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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:
5,198
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
334
Gots:
819
For Trade:
12
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,274 | Ratings: 5,198
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of the classics! From the bottle, which I note is exactly the same as the ones I purchased while stationed in Germany in the 1980s, it pours with a BIG white head over a hazy golden amber nectar. Enjoyable. Bottled in 2013 and drunk in 2015!

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Photo of Tom_Banjo
2.92/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Two 330 ml bottles purchased from Whole Foods and served on different days at different temperatures. Served in a stemmed Spiegelau Pilsner glass. Attractive looking beer, but much too yeasty for me. Not a beer I think I will be having again any time soon.

 257 characters

Photo of TDotScott
4.84/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Cellared for four years. Poured into a wine glass

L- gold with a rocky white head that just won't quit.

S- Dat aged Brett, tho. Pineapple and fruits. Not so much funk anymore.

T- bitter phenols, some hops still. Malt has a presence. You can tell it's aged, but still such balance!

F- prickly carbonation helps keep things light

O- a good one to try at this age!

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Photo of tigg924
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

For the style, this is quite good. Nice mix of citrus, lemon, apricot, Belgian spices, and light hops at the end. Beer is dry and dances the line between bitter and tart. Probably the beer I would get if I wanted this style.

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Photo of majorbase2
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a very murky, dark orange color with a very large bubbly white head. Good retention. Leaves a large ring of lacing around the edges. A ton of carbonation.

Aroma is more of a sour. Green apple, pears, and a bit of and funk.

Taste follows the nose. Heavy on pear and some light tartness, followed white white grape and a slightly more subtle green apple.

Mouthfeel is light, crispy and dry. Very high carbonation, which I anticipated from the moment I opened the bottle.

Overall, very disappointed by this one. A good beer, but easily my least favorite Trappist beer. Worth a try if Belgian is your favorite style, but otherwise a bit of a disappointment.

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Photo of hophugger
3.38/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A little different than other trappistes beers I have had. Extreme carbonation, had to try three times to get it all int he glass. Aroma is of sweet malt, a touch of pear and a good amount of barnyard excrement. Head settles down quite fast but still has a lot of fizz left. Taste is sweet with some farm funk and hay in the first taste, carbonation still highly in effect. Overall, not quite what I was expecting, too carbonated and alittle more funky than others of this style I have tried. Definitely don't see where the extremely high overall rating came from....

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of frozyn
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Very large head on top of a great caramel color. Sweet, fruity, slightly tart scent. Flavor opens up as it gets warmer, turning a little nutty and herbal. The carbonation at first is too powerful, but letting it sit tones it down a lot and the flavor is more noticeable: to me, the sweetness didn't come through flavor-wise until it had sat for 15 minutes.

Overall quite a good beer.

 385 characters

Photo of Reedbrew
3.49/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

Just not my thing. Compared to the taste of other Belgian Trappist beers this just doesn't impress me as much. Well-made but the flavor profile was a bit disappointing. Positives: excellent carbonation (maybe a bit too much though) and interesting bottle.

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Photo of MrDell
4.99/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

26.09.2015

Orval - 3 1/2 months old
Belgian Pale Ale - 6.2% - 330ml Bottle - Bottled 03.06.15

Appearance: Amber coloured beer, one finger, fluffy, cloud-like white head - very tightly packed. Leaves nice lacing on glass which then slowly slips away to rejoin the beer in the glass. Very nice looking beer, especially when served in the correct Orval glass (that was designed by the Abbey’s Architect, no less).
As I’m coming to the end of the glass, the head is still made up of the tinniest bubbles you can imagine. Bubbles so small that you can barely see them, they are ever so tightly packed. As I swirl the last, probably 15ml of beer in the glass it remains stuck together almost like a fried egg in a frying pan - a sure sign of a quality product.

Aroma: Strong aroma of apples and pears with dry white wine and other acidic sour fruits. The smell is really nice, can’t pull my nose away from the glass. Getting a hint of banana along side the apples and pears as its warming up.

Taste: Hoppy then sour then hops coming on strong again in the finish. A very refreshing beer. This beer is still fairly cold as I poured it straight from the fridge. It’s very unique taste wise and seems to be different every time I try it - which is fairly often. Always thoroughly enjoyable. Love the way the hops are fighting with the sour flavours of the brett yeast all the way from start to finish.

Mouthfeel: Dry, tart and bittering (which doesn’t sound pleasant but absolutely is where this beer is concerned).

Overall: An absolute all-time favourite. If I could only drink one beer for the rest of my life (heaven forbid!), then this might quite possibly be the one, purely because it never fails to surprise and is always familiar yet somehow different. 10/10, no questions asked!



03.10.2015

Orval - 14 months Old
Belgian Pale Ale - 6.2% - 330ml Bottle - Bottled 06.08.14

Appearance: I was really surprised by how much the appearance has changed over the 3.5 month old Orval. It has lost a lot of its bright amber colour and is now much paler. Head is not is not fluffy as it was in the younger brew and, although it is covering the surface of the beer completely, the beer can seen through the head when looking from above.

Aroma: The aroma has become stronger, punchier and more acidic. The apple and pears are still present.

Taste: The hop flavour has dropped off a lot but is still dectectable in the finish. The sourness from the brett is now dominating from the start.

Mouthfeel: Dry and slightly tart, as with the younger brew.

Overall: While I am thoroughly enjoying this beer, I have to say I preferred the younger brew but I’m not sure if that’s due to me being extremely tired while reviewing this slightly older Orval. It seems that while I’m not a huge fan of hop forward beers, the hops in the fresher Orval complement the unusual yeast strain, as both fight to dominate the palate.

UPDATE: 16.10.2015
I must have been really tired when I wrote the above review as I’ve ust tried another 14 month old bottle (06.08.2014) and it was amazing. Yes, the brett has become more pronounced over time, making the beer more sour but it’s a beautiful thing. Beer seems less complex but more refreshing at this age - different but equally as good. Watch this space!

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Photo of Rootscipio
3.84/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 1/14/14 BB 1/14/19

Extremely lively carbonation takes several pours to get it in the glass. big white foaming head sits on top of the dark yellow liquid.
Smells of sweet malts and pears. Taste is of spices and pears with a touch of white grapes.
Feel is highly carbonated that dances across the palate but ends dry with a slightly wine after taste.

This is the start of my resolution for the summer to get a better baseline understanding of the classic Belgian beers . Orval is certainly not bad but not sure if I will return to it very often. I am certainly glad to have it under my belt however as far as beers I have experienced.

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Photo of BWood
3.42/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Didn't live up to the hype for me. Herd great things from this brewery but I have to say I don't think I would buy again. So many other Belgium trappist I would choose over this.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. bottled on 4/15/13. drank 5/12/15

A caramel in colour with a huge head.

S green apple, light fruit, pears, brett funk

T taste follows the nose with green apple, pears, brett funk, slight spiciness.

M very carbonated. likely from the brett

O pretty good

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Photo of KatieS5643
2.44/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

This was a caramel colored beer, it had lots of foam when it was poured. It has a nutty scent to it. It tastes very sweet and you can definitely taste the nutty hints. It made me want to brush my teeth after consuming because it felt so sweet.

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Photo of Trombone69
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's a classic. Awesome bottle. Nice big head, coming out the top of my stemmed glass. Complex smell and flavor, spices and sweetness and bitterness. Perfect mouthfeel. I'm just not sure I really enjoy the flavor, it's almost medicinal. I understand the appeal for others, but I just don't think I'll be looking for this anytime soon.

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Photo of KF_MSU
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Lasting foam, cloudy and golden. Interesting smell-- like melons and somewhat salty. It tasted smooth and slightly savory. I also got hints of citrus/orange. Definitely unique.

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Photo of MakenziMantey
3.43/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The color of this beer is a medium orange/brown. The aroma you get is a slightly fruity with a hint of spice smell. Tasting this beer it is sweet and spicy with a really bad aftertaste.

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Photo of 303beer
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured out cloudy. Very airy head. Has a peach copper kinda color to it. Smells fruity sort of. Wow ok sweet then bitter. Then Belgium yeast. I'm not disappointed at all.

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I remember trying Orval many, many years ago when I was first geiing into beer and thinking it was okay. I almost feel ashamed now, realizing what a truly great beer this is. Unique yeast notes on the nose have floral and spicy characteristics. The flavor changes from initial taste to the finish, and changes further as it breathes and warms a bit. I don't find it funky in a traditional Brett sense, but it adds another flavor layer that all comes together.
Different and special, this is one to go back to over and over.

Edit...just a note that with one year of age, the brett funk makes the nose on this amazing. However, the taste suffers. Overall, I definitely prefer fresh, although I'll try a 3 year vertical next year.

Edit 2...I've had this many times over the past few years and about half the beers just haven't been as good. Hard to say if there is a consistency issue or the storage or time in the bottle is causing issues. I have to dock it a bit since so many bottles have a relatively simple flavor profile compared to the best bottles.

 1,061 characters

Photo of GiveEmilyBeer
4.87/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sour, funky, smooth, delicious. Can be drank cold, cool or at room temperature, and will reveal different complexities and aromas at different temps. Notes of cherries, fruit, citrus aroma. Should be served in a chalice or tulip glass. A world class trappist ale.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Used to drink this a lot and just thought it less satisfying than most Trappist ales I drink. But a couple years later, drank it at a craft beer bar in a nice oversized wine glass and liked it more than ever. Interesting but a good interesting.

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Photo of Cannybrew
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful golden Amber with good frothy head which slowly dissipitates. Smells are subtle. Black cherry, honey sweetness, and a spicy zing. A definite malty sweetness comes through at the back of the tongue. A very well balanced, yet highly carbonated beer leaves a dry mouthfeel. Fab!

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Photo of dukeandduke
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

3/26/15 (Bottle) - Very nice dark amber pour, solid carbonation and nice thick tan foam head. Aromas included citrus, raspberries, yeast and hops. Excellent taste matched the sweet aromas and included a nice dry finish. Smooth, strong and pleasant going down. Over all excellent beer.

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Photo of drmeto
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

-Very fruity,but hard to distinguish flavors hit first i made out citrus,orange,spices and bubble gum
-definitely a more malt and hop-heavy presence than the other trappists i had so far
-hops are esp. there in the finish,which seemed quite light and water-y to me
-nicely carbonated

very good one but i prefer the Rochefort 6

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Photo of randomNBGD
4.79/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer was bottled on 2014/04/29 in a 0.33l package. Pouring it into a tulip glass was a challenge, as the foam head grew rapidly. I had to be very careful and patient to pour the rest of the beer. Apart from the big fluffy head that took some time to fade, I also appreciated the bright orange/amber colour of the base.

The smell was something I did not expect - it was worth waiting for the head to stabilize. Lime, cherry, raspberry and even some elderberry came out there. Unusual, yet exciting notes.

The taste was along the same line, with more floral notes in the beginning, cherry/berry character all along, and the citrusy part becoming prominent as the beer was getting warmer.

Carbonation is zesty in the beggining, and the feel after the sip is quite dry, due to the dry-hopping process.

Although I had a (wrong) preconception that this is another fine classic Belgian ale, the funk this beer gives made it one of my favourite Belgians, and beyond that style.

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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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