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

Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
BA SCORE
4.21/5
5,424 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:
#969
Reviews:
2,351
Ratings:
5,424
pDev:
12.35%
Bros Score:
4.92
 
 
Wants:
360
Gots:
929
Trade:
11
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,424 |  Reviews: 2,351
Photo of bucko
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice orange, Autumn-inspired color with a big, fluffy, off-white head that slowly recedes into purdy lacing. Truth be told, there's still some head in the glass and I'm halfway through this sucker. The smell is niiice, reminding me of a rose garden, apples and perhaps a bit of citrus... lemon maybe... The flavor is complex as well with subtle tastes of apple, flowers and a bit of spice, among other things. Mouthfeel is smooth, crisp, slightly "snappy." Very drinkable, with the only thing keeping me from having at least a couple at a time being the price. Well done.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy deep copper color with a big off white head. It has the aroma of a sweet yeastiness and hops, a small amout of citrus is in there too. It has the taste of hops, starts kind of sweet and ends dry. It is kind of yeasty, but light. It tickles your mouth as it goes down. Love the dry hopping and it hides its alcohol quite well.

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 5/3/11

Bottled on: 1/6/10
Best before: 1/6/15

Whoa, there! carbonation. Boasting the loudest pop I've heard from a capped beer and a rushing, fizzy head that hits the two inch mark while cresting the top of the glass. The head immediately crackles away, large bubbles bursting throughout. After several minutes the aftermath finds sporadic chunks of lace and a thin layer resting o'er a faded, golden/amber colored beer. Swirling brings back a solid finger head and better lace.

The aroma seems fairly subdued but has enough going on to keep it interesting. A damp, Brett mustiness is entrenched in aromas of prairie grass, making for a wet grass notion. Light fruit notes, too: apple and pear. Soft floral tones. Swirling draws forth more of the mustiness. Faint suggestions of earth and spice.

The Brett character is far more apparent to taste and shifts through flavors that call to mind waterlogged tree stumps in a boggy marsh; stale air in a flooded basement; chalk; dust and dirt (the latter of which props up the finish and lingers). Intermittently woven there in are notes of grass, orange rind and lemon zest, apple and spices (perhaps a bit of clove and white pepper). Dry cracker hints. Stray fruit notions arise once or twice.

The feel is between medium and light. Despite the depth of funky flavors, this critter maintains a bit of crispness in body. To that end, my biggest gripe is carbonation; it's overly vigorous and washes over the flavor profile. It's something of a chore shaking through the fizziness to fully appreciate the intricacies of the beer. As mentioned before, the finish is dirty. The aforementioned chalk, dust and dirt certainly play into the fell, as well as the taste.

Aside from the overbearing carbonation (took three aggressive swirls to tame the second pour) this is pretty enjoyable. Since it's readily available around these parts it might be interesting to see if I can find different bottlings to compare.

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Sleepisforthewik
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: A HUGE RIDICULOUS HEAD! It poured what I would call a cloudy amber.

S: Smells to me of fruit, herbs, and flowers. Smells absolutely delicious.

T: Light, subtle fruit flavor with a hint of cider at times. A mild peppery taste is present with a slight salt aftertaste.

M: This beer is VERY carbonated. It has a smooth mouthfeel that I would translate into being very digestible.

D: I would personally enjoy this beer if I could as part of a weekly rotation.

As a final note, while drinking this, I would have killed to pair it with some warm Brie cheese spread on top of watercress crackers.

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Photo of akogrady
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Rich golden amber color, with a very pale golden head. And lots of it. I'm not sure what caused it, but there was far too much carbonation and the head was massive.

S - Smelled very nice. rich in the hoppy notes with a floral rounding and some spice background. Maybe a hint of apple.

T - Very rich and hoppy with a nice sweetness to complete the rounding out of floral notes. A dry finish that lingers in an enjoyable manner.

M - Again, maybe it was the bottle, but the smoothness of the beer was interrupted by too much carbonation.

D - Definitely drinkable, if only it would fit into my glass.

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Photo of TrappistJohnMD
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A - Nice amber color with a huge head that I thought might spill out of my tulip. Tons of lacing.

S - Slight lemony citrus. Lots of ripe plum and clove.

T - Lots of ripe banana and plum. Very sweet malt. Slight hoppiness. Hides alcohol well.

M - Mild carbonation and medium body.

O - Very drinkable.

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Photo of bartle
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the cool looking 11.2 oz. brown bottle into a crystal chalice.

A - Poured a fantastic hazy orange copper body with a thick cream head. The head was rocky foam. Very appealing to the eye.

S. - A dry, bitter sent of pine and mild citrus. Reminded me of walking through an evergreen forest spiked with a citrus zest.

T. - Dry and bitter with floral overtones. A bitter, yet clean taste. Bitter sweet and beautiful. The citrus really matches the dominate floral aroma. Earthy and balanced.

M. - Smooth even when being a little heavy on the carbonation. The body of the beer just lingers in my mouth and on the back of my tongue. This beer is forceful, it makes you savor every moment. That being said, long after it's gone, it leaves a soft feeling on the taste buds.

D. - Simply for it's unique character I will be drinking this again. It is not my favorite of the trappist ales,though it holds a beauty of its own. It's soft, smooth, bitter and beautiful.

I wish fine beers like this were more readily available in bars, pubs, and lcbo's in Canada.

 1,057 characters

Photo of MunchkinDrinker
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Deep hazy orange with a large foamy rocky cream colored head. Leaves lacing all over the place. Head stays around forever as a thick foamy layer.

S - Lemon, some other citrusy sweetness I can't quite place. Caramely sweetness underneath. There's alot of little scents I can't place, but it's so nice to smell. Vague spice, very slight grassiness. Some orange rind.

T/M - Very light, frothy feel with a flavor that creeps up on you. Dry earthy hops flavor hits first, but it dissolves into a bitter fruit flavor. Has a quality not unlike a good white wine on the back end. I want to say there's a white grape flavor in there as well. It's tremendously complex, but too wine-like for my liking.

D - Very wine-like. This might be right up some people's alleys, but I was disappointed actually.

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Photo of tlema1
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Orange/Amber, big billowing white head
S: little funk, little tart
T: lots going on here, I get tart green apple, some Belgian yeast sweetness, a little funk
F: good mouthfeel
O: great beer, first time I've ha one in years

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Photo of rkhaze
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazy orange.Thick creamy head that left good lace.Smells of earthy sweet malt, citrus and spices. Oranges, tangerines and a bit of grapefruit sweetened with some clover honey. Hints of heather and lavender. Very perfumey.
I've seen beers described as barnyard before but never picked up on that until I tasted this. It's certainly that, with almost a leathery tinge. Gives way to the sour fruits and a mild hop bitterness. Finishes crisp, dry and long. Didn't quite deliver on the promise of the aroma but interesting nonetheless.
Seemed a little thin and overcarbonated. Decent drinkability.
Haven't made up my mind on whether I like that "barnyard" character yet. This is definitly an unique beer and certainly worth a try.

 747 characters

Photo of Roman5150
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from Total Beverage in Murfreesboro, TN. Vastly different from other trappist beers i've had. Unique Bottle shape. Poured into a tulip. Highly carbonated, huge head. Lot's of lacing. Pours very light yellow/orange, cloudy like a hefe as it's unfiltered, pretty decent looking beer can't lie. Smells decently hoppy, with other similaraities to a hefe with notes of citrus, subtle banana, and clove, with a splash of coriander. Drinks very smooth, with a subtle hoppy bite. Very distinictive belgian yeast taste, but with more bitterness than than sweetness, yet not overpowering. Lot's of carbonation. Has a sort of wine like aftertaste, but lacks the punch i was expecting for a 7% beer, i guess this could be good or bad. Very well balanced beer, will buy more, although I prefer other Trappist Beers, this one stylistically is very different stylistically from the likes of Rochefort, Westmalle, etc..

 910 characters

Photo of bonkers
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured from a 11.2 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. It pours an orange/yellow with enormous white head. The beer leaves lots of lacing and a white littlt cap on top. The aroma is of fresh lemons. The flavor is slightly sweet with a hint of phenol. The finish is crisp. The beer is medium body and IMO overcarbonated. The beer is very drinkable.

 346 characters

Photo of q33jeff
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

**
03/14/15

Bottle to glass, at Parc, Philadelphia.

AROMA: Excellent bready yeasty aroma.
LOOK: Dark yellow (light Orange) color. Bubbly head.
TASTE: Tasty. Yeast, but not too much wang. Dark fruits, raisin and such.
FEEL: Bubbly and good drinking.

Great peripherals, and a well crafted ale, but the taste is not as amazing as I remember from years ago. Still very good.

**

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brettanomyces. Pours darker yellow color with a amber hue throughout. Poured a fluffy head with mid sized bubbles. Great retention though but limited lacing overall.

Then nose is funk. Some lighter malty undertones with more of a biscuit aroma. There is stronger yeast notes. Horse and barnyard esters. Some lighter fruity esters citrus and bananas. A touch of spice as well, mostly pepper.

The taste is similar. Lighter malt flavors with more of a bready and sweet flavor, but finishes very dry. Fruit notes come out more with citrus and pears. A touch of white wine tastes as well as some herbal hints. Some spice, coriander and pepper. Some yeasty characteristics, mostly Brett flavors, but definite funk.

The body is light with a very dry finish. Some sticky, yeasty finishes. Overall this is just a fun beer and does change over time. Hard to clone, gush city.

 868 characters

Photo of Refloosh
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mdog
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear amber, good carbonation, big Belgian head.

Smell: All I get is a tart smell, not quite sure how to describe it.

Taste: Very interesting flavor. Mild fruitiness with an earthy component. Lemon tart with a hint of sourness. Dry finish.

Overall: I had this beer 6-7 years ago but did not review it. Picked up a bottle for review and to see how my palate has changed over the years. This is a very interesting beer and seems to be a style all its own. I don't taste too much sour or funkiness, but still a unique experience.

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Photo of davidt
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pouring the Orval slowly into an oversized wineglass produced a full, billowing off-white head. The beer is a orange-copper color with some haziness. Spicy, malty aromas are released during the pour and picked up by the nose immediately. There's a pleasing peppery smell, along with some faint fruitiness. The taste is an earthy blend of yeast and a light, bready malt. A light sweetness is present, which balances the hop bitterness. A fruity aspect appears as the beer warms. The finish is somewhat astringent, but pleasant. Bottled 07/05/2007, labeled 6.9% ABV.

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Photo of nodder
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of tedsox31
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into my St. Bernardus goblet. The head is a rocky off-white color, while the beer itself is a hazy orange-red. There is no lace, but the head sticks around as I drink it.

The smell right-off is very strongly of citrus, clove, and some banana. A bit of hops at the end. As it warms, the clove becomes stronger and the hops are a bit more noticeable as well.

The taste is spicy, and almost peppery. There is a definite presence of pepper. There is a bitterness on the back of the tongue but everything seems to smooth out as it warms. Spices become more present but are also more mellow.

The mouthfeel is creamy and carbonated. This does not stick around in my mouth and is very refreshing.

A very good beer. I like the bitterness that it has. The alcoholic content is not so much that I wouldn't be able to enjoy 2 or 3 glasses. Very refreshing and tasty.

 886 characters

Photo of MattR2014
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very nice Belgium pale ale. Had out of bottle

45 characters

Photo of steelerguy
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear amber hue, high carbonation, large, pillowy white head that leaves lot of lacing.

S - Sweet caramel aroma, a touch of Beglian yeast, some spiciness.

T - The sweet caramel notes come through, very clean flavor, spicy yeast also backed up by a nice spicy hop bite. Ends with a pleasant bitterness.

M - Dry with a clean and refreshing finish made nicer with a touch alcohol warmth and carbonic bite.

O - A very nice, clean, and simple Trappist beer.

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Photo of mrw1zard
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter with a nice dark copper / amber color with lots of head. Very bready nose to this. Taste was a little sugary with hints of lemon and cloves. Finish was dry and smooth. Very easy to drink. Would definitely be something that I would pick up again.

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Photo of mcarroll10177
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into an imperial pint glass ( i need a chalce)

A- copper ale with a huge white fluffy head with lots of bubbles and tons of carbination

S- some sweet malts but it is faint not much of a nose here

T- sweet with some fruity overtones and some spice nice

M- wonderful full of carbination yet still light this adds to drinkablity

D- a wonderfully drinkable beligum pale sweet up front with tons of complexity

Notes- tons of carbination and a very nice introduction into the world of Beglum pale ales

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Photo of madakassal
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 5,424 ratings
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