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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,320 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:
2,320
Ratings:
5,325
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
355
Gots:
886
For Trade:
11
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Reviews: 2,320 | Ratings: 5,325
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a orangish amber color with great carbonation leaving a nice fluffy white cap

S: A light mix of light and dark fruits, bubblegum, spice

T: Candy sugar, light toastiness, finshes with pepper, spices,light booze

M: Light to medium body

O: Very good

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Photo of wl0307
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bottle revisited today is exactly the same as the last one consumed 6 months ago--bottled on 29/11/2005. Now is time to see if half-a-year maturing has rendered it any more complex~~ Served cool in a Orval-glass like broad-rimmed goblet.

A: pours a translucent, dark reddish-orangey hue; nice and thick off-white frothy crust sustains on top of a very lively carbonated body, with a dozen streams of tiny fizziness ejecting from the bottom of the glass. Brilliant.
S: the smell this time reminds me much of dry farmhouse Saison as well as Lambiek!! The dryish-sour and zesty-bitter dried lime+lemon peels combine nicely with a slightly funky and sour note of yeasts, yet is enhanced by a delicately spicy edge like nutmeg+clove+star-anise+blahblahblah... true to Orval's uniqueness of that spicy edge; the yeasty and spicy aroma is backed by a rather subtle but noticeable pale maltiness and a subtle sweetness from mixed fruit-esters. Overall, complex as ever... and crazily enjoyable. It's hard to move my little nose away from the glass~~
T: spicy and yeasty and spicy and yeasty and... followed by a bitter flow of lively yeasts, powdery and rough in texture, and laced with utterly dryish yet bitter flavour of dried lemon rind ground with clove and cinnamon and a little bit of star-anise at the back... also coming to mind is that tangy edge of new wood barrels... turning absolutely dry in the aftertaste with plenty of hops and an herbal-sweet edge very much akin to the aftertaste of Chinese mixed-herb medicine soup~~!!
M&D: effervescent texture with a mouthful of creamy fizziness, medium-bodied and lots of flavours to discern with patience... Absolutely nice, NOT delicious, but very complex and worth one's 3/4 hour for slow sipping... Compared with my previous note, this bottle shows more bitterness and is not as fruity as the last bottle. Will review another bottle from the same batch in another six months~~

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Photo of beertunes
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 9/13/07. Poured into Chalice (gotta get a tuilp!). Poured a deep, dark yellow, almost orange. Slightly hazy, this beer is darker than most Pales. A big fluffy head of tight bubbles that dissipated quickly leaving no lacing. A noticeable apple aroma with some spice tones, no apparent yeast scent. The dry, apple flavor follows the aroma without the acidity of cider. The spiciness is reminiscent of apple pie to a small degree. A full, smooth, balanced body. Very drinkable, I could have several of these in row with no trouble. A wonderful beer that is slightly different than most of the style.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an oversized wine goblet)

A-This beer pours a hazy orangeish-brown with a thick creamy off-white head. Lots of very tiny bubbles move rapidly to the surface.

S- The perfumed smell of orange, pear and a hint of banana are mixed with a slight white wine nose. Some soft pale malt notes are also in the smell.

T- Very light fruit and soft malt flavor with a hint of bitterness in a dry finish. This has a little bit of young mead in the finish.

M- This beer has a creamy mouthfeel with a bit of a fizziness to it.

D-This is a very soft yet complex beer that has a lot of nice flavors. However some of the flavors that are not as pleasant tend to shine through more that I would like. Very drinkable just a bit too much carbonic bitterness.

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Photo of akorsak
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am drinking a 330 mL bottle poured into an Orval glass (nice to have things that match). The ale is warming.

Appearance: The ale is a very nice auburn color. It is cloudy, but there is no hint of large scale sediment. The ale poured with a nice head that dissapated quickly, leaving nothing.

Smell: The yeasts used to brew this ale have created a most remarkable aroma. I can't place it, but it is fruity and gamey and dry.

Taste: The ale has a relaxed malt character that imparts a slight sweetness. The yeast leaves the ale very dry taste. The hops are light, giving just a bit of a bite.

Mouthfeel: The ale is very dry, making me want another sip. The yeast really is the thing here.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, with a nice bite and lower abv.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into wine glass oct6 2010

A a gusher that's a very hazy brownish orange, very carbonated with a large soapy head that has great retention and leaves plenty of lace

S quite funky with spicy hops some yeast and a little booze

T again nice level of funk with a spicy complexity and some fruit I can't quite place, a fair bit going on here hard to wrap my head around

M medium bodied with almost too much carbonation, it turns too foam in your mouth, nothing unpleasant just very active

D very complex beer that leaves you thinking, before I figured it out my glass was empty

found this one in a hole in the wall liquor store in PEI, a little surprised I'd never reviewed this before I've had it several times. I like the funk and would recommend this to anyone, would love to try a vertical of this beer it seams different every time I try it

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Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Orval pours brilliant copper to orange tinted amber under a moussey, finely bubbled 2” bone-white foam cap. It has a funky, wet horse blanket lemony nose with a hint of mustiness. It drinks tart, lemony with a hint of pineapple especially as it ages with a refreshing bitterness and a long lingering tart dry finish with soft leather notes. The texture is soft and effervescent, like drinking a mousse. This is excellent fresh and even better as it ages.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark orange/bronze with a big pillowy beige head. Lots of carbonation with an active bubble stream in the middle from the bottom to the top. Leaves decent lace. Sour lactic aroma (brettanomyces) dominates. Soft dry malt flavor and sour as it smells. Light soft airy mouthfeel with a dry finish.

Good Belgain that's worth trying but not sure it's worth the price to buy again.

Label States: "Authentic Trappist Product"

Best By: 12/06/06 (on bottle as 06/12/06)
Tasted: 05/02/03

($3.99 / 11.2 oz./.33L bottle)

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Photo of VelvetExtract
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a hazy dark amber color. Glorious mop water. Huge bubbly head is born from a forceful pour. Retains very well and leaves some thick lacing patches.

S-Yeasty funk along with some pale fruits such as pears, lemons and apples. Floral too. Vibrant, bright nose. Waiting for the head to die down a bit so I can take my first sip.

T-The flavor slaps ass. Funky, fruity, sweet, and tangy. Belgian influence plays perfectly with the stranger flavors. Slightly sour. Yeasty Brett becomes more noticeable after a few sips. Crisp fruit and eccentric funk. Citrusy and flowery. Light hoppiness on the back end. Surprisingly good amount of sweetness too. It even has an excellent malty-bready dryness.

M-Medium bodied with strong carbonation. Dry and crisp. The carbonation is nice. Overall, a good body that complements the flavor well.

O/D-This Trappist beer goes down super easy. Crisp, tart, and unique. I found it to be a pleasurable drink to say the least. Surprised I haven't had this before. Goddamn yummy.

-----
3/8/16

The best Trappist beer by a mile according to my tongue. So unique. It has grown on me through the years and I haven't even consistently drank it. Now I think I'm going to buy a new one every year and cellar it. This is the epitome of a classic. In the Trappist family, Orval is the crazy cousin who rips butts and listens to metal. Awesome.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2ml bottle, bottled on 2/29/2012, poured into a wine glass today, 2/12/2014. Almost 2 years old at this point.

App- Hazy dark orange-brown body, nice 2 finger tan head with fantastic retention, leaves a thick tan collar that doesn't go away. Nice sticky lacing that's part of the collar as it goes down.

Smell- Orange peel, faint green apple tartness, a bit vinous on the white side of the spectrum, a bit of bread and honey. Complex.

Flavour- Less complex- quite bready and dry with a bit of the white vinous backend. Some oak on the finish though I don't know if this is made with any oak. Not as much of the citrus peel or the apple tartness to be honest, which would have added a lot more to this beer.

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, well carbonated, very dry. Which makes sense as the Brett has had two years to work its magic. Aftertaste of a dry oaky white vinous flavour.

Overall- Interesting trappist ale that showcases the effects of Brettanomyces quite well. Dry, a bit funky and bready. Nice one to sip on both a cold winter night or a warm summer evening.

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Photo of barczar
3.61/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy medium brown, almost coppery color with a billowing, foamy 2 inch cream head that lingers. Can't pour the full bottle into the tulip.

Green apple, pear, floral hops and belgian yeast character dominate the initial aroma. Coriander and white pepper add complexity. Notes of tangerine and pineapple surface late, accompanied by confectioners sugar sweetness and a hint of caramel malt.

Flavor is fairly tart initially and somewhat phenolic, becoming slightly bready mid palate, and finishing fairly bitter and a touch peppery. There's significant mustiness throughout. Tart crab apple esters are somewhat overpowering at first, but sweettarts notes emerge later as respite.

Body is moderate, with fairly high carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

More tart than most, as well as more bitter. Wish the tartness weren't so overpowering and allowed more ester variety to shine. Served at suggested temperature, head is out of control. Becomes stale after a while. I just do not like this beer.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 ounce bottle, label says bottled on 17/07/2014, best before 17/07/2019. Served in an Orval chalice, the beer pours a hazy orange/amber color with about an inch and a half frothy off-white head that stayed around for a really long time. There's also a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like citrus peel, apple, white grapes, banana, peppery spice and some earthiness. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some grassiness and pear noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium and is well carbonated. But the carbonation is soft, and doesn't hurt this brew at all. It's easy and enjoyable to drink. I have to say I like Orval more now than I did when I first tried and reviewed this in 2007. I really do need to buy this more often!

Review from 4/13/2007:

look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce bottle, bottled on 1/24/06, best before 1/24/2011. Served in a snifter, the beer pours an orange/copper color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. It smells fruity(lemon, orange, plum and banana), spicy (peppery and herbal/earthy) and malty. There's also other smells that I can't tell exactly what they are. The taste is pretty much like the smell but the citrus taste is the strongest. There's so much to this beer it's pretty hard to figure it all out, if that makes sense at all. Mouthfeel is light/medium, but it has a bit too much carbonation for my liking. Drinkability is decent, but if the carbonation was cut down a bit, it would be much better. Overall, I'd still drink this again, it's pretty good.

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Photo of tigg924
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

For the style, this is quite good. Nice mix of citrus, lemon, apricot, Belgian spices, and light hops at the end. Beer is dry and dances the line between bitter and tart. Probably the beer I would get if I wanted this style.

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Photo of avalon07
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a deep amber color, with a thick consistency. Had a huge head and some lacing. Very rich-looking appearance.

With the smell, there was some malt, yeast and fruit. Subtle.

Here's where it's interesting. While you get a dose of yeast, apples and malt, there is an off-putting bitterness about this one. I'm guessing this is caused by the hops. It's not a bad taste, but it's this one component that doesn't serve it well.

The mouthfeel is solid, with the typically Belgian high carbonation rate. As I said, the finish is dry, but too bitter.

Overall, this is kind of a mixed bag. It's strong in many categories, but the bitterness of the taste throws it off kilter. Nonetheless, it's still fairly drinkable.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from a beer exchange with a friend at the holidays.

Poured into a Rapscallion tulip glass, barely got the whole bottle in with a 2"+ head that snow-coned over the top of the glass. The head is thick and foamy, sort of looks like that foam you see at the ocean when a big storm is coming, or at the edge of a fast moving stream. Anyways, to continue on, the aroma is somewhat effervescent and fruity, raspberry, perhaps? Lacing over the honey hued brew is incredible as the head begins to join it's liquid brethren. Slightly sour flavor where the fruits come into play, and then rounds out a bit with the malt and slight alochol warming. An interesting Belgian, as most are.

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Photo of mltobin
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Orval Trappist Ale is without a a doubt quite delicous.

Served in a bottle from a local spirit shopee. this beer is dark amber in color with a two finger head.

The smell is semi-carmel, semi-spicy, good all around.

The taste is kinda rich and sweet, but very nice.

Mouthfeel is kinda complex, but not very much so. very nice brew indeed.

Drinkability is high, great beer all around.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
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 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.61/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip glass.

Brillant golden colored body with a huge white head. Seriously this beer has so much carbonation that the head is huge even with a gentle pour.

Smell: Spicy, yeasty and slight hay funk.

Taste: This is a really spicy tasting beer. Its like a herbal and peppery spice. Then Yeast is tasted next, but does not overtake the the spiciness of this beer. Mild tasting funk and citris too.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and crisp. High level of carbonation and refreshing. Almost seltzer like.

Overall: This was enjoyable, I wanted to try something different and I don't drink many belgian style beers so this was an obvious choice. Glad i tried it, score is lower than average score because this is not really my prefered style of beer that I drink.

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

330mL bottle into a Leffe chalice. Bottled 26/01/2010.

A - Solid two finger head of frothy, pillowy lucious beauty. Huge bubbles cling to the glass but it fades quickly. Still looks great though. Very effervescent, darkish amber, organgey colour with strong carbonation. A lovely beer.

S - Good amount of hops in the aroma. Smells yeasty too with what I can only assume is what Americans always call 'funk'. Smells what I would describe and fresh and lively with some citrus. The aroma is really complex and intriguing.

T - Woah. Funk is definately evident. Hops aren't as present as they are in the aroma. My entire mouth is working hard to figure this beer out. I now understand the funkiness described. There is some definate sweetness to it too.

M - Taste lingers for a LONG time and carbonation is obvious as it moves around in the mouth.

D - This baby is great. Really complex flavour with lower abv for a trappist brew.

The famous Orval! I've had t his a few times and never really took the time to appreciate it. I would have liked more hops but this has just the right amount of balance. Delicious!

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Photo of scruffwhor
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a lovely golden amber, great effervescant bubbling, and the perfect thick foamy head and stickage with every sip. The picture of Belgian pale ale. Crisp hrbal spice aroma, that evens out with sweet honey like malts and maybe an earthy hop finish. This smells awesome, no other words needed. Starts out with a dry biscuit malt and honey sweetness with a splash of tea-like spices. The dryness turns to a gentle, tart apple skin. Complex palate starts sweet and finishes dry to tart. Lots of flavors and textures to this beer. I'm glad this beer is sold individually instead of via a six-pack and such. Also the $4 and up price in my area, really makesyou apprecite this beer that much more eery time you buy it.

This is the best Begian pale ale I'e ever had... hands down!!!

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle, bottled on 27th Dec 2007 consumed 6th July 2008. Poured into my Chimay chalice

A: Mildly hazy orange with a dense two-finger off-white head. Fantastic carbonation. Excellent retention. Possibly the prettiest beer I've ever seen.

S: Mildly fruity with hints of orange, mildly floral with a little bit of rose, mildly spicy with a hint of pepper, clove, mildly funky with a little bit of a leathery note. Complex.

T: This 7 month old Orval starts off mildly funky and is followed by a mild tangy sweetness, like orange mousse before finishing a moderately dry

M: Light with great carbonation, excellent feel.

D: Very drinkable. I need to get more of this

**Edit 13 Oct 2013**
Bottled 20 Feb 2008, this bottle is now 5 years and 8 months old. The nose is dominated by the Brett characteristics. A blend of clove, pepper, a touch of damp hay, fennel, this is one complex beast. The palate is similarly Bretty, earthy, spicy and complex, but with a touch of honey sweetness as well. Crisp and highly carbonated, a touch of acidity (clove like bitterness, carbonic acid) is present. A touch dull due to age, the delicate brightness of the citrusy hops that fresher bottles have is missing. Still, this is really good. 4.25/4/4.25

**Edit 05 Apr 2014**
Bottled 15 Jul 2003. Thank you, Peter.

Wonderfully funky with a blend of melon, earth, fruit and fennel, this smells great! Some citrus, almost a whiff of cola, there isn't much clove present. The palate opens soft, fruity, mellow with honey, fennel, citrus and melons. A shade watery, the fennel note is particularly noticeable here. A touch smoky as well. Awesome stuff, this.4/4/4

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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 jmdrpi
3.46/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

poured into a tulip glass, the appearance is cloudy dark amber color, with a mountain of off-white head that reaches above the rim. looks great. the smell is somewhat fruity, tart. the taste is heavy on yeast, a little funky, and finishes extremely dry. I'm not really a huge fan of the flavor. body is somewhat thin and carbonation is high. not hard to drink, but probably won't seek out again. .

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Photo of DrJay
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy orange colour topped by a GIGANTIC head of dense, cream-coloured foam. Excellent lacing down the sides of the glass and great head retention.

Smell: Lemony citrus, some pine resin, juniper berries, some earthiness

Taste: Bitterness is prominent right from the start and becomes more piney and resinous at the finish. Citrus acidity is present throughout as well as some well-balanced phenolic spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light body and high carbonation. The texture is very light and smooth -- the beer feels very light on the palate without being watery and thin. Very nice job.

Drinkability: The light body, great complexity, and dry finish all help make this beer highly drinkable. The only thing keeping this from being a good session is the elevated abv.

330mL brown bottle with bottled on and best before dates clearly stamped on the label.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The first thing I notice about this brew is the high amount of carbonation present. Need to pour this one carefully. The second thing I notice is a very strong aroma. Pretty nice. Somewhat fruity and phenolic. Some leather. And sweet candy. This beer is a chill hazed amber and shows an incredible amount of carbonation in the body of the beer as well. CO2 bubbles rising to the surface faster than I can remember in a beer for a long time. A huge sticky and rocky white head tops this brew. The taste is very forthcoming. Raw leather. Musty attic. Some bubblegum esters. Subdued fruitiness. Earthy, herbal and spicy. And fairly bitter to boot. This may not be my favorite Belgian beer so far, but I do like the character that this one shows. A light bodied beer that doesn't feel as carbonated in the mouth as it looks to be on sight. This is no La Fin du Monde, but it's nice in its own way.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,325 ratings.
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