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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
5,389 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:
5,389
Reviews:
2,346
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
360
Gots:
911
For Trade:
11
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,389 |  Reviews: 2,346
Photo of vermilcj
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Anze
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of MSandahl23
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of pearljam118
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of JDM44
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed out of a 11.2 oz brown bottle with the distinctive Orval curvature. Label is marked with a bottling date of 18/08/2011 and an enjoy by date five years after that. Poured into a large 22 oz snifter. Far from the first time I've tried this beer, but the first time I've sat down with a bottle and made a point to note all the intricate details of what I'm tasting.

Appearance - Pours a deep copper brown with some faint reddish clay-like undertones topped by an eggshell colored head of about two fingers thick, and that's with a fairly gentle pour. Big and rocky, with great retention and solid but spread-out lacing with distinct but faint ringing. Certainly darker than what most people (myself included) would expect from a pale ale, even one of the Belgian distinction, but Orval isn't really an easily-classified beer.

Smell - A complex combination of fruity phenols and floral overtones, but a more funky, musty element, like barnyard, but without the tartness that you'll get from some beers that have been fermented with a strain of Brett. The aroma is more dank, with some bits of malty sweetness coming through as well.

Taste - This particular version is heavy on a blend of the darker fruits--most notably raisin and date--along with a fair amount of pungent bitterness. Some notes of grapefruit rind, dandelion green and bittering spirits comes through, as well as some faint esters reminiscent of rich red wine, like cabernet sauvignon.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with ample carbonation. Mostly dry finish.

Overall, a beer that seems to vacillate wildly from bottle to bottle and depending on age. I've had some that were overpowering hop bitterness and funk, others that were floral and slightly fruity, and still others that hint at the darker fruits of your classic Belgian dark ales and quads. It's an enigma to be sure. One that I always enjoy, but I lament the inability to find it very fresh in the U.S., especially after getting to have some that was about 3 months after bottling when I visited Brussels a couple years ago. No matter, as the weirdness and complexity of this beer is what always draws me back. More often than not, if I go to a bottle shop looking for a beer without luck, but don't want to leave empty-handed, I'll grab a bottle of Orval. If you don't like it the first time you try it, I still would encourage you to give it another try.

 2,388 characters

Photo of mikehillman
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Tom-Peters
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of JohnF51
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of edhizdeid
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Hopinista
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Atomicskis5
2.5/5  rDev -40.2%

Photo of jhhollier
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Kerne
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Pacioli1445
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of csurowiec
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Xandrose
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of OKCNittany
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of nrs207
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of mikefuski17
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of sooner961
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Greasy
3.64/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Very pretty. Nice 3 finger head. Color was beautiful.

S - Tart, yeast, spices, slightly sweet.

T - The taste was disappointing. Very watery. Not as much flavor as I was expecting.

M - Thin. Very thin.

O - Not a bad beer, just not what I was expecting. It lacked the punch that I usually enjoy from Trappist beers.

 324 characters

Photo of jpro
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle at CBX. Poured into a Chimay chalice. (Brewed 04.10.12; Drink By 04.10.17)

A: Cloudy; light copper / orange; three-finger, sudsy, rocky, white head leaves a few thicks wads of lace.

S: Light clove and spice notes; green apple skin; lightly tart, in a white grape kind of way; notes of bread.

T: White bread / cracker malt; light fruit... apple / pear; some esters come out on the end.

M: Medium body; high, lively carbonation; more bitter than expected on the end.

O: Lighter, yet complex; tasty and refreshing... delicious.

*from notes 10.03.13

 570 characters

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,389 ratings.
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