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

2,304 Reviews
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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Reviews: 2,304 | Ratings: 5,287
Photo of HipCzech
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 11.2 oz bottle ("bottled on 09/10/2015") poured into a Spiegelau beer tulip.

Appearance: Slightly hazy pale copper with a fluffy, bubbly head of nearly white bubbles. A good cap of foam persists with sparse lace.

Smell: Deep and complex; musty cellar and barnyard straw fill the nose along with

Taste: Clean and dry; tart citrus, minerals, grass and herbal hop bitterness. Crisp and funky like Fino sherry, almost medicinal.

Mouthfeel: Creamy smooth, medium body and lively soft carbonation.

Overall: Dry, complex and funky - an ideal aperitif.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottled on 17/07/2015

Pours hazy burnt amber orange with a dense creamy off-white foam head. Smells like plum, apricots, raisin, mild caramel, apple, doughy bready toasted biscuity grain, some orange citrus, spice, with a slightly tart funky earthy floral grass and hay note. Tastes like toasted biscuity doughy bready grain, red apple, mild caramel, plums, apricot, raisin, tart orange citrus, some spice, with slightly funky dank earthy floral grass and hay. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really nice brew.

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

Served in a St. Bernardus chalice, it pours a deep and dark orange, tilting towards brown.
It forms a three-finger head with excellent retention, ecru, foamy and sudsy.
After a while the head diminished, yet a one-finger remnant head is perennial.
The lacing in this beer is thick and intricate.

The bouquet is so intense that it imbued the atmosphere with dried fruits as soon as I opened the bottle. While observing the beer, the aromas still reached my senses.
This is a young Orval, and yet a clear and distinct funk is there… all hail Brettanomyces! Barnyard, horse blanket, wet hay. Those are the most predominant aromas, yet there are also some dried fruits, overripe apple and pear, clove.
So unique and enticing.

The depth of this beer has no paragon.
It introduces itself with a high carbonation that teases your palate.
Right after, a strong, complex and predominantly bitter flavor, that follows the nose zealously. The farmyard notes and clove are the strongest flavors, followed closely by the dried and overripe fruits, which resemble undertones.
I am enamored by Orval's finish. It enters so subtle and yet so assertive; right after the aggressive flavors fade, a fruity, herbal note rises and lingers, sweet and long.
The last sensation in your mouth, though, is that of dryness.
Medium body, slightly velvety and smooth.

I just found a new favorite.

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

Poured from a 33cl bottle.

L: Dark amber, opaque. The head is huge when poured and stays about a finger thick.
S: Grassy and floral, with apple notes. A bit boozy too.
T: Mainly apple with a bitter finish, tart. Bready. The malt brings a nice sweetness. Very well balanced.
F: Medium carbonation, very fluid and quenching.
O: Very nice -- I could see myself drinking pint after pint of this and enjoying every last drop (if only bars in Paris cared more about the beers they serve...).

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Photo of lic217
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Reddish orange, slightly hazy, huge head
Smell: Smells funky, a little fruity and sour
Taste: Soapy, earthy, wheats, and bready, finishes dry and tart (when first poured it was slightly harsh, but as it warmed it became a more balanced beer
Feel: Prickly carbonation, extremely high carbonation, as it warmed it started to feel better
Overall: A great beer, I really enjoyed it. I wish this was an out half the price. I would buy it frequently.

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Photo of BSiegs
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber reddish in color, fairly opaque. Massive, sticky off white head that retains and laces beautifully. Aromas are fruity, slightly spicy, and loads of brett. The taste follows, slightly tart with the slight spice lingering on the aftertaste. Medium light body, high carbonation. Slight tingling sensation on the finish. An interesting belgian with very unique character.

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Photo of GoRedbirds1982WorldSeries
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma is wet, musty, attic blanket. Color is dark straw from the barnyard. Head is like a Dairy Queen. Lacing is like looking through a pane of glass after a rain. Taste is must, grit, dust in a dirty corner of the kitchen, chewy with bacon, saltines, horsehair. If Webster's had a photo of funk next to the definition of the word in the dictionary, then the beautiful bowling pin bottle of Orval would be it. If Alexander the Great wanted a beer after crossing the Khyber Pass then Orval would be it. If St. Thomas Aquinas needed a sixth proof for God's existence, it would be a bottle of Orval. It is without doubt my favorite beer. Go Trappists!

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Photo of arthurspoor
4.81/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

At first I didn't like this beer. Neither did I like the other Trappisten. But as with the best things in life, you have to learn to love it.

This is my favorite beer. There is nothing like it. It is low in alcohol, but it is so heavily flavoured.

The smell is wonderful. So fresh and misterious.

For me there is nothing that beats it.

You must try it!

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This Belgian pale ale pours a not so pale, slightly opaque orange tinted caramel color with a massive white foamy head that has some serious retention. The smell is amazing and complex with elements of fruit including pear, apple, and citrus, flowers, a bready caramel malt scent, and yeast. The flavor is incredibly well balanced and very pleasant. The fruit flavors are not as strong as I would have guessed from the scent, but they are still very much present. With apple and citrus coming through the most and blending nicely with flowery elements. These flavor brings to mind the first day of spring. There is a very solid malt backbone that imparts a sweet caramel and brown bread flavor and serves to give the beer a body that is on the high end of medium. Flavors of yeast and herbal hops also come through particularly in the aftertaste. The beer finishes semi-dry. I often forego the Belgian pale ale for the higher alcohol Belgians (strong ales, triples, quads, etc.), but this beer has reminded me why I shouldn’t always skip this style. This is a really exceptionally delicious and particularly complex example of what for me is probably an underappreciated style.

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Photo of diemilio
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 21/01/2015. Cool hazy dark amber color.
Smell, picking up mostly dark fruit notes, a teeny-tiny bit of raisin, a hint of sweet red wine, and definitely what grape NERDS smell like; a little bit of breadyness and spiciness too.
Taste, again, sweetness of the dark fruit (especially as it warms up), bitterness in the back, and definitely getting the alcohol.
Feel, mmmmhh, medium body I guess? Decent carbonation.

Overall, pretty goooood!

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Photo of JayAre46
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - poured softly into snifter, very active white fluffy head sits and slowly recedes clinging to the glass. Deep orange color and hazy.

Smell - Belgian yeast, bready malt with a subtle barnyard funk in the back and not a lot of dark fruit in the nose.

Taste - Orange rind, belgian yeast, peppery, very light grassy character and finishes with a light bitterness.

Feel - Medium bodied, good carbonation level but more coating than prickly, dry mouthfeel not astringent.

Overall - This is such an underrated beer that is widely available that i'm also guilty of continually passing on, in my opinion the yeast is such a great twist and really helps the drinkability and experience. I think the brett does a great job of balancing the normal sweet dark fruits characteristics that typically dominate the style.

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Photo of Dr-Baltar
4.96/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottled Mid 2014, Opened June 2016

Look- Thick white head, slightly cloudy off of a slow pour, dark straw color

Smell - Fruity, BRETT, cheesey hops

Taste - Brett right off the bat. It is a gentle brett character though. A little farmhouse, but the brett offers much more fruitness than funkiness. Also, HOPS. Aged over 2 years and there is a definite hop presence.

Feel - Dry, highly carbed. and a good bite from the CO2

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Photo of delta490
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque light brown with a golden tint. Has a big foamy off white head with great retention. Has a light aroma, spicy and fruity with a little yeasty funk. The taste is much the same. The body is lighter with a delicate carbonation.

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Photo of sejorules
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

L: Amber cloudy with white thick head

S: Very strong smell. Yeast, sweet banana, plums, slight alcoholic like fermented fruit. Spicy.

T: Very well defined smell. Plums, yeast, Slight tartness, slight bread, a little spicy.

F: Warming and medium fizzy.

O: This was amazing. Superb beer, I will buy again.

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Photo of bigdaddymick
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Served at room temperature in a moderately chilled thermos.

Wow. Just Wow. An elaborate assault on the senses not usually seen in beers of this caliber. Detailed carbonation akin to the sea floor methane plumes with strong herbaceous undertones. Feels stronger than 6.9%

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Photo of The_Epopt
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You just don't get the depth of flavor in most American Craft beer as you have in the European classics. Poured into the glass my nose is assaulted by the yeast and hops. First taste, the yeast presents first high and tight then the hops mild yet bitter followed by a sweet malt that balances it all out. There's so many things happening in this beer at once you can ping pong between them once per second.

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Photo of ngusset
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle from 8/21/2014 on 5/5/16 into Chimay chalice.
Cloudy mysterious amber color, amazing head, like an 80's flat top.
Exceptional aroma, tropical cider party..
Taste is very refined, alcohol working hard in there but not overwhelming the magical bubblegum enchantment. Mouth feel is initially thin and builds to substantial within an instant.
My prior encounters with Orval pummeled me with hops, this time around I'm reaping the rewards from survival.
A high watermark of hoppy brett brewing.

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I loved the Orval Trappist.

(L) Cloudy amber color with a thick white head.

(A) Wonderful aroma with spices and banana and more.

(T) Grassy, tart, banana, and a surprising dankness.

(F) Fairly fizzy, medium body.

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Photo of LaurenZ
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer had a large head and decent lacing. the colors are yellow, orange and tawny. Aromas are of malts and pasted, slightly harsh. On the palette there is hints of honey and licorice and fruit. Decent carbonation and a thin texture. Overall it isn't the most flavor forward beer out of ales that I've enjoyed but it is good.

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Photo of Angela1956
2.99/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Head is frothy, off-white, and lasting. Lacing is spare. Body is cloudy and murky. Amber orange coloring. Aroma has an average malt, toffee and buttery. Palate is light and kind of flat. The flavor was bland to me and didn't contain much excitement.

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Photo of hennin55
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: average creamy head, excellent lacing, amber in color
Aroma: nutty in aroma, notes of allspice and nutmeg
Palate: medium bodied, creamy texture
Flavor: average flavor but slightly bitter

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Photo of Beginner2
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed in "Michael Jackson's Great Beers of Belgium", this awaits my review with another tasting.
Reviewed also in Roger Protz' CAMRA classic "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"
Also reviewed in the "1001."

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Photo of stinewils24
2.38/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer has a honey gold appearance to it and is rather foamy. It has a spicy and sour smell to it. The taste also has spicy hints with a fruity, earthy, and somewhat bitter aftertaste. The texture holds a light carbonation.

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Photo of Pstanek
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic beer but maybe because it suits my narrow tastes. Very volitale. Produced a thick heavy head even with a gentle pour from the bottle. Violent bubbling (tornado like) continued from bottom of glass. It made me wonder if something was wrong. After tasting I was pretty sure nothing was wrong. The taste is unique but wonderful. Hard to compare because not like any other.

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Photo of bbtkd
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brasserie d'Orval Orval Trappist Ale, bottled January 14th, 2014, best by January 14th, 2019, 6.9% ABV, 32 IBU. Huge white head, should have side-poured, was actually 3/4 of the glass to start with. Smells fresh - citrus. Foam, meet mustache! Very slightly bitter, good citrus taste. Heavier carbonation. I'm more of a stout guy (in more ways than one), but this is pretty good. Wasn't sure what to expect when I read up on brett beers. You're apparently supposed to cellar this, though I didn't - it was 22 months old when I bought it. I'd get it again. In fact, still more on that store shelf, so probably already cellared.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,287 ratings.
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