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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
5,390 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:
5,390
Reviews:
2,346
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
360
Gots:
911
For Trade:
11
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,390 |  Reviews: 2,346
Photo of sammo
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of ubenumber2
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of KiMiRaiK
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

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

Poured from a bottle with a bottled on date of July 29, 2009 making this one just over 1.5 years old.

Pours a hazy almost murky looking copper color with some pale orange highlights. A huge rocky and dense looking head builds itself up to almost 4 fingers thick and dissipates just quick enough for my level of impatience.

Aroma is notably citrusy and estery with hints of lemon and a bit flowery too. The yeast profile does however seem to mute this a bit with a slightly musty funk to it.

Whoa, first sip and there seems to be a lot more going on in this beer than the aroma suggested. The lemony citrus is there, but it almost plays second fiddle to musty Brett character. Also there seems to be some spice-like character and even a bit of a grassy/cereal grain malt profile. That being said, this has got to be one of the most complex and subtle Belgians I've come across. Lots of good things going on here but I'm not quite sure the blend together all that well, keeping me from giving anything higher than a 4 for taste.

Mouthfeel is light and even a bit airy. Overall, Orval is a rather unique Trappist ale and one I would like to experiment with at different ages. I have a feeling though that I would enjoy this if it were a bit younger, like 6mos to 1 year instead. Still, not bad at all though and quite a challenge for the palate to comprehend.

 1,361 characters

Photo of Crimsontider22
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Round 3 of the 9-Round Trappapooza/Trappaganza '06 with expatsteve.

Pour: murky/translucent honey-amber under a two-finger off-white head leaving soapy lacing as it fizzles. Very attractive.

Nose: Mild gueuze funk (strengthens and intensifies as it warms), tobacco hops, lemon-pepper with a considerable barnyard finish. P.U.

Taste: dried Italian herb tea (basil, oregano, sage) aromatics, peppery mid-palate, metallic-leafy hops bitterness, dry gueuze finish.

Feel: champagne fizzy/dry body with a gueuze, tongue-wrenching pucker in the finish.

Drinkability/Overall: certainly the most unique of the Trappists we sampled with the gueuze funk and pucker, and odd herbal notes. Not what I was expecting from a Trappist, but glad I tried it, though it's certainly a one-and-done for me.

 799 characters

Photo of willjschmidt
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into my gorgeous new Orval chalice. Bottled 29/08/2006.

A: Hazy orange, looks a lot like honey. Huge white head. The foam exploded out of the bottle after I popped the cap.

S: Some light fruit (lemon & orange) along with some floral accents.

T: A very complex taste. The light fruit is followed by some spices and herbal flavors. Honestly, there are all sorts of interesting flavors in this beer and it's difficult to pin down exactly what they are. Some of them are very grassy and earthy. More hops than other Belgian pale ales that I've had gives it a hoppy bite at the end.

M: It has a light body and is very crisp and finishes dry.

D: An extremely unique, interesting and complex beer. It's definitely something that I'll have again but will likely not be in regular rotation. The complex taste makes this a nice sipping beer but I couldn't see having more than 1 or 2.

 919 characters

Photo of Envelopes
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of crownrl28
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of InfragilisBrew
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of jmartinger
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of frank4sail
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06 12 2006 (batch)
Big alcohol nose with some pale malt sweetness. Huge off-white head with big airy bubbles. Classic hazy pale ale look with lots og bubble action in the goblet (center). The rocky head and lace is lasting. This brew starts out on a good footing, because its look is almost flawless. The initial taste is one of smooth malt sweetness then strong warm alcohol notes leads your tongue to a bitter hop/fruit finish. The fruit most resembles bitter peach. Quite a complex and bold brew. Medium to full mouth with a nice creamy feel and coating left in the mouth. A truly crafted Belgian Ale!

 613 characters

Photo of changeup45
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 8/8/07. Pours a bright orange color, slightly carbonated, with a thick pillowy off-white head. Aroma is amazing; quite flowery, tangy, fruity, with some yeast and a perfume presence. Not quite as strong or balanced as the aroma would indicate. Tangy fruits, hard cider, fragrance, some yeast but not as much as I expected. Quite acidic as well with a dry and sour finish. Light numbing on the tongue. Very complex as it seems I pick something different up with each taste. An interesting and unique brew.

 515 characters

Photo of Sturmthis
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of JohnTurano
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Photo of HipCzech
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 11.2 oz bottle ("bottled on 09/10/2015") poured into a Spiegelau beer tulip.

Appearance: Slightly hazy pale copper with a fluffy, bubbly head of nearly white bubbles. A good cap of foam persists with sparse lace.

Smell: Deep and complex; musty cellar and barnyard straw fill the nose along with

Taste: Clean and dry; tart citrus, minerals, grass and herbal hop bitterness. Crisp and funky like Fino sherry, almost medicinal.

Mouthfeel: Creamy smooth, medium body and lively soft carbonation.

Overall: Dry, complex and funky - an ideal aperitif.

 559 characters

Photo of mzwolinski
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very attractive orangeish/gold in color. Mostly clear with a massive lace-leaving head. Aroma is yeasty, fruity, and spicy, with hints of orange, grape, and floral hops. The flavor is incredibly assertive; I could detect almost no sweetness at all in the first sip. Lemony and acidic, the flavor profile is dominated by tart fruit and spicy tastes, followed by a big, earthy, floral hop finish. Overall impression in the mouth is very crisp, almost sharp. A bit harsh on the tongue for me with a very dry finish. I found that adding the yeast to the glass rounds the flavor out a bit and leaves a much more mellow beer.

 619 characters

Photo of Stoutfan23DJ
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Franck
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Kplummer82
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of TBoneJones
4.92/5  rDev +17.7%
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

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a tulip

A: pours a very hazy deep amber color with a slight orange hue and a nice amount of carbonation bubbles, pours with three fingers of very fine and creamy off white head that lingers beautifully and leaves a nice amount of very fluffy lacing around the glass
S: very nice hops notes, simply smells fresh, has a nice earthy undertone
T: smoooth, hits with the nice hop notes first then kicks in with a bit of earthy depth and a very slight what note then it finishes with dark fruit notes which linger on the palate for a long time afterwards
M: aggressive carbonation tingle, leaves the mouth feeling dry but still smooth, drinks thin
O: a pretty obviously high quality brew, apparently these "trappist" folks know what the hell theyre doing haha, not the best ive had for the style but its definitly top three, highly recommended

 849 characters

Photo of ggaughan
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a hazy brown color with a thick creamy tan head into a tulip glass. The head lasted for quite a bit of time. The smell I got from this one is a bit of malts and some earthy notes. Interesting but not overly complex. The taste is a bit sour but also a bit of a hoppy bit. The taste is fairly complex with the sour and the bitter and some sweet. Overall I really enjoyed my Orval and will enjoy a few more in the near future.

 439 characters

Photo of ILiveOffHops
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Greggy
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice rocky fluffy head into a la fin du monde glass. The body is a nice slightly cloudy copper color with not to much sediment. After the head recedes a nice clinging lace remains.

S- Right off the bat I get a large hoppy grasiness, along with some big pepper, and a mineral inspired floral note. I detect a light bit of phenols as well. Nice.

T- On the palette this beer has an almost medicinal taste to start reminiscent of cough syrup with almost the same mentholated finish on the back of the throat. I would even say I taste suggestions of a very dry cider. The same light faint mineral finish is a bit dry leaving the palette coated with almost a graphite note. Unique to say the least.

M- mouthfeel is medium which is nice with the style, and the odd notes coating the palate on the tail end is pretty unique.

D- 6.9% makes this a belgian I can partake in without getting overly tipsy. As odd as this beer was for me, I look forward to pairing it with some food. Chops?

 993 characters

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,390 ratings.
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