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

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,287 Reviews
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Belgium | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,287
Ratings:
5,234
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
18.9%
 
 
Wants:
339
Gots:
832
For Trade:
11
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,287 | Ratings: 5,234
Photo of EMH73
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The flavor of this beer is unlike anything I have ever tasted. The best way I could describe it is funky tasting almost moldy or mildewy with strong lemon notes.

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Photo of beersnobraven
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Poured a hazy yellow with an enormous bubbly white head that almost bubbled over the top of the glass.

S: Funk, wet hay.

T: Follows the nose pretty well, with a sweet, almost vanilla-like aftertaste.

F: Medium, with tons of bubbles. Could almost be a little too bubbly.

O: I see why people like this beer. It's not a style I typically gravitate to, but the mood struck me today and it didn't disappoint!

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Photo of D-Rock
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Purchased in Japan and poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Look: Holy jeeze, a huge white foamy head gushes up when this beer is poured, taking up about half of my glass. The head keeps foaming up and looks very alive, dynamic course bubbles slowly walk up the sides of the glass, exquisite. The beer itself is a pale transparent deep amber gold-straw color with the barest hint of clouding. Healthy carbonation keeps bubbles streaming towards the top.

Smell: A very unique bouquet, dusty, barn-like, moldy and funky, incredibly complex. Spicy tones become more prominent with a peppery coriander and nutmeg hint. Zesty lemon is prominent as well. A lot going on here, I could spend all day picking out components in this beer.

Taste: A medium bitterness accompanies the taste throughout with a moldy-mildew presence. Sour and pungent. The malt character is there but plays second to the funk. The subtle malt body gives a nice underlying backbone and becomes sweet in the drawn out aftertaste. Complex, extremely complex.

Feel: Mouthfeel is light and smooth with a puckering feel from the sourness. Carbonation bubbles up in the mouth. A hint of astringency coats the tongue. Silky almost.

Overall: This beer is unique, novel, traditional, unexpected (for the uninitiated), and somehow it all just works. Everything melds together and works in harmony, from the barnyard funk to the moldy brie taste. A stupendous beer and delicious.

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

Original Rating: 4.5, S: 4, T: 4, F: 5, OA: 4.5, 10/15/15
L: Poured into a Chimay chalice. Three finger width head which took forever to go down. The body was dark orange.
S: Sour green apple, a musty funk like an old attic, and grapefruit.
T: Taste followed the nose, also included spices and vanilla.
F: Creamy, foamy, full bodied with a slight warmth.
O: Quite a unique taste and smell, in a good way.

Updated Review 6/28/16.
The body is a cloudy amber, with a huge several finger head. Even after awhile, a creamy half finger head remains. Aromas consist of strong brett funk followed by fresh green apples. Flavors consist of the same, and is quite dry with a hint of bitterness. The feel is medium bodied, creamy, and smooth. I haven't had this since I first got into craft beer, and the rating improvement shows my acquired appreciation and liking for funky beer.

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Photo of jooler
3.4/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Look is good with a ton of head. Smell is alright. Taste is sort of funky. It feels like a sour ale is mixed with a dark ale. This beer is sort of confusing to me

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled last night on 10/7/15. Had this one before a few years back before I started my reviews. Sold only by a single bottle for in the $5 to $6 range. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a snifter glass.

Brew pours a hazy burnt-orange in color with a good 2-3 foamy/creamy off-white head that leaves a good amount of lacing that sticks to the sides of the glass with each sip. Aroma is of yeast, grains and spices. More going on with the taste as their is a hint of vanilla, nutmeg, lemon, biscuit and some dark fruit. Lots going on but it is a really good and slow sipping brew. Goes down easy and is smooth. No harsh or bitter aftertaste at all. A highly rated beer. Medium-bodied with perfect carbonation. A must try!

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

This beer pours with a massive head and long retention. A dark straw or light amber color with low carbonation trails. A bit hazy. The nose is hints of lemon and candy sugar, with some floral hop and even ginger notes. The taste is smooth but complex. Lemony hops and some light maltiness with notes of honey. Dry hoppy finish. The mouth is very smooth and full bodied, but manages to keep a light and dry finish. This is really almost a Belgian IPA with all the hop flavors going on. Really excellent!

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Photo of neurobot01
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Having somehow missed the mass online tasting last week, I treated myself to a mini-vertical yesterday. Reviews of both below.

33 cl bottle dated 1/21/15 into a Duvel tulip at cellar temp.

Look: translucent burnt orange with a monster foam head, great lacing. (4.25)

Smell: spices, hay, lemon tart. (4.25)

Taste: lemon pepper, nutmeg, banana custard, vanilla, alcohol; an orangey, grassy note comes to prominence as it approaches room temp. Also comes to leave a bewitching aftertaste. (4.25)

Feel: pretty spry, with a light/medium body; very dry, woody finish. (4)

Overall: lots of different elements to this beer. I'd like to see everything integrated a bit more cohesively. (4.25)

33 cl bottle dated 10/06/11 into a Duvel tulip at cellar temp.

Look: translucent burnt orange with a monster foam head, great lacing. (4.25)

Smell: wildflowers, lemongrass, bubblegum. (4.25)

Taste: wallop of funk up front; leather, bubblegum, mild brown sugar. (4.25)

Feel: almost cotton-candy, it's so airy; very dry, woody finish. (4)

Overall: compared to the fresher version, this does seem a lot more reined in and focused. Despite the identical scores, I prefer this to fresher. (4.25)

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Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 4/15/2013. Pours slightly hazy orange/amber color with a 2-3 finger foamy and fluffy off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big lemon, pineapple, cherry, pear, apple, white grape, hay, straw, pepper, grass, toasted biscuit, musty funk, light leather, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and moderate bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big lemon, pineapple, cherry, pear, apple, white grape, hay, straw, pepper, grass, toasted biscuit, musty funk, light leather, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Good amount of yeast spiciness and earthy hop bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, pineapple, cherry, pear, apple, white grape, hay, straw, pepper, toasted biscuit, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Moderate dryness after the finish from the carbonation. High carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, fairly creamy/bready, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible Belgian Trappist ale. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and moderate bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink for the ABV. A highly amazing offering all around. I feel this is at it’s best right around the 3 year mark, and this one was getting near to that age.

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
3.44/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 9-25-2014. Poured into a snifter

Poured clear light amber, super fizzy and bubbly, but as it sat, the head subsided into a nice frothy layer on top.

Smells Brett-funky, woody, grainy, very light citrus zest.

Tastes like thin malt sugars and herbal, muted cola vibe. Grass and hay notes, hints of spices and cider

Feels soft and creamy with some fizz.

Pretty average beer overall. I was hoping for more flavor as it warmed, but it didn't round out. Lots of subtle flavors, but nothing really sticks out and grabs the palate. Did have a "belgian" flavor from the spice notes and yeasty funk. A good suggestion for someone looking to get into Belgian beers.

Cheers!

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Photo of cjgiant
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 3/27/2014 (BB 2019), 1.5 years:
Pours a little dirty golden, translucent to hazy, with billowing pillow-like head that is slow to recede. The head rolled slowly, but continued to build a couple seconds after I stopped pouring. Lacing is overall fairly decent in volume, but spotty and soapy.

Nose is mildly tart and slightly yeasty. I actually think it smells a slight bit like a grapefruit soda, one that isn't all sugared up. Maybe I can also see it being lightly wine-like. Some herbal notes come through with warmth, and the yeast scent peaks at me here and there, but never comes through very strong. A warm beer opens some flower-like scents.

Feel actually comes into play with strong carbonation - biting into my tongue just a bit. I do this first because the beer is so carbonated it actually affects the taste, I think. It takes a good 15 minutes in the glass to subside.

Taste starts out almost a little lemon-herb in nature behind the prickly carbonation. Even when the carbonation subsides a bit, there is still a peppery spice bite from somewhere. Warmth also opens up a little bit of a more fleshy fruit note, but one that is muted by the earthy notes that pervade the beer.

I have had this beer before and recall not being a big fan. I've gained a little more appreciation for it after analyzing it, but it still just doesn't quite do it for me.

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Photo of jtaylord
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled Nov 2014. Very thick frothy head on this one. A orange amber color. Very fragrant. Yeasty. Taste doesn't quite live up to smell. But very good beer overall.

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Photo of Buck89
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My bottle was packaged on 3/12/15. Poured into a snifter. a fiery amber-orange with a faint haze. A voluminous and somewhat coarse light tan head that lingered, then slowly receded with delicate tracks. The nose had pineapple, lemon, yeast and floral estery notes. The taste was not surprisingly complex, with a grapefruit bitterness out of the gate followed by a funky barnyard sensation. This then morphed into herbal/floral flavors followed by a return of a lemony/citrus bitterness and a faint spice. Dry, phenolic finish. Medium-bodied. I liked it better as it warmed slightly - could drink this all day. Would love to get more and compare as it ages.

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Photo of Sorphus
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1 1/2 year old - Light orange amber and rather opaque with a huge frothy off white head. Aromas of orange zest, funky farmhouse, ginger, some toasted white bread with spices and herbs develop. Softly effervescent with a slick texture and sweet caramelised spicey bitter notes and well balanced acidity. Lasting finish with a nice orangey-ginger action.

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.51/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I'll have to revisit this. I might have had a bad one. I typically love this style, but tried this deep into a tasting night, so my palette may have been tainted.

Pours dark amber with huge big-bubbled head which quickly fades. Aroma is some candy and funk. Flavor has some agreeable malt character, but also a sour skunkiness. I really wanted to just dump this down the drain. Dry and tart finish did not have me craving more.

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Photo of Hugues
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

often cited as the best trappist beer, I find this one a bit of a hit & miss from bottle to bottle. I've had some really excellent bottles, but others were downright poor, once poured. Just the look of it will tell you. if it's orangey, you'll love it. if it's a pale pils colours... don't even sip from the glass. That's why my rating are probably much lower than the average

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Photo of CanadianBacon
4.76/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation- Came in a very cool brown rounded bottle

Appearance- hazy amber, huge foamy head similar to duvel

Aroma- Tarty,Yeasty, Green Apple and bread

Taste- complex taste dominated by green apple and some spice

Mouthfeel- pretty light body crisp and carbonated

Overall- Another A++ trappist beer, Try it

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Photo of Mikus
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Highly carbonated, standard medium amber hue. Some interesting, horsey Brett aromas creeping from a nice background of subtle cherry. Great Brettanymyoces character on the palate. Nicely barnyard funky with a hint of tartness. Nice, super dry finish. What can I say, killer brew. Dregs went into the house bug blend.

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Photo of kbwalters
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured cold into a tapered pilsner glass. Bottled on 4/15/13 and consumed on 1/10/15.
Look = 3.75 Lots of carbonation on this one, should’ve been more careful on the pour. 4 fingers of off white head even with a slow pour. Thick and frothy head composed of big bubbles. Lots of streaming bubbles. Clear orange/gold/amber in color.
Aroma = 4.25 Sour, musky horse blanket smell common to Brett bears. Some yeasty notes.
Taste = 3.75 Candied malt sweetness up front, none of the sour comes through in the taste, a hint of tartness. A dry, bitterness in the aftertaste.
Feel = 4.0 Light to medium bodied with medium to high carbonation; thin and crisp, fizzy on the tongue.
Drinkability = 4.0 Pretty easy drinking.
Overall = 3.9375 Somewhat bland brett beer here, but solid all around. The sour smell doesn’t lead to a sour taste, which leaves the taste a little bland.

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Photo of Brew_42
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy Amber with a thick off-white head that leaves lacing and hangs around

Smell- Green apples

Taste-green apples and yeast with some spice. One warm booziness. Tastes like it should have a higher abv than it does. A little sweeter than the sme would have you believe. Sourness increases as the beer warms up a bit.

MF- lighter than I expected. Decent carbonation. Refreshing and drinkable.

Overall- good beer, not on the high end of trappist ales but that still puts it way ahead of most.

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Photo of Dzu
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Dark copper with massive milky foam head.
S: Spices and fruits. But there is something strange in aroma.
T: A little bitter in start but sweeter aftertaste.
F: Smooth and very good balanced.
O: Not like it much at first time but second was great.

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Photo of bilbobrewer
4.84/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

33cl btl purchased at Brussels bottle shop (v hard to find in grocery stores..).
bottled June 30,2015; BB June 30, 2020. (More info is always better....thx)
Served chilled in a tulip. Bottle is unique....like miniature champagne.
Poured nice clear reddish-brown. Not much head.

I love the taste.. NOT syrupy sweet, and on the heels of tasting several local 'syrup bombs', this is extra-appreciated.
Remarkable mouthfeel on this one...some different flavours. Not sour, but more a more 'mature' malty profile than many highly regarded Belgian tripels and quads. A champagney, bubbly dryness on the throat.
Note this beer is tres fresh...but at only 6%abv, I'm not sure how much taste would change or improve with time.
This might be my Belgian co-favorite. ...a ying to Rochefort-8 yang. And this is much easier to see as a multi-serving beverage...there aren't very many quality beers that lend themselves to 'sessioning' in Belgium.
A last minute throw-in purchase, this is a great find and I highly recommend it.

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Photo of headlessparrot
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled October 2014. Beer pours an almost reddish, copper colour, fairly cloudy, topped by a tremendous amount of loose head that just keeps growing. Lots of small bubbles visible. Dense lacing that not only sticks to the side of the glass but actually visibly protrudes. Even after most of the head recedes, at leas one enormous island persists like an iceberg.

Smell is sour, yeasty, sweet, slightly metallic. A bit of Christmas spice (cinnamon? clove?). Smells a lot like a lambic, a faro, or maybe even a Flanders Red. Slight pine, caramelized sugars, brown sugars. Green apple, apple skins. Apricot or peach--stone fruits, at any rate. Sour cherries.

Given the intensity of the aroma, the taste is a lot lighter than I expected. More toasted and roasted malt-type flavours than I would have expected as well. Slight sourness, a lot of fruit: apple, apricot, peach. Maybe some pear? A faint metallic twang. Some baking spices and Christmas spices. Clove? Faint banana? Carbonation is high, but manageable and the body is dense without being overpowering.

Delicious. The taste doesn't quite live up to the smell, but delicious. This reminds me of a lot of my very favourite Belgian beers, of all different styles: Rodenbach Grand Cru, Lindeman's Faro. . . . And yet the difference is that this retains a drinkability that a lot of those favourites don't (I could drink three of these; I could never drink three Rodenbachs in a sitting). I don't know that it's a *better* beer than either of those I listed. But it's of a different style, and is more drinkable.

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Photo of GerryPendry
4.9/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy amber, gigantic dense head. Complex aroma and flavor. Mouthfeel is a tad bit thin, not too carbonated, with a dry finish. It's almost like it evaporates from your palate, the same way a well-made martini does. Incredibly flavorful for a beer his light and drinkable. Goes down way too easy for a beer this expensive. Very highly recommended.

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Photo of mjurney
4.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance:
Amber-golden color, murky. Lots of small bubbles streaming. Thick frothy head.

Aroma:
Bananas, pears, hint of nutmeg, deep bready malts, a little tartness.

Taste/Finish/Body:
Strong fruity yeast, bananas, pears, green grape skin. Mild spice, nutmeg. Deep creamy malts, caramel. Hop bitterness towards the end. Finish is most tart, very dry. Body is full, crewy, refreshing, easy drinking.

Overall:
It's a world class beer!

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,234 ratings.
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