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

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,301 Reviews
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
Reviews:
2,301
Ratings:
5,265
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
18.9%
 
 
Wants:
336
Gots:
853
For Trade:
11
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,301 | Ratings: 5,265
Photo of jbramley
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a nice amber with a good thick, fluffy offwhite head. Nice lacing as the beer went done. Smelled floral, sweet, with a handful of straw thrown in. A sharp carbonation on the tongue that mellowed out a bit as the beer warmed up. There was some bitterness and some hop characteristics, but a typical sweetness to it. A little sharp in the mouth, but otherwise easy to drink.

 383 characters

Photo of OutlawJoseyWales
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

App: Brownish/caramel color, with two fingers of creamy foam

Smell: apples, cinnamon, spice, banana

Taste: cider, juicy hops, clean and crisp, orange peel, there's some strange hint that i guess i'll agree with others and call it horseblanket. adds to the originality of this beer.

while not on par with other trappists beers, this beer is set apart from other beers of the style by the complex taste and originality.

 426 characters

Photo of EmilNoldSinclair
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into an oversized wine glass. Wowee zowee this has a damn fine head! It looks like I just made a root beer float! And it retains damn well too! Rocky and fluffy, almost cloud like...and the lacing is nice too. The head just doesn't completely go away! Amberish opaque color...Smell of light alcohol and apples and various spices and a mild hop aroma...somewhat reminiscent of a champagne? The taste is well balanced and subtle...I still can't put my finger on what exactly I should compare it to (apple/raspberry/boysenberry/pear?). The hops are nice and don't dominate but they stick with you to the bitter end (sorry for the pun). Anyways, this beer is light bodied with very subtle carbonation. Very nice, love it and would drink it again many a time!

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Photo of johntangus
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful beer produced magnificent head and lacing. A light amber/copper color.

First taste came to mind: bubblegum. Then the complexities came forth - bananas, hops, honey, wheat.

Smelled like Juicyfruit.

Dry but not overpowering so.

A wonderful beer. Would drink several in one sitting if given the chance.

 315 characters

Photo of TheNapkin
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a beautiful beer. Sour, malty, and dry. A truly world-class Belgian. Great carbonation (meaning it's balanced with the flavor, not excessive and not underwhelmed), highly drinkable, great tartness and just enough thinness in the body to go down easy. Pleasant in so many ways.

 281 characters

Photo of thistle3189
3.84/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was brewed on 13/11/08 so about 13 mounts old, probably not Ideal but well within the best before date 13/11/2013.

A: Wow big creamy white head and lots of carbonation. Almost like Champagne or some of the questionable cider that I have made. Color is Copper Orange. It is beautiful but anything looks cool in that Belgian style Glassware.
S: Citric and a little Cindery
T: This is a different taste; there is fruitiness and some spiciness. It is very complex some how with out being overpowering, the alcohol comes through in the flavor as well as the carbonation.
M: The carbonation is there in the mouth feel, Dryer than I would have expected.
D: I could drink a few if it were less expensive and more approachable, I will try it again when I have gained more knowledge.

 787 characters

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

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Off-white fizzy yet frothy head with good retention. Caramel, cloudy body.

S - Smells like pollen and sugar, maybe some ginger as well.

T - Crisp, medium hoppiness with a decent bite and a nice dry finish.

M - Lots of carbonation. Incredibly clean finish. Something slightly off with the aftertaste. Fishy? A bit too bitter for my preference as well.

O - Pretty good beer, though the aftertaste threw me off. Wont hinder me from drinking it again though.

 491 characters

Photo of sccala
4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured out of a bowling pin shaped brown bottle. The bottle was, or at least seemed a bit heavier than the average 11.2 oz bottle. Poured into a dry, room temperature pint glass.

A- Ooo baby! A light gingerbread color with an incredible head...4 finger collar...1 finger of which rose above the rim of the glass. Consistency of the head is that of home made whipped cream. It didn't completely vanish until I was over half way done drinking the beer. Slightly above average lacing.

S- Good, wholesome, feel-good smells here. Pine trees, a bouquet of flowers, herbs...not much hops though.

T- Wheat, lemon, more hops here than in the smell. Nice and crisp and refreshing, yet dry, not sweet.

M- Perfectlly balanced tastes, perfect carbonation, medium body. In my opinion, the after taste reminds me of the after taste you get from Chimay grand reserve.

D- This beer is surprisingly easy on the palate and stomach. Doesn't fill you up instantly...which is actually unlike most trappist style ales. And with a modest 6.9% ABV, you actually can drink and appreciate each one.

 1,079 characters

Photo of aletales
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Orval pours a cloudy golden yellow with a beautiful white foamy head that lingers and clings nicely to the glass. It smells of citrus and malt. The flavor of this beer is complex and refreshing at the same time. The carbonation never overpowers the citrus and malt flavors, which leave room for a nice hoppy bitter finish very late.

 332 characters

Photo of Twincrasher
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Good head retention. Nice deep copper color. Very clear for this type.

S: Floral and fruity.

T: A little bit of a comedown from the appearance and smell. Balance of acidity and malt is not what I'm used to in Trappist. Less yeasty flavor than what I expected.

M: More carbonation than expected.

O: Very good. Not the great ale I was expecting from reputation. Will try again though.

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Photo of tomordonez
1.5/5  rDev -64.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Over carbonated. I took the cap off and heard a noisy champagne-like blop. The head is a big all-over-the-place cloud. Smells like a cigar butt that has been floating in a beer. It has other strong flowery aroma but not a good one. Flavor is very bitter with a really dry aftertaste. I got my first review straight from a Belgian store shipped from Belgium. I got my 2nd one from a local liquor store in Miami. The bottle is awesome but there is something wrong with this beer.

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

11.2 oz bowling pin bottle

Glassware - zig-zag tulip

Pours a dark orange with tones of amber spilling through.

The aroma is outstanding. Very floral and fruity. This may be one of my favorite smelling belgians in this category.

The taste is also very fruity and sweet...apples...peaches...oranges. It's also got a nice hop bite.

Very good beer!

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Photo of rhollman
3.4/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Cloudy golden brown

Smell - Fragrant aroma

Taste - Crisp, citrus, hop bitterness, nice dry finish

Mouth Feel - Smooth and dry

Drinkability - Complex yes but no big burst of flavor. Perfect for the person who enjoys a citrus oriented beer

 254 characters

Photo of EA728
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: hazy orange/amber with a very nice head that remains.

S: smell is quite bland in my opinion, mostly malty

T: a pleasant malty flavor with the touch of belgium yeast, nice bitterness that I'm not used to in Trappist beers

M: very nice mouthfeel, goes down easy and feels refreshing

O: not my favorite Trappist beer, although it's almost its own style. very refreshing, not too heavy, but it lacks a bold flavor. nice availability in my area, so I will probably pick it up again.

 484 characters

Photo of amart79
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - very big frothy head on a golden brown cloudy body

S - dark fruits, very complex smell

T - The dark fruits and funky complex flavors are right there and stick with you.

M - light carbonation with a smooth feel with a small bite right in the middle

 255 characters

Photo of mfreire212
3.06/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I saw just a few of these unique bottles at the local Total Wine and decided to plunk down the six bucks to finally try one (I have been tempted in the past, but struggled to justify that much cash for approximately twelve ounces of an unknown quantity). What the hell, it is the holiday season, right?

I poured the "trappist ale" into an Ommegang chalice and immediately noticed a nice sized, pillowy head, covering the burnt orange beverage below (a very respectable start).

From there, everything else was just... average. I am not sure if my inflated hopes for this beer contributed to the let down, or perhaps the price for a single bottle left me wanting a bit more.

The aroma and taste were slighty tart and the oveall taste was pretty dry. I picked up mainly lemony notes. The BPA style is different (more subdued) then "our" pale ales, so I was prepared for a less intense experience, but still...

The mouthfeel was very dry and the aftertaste was acidic, and thin. The overall drinkability was average, for lack of a better term. If you gave me another one, then fine....I would drink it (I actually tried and prefer the Ommegang BPA to this one).

But, for the price and the hype, I was a bit disappointed and I am now indifferent to this offering.

Maybe I just got an "old" bottle...either way, I can't see buying this one again.

 1,347 characters

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

Appearance: dark honey gold color,light carbonation, 2 finger head + retention. poured from an 11.2oz bottle to a tulip glass.

Smell: sweet and spicy

Taste: I taste graham crackers? This is the hardest one for me. I can't put a finger on it.

Mouthfeel: Feels chewy but smmoth and carbonated perfectly.

Drinkability: One more? Lets go!

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Photo of RRoeb1123
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tried this beer with one of my friends, who is also my partner in crime in tasting beers.

Appearance: Absolutely beautiful, cloudy amber-yellow, with a very nice head that is almost fluffy, that stays for a LONG time. Leaves wonderful lacing on the glass as you enjoy it too. There is also some nice visible carbonation.

Smell: Heavenly to say the least. There are distinctive aromas that I picked up, which was a very earthy smell, which I really liked. There was also a gentle scent of lemon, spice, and clove, along with apples, and almost a peachy scent. Very very inviting to the nose, and makes you just want to bury your nose in the beer.

Taste: Absolutely great, the scents merely hint what underlies this awesome beer, the flavors come at you in a way that you know they are there, but they don't shout at you. Lemon peel, cloves, apples, and even an earthiness taste, that this yeast imparts is absolutely astonishing. The finish is nice and dry, which makes you long for another sip. As the beer warms, it imparts more of a spiciness, which is very pleasant.

The mouthfeel of this beer is great, because of the carbonation. There is a bit of carbonation, which is perfect because it allows the beer to really hang on your palate, but not allowing it to become too heavy on you.

Drinkability: I find this to be a very enjoyable beer, and I would absolutely drink this again. The complexity within the beer on other tastings may be different, and I'm curious to find what else may be hidden within it.

Verdict: An absolutely heavenly beer (literally!)

 1,569 characters

Photo of sniper061
4.94/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was poured into a pint glass and I found it wonderfully enchanting. This is one of those beers that you know you are going to love just from the way it pours into the glass. I asked the bartender at Brazil craft beer what his favorite was and this is what he gave me. At first I thought he had picked it to boost up my bar tab but after the first glance knew it was going to be special.

 396 characters

Photo of fizzgig
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Came in the classic Orval bottle, served in a tulip glass.

A: Medium amber, aggressive carbonation did not allow the whole bottle to be poured into the glass at once. 2-3 finger spongy head reduced to a half finger head that stuck around almost to the end.

S: Pilsner like smell, with either fig or date. Faded somewhat.

T: Strong malt with late bitterness. Date flavors.

M: Very malty with bursting carbonation.

O: This seems like a fairly strong pale ale to me, nice and malty with the best appearance I've ever seen to date. There is just some character missing that I expected from a malty trappist. Good, but pricey.

 626 characters

Photo of ellman
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smell: Defiantly a Belgian beer it had a fruity musty smell with hint of the alcohol present.

Appearance: Medium orange brew with a long lasting full whit head.

Taste: Quite complex but I would expect no less. Malty but on the dry side. Also slightly sour

Of the Trappist I have tried this is not high on the list but not bad at all.

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Photo of noclue
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: 11.2 ounce bottle. Bottled on 12/12/03

Appearance: Highly carbonated. Golden-Amber murky haze. Tall rocky, frothy white head. Decent lacing. Not very long lasting, but my glass wasn't incredibly clean.

Smell: Strong floral aroma. Fruity. Spicy. Leather. I could smell it sitting two feet away from me.

Taste: Tart, sweet, bitter, phenolic, fruity, hay.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied... Crisp, dry finish.

Drinkability/Overall: Crisp and refreshing. Not my favorite Trappist, but still very good. Easy and rewarding to drink.

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Photo of positiverpr
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a:copper/orange with high leve of carbonation. finely beaded pure white head of 2" that fades to 1/2" slowly. significant lacing.

aroma: subtle barnyard hits me first from the brett. dry hopping(or flowering) is obvious. i dont pick up much malt and some light fruit aroma is there

taste: bitterness is noticeable but not harsh. again- for me the brett grabs my attention. its difficult to dissect the malts(possibly from the dryness). as it warms it gets much more complex and i pick up more spiciness and some subtle clove. goldings hops earthiness fleeting at the end.

mouthfeel: fairly dry. interesting water source i think.

o: fairly drinkable. very unique. i cant think of a direct comparison. for me this reminds me more of a bier de garde style. not like any other trappist that i've had, but again the brett flavor and dryness is in the driver seat.
a wonderful beer.

 881 characters

Photo of Orangevango
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Honey-colored and cloudy, Orval produces a healthy off-white creamy head that sticks around. It is a sight for sore after a day out in the sun; it looks thirst quenching (if something can). I swirl the glass to take the first wiff and am presented with a delicate malt aroma accented very nicely by strong and earthy Brett. The lacing after my swirl is impressive. The hop aroma is earthy as well, and it mingles with the Brett so nicely that it is difficult to say where one stops and the other begins. The flavor is odd. My first thought was tart, but upon a second sip, it was no longer tart, thats when the DMS hit me, not overbearing but certainly present. Bitterness is far more assertive than the hops were in the nose. This beer is quite refreshing. The hop flavor is spicy, and the bitterness lingers. Add a little bit of funk from the brett and you've got Orval. The flavor is pleasent, but nothing to write home about, and certainly no peer of the aroma.
The carbonation is quite high and the body quite light.

 1,022 characters

Photo of robnews
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Leffe Goblet.

After a not so vigorous pour, I still had a two finger head in my glass. Nice slightly off white head. Cloudy dark amber appearance. Head thins out slowly leaving a full coat of lace even near the end.

Great citrusy floral scent reminiscent of spring. Quite nice. Sweet banana smell almost.

Very nice taste of sweet with low power Belgian yeasts present. Alcohol doesn't seem to come through immediately in the flavor, but is there with a nice warming later on. There are several other flavors in there but I can't pinpoint them. Quite complex.

High carbonation but I'm partial to it so I enjoy this.
Really glad I picked this up. Bottle was 2 years old.

 702 characters

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,265 ratings.
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