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

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Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
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.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 2,398 | Ratings: 5,589
Photo of chitoryu12
4.01/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look: Slightly hazy orange with a thin white head with poor retention.

Smell: Oranges, faint hops, a little Christmas spice, and very faint malt.

Taste: Mild grassy malt, very light hops, and a wheaty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thick and highly carbonated.

Overall: A very unique Trappist beer, like a light beer with IPA complexity.

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Photo of BayAreaJoe
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 12/15/16, consumed 7/8/18

L: Mostly clear amber with a thick, massive head that lasted & never fully dissapated, left a very little lacing. Last bit of the bottle will cloudy it up a bit.

S: Great, enticing aromas of funky, ripe, rank fruits (apples, apricots, pears); spices; floral hop notes; and a little bit of bready malt notes. Terrific mix.

T: Follows aroma, not as outstanding but still delicious.

F: Medium, awesome carbonation, decent but easy bitterness, very refined.

O: Wow, the best Belgian pale ale I've ever had.

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Photo of JacobusFavier23
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L- Beautiful bodied three finger headed beer deep amber tint. Pretty opaque.
S-Brett (bubblegum), pickle, malty some hops and malt are present as well. Also very, very floral. Those aromas meld for an overall expressive flavor.
T- It's overall bitter, malty sweet, sour and bubblegum-my. I also get some fruit, such as pear and apple. It arrives a little short of what people say this beers flavor is, in my opinion. It's very well made, but again, it just falls short on the flavor.
F- Medium bodied.
O- Overall the look and aroma are great, but the flavor falls a bit short. I wouldn't call this beer world class, but its very good. I'd recommend it.

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Photo of SaltofOH
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 5/10/17 BB 5/10/2022. CBF pint.

A: pours a beautiful amber orange with nearly three fingers of white foam on top and carbonation blasting away. Careful to not disturb sediment, so only a little hazy.

S: sweet, bubblegum, pale malt, floral and green noble hops.

T: arrives drier and less phenolic than I would have expected. Significant pale malt presence, clean and crisp, followed by a strong green hoppy bite. Quite medicinal, green, stemmy, floral. Refreshing with only a hint of funk. With sediment: smoother, more phenolic, more tart. I liked it better without.

M: crisp, lighter side of mid weight with very high carbonation. Quite drinkable. Slicker and heftier with sediment; likes it better without.

O: interesting beer; I suppose I was expecting something more like Ommegang’s Rare Vos only better. This is a distinctly hoppy beer, with noble hops driving and Belgian yeast phenols pulling up the rear. Can’t say I’m in love with it. Reminds me of Duvel and Sorachi Ace. It is truly unique, and worth trying at least once. For my part, I may go buy another bottle from this lot and cellar it for a few years, see what happens.

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Photo of MisterRevPaul
3.1/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1 | overall: 3.25

It's got a weird back bite to it, almost salty. My biggest issue with the beer, the mouth feel is completely wrong for a trappist, it feels thin, that milky mouth feel is non existent.
Considering the yeast, and it's definite taste to the beer I don't know what you'd call it but a trappist, but this is not even a La Guillotine let alone a Chimay

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Photo of FLima
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have been cellaring this for almost 5 years, I guess it deserves its own chalice.
Amber color with a huge thick beige head with eternal retention and leaving some laces.
Sour aroma with notes of horse sweat, sulfur mixed with spices, oranges and grass with earth.
Flavor with notes of spices, just a bit of candi sugar, noble dank hops, earth, oranges, pleasant funkiness, pineapple, melon with lemon drops and bread. Quite dry and bitter aftertaste.
Light to medium body with effervescent carbonation.
Classic brew with an original spiced and funky taste. This was fully attenuated and felt even better than the last one I had in the street.

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Photo of Viaduck
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Massively thick foamy head, like what you see on top of a root beer float. Pour gently! Pretty & fairly clear amber-orange body. Aromas of clove, malt & sweet ripe fruit. Taste is mildly salty bitter Flavor is clove, malt & some funk. Plenty of carbonation & excellent feel.

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Photo of MoMaMe
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a very thick foamy head, surprisingly only moderately sticks to the glass. Smell is light and subtle, but pleasant, almost floral with a light, sweet malty/honey fragrance. Very smooth. Taste is very light. All the flavors are balanced and nothing stands out over anything else. Taste is slightly bitter, balanced by malt and yeast, but overall mild and pleasant. It’s very easy to drink. Nothing bad to say about this beer, but nothing striking either.

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Photo of jkblr
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottled 12/15/16 bb 12/15/21 (purchased room temp a month ago) poured into an Orval chalice at fridge temp 6.9% ABV. The beer pours bright orange amber in color with tight khaki colored head. The head recedes to a thin cap but leaves no lacing. The aroma is yeast driven primarily with some hints of clove. The taste is sharp and grassy with little malt character. The hops are nearly gone and the yeast flavors of funk, bitter pineapple and barnyard are dominating. The mouthfeel is thin bodied, highly carbonated and extremely dry. Overall, unique and good. I have a feeling I would like this more fresh with a bit of the dry hops left before the yeast takes over.

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Photo of detgfrsh
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From an 11oz bottle. Pours a hazy amber color with lots of fluffy head. Smells of bread, yeast, and sourness. Light feel with plenty of carbonation. Tastes like it smells - a balance of bready malt, floral and fruity yeast with a dry finish. Excellent.

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Photo of BHapeman
3.12/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I'm going to disappoint many people but everyone's palate is different. I love Belgian ales but Orval let me done. It looked the part yet lacked any depth of flavor - all I tasted was the Brett yeast. Is it a good beer? Yes, better than average. Is it a good Trappist ale? In my opinion, no, it's just average.

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Photo of singletary
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

It poured a rich amber color somewhat hazy, large foamy white head with good retention to it. The smell is faint bread really not much to smell. The taste has a mild sweetness to it a bit of a booziness to it but very mild. Overall I was very pleased to have tried it. Bottled on 1/03/2017.

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Photo of Nass
2.34/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Tastes like really old champagne & it fizzes out the bottle the same way. I agree with it being overly dry. I am not tasting anything exceptional going on here. Probably too much yeast for me to handle. Oh well, we can't like them all can we. Cheers! C-

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

A golden amber color with a large white head. Has pretty good retention. Light, malty, slightly fruity smell. Very balanced. Taste is very balanced as well. Light fruitiness and malt sweetness in there, quite smooth. Bubbly with pretty high carbonation, medium heaviness, dry finish. Overall a perfect beer in my opinion. Only reason I'm no giving it a 5is I don't think I've been drinking for long enough to determine the difference between a 4.5 and 5. Either way, incredible trapping beer.

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Photo of DavidR_9
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled July 2017

Classic belgian pale pour but with a deeper dark gold-brown body with a large towering white head, great retention. Tons of carbonation rushing up from the bottom of the tulip glass.

Smells sweet bready, yeasty, faded lemon, very balanced and overall subtle.

Taste is so balanced. A sweet breadiness almost like hawaiian sweet roll followed by a yeasty fruitiness that is very mellow, maybe some mellowed out lemongrass and earthiness.

Pleasant mouthfeel with medium to high carbonation, medium to light viscosity and a nice lasting yeasty note that finishes with just a touch of dryness.

I think the excellence of this trappist ale lies in its balance and drinkablilty. No single feature stands out front, they all work in harmony and this is a masterfully brewed Beglian Pale that gives you an enjoyable drinking experience throughout and finishes rather light.

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Photo of Junior
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L - Orange tinted amber with a big foamy white head.
S- Sweet bread and yeast.
T-Bready with an earthy yeast and fruit.
F - Highly carbonated and has a clean finish.
O - Wonderful beer.

Bottled 1/03/2017. Best Buy 1/03/2022.

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Photo of HoppingMadMonk
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an orange gold color. Above average body but definitely is well carbonated which takes a while to settle down. Aroma is yeast,fruit,malt and some grain. Taste follows the nose, a bit of a floral bitterness shows up in the taste. Overall this competes well with others in this style

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Photo of michiganmatt
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: A very hazy burnt orange. With tons and tons of off-white head.
S: Light fruit flavors, along with Belgian spices. Hints of sourness.
T: A slightly unusual/unique taste. Very hard to describe. So I won't try :)
F: Medium bodied, moderate-light carbonation. A tad bitter.
O: overall a unique and interesting beer. Not something I would probably buy again though.

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Photo of Holderness
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L — Pours a moderately hazed golden amber with a two-finger off-white head produced with gentle pour. Great retention and some lacing
S — Green apple, tart cherry, barnyard funk, sour grape, musk, sweet doughiness, caramel
T — Not at all sour, but has a very interesting yeasty funkiness to it. Very earthen and ‘damp’. Getting some bready malts, floral, and maybe a hint of grassy hops as well
F — Dry. Intensely effervescent, which makes the mouthfeel suffer a little. This is one of those beers that even after releasing a large amount of CO2 during the pour, there is still enough left so that a small sip not immediately swallowed turns into an unpleasant mouthful of foam. Probably caused by the bottle conditioning
O — Certainly one of the more unique Belgians. I was expecting the aromas — which by and large remind of a wild ale — to follow through in the flavor, which didn’t really happen.


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Photo of Beersnake1
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from fridge temp. As recommended, I poured with aggression. Tons of head, but it quickly dissipated. A beautiful orange color emerged. Nose is bread, caramel, a bit of cherry, fig, and a bit of tree bark. Taste is really interesting. A slight bitterness up front - a bit hoppy and piney. Definitely a layer of citrus peel, cherries, raisins, and some wheat notes. Mouthfeel is relatively dry, with a citrus peel aftertaste. Overall, a really nicely crafted beer.

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Photo of BGDrock
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured 1 year after bottling.
Body is beautiful clear copper, highly effervescent, producing a huge, dense, white head that lasts for days.
Spice on the nose - nutmeg and cinnamon - as well as some caramel malt, and banana, but mild the latter.
Flavour falls flat. Mineral and metallic, with a very dry, long finish. Hints of the malts and spice, but quite subtle. Champagne-like carbonation, and a medium body. Alcohol heat lingers.
This is actually a well crafted beer, with a great mouthfeel and magnificent appeal in the glass - too bad the flavour doesn't follow suit. It's like licking a tin can. Might try another to see if it was a bad batch, or fresher is better.

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Photo of amesetz
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Well well well. Finally realized how legendary this beer was and went and picked one up. Have been really into wild sour beers and kind of realized that this one an OG. Very bretty on the nose, deep copper color, and SUPER high carbonation. Orval (overall), solid Trappist ale, but a little too effervescent and carbonated for my routine beer selects. Still would recommend giving it a whirl though..

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Photo of ovaltine
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pour is a slightly cloudy golden orange color, light tan head. Aromas are estery Belgian greatness and earthy hops.

The taste is split between the earthy hops and the esters from the yeast. The label states this was bottled in December 2016, and is good through December 2021. I’d like to try a bottle of this with 5 years of whiskers on it, because I think it would be phenomenal.

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Photo of darth_punchbowl
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

When fresh, there is very aggressive carbonation that almost hides the flavor. The beer tastes much better once it's flattened out a bit. Drank it around 50F. Taste goes with the nose. My impression was leather and toast, with some spice, caramel and banana flavors. A touch musty, overall unique. Very pleasant bitter finish and clean, lingering aftertaste. I like it better than some of the 'bigger' Belgian pale ales available in the US. I'd like to cellar some to find out what happens, but you know, a beer in the fridge is worth 6 that you have to drive to the store for...

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Photo of bmaslakov
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

That's a great beer. Poured into a glass it is mellow yellow with ginger hints, surprisingly light for a Trappist one, coupled with a wonderfully thick two-inch fluffy head. Aroma is lovely and sweet reminiscing about marshmallow and lollipop, with lightest hints of vanilla and barley. The taste supports the nose quite right, a little bit of wheat with a citrus aftertaste. Mouthfeel is rather watery and refreshing (which is also unusual for a Belgian Trappist); medium carbonation. Definitely worth trying, even for those who are not really into Belgian style. Pairs well with chicken salad and with a hard cheese like Parmesan.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 5,589 ratings