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

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,301 Reviews
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
Reviews:
2,301
Ratings:
5,266
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
18.9%
 
 
Wants:
336
Gots:
856
For Trade:
11
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Reviews: 2,301 | Ratings: 5,266
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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Photo of zerk
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden amber, with one of the most interesting heads I've ever witnessed... the head sprouted off in every direction... very odd and alluring. Aroma was sour and sweet... fruity and herbal. Flavor began with some sour fruit flavors... apple and pear maybe... became somewhat spicy and finished like an herbal tea. Light to medium body with a quite noticable alcohol presence. This is a beer that I'll need to try again... as it is with most well brewed Belgians, it's far too complex to fully describe.

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

A: Prototypical belgian head...barely off white full of creamy bubbles two fingers high. The body is a cloudy maroon color with lots of little bubbles steaming from various locations on the glass.

S: Oak, soury pungent, clove like yeast, honey, floral and some citrus.

T: One of the more confusing beers on the market. Surprises around every corner. Begins very biscuity, earthy. Very dry, almost salty. Bready flavors then slink towards a more grain/wheat flavor. Bittering hops make a play and finish the palate with an extremely dry complexity. Not as sour as the nose would lead you to believe. Aftertaste is somewhat grainy.

M: Medium to full body with the classic Belgian carbonation.

D: In a blind taste test this beer could pass for a saison, easy. This beer is a trip.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm just now starting to appreciate some of the Belgian offerings out there and had to give this one a go. Been seeing it everywhere and decided to pick it up for this evening.

Pours out with a very clear amber color, humongous head... white and fluffy..

Very pleasant bready smell with hints of citrus and hay and something underlying that is a little bit funky.

Quite a bit of carbonation present in the taste, a little fizzy on the mouthfeel. Nice taste of spicy malts and bread and just a hint of citrus....

Not a huge fan of this one but I've been drinking more of the darker Belgians and they seem to be a bit more complex and better tasting. Still enjoyed it and glad I tried it.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.72/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

How have I never reviewed Orval before? Noticing the oversight, I purchased a bottle from Steve's Cool Booze in Kingsford.

Pours a clear golden-tending-to-amber hue, with a fluffy, relatively large-bubbled, white head, that stays pretty solid and consistent. Body is light, but smooth riddled with very fine carbonation. Looks reasonably good.

Nose is clean and crisp, with a hint of wood, and a slight apple overtone. Some peppery tones and a slight cedar character. It all melds together nicely, giving a slightly aged, slightly fruity character. But it stays pretty light throughout. Yes, indeed.

Taste is actually a lot lighter, a lot dryer than expected. Clean, appley tones on the front. Slight biting phenolic characters towards the back and an uptilt of mild aged funk. The funk actually just dries out the back, and provides much less true funk than I remember.

Feel is light but smooth.

Overall, it's a decent brew, but I remember this being much better. I guess the brett can be patchy anyway, and this may just be a more subtle one than the usual. As it is, it's a decent, but not exciting Belgian ale for me, and one I may well revisit and re-review.

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Photo of Bonsall_Phil
3.72/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Year-old bottle poured into a chalice, amber color with an off white head. Bubbles are large, carbonation minimal. Head retains well, and is still covers the surface 90% or so after 5 minutes. Beer was too cold, so I'm letting it sit.

Malt and grain on the nose, no too strong and little else. Clean. First sip is malt forward and extra bubbly. Grain and malt flavor holds through to a dry finish. Warming on the tongue, though not a high abv. Exceptionally bubbly through entire taste.

A good beer for the purist, very simple flavor and enjoyable. I may try again from a different source as my experience is clearly not in line with many others. Though very good, I fail to see this beer as being anything tremendously special.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.72/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass - bottled 6/10/11, almost a year old

A: Pours a hazy golden color with two fingers of white head. active carbonation throughout the beer.

S: A mixture of citrus and brett funk work very well together. This beer smells quite dry but I get a good amount of lemon and grapefruit from the yeast. Very nice.

T: Bitter and dry, I get some brett funkiness in the way of wet hay, but do not get any of the citrus that I got in the aroma. I was expecting a bit more citrus and juiciness, though I knew it would be very dry. I do get some bready malts behind the bitterness and funk, but little to no sweetness.

M: Very light with very high prickly carbonation.

O: I remember this being better on previous occasions. The aroma was a very nice mixture of citrus and funkiness, but the flavor didn't quite pack the intensity I was expecting from the aroma. Decent nonetheless.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.72/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

$ 5.99/11.2 oz bottle at Lager Mill
Bottled 18/09/2013 Best by 18/09/2018
Aroma faint – yeast phenolics and fruit
Head large (> 8 cm), off white, frothy, slowly diminishing to irregular frothy layer
Lacing ok – few large islands of mostly large bubbles
Body medium yellow, clear
Flavor very light and fruity with some fruity hop bitterness present at the end. No malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate light to medium, watery, lively carbonation

Ho hum – another unexciting Belgium pale ale. At least it meets the criteria well.

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Photo of grbennett
3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-Pours a golden orange color with a big, fluffy white head. One of the most beautiful beers I've ever seen. Head stays with the entire beer, leaving lacing.
S- Fruity aroma with a little bit of a chemical smell.
T-Flavors of citrus, clove, and some dusty or musty smell. The same chemical aroma is in the taste. Some hoppy bitterness to balance the sweetness. Begins to taste better as it warms.
M- Smooth with a little bit of carbonation.
Notes- A good beer but a little pricey. I will definitely buy it again but I won't buy it all the time.

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Photo of russpowell
3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 04/04/2006 (very young)

Pours an effervescent amber/copper with a 1 finger of fluffy offwhite head. Great head retention & okay lacing

S: Bready, some peppery yeast & a hint of lemon hops

T: Peppery yeast, breadyness & then some fruittyness up front. Apple skins & lemony hops surfaces as this warms. Dryness follows. Finishes really dry, with pears & lemony hops

MF: Lightbodied with lively carbonation, a bit prickly

Drinks fairly easy, but the older this this gets the better it is. A little too prickly when young. I guess if I ever find this again I need to cellar it for 2 years minimum

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Photo of liamt07
3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at the SAQ from a recent journey home through Quebec from Maine. 33cl bottle into my Duvel tulip.

Pours a murky, golden brown with some shades of plum and orange around the edges. Fantastic billowing head, soapy and sudsy with fat chunks of lace and supreme retention. Aroma is sweet, getting some light fruity notes (some plum) and a very, dry vinous feel to it as well. Taste is fairly similar, I'm getting a very dry vinous feel to it (although very, very muted in the vinous sense) with some relatively darker stone fruits (again, plum primarily) and some raisin as well. Still maintains a bit of sweetness amongst the dry nature of this. Slightest hint of alcohol. Mouthfeel is relatively watery, drying. Good drinkability, but not something I'd reach for on a regular basis. A definite sipper. Very muted, simple and subtle in all aspects.

 863 characters

Photo of eberkman
3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy honey-colored orange-amber with a billowing, rocky white head that retained well. Bottle foamed a lot upon opening, which also made for a very foamy pour.

Not a particularly strong smell - some tart citrus notes.

The taste is pretty similar -- mostly sour citrus, some spice and a nice hoppy bite with a real dry sourness in the finish. Certainly complex.

Good crisp, carbonated mouthfeel. And pretty drinkable at 6.20 ABV without any sort of cloying sweetness.

A good, authentic Trappist beer. Certainly not one of my favorites, but worth trying.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy amber with golden highlights. Low-medium carbonation and two fingers of fluffy white head that dissipates slowly give way to some excellent lacing.

N: Pear, apple, lemony citrus and grains.

T: Lemon, orange zest and some barnyard. Muted pear and apple with notes of tangy apricot make an appearance along with light grains throughout. Finishes dry and earthy along with some floral hop notes.

M: Medium bodied, prickly, sudsy and dry.

O: Showcases the grain nicely. Good citrus and light fruit notes. Moderate bitterness, light and refreshing. Overall I'm not too impressed by this Trappist ale.

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Photo of bruachan
3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this bottle had been stored warm so the carbonation was a little crazy. i didn't get much of a first pour, in terms of sediment. good lacing though, when all the foam subsided, and some fuzz still lingered at the beer's surface. nice orangy-gold hue

spicy aroma with hops and a hint of oxidation. sweet and funky with cork

bitter with a slight vinuous character. i think i'm drinking this bottle just in time. the malt profile is slight as is the moutheel. this one is reasonably refreshing, actually. i've heard this is a love or hate beer but i'm not sure that's the case for me. i dig it, though i'm not in love. i would love to try it on draft

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Photo of argock
3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 11.2oz svelte brown bottle into a Chimay goblet. Bottled on 4/22/10 on bottle neck label. Purchased at WIne Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $4.99.

A: Slightly murky amber with big-bubbled white 2-finger head even with a slow pour with good foamy retention and a coating of lace down the glass. Exquisite.

S: Strong aromas of phenolic medicine, bandaid and mustiness are up front, but more herbal, lemongras hoppiness and ever so subtle pale malt sweetness holds this aroma together with wonderful complexity.

T: The tartness is abrupt and unique and works pretty well, but the phenolic medicine component is over the top to my buds. There is a strong lemon citrus, herbal aspect that is slightly puckering along with the dryness of the tart, wild Brett flavors. I usually am pretty turned off by Brett character, but in this one-of-a-kind brew, it works pretty well with the lemongrass and pale malt crispness that is most apparent in the finish/aftertaste. If the phenols were toned down somehow, I would really dig this brew a lot more.

M: Too heavily carbonated to my taste as I like a more layer, thicker feel, but I think that's the brewers' point to some degree to try to work well with the dryness. It give is a saison-like crisp feel in the finish.

D: A truly unique beer that I'm glad I tried but probably won't pick up too often as I like a bit more sweetness and a more slick, coating feel to Belgian Pale Ales (more akin to Duvel).

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,266 ratings.
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