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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
5,398 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:
5,398
Reviews:
2,347
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
360
Gots:
919
For Trade:
11
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,398 |  Reviews: 2,347
Photo of pearljam118
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Long813
3.81/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on: 03/12/2009

A: Dark coppery body with three fingers of white fully head. Retention is amazing and leaves loads of lacing.

S: Very weird mixture of smells here. Citrus, grapefruit and something else I can't point out. Might be the yeast they use.

T: First thing that hits the taste buds is a lot of funk. Unique strand of yeast used in this beer. Grapefruit and other citrus follows. Some tartness and bitterness after.

M: Light bodied with high carbonation makes a frothy texture and a sparkling finish. Hint of figs or something in the aftertaste

D: Interesting brew and very complex. I'll have to buy it again to taste everything it can offer.

 665 characters

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet from a bottle, Orval pours a hazy amber, almost orange hue with an aggresive frothy white head that thins after a few minutes. The aroma at first is fruity and sour, with hints of banana and tart fruits. It is followed up by a spicy hop aroma. The flavor is immense. Fruity, with hints of spice, candi sugar, and that earthy, signature Brettanomyces funk. It finishes dry and clean, with great hop character that is unlike other Trappist ales. Orval is a medium bodied brew. The flavor only lasts from sip to swallow. Not much lingering on the palate. It is, however, very easy to drink. Not my favorite beer from the seven Monastaries, but definitely up there on the list.

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Photo of Mistofminn
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours much darker than a typical Belgian Pale Ale. Hazy orange with a light carbonation. The head on this one is something else. Off white and absolutely pluming. It's almost too much. Retention is amazing, lacing is great. The head is chunky and sticky, just like a rootbeer float.

Wow. So there is the horse blanket. They sure don't sugar coat it. Definitely some barn smell here. I'm new to the whole brett thing, but if this isn't brett, I don't know what is. Funky and funky. Thats really the only way to describe it, funky. It's not bad, it's just....different.

The taste starts off tart and sour, but mellows out in the aftertaste. That is where the funk shows up. This is truly something else. Definitely an acquired taste. If I was served this last year at this time, I most likely would have sent it back saying it was awful. But at this point in my beer journey, it's interesting. It's not good, and it's definitely not bad, it's just interesting. The taste keeps you coming back for more as you try to figure it out.

Mouthfeel is much like other brews. Light in body and light in carbonation. Drinkability is a little lower than I would usually give a brew, but only because of the strange taste. This is really something else.

I knew going into this that it would be different. I was kind of worried to be honest. I'm pleased that I at least could appreciate the product, and this intriguing brew will be in my fridge again in the future.

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

Review #200 for me; I figure do this timeless brew

A- Amber colored, tons of head; and I don't think I did a crappy pour; but I will be very very happy to drink this brew as soon as it settles down. Large lacing, ivory in color.

S- Belgian funk, yeast, malt and then the belgian fruits profile. Very nice proportions of everything. World class brew.

T- Such a spectacular blend of belgian dark fruits, brett and malt backbone; very light on its own right.

M- More carb than I would want, but who am I to say this Orval has any imperfections. Nice numbing on the tip of the tongue.

O- Fantastic brew. I have been looking forward to drinking this for a loooong time! I will buy more if/when I see it!

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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

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Photo of Chris77McGrath
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of karst
4.82/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bowling pin shapped bottle filled on 17 09 2004 recently purchased ($6) from the shelves of World Market.

Aromatic delight due to interaction of noble hops ( E.K. Goldings, Fuggles and possibly other earthy English varieties along with the fruity ripe bannana esters from the multiple strains of yeast used by the Trappist brewers.

Pours hazy orange-amber with a dense marangue-like super persistant head; eventually dropping to a 2 or 3 mm. covering that leaves Belgian-lace on the walls of my New Belgium 0.4 L Rastal sniffer. Strong beading from high carbonation is evident. Dry-hopped with Goldings gives is a floral nose along with interlaced aromas of horse blanket along with medicinal phenols typical of Belgiums. Mouthfeel of champagne with strong effervescence. The play of aroma and carbonation leaves any thought of grains behind. Sweetness only in the aroma not flavor. Quite a feat! Ester flavors of dried fruits, and woody earthy hops and intense dryness, leading to acidic finish that suggest a fine dry wine. Changing with temperatures but best around 55° to room temp. Like all Belgiums crys out for a fine meal to be paired with.

 1,155 characters

Photo of scottum
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out red amber with a big head. Citrus tastes are strong as are other spice. The hops balance this quite nice and cut the flavors off when they should end. The aftertaste is quite dry making you want more more more! If you like Belgian ales, you'll dig this fine brew. So smooth, so good.

 293 characters

Photo of carln26
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy copper to orange color with a thick off-white head. The head is composed of huge bubbles that give way to a clumpy head. The aroma is reminiscent of apples and pears. There is a spiciness there too. Mild nutmeg is backed by a light doughy scent. The flavor has more of the apples and pears. The spiciness comes through in the taste, but has more clove character. The fruit is still there, definitely pears now, and backed by grapefruit. A little bit of fig sweetness on the finish. This has a tartness and a slick mouth feel I wasn’t expecting. Very nice, extremely drinkable.

 582 characters

Photo of IanSpindler
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of OgreSanchez
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of illpass78
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle in a Chimay chalice.

Appearance: Dark, opaque plum/raisin type color. Huge frothing cream head. Angry bubbles. Looks good.

Aroma: Dark fruits, malts, sugars, herbs.

Taste: Complex. Fruits like fig, plum, raisin. Candied sugar. Malts, grains, bread. So much going on. Touch of caramel. Almost "busy."

Mouthfeel: Super smooth and rich. A pleasure on the palate.

Overall: Classic, unique ale. An experience. A good one, too.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.35/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Seen this forever, finally decided to pick up one.

Big frothy white head like a white beard. Golden Graham caramel brown with yellow highlights.

Fruity, sweetness, dry, earthy, I didn't get all those other smells people did, cuz i'm dumb.

Sour, sweet, too sour.

I don't know if I like this beer, so I guess it means it's ok. It's like those slices of pizza you dont really like, at least it's still pizza though.

 417 characters

Photo of bishopdc0
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of WuBByG999
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of cardinals22
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of RedHaze
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very cloudy amber/brown with a rocky one inch head that fades very slowly to a very thick cap and ring, leaving behind thck lacing.

Smell; strong grassy and earthy notes, as well as some hints of honey.There's a bit of sourness and tartness, along with some fruitiness I can't quites place.

Taste; the grass/hay qualities jump out at me at first as well as a bit of a funky earthiness. The mildly sweet honey flavors come out next, followed by a tartness that's a little drying in the finish with a bit of a hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium boded and creamy, and pretty easy to drink desite it's dry finish.

I didn't really care for this the first time I tried it, but I have come to enjoy Saisons and other similar styles over the last few years, so I figured I'd give it another shot. I'm glad I did.

 822 characters

Photo of beerpirates
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl Poured from bottle into a trappist orval glass

A- Huge head that took a bit of time to reduce , cloudy orange color with lots of lacing.

S- citrus hops, pepper, and some earthy funk, yeast

T- mild sweet malt, earthy under tones reminds me of wet hay, nice hop bitterness. nice taste from the yeast , bread

M- light body, dry finish, nice carbonation i, it does mellow toward the end.

D- Great refreshing beer, dry finish that leaves you wanting more.

imo one of the best blond trappist beers out there

 514 characters

Photo of Beerandboards
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of jackndan
4.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Orval, Trappist Ale: In the handsome bud vase bottle. A deep reddish-orange colored beer, under a thick creamy head that was huge when it was first poured, but settled down to a quarter of inch head. Thick Belgian Lace coats the side of the glass with each sip.

The aroma is very distinctive, lemon, and a least yeast smell. The taste is terrific, but damn hard to describe. Very nice taste, almost lemony, with a little bit of yeast, but much more so. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, with just a hint of carbonation. The aftertaste is pleasant, and very long lasting. I hear you either hate it or you love it, and I love it.

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Photo of seanyfo
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

0.33cl bottle, which was bottled on 19/1/06, so a year and a bit old.
Poured into a kasteel chalice.


Appearance: foam explosion!! head is four fingers, solid off white, very creamy and produces wonderful lace. Body is hazy amber in colour.

Smell: lots of citrus really hits me here, especially lime, with some fresh grass and a slight manure-esque hint. note* as the beer warms this manure flavour transforms into something resembling a cognac

Taste: Very limey citrus taste up front. This develops quickly into a more sweeter flavour and slightly sticky texture, however finishes very dry and pilsner-like. The lime is always there, but notes of a spice such as nutmeg, coriander maybe, come through to give a sweetness aswell.

M- very spritzy and highly carbonated, firm body, no watery aftertaste here.

D- I dont think i could drink more than 2, the citrus flavours really make this a sipper for me, and not something i could go a session on. A nice one for a summers evening where you just want one or two.

 1,029 characters

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

Bottled April ' 06, drank Dec.' 06

Strong burst of carbonation on opening bottle. First pour gushes and foams, I wait and pour the rest in one smooth motion. Dense, rocky, off-white creamy head looks too beautiful. I don’t want to drink it - just look at it. Light mahogany color with orange highlights. Aroma of sherbert and damp earth near the stables. Phenolic aromas and flavors of holiday spices and juicy fruit gum. Not very sweet though, with a little sour tang. 15 minutes later and halfway through the beer the head has finally settled down to a thin, soft blanket of melted marshmallow with persistent lacing. I used to not like this beer, but perhaps my pallette has matured beyond hasty expectations of big, overly candy-like dark, fruity tasting Belgian strong ales. I am humbled and exalted at the same time. This beer makes me want to eat something savory and earthy, yet not heavy or too rich.

 913 characters

Photo of NWer
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a brandy snifter from a 11.2 fl oz. bottle.
Bottled on date: 30/12/2009
Best before date: 30/12/2014

A - Deep bronze appearance, nice white head retained well and dissipated to a foamy layer. What lacing there was disappeared for the most part after a few minutes.

S - Like being in the countryside where there are a lot of farms - in a very nice way.

T - Tart, bitter apples at first, evolving to a smooth aftertaste when you churn the froth in your mouth and let it settle around the taste buds.

M - Effervescent, tangy, smooth, complex. Makes you want to sip it which is a good thing.

D - Like a fine wine - sorry for the wine comparison on a beer thread - to be enjoyed in moderation.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,398 ratings.
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