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

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Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
5,469 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,469 |  Reviews: 2,358
Photo of mklinger
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet. A very thick, rocky head formed. There's an effervescence about this beer that is very pretty in the pour. The beer pours a pale orange amber. I did my best to get a clean pour but it came out pretty hazy. It's an interesting, complex looking beer.

Aroma was great. i got some lemon & herbs right away followed quickly by a bit of the barnyard aroma that folks talk about as wet horse blanket. Again, this is just such a complex aroma profile.

Taste is complex too, though I didn't find that it held up quite as well as the aroma (but it was close). More of the barnyard in my taste profile, not as much bitterness as I thought there might be. Good bit of sourness, too. Quite tart.

Rich mouthfeel. The carbonation lends a fullness to this beer that is otherwise greater than the body. Quite nice.

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Photo of AudioGilz
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, amber/orange.....enormous white head that slowly reduces to a coating that leaves lots of lace.
The aroma is pungent lemon and flowers that gave me goosebumps. One of the best smelling beers I have tried.
The mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, medium bodied, and crisp.
I really enjoy the tartness in this beer, lemony, spicy hops, then a slightly bitter and crisp finish. This beer is different than other Belgian's I have tried in that it's more tart and pungent. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and will definitely purchase it regularly.

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Photo of scott451
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

revised on Nov 14, 2010

Bottled 2010 best before 2015. Poured into a Duvel tulip after letting it warm up from fridge temperature for about an hour. The unique bottle shape does a good job in keeping sediment out of the pour. A slightly hazy reddish amber. The toweing rocky head head sticks around. Lots of bubbly lacing.

Strongly carbonated. Fruity smell. There is a lot to the taste. It is very smooth but "deep". One taste I can pick out is leather although there is much more there. The brett gives it a nice twang, not sour at all, but a bit of a bitter finish.

Medium light body. Complex and very drinkable. A top shelf brew.

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Photo of gonzo138
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- nice coppery color, frothy head that was slow to dissapate, good lacing
S - Fruity aroma, light hoppy smell as well
T - sweet, a little hoppy, the fruity taste reiminded me a little of apples
M - nice carbonation, with dry nice feel
D- Very drinkable, smoother than some of the stronger belgian ales, which can really be viewed as a plus or a minus I felt it complemented the taste, goes down lightly

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Photo of dogger6253
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark brown color with a huge, bubbly head. Banana and cloves in the nose with corriander and hops, some plums, some raisins, and some pears. The taste is fruity up front with dates, plums, pears, grapes and bananas taking the center stage. The finish is more bitter, a little more than you'd think to expect, yet so crisp and delightful: sour grapes, hops, and spice at the end.

A major carbonation buzz going on in this one, medium body - crisp and refreshing. Great taste, this was incredibly unque and very welcomed.

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Photo of Vengeance526
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy light orange color and a HUGE white head that very slowly settles down leaving some nice lacing on the side.

Smells strongly of lemon, strong floral hops and a lot of spices. Very inviting and you can really feel the spices hit the back of your nose so I can tell I'm in for an interesting taste.

Taste hits right off with strong notes of citrus, mostly lemon with a little bit of orange. A floral burst of hop flavor lies underneath with a lot of spice present. Some faint notes of yeast can also be detected.

This one starts and finishes very dry. Overall a pretty amazing beer that can truly be savored.

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Photo of noclue
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: 11.2 ounce bottle. Bottled on 12/12/03

Appearance: Highly carbonated. Golden-Amber murky haze. Tall rocky, frothy white head. Decent lacing. Not very long lasting, but my glass wasn't incredibly clean.

Smell: Strong floral aroma. Fruity. Spicy. Leather. I could smell it sitting two feet away from me.

Taste: Tart, sweet, bitter, phenolic, fruity, hay.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied... Crisp, dry finish.

Drinkability/Overall: Crisp and refreshing. Not my favorite Trappist, but still very good. Easy and rewarding to drink.

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

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

33 cL bottle of Orval into my Chimay goblet.

Appearance (4/5): Big two and a half finger head of of white over a cloudy orange body. Beautiful. Tight bubbles tell me this is a well-carbonated beer. Extraordinary head retention.

Smell (4.25/5): Yeasty and bretty smell. Lots of sweet bread and light tart funkiness, spice, herbal and medicinal notes, grassy notes from the hops.

Taste (4.5/5): Spicier and yeastier in the taste. Not very sweet. Plenty of brett, though it's pretty light compared to some other beers with brettanomyces that I've had. At the front of the tongue, get some nice effervescence, middle of the tongue transition from bretty funk to a wheat bread and spicy yeasty clove-y flavor that's slightly bitter and lingers for a while. Very interesting and totally unique.

Mouthfeel (4.5/5): Excellent carbonation level. Brett adds some effervescence. Very smooth and goes down easy. The lower alcohol level on this beer means you don't have to exercise too much caution with it. A very nice summertime beer.

Overall (4.5/5): Orval is legendary for a reason. It's a totally awesome beer and a great intro to Brett-infused beer. While it's not a particularly intense beer, it's very refreshing and certainly a unique take on the Belgian Pale Ale. One of the rare Trappist ales that isn't thick and heavy. It also features more obvious hop character than those beers. Great stuff that's certainly worth buying if you see it hanging out on the shelf. And fear not–Orval has quite a good shelf life. Dust off that bottle from 2010 and enjoy some vintage beer!

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

Look: Orange-Copper with a thick white head. Very active.

Smell: Green apple, white grapes, farmhouse funk, slight ginger, and warm honey. Bright and sweet.

Taste: Honey covered apples, juicy green figs, green grassy hops, Belgian sugar, earthy bitter hops, and just a hint of grapefruit citrus zest. Beautiful.

Feel: Bright. Flavors dance with a peppery lightness on the palate. As the flavors play out the beer dries out earthy. No hint of alcohol.

Overall: Deceptively light with depth of flavor and complexity. Fruity, funky, juicy, earthy all these flavors dance on the palate and leave just a kiss of flavor as it departs leaving you wanting more.

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

Pours a hazy burnt orange with a nice two finger head that dissipates slowly.

Malt and hops present a balanced aroma, with a touch of undetermined fruit.

Taste echoes the nose, a well balanced brew with the hops coming through in the finish.

Carbonation is excellent making it a pleasure to drink.

Drinkability is good too, considering the lower ABV with the great other qualities exhibited.

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Photo of frank4sail
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06 12 2006 (batch)
Big alcohol nose with some pale malt sweetness. Huge off-white head with big airy bubbles. Classic hazy pale ale look with lots og bubble action in the goblet (center). The rocky head and lace is lasting. This brew starts out on a good footing, because its look is almost flawless. The initial taste is one of smooth malt sweetness then strong warm alcohol notes leads your tongue to a bitter hop/fruit finish. The fruit most resembles bitter peach. Quite a complex and bold brew. Medium to full mouth with a nice creamy feel and coating left in the mouth. A truly crafted Belgian Ale!

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Photo of NateF90
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BruceHartford3
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jroof1
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

Poured from bottle, bottling date 2/2010. appearance is the color of caramel with good head. Very hoppy compared to other trappist ales. Very refreshing, highly carbed. I don't really get the brettanomyces funk that I was expecting, but not really overly familiar with this class of beers, so maybe I am just not sure what to look for. Overall very good beer, very refreshing and pleasant to drink.

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

330mL bottle (bottled 5/19/10, best by 5/19/15) poured into a tulip. Gorgeous golden amber color with an enormous fluffy white head that fills the glass. Wonderful effervescent carbonation erupts from the bottom of the glass. Head just won't quit, looks like a mountain of delicious whipped cream. This is what a beer should look like. As the head ever so slowly breaks down, it leaves behind not lace but lovely cobwebs around the sides of my glass.

Aroma is tart and funky - green apples and Belgian yeast.

Taste is crisp, dry, refreshing. Pale malt, Belgian yeast and some hops to pull everything together for a nice clean finish.

Overall this is hands down one of my favorite year-round, always-available beers. Why don't I have a case of this at the ready at all times?

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

Photo of match1112
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

purchased this for the first time finally, mainly because of the bowling pin shaped bottle and because because the store had the orval goblet next to it for $4.99. also has a bottled on date of 22/04/2010. pours out a cloudy golden orange color with the thickest three finger bright white head i have ever seen. the head slowly settles to an uneven foam resting atop the beer for the remainder of the drink. smells and tastes of sweet fruits, yeast and a little spice also has a little funk to it, but not in a bad way. mouthfeel is a medium body with a rich creamieness that is overtaken by a slight hop bite with a dry finish but very minimal bitterness. i can see why this is one of the worlds best.

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Photo of churchillps
4.41/5  rDev +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

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Photo of amano_h
4.41/5  rDev +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)

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Photo of BostonBrewins
4.41/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of ljdrinksbeer
4.41/5  rDev +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

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Photo of mlazzaro
4.41/5  rDev +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%
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.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 5,469 ratings