit tartness like something that has gone past its prime. Tart and dry in the finish. Hop bite is there, as is the alcohol.

This is moderately carbonated, which keeps these flavors in check enough for you to sip or slug. I gave this a drinkability rating much lower than taste. I love Belgian beer, all styles, and have had it in country. This is one that is absolutely terrific, but after 2 I'd want to stop and move on to something else. You almost need a change (it is like gorging on Belgian chocolate -- delicious and complex, but you need to set limits). It is special beer.

 961 characters

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 5,551 ratings