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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
5,389 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:
5,389
Reviews:
2,346
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
360
Gots:
910
For Trade:
11
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,389 |  Reviews: 2,346
Photo of BabySnakes
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa. Poured it staright down the center and almost the entire glass was a tannish color head instantly. Incredible lacing that ends in thick clumpy gobs.

Mostly Copper with some orange hue. Very solid and dense/cloudy.

Faint maltyness with an orange accent aroma. Slight barn/horse/belgian wafts. Not too much overall aroma, maybe inhibited from the pour?

Nice orange flavor comes thru, solid malt base. Barnish/earthy flavors in the finish along with a spiciness.

Excellent mouthfeel. More carbonated than your average beer. Starts medium heavy bodied from the malt but the dry finish helps to keep it a solid medium. Spicy flavor finish is felt in the mouth also. An excellent earthy BPA as opposed to a more dry, hoppy fruity offering like Ommegang's.

 759 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Cloudy, orange, nice soapy head and grand retention. Cool bottles.

S. Bready malts, some light fruit. I know I am getting into something good.

T. Malty, fruity. Vague hints of apricot and apple. Some wheat elements. Slightly sour that fades to bitterness from the hops.

M. Crisp, light to medium bodied, nice dry finish, almost like champagne.

D. Real nice beverage here. Great for sessions. Tasty. Drinks slow, a sipper.

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Photo of DemoniChris
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of necoadam
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out a hazy orange with lots, and I mean lots of head that took forever to settle. Smell was actually fot floral with some fruits in there as well. Taste was very, very dry. But it was a good dry, if you try you'll understand what I mean. Some lemon in there with some sugar, but not much. Then it's like citric acid taste in the middle then some hops at the end. Quite complex. Aftertaste is very, very dry and it's quite longlasting. Let this beer warm up to room temperature and you'll get the full effect of this beer. Seek this out.

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Photo of Jaisell
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For my 800th review I thought I'd review a beer from the one Trappist brewery I'd somehow missed reviewing before. I've had this brew many times, and I've found that it is extremely changeable over time- the older it is the more Brett comes out and the funkier and more sour it is and more Saison-like. The younger it is the spicier and cleaner and hoppier it is- but still with Saison elements. I like it both ways and at every point inbetween, but the bottle I'm reviewing is of the younger variety.

It pours a hazy golden with a fine white head that sticks around and leaves some spotty lacing. The aroma is slightly sour, a bit grassy and herbal, and has a touch of lemon and pepper in it as well. The taste is a complex mixture of light lemon, herbal hops, black and white pepper, and a dry, light astringency. Very nice. Smooth and slightly peppery mouthfeel make this a delight to drink on this hot day on my back porch. If it were a bit older and more sour, I'd probably edge the flavor score up to a five. Any way you find it, its worth drinking.

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Photo of kevinlater
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle into goblet. "bottled on 15/01/2015, best before 15/01/2020B". 6.9% abv. consumed on june 30, 2015

a: light copper with two fingers of off-white head

s: ah brett beers. noticeably funky but miles from offensive. funk, strong bready malt, and sour lemon up front. underneath that are very mild backing notes of overripe bananas, sour apples, pears, and bubblegum

t: follows the nose but is a bit more fruity. a really solid chewy bready malt in the front mixed with those sour funky brett flavours. lots of complex but tame backing flavours throughout -- pear, lemon, banana, papaya, bubblegum, spices, melon, earthy hops, apricot, maybe even some mango? ends with a moderate hop bitterness and lingering subdued funky tastes

m: nice, modest medium-minus body with plenty of bubbly carbonation. very dry finish

o: a massively complex beer that offers so many different flavours upon each sip

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Photo of KingG
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First time i had this brew it was served too cold to enjoy. This time i'm gonna try it at room temp.
Bottled on - 04-04-2006
Best Before - 04-04-2011

Appearance is exceptional. Huge spiderweb-like head appears and doesn't die. looks liek a foam eruption in my glass. Lace coats the inside of the glass like a DIPA. Color of the beer is copper. Huge stream of carbonated bubbles shoot upward toward the head. Lovely.

Smell is very good. Clove, hops and a small amount of nutty, malty goodness hits the nose. Very unique fragrance.

Taste is good. Much like the nose but surprisingly milder. Clove, hops and light fruit (pear?) are the main flavors. Nice.

Mouthfeel is good. Slightly over-carbonated but enjoyable. Very lively in the mouth. Slick going down. Little less carbonation would have given it a higher score but by no means bad.

Drinkability is exceptional. I could drink this all day. Quite easy to put down.

Overall: A very nice Trappist ale that is unique and enjoyable. Orval must be consumed at cellar or room temp to be fully appreciated though.
Highly recommended.

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Photo of saintwarrick
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My fourth Belgian Trappist brewery down, two to go. Pours an orangey gold, hazy with nice carbonation that keeps a great head on the beer. Aroma is champagne, berries, lemons and other fruit, but not quite as overwhelming as some other Belgian brews. Taste is citrusy and hoppy bitter, with a nice hop bite as it goes down and nice dry finish like an American pale ale.

At 6.2 percent, easily the weakest (by alcohol) and drinkable of the Trappist brews I have had thus far. Another world-class brew.

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Photo of brewdenver
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First of this is not my type of beer. I do not really enjoy pale ales but this is one I definitely had to try. With that said. Golden brown in color with heavy lacing and strong fingers. Previous review stated a sea foam head and that is spot on. Used a New Belgium tulip and even with it being .47L to the mark and probably .5L full the head rose slightly out of the glass. The glass does have a laser etching on the bottom that may have contributed to the larger than normal head. Smell is consistent with a pale ale. Strong hop aroma. Not quite Challenger hop but earthy and very green like. Taste has a sort of consistent flavor from beginning to end hitting you at first with some strong belgian hops with a nice balance of hop/sweet middle and finishing quite smooth and not too dry for my palette. Very active on the tongue and mouth with a sort of brut champagne feel. If I want to drink a pale ale this is the beer for sure. A definite beer to keep around to pair with when I make more spicy foods or blackened fish/chicken.

 1,033 characters

Photo of Allpe45
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz
bottled 23/03/2008
Best before 23/03/2013A

Poured into a tulip, carefully decanted. Kind of annoying how much head comes from this beer, regardless of how gentle the pour. Appears bright orange with a gargantuan off-white head that sticks all over the sides of the glass. Smells like crisp/tart fruit (pear, green apple), yeasty funk, hay, bready malts, and spices. The taste is very similar to the smell, bready malts and funk up front, followed by hay and an assortment of spices, tart fruit in the finish along with a dry serving of funk. Light bodied, heavily carbonated, became foamy in the mouth at times.

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Photo of TheWhiskerReview
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Voluptuously curved bottle. Bottled on 5/10/09. Best before 5/10/14.

Pours a hazy coppery-orange with some noticable sediment and a fluffy, frothy head so massive it interrupted my pour. Consistent retention and big soapy lace.

The nose emphasizes tart fruit (lemon, pear, touch of orange marmalade) with faint touches of bready pale malt, spring flowers, yeast, honey and toasted caraway seeds. Incredibly complex with a remarkably alluring brightness.

The palate also emphasizes the tartness though not enough to call this a 'sour'. Fruity notes are joined by a bigtime hoppiness (for a Belgian) with more flavors of dried straw and spicy yeast. The long, herbal finish is immensely dry and resinous to the point of being tannic.

What a remarkable brew. So much flavor packed in that sexy bottle. Pour this as an apertif in place of Champagne. This is as high class as beer gets.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before date of 09/09/2015.

A: Massive 2 1/2" light peach coloured head that left a nice lacing over cloudy amber liquid.

S: Cloves, floral hops, and yeast.

T: Pleasant taste of floral hops and spices which transitions into a faint taste of alcohol which then disappears. The taste is quite nice and disappears so fast that it made me go back quickly for a second sip.

M: Medium to thin viscosity with a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: An extremely easy drinker. It would be tough to sip this beer because it almost beckons you to go back to it quickly for another sip.

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Photo of pio
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a tremendous white head crowns this attractive burnt orange colored beer. steady activity promises a long lasting head. it's a weird looking head with varying heights and craggy terrain. great clinging lace, cumulonimbus formations.
an absolutely astounding and complex scent. the fruit and florals are myriadical with pear, lemon, raspberry, bannanas and kiwi. some light sugary scents and a sour note. rope hemp or barn twine is here as is a light leathery horsey scent. way down in there i noted a thin hot pepper. overall a fresher lighter scent, not ripe or dark. smells like a summer field where the foals have been playing.
the fruit is barely here and there's next to no sweetness. it starts on an earthy and slightly sweet note that gets barged in on by a super pepper and sour middle. a gargantuan hoppy herbal and green wood bitter tonic finishes long and strong. powerful and extreme!
bubbly effervescance and a smooth light body.
amazing beer overall, not for the weak or timid.

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Photo of mjpoole
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - Giant head, really got to take your time pouring this. Head retains throughout, with some residual lacing. the beer itself is a hazy orange.

S - Real fruity smell, like raisins and plums.

T - Upfront tastes are those raisins and plums that you got on the nose. A great sugary start that slowly transforms into a slight sour finish, kind of like a Flanders Red. There's also some toasty malt characteristics. A seriously delicious beer.

F - Smooth. Just...smooth

O - This was my introduction into Trappist Ales and it was a goddamn heavenly experience. This beer made me understand the concept of a balanced, complex beer. If I could have this beer every day, I would.

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Photo of seand
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large red wine glass.

A: Pours a slightly cloudy medium to light brown, with a monstrous 3+ finger white head. Good retention, great lacing.

S: Sweet, with some earthy tones.

T: Malty up front, with hints of earth, grass, and finishes with some tartness. Quite interesting and complex, quite a bit different than other Belgians I've tried.

M: Carbonation isn't too high. Medium bodied, slightly crisp.

D: Drinks easy, and even easier when paired with some good cheese.

Good, and unique - I haven't had anything similar. I'll probably buy this again.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into chalice.

Pours cloudy orange-copper, with a big, rocky off-white head that settles down into a creamy, long lasting cap, with plenty of robust lacing.

Nose has a light, tart citrus quality, dry, with a light funky barnyard note underneath, and a bit of a floral note as well. Clean but complex.

Taste is quite complex - starts off with a crisp citrus tartness, quite funky around the edges with a dry barnyard character, then takes on a lemon meringue pie character around the middle of the tongue - clear lemon, some smooth vanilla sweetness. Gives way to a light, floral hop note on the finish, with a lingering, dry, earthy funk.

Mouthfeel is lively, a soft but active carbonation, with a creamy, fluffy character from the ever-present cap. Medium bodied.

A crime that it took me so long to give it a go with this masterpiece of a beer. Beautiful.

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Photo of BarryNL
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Warm orange with a big fluffy white head which lasts and lasts and laces all the way down the glass.

S: Complex aroma, hoppy, almost cannabis aroma, coriander, floral, fruits - perhaps a touch of leather and grass.

T: Spices, coriander, oranges in the aftertaste. Pleasant bitterness, mild alcohols. Malt flavours are fairly subdued. This was a 4 month old bottle so the bacterial, lambic flavours of the aged beer had not yet had a chance to develop. Good levels of flavour for the alcohol content - I wish some beers almost twice the strength had as much taste.

M: Good body - perhaps slightly over carbonated, although appropriate for the style.

D: Reasonable - I'd have another one or two - perhaps a bit overpowering to drink for an entire night out.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy bronze with an orange tint in it's appearance. Floral hop aromas among other things on the nose. On the palate there was hints of pears and apple peals maybe, tiny sourness to it… hard to explain but I enjoyed it a lot. Very nice alcohol kick but it’s not at all over whelming. Ends with a nice long lingering finish. I thought it was an excellent Belgian Ale. Very pricey though…$4.99 for a single 11.2 Fl oz bottle...that's beat.

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Photo of coalcracker
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark golden color with billowy head that clings heavily to the glass like cobwebs.
Smell: Very fruity and tart aroma. Quite unique. Base malt aroma almost buried here.
Taste: Sharp fruitiness upon tasting, tart and a bit bitter (but not overpowering). Malts bring forth notes of caramel and fig through the middle of the tasting. The taste profiles begin to meld and tame as the beer warms. A dry aftertaste hangs around for a bit.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and moderate-bodied despite the taste profile lurking above.
Drinkability: Based upon this beer's complexity, I would certainly savor this slowly and not in a session. In that respect- very drinkable.

Overall: One of the first brews introduced to me on my journey to beerdom- I couldn't recall the complexity of this beer. Not everyone will dig this. Me? I'll take this masterpiece anyday.

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Photo of counselor
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beauty. Pours hazy pale color with a thick, tall white head. Lots of bubbles continue to rise as the beer settles. Smells of lemony hops, musty yeast and fresh meadow. Tastes great, floral hop notes, crisp tangy malt profile, mild & earthy yeast profile. I could drink this beer all night. The mouthfeel was well balanced, what an easy drinking beer that really had tons of taste. May be my new favorite belgian?

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Photo of SargeMcCluck
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent caramel with a monstrous, sudsy head. Holding it up to the light reveals a dust devil of violent carbonation in the centre. Quite a bit of sediment lines the bottom of the bottle.

Real distinct aroma here - green apple, pear, white wine, fruit vinegars and wet hay on bready malt. The taste follows, bringing musk, boozy esters, and punches of bitter lemon rind, which can overpower on swallowing. The mouthfeel is akin to champagne - tight carbonation and a tongue-chewingly dry finish.

Definitely a palette-tester, and, I imagine, not for everyone. Orval really shows the variety of Belgian ales, and how futile it is to shepherd them into distinct categories.

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Photo of Byeast
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: a fairly clear peachy amber , with a solid half inch of frothy foam sustained by a steady fast rising carbonation on the sides of my chalice.

Smell: Very strong and exellent smell on this beer , i can smell it as it sits on the table like a vase of flowers. Lots of fruity esters , white grapes , floral, bit of a white wine scent , beery yeast , barnyard undertone.

Taste: Very lively and refreshing. Lots of fruity flavor , white grape , some tartness, flowery/perfumey qualities , some musty/earthiness , bit of phenols and spice, hint of lemon, yeast in the finish. There are some flavors that i can't seem to describe as well , complex.

Mouthfeel: very effervescent , light

Drinkability: A very drinkable and truly unique balgian pale ale. Very floral and bubbly , complex and delicious!

 816 characters

Photo of Loveyourbeer
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Fetusonfire
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,389 ratings.
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