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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
5,378 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:
5,378
Reviews:
2,343
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: 5,378 |  Reviews: 2,343
Photo of fortyfield
3.25/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of jbdpsu82
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of tb4475
3.57/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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

11.2 oz brown bottle

Orval Trappist Ale was amber in color with a large white bubbly head. The head had decent retention and left plenty of lacing behind. The nose is full of trappist yeast with a little malt and slight alcohol smell. The taste was fruity (mostly citrus) and lightly spicy. The body was medium to light with plenty of carbonation. Nice drinkabilily. Overall it is a good beer and I will purchase again.

 422 characters

Photo of BlindPig
3.22/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Huge off white head on a cloudy dark orange body. Good head retention and leaves thick lacing.
S- Sour tart apples. Faint stale aroma. Light wood also comes through.
T- Light sour apple flavor. Not near as much as the smell hints at. Light bitterness. As soon as you swallow it is almost a soap flavor. Light yeast. Some sour fruits come out. Very different taste. Not sure if this bottle is skunked since it was bottled in 2004 and it was just left on the shelf in the store and light is usually on it.
M- High carbonation on a thin body.
D- It is kind of weird. Not to fond of it. To much carbonation. The only thing that I really like about it is the aroma.

 670 characters

Photo of leaversuch
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of xungmound98
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

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

Appearance - 4.0
Poured a finger of rocky off-white head over a cloudy amber-peach body.

Smell - 4.5
Strengthens as it warms. Sweet stone fruit, mandarin, grapefruit, honey, sweet malt. Lots of yeast character to achieve this fruitiness.

Taste - 4.5
What a weird beer! It is more sour than bitter, very yeasty, fruity sweet and dry in the finish. Sweetness is not immediately apparent, flavours of bitter apricot, grapefruit, lemon-like sourness and hoppy bitterness in the very dry finish. All in all, masses of flavour, maybe a little too much for me!

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Slightly rough, more carbonated than expected for the style. Moderate to heavy weight in the mouth, carbonation has a sharp bite to it.

Drinkability - 4.0
Despite the relatively moderate 6.2%ABV, I would rarely want a second of these in a sitting. However, I will definitely be drinking this again, because the "wow" factor is surely there.

OVERALL - 4.35
Part of me feels that I should have scored this higher as I reminisce of the powerful flavours. However, I feel this is a beer that needs food to be really drinkable, as the power and complexity are simply staggering for the tastebuds. Not a beer for the newly initiated, or for drinking quickly, but I know I will be coming back for another taste.

Edit: The more I drink this, the better I like it, hence the increased score (I started by giving it a 4.1!).

 1,390 characters

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good looking beer. Pours a dark golden amber color. Very nice head and nice bubbles. Lacing coats the whole glass.

Aroma is tart and funky. Lemons and barn yard funk. Smells awesome.

The aroma suggests more taste but it's mostly funk taste. Not alot going on. Mostly just funk in the flavor. Little tart. Could use a little more malt.

Mouthfeel is really dry. High carb

overall I love funky beers so this was good. Just wish it could be a little better.

 467 characters

Photo of hotsudge
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Shilt
4/5  rDev -4.3%

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

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ha. Wow. Raul is giving himself fits on what he's trying to make of this one. At first, like Natalie Portman in sweatpants, it was a bit disappointing (because so much hype was there). But as Raul chilled out as he let Nick Cave serenade him, he warmed to Orval as Orval warmed for him.

First and foremost, the thang is just plum gorgeous. It has an orangish glow/hue like Emily Didinato carving a pumpkin. Then, with the taste (which let Raul down at first) is a very respectable - yet a bit sedated - funk, Belgian yeasts and grass. It's very nice, simplistic, but extremely pleasant like a girl offering to pay on the third date.

So, yes, like after said floozy that offered to pay for dinner, Raul wouldn't mind seeing this one again and again!

 750 characters

Photo of twowheelssoar
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of MarioM
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz poured into a Russian River stemmed glass.

A: Nice almost cloudy light orange color with a huge head made from medium to small bubbles. Almost sticky looking foam, very common to brett beers. Ok lacing, head is lingering but is not sticking to the glass but is definitely standing its ground.

S: Light funk from the brett, a bit malty and tropical fruit like. Good phenolic character from the wild bacteria.

T: A lot o brett character, dry crisp and nice phenols. It definitely lets you know your drinking a beer with wild yeast. The Brett character is not as overpowering in the taste as it is in the aroma but still refreshing and fruity enough to be very enjoyable and tasty. Style calls for a Belgian Pale but I've also read and heard of it referenced as a Tripel. Regardless of its classification to a style, Orval is a unique beer and don't really know how to classify it. All I know is its a refreshing Brett Beer that is not a Belgian Pale nor a Tripel, yet far from a saison to confuse and cause much controversy when trying to fit this beer into a style. Which I wouldn't try, Orval is Orval and that's just how it is.

M: Medium bodied with a nice lingering brett funk that differs depending on the age of the bottle. I get a lot of tropical fruit from this one but can also be a bit simplistic and dry when young. High carbonation adds a tiny bit of crisp tartness but not sour at all. Just simply clean Brett character with a good carbonated backbone to balance and make for a refreshing and delicious unique beer. The one and only Orval.

O: Simple yet complicated at the same time. Refreshing and crisp while wanting to be tart and complex without being sour. A must have in my book and one damn unique Trappist brew that can be easily found and decently priced. Highly recommended to anyone.

 1,821 characters

Photo of constantine_272
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Huge billowing head flaired up over a dark copper clear and lively beer. Oak and red clay and earth on the nose. The taste is bright and crisp with a clean floral caramel sweetness that sharply contrasts the tart herb of thyme and prickly carbonation. Almost even a little cinnamon warmth there, but ever so subtle. A dank redwood taste builds with molasses and earthy moss. Mouthefeel is good and balanced, but the lovely protein that caused the head also gave me a couple gross sips that just felt like biting through fat. Overall a great Belgian. Not my favorite, but great. This particular bottle was 18 months old; I might prefer it after a little longer in the cellar.

 674 characters

Photo of tikk
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

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

Served in a La Fin Du Monde glass.

A- Golden in color with slight haze. The head on this is crazy foamy. Took a while to settle to pour the whole bottle.

S- I can smell the brett for sure. Very potent and strong smelling. There is also a great fruity smell to it as well.

T- The sour taste is great, very satisfying. There is a great fruity taste, but something else is there that is almost like a bitter hop taste.

M- Great mouthfeel.

D- Very easy to drink, and very refreshing.

 484 characters

Photo of FatBoyGotSwagger
4.94/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky brown color with a booming 3 finger white head. The smell is a light earthy aroma with an authentic Belgian spice. My first sip of this started with a fantastic tart and spiciness upfront hat literally explodes on the tongue with the fantastic carbonation. There are some funky notes in there also but every note plays off each other so well it leaves me wanting another sip. Halfway through the head is still a good cm and resembles construction foam, the taste becomes increasingly spicy and funky. Notes of fresh grass, lemon, and spicy banana. What an incredible beer, I get it now.

 600 characters

Photo of dmamiano
3.36/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, golden straw color with a big, rocky head..almost too be. Kind of "gushed" as it hit the glass.
Smells of hint og bubble gum, yeasty and estery. Cooked apples and pears come to mind.
Taste is rather bland if I can say that. Mouthfeel is good. Fruity and full. Yeast characteristics tasted.
Drink by 8/8/2012 is noted on the bottle. Perhaps I should have aged it more.

 381 characters

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

1 year old bottle, Nov 2010 bottling. Pours a pinkinsh amber gold with a large head and a tempestuous body. Nose is soft peaches and apples, hay, brett. Mouth is sweet trappist yeast throughout with a bready quality and medium hops over the finish. Dries out a lot toward the back palate but still sweeter than I remembered this being. Fair amount of dry, earthy brett creeping out at this age. Not nearly as bright or hop forward as the recent Jul 2011 bottling. Apples, stewed peaches throughout that avoid being overly sweet.

To me, this succeeds at being many things at once, but I don't feel it's really exceptional on any level. I've enjoyed the 5 month and 13 month old bottles I've had recently (which were massively different), but there are certainly better trappist ales, better dry brett golden ales, better Belgian pale ales out there. This is pretty notable in its transcendence but it's not straightforward enough for me, I suppose.

 948 characters

Photo of MrNate
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

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

This poured to a dark shade of almost orange and bronze. The head was enormous; it eventually died down but never went away. It's leaving a think and luxurious lace behind.

Alcohol comes through in the smell, just behind all that fruit and banana that one should expect. The taste has the banana flavor as well, with a great hop profile in the finish.

This is a really good beer, and well worth a try if nothing else.

 423 characters

Photo of gmfessen
3.81/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a slightly cloudy, orange topaz color with a frothy, white head. The smell is spicy and slightly fruity and a whiff of alcohol. The taste is interesting; the alcohol is apparent and creates a warming sensation. The flavor is spicy and of dark fruit. The mouthfeel is light in body with a sparkling carbonation and a dry, alcohol finish. Drinkability is decent, not my favorite Belgian by any means but a decent beer overall.

 474 characters

Photo of pants678
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Transparent orange with big white head.

Sorta spicy.

Subtle spices, light on hop and a slightly tangy but very dry finish. Corriander? some. Brett? Some. Has a bready, rustic, mildly sour quality. I could stand a small punch up on the sour but that's knit-picking a fine beer.

Medium, not as heavy as say a tripel.

 318 characters

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,378 ratings.
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