Rated 4.102 by BeerPals

Brewed by Brewery Orval S.A.

Villers-devant-Orval, Belgium

Style:  Belgian Ale

6.2% Alcohol by Volume

This beer is available all year

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The distinctive fruity and bitter taste of Orval beer means it has become a genuine reference in the exclusive world of authentic Trappist beers. Orval beer is a high fermentation beer. The ageing process adds a fruity note, which strikes a subtle balance between the beer’s full-bodied yet complex flavour and bitterness. The beer was first brewed in 1931 and owes its unparalleled taste to the quality of the water, the hops and the yeast used. The brewery has selected very aromatic and unique hop varieties, which hark back to the first brewmaster of Orval, who hailed from Bavaria. The beer’s aromas are very pronounced while maintaining the right level of bitterness thanks to the English method of dry hopping. The various stages of fermentation – combined fermentation with the original yeast and with wild yeast, followed by fermentation in the bottle – mean the beer must age for some time and requires numerous quality controls. The gustative sensations will gain in nuance depending on the age of the beer. Young beer is characterised by a bouquet of fresh hops, with a fruity note and pronounced bitterness, light on the palate and a less firm collar than a beer of six months. The latter will feature a bouquet consisting of a blend of fragrances of yeast and old-fashioned hop. The bitterness is more diffuse and the taste has moved to a slight touch of acidity accompanying yeast and caramel flavours. Served without its sediments, a beer of six months or more, has a particularly bright appearance. It will be less so, if it is served at a temperature below 7°C to 8°C (44° - 45°C). The brewery indicates the bottling and best-by dates directly on the label. Every consumer can thus easily know the age of an Orval beer, and whether it should be consumed rapidly or less so, depending on whether one likes this beer young, or after a few months or years in the cellar.

ID: 13 Last updated 3 months ago Added to database 23 years ago

Key Stats








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Most noted beer attributes

autolysed 50%
musty 50%
ethyl hexanoate 50%
isoamyl acetate 50%
leathery 50%
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Overall Rank54
Overall Percentile99.9
Style Rank1 of 1126
Style Percentile99.9
Lowest Score1.8
Highest Score5.0
Average Score4.123
Weighted Score4.102
Standard Deviation0.641

Rating Distribution

Beer vs Style

154 Member Reviews

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  • GROWLERPOWER 31 reviews
    rated 3.6 1 year ago

    Aroma: 9 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 5 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 7

    Bottle from Whole Paycheck; 22/02/2022. Rare Vos glass @home. Silly meringue head. Slightly opaque, Lipton iced tea. Smells of pith, cherry pits, mellow sour mix, faint ladies perfume, baby powder. Soft berry & citrus wheat upfront. Bittersharp earthy, minerally middle. Bit of tea, rind, Aspirin, pepper, copper & subtle heat on the end. Initially frothy, eventually drinking wet & half flat. Hidden acid. Not super-brett thin, but getting there. Better bottle than last time, but still haven't found that sweet spot.

  • HANTRAN 550 reviews
    rated 4.0 2 years ago

    Aroma: 7 | Appearance: 9 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 8

    Drinking a late 2019 in mid 2021, not sure how it had been treated. Not getting the fabulous nose oft mentioned. Smells like a mild heffe, some bubblegum, some barnyard funk. Huge, too huge really, white head makes for a challenging pour. Cloudy medium apricot-colored body under that huge head and leaves interesting lace. Mouth is slightly creamy and very full, very carbonated...over-carbonated? I would like to call this finish sour but sadly medicinal is more appropriate. Warming alcohol is a big part of the ending. Starts almost neutral then a rapid hit of bitter, then heads off into the pasture before that unpleasant ending but that goes away and leaves a fairly clean and just slightly sweet aftertaste. Definitely complex. Smooths out s it warms a bit or maybe I am just getting used to the aspirin finish.

  • FISHINGFAST 685 reviews
    rated 2.4 10 years ago

    Aroma: 7 | Appearance: 6 | Mouthfeel: 4 | Flavor: 3 | Overall: 4

    Well I'm going to be the odd man out because I'm not going to rate this anywhere as high as everyone else. Yes the appearance and extremely frothy head were very good. I found it to be very watery and couldn't stand the taste at all. I poured samples out of the bottle to three other beer drinkers and none of them liked the taste either.

  • PALEALERIDER 2314 reviews
    rated 4.1 10 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 8

    On my bottle shows 6.9%abv. Pours an unbelievable amount of foamy, bubbly head that gives off patchy lacing. Has a pale golden appearance. Aromas of yeast, malts and herbal hops with hints of coriander. Flavours are mainly Belgian yeast, floral and citrus hops, orange peel. Nice smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Slight warming sensation. Quite excessive carbonation. Almost full bodied. Great stuff!

  • AIRFORCE1 681 reviews
    rated 3.9 11 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 8

    Pours a shiny golden amber with a massive fluffy head that takes its sweet ass time. Massive amount of lacing. This monster is heavily carbonated not unlike a champagne. Aroma is very heavy of apple juice and has a spicy kick to it. Taste is not like any of the other Trappist I have had. Has a pleasant dryness with a low spice kick to it. Has a different taste to it in the back that reminds me of a frozen pizza. head is slightly metallic. Burns a little on the way down. Finishes off dry with a slight apple flavor. Very high quality beer this one is but i will stick with the Rochefort sisters.

  • VIPINVELP 2001 reviews
    rated 4.0 11 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 8

    A fine beer, unique in taste. It’s been on our drinking list for many years and we consume it almost every beer tasting evening. Nice bitter aroma and taste with decent foam head.

  • GIVMEBEER 795 reviews
    rated 3.9 11 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 8

    Pours a hazy orange with a whitish head.Great retention not much lacing.Yeast,fruity,flowery,citrus aroma.Flavour is spicy, sour, hoppy and bready.Medium mouthfeel.Tis good but give me a stout any day.

  • RICHSBEER 1935 reviews
    rated 4.1 11 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 9 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 8

    pour cloudy orangeish in color, large foamy head, with great staying power. has wonderful aroma with a decent taste with only a slight trace of bitterness.

  • KEAL 114 reviews
    rated 4.5 12 years ago

    Aroma: 9 | Appearance: 9 | Mouthfeel: 9 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 9

    It took me a few tries to appreciate this ale, and glad I did! My first impression was that this was a really weak-tasting Trappist ale. While it is very tame compared to the quads offered by other trappists, I somehow kept longing to resample Orval. I bought a few more, and am amazed at how well-crafted this simple ale is! Just a solid offering! This is not an expensive brew when compared to other trappist offerings, but is expensive if you compare it to typical craft beers that you might buy for session drinking (meaning drinking more than 1 or 2 in a night). If I am drinking to get drunk, and I want to do it in style, this is the one! The only trappist ale that I would consider for a night of hard drinking. The other trappists, it's all about complex tastes, sitting back in your chair and savoring their changing flavors. Orval is a simple, clean, straightforward taste that's more complex than standard drinks, and asks you to have more than just one. Highly, highly, highly recommended!

  • OLENAMIRONYCHEV 77 reviews
    rated 4.7 12 years ago

    Aroma: 10 | Appearance: 10 | Mouthfeel: 9 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 9

    Known as the quiet trappist, Orval is the finest example of a Golden Belgian Ale. The golden hues are slightly hazed and topped by a huge white heat. Yeast and spices complement the citrusy natures perfectly....a beery symphony on the tongue.

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