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

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2,290 Reviews
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A.

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

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Reviews: 2,290 | Ratings: 5,242
Photo of nms1987
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Duvel tulip glass.
Brownish orange color. Kind of clay colored. Completely opaque.
Massive foamy white/cream head. More head than Duvel.

Smells Belgian. Funky yeast notes and a slight bit of hoppy notes coming through there.

Wow, thats a dry beer. Definately a sipper despite the low (for a Belgian) ABV. More hoppy than most Belgians but not what I'd call a "hoppy" beer compared to many American beers. The brett adds a fun dimension though, the moderate brett and moderate hopping synergize nicely to add up to more than the sum of their parts.
The combination almost gives it a west-coast citrus/pine vibe although the beer is much more moderate, complex and understated than that.

I like it, I just don't know how often I'd seek it out.

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Photo of jpittman80
3.27/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Orangy amber with hick full head. Big cloud of yeast sediment that fills the glass, rendering hazy.

S - Smells great. Bready belgian yeast character with banana, lemon, and some tropical fruit characteristics.

T - Mostly yeast, with lemon, banana, and a pretty good bit of hop bitterness for a Belgian. Very dry.

M - Light-medium body with plenty of carbonation.

D - It's actually making me a little gassy, but maybe I'm having an off night. The hop bitterness gets a little old after awhile. I think I might give the rest of the goblet to my wife, see if she likes it a little better.


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Photo of Aethien
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 21 dec 2011, best before 21 dec 2016.

Poured into a chalice, a hazy almost copper colour with a good off white head. Great retention and plenty of lacing.

Smell: Flowery, grapes, a little tart and some citrus.

Taste & mouthfeel: Prickling carbonation and some citrus flavours followed by hoppy bitterness, yeast, grassy notes and ends spicy, a little tart and very dry. The beer gets smoother near the end as well.

Overall: It's a very well balanced and good beer. It's not spectacular it's just very good.
I may try aging one or more of my 4 pack to see how it changes.

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Photo of barrelman
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very bubbly into the glass. Bubbles coat the glass giving an indirect view of the color which is a beautiful, light amber. Head retreats to light layer with no lacing.

The aroma is extremely pleasant. Fruity with the mild horse-blanket tones being the quiet feature of the nose.

Taste is pretty dry with the wild yeast taking the spotlight in both the fore and after tastes. The after taste lasts a little too long for me with a high, thin flavor.

Mouthfeel started off over-carbonated for me but after a brief warmup and sit, settles down nicely.

The drinkability is pretty good, With most of my pleasure coming from what the small proportion of wild yeast brings to it in both the nose and taste. A thoroughly enjoyable brew.

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Photo of rkinsella
3.32/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Medium yellow / light amber, slightly cloudy. Beautiful head stayed through most of the glass. Decent amount of lacing.

Smell - Actually caught me by surprise. A tad strange. Balanced malt and hop, but with strong notes of a fresh water stream? Dare I say, fresh laundry??? Almost a puzzling smell.

Taste - Right away you can taste the complexity. Fine notes of citrus, spice, tartness, all inside of a big crisp taste. Nice dry finish which faded evenly.

Mouthfeel. Round, velvet, good carbonation.

This beer is beautifully crafted with lots of care I'm sure. Although I don't know how often I would buy it, but I'm very glad I tried it.

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

One of the most original and funkiest beers ever made! Drinking it makes me feel like I am walking through a hay field during the early harvest. Lots of cows grazing around in the fields, freshly pollinated flowers, and funky fresh smells all on the wind. Love the beer, have had it fresh (less than three months old) and aged (3+ years in bottle), and I love it every time. Every bottle is different but the funk and the pure farm freshness remains each time.

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Photo of BlackHoleBrew42
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Golden amber Nectar, huge head, beautifully and highly carbonated

S- oooh, theres the brettanomyces... noble hops, i think Styrian Goldings. getting goosebumps.

T- Good lord. I dont know why, this beer just makes sense. Not to sout, beautiful hoppiness, but not bitter. perfectly balanced sour sweet bitter. Good lord.

M- As before, high carbonation, delicious lingering sourness, a tear comes to my eye as the flavor fades...

D- For me, my desert island beer.

Theres a store here in Colorado that sells bottles for $2.49 a piece... might need to go buy a case, although i might drink it all in a few days. Seriously. Amazing stuff. I love these Cistercian monks, got to make it to the brewery some day. Soon.

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Photo of carpezytha
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into tulip glass at 46 F.

A: Unfiltered honey with aggressive cream colored head that settles with a very stubborn, intricate lacing.
S: Yeast bomb wrapped in damp wool. Cat pee and tanbark (in a good way).
T: Musty, spicy, lots of citrus peel (cumquat, key lime). Barnyard,
M: Prickly, but balanced.
D: One of the top beers, could drink daily.

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Photo of Muhly
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a snifter. Warmed bottle 20 minutes after removing from the refrigerator.

Bottled in September 2011 with a best before date of September 2016.

A-Pours with a good deal of foamy head. Head it is quite fluffy with one large bubbles foaming. Retains the head nicely. No lacing when I tip the glass, but the head seems to retain its form very well. As I drink it down the lacing becomes much more apparent. Colour is a red-copper and very clear.

S-A fair bit of sweet malt with and a little yeasty. Some floral hops that are more summer time field than citrusy.

T-Hit with a bit of the sweet maltiness right away, which fades to a mildly funky yeast and then finally a bit of tartness. Mild grassy/citrusy hops. I think I'm also detecting a slight spicy note as well, but it doesn't pop out on every sip it seems.

M-Light in body and it kind of just dances on your tongue. Very dry finish that lingers on the mouth. Maybe a touch of alcohol, but not really noticeable.

O-It seems that all of the flavours in this beer come to play in equal quantity. Nothing takes the lead and everything comes together at the right moment. Thoroughly enjoyable and well made beer.

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Photo of Bluesman2383
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Banana on the nose and then malty goodness. The only thing about this beer I did not like was the massive head foam I got from the bottle like Triple Karmelliet. Otherwise, a great beer all the way around.

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Photo of heidelbeerg
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a copper orange color with a fluffy white large head. Carbonation was very evident upon pouring. The smell was crisp and citrus like. The taste was very interesing and different from anything else I've had. Very zingy yet light citron flavor along with a high amount of carbonation. Acidic and lively. Hops evident in the finish. The mouthfeel was a little odd to me. The carbonation seemed almost too high. I had the feeling off pop rocks going off in the mouth. It wasn't bad, just different. The drinkability was good but not great. The bitey nature would keep me from drinking too many of these.

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Photo of brushpig
4.82/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Slim the bartender at the Hopleaf suggested this fine brew. Served in a tulip glass.

Amber orange appearance with a huge frothy head.

The aroma of flowers citrus light spices.

The taste is something special, smooth, but very complex with lemons, hops, tart, bitter, flowers. All this with a perfect balence that makes this a joy to drink. Not a overwhelming ABV (6.20)
which makes this very drinkable.

This is one of the traditional belgiums that is a must try.

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

I´d noticed this one in my local store for a rather long time, but I never tried it until recently. I was pretty bored with the old stuff, so I decided to try something new. And man - this is an excellent beer! Smell is fantastic - spicy (sage? thyme?), a bit sour; black currants, apples, somekind of candy (bubblegum?), sweet malt. In the taste, the spices come forward even more, together with different fruits (currants, apples, some sweeter tropical ones too), grass and some sweet malt, plus a really nice, balanced bitterness, and a dry finish. Excellent mix of sour, bitter and sweet notes.

Perhaps my favorite beer.

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Photo of krunchie
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a redbrown to orange colour, bronze, quite cloudy. The head is thick and....big....I had to wait a while to let it set.

S: Lovely! Some hop aroma. Dry cider and herbs.

T: Dry cider and grapefruit. More of the hop aroma, but pretty smooth finish. Light-medium bitterness

M: Semi-full body, Covers the mouth with a bitter aftertaste

D: One is enough. This is a quite nice beer, but the good flavours of it won't last for long. Maybe a good appetizer beer

Will I buy it again? Probably

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

11.2floz bottle poured into a chalice.

The pop of the cap let out a rather loud hiss. This baby is highly carbonated, and poured gently into my chalice. The head is white and rocky with an assortment of bubbles small and large. The inside of the glass has beautiful lacing. Lacing that is only present due to the imbibing and not the fading of the head. The body of the ale is a beautiful copper and gold. My nose is being filled with floral hops, lemon, dark fruit and a yeasty warm bread. The high amount of carbonation tickles my nasal cavity and leaves me smelling lemon and flowers. The first sip is non aggressive and dry. The body is thin and inviting. Very low bitterness meets biscuit and dark fruit. Champagne like body and mouthfeel pave the way for this complex ale. Dry from start to finish. Orval has a very floral aftertaste with a dry fruit balance. In winter cold or summer sun this ale will fit the bill.

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Photo of DrewKid4
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a bottle with a chalice glass at Rattle N Hum on 33rd Street in Manhattan.

A: Pours a thick glowing orange with a fluffy white head with nice lacing on the glass.

S: Smells like a strong cider more than a strong ale. Very fruity and some hops but very unique.

T: Bitter sweetness of sour fruits - grapes, apples, and ... cranberries? A very bitter Trappist.

M: Crisp, dry feel like a cider but thick like many Belgians.

D: A good Belgian for all tastes. Uncommon at most bars, so when you find a place that has it, definitely try it out.

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Photo of GregoryVII
4.95/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is a delight. The aroma is very earthy and evokes a drive through the countryside. You inhale the hops from the dry hopping greedily as it blends beautifully with the bouquet the yeast imparts. The color is a light sunset and the beer is slightly cloudy, with a good foamy head. The taste is slightly acidic, with invigorating hop notes that work as well with the spice of the yeast in taste as they do in the aroma--a beautiful marriage. Orval finishes dry as you bring the glass up to your mouth for another sip. It's been said before, I think by Randy Mosher, but this...this is beer.

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Photo of Blindpigbiz
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Smell: subtle sage, hops, and slight caper-like hues permeate throughout the nose

Taste: tart lemongrass with intense fresh hops and herbs entwined with kumquats and capers with white vinegar; impeccably saison-like with fantastic effervescence

This is one the most complex beers I've had recently, and is a perfect pick for a classy summer brunch

This beer pairs very well with fish tacos, seared ahi, ahi poke, ceviche, and carne asada; I highly recommend this unique Trappist to anyone

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Photo of Dravin
4.57/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a duvel tulip. Bottled on date of 17/07/14 with a best by date 5 years past that.

Look -- Pours a deep gold with mountains of fluffy white head that laces the glass beautifully. It generated so much head it took a fair amount of time to pour.

Smell -- Clove, bubblegum, banana, in a word fruity. There is also some barnyard funk coming through on the nose.

Taste -- As the nose it taste fruity and the funk comes through more prominently with a slight addition of band aid. It has a fair amount of bitterness that lingers. There isn't much in the way in sweetness coming through for me. Possibly a consequence of the brett and being bottled in 2014.

Feel -- Lively carbonation and medium body keeps it light on the palate. It's fairly dry, and it would be crisp except for the bitterness.

Overall -- It's a beautiful beer to behold with that deep gold body and pillows of creamy white head. The brett character comes through, my first experience with it, and it's quite interesting. It's a shame it's more expensive or I'd probably see this gracing my fridge in the near future but that's probably a lament for any trappist ale.

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Photo of jamesroses
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 21/4/2016, drank on 18/8/2016

Appearance: hazy copper orange with a big head every time it's poured, like 5 finger head. Great lacing and retention.

Aroma: reminded me of good sparkling wine, fruity and floral, red apple skin and perfume. Not strong, but delicate.

Taste: similar to the aroma, tasted like white sparkling wine, sour golden raisins and something similar to a fruity minty flavour.

Mouthfeel: crisp carbonation that makes for a medium bodied mouthfeel with a champagne-like bitter aftertaste.

Overall: I liked it and would drink it again, maybe was a bit more sour or bitter than I'd expected. This bottle was pretty fresh, so I'm looking forward to get another one and cellar it for a couple of years to see what it's like in that condition.

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Photo of Trentonator
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There is something exquisitely sublime about this beer. It has so many complimentary yet contradictory flavors about it, but I cannot find fault with it. It has a sharp, tangy flavor at first, but it goes down smoothly. Take a sip and breathe it in, there is a very unusual, almost hot pepper taste across your tongue. As it warms, it seems to take on a different face altogether. I liken it to an ex girlfriend, a bit offish at first, but yet unique and intriguing all the same. The more I get to know, the more I am drawn in, but just when I think I have things figured out, it changes/morphs into a completely different being. OK, I digress, but seriously, this is a beer that you should try for the sheer experience of it.

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Photo of Abra
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My first official authentic Trappist beer.

Pours a beautiful hazy amber color with a MASSIVE frothy, lacy head...my glass of choice could have benefited from a few extra inches at least!
Very high carbonation...there is a constant steady stream of bubbles running up the center.

Aroma is very yeasty, with subtle spice and apricot/sugary fruity undertones...I actually can't stop smelling it-so wonderfully complex and interesting.

Taste unfortunately doesn't expand on the aroma. It's clean, crisp with almost a hint of sour...not unpleasant at all. It befits a Belgian Pale Ale perfectly.

I am very glad I tried it.

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Photo of Rocko
3.89/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When I was in a Systembolaget store gazing over all the available beers a guy tipped me of this one, he said if I like Duvel I will like this one. Very well..need I say I bought it? ;)

Firstly, credits for the bottle, like already mentioned in the earlier reviews, it looks really neat. :) I was very suprised when I poured up this hazy orange fluid, it really looks like blood orange juice. The head was furious, I had to be really careful here. It wasn't too foamy though so it settled quickly. The smell is complex, a bit sour and fruity touch of bitter orange.

A huge bitternes is makes itself at home one the palate after a sip, and it dares to stay there for a long time too! How nice of it to stick around. ;) However I don't think I can rate this one over Duvel like Gusler did, this one rates a little lower imho. In the end however it's a nice ale, everyone should try this if they can get hold of it. Oh, and I payed a little over $2 for this bottle.

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Photo of silks636
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle.

Cloudy orange amber with a huge fluffy ivory head. Excellent retention and lacing. Strong earthy floral nose... banana, lemon, hay, and spice are also present. Taste begins light and tart then turns to a heavy musty earthy flavor with complex hints of spice, lemon, cider, and tangy berry. Curiously strong hop bite. Finishes extremely dry. Mouthfeel is medium and very warming with strong carbonation.

An absolutely stunning ale. Very complex and wonderful.

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Photo of indesertum
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

took out bottle from fridge. waited 10 minutes. poured in a tulip goblet.

very nice reddish amber color. clean white three finger foam. head retention is looong. 7, 8 min plus. nice lacing.

aroma is fantastic. lots of floral, fruity, light citrus notes. reminds me of wildflower honey

great lively carbonation. all the aromas are there. plums? tangerines? grapefruit? decent hops that are well balanced with everything else. the yeast adds a nice richness, roundedness, depth to everything

mouthfeel is rich from the liquid, but very lively from the carbonation. very refreshing.

overall, this is top 3 trappist. i've had all the chimay, westmalle, orval, rochefort offerings (ie the widely available ones), and i would choose this over a lot of them many many times. damn good beer

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,242 ratings.
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