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

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Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
5,467 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: 5,467 |  Reviews: 2,358
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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Photo of tziggy
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of mattyb85
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of afrothunder
2/5  rDev -52.4%

Photo of DanielCseklye
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rustymoore
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale pours with with a very thick and creamy head and is dark amber in color toward the top and fades lighter at the bottom of the glass . Very hop-driven, fruity, spicy and the alcohol is very present. The taste is nothing that I have ever experienced from a Trappist ale. Good but not the best I have had. The mouthfeel has an acidic feel to it but overall this is a solid ale.

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Photo of itcomesnpints
3.26/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light golden color with a massive head. Bouquet of different, glucose-free scents including: lemon peel, pepper and herbs. The taste follows the aroma and ends up producing a taste similar to Perrier mixed with tart lemons. Mouthfeel is very fizzy and the alcohol is well-hidden, yet the finish is desert arid. Orval is unlike anything I have ever tasted, but to be honest, it just was not enjoyable. It's possible that I may try it again someday, but only to experience its profound uniqueness. I am a relatively new beer connoisseur, so I may be changing this rating as my palate continues its education in the world of beer.

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Photo of MerryTapster
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Darker Straw color with a copper tinge.

S: Fruity and Boosy, slightly bready.

T: Crisp, Slightly Hoppy (Suprised me), Dried Citrus (Tangerine)

M: Crisp

O: Decent beer, not my favorite Belgian but by far not the worst. I would recommend this to an experience beer drinker, a novice would not appreciate this beer for what its worth.

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Photo of CarpalTunnell
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Brewfan
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Pabst Blue Ribbon chalace (my Rapscallion and Ommegang chalaces have both been recently broken).

Bottled on date 24/10/02.
Cellar temperature. 2 inch off-white head with HUGE bubbles. Large blanket of lace eventually reduced to a thin sheet and stayed throughtout the life of the beer.
Hazy orange-amber in color with much carbonation apparent in the early stages of the beer, though not overly carbonated in the late stages.
Nose of cloves, citrus, hops and banana. Slight alcohol presence, but not all that strong.
Dry and tart, citrus and hops are prevelant, while a slight maltiness stays in the background.
Finishes dry and somewhat weak.

Haven't had many Trappists yet and this is my first to review, so my palate is not quite yet accustomed to this style of beer. May have to edit review once I delve deeper into the Trappist family.

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Photo of sludgy
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of CaptainTripps
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a duvel tulip
Bottling date date: 25/3/2010
Best before: 25/3/2015

A: Well WOW, what a head this beer poured. Right from the get go with about half of the bottle in the glass this had 4 fingers worth of creamy off white head. Head dissipated quickly leaving a artwork of lacing behind on the glass. Beer poured a slightly hazy amberish orange color.

S: The scent starts off with this weird tartness almost similar to a flemish red (think rodenbach). Lots of citrus going on in the nose - lemon and orange peel along with a great about of spicy funkiness. Pretty big hop character. The belgian yeast is very subtle but there.

T: As one previous reviewer put, this beer has some belgian "twang" to it. Got a weird combo of Belgian yeast, some spice and citrusy hopness going on. Pretty complex if you as me. Has a little bit of weird fruit tartness that isn't bad but its just kind of funky.

M: Medium bodied beer with plentiful carbonation that models a Triple. Pretty dang smooth and if you are used to drinking high ABV beers, the alcohol is non-existent here. Beer rolls of the tongue nicely.

D: Drink ability is pretty good on this one. Its a very interesting beer that is something out of the norm when you want to stray away from your core styles. Will be coming back to this one when the weather gets better.

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Photo of travMI13
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What better way to break in an Orval goblet than with the beer itself? Also, this may be the freshest I have ever had this beer, and that was by design. 2011 vintage. Bottled on 10/2/2011. 12 oz. bottle poured into an Orval goblet.

A: Deep, golden orange with a finger of fluffy, white head. Excellent head retention with tons of lacing.

S: A mild fruity aroma with hints of hops and yeast. The smell is pretty mellow, but it is very inviting.

T: The subtle hint of sweet fruits like some sort of wild berries hits first, transitioning to caramel malts and caramelized sugar. I get slight yeasty funk next, followed up by a nice bitterness from the hops, finishing out with the sweetness that was there from the start. Whoa. It really has been a while since I've had this, and I must have missed it. This is incredibly complex.

M: Great carbonation, mild acidity, and near perfect balance. The flavor lingering on the mouth constantly changes and lures me back in for more. Wow.

O: Doing a formal review only confirms why this is a classic. It also reaffirms why one could argue that this is the class of the Trappist ales, and why it remains one of the best beers in the world. I can't believe I went a year or two without having it. This should be in both my refrigerator and cellar at all times.

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Photo of HogHill
4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as a single from Colonial Spirits in Acton, MA for just under $5 bucks. I like the voluptuous bottle, very ergonomical.
A huge 3 finger pillowy white froth tops my Rapscallion snifter, a cloudy dark golden beer supports it. Aroma is a yeasty supplemented with spices.
A medium bodied ale with an enjoyable dryness, and a unique medicinal taste (from the phenols?). Feels moderate to high in carbonation which lends to the dry finish. This beer became more enjoyable as it warmed up, and my palette adjusted.

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

Bottled on 10/14/2006. Big head that refuses to go away. Lacing all over the sides. Golden amber colored. Smell is slightly tart and sour, but mostly has smells of light fruits like pears and apples. Smell is tart up front then a bitter finish mixed with spiciness and the tartness. Very peppery in the end. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated for sitting almost three years in the bottle. Beer is rather dry in the end.

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Photo of StrangeBrewer76
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A good beer all around. Many complexities in the smell and taste; lemon, banana, orange. The overall impression is balanced. Others who review this will get the intricacies more clearly but IMHO it tastes like a blend of a sour beer and a Belgian double or triple with additional hide-and-seek esters.

A must try for any BA.

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Photo of bgjohnston
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Having enjoyed most of the wild ales I have tried recently, I decided to try an authentic original.

Pours with a massive white head that stays around for a while with good carbonation. The beer itself is a cloudy orange color. Smell is subtle, yet distinctive; you get some sense for the funkiness right upfront, yet there is a lot going on.

Taste is tart and funky, but not at all overwheming. Nice dry finish with each sip. One can imagine sipping more than one after it is all gone.

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Photo of VWBuggirl
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into my Grimbergen chalice.

This is a great hazy light amber color that looks delicious. It has a bit of a bready-vanilla smell that has a certain sweetness to it.

This starts mildly sweet, then you get a punch of hoppiness that I wasn't expecting, and then sweet again. I love the amount of carbonation too. Very drinkable and enjoyable!

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

Picked up this one at Sendiks in Wauwatosa. Bottled on 3-5-10. Poured into a tulip.

This is my second attempt at Trappist Orval. This one MUST be drank at room temp. I made the mistake the first time. With all the action-packed foam, the light orange Belgian Pale ale took 20 minutes just to pour! Crisp uplifting aroma of earthy tones, orange, lemon.. Taste is mild yeast with citrus and mikd funk which is a bit challenging to the tastebuds. Very dry champagne-like finish.

Excellent high quality brew. To be consumed slowly and enjoy!

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Photo of Whiskeyjack
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of johnnye1981
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 5,467 ratings