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

2,312 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: 2,312 | Ratings: 5,303
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 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 stevecee2003
2.52/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

APP - Huge head! At least half the glass, maybe more. Light merky amber color.

SMELL - Wow, just take in all those smells. Soft malts. and lemon. Some kind of flowers. Very nice. I have hopes!

TASTE - A bit of a disappointment. Although I must admit I didn't know what to expect, so what's to disappoint? Well, I expected more from a Trappist Ale. It was crisp- yet watered down. There is also that unmistakable lemon in there, and now that I taste it, maybe thats not a good thing. At least for me.

MOUTH - It just feels very watery. I admit I most enjoy strong IPA's, so perhaps this disqualifies me. But this goes down TOO easily. Almost like, and I hate to say it, a Budweiser. Oooohh. Sorry.

DRINKABILITY - Probably good for some as it goes down easily.

NOTES - It may be good for some. If so, go for it! But for me- I am glad I tried it, but no. No.

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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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Photo of greg202stewart
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Definitely one of a kind. This is one of the light trappists, golden yellow. The smell I've pinpointed as new sneaker. I know that sounds gross, but there is an undeniable funk to Oval. But it is one of the most crisp and refreshing beers I've come to enjoy.

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Photo of nelnutter
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured 11.2 oz bottle into Chimay glass. Bottled date of 5/8/09.

A: Pours a hazy copper/orange color with a ginormous and agressive foamy/soapy white head of foam that sticks around for quite a long time. Sticky lacing left everywhere. Gorgeous brew.

S: Fruity, cider, peppery, and some citrus. Very sweet overall.

T: Wow, this is an interesting one. Definitely peppery and cidery, and mostly sour and bitter hoppiness coming, and leaves long-lasting dry finish.

M: Full-bodied and lots of carbonation, and very very dry!

D: I thoroughly enjoyed this, and like the style overall, and it's one that is just so dry I can only put down one. Granted, I enjoy it thoroughly, but I can understand those that don't like this.

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

Tasted quite cold in an Orval glass. Pours a nice light copper, with off-white head that shrinks to a small layer and really clings to the glass. Slighty havy. Looks very inviting.

Smell is not very present at first. Some slight spices and hops. Later some caramel, cloves, malts, citrus, and a very slight burt smell. It smells fantastic, but still a bit faint.

Taste has notes of yeast and mats, before the big hops kick in. Lots of fruit, green apples, lemon, grapefruit. A nice bitterness, but not overprowering at all, it's balanced very nicely by some light malt and a hint of sweetness. Then some spices, but not as much as on the nose. Aftertase is more grapefruit. After it has warmed up a,ittle the yeast comes through more. This is really balanced and complex.

Mouth is light, and full of carbonation, It pricks even a bit. I love big carbonation.

I love this beer. The smell and taste are really good, and it has a nice carbonation that I like. It's nowhere near any other trappist beer though, it's closer to an IPA even, which is why I don't score the overall a 5. But wow this is a really really good beer.

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Photo of ghurux86
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this is a very good beer. i couldn't pour the 11.2 oz bottle into my glass without the head overflowing. the head is VERY thick and VERY creamy and leaves the most impressive lacing i've seen, thick chunks of foam stuck to the sides of my glass. Taste seems to be mainly of hops with maybe some spices i can't identify and alcohol--the alcohol taste isn't too bad though. It's a little bitter but overall good for the ABV. It goes down very smooth and the mouthfeel is just about right-not too thick not too thin. my only complaint is the drinkibility because of the price, 8.99 for two 11.2oz bottles, after tax that about 5 bucks a beer therefore i probably won't get it again. but that doesn't take away from it being an execellent brew.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,303 ratings.
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