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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
5,377 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:
5,377
Reviews:
2,342
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
358
Gots:
905
For Trade:
11
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,377 |  Reviews: 2,342
Photo of rvdoorn
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orval, the trappist you either love or don’t like at all….
Look: pours a orange amber color with a large, long lasting white head.
Smell: Sweet malts, fruits (lemon), flowers, earth, grass and crisp hops. Some hints of sour apples as well.
Taste: Beautiful sourness, horse blanket, crisp, earth and grass/hay all over the place. Clove and lemon up front as well. Tartness all over with a very dry finish. Perfect balance.
Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, medium body.
Overall: Because of the wild fermentation process, I always call this beer the geuze beer under the trappist beers. This beer is so unique, so perfectly balanced, on of the best trappist beers out there. I love it! For most regular trappist beer drinkers out of their style, which maybe explains the IMO the low average score this beers has.

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

Orval Trappist Ale
Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Belgian Specialty/Pale Ale
6.9% ABV
OG?
IBUs?
330 ml bottled April 29, 2009 with a freshness date of April 20, 2014 poured into a Gouden Carolus chalice on September 15, 2010.

Appearance 5/5
Pours slightly hazy, amber-orange colored, with a huge, thick, creamy off-white head that lasted forever. Excellent lacing on the glass. Very inviting.

Aroma 4/5
Fruity and spicy, as expected. The fruit character is of fresh fruit, not dry/dark. Not much funk here though; could be because of the relatively young bottle.

Taste 4/5
Very spicy and fruity with some fruity tartness, and possibly, pepper. Flavorful, yet very light on palate. Another very unique taste that I can't quite place, but is not to my personal liking; hate to say this but it reminds me of detergent at some points. Warmth brings out the hop bitterness at the back of the tongue. Also, the balance of the beer shifts from fruit to spice as the temperature increases. Extremely dry finish; although some remnant maltiness and bitter aftertaste is felt overall.

Mouthfeel 5/5
Light and crisp. Generously carbonated and very refreshing. Initially brewed to compete locally against pilsners, and I can see why.

Drinkability 5/5
If only this one was cheaper!

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Photo of freshcarl
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ElGuapo
3.55/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The pour is very nice. It is a chocolatey brown color and very murky. The head is massive, and chunky. It sits around for a while. Aroma is pretty good with a lot of dark fruits. There are nice spices and big whiffs of alcohol. Some sour hints are in there as well.

A bottle of '04 was very mild, with no real spiciness to it. It had a nice sweet malt backbone with some kicks of alcohol, but not a lot of complexity. I thought that if it mellowed, it would taste like nothing, but the '03 was much better. It had a nice spicy bite, and a big warming alcohol blast that was a bit too much at times, but didn't really hurt it. The carbonation is pretty big, but it smoothes out. This one didn't really do it for me as compared to others in the style.

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Photo of proc
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good beer. Pours out to a cloudy, amber in the glass with a generous head. The aroma is the strong point of this beer. It combines essences of a fine liqueur with that of yeast and fruit. Taste is slightly spicy in the Belgium sort of way. Fairly high in carbonation. Finish is quite easy and invites another sip. Rather expensive, but a nice treat.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle date 07/05/07 into goblet. Pours hazy orange with significant, but diminishing head. Smells of sugars and bananas,and maybe cloves. Very tart and dry. Taste is hard to explain for me. Very nice carbonation feel in the mouth. Light taste that cuts sharply. This was my first Orval.

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

A bottle I picked up from Green's in ATL. This was bottled on 9-07-08, not too bad. I was told to let it age, but I figure what the hell. Served up in a tulip.

A: Pours a really nice and mild orangish/brown color. Held to the light you get more of a lighter orange glow. The head is off white and a good three fingers. The head is seriously rocky and huge foam. The head has great retention thanks to the constant carbonation activity that is feeding the head and moving around in here. Lace is very soapy and sticky. Lots of rocky foam remains on the glass. This is a great looking brew for sure.

S: Smell is solid. Getting some nice Belgian yeasty quality. Nice bready malt character coming through here and it really works with the fruit goodness that lies within. Getting some really nice and crisp apple skin and some nice pear. There is a touch of banana in here which is a pleasant suprise. There is a little bit of dirty funk going on in here. Its very light but its just a nice earthy hay and dusty, wet wood.

T: Taste is very nice indeed. Yet again a really nice bready and crackery malt mixes wonderfully with the Belgian yeast coming out here. That fruit is very present. Lots of apple and ome sweet pear are on display in a big way. The banana is not as big time as I was hoping but a very nice addition to the flavors. Getting a little bit of lemon lime coming out that really reminds me of a light and sparkly lemon lime soda I used to have in europe. The hops are light and floral. All together, beautiful.

M: Light side of medium in body with a really huge and crisp carbonation presence that works oh so well here. This beer has a touch of a tart feel going on in here. This beer is slightly dry. ABV is no where to be found. Aftertaste is mostly some slightly tart apple and fruity goodness. This all works and very nice.

D: This beer is incredibly drinkable thanks to is light wieght and big time carbonation. Overall, this beer works on every level. The flavors are complex but still remain light and delicate. I think that is the best way to describe this beer. It has some much going on but it still remains delicate. Just a beautifully crafted brew. Glad I followed the advice of whoever it was who told me to get a bottle of this to give a go. Just great.

 2,287 characters

Photo of mattyrubes
3/5  rDev -28.2%

Photo of mixed_master7
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of jman005
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of DeFaz
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Is Michael Jordan the best basketball player? It's probably not fair to say since there may be some undiscovered guy out there. And that's how I feel about this beer--in my humble opinion, it seems doubtful that there will ever be a better trappist ale, and yet who knows? What I do know though is that I enjoy the heck out of this--its amazing appearance (a huge foamy head that while receding quickly leaves great lacing) and a smell with complex floral notes and candy-like sweetness that is balanced by something (or everything) and keeps the smell so inviting. The taste is amazing--sweet, delicate, floral, balanced, intense, thoughtful, and beautiful. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy, making it a beer to swirl around in the mouth for several seconds before swallowing, allowing the opportunity to absorb all of the flavors. And yet, even the mouthfeel somehow manages to seek balance with its crispness. Overall, in my opinion this beer is absolutely one of the best out there even considering its relatively high cost (about $4.25 per 11.2 ounce bottle). Some may fail to appreciate the beer because it doesn't have the high ABV of some Belgians or the bitter hop taste of some of their favorite IPAs, but for what it is, it's just about perfect, and I use that word as sparingly as I can.

 1,300 characters

Photo of kzoobrew
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to snifter, bottled 04/24/07.

Pours orange and hazy. Massive three finger white head. Very dense. Great retention, as head subsides nice lacing left along side of glass.

Yeast and spice are hitting the nose first. Sweet aroma some banana clove and the usual Belgian funk. Good Stuff.

Crisp clean and smooth. Before the flavor is even picked up i am noticing the crispy cleany smoothness. Hops and malt mesh well. Citric zest kicks in, very nice job here.

As stated before, crisp clean and smooth. Finishes dry. While above the sessionable abv, this is a very sessionable brew. Excellent.

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

Poured from the ubiquitous 11.2 oz. bowling pin-shaped Orval bottle into a goblet. Bottled on 09/07/2008, with a Best Before date five years from bottling.

Pours a deep, hazy amber hue, giving rise to a humongous light tan head that fills half the vessel. The foam settles very slowly to a thick half-finger that sticks around for the remainder of the drink, leaving thick, broken sheets of lace behind on the walls of the glass.

A very earthy aroma fills the nose, with lemon zest combining with spicy yeast notes, damp earth and a slight mustiness.

A rather light, effervescent body holds within it a mildly spicy brew with a thick underlying base of toasted biscuit. Hops mingle with the yeasty spiciness, keeping in check what little malty sweetness is present. The finish is very dry, with a bit of a grassy aftertaste that lingers.

Nice, refreshing, highly distinctive and absolutely gorgeous to look at, this is one Trappist ale that is well worth its lofty praise and honorable status. Watch out for the 6.9% ABV, though, as it can sneak up just as easily as the beer goes down.

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Photo of brownbeer
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a brilliant yellowish orange, nice bubbles and a head that will be as big as you want it.

Absolutely wonderful nose; bretty funk, white pepper, a light woody note, white grapes.

Flavors are similar to the nose with brisk carbonation and finishing dry with great noble hop character.

Sensational in refreshment and drinkability. Classic and inspiring. Yes, please.

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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

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

330ml bottle into goblet. "bottled on 15/01/2015, best before 15/01/2020B". 6.9% abv. consumed on june 30, 2015

a: light copper with two fingers of off-white head

s: ah brett beers. noticeably funky but miles from offensive. funk, strong bready malt, and sour lemon up front. underneath that are very mild backing notes of overripe bananas, sour apples, pears, and bubblegum

t: follows the nose but is a bit more fruity. a really solid chewy bready malt in the front mixed with those sour funky brett flavours. lots of complex but tame backing flavours throughout -- pear, lemon, banana, papaya, bubblegum, spices, melon, earthy hops, apricot, maybe even some mango? ends with a moderate hop bitterness and lingering subdued funky tastes

m: nice, modest medium-minus body with plenty of bubbly carbonation. very dry finish

o: a massively complex beer that offers so many different flavours upon each sip

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Photo of hotstuff
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This particular brew poured with a large white foamy head. There was carbonation observed rising to the top of my glass. The body was cloudy and an orangish color. This brew had a fruity aroma to it. This is one brew that I really enjoyed rating and drinking.

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Photo of WakeandBake
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, bottled on date 24/04/2007 best before 24/04/2012. A hazy light amber pour ,loads of carbonation bubbles,and a huge fluffy off white head, wonderful lacing and lasted till the very end.
Aroma is a wonderful scent of spices,sugar and lemon,lighter notes of orange and a nice finish of yeast and hops.The flavor is a blend of spices & lemon, Light banana notes and fruity esters form the yeast, nice bready notes, a crisp refreshing mouthfeel with a very dry finish of hops and alcohol. Very complex and balanced.A very fun try .

 536 characters

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 Andreji
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It is certainly a pale ale, this one, but a nice decent trappist product.

Pours an orange kinda tainted tone which reminds me of the sorta pale ale that sierra nevada has. And the product itself is very similar: a tough, bitter sweetness both in nose and taste that while being good is not all that great for my taste (les goûts et les couleurs ne se discutent pas!), But still is a nice refreshing malty-hoppy blend that works always. The trappistes at orval have passed the test.

 485 characters

Photo of SteveB24
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of jmryan8
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.99/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Bottled 4/1/2005, best before 4/1/2010. Yeah, like I had a chance of waiting that long.

Hazy orange in color with a massive fluffy white head. I mean thick and white and looking like an arctic glacier as is slooowly fades. Lacing is phenomenal.

Aroma of ripe pears, some peppery hops and clove. Real nice. Taste reveals a sourness that it not evident in the aroma. Finishes dry and sour, and not at all unpleasant.

Fairly light bodied, and dries the mouth out a bit. A pretty good sipper. I'll be nursing this one for sure.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 1/6/10.

Poured into my complementary Orval chalice: Two fingers creamy, rocky, buoyant foam that drops to a finger & retains oh so well. Looks like a cloud. Body is a hazy, translucent burnt orange with brighter orange highlights.

Smell is wow. Overlaying brett character that's pointed but not too sharp, like a tart key lime pie, freshly mown grass, herbs, a little cherry, & that specifically Belgian grapiness in so many of their yeasts. Underlying are mildly creamy tones, a little graham cracker sweetness, even cocoa hints now & again. So complex, I want to sink into this. And that dryness keeps bringing me back. Fantastic.

A sip starts off with some of the spiciness & grape qualities but quickly dries out & becomes herbal & mineral, with a character that I've had before in Orval that I can only describe as "stony," like licking a rock. Not bad, just interesting - it has a solid, dry bitterness to it. Unexpected at first, but it mellows & becomes pretty enjoyable, with some mildly orange sweetness backed by a slightly bitter zest. Mild tonic note.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, very smooth & velvety. That dryness sticks around & hangs on the palate.

Man, this is one complex beer. Some very subtle notes hanging back in this to pay attention to. I can't say I loved every movement I went through with it, but it was all about the ride, & the ups & downs all added to up to a great outcome. This is definitely a once-in-a-while kind of experience, & I wouldn't want to overdo it, but I'll be looking forward to that next "once-in-a-while."

 1,570 characters

Photo of poskok
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,377 ratings.
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