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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:
#982
Reviews:
2,351
Ratings:
5,428
pDev:
12.35%
Bros Score:
4.92
 
 
Wants:
359
Gots:
931
Trade:
11
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,428 |  Reviews: 2,351
Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
3.56/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a huge off-white fluffy head that dissipates slowly leaving a moderate amount of lacing clinging to the sides. Head lasts through entire experience. Pours a beautiful copper color with just a bit of chill haze.

There is a lot of spice to the nose especially clove and pepper. Just the faintest bit of medicine in the aroma.

The flavor is full of clove and pepper also with a nice little malt backbone. Finishes very dry with just a bit of bittering hops in the end.

Good carbonation and light to medium body. I would have liked a little more body to this one.

 579 characters

Photo of RedSpecial1
4.94/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy amber with a thick billowy head that lingers. The nose smells of clean farm yard scents and nice earthy notes. The flavor has a slight farm funk, but it blends smoothly into the overall dryness, and slight grain flavor, of the beer. The mouthfeel is fairly dry, but refreshing. This is quite a drinkable beer, if it were a bit cheaper.

 350 characters

Photo of goblet
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured this one from a 33 cl unique looking ovalish bottle into my goblet .

Appearance:it`s a hazy,cloudy pale orange sun rising with beautiful slightly off white clouds in the sky that reduces but sticks around with early morning lite carbonation .

Smell: the aroma is haystacks on the farm ,even woodies with a mild friutiness ,like peaches and pears the malt and hops are hanging out on this farm though it was foggy and left a wet environment.

Taste:this particular farm is growing mild spices and grains that need an acquired taste to truly appreciate this brew the malt and dry hops are unique and pleasent .

Mouthfeel: a spiciness that is all over the place on this farm its picking hay and feeding the animals watering the grains on a dry day in june.

Drinkablilty:this is a great pale ale full of spices and dry grains ,i would think that some might not get it but try this beer more then once and you will..

 922 characters

Photo of sh00ky
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of starlight37
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of penguinboat
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of discodoni
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of ckornmannn
4.84/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a bottle, into a wine glass: golden amber color, slightly hazy. 2 inch head of velvety foam with great retention. Wonderful aroma, grassy and herbal. Complex flavor, grassy and herbal. Champagne. Maybe the best beer I have tried!

 240 characters

Photo of kingjames1
3.31/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Popped the cap, and foam literally erupted down the side. Never had that happen with a belgium bottle-capped beer before. As a result, it poured with a massive, thick tan head. Looks great, and the head lasts and lasts on this one. Smells complex, with lemony citrus, coriander, pepper, and something funky ('wet horse blanket', I once heard suggested, but I wouldn't know). Taste - interesting! Weird. I've had an Orval once before, but stupidly smoked a cigar with it (and as a result, tasted nothing). Now my palate is quite clear. I don't think I've ever tasted a beer quite like it. It has that infamous funk of a farmhouse-style. But it is sour, and really dry. Oh! A fruit fly just got caught in the head - sucker's doomed in this froth-swamp. Fly's are attracted to funk.

The sour-dry finish is reminiscent of a dry red wine, like a cheap merlot ('sideways' comes to mind). Hops are definitely present, and yeast to be sure, but where's the malts? Its there, just under the sour layer of yeast and astringent hops. This is definitely a sipping beer. It kind of grows on you as you sip it - and the fruitiness (from the yeasts) becomes more noticeable to me. But over all, just doesn't agree with me very well (and I like Saisons - at least the few I've had). Good mouthfeel, light, but not terribly drinkable for the style, imo. One is enough, thanks.

 1,362 characters

Photo of thartman
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from fancy-cool bottle into a stemmed Belgian Chinmay beer drinking vessel. Monster head with whip cream-like peaks. Nice apricot color. Strong musty-fruity-spicy smell. Wild yeast and fruit-like taste, peppery and with a little hop bitterness. Nicely carbonated mouthfeel with a slight bitter aftertaste. Excellent Belgian brew!

 336 characters

Photo of gwydno
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of wogreen
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of randawakes
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a very thick doubled-height head that dissipates at a moderate pace at first, then slows to a crawl with great lace. Milky golden color. Liquid mouthfeel is bubbly! Faint orange taste with mild citrus notes, but nothing stands out too far. Quite a bit of bitterness

 271 characters

Photo of CamuMahubah
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a wonderful golden creamy color into the chalice. Gorgeous white head.

Delicate spices.

Very complex taste. There's yeast, fruit, spices, and a dryness that is pulls the chalice back to one's mouth.

Good mouthfeel, medium not too heavy but substantial enough to enjoy!

This is good beer. This beer has a wildness to it that I will have to delve into again.

 367 characters

Photo of SonOfOdin
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of Scamboogery
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Jaydee01
2.82/5  rDev -33%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Photo of markman
4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Orval Trappist Ale (bottled on 20.01.2004, best before 20.01.2009, 6.9% ABV):

Less then two years old and ready to rock. Funky farmy nose right from the get-go… no doubt about some wildness in the yeast strain. Purest clear brass-orange colored with a busy one inch head looks just beautimus in my Westmalle Chalice. Snap, Crackle, and Pop got nothin’ on this brew…maybe sound should be a reviewable category as well, since I can hear the fizz like no other just as I tilt the glass towards my lips. This is about as dry a beer as I’ve ever tasted…clean and appetizingly so. Tart, hoppy, and drinkable as hell. This beer as a singular uniqueness that separates it from the rest of beerdom…I figure either you like it or you don’t. I freakin’ like it, and maybe the ultimate aperitif.

Now the last quarter-inch…the yeasties; as the Orval website says “one should taste the sediment of the beer separately.” OK, there are some thing monks know best…and beer is damn sure one of ‘em. On to the sediment. Mmmm, so as not to review about a tablespoon of beer, I’ll just say that the mouthfeel is a bit more velvety.

Cheers…

 1,143 characters

Photo of Graebner
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orange-brown color with a finger+ of fine white head that diminishes slightly but never entirely. The head is very fine, but merengue-like...if you tip the glass, the head will take a long time to slide back down the side. Interesting.

Smell is of esthers, cherries, smoked meat?, black tea, some diacetyl, fresh mown grass, malty goodness. This smells really good.

Taste is really not as complex as I was expecting, but is excellent nonetheless. Grapes, a smoky note, delicate malts that melt in your mouth, curds, and slight alcohol noticable. This beer was somewhat too cold when poured, I expect that as it warms up and sheds a bit of its lively carbonation it will improve in both mouthfeel and taste.

The mouthfeel is also very good. The carbonation, though high, doesn't hit too soon, and the diacetyl gives it a very smooth feeling as you sip. The CO2 hits in the back, and the alcohol has a cleansing effect that leaves your mouth feeling refreshed, even with the loads of malts that were obvious up front.

Overall this is a terrific brew. It's better slightly warm...if you order it, have the patience to let it warm up a bit (I prefer around 55).

 1,181 characters

Photo of USCTrojanBrian
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle dated 8/1/2008

A - Poured an off-colored cloudy amber, some mahogany to it. Massive billowy off-white head like a root beer float, more little bubbles than big bubbles.

S - Magnificent. Sour cherry burst. Later mellows, a bit like some fruit jam/preserves wafting from hot toast.

T - Interesting mix of bittersweet/sour and mild funk. Hoping for a bit of that cherry even though it isn't the intended flavor, not finding it. Something fruity though, like a red apple.

M/D - Classic bitey front of tongue kick I find with most trappist beers, abbeys, tripels, etc. Nothing too puckery after a few sips, really mellows out. Incredibly easy to drink.

Worth the hype, but a bit on the mild (if drinkable) side. Lots of flavor things going on that I'm still chasing. Consistency of flavor is notable, doesn't change too much from the cold pour to being warm over a period of time. Wonderful aromatics. Not the prettiest beer I've ever seen (not by a mile), but complex and worthy of repeat visits.

Update: 2nd tasting, and I've been drinking a lot more Belgians lately. This deserves a modest bump in rating.

 1,154 characters

Photo of MunchkinDrinker
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Deep hazy orange with a large foamy rocky cream colored head. Leaves lacing all over the place. Head stays around forever as a thick foamy layer.

S - Lemon, some other citrusy sweetness I can't quite place. Caramely sweetness underneath. There's alot of little scents I can't place, but it's so nice to smell. Vague spice, very slight grassiness. Some orange rind.

T/M - Very light, frothy feel with a flavor that creeps up on you. Dry earthy hops flavor hits first, but it dissolves into a bitter fruit flavor. Has a quality not unlike a good white wine on the back end. I want to say there's a white grape flavor in there as well. It's tremendously complex, but too wine-like for my liking.

D - Very wine-like. This might be right up some people's alleys, but I was disappointed actually.

 799 characters

Photo of PsychicBubblegum
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of Jimbolikesbeer
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of TheDrunkGnoll
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of Sudsday
4/5  rDev -5%

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