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

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Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
BA SCORE
4.21/5
Exceptional
5,428 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
Ranking:
#981
Reviews:
2,351
Ratings:
5,428
pDev:
12.35%
Bros Score:
4.92
 
 
Wants:
360
Gots:
930
Trade:
11
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,428 |  Reviews: 2,351
Photo of xungmound98
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of TheBeeraholic
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of Caudalie
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of DeFaz
4.8/5  rDev +14%
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 Beer-Ed
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of RMentair
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jerk_Store
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jroof1
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of WholeLottaTricks
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of kbnooshay
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour this super slow, its gonna grow on you. Poured a gloriously hazy golden amber with a huge super frothy-foamy off white head. Lots of carbonation rising to the top. Creamy and very complete coating in terms of lacing. Head looks like a root beer float head floating around on a melting cream base.

Aroma is spectacular. Full of pepperiness, clove, fruit(orange lemon) and honey! The light sour twang of brett yeast is always welcome.

More of the same awesomeness as described above. Super yeasty, musty and lightly sour. Peppery and only slightly drying. Citric.

Feel is creamy and slick but tingly from the carbonation. I would gladly drink more than one of these bowling pin shaped brews but i would almost feel guilty. So damn good.

 743 characters

Photo of cj8311
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of Googs
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 06/14/2012. When I opened it up, it shot out of the bottle. Poured into Duvel tulip.

A: Poured with a huge froathy white head. Lacing coating the glass. Golden orange body. Carbonation is very apparent.

S: This smells incredible. Both sweet and funky from the mix of the fruity Orval yeast and the funky brett but neither is overpowering. Slight aroma from the hops. Just what I was hoping for.

T: Mix of bit sweet bread from the cara and pale malts, spiciness, tart, funk from the yeast and bitterness from the hops. Great - Complex and unique but I think this could better.

M: Low-medium body. Would prefer a little more body actually. Crispy and very carbonated. Maybe a bit too much for my liking. But smooth as fuck, and refreshing.

O: This brew stands out from the other Trappist beers in a number of ways. Like I said, it's complex and unique and certainly drinkable but there's room for improvement. I'll be drinking this again.

 955 characters

Photo of mverity
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an orange amber with an inch of perfectly even bubbled light tan head. Good lacing, head has staying power, thick collar at the edges. Aroma is of aged hops, earthy funk, citrus, and some dark cherry. Very effervescent and bubbly on the tongue. High carbonation, light to medium body. Fun to drink. Taste is grassy and earthy in a dry funky kind of way, with some floral and earthy hops.

 393 characters

Photo of rvdoorn
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

 812 characters

Photo of tewaris
4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
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!

 1,265 characters

Photo of freshcarl
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ElGuapo
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

 754 characters

Photo of proc
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

 356 characters

Photo of aubuc1
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

 295 characters

Photo of everetends
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
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 mixed_master7
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of jman005
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of kzoobrew
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

 603 characters

Photo of superdedooperboy
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

 1,090 characters

Photo of brownbeer
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

 373 characters

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 5,428 ratings
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