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

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Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
BA SCORE
4.21/5
Exceptional
5,435 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:
#986
Reviews:
2,353
Ratings:
5,435
pDev:
12.35%
Bros Score:
4.92
 
 
Wants:
361
Gots:
935
Trade:
11
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,435 |  Reviews: 2,353
Photo of WTKeene
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle dated 8/30/2012 into a snifter. Second time I've tried this, first was a drain pour. My tastes weren't as sophisticated when I last tried it, so I figured I'd try it again.

Appearance: Huge, persistent, thick creamy off-white head. Really persistent, this thing isn't going anywhere. Dark amber liquid, lots of lacing.

Smell: Lots of brett, a bit of sour, perhaps a bit of balsamic, some alcoholic heat in the nose too. This is beautiful.

Taste: Note: Don't lick up the head. It's bracingly bitter without any redeeming flavors. Actual Taste: Brett, a hint of lemon sour. The alcohol comes through a bit, but not overwhelming. Reminds me more of a saison than a Belgian Pale, probably because of the lightly sour brett. A barely bitter after taste, a crisp malt on the finish too. Much tastier than I remember it being. Head is still present halfway through drinking the beer, ridiculous.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy texture. Not a whole lot in the way of carbonation, this is very drinkable.

Overall: Much better than I remember. When I can't get any Saison Brett, I'll probably turn to this for my Brett fix.

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

330mL bottle into a Leffe chalice. Bottled 26/01/2010.

A - Solid two finger head of frothy, pillowy lucious beauty. Huge bubbles cling to the glass but it fades quickly. Still looks great though. Very effervescent, darkish amber, organgey colour with strong carbonation. A lovely beer.

S - Good amount of hops in the aroma. Smells yeasty too with what I can only assume is what Americans always call 'funk'. Smells what I would describe and fresh and lively with some citrus. The aroma is really complex and intriguing.

T - Woah. Funk is definately evident. Hops aren't as present as they are in the aroma. My entire mouth is working hard to figure this beer out. I now understand the funkiness described. There is some definate sweetness to it too.

M - Taste lingers for a LONG time and carbonation is obvious as it moves around in the mouth.

D - This baby is great. Really complex flavour with lower abv for a trappist brew.

The famous Orval! I've had t his a few times and never really took the time to appreciate it. I would have liked more hops but this has just the right amount of balance. Delicious!

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Photo of sirhc3034
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of Dandub33
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Atron67
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

just solid all around, another tasty beer from the trappist 'family' . very delicious. light pale ale character all around with a very delicious light brett character that leaves you thirsting for more after each sip. mildly hoopy but really just a balanced 'blonde' that has enough complexity in the malt and hops to really let the outstanding yeast and malt to shine.

definitely a staple of the belgian style all around.

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

My first Belgian from 'Old' Belgium as opposed to New Belgium, found at my 'fallback' package store when I don't have time to drive to the better one.

Body pours a cloudy orange. The last two inches are clearer than the rest. The head is absoutely HUGE, the glass barely contained it, who knows how the bottle did?

A heavy fruit smell to this brew. I haven't had wine much but it smells much like I would think a fine wine would. I could almost swear there are flowers in here too. The smell hints at more than the 6.9 ABV that's in here.

I'm giving this a few more minutes to warm a bit, will probably need it...the taste is like a dry wine but a very good one, as I am not usually a fan of dry wines.

The mouthfeel is not as active as I expected when I saw that huge head. As described in the taste, it does go down pretty dry but is smooth and warming as well. Would go with a cool winter night.

That said, while this one is plenty drinkable, it isn't in the way that you could have several of these. Would be good with dinner but then you'd want something darker.

This is my first in this style. It's good and I'd have it again but overall I may not pursue this style as much as others.

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Photo of bird_soul
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%

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

Appearance: Hazy amber colored beer with one of the best heads around. Tons of lace and an amazing stream of carbonation rising from the bottom of the galss.

Smell: A very powerful smell that really stands out. Sweet and full of spice with notes of orange and lemon.

Taste: Tastes like it smells with lemon being the dominating flavor and spice. Bread and hopps and a slight banana taste also make an appearance but they are not as dominant as the lemon and spice.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Carbonation is great and the bitter aftertaste eases up as you drink it. Very crisp finish.

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Photo of plfahey
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle (bottled 7/10/10) poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Vigorous carbonation bursts forth from the bottle-Beer is golden orange with a giant rocky head of off-white foam. Head retention is decent. Also moderately clear, but there seems to be a the slightest cast of haze.

Aroma-Holy god that smells good. Big Belgian yeast character with some notable Brett character as well. Spicy, slightly clove like phenolics, lemon peel, hay, horse blanket, and grassy/spicy hops. There is also some acidic tartness, and a faint mustiness. Malt is just slightly bready, and on the back end, the brett is a little bit floral.

Flavor-Slightly fruity/citrusy (lemon) up front before being dried out by high attenuation and moderate hop bitterness. Hop flavor is grassy/spicy, and there is a distinct lemon-drop tartness that carries through the entire flavor. Brett character is less pronounced than in aroma, but still contributes some slight hay and barnyard flavors. Aftertaste smacks of herbal hops, lemon peel, and Brett.

Mouthfeel-Medium body with very high, effervescent carbonation. Awesome tongue scrubbing action.

This is always an exciting beer, as I feel like every time i've ever had it, it's slightly different. This particular bottle was not quite as delicious as some that I've had (though still quite tasty), but smelled like heaven. A fantastic Belgian brew, endlessly intriguing and complex, and a favorite, for sure.

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Photo of werehereforthebeer
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful golden Amber with good frothy head which slowly dissipitates. Smells are subtle. Black cherry, honey sweetness, and a spicy zing. A definite malty sweetness comes through at the back of the tongue. A very well balanced, yet highly carbonated beer leaves a dry mouthfeel. Fab!

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Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a perfectly transparent copper-orange. Thick three-finger head supported by a rush of carbonation.

Smells of hard candies with just a hint of dusty yeast. Dried apricots and other fruity notes. I can't exactly pick them out, but it gives a sense of subdued or understated sweetness.

The taste carries a zesty orange peel/ tart bitterness of green apple. The big malty grain flavors balance nicely against the acidic fruity qualities. The nearly 7% alcohol is nearly undetectable, and makes the brew all the more pleasant, if not deceitful.

The Orval has a spot on middle of the road medium body, just right IMO and really compliments the gentle tastes. Carbonation is certainly vigorous, but just feels "right" with this particular beer.

Overall, the Orval is superbly drinkable, and only the price could stop me from consuming several in a night.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2 year aged, a lot of Horse blanket in the smell. Very dry, smooth and tasty. Going to buy a few more to age longer.

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Photo of cuvtcuv
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Markken
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip, aged 6 months.

The pour took a while because it was all foam. Once this subsided, the beer had had some nice lacing and a beautiful brown, murkey appearance.

I spent more time smelling this beer than I did drinking it. Sour cherries, oranges and "funk" come from the yeast, and the hops give grapefruit rind and a grassy scent.

This has some hints of sourness. Very well balanced with the same fruity notes mentioned above. With age I bet this is exceptional.

This had a pretty good mouthfeel, but was a little undercarbonated (given the huge head).

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottled on 17/07/2015

Pours hazy burnt amber orange with a dense creamy off-white foam head. Smells like plum, apricots, raisin, mild caramel, apple, doughy bready toasted biscuity grain, some orange citrus, spice, with a slightly tart funky earthy floral grass and hay note. Tastes like toasted biscuity doughy bready grain, red apple, mild caramel, plums, apricot, raisin, tart orange citrus, some spice, with slightly funky dank earthy floral grass and hay. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really nice brew.

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Photo of bpmorrissey
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of momc
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on leap day 2012 (29/02/2012). Best Before 01/03/2017 (March 1, 2017). Consumed January 19, 2013, at nearly 11 months old

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with 2 fingers of head that retains very well and leaves some nice lacing

S: Huge amount of Brett funk right off the bat, along with a very pleasant fruitiness and alcohol/malt combination. Nice and complex

T: Follows the nose, but a bit toned down with the funk. This allows for the malt and fruitiness to really shine. Some hops also come through to really even things out. Again, fairly complex

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth

O: A nice and complex Trappist pale, with a good showing of what Brett can do for a beer. Definitely worth a shot if you like Belgians and Trappist beers

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Photo of jpro
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle at CBX. Poured into a Chimay chalice. (Brewed 04.10.12; Drink By 04.10.17)

A: Cloudy; light copper / orange; three-finger, sudsy, rocky, white head leaves a few thicks wads of lace.

S: Light clove and spice notes; green apple skin; lightly tart, in a white grape kind of way; notes of bread.

T: White bread / cracker malt; light fruit... apple / pear; some esters come out on the end.

M: Medium body; high, lively carbonation; more bitter than expected on the end.

O: Lighter, yet complex; tasty and refreshing... delicious.

*from notes 10.03.13

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I remember trying Orval many, many years ago when I was first geiing into beer and thinking it was okay. I almost feel ashamed now, realizing what a truly great beer this is. Unique yeast notes on the nose have floral and spicy characteristics. The flavor changes from initial taste to the finish, and changes further as it breathes and warms a bit. I don't find it funky in a traditional Brett sense, but it adds another flavor layer that all comes together.
Different and special, this is one to go back to over and over.

Edit...just a note that with one year of age, the brett funk makes the nose on this amazing. However, the taste suffers. Overall, I definitely prefer fresh, although I'll try a 3 year vertical next year.

Edit 2...I've had this many times over the past few years and about half the beers just haven't been as good. Hard to say if there is a consistency issue or the storage or time in the bottle is causing issues. I have to dock it a bit since so many bottles have a relatively simple flavor profile compared to the best bottles.

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Photo of Tigerbrau
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Swedes21
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to spinrsx on this 50th beer for getting me hooked on craft beers and BA!

Served in a chilled glass..

Appearance - The beer pours with a tremendous amount of head, over 3/4 of my glass. The beer is a gorgeous pale golden and a decent amount of carbonation is present. The head is a foamy white with some decent lacing. Looks amazing!

Smell - First smell is a grassy base, kind of earthy with some citrus base. The hops are present and delightful.

Taste - very unique taste, the beer taste as it smells, true to its form. I can taste like an orange peel citrus upfront followed by the grassy earth tones. Some decent spice taste as well added to the end. The bitterness is almost none.

Mouthfeel - There is a good amount of carbonation added that i found brought the hops fwd. The beer has a little bit more after taste, from the spices during the mouthfeel. As the carbonation is added, the beer maintains a light mouthfeel, not too creamy.

Drinkability - This is a beer i have had for awhile and wanted to give it a special spot. It is well deserving of the 50th spot in my beer adventures. I will want to stock this beer and share with friends. Such a good beer!

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled on 1/22/09

pours murky copper with hints or orange. massive white pillow head that sits around forever.

light tartness up front with subtle hints of vinegar. light sour apple and white grape. bits of lemon zest.

lots of funk although it is rather muted. very light hint of sourness. light orange and lemon. brett is making itself known but lightly. a bit earthy. citrus hops in the finish.

light body with moderate carbonation. a bit dry.

fun to drink, lots of complex flavor. i think i drank this too early. i can only imagine what this may turn into in 4 years or so.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33 cl bottle into a tulip- pours a slightly hazy golden orange color with a 3-finger head, pretty decent retention, nice lacing. Fine looking Belgian.

Smell is nice- that patent Belgian yeast smell; earthy. Plus a little malt sweetness.

Tastes a little less exciting than I was imaging but you can really taste lots of different flavors- very well balanced. A little funk, a little earthiness, some nice pale malt sweetness, with a little hop bitterness as well. Great that you can actually taste the hops. A little stale though.

Mouthfeel is great- light to medium body with full carbonation. Not my favorite golden belgian but certainly worth trying for the complexity of flavor. And an excellent beer.

Update: As I continue to drink it (it's been about an hour now), the yeast REALLY dominates the flavor; almost as if it's totally consumed the malt. Still some hops.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 5,435 ratings
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