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

2,325 Reviews
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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Reviews: 2,325 | Ratings: 5,336
Photo of Reddanm1
3.07/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

The Orval Trappist Ale was a very different, interesting beer to drink. The beer poured very lots of head and took awhile to settle. The color was very light amber, with aroma of citrus and yeast. The beer was very smooth drinking, but tasted very citrusy. The aftertaste of the beer was very strong yeast, but light. Overall, the beer was fair.

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Photo of handmuffin
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served from bottle into glass at home. Gushes even when opened gently, pours with enormous seemingly endless white head. Medium amber in color, with orangish tint, hazy and medium low clarity. Bright spicy, fruity aroma with Brett barnyard funkiness in the background. Flavor is just as complex: yeasty spice and fruit with wet hay earthiness. Medium full body with lively carbonation and a refreshing slightly dry finish. Overall this beer is absolutely great but very different from what is expected of a Trappist ale. The addition of Brett produces an enticing funky and sour aroma and flavor that pairs well with the more common Belgian spicy, fruity yeast. I do not get much hop aroma or flavor so this is probably an older bottle, so I guess I have a reason to try it again!

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Photo of dougnboston
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I absolutely love this beer. In the proper glass it pops with a sweet herbal, slightly sour, aroma. You won't be surprised to find the taste is the same. These monks make just this one beer for distribution. You should get a thick white head and don't be surprised to find a few floaters (tasty yeast) should you pour the full bottle as it's bottle conditioned. Enjoy.

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Photo of bicarbonate
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lightly hazy with a huge fluffy head. Completely different from all the other Trappist ales. So unique it should be a style unto itself.
Descriptors: funky, tart, fruity, dry, bitter

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Photo of BrendanHurley
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a dark ovalish bottle (11.2 oz.) into a tulip glass. Bottled and expiration date stamped on bottle.

Look: A light amber color with a massive a wild head. Parts of the head and foam appear to take on a life of their own.

Smell: Notes of coriander and citrus, scent gives a great introduction to the taste and flavor.

Taste: Full and complex flavor with a combination of bitterness and flowers that gives a strong and full bodied flavor. Very crisp and easy to drink

Feel: Somewhat between a light and sticky feel in your mouth. Very crisp and easy to drink with light carbonation

Overall: A unique and classic Belgian Trappist Ale that does a tremendous job standing itself against some of Belgium's (and the world's) best beers.

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Photo of FBarber
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a bright orange color. Partially opaque. Huge frothy head dissipates slowly but steadily leaving thick lacing and a residual half finger layer of pillowy white foam. Lovely appearance.

Smell is tart and vinegary - yes you get tartness on the aroma that gets your taste buds revving from that brett. Some bready malt is there as well as a nice belgian spicy yeast aroma. Interesting because this bottle has lots of brett on the nose.

Taste has notes of bread, vinegar, floral hops, touch of bitterness. The brett is present. but not nearly as present as the nose would have implied.

Feel is light and drinkable. Very dry finish. Mild carbonation.
Overall a truly unique Trappist ale, but one that is impressively complex and expertly crafted.

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Photo of SABERG
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed 2 bottles dated 22/10/2016 at the Foundry as part of Orval Day
A - Deep copper brown colored, amazing loose knit cap of off white.
S - Warm bread, nice hint of raisin, and clove.
T - Malt forward, the kiss of Brett is near perfect, a bit of spice from the hops all complete the experience.
M - Wonderful feel, medium in body, soft water, well carbonated.
O - A near masterpiece. Delightful on every level.

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Photo of Davedrinkinbeer
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell is malty for sure, and for a brief second, it was almost like a hefeweizen of all things. Tasted mostly grains, some spice, and coriander. Feel was very light and highly carbonated, which was different for a Trappist Ale for sure. Beer has a little aftertaste but finishes dry, much like champagne.

Overall this is a good beer, however the other trappist brewed beers are better IMO. And seeing as this was $4.99 a bottle, I'd rather have the other trappist beers before this one.

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Photo of Yoann
3.52/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle to a snifter
A - Golden, lightly hazy with a nice foam on top
S - Roasty malts and herbal hops
T - Flat but balanced
M - Correctly carbonated
O - Classic Belgian ale

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Photo of DrainBamage
4.89/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a copperish color, highly carbonated, and super thick head. Smell is super malty and sweet. Goes down super smooth, but is quite dry. I wish it wasn't $4.99 a bottle otherwise I would pick up a lot of this.

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Photo of Ossarion
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

In original 33cl, bottled 10.08.16.

Deserved to be a legend of Trappist beers.

Deep cloudy orange, close to brown as a piece of amber just washed on shore, rough to see but great inside.

Long thick instant head.
Has regular and complex for belgium beers fruit and spicy smell. Generaly coriander and apple above. But!! Some strange champagne notes suddenly appears!

Yeah, taste. Incredible long. Fresh sour (apple) and bitter (seems like a lot of orange skin) at first, fruity and slighty sweet after and so cool dry and bitter again at the end. Hightly carboneted.

Great. Grants a lot of time pleasure with outstanding long dry end.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a frosted, murky deep bronze with a thick three finger off-white head. Head foams up quickly, and could easily be more with anything more then a slow and easy pour. Head retention is great with fantastic lacing. Aroma is dark fruits, cherry, with a little lactic sour at the back. Flavor profile is dark fruits, tart cherries, Belgian yeast spice, with a slightly sour finish. It's a balanced and tasty flavor profile. Mouth feel is medium-thick with a filling, slightly grainy texture. Overall, a robust Belgian ale that showcases all of the stand-up characteristics of the style. While it may not be other worldly, it is executed very well.

Served in a Chimay goblet.

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Photo of thebeers
3.79/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark orange, highly effervescent, with an overly massive airy white head that leaves thick, lumpy lacing.

Nice fruity, sour, dry aroma, with plum skins most prevalent. Maybe a hint of sour apple and pear as well. Smells delicious.

Unfortunately, it's very yeasty, dry and flat tasting. The sourness I loved in the aroma sort of lurks in the background, and there's just a little of the fruitiness (plum, Apple, and now maybe lemon) behind that. I understand this beer changes considerably with age. This seven-month old bottle doesn't seem at its prime. Clearly there is something special underneath here, but it's masked.

For a beer that required me waiting a very good while for the head to die down, it also has a surprisingly still mouthfeel. Dryness is the dominant quality.

In a world before sours became ubiquitous, I could see this being a cult favorite, but the dry yeastiness cuts into the enjoyment for me. I do see a lot of potential in it, though, and expect I will try it again.

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Photo of Ri0
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured 375ml bottle into tulip. Bottled July 2014. It is a light cloudy golden apricot with a sea foam white 3 finger head. Retention is very nice and there is plenty of lacing. A nice tart funk with yeast, grass, and some floral hops and clove. More citrusy scents and some spice mixed in as well. It has a funky flavor with just a slight tartness about it. A nice citrus, lemon and floral hops with a wet straw/grass funk. Good amount of yeast, banana, clove and some light spice to finish it off. Light bodied with nice carbonation. Dry and clean with an easy drinking quality. Found this 2014 sitting on the shelf and decided to finally try it after all these years.

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Photo of souvenirs
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle, bottled 06/01/2016, purchased at Broadway Liquor Store.

A: Cloudy amber with lots of fluffy head.
S: Funky. I'm also picking up that familiar banana / bubble gum combo and maybe a little bit of cloves.
T: A bit tart and bitter. Boozy finish.
F: Fizzy.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled and possibly bottle conditioned
Pours a slightly hazy golden body with huge foaming thick white head that pretty much sticks
Citrus gummy aroma
Tart white wine vinegar glamour with bitter esthers
Solid mf

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Photo of TerryMills
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One of my favorite trappist beers..

Not sure if its the yeast strain or if it also has Brett added but this beer has a nice funk to it..

Big Belgian yeast smell and taste .

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Photo of AustinWadkins
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark hazy Amber color with a froathy off white/ opaque 2 finger head that soon falls, leaving a blanket over the surface

Snifer picks up banana, clove, hint of bubblegum, spice, bread

Taste follows the nose

Overall a fantastic beer! Doesn't get much better than this! Aging deffinetly shows!

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Photo of Jliscin
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I had this a year after the bottle date, its a nice simple belgiun ale with a dark amber color by this point and a great strong smell and a nice fruity taste with some bitterness. It has a very deep head on it with lots of froth upon pouring.

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Photo of acmurphy696
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer reinforces my love of the Belgian style. It looks, smells and tastes great. I can see how this type of ale has influenced many craft breweries.

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Photo of frasergrove
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drinking a pretty fresh bottle - bottled in September of this year (so not expecting much Brett). Pours a hazy amber orange, with a HUGE frothy Brett induced head that leaves tons of lacing and diffuses into strange shapes. Aroma has very light funkiness, mainly a clean biscuit malt tone with hints of lemon. Refreshing and full taste/mouthfeel, lemon bitterness from noble hops. Tart finish but smooth throughout. A delicious Belgian pale.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
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 The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.55/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lots of head. Blonde amber color. 20% opaque.

Belgian yeast , clove, spices, bubble tape, rotted banana.

Quite a bit of water and hop out front followed with bubble gum and clove. Mostly tasteless after that.

Fizzy and carbonated.

It's okay. Just really surprised that this beer underwhelmed me so much. Meh.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a transparent golden amber color with a massive, rocky white head that sticks around for the entirety of the beer and leaves lots of chunky lacing in it's wake.

Smell is complex. I get barnyard funk, tart lemon, peppery spice, and a sour apple scent reminiscent of cider.

Taste is similar with the addition of banana. Slightly tart. Flavors are more muted in the taste than the smell.

Feel is too light with a dry finish. Very carbonated, but almost too much so.

Overall a solid beer. I can appreciate why it is looked so highly upon, but it is probably not a beer that I would revisit.

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Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A fantastically dry and refreshing beer with a hint of malty sweetness that ends with a tweak of bitterness at the end. Grassy. The carbonation is high and provides a wonderful dry finish, and the head is rich and full. Strongly recommended. For me, at least, this ale should be listed as a Tripel.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,336 ratings.
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