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

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Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
BA SCORE
4.21/5
Exceptional
5,428 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
Ranking:
#979
Reviews:
2,351
Ratings:
5,428
pDev:
12.35%
Bros Score:
4.92
 
 
Wants:
359
Gots:
930
Trade:
11
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,428 |  Reviews: 2,351
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.31/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into an Orval chalice.
6.9% ABV, Bottled on 24/10/2012, best by 24/10/2017.

A - Orval almost gushes from it's bottle even at the 50° serving temperature due to it's abundant carbonation. Hazy but beautiful deep golden in color, the beer forms a massive and loose eggshell head with incredibly retention and heavy lace coating the glass.

S - Lovely honey graham cracker malt backing allows for a luscious aroma of Brett horseblanket funk that contributes suggestions of pine, mint, and goaty, hay undertones.

T - Any hop aroma that faintly emerged disappears completely in flavor, shifting almost entirely to the beer's Brett yeast esters of horseblanket, wet straw, and overall barnyard funk, but tamed down considerably.

M - Highly carbonated, Orval dances on your tongue joyfully while it's seemingly light body washes down with smoothness, lingering on the tongue with dry spice notes.

O - Delicate Brettanomyces exists, in this beer! Restrained barnyard funk allows the dry cracker-like flavor to stay a large part of the beer while nuances continue to come out as it's enjoyed. The crisp drinkability of Orval suggests it would make for a fantastic session Belgian beer if it weren't near $6 a bottle.

 1,234 characters

Photo of tangoafterdark
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of frontalot
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of tommy5
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of Wukk
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of KelsoSaaz
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip

A: Pours a hazy copper-orange with a very large, rocky, eggshell white head. Leaves large ring lacing

S: Floral and sweet, with hints of orange peel and pineapple. Slight earthy/funky tones that become more present as the beer warms, definitely from the yeast.

T: Surprising light and delicate on the palate. Barnyard/earthy notes right up front. Old world hops are present but not at all intrusive. Grass and hints of very dry cider. This beer is quite dry.

M: Medium body with moderate to mild carbonation.

O: An extremely unique, complex and delicate beer as only the Belgians can create. Someone with a sophisticated palate could find some quite interesting and satisfying food pairings with this brew. This classic trappist ale is definitely one to try if you are Belgian beer enthusiast or just love beer in general.

 846 characters

Photo of kevgod
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of hogrider
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%

Photo of Jcarter1221
3/5  rDev -28.7%

Photo of JoeBlevins
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of tmm313
2/5  rDev -52.5%

Photo of sniper061
4.94/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was poured into a pint glass and I found it wonderfully enchanting. This is one of those beers that you know you are going to love just from the way it pours into the glass. I asked the bartender at Brazil craft beer what his favorite was and this is what he gave me. At first I thought he had picked it to boost up my bar tab but after the first glance knew it was going to be special.

 396 characters

Photo of jakea
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of dsm45
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of vermilcj
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Anze
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of MSandahl23
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of pearljam118
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of JDM44
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
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 -5%

Photo of Tom-Peters
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of JohnF51
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of edhizdeid
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 5,428 ratings
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