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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
5,392 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:
5,392
Reviews:
2,347
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
360
Gots:
913
For Trade:
11
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,392 |  Reviews: 2,347
Photo of Lare453
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of SadMachine
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Duff27
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Fluffy white three inch head on a slightly murky ruby-red beer. Tons of effervescence going on within the tulip. Clumptastic lacing and great head retention.

S- Undeniable Belgian yeast strain peppery spiciness. It's like a candied funk, hard to describe (albeit undeniable..yeah!).

T- Pale malts, "grape skin", some funk, bubble gum. So much going on. Tasty. Subtle sweet aftertaste. Hard to detect any alcohol, just want to keep drinking.

M- Creamy medium mouthfeel with prickly carbonation bubbles.

D/O- The first sip of this beer is like a kick in the gonads but in your mouth. "What is this!?" Subsequent imbibing produces a flurry of happy chemical release in my brain. Really like nothing I've had before. This is classic. Highly recommended for Belgian beer fans.

 778 characters

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
2/5  rDev -52.2%

Photo of Tone
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, maize color. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of tart fruit, yeast, hint of hop, slight sugar, and slight sweet malt. Fits the style of a Belgian Pale Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. The feel is also dry and tart. Tastes of slight sweet malt, slight pale malt, slight hop, slight yeast, hint of alcohol, and slight tartness. Overall, good appearance, aroma, and blend.

 468 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a chalice, the beer is a muddled, hazy, amber-brown coloring with a tall, dense, chunky, off-white head that coats the glass and has a very decent retention. Aromas of coriander, all spice, plum, banana, cotton candy, and a bready backbone. More and more aromas come off as the beer warms. Flavors are spice forward, with a great blend of nutmeg, coriander, all spice, and hints of clove, with an old world fruit backbone both rich and sweet. Smooth, light body with a slight effervescence that keeps the sweet and rich flavors blended and drinkable. The aftertaste is a sugary sweet undertone with the spice blend still holding court overall. Lingering finish, with spices left dancing on your taste buds, waiting for another sip. This beer is a classic!

 781 characters

Photo of BeerOps
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of BEER88
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color is a pure golden, edging into orange. Head is full, and frothy white. Aroma is overwhelming and enticing from afar: extraordinarily spicy, very enticing and seductive, though I haven't even even brought this brew close to my nose yet. An arousing blend of the sweet and the sour, with some citric notes speaking up here and there. Loads of sugar and spice, and, well, everything nice. Fierce hops on the palate, and an excellent texture, great hop bite and play upon the tongue. Full of body and flavor. Long lasting finish. Delicious, with plenty of citric tang. Deeply satisfactory, very mellow and pacifying.This is a brew that tastes of the history it contains. A very unique, pleasurable and pacifying beverage.

 722 characters

Photo of VeganUndead
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Dicers
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Cynic-ale
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased from Victoire in Rochester, NY and poured into a snifter. Consumed on site at the bar.

Pours a hazy golden amber. 2 inches of foamy head almost the whole drinking session.

I think I have an older bottle, so it smells less hoppy, and more funky- the brett is coming through strong. I smell tart apples, grass, and barnyard-esque aromas.

Tastes pretty similar. Slightly woody, very funky, some grassy hops, Belgian yeast dominates. A very complex ale, for sure. Not very bitter, I don't know if the hops impart any bitterness to fresh bottles.

Medium, creamy mouthfeel. Well carbonated, pretty dry and chalky.

Probably my 2nd favorite Trappist beer, after Rochefort 10. Awesome stuff.

 705 characters

Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -4.3%

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

12/31/05- Purchased at Weimax Liquors in Burlingame, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz funky and cool shaped bottle. Bottled on and best by date on the neck of the label. Poured into my Duchesse chalice.

Appearance- Golden in color with a cloudy haze. Larger spritzy off white, maybe yellow in color looking full 3/4 inch head. Great lacing left behind as I drink the last drop in the glass.

Smell- Lots of sweet and sour spices with a barnyard type scent. A tad musky. Maybe some citrus notes such as lemon rind noted.

Taste- More sour than sweet. A really hefty amount of citrus with lemon rind being the foremost. White pepper and other spices fill the void with some powdered sugar to round out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Well carbonated...very Duvel-esque. Almost like a kind of champagne. Very puckering and drying.

Drinkability- Because of the carbonation level it's a tad less drinkable for me, but not because the flavor was bad. Orval brings back nice memories as it was the first Belgian beer I ever had back in 2002. I remember liking it then, but I don't remember it tasting like this. Guess my pallete has really grown from 3 years ago.

 1,158 characters

Photo of a77cj7
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of sendbeer
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of aasher
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Orval chalice. Foams out of the bottle a bit on opening. Pours a hazy coppery amber with a three finger off-white head with good retention and lots of pillowy lacing. Aroma of citrus, green apple, Bretty yeast, vanilla; floral. Flavor is semi-dry, light apple family fruit, light stone fruit, mild citrus, vanilla, Brett style wild yeast funk, Finishes with fleeting fruit and fruit dessert flavors dominated by the wild yeast funk and bitterness; lightly tart and earthy. Medium bodied with sharp, peppery carbonation. A very distinctive Belgian pale ale with a unique wild yeast component. I did not like this when I first tried it many years ago, but now having grown to enjoy saison yeasts and a light touch of wild yeast, I can see its appeal. Although the flavor is dominated by the funky yeast, there are a lot of interesting light and subtle fruit and spice flavors in the background. A bit too dry and funky to be a frequent choice, it was a pleasure drinking this again and understanding why it is a classic.

 1,033 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle, dated 17/09/2004, best before 17/09/2009, ABV is 6.9%. Pours a cloudy orange/yellow color, nice carbonation, huge foamy head, tons of lacing throughout the drink. Scents of hops, malts, somekind of citrus, floral. The taste is alittle bitter, and sourery, hard to describe really. Medium body. This is a very nice brew, my first Belgian Pale Ale I believe, so really nothing to compare to, but it's totally different than other Belgian's I've had. Would recommend for sure.

 490 characters

Photo of tone77
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is fruity, yeast, alive with flavor. Taste is also big on fruits, some malts and yeast, lots of flavor here. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a beer worth seeking out.

 276 characters

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to tulip, the appearance was a fairly murky red to brown sort of color with a two finger's worth of rocky foamy head that glistened and slid off at a good pace. Lace was somewhat thick and foamy and sticky.
The aroma had a swift sweet to funky barnyard hay/grassy whiff. Roamed nicely into some basement stiffness and had some floral particles coming out to play with a little bit of a brisk earthiness.
The flavor was odd, well, it had that vinous quality that seemed to want to pummel the funk, but in reality, it didn't. So in turn, the earthiness, basement, and floral hop quality played a good part in and all around. Aftertaste seemed to cherish the funk and embrace the wine quality.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied, maybe a touch under with a good sipping quality to it due to the wine harshness. Carbonation felt fine, maybe a bit high, but I gave it a "restrained pour" to assist in the containment. ABV felt good.
Overall, pretty nice Belgian pale ale, not one for the faint of heart but definitely nothing else like it.

 1,044 characters

Photo of IrishColonial
4.51/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

Beer poured from a bottle into a goblet. Beer is brownish and hazy, forms a thick white head of medium and small white bubbles, falls away leaving lacing all over the glass, looks good. Carbonation is moderate to high.

Smell a little of spice and yeast, there is an underlying sweetness to the beer as well. Slight musky aroma as well.

Beer is medium to light bodied, has a minor forward character and a sour / musky late and aftertaste. This beer is one of a kind but the my first impressions on taste were not that great. Time for taste two, sour and bitter duke it out on this beer and it finishes a little dry.

Any serious Belgian beer fan will probably get around to trying most of the trappists but this has been my least favorite sampling of a Trappist beer so far. Its unique and I understand the souring of the beer. I'm impressed, just not my style yet.

 866 characters

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,392 ratings.
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