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

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Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
5,495 Ratings
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A.

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,495 |  Reviews: 2,371
Photo of grilledsquid
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of joshstevens87
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a blond orange with a generous white head
S-nice sweet fruit presence (apple, banana, pear)with a nice yeast background with very little hops evident at all
T-very delicious a nice dose of fruits mention above and a bit of raisiny hint to it and a more pronounced yeasty spicyness giving it a nice dry finish very different and very delicious
M-medium body a nice strong carbonation with a very dry finish
D-very drinkable and absolute pleasure to drink its dry finish makes the beer rather refreshing

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Photo of angusdegraosta
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to give them credit: my first pour of the Orval filled the ENTIRE glass with foam. It took me four or five minutes of very slow pouring to get it right. One of the most impressive heads I've seen. I didn't pour it right afterward, either. If you avoid pouring the yeast on the bottom, the color is bright yellow with orange tint. Once the yeast goes in, as I did it, it looks deep and hazy. Oh well. I smell grass, grapes, and citrus - great aroma. The malt and hops work well together. The hops are assertive, but don't detract from the complexity. This is one of those beers where you can notice additional flavor as it warms a bit. Mildly tart and a little drier than other Belgian beers I've had.

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Photo of ChaelCox
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of BeerDrinkingDiver
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of binno
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of NHGrafx
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2oz brown bottle.

Pours a nice cloudy dark orange color with a big foamy head that lasts quite a while. There is some nice sediment on the bottom of the bottle too which takes some swirling to loosen up. It leaves nice foamy lacing on the glass as well.

Aroma is wonderfully complex. Mainly floral aromas with lemony and fruity smells, some yeast as well. Many others too that I can't really name, as they all blend together nicely.

The taste is excellent as well. Has some citrus flavors, can taste the malts in there too. Nice hoppiness on the finish. There are also some fruity flavors too, sort of like a combination of pears and apples. Other spices, too much too name. Very complex. Has excellent mouthfeel and very drinkable.

Overall this was a fantastic beer, another fine Trappist offering. Would definitely have this again.

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Photo of davidt
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pouring the Orval slowly into an oversized wineglass produced a full, billowing off-white head. The beer is a orange-copper color with some haziness. Spicy, malty aromas are released during the pour and picked up by the nose immediately. There's a pleasing peppery smell, along with some faint fruitiness. The taste is an earthy blend of yeast and a light, bready malt. A light sweetness is present, which balances the hop bitterness. A fruity aspect appears as the beer warms. The finish is somewhat astringent, but pleasant. Bottled 07/05/2007, labeled 6.9% ABV.

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Photo of Rzzzzz
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As you look at these overall scores for Orval, you might be interested to know that there was once a Major League pitcher named Orval Overall. In fact, he was the winning pitcher for the Cubs the day they won their last World Series. You can look it up.

Flash forward 99 years to my first taste of Oval Trappist Ale. I'd heard nice things about this beer, and it did not let me down.

Poured into a wine glass. Hazy yellow/orange. Nice frothy head and good lacework. Aroma a mixed bag--can't put my finger on anything specific other than maybe apples and of course beer--but there's clearly a lot going on here. Fruity taste gives way to a slightly sour aftertaste that lingers for a while then tugs at you for another refreshing sip. Goes down smooth.

First time I've seen the stuff and now I'm kicking myself for only coming home with one. I could drink a lot of Orval, overall. Speaking of pitchers.

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Photo of Snowrs
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Cinderbike
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of SassaDog
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BeerTaster
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance hazy copper in color two finger off white head that stuck around untill the last sip. Smell herbal hop aroma and earthy. Taste same as smell with warming alcohol and a dry snapy finish. Mouthfeel mediem body high carbonation. Drinkability a nice pre dinner beer.

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Photo of schwee
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of TMB0424
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into snifter

Poured a beautiful hazy peach body with a massive, pillowy white head. Clung to my glass for its life, excellent lacing and retention. Simply a work of art.

Aroma is of zesty orange peel, lemon rind, other citrus. Cherries, granny smith apples in the background. The scent of the Belgian yeast in this brew is intoxicating by itself. Cloves and a peppery aroma back up the citrus in full force. Vinous, grape-like as well... champagne-like.

Taste is of honey dipped citrus (orange peel once again) but is backed up by a sour/tart element that is indescribably perfect. Once the initial hit of citrus fades away, a nice twang of lemon tartness kicks in, followed by a very dry finish. The finish is peppery and warming as well. The yeast... I can't even explain. Leathery, funky - it's perfect. The vinous character is evident once again as in the aroma.

High carbonation, medium full bodied brew. Very bready and chewy. Has a certain distinct creamy mouthfeel to it. The clove, pepper, lemon finish leaves a somewhat funky (in a good way) lacing in my mouth. To continue the wine-like trend, it's almost tannic. Extremely long lasting and even moreso pleasureable.

Drinkable? Oh yeah. This is what Belgian beer is all about. The complexity of this beer is mind boggling as each sip can bring out different elements in this brew. This is a must try for any Belgian lover (or beer lover for that matter). Truly an experience.

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Photo of RDHerm
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a gorgeous hazy amber color with golden yellow highlights. Has an exceptionally thick, cream colored head that slowly thins out, but still holds for the duration.

Aroma is fairly faint. Strong notes of yeast, spice, and fruit (predominantly apple, with a slight trace of peach). Slight hints of malt.

Incredibly complex. I felt like every sip I was tasting something different. Initial taste is sweet, then bitter, but then a slightly sweet finish. Notes of yeast, sweet fruit, tart fruit, spice, and hops. Slight taste of bread and malt.

Smooth feel, good carbonation level, but leaves the palate a bit too dry.

Great taste, lighter body, if you don't mind the dry-mouth (and the price), you could drink this all night.

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Photo of SmokinSmyth
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this with a steak dinner, a very nice beer. On the low end of the ABV for Belgium and Trappist beers, which is probably part of the reason is tastes so good.

Pours with a tall foamy head, nice amber color and a fine lace along the glass (Leffe glass - sorry).

Hoppy flavor with a good feeling in the mouth. Taste starts out a little bitter but ends on a note heading towards spicy. Keeps the taste buds entertained. Very good.

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Photo of Soxfanmcgee
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of artdob
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has head. Mega monster head. Frothy sea-foam like after high tide here. Underneath, an orange brownish brew. Thick and massive lacing.

Nose is powerful from a distance. Yeast, light citrus notes. Also getting notes here that remind me of the sea of all things.

On the palate, a rich full-bodied entrance. Modest carbonation, but a different type than in most beers. Some notes here that I've sensed in certain Italian red wines. Almost as if the bubbles are smaller but more concentrated. Different.

I could see this with seafood. Octopus, mussels, or squid would be my choices.

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Photo of Robje
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first review on BeerAdvocate, and hence my terminology might not quite be up to scratch, nor my ability to pick out any subtle flavours, so I will try to give a general impression of the properties of this beer. (I have tasted many styles of Belgian beers whilst living in the Netherlands, and will post some reviews as I find the inkling).

The beer was poured into a Westmalle chalice from the bottle, marked best before 22/06/2016 (Bottled 22/06/2011). Pouring was stopped just as I could see the cloudy yeast about to enter the cup (reviewers preference).

Appearance: 4.5
This beer poured nicely with an average head. The head lasted for a moderate amount of time, but not very long, the lacing was minimal as the beer was consumed. The beer poured very clear, with a medium amber colouring, with a golden tinge towards the edges. A very appetising appearance.

Smell: 4
The beer overall smelt quite good, with a slightly fruity smell, but quite overpowered by hops and carbonation to begin with. There were hints of some spices and the smell was enticing.

Taste: 4.5
Quite a strong presence of alcohol in the beginning for this style of beer. Fruity tastes with a mild yeast, and a slightly bitter after taste. There is a complexity to the taste that can be enjoyed from the first sip until the last. The bitterness tended to mellow towards the middle of the beer as the beer warmed, leaving a semi sweet tasting beer towards the end. I drank the remaining beer and yeast from the bottle about 3/4 of the way through the tasting, and they contained a pleasant flavour, that perhaps could offset the starting bitterness (Will try a second tasting with yeast in the glass).

Mouthfeel: 4
A smooth mouth feel, with a nice amount of carbonation that lasted until past midway through the tasting. The start of the beer provides a sharpness that is contrary to the smoothness that follows.

Overall: 4
This beer starts very nicely with complex tastes, and an enticing smell and ends with a smooth slightly fruity and semi sweet flavour that is easy on the mouth and sits nicely in the stomach. This is definitely a beer that can be enjoyed for a glass or three in the summer, autumn or spring, without overpowering the taste buds or cognitive functions.

Conclusion, a beer that is complex enough to enjoy the tasting, as well as smooth enough to follow with another in the evening. I would recommend this beer to anyone who wants to enjoy a fine example of a Belgian Pale Ale, and it "feels" a bit special, being one of the Trappist beers.

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Photo of corwindamber
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of mortarit
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Well us North Carolina tasters are experiencing a new frontier with the bar lifted.
I saw this bottle at total wine on my way from work so I grab it. The shape of the bottle grab me.
The pour was manageable without to much head retention, about an inch and a half I say.
I notice that the pour was murky and looking at it after the pour that is cloudy. It darken at the widen spaces that the class gives it. It does have lacing forming around the edges.
The taste isn't over powering which I like.
For begin the first trappist ale, I would say not to bad.

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Photo of hefevice
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a tough one. After all of the glowing reviews I have read, I found the reality somewhat disappointing. Looks absolutely fantastic, glowing deep dark gold with a massive head, good retention, lacing, etc. Also smells promising, classic flowery, funky, dare I say "horse-blanket" aromas. Taste...well...the first disappointment. Dry then bitter, overwhelming anything else that might be present. I also found the palate a little watery, although there was plenty of carbonation, it was course rather than fine like some of the other Belgians I have enjoyed. Sorry, but while it is a good beer, I think it is unbalanced and over-rated.

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Photo of penguinjive7
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour is a light amber with a huge foamy head that dissapates along the sides of the glass but remains in the center for the duration.

The initial smell is that of fruity and floral hops with a hint of Belgian yeast sweet fruit.

As the brew toused the tongue there is a pleasant bite from the hops that is particularly strong for a Belgian ale. This fades quickly to a the tangy flavor of young fruit. There is a bit of barnyard presence in the finish that does not overpower the other flovors, but rather ties them together.

The feel in the mouth is of the sharp carbonation of champaign, which makes for easy drinking.

This is a brew with many levels. It is easy drinking, but you have to take your time and enjoy each sip to appreciate everything that is going on. Another fantastic trappist brew.

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Photo of Jerzdevil1116
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz Bottle dated 7/5/07. Purchased at Joe Canals on Fire Road in Egg Harbor Twp., NJ.

A- Light amber body. Tall foamy white head. A lot of carbonation. Plenty of lacing left on the glass.

S- Smells of malt and yeast. A bit lemony also.

T- Fruity. Lemony and yeasty. A slightly bitter finish.

M- Medium bodied. Lively and tingly from the carbonation.

D- A very nicely balanced beer. Easy drinking.

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Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 5,495 ratings