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

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Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
5,495 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: 5,495 |  Reviews: 2,371
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4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of mhaugo
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle decanted into a tulip. 6.9% ABV. Bottled on 6/27/13, and best before 6/27/18.
Appearance: Deep, opaque amber with bubbles that run for days. This beer has the most incredible head I’ve seen in a long time, and it seems to have no intention of going anywhere soon (4/5).
Aroma: Musty and woody. Like a back of an old cabin. I also get a faint whiff of pineapple (4/5).
Taste: The earthy Brett character is dominant, but there is also a touch of pine, honey, and apples. The background flavors become more predominant as the beer nears room temperature (4.25/5).
Mouthfeel: Highly effervesent. There is so much carbonation, in fact, that I get a touch of a burn following the swallow. Medium body (3.75/5).
Overall: Amazing beer that has been an inspiration to many brewers all over the world. This pint is incredible, but it seems like some of the edges could be rounded out a bit. Considering the generous window of expiration, I would be interested in trying a bottle that had been aged for a couple years (4/5).

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

Poured into a tulip. I've always passed this up due to its easy avilablitity.
A- woah pours with a huge fluffy white head, orange and pretty clear.
S- I get banana, sweet, bready, funk, hay,
T- nice and hoppy, dry, champaign like taste, straw, some citrus fruit, some funk
M- pretty carbonated
O- very good, I expected a lot more of the traditional coriander and banana. It is a very good, glad I finally tried it

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Photo of AugustusRex
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At six months:

Reminds me of an English Bitter but with traces of brett complexity. Some pilsner like hop character. Some background malt sweetness.

Two years:

Great showcase for brett derived flavours and aromas, but without the sourness from lacto or pedio bacteria. Some say the brett phenols are distracting at three years. I guess I have to drink my remaining stock quickly.

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Photo of cbutova
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally reviewing an all-time favorite. Feb, 02 2012 bottle side by side with March 07, 2013.

A- Massive foamy white head builds to at least three fingers high atop a slightly hazy, medium amber body. Head retention is supreme and it never dies down staying about a centimeter thick and leaving a blizzard of thick lace.
S- Surprised to notice so much aged feel here. I guess it is only 6.2% or so but it has a reputation since it contains live bugs. Aged caramel and grape/raisin fruit sweetness feel and some Belgian yeast spices.
T- Follows the nose with some added yeast feel. Vinous grapes, raisin, earthy must and Belgian yeast spice. Has a strong feel of age, almost overshadowing the rest of the beer. With warmth some dry, horsey Brett but just a hint. Some strange tartness, like grapes again.
MF- Foamy and fulfilling texture. Carbonation super high and it bites the palate. Slight spicy bitterness.
A bit too vinous and just has that general old dusty raisin caramel feel. Perhaps it varies bottle by bottle or takes longer to develop but looking forward to the fresh one.

03/07/2013 (for review, I believe in fresh beer)
A- Noticeably louder hiss when popping the cap instantly has me excited. Perhaps the 2012 bottle just wasn't up to the Orval standard (it was perfect for appearance). Even tilting the glass almost flat, it foams up out of the glass and I have to rescue it from getting to wild. One HAND head with infinite retention it seems as bubbles shoot up the glass like machine guns. The head is over an inch out of the chalice. Five minutes later the head has seemed to grow more, what to do... drink through the shield!

S- Brett is on another scale compared to the 2012 bottle, it doesn't even smell similar. Pungent, classic Belgian Brett character with funk, cherries and plenty of horsey barnyard. Sour lemon juice notes makes me anticipate some tartness. Earthy, spicy and funky Brett beast. With some warmth, more Trappist yeast spice comes out and balances the wildness to perfection.

T- Taking a sip and getting a face full of foam reveals something a bit milder but more rounded out than the nose. The earthy and funky Brett dries this out completely with some barnyard, cherry pie, dried fruit and horse blanket notes. Some cracker malts and Belgian Trappist yeast spice provides a nice compliment to the wild bugs. Slight lemon peel but somehow less than the nose.

MF- Foamy and intensely carbonated but somehow it all goes down super smooth, thanks in part to a creamy texture. Finishes with some funky spice feel. Drier than desert sand.

This is more like it! This is the beer I remember having so many times. Not sure if I just got a random off bottle that I ended up aging but the Brett and Trappist yeast balance here is something of beauty. Perhaps the greatest overall beer on the planet. Always available and outstanding... All hail the trout and the golden ring. So many moral problems with perfect fives nowadays but I have a hard time justifying not doing it. This beer is as close as it gets.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 5,495 ratings