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

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Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
5,467 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: 5,467 |  Reviews: 2,358
Photo of rkhaze
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of Roman5150
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
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..

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Photo of bonkers
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


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 -3.1%
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.

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Photo of Refloosh
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mdog
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
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 -3.1%
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 -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of tedsox31
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of MattR2014
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very nice Belgium pale ale. Had out of bottle

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Photo of steelerguy
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
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 -2.9%
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 -2.9%
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 -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of gtermi
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer pours a golden body with a thick white head that quickly fades.

S: There really isnt much to the smell of this beer other than a slight bit of funk, some grain and alcohol.

T: The first thing I get is the strong grain flavor, but then it turns into a yeasty flavor... As the beer lingers I start to get a nice sweetness and even a little sugar type flavor. There really isnt much, but a little goes a long way with this beer.

M: There is a nice crispness on the back of the throat and the tip of the tonuge. It has a nice full body and makes the beer feel thick as it goes down.

O: This is a very nice beer. I wouldnt say its one of the best in the world, but it is very tasty.

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Photo of AJmon13
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of killcore
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Rudgers73
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Duvel tulip very slowly. There is a huge plume of head that fills a full 2/3 of the glass while the amber beer sites underneath. The beer is amber/orange color and incredibly clear for having been bottle conditioned. The carbonation billows from the etched Duvel "D". The head sticks with great lacing as it settles down after a few long minutes. I smell the head as it begins to fall and I smell a hop aroma (maybe Saaz) and metallic brett funk. As the head clears more I can faintly smell pale malt and peppery yeast. The taste is much more funky and bitter than I had anticipated. The sweet pale malt is almost entirely covered up with a literal blanket or warm, soft brett. The finish is then dry and metallic. This aftertaste and mouthfeel effect make the beer quite a unique offering, and although it has a seemingly one-sided flavor profile there is adjustment that can be made based on temperatures that the beer is served at. Very complex in that aspect. As far as drinkability, it is great. As far as affordability, it is not so great. I'll call this a special occasion beer; maybe to serve at a birthday or for New Years.

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Photo of zdk9
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- This one foams like the ocean out of the bottle; takes me a while to pour. The color is a dark cloudy orange, though it's brown out of the light. Lacing is a little hard to tell through all the foam but it looks like there's some.

S- Delicious cider notes. Touches of lighter malt. And perhaps some yeast spiciness- pepper? The smell doesn't smack you in the face, but the cider is pleasant enough.

T- A stronger taste than the smell definitely. And more complex too. Spices- sort of pepper and cardamom. Bitterness on the outsides of the tongue. Nice cider vinegar bordering on malt vinegar too.

M- This beer reminds me a lot of JP stuff, particularly the Bam Noire (gee I wonder why), but here's the big difference. This one is thinner on the palate and with more lingering bitterness, that makes it taste more like beers I'm used to.

D- Very good. Complex taste, but could've used more aroma.

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Photo of SebD
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has beautiful hazy golden/orange color to it. It has a nice thick bubbly off-white head that dies down moderately slow and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of tart fruit (lemon, white grapes), some grassiness, floral notes and some funk.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a light tartness, white grapes, lemon, floral notes, a slight grassiness and some definite funk.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooths drinkable beer accompanied by good flavors and aromas.

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Photo of winehead247
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of goalie35
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of herman77
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Changed review score on 11-3-12. Old review below. Bottled 11/17/11

A: Orangish/amberish/murky-light brownish color that is pretty hazy. Tons of carbonation ripping up that creates a huge, rocky and very thick, light khaki head. Nice sticky lacing. 5

S: Orange spice. Pear, apple and some funk/barnyard smell. Haven't ever smelled anything quite like it. Its a little odd, but in a good way. 4

T: Not what I expected. Strong phenolic hops. Orange spice. White wine. Some funk barniness to it as well. Pretty complex... Long phenolic/medicinal dry aftertaste. Wasn't a big fan of the taste at first, but after I got to know it a little more, I appreciated and liked it more. 3.5

M: Lighter to medium body. Very strong, active carbonation. Prickly on the tongue, almost like champagne. After taste leaves my mouth somewhat numb feeling since its so dry. 3.5

D: Not the greatest since its just so different for me. Very dry and phenolic. It is very unique though, I'll give it that. 3

Bottled on 7/29/09, best by 7/29/14

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Photo of chefelf
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this one on my wish list for a long time and I finally got a chance to try it tonight.

Pours copper with a white head and subtle lacing.

The taste was good but not what I was expecting at all. It had a nearly citrus flavor and tasted almost like a saison.

The finish was very dry with a subtle bitterness.

It was a very nice beer. I'd recommend particularly to fans of saison ales.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 5,467 ratings