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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,274 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:
2,274
Ratings:
5,198
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
334
Gots:
819
For Trade:
12
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,274 | Ratings: 5,198
Photo of tlazaroff
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Opaque dark honey in color with a frothy off-white head reminiscent of what you'd find on top of your favorite starbucks option.

S: I get a light sour funk on the nose followed by some light fruit esters: peach, nectarine, raspberry.

T: Pretty much tastes as it smells only more pronounced and more enjoyable. I get the sour peaches mostly. Tastes pretty good.

M: Highly carbonated with a medium body and a tad dry on the finish.

D: Pretty drinkable overall (or should I say 'orval'?), I like it a lot.

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Photo of BobZ
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First, different (as Yogi would say) "from your average Trappistes Beer"

Completely unique Belgian Ale, damn near its own category.

Appearance: Cloudy amber, with amazing head, the head is whip cream for god sake.

Smell: Spice and pepper hits you right away, great foreshadow of the taste.

Taste: So different, spicy, peppery, good, all mixing together, really unique ale.

Mouth: Good body and strong carbonation, crisp mouth feel.

Drink: This is "binary" beer, I like it, my good friend hates it; I would say it's a nice beer in the mix but not one for many in a session.

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Photo of Melchizedek
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours Belgian-looking, with a nice big white head and pale coppery-orange color.

Smell is mellow but spiced, with fruit and clove/spice scents, as well as a bit of honey-like sweetness and an almost pineapple tartness. Alcohol is perceptible. In the mouth, it's very dry, hard to perceive the flavors initially past the bubbly carbonation; there's a slight sourness, with mineral, bittering hops, and a tart, gum-like fruitiness. It's light in the mouth, more so than other Belgians I've tried.

This is definitely different--I wouldn't make a huge habit of it, but it's intriguing to try a beer so similar to a very dry champagne. Neat stuff.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

July 3, 2014 - re-evaluation. Scores modified to reflect current evaluation.

* * *
(original)
Wow. I forgot how much I like this beer. I'm not going to forget again!

This one was bottled, it looks like 7/29/09 with a "best by" date of 2014.]

Orange amber with a big, thick, pillowy and firm pure white head; great looking.

Nose is all peaches, pears, apricots and hints of bananas all with a light citric kick.

Mouthfeel is light carbonation that is champagne quality and is rich and perfectly balanced.

Flavors are spice and stone fruit with undertones of ginger, lime and green tea. Finish is rich, citric fruity and light grapefruit bitter.

This is one of those perfect beers. It is all around appealing; somewhat unique and extremely drinkable. This may be the universally appealing brew.

 806 characters

Photo of Nightwing
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Poured from bottle. Aroma of citrus with a hint of herbs. Appearance is cloudy amber with significant white head. Light bitter taste. Medium to light body, with a texture that is hard to pin down, and a dry finish. A very complex beer.

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Photo of ledemie
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving: Chalice
Temp: 52
date of birth:9/25/07

A: nice garnet color, huge head that desapear after a couple of minutes.

S: fruity, a little alcohol, oranges, cloves ( a hint)

T: Yeasty,Clove, Champagne like background , raisin.

D: that is a respectable beer, I do not think it was worth the $5.50 for the 11 OZ, but I had to try it, it is a complex beer a little disappointing because I though it could have a little more character, it reminded my of an American cousin the the "fat tire ale by New Belgium Brewery" this is not my type of beer I still have to respect the Orval name.

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Photo of HuskyHawk
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

How do you rate a beer in a style you don't care for? This is very well made, very balanced, not funky or offensive. The head is massive and sticks to the glass impressively. It's cloudy, medium amber in color. Nutmeg and wet earth on the nose with a yeasty bread behind it. The taste has more nutmeg, some cinnamon and a light overripe fruit taste. Finishes rather dry, not at all sweet. Medium bodied with strong carbonation. A great example of a style I don't love.

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Photo of jar2574
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Really zesty, spicy, hoppy smell with some funkiness - Brett(?). A giant 3-finger tan head. Looks pretty darn good.

The taste is sort of disappointing though, after that great smell/presentation. Some funky, barnyardy yeasts, which I like. Light and watery. Some sweetness, maybe from malts. Not an overly hoppy or overly malty beer, pretty balanced. Could use a little more spiciness - there was some here and I liked it but could have used more.

Started off looking and smelling fantastic but ultimately didn't live up to that initial impression.

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Photo of bort11
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into St Bernardus chalice. Loud fizzy off white head and leaves a film of lace on the surface. Color is a hazy light orange

Smell is a mild ginger and honey spice. Hints of lemon grass. Very dry. Taste is musty with a bit of a twang from the yeast. Finishes with some cinnamon.

Mouthfeel is dry and crisp. A little bit of a pucker in the finish. Good, but not he best Trappist I've had.

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Photo of schlimenhaumer
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2oz. standard pressure cap bottle into a Delirium tulip at low altitude.

A: Pours a hazy dark gold color with a creamy two-finger white head that leaves a bit of lacing. Looks appealing.

S: Tangerine-like citrus with Belgian yeast. A bit of alcohol in the background. Smells refreshing.

T: Tangerine peels up front carry all the way through to a bitter finish. There are some nice spicy yeast notes in the middle. The finish has some salty qualities that I'm not sure I like.

M: Medium-bodied with a dry finish. I would have liked a bit more carbonation here to go with the citric flavors.

D: This is very different from the other Trappist beers I've had to date. The hop character is interesting and it's easy to drink. Although it's not my favorite Trappist beer, I think it's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of ljbrisson
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Cracked this in celebration of my wife and I buying our first house! Poured an absolutely beautiful slightly cloudy orange into my Duvel glass with a voluminous, off-white 2-finger head that shows great retention. Aroma is strongly of orange and citrus. Mouthfeel is very light and there is a lot of carbonation. Taste is... well I've never tasted anything like this before. I was expecting much more fruitiness, based on the aroma. Instead there are a lot of flavors I'm not familiar with - I can only describe it as very "wild". Wood? Dried grass? Earthiness? A very dry finish and none of the acidic tang that the aroma suggests. Very smooth, though drinkability might not be as high as other brews due to the sheer complexity of flavors.

Overall I enjoy this beer, although am totally befuddled by it. I would try this again just to try to wrap my mind about what I'm tasting.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Burnt orange colour, but the head is a little too aggressive on this one. At the end, it pours out of the bottle to thick and actually plugs it up.

Dry, some what sour smell on this. Hints of spice, but almost a farmhouse scent to it...earthy aromas, cloves and cinammon.

The taste is savoury, rather than sour. Definite spice notes, with a hint of tartness. Cinammon and cloves present, but not as detectable in the taste as opposed to the scent. No malt sweetness here, and the hops are only present in traces amounts.

My bottle seems a bit too carbonated. Its been a while since I've had a trappist ale, but this some how seems a bit on the fizzy side.

Drinkable, but sometimes comes off as too savoury and can be a bit harsh on the tongue.

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Photo of mothman
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter. Pours a finger of white head. Fades down but then has a decent retention. Color is a hazed golden amber.

Aroma: Floral hops with some herbal notes. Lemon zest and brett shows. A barnyard funk is present. A little bit medicinal.

Taste: Brett funkiness is up front. Hay, lemon zest, citrus, herbal flavors, and floral hops. A fairly large floral profile. A bit amount of brett with light oak.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and smooth. Lighter bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and funky.

Overall, a decent beer. It is fairly bretty which makes it a bit harder to drink, but the light body makes up for that. I could drink this again.

 662 characters

Photo of danielharper
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Purchased from Woody's Smokes and Brews, Franklin, TN.

I had a taste of this at the Bring-a-Friend Beer Tasting in Birmingham a few weeks back, but not enough for a full review. Bought a single bottle and poured it into my oversized wine glass. Appearance is really quite nice, with a sort of orange-yellow body covered with one of the thickest off-white foamy heads I've ever seen. I didn't even pour that aggressively, and this thing just took off. Almost too much head since I'm having to dribble the remainder of the brew into the glass a little bit at a time.

Aroma is very sweet, with hints of soft honey and possibly even a hint of cinnamon. Fascinating the way these Belgian Ales seem to produce the strangest scents that have nothing to do with barley, malt, and hops, but when it smells this nice I'm not complaining.

I may have let this warm a bit too long, for the beer has a strongly astringent flavor first and foremost, which only later softens into a nice soft sweetness that coats the mouth and the tongue. Alcohol is quite strong here, present in large quantities in the flavor even if not in the nose. Bitterness follows every swallow, but it's a nice sort of non-hoppy bitterness. Enjoyable but not exactly to my taste.

This has a thick and luxurious mouthfeel and a low carbonation that work together nicely. The bitter flavors make me not really want to swish this around a lot when drinking it, but the mouthfeel doesn't stand in the way of drinking it that way.

This beer tastes good, and it's fairly low alcohol for a Trappist, but I find myself actually wanting to finish this bottle and move on to something else. I'll certainly try it again next time I can get ahold of it, and this time I'll open it up when it's a few degrees cooler, but at this temperature I really don't enjoy it as much as I'd like to. North Coast Pranqster is much better, and much cheaper.

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Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

A – A Foggy orange amber colour that starts with a big rocky head which then dies down to a modest fingernail head leaving mild spotty lace as you drink.

S – Sour orange and citrus smells hit me straight off. There are also bready yeast aromas and deep malty smells along with some vinegary alcoholic notes.

T – Sort of sweet sour combination with coriander and mint combined with bread. This beer is odd and complex the main factor in the taste is the sour flavour which leans towards the cider vinegar edge of things.

MF – Dry and I do mean DRY finish. This beer has light body and crisp nippy bite but it finishes like a mouthful of sloe berries.

O – This is very good ale for its type and will be a winner with those who like Belgian Pale ales. I must confess to not being a massive fan of this one myself but it is doing what it set out to do and it is doing it well therefore I have to give it a mark to reflect that.

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Photo of aleigator
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Has a deep orange color, and a perfect white head, which doens’t want to vanish at all.

Strong refreshing aroma of vanilla, some lime, yeast and spices.

Tastes bitter, has a refreshing touch, yeast, with a sweeter finish. Carbonation is pretty high, but not too present. Has a warm pleasant finish, gets into balance in the end (less bitterness). Smells much sweeter than it actually tastes. Bitterness is very present at the beginning, sweet yeast and spices add complexity which results in a very adorable mouthfeel.

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Photo of MP72
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

young (5 month old) bottle served in small glass. {Review revised after tasting on 1 Oct. 2011 -- exactly 1 year later!}

A. clear with an ample creamy head. Head is exceptionally long lasting!

M - effervescent; thin & bubbly but not quite watery; nice dry finish.

S - A complex nose that is yeasty, floral, fruity but a tad musty.

T - markedly sour; hoppy; malty

O - a unique and interesting dry-hopped Trappist ale.

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Photo of krunchie
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a redbrown to orange colour, bronze, quite cloudy. The head is thick and....big....I had to wait a while to let it set.

S: Lovely! Some hop aroma. Dry cider and herbs.

T: Dry cider and grapefruit. More of the hop aroma, but pretty smooth finish. Light-medium bitterness

M: Semi-full body, Covers the mouth with a bitter aftertaste

D: One is enough. This is a quite nice beer, but the good flavours of it won't last for long. Maybe a good appetizer beer

Will I buy it again? Probably

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. bottled on 4/15/13. drank 5/12/15

A caramel in colour with a huge head.

S green apple, light fruit, pears, brett funk

T taste follows the nose with green apple, pears, brett funk, slight spiciness.

M very carbonated. likely from the brett

O pretty good

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Photo of edward_boumil
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: Original fluffy and bubbly tan head, subsides down to a thin film on top of the beer. Color is an opaque burnt orange color.
S: Predominant smells are citrus and dried dark fruit, with hints of alcohol. Also a bit of sour apple.
T: Reminds me of a bitter sparkling cider. Sour taste, like that of a green apple, also some dried fruit. A touch of sweetness as well.
F: Definately a bit astringent. Doesn't go back easy, more of a sipper. Body is smooth and full, carbonation is on the higher end.
O: Not my first with this beer. Haven't had it in a while and honestly wasn't blown away. Its a good beer with complex notes but just kind of felt it was lacking something, maybe in the body or as a base taste.

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Photo of clickpush
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: 33cl bottle to wide mouth wine glass. Finger and a half white head with apricot body. Slowly descends. Lots of bubbles along wall of glass. Leaves a huge & healthy white cap with bigger lacing along the outside of the body.

Nose: Unripe peaches and apricots. Malt and grain. Fruit. Green grapes. Almost tropical, coconut and pineapple. Rich. Perfumy.

Mouth: Dry and sour, crisp and foamy and chewy. Strange hop bitterness in the finish. Bret is more present in the flavor than the aroma. Bitter melon rind taste. Mellows as it warms. Perhaps a dry bramble taste.

 574 characters

Photo of Naerhu
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark copper color, huge white head, with larger bubbles that I am used to on a Belgian. Massive hoppy, and floral fruity aroma like guava; do they even have guava in Belgium? Someone else said “botanical” which is a brilliant description. Aroma was so amazing I could smell it from 2 meters away. Palate was totally different from the nose. Totally complex palate that was with earthy, spicy, yet creamy. Yet for all this complexity, I was surprised how thin this beer was.

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Photo of Brewsephus
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on 18/8/2011, poured into tulip glass at refrigerator temps.

A- Pours a deep mahogany color, with hints of bright caramel when it catches the light. Massive three finger head which lingers for quite a while. Head is thick and dense with pockets of large bubbles.

S- Figs, plums, dark currants, unripe strawberry, biscuit, fresh baked wheat bread.

T-The figs are here in the taste again, up front. Black cherry stems. Finishes with a light bitterness, but there is a bit of residual sweetness to keep your palate intact. The brett is much more subdued than I anticipated. That tell tale bitterness is there, but without any funk or mustiness.

M-Full bodied, rich but not feeling heavy. Fairly well carbonated, finishes very clean.

O- Great example of a trappist institution. Pleased to have found a bottle with some age on it. 10/10 would buy again.

 865 characters

Photo of lightindarkness
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle best-by dated 23/03/2012, poured into a trappist goblet.

Pours a nice deep caramel color with lasting mounds of cream colored froth on top. Very nice coating lace.

Nose has a nice presentation of belgian style, with a sour funk over fainter grains in the back with a notable crisp green grape fruit balance.

Taste sits lightly on the palate at first, then increasing in sour and bitter character to the finish. Overall flavor is somewhat light, with mild grains and slight spicy notes in the middle, washing out, then finishing with an acidic bitterness and very faint alcohol fume. Leaves a bitter/sour flavor on the lips.

Lighter medium bodied, with full soft carbonation. Rather dry finish.

Acidic bitterness is making this one somewhat hard to love. Overall character is good, but much sharper than I expected. the flavor is growing on me a little.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 2,274 ratings.
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