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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
5,378 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
Ratings:
5,378
Reviews:
2,343
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
358
Gots:
905
For Trade:
11
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Ratings: 5,378 |  Reviews: 2,343
Photo of churchillps
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11oz bottle into a broad mouthed glass. Freshness date up til 2011.

A: Amber/bronzed honey color. Nice frothy head. No retention but head lingers.

S/T: Both so complex I hardly know what to pinpoint. Floral, herbs, a bunch of lemon. Super dry all over. Incredibly complex and delicious

 301 characters

Photo of amano_h
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

<1yr old 37.5cl at Dulle Griet (Gent, Belgium)

Wonderful lemony zest and honey jump straight out along with loads and loads of carbonation. Mild grassy hops with a faint hint of yeast and funk also join the party after you give it some time.

A harmonious blend of lemon, honey, and earthy flavors first comes to mind on the palate, followed by some unforeseen fruit in the form of melons, white grapes and some pear. (shoutout to all the pear!) Faint flavors of caramel and pine are also present on the back end.

Medium-light body with explosive carbonation comparable to mineral water. Mostly dry finish with the fruit bouquet and hops tenaciously holding on to the bitter finish (pun intended)

 698 characters

Photo of BostonBrewins
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a glowing golden orange opaque. Head is frothy and brilliantly white. Alot of lacing with this one. Truly a beautiful ale.

S - Very fragrant, it hit my nose as I was pouring it. Smells very sweet (fruity esters) with some spicy undertones. An intriguing combination.

T - This is one of those rare beers in which the smell only hints at the taste. Some nice complexity here. Toasty with a hint of sweetness. Spicy flavors of pepper and coriander contrast with a bit of citrussy fruitiness. The hops really come through in the finish.

M - Pleasant mouthfeel. Medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

D - Complex and flavorful yet fairly light. This would be perfect on a spring day.

 695 characters

Photo of ljdrinksbeer
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BB 12/03/2020
Pours with a generous, billowy head that takes awhile to dissipate. Deep dark and hazy gold.
This is beer folks, smells like beer, grainy malty goodness and a touch of hops
Hops are the first flavor, bitterness with a little lemon, but there is an undeniably earthy aftertaste
medium body with a dry finish
Overall the most striking thing is the finish, very complex and it lingers for quite some time.

BB 27/03/2019
head is a little calmer, smaller bubbles body is clear golden, amber
smell is fruity, vinous
the taste is incredibly different, very fruity, much less bitter
medium body
hard to compare the two that's how different the beer is, both great though

 679 characters

Photo of mlazzaro
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottled Nov. 17 2011

Smells funky. A good funk. Tart fruity yeast character mixed with musky aromas. Ultra high carbonation. Amber and clear. Mountainous off white head with impressive retention. Lacing up the glass. Awesome looking beer.

At first almost abrasive with carbonation. I stirred the carbonation out and I like it much more. Lots of yeast flavors, fruity and acidic. Pleasant booze character. Brett flavor lingers on the back of the tongue. Aftertaste is great. Has some body to it considering the sour fermentation. Really unique beer, and surprisingly refreshing considering the ABV. This is my first orval. I like it.

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Photo of JayAre46
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - poured softly into snifter, very active white fluffy head sits and slowly recedes clinging to the glass. Deep orange color and hazy.

Smell - Belgian yeast, bready malt with a subtle barnyard funk in the back and not a lot of dark fruit in the nose.

Taste - Orange rind, belgian yeast, peppery, very light grassy character and finishes with a light bitterness.

Feel - Medium bodied, good carbonation level but more coating than prickly, dry mouthfeel not astringent.

Overall - This is such an underrated beer that is widely available that i'm also guilty of continually passing on, in my opinion the yeast is such a great twist and really helps the drinkability and experience. I think the brett does a great job of balancing the normal sweet dark fruits characteristics that typically dominate the style.

 825 characters

Photo of Zach_Nolan
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle to snifter. Bottled April 2015. Big frothy head. Meaty, yeasty, and fruity at the same time. Very carbonated. Delicious

133 characters

Photo of pwsoldier
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay chalice. Bottled on 20/06/2007.

A - Pours a clear amber with a large, rocky off-white head that refuses to dissipate, but leaves pleny of lacing when it finally does.

S - Crisp apple and grassy hop notes dominate with some peppery tones in there as well.

T - Flavors of red apple, cider, and ripe pear come through the strongest, with a hint of hop bitterness coming through in the finish. There's a decent amount of breadiness from the yeast as well.

M - Full-bodied, yet fairly crisp due to the moderately high carbonation. Finishes smooth and dry with some tart fruit flavors lingering on the palate.

D - This one is very different from other Trappists I have tried. It's very smooth, quite refreshing, and immensely enjoyable. I'll definitely be having more of this in the future.

 833 characters

Photo of professorchow
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MarioM
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz poured into a Russian River stemmed glass.

A: Nice almost cloudy light orange color with a huge head made from medium to small bubbles. Almost sticky looking foam, very common to brett beers. Ok lacing, head is lingering but is not sticking to the glass but is definitely standing its ground.

S: Light funk from the brett, a bit malty and tropical fruit like. Good phenolic character from the wild bacteria.

T: A lot o brett character, dry crisp and nice phenols. It definitely lets you know your drinking a beer with wild yeast. The Brett character is not as overpowering in the taste as it is in the aroma but still refreshing and fruity enough to be very enjoyable and tasty. Style calls for a Belgian Pale but I've also read and heard of it referenced as a Tripel. Regardless of its classification to a style, Orval is a unique beer and don't really know how to classify it. All I know is its a refreshing Brett Beer that is not a Belgian Pale nor a Tripel, yet far from a saison to confuse and cause much controversy when trying to fit this beer into a style. Which I wouldn't try, Orval is Orval and that's just how it is.

M: Medium bodied with a nice lingering brett funk that differs depending on the age of the bottle. I get a lot of tropical fruit from this one but can also be a bit simplistic and dry when young. High carbonation adds a tiny bit of crisp tartness but not sour at all. Just simply clean Brett character with a good carbonated backbone to balance and make for a refreshing and delicious unique beer. The one and only Orval.

O: Simple yet complicated at the same time. Refreshing and crisp while wanting to be tart and complex without being sour. A must have in my book and one damn unique Trappist brew that can be easily found and decently priced. Highly recommended to anyone.

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Photo of
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Chimay chalice. The beer pours up with a huge head that lasts a considerable time. Appearance is off the scale. Nice reddish color. A complex taste. Very different from other Trappist ales. A bit astringent but nice. This one grows on you and leaves you wanting another.

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Photo of jcantella
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of babaracas
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from squat 11.2oz brown bottle, bottled on 9/7/2008, best by 9/7/2013. This is the best dating system I've ever seen, bottled and best by dates. Other brewers please adopt this. Pours a hazy amber with huge meringue-like head. Smell: green apple, yeast funk, orange peel, lemon zest, ginger?, hay, grassiness. Taste: spice cake, honey graham crackers, green grapes, green apple, toffee, more sour yeast funkiness, what I'd imagine hay tastes like. Tangy, soft, medium bodied. This is one is insane, from the ridiculously large head to the ultra funky yeast and the complexities it brings.

 595 characters

Photo of mjtiernan
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a goblet. Bottled on 11/17/10 and best by 11/17/15.

A: A slow pour resulted in a pillowy two finger head. This one has some carb.Good retention and heavy lacing throughout. Body is copper colored and fairly clear.

S: White pepper and clove. Bready yeast. Earthy barnyard funk and hay. Lemon citrus. Some floral notes that add a touch of sweetness to the aroma.

T: Like the nose but with much greater intensity. Heavy pepper and clove. Caramel pays a short visit. Waves of tart funk and breadiness...more like cracker than bread I suppose. The floral qualities come through mid-palate. Finishes bone dry with some fusel alcohol aftertaste.

M: Medium body, heavy carb. It’s mostly dry with some prickliness on the tongue. It warms you a bit.

O: Although this isn’t my favorite style, it is very easy to appreciate. Very complex and balanced despite the intensity of its flavors. The measuring stick for Belgian pales.

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Photo of kenito799
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle, 6.9%alcohol, bottled 1/31/06 drunk 9/9/06, best before 1/31/11

My first taste of the authentic Belgian trappists, poured into a Duvel glass.

I understand that Orval is different in style to the other trappists, I can imagine why. Extreme carbonation, huge off-white head appears and fills the glass, receding slowly with nice lacing from bubbles of many different sizes. Color is hazy amber.

Aromas are sharp and citrusy, vague fruitiness is not dominant (bananas), some metallic scents.

Hitting the mouth the intense carbonation is the first impression, the beer foams on the tongue..the first flavor impression is tart and sour, a bit like a gueuze. Very dry, almost austere, and then bitter hoppiness takes over in the finish. As it warms in the glass and as I drink more, this beer feels like it has its feet in two camps...lambic and bitter, hoppy ale, battling for dominance. A pleasant battle to experience in the mouth. I think by the end of the bottle the ale won...but I miss that first jolt of lambic-like sourness.

I can't wait to try the other trappists...

 1,103 characters

Photo of MiScusi
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12/27/08
Had for the second time, this time at Rosemary's Restaurant in Las Vegas. Beer was served in an Orval goblet. This time around I thought the smell and taste were even better. It just seemed a little more musty/earthy and rustic overall, which really gives this beer character.

___
1/5/08
Poured into a Chimay glass, pours a dark golden orange with a really big airy bright white head, almost resembling whipped egg whites. The aroma I get is only a mild brett sourness. The taste is very hard to describe. The flavor is light. There is a little bit of tartness, definitely some other Belgian yeast earthiness, and even some white wine-like alcohol taste. The mouthfeel is light, effervescent and finishes pretty dry.

Overall I think this is a nice, easy-drinking yet complex enough beer.
4.5/4/4/4.5/4

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Photo of mdunman
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Cloudy amber color with a thick off-white long lasting head.

S: Many lighter aromas take over, most notably some rose petals and a bit of background hops.

T: Starts out with a citrus sweetness that finishes with a rosy, slightly hoppy, dryness.

M: Light body loaded with carbonation that crisply moves throughout.

Refreshing beer that pleasantly hits every sense in every stage. Very enjoyable beer that works well in all seasons of the year and kept me wanting more. I would hurry back to get more of this.

 514 characters

Photo of Bogie1966
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Amalak
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%

I had an aged, three-year old version of this and it was so complex and delicious. Very smooth and yeasty. Earthy. A hint of tart.

130 characters

Photo of jhubeifc
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was the third of my Trappist tastings this week and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
It had a beautiful, thick and incredibly long lasting head. The color was a beautiful light brown/caramel, nice and cloudy.
It smelled hoppy and full of yeast, a definite sourdough bread.
It tasted of spice, grass and hops, with an pleasant even carbonation that made the beer feel like it was a blanket across ,y palate. A mild bitter dry finish.
I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and will certainly add it to my regular rotation whenever I am able to find it. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

 581 characters

Photo of mjaskula
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 20/2/08, just over a year old. Also picked up an 07 to cellar.

Served in a pint glass. Pours a light, cloudy amber color with a thick rocky head that climbs the glass.

The aroma is very interesting, fresh, bright, and fruity and sweet. There's a strange quality to it that must be the brett. The taste is more of the same, a bit of a sour tartness to it, some grass flavors and some citrus. It's a bit over carbonated, but overall easy drinking.

 458 characters

Photo of Globetrotter
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, we meet at last... Found this in a grocery store in a part of Moscow I don't usually frequent. Pounced on the opportunity, of course. Brown bowling pin like 33cl bottle with a small green and white neck label featuring a fish jumping behind the name, and "Trappist Ale" in five language. Ingredients comply with the purity law. Best before 9/24/04, I opened it on 2/15/04, in honor of my father's birthday.

The Russian import label calls this simply: "pale beer". My goodness, what an understatement! Pours a lovely cloudy deep gold with hints of amber under a fluffy white head that starts thick, but settles to substantial film. There are only some spots of lace on my glass, but I'm tempted to blame the glass. The nose is magnificent: Cotton candy and flowers, and lots more sensations I can't quite describe. Sorting all this complexity out is one major nasal challenge! The mouth is heavily carbonated and surprisingly light. The taste? Lord have mercy! Candy, sugar, spices, lemon peel, and a thousand other things to confront the tongue, jowels, palate and every other part of the mouth. Then, the hops emerge. Rare for a Belgian, this beer is very well hopped. Good crisp, flowery hops that dominate the finish and leave a very tart bitterness in the aftertaste. Oh, yeah, I'll have another.

 1,310 characters

Photo of drtth
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 27 Dec., 2007. Chilled and poured into Duvel glass and allowed to warm before tasting. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: Deep dark golden orange color with a faint haziness. Very thick white fluffy/pillowy white head that takes a very long time to recede, leaving lacing and patches of foam around the glass

Smell: The immediate smell is of fresh fruits or flowers, with a hint of lemon. In the background there is a hint of a faint musty or leather character that I'm told becomes more pronounced with bottle age.

Taste: The flavors are initially slightly sweet, fruity, and crisp. The crisp dryness continues as other flavors come into play and remind me a bit of tart cider. One of the flavors that emerges midway through definitely reminds me of leather. The presence of hops is hard to detect except through their dry bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and crisp with prickly carbonation. The finish is long with a dry, lightly bitter character that begins midway and lasts until its is hard to say when it ends.

Drinkability: The operative word for this beer is "complexity." While the price might give me second thoughts I could drink more than one of these, but this is such a complex brew more than one might be excess. This is a beer one should revisit periodically both to increase one's appreciation and to refresh one's memory.

 1,402 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best before Oct. 13, 2010 (exactly five years after bottling date, which is also listed).

Poured into an Orval chalice.

Pours cloudy orange with a thick, creamy off-white head that thins to a very well-retained rocky covering. Some lacing clings to the sides of the glass.

The smell is of lemon peel, tartness, and spicy sourdough.

The taste is unique and complex. Tart lemon, spiced dough and a wine-like vinegar are all present throughout. A sharp hop bitterness peeks through. Only slight hints of alcohol are present. The medicinal finish has a fresh, acidic character.

The feel is creamy and light. Somewhat drying. The body stays firm and the fresh feeling lingers on the tongue.

It's a wonderful sipping brew that I enjoy as an occassional treat. A true world classic!

 794 characters

Photo of ttroha
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,378 ratings.
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