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

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Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
5,461 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: 5,461 |  Reviews: 2,356
Photo of jrallen34
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from a bottle into the orval chalice at the Abbey in Orval.

The beer pours a dark orange with a huge light tan lasting and creamy head. Great retention and lacing.

The aroma is very ipaish with a nice balance of sweetness(grapefruit) and some some hops.

The taste is pretty hoppy throughout even the start which you would think would be sweet. The sweet comes in the middle then is followed by a bitter finish.

The feel is full with a slight dry finish that lasts quite awhile.

Overall, pretty different than most of the trappists but I like it pretty well.

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Photo of meeekyh
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am re-reviewing this beer from the comfort of my living room as opposed to the hustle and bustle of the Falling Rock.

Tonight I review the beer I got two more of to enjoy tomorrow with turkey and festivities and friends. The unique bottle is attractive and feminine. Bottled on '25/03/2010' and best before '25/03/2015'.

I am using a belled glass with a narrow column at the bottom for the tasting. It is my most commonly used glass and will provide a good baseline comparison.

As I pop the cap in my customary way the sound is crisp and loud. The beer is a light golden color with a yellowish off-white head that is very tall and fluffy. Head sticks around for awhile.

Smells are tart and lactic and incredibly floral. My right nasal passage is somewhat clogged so I am missing some of the complexity, and that is sad.

Flavors are quite complex and I am going to sit and enjoy them a bit and then, maybe, get back to the writing... Spice flavors and a uncanny balance mark this beer. It really outshines most others for depth and drinkability. I love the tiny bubbles and the fact the head is still somewhat present at the end of the glass.

Super good beer and well worth the quest to acquire it.

Re-reviewed Nov 24, 2010

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Rochefort glass (at Falling Rock Taphouse, Denver)

Really pretty colour, a beautiful golden orange. Head is fluffy, red tinted and tan.

Smells are of the sea, floral, pickles and caramel.

Tastes remind me of wild beers. Tangy, spicy (purple?), bitter hops, and grapefruit. Mouthfeel is light-medium with great big carbonation and a nice dry finish.

Drinkability is great and I am pleased... More Beer like This!

This beer is pretty. Overall the beer is floral, enticing and intoxicating. I am enamored. Happy Valentines day and...

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Photo of VWBuggirl
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into my Grimbergen chalice.

This is a great hazy light amber color that looks delicious. It has a bit of a bready-vanilla smell that has a certain sweetness to it.

This starts mildly sweet, then you get a punch of hoppiness that I wasn't expecting, and then sweet again. I love the amount of carbonation too. Very drinkable and enjoyable!

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Photo of HopEnforcer
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Darker golden color and slightly hazy in appearance. About two inches of white head that quickly dissipated, leaving some moderate lacing.

S: Lemon and Brett aroma.

T: Lemony with earthy bitterness that lingers. A slight spiciness came through as it warmed up.

M: Very dry mouthfeel with a fairly high level of carbonation.

D: Pretty good drinkability, although I really wasn't craving a second one.

Note: the bottle I drank was dated January, 2006 (4 years old).

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Photo of BigMike
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For most of my first 199 reviews, i've stayed within my comfort zone. That said comfort zone has been mostly Ipa's, DIPA's, and stouts. I'm going to make a concerned effort to try to branch out for my next 200. I figured i'd make my 200th a style of beer of never really tried. That is a beer brewed with the wild yeast Brettanomyces. Also known as Brett. This is a Trappist beer called Orvel. So here's to another 200 beer reviews!


Poured from a bottle that has a bottled on date of 5/08/09.

Poured into a Golden Monkey Tulip glass.

Watch on the pour because this thing just explodes in the glass. I have about 4 fingers of head to about 2 fingers of beer. The beer is a hazy orange color with some yellow highlights. THe head is almost pure white and its larger bubbles that are disappearing quickly. It sticks to the side of the glass like crazy. The effervescence of this thing is crazy! Bubbles racing to the top of the glass.

This thing smells awesome! Some orange peel scented yeastiness with some clove and orange blossom honey flavor. A small touch of some mustiness.

Flavor is almost identical to the nose. Orange,Yeast, clove. Like i said with the nose, its a bit musty like. I'm guessing thats from the Brett.

Mouthfeel is light, and effervescent. Tons of bubbles tingling every part of my mouth.

This beer is super easy to drink. Most definitely my favorite Belgian, and Trappist beer to date. I could drink a couple of these! I highly recommend this beer to just about anyone!
The f

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Photo of Plonk
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle poured in my Chimay chalice. Bottled date 4/22/2009.

A - Pours a nice light amber, significant chill haze, two finger rocky head that falls to 1/8 that stays to bottom of glass leaving a good amount of lacing.

S - Bretty barnyard and band aid dominates, slight hay and bit of citrus

T - Brettiness, slight malt sweetness, earth, spritz of lemon, L-O-N-G hop bitter complex finish that lasts for days.

M - Crisp and light, with a creamy carbonation.

D - Could easily drink several at a sitting.

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Photo of taigor
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into regular glass.

A - Poured hazy copper color with huge head that quickly dissipated leaving signifficant lacing around the glass.

S - Fruit scents upfront with yeast and hints of grass and tartness.

T - Fruity and bready to start followed by slight hoppiness and tartness to finish.

M - Medium bodied, complex with very high carbonation.

D - Might be impacted by high carbonation but other than that very drinkable and pleasant.

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Photo of TCgoalie
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a bit darker than expected. It is a caramely amber clear color. The bottle unleashes a nice large bubbly head that likes to stick around.

At first I can smell yeasty alcohol esters. There is also a hint of lemon/orange peel.

The taste starts up front with a nice kick of hops which transitions into light malt but mostly yeasty mid to aftertaste. It definitely has a good amount of carbonation. As the beer warms, more flavor comes out. A lot of citrus and even some piney flavor in there.

The mouthfeel isn't as full as I would expect. The beer feels pretty crisp with a decent amount of carbonation.

A pretty easy drinker for the most part. I feel as though it would be easy to sit down and drink 4 or 5. You will enjoy this beer better at a warmer temperature!

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Photo of rfgetz
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice cloudy amber orange with dense, white rocky head that has some of the best retention i have ever seen. Smell is wonderfully funky, touches of doughy bread, faint citrus and candi sugar. Taste is mild in relation to the scent. Doughy bread throughout backed by touches of funk, lemon, juniper and sugar. Tastes its best as close to room temperature as possible. Medium bodied, dry and fully carbonated to begin, but feels somewhat thin and watery as the glass sits. A very nice beer with many extraordinary qualities, but lacks a little in assertiveness and body.

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Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a perfectly transparent copper-orange. Thick three-finger head supported by a rush of carbonation.

Smells of hard candies with just a hint of dusty yeast. Dried apricots and other fruity notes. I can't exactly pick them out, but it gives a sense of subdued or understated sweetness.

The taste carries a zesty orange peel/ tart bitterness of green apple. The big malty grain flavors balance nicely against the acidic fruity qualities. The nearly 7% alcohol is nearly undetectable, and makes the brew all the more pleasant, if not deceitful.

The Orval has a spot on middle of the road medium body, just right IMO and really compliments the gentle tastes. Carbonation is certainly vigorous, but just feels "right" with this particular beer.

Overall, the Orval is superbly drinkable, and only the price could stop me from consuming several in a night.

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Photo of Groenebeor
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased tonight for my 50th beer review. Poured a deep golden orange with a huge 2 finger head and copious amounts of lacing.

Typical belgian yeast scents paired with apples, pale malts, dried raisins and candi sugar.

The first wave of taste mimics dried Apples with hints of candi sugar, followed by pale ale hops, dried raisins then more hops. It's quite delicious and perfectly balanced.

Has a wonderful mouthfeel and amazing drinkability.

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Photo of Cmack15
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orval the bowling pin shaped bottled beer. Poured down the middle of a tulip glass and whoa did I get some head on this beer. Thick creamy awesome looking head, some real eye candy. The aroma is pleasant Belgian yeast smell. At first your taste buds are stimulated by the sweet yeast notes of this beer then it finishes long with a dry charred note. This is a beer you want to take your time with and savor not reccomended as a session beer. Relax and enjoy a fine trappist ale.

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Photo of BreworFerment
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was really excited to try this beer because I had read how great it was in Michael Jackson's books and also all the reviews here.
Poured into a tulip glass the beer was a beautiful clear orange blonde color with noticeable effervescence. Nice off white head that dissipated quickly with no lacing. Slight hop aroma on the nose but that was about all I got. On first taste I got, beer, decent beer, but nothing near the complexities others have talked about. The beer wasn't, bad, just not as good as I was expecting. Maybe a product of over hyping? Don't get me wrong if someone offered me one I would drink it happily but I don't see what all the fuss is about. I've had other trappist beers that were better.

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Photo of hobojon
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had both fresh and aged. This review is based on a bottle that was brought back by a friend from belgium. 2 month old bottle.

Aroma- Funky (Brett), floral and fruity, fresh. bready. dry. some tart acid. great malt, bready. pungent spicy, herbal, noble hops.

App- very light haze. amber. creamy off white foam stays and laces.

Taste- sweet mouth coating tart and then dry and clean. fruity pucker, tart berry (cherry). bready and light caramel. crisp malt. hops are great, bitter and resinous. malt is incredible. not very funky compared to aged, I prefer it fresh.

Mouthfeel- high carb, clean, dry. full. alc is slightly noticeable in throat.

Overall- amazing when fresh. tartness is great. beers like this inspire my home brewing.

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Photo of joshstevens87
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a blond orange with a generous white head
S-nice sweet fruit presence (apple, banana, pear)with a nice yeast background with very little hops evident at all
T-very delicious a nice dose of fruits mention above and a bit of raisiny hint to it and a more pronounced yeasty spicyness giving it a nice dry finish very different and very delicious
M-medium body a nice strong carbonation with a very dry finish
D-very drinkable and absolute pleasure to drink its dry finish makes the beer rather refreshing

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Photo of fastsrt
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured 11.2 ounces to chalice, bottled 11/13/08
A:honey brown with a perfect rocky head
S:Fruity, grapes,wine, oak.
T: juicy fruits, oak, spicy, smooth balanced, some funky flavors adding to the vast complexity of this one.
M: crispy, finishing extremely dry, perfectly hoped, all aspects of this one contribute to a nice rounded out balance.
D: drinks like silk, would love to have another this was the first time i have had this brew and i am going to pick up another bottle, the cost makes this a sipper but, could drink quite a few in one session. this is a great beer that would go well with many foods and could be a staple at the table. this is a great beer.

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Photo of bum732
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy red-orange, big creamy head with great lacing. Smells of spicy malt, cinnamon, clove, subtle fruitiness, touch of vanilla, touch of oak or maybe funkiness. Tastes of slightly fruity and spicy malt. Lots of dry earthiness, touch of oak and lemon rind. Finishes dry with a touch of spice.

A really great beer, so many subtle layers. Truly unique and a really fantastic beer.

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Photo of OskarL
4.97/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Deep amber color, cloudy with a big dense head that leaves lacing.

Smell - Very inviting! Citrus, flower and cloves.

Taste - Citrus, hops, cider, a bit sweet, some bitterness and pepper in the finish. A very complex taste!

Mouthfeel - Light body, very dry with carbonation that fits just perfect.

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Photo of zoso1967
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice hazy copper with wonderful pillowy head. Lemongrass and flowers in the aroma. I am also getting a hint of clove and mint. Very clean taste with wonderful lemon zest and spicy yeast notes. Perhaps some black pepper in there as well, very complex. It has plenty of hop bitterness and some funky tartness as well, but as stated before it is very clean, allowing all the different flavors to play their part. Fairly dry finish and a nice light to medium body make it very enjoyable to drink. A very well put together and executed brew. Score another one for Monk's.

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Photo of andrewm190
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well done from Orval. This beer was notably sweet, and with a hearty sense of the hops. An initial clean finish with a sneaky aftertaste that kept the hops close to my conscience. Poured a yellow-gold, with yeast for cloud cover. The beer worked well within itself, in that it didn't shy away from acknowledging its complexity, but didn't overwhelm the palate with a kaleidoscope of various sweeteners that hinder other Belgians.

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Photo of Wadsey
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured slowly into my DFH signature glass. The head is so lively and rocky that it took three pours to empty the bottle. I successfully avoided pouring a significant amount of sediment/yeast into my glass.

A: Orval pours as a lively, rocky, but soft-looking head that hangs on until my glass is empty. Once the head subsides a bit, a clear, pale gold beer is revealed.

S: Lemon, grape skins and an undercurrent of horsey funkiness tease the nose.

T: Subtle, but complicated. Lemon, again, but joined with a tartness of green apples. Hint of black pepper, too. Brettanomyces reveals itself in the finish, which is horsey and earthy and very long and dry.

M: Light and well carbonated. Appropriate.

D: Orval is light enough and very interesting, so drinkability rates very well.

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Photo of JamisonM
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: huge head and a copper color poured into a Lost Abbey tulip

S: its funky, its bitter, its sour, bit of grapes like champane

T: taste is like the smell its very complex mask the alcohol so very well its not overly sour or bitter just right and a bit of funk comes with it.

M: Light mouth with tons of carbonation tickles the tongue but this never feels thin always brings a lot of flavor to the party

D: may I have another? nothing wrong with this beer.

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Photo of CharlatanSin
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Word to the wise -- let this one warm up quite a bit before you dive into it. The difference is night and day.

I've had this bottle sitting around for a while, waiting for a good moment to finally try it. Martha Choakley screwing the pooch seems like as good a time as any. It was bottled on 07/05/07, and is "best by" 07/05/12.

It poured a hazy yellow gold into the oversized wine glass. It was a cautious pour, but the head was still way over the top, literally. Gigantic, white and foamy, like laundry detergent.

The smell is very sour and tart. That belgian yeast doing its thing. I'm getting a lot of apple, some grape, and a definite pepper undercurrent. The taste is similar, but it works even better on the tongue. Sweet and tart and extremely dry. If I'd already had a few, you could possibly convince me it was some wonderful white wine.

The mouthfeel is light, and the carbonation is tight and sharp, again, almost wine-like. Already mentioned the super dry finish. I'm still developing my palate as far as Belgians are concerned, but this is a darn good beer any way you slice it.

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Photo of number1bum
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can't believe I've never had Orval, but I haven't, so thanks to mymrnngjckt for this bottle. This bottle is not quite 1 year old; bottled 2/20/08.

Pours a slightly murky amber color with a quickly billowing off-white head. Even into a Duvel tulip it takes a little bit of time to pour. Huge creamy head that eventually settles to a rocky, uneven lace with a big dollop in the middle and splashes of stick all over the sides.

Smell immediately greets me with a big dose of funk. It's tart and funky, with a musty horse leather sort of quality to it as well. As I get deeper into it there is some fruity and woody dry hop character.

Taste is not as funky as the smell, but does have some light tartness and some barnyard character. Has a leathery and musty quality to it, which together are probably the most persistent flavors. Also some peppery spiciness. There is some dry hop flavor in the finish; it's woody and earthy.

Mouthfeel is quite crisp and dry, with a very clean finish. Medium bodied.

This is a very good beer with a lot of interesting characteristics. The brett does some nice things for this beer, and it's quite complex. Despite the complexities however it ends up feeling just a tad bland. All of the flavors are somewhat subtle; the funk for instance was more pronounced in the nose. Not quite a great beer in my book, but certainly a very good one.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.94/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For my 100th review, I decided to drink something exquisite, if not rare.

As a relatively irrelevant aside… check out the weight on the (empty) Orval 11.2 oz bottle. It is excessively sturdy, way heavier than the 22 oz. Rogue bottle I have to compare it to. As I said, trivial…

G – Duvel tulip, my go-to, especially for Belgian styles.

A – Sparkling golden amber with a huge effervescence and a large pillowy head, splattered lacing everywhere.

S – Smells great; impressions of apples, the funky and fruity smell of Brettanomyces shared by Gueuze / Lambic / Oud Bruin / Flanders Red, and also musky sour grape.

T – The taste is phenomenal. Exceptionally dry, tart, and citric all the way through to the astringent finish. I would rate the taste as a 6 out of 5. As an Alstrom once said (though I think he was speaking of Duvel when he said it), "It's pretty much like sex in the bottle and the devil told me to drink it."

M – Thin, with sharp Champagne-like carbonation, pleasantly prickly due to the overall astringent nature.

D – An exceptional brew.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 5,461 ratings