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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
5,364 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:
5,364
Reviews:
2,335
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
358
Gots:
904
For Trade:
11
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,364 |  Reviews: 2,335
Photo of infi
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle - poured into a snifter.

Beautifully pours a hazy red-orange color with tons of bubbling action emerging throughout the glass. A thick, pillowy and foamy white head sits a top the ale and just stays stationary. No dissipation whatsoever after the initial pour. Reminds me of the Duvel, so lovely. The lacing is fantastic as well - huge clouds of bubbles sticking to the glass. The smell is Belgian yeast, lemon zest, green apple tartness and a touch of pear. Very fruity in scent with just a tad bit of sour funkiness.

Wow, the taste is full of fresh apples and subtle hints of lemon. Very light and refreshing actually. Great balance of sweet and sour. Not so much of a bready taste to the brew, which was a bit surprising, but not essential to its flavor. I can discern a slight Brett funk - not as potent as a gueuze or lambic - and a bit of dryness and tartness towards the aftertaste. This tastes more like a mini gueuze, rather than a pale ale, as there was no discernible hop bitterness.

Very light-bodied and generously carbonated. Crisp and clean the whole way through. Easily drinkable and quite tasty. A great refreshing Trappist brew.

 1,164 characters

Photo of yasky
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of russwbeck
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 1/6/2010, poured into an Orval Chalice.

A: Pour is a hazy, yellowish brown color with a small white head. Head sticks around and laces nicely.

S: Smells floral, almost like straw up front. Perhaps a bit of alcohol underneath with some banana.

T: Sweet taste up front, Belgian yeasts, some banana. Definitely some hops detected, along with a warming alcohol sensation as you drink.

MF: Dry and light, a lot of carbonation on this one.

D: Extremely drinkable. Really goes down smooth. Would be my preferred Pale Ale...but it isn't as readily available as some other, quality pales.

 595 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange with an incredibly dense haed with lots of sticky lace rings. I swirled the bottle and got a couple of floaters as well.

Sweet wheat scents with that musty straw/hay element, as well as some citrus and mild spice.

This is a real funky one, but in a good way. Lots of different flavors that pop out in waves. Sweet grain, a little spice, citrus rind, and a fruit tartness like something that has gone past its prime. Tart and dry in the finish. Hop bite is there, as is the alcohol.

This is moderately carbonated, which keeps these flavors in check enough for you to sip or slug. I gave this a drinkability rating much lower than taste. I love Belgian beer, all styles, and have had it in country. This is one that is absolutely terrific, but after 2 I'd want to stop and move on to something else. You almost need a change (it is like gorging on Belgian chocolate -- delicious and complex, but you need to set limits). It is special beer.

 961 characters

Photo of CampusCrew
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was disapposinted. It was way to carbonated and disappered in your mouth once I drank it. Slightly bland and weak. But, I had high expectations. Still an excellent choice

appearance: dark copper, tons of lacing

smell: pleasant, light hops

taste: too light flavor

mouthfeel: too high carbonation

drinkability: very easy and smooth

 337 characters

Photo of ShadyRigglesbee
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this was a fine 08 vintage bottle...
falls delightfully into my glass like a perfumed fat kid into a pit of balls, spewing forth odors and kicking balls up from the deep in a futile effort to right himself. the carbonation continues to flow up, bringing the smells. the sharpness of lemon, a little funk, a touch of malty sweetness, a twinge of earthy hops. the flavor profile is similar, a bit sharp and bitter, and delectable, but it feels a bit overcarbonated in my glass. i wait to let it warm up but some asshole finishes my glass so we can taste some homebrew. what a hard life.

 584 characters

Photo of costanzo_mike
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Carmack
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

Photo of ddarden
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer into a glass chalice and it is a nice copper, hazy color. It also has a very nice creamy, slightly off white head. The head lasted through the entire beer. The beer appears very carbonated. The smell is yeasty with hints of lemon and hops.

The taste is refreshing with hints of the yeast, lemon, and nice bitterness. The mouthfeel is light, dry, and carbonated. I could imagine drinking more than one of these in a sitting. The aftertaste is quite mild with a small amount of bitterness. This is a very drinkable beer if you are craving something refreshing.

At the end of the beer the lacing still very heavy on the sides of the glass. This would be one of my favorite Trappist beers if I were in the mood for something light and refreshing.

 769 characters

Photo of godfathermg57
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice.

A: A fizzy copper. Well carbonated with a large head.

S: Funk and yeast. It smells like the far off land of Belgium.

T: Dry and refreshing. It's tart with a slight piney and hoppy taste. It's got a fairly subtle taste to it, nothing overpowering in any one direction.

M: Quite a fizzy mouthfeel, like a saison.

D: Quite drinkable and refreshing. A very fine beer, though its taste is not overpowering.

 429 characters

Photo of rkuhnel
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle a hazy orange color with a large head and good lacing, Nose of yeast and fruits. Sour taste and some citrus. Sour, dry and bitter finish. Very nice to drink and gets better as it warms u a bit, I enjoyed this one and will buy it again.

 258 characters

Photo of Brew_42
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy Amber with a thick off-white head that leaves lacing and hangs around

Smell- Green apples

Taste-green apples and yeast with some spice. One warm booziness. Tastes like it should have a higher abv than it does. A little sweeter than the sme would have you believe. Sourness increases as the beer warms up a bit.

MF- lighter than I expected. Decent carbonation. Refreshing and drinkable.

Overall- good beer, not on the high end of trappist ales but that still puts it way ahead of most.

 502 characters

Photo of snpub540
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy golden straw color with a very high clingy foam head. Left some nice clingy lacing on the glass.

Smelled very floral and earthy. The floral smell was very strong and inviting.

A very balanced taste at first sip with a floral and spicy flavor being the most dominate at first. Sweetness was rounded out by a clove flavor that was very nice.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and very pleasing on the palate. Drinkability was great and alcohol was not noticeable at all.

 479 characters

Photo of silks636
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle.

Cloudy orange amber with a huge fluffy ivory head. Excellent retention and lacing. Strong earthy floral nose... banana, lemon, hay, and spice are also present. Taste begins light and tart then turns to a heavy musty earthy flavor with complex hints of spice, lemon, cider, and tangy berry. Curiously strong hop bite. Finishes extremely dry. Mouthfeel is medium and very warming with strong carbonation.

An absolutely stunning ale. Very complex and wonderful.

 501 characters

Photo of potion
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

Photo of Scotchboy
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle dated 29/2/2012 & best Before 2017 poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Darker gold in color with a bit of haze (tried to be careful with any yeast) and a huge creamy off white head.

S: Big fruity and musty aromas; floral in a really pleasant way. Orange peel, lemon peel, funk, earthy Brett, even some faint tropical fruit, pear, a good amount of white grape skins, and hints of raisins. Pretty similar to muscat white wine.

T: Same as the nose, fruity and funky; citrus rind, musty and earthy Brett. Definite lemon and even lime (reminiscent of Sprite actually as this beer seems to be heartily carbonated initially). White wine...a bit of barnyard begins to take hold as it warms. There is some hop bitterness, so this beer isn't overly sweet or tart.

MF: Fairly light to medium bodied, with some nice carbonation. Finishes with a Bretty dryness and notes of hop bitterness.

O: Really unique and diverse, and at the end of the night I liked it. Definitely a sipper and something to enjoy as it warms and different flavors emerge. This bottle is around 10 months old, and I'm sure older bottles taste vastly different because of the Brett. Not something I would seek out again, but a good beer.

 1,218 characters

Photo of Skidz
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out light yellow and sits light orange in the glass with a good light fluffy head on top.

Smells of cherries, apples, figs in a red-wine like aroma. Light traces of alcohol and bits of yeast in between. A very nice, fruity aroma.

Tastes mildly bitter up front with cidery apples and grapes coming out in the front. Good spiciness along with some more yeasty flavors move into a nice bitter finish with some light hoppiness.

Fairly light in the mouth with heavy carbonation, much like a sparkiling wine. Dry and abrasive. Decent taste and a great nose. A good after dinner drink; nice and light, but still refreshing.

 631 characters

Photo of TimZebGir
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

A: Caramel with light haze, really fluffy, creamy head, high carbonation (3/3)
S: Earthy malt with a (barnyardy citrus?) to balance it out (9/12)
T: Crisp caramel malty flavor fades to banana and raisin with a little bitterness at the end (16/20)
M: Starts wet and bubbly but finishes dry(5/5)
O: There’s a lot going on here. The flavor profile is quite complex, and keeps me coming back for more to decipher everything it has to offer. Would definitely drink again. (8/10)
41/50

 484 characters

Photo of Hootie159
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of nickd717
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review transcribed from notes dated February 2009.

Great hazy copper color with a really lacy white head.

Strong aroma of Belgian yeast and brett, candi sugar, sweet malt, and a little spice.

Flavor is more of the same with some fruity flavors, very yeasty, with brett very noticeable.

Smooth mouthfeel, with a good crispness and fairly lively carbonation.

Nice trappist ale, if a bit overhyped by some. Refreshing.

 420 characters

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a small bottle dated 5/20/2011 into a Chimay chalice. The beer has a beautiful clear copper-orange color with a large frothy head and nice effervescence. The nose is somewhat subdued, yeasty, and slightly fruity. I'm getting pears, apples, and some flowery hop notes. I don't get any Brett notes on the nose.

The taste is quite dry and appetizing and the mouthfeel is firm and lively from the carbonation, especially at the back of the mouth. There is a mild biscuity malt flavor in the front of the palate. This is followed by a nice soft champagne-like dryness at mid-palate. There is a very faint, almost lemony, Brett sourness in the back of the mouth. The finish is mild and a bit disappointing. For me, those sour notes just don't linger very well.

This beer has an interesting combination of appetizing dryness and slight, acidic sourness. The sourness is not biting, but rather just a bit of a pinch to add to the finish and let you know it's there. This is far from my favorite beer, but it is a world classic and something for beer lovers to revisit from time to time.

 1,092 characters

Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked me up a four pack at the local supermarket. Paired it with some aged Gouda cheese.

Poured into my Westvleteren glass.

It's one of the most wonderfull looking beers among the trappist's. A little hazy. Nice orange amber brown. Almost one inch of very lively foam.

Has that typical Belgian smell. Citrus, fruits, malt, hops and ofcourse some yeast.

Some sweet malts bits of the fruits and a nice bitter finish.

A medium bodied beer full of carbonation but a very smooth drink.

Pairing this beer with some aged cheese really helps this beer and the cheese. This is a classic and one of my go to beers when in doubt. If you never had it I suggest you try it when you have the chance and admire the beautifull appearance of this wonderfull drink. Recomended.

 767 characters

Photo of oline73
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a goblet. Amazingly, this is the first time I've ever had this one.

Appearance: Pours a mildly cloudy amber with two fingers of fluffy off white head and great retention.

Smell: Sweet malt with some citrus notes, fruity notes, and yeast spice.

Taste: Very smooth with Belgian spice, fruity notes, and a mild hop bitterness. The finish is spicy with some bitterness in there as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a very good Belgian Pale. The yeast spice was strong, but balanced well with all the other flavors. Very well done.

 614 characters

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Date of bottling 5/09

A: Poured into chalice a hazy copper to light amber color with a tall fluffy white head that was quite impressive. It remained a good size all the way down with great lacing on the glass too.

S: Roasted malt, fresh grains, some banana bread, apricots and a sweaty funk. Hops were flowery and herbal.

T: Roasted malt, toffee, apricot and a tart funkiness that was not too strong but curious. Hops were bitter, herbal and floral. Some spice from yeast and very little heat from alcohol.

M: Medium body and bubbly carbonation yet a smooth texture.

D: I was happy with this beer but it did not totally impress me and I was looking for some more complexity but very drinkable and I would try this again and age some also.

 744 characters

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,364 ratings.
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