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

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,287 Reviews
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
Reviews:
2,287
Ratings:
5,236
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
18.9%
 
 
Wants:
340
Gots:
835
For Trade:
11
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,287 | Ratings: 5,236
Photo of The_Epopt
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You just don't get the depth of flavor in most American Craft beer as you have in the European classics. Poured into the glass my nose is assaulted by the yeast and hops. First taste, the yeast presents first high and tight then the hops mild yet bitter followed by a sweet malt that balances it all out. There's so many things happening in this beer at once you can ping pong between them once per second.

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Photo of ngusset
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle from 8/21/2014 on 5/5/16 into Chimay chalice.
Cloudy mysterious amber color, amazing head, like an 80's flat top.
Exceptional aroma, tropical cider party..
Taste is very refined, alcohol working hard in there but not overwhelming the magical bubblegum enchantment. Mouth feel is initially thin and builds to substantial within an instant.
My prior encounters with Orval pummeled me with hops, this time around I'm reaping the rewards from survival.
A high watermark of hoppy brett brewing.

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I loved the Orval Trappist.

(L) Cloudy amber color with a thick white head.

(A) Wonderful aroma with spices and banana and more.

(T) Grassy, tart, banana, and a surprising dankness.

(F) Fairly fizzy, medium body.

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Photo of LaurenZ
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer had a large head and decent lacing. the colors are yellow, orange and tawny. Aromas are of malts and pasted, slightly harsh. On the palette there is hints of honey and licorice and fruit. Decent carbonation and a thin texture. Overall it isn't the most flavor forward beer out of ales that I've enjoyed but it is good.

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Photo of Angela1956
2.99/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Head is frothy, off-white, and lasting. Lacing is spare. Body is cloudy and murky. Amber orange coloring. Aroma has an average malt, toffee and buttery. Palate is light and kind of flat. The flavor was bland to me and didn't contain much excitement.

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Photo of hennin55
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: average creamy head, excellent lacing, amber in color
Aroma: nutty in aroma, notes of allspice and nutmeg
Palate: medium bodied, creamy texture
Flavor: average flavor but slightly bitter

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Photo of Beginner2
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed in "Michael Jackson's Great Beers of Belgium", this awaits my review with another tasting.
Reviewed also in Roger Protz' CAMRA classic "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"
Also reviewed in the "1001."

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Photo of stinewils24
2.38/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer has a honey gold appearance to it and is rather foamy. It has a spicy and sour smell to it. The taste also has spicy hints with a fruity, earthy, and somewhat bitter aftertaste. The texture holds a light carbonation.

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Photo of Pstanek
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic beer but maybe because it suits my narrow tastes. Very volitale. Produced a thick heavy head even with a gentle pour from the bottle. Violent bubbling (tornado like) continued from bottom of glass. It made me wonder if something was wrong. After tasting I was pretty sure nothing was wrong. The taste is unique but wonderful. Hard to compare because not like any other.

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Photo of bbtkd
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brasserie d'Orval Orval Trappist Ale, bottled January 14th, 2014, best by January 14th, 2019, 6.9% ABV, 32 IBU. Huge white head, should have side-poured, was actually 3/4 of the glass to start with. Smells fresh - citrus. Foam, meet mustache! Very slightly bitter, good citrus taste. Heavier carbonation. I'm more of a stout guy (in more ways than one), but this is pretty good. Wasn't sure what to expect when I read up on brett beers. You're apparently supposed to cellar this, though I didn't - it was 22 months old when I bought it. I'd get it again. In fact, still more on that store shelf, so probably already cellared.

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Photo of defilli2
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Unique bottle shape, had a caramel color when poured. I also noticed it was very foamy as well, I was guessing a lot of carbonation. This had a very different aroma, it was yeasty and fruity at the same time. More citrus fruits that berries. It had a strong floral taste, slightly bitter though. It was also sour on my tongue, definitely high in carbonation. I was not expecting this flavor at all, very different. Would possibly drink again.

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Photo of thepenguin
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours a pretty turbid dark amber with tinges of burnt orange and a massive billowy head with exceptional foam retention.

S: Very saison-esque. Smells very dry, with lots of yeasty Brett funk followed by bright fruity esters of apple, pear, apricot and a touch of banana. Some minor white pepper, grassy hops and spice notes as well. There’s some earthiness from the yeast, but not enough to take away from the liveliness.

T: Nice mix of dry malt, grassy hops and funk with some peppery/spicy esters and Belgian yeast. There’s a certain degree of bread crust-like malt bringing this beer into balance.

F: Medium-body with quite high fizzy carbonation that you can feel post-sip.

Thoughts: Probably my favorite Belgian pale ale on the market, perhaps because it’s bordering on saison territory.

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Photo of sjccmd
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pears, herbs, apple, wood, damp earth in the nose. Mushrooms and tropical fruit. White pepper. Farmy brett comes out more and more with each whiff. Spicy herbal hops. Wet stone, mineral water. Juicy fruit and chamomile. Something new comes out with each whiff.

Hazy golden amber/orange with large frothy off-white head. Good retention and lacing. Tons of bubbles.

Rush of sweet fruits, apricots, and mango followed quickly with bitter spicy hops, and graham cracker malt and honey coming up as well. Bitter orange peel, perhaps even the pith. Grapefruit and pomelo. White pepper and grains of paradise. Sweet impression upfront finishing bone dry.

Medium light body with the highest carbonation. Stinging fine bubbles. Bright and snappy.

I seem to have this more often with more age on it. The balance of hop character and funk is quite nice in this one.

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Photo of indytim
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This was a pour at Koelschip (Mikkeller's Belgian bar) in Copenhagen. I had the 2010 cellaring (in Apr 2016).

Color - dark brown, cloudy. Tan head which dissapated fairly quickly.

Smell - exotic, complex, rich.

Taste - strong licorice with notes of carmel and raisin.

Feel - expansive carbonation but not too strong. Just about right.

This was the most complex brew I've ever tried. Wonderfully rich, dark licorice taste. Fabulous.

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Photo of sjdevel
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look:
Hazy deep copper color. 3 – finger head and quite effervescent. Great head retention as it fades a bit, but never seems to disappear. Bubbles are different though…more like a glass of soapy water “styled” bubbling.

Smell:
Instant blast of sour fruit and extra dry white wine (actually quite champagne-like). A bit of sweet caramel shows through. Alcohol is noticeable, but not too strong.

Taste:
First sip is a bit bitter. The bitterness bite is short-lived as it quickly turns to sour fruit and wine. The alcohol breaks through as well. By smell and taste, you’d think this beer was 8%+ ABV. Next in line are the malt flavors. There is a brief sweet caramel malt flavor (medium roast), then it seems to take on a heavier roasted/almost charred black malt flavor.

Feel:
Fairly light mouthfeel and seems a bit thin for the “color”. Very foamy in the mouth.

Overall:
Pretty good. Not as sour as I expected. Little disappointed as I expected a much richer flavor. This one had bottled date of: 11-20-14

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Photo of ntalexan
2.26/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

-Appearance: Immediately with the foam once I popped the top. Dissipated rather quickly though. Deep but murky/cloudy amber in the glass.



-Nose: Notes of Banana a tiny bit of chocolate and toffee notes. Detect a bit of a sour note on the nose.



-Flavor: So this is a Belgian sour. I didn’t really expect it but it certainly has that malt vinegar mouth puckering flavor to it once sipped. It takes over the banana and toffee notes that I was getting on the nose. The bit of chocolate that I was getting is completely absent on the palate and makes me question if I was even smelling it. It does have a pleasant mouthfeel.



-Rating: 2.5/5: I gotta admit I had high hopes for this one. Definitely not my favorite. I would have liked a bit more banana bready malt to combat the sour. Reminds me more of a Flemish red than what I was expecting.



-Cheers!

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Photo of CoreyC
2.88/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

bottle was a bit over a year old
A - nice golden color with crazy carbonation - it took four separate pour to drink!
S - unfortunately I found the smell very bad
T - the taste was ok, not malty sweet or hoppy - unique
M - nice once you got past the carbonation
O - dissapointing, although I knew it was a unique beer with Brett, the aroma was a real negative

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Photo of Apellonious
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

11.2 fl oz bottled on 1/21/2015, poured into a tulip glass.

A - Cloudy, brilliant orange, with a three finger fluffy white head that retains for a good while. Excellent lacing retention.

S - Tart citrus funk. A heavy dose of TCF. Some Belgian yeast notes buried underneath.

T - All three facets of TCF are muted in the taste. I am getting more of a spicy, earthy dirt mix. Maybe some pear/apple cider notes later as it warms, and some pale malts.

M - Sharp. Carbonation high. Finishes dry. The heft is medium.

O - Saw the tasting thread, figured it was worth a shot. Great aroma. Taste is probably an acquired one, and it sounds like it varies a lot with age.

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Photo of puck1225
4.92/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Got to love the funk! A beautiful pour into a snifter. Huge foamy, creamy head and lovely Belgian lacing. The smell is so fragrant and inviting, sweet,sour, and earthy. The taste is kaleidoscopic, changing as it warms. I like it best toward the end when it is spicey, fruity, earthy, funky all at once. Make sure swirl the bottom of the bottle. This beer is always an adventure! It has been my favorite for thirty years!

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Photo of MacMalt
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 11.2 oz. bottle into tulip glass. The bottle is dated 4/6/2015. It pours a hazy, orange-brown color-like apple cider-with a huge, foamy, milk-white head and extensive lacing. It smells of yeast, citrus, green apple, banana, and spice. The taste is primarily bready malt, yeast, lemon peel, and spice, with a hint of sour apple. It is quite dry, sour throughout, and bitter at the finish. I don't taste the banana I smelled and there is only hint of sweet malt. This ale is medium-bodied and highly carbonated; the head and lacing persisted throughout the pour. The manageable ABV of 6.9% lends to easy drinking but to me the sour bitterness militates against having a second pour. Overall, I appreciate that this ale is legendary and it is certainly worth enjoying from time to time but I won't make a steady diet of it.

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

Deep copper to light amber in color with a thin beige to off white head covering the vast majority of the middle. Aroma is of sweet Belgian candy sugar, light Belgian malt, and vinous Belgian yeast. I taste plenty of sweet Belgian candy sugar, marzipan, and light white bready malt. The mouth is heavily carbonated, crisp, effervescent, and moderately alcoholic.

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Photo of dcotom
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured cold from 11.2-ounce bottle into snifter. Bottle date 15/05/2014.

L - A bit of a gusher upon opening. Pours a cloudy caramel color, with 3-4 fingers of thick, white head despite a rather tentative pour. Quite a bit of lacing.

S - A little yeast funk and citrus at first. Aroma develops as it warms, revealing more of the banana and spice notes.

T - Not as intense as I imagined it would be. The flavors I expected from the aroma, while there, were muted. This may have been due to the carbonation and the rather strong alcohol presence (surprising, since it clocks in at just under 7% ABV).

F - A touch on the lighter side in terms of body. The finish is dry and bitter, with a faint aftertaste mirroring the notes of the aroma.

O - This had nearly two years on it when I purchased it. I would love to try a fresh one, just to see whether the lack of intensity on the palate might have been due to the age of the sample. Still an awesome Belgian Pale.

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Photo of vainosuomi
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: Mostly opaque cloudy amber with a foamy off-white head
Smell: Green apple, yeast, spice, banana. Very fruity.
Taste: Plenty of that apple up front, along with citrus, yeast, and spice. Slightly sour, decent amount of sweet malt, and plenty of bitterness . Bitter/sour finish.
Feel: Frothy, plenty of carbonation, medium bodied. Smooth and slightly astringent.

Overall a very good ale. The fruit flavors definitely have the largest profile, but are complemented well by everything else that's going on.

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Photo of bark
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Brewed on June 4th 2015.

The colour is orange-brown (30 EBC), the liquid is clear. The gigantic head is beige and airy with a fine crater; it sinks very slowly leaving lots of thick lacing.

The smell is bitter with lots of herbs and spices. Some alcohol, ripe apples, cherries and red peppers. Hints of stable and gunpowder.

The taste is bitter and alcoholic with ripe fruits, salty crackers, caramel, spices (nutmeg, allspice), and fresh herbs. Passing herbal bitterness and stable notes. Medium to full body. The aftertaste got warming alcohol, smooth caramel, spices (basilica, oregano) and bitter orange juice. The finish is fresh with gunpowder, bitter tea and herbs.

The carbonation is very strong; the long-lived small bubbles are sharp. The liquid is smooth.

A solid classic... I think it would gain on a few years cellaring.

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Photo of MACrist
4.69/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

APPEARANCE: A burnt orange, hazy almost to rust. Foamy off white head for days, and it lingers forever. Carbonation is hard to see even with a flashlight up to the glass. Thick lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Almost white wine like. Green grapes, funky, floral...almost smells like hand lotion! Definitely get the yeast in spades.
TASTE: A pleasant sourness, lots of white grapes, the yeastiness you'd expect. There are some really nice, unusual flavors in here that I really can't describe or equate to any other beer I've had. This is unique!
FEEL: Creamy right off the bat, then the nice amount of carbonation really begins to move the flavor around the mouth. You get a nice drying quality a few seconds in and then that goes away and it returns to that creamy vibe.
OVERALL: Probably the most unique beer I've had so far. Hard to describe but I love what i'm getting from it. It's kind of a mystery in some ways.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,236 ratings.
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