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

2,304 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: 2,304 | Ratings: 5,287
Photo of PorterPro125
4.91/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type: 330 mL Bottle (Bottled on March 26, 2015)

A- Pours a Hazy Copper topped by an endless white head. Got half of the 330 mL Bottle into a 500 mL Tulip before the head was threatening to jump out of the glass. Annoying enough but the fascinating part it that it took around 5 minutes for the head to die down enough that I could pour the rest of the bottle into the glass; there was one clump that lasted the entire 15-20 minutes it took me to drink the glassful! Lots of thick lacing on the glass.

S- Grapefruit, Apple, pear, peach, grapes. A lot of fruit flavours that I did not expect with this Ale! Slight funk mixed in. Absolutely beautiful. A Masterpiece for the nose...

T- The perfect amount of grassy/earthy bitterness followed by the beautiful fruit found in the nose.

M- Moderate yet very active carbonation and a Medium dry body. Excellent drinkability.

O- I'll start by saying that this beer is a one-of-a-kind; an absolute masterpiece. The unexpected hoppy and fruity flavours are exceptional an according to what i've heard, this beer ages wonderfully. I can't wait to try an aged bottle (I have one in my cellar now)!

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Photo of CraigP83
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Amber Orange color with HUGE fluffy white head. Complex smell, cherry/Orange alka seltzer, pez candy. Taste is floral, a bit dry, layered and complex, boozy for its abv. Interesting brew

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-review of a bottle dated 12/3/15 (!) Time to see what this beer is like fresh!

Pours a clearish copper color. The head is about a bazillion fingers high, with a bubbly, fluffy texture and an eggshell shade. Annoyingly, the retention is pretty damn good. Huge amounts of lacing sticks to the glass, as well.

I expected this beer to be hoppy, but I expected a grassy bitterness from the aroma - not the cornucopia of fresh fruits I'm picking up! I pick up lots of peach, apricot, apples, and white grapes. The brett is young, but is already bringing some subtle earth and funk. This more or less smells like what the archetypal Belgian beer should be.

The flavor is a bit more bitter than the nose suggested, but nothing to ruin the beer. It opens up with a decent grassy bitterness, before transitioning into mid-taste flavors of peach, pear, and apricot. I can just feel this beer's flavor profile transforming every few seconds. I get mild flavors of vanilla cream and caramel on the finish - maltiness in Orval? Say it isn't so! However, due to its 'age', its brett characteristics are buried beneath the hops. Still, the beer is perfectly balanced yet all comes together to form a cohesive whole. Even when the dregs are poured in it still remains endlessly tasty.

Wow, this beer really fills the mouth with its carbonation. It doesn't have a harsh carbonic sting, though. Despite the full feel, it finishes bone dry. Drinkability levels are perfect, simply because it's absolutely wonderful to savor.

This beer is a legend for a very good reason - it's one of the most insanely complex beers ever. Yet fresh, it has a surprising hoppiness to it. Of course, everything remains perfectly balanced. I'd wager this 12/3/15 batch turned out fantastically. If some American brewer hyped this beer up, made it a one-day-brewery-only release, I would still go batshit over it. But it's available in many stores around the country. Methinks I should have bought more than 3 bottles...

4.49/5: Simply put, a masterpiece

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Photo of frothy_80
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Bottle Date 1/4/2015

Pours a nice orange copper hue. Huge white head with tight knit bubbles that is quite long lasting. The smell is of barnyard and wet hay. Fruit is plentiful with lemon, pear, and orange with a little earthy undertones. Taste is deep and complex with malt graininess, earth (almost an umami quality), grass/herbal and lemon peel rounding out the finish. Subtle funk washes throughout the taste. Good dry finish with a good amount of carbonation. Still feels fuller in body than what was anticipated with the amount of carbonation, but still on the lighter side. A very complex beer that makes you want to keep drinking to search for even more. Need more to age!

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Photo of enrique_m
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

poured this brew into a tulip and it gave me a very nice head that was roughly 4 inches. the bubbles were foamy and it is very fragant. i am getting a funky and tart aroma that is like rotten lemon peel in a good way. the taste is mellow but very complex... its very earthy and you gets tastes of grains like poppy and sesame seeds. after each drink it finishes off with dry tongue with lemon peel aftertaste. overall this goes well with cheese and crackers and i would not have it any other way.

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Photo of ckornmannn
4.84/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a bottle, into a wine glass: golden amber color, slightly hazy. 2 inch head of velvety foam with great retention. Wonderful aroma, grassy and herbal. Complex flavor, grassy and herbal. Champagne. Maybe the best beer I have tried!

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The bottle of Orval that I tried may have been a bit overprimed which I believe effects the scent, taste and mouthfeel. The beer poured a hazy copper with big white head that left some lace. The scent was tru to most trappist....Belgianny. The taste also follow most Trappist ales. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with huge carbonation. Overall it was decent....would like to try this beer on tap....probably wouldn't search out a bottle of it.

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Photo of Hanglow
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 24/03/2015

Drunk on 14/12/2015

Pours with a vast pillowy head

Aroma is sweet cider, some leather. Sort of 50/50 as it warms a tad in the glass.

Prickly carbonation, some bitterness accentuated by the dryness. more leather in the flavour, the sweet cider drops way back and it becomes more beery

some warming alcohol, lingering dryness

What can you say, it's Orval. Buy lots from the same bottling date and enjoy them over time as it changes so much.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours a hazy amber, orange color with a white head that did not last, not much carbonation, not much lacing, looks pretty solid.

A: White wine, white grapes, vinegar, sour, funk, lots of aroma coming off this beer, pears, green apples, very pungent, no alcohol on the nose, smells really good.

T: Big hit of sour funkiness, tartness, sour cherries, there's a touch of oak even though it's not barrel aged, moderate amount of bitterness in the middle, finishes dry, lemon, spice, oak lingering in the aftertaste, very complex, has some depth, getting tons of flavors, very interesting.

M: I did not see much carbonation, it pops with carbonation in the mouthfeel, medium body, dry citrus like finish.

O: This is definitely interesting, tons of flavors, citrus, spice, oak, sour, funk, tartness, sour cherries, pears, green apples, white wine, white grapes, all these flavors come through as I enjoyed the beer, very complex, has lost of depth, going to pick up some more bottles to see how different dates have aged, worth a try, cheers.

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Photo of mac31
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fluffy, lingering egg white head

Dry, tart lemon, touch of orange, restrained yeast, spiciness and esters present from the yeast. A funky, musty, earthiness takes over about mid palate to the finish, which is the most enjoyable part for me (huge saison fan). The alcohol is present and noticeable but covered nicely. A dry, thin bodied brew that is crisp in nature. Has spritzy carbonation, on the high side of appropriate for the style. Haven't had this beer in a while. Nice to go back to an old faithful.

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

Drank at a year and two months.

Look is very light with a huge amount of head that billows like a cloud and does not die quickly. Great lacing.

Smell - Yeast, apple, lemon, little bit of funk in this beer.

Taste - Oaky, surprisingly complex for the color of the beer. Cherry, lemon, and orange are all present as well as the lasting taste of yeast and some pine.

Feel - Pretty high carbonation that you experience the second the liquid hits your tongue. Light in body so it goes down easily.

Overall - Don't know much about the style so not anything to compare it to... But coming from an American this was a different/weird beer that was quite delicious. Very unique in my neck of the woods. Fun brew.

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Photo of edward_boumil
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: Original fluffy and bubbly tan head, subsides down to a thin film on top of the beer. Color is an opaque burnt orange color.
S: Predominant smells are citrus and dried dark fruit, with hints of alcohol. Also a bit of sour apple.
T: Reminds me of a bitter sparkling cider. Sour taste, like that of a green apple, also some dried fruit. A touch of sweetness as well.
F: Definately a bit astringent. Doesn't go back easy, more of a sipper. Body is smooth and full, carbonation is on the higher end.
O: Not my first with this beer. Haven't had it in a while and honestly wasn't blown away. Its a good beer with complex notes but just kind of felt it was lacking something, maybe in the body or as a base taste.

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Photo of OlaB
4.93/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: a gold amber color , a huge top of foam when i por it in the glass
S: citrus fruits , spices ,yeast
T: Incredible taste, hint of vanilla,citrus .slight bitterness in this beer,taste that stays in the mouth for a while after first sip.is quite a unique taste on this beer
F: Low carbonation,medium bodied, feel of the sourness in the beer, the alchol contest very noticable.A very fresh mouthfeel.
O: This one of the best beers out there and one of the resons i fell in love with beligian beers , the beer is unique in my wiev . highly recommended

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Photo of BranfordBound
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Surprised it took me this long to try it, recently saw an article about Orval pop up in a magazine and I was reminded that I haven't had this classic. Pours a rust color, hints of copper, very hazy, and a thick head easily forms and leaves lacing. Smell is sweet with and back bone of funk, very "Belgian". Nice sweetness in the flavor first, some fruit in the middle, slightly bitter. Finishes with that strong yeast note, very barnyard and funky, slightly tart. Mouthfeel is very prickly, too much so, but otherwise medium bodied. Overall a great example of a beer that doesn't really fit into one style. Very easy to drink with lots of flavor.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.84/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The brett of all bretts. Wonderful beer complex and simple at the same time. Balanced and wonderful for a session beer. Age this or don't, just drink it as much as you can. Drink it at room temperature

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Photo of EMH73
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The flavor of this beer is unlike anything I have ever tasted. The best way I could describe it is funky tasting almost moldy or mildewy with strong lemon notes.

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Photo of beersnobraven
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Poured a hazy yellow with an enormous bubbly white head that almost bubbled over the top of the glass.

S: Funk, wet hay.

T: Follows the nose pretty well, with a sweet, almost vanilla-like aftertaste.

F: Medium, with tons of bubbles. Could almost be a little too bubbly.

O: I see why people like this beer. It's not a style I typically gravitate to, but the mood struck me today and it didn't disappoint!

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Photo of D-Rock
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Purchased in Japan and poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Look: Holy jeeze, a huge white foamy head gushes up when this beer is poured, taking up about half of my glass. The head keeps foaming up and looks very alive, dynamic course bubbles slowly walk up the sides of the glass, exquisite. The beer itself is a pale transparent deep amber gold-straw color with the barest hint of clouding. Healthy carbonation keeps bubbles streaming towards the top.

Smell: A very unique bouquet, dusty, barn-like, moldy and funky, incredibly complex. Spicy tones become more prominent with a peppery coriander and nutmeg hint. Zesty lemon is prominent as well. A lot going on here, I could spend all day picking out components in this beer.

Taste: A medium bitterness accompanies the taste throughout with a moldy-mildew presence. Sour and pungent. The malt character is there but plays second to the funk. The subtle malt body gives a nice underlying backbone and becomes sweet in the drawn out aftertaste. Complex, extremely complex.

Feel: Mouthfeel is light and smooth with a puckering feel from the sourness. Carbonation bubbles up in the mouth. A hint of astringency coats the tongue. Silky almost.

Overall: This beer is unique, novel, traditional, unexpected (for the uninitiated), and somehow it all just works. Everything melds together and works in harmony, from the barnyard funk to the moldy brie taste. A stupendous beer and delicious.

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Photo of Ninjakillzu
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Original Rating: 4.5, S: 4, T: 4, F: 5, OA: 4.5, 10/15/15
L: Poured into a Chimay chalice. Three finger width head which took forever to go down. The body was dark orange.
S: Sour green apple, a musty funk like an old attic, and grapefruit.
T: Taste followed the nose, also included spices and vanilla.
F: Creamy, foamy, full bodied with a slight warmth.
O: Quite a unique taste and smell, in a good way.

Updated Review 6/28/16.
The body is a cloudy amber, with a huge several finger head. Even after awhile, a creamy half finger head remains. Aromas consist of strong brett funk followed by fresh green apples. Flavors consist of the same, and is quite dry with a hint of bitterness. The feel is medium bodied, creamy, and smooth. I haven't had this since I first got into craft beer, and the rating improvement shows my acquired appreciation and liking for funky beer.

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Photo of jooler
3.4/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Look is good with a ton of head. Smell is alright. Taste is sort of funky. It feels like a sour ale is mixed with a dark ale. This beer is sort of confusing to me

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled last night on 10/7/15. Had this one before a few years back before I started my reviews. Sold only by a single bottle for in the $5 to $6 range. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a snifter glass.

Brew pours a hazy burnt-orange in color with a good 2-3 foamy/creamy off-white head that leaves a good amount of lacing that sticks to the sides of the glass with each sip. Aroma is of yeast, grains and spices. More going on with the taste as their is a hint of vanilla, nutmeg, lemon, biscuit and some dark fruit. Lots going on but it is a really good and slow sipping brew. Goes down easy and is smooth. No harsh or bitter aftertaste at all. A highly rated beer. Medium-bodied with perfect carbonation. A must try!

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Photo of khmel
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours with a massive head and long retention. A dark straw or light amber color with low carbonation trails. A bit hazy. The nose is hints of lemon and candy sugar, with some floral hop and even ginger notes. The taste is smooth but complex. Lemony hops and some light maltiness with notes of honey. Dry hoppy finish. The mouth is very smooth and full bodied, but manages to keep a light and dry finish. This is really almost a Belgian IPA with all the hop flavors going on. Really excellent!

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Photo of neurobot01
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Having somehow missed the mass online tasting last week, I treated myself to a mini-vertical yesterday. Reviews of both below.

33 cl bottle dated 1/21/15 into a Duvel tulip at cellar temp.

Look: translucent burnt orange with a monster foam head, great lacing. (4.25)

Smell: spices, hay, lemon tart. (4.25)

Taste: lemon pepper, nutmeg, banana custard, vanilla, alcohol; an orangey, grassy note comes to prominence as it approaches room temp. Also comes to leave a bewitching aftertaste. (4.25)

Feel: pretty spry, with a light/medium body; very dry, woody finish. (4)

Overall: lots of different elements to this beer. I'd like to see everything integrated a bit more cohesively. (4.25)

33 cl bottle dated 10/06/11 into a Duvel tulip at cellar temp.

Look: translucent burnt orange with a monster foam head, great lacing. (4.25)

Smell: wildflowers, lemongrass, bubblegum. (4.25)

Taste: wallop of funk up front; leather, bubblegum, mild brown sugar. (4.25)

Feel: almost cotton-candy, it's so airy; very dry, woody finish. (4)

Overall: compared to the fresher version, this does seem a lot more reined in and focused. Despite the identical scores, I prefer this to fresher. (4.25)

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Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 4/15/2013. Pours slightly hazy orange/amber color with a 2-3 finger foamy and fluffy off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big lemon, pineapple, cherry, pear, apple, white grape, hay, straw, pepper, grass, toasted biscuit, musty funk, light leather, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and moderate bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big lemon, pineapple, cherry, pear, apple, white grape, hay, straw, pepper, grass, toasted biscuit, musty funk, light leather, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Good amount of yeast spiciness and earthy hop bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, pineapple, cherry, pear, apple, white grape, hay, straw, pepper, toasted biscuit, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Moderate dryness after the finish from the carbonation. High carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, fairly creamy/bready, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible Belgian Trappist ale. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and moderate bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink for the ABV. A highly amazing offering all around. I feel this is at it’s best right around the 3 year mark, and this one was getting near to that age.

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
3.44/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 9-25-2014. Poured into a snifter

Poured clear light amber, super fizzy and bubbly, but as it sat, the head subsided into a nice frothy layer on top.

Smells Brett-funky, woody, grainy, very light citrus zest.

Tastes like thin malt sugars and herbal, muted cola vibe. Grass and hay notes, hints of spices and cider

Feels soft and creamy with some fizz.

Pretty average beer overall. I was hoping for more flavor as it warmed, but it didn't round out. Lots of subtle flavors, but nothing really sticks out and grabs the palate. Did have a "belgian" flavor from the spice notes and yeasty funk. A good suggestion for someone looking to get into Belgian beers.


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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,287 ratings.
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