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

5,378 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

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Ratings: 5,378 |  Reviews: 2,343
Photo of Dinglehacker
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Poured into tulip. Ferocious crackling head that continues to grow, nearly two inches. Tan orange.

Nose is grape, grass, citrus, and soap.

Similar taste, more citrus, clove, banana.

Mouth is not as bubbly as one might expect, medium dry.

A delicious beer with a needlessly overactive head, but Belgian brews are typically super-carbonated, and the flavor is excellent whatever my gripes. Yet another world class offering from the greatest of beer nations.

 461 characters

Photo of Avi
2.67/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Photo of dirtyharry2489
4.76/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of joemochas
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nobledust
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The best beer in the world.

Look: you can't poor this beer cleanly. It's impossible. The head is massive, the hugest I've. It stays the whole time, literally filling half the glass like a protective shield. Beautiful copper color to the brew.

Smell: I work in the wine industry. I Would rather smell this beer all day and never drink it, then spend all day smelling, tasting, spitting and analyzing wine. Nothing pretentious here, just a beer that smells so beer-y it's like getting some kind of contact high, dying and going to beer heaven.

Taste: beer. Malts, banana, all kinds of spices. Bitter finish.

Feel: nearly perfect, just a little too much of a bitter aftertaste, but it's really not even a bad thing by the end of the bottle because of the sheer quality of the hops and water used.

Overall: the best beer in the world.

 835 characters

Photo of bwbetts
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Martin194
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Dark tan-orange, cloudy, big white head (pour gently, this one has a lot of head)

Smell: Apple, citrus, banana, plum, molasses, bread, very sweet overall

Taste: Lots of green apple and citrus, hoppy, bready aftertaste, spice throughout

Feel: Very bubbly, leaves a cool refreshing aftertaste immediately followed by dry

Overall: A fantastic beer all around!

 371 characters

Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.79/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the classic single-serve dark brown uniquely-shaped bottle. Full disclosure--this is not a first try, just a first review, so I may be a wee bit biased.

Look--Pours a hazy, not cloudy copper. But enough about that. What head! I always forget how much head this Belgian has compared to many. Pours a fabulous three-inch rocky head, even with a gentle pour almost like a wit. The head holds then dissipates to a single finger for much of the drink.

Smell--Sweet malty banana and floral notes blended with present but not overpowering funk and musty aromas and a touch of breadiness.

Taste--One of the most complex Belgian Pales ever. Bready, bretty-funky, notes, with citrus, sour apple, and spice.

Feel--The carbonation provides excellent lift and balance, like a dry champagne. Fabulous crisp finish.

Overall--I cannot say it as well as others have so I will simply say--one of the best.

 918 characters

Photo of weareallfalafel
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a funny shaped 11.2 oz bottle into (sorry) a wine glass. I don't have an Orval chalice, but perhaps I'll get me one now! Pours a copper color. Hazy, lively bubbles, and a thick two or three white head that shrinks fast, but stays about a finger thick and leaves plenty of lacing. Absolutely beautiful in the glass! Smell is earthy, slightly funky, and a touch of grassy hops, not what I expected from a Trappist pale, but wonderful, for sure. Taste follows suit with the earthy yeast more at the center, transitioning well to a slight touch of sweetness and then a touch of bitter grassy hops and a wonderfully dry finish. Feel is smooth and fluffy, medium body, lively but not distracting carbonation. Overall, great in many ways, but especially in its uniqueness. Pairs perfectly with a night in and Jacques Brel and a cigarette. Highly recommend it!

 865 characters

Photo of skaboom420
2.64/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

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

Photo of BeerCon5
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of redsoxjim
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Stefan_Korica
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DanielCseklye
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Frazz
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

What a delicious, beautiful beer. I love drier, funkier beers and this one is lovely. The smell is intoxicating and the taste is complex with plenty of different flavor notes. Definitely a sipping beer, seems like it would go well with cheese or something of that nature. A new favorite for me.

 294 characters

Photo of Wonderweasel
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of SargeMcCluck
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent caramel with a monstrous, sudsy head. Holding it up to the light reveals a dust devil of violent carbonation in the centre. Quite a bit of sediment lines the bottom of the bottle.

Real distinct aroma here - green apple, pear, white wine, fruit vinegars and wet hay on bready malt. The taste follows, bringing musk, boozy esters, and punches of bitter lemon rind, which can overpower on swallowing. The mouthfeel is akin to champagne - tight carbonation and a tongue-chewingly dry finish.

Definitely a palette-tester, and, I imagine, not for everyone. Orval really shows the variety of Belgian ales, and how futile it is to shepherd them into distinct categories.

 685 characters

Photo of 911CROFT
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle into the appropriate Orval branded chalice. Paid £2.49 for a single.
Bottled: 18/08/15

Pours a hazy, but translucent, brassy-copper coloured body with only a few solitary microscopic carbonation bubbles visible. A two-finger in height, thick, creamy, off-white head with excellent retention, slowly sinks to a dense cap, leaving solid bands of sticky lace.

The complex nose is led initially by delicate fruity and spicy esters. Banana, lemon, green apple and coriander are noticeable above a sweet, crisp and bready pale malt background. After warming, tart and funky Brett characteristics become much more prominent, evolving towards a wilder profile and relegating both fruit and malt to supporting roles. Towards the back end, floral hops provide a modest but perceptible bitterness, with grassy, herbal and musty profiles also noticeable but to a lesser extent. Taste roughly follows suit, leading briefly with hints of sweet, grainy pale malts, lemony citrus, apple, white grape, cherry and stone fruits, quickly transitioning towards tarter and funkier profiles. Apple cider vinegar, wet hay and hints of medicinal phenolic spices comprise the majority of the mid palate, before hop bitterness begins to build. In the mouth a light body and abundance of lively, expansive carbonation give a smooth and full feel. Towards the back end, assertive floral, grassy and spicy hops provide a lengthy bitter finish, drying the palate with mild astringency.

Overall this is an excellent beer. Infinitely complex and undoubtedly unique, it’s a classic for good reason. Cellared for 14 months, the flavours imparted by brettanomyces in this bottle were funkier and tarter than I honestly prefer. To my taste it is best drunk reasonably fresh; the flavours are sweeter, brighter and less musty, but each to their own. I’ll certainly look to re-review next time I am able to pick up a fresh bottle.

 1,912 characters

Photo of petrusek23
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of yasky
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of OldSwampy
4.61/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Amazing tall cream-colored head over a hazy to murky amber / gold ale. Head is huge, stiff, and leaves ample lacing. Balanced spicy, floral nose. Taste with clove and other dark spices dominating, with an interesting funky element, balanced, complex, and not exactly like any other beer I've had. Taste develops long and slowly. Not a hint of an off-balanced mouthfeel, with smooth feel that never distracts from the flavor. Could perhaps have a stronger nose and a stronger finish, but nevertheless a superb beer. This one was bottled on 04/06/2015 per the label.

 564 characters

Photo of Aisha
2.75/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of muratgurer
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,378 ratings.
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