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

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2,290 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: 2,290 | Ratings: 5,243
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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Photo of Swim424
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into ommegang chalice

A-pours a beautiful gold/orange with a fat fluffy head so large couldn't do it in one straight pour. The head looks like a creamy cloud floating on top on a beautiful golden river.

S-Nice fruity scent, seems to be a mix between malt and yeast scents. Maybe a hint of spicy hops, or some sort of spice.

turning on some Clapton to enjoy this one to. "and i say yes, you look wonderful tonight" sounds like this beer.

T-A bit citrusy, definitely a malty beer. Very spicy hop at the end. Not bitter at all though. Very citrusy malt up front bringing the citrus out towards the middle, while introducing a spice note to build into the finish.

MF-Nice medium body, a bit creamy on the aftertaste but with a dryness in the mouth.

O-I have never had a belgian pale ale before. I have had a handful of other belgians though and this is much different. Not in a bad way though. I think this is a pretty good beer overall, nothing incredible, I would prefer an amercan pale ale, but this is still a very fine beer I wouldn't mind having at anytime.

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

Bought this as a single at Grapes of Mirth, Columbus, OH. Poured from a 330cc bottle into a Chimay chalice. A 5 month old authentic trappist ale. Nice pillowy white head. Good active carbonation is visible and keeps the head around forever.

Smell is kind of weak, but becomes more pronounced with warming. Apricots, yeasty, sweet light malts, some grassy hops.

Has very bitter citrus rind type of flavor that hits right up front and really surprised me. I almost want to call it vinegar-like and I found this very distracting. This flavor sticks around long after leaving the mouth. I'm not sure if this is imparted by the hops. I initially thought this may be a bad bottle, but upon reading other reviews, I think this may be the character of the beer. Its a characteristic that I haven't experienced with other belgian pales or tripels.

No real detectable alcohol. Very dry with no real sweetness.

Creamy, light mouthfeel with a very light effervescent feel characteristic of Trappist ales. Bitterness limits drinkability.

Not one of the better Trappist ales I've had. Flavor is a little lacking. Has an odd bitterness which I couldn't reall get past and I'm not really used to in this style.

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Photo of duracell
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a bright golden color with copper hue and a very active apparent carbonation. The super creamy, white head has an excellent retention and leaves a beautiful lacing on the glass. The appearance of this beer is simply from heaven!

S - Smell is very complex. Dominated by yeast (clove, pepper and spices), it's also very flowery with a nice touch of sweetness besides some hop. I also pick out some dark fruits. A delight for the noze!

T - Taste is rather acid, quite lemony, mineral. I'm a bit disappointed since it doesn't feature all the complexity of the smell.

M - Medium-light body with very active carbonation on the tongue. It's a bit over-carbonated to my taste. The finish is quite dry.

O - Featuring an old school character, an amazing appearance and a great taste, this beer is such an experience. Unfortunately, the mineral and acid flavors are not my cup of tea...

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Photo of 303beer
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured out cloudy. Very airy head. Has a peach copper kinda color to it. Smells fruity sort of. Wow ok sweet then bitter. Then Belgium yeast. I'm not disappointed at all.

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

Poured a 11.2 into a Chimay chalice.

A - Poured orange with a 3/4 inch white head that subsided into an 1/8 layer. Some lacing.

S - Sour apples and citrus.

T - Tart, dry, sour. Bitter hop finish.

M - Light, thin and very carbonated.

D - Drinking this was a job.

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Photo of jrenn
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

Healthy one-inch head or so... very bubbly (could have been my own pour though)

Smells very pleasant. Delicate candy sugars. A little belgian yeast. But not much.

Sparkly. Lighter than one would think. Minor fruit and sugar notes. Maybe apple and raspberry (?). Gets better as you drink it. I

Mouthfeel is very light, somewhat disappointed. Maybe a lighter body is not always a bad thing, but I enjoy heavier weight, or gravity on bigger beers like this. Perhaps my personal bias. Not that velvety either.

Overall, I feel like I might have built this one up a little too much. Great for the style, I would love to drink these in a session, but I'm afraid I just can't afford that. Back to my Copperhead...

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Photo of avalon07
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a deep amber color, with a thick consistency. Had a huge head and some lacing. Very rich-looking appearance.

With the smell, there was some malt, yeast and fruit. Subtle.

Here's where it's interesting. While you get a dose of yeast, apples and malt, there is an off-putting bitterness about this one. I'm guessing this is caused by the hops. It's not a bad taste, but it's this one component that doesn't serve it well.

The mouthfeel is solid, with the typically Belgian high carbonation rate. As I said, the finish is dry, but too bitter.

Overall, this is kind of a mixed bag. It's strong in many categories, but the bitterness of the taste throws it off kilter. Nonetheless, it's still fairly drinkable.

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Photo of ztaylor1
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First belgian I've ever had. Don't know what to expect.

Appearance-cloudy golden brown color with a massive tan head.

Smell- light malts and almost a champaigne fragrance.

Taste- sweet candylike malt into a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel- very carbonated. Again, champaignelike.

Drink- not my cup of tea, but a solid beer.

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

I fear I am about to commit beer heresy by admitting to not really enjoying this one all that much. The beer was bottled on the 31 May 2007 and as such was 14 months old when I drank it.

It poured a very nice copper colour, and was of course cloudy - as a personaly opinion this is a good thing, as I like beer unfiltered and unpastuerised. There was a fluffy head which dissipated slowly, and was gone within five minutes.

On the nose were distinctly citrus notes. The first taste was a shock to be honest. This will sound odd, but it tasted fizzy, rather tart and almost like popping candy on the tongue.

It wasn't awful, just not what I was expecting - so I will of course have another one to further hone my opinion.

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

bottle from the local (awesome) grocery store, I wish Merchant du Vin wouldn't relabel their beers. label says the beer was bottled on 8/29/2006.

poured into a wine glass with a monster white head that didn't lace so much as clung to the walls for dear life. it hangs around forever and stands up pretty well. the beer is a beautiful opaque light brown, with a color gradient around the edges-- between the color and that sweet head, this is a nice beer to look at.

smells like... brett. loads and loads of brett, but there's a paradox here-- there's nothing but brett to be found (at least by me), but it has enough subtlety to smell very nice. there's a kind of appleish aroma hiding behind it, but gueuze always smelled a little like apple cider to me too.

the flavor is a little belgian yeast, a drop of malt,and mounds of bretty tanginess and funk. the sourness is pleasant, and bretty as this beer is, it doesn't have the nasty taste of infected beer-- maybe because the "infection" has nothing to compete with? in any case, I like it.

and it feels so good to drink. sour as it is, the high carbonation, the crispness, and the weight of the yeast come together for a great mouthfeel.

drinkability? depends on how much of a weirdo you are. with a suitable pairing for the sourness (maybe a dessert), I could put away a few of these, but there's only so much brettanomyces that one human being can take. it seems to stand up pretty well to spicy food as well.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottled on 5/6/08, best before 5/6/13.

A- a dark golden colored body with at least 2 fingers of quickly receding fluffy looking white head. the head stays once it gets down to about a half of a finger and walls of lace are left behind.

S- very soft, very complex. summer fruit comes up first. apples, pears, grapes, and some lemon in there. theres something "wild" and a little sour smelling in here too.

T- the sourness isnt very intense at all, and not what i was expecting. very "funky" though. tastes like a barn would smell. theres some of the fruits i could smell in the taste as well, mostly lemon. might be from the hops.

M- crisp and light. well carbonated.

D- easy to finish, and something i could see myself drinking more of in the future. not really something i think i could have more than one of in a sitting.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,243 ratings.
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