Wheatsheaf (104) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 20, 2004
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle—aged one year. A vibrant ruby-orange ale that effortlessly produces a large, foamy head that lasts forever and leaves thick sheets of lace along the sides of the glass. The aroma fills the air before you even get a chance to get your nose near the beer. Intriguing and wonderfully funky aroma has notes of decaying leaves, wet wool, damp earth and moss, leather, and horseblanket, with another level of complexity added by a herbal character in which I detect sage and mint (and maybe some juniper, as well?). The Goût d’Orval reveals flavours that are earthy and leafy, salty, fruity, lightly acidic, citrusy, herbal, and hoppy—all of them coming together to form a unique and complete whole. I can’t help but feel that I’ve barely scratched the surface, for this is a truly remarkable beer.
Imbockinsxtx (80) - Big Bend (Benavides, TX), Texas, USA - JUL 18, 2004
2.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
The first thing that got my attention as I popped the top off the bottle was the Winey, berry Aroma. The beer poured a nice orange colour with abundant head. The Flavour was mediciney and hoppy. The Mouthfeel was Oily and Waxy. The bitter hop finish seems to be well balanced with the Flat Champagne like flavour/palate of the brew. I expected a more malty/sweeter flavour based on the winey fruity Aroma. Overall, this beer is kinda like a flat Champagne with some medicine or kerosene added. Cheers!
Quetzalcoatl (153) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JUL 18, 2004
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Great crisp aroma…big thick head and attractive color. Very dry, pleasant sourness is present as well. Unlike most other Trappist/Abbey offerings.
MrWalker (926) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - JUL 16, 2004
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JAN 10, 2005 Bottle @ Akkurat, Stockholm
What can I say, this is a world classic. Nothing compares to this one. So, so complex in a fresh summery maner. This beer is unbeaten in its style. Put me on a dessert island; this would be my choice. I think. Filling.
Emil (6069) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUL 14, 2004
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JAN 21, 2005 Bottle. Hazy dark golden color, lemon fruity aroma and taste, Medium body and dry finish.
JonR888710 (999) - Cochabamba, BOLIVIA - JUL 13, 2004
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Copper/brown & peach colors in body. Head is big, white and fluffy. Smells dusty basement, suede/leather, pine, german hops and sour plums. Big on taste. A light sour tanginess is present throughout. Sweet malt, plum and pit fruit are the main course here with a small amount of hops in the ending. Not bad, but certainly not a 97th percentile beer.
AlphaOne (142) - AUSTRALIA - JUL 10, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pillowing rocky head, clear dark golden. A flowery jasmine and herbacious aroma dominate, quite complex, some stonefruit and a definate musty smell. Woody, very dry, and very flowery perfume, complex, yeasty earthyness, and a strongly apparent asian medicinal flavour, firm bitter aftertaste.
ToolHead (266) - København, DENMARK - JUL 8, 2004
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
33 cl. bottle. Served in Orval goblet.
Hazy orange color, mammoth head. A most impressive-looking beer.
The aroma is amazing; refreshingly hoppy, herbal and complex.
The taste is very complex too, and truly unique. Well-hopped, with a firm, dry finish, and almost aggressively herbal.
Lively mouthfeel and good drinkability.
bb (6481) - Alamo, California, USA - JUL 4, 2004
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2004 Bottle. Golden hazy beer with a huge white head. Yeasty. Big carbination that just overpowers everything. I’m not sure if I had a soapy glass or if the beer was just soapy, but the soap lasted throughout. Malt, some apple, metallic, a little lemon. Doesn’t live up to it’s reputation. This has to be the worst Trappist out there.
After having more bottles, it wasn't a soapy glass. This beer just reminds me of soap. Stale hops. Nothing good. And yes, the beer was brewed less than a year ago and the best by date is years away, so it's fresh. It just doesn't do it for me.
SilkTork (5020) - Rochester, Kent, United Kingdom, Kent, ENGLAND - JUL 3, 2004
3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: DEC 11, 2010 July 2002. Bottle. Beer with a huge reputation. I found a subtle citric fruit flavour which hovered around grapefruit, lemons and oranges, plenty of dry, hoppy bitterness, but little else. I know my taste inclines to sweeter beers, but I had expected something a bit more complex than this for such a highly rated beer. [2.5]
Oct 2003. Perfumed and dry. [2.8]
July 2004. Bottle conditioned. BBE Dec 08 (bottled Dec. 03). Tried alongside Young’s Special London and Freeminer’s Waterloo.
Opens with a hiss. No movement of the beer. Very pleasant raisin fruit aroma - quite rich, yet delicate, sweet and a little bit like rum. The aroma is definitely the most attractive feature of this beer. Although some prickly metallic volatiles come through on pouring, the malt bread and raisins settle in quite early to be joined later on by a powerfully heady orange grove of exquisite freshness and fragrance. Later on some damp leather joins in. This aroma does decay toward the end of the glass to become quite rancid, like oily, raw, maggot infested meat dripped over with hot caramel. Nevertheless, it was the best part of the beer, and was the most interesting aroma of the three beers tried. Colour is glowing amber copper, rather pale, with very tiny hardly noticeable bubbles. The head is three times the height of the beer, but settles leaving lacy rings into mixed foam and bubbles. Appearance was fairly even across all three beers, and once the Orval head had settled the difference was slight, though the pale colour didn’t look as appealing as the Young’s London Special. Mouthfeel is initially generous and filling, moving to a gentle fade. Some slight prickles give an attractive edge. Pleasantly firm without being harsh or heavy. The Freeminer beer had the best mouthfeel by far, with the Young’s Special next, but the Orval was very decent. Alcohol can be detected at all times. The 6.2% is merely a guide-line, and mine was clearly heading up to the 7% mark or higher. The flavour doesn’t match the promise and range of the aroma, but is pleasant with soft, delicate orange flowers and a very mild spiciness. Finish is weak with metallic notes and a touch of blood and bone. The up front flavours are best, middle is good, but the finish is too naked, sharp, unpleasant and fading.
An average appearance, unless short lived foam mountains turn you on, a great aroma, a decent quick grapefruit sweetness up front, but then it’s all about dryness and a chalky, metallic fading finish. However, each tasting produces a higher score than the last. [3.4]
Dec, 2010 A dry and unrewarding malt. Lots of integrated bitterness. There’s some sharp, citric fruit - like grapefruit. There’s a lingering chalkt dryness in the finish. There’s a lot of unrewarding and unpleasant aspects to this beer. I am not a fan of uncomfortable beers, or very sharp or very bitter beers, so I don’t really like this. I try it now and again, and I give it a decent go. But it’s not my thing. [2.6]