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

5,378 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

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Ratings: 5,378 |  Reviews: 2,343
Photo of evantwomey
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet. Big, foamy head which lingers for a while. Little lacing. Color is reddish-amber, good clarity. Aroma is fruity and funky. The brett comes through very nicely and really sets this beer apart from the other trappist ales. Taste is not quite as good as the aroma. Faint malt taste with a dry and surprisingly bitter finish. Very vinous. Mouthfeel is 'explosive' - when I swish it in my mouth, it instantly turns to foam. This stuff is seriously carbonated. I think the massive carbonation might mute some of the flavors.

Overall this is a fantastic beer and the weirdest of the trappist beers I've had so far. The brettanomyces sets it apart, and it is easily the best Belgian pale ale I've had.

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Photo of callmescraps
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good looking bottle that's for damn sure. Great cap too.

Appearance - A hazy apple cider color. Sort of gold orange with a massive rocky off-white head. Huge iceberg of a head. Great looking. Nice lacing.

Smell - Funky hay. Sweet cherries. A little medicinal spice. Tart apples. A little funky yeast and a hint of booze. Smells just awesome.

Taste - Sweet tart apples up front. Not quite as much spice as I might want. Honestly, kind of thin. It smells so nice but it just doesn't follow up on the potential. A little bread. A hint of the medicinal goodness that I love, but sort of fades away. It's sort of complex, but it just doesn't add up to quite enough.

Mouthfeel - Nice carbonation. Not too thick. Pretty smooth, but no tongue coating goodness.

Drinkability - Pretty solid. It's a nice beer, goes down easy.

This is a good beer, just not lighting my world on fire. I was so excited from the look and the smell, but then it just fell a little flat for me. A little oomph away from being fantastic.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into my Portsmouth tulip. Bottled on 22/04/2010, best before 22/04/2015.

a - Pours a murky yellow amber color with two fingers of fluffy white head and moderate to high carbonation evident. Great retention and lacing.

s - Smells of lemon/citrus, floral notes, yeast, brett, and some alcohol. Some sour fruit as well.

t - Tastes of lemon, citrus, floral hops, smooth malts, and very light brett. No where near as funky as the smell.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy, and easy to drink.

d - I thought this was a pretty good pale ale that was very easy to drink. I enjoyed the brett and sour fruits in the smell a lot, but wish there was more in the taste. It was definitely a step down. That being said, the taste is still above average, and I would certainly try this one again.

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Photo of CPAles
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of bound4er
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Poured into my Duval glass. Huge white pillowy head sits atop a hazy dark amber liquid. The puffy head slowly recedes but never disappears.

S. Fruity, ester-like Belgian yeast aromas dominate. Very inviting. As it warms a bit, the fruitiness really shows along with baking spice.

T. Some of the nice fruitiness on the nose is lost in the taste. Bready malt flavors take center stage. Finishes clean.

M. Prickly carbonation with a lively mouthfeel.

D. This is a highly quaffable beer that falls short due to the taste being on the simple side. Glad to have tried this but not something I will buy on a regular basis.

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Photo of jophish17
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle

Aroma: Nice lemony, peppery smell with the impending tart flavor flashing its sign

Appearance: Orval pours nicely into the glass, producing a big, fluffy white head and a dark orange body. Lovely lacing sticks to the glass and the head retention is remarkable.

Taste: The tartness first noticed in the nose comes out fairly delicately in the taste. Not a strong tart, but rather a mild bite that sticks on the tongue well into the aftertaste. Hops come out a lot moreso than in any other trappist ale, and it leaves you thirsting for more.

Feel: A little bit of a grainy feel. Medium-bodied with carbonation that sticks around for a while.. pretty smooth overall

Drinkability: Very drinkable, and with a fairly moderate ABV, its not too much to handle. Another nice trappist beer

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Photo of bwbetts
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of boogerisu
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Denzo
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of CRJMellor
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy, murky orange with big frothy head that left quickly. Left nice lace and of carbonation bubbles. Aromas of orange peel, coriander, champagne yeast and some sour apple are present. Flavors of sweet mild malt, thin spiciness and closes with some bitterness. Mouthfeel is extraordinary, very lively in the mouth.

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Photo of Beejay
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Muddy, murky brown, cloudy as a river after a rainstorm. Massive white head on this.

S: Sweet and tart with a yeasty background. Fruits and berries, a bit floral with a nice tart finish. A slight vinegar or cider smell to the tartness.

T: That is a wake up call. Tart, with a bit of funk. Some nice light fruit flavors specifically strawberry. A bit of yeast there as well.

M: Thin to medium bodied, but with effervescent carbonation.

D: Good, but not really my bag. I get why it is popular, and appreciate the style, but I think I would stick to the other trappist styles. This seems like an odd combo of funk, and a regular pale ale, and I can't get too into it.

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Photo of dcotom
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured cold from 11.2-ounce bottle into snifter. Bottle date 15/05/2014.

L - A bit of a gusher upon opening. Pours a cloudy caramel color, with 3-4 fingers of thick, white head despite a rather tentative pour. Quite a bit of lacing.

S - A little yeast funk and citrus at first. Aroma develops as it warms, revealing more of the banana and spice notes.

T - Not as intense as I imagined it would be. The flavors I expected from the aroma, while there, were muted. This may have been due to the carbonation and the rather strong alcohol presence (surprising, since it clocks in at just under 7% ABV).

F - A touch on the lighter side in terms of body. The finish is dry and bitter, with a faint aftertaste mirroring the notes of the aroma.

O - This had nearly two years on it when I purchased it. I would love to try a fresh one, just to see whether the lack of intensity on the palate might have been due to the age of the sample. Still an awesome Belgian Pale.

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Photo of ojiikun
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in an oversized wineglass. Upon popping the cap, the beer nearly shot out, despite having just rested in my beer fridge for almost a month. Go figure. Pours very dark for the style, almost an orange. Very cloudy, but no particles to be seen. Head is loose around the edges but thick and creamy in the middle. Outrageously long lasting, but with no lace at all.

Smell is delectable - spicy but strong malt, cherry, sweet asringency, fresh yeast, no bad belgian funk, lots of beet candi.

Taste was more dry than expected and incredibly light - powdered sugar, lemon zest, sweet Indian spice, bubblegum. Totally different than what the nose suggested.

Mouthfeel is smooth and well-carbonated, though a little bit astringent and drying. With so little body to chew on, this one can really clean you out.

Even near the end when warming a good deal, the flavours locked in this beer stay just there - inside. With no body to ride on, it's hard to really taste much of anything. That said, I could sit and sniff this one all day. Smells absolutely brilliant.

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Photo of Hanglow
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 24/03/2015

Drunk on 14/12/2015

Pours with a vast pillowy head

Aroma is sweet cider, some leather. Sort of 50/50 as it warms a tad in the glass.

Prickly carbonation, some bitterness accentuated by the dryness. more leather in the flavour, the sweet cider drops way back and it becomes more beery

some warming alcohol, lingering dryness

What can you say, it's Orval. Buy lots from the same bottling date and enjoy them over time as it changes so much.

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Photo of DrAnnaNemis
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of npendres
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of scotorum
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Hazy dark gold with an enormous fluffy white head which receded to rocky surface foam and extensive lacing. The foam generated by this on pouring was incredible, requiring numerous subsequent pours to prevent overflow, and time for the head to settle.

s: Fruit cup.

t: Very mild fruit. Dry finish.

m: Light to medium. Considerable carbonation tingle.

o: A fine Belgian with restrained fruity yeast flavor. Extremely easy drinking and enjoyable. However unless and until the price comes way down from $6 to $2-3, I probably will not be repurchasing. Too many American versions which are nearly as good, if not a little better.

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Photo of LAp
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of swanfungus
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of pixieskid
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer created quite the discussion the other day on the forums because of ChugginOil's distaste and dissapointment with his first experience with a Trappist brewed beer.

I said I would revisit this beer, which I was planning on doing that same day anyway and thus, here is an updated review.

First tasted just about a year ago and then revisited on the 4th of March. Honestly, my opinion did not change a whole lot, but I was able to pick up on a few more subtitles and thus a bit higher grade.

Poured into a chalice, it had a nice frothy bright white head, about 2 inches that lasted a while.

Thin body, incredibly crisp and bitey; rabid carbonation.
Mild note of candied sugar up front with a strong earthiness, crisp grassy hop presence with slight undertones of pine and citrus.
Finishes with a clean bitterness and lingering earthiness with a slight tartness;lemon.

Overall, enjoyed it a bit more than the first time I tried it, but not something I am dying to have, even though it is incredibly cheap here in Paris (1.90Euro) about $2.50.

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Photo of Tdenham
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very nice orange color with huge rocky head (I have yet to purchase a nice trappist ale glass),the aroma was slightly peppery and a little tart.Taste is pretty dry with a slight peppery tinge to it.I liked this more than what I thought I would not as sour as what I thought it might be,very well done.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle, bottled on 4/24/07, best before 4/24/2012, and purchased 1/26/08. Pours a clear golden orange (the second pour makes it nice and cloudy) with a monstrous fizzy and rocky big bubbled white head that retains fairly well and laces the glass.

The aroma is fruits (pears?) and alcohol with some yeast funk, wood and some slightly metallic and floral hops.

The flavor is yeast funk and slightly sour fruits, with some mild bitter hops. It's pretty subdued but nice. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with tons of sharp carbonation. It mellows out a bit as it sits.

Overall, a nice beer that gets better as it warms and more has been drunk.

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Photo of JoeBloe
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottling date 2/4/2010 - 11.2 oz. -
poured into my big dfh snifter (twice) where it throws up a big 2- 1/2 finger head that holds on for a while on its hazy orange base -
smells herbally fruity with a little black pepper - taste of dry fruit and spice, with a hint of that black pepper - sweet and dry at once pretty complex - above average carbonation puts a prickly tingle on the front of the tongue for the first few sips - goes down pretty easy -... oh those trappists...

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Photo of atigerlife
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a Orval chalice.

I've had this beer quite a few times over the years and decided it was finally time to write a review. Here goes nothin...

Pours a beautiful opaque orange/brown color with a wonderful creamy off-white head. Head has good lasting strength. Very beautiful sitting in the Orval chalice.

The nose is quite spicy, with hints of many herbs: orange, pepper, and other aromas I couldn't quite pick up. Quite a "refreshing" and curious aroma.

The taste is very complex and spicy. Hints of coriander, mint, pepper, etc. Some decent hops and quite a dry finish. A "crisp" beer. The amount of flavors make this hard to describe.

The mouthfeel is quite cleansing with a medium body. Overall, I found this to be a very distinctive beer that is nicely refreshing. But, as much as I like this beer, I'm not sure how many I could drink. Not really a session beer. The thing that I like about this beer, its complexity, also makes it slightly less drinkable. Not sure if that makes sense. I also think a food match would be challenging [a few cheeses came to mind, but not much else]. Anyway, a wonderfully unique beer.

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