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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
5,461 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,461 |  Reviews: 2,356
Photo of stakem
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A ~7 month old bottle poured into a goblet. This brew appears a lightly hazy copper color with a monstrous amount of slightly yellowish off-white head that is 4+ fingers thick and composed of large bubbles. The cap slowly fades back to a finger's worth of thick froth leaving an abundant amount of lace clinging to the glass. Carbonation endlessly erupts out of this brew from some etching on the bottom of the glass supporting the head.

The aroma of this brew is seriously all over the place. Right when the cap was removed, it smelled of fruity hops and light amounts of citrus hops. As it gets poured, it opens up in the glass and starts to showcase sour indications that are reminiscent of lacto and some very light brett'd character fills the back of the nose. A light indication of plastic is noted. Throughout the middle are lemony scents present as well as some other light fruitiness like pear, orange and more lemon. My overall feeling of this brew is that it smells somewhat medicinal and like a solvent type of house cleaner.

The taste of this brew upfront is lightly fruity with a taste somewhat similar to apple and pear skins. Through the body are the sour indications of lacto and brett notes that are drying. It has a light funk quality about it that suggests barnyard without actually going there. It is earthy and somewhat herbal without going right into the typical wet leather brett character. It finishes mostly dry with a long lingering bitter herbal hoppiness mixed with notes of plastic. There is significantly more bitter herbal hop character in the finish of this brew that I would have ever guessed based on the smell and initial taste.

This is a light bodied brew with a bursting amount of carbonation that is both visual and prickly on the tongue. It gets more enjoyable as it sits and is swirled calming the carbonation level down to an acceptable level. I dont have all that much experience with drinking this brew a lot, but I could forsee this brew being something that could be aged and really develop into something completely different from this relatively "young" offering. With a best by year of 2015, I wouldn't mind securing a few more bottles of this and start trying to push that best by dating to see what older bottles are like. Throughout the entire experience, I never once felt like this was a brew that was close to 7% abv. Well done.

 2,386 characters

Photo of IllNate
4.79/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Murky brown-orange with a mountain of foaming off-white head.

S - Wonderful. Remisent of some white wines. Floral. Definite spice aroma.

T - Sensory overload. Spicey and definite wine characteristic. Lemon/citrus tones. Bitterness adds a nice kick. Extremely dry.

M - Carbonated. Bitterness is not overdone, and a surprisingly large warming sensation for a 6.2% beer.

D - Drinkable, but the style doesn't lend itself to endless pints.

I was hoping it wouldn't be over hyped and it's not. A very enjoyable beer.

Dated 28/04/2010. Served at 11c.

 558 characters

Photo of scottakelly
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy gold with a pillowy white head. There is nice lacing throughout the glass. Aroma is of spicy hops, citrus, and leather, and begs for you to take a sip. Flavor follows the aroma, with spicy hop flavors and a backgorund of graininess. This is a very dry and hoppy beer. The dryness makes this beer a standout, and also makes it very drinkable for 6.9% abv. Had it back to back with Goose Island Matilda, which supposedly is an homage to Orval. Matilda might be a little more complex, and is definately not as dry and hoppy. I give a slight edge to Orval.

 565 characters

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

Poured out of a bottle into a tasting glass. Served cool.

A-raspberry blonde body and a very, very thick white head

S-berry and horse blanket smell...roasted chestnut?

T-berry, fruit stone, celery

M-dry, light-medium and very highly carbonated.

D-okay at best. Unique for sure. Probably a good food pairing beer but not one I might go to first.

 350 characters

Photo of mrnobody
3.31/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

330 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a cloudy orange/amber with a massive 4 finger fluffy offwhite head; insane retention. Looks like an ice cream float!

S: Smells floral, yeasty. White wine aromas.

T: Tastes of sour apples, hops. Very dry and crisp. However, there is something vaguely medicinal in the finish that's offputting.

M: Has a light-medium body with lively carbonation.

D: If not for the unpleasant finish, the drinkability would be pretty good.

 477 characters

Photo of punkrkr27
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 4-1-05. Pours a nice amber color with a huge pillowy off-white head. Complex and strong aroma of wild flowers, banana, orange and coriander. Initial flavor is grassy and floral. Just a tiny hint of sweetness before a huge hop bitterness finishes it off. Very dry, almost champagne-like mouth feel.

 310 characters

Photo of confer
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was our selection from our BOTM club.
A- Orange/brown. This beer is alive out of the bottle. You have to take a few pours in between letting the head settle. The head sticks around very frothy.
S- A few smells are present. Just out of the bottle when very cold there is a real hoppy smell. As it warms there is a boozy smell and also a sweet fruity smell. Then the barnyard funk smell comes out.
T- Sour funk with a small bitter finish. Not exaclty what I was expecting.
MD- Very creamy feel.This is a sipping beer for me. For the price I don't know if I would buy this beer again, but it had to be tried once.

 616 characters

Photo of bskrtz
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce bottle served very cold in glass beer challis @ Small Bar in Chicago

A) Pours a beautiful bright straw gold with puffy white head. Appearance is cloudy & thick with suspended carbonation and yeasties

S) Waft of powerful floral & herbal scent. Lemon-orange citrus and strong alcohol.

T) I was surprised by pine-bitter hops -- the floral-herbal dominates the sweet caramel I expected from this Trappist Belgian classic.

M) Seemingly perfect carbonation adds to this smooth & complex brew that you know is pacticed, time tested quality

D) An excellent beer but the bitter & funky-pine hops (I believe) will limit it's appeal.

 640 characters

Photo of bound4er
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Poured into my Duval glass. Huge white pillowy head sits atop a hazy dark amber liquid. The puffy head slowly recedes but never disappears.

S. Fruity, ester-like Belgian yeast aromas dominate. Very inviting. As it warms a bit, the fruitiness really shows along with baking spice.

T. Some of the nice fruitiness on the nose is lost in the taste. Bready malt flavors take center stage. Finishes clean.

M. Prickly carbonation with a lively mouthfeel.

D. This is a highly quaffable beer that falls short due to the taste being on the simple side. Glad to have tried this but not something I will buy on a regular basis.

 625 characters

Photo of pgaveau
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First ever Ba review

Enjoyed in an Orval Chalice

Full thick head that quickly diminished to a thin,solid head that lasted until the last sip. Cloudy dark orange color. Faint citrus aroma. Taste was crisp, dry with no aftertaste what so ever. Not as hoppy as I had read it would be. Very refreshing taste. I enjoyed this beer with some Cotswold cheese. Match made in heaven.

 376 characters

Photo of WhiteOak
3.24/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Hazy copper color with a big, expansive, rocky, lacy head.

S- An alluring, seductive aroma of juicy fruit gum, tropicals, sweet fruits, banana.

T- Nice malt, but the tart bitterness dominates. A touch flat in flavor - a let-down compared to the lovely aroma. Sour grassy finish.

M, D- Medium/light in feel, the drinkability is good if you enjoy your brews with this degree of tartness. Probably best with a careful food pairing.

 434 characters

Photo of kinged8th
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was craving a Belgium and picked up this one. Nice orange color with a thick head. Smells wonderful and tastes very good. Its more fruity than spicey and the alcohol is very well hiding compared to some other Belgiums Ive had. I could drink several of these at one time. A little pricey though.

 294 characters

Photo of CHickman
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy dark orange in color with a creamy 2 finger off white head that faded slowly and left a nice creamy layer on top; good foamy lacing that slides down the glass fast.

Smells of yeast (strong yeast odor), sweet malt, coriander, hay, dark sweet fruits and light spices like pepper. Pretty mellow nose overall, but still quite nice.

Tastes of sweet malt, yeast, coriander, orange peel, hay, dark fruits like plum, butter, light spices like pepper, cinnamon and toasted grains. Complicated and funky, this is extremely tasty with just a hint of spices.

Very smooth and easy to drink, the mouthfeel is creamy and slick with little to no carbonation, a medium to heavy body.

Very good beer that was tasty and enjoyable, it went down very easy on it's own and complimented my meal as well; I will seek out again.

 824 characters

Photo of thartman
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from fancy-cool bottle into a stemmed Belgian Chinmay beer drinking vessel. Monster head with whip cream-like peaks. Nice apricot color. Strong musty-fruity-spicy smell. Wild yeast and fruit-like taste, peppery and with a little hop bitterness. Nicely carbonated mouthfeel with a slight bitter aftertaste. Excellent Belgian brew!

 336 characters

Photo of MP72
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Beautiful orangish color with a thick white head ,,very dense bubbles.

S-Citrus and alcohol

T-yeasty , bitter ,sweet and citrusy all at the same time.

M- tingly and crisp

D- to me average couldnt do more than 2

All in all a very good Belgian Pale Ale,, I would buy this again. The taste hides the high 6.9 ABV very well.

 328 characters

Photo of FanofHefe
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into the Orval goblet! First time I've reviewed a beer in its own glassware. Cloudy dark orange pour with huge head. Took two pours to get it fully in the glass. Very foamy head that lingers and sticks to the sides of the goblet as you drink.

Aroma is pleasing and not too pungent. A spicy aroama with a noticeable smell of coriander and orange peel.

Taste follows the aroma with the "brett" yeast producing a nice complex flavor. Slightly sour and funky with a citrusy and slightly hoppy backbone.

Mouthfeel is where this one excels for me. Very, very smooth and easy to drink. Unique offering that far exceeds its copies in my opinion.

 663 characters

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

Bottle poured into a Westvleteren chalice

A - Golden-amber and very cloudy - looks like apple cider; huge white head & great lacing

S - Brettanomyces, lemon & raspberry essences, robust fresh malts

T - Pungent wild yeast and floral hops --> fresh grains - wheat and rye?, earthy hops --> lemon peel --> finishes bitter and sour, yet still malty

M - Medium-bodied, excellent carbonation, great to swish back and forth due to complexity of flavors

D - Very drinkable for the style - I want more as soon as the bottle is gone, every time

D -

Overall, this is a fantastic beer - funky, yet amazingly well-balanced and super drinkable. I'll never refuse a pour of Orval.

 682 characters

Photo of nhindian
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An interesting beer as it is only one of 7 Trappist beers in the world, and the only one to purposely use Brett to sour the beer.

A - The beer itself comes in a wide, unique bottle with the label strewn around the neck. Pours a light, goldenrod color with a deep amber middle. Builds a beautiful 3-fingered head that last for ages, and what doesn't stick around forms a nice, foamy cap. Intermittent lacing the glass.

S - The Brett really adds a ton of funk to this beer. The nose is all sour, barnyard, grassy funk with just a hint of the traditional Belgian yeast qualities. Fruity and spicy, this beer really mixes the senses keeps the nose guessing. Smells light and refreshing.

T - Taste is fruity, floral, and sour. The tart fruits shock the mouth, but the spice and orange bitterness cleanse the mouth and overall its moderately dry. Heavily flavored in a lemon, grass, herbal context and overall it has a pretty dense flavor profile. Unique and complex.

M - Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied and ample carbonation. Lots of tiny bubbles rise to the surface to replenish the head and you can really feel it in the mouth.

D - Drinkability is moderate. The taste is light, dry, and crisp, with a relatively low ABV, but I can see the sour and fruitiness keeping this one from being night-long drink.

Overall I'm a bit torn on this one. I really appreciate the uniqueness of this, but I expected a bit more from a Trappist ale. It's not as complex as some of the darker Trappists, and if given at a blind tasting, I'd probably assume this to be an American take on the Wild style. I'm glad to have tried it but not sure if I'd seek it out in the future.

 1,665 characters

Photo of Swedes21
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to spinrsx on this 50th beer for getting me hooked on craft beers and BA!

Served in a chilled glass..

Appearance - The beer pours with a tremendous amount of head, over 3/4 of my glass. The beer is a gorgeous pale golden and a decent amount of carbonation is present. The head is a foamy white with some decent lacing. Looks amazing!

Smell - First smell is a grassy base, kind of earthy with some citrus base. The hops are present and delightful.

Taste - very unique taste, the beer taste as it smells, true to its form. I can taste like an orange peel citrus upfront followed by the grassy earth tones. Some decent spice taste as well added to the end. The bitterness is almost none.

Mouthfeel - There is a good amount of carbonation added that i found brought the hops fwd. The beer has a little bit more after taste, from the spices during the mouthfeel. As the carbonation is added, the beer maintains a light mouthfeel, not too creamy.

Drinkability - This is a beer i have had for awhile and wanted to give it a special spot. It is well deserving of the 50th spot in my beer adventures. I will want to stock this beer and share with friends. Such a good beer!

 1,185 characters

Photo of briggssteel
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light brown to orange flavor with tons of head on it. I waited about 10 minutes and it didn't really dissipate. Smells very sweet but not a ton on the nose. Tastes citrusy and very crisp but what I'm really noticing is that great brett flavor that trails. Mouthfeel is pretty light and smooth.

This is a lot different from other trappist ales I've tried. Others were all very malty but this is much smoother, crisp and I love the brett flavor. Definitely worth a try.

 468 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Bottled on 22/04/2010, best before 22/04/2015. Let bottle warm slightly before pouring, Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into oversized red wine glass. Still waiting on my orval goblet. Huge off white bubbly head formed almost overflowing the glass, as I let it sit it stuck to the glass and fell slowly on the sides leaving a large head in the middle, almost like a an egg. Dark orangey brown color. Very spicy aroma. Tastes exceptional, I detect some orange. Tart and dry. Not as strong as the smell might indicate. I've been told the beer should be at its peak right now, it tastes like it could use a little more time to mellow to me. Very light on the tongue but I can feel it starting to kick in. I wouldn't be able to drink too many of these, it is more of a treat or an after dinner drink.

 795 characters

Photo of nataku00
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. A hazy brownish orange beer with a big initial three finger head. Head is mostly small bubbles and khaki colored that laces lightly as the head recedes.

Nose is slightly hoppy with a bit of dried citrus peel and spice. A little sweetness from malt as well.

Taste is really interesting. Bitter citrusy hops upfront, with a little bit of the spice (coriander primarily) midtongue. A bit of lingering bitterness on the tongue.

Plenty of good carbonation in the mouth to help make it roughly medium bodied. Lots of aroma release as well when you hold it in your mouth.

Easy to drink, that's really unique for a Belgian beer.

 662 characters

Photo of philphilphil
3.23/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Orval appeals to the types who like floral beers. As in, not me. Too floral, appeareance was cloudy with nice head. Taste was Floral, deep floral,mouthfeel was good, drimkabilty was alright, restricted by price and floralnees.i tried to steal the glass but thre barowner asked where it was.

 290 characters

Photo of kwjd
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright orange colour with huge cloudy white head with some mild lacing. Smells of sour grape with Belgian yeast. Flavour is both a mild sourness to go with bigger sweetness. Very complex and I'm sure I'm not doing the description justice. Big carbonation level. I'm glad the Control Board in Ontario finally got this back. I already bought 6 because it was all I could carry. I hope more is at the store in the next couple days when I go back.

 451 characters

Photo of dacull
4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My first review on here, and as luck would have it I picked a very good beer to start off with.

Poured from bottle into a large wine glass. Honey-like orange color with a thick and persistent white head that left lots of dense lacing all the way up the glass..

Smell is sweet with some fruity notes of citrus and peach and hints of spice.

Taste is sweet, fruity peach up front quickly followed by pronounced flavors of spices, corriander and nutmeg. Slight pine or juniper hint in the aftertaste, along with a persistent corriander-like spice. Several waves of complex flavors over the course of a sip.

Mouthfeel is good, perhapse a bit too much carbonation for my taste, but certainly not unreasonable or out of range for the style.

Very drinkable, I could definitely enjoy one or two more of these in a sitting. Overall an exceptionally well crafted beer and possibly my favorite Belgian pale ale to date. I'll definitely be drinking it again.

 950 characters

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 5,461 ratings