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

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Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale
5,481 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: 5,481 |  Reviews: 2,361
Photo of ninkasibrew
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Ealanjones
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of kaimcm
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a St. Bernadus chalice

A: nice honey brown body with frothy almost bleach white head, easily swirled back to glory. light stick.

S: strong yeast quality, citrus fruit, light grain, a little alcohol

T: prickly mouthfeel brings a tart, lemon/lime and citric quality up front that is almost sweet but quickly subsides into the hops which balance extrememly well. finish continues drying while the hops spice up the tongue a little more. slight cloves as well. as the beer warms some of the sugar manages to pull through, the bitterness on the finish subsides and the yeast comes through to book end the profile.

M: fresh from the bottle just awesome, as it warms its losing some of the carbo prick and some of its energy. I prefer it a little colder to create that really bouncy, coating, chewy mouthfeel.

D: a thouroughly enjoyable brew, flavorful, only 6.2%, makes for easy drinkin.

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Photo of scottakelly
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy gold with a pillowy white head. There is nice lacing throughout the glass. Aroma is of spicy hops, citrus, and leather, and begs for you to take a sip. Flavor follows the aroma, with spicy hop flavors and a backgorund of graininess. This is a very dry and hoppy beer. The dryness makes this beer a standout, and also makes it very drinkable for 6.9% abv. Had it back to back with Goose Island Matilda, which supposedly is an homage to Orval. Matilda might be a little more complex, and is definately not as dry and hoppy. I give a slight edge to Orval.

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Photo of MadTown1000
3.41/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall: It's always disappointing to try a beer you're supposed to like and have to give it a mediocre grade. It's clearly a serious beer, but I think you have to like pale ales in general to really appreciate it, and I don't.

Appearance: Dark, very cloudy straw color. Absolutely insane head of foam - I poured it into a pint glass, and got maybe an inch of beer into the glass before the rest of it was filled with incredibly long lasting foam. I let it settle for a couple of minutes and more than half the foam was still there. The stuff's like bubble bath - it sticks to the inside of the glass like glue. Points given for shock value if nothing else.

Smell - Strong sweet smell similar to what I've noticed in a lot of Belgian and Belgian-style beers. Almost overpoweringly sweet smell that actually doesn't quite match the taste - I'm docking some points for false advertising.

Taste: A very mild pale ale, with a little bit of the sweetness from the smell appearing in the aftertaste. An interesting combination, but it doesn't floor me. It's complex, but it loses the crispness you get with a lot of light colored beers without substituting in the really interesting flavors you get with a darker Belgian beer (like my favorite Gulden Draak). Sort of similar to Piraat, now that I think about it.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: That aftertaste is a negative here - it's a little bit cloying. Of course, this isn't a beer designed to be drank in quantity, so the fact that it would be tough to drink in quantity isn't a big downer.

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Photo of ljbrisson
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Cracked this in celebration of my wife and I buying our first house! Poured an absolutely beautiful slightly cloudy orange into my Duvel glass with a voluminous, off-white 2-finger head that shows great retention. Aroma is strongly of orange and citrus. Mouthfeel is very light and there is a lot of carbonation. Taste is... well I've never tasted anything like this before. I was expecting much more fruitiness, based on the aroma. Instead there are a lot of flavors I'm not familiar with - I can only describe it as very "wild". Wood? Dried grass? Earthiness? A very dry finish and none of the acidic tang that the aroma suggests. Very smooth, though drinkability might not be as high as other brews due to the sheer complexity of flavors.

Overall I enjoy this beer, although am totally befuddled by it. I would try this again just to try to wrap my mind about what I'm tasting.

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Photo of MFS_71
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of nico_freespirit
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of FreddieMercuryHayes
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of blueberryann
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Outstanding! Lighter than expected! Definitely a good one!

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Photo of MoohMooh
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 33cl bottle.

L: Dark amber, opaque. The head is huge when poured and stays about a finger thick.
S: Grassy and floral, with apple notes. A bit boozy too.
T: Mainly apple with a bitter finish, tart. Bready. The malt brings a nice sweetness. Very well balanced.
F: Medium carbonation, very fluid and quenching.
O: Very nice -- I could see myself drinking pint after pint of this and enjoying every last drop (if only bars in Paris cared more about the beers they serve...).

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Photo of kenzak
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Adamdc
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into tulip.

A: Cloudy, deep amber body topped off by dense, rocky white head. It took a while to pour the whole beer due to very actice carbonation.

S: Lots of lemon right of the bat followed by yeast, hay and bread.

T: There's some nice funk and sour that hits you. The lemon is still there with some green apple and banana and the finish is earthy and bitter. Lots going on here.

M: Very, very dry with just the right amount of crispness.

D: Very high! I wanr one of these on a hot summer day. It's very refreshing.

This is my fourth Orval. The first two times I had it, my palate wasn't quite 'there' yet. The third one tasted pretty good but tonight...this one was great!

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Photo of WOTO97
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: slightly cloudy burnt orange with big soapy head and nice sticky head

S: nice big spice with a faint pepper note, some sweetness complemented by pear, raisin, and coriander flavors, bit of alcohol (more noticeable as the beer warms), some medicine/chalk

T: slight chalk/medicine that is most noticeable on the finish, pleasant orange and coriander up front, some fennel with complementary sweetness from malt

M: clean yet still slightly dense on the palate, very dry finish

D: very complex flavor profile that seemingly shifts throughout, definitely looking forward to aging a few of these and going back after a few fresh bottles

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Photo of DeathbySexyBT
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Delightful light amber glow with a frothy head and decadent lacing on my Satan snifter.

S: Lemon zest, juniper, floral notes and baking flour.

T: That beer is slap yo' momma good! You get all of the flavors that you got in the nose along with a delicate yeasty flavor, sharp hop bite, and a cider note or two as well. The hop bite is not overwhelming but has a threefold purpose: flavor, palate cleansing, and giving the beer an abyss-like dryness to it. Immaculate!

M: Dry, medium bodied, and just a mind-blowing experience.

D: They have been rocking this beer since the 1100s. And I pray they never stop.

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

Appearance: orange-amber in color. Opaque without being hazy. One-to-one and a half finger beige head which thins slightly, but is retained all the way to the last drop.

Smell: fruity hops, spicy, banana, faint bready aroma hidden in nose

Taste: More hops than expected for the style. Not as much barnyard, tart, or sours as prevalent in other Belgian styles, but a distinct spicy front followed by a citrus--especially lemon--end.

Mouthfeel: Very carbonated. Neither too think nor too thin. Could linger in the palate a little longer.

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Photo of BrewHawkeye
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Nyczj
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of diemilio
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 21/01/2015. Cool hazy dark amber color.
Smell, picking up mostly dark fruit notes, a teeny-tiny bit of raisin, a hint of sweet red wine, and definitely what grape NERDS smell like; a little bit of breadyness and spiciness too.
Taste, again, sweetness of the dark fruit (especially as it warms up), bitterness in the back, and definitely getting the alcohol.
Feel, mmmmhh, medium body I guess? Decent carbonation.

Overall, pretty goooood!

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Photo of Bdubz94
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Excited for this one-- hear it is unique among Trappist beer.

Poured from a 12oz bottle bottled on 12/8/15 (good until 12/8/20). Fridge temp. Into a snifter.

Wow. Hello foam! Even with a delicate pour, you are going to get a HUGE head--probably the biggest I have ever seen on a bottled beer. The beer is crystal clear at fist but hazy once the whole bottle is poured. A lovely medium amber hue. Head recedes very slowly, so get comfy while pouring. Heavy lacing like none I have seen before. Just such a foamy, frothy beer. There is a head until the last sip.

Upon cracking the cap off, I am met with the aroma of spices. Very spicy, very yeasty, slightly fruity (apples, pears), slightly funky.

Taste is spicy, yeasty, floral and slightly malty with hints of apple and pear.

Feel is crisp, dry, and light with medium carbonation.

Overall a very unique beer-- like none I have had before. This likely due to the unique yeast used. I definitely recommend trying this one. I will likely revisit it in the future, maybe pick up a bottle or two to age...

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Photo of stjarnflikka
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange beer with a lot of yeast and a thick foam thats lifted by just a tocuh of visible carbonation.

Smell comes on fruity. Honeymelon together with ripe pears, yeast, alcohol and carbonation lies lurking behind the fruit. Nice honey sweet smell with a faint touch of citric malts.

Taste hits very harsh (positively here). Extremely dry, tastes like stone. Somewhat bitter at first with a bready touch lifted by a somewhat sour and flowey feel. Somewhat fruity with a very nice dry taste throughout until aftertaste that comes on with carbonation, alcohol, yeast and a nice malty bitterness lifted by some fruits.

Dont serve this to chilled since i think the dry taste takes over. Should be drunk slowely, bear in mind: this is delicious!
I really liked the dry touch after just a few sips, at first it felt overwhelming but it soon became my friend forcing me to take the next sip.

Really great, really tasty.

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Photo of ROMER79
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this for the first time the other night. It was poured straight into an Orval glass. It poured a nice gold color with a two finger white head. The smell was very herbal with hops and fruit coming through. The taste was astonishing, amost like candy. You could really respect the great balance between the hops, berries, and sugar. It has a nice dry flavor to coinside with the other flavors above. It is a crisp refreshing feel on the palate and carbonated as well to give it the extra umph! Very easy to drink, I had it with Nachos and they tasted great together.

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Photo of cadenwhitaker
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I feel odd... I really didn't fall head-over-heels on this beer... and I love belgians..

I'm getting some honey in the nose, a mild carbonation, sweet malts and a bit of bitterness at the end.

For 6.9% I'm getting a bit of alcohol in the taste... more then I expected for something that is only 7%.

Overall I enjoyed the beer, there is quite a bit of complexity to it, maybe I need to revisit this when I'm more experienced with reviewing belgians - but for now I'm glad to just have had only a single bottle.

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

A: Cloudy golden color with a coarse-bubbled head.

S: Flowery, spicy, lemony

T: Hops give the most flavor to this beer. Tartness noticed first with flowery citrus flavors dominating throughout. Candy sugar coming through slightly in the finish with a mild bitterness.

M: light bodied and a bit over-carbonated.

D: For me this is a beer to be savored and enjoyed. Many complex flavors involved make this a slow drinker.

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Photo of pohldogg356
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 5,481 ratings