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

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Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
BA SCORE
4.2/5
Exceptional
5,490 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:
#1,130
Reviews:
2,367
Ratings:
5,490
pDev:
12.38%
Bros Score:
4.92
 
 
Wants:
360
Gots:
958
Trade:
11
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,490 |  Reviews: 2,367
Photo of carln26
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy copper to orange color with a thick off-white head. The head is composed of huge bubbles that give way to a clumpy head. The aroma is reminiscent of apples and pears. There is a spiciness there too. Mild nutmeg is backed by a light doughy scent. The flavor has more of the apples and pears. The spiciness comes through in the taste, but has more clove character. The fruit is still there, definitely pears now, and backed by grapefruit. A little bit of fig sweetness on the finish. This has a tartness and a slick mouth feel I wasn’t expecting. Very nice, extremely drinkable.

 582 characters

Photo of vidisad
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bishopdc0
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of IanSpindler
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of OgreSanchez
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of constantine_272
4.16/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.35/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Seen this forever, finally decided to pick up one.

Big frothy white head like a white beard. Golden Graham caramel brown with yellow highlights.

Fruity, sweetness, dry, earthy, I didn't get all those other smells people did, cuz i'm dumb.

Sour, sweet, too sour.

I don't know if I like this beer, so I guess it means it's ok. It's like those slices of pizza you dont really like, at least it's still pizza though.

 417 characters

Photo of WuBByG999
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of cardinals22
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of NWer
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a brandy snifter from a 11.2 fl oz. bottle.
Bottled on date: 30/12/2009
Best before date: 30/12/2014

A - Deep bronze appearance, nice white head retained well and dissipated to a foamy layer. What lacing there was disappeared for the most part after a few minutes.

S - Like being in the countryside where there are a lot of farms - in a very nice way.

T - Tart, bitter apples at first, evolving to a smooth aftertaste when you churn the froth in your mouth and let it settle around the taste buds.

M - Effervescent, tangy, smooth, complex. Makes you want to sip it which is a good thing.

D - Like a fine wine - sorry for the wine comparison on a beer thread - to be enjoyed in moderation.

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Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of RedHaze
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very cloudy amber/brown with a rocky one inch head that fades very slowly to a very thick cap and ring, leaving behind thck lacing.

Smell; strong grassy and earthy notes, as well as some hints of honey.There's a bit of sourness and tartness, along with some fruitiness I can't quites place.

Taste; the grass/hay qualities jump out at me at first as well as a bit of a funky earthiness. The mildly sweet honey flavors come out next, followed by a tartness that's a little drying in the finish with a bit of a hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium boded and creamy, and pretty easy to drink desite it's dry finish.

I didn't really care for this the first time I tried it, but I have come to enjoy Saisons and other similar styles over the last few years, so I figured I'd give it another shot. I'm glad I did.

 822 characters

Photo of Beerandboards
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of jackndan
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Orval, Trappist Ale: In the handsome bud vase bottle. A deep reddish-orange colored beer, under a thick creamy head that was huge when it was first poured, but settled down to a quarter of inch head. Thick Belgian Lace coats the side of the glass with each sip.

The aroma is very distinctive, lemon, and a least yeast smell. The taste is terrific, but damn hard to describe. Very nice taste, almost lemony, with a little bit of yeast, but much more so. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, with just a hint of carbonation. The aftertaste is pleasant, and very long lasting. I hear you either hate it or you love it, and I love it.

 637 characters

Photo of dedrinker
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled April ' 06, drank Dec.' 06

Strong burst of carbonation on opening bottle. First pour gushes and foams, I wait and pour the rest in one smooth motion. Dense, rocky, off-white creamy head looks too beautiful. I don’t want to drink it - just look at it. Light mahogany color with orange highlights. Aroma of sherbert and damp earth near the stables. Phenolic aromas and flavors of holiday spices and juicy fruit gum. Not very sweet though, with a little sour tang. 15 minutes later and halfway through the beer the head has finally settled down to a thin, soft blanket of melted marshmallow with persistent lacing. I used to not like this beer, but perhaps my pallette has matured beyond hasty expectations of big, overly candy-like dark, fruity tasting Belgian strong ales. I am humbled and exalted at the same time. This beer makes me want to eat something savory and earthy, yet not heavy or too rich.

 913 characters

Photo of seanyfo
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

0.33cl bottle, which was bottled on 19/1/06, so a year and a bit old.
Poured into a kasteel chalice.


Appearance: foam explosion!! head is four fingers, solid off white, very creamy and produces wonderful lace. Body is hazy amber in colour.

Smell: lots of citrus really hits me here, especially lime, with some fresh grass and a slight manure-esque hint. note* as the beer warms this manure flavour transforms into something resembling a cognac

Taste: Very limey citrus taste up front. This develops quickly into a more sweeter flavour and slightly sticky texture, however finishes very dry and pilsner-like. The lime is always there, but notes of a spice such as nutmeg, coriander maybe, come through to give a sweetness aswell.

M- very spritzy and highly carbonated, firm body, no watery aftertaste here.

D- I dont think i could drink more than 2, the citrus flavours really make this a sipper for me, and not something i could go a session on. A nice one for a summers evening where you just want one or two.

 1,029 characters

Photo of pants678
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of mattyrubes
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of Sspeer1
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of barefootbrewer
2.91/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First of all...what a classy looking bottle this came in (this beer was produced on 6/30/2005). It poured a cloudy light brown/tan color with a decent head and some lacing. Even though I poured carefully, yeast was noticeable floating in large clumps. The smell was floral and slightly spicy - very inviting. Where this beer took a downturn was the taste. It was bitter and floral, almost tasted like drinking potpourri. The mouth feel was thin and left a bitter coat on the tongue. I wouldn't consider this a highly drinkable beer, but worth a try as it might appeal to some taste buds.

 587 characters

Photo of leedorham
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of vickersspitfire
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of DioS
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of TBoneJones
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drawn to this bottle for some reason. Bready boozy smell at outset. Cider-like color with thick lacing. The best part of this brew for me is the complexity. At first taste I do sense the yeast, the astringency is there as others will agree here. I may seem off a bit in this but vinegar comes to mind as a mouth sensation, if you can somehow picture that in a good way. I guess there is an odd abrasiveness that somehow "works". Yes it is quite dry, however I can't help, and can hardly believe, that I also detect fruit or fig in the taste. As I mentioned, this is all about complexity. The mouthfeel for me is most abrasive up front, but it is up front where i also smell the fruit-like bouquet as I am tasting it. For some reason and I can't pinpoint exactly how, but this is very drinkable for a beer with such a distinct character. Spices are picked up too. Unusual. I guess the reason i think Orval is so good despite some unusual characteristics is due to the expertise in the brewery of using their "brettanomyces" yeasts the way they do. Apparently in most beers these yeasts are considered contaminants. With that it's no wonder I also favor saisons. All good here.

 1,175 characters

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 5,490 ratings