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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
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: 5,588
Photo of snaotheus
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle served at the Drug Opera in Brussels. Packaged 2017-07-19.

Pours amber with a medium to large head, hazy, lots of carbonation. Smell is overall fairly mild. Dates, maltiness.

The taste is surprisingly hoppy and crisp. Strong dates and biscuit flavor, a slight spiciness.

Mouthfeel is light, effervescent, and dry. Overall, good beer.

 355 characters

Photo of MKV
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A lovely golden color and a grainy, somewhat funky nose. The taste amps up the funk, with some fruitiness, some grain, and some bitterness. While complex, it doesn't seem incredibly well balanced. Also leaves a bitter taste at the end, which sticks around for some time. I'd like to try a more aged version of it at some point.

 327 characters

Photo of The_Bujon
4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely deep amber, and a satisfying head that does stick. I utilised a dutch la trappe glass and works well for the brew.

Aroma is definitely on the sour side of the spectrum, but you do get plenty of fruits, fig, banana, spiced apple.

Taste is not quite as rewarding, it has an artificial aspect, which sticks in the throat during the aftertaste. ABV is on the low side for this style of beer too.

I'm picking holes, it is a good beer, just not quite hitting the mark for me. Belgium has a couple of thousand brews to compete with, and there are better tipples.

.......Still, well worth a quaff or three.

 617 characters

Photo of Schoeni
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 12/01/2011, BBD 12/01/2016 and now it is 2017 so this one aged more than 6 years in the bottle. Therefore this beer could differ from the original taste.. and so it does: there is no head but in fact this beer is very lively! A lot of bubbles like little pearls...colour is a red copper. Nose: sweet, olive, honey, sherry, ripe peaches. First impression is pleasently dry, very lively, followed by an alcoholic and bitter finish. Aftertaste is herbal and longlasting. As it warms up taste is more fruity and more on the liqorice-side. One of the best beers I had, really noble and the best thing in my opinion is this fizzy, dry taste just like a rosé-champagne.

 674 characters

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Clear golden copper pour. Massive foamy white head with ridiculous retention and great lacing.

S: Subtle... sweet Belgian candy sugars, lemon drop candy, and citrusy hops. Floral.

T/F: Candy sugars.... surprisingly light. Mild sweetness rapidly kicked down by citrus rind, hay, and mild tartness. Hopping is present for bittering and aroma... really brings this back to earth. Phenolic and yeasty... floral and spicy... so much going on here. Effervescent and zesty on the tongue. Finish is a bit sticky with some citrus. Draws you back for another sip far too soon.

O: A fantastic Belgian Pale... great complexity, flavor, and subtlety. One I will be re-visiting as frequently as possible.

 765 characters

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to tulip, the appearance was a fairly murky red to brown sort of color with a two finger's worth of rocky foamy head that glistened and slid off at a good pace. Lace was somewhat thick and foamy and sticky.
The aroma had a swift sweet to funky barnyard hay/grassy whiff. Roamed nicely into some basement stiffness and had some floral particles coming out to play with a little bit of a brisk earthiness.
The flavor was odd, well, it had that vinous quality that seemed to want to pummel the funk, but in reality, it didn't. So in turn, the earthiness, basement, and floral hop quality played a good part in and all around. Aftertaste seemed to cherish the funk and embrace the wine quality.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied, maybe a touch under with a good sipping quality to it due to the wine harshness. Carbonation felt fine, maybe a bit high, but I gave it a "restrained pour" to assist in the containment. ABV felt good.
Overall, pretty nice Belgian pale ale, not one for the faint of heart but definitely nothing else like it.

 1,044 characters

Photo of SpongeHop
4.66/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Tasted at the 6 months mark after bottling

L - reddish-brown amber color, almost copper. Carbonation like a good sparkling wine.
S - funky farmhouse smell of hay and horse stable. Citrussy, almost white wine-y.
T - citrussy, champagne-y funkiness of yeasty sour apples, hay and a hint of horse stable. Grassy hoppiness. A really crisp and ’green’ taste, with a beautiful hoppy bitter after taste, but still exquisitely well-balanced
F - nothing of note. Not watery. Not syrup-y. A nice sparkly carbonation like those in sparkling wines.

O - this is my favorite beer to date, period, and the beer that got me interested in craft beer. Upon first serve it simply smacks you in the face with its uniqueness, without being over-the-top. It is so amazingly well balanced in its farmhouse characteristics and its beer-y/hoppiness, and I haven’t really found any other beer that I have gotten so utterly smitten about. It reminds me of my childhood hometown: it is simply the countryside in a glass. If Beethoven’s Pastorale symphony were a beer. This would be it.

I absolutely, absolutely, absolutely recommend this one.

 1,126 characters

Photo of Sirnickatnite
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Drinking a 2015 bottle. First thing you notice on this ale is the unique fermented fruit scent. Actually kind of pleasant in my opinion. Tastes of pear and a light banana flavor. Slight malt finish. Smooth. Very solid beer.

 223 characters

Photo of Bombelsky
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled on 09.02.2017

Amber clear gets hazy after pouring a last inch. Huge 4 fingers frothy head, persisting, excelente lacing.

Moderate high level of yeasty-fruity esters aroma, mostly pears.
Earthy moderate aroma of hops. Some peppery notes.

Light grainy sweetness perfectly balancing moderate-high bitterness of hops and yeast, moderate hop flavor. Sugary.

Medium body, soft carbonation, creamy, fluffy, long dry finish. Warm alcohol notes.


 455 characters

Photo of illpass78
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle in a Chimay chalice.

Appearance: Dark, opaque plum/raisin type color. Huge frothing cream head. Angry bubbles. Looks good.

Aroma: Dark fruits, malts, sugars, herbs.

Taste: Complex. Fruits like fig, plum, raisin. Candied sugar. Malts, grains, bread. So much going on. Touch of caramel. Almost "busy."

Mouthfeel: Super smooth and rich. A pleasure on the palate.

Overall: Classic, unique ale. An experience. A good one, too.

 442 characters

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

Bottled perfection. You won't find a Belgian trappist ale better than this. It pours a smooth bronze color liquid, with impressive and long lasting foam on top. Smells like fruit with a hit of caramel. The taste is perfectly balanced, complex and pleasant, satisfying in every way. The 6.20% alcohol volume is just right. Hard to find in the USA, and a little expensive, but worth every drop of it.

 399 characters

Photo of srv33
4.89/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally getting to review one of my favorite Trappist ales. Bottled on 15/12/16

Appearance: Pours a mysterious hazy orange, nearly an amber with a thin head and beautiful lacing that clings in fine wisps.

Aroma: Scent of the usual belgian yeasts, clove banana bubblegum - along with a slight funk that makes Orval what it is, hints of the sea and grass.

Mouthfeel: Unbelivable moutfeel unlike any of the other Trappist ales, but is closest to St Bernardus Tripel, fine carbonation whose articulation dances in the creaminess of it all.

Taste: Lighter than the usual suspects in the style, but with such nice herbal, sea salt, floral notes as to give it something none of the others do. Its funk reminds me of a saison, but its fullness tells you its a trappist belgian pale ale. Along with the herbal notes comes hints of citrus and pepper which close it off.

This is a top brew, and I'm glad I finally got around to reviewing it, because I believe it to have a spot among my very favorites, and is certainly within my top three of all belgian brews. Reserved and mysterious; absolute class act.

 1,104 characters

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

cloudy amber color with a thick off white head great retention. smells hoppy citrus with a little sour funk as well. taste like a perfectly belgian pale ale with a a little funk to it. One of my favorites.

 205 characters

Photo of Stakebone
4.91/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A lot going on in this beer. Head/color as described in other reviews. Smells an tastes are numerous. Upfront is earthy, cidery, cedar like, slight vinegary, fruity, flowery hop aromas. Full mouthfeel compliments the slightly old tree fruit flavors. Bitterness from hops and some sour. Some drinks I taste Vietnamese pho with Asian spices and basil. Others dried tobacco and cider. Exceptional beer.

 407 characters

Photo of eberesford
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a huge head, even when fresh from the fridge. Mid amber. Aroma slightly phenolic, cloves, musty fruit. Flavour fruity peppery with mandarin at the end. Very full mouth.

 174 characters

Photo of Jtee
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a 330ml bottle served at 14 degrees Celcius into a chalice. The bottle has been aged for 6 months.

Appearance: A beautiful looking beer. It pours a veiled deep amber / light copper with 2 fingers (3cm) of foamy, tan head that settles into a thick cap after 8 minutes. Excellent retention and nice lacing as a bonus.

Aroma: Excellent - pleasant and nuanced. Medium intensity balancing towards sweet. Malty notes include faint caramel and toffee with biscuity pale malt. Floral, spicy, and citrusy hops. Moderate esters that make me think of apple and pear. There's an interesting vinous quality and a faint mustiness.

Taste: Simply delicious. Medium-strong and well-balanced. Pale, grainy malts with faint notes of caramel and toffee. Floral, spicy, and citrusy hops. I'm impressed how well the aroma reflects the taste. Fruity esters of apple and pear. Slightly peppery as well as tart. The finish is balanced and a tad dry.

Mouthfeel: Very enjoyable. Medium-light body with perfect carbonation. Slightly drying and prickly with a hint of warmth.

Overall: A very impressive beer demonstrating excellent craftsmanship. The ABV is hidden and no unacceptable off-flavours come through. I had this beer just short of two years ago when I was first getting into beer. Back then I didn't have the appreciation I have for it today. If you haven't tried it yet, I say it's worth it.

 1,384 characters

Photo of Bdubz94
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Excited for this one-- hear it is unique among Trappist beer.

Poured from a 12oz bottle bottled on 12/8/15 (good until 12/8/20). Fridge temp. Into a snifter.

Wow. Hello foam! Even with a delicate pour, you are going to get a HUGE head--probably the biggest I have ever seen on a bottled beer. The beer is crystal clear at fist but hazy once the whole bottle is poured. A lovely medium amber hue. Head recedes very slowly, so get comfy while pouring. Heavy lacing like none I have seen before. Just such a foamy, frothy beer. There is a head until the last sip.

Upon cracking the cap off, I am met with the aroma of spices. Very spicy, very yeasty, slightly fruity (apples, pears), slightly funky.

Taste is spicy, yeasty, floral and slightly malty with hints of apple and pear.

Feel is crisp, dry, and light with medium carbonation.

Overall a very unique beer-- like none I have had before. This likely due to the unique yeast used. I definitely recommend trying this one. I will likely revisit it in the future, maybe pick up a bottle or two to age...

 1,057 characters

Photo of Red5StandingBy
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from unique 12oz bottle into Bell's Hopslam Tulip. Bottled on July 13th 2016. Best by July 13th 2021.

L: Orange, hazy, massive rocky fluffy, off-white. Ridiculous retention level. gorgeous lacing.

S: Very floral, juniper, yeast is present as expected.

T: Again very floral, juniper and lemon, very tart. Not a big fan, but an excellently crafted beer.

F: Medium body, dry, heavily carbonated.

O: This is a good beer but I am not a big fan.

 465 characters

Photo of kitch
4.56/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 330ml bottle, bottled on 3rd February 2016, best before 3rd February 2021, and poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: A clear copper colour with an almost two finger white head that had great retention and left nice sticky lacing.

Aroma: Very fruity berries, grape, apple and pear with hints of coriander and brett.

Taste: Nice gentle fruitiness, berries, grape, bubblegum and plum with a light tartness, light peppery spice, brett, funk and a hint of banana.

Mouthfeel: Dry-ish, medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Very nice and very well balanced beer, and a must buy beer in my book.

 609 characters

Photo of Maestro0708
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.9oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.
Best by December of 2020. 6.9%abv

Pours a golden amber color and is mostly opaque. A large, off-white head develops and has great retention. Some nice lacing is left on the glass.

The ale's aroma begins with a subtle tart lemon scent, followed by vaguely fruity and floral notes.

Flavor is complex as can be, with tart lemon, fruity citrus, hop bitterness, funk, and floral character. All of this blends together with beautiful balance.

Mouth feel is medium light, highly carbonated and crisp.

 538 characters

Photo of Reddanm1
3.07/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

The Orval Trappist Ale was a very different, interesting beer to drink. The beer poured very lots of head and took awhile to settle. The color was very light amber, with aroma of citrus and yeast. The beer was very smooth drinking, but tasted very citrusy. The aftertaste of the beer was very strong yeast, but light. Overall, the beer was fair.

 350 characters

Photo of handmuffin
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served from bottle into glass at home. Gushes even when opened gently, pours with enormous seemingly endless white head. Medium amber in color, with orangish tint, hazy and medium low clarity. Bright spicy, fruity aroma with Brett barnyard funkiness in the background. Flavor is just as complex: yeasty spice and fruit with wet hay earthiness. Medium full body with lively carbonation and a refreshing slightly dry finish. Overall this beer is absolutely great but very different from what is expected of a Trappist ale. The addition of Brett produces an enticing funky and sour aroma and flavor that pairs well with the more common Belgian spicy, fruity yeast. I do not get much hop aroma or flavor so this is probably an older bottle, so I guess I have a reason to try it again!

 780 characters

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

I absolutely love this beer. In the proper glass it pops with a sweet herbal, slightly sour, aroma. You won't be surprised to find the taste is the same. These monks make just this one beer for distribution. You should get a thick white head and don't be surprised to find a few floaters (tasty yeast) should you pour the full bottle as it's bottle conditioned. Enjoy.

 373 characters

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

Lightly hazy with a huge fluffy head. Completely different from all the other Trappist ales. So unique it should be a style unto itself.
Descriptors: funky, tart, fruity, dry, bitter

 182 characters

Photo of BrendanHurley
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a dark ovalish bottle (11.2 oz.) into a tulip glass. Bottled and expiration date stamped on bottle.

Look: A light amber color with a massive a wild head. Parts of the head and foam appear to take on a life of their own.

Smell: Notes of coriander and citrus, scent gives a great introduction to the taste and flavor.

Taste: Full and complex flavor with a combination of bitterness and flowers that gives a strong and full bodied flavor. Very crisp and easy to drink

Feel: Somewhat between a light and sticky feel in your mouth. Very crisp and easy to drink with light carbonation

Overall: A unique and classic Belgian Trappist Ale that does a tremendous job standing itself against some of Belgium's (and the world's) best beers.

 745 characters

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 5,588 ratings