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

Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
BA SCORE
87.5%
Liked This Beer
4.21 w/ 5,412 ratings
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Belgium
orval.be

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
Ranking:
#960
Reviews:
2,349
Ratings:
5,412
Liked:
4,736
Avg:
4.21/5
pDev:
12.35%
Alströms:
4.92
 
 
Wants:
359
Gots:
924
Trade:
11
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,412 |  Reviews: 2,349
Photo of RobertColianni
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of khmel
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
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!

 502 characters

Photo of digitalflood
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Footballtennishockeygolf
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of The_Epopt
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You just don't get the depth of flavor in most American Craft beer as you have in the European classics. Poured into the glass my nose is assaulted by the yeast and hops. First taste, the yeast presents first high and tight then the hops mild yet bitter followed by a sweet malt that balances it all out. There's so many things happening in this beer at once you can ping pong between them once per second.

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Photo of jonj
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BeerAndFilm
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Treyliff
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- poured into a snifter. Pours golden with great clarity, massive pillowy white head with long retention leaving thick patches of lace around the glass, textbook appearance

S- sharp Belgian yeast with notes of banana and clove, the yeast also gives a slightly floral aroma. Grassy with some bready malt, a slightly musty finish. Very complex bouquet

T- very smooth with crisp notes of hay and fresh cut grass. Slight medicinal notes with a but if cider tartness. Yeast is slightly tart and earthy and provides a clean, dry finish that seems to linger forever.

M- medium body with light carbonation, creamy and foamy mouthfeel, dry finish

O- the prototype of a Belgian pale ale. So easy to drink, yet usually enjoyed sip by sip to enjoy the abundance of flavors coming from this classic.

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Photo of Jtee
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of emerge077
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Into an oversized tulip, this ale forms a huge, merengue-like head of foam. The foam is irregular with some bigger bubbles in it, and ivory-white. Body is a tawny orange-brown.

A whiff of Brett is present, and can be detected from a distance. Over time, the aroma subsides a bit.

A hint of dry cinnamon in the finish, and smooth carbonation that creates a luxurious & prickly mouthfeel. Moderate funk from the Brett and yeast. Not overly wild, but certainly a unique strain. Dry finish, hints at sweetness. Tea, spice, aged hops, raw honey, the list goes on. Taste builds and develops over time.

I've always enjoyed reading reviews describing a "basement with cobwebs" and this one just might live up to that description. On my list of top Belgians.

Cellar notes 11/2007: Side by side...2007 bottle aged 6 mos., 2005 bottle aged 2 yrs.

2007: Served at 55º. Fruity aroma, damp cobblestone (minerals), hay. Dry finish, hint of bubblegum and sterile gauze from the Brett. Slight tartness and bitterness of hops. Charged streamers of carbonation through slightly hazy orange. Reminds me alot of JP Bam Biére.

2005: Dramatically billowing foam, still very charged after 2 yrs. Very high clarity jewel-tone orange. Aroma has a slightly sweeter fruit aroma, no more or less intense than the fresher sample. "Cleaner" smell too, not especially funky or barnyard. Some mild sharpness though, more closey related to alcohol. A more subdued tartness. Carbonation is more mellow and much less prickly. Honey aftertaste.

Overall, i'm not sure that extended aging (2 yrs.) benefits or hinders Orval. It's slightly different, but not enough to recommend aging for longer periods.

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Photo of DutchcdnTEXAN
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Kromes
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear copper color with a large thick white head. Tons of carbonation bubbles in the glass. Smells very breadlike with some rich funky wood aromas and some spice. The funkiness is apparent in the flavor also. It's not a bad flavor, just a little twang. This beer really does have a great unique flavor. Some bready flavor, some spice, a little cork/wood (which is weird since there is no cork) and some fruitiness. The alcohol flavor is there too, but doesn't take away from any flavors. Mouthfeel is tingly and spicy and finishes dry. Awesome beer, I would never pass this up if it was available.

 605 characters

Photo of chrismattlin
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of bubseymour
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Head of all heads. Poured slowly into tilted pint glass and turned to 90% head. Like other Belgians, the head is a pillowy, whip cream texture that you could eat wit a spoon. Murky yellow, brown wheat style appearance.

Smell - some lemon, straw and spice. Also definite funk and horseblanket.

Taste - This is very easy drinker with mild flavorings lots of horseblanket funk but perfectly balanced in all aspects and slight hop dry bite to finish.

Mouthfeel - head on lip feels like whip cream. Carbonation dances on toungue. Buttery finish. Very nice.

Overall - I can perfectly understand how this can be rated as a world class beer. I didn't give it a 5 overall, only because the color in appearance is a little off for my style of liking and the flavoring, although good in all aspects doesn't make me crave the tastes like other A+ beers I may have tried before. Excellent brew none-the-less and will drink this one as often as I can afford it.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottled on 31/01/2006. Best by 31/01/2011.

Color is orange-amber, no floaties. Head is huge and lush. Sculptured into a craggy mass, it's a thing of beauty.

Nose is sharp and tangy. Hops with some Belgian spices. Mouthwatering.

Flavor is tangy and tasty. Very unlike any Trappist brew I have had before. A little funk, some malt and spice up-front too. Hops on the finish with a bit of an acidic blast at the end. Very different and very good.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a bit of zip. The remnants of the head make for an interesting palate experience also.

Drinkability is tops. I found this sample disappearing far too quickly.

A great brew, glad I finally tried it!

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Photo of juju7
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a brew. Haven't had it or a while so it was great revisiting tonight. That complexity on the nose of brett, pine, potpourri, barnyard is quite unique. To then deliver something tart, slightly sour yet so palatable is pretty special. It looks great too, radiant orange with a billowing head. Fairly low carbonation and a finish that doesn't give up. This is top shelf stuff.

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Photo of byronic
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of themind
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

An excellent trappist! this beer is top notch. Being sold only in singles for around $6.00 this beer is a must have for any Belgium beer lover.

The carbonation has good balance with the crisp mouthfeel. The taste is one of the best I have had and the aroma is mouth watering.

Bottom line: You want a World Class beer...look no further!

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Photo of Groenebeor
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased tonight for my 50th beer review. Poured a deep golden orange with a huge 2 finger head and copious amounts of lacing.

Typical belgian yeast scents paired with apples, pale malts, dried raisins and candi sugar.

The first wave of taste mimics dried Apples with hints of candi sugar, followed by pale ale hops, dried raisins then more hops. It's quite delicious and perfectly balanced.

Has a wonderful mouthfeel and amazing drinkability.

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Photo of bfields4
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very large but tight white head great retention and lace. Clear filtered golden body.

Funky Belgian yeast and spices, green apples, and lemony citrus.

Acidic bitterness citrus and lemony tastes present throughout. Apples and spices are present here as well. A nice dry wine-like finish.

Nice complex beer. A very special brew. High carbonation. The booze is present, but it only adds to the complexity and nice dry finish.

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Photo of Jcarriglio
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of lgmol
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of cedricwarner
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The head pours billowy clouds of foam without effort. The aroma is lactic sour, peaches and cream. The flavor... quite subtle actually. Sourness and hop bitterness are initially strong, giving way to a smooth spiciness and mild malt presence. There are things going on here I can't account for with the usual malt, hops and yeast formulas... something magical.

This beer has an entirely unique flavor, my personal favorite of the Trappist Breweries, and perhaps my favorite Belgian beer overall.

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Photo of cbless97
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice cloudy amber, thick, foamy head.

S- Subtle alcohol, sweet malt comes through. Slight citrus comes through to boot,

T- Excellent!!

M- Excellent texture throughout the sip. Nice alcohol aftertaste. Incredibly well balanced.

O- Been hanging onto this for a little while now and looking forward to drinking it. Being that the NY Football Giants just won I am indulging. Excellent balance and taste to this. You can almost feel the history and tradition while sipping. Worth that "World Class" distinction.

 515 characters

Photo of joepais
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a chalice produced a large white billowy head on top of a hazy golden yellow body

Wonderful aromas of sweet Belgian yeast and flowery hops

Flavors of citrus and grass with a nice hop bitter finish

Medium body with lots of carbonation

Drinkability: It's a Trappist a must try and yes I could drink a lot of these very easy

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 87.5% out of 100 with 5,412 ratings
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