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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
5,398 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
Ratings:
5,398
Reviews:
2,347
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.44%
 
 
Wants:
360
Gots:
919
For Trade:
11
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,398 |  Reviews: 2,347
Photo of jaz58
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the strongest tasting beer I've had to date. Clear russet brown in the glass with a creamy head which dissipated slowly leaving lots of lace. The nose had sweet malt and black pepper. A distinct effervescent mouthfeel which the tast was a strong hops bitter throughout with a flint flavour.

 298 characters

Photo of wescj
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a chalice.

Looks great. Deep orange and quite cloudy, with a thick and rocky white head. Man, I love big, billowing heads with good retention.

Smells fresh, grassy, a bit citrusy.

Tastes very refreshing, featuring the same notes as the nose along with a good mustyness. A bit light, which fits perfectly with the grassy notes. Good 'n hoppy.

Great mouthfeel, not too light for the style. Everything about this beer comes together very well. My only complaint is the price, but that's not a factor in this review.

 541 characters

Photo of guild337
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have wanted to try one for a long time, and was in the mood for a good trappist when I saw this bottle at my local grocery store (ok it's a slightly higher end grocery store).

A - What you would expect from a Trappist bottle aged ale. Deep golden color, and cloudy with sediment (mmm...sediment). A nice thick off white head.

S - Not overly fragrant, but what little there is, is fresh and clean. Smell is a little bit citrusey.

T- Taste, on the other hand, is quite complex and has a range of different flavors. My pallet is not the most acute, but I was able to enjoy some pear and apple flavors which were both subtle and poignant.

M - A nice light mouthfeel, with quite a bit of carbonation.

D - Very drinkable, and enjoyable ale. Right up there with my favorite Belgian beers.

 790 characters

Photo of BabyBastard
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 9/7/08, and best before same date in 2013. Poured in my chalice a great looking amber shade, very lively carbonation produce prodigious head that has no problem sticking around. It really is a treat to watch those crazy bubbles make way to the surface.

Smell is great malt, yeast, and a whole bouquet of herb like spiciness. One of the best smelling brews I have had in quite awhile.

Tastes bread like with citrus notes, great yeast flavors and perfect malt balance round out this wonderful brew.

Feel is super bubbly and full of carbonation. Very light and lively at the same time. Good drinkability right here, just wish I had some more to enjoy.

 662 characters

Photo of SMM0606
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of TheBlueWaffle
4.71/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

After dealing with the insane carbonation, I'm talking 30 minutes till the foam died down, this beer was ready. Worth the wait for sure. Intense banana yeast notes. Very drinkable!

 180 characters

Photo of DexterP236
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of kevinhughes
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Isotope
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Ljunkan
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An all-time favourite.

Pours an hazy orange color with a large foamy head. Extremely nice head actually.

Smell is nice; sour/acid fruits, citrus and stable-like aromas.

Taste is even better; sour apples, grapefruit, citrus, some stable, slight notes of herbs. This beer has a interesting mix of sourness/acidness together with a dry hopped character and a very good bitterness.

Highly recommended!

 402 characters

Photo of Jimbo87
3.84/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled march 15 2007 - about two years ago

a- nice amber, pretty clear, tons of little ascending bubbles. huge fluffy head. Head was forming even when I slowly and carefully poured down the glass at 45 degrees; great head retention and nice lacing.

Smell was a bit subtle. I smell the grain, but I don't really smell what I normally recognize as the smell of hops. I'm actually having trouble putting my finger on any smell I can compare this to.

Taste: slight banana, slightly sweet grain, wine-like note (tannins?), a bit acidic. Some other fruit?

Mouthfeel: very carbonated, not what I'd call a smooth moutfeel

High drinkability.

I liked it, but I'd be interested in trying a fresh bottle. I didn't actually know this one was so old. It's cool that it was essentially pre-aged 2 years for me, but I bet all that time affected the taste. I don't consider my taste developed enough to appreciate this beer completely. But for now I say B+.

 947 characters

Photo of Skwisgaar
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Goldfish19
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

~ Purchased this bottle at Shoreline Beverage in Huntington, NY. Pours a hazy orange color with a huge frothy head. There is a ton of bubbles in this brew. Hints of fruits and spices graze the nose quite well. The taste is complex, and the finish is bitter. Orval is definitely a superior beer when compared to most, but I am sorry to say it is my least favorite of the Trappist offerings. ~

PS- it is worthy to note, this was bottled on 04/22/09, so I will let my other bottles age for while, then revisit this one at a later date.

 533 characters

Photo of STKPICR0720
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew truly lived up to my expectations. You can understand why this brew has stood the test of time. If it isn't broke don't fix it and the monks at Orval have heeded the saying.

This brew has a bottled on date and a best before date. The bottled on date was 22/04/2009 and the best before date was 22/04/2009

This brew poured golden brown, with a hint of tartness and tart fruit taste. The hops are here but not over powering. The 6.9%abv is just perfect. This brew is mind blowing though. You expect alot from a trappiste and this brew delivers. I would drink this before all other trappiste. My hats off to all who have made this brew as they are deserving of a standing O.

 684 characters

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

Bottled on March 10, 2011

A: Pours a great deep tangerine copper with massive froth dome.

S: Banana spiciness that gracefully kisses the nose

T: Taste is way better then the previous bottles ive cracked. A forward flavor is all brett with simple and tame esters that bite at the taste buds. Slight spices mixed with orange peel are quite prominent.

M: Fuller and thicker then the last bottle that i had which ended up watery and dull/muddled in flavor. Sharp and dry

O: A great tasting beer that offers great subtle complexities of the trappist style. Not my favorite but definitely a go to belgian. If seen at a bar i wont hesitate to order me on.

 655 characters

Photo of TimZebGir
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

A: Caramel with light haze, really fluffy, creamy head, high carbonation (3/3)
S: Earthy malt with a (barnyardy citrus?) to balance it out (9/12)
T: Crisp caramel malty flavor fades to banana and raisin with a little bitterness at the end (16/20)
M: Starts wet and bubbly but finishes dry(5/5)
O: There’s a lot going on here. The flavor profile is quite complex, and keeps me coming back for more to decipher everything it has to offer. Would definitely drink again. (8/10)
41/50

 484 characters

Photo of pimko
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jamesroses
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 21/4/2016, drank on 18/8/2016

Appearance: hazy copper orange with a big head every time it's poured, like 5 finger head. Great lacing and retention.

Aroma: reminded me of good sparkling wine, fruity and floral, red apple skin and perfume. Not strong, but delicate.

Taste: similar to the aroma, tasted like white sparkling wine, sour golden raisins and something similar to a fruity minty flavour.

Mouthfeel: crisp carbonation that makes for a medium bodied mouthfeel with a champagne-like bitter aftertaste.

Overall: I liked it and would drink it again, maybe was a bit more sour or bitter than I'd expected. This bottle was pretty fresh, so I'm looking forward to get another one and cellar it for a couple of years to see what it's like in that condition.

 774 characters

Photo of Bdubz94
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
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...

 1,057 characters

Photo of jimctin
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of adkrogue
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Weavagra
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of KDE
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Hopbomber
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Roxie_B
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Serving: Bottle
Glassware: Pint
Appearance: Hazy and a dark honey with amber highlights
Aroma: Citrusy
Taste: Sourdough, vegetables (is that…asparagus?!), damp earth, pears, grape leaf and lots of hay. Oh and brettanomyces expressed mostly as earthy and grassy tastes. This is a whole world of stuff going on.
Mouthfeel: All around medium.
Overall: I love this one. I taste something different with every sip.
Caveat Emptor: Dirty pear burps will haunt you later.

 466 characters

Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
4.18 out of 5 based on 5,398 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.